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Messages - emag

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Landscape / Re: Spiral Arm of the Milky Way above the Texas Desert
« on: January 22, 2013, 11:47:17 PM »
These were shot from VERY light polluted Pensacola Beach during a public stargaze.  Before and after gussying up to counter the light pollution.  They were taken with a modified 40D using a Sigma 70-200 at 200/2.8.  You can pick up a T3i for a song now and have it modified for astro work.  Plop it on an equatorial mount with a drive and you have a setup that can do some amazing work.  The camera is on my grab and go astrophoto setup.  The tripod and drive base are from an old scope that I have since mated to a much better computerized mount.  Nothing fancy but it does the job and fits neatly in my motorcyle sidecar when I don't feel like lugging the big guns.

Landscape / Re: Spiral Arm of the Milky Way above the Texas Desert
« on: January 22, 2013, 11:18:56 PM »

Go to the Indian Pass Peninsula! 

I'm in Pensacola, my astronomy club's dark site is in Blackwater River State forest, VERY nice in winter and about a 55 mile drive.  I do astronomy outreach for scout groups that have a campground farther into Blackwater Forest, spectacular skies and very stable air.  I frequently head to Gulf Islands National Seashore and nearby Big Lagoon State Park, they're both very close and dark towards the Gulf, not too shabby overhead.  Our summer skies are very hit and miss and any location is a serious mosquito feed on summer evenings - August is particularly useless, miserable humid and perpetual thunderstorms.  We do somewhat of a 'sidewalk astronomy' gaze at Pensacola Beach two nights per month in the warmer weather, near first quarter moon.  Lots of light pollution but with a modified camera and LPR filters it's surprising what can be picked out.  Meet a lot of interesting folks from all over who come for a few weeks.

Landscape / Re: Spiral Arm of the Milky Way above the Texas Desert
« on: January 22, 2013, 05:32:08 PM »
Hmmmmmm.....might want to check your AFMA.  You seem to be front focusing a parsec or two..... :o

Excellent work, I'm jealous of those skies.  I have 5 scopes, two cameras (one Ha modified), several equatorial mounts and a home made slider.....and the Florida panhandle hasn't had two clear nights in succession since mid-November....particularly on weekends!  Sheesh - I should probably drop the whole astrophotography thing and take up needlepoint.

EOS Bodies / Re: Yet Another 5D vs 7D Question
« on: January 22, 2013, 09:28:16 AM »
I would think the use of teleconverters would be a significant factor also.  You have not defined what you mean by "...quality of the pic....".  Having said that, I suspect you'll like the photos w/5D3 better - but will find the 7D with that combo is no slouch either.  At the very worst, you'll have better results than you could have achieved 5 or 6 years ago.  Shoot, enjoy and find what works for you.  Hope you can wait til June. :D

Software & Accessories / Photoshop error message
« on: January 17, 2013, 05:59:15 PM »
I've been using Photoshop 7 for like 10 years or however long it's been around.  Works for me and I can't justify the expense of current versions, although I did buy Elements 11 (okay) and LR (!!).  PS7 was working fine and one day refused to start up, with an error message regarding a TWAIN device communication issue.  Based on an internet search, this problem pops up now and then.  Removed/reinstalled, no help.  Even tried to install PS6, same error message, same result.  I've become fairly proficient with GIMP as a result, but I sure miss PS7.

The only unusual thing I did within a day or two prior to the error message - at a public stargaze with my astro club, I was switching between an astro modded 40D and a 60D on the scope taking photos tethered to my laptop.  A woman there was fascinated and I noticed she had a 7D on her neck (much more attractive than a goiter, I must say) so I made her evening by putting her 7D on the scope and taking a slew of photos for her, again tethered to the laptop.  IIRC, the error message appeared the first time I tried to open PS7 after that.

Laptop runs Vista 32 bit  (yeah. I know)

It won't be long until I upgrade computers and PS7 will probably install just fine in the new one, but this just nags at me.  Has anyone ever seen such a thing?

Low noise at high ISO, WiFi.  Works for me, that's a plus when it's hanging on the telescope.

