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Messages - sootzzs

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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!!   

Lenses / Shooting low light event with 50 1.8II or 15-85
« on: September 11, 2012, 04:43:30 PM »

I am a bit baffled here. I own 60D with 50 1.8II and recently purchased EF-S 15-85. Also just got the Yongnuo 468II flash (no experience with it yet). Shooting at low light (tungsten, no flash) I've noticed that to get reasonable IQ I had to stop the 50mm to F/2 or even 2.8; While my 15-85 is 3.5-5.6 (3.5 only at 15mm if I remember right), it has an image stabilization which supposed to give me about three full stops more. So, while shooting at maximum F/5.6 with 15-85 IS on, it equals to F/2 if I use my 50mm (right?) and even faster with larger F-stops. Well...why do I need my 50 1.8 then when I can get the same images (or better) and use a zoom??? Ain't it supposed to be a low light lens?? Do I miss something here?

I ask this because I have to shoot low light event this Saturday (Flamenco dance). It will be a small event in a small, packed, dimly lit room. The stage will probably have some lighting from above but I doubt it will be enough. I will be close (very) to the stage and probably won't be able to use my newly purchased flash. I have a nice ball-head tripod (Sirui) but from my few recent experiences, it doesn't help a lot when the person you trying to shoot moving around. Having the (not so stellar) tools I have, how could I maximize the good/bad picture ratio (ISO, lens, tripod: yes or no)? Which lens is better to use with the flash (if I'd have the possibility)?   

Sorry for the multiple questions. I've tried to shoot few low light events recently for my friends and was really disappointed with my results. This one is really important for me, don't want to @#@# it up again :).

As always, thank you for your time and advice!


Macro / Re: Couple of nice damselfly's
« on: August 13, 2012, 05:19:31 PM »
Thank You! It is one of my favorites, especially taken with such a simple lens.

Unfortunately I'm not an expert on GIMP (or Photoshop in that matter). I know what you are talking about because it happened to me also while I have opened the Tiff from Lightroom in GIMP (don't remember the exat message). I think GIMP (in my case at least) just couldn't read the 16bit  encoded image and converted it to 8 bit. I didn't seen any noticeable downgrade in image quality though and after I've finished to edit it I just exported it as JPEG. I use 32bit Windows7, but not sure this limitation comes from that or from some other reason.

But again, I am far from understand anything on this issue and would appreciate if some one more knowledgeable could share his insights with both of us.   

One more. Taken with EF-S 55-250 and edited in GIMP 2.8 and Lightroom 4.1 desaturate.

I was going to try to play a bit with GIMP, but first time I imported in, it said it was downconverting my image....can't remember the exact message, but I was shocked that GIMP seemingly couldn't handle my image at high resolution.

You're pic looks great..wondering if you found a way to bypass this downgrade GIMP seems to want to do at times...or if not.
What did you import into GIMP with as far as format, 64/32 bit....etc....

Thanks in advance,


Macro / Re: Couple of nice damselfly's
« on: August 13, 2012, 10:18:48 AM »
One more. Taken with EF-S 55-250 and edited in GIMP 2.8 and Lightroom 4.1 desaturate.

Lenses / Re: Advice before buying used 15-85 EF-S
« on: July 29, 2012, 09:05:14 AM »
Thanks guys for your very insightful feedback! Really appreciated!

I've decided to pay the extra 165$ and get a new one as I reasoned that I will probably use this lens for at least next 3 years and prefer it new.

I did order one from a local retailer. The thing is they told me that the cheaper price is because it dismantled from a 7D kit. Can that somehow affect the quality of the lens?? How should I check the lens when it will arrive? 

Lenses / Re: Advice before buying used 15-85 EF-S
« on: July 26, 2012, 10:58:29 AM »
I've had this lens for almost three years. It is my standard, walk around lens on a 7D. Robust build, very sharp. There is no real comparison between this lens and the cheap kit lenses. The extra 2-3mm at the wide angle are very significant. If it were a constant f 4 it would be the perfect lens, but even with the variable aperture, it's quite good.

Only question I have is the price. I'm not a big fan of used lenses, but that's just me. I'd rather pay a slight premium for the warranty and security. (Actually my preferred option is to buy from the Canon refurbished store, but that's probably not an option for you) For U.S. the price seems a bit high for a used lens, but it may be reasonable in your market.

Well, new gray market one costs here (Israel) 790$. I saw it for 699$ on B&H. But the shipping and taxes will even the prices, so it is not worth it.

