July 23, 2014, 10:46:48 AM

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Messages - Marsu42

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EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Canon 55mm f/1.4 & Other Primes
« on: July 09, 2014, 02:11:30 PM »
I was hoping to see a new approach from Canon with their 50mm optical formulas, but these three patents look like the same old, same old. If any of these three lenses make it to the market place (and that's a big "IF") then i doubt we'll see much improvement over the old one...which makes me ask...why bother?

Canon's more clever than you think - buy sticking with the outdated 50/1.4 and the ultra-outdated 50/1.8 *any* improvement will be a biggie, and people will buy them as long as there's a Canon label on them... a "real" usm would be worth the upgrade alone no matter the iq.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: A Summary of Sigma Lens Rumors
« on: July 09, 2014, 02:05:49 PM »
hmmmmm...I rather like the sound of a 24-70mm f/2 DG ART....  :D

But you probably wouldn't like the weight. Or vignetting. Or price (ymmv).  Really, this won't happen, where's a reason the rest of the world builds f2.8 zooms - "faster" means accepting a unbalance not compatible with mass market production/sales.

Why all the Sigma reporting here, isn't this Canon Rumors?   ::)

All the talk about premium 3rd party lenses proves that Canon doesn't manage to hit the enthusiast's "sweet spot" recently, though they probably don't care as their IS video primes and high-end primes/zooms will get them excellent revenues.

My problem is: If you use these lenses, why use a Canon camera body? Well, yes, rt flashes and Magic Lantern, but beyond that?

Photography Technique / Re: 85 vs 135 for portraits
« on: July 09, 2014, 01:54:00 PM »
If you need something that'll do head shots plus head and shoulders and close-ups, though, then take a very close look at the 100mm 2.8 IS Macro. An amazing lens in every respect including price. Buy one regardless.

The one problem is that is has a rather slow "macro-style" af speed. And yes, I know where the focus limiter switch is. It also has a "circular" bokeh wide open which afaik is stronger than with lenses with a larger front diameter.

Humorously, they though I was SHOUTING because I used caps on DPP and JPG!!

Not without reason, Adobe seems to have gotten somewhat sloppy with their qa on production LR upgrades - back in the good ol' times there always were rc releases which they skipped this time. Producing jpegs that cannot be read by other standard apps is something that simply shouldn't happen. Adobe not releasing detailed changelogs for bugfixes and features also does not inspire confidence.

Having said that, imho downgrading is a bit over the top - if you export max iq jpeg then re-saving them for example with ImageMagick to correct the format won't hurt or maybe just running exiftool over them solves the problem. I've arrived at using IM for post-resizing, watermarking and so on anyway, much more flexible than LR.

Photography Technique / Re: UWA odd angle postprocessing howto
« on: July 09, 2014, 01:37:21 PM »
Over the years, I have realized that it's better to get one great shot each shoot than 5-10 good shots.

Tell me more, I still have 1000+ "good" horse shots to select and postprocess :-p ... but I intend to do a themed year documentary, so if I sub-select them according to "horses in autumn looking for water" not that much are left.

The problem with "very good" shots is that I cannot really specifically go for them with wildlife, but have to try for "good" and be lucky sometimes. With architecture, landscape, macro it's different - a lot of lighting, filter, camera (focus stack, hdr) and postprocessing setup *will* give you superior results.

I have also found that to do that, I'm better off staying with one animal for while vs. chasing lots of animals.

+1, that's why I'm always with the same horses so I can *anticipate* what they're going to do and prepare. Well, and I often visit some frogs, though they're not the exact same frogs it pays to know their habits.

Post-processing came more easily to my as I have a background in graphic design, but I feel like there's always more to learn.

I have developed my "style" and I'd say I'm also rather ok at it by now, it's justI cannot bulk-process wildlife but have to touch every single one by hand and apply some local filters (background cleanup, burning, dodging, vignette). This takes time, esp. with an outdated dual-core laptop, but often turns "yawn" into "good".

