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Messages - drummstikk

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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).

Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm L 5.6 .. So what's changed in 19 years?
« on: July 07, 2011, 09:25:30 AM »
For $2K, you'll be lucky to just get the 400mm f/5.6 with IS - I'd guess that lens, if released, will come in at ~$2200.

Yeah, yer right. I was kind of lowballing the price. I got my 400mm f/5.6 used for about $950.00, so that distorted the starting point in my mental math.

My main point, though, was that I'd like to see Canon and others (Sigma, etc.) think a little more outside the box (to use a detestable corporate cliche') in terms of focal lengths of long tele fixed lenses.

There is a lot of innovation in zoom ranges, but we keep getting all the same fixed tele lenses over and over (300-400-500-600). Here's what I keep thinking: I already have the 70-200 f/2.8, and I want another longer lens for more reach. The 300 f/4.0 is a very good lens, but I can't get really excited about it since I have essentially the same thing if I put my 1.4x on the 70-200. The next choice up is the 400mm 5.6, which I own and love, but it's too tight for quite a few things while on the 7D in addition to being a slow f/5.6. As I said in an earlier post, I'd love to trade 50mm and some money to get that extra f/stop (4.0), and the lens would then be differentiated from what I get with the 70-200 + 1.4X. Putting the 1.4X on a 350mm f/4.0 would yield an attractive (rounded off) 500mm f/5.6.

Here, I'm mainly talking about the "mid-level" L lenses (300mm f/4.0, 400mm f/5.6). I'm not sure the same thinking applies the "big whites" (300mm f/2.8, 400mm f/2.8, etc.). The 300mm f/2.8 is already differentiated from 70-200 + 1.4X because it is f/2.8, rather than f/4.0 with the zoom combo.

Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm L 5.6 .. So what's changed in 19 years?
« on: July 05, 2011, 08:58:50 PM »
I'm sure this lens was coated from day one. Coating has been standard on even the "non-premium" lines of OEM lenses since the 1970's or earlier. Although I suppose coating might improve to some incremental degree. Probably nothing else has changed about the 400 f/5.6 since it's inception other than possibly the sourcing of small components, as you suggest.

IS would be nice, but I don't find I miss it much in my use, which usually includes a monopod. I actually wish it was a bit heavier or fatter, as that might make it settle in your hands more steadily for hand-holding. But overall, no complaints.

It's not likely, but I wish Canon would upgrade this lens with IS and maybe take it to f/4.5 or so to give it just a bit more speed and heft. An f/4.0 lens would obviously command a price tag much higher than the current 5.6. What could we get with IS for, say, $2000.00 to $2400.00? f/4.5? 5.0?

Come on, Canon. Make me an offer.

Back in the day, Olympus had a few "big white" lenses in odd focal lengths and fast apertures. 250mm f/2.0, 350mm f/2.8 and maybe a 450mm f/2.8 (not sure, it's been a long time).

I'd go for a 350mm f/4.0 with IS. (Compared to the 400mm f/5.6, I'd gladly trade 50mm and some money for a full f/stop.) Or a 250mm f/2.8, which would be 350mm f/4.0 with a 1.4x. Or, I've long wished they would extend the 70mm-200mm 2.8 to 250mm. But that's just me dreaming. CR ZERO.

Anybody with me, or am I just weird?

Lenses / Re: Patents: Diffractive Optic 2.0x & 1.8x Teleconverters
« on: July 04, 2011, 01:51:57 PM »
One further thought, could it be possible that Canon have found a way to build a 2x TC that doesn't lose two stops so that the slower primes can still auto focus on mere mortal cameras ?

As far as I understand, that's physically impossible. The TC doubles the focal length without enabling the aperture to be opened wider.

Ummm. . . yes. Physics.

Until they incorporate a di-lithium crystal lens element, a 2x converter will cost you two f-stops.

EOS Bodies / Re: My Prediction for the new EOS Lineup
« on: June 29, 2011, 03:43:32 AM »
Much of what you say I fully agree with. We do differ when it comes to the MP of a recombined 1D range body or whatever Canon choose to call it. To me 30mp is about 3 years too late to make the grade as a top flight pro camera. Other manufacturers are openly talking about 40MP and I suggest that for Canon to have any claim at all to the top step of the podium they must at the very least match that.

