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Topics - dlleno

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Photography Technique / show your ND / ND grad / big stopper photos
« on: May 13, 2014, 12:32:42 PM »
I'd like to see some waterscapes and landscapes using NDs, ND grads, and of course the big stopper.  I'm interested in seeing examples  where the ND route was used either instead of, or with HDR. 

Site Information / ad choices embedded in the forums
« on: January 14, 2014, 09:07:13 PM »
What controls the ads that appear in the forums? Im seeing some I would rather not see

Software & Accessories / how do you transfer your images?
« on: December 30, 2013, 09:59:16 AM »
especially for those who don't regularly download multiple cards -- do you prefer an external reader or directly from the camera and why?  either solution has pins that can fatigue from regular use. the camera's USB port appears much  more prone to this, imho, and the CF cards especially are pretty robust, mechanically. So for the external reader guy, you must either enjoy faster ingestion rates than the camera can support, or you believe removing the card from the camera is less prone to failure than plugging in the USB cord directly into the camera.

Lighting / anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« on: December 17, 2013, 10:47:30 AM »
Wanted to revive a discussion on flash brackets, especially those that:

1.  allow swift change (std CCW motion)  from landscape mode to portrait mode.  swift is important, as event work often requires one to change orientation very quickly. 

2.  keeps the flash centered above the lens in both orientations. 

3.  keeps the flash head in its original  horizontal position, without a separate motion to rotate it, so that its bounce card is still in the vertical orientation (to utilize ceiling bounce)

4.  mounts to an AS style L  plate, i.e. does not require its own threaded mount

I'm currently  using a Newton bracket which fulfills 1-3 above quite nicely.  Its compact, effective, and I absolutely love using it to eliminate  those horrible side shadows :-) .     The RRS B series bracket (but not their wedding bracket) appears to fulfill all of 1-4 above.  are there any others?  Specifically, Custom Brackets makes a compelling solution but does not meet (4) above.  Wimberly provides a solution as well, but does not meet (3) above

comments and corrections welcome

I'm charging one at a time with canon  charger but it sucks.   Too bad the ack-e6 doesn't double as a charger.   

Adorama has a "power up for free" promo going on for the 5D3 -- a grip and extra battery are included.  I find this to be one of the more useful bundles, in a world where most of the bundles contain useless stuff "valued at $xxxx"

but a free grip and extra battery;  now thats a bundle worth looking at.  I know nothing about the Adorama software bundle they are throwing in -- anyone?

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / mini review: Yongnuo 568EX
« on: April 03, 2013, 03:38:58 PM »
Hi all -- here is a description of my experience with the Yongnuo YN-568EX flash

PART 1 of 3. 

I’ve been investigating ways to improve my off-camera flash capability with additional shoe-mounted strobes to compliment my Canon 580EX ii.  Value is most important to me:  Canon’s new radio wireless system is outstanding, but that doesn’t mean the cost is justified, especially when less expensive alternatives are available to do the job that I need to do. 
To find the system with the right value proposition, I carefully outlined the most important needs including vendor choices, reliability etc, to see if these map to an available solution:  My primary requirements were:

•   ETTL
•   HSS
•   Master-slave ratios  and manual flash settings controlled via the on-camera menu
•   Optical slave, using my 580EX ii as the master
•   On-camera (single) backup for my 580 EX ii

My research led me to the Yongnuo YN-568EX, because the features and technical specs matched my needs well.  I purchased mine from ThePhotoGadget website  http://thephotogadget.com/en/content/yongnuo-yn568ex-high-speed-sync-flash-canon (more about that choice later). 

Test results
The YN-568EX has been well reviewed (see flashavoc.com and lightingrumors.com) so I’ll try not to repeat those results here:  My main area of interest was to evaluate the flash as a slave, for use inside an umbrella or softbox, so this was the starting point of my tests. 
The unit performed flawlessly in all the above-mentioned areas.  For example, the photo below shows my YN-568EX firing in optical slave mode, using ETTL metering, HSS and 8:1 ratio set via the camera menu.  Fantastic!   To obtain the photo below I mounted my 580EX ii master inside an Apollo Orb softbox at camera right.

Part 2 to come

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Chinese aftermarket guns
« on: January 29, 2013, 11:59:19 AM »
We're seeing a very interesting explosion of capable and affordable after market alternatives to the genuine article. Yonguo, phottix, oloong, and triopo come to mind, all in fierce competition with each other -- all are playing leap frog as regards feature sets. Phottix is combining Nikon and Canon capabilities in one unit, I presume to cut mfg cost.  The more Canon-oriented Yonguo just announced an on-board radio receiver/trigger in their very affordable (560 iii) manual gun.  Oloong is said to be producing a full-featured flagship clone this year, and triopo just announced another HSS gun competing directly with Yonguo's newest 568 HSS capable gun. 

With the chinese guns, speedliters  can affordably  fill an apollo orb or a parabolic umbrealla, for example, with three or even six ETTL/HSS guns without breaking the bank.    Yonguo in particular has an aparently large market share and reasonable reputation for acceptable reliability, from what I can tell.  Their "flagship" HSS/ETTL capable gun is presently $170.

