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Messages - JerryKnight

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Lenses / Re: Have you one of the new 24-70 f4 canon lenses, Is it good
« on: February 01, 2013, 06:35:37 AM »
I like the 24-70mm f/4 IS very much.  I originally bought the f/2.8 MkII, it is a fantastic lens, however I need the IS for low light event shooting. 

I'm confused by how much some people lean on IS for low-light photography. Stabilizing only accounts for one problem of low-light photography. It compensates for camera movement. It's great at doing that, but it can never compensate for subject movement. For me, shooting slower than 1/60th is not an option for available light event shooting. (Of course, with flashes, who needs IS anyways?)

A wider aperture solves both problems, at least more than the same lens (on paper) stabilized with a narrower aperture. I would much rather have a faster lens without IS than otherwise. Especially one that's being heralded as the sharpest medium zoom lens yet made.

Another thing to consider, if you're on a 5D3.. The double-cross-type focus points in the center (ie. the diagonal AF sensors) are for lenses f/2.8 or faster. Slap a f/4 lens on, and they become normal single-cross-types. You're missing out on the peak performance of your autofocus. Maybe makes a difference? Maybe not, but something to consider as well.

Of course, if video enters the equation, then stabilizing becomes much more valuable, since subject motion blur is to be expected, but I'm not really qualified to compare these lenses for video, though.

Lenses / Re: Have you one of the new 24-70 f4 canon lenses, Is it good
« on: January 31, 2013, 09:07:40 PM »
Not the worst review here: Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS Hands-on Review

Is there something wrong with your 24-105? The 24-70/4L doesn't seem like a very logical upgrade path for most people, in my opinion. It's only a bit more to go with the unrivaled 24-70/2.8L II, unless you want a lens somewhat improved over the 24-105 and have to have a stabilizer for some reason.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: What to look for when buying a 5d mkiii
« on: January 29, 2013, 12:53:32 PM »
Is it new? Look for a warranty card. There's no guarantee that a camera body will work 100%, new or used, but a new camera at least has the protection of a warranty.

If it's used, all you can really check standing there is whether or not the camera works right now. There's no magic checklist - just check "everything". Test as many functions as you can, and look for the particularly fragile things. ie. The focus screen isn't (easily) replaceable, and it's easily scratched if cleaned improperly.

Some people demand a shutter count (you'll need a computer to get that) but it doesn't tell you a lot in most cases, only whether or not it's a pro's abused work camera that's on its last leg, which would show up all over the camera anyways.

Well, there are two main things to compare: the guide number, and the radio vs optical TTL.

Guide number is obvious - the 600 RT can put out a lot more light than the 430. What difference that makes practically depends on its use.

The remote technology differences also depend on your usage. There are two main weaknesses of the optical TTL system that I can think of. Backlighting or rim lighting is very difficult to get consistently, since the subject obscures the line of sight to the flash, and using the flash outdoors with bright sunshine makes it hard for the slave to detect the pre-flash signal.

If neither of these cases affect you, and you never have to light up medium sized rooms, then there's no practical difference, but if you might shoot in any of these situations, then the difference will be huge.

The benefit of the RT system over cheaper E-TTL radio remotes is that everything is compact and self-contained. No extra dongles to worry about. But apart from that, and the "new hotness" factor, you can achieve the same results for cheaper using Phottix Odins or  PocketWizard TT1/TT5's.

Re: UV filters..

Are you intending to actually block UV light, or provide front-element protection?

Because UV filters are useless for digital sensors, since they aren't sensitive to UV light, at least not enough to affect picture quality. The only use I would agree with is to protect the front element, especially on a ~$1000 lens, but the front element is surprisingly strong, and for many photographers (including me) the added protection of a filter isn't worth the potential increase in lens flare and reduced contrast. Using a lens hood can help prevent this, but a lens hood itself provides plenty of protection for the front element.

Lighting / Re: Buying Yongnuo Flash
« on: January 23, 2013, 11:27:41 AM »
I bought one as a test, and it works fine with my 7D popup flash - same as my 430 EXII's.   I actually love this feature about the 7D and it's one of the things holding me back from buying a 5D or 6D. 

For the Yongnuo, just set it on slave S2 and set your camera built in flash function to wireless, and shoot away.  The preflash sends settings to the external flash units via ETTL II.  It can also work manually.

Much cheaper solution to Canon flash units, but I still wouldn't trust Yongnuo alone.  There are too many stories of flash failure.

This is very misleading confusing. According to the Engrish product description on their site:

"S2" mode --- it is designed for digital TTL flash. The special thing about this mode is the ability for detect the ingnore the tiny pre-flashes sent out by digital TTL systems before the shutter actually opens.

The S2 mode is still firing a manual flash, but it happens to work by ignoring the E-TTL preflashes. In S2 mode, this will not get you off-camera E-TTL.

EDIT: Okay, I (tried to) read the rest of their confusing product description and I'm not sure now. Obviously, if CTJohn can verify that it works in E-TTL with the built-in camera flash, then ignore what I'm saying.