I'll leave it to the tech geeks to discuss why 40MP is technically difficult or impossible to achieve for this size sensor. What I will address, or rather ask, is what the heck would you do with all that data? Is there really a practical use for 40MP or are we all for some reason obsessed with seeing the fulfillment of the prophecy of Moore's Law?

This is strictly my opinion of course, but anything much more than about 25MP is just irrelevant to my work. The 18MP that comes out of my 7D's are already overkill for many applications and some clients actually request that I and other photographers provide lower rez images so as not to overwhelm their archive systems. When you're doing web design and small trifold brochures and in-house newsletters, even 11MP (the next "standard" size down available from the 7D in Adobe Camera Raw) is overkill, but at least the file size is more manageable.

Storing all those Raw files is no picnic for me either, but of course I deal with it.

Put another way, I can do a reasonable amount of cropping and still get an excellent 13x19 portfolio print (max size from my Epson) from the 7D. The 5D would of course do better, and future future iterations of both of these cameras and the 1D will undoubtedly improve even on that. But 40MP? Just sounds like a lot of pixels I'll never really use except for maybe .01% of my images.

There is of course the limited market for commercial and very high-end portrait/wedding work that will want those megapixels for retouching and/or bookcase-sized enlargements, but don't the vast majority of us just want to get off the megapixel treadmill and start seeing some better performance in low light?

Can I get a "hell yes" from the congregation?

EOS Bodies / Re: Indoor event tips
« on: June 29, 2011, 02:58:50 AM »
A dog show might let you get away with 1/60 if the dogs are still, for sports, flickering lights are going to mean a lot of bad images to discard.  I don't know of any good solution, flash is not the answer.

Actually, flash is the answer (at least *an* answer). But doing it right is a huge pain in the hump that requires paying an assistant (or bribing a stepdaughter) on a job where I'm not really sure I'm getting paid myself.

Dog sports are actually more lucrative than people/kid sports, and the "parents" are friendlier. I do a fair amount of dog agility which requires the faster shutter speeds. One annual event is in an old warehouse converted to indoor soccer facility that would seem likely to have flickering lights but fortunately does not. As with the original poster, a rented 135mm f/2.0 is a valuable weapon at these types of events, where flash is NOT an option.

EOS Bodies / Re: Indoor event tips
« on: June 28, 2011, 04:35:06 PM »

Some fluorescent lights flicker at the electrical power frequency (50 or 60 hz).  A short exposure can catch the lights at a dim or bright part of the cycle and produce weird colors and horrible unusable lighting.

By using a shutter speed of 1/60 or slightly less, you can avoid having to deal with this.  It just depends on the type of light fixtures and ballasts used.

If you are using 1/250 sec, review several test images to make sure that you are not seeing this happen.

I have a local high school football field that does that. At least it did a couple of years ago when I was still deluding myself there was any money in youth sports photography.

A sequence at 1/500th or so would shift from a reddish-orange to green cast, even though I had set a white balance. Even the exposure seemed to fluctuate from normal to about a stop under. Kind of a nightmare for color correction. And while I'm sure theres a strong possibility that shooting at 1/60 or slower would fix the color issue, that's not really an option with football.

EOS Bodies / Re: My Prediction for the new EOS Lineup
« on: June 25, 2011, 01:01:53 AM »
possible but I still cant see them COMBINING the 1D series and separating the 5D series... Kinda counter intuitive... I could see them adding a 5D and 3D or something like that, but separating to 2 5d's... dunno...

Combining the 1D series actually DOES make sense to me, it's splitting the 5D that I don't grok. Pros would understand the difference between two 5D models and choose accordingly, but the serious amateurs, who move a lot of units for Canon, will find it confusing that the line has been forked. Canon already has a line of video cameras. Many (maybe all) of the video cameras will do stills, but you don't see video cameras "optimized" for stills. That's why I don't understand optimizing a still camera for video.

