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Messages - drummstikk

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Lenses / Re: Patent: Canon 17-40 f/2.8-4L
« on: March 07, 2012, 12:48:39 AM »
I suggest learning to read an MFT chart as the first step,

I suggest learning how to spell *MTF* chart as a first step. . .

Lenses / Re: what is the most contrasty lens you have used????
« on: February 23, 2012, 10:29:54 AM »
Nikkor 105mm f/2.5.

WHOA!! Who threw that?!?!?!?

Lenses / Re: Canon 135mm f2 mk2?
« on: February 22, 2012, 04:44:48 PM »
This is my blanket reply to anyone considering "buy now or wait" with any lens.

There is no money upside to waiting for the new version of a lens. Canon seems to have fully embraced the notion of jacking the price of a lens way up when it gets updated, so your older version will most likely hold it's value or maybe even increase should you decide to sell.

Furthermore, having owned or rented pretty much all the "L" telephotos at one time or another, there is not a single one that is anything short of "awesome." There's only an infinitesimal amount of additional awesome that could possibly be packed in to these lenses, so it's not as if you will be left driving a Yugo while others are getting Ferraris.

I'd say only hold out for the refresh if you have that kind of "lens asperger's" that causes you to *freak out* if you're not *always* using the latest thing (and have the bank account to support that habit).

The 135mm 2.0 is right at the top of my list of "jump on it if a good used one shows up at the local emporium." The last few to come through were all beat up and near to death, which tells you three things: 1) People use this lens. 2) People love this lens. 3) People don't let this lens go until it's used up. (Good copies do show up on eBay, but I like to get my hands directly on a lens before I buy.)

Lenses / Re: Canon 200-400mm f4 lens - worth waiting for?
« on: February 22, 2012, 09:12:40 AM »
From what I've seen out of the N***n 200-400, it's pretty awesome. I wonder how many pro N***n shooters use this lens? Can anyone shed any light on that?

Another freelance Nikon Shooter in my area owns a 200mm 2.0, 300mm 2.8 and 400mm 2.8, as well as a 200mm-400mm 4.0. He seems to use the 200mm-400mm quite a bit and does not seem like the type to compromise on image quality. It's quite safe to presume it's an awesome lens. It's not the most common lens I see in the field, though.

Among both Canon and Nikon shooters, I'm really surprised how often I see the 400mm 2.8. I'd love one, but get along fine without one and would almost certainly get a 300mm 2.8 first if I had a pillow case full of cash.

Part of my strategy in buying my set of Alienbee/White Lightning monolights was that I could spend around $2700.00 on the 5 lights, reflectors and radios and make the need for a 300mm 2.8 and 400mm 2.8 a lot less compelling. I get away quite well with the much-less-pricey 300mm 4.0 and 400mm 5.6, plus the lights make the color and action stopping better and post production easier. The biggest thing in this economy is that I'm servicing around $15000 less debt than I would be if I'd gone for the "big 2.8's." But of all the present and foreseeable-future "white L's," the 200-400 looks like the one I'd be most likely to consider as my next purchase.

Realistically, how many shoot with multiple flashes using ETTL?

Many who have mastered the world of multiple lights have done so using them all in manual mode.

Thanks for allowing me to not be the only curmudgeon in the room.

Agree 100% - For multi-light work, I use Vivitar 283's when I need to be quick, and White Lighting/AlienBee units when I need power. Either way, I can just tell these units what I want and I get it. With Canon or Metz units I've tried, I feel like I'm tricking the flash into giving me what I want. Plus, the amount of money I have in 5 283's is about half what single Canon 580Whatever costs.

I am impressed with consistent results in outdoor fill flash with a Canon TTL flash in a single light on-camera or near camera situation, but I don't want or need a radio for that. The Plus III will get a good hard look from me. I've only skimmed the literature, but I assume that since they called it "Plus III" and not "Max II" that it lacks the most sophisticated features of the Multi-Max (delay triggering to sync multiple remote cameras with a single set of lights, "simulated second curtain", etc.), but the compactness and more than 4 channels, plus the price being cut in half, makes it a giant leap ahead of the Plus II.

Lenses / Re: 85mm f1.2 II or 70-200mm f2.8L IS II
« on: February 17, 2012, 09:28:25 AM »
Nobody can tell you what to do since only you know where your passion lies in terms of subject matter and how you render it (i.e., with paper thin DOF), but if this is your third lens . . . ?

For my part, the novelty of f/1.2 can only last so long. I use my 70-200 every single day I take pictures, but can completely get my fill of the 85mm f/1.2 with one or two rentals per year. When I think extreme shallow DOF will enhance the look of a certain job, I rent a 1.2 and try to come up with a few other "self-assignments" to explore its possibilities in other ways. By the time it's due back to the dealer, I'm never really that sorry to see it go.

