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Messages - 7enderbender

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Lenses / Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« on: December 13, 2011, 12:46:12 PM »
I also recommend the 50 1.4. Very very good for baby pictures even (or maybe even because of) it's a little soft when wide open. On your 60D it would be more like an 85mm lens, so depending on your preferences you may then add a fast 85 or fast 35 later. I say fast for two reasons: 1. more depth of field options (especially important for a crop sensor) 2. baby pictures in natural soft light are always a great option.

The build quality of the EF version of the 50 1.4 is not outstanding but good enough for most applications. A little normal care an permanently leaving on the hood should get you a lot of millage. I've no experience with the 1.8 version. The 50L just seems like a mismatch for the rest of your gear. Other options may be the Sigma 1.4 or any of the Zeiss manual focus lenses.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D MK ll LCD protection
« on: December 12, 2011, 01:53:23 PM »
All Canon DSLR's have a protective LCD cover built-in.  It is easily replacable, its held in place by doubleback tape.  If yours gets damaged, you can order a replacement from Canon and get it in a few days.  I have one as a spare.

Why order a protector to protect the protector??

Where do you get this replaceable protector?  I emailed canon and they said i'm looking at $200 plus parts and shipping...

Not to be mean here with regard to our favorite camera company, but this seems unfortunately like one of those customer service responses that's a little unworthy in comparison to the overall reputation and reliability of Canon products. I mean, I'm ok with charging people a decent amount of money for qualified services by a good technician. But their policy should maybe also be to point out to their customers that this is not (likely) not really a cracked LCD but rather a cracked piece of glass that taped on with with some 3M product or so - and that ordering one and replacing it yourself is an option.

Here is what I found:

Parts numbers for the 5D MARK II :

CB3-4948-000 000 WINDOW, TFT DISPLAY

CB3-4949-000 000 TAPE, DOUBLE SIDE

I should really order one of these and keep it as a spare.

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 02:00:23 PM »
Maybe I'm a little thick again but could some one show me where there are issues with "noise" in those samples? I see issues, especially with CA but all of that seems more a lens issue. I just don't see it.

Seems like a typical shot by the way where digital cameras still struggle due to the unforgivingly low dynamic range. I'd play with the exposure a little first and see what that does. Also: any chance some of the little software gizmos like "highlight priority" or something like that are turned on?

United States / Re: Metz 45 CT-5 and Canon 5D Mark 2
« on: December 09, 2011, 09:53:14 AM »
After a lot of research I think I would label it an urban myth that flash units "fry" modern cameras. Yes, there may be some exotic units out there or stuff may just malfunction after all those years. And I don't encourage you to try anything out without doing a bit more research. But after reading lots and lots of forums and web sites on this subject I have not found a single case where somebody actually did harm to the camera with one of these.

Its hardly a myth, and has nothing to do with exotic flash units.  Older cameras had a electrical contact rather than electronics to trigger the flash.  The flash could put out a high voltage kick.  No problem accross mechanical contacts.  Then came cameras with electronics to trigger the flash unit, and fried electronics became common until people learned not to connect those old units to a camera.

Here is a list of flashes and their voltages.  All Canon units are under 6V, so anything higher carries a level of risk. 

The Metz CT-45 is believed to put out about 14.8 volts, so it is a risk, but may or may not cause a problem.  As you can see, some of the older Metz flash units put out 200 or even 300V, a sure way to fry your camera.

Use a wireless remote to be safe.

Again, I don't encourage anyone to mess around with this without proper confirmation of what the individual unit puts out - and if it may be defective or not. However, I still believe that this has turned into an urban myth to some degree at least. The 5DII is rated at 250V. There may be some very old or uncommon units that exceed that. Per my information from Metz Germany directly none of the units we discussed here fall into that category. A CT-4 or a CT-5 should (!) be safe. During my "research" on this topic I came across one type that was sold under a different brand name for a German mail order store (sold as "Revue") that looked and functioned just like a CT-4 but appears to have a much higher voltage than the normal Metz branded units.

And then again: I've so far never seen any first-hand report of somebody actually frying their 5D/5DII with a flash. Not saying it never happened, not saying that there isn't some risk involved if a number of factors occur at the same time.

And you are right: to be safe any cheap wireless trigger will be a good idea. Or any of the Wein thingies that insulate the camera. Good thing to have also if you ever shoot on a set with older strobes or so.