As for the 1D series, If you maintain the motor speed and other features we all expect from the 1D, but give it a full-frame sensor in, say, the 30MP range (not that much higher than the current 5D MkII), I'm not sure I see the need for a separate model with even higher pixel density. If 30 MP doesn't cut it for you, you probably need to be looking to a higher power anyway (Hasselblad, Mamiya, Leaf. . .).

And, if they go this way, I think they will call it 1D Mark V, not 1Ds Mark IV. The marketing statement would be that pro cameras are now full frame. Period. No longer will the "sports" camera be limited by the smaller sensor, or the "high -rez" camera be hampered by a slow fps rate.

EOS Bodies / Re: End of the APS-H sized CMOS?
« on: June 25, 2011, 12:15:51 AM »
Maybe I am wrong, but I am pretty sure that Canon sells more 1D bodies than 1Ds bodies.

No, you are not wrong. In my various jobs I see dozens of 1D's in use, and only know of one photographer using a 1Ds. He commands megabucks for commercial, full bleed magazine cover photos, so more power to him.

I'm ambivalent on APS-H. I've been close to pulling the trigger on a new or used 1D several times, but have always ultimately decided it's not enough better than my 7D's to justify the extra cost, and also not close enough to the angle of view of the 5D to be a good companion to that camera. If I got way busier and used my camera's much harder, then the heavier-built 1D would be a no-brainer. But in my rather modest business as it is now (and will continue to be until the economy stops sucking), the 7D's will be my workhorses, and the 5D will be an artistic choice or a 3rd body/backup.

So, APS-H could disappear tomorrow, and I really wouldn't notice. I have a hard time believing many pros "live and die" by this format. If you give pros a higher-megapixel full-frame sensor so they can do the "crop-factor" in Lightroom rather than in the camera, I think most of them would go for that and not mourn the death of APS-H.

I do think APS-H could have a future in pro-sumer cameras in the 7D-type market space, but I have to feel that the pro lines (1D and its future successors) will consolidate around the full-frame format in coming years.

EOS Bodies / Re: The Land of Crazy or.... ? [CR1]
« on: June 24, 2011, 11:48:59 PM »
> August 2011 7D Mark II
> • 24 Mega pixel Full Frame
> • Dual Digic V
> • Will be a partial replacement for the discontinued 1D Mark IV

It would certainly seem odd for Canon to make this camera and call it "7D Mk II." But whatever they call it (7Ds, maybe?), Canon does need to make this camera.

It kind of blows my mind that Canon has gone this far into the "D3 era" with no full frame "sports" camera. 1Ds MkIII has 5fps, barely adequate and at an uber-premium price and overkill resolution for those of us who shoot almost exclusively for print or web publication. 5D MkII, at about 3fps, is fine for the 7-10 times a year I do "arena" lighting, but usually stays home on most other sports assignments. (I'm actually still using the original 5D Mark nothing.)

The 8fps on 7D rarely lets me down on sports jobs. Only in diving do I ever pine for anything faster. But it would be huge if I could put a (rented) 400mm f/2.8 on a full-frame camera and have it *LOOK* like a 400 2.8 with it's beautiful razor-thin depth of field. I don't see why this shouldn't be a "pro-sumer" option for those of us in the mid-markets that don't command the kind of rates that would justify the purchase of something like the 1Ds Mark III.

EOS Bodies / Re: 36x36 mm cmos sensor
« on: June 01, 2011, 05:38:47 PM »
In fact I recently read that typically, if a professional was trained on a particular range of kit, that tends to be what he or she sticks with for life.

I'd say that's quite true. Although I did switch from Nikon to Canon in about 1991. It was a relative nightmare then, mainly due to the manual focus direction issue. But at the time, with much more of my working life ahead of me than there is now, and having the greater flexibility of the young, I decided to take the plunge. Back then, the comparison was Nikon F4 vs. Canon EOS-1, and the EOS was revolutionary by comparison. At this point, having progressed much further into "old fart-hood", I wouldn't put myself through that again without an *extremely* good reason.

