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Messages - dirtcastle

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Lenses / Re: Is the 16-35 L II worth its price?
« on: June 09, 2013, 07:38:31 PM »
Speaking again of sunstars/starbursts, I've always liked the tight glow of the 17-40 f8 stars and whilst the 24-70 II f8 stars look amazing, they're very, very distinctive and tend to stick out of an image more than the atmospheric glow exhibuted by the 17-40. Coming from a 10-22 originally, the starbursts on that we're quite messy in comparison to both of the above, with the bursts usually accompanied by dollops of off-centre flare and sometimes specular mini flares.

To each his/her own. I find the stars distracting and the only way to reduce them is to open up the aperture. I think people like them for the same reason people like heart-shaped bokeh: novelty.

ISO 160 (I only use multiples of 160, or "native ISOs", but that is a different topic)

Do you have a source for this? I've seen people arguing for and against "native ISOs" aka "multiples of 160". It would seem really weird that ISO noise would be consistent across different sensors. I can believe that this might be true for some cameras... but for ALL digital cameras?   :o

Software & Accessories / Re: Help needed regarding editing
« on: June 09, 2013, 06:01:27 PM »
In Lightroom, go to the Tone Curve panel and grab the bottom left black point and pull it UP.

And then go to Split Toning and color the shadow.  8)

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« on: June 09, 2013, 01:23:20 AM »
Read the bible.... "Set Lighting Technicians Handbook". Until you understand all types of light, you cannot sit down and talk about experience with one type of light, because you have NO reference.

Thanks for the heads-up on this book. I just grabbed it.

After considering tungsten,  then LED, and then back to tungsten... I finally decided to go with some fluorescents.

The primary factor was cost: fluorescent is cheap.

The second factor was brightness: fluorescent can definitely pack some punch.

The third factor was heat: my apartment already gets hot as it is (no AC).

The trick with fluorescent is to get the right bulbs and to be ready to do some color correction in post. I am the first to admit that most fluorescent bulbs give off crap light (often accompanied by a flicker and/or green/blue/purple spikes). I had to ditch some bulbs because they flickered and had a purple spike. But I've been doing my homework and I've already found one bulb that I'm reasonably happy with (Eiko 105w); and more are on the way (Alzo). My only major complaint is how hard it is to find 5000k bulbs (my preferred color temp) with a CRI over 90. It seems like their are a lot more options at 5500k and 5600k.

Another bonus about fluorescents is their power draw. It feels good to be efficient and I'm actually using some of these bulbs for everyday house lighting (I prefer white light over yellow).

Having said all that, when my budget permits I will definitely be ordering some tungsten lamps to get better quality light. But for now I'm still learning and I'd like to see how far I can go with fluorescent.

Hi Omar, get yourself one of these, there are a few Brands around it doesn't need to be this Brand, B+W make them as do others, I use this one on my 24-70 to control light/movement.

Lee Filters also make something similar but in a Rectangular design that fits into a Filter Holder, but for Video the Circular ND Filter will work better, I think, I'm not much into Video.

Or get a regular (non-variable) ND filter and use ISO and shutter speed to adjust.

PowerShot / Re: Best solution for really shaky hands
« on: June 08, 2013, 04:18:56 PM »
Consider a camera with a viewfinder; when she has the viewfinder pressed against her eye, she has 3 instead of 2 points of contacts; so better stability.

In general a somewhat heavier camera is more easy to keep still.


Aside from the obvious (image stabilization), these two suggestions plus good high ISO performance will make the biggest difference, imo. In my experience with shaky hands (yup, I've got em too), good ISO performance is the most helpful because it allows me to use faster shutter speeds in low light.

But it might be challenging to find all of these features in a sub-$400 camera.


I've just looked there at smugmug at a glance.

If you just want to get some prints made...do you have to pay money at all for some kind of 'account'?

I didn't get the impression from a quick glance there for simple printing jobs....?

You can try SmugMug for free (for a limited time), but it's a paid service with no free option (far as I know). I joined SmugMug mostly for the printing service, and I wanted the ability to control the prices of the photos. At the time, it was about $100/yr for all the options of the now $150/yr membership.

When friends or clients purchase photos from your SmugMug account, they add the photos to a cart and pay for them through SmugMug. The printing fulfillment is done through third party printing companies.

SmugMug is an excellent service, but I'm not shooting enough these days to make it worthwhile anymore.

Lenses / Re: Is the 16-35 L II worth its price?
« on: June 08, 2013, 02:04:56 AM »
even if (when) canon releases a 14-24, i'll stick with this lens as my primary UWA.

