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Messages - Positron

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Camera arrives, open box and start shooting. Hopefully the battery is not completely empty - otherwise, will have another couple beers until battery is ready.

Probably not an issue; lithium-ion batteries are usually shipped with 25-40% life as storing them like that over prolonged periods (such as from manufacture -> sitting on store shelf -> purchase) is the best for their long-term survival. Have fun!

Canon General / Re: DSLR Newbie
« on: March 21, 2012, 03:18:35 PM »
Do what most newbies do, internet research. Google is your friend. Then come back with more educated questions.

Uh, the original poster seems like he has done his homework. These are not uneducated questions. Moving on...

You really can't go wrong with the 600D, and if Landscape and Macro is your thing, I'd go with that and save the rest of the money for a future full-frame upgrade, which benefits those shooting situations more than some.

The 15-85 will be better on crop than the 17-40. I would only get the 17-40 if you plan to do a FF upgrade soon, because the 15-85 will maintain its value quite well for resale if you ever move up. This goes for any high-end lens, really. The EF-S 17-55 and 10-22 are the same way.

The 100-400 I have never used, but I know a lot of people who love it. I believe even with the teleconverter it will still focus on all bodies (all EF lenses focus with the aperture wide open and only stop down to take the shot). However, I don't know from first-hand experience, so take it with a grain of salt.

I've heard great things about that tripod. Don't know much about the head.

The only thing I can suggest really is that landscape/macro and wildlife usually have conflicting interests. If wildlife matters to you, I'd go with the 7D and downgrade something else (maybe the 100mm L to non-L?). If the landscape/macro is more important, maybe grab a used/refurbished 5D2 and go off-brand on the long lens. The 600D is great, but it's definitely a compromise if you want to do both, since it has neither the 7D's blazing speed and AF, nor the 5D-series's full-frame wide/IQ/bokeh dominance.

Edit: Also, 400 x 1.6 x 1.4 x 10 = 8960mm effective, which is insane. That focal length is more practical for astronomy than videos of wildlife. 400 x 1.6 will already be enough for most cases; when you add the 1.4 TC you're probably at overkill for most wildlife situations. Also avoiding camera shake at that focal length is going to be a challenge; probably impossible without full-timing the tripod.

EOS Bodies / Re: Why the Japan hate Canon
« on: March 21, 2012, 03:04:56 PM »
I'm in Nagoya.  I recently bought a 35L from B&H and had it shipped directly to Japan and it worked out to about 4000 yen on a 9man lens... So it seems it is just the normal, current, sales tax of 5%.

for those of you wondering, the 35L sells for about $1700 USD... hence why i picked it up in the u.s. for the cheap cheap price of $1200.

9 man is quite cheap for that lens. B&H has it listed for $1,379 (plus tax, and after instant rebate). Sounds like you got a good deal, in any case.

Here in Australia, we have a 10%GST (same as VAT), however, if I buy something for my business, and I do need to take photos of my products to send to customers and put them up on my website, then I get the GST back.

In the US we have tax deductions instead; if you buy something whose primary use is for business, then instead of getting the sales tax back, we get to subtract the cost of the item from our taxable income (so it's as if we never made that money in the first place). Depending on how rich you are that could be a bigger savings than sales tax, but there's potential legal liability involved if you declare items like that for a self-run business, so it's not really as big a loophole as it sounds.

If you now consider that there is indeed a VAT in most US states (the range is from 0% to 13% according to Wikipedia), we Europeans might indeed not be that bad off, but for some reason one of the US guys can probably explain much better, consumers are usually not charged VAT when buying goods online or across state borders.

It's super complicated! The one thing that's true everywhere is that for most consumer goods, the tax is not included in the sticker price (which I believe needs to change...), but aside from that there are a lot of differences, because taxes can be set at both the state and county levels, which is even more complicated because the states are federated while the counties are devolved!

In California, New York, and most of the other densely populated places in the US have a sales tax rate between 8% and 9%. 0% sales tax only exists in five states and is mostly a ploy to get people to come live there; they have higher other taxes (primarily property tax) to make up the lost income.

