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Messages - Random Orbits

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I think it's normal.  I never noticed it before your post but mine does something similar.  With the 5DIII and a f/2.8 lens mounted, the point turns grayish with I point it toward a strong light source.  The effect is stronger when I tried a f/1.2 lens.  If I don't point it towards a strong light source, it is darker.  Either way, I have no problems seeing the AF point, unless trying to AF under very dark conditions.  Probably has to do with the large aperture and amount of oblique light getting around the LCD layer to make it less black, so I don't think it is something that can be improved easily.  It never bothered me before and won't bother me in the future.

Lenses / Re: Which Lens to buy
« on: April 03, 2013, 08:16:25 AM »
I'd skip the 200 2.8 II because you already have the 70-200 II.  Unless you know you are going to be using a prime of specific length, the bag full of primes will take up space and weight similar to the 70-200L II.

I'd suggest getting a second body first, then an ultrawide for landscapes. 

Lenses / Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« on: April 03, 2013, 07:06:19 AM »
It's not faith, it's a certainty based on all common sense, even for a nutty decision-making company like Canon:

  • A 50 prime (that general length) is an 'essential' photographic tool.  Demand for a 50mm is high.
  • Canon does not have a single best 50 prime lens -- to this day, many folks prefer the non-L f/1.4 to the  F/1.2L for sharpness reasons.
  • That F/1.4 lens is 20 years old, and lacks obvious modernities like IS, internal focusing, fast USM focusing, sharper corners, better build, etc.
  • Other lenses with a far less loyal following (24mm non-L prime? 28mm anything?) have gotten A+ refreshes of late.
  • Canon loves comically pricey lenses, and with the F/1.2L costing $1500 and the non-L F/1.4 costing $400, this is a glorious chance to sneak in between those two price points.
  • It's a great value proposition as the comparative L primes lenses (a) are not necessarily sharper than the new stuff and (b) has no threat of new versions coming soon (Canon isn't refreshing its wider L primes right now.  It's been all long glass and zooms of late.  The last new L prime under 300mm was... what?  T/S glass 4 years ago?)

I just think the 50mm is a hammerlock to occur, and nearly as much so for the 85mm.

- A

I don't doubt that 50 and 85 IS versions will be coming in the future.  However, it might have to wait for a killer 50L f/1.2 first.

Depends how much quickly you can save to another big purchase.  If it is within the year, I'd opt for the 5DIII.  Perhaps you might be able to afford it with the kit lens, 24-105?  Barring that, I'd opt for the 5DIII now and a fast prime.

One of the advantages of full frame is thinner DOF, which needs good AF points.  After using the 5DII, it's nice being able to select an outer point, and still nail focus with a fast lens.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Nik Collection Bundle for $126.65
« on: March 31, 2013, 03:47:18 PM »
I use Nik quite a lot in my workflow. It's great for adding a little punch to a photo. It integrates very well into CS6 and Lightroom. Silver Efex Pro and Viveza are the ones I use the most. Usually for messing with the Sky. The u-point makes it very easy to make local adjustments without complicated work with Layers. I'd say its a bargain . The downside is lots more people will use it which makes the effects less special and more common. What was a hidden secret (especially Silver Efex Pro) will now be commonly used

Hi, since you use it, maybe you can answer my question I had just before your post.
Working with these NIK plugins....are you doing this to RAW files non-destructively...or does using each one of these plug ins (not the HDR one)...output like a TIFF file....

Just wondering if these fit into workwith with RAW all the way through, and then outputting TIFF or Jpeg at the end...or if these plugins put out TIFF/jpeg, and you should only use them at the end of the workflow?



Works OK with LR work flow.  When you open a file to edit with Nik products, it produces a virtual copy (tiff) that you can edit to your heart's content.  The original RAW is preserved as its own file.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Nik Collection Bundle for $126.65
« on: March 31, 2013, 02:34:09 PM »
I'm hunting down and looking into the individual plugins...their functionality, etc.
Can some of the many of you, who have bought this now or in the past comment how each of these plug-ins have fit into your workflow....

How do you use these over and above the tools already at your disposal with what you have (Apeture, PS, Lightroom).

For example the Black and White plugin (Silver EFX?).....you can do B&W's all day in Aperture, Lightroom, etc.

How does this plug in excel over the built in tools you already have and how does it fit into your work flow?

What about the other color ones? Noise one? Etc?

