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Messages - jonathan7007

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Lighting / Re: Paul C Buff Baby Boomer Arm, Matthews Cheater Adapter
« on: January 16, 2014, 11:29:40 AM »
That boom has a better tilt "hinge" than some cheaper ones but it looks like you pay a big premium for the adjustability of the light angle through internal linkages to the end of the boom. Is *remote* small change in head/modifier angle important enough to pay the premium? I remember in my studio that an even heavier boom of this sort had trouble moving some light/modifier combinations that were heavy like a head and softbox. The internal mechanism has to be really robust to swing those rigs.

This boom has the handle and it seems like a videography-oriented assembly that might have a smaller Lowel light out at the end.

Fitting out a location kit is fun and always a bit experimental. I always go overboard on fittings and arms and adapters and clamps and studs and STUFF. Assistants give me a wry look. (nicer word for it...) I have my eye on that short arm you found... <grin>

Lighting / Re: Paul C Buff Baby Boomer Arm, Matthews Cheater Adapter
« on: January 15, 2014, 07:14:27 PM »
Dear notapro,
What motion limitation are you countering?

Among the booms that I use on location (no studio these days) is one feature that I was happy to see appear on the last two arms I bought: a casting on the end that allowed me to choose whether the 5/8 stud projected in the axis of the boom or stuck out at a 90-degree angle. That angle could be "up" or "down" or sideways. I have Einsteins and the swivel hinge fitting under the head only allows a certain amount of yaw back, so I always start with the stud pointing 90 degrees "up". (Is this clear? Hope so.)

You have identified two interesting pieces and I think $50 to buy (ship$) and perhaps you can skip that expense. That said I love having all these pieces in my rolling box for location, but these look optional. A piece of bar stock, a 5/8 socket, and a 5/8 stud, could stand in for the short arm.

This thread veered off into emotional territory, but there were a couple of responses early about cost vs. return.

I believe CPS is better analyzed as insurance. You don't plan to have all the money back in services every year.

As noted they looked at the cost and increased our dollar contribution while lowering the offer. I asked a rep andhe seemed to confirm. Not an official comment. i was Gold and let it lapse... still thinking about Platinum, for which I qualify. Loaners now require a longer lead time.

Software & Accessories / Re: My Dell vs iMac
« on: December 15, 2013, 05:54:02 PM »
The "requirement" or "need" for color calibrated monitor and image delivery depends on the kind of client you have now or plan to have in the future. To "want" good control over color might be a personal path you choose. In the large urban market I used to work in there were many who would care but where I am now people would look at me funny if I made a fuss over the color except that it be exciting and bright. Monitors around the world are all over the place as display devices. However, pre-press still revolves around certainty and the people serving that flow have to guarantee pages' color so there's extra money to those who can be part of a consistent managed flow. Good product photography would drive color management certainty, depends on a lot of factors.

I do lots of things to make pictures better that are for me and the other photographers watching. Clients won't pay for extra steps very often. I do have a color Munki and a wide-gamut Asus PA246 monitor. A lot of my sales efforts go toward finding those that are picky! They are more likely to understand why I work so hard at it.

For print output there is such a good argument for a complete managed loop as there is too much time and wastage without it. "Botts'" post sure is a reminder of how limited all but the best printers are. I have one of those Canon9000's and wish it could step out further! Despite a lot of time doing this I still have lots to learn about color management.

Welcome to professional work! I applaud your effort to get this right. I suggest (advice worth what you are paying for it...) that you pick a solution in the next 24 hours and get on to selling like a banshee, whatever else it takes for you to [we call over here]hang out the shingle. Jump into work for clients even if that means using the rig you have. Switch if you must "in the background" so the new gear and workflow are 100% ready when you use them for client work for the first time. (I have been known to screw this up myself.)

Best of luck and have fun!


Software & Accessories / Re: Photoshop CC & Lightroom 5 for $9.99/mth
« on: November 22, 2013, 12:46:33 PM »
Others have pointed out in different discussions that the subscription model means you do not get to keep using the software after you stop paying for it. If Adobe raises the price in a year, two three years, you can decide without penalty to discontinue the arrangement. I have never heard of a penalty. Here's what Adobe's FAQs say in a section about this offer:
After the first 12 months, we will automatically renew your contract based on the current price of the offering which is not, I believe, saying it will go to $50/month, as that is not the "offer" extended here.  So it seems to me you could eat the candy for a year, a year and a bit, and worst case go back to the state of affairs you have now. The software "calls home" occasionally and news coverage I read estimated that you would get about 60 days max further usage and one day the sw wouldn't boot.

