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Topics - jonathan7007

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Bummer. Bought a Strato Multi II to test expanding a set of Odin receivers intended for my Canon flashes into my existing batch of Vivitar 285HV units. I had hoped this lower-cost rcvr would fire the Vivitars for those interiors that needed "just one or two more flashes". I am posting to see if anyone here ever tried the Strato successfully with these Vivitar 285's. The Odin rcvr *will* fire the Vivitar. Vivitars offer no TTl feedback. There's just one metal connector in the shoe, and eyeballing that spacing it *does* line up with the Strato's center connector.

The Strato rcvr will not fire the Vivitars with the test button, or a pc cord run from the Vivitar into the 3.5mm receptor at the back of the unit.

This may mean I have to buy a few more Canon flashes. I like the lower cost of the Canon 550EX used, but I already had the Vivitars and hoped to use them mixed with my Canons for a little while.

I had also planned to have the Odin controller tell the Strato to fire a Norman studio pack. That pack needs a quick repair -- in a day or so -- before I can test it, but now I am not to so sure it will work.

Lightroom or Canon EOS Utility tethering is always described as a USB cable attachment. There's always the issue of the signal weakened or corrupted by an overly long USB cable...

But what about the [overpriced, I know] WTF-5 adapter? (This piece should be renamed "WTF", given that it costs new what some lenses cost.) I saw one on eBay at $400 and thought I could start watching for a more reasonable unit to use with a 1DsMk3 I hope to buy soon. Architecture, studio, other tethered scenarios. So far I have come up with a pretty reliable cabling but maybe an alternative is a good idea.

So can at least EOS Utility receive images over a CAT5 pipe?


Starting point -- I have three bodies: 5Dmk3, 5Dmk2, and a 30D, which I rarely use. I do this for a living.

I see no new bodies coming soon and don't like the sound of (and the reviews of) the 6D. My desire to get more flexibility and back-up in my bodies was accelerated yesterday when I discovered that my 5Dmk2 shoe doesn't work! I have an evening charity event I am shooting Saturday night and was testing everything.  There are few rental opportunities in my area but I was lucky to find a mk2 I can rent for flash backup.

I am interested in opinions of the trade-offs for a third FF body between another Mk2, a 1DIIIs, and I guess I'd have to consider another (used?) 5Dmk3.

I should say I am disappointed with the focus ability of the Mk3 in certain conditions so am leery of adding another Mk3. Canon can't duplicate the conditions in which I see difficulties in their repair facilities; Canon and I have gone around and around on this already. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth about the variability of the Mk3 bodies.

The 1DmkIIIs would be used for product work, food, landscape, portraits, architecture, tripod work in general, when I have the luxury of lower ISO. At or lower than 400 is my guess, and often using lighting. I think I would want to shoot high-speed-sync in some real estate or architectural work to balance windows (HDR still problematic for this in some conditions.) Further, I read that the skin tones are good on this sensor. Would shoot this body tethered a lot.

Did I read about focus problems on some of these?

 I *don't* get asked to shoot sports.

I get the "old technology" epithet, but we used to buy a couple of used Hasselblads and their lenses and use those for YEARS in billing good day rates. And in a couple of years there may be another Canon to consider. I have to say that the lack of extra DR in the Mk3's low ISOs (over the Mk2) was a big disappointment.

This sounds like a lot of complaining but I am willing to work with the gear as it is... just find the right mix for me. I have never used a 1D.



Lenses / 300 f2.8 Ser 1 vs. Ser 2?
« on: January 07, 2013, 02:25:14 PM »
There's a used 300mm f2.8L Series 1 available used in my local area for $1200. What were the sharpness improvements in the Ser 2 that I will be giving up? The price seems almost too good. I am planning to get together with the owner carrying my laptop and 5D's for a real-time test of the image sharpness. But Since I already have an OK 300mm f4L (admittedly a pretty old lens, too) I have to feel that selling that and paying another $500-600 for the f2.8 is worth it.

I have no regular work that demands the f2.8 speed right now, but I have had assignments where the extra stop would have been a benefit. However, except for the wow factor of the lens' appearance, no client here on my kinda out-of-the-way Hawaii island would have knowingly paid me a dime more for what I would have delivered for that extra stop, now that I think of it... <grin>

I do have the excellent 70-200 ser2 and a sharp shot at 200 can be enlarged a bit... Hmmm, I seem to be talking myself out of a bid on the 300f2.8.

(My next purchase was to be the Sigma 35mm f1.4, arguably filling a bigger hole in the glass I have.)

Aloha All,

I am going to get at least one external battery pack for a few Canon 550's I am putting together as a location kit. ...for events where one unit will be needed for especially fast recycling. Perhaps in the future multiple slaved units would be sped up with such battery packs.

Canon's pack has one big recharged battery and a dedicated charger, it appears. So declining health of that core component affects the usefulness of the whole unit. If AA's weaken I replace just the little battery which has aged. OTOH, I expect that the engineering in the Canon is good.

Thoughts? Experience?


Lenses / How long and how much: new 100-400L
« on: November 16, 2012, 11:25:40 PM »
I may have missed recent mentions of a new 100-400L but am thinking ahead about:
1. how much to save/allocate from limited funds for future purchases, and
2. How long before we see this lens.

I want something longer than what I have now: 70-200 series II. I do have a Canon 2x extender II. I'd probably sometimes use the Extender on the 100-400 if I bought that, as I won't be buying, say, a 400 f2.8. I don't photograph birds. This is for landscapes, sports, commercial (stills) editorial work.

