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Messages - 7enderbender

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Software & Accessories / Re: Airtravel experts
« on: December 31, 2011, 07:45:41 PM »
heathrow is a nightmare, and avoid british airways like the  the plague they have the worst customer service and the rudest staff as well as the most nazi like rules about carry on unfortunately they are hard to avoid in that part of the world, lufthansa are not too bad singapore airlines are great as is cathay

Yeah, unfortunately I know. Heathrow is just awful. I still kept taking that route because for a number of years they were just the cheapest on my routes out of Boston and to continental Europe. But still, the stuff that happens to luggage there and the delays and the busing people around and the security-kabuki dance (resulting in missing connection flights)...

Lufthansa, generally speaking, I like but they now also have some 8kg policy in place and ze Germans may just be disciplined enough to actually enforce it now. Same with Iberia. Had good experiences otherwise including connecting at Madrid airport.

Singapore Airlines may be something to check out. Never took them but heard good things. I think they go into Frankfurt from here which would work for me.

Software & Accessories / Re: Airtravel experts
« on: December 31, 2011, 07:34:41 PM »
In my travels, I've never had a carryon weighed, only checked bags.  I'd imagine if you grunt and strain to carry it, someone might notice and check, but as long as you're able to carry it comfortably, you should be fine.

I have both Pelican and Storm cases (both Pelican, technically, since Pelican bought out Storm).  I prefer Storm over Pelican - the latches are just as strong, but much easier to open. The Pelican Storm im2500 w/ dividers is the equivalent of the Pelican 1514.

Well, that's encouraging. I think I'll go with one of those cases then and hope for the best. Prices on airfare for July is still outrageous at the moment so I'll still have time to shop around and also find the right airline - hopefully.

So the latches are the biggest difference between the two now-Pelican types. Anything else?

Thanks again for your - as always - remarkable and detailed knowledge. All the best for the upcoming year.


Software & Accessories / Airtravel experts
« on: December 31, 2011, 04:42:57 PM »
Hello everyone,

Sorry to stick this here under EOS Bodies, but I couldn't find a better place. There have been some recent discussions here around airtravel and carry-on regulations.

I'll have to go from the North East US to Europe in the summer (and back of course) and I'm trying to plan ahead a bit on what airline to pick, which connection flights/airports to pick in Europe and what bag/case/backpack to get that will work as a carry-on with a bunch of camera gear that I'd like to bring (1 or 2 bodies, 4-5 small and medium lenses, 2-3 flashes, accessories, etc, small laptop).

I'm thinking about the Pelican 1514 since it seems the best price of various options, I could use it for other stuff later and if I'm forced to check it I would feel slightly (!) better about it.

In any case, what have been recent experiences with various carriers lately? Seems, they are getting ever more picky about weight issues. I saw some where the limit was 6kg for carry. That's less than the empty Pelican case...

American carriers still have mostly 40lb in place but that limits my choices, especially given the code share arrangements that may nullify this again. I've taken AA in the past quite often but I'd like to avoid going through Heathrow. Destination could be Frankfurt, Amsterdam or anywhere in the larger area.

Thanks and Happy New Year to you all.

Lenses / Re: Ultrawide | Prime or zoom?
« on: December 30, 2011, 10:38:41 AM »
I personally am looking to add the Zeiss Distagon 21 or 18 at some point.

Lenses / Re: Thinking about either getting the 35mm 1.4L or 50mm 1.2L
« on: December 29, 2011, 09:26:47 PM »
I would first figure out which focus length you really want or need on each format. Weather sealing wouldn't be a deciding factor for me since I wouldn't trust any non-1-series camera with any but a few sprinkles if at all.

From all I've seen and read the 35 is probably the slightly better lens when it comes to optics and AF. But then again I personally find 35mm (on full frame) the most boring and generic focal length. Too wide for portraits I find. My 50mm on the other hand is my most used lens since I can go in close or capture scenes wider in a very natural way.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5d Mark 2 Battery Life
« on: December 27, 2011, 09:44:17 PM »
Sounds odd. Battery life on my 5DII is stellar. I have it with original Canon batteries and the Canon grip. Just checked it: 430 + 411 exposures with 25% each left. So it should be in the neighborhood of 900-1000 clicks per double battery charge. Haven't noticed any difference in lenses with respect to battery life.

