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Messages - FunPhotons

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Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / ST-E3-RT stock ... this is crazy!
« on: July 03, 2012, 09:06:12 AM »
I've had one on backorder since they were announced at both B&H and Amazon and neither have come in. Yet smaller retailers are frequently getting stock, and charging an extra $70-$100 for the privilege of buying one. What is going on, will these ever 'be released' to the big retailers?

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.

Lenses / Re: Canon's new 24-70 2.8L II ship date
« on: June 26, 2012, 09:22:26 AM »
I was at Samy's Camera Los Angeles today (5/9) and the canon rep there said that he has heard it may be by the end of June. But, I've read other places they are expecting it sometime in July.  He did say that he has seen prints and it is a really sharp lens and the reason for the $900 price increase has to do with the cost of the materials and special lens elements.... (ok!?)

Either way, I can't wait.

Actually the reason for the $900 price increase is that Canon prices their products fairly consistently in Yen. The new lens costs the exact same as the old lens did in yen (adjusted for inflation) down to a few tenths of a percent. The $900 is the effect of the exchange rate. Nothing more, nothing less.

International companies don't often play currency games like that. Especially 'down to a few tents of a percent' - that's ridiculous. They will keep this price for years and currency fluctuates all the time, especially now with the Yen carry trade. As for inflation - what inflation? CPI, core CPI? There isn't a single 'inflation', as inflation & deflation change individually for every item in an economy, and the statistical aggregate that is announced doesn't actually correspond for any particular product.

Really ... Canon has employees all over the world, all the sales reps, the repair centers, regional offices, R&D and manufacturing. Money is fungible and they have to pay out a lot of bucks, so that money you pay in bucks for your lens doesn't necessarily ever see Japanese shores.

I work in a similar industry, and trust me the price setting marketing team is not calculating currency or inflation. They raised the price because they can - or they think they can (you never know until you start selling it and seeing the numbers).

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« on: June 26, 2012, 09:12:55 AM »
The 100-400 is, in a way, my standard lens, always on a 1Ds MkIII. It is something very different from what a 200-400 could be. Backed up by a 16-35 on a 5D MkII, it covers the 99% of situations

Interesting, since most photogs consider 24-70 the most used range.

Anyhow a buddy got the 70-300 and I've spent time with it. Nice lens, light and L. I haven't gotten one because it seems kind of pointless with the 70-200/2.8 in my bag. How often do you want reach beyond 200mm? Either sports or wildlife. How much does an extra 100mm give you in that case (for $$$)? Not much ...

The 100-400 will round out my collection, I'll have the 8-16 zoom fisheye, 16-35 II, 24-105, 70-200/2.8 II and 100-400 II. If the latter plays well with TCs then even better. If canon comes out with a EF mount mirror less crop then I'll really be set.

Yes, as verified by Syl Arena who was the only photog to get pre-release versions of the flash as far as I know, hss works with the 5DMKII at all shutter speeds. He says this again in his Canon Professional Network article on the flash. I've also verified it with my 5DMKII. On the 1-stop loss there also, while I haven't done extensive testing, I haven't noticed any problems.

Presumably Canon is being conservative, and it doesn't work with all prior camera bodies, but I haven't heard of any tests with anything other than a 5DMKII.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« on: June 25, 2012, 07:26:43 PM »
I don't get the hype about this lens.  There is already a 70-300L out, which does have 100mm less, but you can get that with a 1.4x TC for cheaper than this 100-400 is supposed to be.

For every f/2.8 70-200 II owner, this 100-400 lens is just pretty useless. 

First, you're blowing away 100mm worth of f/2.8 super high IQ goodness
Then, if you need the reach, just add a TC and you got it with probably similar IQ.

What any 70-200 II owner needs is a 200-400 f/4 and not this rubbish.

If you dont have a tele lens at all, 100-400mm gets you covered nicely in once package, but if you have a 70-200, it's kinda useless.

Uh, no. My 70-200 2.8 II is way too short for wildlife, and the 2.8 is unnecessary the majority of the time outside. The 1.2 TC doesn't add much, and the 2X has other issues as mentioned (there is no free lunch). I keep the 2.8 for indoor events and people photography mostly which is where it shines.

A 100-400 would be the lens I grab as a complement to my nature hikes and photography. A 1.2 will give me 480 - almost 500 which is very usable for birds (especially on a crop body). Plus I can zoom out for some usable landscape photos.

Each has a best application I find the 70-200 doesn't work well as a wildlife lens but a 100-400 would be a perfect complement to my 16-35.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« on: June 25, 2012, 10:02:50 AM »
It's a popular lens, maybe lower ... $2200? They might surprise and keep the price below $2k due to the popularity, as $2k is seen as a barrier point.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon EOS-1D X Unboxing
« on: June 25, 2012, 10:00:37 AM »
Does it really have a rubber battery cover? Seems odd for a $7K camera

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« on: June 25, 2012, 08:30:57 AM »
To help keep my spending in check I only buy a new lens or gadget just after a new version has been released. What I've gotten so far is 580exII, 16-35II, 70-200II and 600RT's. The 100-400 II is definitely on my list.

Bummer.  :(

While I've never dropped mine, if I do it will be fine. Why?  Because it will only fall about 6" before it's brought up short by the wrist strap...which, I believe, is the main purpose of having one (though admittedly, I swapped the stiff one that came with the S100 for the more supple one from the S95).

Yeah I should have mentioned that straps don't really work for me. Too slow to get it on or something. Pulling a DSLR out of a top loader, or a small camera out of a SnapR works.

Well now I'll have a SnapR man purse and a 1GX, we'll see how that works. The G12 certainly fits in my hand much more securely than the S100, plus I have the SnapR strap.

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

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: 580 EXII Discontinued
« on: June 21, 2012, 06:26:33 PM »
I'm so glad I held off buying any more than one 580, in anticipation of a RF flash.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon's Mirrorless Entry
« on: June 19, 2012, 06:21:38 PM »

Thanks to the Shorty McForty, I have no interest in a mirrorless camera.

Agreed, with a camera for my wife, son, and one on the belt (S100) I'm drowning in chargers and batteries. Not to mention the old Rebel I keep with me because it's a crop body.

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