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Messages - Cosk

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Lenses / Re: Prime vs zoom
« on: March 26, 2013, 09:15:48 AM »
I used to shoot zoom (and had a couple primes)... until one day I started looking at all the framed photos on my walls and realized that all but one or two were taken with the primes.

Zooms may have been 80% of my clicks... but all the keepers came out of the smaller set of prime shots. 

Now I shoot all prime... which caused an unintended consequence that led to a very tricky and expensive problem:  I'm out of walls.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: 35mm 1.4
« on: February 26, 2013, 09:20:19 AM »
Are you shooting on a crop body or a ff?  For what it's worth, I have a 35/50/85/135 set of primes for my 5DII and the 35/1.4 ends up on the front more often than any other lens - it's a very useful focal range.  And I usually shoot it wide open.  Now, is there much difference between 1.4 and 2.0?  I think so - at 35mm, it's less about blurring the background completely - and more about adding a subtle blur that adds an element of 3 dimensionality to your images.  That extra stop gives your images more pop, more depth.  I would recommend going for the extra stop if your budget allows.

Regarding Sigma vs. Canon, I've never tried the Sigma.

Good luck! 

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: New to video...advice needed
« on: December 23, 2012, 07:17:19 PM »
I'm only a couple months ahead of you... but here's what I learned:

-Use Manual mode
-Set your frame rate to 24/s
-Always set your shutter speed to 2x that (1/50th is closest)
-Get your exposure correct by setting the ISO and/or aperture - but don't use auto... Auto doesn't look right when you transition from bright to dark to bright.
-Get a good external mic (I chose the Rhode VideoMic Pro), and don't use auto level - set it manually
-set your focus to Quick mode... focus before your shot, and don't autofocus when you're shooting.  It's better to plan your shots so you don't need to refocus.
-Set your metering timer to 30 minutes so you can see your meter.
- I end us shooting with my 35/1.4L most of the time - at 1.8.  Occasionally the 50mm is better, but the 35 is becoming my go to.

good luck!

Software & Accessories / Re: Bag challenge: pro body and two primes
« on: December 07, 2012, 10:23:50 AM »
Domke F-831 if you want to be stylish and not look like you're carrying a camera.  There's plenty of room for other stuff (bottle of water, a book, etc).

Software & Accessories / Re: Mini Tripod?
« on: December 06, 2012, 09:35:33 AM »
Hi, Ive got one of these and it holds my 5dmk2 with 24-105 pretty solid. Highly recommended.

Manfrotto 709B Mini Table Top Tripod


That little Manfrotto is awesome... and it fits in your jeans pocket.  The legs don't extend... but you will become skilled at spotting rocks, stumps, railings and stuff to put your camera on.  It's solid metal, and built strong. 

But I actually like the Giottos version better.  The Manfrotto will hold 4.5lbs, while the Giottos will hold 7lbs, which is enough to support a 5D + 70-200 f/4 in light wind. 

Legs only: $25 (supports 11lbs)

All Metal Ball Head: +$20 (supports 7lbs)

All Metal Ball Head w/ Quick release: $35

You probably don't need the quick release... it's so small, I just leave the tripod attached to the camera. 

... Don't expect miracles, though.  I've traveled the world with my gear and tried practically every mini tripod that's been made.  This is the best compromise between size and stability - at any price.  And bonus! It's under $50.  It won't come close to working as well as a full-sized tripod... but my 'real' tripod is 7lbs and >$300... and it sits in my closet mostly.  My little Manfrotto goes mountain climbing!

Lenses / Re: 135mm L
« on: November 14, 2012, 07:24:18 PM »
After I bought my 135L, I eventually sold my 70-200 f/4IS for lack of use.  Both lenses produce magical images, but the 135 is so compact and easy to handle, I stopped grabbing the 70-200.  (And that's the little f/4 - you're going to love the liberation over the 2.8.)  I do miss IS... yet the 135 has become my street photography lens.  You can grab wonderful, candid portraits that show every eyelash, from across the street.  And it doesn't draw attention. 

Plus, you can put a 1.4x extender on it and have 190 f/2.8.

A year ago, I upgraded from Crop to a 5Dc ($750 used on eBay) - and it's fantastic!  I'm absolutely in love with my 5Dc.  And for about the price of a rebel, you can get a full sized sensor. 

First, I wouldn't consider anything other than FF

- You have FF lenses... you will liberate your 24-105 on a FF, and your 28mm will produce more 3D-like images when you unlock it's DOF capabilities. 
- You said you shoot portraits... you will really enjoy the shallower DOF on FF
- You said you don't shoot sports... so you won't miss your crop reach. 