Could of course be an issue with the camera or with the battery/batteries. One thing I heard is that there are a lot of fake ones out there and that the packaging looks extremely real on some. I only buy mine from Canon authorized dealers, which it appears you did as well.

United States / Re: Prime lenses you currently own or on your wishlist.
« on: December 27, 2011, 03:20:38 PM »
I currently have (as far as EF lenses are concerned):

EF 50 1.4
EF 200 2.8L II

Future wishlist:

100L macro
Zeiss Distagon 21 or 18
50L (or any updated version of the 1.4, etc)
35L (maybe)

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod w/ Spiked Feet and Air Travel?
« on: December 23, 2011, 07:48:27 PM »
Looks like this varies with interpretation of unspecific rules ("club-like item") and by region. I wouldn't try this or at least call the airline and then confirm at check-in. You certainly don't want the tripod thrown away at the security gate. Or worse.

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod w/ Spiked Feet and Air Travel?
« on: December 23, 2011, 04:14:08 PM »
I am in the process of researching carry-on solutions and different airline carriers for a trip in July where I'll have to bring a good chunk of gear. Difficult subject I find. I came across several statements in various places that tripods and monopods are a big no-no as a carry-on; spikes or no spikes. Check with TSA (or local equivalent) and the respective carrier. You probably have to check it.

Software & Accessories / Re: Exporting in Lightroom 3
« on: December 23, 2011, 04:10:47 PM »
sending them to Mpix.com for physical printing

That makes it easy: check their web site or email them and ask what export process gives them the best results.  Make sure to tell them what you expect from the prints: are they vacation snaps?  Paying customer prints?  Art prints?  If they say JPEG for everything you might want to consider a different print company.  (JPEG is fine for small prints, but if it's an "art" print you'll get better sharpness and tone gradation from a lossless format)

You might want to wait for more responses here: I actually don't do a lot of printing, so other folks here might be able to speak from greater experience.

This may be a stupid question but are there any companies that print anything BUT jpegs? I don't mean what file formats you can send to them but what they actually end up using.

I'm still under the impression that of my 5DII files a big chunk of the information will not translate to any print really (especially at sizes like 8x10 or smaller) since resolution in the digital age is limited to about 300 dpi - which makes an 8x10 print, what, a 8MP file or so at best. So essence it comes down to the question who or what will do the best job resizing your image, you in PS/LR or the company's printer software.

Do I have that approximately right?

Also: I am still also confused by the sizing and exporting functionality of LR3 since it works significantly different and uses other terminology than PhotoShop CS5. I haven't figured out the exact meaning of the percentages for jpegs yet and how they relate to the 12 quality steps in CS5.


Software & Accessories / Re: PC or MAC
« on: December 23, 2011, 01:14:54 PM »
For example, I bought a new laptop a few months ago from Dell for $2200 and I looked at the comparable MacBook Pro with the same processor, hard drive, video card, and with half of the RAM of the machine I bought and it was $2900 from Apple.

Did the 'equivalent' PC have a slot-loading optical drive? Backlit keyboard? Multitouch trackpad? Digital/optical audio input and output?  7 hours of battery life? A breakaway power connector?  All in a case less than 1" thick?

That's the problem with 'the same computer for a lot cheaper'.  It's not the same.  Of course, for many people those features are dispensable, and the lower cost it preferable. For others (many others, judging by Apple's stock price and market cap), the additional features are worth the cost.

