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Messages - 7enderbender

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436
Lenses / Re: Canon 135mm f2 mk2?
« on: February 22, 2012, 04:00:56 PM »
Hi guys,

I'm looking in purchasing a canon 135mm f2, what i need to know, if there is a possibility of a version 2 about to be releases this year

Thanks

Raz

Whatever they'd do with a version II won't take a away from the fact this is one of the best lenses. Period. I don't think I'd ever trade it for anything.

437
Lighting / Re: Do I need the 580?
« on: February 22, 2012, 03:35:42 PM »
First of all I'd like to say that I'm a hobbyist, not a professional photographer, and only recently did I get into flash photography. My current setup is 550D + 24-105L, but I'm getting one of the 5Ds (ii or iii) when the latter is available. I'm mostly shooting general "walkaround" photography with some lean towards press photography (e.g. political meetings and etc.). I also shoot at weddings, family reunions, that kind of thing. So now I need a flash since many of these events tend to happen indoors, and I'm currently deciding between 430 and 580.

From the looks of it I'll have only one flash for the time being (I'm not a studio photographer, more of an action one), and 580 seems to be easier to operate. On the other hand it's much heavier than the 430 and costs more. Do you experience this additional weight problem, and do you feel that the price difference is justified in this case?


I can relate to that. I've been shooting quite a few political events lately ('tis the season...). I have a 580EXII, 430EXII and an old Metz 45. Camera is a gripped 5DII.

The nicest outcomes I get with the old Metz (obviously all manual). And it's actually quite comfortable with the old-style handle - at least for horizontal shots. The fastest and easiest, however, is the 580EXII. So that's been the weapon of choice lately.

The 430EXII is nice in that it is a bit smaller and lighter and under certain circumstances a bit more consistent (there have been plenty of controversial discussions around that so I'm not going into the details). BUT: the 580EXII has the extra power reserve should you need it and the buttons and the little wheel are just way better.

So, if this is truly a weight question I wouldn't bother and go for the 580. If this is a budget concern: the 430 is a very good flash. You could also consider the Metz 58 AF-2 which is usually cheaper as the 580 and offers pretty much the same features (has nothing to do with my Metz 45 mentioned above).

Those are pretty much the alternatives I guess. Or wait and see what a new 590EX (or so) may have to offer it's really released within the next few days. May also be a good time then to snag up a used 580EXII. Also: there's nothing wrong with the old 580EX predecessor I guess. Some folks actually prefer those.


438
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.

With that in mind, do you really need full ETTL? Or just the ability to select a light and adjust its power up or down?

I've only ever used ETTL with my 30D and 40D using the on board flash...

I'm not saying these are a bargain, but the OP mentioned ETTL and i wondered if that was really necessary?
High Speed Sync is always a want, i agree - and the ability to select and control a light or group of lights, definitely, but ETTL?


That's exactly it. I would be ok to not have ETTL per se - but you kind of need it for HSS and manual control from the camera/controller. Meaning not the ETTL functionality but the two way communication that comes with it.

439
Come to think of it: I've been saying all along that I don't think Canon (or Nikon) will incorporate true non-optical wireless into their flash system due to the legal limitations in parts of their worldwide markets. Maybe I'm wrong about this. Could the "new feature laded" PW be an indicator that such companies really have to look for new features and markets because the camera manufacturers are looking to offer alternatives now themselves?


440
I've been thinking about adding a professional trigger system to my bag at some point. PW is one of the obvious choices. Also, the Phottix Odin looks pretty good. At the moment I'm ok with my cheap ebay triggers and (even more so) with a long ETTL cable and the Canon IR remote system.

Notwithstanding, I'm tempted to add something easier in the future. So the new PW Plus III caught my attention - especially at that price. However, a closer look shows that this "feature laden" gizmo really doesn't even cover the basics. ETTL? I don't think so. High Speed Sync? Doesn't look like it. Manual control over the settings of the 4 groups? Didn't see that either. So it's a bit like a fancy version of my ebay triggers. Or what am I missing here? Sure, for those who need long distance range, repeaters and a remote for the camera this might be it. I think I'm more looking still at the Phottix...