Next, you said your budget is $1000... lenses hold their value, while bodies depreciate.  Spend your cash on glass, and get a 5D.  You'll have no regrets.  Plus, the 5D is probably nearly depreciated.  Buy one now, use it for a year, and sell it for $50 less than you paid for it next year.  You can't lose.

Lenses / Re: Lens suggestions for 3 weeks trip to Egypt and Jordan
« on: October 22, 2012, 09:58:30 AM »
You need something very wide, and very fast...  inside the temples and tombs, things are very big, there isn't much space, and there are a lot of people.  If you have the widest lens in the tomb, you get to step in front of everyone and get a shot without any other people, while everyone else with a point and shoot is fighting to back up as much as possible.   

Also flashes are not allowed... so you want fast

I spent a month in Jordan and Egypt, with a sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 on a full-frame, and that focal length worked like a dream.  I did wish it was faster... and I wasn't happy with the build. 

I no longer have that Sigma, and replaced it with the 17-40... which is tougher but not nearly as wide... and every mm of width matters when you're in a tomb.  If I were to do that trip again, I would personally be debating between the 16-35 and the 14/2.8 prime, or even getting that sigma lens again. 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon 5dc, better than T1i?
« on: August 12, 2012, 10:22:56 AM »
I had a similar dilemma.  Last fall, I had a 30D and was waiting for the 5D3 to be released and move to to FF.  I got impatient and bought a 5Dc on eBay for $750, then sold my 30D for $250.  I couldn't be happier - the 5Dc has fantastic image quality - I love it!  With only $500 out of pocket, I had enough budget left over to buy some fantastic glass.  I don't even think I'm going to upgrade to the 5D3 now. 

My advice to you is to buy a 5Dc, and get a really good L lens. 

My only regret is selling the crop body - I miss it for wildlife photography (but that's a small fraction of what I do). 

Good luck!

Lenses / Re: Lenses - All Change!
« on: July 28, 2012, 11:55:51 AM »
If you're finding the 85 /1.8 unreliable, I don't think selling it for the 135 is going to solve your problems. 

What do you mean when you say your 85 is unreliable?  Are you missing shots because of focus?  Or is it IQ?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: IQ difference of FF vs APS-C?
« on: June 21, 2012, 12:13:58 AM »
I'll answer from a real-life shooting perspective rather than a technical perspective.  My point of view is the answer depends on the types of photos you take.   For me, the big difference I see between FF and crop is the 1.6x stop in DOF. 

For portrait work and creative artistic work, you just can't beat the thinner DOF of FF. 
But I miss my crop body for sports and wildlife photography - where the extra usable DOF and lighter lenses are welcome.

So, I say it depends.  I'm in a portrait/creative phase right now... So for me, FF produces much better images. 

Jasmine Star has a great blog entry on her favorite prime lenses for weddings.   (But she loves them all... so it's not going to give you a definite answer.)  Click the link below and scroll down half-way for her lens comments.

I no longer shoot weddings professionally (working started to take the joy out of photography for me).  But - when I shoot weddings and events as favors, I only bring my prime kit (35/50/85/135) - and I always seem to grab the 35 and 85.  Those two deliver stunning results.  The 35 delivers low-light, journalistic shots with a 3D quality - and without a flash (getting ready, the reception).  The 85 delivers magical portraits that no zoom can match.  (The 1.8 and 1.2 are both incredible... I say start with the 1.8 ).  My poor 50 is neglected.   

Hope that helps...

Lenses / Re: BATTLE OF THE PRIMES: F1.8 Vs F1.4
« on: May 09, 2012, 10:17:45 PM »
I started with a 1.4, broke it after years of use, then replaced it with the 1.8, returned that lens and bought another 1.4. 

The 1.4 is simply a joy to use.  It's fast, quiet, and delivers stunning photos.  I returned the 1.8 because the autofocus was so loud - it sounded like an electric razor.  I wasn't as much fun to use. 

If you want to begin experimenting with prime lenses, and want a good experience, get the 1.4. 

If you are an impoverished student and have to choose food or camera gear, then get the 1.8.

Lenses / Re: Canon 85 mm 1.2 II vs 85 1.8
« on: May 09, 2012, 10:11:29 PM »
I have both - I started with the 85/1.8 on a 30D and that lens, by far, has the most framed photos on my walls.  It was my travel street-lens, and delivered flawlessly. 

I upgraded to the 85/1.2 and am now full frame, but I still can't bear to sell my 1.8.  It's an old friend.

I'm not going to tell you the 1.2 isn't awesome... it is.  But it's slow and heavy.  The 1.8 is almost as awesome, focus is nice and fast, and it's light.

I would get the 1.8 first.

I feel the 1.8 is worth $600, and the 1.2 is worth $1200.  So the former is, in my opinion, a super-high value, and the later is way over-priced for the IQ. 

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