Lenses / Re: Pricing of the New Lenses
« on: February 08, 2012, 09:20:50 AM »
If everyone in the world refuses to buy this lens, boycot canon, lets see who's more cocky at the end of the day.

Ummm. . .My money is on Canon to be more cocky at the end of the day. They think they can get away with it because they can.

You won't buy one because you're ticked off about the price. I won't buy one because it's just not a compelling zoom range for the kind of work I do. But there will never be a boycott of this lens. Uptake may be slow at first because of the price, but loads of people all over the world will buy one, whether it's because it's the newest shiny object in their field of view or because it's a bread-and-butter lens for their work.

Lenses / Re: Pricing of the New Lenses
« on: February 07, 2012, 07:49:49 PM »
Lack of IS is on this range of focal length may be a good thing. Quality wide angle lenses are hard to design an manufacture compared to telephoto. So if Canon had tried to jam in IS, one of the two will happen - a) sacrifice in image quality. b) heavy monster with even bigger front element and at least costing $2000 more. . . . Logic of 24 and 28 IS primes within the zoom range - If they pulled off stellar IQ wide open with IS, its a win win. Those you don't absolutely need the zoom can have excellent IQ with IS at relatively lower prices, although I agree it would have been better $200 less.

Bulls Eye.

I am a little surprised Canon is not offering IS as a choice, but as a longtime owner of the 24-105 4.0 IS, I have to say I very seldom if ever notice an affirmative effect on image quality attributable to IS. All but the most jittery coffee drinkers can hand hold a wide angle at slow shutter speeds. It simply takes more camera motion to cause a noticeable effect.

I can only detect benefit from IS at about 50mm and up, which means IS would probably be helpful at only about the longest 1/3 of the zoom range on a 24-70. Would that really be worth the extra cost and bulk?

All lenses are a trade off in one way or another. I chose to trade an f-stop for an additional 35mm in zoom range when I went with the 24-105 over the 24-70. This is just the time of year I *LOVE* the 24-105. On the 7D it's a powerful basketball lens, giving me great coverage from 3-point range to right under the basket. The 70-200 is too tight in close and the 24-70 would not have enought reach. (I either use my own monolights or the client's permanently mounted lights, so f/4.0 is not an issue for me.)

02_2059.21_58 by Progeny of Light, on Flickr

The trade off in the new 24 and 28 lenses is less clear to me. As I said, I don't find IS to be terribly useful in wide lenses, and for the money they seem to be asking, even considering these are probably MSRP and not "street" prices, I'd *MUCH* rather have a 28mm 1.8 non-IS for a roughly comparable price, or keep saving money and get a 24mm 1.4L.

EOS Bodies / Re: Just for fun! How did I do this????
« on: January 31, 2012, 12:54:14 AM »
I see a lot of people having a crack each way. Here's one of mine. This is a full 360 degree panorama done in the southern hemisphere. Star trails done with stars intact and real. Done with 17TS-E. 2hr Exposure. No fisheye used! To my knowedge, this is the first time a full 360 pano with star trails has ever been made without the use of a fisheye lens.

Simply a knockout photograph. Van Gogh could never have seen a photo like this during his lifetime, but one can imagine it inspiring his "Starry Night" painting.


In my 5DM2, I get a 3800x2500 pixel RAW file, which is just fine for up to 20x30 poster-size prints. How many people need to print larger than that?  What I gain is far less noise at 5000 ISO, (plus my CF cards & disk storage go twice as far!

Respectfully disagree on two points:

1) 20x30" print from 3800x2500px image is only about 125 dpi. That's OK for viewing at more than arm's length, but not good enough for close examination, in my opinion. I rethink the size I want to print if dpi dips below about 200. 300dpi is considered ideal for print publishing. A book publisher I worked for a few years back started with 400 dpi with final output downsampled to 300. (I never understood exactly why that was, but the results in cookbooks were undeniably superb.)

2) Especially in demanding light conditions, you want the most information your camera can possibly gather for you. Use the full size Raw capture. Resist cheating the shutter speed upward and give the image all the exposure you possibly can while still adequately overcoming subject action and camera shake. This way, more detail and less noise will be recorded in the shadows. If the light is especially challenging and demands slow shutter speeds, don't be afraid to shoot 30 frames and end up with 25 of them showing motion blur. Most times you only need one image to be sharp, but do what it takes to ensure you get that one. (At a candlelight choral performance I shot last month, I shot over 500 images to have 43 images suitable for delivery to the client.)