441
Lenses / Re: IS substitute for faster glass in low light? Not convinced.
« on: February 17, 2012, 08:45:27 PM »



Plus I personally fully expect the IS to go bust within a few years or at least go out of whack. It's a loosely moving lens element. That can't be good in the long run. So I usually have it turned off

Is this a valid concern?
Does IS add to maintenance problems ... or worse, especially in this lens (pls say no, I just got one)?

I have no proof for that hence my calling it an expectation on my part. The thing is that I'm still trying to get over my disappointment that I now have to use EF lenses and that all my FD glass won't work with digital. I had always resented the idea of moving to the EOS system because I don't like the feel and build quality of the EF lenses (or any other lenses from "modern" AF systems). I have lenses that are almost 30 years old and look and work pristine. I'm pretty sure that this won't be the case with any of my new lenses, L or non-L, IS or non-IS. Just saying.


442
Lenses / Re: IS substitute for faster glass in low light? Not convinced.
« on: February 17, 2012, 01:49:15 PM »
IMO, IS is a substitute for faster glass, if you're shooting static subjects (or want motion blur, but not shake blur, in your shot).  IS is not a substitute for fast glass with moving subjects - in those cases, you need more light to allow a faster shutter speed to freeze motion, and the fact that IS allows shooting at even slower shutter speeds than normally possible is not helpful. 

Say I have a shot at ~100mm on FF, that means I'd nominally need 1/100 s to effectively handhold the shot.  Say I have a lens with a 4-stop IS system, that means I can, in theory, handhold that shot at 1/6 s and still get a reasonably crisp shot. 

So...below an example using a 4-stop IS lens at 95mm, completely handheld (no bracing, no leaning against a wall, just free standing on a narrow bridge)...exposure time is 0.5 s - a full stop more than the rated IS benefit.  I used f/5.6 to get an even longer exposure for more blur of the falling water.  Now, at 100% you can see some shake-induced blur in the shot, but even at 1600 pixels (click the image, then view all sizes > original), it not really evident.


EOS 5D Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 95mm, 1/2 s, f/5.6, ISO 100


What he said. Only I would argue that it does NOT make IS a substitute for fast glass. It's really for different applications which is one of the reasons why any comparison between the 24-70 and the 24-105 to me always results in, yeah, there are reasons to own both...

It is my experience that IS on the 24-105 works surprisingly well given the limitations outlined by Neuro above. I recently used it for a live music shoot and the results were better than I had expected. No, it obviously doesn't help with motion blur but if things are relatively static you can increase DOF by stopping down a little as opposed to the look of a fast prime for example. All depends. Not sure how this would compare to having a monopod in such a scenario. That may actually be better overall. Plus I personally fully expect the IS to go bust within a few years or at least go out of whack. It's a loosely moving lens element. That can't be good in the long run. So I usually have it turned off and really just bought the 24-105 because it was scuh a good deal with the 5DII. It's good for what it is but I don't rally love it. Still hoping to trade it for a 24-70 (original) at some point.

443
Software & Accessories / Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« on: February 17, 2012, 09:42:13 AM »
I'm not sure though about the incentive to upgrade. I don't see anything major in the new version that would be worth any additional money. Haven't tried it yet so this is just from looking at the specs.

The incentive to upgrade is that the older version will stop being supported, and raw images from a new camera model issued after that will not be recognized unless you convert them to DNG or Tiff.

I've been using the LR4 beta, and high ISO images look cleaner, but it might not be a big deal to some.


That's what I mean. I don't see myself buying any new camera model anytime soon and "high ISO" is of little to no interest to me. And even then I find that LR/CS5/CameraRaw does a pretty impressive job as it is yet I still often prefer adding film grain instead of flattening things out with NR.

What I had hoped for in an upgrade was better sync functions and network capabilities for those of us who edit their pictures on more than one computer. Instead we're getting GPS maps and scrap booking and a few renamed sliders. Big whoop.

444
Lighting / Re: What 3rd party Flashes offer in camera control
« on: February 17, 2012, 09:29:44 AM »
I know I can control the 580EX2 from my 450D menu's but for price reasons was more interested in the metz 58AF2 or maybe another brand, but can't seem to locate information weather any of those can be controlled from within the camera menu's

Any help is apreciated

To the best of my knowledge the Metz 58 is the only third party flash that offers almost exactly the same functionality as the 580EXII. There are ever so slight differences with a few things that you may or may not like. Go to the Metz web site and have a look at the Canon specific manual for the 58AF-2. Can't speak to your specific camera model so you might want to research that as well.