Also, you can always set LV to use "quick" mode, which I'm pretty sure works with EOS Utility as well.

It's known as the "shutter killer" but I guess with a 1d it's less critical - and you're correct, for ML lv has to be turned on that drains the battery quickly. If I'd use this, I'd get a battery grip, also for wifi.

True, and what I'm really hoping for are shots like these from Art Wolfe

Well, his postcard style often looks too hdr-ish and over-processed to me, but then again I know I'm too much on the neutral for some people's taste. Interesting site though, esp. for comparing my horse/frog shots (and I think I can compete with some).

Concerning the scenes you posted, the seal & esp. lions are great and what you can really do with wifi (or tethered), but the turtle would be unnecessary and difficult to frame via remote even if it moves slowly (proof: horizon problem). But I often see polar bear shots done by remote (like http://artwolfe.photoshelter.com/gallery/Polar-Bears/G0000BBQopsTJpsg), there recently even was a cinema documentary about it.

Photography Technique / Re: UWA odd angle postprocessing howto
« on: July 09, 2014, 12:11:47 PM »
Thank you for the information about the horses - they sound very unique and I'm sure it's an experience being around them like that. They are also beautiful and you are fortunate to have such great subjects to shoot.

It also beats any other adrenaline-generating experience, they're not predators like alligators but still very effective fighting/defense machines that can convert you into a dead photog in no time. Like with people portraits, 90% of the skill is not how to handle the camera.

I really like the rainbow shot - it all came together for you didn't it?  Those rare shots are what I love about photographing nature and I'm sure you must be really pleased with how well it turned out!

Yes, and I try to forget the other 10 near-perfect shots when something went wrong - horse didn't look, bad af (hello, 6d!), bad exposure/flash, I didn't get in the best position at the correct time. Good to know other people appreciate the results :-) and not to be too shy I'm always getting very positive feedback for these.

I just have to keep doing more postprocessing rather than producing new shots, it's just that my experience still grows and I'm now getting more good shots in a week than in a year when starting out with photography... I wonder when I'll peak, didn't happen yet.

On the remote shots, my plan is as follows - find a good spot, set up the camera low to the ground at 16mm with a nice composition, Av mode @ f/11 or 16 set to hyperfocal, and then drop back 30m to my laptop with a pair of binoculars.  Wait until something comes near, then fire off some shots via my laptop.

Well, just fyi you non-1dx photogs, Magic Lantern has a trap focus / motion detection and intervalometer mode which also works for these kind of setups. Problem is that to get the "uwa" look the subject has to be rather near the lens, meaning you cannot do hyperfocal and end up with a very small aperture - f11 isn't *that* deep. I'm positive this is something the new wifi-70d's fast lv af really shines.

Another example is kingfishers - they are very shy, but have predictable perches.  If I can set up the camera near their perches, I think I can get some great photos of them, and adding a UWA would give me a very unique angle.

Sounds great, I recently saw a great squirrel shot that I suppose was taken this way, it's really worth it if you've got the time to set everything up and wait until the animal is posing. Imho the danger is that you might get a "staged" look, but that might not worry most viewers.

Photography Technique / Re: 85 vs 135 for portraits
« on: July 09, 2014, 11:39:57 AM »
The difference between 100 and 300 was minimal to my eye.
Other factors become more important, unless you are really after that perfect in your eyes look.

One factor I'd also like to mention: Having more distance can be beneficial for portraits since the subjects feel less bothered by "lens in your face" photography and you can get very natural shots when they don't realize how tight the framing actually is with 300mm. It's a pita to focus though.

Photography Technique / Re: UWA odd angle postprocessing howto
« on: July 09, 2014, 11:16:54 AM »
I find wildlife more fun, too, particularly because it is so challenging, which makes it that much more rewarding when you get the shot you want.

Problem is: If people don't realize how complicated this is, it can also be kind of frustrating because they're used to studio-type shots. That's why I seldom shoot insects nowadays, killing/capturing them simply produces better shots than crawling through the woods. I rather go for animals or environments that are visibly "outdoors" and non-staged.

