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Messages - tomscott

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376
Canon General / Re: Kiss of death . . .
« on: August 25, 2011, 06:04:47 AM »
I understand your dilemma. I too have a couple of pro bodies with a breadth of lenses but when im out and about and with family its nice to have a compact to shoot the snaps and chuck around and not be too careful with. I like the little indestructible compacts. They are cheap, waterproof, crush resistant, rugged the image quality may not be that great but for 6x4s up to an a4 print they are great. My little canon indestructible is a right mess but its been everywhere, used by kids, dropped, been in swimming pools the ocean, festivals, the bottom of bags. I love it.

I know this is just a consumer product, and the image quality isnt great but its a great solution for 98% of situations! especially great to take in water!

If you wanted to look at something else i suppose the mirror-less are an idea but as your on canon rumours and as canon doesn't have a mirror-less thats probs a no-no. I think the other poster is correct in the fact the low end DSLR has replaced the pro compact, cheap and pretty much endless choice of lenses. The only other option i can think of for you is a rangefinder, a leica?? or is that abit out of the budget!? ;)! haha would be nice tho!

Otherwise the 5D MkII and the 7D are round my neck. But with all the lenses it is a pain in the ass to carry around.. especially traveling. Maybe a twin lens DSLR set up may do you? but same old story still heavy and cant really chuck it around.

Tom scott

377
Ye true, tbf your probs better looking at a 66% crop its more realistic of the quality of your print. Mine are alittle soft because im using an older camera, trusty 40D waiting for a new 7D to get a decent upgrade.

378
I have a 70-200mm IS II and a 2x III quality takes a pretty large hit. Basically it looks like my picture came from a crop sensor instead of full frame. It's not very sharp. I don't own a 100-400 because I'm waiting for the replacement but everything I've seen says it is better at 400mm. However, it's far more convenient to carry a 70-200 with the extender than two large/heavy telephoto lenses.

It's fine if you don't pixel peep. if you do ... here is a 100 percent crop, you can see a specular highlight on the button with no color fringing, this is also through a chain link fence. Lighting was pretty harsh.

What F stop did you use here? looks like its quite open to me, especially in good light. Extenders work much better if you step it down.

379
I have the 70-200mm f2.8 non IS and the 2x extender mark II and yes it needs some sharpening but i think the quality for price/weight/handling is fantastic. Its not a perfect set up but i find very useable, most of my images go to press with no problems. The 100-400 is a great lens but i find that the 70-200mm with a 2x extender a better partnership, if you want 2.8 its there if you need more range wack the extender on, stop the lens down to F8 and its wonderful, its not too sharp at 5.6 but abit of post processing works wonders. Carrying both lenses around would be a pain in the ass in my opinion. I prefer the zoom ring on the 70-200mm rather than the push pull. Plus on a crop body the lens is a 640mm lens with the 2x extender and for that range with a small decrease in quality is worth it for me.

In a perfect world you would buy a 400mm 2.8 but they are heavy expensive and i find zooms are alot more useful when shooting for press. Also i have the Non IS and still have no problem with blur etc, its relying on skill not tech, IS is great but you pay a huge premium for it.

Tomscott

380
All digital images need post production. [...] All digital images need some sharpening to bring out their best, also levels adjustments and white balance.
Here is my situation where post production was not the answer:

Earlier today I shot into a hydrangea bloom with the TS-E 90mm f/2.8.  Since I have mostly given up using the tilt at the closest focus distance, I tried some different focus settings for sharpness and to have a good range to pick out later (much better than spending yet more time with Live View than necessary).

Some pictures showed the stigma (female parts, fluffy looking from a distance, spiky covering in macro) and others showed the stamens or anthers (male parts, clumpy, look like yellow caviar clumps), which was a slightly closer focus setting.  As it turned out, the best picture of the group was one in which the focus point was really set to neither, but somewhat inbetween, focused on a short section of petal with a water droplet on it.  The spiky parts of the stigma, while natural and correct, might not be pleasing to everybody as they resemble thorns.  On the other hand, focusing closer to get the anthers in focus would throw the focus too far off the stigma.  A bit like a human portrait where some softness can often be desired, and achieved by the lens itself.

