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Messages - dirtcastle

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16
it seems that we just naturally gravitate towards certain focal lengths; even with a zoom, we tend to choose prime focal lengths more so than we choose non prime.

I always find it interesting to look at the focal lengths of my photoshoots, I find it amazing just how often they do gravitate towards primal focal lengths.  But then again, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics!

Few would debate that there are certain focal lengths that work well for certain types of shots. But my original question was really about why the standard focal lengths are PRECISELY 24/35/50/85mm, and not +/- 5mm off of those lengths.

They are not precisely 24/35/50/85  .... they are just labelled that way by the manufacturer for easy marketing I suspect. They are all off by a bit.  Zoom ranges can be quite a bit off.

Good point! And that begs the question even further. A few possible scenarios...

1. There are true "standard" focal ranges (e.g. +/- 2mm) around the 24/35/50/85 marks; and, for marketing purposes they have always rounded to a number that sounds good.

2. There are no inherent or intrinsic "standards" and everything is just a product of arbitrary historical precedent.

Personally, I think the standards are arbitrary. Great shots can be had at any focal length.

I think the reason why people accept the standards (and some believe they are baked into the fabric of life) is that they do serve successfully as guides for choosing lenses and composing shots. But it would seem to me that in a parallel universe (or by quirk of history)... 22/32/46/80 could just as easily be the standard focal lengths.

On a side note, I should point out that the most commonly used focal lengths (35mm equivalent) are probably...

Samsung Galaxy S III: 26mm
iPhone 5: 33mm
iPhone 4s: 33mm
iPhone 4: 29mm
HTC One: 27.54mm

From this we can see how marketing departments might be tempted to round up or down to 28mm and 35mm. Certainly "27.54" has a bad ring to it. And if rounding up or down by 0.5 is no sin, then surely rounding by .75 or even 1.75 is no sin either! ;-)

17
it seems that we just naturally gravitate towards certain focal lengths; even with a zoom, we tend to choose prime focal lengths more so than we choose non prime.

I always find it interesting to look at the focal lengths of my photoshoots, I find it amazing just how often they do gravitate towards primal focal lengths.  But then again, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics!

That does seem uncanny that a disproportion of your shots landed on "standard" lengths. While you were shooting, were you aware of the focal lengths you were using?

I'm completely skeptical that 50mm is any more inherent or "gravitational" than, say 45mm, 55mm, or any other focal length that is near a standard prime focal length.

Going one step further, I would guess that most people couldn't land on a specific focal length IF THEY TRIED TO. I'm guessing the margin of error would be around +/- 5mm for those who tried.

Few would debate that there are certain focal lengths that work well for certain types of shots. But my original question was really about why the standard focal lengths are PRECISELY 24/35/50/85mm, and not +/- 5mm off of those lengths.

18
Software & Accessories / Re: Portability: laptops vs desktops
« on: July 31, 2013, 03:05:21 AM »
I'm on my 2nd MBP 17". IMO, it's got the best laptop display on the market. And it is a strong performer when the parts are maxed-out. I feel like anything less than 17" for image editing is not sufficient, considering that your image preview will be nested in the middle of a controls-heavy UI such as Lightroom or Aperture.

I run Parallels on my MBP and it works okay. It's not an amazing or seamless experience, but it gets the job done. It works.

19
Why are the standard focal lengths for primes the following?...

24mm
35mm
50mm
85mm

I understand why they are spaced relatively evenly. But couldn't it just as practically be the following?...

20mm
32mm
47mm
80mm

Ultimately, it seems like the "standard" lengths are probably arbitrary in their origins. Probably the first person to pick the original standard focal length was making a technical decision, rather than an aesthetic decision.

History buffs... bring it on!

20
Lenses / Re: Sigma 24-70 f/2 OS HSM Coming? [CR1]
« on: July 30, 2013, 02:36:08 PM »
70mm is not that useful. There's a reason why you don't have a 70mm prime lens. It's close to the portrait range but not quite there.

I totally agree on the weight issue. But I'm highly skeptical of the idea that 85mm is infinitely more useful or practical than 70mm. It may be that people have unwittingly gravitated toward a convention. But I can't imagine there is anything inherently better about 50mm or 85mm, except that they are evenly spaced from other lenses in a lineup, and photographers have based their shooting around these ultimately arbitrary lengths.