My plans now that I have the 1D X with its Ethernet interface are to take UWA shots of the more dangerous and skittish wildlife from a distance.

Um, with what - robotic gear to move and aim the camera? My 6d has wifi control, but lv focus is slow (get a 70d for that), and you really really have to setup the scene like "squirrel grabs food" which I didn't come around to yet. I'm looking forward to see some results with this :-)

What type of horses are those?  I know you've posted them before and I have meant to ask you.  I think they're beautiful and interesting subjects and I'm surprised they are so tame.

Well, tame to me, I know them for 2 years and it wasn't always the case - I'm now rather fluent at speaking horse and know when to step aside. Imho still much safer than driving a car, or a bicycle surrounded by cars for that matter.

They are horses of the "Konik" type, it's a project to back-breed the extinct European "Tarpan" wild horses which as usual where hunted down until none was left. For me "wild horse" doesn't mean "bad temper all the time" but "do what they want to do and nothing else" which can include being curious and playful. They're always happy to have another friendly set of eyes and ears around to watch out for predators :-)

They are often used in landscape projects in Europe (PL, D, NL) and are basically not cared for at all, they are outside all the time w/o any man-built shelter and have to look for food themselves. This means they've got an actual archaic herd structure and act like most horses would act if people wouldn't keep trying to ride them.

You really gain respect for them when they are resistant to about every weather or disease/injury and survive in the hard winter living by digging up roots when you as a human wouldn't last for a day. In comparison to their senses, I feel blind, deaf and slow as a slug: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konik

For the shots with no reference lines that you can't seem to get right, I'd try the following techniques [...] See which one looks best from a slight distance and that's the one to fine tune or use as is.

This certainly good advice, and I'll try to remind me of this - just like dof, "angle" seems to be very dependent on print/export size, what looks ok at small size or very near looks odd when being at a distance.

For these, *everything* has to be spot-on, not just the technical aspect but also the emotion or expression of the scene. But it's really rewarding to get this done as you don't find these shots anywhere. They even come with real non-digital rainbows :-)

Photography Technique / Re: 85 vs 135 for portraits
« on: July 09, 2014, 11:10:02 AM »
There you go: http://stepheneastwood.com/tutorials/lensdistortion/strippage.htm

Great link, thanks - you actually learn things around here :-) ... and looking at these I keep on feeling fine with my "poor man's gear" 70-300L/4-5.6 and 100L/2.8 combination.

EOS Bodies / Re: Which is better for high ISO, 6D or 5D Mk III?
« on: July 09, 2014, 11:07:38 AM »
Which is why I prefer fast primes over f4 or f2.8 zooms. I gain a far lower iso value or a higher shutter speed.

Well, but lower than "100" is "screw on nd filter" and the iq of 1600 on the 6d is so good I seldom feel the necessity for a really fast prime. You can post-process push a bad exposure, but cropping from 20mp (too wide prime) is tricky, and adding image data in post (too long prime) is impossible.

And I already raved about how damn difficult it is to af with the 6d in enough threads, and even with a better af system the dof of f4 on longer focal lengths is already very thin @100% crop. Not that I'd dismiss fast primes as you get thin dof @small export/print sizes, but I guess I'm the "zoom flexibility" type of photog.

Photography Technique / Re: 85 vs 135 for portraits
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:31:46 AM »
Is 135 not versatile enough for half body shots?

Well, you might want to step back a little ... but no problem if there's space. If.

Imho the main difference is compression (I'm using my 70-300L for portraits so I know which zoom setting I like) - 85mm is rather wide on ff so if you're getting closer to the subject it doesn't look nice anymore, big nose and such. Having the option for very thin dof 135mm shots will separate you more from the crowd. If you manage to focus where you want. Again, if.

So for example a 300 mm lens won't be more 'flattering' than a 135 but you will get considerably more subject isolation, but you'd need much more space and more light.