Aside from some quibbles with my composition and focus selection, my main problem with the image is that I unthinkingly kept ISO at 400 - which is still pleasantly smooth but I had more than enough light for a ISO 100 or 200 setting (shutter speed at f/2.8 was over 1600th of a second).

The bottom line is that image composition succeeded or failed because of the background blur, the focus point selection, and not by the addition of artificial sharpening routines.  The relatively high ISO setting didn't appreciably damage it, and sharpening wouldn't have helped.

I will have to white balance the other pictures I took, for the most part, because I had the camera set to incandescent, instead of cloudy.  I set the WB in-camera correctly for the other shots.  All that remains for this photo is to simply run it through DPP.

TBH ISO 400 really shouldn't matter, most modern cameras exceed in quality up to about ISO 600 and are extremely useable. If you had shot at 1000+ then yes you may have had an issue. But 400 in my opinion is pretty average, 400 would be the average ISO you would use in film cameras if the day was overcast, so I would say that isnt an issue unless you are using a pre 20D camera like a 10D where your image quality will suffer through older technology. In fact ISO is so good these day that it is hard to tell the difference between 200 and 400 unless you zoom into 400%. Also if you shot raw and are using the a newest raw processing update like 6.4.1 (or anything in the CS5, lightroom 3 etc) the noise reducing tools are extremely powerful, when ever I use an ISO over 200 i usually add 5+ on the Luminance slider and it creates a fantastic effect. Not too much, but enough to sort out the minor problems. Obviously it works much better at high ISO's because like I said at 400 there shouldn't be a problem.

Also if you are shooting with a TS-E 90mm, at 1:1 or larger magnification you really need to be shooting at a smaller F stop, 2.8 is far too open at these distances you will be lucky if you got 3% of the image in focus, I would say the minimum F number I would use is F5.6 which will give a nicer effect and still keep a pleasing bokeh. you can get some nice effects with 2.8 if you are going to use the images to paint or other uses, but from a visual standpoint there isnt enough of the image in focus to keep the viewer interested in the image. A lot of people do this, there are hundreds of pics on the forums of bees (or other macro items) that there is only one leg in focus because the depth of field isnt large enough. It is extremely difficult at that magnification to get a full depth of field, even at F22. But just because a lens is a 2.8 doesnt mean it is technically right to use it wide open.

With macro photography you shouldn't use an overall sharpening technique. There is no point in sharpening areas which are out of focus (or bokeh) because it will degrade the image and add unnecessary noise. Your much better off using a selective sharpening technique using a mask to paint in your sharpening. This will not only excentuate the part of the image you want the viewer to concentrate on it will also add more depth and clarity and increase the overall visual effect.

There are a number of ways of doing this, A. within your Raw processing - using the mask slider (works ok but for better effects use a custom one. (Also sharpening should be added in the last stage of image processing)

B. In my opinion the best way to selectively sharpen. Use the high pass filter and paint it in manualy.

Open your image, then duplicate your image in the layers panel (copy), on the layer above your original (copy) go to filter - other - high pass. When the dialogue box comes up dial in a number that makes the image look embossed (dont worry about over doing it because you will reduce the overall effect later, in fact you should over-do so you have more control) then click ok. Next step is crucial, desaturate the image (because when you use a blend mode it will do some weird things with the colours left)

Now the image should look very grey, next thing to do is go to your layers panel and add a blend mode, soft light or overlay works best. I usually find overlay works best but depends on your image. Now you should see you image very bold and too sharp. Now comes the interesting bit. Go to the bottom of your layers panel and add a layer mask, nothing should happen because the mask is visible (white) to make it invisible and allow you to paint the effect into specific areas you must invert the mask. Make sure you have the mask selected on your copy layer and press image - adjustments - invert or Command I on a mac. Then the mask should turn black and the effect should disappear from your image.

Now we can paint the effect into the image. Select your brush tool and make sure the paint colours are set to the original black and white and the brush must be a soft edged brush. Select white as the foreground colour and use 100% opacity and fill. Then just paint over the areas of the image that need sharpening, if you paint an area that doesn't need sharpening (a mistake) you can switch your paint colour to black then paint over the mistake to paint away the effect.