The only thing my MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are missing is the red ring.  :P

My 17" Dell laptop, Intel i7 2.4 GHz (Turboboost up to 3.5), didn't have a slot-loading optical drive (I personally don't trust them, a friend of mine has had nothing but trouble with his), 7 hours of batter life is very good, I only have 5 hours, and my machine is not 1" thick, it is 1.3" thick, otherwise my machine has those features.  However, my laptop also has 16GB of RAM, the best Mac offered on their store site was 8GB, and it has a FHD (1080p) 3D Display.  For $700.00 less than a Macbook Pro, I can put up with the extra third of an inch two hours less battery life.  I'm not against Mac per say, like I said in my post, they look great and they're very popular, but they are wayyyy overpriced IMO.  Now if price isn't an issue to you, then hey buy two Macbook Pro's its always nice to have a spare. Lol.

I just look at $700 as 1/10 of the money I'm going to need to get 1DX.  ;)

To each there own. Good that there is that much variety available. I was thinking the same thing. A lot of the "features" that Apple products have are really non-appealing to me. Why would I want a slot-loading drive, the silly old magnet power plug or backlit keyboard? Same with the ubiquitous iPhone. You'd have to pay me to use that big heavy thing without a real keypad - and now it even talks to you and you have to talk back. I only hope that normal BlackBerries will be around for a while longer...And laptops with TrackPoint option.

Software & Accessories / Re: PC or MAC
« on: December 23, 2011, 12:23:42 PM »

You've obviously never suffered the loss of fire damage.  I have.  Learn to back up your stuff, and make an offsite copy as well.  Problem solved.

Excellent and important point. I didn't have fire damage, but just lost about a thousand archived film negatives in a flooding situation that filled my basement. I make it a point now to regularly backup my digital photos to two different drives and then to another portable drive that stays at another location. That way in, say, a fire or break-in I could still lose a lot of stuff and there may be some loss of more recent files. But all digital photos since 2002 are safe in another place.

Software & Accessories / Re: PC or MAC
« on: December 23, 2011, 11:59:39 AM »
I've just been looking into the same question again, only for a new desktop this time around. You'll ask 3 people and get (at least) 4 answers. The good news though is that these days lots and lots of computers will do what you need them for at a reasonable price - even laptops.

I've never been a latest-and-greatest-computer-geek type of guy. I still happily run my 5 year old IBM/Lenovo laptop (T60 with 2GB and some Centrino something) as my main computer (even at home). Why? Because it does what it's supposed to do, because I love love love the old IBM-type laptop keyboards and the relatively small (12"?) high resolution screen is just wonderful and still in the "standard" 4 by 5 ratio and not the new 16:9 ratio which I find still weird on laptops (unlike on large desktop screens where it makes sense). And its not glossy.

Mac or PC? Ouch, that can of worms again. To me a non-religious question and I've always been open to any system including Linux. But I always come back to Windows PCs. I find them most useful and the best value. Macs that do the same are just a little too pricey. And I need my computers to do three things well: business applications (including Excel/Word/Access 2003 and Powerpoint - none of which works properly on a Mac), music applications (Cubase and others - PCs and Macs handle this pretty well these days) and obviously my photographic needs (Photoshop, LR3, others - PC and Mac can do this well, but there are license issues with Adobe where you have to decide or pay extra; stupid, I know).

So summing that up, the Mac has always been out for me because it's too limited and too expensive. And I don't like their screens compared to my ThinkTank. Without the Adobe licensing issue I may have considered a desktop Mac as my main home recording machine, but it still seems like a bit of a waste since a custom built PC for under $1000 will serve me equally well as 2.5K Mac. Even my ancient current music/photo desktop serves it's purpose pretty well and that's only a tweaked Pentium 4 running 32bit XP pro.

If I'll need to replace my laptop one day I'll likely look at the professional Lenovo ThinkPad series again, like a tricked out T420 or so (even though I'm not happy about the new screens, but at least they still kept the keyboards).

EOS Bodies / Re: File numbers up to IMG_999999 ?
« on: December 23, 2011, 09:36:56 AM »
This might be a silly question, but does anyone else out there get annoyed at having lots of files with the same name, because file numbering is limited from IMG_0000 to IMG_9999?