I came pretty close of buying that one instead of my 580EXII. There are at least two features that I find pretty interesting: it beeps when charged up and it has it's own Metz specific master group which under certain circumstances can offer a few extra options when combined with other flashes (Canon or Metz). What I didn't like that much about was the subjective build quality when directly compared to the Canon. Neither of them is perfect but both seem to be really really good. I'm pretty sure that I'll add a 58 at some point.

445
Software & Accessories / Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« on: February 16, 2012, 02:34:50 PM »
I'm curious about this deal for lightroom. I would like to get a legit copy, but I am not about to buy right before the next version comes out. It seems like it might be about a $30 discount for lr3 and then another 100 to get lr4. This means I pay $130 for lr4. What am I missing?

The full version of LR 4 will cost you $299 when it comes out, but a upgrade from LR3 will cost $99.

The current retail price of LR3 had dropped over time, but LR4 will go to full list price.

This means that it will cost $169 with the upgrade to LR 4 versus $299.  And, if B&H delays shipping too long, you might just fall into the free upgrade period for LR4.  Not likely though, I think that has been figured out carefully by Adobe.


Yep, I'm pretty sure Adobe and the vendors have this figured out carefully. My guess is that they are trying to get new customers while maybe selling off old stock that is sitting there. They got me. I figured for less than a hundred bucks I'll buy it even though I'm not a big fan of LR. If it sticks they know I may upgrade one day - and if not they still got my hundred buck at pretty much no cost to them at this point.

I'm not sure though about the incentive to upgrade. I don't see anything major in the new version that would be worth any additional money. Haven't tried it yet so this is just from looking at the specs.

446
Lenses / Re: 24-70 too short for full frame?
« on: February 16, 2012, 11:03:52 AM »


*Removes tongue from cheek* Of course lenses, coatings, IS, etc. are getting better. It may even be the case that high quality primes like the 135 L are a dying breed, now that we have stabilized zooms that can match, or even exceed them in terms of raw image quality. Who uses a 200mm f/2.8 L II anymore?

But the way I read the OP, they have made a blanket decision to not even consider 10+ year-old lenses. That, to me, sounds like cutting yourself short, as some of the very best glass is that old (or several decades older, some would say ;))


I'm one of those old farts who still uses the 200 2.8LII and the 135L. I'm not interested in the 70-200. No doubt it's a great lens and zooms have come a long long way. But still not my preference for what I do. The argument that "old lens" designs are obsolete sounds silly to me. Yes, there are a few improvements here and there but the underlying designs have been around for decades and some of the old lenses are as good as the new stuff optically - and many of them are build a lot better. And by looking at a lot the results I'd say that decade old Leitz lenses on a film Leica or the M9 still blow a lot of other "modern" designs away. And that doesn't even consider medium format or larger yet. And I don't really believe that good primes are a dying breed. Lots of people are still using them and loving them. If I had to limit myself to 2 or maybe three lenses I'd still go with a good 50 the 135L and perhaps something wide like a 24L or 21 Distagon. Done. No need for IS or zooms.

447
Now I'm excited. I just figured out that these will work with my FD 500 f/8 reflex. Will they be available again any time soon? This is great.

448
Software & Accessories / Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« on: February 15, 2012, 02:39:52 PM »
Nothing earth-shattering to add but here is my view:

First off, I wouldn't run out and buy anything just because somebody said that somebody said that XY and z are the "standard tools that professionals use". That is not to say that there isn't a lot to be said for software that is widely used and, hence, comes with a lot of good information in books and on the web. This is one of the things where the Adobe products for instance are really great.

But the first thing should be to figure out what your use and expectations are. Or rather what your philosophy around photography is. A good friend of mine (and a very talented photographer with years of experience), for instance, has zero interest in any post processing (or lab work back in the days). His ideal is to come up with a shot straight from the camera that captures his vision. I on the other hand have no issue with manipulation after that fact. That ca be mild exposure and white balance corrections or taking a photo and turning into something completely different.  The other thing to consider may be if you are looking to emulate any lab experience or if you're thinking straight digital. And lastly, do you have any established work flow, backup strategy and/or naming convention already?

