September 17, 2014, 08:06:05 AM

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Messages - Skirball

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Lighting / Re: 600EX-RT - invalid dead battery indication & fix
« on: August 12, 2014, 01:15:18 PM »
Battery geometry can be a big issue.  That little nub on the positive end varies in length from AA type to type.  Some electronica will accept them all, but some have a barrier that stops the short nubs from making contact.  I had this issue with electronics I import, some batteries would not make contact.

However, that obviously is not Jims issue.

Battery geometry shouldn't be a big issue.  It's not exactly rocket science to design a battery holder that can firmly make contact with a battery given some tolerance.   I just don't see it as a complicated design requirement, and certainly not for a $600 piece of equipment.  As to applicability to Jim's issue, I agree, this shouldn't be the cause of it, but it is what's stated in the instructions for the 600ex.  And every time I've heard of similar complaints with the 600ex someone puts alkalines in and the problem goes away.  So either Canon poorly designed the battery contacts, or they put some fluff in the labeling instead of design a battery indicator that can handle various rechargeables.

Lighting / Re: 600EX-RT - invalid dead battery indication & fix
« on: August 12, 2014, 11:57:22 AM »
There's been various reports of issues with the battery indicator when using NiMh rechargeables.  Something that Canon is aware of, but they simply put a statement in the instructions to only use alkaline, and added some B.S. about the battery geometry not being compatible.  I haven't really followed the issue closely since I don't have 600ex-RTs, but I'd guess the issue is sporadic at best since I'm sure there are thousands of 600s out there using rechargeables.  Glad you found a workaround.

Lighting / Re: Cold shoe recommendation for 600EX-RT
« on: August 08, 2014, 10:38:20 AM »
Well damn, I wasn't really planning on upgrading my cold shoes, but those RRS shoes look quite nice.

OP: I've had no major complaints with the Stroboframe shoes, you can get them for about $8 on Amazon.  Not as slick as those RRS, but a fraction of the cost.

EOS Bodies / Re: here we come, 6d AF problems
« on: August 06, 2014, 06:09:56 PM »
My 6D is a donkey...don't get me wrong the image quality, WHEN it focuses properly, is sublime. I too mostly use the centre focus spot. I shoot ceremonies for my local council with the Mayor and participants. The hit rate was less than 20%, so much so that I now resort to manual focus for these.

I also take ID/Passport type images at theses ceremonies, I focus on the right eye,  the focus beeps to confirm lock, hold and recompose and when you check the images, a huge percentage are soft, some by quite a margin.

I sent the 6D back to my local Canon service centre and asked them to check it out and they reported no problems but suggested my ageing 28-70 2.8 was probably the culprit. I bought a brand new 24-105 to replace it...guess what, yep still the same issue. And it's like that with my 70-200 2.8 and all my other lenses.

I've had it just 11 months and have totally lost faith in this body and I just cannot trust it turn in the goods when I'm out on a job.

I'll await the rumoured 'new bodies' which we are told will be coming soon to see if there is anything worth getting, if not I'll junk this 6D and look for a decent 1DX

I read this post at least 4 times, as I was certain it was a troll at first.  But the more I read it the more I think that you actually believe the poor results are the fault of the camera.  Regardless, thank you, it was the most entertaining thing I've read all day.

Good to know that Canon is getting increased 1DX sales due to people not knowing how to use their equipment.

Software & Accessories / Re: Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 - Jumped yet?
« on: August 06, 2014, 03:13:57 PM »
Not yet for me.  I have LR5.x and the CS6 suite so I am good for a bit.  At my skill level it will be awhile before I outgrow the software and need the latest and greatest features.  When I build a new PC in a few years I'll probably take a look at PS/LR depending on my needs.

As an aside: I don't think there's necessarily a correlation between skill level and the latest and greatest features.  If anything I'd say the new features are mostly geared towards simplifying processes advanced users do using the basic tools, making it more accessible to general users.  I don't doubt that there are advanced users that love some of the new tools and whatnot, but mostly I find myself using the same basic tools and just getting better with using them. 

