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Topics - FunPhotons

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PowerShot / G1X notes
« on: June 26, 2012, 10:37:20 AM »
So I got a G1X to replace my S100 with a broken screen (which still works however). I'm going to return it however as I'm not impressed.

It's a neat camera in a lot of ways, a real chunky monkey. Really solid and feels good in the hands. I like best that it has a hot shoe and an articulating screen. However for the price it doesn't seem to give pictures much better than my S100. I'm not a pixel peeper, and the larger sensor should surely be doing better, but in real world shooting I'm seeing similar quality in LightRoom. Which either speaks to the quality of the S100, or to the G1X, or to me, don't know. Also I don't like having a lens cap, and to protect the lens I have to get a too expensive adaptor which will pop the lens out even more.

However the camera isn't that much fun. It's almost the same size as the Fuji X100 which I have, and the Fuji takes way better pictures and is a lot more fun to use. The G1X is more versatile (zoom), but it's safe, comfortable, and boring. All for $800. My biggest complaint however is the size, it won't fit in the SnapR bag like the G12 does, it takes the Snap35 bag like the FujiX100. So it's not really a compact camera anymore but a midsize. And if I'm taking a midsize camera, I expect better pictures for it.

So it seems the going price (Amazon sellers at least) is $739 for the G1X. Meanwhile, as much as I absolutely love the S100 it finally slipped out of my hand and cracked the LCD. It still works, and I have some tape on the glass to keep it together, but I've had too many near misses with that camera. I love the size and that I can clip it on my belt, however I find it too easy to drop obviously.

So with the first price drop on the G1X I ordered one. I'm traveling next week and can't take anything bigger.

I was thinking about the shorty forty and the earlier announced 24mm and 28mm - this is an odd trio. Among all the super high end lenses they're announcing they come out with these. All three are small, high quality lenses, but are all rather oddballs. Now I ordered a 40mm which is on its way, and am seriously considering a 24mm, just because I really like small, solid primes. However I don't know of Canon ever releasing a pancake before, and the other two outliers, why? DSLR owners are scratching their heads over these lenses. Since they were announced soon before the mirror less, could these be meant as mirror less offerings, with an EF mount mirror less?

Look at it this way, imagine a mirror less with a few zooms, and put in the 24, 28 and 40 mm along side it. Seems to make more sense now. If Canon went this route, it could be their way of getting the P&S crowd to step up into the DSLR and EF lens family. First they get a mirror less with a shorty forty and a zoom, and later they can upgrade to a DSLR body and use their existing lenses.

Tell me I'm wrong or this has been discussed before ...

Lenses / Voightlander 20mm Pancake notes
« on: June 22, 2012, 10:39:57 AM »
I got a little time with the Voightlander 20mm pancake and some people here wanted to know about the lens, here are my notes.

First off, the lens you can buy now is discontinued, including the one on the B&H website. I mentioned this to them but they didn't have much of a response to that. Anyhow, an updated one is coming out in August which has a metal knurling focus ring instead of a rubber covered ring. I think this is a great idea, I like all metal, especially in a lens like this.

The lens is solid and small. Not as solid as I was expecting, but I'm not sure how it could be made more 'reassuring'. Getting rid of the rubber as I mentioned, and there is some plastic in there.

Anyhow, on the IQ. I didn't do extensive testing just some shooting around the house. What I found is that the lens won't give you the best results without coaxing. Canon lenses seem to just deliver to the best that is possible given the situation. This camera tends to give you worse results, and you have to push it to give better.

It does vignette and is soft wide open in the corners with a FF. This is part of what I mean by the lens making you work - it wants to take certain types of pictures and not others. I took a night shot with a focused flash and it looked great. I also took a general wide angle daytime outside snapshot and it didn't look so good. The lens likes more considered 'art shots' and performs better in those.

For some reason I found myself tilting the camera and doing more creative framing than with the big lenses. I never do that with my other lenses. I think the big zooms encourage you to think 'do it professionally', and this little lens encourages you to 'think creatively' more.

The lack of autofocus was a no brainer. You get a focus light in the viewfinder when it finds focus, or you can get a Eg-s manual focus screen. My first camera was an AE-1, maybe somebody who hasn't used a manual focus lens would feel differently but I actually preferred it. Nothing worse than having a 'hunting focus' lens when you're trying to take a shot.

Finally, the lens has a characteristic that I noticed in Flickr shots and in my own. Hard to describe ... kind of like if you were taking pictures with film, and the film had some slight harsh, jagged contrasty look. Flat colors, not three dimensional. By contrast the 70-200 2.8 II has dreamy 'true to life' colors and depth, this one creates a stark look. I like the look, my wife loved it. More old school than new school, shots look like they might be from the 70's or something, and I think it's a combination of the old school optics and digital resolution. This is a characteristic that makes the camera want to take 'art' shots, and not snapshots.

Neat lens, my ideal focal length, I'll probably buy the new version when it comes out in August. There is a Flickr group dedicated to the lens if you're interested. Here is a picture from that group that captures the lens for me

Software & Accessories / Printing recommendation?
« on: June 17, 2012, 11:12:44 PM »
What online printers do you recommend? I'm picky about colors, who calibrates their system?

If you have any recommendations for purchasing a printer I'd like to hear that too, as I wouldn't mind being able to do my own prints too (even if it is more expensive)

Canon General / Engadget hands on with the T4i and Shorty Forty
« on: June 08, 2012, 12:16:06 PM »
Oh and that other new lens

The Shorty Forty looks good on the camera - not 'too small', if there is such a thing.

