November 23, 2014, 11:16:58 PM

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Messages - privatebydesign

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Canon General / Re: Does Canon really deserve this?
« on: Today at 05:39:53 PM »

So apart from the best lenses, flash system, ergonomics, service, reliability, etc, "What have Canon ever done for us?"

... and so the thread spirals towards the inevitable conclusion that immunizes Canon from critique for so long: You just need to pay $15k+ for their premium gear and you'll be just fine. And for the rest of their lineup: You can do beautiful shots with it. And the photogs of olden days did so with even much less gear. So what could be wrong? 'nuff said :-o

Not at all, some of the comments ridiculing some of the decisions by Canon are very well made, particularly on the software side where the holding back of basic 'features' is laughable. But Canon are not the only camera company that play that frustrating game of never quite seeming to get it completely right in one go, they all do it.

But much of the core criticism is just as laughable. For instance I don't buy into the 'crippling the RT system' meme, I think having just the 600 and the ST-E3-RT is fine, if I want AF assist I'll have a 600 on camera anyway, after all it is very rare that most people are in a dynamic flash situation and couldn't use any on camera light, even if they are bouncing it, and at $455 a lot of the time it is still way cheaper than the Nikon SB910 that doesn't even have radio functionality, plus if you want to mess up a perfectly good RT system buying crappy Chinese 'clones' to work with it then go for it. OR, point me to another camera manufacturer that makes their own radio controlled flash system, oh, you can't.......

Besides, if Canon don't make what you want then go buy it elsewhere, nobody ever forced anybody to buy or keep Canon gear and it holds its value very well so moving systems isn't that expensive even if you have been tied into it for years or have a big investment in it.

I just sold a ten year old lens for $900, I bought it new for $1,250, that is a $35 a year rental cost! Even the 1D I just sold at a depreciated $6,000 and very low shutter count cost me less than 30c an image, around a 1/3 the price of the film per image it replaced.

Despite peoples opinions I am not a Canon apologist, I'd like to think I am more of a realist, Canon can offer us what they do now because of what they have done in the past, and as a career decision to use Canon way back in the '70's before I knew what I was doing and again in the early 2000's when I moved to AF, I am generally happy with what they have offered me, though I do have some frustration about the lack of a 1Ds MkIII replacement. I have no doubt that if I had chosen Nikon on either or both of those occasions I'd be just as happy.

Canon make very good cameras that fit in with an even better system, if that isn't for you then buy a different brand, nobody cares, but if you can't create the images you want with the gear currently offered then don't look for the lack of this or that feature as the excuse, the reason for your failure is six inches behind the viewfinder.

Canon General / Re: Does Canon really deserve this?
« on: Today at 04:12:46 PM »
Their flash system is without doubt the most capable and feature rich flash system of any camera manufacturer.

Also the ergonomics, though always a personal thing, are mentioned time and time again as a Canon strong point.

And lets not forget service, Canon are the only camera manufacturers to offer a service like CPS, Nikon's version is a comparative joke and Sony believe customer service is 'give them one of the new ones' but it doesn't work with any of the old stuff.

This is sounding more and more like a Monty Python sketch.

So apart from the best lenses, flash system, ergonomics, service, reliability, etc, "What have Canon ever done for us?"

Has anyone here safely used electrical tape over the lens' red ring - would it damage the red plastic (i.e., peel off) especially if I would be out under the sun for some time?

I've taped all my lenses to hide their value and make them more resistant to scratching. Works fine. Make sure the tape you're using sticks (usually cheap electrical insulator tape doesn't for long) and doesn't leave residue after you take it off again. I've settled for some duct-tape like grey protection tape.

I am a pretty outspoken anti taper, the main reason is people that tape for security reasons obviously have a fundamental lack of understanding of the thief mentality, they don't care if it is an L lens or a kit zoom, if they can steal it they will. Also, if a piece of tape gives you the mental security to shoot in a place you otherwise wouldn't then you shouldn't be shooting there

I admit I'm not an insider in thief mentality, but I'm shooting outdoors a lot, so no can do not being there. I often leave part of my camera gear with my bike, and the way it (and I :-)) look nobody would target me for a theft. Being a thief, I would gather there is a risk assessment (likelihood of being seen vs. value of loot). The one situation when somebody did try to steal my camera was when it was placed snugly in a nice camera bag, never when it was lying in the grass.

My experience of thieves, and I have had an interesting history with some professional ones, is that many, particularly the kind that are taking things like handbags and cameras on the street is that they don't have clue of the value of anything they target, they are only interested in if they think they can get away with it, doesn't matter if it is a kit zoom or an L, we know the difference, they almost certainly don't and don't care.