There are some discussions/threads here about ways you might save out your work if you were afraid Adobe software would not read the edit list on your RAW. Others reading this please chime in if you believe this is not going to be possible, though, after making the jump to the subscription model.

I had planned to move to the original $10/month offer as I have the requisite [legal]PS installed (bought PS v6 at a very good price before the first $10 offer was announced to be sure I could do so). I had not upgraded LR when I heard about that earlier offer. NAPP people tell their membership that there are going to be several years gone by before THAT arrangement will change. (I have no solid link/reference for this, either). So I have a better fall back state than some. BUT as I have researched this post I do not see any references to the first offer to those who already had Photoshop CS3 and above. That offer was open until 12/31/2013. Would they be less willing to change THAT plan? More of a pro base? or does that imply they'd know we would be annoyed but then dial in the new cost structure for our business?

Last thought: all of these moves are for stockholder interests and the need to project revenues at particular levels to maintain that. Even if the original program was "successful" senior management might have said, "Get more money in the house before 31 December." We're customers and wallets. They aren't here to support (be nice to) our craft or small business. (I don't follow the stock and comments about its prospects...)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Safe to clean the sensor?
« on: November 17, 2013, 11:55:07 PM »
Timely thread for me. Thanks for all the shared experience and kit suggestions. Blower first...

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D III focusing at events - slow
« on: November 17, 2013, 11:51:49 PM »
UK Mike,
There are good suggestions that precede this; try also back button focus control with servo. This works best if you can get used to shifting the focus cluster, too, around the field -- on the fly -- with the camera at your eye.

There is one long recent thread here on back button focus (BBF) which is interesting to read. I love BBF now. Like most I adapted quickly. First couple of shoots goofy things happened (not pro work) and then I had the habits down.

It is true, though, that there are some slow 5D3 units. Mine is dodgy (slow or hunting) in low light focusing and it can be replicated during side-by-side comparisons to a friend's body of the same model. I am not pleased but Canon said they cannot make it happen. (Of course, they are in an office!) My bad for not being aggressive about testing it in the first 30 days. Is your body OK when you don't have to recompose?


Lighting / Re: Honeycomb Grid
« on: November 17, 2013, 04:47:54 PM »
Were you able to find somewhere the gridded material alone in a bulk/bigger size? Will you share that source if so? Would love to have access to some of this stuff in about a 9" width.

Lighting / Re: Does this setup work? Trying to save on triggers.
« on: November 17, 2013, 04:43:30 PM »
OP, is your common shooting situation outdoors in low light/darkness? You show up with lightstands and all but there is no AC, I take it? Just wondering what the 5D3 cannot focus on its own.

Canon General / Re: Any special "hints" for shopping?
« on: November 17, 2013, 04:38:45 PM »
Although the OP has been and gone there is one thing I'd add.

I love looking for new entries or ideas in lighting rigs and accessories, lightstands, connection goodies, clamps, fittings, light modifiers, reflector kits, etc., that are impossible/difficult to judge in an on-line picture. Sometimes new tripod heads.

The heft and finish of the metal, the new ideas you get for your own work, etc., are valuable input, even if you wait to buy the same gear on line later. Tripod heads are especially a "feel" purchase. Less so the legs. I love all this stuff. For my work the ability to light ANYTHING is what I sell, kinda. Everyone has a camera these days, but few can show up with all this lighting gear and set it up to get a promised "look". You can't usually buy this just before a shoot, either.

OTOH, cases and carry bags in camera stores are often WAY overpriced unless you need to hike to a location shoot into Patagonia on a rainy day with a lot of assistants carrying the gear after being dropped off among the icebergs for a salt-water-spray run into shore on a Zodiac. Come to think of it that sounds like fun. The assistants carrying part. <grin>

Anyway, I love visiting big well stocked camera stores and small specialty retail photo stores too. Just visited Burlington, Vermont, and there's a tiny store, "LeZot" with very professional gear right there! So it isn't a NYC-only kinda thing.