However, the rules for when sales tax is charged are also very complicated. Some items are immune to sales tax, like unprocessed groceries (fruits, vegetables, some meats, etc.). Most items are taxed, but if you purchase from out of state then even taxed items are sometimes not taxable. Usually it has to do with some "place of business" legal clauses. If you buy an item in the store, it is taxed, but if you have it shipped to another state, then it is only taxed if the destination address is a state in which the company selling it does business. So for example, I can order an item from B&H or Amazon and pay no sales tax, but if I order from Newegg or Canon I do pay normal taxes. This is problematic because it gives certain companies (read: Amazon) an enormous advantage on the sales of high-value items, since people in many states can save about 9% by buying there instead of in their local camera store. This is a big contributor to why all the local stores are going or gone out of business.

Whew, that was more than I intended to write.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Gutted! (5DMkIII Adorama Bundle)
« on: March 21, 2012, 09:55:02 AM »
Yeah... Better we settle all to America :D Currently in Germany you pay ~8.3$ per gallon fuel ;) Maybe its better I dont know how much you pay in America for it - lol

Forgive me for stealing your blissful ignorance, but it's actually not as dramatic a difference as it was about 10 years ago. Today, I, in California, pay $4.40 for a gallon of regular fuel ((R + M) / 2 = 87), but in 1999 (before I started driving), a common price was $1.60, and I gather that European fuel prices weren't that much lower then.

A lot of people, myself included, have used the high prices as an excuse to walk more often, but the problem is that the more modern cities in America were built sparse on purpose, since their history doesn't predate the automobile. I live about an hour's drive from San Francisco, but even getting to the local grocery takes 10 minutes by car, the doctor takes 20, and god forbid I ever need to go to the county office, that's a 35 minute drive. The public transportation system is virtually nonexistent. No wonder the per-capita fuel use is so high in America.

Apologies for going off-topic, but I felt like it should be said.  :)

Site Information / Re: Karma is gone?
« on: March 17, 2012, 12:45:33 PM »
How was it actually possible to smite somebody?

The options appeared next to their karma after you had 10 (?) posts.

Personally, I think this is marketing crap. Of course Canon would like every well-off amateur with a 7d or 5d to feel like they are almost professionals since they got alleged pro gear. After all, this is what the red ring and white lens campaign is for. But except maybe for landscape and semi-pro portrait/wedding, every pro I ever saw at events in Berlin had a 1D body, sometimes an older one. Most of them have Nikon anyway. Maybe some will get the 5d3, but the fps imho might be too slow for events.
Interesting. I met a pro photog at a UFC even and she used a pair of 7Ds with 70-200L and 24-70L lenses. 

I'm sort of a minor league celeb so last week I was in Hollywood on a shoot.  The video stuff was all some kind of Panasonic camera (medium format?) and the still work was a Canon 7D with a 24-70L lens.  On a related note, it was my first time getting makeup for a shoot with a pro makeup artist.  That was super cool.  They had a guy who's job it was to clean the bottom of my shoes before I went on stage.  That was just awkward. I'm not really special enough for that kind of treatment. :)

The only other pro I know does weddings with a 5Dii.  So yeah, based on my little bit of exposure I'd say that people make their living with 7D and 5D's.

When I see galleries of photographers at newsworthy events, sports events, and the like, they're almost all using 1D or D3 series bodies, but I get the impression that the majority of those photographers have that equipment bankrolled by whatever organization they are with; while there are people out there who can afford a 1D Mark IV and a 400mm f/2.8, the reality is that most of us will never be able to afford it unless we do something extreme like taking a downgrade on a car or home. I know a fair number of professional photographers, that run the gamut from fine art landscape, to wedding, to freelance journalism, to full-time journalism, to full-time sports, and one rule holds true for every single one. The ones who are employed as full-time photographers use flagship bodies which were paid for by their company, and the ones who are self-employed use non-flagship bodies which were paid out of their own pockets.

EOS Bodies / Re: What does Sony know that we don't know?
« on: March 16, 2012, 07:22:12 AM »
Having worked in the semiconductor industry, I would guess the design is (relatively) the easy part.  I don't think there is any real magic there.  The complexity would certainly increase with each successive generation but I think that is where manufacturing is the problem.  A higher pixel density sensor, of a larger size, is a huge capital investment.  Everything is orders of magnitude more expensive.  The clean room, the manufacturing equipment, etc.  In addition, because the size of the sensor is larger (for full frame, compared to, say, a point and shoot) their yields would plummet.

well but sony IS making the sensor for others.. so what?

all you say about manufacturing is correct but does not apply to sony in this case.
they are making the sensor anyway... so why not using it for their own cameras?

i think it might be that nikon is just faster building a decent camera around the sensor then sony.