I'd say there are generally two categories of programs: those that are mostly for viewing and organizing with limited (but sometimes really cool) editing options, often with really good batch operation control - and those that are strictly photo editing tools, traditionally used for painstakingly editing one picture at a time, using layers and having more or less unlimited options. And obviously the lines are getting more blurry lately. But the first category is great for organizing and batch editing or quickly editing larger numbers of pictures. It's like having a photo database with your own mini lab attached to it. The second category is like having a complete darkroom at home that comes with a free and personal technician.

The common Adobe programs for these two are Photoshop and Lightroom. Both have many advantages and disadvantages. And a lot depends on taste and how you answer the other questions above.

And then there are other suits and open source programs that kind of do similar things - though I don't think there is really a Lightroom alternative - but that being said: yes, a lot of people use and love LR - others just can't stand it. I like some aspects of it and find others revolting. I use it for quick edits of larger quantities. For everything else I stick to Photoshop, partially because I know it better, partially because the "non destructive" database approach of LR doesn't fit my established workflow. In any case, my recommendation would be to figure out your goals and expectations and then start with some of the cheap or free tools to see what kind of software works best for you. For example, if GIMP works for you then it may be worth investing in Photoshop one day. If you're happy with just a RAW converter the Canon software and a cheap or free organizing tool may just be it. And there are probably lots of others far and in between.

If the Adobe stuff becomes a serious consideration I recommend downloading their free full version trials and give them a good spin before putting down serious cash. And yes, the current LR3 offers for a hundred bucks or less are great bargains - and frankly that's about how much worth it really is if you ask me. But again, others just love it and it's all they need. Also watch out for Adobe's unfortunate policy in PC vs Mac versions. Switching is close to impossible if you ever considered working on both platforms.


449
EOS Bodies / Re: buy 7D now or 5D Mark II later?
« on: February 14, 2012, 11:16:12 PM »
What lenses do you have? Any EF-S? Do you like the crop size on your current and previous camera? If so that may be your answer right there. If not then now is the time to get a 5DII before it might disappear - as long as you are looking to buy new.

450
EOS Bodies / Re: I can't decide what to do!
« on: February 14, 2012, 03:02:36 PM »
I have been doing weddings for just over a year now and use and love my 7D, EXCEPT in low light. I'm not completely satisfied with the IQ of the 7D because I'm a pixel-peeper and hate noise. I also find it not quite as sharp, even at iso 100, as I would like it to be. Like many have said before, if it were a FF camera, it would be the perfect camera.  The recent rumors make it seem as if the new 5DMKIII will be just that, a full frame 7D. However, I can't base my decisions on rumors. :)

I am looking at going full frame and gain a bit better low light performance as well as sharper images overall. I have the 7D and use a tamron 17-50 2.8 lens and love it. I also have the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS lens. I will sell all of the above to make my purchase. I figure I can buy the 70-200 again in the future and a 24-70 ish zoom would be a must for weddings.

Let me know you 2 cents. Thanks.


Even though I voted for your option 2 I'm not convinced that you are on the right track. Here's why:

I personally wouldn't shoot something as important as a wedding without a backup. And where I am right now I don't even feel that I would want to shoot weddings at all because in my opinion you have to be really well equipped for that - both from a skill set perspective as well as far as gear is concerned. And I'd say that is true no matter if you do it for free, for a little fee or for $10,000. But that's my personal stance on it and I don't have to live on photography. The 7D is a very fine camera and should be well suited for what you are trying to do. Only I'd bring a second one and maybe a bit more lens choices and certainly enough light unless you insist of being an available light person - which is then something you have to make clear to your clients and may require indeed a change in your setup.

And let me ask you this: You are a self-proclaimed pixel peeper and you hate noise. What about your clients? Do they complain about "noise" or any grain? What do you do for post-processing? This is all a matter of taste and changing expectations but I personally find myself adding artificial film grain often in low light situations rather than trying remove noise from my 5DII files. I don't pixel peep usually and "hate" the plastic look of high ISO capabilities and NR software. But that's me. Haven't gotten any complaints from my clients about that yet.

I would recommend to not rush anything. If you are getting paid for your wedding jobs see if you can maybe rent a second body and perhaps try out a few lenses that way. And if you have a few bucks left maybe consider a fast prime in your favorite focal range. In the end these are just tools that you'll need to build your business and what counts most are happy couples and in-laws and so forth not if you shot with a 7D or 5DX or whatever.

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