When you have finished you will see that the areas are very sharp, too sharp. But because we have used the layers panel we can dial back the effect using the opacity slider in the layers panel, dial it back to what ever you feel, i usually find around 70% gives a good natural looking effect, and wallah a perfect selective sharpening effect which is editable by painting the effect in and out and changing the overall effect through the layer opacity slider.

Hope this helps.

381
EOS Bodies / Re: Buying a refurb 7D
« on: August 02, 2011, 11:10:12 AM »
In my opinion I dont think you need to worry about high shutter counts. Most refurbs are cameras people have bought, opened the box and didnt want so took back, had minor faults or bought the camera and returned it within the 28 days because the product didnt meet expectation.

Refurb units are usually like new, they go through a stringent evaluation, replacement, adjustment and cleaning process. This makes sure that all electronic parts are working correctly, and are within manufacturers tolerances. Basically just the same as if it were a new product. In fact you will find that a refurb unit will be better than a high production run camera, as only 1 in probably 1000 or even 10,000 are checked. Where as the refurb will be tested to the extreme and will be perfect without flaw within manufactures tolerances. (but the word refurb reduces its value second hand significantly).

It is highly unlikely that any refurb will have more than a couple of hundred shots (I would say that a couple of hundred is quite high) and seen as tho most shutters are good for 150,000 theres not much to worry about. Also your warranty is re-instated, so you have that safety net. I would be more worried about the condition of the body, scratches etc. But even scuffed bodies will be deemed unsaleable, so either replaced or written off. If there are scratches on the body they will be extremely minor, if you have used any of the semi or pro cameras they are really robust and quite hard to mark badly without an impact. If there were an impact they would be written off straight away.

In fact cameras are similar to cars... everyone wants a low milage car but if the car is old like 10 years and has less than 30k on the clock I would be worried. Equipment that is used a lot generally is more reliable, equipment that is used every once in a while is more likely to have faults. Obviously you get wear and tear, but I have a good example. Canon 10/20/30/40/50/300/350/400/450/500/550/600D's have a shutter button problem, when used contaminants get in (finger muck, greese, sweat, sand, water etc) but if used alot the button is depressed so many times it clears itself, the same happens if you dont use it as much but the contaminant sticks and doesn't move and builds with dust etc so when you come to use it the button is very unreliable. The contacts dont work properly leading to some risky home fixes or £200 from Canon.

This happened to me, I was shooting with two 40ds a few years ago one as a back up and one as my main camera. the one that i used commercially worked flawlessly for the 3 years I owned it with well over 150,000 actuations. The other back up, seized at 14000!!!. Same with vehicles again, anything rubber like seals belts, gasket seals go quicker if they are not used. Under maintenance they will not have been deemed replaceable through milage. So you buy a 10 year old porsche great buy give it some stick and its in the garage the week later... unless you know what you are looking for. Interesting to think about.

Tom scott

382
All digital images need post production. I have all my in camera settings set to 0 as i dont like the camera adding sharpness or contrast before I start my workflow.

All digital images need some sharpening to bring out their best, also levels adjustments and white balance. Just to get the image to a point that makes it useable. Also all images need some touching up, removing distracting elements, dust, distortion etc.

My workflow is ...
• Import files into Lightroom (as a library)
• Star rate and flag
• Make smart albums of my star ratings
• Then I work on these images with the above
• All my effects are produced through Photoshop, even if it is softening skin, I like to touch my photos in photoshop too   
   as Lightrooms tools drive me insane.
• Flatten the image and save it as a .tiff or .psd depending on the type of effects and whether I may want to edit the
   result in the future.
• That brings it back into Lightroom as a version and I export from there.

Depending on what I am shooting changes my workflow.

If i am shooting a wedding I will make a new Lightroom library and store it and a copy, generally on an external drive. Then I can take it with me and edit the pics on the fly, then when coming back to my main machine I just update the library with the changes. Make workflow very easy and convenient.

The faster you can determine the best workflow for you, the faster you can get on with sorting the bad from the good, finish editing and get back out with the camera. Because lets be honest everyone prefers being out with the camera than being in front of a machine editing.

For special images I may spend up to an hour, but only if I am bringing multiple images to create a perfect image. If I am happy with the original then 5 mins is all thats needed.