United States / Re: What would you buy if...
« on: December 09, 2011, 09:42:33 AM »
Hey guys,

Here's the question:
given the very low euro currency we eu guys would die to have US prices here.
Let's say one of your relatives goes to US and could bring you a nice gift.
What would you ask him/her to bring you?
(I'm not thinking of what you need but I'm thinking the best way to maximize the currency/prices differences. I.e. an 85 1.2 seems the winner to me...but wanna hear your suggestions)

The city is NY
The store in question is BH off course
and as you might have guessed by now...yes I have my old man going to NY for a vacation and he asked me if I wanted him to bring me something...LOL.
I still have to figure out if it's a complete gift out the box (so i can shoot whatever i want) or if I'll need to pay him back LOL

You can also suggest lighting related stuff, but not too big and not too heavy.

I don't know where you're located but make sure that you know your local tax and customs laws. You don't want your old man inadvertently smuggle something for you.

Other than that: yes, price differences between the US and the Euro zone at the moment are quite significant when it comes to camera gear. That may be partially due to Canon's markups and market assessment on each side of the pond but I also feel that there is a lot of iffy stuff going on with our currencies at the moment in which the Euro zone has in interest in overstating the value of their money and the US seems to still think that we can shift things by keeping the dollar low. A lot of this doesn't reflect reality and hasn't for a while. So go ahead and take advantage of it while it lasts. I would go with what is useful to me though - and not what is the best value in terms of the "Big Mac Index". Unless of course you're buying it to sell with a profit - which I'm sure is something people have figured out probably already and will make customs officers at the airport look carefully at camera gear in people's bags. I've seen once how almost an entire plane from Hong Kong flying into Frankfurt was screened and officers checked serial numbers and all sorts of stuff.

United States / Re: Prime lenses you currently own or on your wishlist.
« on: December 06, 2011, 09:20:02 AM »
Oh, I'm working on the project at the moment that may free up some cash early next year. The 135L is overdue to go into the bag I believe (but then I also so the price of the 16-35 has come down...). No, I think the 135 is next. Hope Santa can arrange for a new PC also...


The second part is kind of along the lines of getting a full frame digital camera. I have had some of the negatives blown up to poster size and they look excellent (B&W's as that is what I mainly shoot). If a 35mm film camera is about equal to 8-15mega pixels, than the 5dMark II should be just fine as it should perform better than my film camera???



Earlier this year I did a comparison using the following:

film: EOS650, 50mm f/1.4, Speedlite 430EZ, Kodak TMAX 100
digital: EOS 5DmkII, 50mm f/1.4, Speedlite 580EXII.

Shooting roughly the same composition, the 5DII gave much better resolution (at ISO640) than the TMAX 100 black and white film did.

This was not a scientifically conducted test, but rather a subjective evaluation to satisfy my curiosity.

My feeling now is that you need to be really dedicated to want to shoot film.

Bear in mind that, as has been pointed out, film grain and digital noise are different in nature, which makes a direct comparison difficult.

Just out of curiosity: how did you compare this and how was the Kodak film printed? If you send it in and received "prints" from a lab then the result doesn't surprise me. One of the reasons I finally caved in and bought a digital camera is that "modern" film processing is done by developing in chemistry, scanning the film with some mass scanning device at low resolution and then printing it with the same ink jet technology that unfortunately is now used for everything. The results are pretty bad so that I stopped making photographs for several years since I do not have my own darkroom and paying a specialty lab to make an actual traditional print is expensive and quite a bit of hassle. Color prints are pretty much out of the question these days.

So for an actual comparison you'd have to refer to slides and project them. Or make you're own b/w prints or pay someone to do it for you.

When I look at that I still feel that 35mm film is about in the same category as my 5DII or even slightly better because real prints are just better than ink jet printouts. But that is of course no scientific comparison either just my impression - and not necessarily centered around "sharpness" and detail but a certain depth that the old prints had. Also the grain looks more natural to me than the artificial smoothness of digital. But that's less a technical question but rather a question of what you are used to and what we have grown to expect. Digital has certainly changed aesthetics. Not saying that is good or bad, but it makes such a comparison so difficult.

I hope digital, especially the printing aspect further develops - and I also hope that film will survive to some extend. I'll continue to use both.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS-1V Experience?
« on: December 05, 2011, 08:58:02 AM »
Certainly something I want to add one day to my bag as well. To me the last 1series film cameras and the F1n are among the best 35mm cameras ever made.