I did a story on car stereo thieves once, they got fixed prices for stereos, Technics and Blaupunkt were up to £40, Sony and a couple of others were up to £30 and the rest between £10-20. I had a stereo stolen once and the damage they did to the car getting that £40 was well over £2,000, they didn't care that they got £40 or £20 for the stereo, they only cared that they could get away with it.

So I would say the only consideration for the majority of casual on street thieves is purely if they can get away with it, the value to them, which is hugely different to the value to us, is of little importance.

I am a pretty outspoken anti taper, the main reason is people that tape for security reasons obviously have a fundamental lack of understanding of the thief mentality, they don't care if it is an L lens or a kit zoom, if they can steal it they will. Also, if a piece of tape gives you the mental security to shoot in a place you otherwise wouldn't then you shouldn't be shooting there, number one rule, be safe, if you don't belong there don't be there, and by belong I mean have the presence and self assured confidence to be doing what you are doing.

Having said all that if you are going to tape do not use electrical tape, it is cheap S___ that will damage your lens paint, use gaffer tape, it is more expensive but comes off clean and won't pull the lens paint off with it when you take it off.


Flash sync 1/200???

The flash sync and shutter cycles are the same as the current 5DIII and less than the 7DII.  I would expect the 5DIV to have a better flash sync speed than the 7DII, if not at least the same.  Shutter life, perhaps you could make the argument that the size difference, but still, I'd expect the 5DIV to be the same or better than the 7DII.

The shutter for the FF camera is two and a half times as big as the shutter for the crop camera. Why would you expect a general purpose camera with a large shutter to perform 'better' than a designated sport/action/wildlife style camera with a much smaller shutter?

As it is the 5D MkIII is only 1/3rd of a stop slower than the 7D MkII, and the 1DX that costs twice the money and has the absolute top of the line current specs, the performance of the 5D MkIII shutter sync is already higher in absolute terms than the 7D mkII's. The 1.3 crop pro bodies manage 1/320.

I actually think we are on a shutter travel speed limit from the point of view of system capacity, maybe the HSS flash feature needs a certain shutter curtain travel speed to sync the pulses, I don't know, but the only camera Canon have made that broke the 'rules' was the original 1D with 1/500 sync speed, it had a CCD instead of a CMOS and an electronic second curtain so it wasn't reliant on the shutter travel speed anyway.

And, if they did come out with a camera specced like that I personally wouldn't buy it, even at $1,999.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 5DIV: 36 MP US $ 3799 TBA in March 2015
« on: November 22, 2014, 10:43:02 PM »
Hmmm, let face it Mr Rockwell never did anything for page hits............

I said I'd come back if the buyer got in touch, well they did.

He is not a collector, he got the camera today it is his first digital camera and he intends to shoot with it alongside his EOS 1n-RS, yes that rare pellicle mirror 1 series from the film era!

I couldn't be happier that she has gone somewhere where she will get the use she deserves.

Lenses / Re: DPReview: EOS 7D Mark II Shooting Experience
« on: November 22, 2014, 02:14:40 AM »
In my limited use of the camera for the last couple of weeks it looks to be a more solid build than the original 7D. AF is excellent in stills but I have not tested the video aspects completely.
My issue with the camera lies with its interaction with the Canon flashes. The bulk of my work day is spent shooting interiors and exteriors and I have a excellent system worked out with my workhorse original 7D.
Almost all of the interiors that I shoot are HDR (with flash) and also shot hand held with the camera set to fire at maximum fps bracketed in order to capture the exterior of the property. The original 7D was and still is excellent for this because the 600EX-RT or the 580EX flashes won't interfere with the operation of the camera.
Once the flash has been exhausted the camera will continue firing bracketed sequences in order to capture the window exposures. Only when the flash cycles back on after 2-3 seconds will the camera default back to a lower shutter speed. I was drooling over the specs of the 7D2 because I could now bracket up to 7 exposures at 10 frames per second.
I was dismayed to find out that the flashes will shut down the auto bracketing option as soon at it is put on the hot shoe and even if its is turned off. I've tried everything I can think of to work around this problem, so now I am back shooting with the 5 year old 7D with 240,000 exposures and counting.

Try using a third party bracket controller, like the CamRanger, it will allow hotshoe mounted flash and as many bracketed shots as you want. Or connect your flash via a PC cord and tape the hotshoe pins, or have your flash on a bracket.

Post Processing / Re: POLL: Do you need to fill the histogram in post?
« on: November 21, 2014, 02:13:47 PM »
I put depends so here is my elaboration.

If the scene was a chess board then you would have very little between the spikes at close to black and close to white, if the scene was a grey card you would have one spike just below midpoint.