If you ask me, I preferred shooting in film for this reason. If you only have between 12-36 frames on a film, its stops you shooting the crap, and makes you look, and look again until the picture is perfect. As an exercise I like to go out with a tripod and a 100mb CF card and spend a whole day shooting. The satisfaction of those images at the end of the day is immense. It teaches you to look, slows down the process, making you be very specific and reduces the time you need to spend editing. Because at the end of the day looking and watching is key.

Henry Cartier Bresson said that he would be lucky if he had one perfect frame out of 36. If you are that critical with your own imagery you will find you will evolve as a photographer extremely quickly and will be shooting some incredible imagery. 

Tom Scott

383
Landscape / Re: Post Your Best Landscapes
« on: July 27, 2011, 04:23:22 PM »
Nice shot, I live in Penrith about 2 miles from here. The lakes were my inspiration to become a photographer. Although it is probably one of the most photographed landscape scenes in England you've added a nice new perspective here! nice

384
Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: EF 70-200 2.8L (old boy)
« on: June 13, 2011, 04:49:01 AM »

320si BTCC by tom_scott88, on Flickr

BMW 320SI at oulton Park BTCC 2010

385
Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: EF 70-200 2.8L (old boy)
« on: June 13, 2011, 04:45:57 AM »

Bat by tom_scott88, on Flickr

386
Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: EF 70-200 2.8L (old boy)
« on: June 13, 2011, 04:45:35 AM »

IMG_9407 by tom_scott88, on Flickr

Taken with some macro tubes on my 70-200mm 2.8

387
Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: EF 70-200 2.8L (old boy)
« on: June 13, 2011, 04:44:54 AM »

Tiger by tom_scott88, on Flickr

388
Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: EF 70-200 2.8L (old boy)
« on: June 13, 2011, 04:27:35 AM »
My favourite lens in the bag. People seem to think that unless they have IS these days that lenses are useless! Its a key skill to learn, how to keep yourself steady. Old school techniques are just as relevant now as they were before IS came along.

This lens is sharp, great range, speedy, great AF definitely deserves to be in the category "one of the best lenses ever made"

389
EOS Bodies / Re: The Future of the 1Ds & 5D Lines [CR2]
« on: June 02, 2011, 07:02:23 AM »
Lets be honest the question we need to ask is... where is the professional sector going? The professional sector has been struggling for years. With the event of everything turning digital it has made it even easier for people to get into the industry and be good at it. Also making it very hard for pros to make as much money. Look at other companies that are struggling in their professional line up:

Apple - Apple's success and saviour was its professional following, they have now pretty much deserted these customers with pro hardware and software that is taking 2-3+ years to replace/update infuriating customers (2-3 years is a long time in the computer world). Instead they are concentrating on their consumer products, macbook pros and imac outsell mac pros 1000:1 the market isnt as strong in this sector anymore so putting money into it isnt as worth it. Upgrading them every 6s months makes sense and costs alot less because of the volume sales.

The same can be said for most companies, there isnt enough innovation to create a very secure product range in the camera world. This has been extremely obvious by most pros leaving the 1D market and moving to the 5D or 7D. Nearly half the set up costs and these cameras more than produce adequate imagery for newspapers and magazines.

The 1Ds on paper doesn't offer a stupid amount more for its price tag compared to the 5D, £6000 compared to £1500 is a large amount for weather sealing and 45 AF points (as main selling points). Now in practise this is very different and these cameras feel and perform very differently and the 1Ds is a superb camera. But we are in the middle of recession and everyone wants to save money so in my opinion and obviously alot of others the switch was obvious!

What is the definitive factor that makes you buy the camera? It used to be a large factor between the amateur/semi/pro ranges but now they are tiny electronic factors that most people either um and arr about for ages untill the product is so old a new one is inevitable and the process starts again, the blog is filled with it! or people who arnt too bothered about it and will part with the cash. Most others will live without it and go with the cheaper option like we have seen apart from the die hard pros with the breed becoming thinner. The semi pro/pro line seems to be merging in every sense, the tech has got so good that people can do without the most expensive pro equipment because they offer very similar features.

People are complaining about the AF in the 5D yet alot of pros switched from the 1Ds, it must say something. Cost most probably and the fact the 5D will do! the extra £4500 goes along way! Canon will not put 45 in a 5D because that is the definitive feature that will finally kill the sales of the 1Ds range.

