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Messages - Stephen Melvin

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I have a wedding coming up in 1 month and I have been going round and round in my head about 5d3 and 5d2. I dont have either camera yet but I sure want one of the two. I see a lot of you have been saying not to be fearless with ISO on 5d3 but what about 5d2? Is the 5d3 a ISO beast compared to 5d2? Basically can you be a bit fearless with 5d2 still?

Up to 3200. 6400 is usable if you take some care with exposure and processing. 12800 is useless.

On the Mk III, 12800 is a walk in the park. 16000 looks good. 25800 is usable. 51600 works in a pinch, if you understand what to expect and don't mind taking some time in Lightroom to coax the best out of what you've got.

I'd consider the Mk III to be 2-3 stops better on the high end. I'm someone who's been shooting in the dark for a very long time; the capabilities of the Mk III are nothing short of astonishing. The Mk II is better than film ever was, mind you. But the Mk III is in a whole other league.


Ditch the Tupperware and use bounce flash instead. Don't be afraid to raise the ISO; the Mk III can handle it. Up to 12800 is a no brainer. Shoot RAW. Balance your ambient and flash exposure. You have excellent gear (except for the Tupperware) that's pretty much state-of-the-art. Don't be afraid to push it.
I have to disagree. Keep that lightsphere on there. It DOES bounce the flash. In every direction. Much better than a bare speedlight.

It doesn't bounce the flash, it scatters the light. It seriously eats up your flash power and has pretty much zero benefit unless you happen to be in a very small room with a low ceiling. Better to have a 580EX and point the flash head at a convenient surface to bounce off of. You'll have much more control and the quality of light will be a whole lot nicer.

But yes, balance your flash and ambient. Also, gel your flash indoors unless you want the background to be orange (under tungsten light). Also, get yourself a fast prime. I recommend the 50 1.4 on a budget, or the sigma 85 1.4 if you have a few bucks more to spend. I shoot weddings almost exclusively on primes with the only exception being the 70-200 2.8 is L II for the ceremony. The siggy 85 lives on my camera for large receptions or the 50 1.4 for tighter receptions. 

He has some pretty good lenses for weddings as it is. While I, too, also like to shoot primes at weddings, I know I'm more of the exception than the rule. My favorite is the 24L II.

So yea, at a fairly dark reception, keep your iso at 3200, shoot with a prime at about f2, and use gelled bounce flash with your GF Lightspere. On your 5d3, it will look great!

Never plan to fix something in post. Get it right in camera. And shoot to the right. I always overexpose by 1/3 to 2/3 stop depending on the scene. But keep your blinkies on in the camera and be careful not to shoot TOO far to the right and blow out the dress.

Oh, and even though its your cousin, still get a contract that limits your legal liability should things turn out badly. NEVER do a wedding under any circumstance without a contract.

Just my 2 and a half cents.

Some good advice here, though with the Mk III, I'd be absolutely fearless with the ISO settings. 3200 is conservative on this camera.

Ditch the Tupperware and use bounce flash instead. Don't be afraid to raise the ISO; the Mk III can handle it. Up to 12800 is a no brainer. Shoot RAW. Balance your ambient and flash exposure. You have excellent gear (except for the Tupperware) that's pretty much state-of-the-art. Don't be afraid to push it.

Lenses / Re: When are Canon going to revise the aged 20mm F2.8 ?
« on: August 27, 2012, 09:13:48 AM »
I'd love it if they came out with a 20mm f/1.4L. They really need a wider fast lens than the 24L.

Lenses / Re: Low Light options
« on: August 23, 2012, 09:50:43 AM »

So I realize I really need some low light capability.  At night and on the rides it was a challenge with the 15-85.  Most of the time you could not use a flash and I was at 3200 ISO (I even went to 6400 a couple of times)
Looking back most of my indoor shots were a lot of different focal ranges (many at the wide end) and I doubt the Sigma 30mm would of been usable since you do not always have a choice to move around indoors.

Though it is the one lens that would have seriously improved your low light capability, at about 2 1/3 stops wider.

My question is, if I had the 17-50 Tamron f2.8 nonVC for indoor use how much would it of improved my ISO or pictures?

You seem to be confusing aperture with ISO sensitivity. One can affect what you need to do with the other, but they are independent variables.

In any case, f/2.8 is only 2/3 of a stop brighter than f/3.5, which is what you have at the wide end. It won't affect your wide photos much, though at 50mm, it will give you a bit more capability.

The Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM would give you more flexibility, with its excellent IS implementation, though at twice the price.

Here are some examples:
1.  Some of the really dark pictures from the rides I was at f3.5 at 3200 ISO and they were still not great.  What the f2.8 of been able to capture the shot?
2.  If I had indoor pictures at 3200 ISO from f4 to f5 then with the f2.8 what ISO would I get and would I be able to avoid using a flash?

