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Messages - 7enderbender

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436
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...

437
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.


438
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.

439
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.

440
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.

441
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.

442
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.

443
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.

444
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.


445
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.

446
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.

447
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Explaining Canon's "Pro Level AF"
« on: February 13, 2012, 04:45:00 PM »
Not to hijack this but I'm curious about this point. How much light are we actually losing in the viewfinder due to this setup?


Very little.  Consider - the whole main mirror is not semi-transparent, only certain areas allow some light to pass through vs. being reflected.  Yet, when you look at an evenly illuminated white wall or clear blue sky, you don't see light and dark areas corresponding to the parts of the main mirror that pass light.  So, probably less than 2-3% of the total light, and only in select areas, is 'lost'.


Thanks for clarifying this. I was under the impression that the entire mirror was semi-transparent and that this were the explanation why the viewfinders of modern AF cameras are noticeably darker than old 35mm cameras from the pre-EOS times. And they seem to be smaller, even on full frame. 2-3% light loss and and limitation of the semi-transparency to small areas doesn't really explain this.



I found this comparison here:

http://snapsort.com/learn/viewfinder-size

Interesting that the 1DsIII viewfinder is so much bigger. Is this true? And why is this?

448
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Explaining Canon's "Pro Level AF"
« on: February 13, 2012, 04:36:15 PM »
Not to hijack this but I'm curious about this point. How much light are we actually losing in the viewfinder due to this setup?

Very little.  Consider - the whole main mirror is not semi-transparent, only certain areas allow some light to pass through vs. being reflected.  Yet, when you look at an evenly illuminated white wall or clear blue sky, you don't see light and dark areas corresponding to the parts of the main mirror that pass light.  So, probably less than 2-3% of the total light, and only in select areas, is 'lost'.

Thanks for clarifying this. I was under the impression that the entire mirror was semi-transparent and that this were the explanation why the viewfinders of modern AF cameras are noticeably darker than old 35mm cameras from the pre-EOS times. And they seem to be smaller, even on full frame. 2-3% light loss and and limitation of the semi-transparency to small areas doesn't really explain this.

 

449
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Explaining Canon's "Pro Level AF"
« on: February 13, 2012, 03:35:33 PM »

 
  • Size of the secondary mirror. Light for AF passes through the semi-transparent part of the main mirror (most is reflected up to the viewfinder), then is reflected off the secondary mirror down to the AF sensor. There is limited space behind the main mirror, based on the necessary geometry (i.e. the main mirror has to be at a 45° angle to the incoming light, and the secondary mirror has to be behind the main mirror and at an angle of 90° to the main mirror, so it's length is limited by the distance between the main mirror and the image sensor).
  • Distortion. With many lenses, the edges of the frame are subject to distortion (barrel/pincushion), and that reduces the accuracy of phase detect AF.

Not to hijack this but I'm curious about this point. How much light are we actually losing in the viewfinder due to this setup? I'm still wondering if anyone has ever tried to change the mirror to a non-transparent one and customize, e.g., a 5DII to be better suited for full-time manual focus - while maintaining the camera's ability to meter correctly.[/list]

450
Lenses / Re: 24-105mm vs 17-40mm on crop
« on: February 13, 2012, 09:05:57 AM »
I currently own the 18-200mm, 18-55mm IS II, and the 50mm 1.8.
The body I'm using is a 450D, but I plan to upgrade to a 60D or wait for the 70D
My question is, which one would complement my current set of lenses the most?
I chose these 2 because they were in my budget, and obviously, I wanted L......

I shoot events, sports, streets, presentations, trips, etc.


It's a matter of taste and your specific needs. If you ask me: neither of them. And this is one of the reasons I did not buy a 7D and went full-frame instead. f/4 on crop doesn't leave enough options for shallow DOF in my book. So with a crop camera I would have wanted the 24-70 for the zoom and the rest primes (kind of where I'm going anyway but that's a different story). So the savings in the end are marginal. I've never used the 17-40 and it doesn't appeal to me. I have the 24-105. It's pretty good and the range is useful but I'm not thrilled about the f/4 and don't like IS.

I'd go find a 24-70 while they're still available. It's roughly the equivalent of 35-100 and at 2.8 should be quite versatile even on crop.

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