Thanks in advance,


Did you download the free trial and play with it?  That's what I'm doing.  I don't do B&W conversions, but I tried it last night using LR4 and Silver EFX just to try the software.  The nice thing about the Nik is that it has a number of filter effects applied to the same image.  Pick the one that is closest to the effect you want and adjust away.  I tried to get the same look in LR4, and it would have taken a lot longer with a lot of adjustments.  Color EFX seems like Instagram on steriods (although I've never used Instagram either).  Would I use it much... probably not.  Would I use it enough to make it worth 130?  Maybe...

EOS Bodies / Re: Expect a REALLY Big announcement on Monday
« on: March 30, 2013, 09:34:29 PM »
My sources tell me that on Monday we will see lots of incredible announcements - Canon buying Hassy or will it be Leice.  Perhaps a MF Canon.  Nikon D800 with a Canon name on it.

What are you expecting on Monday, the first of April?

A cruel April Fool's joke?   ???  I'd trust announcements not made on that day more.

Lenses / Re: Prime vs zoom
« on: March 28, 2013, 11:23:17 PM »
I will admit that with the 5D III the dominance of primes when it comes to low light has been compromised by the higher usable ISO range.


I'll still use my 85/135 lenses for subject isolation in portraits, but the 35L was my go-to lens for indoor ambient light shooting and nighttime walkaround, and I wonder how much I'll use it in those situations now that I have a 24-70/2.8 II.

The obvious question is...how often do you shoot faster than f/2.8 not because that gives you the depth of field you desire for the shot but because it's the only way to get the shutter speed you want, and you really wish you could shoot at f/2.8 or slower to get more depth of field?

With the 35L, the answer is 'often' for indoor ambient and 'sometimes' for nighttime walkaround.  Regardless, I'll hang onto the 35L for a while. It's not a fair time to evaluate indoor ambient usage with DST begun and days getting longer.  I'll see what happens next winter...

I recently shot a boys basketball game in response to a last minute request from a friend, who was the young boys' coach.  I'd never been to the court before, so I brought a few lenses.  Well, the gym was not much larger than the court, and I was shooting near the baseline near one of the corners.  I had hoped to use the 135L but it was too long and I had to use the 24-70 instead.  A large percentage of the shots were wide open at ISO 3200 for shutter speeds near 1/500.  The zoom saved me that day because most of the pics were from 35-60mm from under the basket.  The pics were good and I was impressed how well the  5D3 + 24-70 II's AF worked.

The next day, I shot a birthday party at a beginner's gymnastics gym in even dimmer conditions.  The gym had a large bank of windows on one side, which made a lot of the pictures strongly side or back lit.  I started with a 85mm prime close to wide open but it couldn't track the kids erratic movement, so out came the 24-70, which delivered so well for the basketball game.  Most of the pics with the 24-70 were at ISO 5000 near 1/500.  What surprised me was that the basketball pics were a lot better than those from the birthday party.  I know it's not any one thing, but the higher ISO (and noticeably worse DR/increased noise), worse lighting, and smaller, more erratically moving kids, all had their parts for why the images were worse.  The prime missed a lot, but it was better at taming the harsh side/back light due to the natural vignetting and dimmer/more defocused background due to the larger aperture (plus it allowed me to drop down to ISO 1000).  In the end, I chose the zoom over the prime in both cases (IQ drops with higher ISOs but missing the shots because they're blurry is even worse), but I sometimes wish I had a fast-focusing 35 or 50 prime instead.

For more stationary subjects indoors and for use at night, I'll opt for the primes almost all the time.  For shooting kids sports where I have access to the sideline (not focal length limited), zooms are great.  Did I mention how impressed I was with the 24-70 II's focusing abilities?? 

EOS Bodies / Re: Here I go, the Full Frame way!!
« on: March 28, 2013, 10:32:21 AM »
The OP said he bought the 5d3 with the kit 24-105.

24-105 = general lens = check

The fisheye is definitely a specialty lens though.

+1, although the fisheye can be used as a UWA in a pinch.  It can be defished in LR using the Canon 15mm fisheye profile.  It actually produced better results than I would have thought: corners are softer than a UWA as one would expect but AOV is impressive.

EOS Bodies / Re: Here I go, the Full Frame way!!
« on: March 28, 2013, 07:57:11 AM »
70-300L is a very nice lens, and is ideal if you use it for general shooting outside in good light.  It is also significantly lighter than the 70-200L II and 100-400L.  It's still white, so it still attracts attention but it's smaller size allows it to be carried in a small camera bag.