EDIT 2: Sorry, more research has cleared things up. The EOS T3 (1100D) cannot control a E-TTL slave on its own. (Read this article, fourth paragraph). You would need a 580EXii or equivalent (or an ST-E2 or equivalent) in order to use the E-TTL features with an off-camera slave.

Lighting / Re: Buying Yongnuo Flash
« on: January 23, 2013, 11:25:01 AM »
Yes, the 468ii has an optical slave mode, which simply looks for a flash from another camera and fires its flash right after. (Like the FUQ690's they used with the Buzz Lightyear camera)

Don't try to understand the exact timing of flashes. They don't fire the exact moment the shutter opens, but as long as you stay under the minimum shutter speed (usually 1/180 to 1/250) you don't have to worry about the flashes missing the camera shutter. Optical slaves are fine for studios, but they're not that reliable in most other situations, as the Buzz Lightyear video should have demonstrated.

What I'm not sure about is if your camera has the ability to control off-camera E-TTL flashes. I know this is built-in to most Nikon bodies ("commander" mode) but I've never heard for sure if many Canon bodies have this ability. If you're intending on buying the flash for this purpose, you should make sure you don't need any other equipment to use the E-TTL features off-camera (you might need the Yongnuo version of the ST-E2).

Lenses / Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« on: January 17, 2013, 04:25:26 PM »
...Oh, I use the 50mm 1.8 II at times and it often hunts for focus in dim lighting conditions where the 24-70 snaps on to the target almost instantly.

This may have more to do with the way you shoot and focus or the way you set up the AF area selection modes with your 5DM3. How are you focusing and what AF selection mode are you using? I rarely have hunting issues with any of my lenses in lowlight situations, especially with the 24L II or 50L.

With all due respect, you're nuts if you're comparing two professional >$1500 lenses to a ~$100 lens. Even just comparing autofocus performance, they're not in the same class.

I'm really not bad-mouthing the 50mm/1.8. It's fantastic for the money. It's better than 1/15th as good as the L-lenses, but it's still not much of a comparison if price is ignored. When you start to be limited by its shortcomings (including sluggish autofocus) it's time to upgrade, probably to the 50mm/1.4 unless you're planning on the highest level of pro portrait work.

Lenses / Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« on: January 17, 2013, 12:09:42 PM »
Really helpful JerryKnight, thanks. Hmm, hearing a lot of good things about the new Sigma 35mil. Gonna have to check out some reviews, the only thing that bugged me was the onion bokeh property. I might have confused it with some other lens. Please correct me if I am wrong about the onion bokeh part.

No, it looks like there have been some complaints about it on the Sigma 35mm/1.4, but it's not universal. Many people seem to be okay with its bokeh quality, and I've seen example photos that have decently smooth bokeh. Not sure if it's a problem with some copies of the lens or specific circumstances. Just find as many reviews as you can and maybe rent it from one of the lens rental places.

EDIT: Looks like some cases, it might be related to sharpening, and it only seems to show up with out-of-focus point lights. I'm not sure it's enough to avoid the lens.

EDIT #2: Neuro beat me to it.. It's a specific artifact with point lights, and there are methods to avoid it.

Lenses / Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« on: January 17, 2013, 11:22:22 AM »
In rough order of price and less emphasis on exact focal lengths, I consider these to be the "wide guys."

~$500 Canon 28mm/1.8
~$900 Sigma 35mm/1.4 - hard to argue with the reviews and price
~$1300 Canon 35mm/1.4L
~$1400 Canon 16-35mm/2.8L - not as "fast" as the primes, but versatile and fairly light
~$1500 Canon 24mm/1.4L - my favorite wide prime

(I don't keep track of lens revision numbers; just look at the latest versions.)

You can look at the newer lenses I call the "slow primes" like the 24mm/2.8 IS, but I'm skeptical about their usefulness. Being able to hand-hold the shot isn't always the most important thing - sometimes you need wider aperture and faster shutter speeds in low light to prevent subject motion blur. I'm guessing those slower stabilized lenses are better suited for video.

Looking for a fast lens, mainly for indoor(with low light) use. It will be used in family events, indoor parties at night and its usage will range from single to group portraits.

My favorite is definitely the 24mm/1.4L, but I don't think it's the best focal length for portraits, except for large groups. 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm works better for individuals. Given your intended usage, I have to agree with the recommendations for the new Sigma 35mm/1.4. It's fast, sharp, affordable, wide on the 5D3, and normal on the 60D.

And definitely sell your thrifty fifty and get its USM brother. Nothing wrong with the 50mm/1.8 but when you start reaching its limits, it's time to upgrade.

Software & Accessories / Re: Small bag for 5D3 + 40 pancake
« on: July 01, 2012, 11:13:04 PM »
I've become a big fan of Think Tank, and they have a couple cases that might suit your needs.

Slim Changer - if you don't have the battery grip.

Speed Change v2 - if you have the grip.

I haven't used either of these, but Think Tank has a pretty good track record for me.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D MkIII Wake up on Button press
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:06:00 AM »
I felt that the battery life was poor on mine.  I seemed to get about 1/3 less use from it.

