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Messages - sootzzs

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Lenses / Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« on: December 10, 2012, 08:23:01 AM »
To sootzzs, thanks for your most helpful offer. I'll try to get back to you in the next day with my itinerary. If not, please remind me.

No problem. Though the the only real advice I could give is just  describing the places you are going to visit and let you decide yourself what is the most appropriate equipment for best picture. I'm just a newbie in this game of photography, you're probably not.
I do agree with others that a tripod could serve you well (can you imagine shooting the Pyramids at sunset or dawn) and so is a wide fast prime in the temples and streets of ancient Jerusalem (35 or 24?? don't know, I would have the wider one I guess).

Israel, Jordan and Egypt are sunny most of the year (the north of Israel is a bit more prone to rain from December till April, but usually there could be weeks without rain. Water shortage is a big problem). Mr. Topol gave you some great advice about places worth visiting in Israel. I am from Haifa (north of Israel). 
If you have other questions about the surroundings you're going to visit, please feel free to ask.


Lenses / Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« on: December 09, 2012, 06:21:26 AM »
machine gun and bullet-proof vest ?

I am from Israel and trust me most of the times it is safer here than in the streets of most major cities on the world. Right now it is, at least. Jordan also considered quite safe right now. Egypt...well you see the news, a bit less stable and predictable.

Anyhow, if you tell me what parts and places in Israel you plan to visit, I could maybe help you more. From my very unprofessional point of view you seem to be more than ready (though flash and/or fast lens could always find their uses in the dark narrow streets of Old Jerusalem or inside some ancient temple).   

Contests / Re: Gura Gear Giveaway!
« on: December 07, 2012, 07:31:15 AM »
Anybody here who doesn't REALLY want to win :)? Yeah, me too.

Canon General / Re: Photography websites. Where are you posting?
« on: November 17, 2012, 05:28:25 PM »
I was actually thinking of asking the same question but as a  complete beginner who just looks to get constructive critique. Facebook is not exactly that. Not for me at least. Flickr???

Your photos are amazing btw. Your choices of light and exposure are aspiring for me. And the models are not that bad also :).


Animal Kingdom / Re: Birds in the back yard.
« on: October 23, 2012, 10:01:43 AM »
Wow! InterMurph nice shots. Which equipment did you use to take them?

I had tha same dilemma as you are when I bought my 60D. I've finished buying 18-55 IS + 55-250. I've changed my 18-55 to 15-85 (much more expensive lens) after 4 months. Not because the image quality was that bad but mostly of it's slow AF (15-85 is USM, much faster) and the extra range on both ends it gave me. The 55-250 in my opinion is an amazing lens for it's price. Though I use it much less since I have the 15-85, I still enjoy it a lot when I need sharp photos with great colors from long distance (on crop like 650D it will be 88-400mm). It is also great for portrets when you take them from a bit further away, gives very nice bokeh. 

Animal Kingdom / Re: Birds in the back yard.
« on: October 20, 2012, 06:43:37 AM »
Great. Like how the grey pigeon accentuated by the pinkish background.
One of mine below. Taken with the 55-250 EFs from not more than 1.5 meters. Really great lens for its price.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Feeding Time
« on: October 20, 2012, 06:34:48 AM »
Nice shot. Thanks for sharing!

Lenses / Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« on: October 18, 2012, 08:40:37 PM »
Thanks guys!

Got the 55 f/2 and 135 f/3/5 Super-Tacs. Will add pictures and opinions as soon as I'll have them in my hands and play around a bit.

Lenses / Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« on: October 08, 2012, 09:52:13 AM »
Thanks for your attention. The reason I've started this post is because I believe I am not the only "serious amateur" or whatever you call us, that can't afford the really high end equipment but really want to expand his knowledge. So old glass seemed to be the most reasonable choice for me (while understanding it limitations of course).

symar22: The problem with FD/FL lenses (as preppyak mentioned) that they are the ONLY lenses (I believe) that need optical element to correct the light path on EOS. The other just can be mounted using simple hollow adapter (correct me if I am wrong).

dr croubie: Thanks! Great suggestions. I'll see what eBay has to offer on them (the macros especially).

Do you think that 135mm Takumar could be used as Macro with extension rings? it seem like a very nice lens for the price.