I just built a PC a year ago, my first non-laptop in a decade.  I couldn't be happier; I can't use my laptop for PS anymore without wanting to throw it out the window.  Build a solid PC and don't skimp, if you do a lot of post it's money well spent, IMHO.

Software & Accessories / Re: Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 - Jumped yet?
« on: August 06, 2014, 12:15:58 PM »
Before the subscription service I'd be forever getting knock-offs and constantly having to find new codes when I turned on PS and forgot to turn my internet connection off...

I'm fully with it now! full package. I use LR, PS, Illustrator & InDesign on an almost daily basis and I've learnt to video edit in Premier Pro. It's a brilliant package for the price and it's constantly updating. It's a shame more software doesn't work like this.

That might just be the opinion of a professional though as I'm sure the average ammeter doesn't feel the need for constant updates and is possibly happy with just having Photoshop 5.5 from years ago.

Here in the UK it's £49 a month which some would argue is a little on the expensive side but if you're earning through your output from these programs then there shouldn't really be a problem with the outlay

That's interesting, thanks for weighing in.  I would guess that you're exactly the person that Adobe was going after with the subscription; those that were using pirated copies, to offer a low enough price to pull them in.  However, I'm surprised they got you in at £49/month.  At $10/month it makes sense to me, most can shrug that off as insignificant, which I'm sure is why they chose that pricepoint.  But at £49/month you're paying the full cost of the program annually (quite a bit more in the US actually).  Sure, it's the cost of business, I'm not commenting on people paying that amount.  Only that you wouldn't pay the cost for a legitimate copy before, but now you'll pay the equivalent monthly.  What convinced you?

Hey all,

    Ok, I might be over simplifying this in my head, so please correct me if my line of thinking is off here....

    Since the flash head zoom correlates to the focal length of the lens, at least in TTL, to find the appropriate flash zoom to fill a modifier, place your lens where the flash head would be in the modifier, if possible i.e. umbrella or mounted on the back of a softbox, and use the FL needed to just see the outer edges of the modifier. Then, the ISO and flash power settings would be adjusted for achieving the desired exposure. That way, the flash zoom for a particular modifier would be a consistent value. Again, let me know if this line of thinking is off the mark.

Gary W.

I don't know what zoom has to do with exposure.  But yes, that is how I determined how wide I could go on my umbrellas.  If it spills outside the umbrella, then it's too wide; go as wide as you can without spill.  I never bothered to look at the highlight pattern within the umbrella, I just figured wider is better.  With a brolly or a softbox it doesn't matter, there is no spill; I just set it to 24mm.  For reference, I set my flash to 28mm with umbrellas.  A couple of mine could go to 24 and a couple leaked at that setting so I just set them all to 28 so I don't have to worry about which is which.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Fun Arias rant on APS-C vs. FF
« on: August 05, 2014, 05:54:31 PM »
And the fact that scientifically reproducible tests say you're wrong do not impact your opinion one bit, eh?
Finally, please don't go mentioning "scientifically reproducible tests" without citing them. As it is, comparing high ISO images from single copies of two cameras side by side don't comprise scientific tests as far as I am concerned. Show me something like what Roger Cicala does, and I will hear you.

EOS Bodies / Re: here we come, 6d AF problems
« on: August 05, 2014, 01:53:50 PM »
The problem with mine is that it sometimes can't focus (I use 99,9% the central cross point).

I never thought about it like as if it was a problem until last weekend when I mounted my 35mm 1.4L on my friend's 5dm3  Okay, it can focus perfectly, but hell why it's 10000 times sharper?

The 5d3's advantage over the 6D is the other 60 focus points.  If you're using the center point 99.9% of the time then there's little difference between the cameras.  If the results from the 5d3 are truly markedly sharper for a static subject, then something is either wrong with your technique or your camera, but it's not the 6D in general.

