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Messages - emag

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My 40D was modified by Gary Honis, I use it for astonomy.  I may go with 6D/5D3 later this year and will have my 60
D similarly modified.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« on: January 08, 2013, 09:27:21 AM »
Yes I have learned this in the few weeks since my post... bit the bullet and got my wife a new "handycam" after playing around with my DSLR and realizing it wasnt going to be her bag. That being said, I am having fun taking more videos with it now, as it was something I had never bothered to learn or experiment with before!

Good choice.  Here in the Canon DSLR fora, it's easy to forget that such is not ALWAYS the most practical tool.  There's a hammer head on my fence pliers, works fine when I don't want to carry a lot of tools for oddball jobs.....but I wouldn't use it for carpentry.  Back up those videos, you'll have lots of laughs over the years.

Glad to hear all went well, Rev. :D

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Anybody using MagicLantern?
« on: January 07, 2013, 05:55:14 PM »
ML was my reason for getting the 60D.  I use time lapse, FPS override and ML's bracketed exposure (HDR) frequently.  I have an astro-modified 40D and would love to see a stable release for that camera.  I also installed the Wasia hack in my old 300D back when I had it.  I'm all in favor of anything that makes a tool more useful.  YMMV.  My complements to the talented individuals who develop ML.

Technical Support / Re: Repairing Scratches - 5D MKIII
« on: January 05, 2013, 09:16:01 PM »

It could always be worse... http://iphotonews.blogspot.com/2010/03/world-famous.html

Holy cow!!!  The fabled full-frame mirrorless and 500mm TS-E lens!  I KNEW it wasn't a myth!!!

Not worth worrying about, it won't affect images.  Eventually you'll have specks on your sensor.....I suggest you have a professional cleaning done at that point.  No need to send it to Canon for a cleaning, any camera repair shop can do it, I'd suggest asking a local photo supply shop who they recommend.  It isn't hard to do the job right when using the right tools.  Eyeglass cloths and eyeglass cleaner are not the right tools.  The only thing they are good for is removing a fingerprint....only because short of breakage, a fingerprint is the worst thing you can do to an optic.  Worse than dust, chips or scratches.  I clean my own gear (cameras, lenses, telescopes), but then I used to do it for a living on equipment that cost the taxpayers far more than cameras.  Relax and keep shooting.

My $.02

5D3 is 'better'...but not worth the price difference for a non-pro unless the price is not an issue to you.

6D image quality (outside of DR issues) is outstanding.  That's kinda what it's all about.  For wide DR images, shoot bracketed.

White balance is a non-issue IMO.  Use custom WB or shoot Raw and fix in post.  If you don't do any PP, get a P&S.

The 6D is not aimed at professionals or wannabe's, though it may be a suitable backup body for some pro's.  YMMV.

To some, an articulating LCD seems.....amateurish.  Until you try it for a while.  Perhaps this was the tradeoff for wifi. 

Focus points - it still has more autofocus capability than my old Nikon F2 did.  If I made a living shooting sports or BsIF I'd go with the 5D3.  But I don't and I won't.  I can afford but not justify it, the price difference goes to glass.

My feeling is that the 6D was aimed at the higher end amateur market.  More precisely, those who are already Canon DSLR owners, and frankly I think Canon hit the mark.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Upgrade from 6D from 450D
« on: December 29, 2012, 06:05:56 PM »
28-135 would be a disservice to the 6D.  A mediocre lens.

Lenses / Re: A few words on Adorama's customer service
« on: December 29, 2012, 05:57:28 PM »
.......and they'll take my order on Saturdays...