Where the histogram should be is entirely dependent first, on what the tonal range of the scene was, and two, what you want to make it look like. If you want it to look 'natural' the histogram can look like anything because the composition of a scene can range from a polar bear in a snow field, nothing close even to mid tones, to a black cat in a mine, and everything in between.

If there were blacks and whites in the scene then setting the black and white points makes complete sense, but very often we are missing one or both of those within the scene so introducing one or the other is 'painting yourself into a corner'.

Lighting / Re: Studio Light Power Question?
« on: November 21, 2014, 09:04:52 AM »
You have 5 stops of adjustment over a six stop range. For example if you are at full power, 500Ws, you can come down five stops to 15Ws. The settings on the flash would be :Stops dial 1, Tenths dial 0.0, for 15Ws, now go up to 5 on the Stops dial and you have gone up four stops, then go to the Tenths dial and go up 0.9 stops for a 4.9 stop adjustment range across a 5.9 stop output range.

If they had a zero on the Stops dial and you could input just 0.1 on the Tenths dial you would have full adjustment range of your actual output range.

You are right, the numbers are straightforward, 400Ws is close to 1/3 stop less than 500Ws and 250Ws is one stop less than 500Ws.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: REVIEW: Canon 7D2 For Events? Perhaps...
« on: November 21, 2014, 01:38:29 AM »

But, this discussion demonstrates my entire point... the fact that a crop sensor is approaching three year old full-frame sensor performance, to me, is mind blowing.

Perhaps I'm easily amused.  ;)

But it isn't.

What you are saying is the same area of a sensor from a current crop camera is the same as the same cropped area from a three year old ff camera, that doesn't sound good at all. It sounds like there has been no improvement in actual sensor output, on a per area basis, for another three years. If you look back through time and compare same generations of crop and ff cameras that has always been the case, which isn't surprising because they use the same age technology.

However if you want to see where the true sensor performance on a per area basis is look at your phone camera and small P&S sensors, crop your FF or your 'crop' camera to the same dimensions and you will be amazed at the tiny sensors performance, it way outclasses ff an a per area basis.

Lighting / Re: Profoto B1 vs. Phottix Indra
« on: November 21, 2014, 12:34:55 AM »
The RoveLight RL500 seems like a happy half step, and the price is very good, plus the battery is internal.

I don't see the advantage of the Indra over an Einstein and Mini Lithium, they both have external batteries, one cable and the head.

Profoto are supposed to be working on HSS and it will be able to be firmware upgraded to the current heads, but there is no knowing which cameras the upgrade will support.

I have been looking very closely at the Profoto set, I am just waiting to see how the development goes and waiting until I have a TTL supported camera. They are expensive but strike me as a buy once kind of deal, having said that service, batteries and spares cost the same as a new Einstein so they need to be durable to be worth the money, and the controller is daft money too! One payoff I noted with the kit, you get a backpack and car charger but only one mains charger.

All in all I expect I will be looking to get a set late next year or early 2016, seems a long way off but until that 1DX MkII comes out and is supported I am in limbo.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Sending my 7D2 back due to high ISO noise
« on: November 21, 2014, 12:10:45 AM »
I am no crop camera apologist, but to me the differences are small, couple that with the fact that the 7D MkII shot light is flatter, either a few minutes later or on a more shady part of the water, and if they are both close to 100% then you are enlarging the 7D MkII image nearly twice as much, makes me think you might not be comparing this as evenly as you think.

However the X100 sync is a work a round that has it's own limitations, anything short of a true shutterless sensor read exposure and very short flash duration is. The real game changer in this area for serious pros has not been the X100 but the Profoto B1 Air kit, sync at any speed and any aperture, true HSS with a decent amount of power.

And now the Chinese are coming out with their own versions of powerful HSS enabled integrated battery powered studio strobe crossovers at a fraction the price, that is where the strobists that want to push boundaries should be looking, not at leaf shutter hacks.

Very good point regarding what the best option for strobists may be. There are definitely limitations even with the x100 setup. However, the kit you're referring to starts at just shy of  $4,000. I would love to have it. But for mere mortals like myself, a used x100 runs about 400-600 bucks nowadays (x100s for 800-950).

Haven't read anything about the chinese knockoff versions. But you definitely have my interest piqued. Although I don't know what price range they would fall into as even 25-50% of the cost of the name brand kit would be too expensive more many.

BTW, can you point me in the right direction with some names of the knockoffs? Thanks in advance.

The RoveLight RL600 has a fully integrated battery for $599, more than 8 times the power of a 600-EX-RT, and that includes the radio trigger with power control.

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