Lenses / Re: Help with 360ยบ Panoramas
« on: January 17, 2013, 09:49:55 AM »
If this is something you're just starting on (panos), you might also consider Windows ICE and Photosynth.  Free and quite capable.  Not what a pro would use, I'm sure, but it gets you up and running quickly with fairly good results.  If it's something you find you want to pursue further, there are a number of paths you can take at various labor/expense levels and you'll find various user groups on the net devoted to panorama photography.  I've used lenses from 8mm fisheye to 200mm (on a crop camera) and try for a minimum 25% overlap between frames.  ICE does a pretty good job stitching all together.  It's not always perfect, but being a hobbyist with a full time job and other interests, it's good enough for my enjoyment.  YMMV.  I post on Photosynth as 'emag325', you can check out what can be done fairly quickly and easily at the amateur level.  PTGUI is excellent, but as a hobbyist, I don't feel the need to spend much on pano software......although it would be my first choice if I do.

Canon General / Re: Why buy from a bricks and mortar store?
« on: January 16, 2013, 01:55:34 PM »

.........  I did my part as a citizen.  I can then claim that purchase as business expense.  Do what's logical and support your own local economy.........

Don't get the wrong tone from my response, no malice intended.  Many of us cannot claim a purchase as a business expense.  It makes a difference.  I have one local camera shop which I have occasionally shopped at.  I cannot justify the cost (to me) of big ticket items, I hope he can stay in business but I have my own bills to pay.  If I could expense it I would gladly bring him the business......as local pros do.

Canon General / Re: refurbished Canon 5d mk iii
« on: January 16, 2013, 09:52:57 AM »
Look at it this way - you now have a camera that has been through Canon's QC twice!  Forget those last minute second thoughts; keep, use and enjoy your camera.  I for one have no reservations buying refurb, it fits my wallet quite nicely.  Adorama stands behind refurb quality as evidenced by the warranty period.  I'm a moderately-heeled hobbyist, but much of my astronomy and photo equipment is used or refurb, I've had some of it for decades.  Over the years most of what I no longer have has been donated to my local rescue mission second hand store, my astronomy club for everyone to use and to people I know who can still find use for it even if I can't (not talking 600/4 lens type stuff here, of course).  The only time I think "What will this be worth in the future" is when making investments.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« on: January 15, 2013, 06:30:16 PM »
It's been many years, but....when Uncle Sam switched the equipment I used to work on from 70mm film to 35mm, modified Nikon bodies were used.  They proved to be more reliable when subjected to adverse conditions, primarily shock and vibration.  Some of the data to support that undoubtedly came from NASA, but I'm sure tax dollars were spent to confirm it.  Then again, we also continued to use Betamax long after it was dead in the civilian market.

HDR - High Dynamic Range / Re: Canon 5D mark 3 in-camera HDR shots
« on: January 13, 2013, 01:14:11 AM »
"... forget the nay sayers, you cannot please everyone ...
I use HDR for a lot of my panos, but I PP in LR.  Having it in camera would be nice even though it might still need tweaking.

Abstract / Re: What is this?
« on: January 12, 2013, 11:33:14 AM »
It's only $120,000.00 at B&H.
A mere $20,000/mo using BillMeLater  ;D

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 60D Stock Levels Getting Low?
« on: January 11, 2013, 09:17:58 AM »
IMO, the only question is do you want to continue with crop or switch to FF.  Make that decision and you have your answer.  Again, IMO, the next crop camera will be fiendishly more expensive than any of us thinks it should be.......but it will be an excellent successor to the 7D (not to the 60D).

Lenses / Re: Dropped my 70-200L F4 onto the carpet from my bag. Advice.
« on: January 11, 2013, 09:00:54 AM »
Don't worry too much. Test for lens element alignment issues, tape five printed pages on a wall and square your camera to it, space the pages so they are in the center and each corner of your frame and then make teat shots at all focal lengths wide open, either move the camera or the pages to keep them in he corners. If you have alignment issues the pages will have very different sharpnesses.

If you have an alignment issue Canon can fix it for a reasonable amount, but you have to send it in to them for a quote.

Yup.......teat shots....

Lenses / Re: Will Canon be making a 16-35 f/2.8 IS anytime soon?
« on: January 11, 2013, 08:58:04 AM »
Nikon has patented for a 16-35mm f/2.8 VR lens (VR of Nikon is the equivalent of the IS of Canon).
Does Canon plan on making an equivalent of Nikon's recently patented lens?


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