Yonguo appears to be the chinese gun of choice for canon users, or at least they are the emerging darling.   with such fierce competition it wouldn't surprise me if they produce a 568 mark ii soon, by adding the radio recever of their model 560 iii.  Its an interesting show to watch, with HSS, ETTL, and integrated radio trigger capabilities appearing in the after market.  And with Canon themselves asserting true radio control with their new flagship system, the days of Pocket Wizards or other expensive radio ad-ons (for speedlites), appear to be numbered.

Frankly I'm tempted not to invest any further in the Canon guns, but just keep my 580ex ii and invest in a bunch of Yonguo guns and tranceivers.  The capability you get per dollar is astonishing, and the affordable reduncancy mitigates the reliability risk.      Sadly I expect Canon's next move will be some sort of digital key authorization mechanism  to lock down the hot-shoe ETTL and HSS communications, preventing the chinese from reverse-engineering their stuff and selling  at 1/4 the cost.   

EOS Bodies / review the 5D3 reviews
« on: August 20, 2012, 11:56:51 AM »
sorry if this has already been hashed -- feel free to point to those threads.  Whats your vote for the most objective and useful 5D3 review, and which reviews do you find less useful than others? 

For example, in reading the dpreview piece, I came away wondering why the in-camera jpg conversion was given so much attention as a negative, or "con".  Generally I wouldn't expect users of a $3500 camera body to depend that much on in-camera jpg conversion, but maybe its just me --  it doesn't seem all that critical to me:  Interesting and important to know, to be sure, but just not critical. 

 I used to shoot raw+jpg, using the jpgs as proofs and to help me identify the keepers  but then I discovered the CR2 conversion plug-in for Windows Photo Viewer and now I don't depend on my camera to produce jpgs at all. 

EOS Bodies / disruptive technology and the 5D3
« on: July 20, 2012, 05:54:04 PM »
Those following the Canon sensor technology, esp. the market disruption caused by the D800, will find this comment from the-digital-picture.com rather interesting:

Canon didn’t release any disruptive technology in this case.
   ..... (of the 5D3)

which raises the question:  to stay competitive, does Canon need to turn heads and release disruptive sensor technology - something that drops jaws?  the t4i sensor isn't disruptive and neither is the 5D3

Even the 1DX sensor does not strike me as disruptive, from the comments and reviews anyway.  the camera appears to be a highly optimized implementation of incremental changes to a mature technology, very well executed, the best Canon has ever offered and capable of outstanding performance,  to be sure,  but not disruptive in the case of the sensor itself.  is the 1DX sensor disruptive?  1DX owners please tell us.

 the problem for Canon (well for anyone looking to Canon for "disruptive" sensor technology") is that having just asserted the flagship $6K body would they then, early in the 1DX life, introduce a FF body containing a disruptively better sensor with better DR and/or RAW noise performance ? Time will tell if Canon takes any cues from Nikon in that regard.

 One approach would be to introduce a disruptive capability set in a crop sensor.  Its hard for me to imagine an entry level FF or even a 5D4, eclipsing the 1DX in IQ -- even if it had inferior feature set.  Perhaps, however Canon could introduce a disruptively better crop sensor.  With the IQ potential masked by the high pixel density, I wonder if the next generation of higher-end crop bodies might begin to approach 5D2 IQ levels, perhaps. 

EOS Bodies / I still don't get the crop debate
« on: April 11, 2012, 02:40:21 PM »
ok, yes I get that in today's market, the crop sensors are less expensive, and that it is cheaper to produce many, smaller sensors (more revenue from the same silicon substrate).  for that reason I don't see the crops going away soon. 

but the advantages of the smaller sensors (reach) are (currently at least) overshadowed by the consequences of pixel density  -- large sensors put more pixels on the image with lower pixel density, which is why the IQ is higher.  captain obvious at your service :-)

1d4 is a good example, of "best of both worlds".  but why constrain the camera's capabilities to the geometric size of the silicon under the mirror?  I see no technical reason (yet I do see a market reason) why a full frame sensor could not be asked to behave like any of the other crop sensors, 1.3 or 1.6, and still produce images just as good if not better as the native crop technologies they would mimic -- after all, the trade-offs of pixel density, noise, and pixel count are the same no matter what the substrate size is.

so -- other than to drive the consumer and prosumer  crop markets, and perhaps experiment there with high pixel densities,  there's no reason why the best FF sensor could not produce the same IQ and reach combination as the best crop sensor -- by simply cropping the FF image "in camera" -- or even out of camera, for that matter.

am I out in the weeds?  Why arn't the Canon pro bodies available with selectable crop configurations?  or maybe the 1dx will do that and I'm behind the times :-). 

the only reason I can think of NOT to do that, would be that the higher pixel density would compromise high ISO work and would come up just short of matching the abilities of a good crop sensor.  case in point:  cropped 5D3 images are very close to the same resolution as native 7D images at the same FOV.  but it seems Canon could solve this problem with a sensor that would, for example, apply a lower pixel density when needed, and a higher pixel density when required.  yea, more like the D800 only do it better. 

Site Information / does this forum notify via email?
« on: April 04, 2012, 07:28:10 PM »
Just curious, as I haven't seen any emails from the forum, and didn't see the profile to turn on instant email notification. 

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