Lighting / Re: Speedlite zoom setting in flash modifiers and camera ISO
« on: August 05, 2014, 11:16:26 AM »
Only way to beat that is to use lower power and put the lights very close

Exactly, as they were intended.   If your light source is a foot or two from your subject then the light that goes across the room and bounces back is going to be relatively insignificant.  For the average guy working out of his livingroom it's not going to be an issue.

Lighting / Re: Speedlite zoom setting in flash modifiers and camera ISO
« on: August 04, 2014, 06:02:20 PM »
The whole point of a diffuser is soften the light; use the widest setting you can (don't use the pulldown wide angle option) that doesn't shoot outside the umbrella.  With the brollys it doesn't matter.  And I don't know if your previous question was answered: a single speedlight can do just fine in a 43" umbrella.

But something is wrong, ISO 100, f/2.6 and flash at full power should be nuking your subject, even at a meter.  What are you using to trigger?  You don't happen to have any filters on your lens do you?  Do you just have the one flash?  I suggest trying another.

Lighting / Re: Speedlite zoom setting in flash modifiers and camera ISO
« on: August 04, 2014, 04:24:14 PM »
I shoot ISO 100 with speedlights in modifiers all the time.  They're plenty powerful enough.  The only time I come anywhere close not having enough power is if I'm painting a background a color and/or I'm shooting at really small apertures (f/18+).

As to the question 'why not use higher ISO', because I usually don't want any ambient 'noise' and I prefer to work with the lights on.  If I'm doing small aperture stuff then I'll bump it up a bit, but normally I'm below 1/4 power on my speedlights anyway so I figure why not minimize noise and ambient light.

OP:  Something is wrong with your setup.  At f/2.8 and ISO 100 I have had to put ND filters on my flashes because the minimum setting is sometimes still too powerful even through a modifier.

Lighting / Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« on: August 04, 2014, 03:17:23 PM »

Read.  Learn.  Then buy, and read some more.

I've been using the RF-602s for some time now, and I also have a full set of 622s, a 6D, and do the majority of my photography using off-camera flash with remote triggers and shutter.  My comments/observations:
I still mostly use my 602s over the 622s.  I don't use off-camera eTTL very much, and I prefer the small size of the 602s.  Mostly though, I like that the 602s have a 1/4" thread for mounting on stands.  They pretty much live on my stands actually - when I use 622s I just put them into the 602s (they're off, just acting as cold shoes).

I do have a couple of issues with the 602s.  The off switch is poorly located.  They fixed this on the 603 II (but it doesn't have the 1/4" thread).  I have to take the flash off to turn access it on the 602 (622s are fine).  They also put locks on the hotshoe, something the 602 lacks.  Doesn't matter on my receivers since I use the thread, but the transmitter does come loose on occasion.  The transmitter also uses a specialized battery (CR2) and the receivers AAA.  AAA isn't a big deal, but I like that the 622 uses AA, same as my flashes.  The CR2 is a shame, but I shoot a lot of off-camera flash, and the battery last forever.  I replace it annually just to be safe.  Of, and there's no off-switch on the 602 transmitter, so I have to keep it in a little case that I made (out of a toilet paper roll 8)

I mostly use my little RC1 optical trigger.  It's small, easy to use, and doesn't require any additional wires.  But it requires line of sight, which can be a little annoying with wide angle lenses with lens hoods.  I have an additional RF-602 transmitter that I use with a receiver (and provided wire to connect to shutter release) when I don't want to worry about line of sight, or want to be more than 30 feet away or so.  It'll also rapidly trigger the shutter if I want a burst, which the RC1 doesn't do; but that "feature" is as much a hassle as it is a help.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Fun Arias rant on APS-C vs. FF
« on: August 04, 2014, 12:51:14 PM »

OMG that's great. Not even 4 years ago. Funny how a sponsorship will change your "opinion."  Arias has ZERO credibility to me now.

I think the only option is for Arias to duke it out in a cage match with Ken Rockwell.  Winner earns the title Most Hated Man in Camera Chat Forums.

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