24-35 is just too useful a range to give up w/o changing lenses, and i'm skeptical as to whether the new 14-24 would even have filter threads, or at least be a size matching the set i already own.

now if canon decided to release a mkIII (highly doubtful anytime in the near futuer) with improved corners at 2.8-5.6 and 35mm that wasn't soft in the center at 2.8, i would be overwhelmed with happiness ;D


This lens does a great juggling act between image quality, versatility, and the limits of lens technology. That said, I agree that image quality was where the compromise was made with this lens. This lens has an incredible focal range, it's light, and it's reasonably priced for what you get. But it's not super sharp. And corners are often soft, distorted, and full of fringing.

Like many folks here, I would prefer a 14-24mm with improved IQ. That said, If I could have only two lenses, the 16-35mm would be high on that list.

How are you pricing that at $150?

They have several membership grades, one I think may even be free. The one I use is around $60 per year and last I checked they use Bay Photo to do their printing.

There are lots of alternatives, but they all seem to have a range of prices.

If you're using it only for family snaps, you surely don't need a $150 membership.

Thanks for pointing that out.

I opened my account 4 years ago and it looks like prices/plans have changed since then. My needs have changed too.

Here are the four SmugMug plans.


It looks like the "basic plan" ($40/yr) includes print ordering. That seems reasonable.

Software & Accessories / Re: Adobe Creative Cloud - Adobe Owns you!
« on: June 07, 2013, 07:08:54 PM »
If someone steals your stuff (or you are worried about someone stealing your stuff), get a lawyer.

SmugMug is great, but I don't want to pay $150/yr. I am only using it for family photos, not professional work.

What are some alternatives?

I don't need anything fancy except the ability to order prints. I don't care if the prints are low quality or overpriced because this is just for family photos.

When you say that you want to separate conversion and editing, by editing, are you also referring to color management?

Yes. The optimal workflow for most is to do all non-conversion adjustments in an NLE, such as Premiere, After Effects, Final Cut, along with other programs that maintain a "non-destructive" workflow (e.g., Resolve).

Currently, the ACR/LR workflow outputs a Prores 422 file, into which many people are "baking" the white balance and other adjustments. The reason for making the adjustments prior to converting to Prores 422 is that you get to work on the uncompressed file and get a lot better results (especially with tonal adjustments). But the baking-in of these adjustments violates the non-destructive editing flow. In a non-destructive workflow, adjustments can be made at any point in the process, without the penalty of having to re-bake adjustments (in this case, in ACR or LR).

So the new workflows (similar to basically all other video workflows), will convert the RAW file to a format (e.g., Cinema DNG and CineForm) that maintains the ability to make adjustments at any point in the process, and doesn't require going back and forth between programs to adjust simple stuff like white balance and highlight recovery.

That said, ACR/LR do have some amazing features and I'm sure there will be people who will still use an ACR/LR flow (e.g., for extreme highlight recovery, or specific plugins such as SilverEfex). But personally, I want to take the footage straight into the NLE and/or Resolve, without having to worry about whether I "converted" the files properly.

While I've had some success with the ACR/LR workflow, I'm looking into a more NLE-centric workflow.

I have also been having color conversion issues from format to format. But I feel like spending a lot of time debugging it for the ACR/LR workflow is a bit of a waste because I think we are on the cusp of more efficient workflows that bypass ACR/LR. It was a great workaround when there were few alternatives (at least for GUI-dependent users), but it's an inefficient workflow, especially when plagued by unexpected color shifts that require going back-and-forth (or just needing to go back and forth because you changed your mind on white balance or highlight recovery).

The following article talks about two new workflows, one of which is stable. The other is still rough.


A lot of the ML tools development is on the Windows. I just ordered Parallels. I want to completely separate the conversion process from the editing process. And if that requires using Windows and/or the command line... it will still be a big time saver over the ACR/LR workflow (at least for me it will be). I guess other people are okay with it. To each his own.

Exciting times!

Lenses / Re: If you could only have three lenses...
« on: June 02, 2013, 06:57:28 PM »
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L
Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L II

This is a tough question because I shoot mostly in the 16mm to 70mm range. A 24-70mm lens would seem like the obvious choice for me, but it has so much crossover with other worthy lenses (and so many great fast primes). If I pick the 24-70mm, then I'm sorta forced to go with a 14mm and a 135mm. But then the 135mm is redundant with a 70-200mm, and the 14mm is not very versatile, but a 16-35mm is redundant with the 24-70mm and not the best performer in this cadre.

Ah, the classic lens choice dilemma. I deal with this all the time.

I made your kids look kinda tough.

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