Wow, at all the shoots before I got my BG-E11, one LP-E6 lasted the entire day, over 2000 shots.

And my 5D3+BG-E11 wakes up (albeit slowly) with any button press. I think I'll just adjust the sleep timer to something longer.. maybe 5 minutes.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon 5D3 Settings Questions..
« on: June 26, 2012, 04:12:01 PM »
ONe more question: Do you use any of the different cases defined in the AutoFocus menu?

I don't have my 5D3 here with me, but if you're referring to the menu letting you tune the AF tracking settings, no I haven't played with that at all, since I use servo mode in only rare instances. I think those settings are intended for cases where you can anticipate the exact type of movement you'll have to deal with. Soccer games, gymnastics, track meets, etc.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon 5D3 Settings Questions..
« on: June 26, 2012, 02:44:39 PM »
Hello, I just received my 5D3 last week and i'm super excited about it however, had a few questions since this is a significant upgrade coming from a 40D.

AF Drive: What AF Drive setting would you recommend for shooting kids (mostly indoors). Right now i haven't ventured out of the One Shot but was wondering if AI Focus will serve better?

I'm typically in one-shot as well, because the "tolerance" (whatever it's actually called) is the lowest in this mode. In other words, when one-shot focuses, it's the most accurate. If you decide to use AI Servo (or to a lesser extent AI) just keep in mind that the precision is a bit lower, so even "in focus" shots with AI Servo might not be quite as sharp as with one-shot. That said, when someone is approaching you at any speed, by the time one-shot focuses and you fire the shutter, they might be closer and out of focus.

Here's my compromise. Go in to custom controls (in C.Fn #2 menu) and set the DoF Preview to AI Servo (hold). When you hold down the DoF preview button, it temporarily switches to servo. Release the button, and it goes back to one-shot. This way you can decide at a moment's notice which drive mode you need.

AF Area: What do you typically use for AF area for day to day shooting? Is using the 61-point Automatic selection recommended? As it tends to focus on the nearest subject.

Usable AF Points: So i'm having a bit of hard time understanding this concept. If i typically use the 24-105 f/4 Kit lens according to the manual belongs in Group C. How does this limit me in using the Autofocus?

Coming from a 5D2, I've been conditioned to not trust any non-cross-type focus points. They're basically useless in most situations. The 5D3 effectively has 41 cross-type AF points, so I have my camera set to only use those, in various combinations. Most of the time, I have my camera set to spot focus, with the multi-controller set to control which focus point is active. Click the joystick inward to return to the center point (and click again to return to the previous point). Again, play around with all the custom controls, because there are many possible ways to control focus points. Sometimes I'll go to one of the expanded focus areas, but most of the time, it's just one point.

AEB/HDR/Multiple Exposures: In what scenarios you want to use these? On my 40D i would typically use AEB to take 3-5 shots and then use an external editor to combine the images to create an HDR. And now the 5D3 combines the images for an HDR image within the camera.

So what are some good scenarios you want to use AEB?
What is the use for Multiple Exposures and when would you want to use it?

The in-camera HDR is a gimmick. Don't use it seriously. It's only a 3-exposure bracket, it only produces JPEG's, and it's not very flexible. Use the AEB instead, but remember that AEB is really only good when you want to bracket in bursts. The exposure range is limited, so you can only add +/- 3EV in one burst, but if you do manual bracketing, you can do any range just by walking up and down on aperture or shutter speed.

Of course, the biggest use of AEB is for off-camera HDR, but it's also good for times when you're not sure about the best exposure but you don't have time to narrow your exposures using the histogram. Just fire an AEB burst and go.

Multiple exposures? I'm not sure about that one, but it seems a little gimmicky to me as well, since you can probably do much higher quality composites in photoshop.

I apologize if these are beginner questions, but I want to learn the full capabilities of the camera so that I can become a better photographer. Thank you for your help.

No problem. Take all this as just one person's take on it. The camera is so versatile, you can use it any way you want and get good results. The main thing is to experiment and play with all the hidden settings, custom functions, etc.

And remember: the camera doesn't make the photographer. A better chisel doesn't make a better sculptor, but it allows a sculptor to do what they do easier, faster, more precise, etc. You have one of the best "chisels" out there,  so you're more prepared for tough situations, but becoming a better photographer happens because you're constantly practicing, experimenting, and learning.

It seems to me, after seeing the ones listed here, that many of these timer remotes are all clones of each other, including the "official" TC-80N3..


I had a Canon Wired Remote from my Rebel/Elan 7 days and converted it to use on the 5D2.  I bought the following adapter with an "N3" plug on the end (see link below).  Then I picked up a 2.5mm (F) to 3.5mm (M) stereo converter from Radio Shack for buck or two.  I connected one into the other and it worked without a problem!  :)

That looks awfully familiar.. I may have done exactly that. I know I've hacked at least one N3 cable, but it might have been for an Arduino intervalometer project..


for some rebels there was/is a hacked firmware with a solid intervalometer included

If you're referring to CHDK, it doesn't support the 450D (XSi). Would be nice, but none of my cameras are supported, even my point & shoot (SD960IS).

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