Apologies if this is already available on some camera bodies, but could the 1DX number its files from IMG_000000 to  IMG_999999? If there is a problem adding the extra numbers due to the length of the file name, then maybe the letters 'MG' could be left out (e.g. I_000001).

Any thoughts or ideas?

There are different ways of getting there. I use the EOS utility program to manage that and make it a point to always use one PC to do the imports from the camera. All copying to backup drives and other locations happens right after that. So there is a reduced chance that I mess it up or end up with out-of sequence files or duplicates. Lightroom and other programs can do that for you as well but I don't use them for it.

In the EOS utility program you can go into "preferences" and then "file name" and set a naming convention. The camera already puts files towards a three-digit "folder", so you really have 100-999 with each having photos 0000-9999 in them. Then obviously the date makes things unique and in my workflow is the key identifier for everything and get stored also in dated folders.

My naming convention:

"<Shooting Day yy/mm/dd> | <Folder Number> | <Image Number>"

So I end up with:


Makes it easy to keep things unique in the long run and I can also find things more easily in the order it was shot. But there are multiple ways to set things up depending on your preferences.

EOS Bodies / Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« on: December 23, 2011, 09:22:01 AM »
Hi all,

I will be upgrading to a 5DMkii in January, coming from a 400D which I have owned for over 5 years now and has served me well, but I truly have outgrown this body. I shoot mainly landscapes and portraits (studio, as well as more and more low-light bar/restaurant portrait shots) and need a bit of advice as far as lens(es) for the 5Dii.
I always knew I would be moving to FF, so I've been using the 17-40 L on my 400D for all things landscape and as a general walk-about lens. I can't wait to get this lens onto a 5Dii body as I usually crave even wider field of view than it currently gives me on the 1.6 crop body, so this will very much become my 'wide landscapes' lens.
For portraits and low light stuff I have the plastic-fantastic 50mm 1.8 - it does okay for what it's worth, just not too keen on the feel of that lens compared to my L lens!

My budget for the upgrade is about £2000 (UK) - possibly a little more depending on how much this Xmas period is going to cost me...   ;D

So... I was simply going to buy the 5dii body only and just continue with my 2 lenses as before. However I'm very aware that I will only have a max focal length of 50mm, which might not be long enough, so have been toying with the idea of the 24-105 L Kit as it will extend my range. I would however also like to upgrade the 50mm to the 1.4 version as I'm really not fond of the idea of putting the 1.8 on the 5Dii. It may sound silly to some, but to me that would be like by buying a Mercedes and then sticking cheap & nasty tyres and alloys on it - it just ain't right!

What would you do given the budget? Maybe not bother with the 24-105 and go for a couple of primes instead? 50mm 1.4 + 85 1.8? 24-70 L 2.8 maybe? Although I'm really put off by the massive size and weight of that lens, plus it would really stretch my budget to the max...

Thanks in advance & a very Merry Christmas to you all!

Hi there,

The 17-40 should indeed work well for your landscape needs. Getting the 24-105 with the 5DII seems like an obvious choice given how good of a deal it is as a package. It really is a great lens and I say that as somebody who otherwise prefers primes and fast lenses.

Not sure how this pans out for you with your budget and how much you'll have actually left in a body only scenario. In a studio setting the 24-105 is a great lens as well. In low-light/bar/candid situation it may or may not work. I used it during (very) low light live music situations lately and I am positively surprised by the results the high(ish) ISO capabilities of the 5DII and the IS actually can work. The later won't help you with motion blur obviously so it all depends. The 24-70 may serve you better for certain things. But maybe not.

Primes are clearly the obvious choice here and there are quite a few alternatives there depending on which focal length you want to cover (first) and what fits into the budget. I personally skipped the 70-200 zoom option that so many people like these days and went with the 50 1.4 and the 200 2.8L II. I'll be adding the 135L next. All of these are extremely good, relatively light - and relatively affordable. Any 85 lens may be a good choice as well. Or maybe even a fast lens with a wider angle, like a fast 35 or so.

Good luck.

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