If you already have the lenses to go with why not? The problem, however, and the reason I even finally bought a 5DII as my first digital camera is that it has become very difficult to get good results because labs stopped printing from film the way it's supposed to be done. Scanning and then printing digitally is not really an alternative. And very very expensive if done properly.

Alternative is to have your own dark room and I don't really won't to go there at the moment. For B/W there are still some places that will do it for you. Everything else is pretty much dead and is not getting better.

What I also find a little weird is that people think of film of something that looks like a cheap iPhone "vintage" effect with off colors and things. Film really had come a long way and I still have a feeling that some of the later emulsions and papers were technically "better" (higher resolution and greater dynamic range) than modern DSLRs.

New Year's resolution #1: shoot more film in 2012 - support the local B/W lab!

I'm going to add a minority opinion on Lightroom.

I bought it about six months ago. I really wanted to like Lightroom. I tried it a few times and was greatly disappointed. I bought Scott Kelby's book on it and will probably get back to it one of these days, but here is my take:

I'm used to the Bridge interface for file management. I don't need or want an elaborate file management system, so I'd rather stick with what I know for something mindless like file management. I can double-click on an image in Bridge and it brings it into the Adobe Raw editor from Photoshop. Everything I've read indicates that there is no difference between the Photoshop Raw editor and Lightroom's Raw editor (the same adjustments are available in both).

I'm very used to the Photoshop Raw editor. It's what I know and use and I am comfortable doing my adjustments there. As part of my personal workflow, I usually open the file as a "smart object" in Photoshop, duplicate it one or more times and then go back into Raw to adjust specific areas of the image on these various layers. (later using a mask and the brush tool to overlay the layers).

One of the problems I found with Lightroom, was that when I double click to open a smart object in Raw, Photoshop defaults to its own Raw editor, so I end up working in the Photoshop Raw editor anyway. There may be some way to change that, but from my perspective, as long as I was going to be working in Photoshop Raw for half or more of my layers, why bother with a second interface?

I did not find any advantage to developing the image in Lightroom as opposed to Photoshop's Raw editor, so I guess for me, I haven't felt a strong need to change my workflow. I intend to make an effort at some point to go back and really give Lightroom another chance, but I've found I'd rather spend the time shooting and editing photos than learning a new program at this point.

On the other hand, for about the same money and at about the same time, I bought a "pro" version of OnOne Software's Photo Tools (Actually I think I got a free stripped-down version with Photoshop and then upgraded to the "pro" version). I use it almost daily. Yes, there are tons of cheesy effects that I would never use, but there are about a dozen really useful tools that I have come to absolutely rely on to save time and give me the look I'm after. For the money, I'd pick this over Lightroom any day (yes they are two different animals, but that's the point -- you already own a Raw editor with Photoshop, while the OnOne plug-ins give you something new.

Bottom line: If you own Photoshop already, Lightroom gives you a different interface and a different file management tool, but it doesn't give you a different Raw image editor.

I'm just one user, and I'm in the minority, but I just thought you ought to hear another opinion.

At this stage (and I'm willingly trying to use and learn LR3 at this point for a second time) I'd second that. Not sure if that really is a "minority opinion". I even recently went to a LR workshop and even there were quite a few people who are well aware of all the limitations and some buggy behavior of LR3.

For a photo-management library I find it very slow and cumbersome to add new stuff. Takes a while and tends to crash along the way (on a dual core 2.5 GB PC with a fast HD). And then there is the issue that I can't find a simple way to sync to PC's libraries. Without exporting things to my already existing file folder system on an external network drive I see no benefit here at all. Just more stuff to remember to update and back up.

The work flow may be very intuitive to some. I find it still weird and find myself jumping back and forth and scrolling a lot. The Bridge>CS5>file folder system> rinse/repeat approach is probably what I'll go back to. But hey, the experiment was only $90 and certainly looks pretty with the dark interface.