Lenses / Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« on: October 07, 2012, 09:59:56 AM »
Hi all,

In another post here someone asked about getting set of good, cheap old primes. This gave me an idea: I'm not a pro and can't afford  lots of even non-L specialized lens, but I'd like to learn about different styles of photography (Macro, portraits, wildlife, low light and flash photography and even a bit of manual focusing...). So I thought: "why not to try old primes (whatever brand with adapter for EOS and probably manual focus and aperture)". They are much cheaper (not all) and many still hold great IQ on DSLR's.

Any ideas on which old primes set could fit me (I'm mostly interested in a good macro lens, even if it needs extension tube, Industar 50mm as an example,  a long telephoto 400-600mm and low light wide prime).

From what I've read in other places and seen available on eBay I'm thinking of the next lenses:
* Macro: Canon 100mm f/4 FD, OLYMPUS  ZUIKO MC 50mm F/3.5, any of the 135mm (pentax, soligor...) or as mentioned Industar 50mm pancake on extension tube.   
* Telephoto: no idea actually but I saw quite cheap Paragon 500mm, Kalimar, Five Star etc... . Guess for the price they're offered the IQ is not exactly stellar.
* low light wide angle: Paragon 35 f/2.8, Mamiya/Secor 35mm f/1.4, SMC Takumar 35 f/2.

I've already bought the Super-Takumar 55 f/2 as a portrait lens and just to try manual focus. Didn't received it yet though, so don't know how it will work out.

I use 60D, by the way.

Thanks for you attention!   

Lenses / Re: Vintage Lenses: Any Advise?
« on: September 29, 2012, 09:11:31 AM »
How about a set of Samyang primes.

Not vintage, but they are inexpensive, high performance, and manual aperture+focus.  They come with an EF mount so no need to mess with adapters.

Depends on how you look at it: compared to 50-150$ vintage lens 399-599$ Samyangs are expensive.

Sorry to interfere your post, Alibi86, but on the same issue: I'm looking for nice cheap (no more than 150$) old MF lens for macro (like the Nikon 105 f4 Micro). Any ideas on that? Is it a viable idea?

Also you should check They have very good deals on vintage lenses from.   

Lenses / Re: Shooting low light event with 50 1.8II or 15-85
« on: September 14, 2012, 12:03:55 PM »
Thanks robby and bvukich. I will try manual and 50mm prime, though I'll miss the 15-85 versatility. I will post some photos for your judgement and critique as it will help me understand my bads and my goods.

Lastly I would like to seek advice on which focusing and metering modes to use. I've seen a tutorial advising to use the AI Servo as it re-focuses during subject motion. Also should I use spot metering when I shoot single dancer and evaluative when shooting a group?   

Lenses / Re: Shooting low light event with 50 1.8II or 15-85
« on: September 13, 2012, 03:33:54 PM »
One thing, don't be afraid to push your ISO.  Sometimes, it's better to have grainy shots than have no shots at all.  You can also explore the world of B&W.  High ISO shots are more forgiving with B&W or Sepia.  The grain also gives the perfect "old" effect to your pictures.  Don't be limited by your camera.  +1 to a previous poster for creativity.  Saying that, use 50mm 1.8 if you can't or don't want to use flash or the focal length is just enough or use the 15-85 for those wide angle shots.  You have 2 great lenses and 1 great camera with you.  Just shoot. :)

+1 on the ISO point. My live music photography was really limited when I first started out becuase I was afraid of anything over 800. I too own the 60D and I'll happily take my ISO up to around 2000 before I start getting worried about shots being unusable. I always think a sharp grainy shot is better than an unusable blurry shot especially if you convert to black and white.

The other thing you could try is you're using your flash is slow sync. I normally set my flash to 2nd curtain so it flashes at the end of the exposure and my shutter speed to about 1/6 or slower. Takes a bit of trial and error but you can get some really interesting looking shots!

I will push the ISO. Actually even 3200 looks not so bad after some LR retouching.

Thanks for your replies guys, really helped.

Lenses / Re: Shooting low light event with 50 1.8II or 15-85
« on: September 12, 2012, 04:29:13 AM »
Thanks for the replies, guys. Yes I am new to this and still learn the basics.

Evie: As "a pretty new to photography" you seem to know what you're talking about :). Thanks. Unfortunately I can't rent the 24 f/1.4.

robby: can you please elaborate more why manual could produce better shots than lets say Av at 1.8?

Charlie: Yep. Totally agreed. "In those days" I was still wetting my pants :). I will try to get the best out of your advice for now and for the future to come. Thanks!!   

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