21
Software & Accessories / Re: Who Adopted Adobe CC?
« on: July 23, 2013, 03:13:33 AM »
I've been doing Creative Cloud since last summer. For me it's a good deal because I regularly use Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Premiere, and After Effects (often professionally). I can see why people are angry but either it's worth it or it's not. It's like a symphony of whining in here. If it's such a big deal, grab a torrent or find an alternative.

22
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: first paid gig need help
« on: July 20, 2013, 07:51:12 PM »
You just need your 5DMkIII with 24-70 II and flash. You do not need anything else.

And maybe use f/2.8-4, and high ISO when necessary to get faster shutter speeds.

The 5D3 + 24-70 + flash is the ultimate "get-the-shot" setup. I'm jealous. :-)

23
Canon General / Re: Bad Photography Rant
« on: July 19, 2013, 07:53:54 PM »
An uneducated customer is destined to get ripped off.

24
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Resolve Now Accepts Raw files from 5Dm3
« on: July 19, 2013, 02:24:58 PM »
This is great news. I'm new to Resolve and have been struggling a bit, so any improvements to the workflow are welcome.

Unfortunately, a much bigger problem I've been having with Resolve is that it performs none of the automated corrections/adjustments that ACR does. In my case, this means my unprocessed 5D3 RAW images have intense chromatic aberration across the entire image.

I asked how to fix the CA on both the BM and ML forums. The responses I got seemed to suggest that most colorists improvise their solutions. I certainly understand why Resolve doesn't automatically fix this yet (it requires a huge library of lens profiles). But the prospect of creating my own CA fixes for about a half dozen lenses gives me pause. At least they could have a tool that puts you in the ballpark (or a tutorial... or something helpful).

Far as I know, the two major advantages of Resolve over ACR is speed and dealing with motion. ACR has no motion capabilities; which obviously means it's not a pro tool. Period. But ACR does have one big advantage, which is that it takes about 2 seconds to get near-perfect grading on any random, low-motion footage.

The frustrating thing for me is that most of the Resolve interface and tools look pretty straightforward and manageable to learn. But there's a few stumbling blocks that even experts struggle to help me with. Oh well, suck it up I guess.

25
5. Horizon level guide
Confused by this. The 5D3 already has a built in spirit level for both the screen and viewfinder.
Thank you for pointing this out. I just found it in the manual. Now I can check it off my list. :-)

26
1. More dynamic range
2. Drop some weight 0.5lb (8oz)
3. Video: native RAW, 1080/60p, and improved audio recording
4. Wifi
5. Horizon level guide

27
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Video Noise - Does this look right?
« on: July 12, 2013, 03:26:06 AM »
Any chance to see a new screen shot for your new perfect 5D?

Now I'm curious too! And I'd also like to know at how many ISO you shot the frame you posted...

In his second post, he said the ISO was at 640. Even with an underexposed image, that's a lot of noise for ISO 640.

28
A lot of workshops focus on particular types of photography (street, landscape, wildlife, strobe, etc.).

One person I hear about all the time is Eric Kim. He specializes in street photography. I'm not sure how pricey he is.
http://erickimphotography.com/blog/workshops/

Sometimes the best part about workshops is meeting and learning from other students. That's what happened to me when I went to a free David Honl workshop here in L.A. I made friends with another attendee and he was nice enough to answer some of my noob questions. Sometimes the attendees are just as good as the instructor.

Photowalks are also good learning opportunities, where you might not have a designated "teacher", but you could probably find people who would be happy to share techniques and advice.

29
Lenses / Re: New Wide Angles Lenses in 2013 [CR2]
« on: June 19, 2013, 04:27:58 PM »
16-50mm ?  That leaves an interesting concept in my mind of a 50-135mm F4 IS - creating a crop centric focal range that migrates to full frame when the user wants too...
Or how about a 24-50mm f/2?
That's what the Sigma 18-35 F/1.8 zoom should have been.  I want that.
I forgot about this Sigma! Alas, I'm on a full-frame.

30
Lenses / Re: New Wide Angles Lenses in 2013 [CR2]
« on: June 19, 2013, 03:09:21 PM »
16-50mm ?  That leaves an interesting concept in my mind of a 50-135mm F4 IS - creating a crop centric focal range that migrates to full frame when the user wants too...

Or how about a 24-50mm f/2?

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