Ugh? Is this your personal experience or are you having some charts available to support this theory? Not that I'd dispute what you say, but right now my impression would be that 300mm *does* have significantly more compression than 135mm even to the extend that 300mm looks to "flat" for my taste.

EOS Bodies / Re: Which is better for high ISO, 6D or 5D Mk III?
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:23:53 AM »
I have a 6D, which I've been using in low light situations. In recent months I've found myself frequently exploring the limits I can go and still come up with what I consider successful photos. I've very happy with the results I've been getting up to ISO6400 or so.

After downsizing 22mp 5d3 -> 20mp 6d and adjusting for slight sharpness differences it's a wash, this is the same sensor generation. However the 6d has significantly less banding, i.e. higher dynamic range which *does* make a difference if your shots require it - it even tops 1dx on low iso. You can boost the dr on 6d even higher with Magic Lantern, nearly up to 15ev.

Having said that, no nice noise performance makes up for dodgy metering or getting out of focus shots with the ancient 6d af unless you're mf'ing (like with ML's focus peaking).

Even what I've shot at 12800 pleasantly surprises me.

ISO 12800 is just a digital push (on 6d, actually even 6400 is) - no need to use it unless you shoot jpeg or do video, otherwise underexpose a lower iso and keep the higher dynamic range of the lower setting.

The main positive about the 6D is the centre point is rated to -3ev whereas the 5DMKIII is -2EV.

Well, yes, it's "nice to have" esp. with slower lenses like f4+. *But* af'ing @-3lv is so slow that you could also just switch to live view and contrast af or mf with a boosted lv (ML again) which works far below -3lv.

Photography Technique / Re: UWA odd angle postprocessing howto
« on: July 09, 2014, 07:55:22 AM »
To me, only the last one might be a little off to the ccw direction, based on the trees, although the horizon looks about right at first glance.

That's exactly what I'm talking about: Something always looks wrong, it's about *minimizing* the odd parts... for example the middle shot with the water has a completely "wrong" rotation vs. gravitation direction.

I would like to come up with some guidelines to speed up the trial & error process, but failed so far. Btw the first shots were really some random holiday shots, they just happened to have no right angles in them so they're ok for demonstration purposes.

One thing I can say is that vertical lines seem to be more important than horizontal lines, at least my eye is used to sloped horizons but not so much to skewed trees. It becomes tricky when the tress actually *aren't* vertical, in this case you need to shoot some space around to let the viewer see it and get some bearings or it tends to look wrong.

Reviews / Re: Is Canon 5d mk 1 still a good camera?
« on: July 09, 2014, 04:12:01 AM »
That's what is happening to me: I can't convince myself that I need a new Full Frame body, so I'm keeping my 5Dc plus my EOS M when I need to shoot videos or to travel light.

The 5d3 has full res raw video capability (with Magic Lantern) so that's a decisive feature added, of course apart from everything else ML offers as it isn't available on the 5dc.

Otherwise only upgrading a body after knowing what exactly the required improvement is imho is the best advice. Much more sense putting $$$ into lenses and esp. lighting gear (1x 600rt = €500 ...). It's easy to test-drive a new camera nowadays either via rental or in a shop, if it doesn't immediately deliver the "that's worth a couple of thousand $$$" impression the money might be better saved.

Photography Technique / Re: UWA odd angle postprocessing howto
« on: July 09, 2014, 01:26:42 AM »
These samples are all pleasant to the eye, so I think you're on the right track.

Thanks :-) ... the thing is that these are samples of shots I had to turn in 0.1 degree steps since I wasn't able to find a good rotation right away. The important point I've learned is that there doesn't seem to be a magic bullet solution for these.

Your advice is still valid though, esp. concerning the vanishing point - it's just that I seldom do architecture these days, "been there, done that" :-) and I now know how to nd-filter, focus-stack and bracket for good results. Tedious setup though. Crawling through the mud shooting wildlife is much more fun :-> and I find it esp. challenging to get different results from a "my mobile phone also has this focal length" type shots.

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