Lenses / Re: Advice before buying used 15-85 EF-S
« on: July 26, 2012, 10:54:31 AM »
1. Best lens I ever used for general wide to short tele.  I've had many others bought and sold incl 18-55 IS, 17-895 USM, sigma 17-70 etc   I had rented the 15-85 and the 24-105 L together, took a lot of shots, could barely tell the difference in IQ, so I got the 15-85 to save a few $$ and I wanted the shorter end of the zoom.

Very good build for a non-L,  despite reviews I have seen no CA, yes, some vignetting which is automatically removed in processing, very sharp, etc etc

It's not my money, but I would fork over a few extra bucks if you can to get a new one rather than a used one.
I know it's a lot, but today, lenses are not just glass , they have moving parts(IS, AF) etc.  I would only buy a used lens from a reputable dealer who tests and checks out lenses.  Not that an individual seller would be out to stick you w/a lemon, it's just that he/she might not be aware of the true condition of the lens.

good luck

Yeah, that is how I feel about used electronics in general. But a new one is a gray market lens with only one year warranty anyway. Did you own the Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC HSM OS macro??? How was it compared to 15-85?

Lenses / Re: Advice before buying used 15-85 EF-S
« on: July 26, 2012, 06:59:42 AM »
You only started for 4 months and you are now buying new lenses... that's quick to get on the gear head wagon LOL

IMO the 15-85 is too slow, f4~f5.6, you basically lives with a flash unless in sunny outdoor.

Go get a 1.4 normal prime! When I started with 50D+18-200, the first lens I bought was a Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC. It's pretty darn good. I didn't know what was corner sharpness and literal CA by that time so those flaws didn't bother me at all (Now you know! Ha!). It gives you a ~50mm normal angle on 1.6x Crop which is very good starting point.

Yep :). I took a lot of pictures in these 4 months. Experience is the best teacher in the world as it turned out.
I think that I'll stick with my 50 1.8II for fast prime for now.
I stumbled on "Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC HSM OS macro" while doing some research. The range is not of 15-85 but it seems considerably faster at 2.8-4, and provides some "semi macro" (1:2.7) which I like a lot. It also cost 450$ new!

Anyone have had any experience with it? How would you rate it next to canon 15-85? New Sigma or used Canon? hmmmm..........

Lenses / Re: Advice before buying used 15-85 EF-S
« on: July 25, 2012, 11:29:24 AM »
I believe you should just save that extra little $$$ and get the 17-55mm 2.8 IS. Its well worth it and wont disappoint. You lose little $$$ over depreciation with good glass.

Patience is a virtue, and Impatience is an expensive commodity.

Thank you for you advice guys.  I know that 17-55 is THE EF-S lens, but I prefer the range of 15-85. It also costs much less.

My main concern is that the USM motor (which I think is the most vulnerable part of the lens) of 1.5 year used lens, well, could stop working 1.5 years earlier than of a new one and will cost me at least (if not more) the same 165$ to fix it. Can anyone predict the average lifetime of it? How durable are these things?


Lenses / Advice before buying used 15-85 EF-S
« on: July 25, 2012, 07:37:53 AM »

I'm new to DSLR (about 4 months), using 60D, 18-55IS, 50 1.8, 55-250IS. When I bought the camera paying 700-800$ for lens seemed crazy for me (yep, I was young and innocent :) ) so I preferred to start with the much cheaper 18-55 and "upgrade in the future".
Well, the future arrived faster than I thought and I feel 18-55 is not enough any more and I'm stuck with it. I'm thinking to upgrade to 15-85 ( I don't have money for L glass). I've got an offer of 625$ for 1.5 years used 15-85 with original hood, supposed to be in like new shape. New one costs here 790$ w/o the hood and has 1 year warranty.

I'm not fond of buying used things in general but I understand that with lenses it not always a bad idea. I would like to ask an advice from people that have this lens:
Do you think 165$ worth the 1.5 year use (it's from an amateur) or should I buy a new one? How does 15-85 cope with time and use? Or maybe I should buy a new 17-85 for 620$????

As always, Thank You for your help and advice!!! 


Black & White / Re: black and white with the use of selective colors
« on: July 08, 2012, 06:04:45 PM »
Hi there! This is my contribution. Done using Lightroom color editing.
60D,18-55 IS II @ 55mm, ISO 800, F-5.6, 1/100.

Software & Accessories / Re: Benro A-550 EX BH-1 tripod recomendation
« on: April 09, 2012, 07:54:11 AM »
Thanks guys!

Just stumbled upon a brand called Sirui: . A bit more expensive but seems more solid and with a better head. Any ideas about this one?

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