The jury is out in my mind whether setting accurate white balance in camera helps with noise levels, but it does speed up post production. And while in post-prodution, use "just enough" sharpening and noise reduction and then output your final image at a lower resolution. For instance, I sometimes output my Canon 7D images at 11.7MP from ACR to reduce apparent noise.

Lenses / Re: I wish I'd never sold my.....?
« on: December 01, 2011, 03:43:50 AM »
The original EF 300mm 2.8 (non-IS). Thought I was being smart  selling it when I did because it was was pretty obvious from internet chatter that the IS version was coming out soon. Got a very fair price for it through eBay from a guy in the UK. Not sure what he did, but I remember I shipped it to a performance/stage theater.

When the new IS version hit the stores, I had about half the purchase price saved up and was fully prepared to finance the rest. But I absolutely hated the handling of the new lens. The removable tripod collar is a BUG and NOT a feature. Also, the manual focus was changed and felt stiff and clunky compared to the silky smooth electronic focus of the original. The original *was* a battery hog due to using USM even while on manual, but the smoothness and responsiveness to fine focus adjustments was amazing.

I was very disappointed and never bought the IS model. I guess I found it was easier than I thought to live without a 300 2.8, but I still miss it. I'd love to get my hands one of the new ones, *after* an in-store test drive, but there's no way I'm financing any large gear in this economy. At least the tripod collar is permanently mounted.

I was briefly in the market for an old used original version 300mm 2.8 a year or so ago, but I was told that Canon no longer services this model. I find that hard to believe but I put the whole idea on hold before I got around to researching it. If that's true, even if I got the lens cheap, it would still be too much money to spend on a lens that can never be repaired if needed.

Canon General / Re: Camera armor, does it work?
« on: October 02, 2011, 12:23:35 AM »
Personally, I will not use it at all. Remember in the film days, almost every mid range and up camera comes with an 'Ever Ready Case"

One of my earliest photo professors mocked this kind of thing as a "Never Ready Case." I guarantee you the guy who got the photo of Oswald getting shot was NOT using one.

Canon General / Re: Camera armor, does it work?
« on: October 02, 2011, 12:05:51 AM »
A pristine camera is the surest sign of a photographer who does not get out and take real pictures in the real world where there is real dirt and real rain or occasional impacts with real rocks or real soccer balls.

Get out and use your camera to create great images. Or just get it out and model it as an accessory with your Armany suit and Rolex. Make up yer mind.

Canon General / Re: Abandoned at the Alter, Again
« on: August 25, 2011, 05:02:04 PM »
drummstikk--you're arguments are valid to a point, but not everyone's needs are the same.  I am shooting cyclists going by at 30mph, and the more I can capture individual athletes the more shots I sell.

Sure. And about 5 times a year I shoot a diving competition and less then 8fps leaves me in the dust. I'm definitely not saying there is never a call to take advantage of the latest technology. But if more people would actually learn to drive their Chevettes before they demand that Daddy buy them that new Porsche 911, there might be more actual PHOTOGRAPHERS out there and fewer mere "camera operators."

I guess I shouldn't complain. The more shooters that are out there with substandard skills, the better off I am.

Sometimes the pickin's are too easy. Last May, I saw a guy obviously struggling to take decent groups and portraits ahead of a college commencement with with a 5D II and range of "L" glass he'd probably just put on his VISA card. I was able to figure out who his client was and handed them my business card "in case things didn't work out their photographer." Three weeks later I had a shiny new one-year contract with a University Alumni association.

Canon General / Re: Abandoned at the Alter, Again
« on: August 25, 2011, 09:43:19 AM »
I need to upgrade, BADLY.  A 5DII is not a sports camera and that's currently what I am stuck shooting with.

This is the kind of comment that brings out the old fart in me.

Within my lifetime (OK, I would have been, like, 6) the Nikon F was considered a "sports camera." The F had a blazing 3 fps firing rate. Oh, but wait! You could squeeze out 4 fps if you could shoot blind with the mirror locked up!

And think of the poor Graflex guys. (Take a single shot. Put the darkslide back in. Turn over the film holder. Pull out the other darkslide. Re-cock the shutter. Replace the flash bulb. Take another single shot three plays later. . . )

If you're shooting for Reuters or Sports Illustrated (a situation of which I, unfortunately, can only dream), yes, you probably owe it your prestigious client to acquire a top-line high-speed camera. But assuming you are shooting for the Beaver County Times or the equivalent, shooting at 3fps, or even, heaven forfend, SINGLE FRAME, would be a very good skill to learn. 10fps does not completely obviate the need for a good sense of timing in sports photography.

You might throw in some manual focusing practice while your at it, because even the best AF systems will screw up several different common sports situations (such as focusing on the big, contrasty number on the defensive tackle's back instead of the running back's face).

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