If Sony is being commissioned by Nikon to make a particular sensor then there's a good possibility that the agreement precludes Sony's use of the sensor for their own products. Apple's A5 processor is made by Samsung but can you imagine how much poo would hit the fan if they decided to start using it in their own phones or tablets?

EOS Bodies / Re: My hands on the 5d mrk iii experiance
« on: March 12, 2012, 10:23:58 AM »
Lense was the newer 28-70mm

Is there a newer 28-70? I thought Canon only ever released one version?

EOS Bodies / Re: Biased auto ISO
« on: March 12, 2012, 10:20:51 AM »
As far as I can tell, what you're suggesting should be possible with custom firmware, and probably should be included as an option in the official firmware for all cameras in the first place.

I can also say, that as a computer science major with 15 years of programming experience, I cannot figure out Canon's API for the life of me. The function and variable names are quite descriptive but the documentation is downright abysmal. If not for that I'd gladly make an attempt at creating it myself.

Lenses / Re: 16-35 2.8ii vs 17-40 for filters and corner sharpness?
« on: March 11, 2012, 09:07:31 PM »
a) and b) may be somewhat improved with the 16-35, but c) is likely to get even worse; with that being said, my friend uses Cokin filters on his 17-40 on FF and has never had an issue unless he stacks multiple filters. You could consider a wider (and more expensive) holder if you're unable to get the holder itself clear of the frame. I've also heard of people sawing off the outermost slot to gain additional clearance.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mark III & EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens or 1.4
« on: March 11, 2012, 03:45:51 PM »
Even though the 1.8 is a better value per dollar, the 1.4 is definitely a better lens. I'd think on a FF camera you'd want it even if only for balance, but you also get the benefit of faster focus, better bokeh, and the fact hat stopped down to the same aperture it's slightly sharper -- along with the obvious fact that if you need the 1.4 you have it. You do get a real improvement for your extra $250.

Lenses / Re: Help Please: Canon EF 50mm 1.2 Slow Focusing.
« on: March 11, 2012, 06:03:39 AM »
Hahaha! Holy S___! That video got me excited! That's so fast compared to my 50mm f/1.8 on a T2i! If that's slow I can't wait to start using some fast focusing lenses! :D

I was thinking the same thing. I've heard a lot of people say that the 50mm f/1.2 is slow, but compared to my 50mm f/1.8 the copy in that video is absolutely blazing.

Lenses / Re: 24-70mm f/2,8 I or 24-70mm f/2,8 II with 5D III??
« on: March 08, 2012, 09:30:16 PM »
Judging by the hordes of photographers happily using their 5D Mark II with the 24-70 f/2.8 I at this very moment, and pumping out fantastic images, and the marginal resolution increase on the 5D Mark III, I think your dealer is full of it.

That's not to say the 24-70 II is not a better lens; I'm sure it will be. But the 24-70 I will do just fine on the 5D Mark III.

Canon General / Re: Restraint of trade?
« on: March 08, 2012, 01:00:53 AM »
It's legal, but that doesn't mean it's ethical. Also, the argument I've heard a bunch of times that it's "good for the independent retailers" may apply in regards to competing against B&H and Adorama, but not being a Canon Authorized Dealer is not going to stop Amazon in the least (heck, I don't even know if they are one now). Canon can legally punish dealers that don't agree to their pricing scheme by doing things like revoking their authorized status, but they cannot legally do things like refuse to sell product or sell product at a higher price to a company that violates their pricing edict.

As I see it, there are a couple main reasons to declare a minimum selling price. One is to suppress the gray market. That's a lost cause, both because money will always trump some silly label a manufacturer gives to a shop and because there are ways for the more unscrupulous dealers to circumvent the issue. The second reason is to increase the impact of sales and to give them more freedom to modify the price in the future (either direction). This one generally works.

Lenses / Re: Patent: Canon 17-40 f/2.8-4L
« on: March 04, 2012, 05:19:24 PM »
not sure if if I need it that wide open at 17mm . Cant think of a reason why ?

Interior architecture, possibly, but I think the main thing is to allow you to stop it down to f/4 or f/5.6 for more sharpness? That is to say that it's not cause and effect, but rather, they may have made it good enough at f/4 that they can pull off f/2.8 without it being terrible.

this will be really interesting. how much time does it take from this stage to an announcement normally?

I have seen no trend, and it seems like no more than 1/3 of these patents ever actually become products. In many cases they have an idea, and they patent it just so they have legal ammo in case they ever do decide to bring it to market.

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