Canon General / Re: CPS again at Platinum or self-insure?
« on: November 17, 2013, 04:20:27 PM »
Mt. Spokane,
I do have insurance against theft, loss, damage. Liability, etc. I should have been more clear. The CPS service is kind of "prepaid" repair and cleaning services with a discount of (now) 30%. When Platinum was $600 it was clearly a bad fit for me. Gold worked, and I did once or twice get the (then) 30% discount on repairs. I would never invoke my true insurance "perils" coverage for payment of even a badly damaged camera body. Theft, yeah.

You offered an interesting added benefit: CPS gets a better price in certain purchase situations. Is this for further discount off refurbished bodies? I have used the "Canon Loyalty Program" in the past, but I don't remember any situation in which I got a discount by identifying myself as a CPS member.

Faster turnaround time is a valuable benefit which I cannot buy, I believe. So that is in the "worthwhile" column. As I said, across-the-Pacific shipping to and fro is also a good deal.

The murky benefit (to me) of lens clean-and-check services is a downbeat part of the equation. Does anyone know more about helpful steps in a lens clean-and-check? I don't *think* Canon calibrates or adjusts a lens in any way during a clean-and-check. A CPS rep read me the official list of steps in the process. I would love to know otherwise.

This is NOT intended to be a rant about evil Canon trolls in Irvine, Jamesburg, Newport News (I think that's the Repair locations) but a examination of the benefit-cost balance.

Canon General / CPS again at Platinum or self-insure?
« on: November 16, 2013, 09:41:10 PM »
I have been a Gold member a long time. When the new structure was announced I was on the fence about moving to Platinum. (I have been eligible for Plat for a while so it had been a choice to stick with the lower Gold$.) I began to lean toward upgrading to go forward this Fall at renewal time, but I had a surprising interaction with CPS that has made me consider self-insuring and paying like a regular citizen at time of need. So I am writing here to see what readers here think. Writing it all out will help me think about the decision, too.

First, I look at this as insurance. Insurance isn't an investment. I believe that I make a mistake if I plan to get back the net value (of services) I paid in. That said, how is the CPS way of doing things supporting me?

The incidents that forced this into perspective as a renewal question were:
I had sent in a 1DsMk3 body with all forms and a clean-and-check chit. I asked for a shutter count as I had bought the 1DsMk3 body used and I wanted an official document for that future time when I sold it to the next user. No shutter check on the repair order and when I called  I was told they could not issue a new copy of the work order. They could probably e-mail me, no letterhead. (They did show the number, approx 74,500, in their RN# records visible to the customer service staffer.)

After that I tested the sensor for the first time since receiving it. There was a big round spot in the frame. I should look to see it if is among the other dark dust spots on the sensor before sending... Anyway, the clean-and-check chit sent them had a note specifically requesting sensor cleaning. I had taken the body out of the bag and removed the body cap, placed a lens on the camera and taken it out for a walk. Shot the sky, confirmed the visibility of the spot in some green broadleaf cactus, too. I figured I'd be without the body for a couple more weeks but hey, they'd make it right. (In Hawaii CPS must *mail* -- yes, mail -- you a label for a re-do and courier service usually takes an extra day. So two weeks give or take.)

Irvine told me that my dust represented "just one of those things about dust on sensor--it's going to happen. You can send it in again with another clean-and-check chit." Staffer checked with a Supervisor who didn't get on the phone.

I spoke to one of the CPS-specific advisers (different crew than Irvine's customer service operation.) He was a great resource, surprised they took this tack.  Realizing I might opt for self-insurance I asked him for details about the listed services performed during a clean-and-check on a lens. A body is easier to see the value -- well, for me anyway. It's pretty vague about the real important questions: alignment, de-centered elements. He read a document that says they put it on a mount, but his reading of the task performed was that the ability of the lens to communicate with the body was all that was tested. Canon Repair also handles the lens to feel the performance of the rings, smoothness, and they are willing to clean the front and rear element. If there's a collar they insure it works. They will never, he said, go inside the lens during a plain old clean-and-check. That makes perfect sense to me. I'd love it if they did but let's get real, their costs would go through the roof.

I think I have been the beneficiary of extra help over and above official guidelines in the past but I suspect that flexibility in the facilities is waning.

So. Self insured from now on out?

I am not a big photo group with ten bodies out churning through three weddings every weekend. I don't get shot at as a photojournalist. My commercial photo shooting schedule isn't as crazy as it was some years back on the mainland during which I might have some piece of gear fail in a state 2,000 miles from home base. Canon saved me a few times in that crazier time. Loaners used to be handled on a phone call basis and went out that afternoon to your hotel… that kind of thing.

