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Topics - jonathan7007

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Please comment. I just bought a used 1DsMk3 and saw a consistent "back focus" -- that is, with a few different lenses images appeared to be focused on a point a little behind the intended point of focus... best I could remember, of course, where I asked for focus. Not 100% but a lot of images showed this. 

I own Reikan FoCal and made some time today to test as the sun went toward setting (we rarely have low winds here...) and got through the following lenses: 24-70 v2 (at 70); 70-200 v2 (at 200); and the Sigma 35mm f1.4. The last test was asked to soldier on through what I know was too dim a light. Yes, I know it's best to do this with sunlight.

The results were all positive numbers like 4, 7, and 5, respectively.

So are positive numbers in FoCal consistent with my description/observation of back focus?

I do plan to redo this under better conditions. Hard to get all the factors -- including time -- together. I did like having the test run automatically, as my 5DMk3 has the annoying SDK failings that Reikan tells us are NOT in the 6D camera software.



Canon told me today tethered shoots have to go direct to the "C" drive...rather than a SSD on the laptop bus but not the C drive. That seems a little restrictive and nowhere mentioned in dialogs. I will look in the documentation...

I have been having tether trouble which now after the call and a card switch, may have been caused by a faulty Lexar 400x 64Gig UDMA7 CF card I recently bought. I would love to think my recent trouble in a liveView shoot was caused, too, by this card. On another nearby thread a 1Ds user said they have tens of thousands of LiveView shutter actuations with ZERO problems. Crossing my fingers that further testing today settles this.

Anyway, the C drive rule was a surprise.

Lighting / Inconsistent firing of Strato rcvr by my Odin on a shoot
« on: March 08, 2013, 03:59:34 AM »
I had a little 270 speedlite tucked in the area above a stove for an interior shot of a kitchen. Needed a kick light down on the stove surface. (The articulation of that little head/reflector is a added benefit.) There was some Gorilla tape holding it and the Strato Multi receiver in a corner. Wel, maybe a lot of tape... enough to cover the assemblage. Odin controller was on the top of the camera not far away. Sometimes the 270 would not go off. Sometimes it seemed like it lagged a part of a second behind the flash of the units that had Odin receivers. (I agree that this is hard to judge just by eye...) There are frames with no 270-included flash. Tape the culprit? There's no metal in the tape to act as a shield.

I bought one Strato to try out with the Odins because I usually set up this kind of work with plain old manual settings. I have Vivitars in addition to some Canon speedlites, and these Vivitars are always going to be manual. But I discovered that the Strato will not fire any of the Vivitars. I wrote Phottix to ask why but their first answer shows they are not yet sure what I am asking. I know Stratos are supposed to co-exist with Odins in a complex lighting setup but I wonder if I made a mistake? I need to trigger a Norman studio flash in 9 days for a shoot! (the pack needs a solder connection fixed so have not been able to test it yet.) 



EOS Bodies - For Stills / Error 30 Experiences? Have you seen this?
« on: March 07, 2013, 11:13:37 PM »
Just bought a second-hand (but one owner) 1DsMk3 and after arrival I tried is with a bunch of my lenses and pixel-peeped to see how it differed from my 5Dmk3. Liked the image at low ISO, which is exactly why I bought it. Oh, and for its great build quality and the long-life shutter.

I have had no other 1-series camera and the shutter on this body sounds sweet to my ears: more mechanical, more authoritative.

But yesterday on a real estate shoot with my 17mm TSE, tethered, I started getting these Error 30 messages on the screen. I believe it told me turn off and on again, too. The body never stopped working, and responded to the power cycle. Shooting tethered I was bringing up the images in Windows Explorer and right clicking to ask them open in ACR... just to check focus and the histogram. But I don't know how tethered operation might have caused -- or highlighted -- whatever is the root cause of the error.

Canon tells me this error is a loose bag of possible shutter issues. I was using an Odin trigger in the shoe but the VA-center tech person said that wasn't likely to be the cause. Ditto tethering, although he asked if I had been in and out of LiveView, which of course I had! I am so bummed. I know these things happen but I *thought* I had purchased this at a reasonable cost and from an enthusiast, not a pro, which meant lower actuation count. No signs of hard use on the body. I believe my cost just went up by $400 (a guess, I admit)

Important shoot on the 16th and despite my CPS fast turn inside the repair operation at Irvine I would have to spend about $100 to go with the fastest shipping service available, and here in rural Hawaii, often, "next day" is not next day either going or coming.

So, given that I MUST have a second body at this important shoot (and that it will be tethered photography of regular folks -- with people and groups stepping in one after the other, I am tempted to wait to send it, explore the body's reaction to all my TSE lenses, try tethered again, to see if there is any recurrence... and still, I guess send it in and pay for whatever repair is necessary at that point. Grrr.


Lighting / Yongnuo vs. Godox battery pack comparison
« on: March 04, 2013, 07:31:35 PM »
Just received and tried a Yongnuo 8-AA pack. Attached to a 550EX this inexpensive ($45) pack is slower than my Godox 820, which is around $140 delivered where I live (many sellers will not ship such items to Hawaii). Not a scientific test. I used 8 freshly-charged PowerEx AAs right out of a Maha charger. The batteries inside the 550 were also just charged.

Cost difference mitigated somewhat by the necessity of buying eight rechargeable AAs to run the cheaper unit.

One benefit unrelated to speed is that longevity at an event, for instance attached to a balcony over your reception area shooting area. And Yongnuo repeats over and over the need to avoid rapid shooting of 20 or more exposures -- for the danger of overheating.

Perhaps others with both can add to this. I will try my 580 with the Yongnuo in a bit, and  make a more quantitative comparison.


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


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