I will take back one thing I said earlier. I do know at least one Canon shooter who switched to Nikon D3, but that was in a "pool equipment" situation at a large newspaper. The photographer was able to switch with no cash outlay on his part, and would have been able to switch back after a few weeks or months if things were not working out. Most of us don't have anywhere near that kind of flexibility. I haven't run into this individual for a long time, so I'm not sure if he stayed with it permanently or not.

EOS Bodies / Re: 36x36 mm cmos sensor
« on: June 01, 2011, 12:03:28 PM »
I doubt people will do a full systems change due to price.

Truer words never spoken. Price is about the LAST thing to enter into the equation if you are actually talking about the tools with which you make your living.

Market rules apply to every item. If price for pro photographer's is not an issue, Canon can just double the price of the 1D and won't suffer any decrease in sales ? I find it difficult to believe this, especially since Canon would have definitely increased the price if they know it will increase profit.   

As like most companies, they have to deliver different price/performance range to cover different market needs. I feel that missing this slot, is strategically incorrect.

I think maybe I didn't say exactly what I meant. Didn't mean to say Canon had carte blanche to double the price of their flagship (unless, of course, they make it truly amazing). My main point is that there won't be a mass exodus to Nikon just because Nikon's flagship might happen to be cheaper. Users will simply delay or decline adoption of the new Canon if the price is too high for the market.

I acknowledged that price IS an issue for many photographers, including myself. But price is one of the lesser priorities among MANY when something as monumental as a system switch is contemplated.

EOS Bodies / Re: 36x36 mm cmos sensor
« on: June 01, 2011, 08:23:04 AM »
I doubt people will do a full systems change due to price.

Truer words never spoken. Price is about the LAST thing to enter into the equation if you are actually talking about the tools with which you make your living.

It took a true game changer like the Nikon D3 to get me to even THINK about switching systems. Several of the other Canon shooters in my area were looking longingly at the images the Nikon guys were getting in the crappy light situations, but nobody I know actually switched. Most people choke on the pricetag, and some of us who are heavy old-school manual focusers can't abide the idea of having to re-learn how to do it "backwards."

People like me who work in news/editorial/event photography should be in the ideal target market to switch to the Nikon D3 due to it's low-light chops. But, frankly, this area does not pay exceptionally well, so for most of us it's just too painful to consider dumping the 10 G's or more it would cost to switch even if you sell your current gear at a good price. And while the D3 is better in low light, Canon's are still quite good.

At the other end of the spectrum, the heavy duty commercial people who are raking in thousands per day don't HAVE to switch (at least not for the low-light capability) because they help themselves to light from a phalanx of Elinchroms. It may be a different story for hobbyists who may make their living in dentistry or lawyering, or the ones whose "system" is just a body and one or two lenses, but aside from that, there's not a whole lot of switching going on.

Canon General / Re: Canon Refurbished
« on: May 27, 2011, 07:54:25 PM »
Sorry if this is one of those "guesses" you say you don't want, but I don't know what else you expect from a forum.

You cite specifically the 400mm 5.6. I would expect the reason there are no refurbs of this lens is that there are relatively so few in circulation. There are much more popular solutions for those who need 400mm than this fixed length and rather slow (though optically excellent) lens. Many more people opt for the 100mm-400mm zoom. I find this lens completely unsatisfactory though it continues to sell briskly year after year. There are also those who put a 2X on their 70-200mm 2.8's, which is overall a better solution in my opinion. Then there is the more well-heeled crowd who opts for a 400mm 4.0 DO or a 400mm 2.8.

The 400mm 5.6 is often a perfect lens for me, though I don't actually recall EVER seen another photographer using one. So you probably answered your own question with your observation that availability of lenses as refurbs is related to the number of lenses in circulation.

It would also be worth knowing just what Canon's definition of a "refurbished" lens is. You state correctly that the 400mm 5.6 has been in production since approximately the Truman administration, but I would assume that only lenses that come back in within a short time period of original purchase are eligible for "refurb" status. Refurbishment seems to imply a correction of a minor manufacturing defect, or perhaps a perfect product cleaned and checked after return for buyer's remorse. My 400mm 5.6, which I purchased used 2 years ago and is who-knows-how-old, will never again be refurbished, just "used."

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