I have three bodies: 1DsMk3 (two of these) and a 5DMk3. Plan to get another 5D3, stick with four total. This another form of self-insurance, admittedly more $$ than Platinum $$. The only horror would be temporary loss of my treasured 17mm TSE, which I use for clients all the time. But I have a wider 12-24 Sigma lens which is plenty sharp and I *could* correct for a couple of weeks  in Transform or DxO ViewPoint (don't like doing it this way but…)

Shipping alone during one equipment failure kerfuffle  might pay for  the $300., but having Irvine standards lowered might make some of that "help" worthless and get in the way of a successful shoot.

Wow, sorry about the wordy post. Anyone else thought through the self-insurance consideration? I have actually constructed various repair/shipping scenarios to understand the costs I would bear in typical hassles. No question, they are high costs.
Being out here in the middle of the blue Pacific cuts both ways good and bad in all things business.

So I might go for another year and bump up to Plat status. $300 is not going to break the bank. I sometimes go into the next price negotiation when faced with these decisions and just straight-faced quote a higher price to cover it. Keeps my resolve when the negotiating happens.

What do CR readers think?


Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: PocketWizard, Yongnuo, or Phottix?
« on: November 03, 2013, 03:08:25 PM »
Couldn't find a Mitros+ "sale" on eBay in or outside the Adorama [virtual]store. Too bad to miss that unless someone knows a link that gets right to the relevant page(?) I would have probably bought at least one. I use several Phottix Odins and one StratoII and having one that can act as controller is appealing.

Please let us know -- anyone that again sees the Mitros+ units on sale.

Yeah, Paul, looking at that more closely (had glanced before) I see the overlaps. I am also surprised he says he uses the 5D2 more than the others. I read a thread here some time back in which a photographer said he was happy with his 1Dx shooting headshots (actors, models) and I believe that, because these files/images with a new 18Meg sensor are well within the quality range for 8x10 prints.

My joy with the two 1Ds bodies I found at about $2250 (each, averaged) is based on:
1. Cost for the quality (way lower than the 1Dx)
2. Ability to have two for consistent control layout shooting in a fast-moving situation
3. Reasonable cost for the durability, water sealing
4. (OK, this isn't that important) The sound of the shutter <bid wide mad grin>
5. The invested $$ won't go down to fast
6. The cost fits my market (follow on to #5)
7. Client knows I'm serious (here most don't know the gear so less a factor.)

Like most here, I find the 1DsMk3 sensor likes to be 2/3 stop over exposed. ETTL baked in.

The 1Ds family not a street unit. I wish I never sold my Leica and Leicavit <sigh> film limitations  aside.

I like the 5DMk3 OK, and love the flexibility with the ISO and "better" focusing. (my copy not so good, unfortunately) so I *do* plan to get a second one of these for to have a consistent control layout aspect appropriate shoots. I sold my 5DMk2 and crop body to help with these moves and to step up in quality. (You called it "magic"? Agreed.)


I always agree with the advice "get more clients" because how else do we pay for all this gear and our studio leases? Paul is always spot on with photo advice, too, but here I do believe the 1DsMk3 adds something to studio work or anything else with lots of light.

I have two 1DsMk3 bodies and one 5DMk3 (had the Mk2 before). At 100, 200 ISO the 1Ds files are GREAT. The highlights have lots of room and the details are sharp and clean. There is some kind of pop that I see that I love. Great skin tones. As the ISO goes up the advantage is lost. But where I have strobes or lots of ambient light the bodies are super.

There are some other advantages. Perhaps the wall-power substitute for the battery is nice for a long day's shoot. The solid body absorbs vibration. Shutter count will never be an issue. Dual cards for backup (but the 5DMk3 has that, too.) Robust shutter should mean less strain from lots of LiveView. (I wonder if the cameras differ in sensor heat effects?) I do shoot the 1Ds tethered a lot.

I now work on location but had a studio for some years.

Cost of ownership? Don't know your marketplace. Here in the US I expect to pay about $2000-2400 for one of these used 1DsMk3 bodies and sell it for about the same. I did not look closely at your other bodies in your signature, so perhaps there is an overlap I am not taking into account, but I love my 1Ds bodies.


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