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736
Lighting / Light stand recommendations/advice
« on: May 25, 2013, 11:18:55 AM »
I've picked up a couple flashes and am looking into multi-speedlite setups for both indoor/outdoor use.  Where I can use your advice/experience is what type of stand to get.  I'm looking at something like the Manfrotto 1051BAC or the 1005BAC.  I'd like it to be small enough to be somewhat portable, but I also intend to use softboxes with the speedlites in the future so stability against wind and weight might be a factors (with possibly more than 1 speedlight in the softbox).

Is one model better suited than the other, and if you know of something more appropriate, please let me know!

737
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: what to do
« on: May 25, 2013, 10:58:15 AM »
people talk about it here like it is...  and I'm willing to believe them.  I have a $40  tripod that I like,  but people don't share my enthusiasm for cost effective tripod.

I had received a tripod years ago as a gift, and it worked ok with my 20D and 17-55.  It was not robust enough to handle the 70-200 II, so I used it with the lightest lenses I had, and that was iffy.  The legs were plenty strong/stable enough, it was the center column/head interface that was weak.  One of my favorite pictures was taken with it and the 100L on a beach.  The legs did not disassemble and I was unable to get all the sand out, so it started making grooves along the metal legs.  The head/column interface failed completely at the end of last year.  I'd like the tripod to keep the heaviest lens/body combo stable and to be able to be taken apart to be cleaned.  Can it be achieved with a $50 tripod... no.  Can it be achieved with a $300+ tripod... yes.  It's up to user to determine which type, material, features are applicable. 

738
Lenses / Re: 70-300L / 100-400L / Keep 70-200
« on: May 25, 2013, 10:24:37 AM »
Another option is to get the 70-200L f/2.8 IS II.  It's a heavier option, but it will deliver almost as good IQ as the 70-300L at f/4 at 280mm and will be better than the 70-300L + 1.4x at 400mm and will only be at f/5.6.  The disadvantages are weight and length.

If you don't have any other lenses (after trading in your 70-200 f/4) along that focal length range, then the 70-200 II + TCs might be the way to go especially if you can use it for portraiture and sports at the shorter focal lengths.

The 70-300L and 70-400L are both good lenses but are not as well suited for portraiture/sports.  The 70-300L is lighter and more compact than the 70-200 II while the 100-400 is more compact and about the same weight as the bare 70-200 II.  If you only need to get to 300mm and want something compact, the 70-300L is a good choice.  If you need to get to 400mm, then the 70-200II + TC and the 100-400 are better options.

739
I remember seeing one of the Syl Arena videos earlier this year, and he stated that was not going to update the Speedliter's Handbook.  If anything, the 600 is more intuitive (menu-wise) than the 580.  However, the book is still an interesting/useful read.  I tried to borrow a copy from the library system but that failed, so I had to buy my own copy.

I got my st-e3 off Ebay for 250.  It does not seem to be "rebatable", so its price has remained near 300 for a while.  Going with the st-e3 or the ettl cord is a good idea.  I was using the 600 to command the 430 optically, but the on-axis preflash was too bright for what I was trying to do.  Depending on the cost of the cable, it might be better to bite the bullet and get the a second 600 or a st-e3.

740
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 70D & EOS 7D Mark II
« on: May 23, 2013, 02:37:50 PM »
Except that Canon would have had to have different camera body models because radio spectra and requirements vary from country to country.

Nope. Just another urban legend.
Canon is selling its Speedlite 660EX-RT and trigger ST-E3 globally.
These devices are apparently using the very same frequency range/channels everywhere. 
Otherwise we would be seeing product variations - like "model A" or "B" ... or "Euro" vs. "US" vs. "Asia" type.

Actually there is a 600EX (no RT) for what I assume is because of this reason.  According to Wikipedia, the RT system is approved for use in 58 countries, so no, it is not global.

741
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 70D & EOS 7D Mark II
« on: May 23, 2013, 10:44:32 AM »
Yes any "professional camera" from Canon introduced since 2012 should really have come with a RADIO flash trigger built in. It is totally absurd that  Canon did not equip 5D III and 1D-X with a built-in EX-RT radio commander. It would have caused a lot of Canon users to dump their not-so-old speedlites 580+430EX/IIs along with their not-so-old pocketwizards and buy boatloads of new Canon 600EX-RTs ... plus ideally also somewhat less expensive 450EX-RTs as slave flashes.   

And it would have given Canon a truly unique product feature - since neither Nikon nor Sony no any other competetitor have benn able to provide built-in radio ETTL-flash mastering in their cameras. 

Such a radio trigger would come without moving parts, pose no sealing issues and no constant battery drain. And would probably cost less than 5 $  to integrate into a fairly large, "professional" DSLR. :-)

Except that Canon would have had to have different camera body models because radio spectra and requirements vary from country to country.

742
Lenses / Re: Ever seen a great white as a canon refurb?
« on: May 23, 2013, 09:02:18 AM »
Me neither.  Perhaps Canon USA might have chosen to sell those through the retail channels (i.e. Adorama) because their volumes are so low?