1. As I said above, f/2.8 isn't really that much brighter than f/3.5. You could crank up the ISO to 6400 just as easily.

2. f/2.8 is one stop brighter than f/4, so you could go from 3200 to 1600.

Don't be afraid to raise the ISO. The image quality of modern dSLR's at high ISO's is quite remarkable. I've printed ISO 1600 photos from my old 40D at 24 x 36 inches and they look great. Just be sure to be shooting in RAW.

If you really want improved low light capabilities, your best choices are that Sigma or a 430EX. For the wedding, I'd suggest the flash. Don't forget to spend some time learning how to use it correctly, which means bouncing it most of the time.

Lenses / Re: Lenses listed in Group A, Group B, Group C... Why?
« on: August 22, 2012, 02:14:30 PM »
Think about it in terms of angles. An f/2.8 AF sensor has a 20 degree spread, pointing to opposite edges of the exit pupil. An f/5.6 AF sensor has a 10 degree spread. Anything that can block one or more edges from the view of the AF sensor will cause it to fail.

Lenses / Re: Lenses listed in Group A, Group B, Group C... Why?
« on: August 22, 2012, 01:58:57 PM »
Thanks, Stephen! 

I wonder how much is calculated, and how much is empirically-determined?  For example, the 40mm f/2.8 pancakeis down in group D (center dual cross only, no outer columns of f/4 points) - does that mean the virtual aperture is actually in front of the physical extent of the lens?

The 40 wasn't on the list last time I looked, because it wasn't yet out. Hrm, I can't think of why that one would be where it is. I think there was an old 35-135 (or something like that) which didn't make any sense, either. I'd have to see one of these pancakes to come up with a guess. Off the top of my head, the only thing that comes to mind is that it has something to do with it being a unit-focusing lens.

I don't think they need to figure these things out empirically in the year 2012. I'm pretty sure they know in the design stage.

Lenses / Re: Lenses listed in Group A, Group B, Group C... Why?
« on: August 22, 2012, 01:44:34 PM »
The various lenses that you'd think would make the cut due to their maximum aperture don't do so because of the location of the exit pupil.

The exit pupil is where the aperture appears to be when you look at the back of the lens.

In the case of macro lenses, the exit pupil moves as the lens focuses closer, reducing the apparent size of the exit pupil as seen from the back. A unit-focusing macro lens that's f/2.8 when wide open will be at f/5.6 by the time the lens is at 1:1.

Similarly, a lens such as the 1200mm f/5.6L has the exit pupil way up inside the tube, and becomes partially occluded from the outer AF points.

There is a logic to how lenses wind up in different categories.

Lenses / Re: smashed 24-105 F4 L Lens front element
« on: August 15, 2012, 01:53:05 PM »
You were photographing the International Space Station with a 24-105L?  ???

I agree that you should send it to Canon. Their repairs are fast and reasonably priced.

Nope. Complete non-issue.

Black & White / Re: Atlanta Oakland Cemetery - Infrared B/W
« on: August 11, 2012, 08:46:18 PM »
They look nice! What filter do you have installed?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon 5D MK3 not as sensitive to reds?
« on: August 11, 2012, 11:35:17 AM »
Yes this one was AWB. You think the lights are affecting the reds?

I think the AWB is showing an overall cooler white balance than older Canons. Open the raw file in Lightroom or another raw converter and warm up the white balance, and you'll likely see the old look that you expect.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon 5D MK3 not as sensitive to reds?
« on: August 11, 2012, 02:37:34 AM »
Was this on Auto WB, by chance? The Mk III has a much more accurate Auto White Balance than previous Canons.

EOS Bodies / Re: Cool Stuff - PimpYourCam.com
« on: August 10, 2012, 09:52:05 PM »
I clicked on that "Configurator" link about 15 times before I figured out it was downloading a PDF -- in German.

Those designs are positively idiotic, and they all look the same. Why not at least do something interesting with this?

Lenses / Re: EF 20mm f1.8L VS. EF 14-24 f4L
« on: August 10, 2012, 12:48:15 AM »

14-24 f/4 makes no sense whatsoever.  UWA's distort people waaay too much for my taste, and in such an unflattering way. I'm seriously contemplating picking up an 8-15 fishy for UWA purposes instead of a 17-40 or 16-35.
Buying an 8-15mm fisheye in favor of less distortion over the 16-35 or 17-40 makes no sense whatsoever.  And UWA's only distort people if you allow them to.  Sure if you get a foot away from someone at 17mm they may be distorted, but if you're careful you can avoid it, it's all distance/positioning.  If you don't like what a 17-40/16-35mm does in terms of distorting proportions then you're going to absolutely hate the 8-15mm.

Actually, it makes perfect sense. He said "UWA's distort people way too much..." which is absolutely true. It is equally true that fisheye lenses do not distort people in that objectionable way that ultrawides do.

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