Hi I'm new and I'm having trouble with deciding on which tripod I should buy, the 055xprob or the 190xprob? There are a few 190 variety of tripods from Manfrotto but I'm thinking of the 190xprob. Right now I'm thinking of buying the 055xprob in the near future. Only because I don't want to upgrade in the future and it holds more than the 190xprob does. I'm also looking to buy a flash, most likely the 580EX II as it's the most professional but I've also read that it has a few issues (I can't remember exactly, something with the hotshoe and something about the 430EX II being better than the 580EX II in some aspects.) I'm really hoping the 580EX III comes out soon - probably not in the foreseeable future :( If someone can point out the pros and cons and talk about their experience using these tripods/flashes it would help a lot. I've read heaps and heaps of reviews on amazon/adorama, etc.
I would like to do some portrait shots (and will buy a 'portrait' lens in the future) but I also want to go travelling (in the foreseeable future, most likely UK, Europe and USA) and buying a tripod would benefit me I think. I only have 1 camera (7D) and 2 lenses (my kit and walk around lens 18-200mm 3.5-5.6 IS lens and my 70-200mm 2.8 IS II lens). I will buy a 2nd and FF camera in the future (maybe 5D mark III).

Also if someone could tell me more about Adobe Lightroom as I'm interested in buying it - many people have told me it's better than photoshop as it's non-destructive and has a good gallery thing and good at renaming files. But I want to know a lot more before I buy this product. I'm currently using PS CS5 extended. But I've heard PS and Lightroom go hand-in-hand and work really well together. Any helpful information would be appreciated :)

Hi Scott,

All good questions that in one way or another crossed my mind over the last year after going digital and starting over with modern equipment.

Tripod: Oh, well. Start with the question if you really need one right now. If yes do a lot of research on this. For a serious camera (like your 7D with a 70-200 2.8 L) you need a serious tripod. You read all these stories how most of us start with some basic Manfrotto (or worse...) and then upgrade to the next level jsut to find out that they should have spend on something in the $1000 range in the first place. My Manfrotto story in short is that, yes, some of the high end stuff is ok and everything else is not really. Especially in cold weather their plastic clamps come apart. Happened to my several times. In fairness, after some back and forth they replaced my last tripod of the 190 variety for free. I keep this now for occasional use and very carefully. If I ever feel the need for using a tripod a lot more I'd probably look at some of the companies like Real Right Stuff and such. There are some slightly lower grade options available that have also gotten really good reviews by users. Can't remember their names right now.

580EXII: Went back and forth on that one. The only reasonable alternative seems to be the Metz 58 AF-2. The 580 has some know issues and there are many reports that it blows out under certain circumstances or for no obvious reason. A lot of this has been bot reported and disputed (look for the threads here with respect to the study done by Pocket Wizard). In the end I decided to go with the 580EXII and overall like it. I use it more often than my 430EXII because the wheel on the back is much nicer than the (sometimes non-responsive) buttons of the 430. The Metz has a few nice features (like a beep function similar to what Nikon offers) but in a direct comparison in the store the Canon felt a little more sturdy even though I've always been a Metz guy for the exact opposite reason. However, at this point I'd really wait a few months if possible and see if Canon really reworks their flash system which is really long overdue given the capabilities of the Nikon system. Flash systems and new 50mm lenses are the two things where I'm still hoping for something new and better in the near future and I'd be willing to upgrade at a loss.

Lens: Don't know what your preferences are. You have a great lens for the long range already that a lot of folks love for portraits. If you're planning to go full frame anyway soon you could invest in something to replace your EFs lens. Or add a good prime in your preferred focal range. Or just wait until you really go full frame since often things are more economical as a "kit" (like the 5DII with the 24-105 or so).

Lightroom: That's another "oh, well". Been there and I'm back at it again. Back then when I needed to upgrade from Photoshop 7 to something that supports CR2 files I went back and forth over this. For full disclosure: I'm eligible for an educator discount so we're talking about different variances here when it comes to money.

I couldn't be sold on the "LR3 does everything even a pro ever needs" idea. LR3 does a lot of editing really well. It even does some things differently and rather nicely that Photoshop CS5/camera raw does not do. But some things I would personally miss, e.g. real Doge and Burn options and real layers. Also I don't like the "non-destructive" database approach which is really the whole idea. Creates more clutter in my "work flow".