Lenses / A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
« on: June 03, 2012, 11:07:32 PM »
OK I'm sick of trying to find a walkabout camera. None of them work for me, tried the Fuji X100 (want to buy one?), the Canon S100, a G12, etc. I just end up wishing I had my 5DMKII. Now there are situations where for weight and threatening considerations a smaller rig is preferred. So ... I need a small lens for my DSLR, ideally a wide angle.

I have a 50/1.4, which isn't that great. Slow to focus, IQ ... maybe my version has problems, it got touchy after some sand grains got in it, probably not worth trying to fix. Plus it's 50mm and too tight for me.

My dream focal length is 20mm but Canon seemingly has no good primes in that range. I don't like to rent, I prefer buying and deciding as it takes me months to figure out a new lens. So ... recommendations?

  • Lens ideali around the size of the 50/1.4
  • Prime
  • Ideally wide, at least 24mm

Maybe the new 24IS? Dunno ...

PowerShot / S100 GPS problems
« on: June 01, 2012, 08:01:04 PM »
My S100 GPS used to reliably reacquire the satellites after a few minutes from startup. Then after owning (and loving) it for a month the GPS refuses to acquire, even after restarting the GPS service. Now I turned on GPS logging, and it reliably acquires GPS again (but is using power while off).

I use this camera so much I think I'll just leave the logging feature on, so the GPS stays locked, but has anybody else noticed this behavior?

Or do they have sticky prices?

Kicking around getting a 1DX and wondering if it would be better to wait for a possible price drop. I mean after the camera is finally available to us mortals (say early next year)

Lenses / Recommendation for a sidekick wildlife lens
« on: May 26, 2012, 11:26:45 PM »
    I like to do landscape photography, and while out I'd enjoy doing some wildlife photography (primarily birds I expect). I have an old Rebel I'd dedicate to the task and just need a lens (when I upgrade my next body the 5DmkII will probably become the wildlife body).
    So ... what lens to pair with it? I want something that I keep with me but will get the critters, so light and long is what I'm thinking about. Good candidates seem like ...

  • 70-300IS (relatively light, relatively cheap, flexible (zoom), enough reach?)
  • 400 (relatively light, relatively cheap, inflexible prime, no IS, more reach)
  • ?

Don't know if the old Rebel might suck too much, maybe I'll upgrade to a newer Rebel or even a 7DII when it comes out.

EOS Bodies / When will the release date be for the 1DXI and 5DmkIV?
« on: May 21, 2012, 10:58:12 PM »
Serious question here. I have a 5DMKII and while I'd like to move up to a 1D body the 1DX, while amazing doesn't do it for me on pixels. On both it and the 5DMKIII they've gone for frames and focus which I'm less in need of (though a better focus system then the 5D would be nice)

At any rate, how long will I probably have to wait for the next generation bodies?

I've been waiting to learn gelling (is that a word?) until a sane gel solution came out, and I've been waiting for an in Flash Canon RF solution. Thankfully the 600-RT gives me both which is why I popped for three the day they released. Now I want to expand this wonderful gel system. The manual indicates that a 3x3 3rd party gel will work fine, but for some reason the flash won't report it correctly so you have to set a C.fn to turn off gel notification (not sure if this is a problem with a pre-2012 body).

Anyhow, should I roll my own gels or wait for somebody to come out with a 600-RT gel kit? If roll my own, any suggestions for a kit to buy? I'd like the CTB's, CTO's, Green, and a handful of Cines maybe. Would rather buy a pre done kit but I don't want to wait too long!

I've heard some reports of people getting them, and some scattered outlets have gotten a few, but I'm still waiting for mine. An order in at Amazon and B&H since they were announced and still nuthin.

Street & City / When did photography become a crime?
« on: April 24, 2012, 08:09:49 PM »
In the vein of the thread here on brits and cameras ... I was walking along my street the other day, and somebody stopped and pointedly asked "why was I taking pictures of their houses". Recently I've been taking pictures of my kids school. We're not going to be there much longer and I want pictures of it (and am always trying to practice), and a policeman came by my door because the school is freaked that some guy is taking pictures.

What are these people trying to accomplish? Somehow harassing photographers will make them safer? In an age when cameras are on every bodies phone (ironically at the school somebody took a picture of me - taking pictures), the govt. has cameras everywhere including the sky, along with corporations and businesses. Suppose I'm a criminal - what will walking around obviously taking pictures do for me? I'll photoshop them, ignoring the billions of free photos of people available on the web? Seems rather stupid, and takes focus away from the real crimes that you never see.

I think we should put a stop to this right now, and all of us go out and take photos in public, at schools, in churches and in safe neighborhoods. Time to desensitize people from thinking that photography is a crime.

Lenses / 70-300mm L f/4-5.6 colors washed out?
« on: April 07, 2012, 10:42:39 AM »
   A buddy got a 70-300mm and I've it on my 5DMKII and shot with it. I can't keep seeing the shots as washed out with pale colors, especially compared to the 70-200/2.8 II that I have. I've got camera color calibration and have used a ColorChecker to correct the shots (WB not full colors yet) and I'm still seeing pale. Finally, on at least a few shots online I've seen it seems the like they're washed too.

   My imagination? Not sure what to make of it.

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