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Messages - sootzzs

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Lenses / Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« on: January 17, 2013, 06:11:43 AM »
Wanted to say I made it back last week from three great weeks traveling through the Middle East. Thanks, everyone, for all your suggestions.
I wound up taking nearly 9000 photos, and, yes, I really carried my full pack with me almost all the time. About the only time I didn't was in the tight confines of tunnels under some of the pyramids, though even there I carried two bodies with zooms, one wide and one long.
I'll admit, a few times I ached at the end of the day, but I'm not sure I would have done it any differently. I wound up using just about every piece of gear I'd brought along, the only exception being the 7D I'd carried as backup in case one my bodies failed.
By the way, that 1DX totally rocks; it's just amazing the quality of images I was able to get in almost no light.

I'm still recovering from jet lag, but I'll post pictures in the coming days.

Good to hear you've had fun and listened to yourself eventually. I've sent you a PM. Would be glad to hear from you.

Lenses / Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« on: December 13, 2012, 10:09:43 AM »

Roman, thanks so much for your helpful insights. If I ever get to Haifa, I'll see you get that photo lesson.

No problem. Hope I helped a bit.
Have a nice trip...and share photos of course!
Shalom. :)

Lenses / Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« on: December 11, 2012, 06:39:30 PM »
Roman (sootzzs), I promised you my itinerary.
It appears I'll be in Israel for a total of seven, almost eight, days. I know I'll only get a small taste of your country, but hopefully I'll see enough to leave with many fond memories.
Arriving from Jordan, I cross the river and head to Tel Aviv, where I spend the first night. The next morning, I follow the Mediterranean coast north to Caesarea, where I'll see the Amphitheatre and Aqueduct. From there, I travel to Megiddo, on to Nazareth, then staying two evenings along the Sea of Galilee. I visit Dan and Capernaum, as well as a kibbutz (also in the north), then a day cruise on Galilee. I spend a day following the Jordan River down to the Dead Sea. A night there, before visiting Masada, then take in Qumran Caves. The next four days will be based in Jerusalem.
I don't know much time, if at all, I'll be in Haifa. One of the things I would most like to see would be sailing, especially small boat racing, on the Mediterranean. 

OK. I'll be short as it get late here and I'm a bit tired. If you need more info on particular places please feel free to ask.

First of all: Please ignore people suggesting you Glocks, Bazookas or pocket Shermans with you. It is quiet and safe here (right now at least :) ). 

Tel Aviv: THE busiest, 24/7 city of Israel. Night life, nice beach and promenade. You should visit Jaffa if you'll have time. It has some ancient architecture and good restaurants. It is 5 min by cab from the hotels on the beach.

Caesaria: Beautiful ancient Roman city there. Quite conserved if I remeber correctly. Hadn't been there in long time unfortunatelly, so can't help you to much. I guess wide angle is must there. It can also get quite dusty (or sandy) there if it is windy, so keep your equipment safe. Ofcourse there is always salty sea spray in he air near the water. I guess you could take some great sunset shots there.

Megido is an ancient barrow 5 minutes from the city I lived most of my life (Afula). Nothing to spectacular to see, but very interesting history. It is the Armageddon though :) (Mountain of Megido in hebrew), as unspectacullar as it may seem at first.

Nazareth: A bit simillar to Old Jerusalem, just less crazy. Nice marketplace (don't let them rip you off, argue to the lowest price you believe is fair. It is accustomed there). 

Sea of Galilee: Not sure what you have to do there for two days  (maybe just relaxing). You could get to Golan Heights and do some very nice day trekk in Yehudia reserve or go and shoot Vultures in Gamla reserve (been there last week, realy nice place).

Dead Sea and Massada are faulous places for some desert fotography. Most people come to Massada before sunrise and then take picture at the dawn towards the Dead sea. Caution: The water of the Dead sea is extremely saturated with salt. I would be very careful even with your 1DX. Though you could make nice closeups of the salt crystals.

Qumran: I am ashamed to tell that I've never been there (yet) :). So you will tell me how it was.

Jerusalem: Well, The Holy city. The temples and markets tend to be dark inside (lit mostly by candle light, temples that is) so fast and wide lens could be really great. Take care of your equipment there. It could get really crowded on those narrow streets.

Not sure about boat racing. Never heard about it in Israel. Maybe in Tel Aviv or Caesaria marinas.

Hmm...Can't think of anything else right now. Maybe if you'll end eventually in Haifa (we have sea, prehistoric man cave, extreamely beautiful Bahai Temple and gardens and bunch of other things :) ), you could talk to me and I'll show you around (for a free photography lesson that is :)).

That's it. Feel free to ask more, and I hope you'll enjoy your trip.


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 Keh.com. They have very good deals on vintage lenses from.   

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