Lenses / Re: Infinity and Cold
« on: December 23, 2012, 01:40:06 AM »
Hard stop on a manual lens is not so bad, but it WILL be affected by temperature.  Hard stop on an AF lens is not so good.  The focus motor will be ramming up against that stop every time focus is at infinity or the lens runs to infinity while trying to focus.  It needs to have a bit of overtravel, i.e., go a bit past focus and then come back to it.  What I do is make a mental note of where the line/arrow/whatever is in relation to the infinity mark when AF is at infinity.  If I need to set it manually (night shots, astrophotos, because I want to, etc.) that's where I set the focus.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Cannot Keep Screwing It's Customers Over
« on: December 21, 2012, 09:15:13 AM »
I for one wish to heartily thank the OP.  The pros almost HAVE to buy the latest and greatest to remain competitive.  No matter how skilled you are, sometimes you simply need a better tool.  I'm certain Canon's marketing folks price accordingly.  Then there are folks like the OP, who want to rush out and get the latest and greatest for whatever reason and also serve to some extent as beta testers.  I'm sure Canon's marketing folks track these numbers and then toss them in the blender with seasonal sales targets and determine price reductions.  Thanks to the selfless sacrifice of people like the OP, those of us with greater patience can take advantage of these lower prices.  ::)

Software & Accessories / Re: AutoPano Giga
« on: December 19, 2012, 11:44:52 AM »
Does everything I need, and is simple and easy to use...

Used it last year to create this 14 metre long print from a 21GB full res image

Wrote up an article about how and why if anyone is curious


Keith - wonderful article, I only had time to skim it here at work but will delve into it at home.  You are a Master, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

Lenses / Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« on: December 19, 2012, 10:10:40 AM »
For wide field I use the Tokina 11-16/2.8.  I have the Rokinon 8mm fisheye but have not been doing much night work with it.  A wide prime is on my medium list, other items are currently on my short list.  I primarily do time lapses with this setup.  For non-timelapse astro I'll use anything from a 300/f4L to a 2250/f10 telescope.

The 60Da is a niche camera and not necessary for what the OP wants.  In any case, it's cheaper to get a 60D and send it out for modification.  Even cheaper to get a T2i/T3i and have it modified.  I use a modified 40D and an unmodified 60D.

For a 'tracking mount' solution, I recommend this as a start, it's cost effective and it works:


As for the Polarie, Astrotrac and other similar devices - they work, and work well, but the prices get up into the range of a used CG5 or SkyViewPro mount.  The CG5 and SVP come with solid tripods and are designed for greater stability than all but very high end photo tripods.  I use a CG5-ASGT for astrophotography with loads up to 20 lbs.  I would prefer an even beefier mount but portability is a big issue for me.

Be advised, astrophotography is not a hobby, it's a sickness.  It cannot be cured, only treated.......with ever more expensive 'medications'; i.e., cameras, lenses, telescopes, mounts, gizmos, etc.  The Affordable Care Act does NOT cover these prescriptions.

I have timelapses at youtube.com/emagowan

Stills including photos of an old telescope mount modified for just what you want to do are at pbase.com/emagowan/astrophotography
The modified mount is an old C8 telescope drive base.  Perfect for this application and not too hard to find.

Software & Accessories / Re: Best panorama photo stitching software.
« on: December 19, 2012, 09:18:26 AM »
Windows ICE is fast and does a fairly good job.  Just dump the photos into it and rather quickly it will make the pano, disregarding photos that don't belong.  For online viewing, you can upload the panos to Photosynth.  I've recently done some interior panos of an old 19th century coastal defense fort (Ft. Barrancas) in Pensacola.  Magic Lantern to take the photos (auto HDR), Lightroom to stack and blend the images.  I find that the blended images usually need some enhancement after blending and it's easy to stay in Lightoom and do that.  I use ICE to make the pano and upload to Photsynth.

photosynth.net/search.aspx      I post as 'emag325'

Hugin is my second choice, it does an excellent job but is far slower.  It's a good front end for much of the software useful for panos.

I'm strictly a hobbyist and most of my work is done on a Vista laptop, those of you with more powerful computers will likely find other methods that work well for you.

Like most aspects of photography, this is one where you can take many paths to get to various flavors of your destination.

Lenses / Re: Long lens recommendation for surveillance.
« on: December 18, 2012, 01:42:13 PM »
T4i and 55-250?  That says 'surveillance' to me.  Sounds like someone couldn't get an uncontested.

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