Lenses / Re: EF or EF-S for 7D/70D
« on: March 27, 2013, 04:59:45 PM »
My 7D body has been shipped and should be delivered tomorrow, hopefully. So for now it will be the 18-55 kit lens I have. But since my full frame camera purchase is years away, I'm going to take the suggestions/advice of sticking to EF-S for the near future.

I'm still flip-flopping between the Canon EF-S 17-55 and the EF-S 15-85 as my "walkabout" lens. I know the 17-55 is better for low light and the 15-85 has more range.

Either way I hope to pair the "walkabout" with an ultrawide, either the Canon 10-22 or the Sigma 10-20.

My budget is limited so, I may only be able to get one lens for now and maybe another next year, in that case I'm leaning towards the Canon 15-85.

Thanks for all the input.

If you can, get the 17-55 refurbished/used.  It is currently available from the canon refurb store for about 800 USD + tax.  The canon 10-22 is a nice lens, although other good options are the tokina 11-16 and sigma 8-16.

Lenses / Re: Renting a wildlife lens
« on: March 26, 2013, 10:49:04 AM »
Since you have a 70-200 2.8 IS II mentioned in your signature you should consider getting/renting a 2x extender. It will keep your kit lighter and cheaper. The IQ is said to be almost as good as with the 100-400mm.
Have a fun and safe trip. :)

+1.  Superteles are much heavier.  Depending on how it's used, it might necessitate bringing a tripod too.

Lenses / Re: What would cause Canon to release the 35L II?
« on: March 26, 2013, 09:22:09 AM »
The Sigma 35 f/1.4 is a factor, but so is the 24-70 II.  Any prime in that focal length range that does not beat the 24-70 II is DOA.  Most of Canon's fast primes in that range are good enough wide open where corner sharpness is not as much of a concern for shallow DOF portraits/applications.  Having primes that beat the 24-70II would give prime users a reason for using primes for all types of photography, not just for shallow DOF, because right now the 24-70II is comparable/better than the 24L II, 35L and 50L at the same apertures.

Primes typically cost less than the zoom that covers the same range (except the original 24-70L), so I'm guessing that the primes would be less than 2300 at launch and less than 2000 in about a year.

Lenses / Re: small primes to go with SL1?
« on: March 26, 2013, 09:10:33 AM »
Given the way Canon has "crippled" the 100D down to "entry-level" specifications, I do not think we can expect any EF-S primes. Canon should have brought these primes out years ago, basically as soon as they went with APS-C - in order to replace the 50mm f/1.8 as a "first prime" for budding photographers. They didn't, as they reason that that part of the market only wants zoom lenses (although the "higher" demographic is also primarily into zooms ... 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 24-105mm, 70-200mm, 100-400mm, etc.)

Canon has, in my opinion, created a bit of a problem for themselves with the 100D. It is definitely a camera with the sole purpose of preventing current "users" not to buy m4/3, as once you go there it's lost business for Canon. Yet, bringing out EF-S primes will keep people, as they grow photographically, in the APS-C segment. This bites into their "full-frame" business, with its inflated price tag, as "full-frame" basically loses a lot of its appeal - because you get the same from EF-S (and currently from m4/3).

Canon sees APS-C as (1) a method of selling cheap DSLR's to the masses, and (b) an "upgrade path" towards their expensive "full-frame" offerings. The new 100D makes it obvious that they are losing serious ground on point (1) to m4/3 and other "mirrorless" systems. Yet if they make EF-S a serious form-factor with dedicated primes and decent tele-photo lenses, then they lose on point (2).

Canon, just like Pentax, has not kept up with their market.

I don't think Canon is afraid of APS-C threatening full frame.  For the same generation of technology,  FF will win in low light/high ISO/noise and shallower DOF.  Does that matter to the masses?  Probably not, but it's probably why most FF users are using FF.

I also don't see much advantage for Canon to release EF-S primes.  The 35/2 and 50/1.4 are fairly small and light already, and a lot of people balk at forking 1k for a EF-S lens (i.e. 17-55 f/2.8).  People also want lenses that are FF compatible in case they decide to move in that direction in the future.  Perhaps an EF-S 15 f/1.4 might make sense, but I don't think that there'd be a large market to make it worthwhile.

Lenses / Re: Lens recommendation
« on: March 26, 2013, 07:32:37 AM »
24-70.  For most people, it is better to cover the range you need first unless you know that you'll additional funds to spend soon.  If you have a larger budget, you could try covering the range with 2 primes:  a 35 and a 50/85.  The primes deliver better IQ and get you the shallower DOF, which is nice when the background in unattractive or cluttered.

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