Now we see very similar features throughout the amateur/semi/pro ranges its hard to justify the cost. Now everyone has their needs but in the recession and if you could get by, by reducing your cost by 3/4s and you can still do the same job without all the bells and whistles people will.

Something big has to happen to jump start the pro scene, and at the moment in every sense it is dying because innovation is lagging. The other factor is how far can you go! what else can they pack into a DSLR? video is available from the £400 DSLRs all the way to £6000 the only difference is the quality, but higher up the quality is  less distinguishable.

Like in my previous posts I dont see the DSLR market to be the best market for video. There is only so much you can do. A new product range which is more ergonomic for the video user with fully fledged features based on the EF system would make more sense. I think the rumour about the 5D being split is ridiculous, but the more i think about it the more i feel that canon will go along this line but the rumour about it being split from the 5D to be slightly wrong not split but a new product range. Call it the 3D or what ever, it will use the same system but designed to incorporate all the essential equipment a videographer needs but also keep the small form factor of the DSLR.

A new homologation product.

390
EOS Bodies / Re: Very few EOS 1 bodies sold - wonder why!!
« on: June 02, 2011, 06:39:38 AM »
Lets be honest the question we need to ask is... where is the professional sector going? The professional sector has been struggling for years. With the event of everything turning digital it has made it even easier for people to get into the industry and be good at it. Also making it very hard for pros to make as much money. Look at other companies that are struggling in their professional line up:

Apple - Apple's success and saviour was its professional following, they have now pretty much deserted these customers with pro hardware and software that is taking 2-3+ years to replace/update infuriating customers (2-3 years is a long time in the computer world). Instead they are concentrating on their consumer products, macbook pros and imac outsell mac pros 1000:1 the market isnt as strong in this sector anymore so putting money into it isnt as worth it. Upgrading them every 6s months makes sense and costs alot less because of the volume sales.

The same can be said for most companies, there isnt enough innovation to create a very secure product range in the camera world. This has been extremely obvious by most pros leaving the 1D market and moving to the 5D or 7D. Nearly half the set up costs and these cameras more than produce adequate imagery for newspapers and magazines.

The 1Ds on paper doesn't offer a stupid amount more for its price tag compared to the 5D, £6000 compared to £1500 is a large amount for weather sealing and 45 AF points (as main selling points). Now in practise this is very different and these cameras feel and perform very differently and the 1Ds is a superb camera. But we are in the middle of recession and everyone wants to save money so in my opinion and obviously alot of others the switch was obvious!

What is the definitive factor that makes you buy the camera? It used to be a large factor between the amateur/semi/pro ranges but now they are tiny electronic factors that most people either um and arr about for ages untill the product is so old a new one is inevitable and the process starts again, the blog is filled with it! or people who arnt too bothered about it and will part with the cash. Most others will live without it and go with the cheaper option like we have seen apart from the die hard pros with the breed becoming thinner. The semi pro/pro line seems to be merging in every sense, the tech has got so good that people can do without the most expensive pro equipment because they offer very similar features.

People are complaining about the AF in the 5D yet alot of pros switched from the 1Ds, it must say something. Cost most probably and the fact the 5D will do! the extra £4500 goes along way! Canon will not put 45 in a 5D because that is the definitive feature that will finally kill the sales of the 1Ds range.

Now we see very similar features throughout the amateur/semi/pro ranges its hard to justify the cost. Now everyone has their needs but in the recession and if you could get by, by reducing your cost by 3/4s and you can still do the same job without all the bells and whistles people will.

Something big has to happen to jump start the pro scene, and at the moment in every sense it is dying because innovation is lagging. The other factor is how far can you go! what else can they pack into a DSLR? video is available from the £400 DSLRs all the way to £6000 the only difference is the quality, but higher up the quality is  less distinguishable.

Like in my previous posts I dont see the DSLR market to be the best market for video. There is only so much you can do. A new product range which is more ergonomic for the video user with fully fledged features based on the EF system would make more sense. I think the rumour about the 5D being split is ridiculous, but the more i think about it the more i feel that canon will go along this line but the rumour about it being split from the 5D to be slightly wrong not split but a new product range. Call it the 3D or what ever, it will use the same system but designed to incorporate all the essential equipment a videographer needs but also keep the small form factor of the DSLR.

A new homologation product.

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