I wonder what the likely cost of a new 100-400 will be? $2500? What does everyone think?


Set on "One Shot" you focus and recompose (perhaps the focus sensor isn't close enough to the edge of the frame...) and squeeze off a short burst on motor drive setting.

Will the camera re-focus on the new "target" of the chosen focus sensor after the first capture?

What if the focus setting is AI Focus or Servo? I think here it WILL refocus.

I called Canon this evening to ask, and the gentleman in Chesapeake, VA, said, "Hmmmmm...." and that he will get back to me.

...sometimes I shoot manual focus again. I get frustrated by constant moves back to the focus point, make another half-press... well, you get it: if the light, subject, and available depth-of-field allow manual focus -- and will not change -- I am starting to go back to the "old" way. Canon suggested I try using the AF-Focus button and that's interesting work-around, but I would try to assign the "M-Fn" button to that task, because it's near the shutter and it uses the index finger. Faster reaction than jamming my thumb up by my cheekbone to find that AF-Focus button among the three that are there.


Lighting / ETTL on camera performance around my other radio-synched flashes
« on: September 29, 2012, 02:23:03 AM »
This was discussed a few days ago in a thread that dropped off.)

Desired setup at events where pre-setting flashes is possible:
Two *manual* lights high up in the "back" corners of the space high enough to paint the key areas. Radio triggers. My camera has one on-camera strobe operating in ETTL mode to fill in faces, moments not fully lit by the light coming from the "back". That light I measure in advance so know the fall off and amounts in various places around the room. This fixed lighting might at times be seen as sidelighting as I move back and forth during the event, but as the photographer I KNOW there will always be at least rim lighting. The intention is that this manual lighting will in most cases be brighter than what comes from the camera-mounted strobe as fill light.

OK, I used to do this stuff without ETTL gear. Annual reports, location stuff of all kinds. Parties, too. (fun!)

Flash-forward to current day rigs. I see the complexity of the possible answers: The timing of the flash is different. I am assuming that there will be no HSS, but it might still introduce different delays. And then maybe HSS would be needed if the event were outdoors.

But back to the ETTL issue: Can ETTL just worry about its exposure/distance calculation without allowing the brighter light to freak it out?

I am planning to buy several more modern speedlights either Canon or YongNuo to add to a motley assortment of Vivitar 285's, a Canon 580EX(not v2) and Norman-hulking-mega-Watt-second power pack or two (not used very much these days!) so I can do more events, editorial and help with my existing real estate work. New and old units will end up sometimes in softboxes, umbrellas (yuk but convenient) bouncing off ceilings. You know: the whole weird Mcgyver thing-whatever works.

So, can modern ETTL operate in this kind of mixed strobe environment? Have to all be the same brand while still set for manual and ETTL? Or free-for-all?

Thanks for suggestions...

Lighting / Current state of 5Dmk3 compatibility with triggers and strobes
« on: September 26, 2012, 05:01:15 AM »
I am going to add better triggers and strobes to my kit. This would support real estate, events, weddings, other interior and outdoor work. I have a Mk2 and a Mk3 so want to do HSS. I like the look of the Phottix Odin as ratio control from the camera sounds good. I still believe I will need to use on-camera-strobe often so may need a mix of Stratto and Odin.

I was thinking about the 550EX as a cost effective way to add three units BUT many of you like your Yongnuo flashes. These are more modern than the Canon 550EX, can use a battery pack (good idea) and save as much money over the Canon 600. (I do have one Canon 580EX not II) But I realize I have never seen anyone write in that they trigger their Yongnuo units with Phottix Stratto or Odin.

I would use these in softboxes at times. Nice to do ratio control without reaching into a box.


Technical Support / Camera Utility 2.11.4 closing without warning or error
« on: September 04, 2012, 06:42:42 PM »
On a location shoot last Wednesday I had my first chance to tether my 5Dmk3. I tested the night before, which was good (!) because I found I had to update to 2.11 -- so far so good. Software opened and operated camera with no incident the night before, although it was a short test. Length of operation not a factor though as you will see.

On the shoot the first few times I tethered the EOSUtility shut down in a few seconds, often before I even attached the camera. Throughout the day thew sw would shut down in between shots, before shots (during setup) from LiveView and from the control pane, plugged in to AC and on battery... it was FLAKY.

When working the controls did what they were supposed to do.

Canon had no suggestions. I did not uninstall 2.10... perhaps I should try that and re-install the sw. I also have not tried running in the discrete-graphics-only mode which has all graphics go through a nVidia Quadro 1000 factory-installed laptop daughterboard. But I have tethered successfully without doing this in past... with a 5Dmk2.

Not good in front of a client, by the way.

Any thoughts, anyone?

Win7, 64-bit.
8 GIGs RAM, nothing else running
w520 Lenovo workstation-class laptop


Lenses / Where can I find a 24-70 Series 1 sample file?
« on: September 04, 2012, 06:08:28 PM »
I will be upgrading and have preordered a 24-70 Series 2. But for my current Series 1 I would like to know how the sharpness and/or CA stacks up. Can anyone contribute the location of sample files that can be reliable comparisons with which I can judge the performance of my existing lens? I know the subjects of my tests will be different but I think I can judge based on knowledge of the subjects I see in the sample files.

These files would have to be available at 100%, preferably not jpegs... a tough requirement. I will look on the www.slrgear.com site run by Imaging Resource (www.imaging-resource.com); I would like more than one source.

Thanks, in advance, for suggestions.


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