743
Lenses / Re: Disappointed with 50 f/1.2 sharpness @ f/1.2
« on: May 22, 2013, 03:38:23 PM »
Unless you really need to use this lens that way, testing it at very close distances is a waste of efforts.
Hi Pi, I shot the images at approx. 0.5 m distance, which in my mind is not very close. Please note that the enclosed images are 100 % crops.

MFD for the lens is about 18 in, so you are close to the MFD.  Take a few steps back and take a pic, it will look better.

The other issue is that the resolution at f/1.2 is about 2/3 of what it is at f/2.8, so yes, it WILL be fuzzier at f/1.2 than at f/2.8.  Take a look at the test Lens Rentals did (link below).

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/01/the-great-50mm-shootout

What you did was to use the 50L how it was not designed to be used.  The real question is how does it look in real world usage as a portrait lens wide open.

744
Pricewatch Deals / Re: 600EX-RT speedlite deals?
« on: May 22, 2013, 02:49:44 PM »
600 refurb is back in stock - hurry if you want one.

Thanks for the update!  Snagged one!

745
Lenses / Re: 50mm.. Upgrade or not?
« on: May 22, 2013, 11:47:07 AM »
iSy, for your purposes the 50L would work well.  Try borrowing/renting it before committing the funds.  It's not the sharpest, but it wasn't designed to be.  It has much better focus accuracy than the 50 f/1.4, and you'd be playing to its strength for beauty shots.  Bokeh and color rendition are also better, but is does have some serious quirks.

Your 24-70 II will destroy any 50mm prime that is AF capable on a Canon body sharpness wise, including the 50L.  If everyone had enough money, everyone would own the 50L and 24-70 II for best performance at any aperture.

746
Key question (albeit probably deserving of a separate thread) - SmugMug or Zenfolio?

I never tried Zenfolio, but SmugMug works OK for me.  Earlier this year, I was trying to decide between Flickr and Smugmug -- glad I went with SmugMug.  I post links to my SmugMug pics to my Facebook page -- I no longer load pics directly into FB.  Biggest SmugMug complaint is that they only take normal picture files -- no CR2, LR catalogs, etc.

747
Lenses / Re: Tilt-Shift Lenses
« on: May 20, 2013, 10:48:05 AM »
I never considered using a 1.4TC with a TS-E.  Do you think that, with the  exception of losing 1 stop and some IQ, I can approximate a 24mm TS-E using a 17mm TS-E with a 1.4x TC?  I do like the flexibility of using filters on a 24mm TS-E for outdoor work.   I will have to decide after shooting the 24 and 45

Yes, the 17 with 1.4x can approximate the 24.  The 17 is one of the sharpest ultrawides around, but the 24 is sharper still.  For critical applications, the native 24 would be better.

748
Lenses / Re: Tilt-Shift Lenses
« on: May 20, 2013, 08:55:20 AM »
It's really up to the user, but generally speaking, the 17 is more used for interiors (where space is limited) and for really large objects than the 24.  The 24 is usually preferred for landscapes.  The 90 has a fairly high max magnification ratio and is used in product photography.  The 45 and 90 are older designs whose shift and tilt movements are coupled; the 17 and 24 are newer and have an additional rotation stage that decouples those two motions.

Shooting with non FF bodies will narrow the AOV and DOF accordingly as with any other lens.  Extenders can be used (at least on the 17 and 24) as well.

749
Lenses / Re: Telezoom lens (70-300L vs 70-200 vs 100-400)- Advice
« on: May 19, 2013, 11:53:23 AM »
Try out both the 70-200 II and the 70-300L if you can.  Getting either is not necessarily wrong, but at least you will decide which of each lens' features are more appropriate to you.

Like a lot of others have suggested, the 70-300L does look like it will fit your requirements better:  lighter and more compact.  Being able to store the lens vertically in the bag saves a lot of space compared to laying it on its side and taking up the space of two lenses.  The 70-200 II does take extenders better to get you to 400mm.  For portraiture/action, the 70-200 II is hard to beat.  With the 70-300L and its smaller max aperture, it does makes more sense to have a range of fast primes at 85 (which you have) and possibly at 135.

750
Lenses / Re: Telezoom lens (70-300L vs 70-200 vs 100-400)- Advice
« on: May 19, 2013, 08:09:47 AM »
The real dilemma is 70-300mm L vs. 100-400 L... fortunately there is an easy solution. Pick up a used 7D and you have an "effective" reach of 112-480mm. I put the EF 70-300L on my old 40D for the very first time in two years to shoot an outdoor event this weekend and was very pleased with the reach. With the EF 24-105mm for candids and overview shots on the 5DII, it makes a great two-body event combo. For tromping in the woods for flora/fauna, I would keep the same combo or go with the 70-300L on the full frame and maybe a 100 macro on the crop. For birding, I'd try the 70-300L on full frame and a 300/4 + TC on the crop (poor man's solution).

It's been said many times before but is worth repeating: f/2.8 zooms for indoors | f/4+ zooms for outdoors. Your situation doesn't demand an f/2.8 lens.

—chas

Another consideration is that the 100-400 weighs about as much as the 70-200 II.  The 70-300 is the most compact and lightest of the three.

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