Notwithstanding, I actually just picked up a copy of LR3 in addition to my CS5 photoshop. It is nice for two things: working on batches of photos and some of the export functions namely to zenfolio. Other things I still find weird like the fact that it doesn't allow you to sync up two databases (as far as I know yet) if you work on more than one computer. CS5 of course doen't do that either but in my workflow I always keep a seperate folder for all edited files that I can sync and backup easily. If I work on a file on my laptop when I'm not at home - or several - than I always have to export a copy much like I would save things in CS5. So no gain really on that end. And then I find myself open things in PS anyway often because there I know what to find where (sort of). If you already have CS5 you are all set. No need to add LR3 really unless you are working on a lot of stuff at once or export a lot to places like zenfolio (no plug in for PS available...). With current prices for LR3 you may throw it in just for laughs and giggles and then qualify for the upgrade to LR4 if that is anything mind blowing (which I doubt). Same doubt about anything "mind blowing" I also have regarding any 5DII replacement. With current deals it may be worth considering the upgrade to full frame now rather than later. I'm semi-seriously debating storing away a second 5dII since I don't expect any improvements with future models that I'd personally find useful. YMMV of course with respect to all topics above. Enjoy.

Lenses / Re: Lens filter for L sealing
« on: December 02, 2011, 09:00:26 AM »
In my experience it's worth investing in something like B+W. I'm not even sure if the optical qualities of the better coating really make much of a difference (at least I could not find any differences when using a cheap old Quantaray on my 50 1.4 vs no filter at all). But as far as an extra layer of protection and the quality of the threads it does make a difference.

I first had a chain-store labeled clear filter on my 24-105. I noticed that dust would get through the unsealed edges of the glass during cleaning. Decided to go with the thin version of the clear B+W filter instead. It's a lot more solid all around and their optical qualities are undisputed.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 f/2.8 II or f/4 vs. 200/2.8 prime
« on: December 01, 2011, 05:36:16 PM »
I decided to go with the 200 2.8LII - well knowing that I would add the 135L soon after. And I wouldn't trade it for the big, heavy expensive (and white) zoom. Weight is not really that much of a concern to me really, but I prefer primes in general and felt that I'd use those two lenses more often than the big white one. And I don't trust this IS business to last for very long. And I still have money left at the end of the day.

But it also depends on the application. For some events or other fast moving things it's probably great. I recently used the zoom with an original 5D during a portrait workshop. Felt weird.

The 200 2.8LII in my experience works great with portraits/headshots outside, kids, amateur sports. Results look great. Bokeh is really really nice.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mark III Information [CR1]
« on: December 01, 2011, 09:11:00 AM »
i personaly dont really mind more megapixels however seeing the lenses at the moment cant deliver enough detail for the 18+ mp sensors its a good point to stick to 18MP sensors for a year and perfect those.
maby if they find a way to imporve lenses further there is a point in adding more megapixels for this cheapass cropfreak.

I've heard this before and find it hard to believe. Do you have any data to back up that claim? The top shelf lenses today have (give or take) been around for decades in one way or another and have always been resolving high enough for film. How could they be not good enough for 18 or 21 or whatever MP sensors? There are certainly many issues today that could see improvement. Lens quality doesn't seem to be one of them really to me (other than the fact that we're pretty much married to AF these days and that lenses aren't that haptically appealing anymore).

There is a reason by the way why Leica decided to develop M-series cameras that take all of their old lenses. Seems to work really great.

EOS Bodies / Re: B&W photography: What happened to grain?
« on: December 01, 2011, 08:52:44 AM »
Some features previously available only in post-processing software are now being incorporated on dSLRs, e.g. HDR. What about B&W? Some of us boarded dSLRs from film. Shooting mostly B&W I find there's a huge difference between film B&W and digital "Monochrome" (i.e. defined as conversion from digital RGB color to mono) as regards grain. Seems technology moved forward leaving grain and all associated artistic expression behind. You can't get it anymore on dSLR probably because in sensor technology the equivalent to grain is Noise, i.e. unwanted.

So, do we end up paying 10,000 dollar 1Ds3's and now 1DX's to be unable to take a B&W picture a $50 discontinued Canon AV1 can? This is where Nik catches up. On Silver Efex they emulate some popular film types, e.g. Tri-X 400, T-Max Pro 100, Ilford Pan F 50, Fuji Neopan 1600, etc. where by some algorithm they add up to 500 dots on each pixel to emulate grain as best possible.

I'm not associated to Nik in any way but if Canon sensors (or N@kon or whatever for that purpose) inherently killed grain then please incorporate emulation in all dSLR just like HDR or give us Silver Efex bundled with the Canon utilities CD.

I posted a poll for this right next to see. Choices: 1. Film-type emulation menu to be incorporated on the body, 2. Silver Efex (or equivalent) bundled on utilities CD or 3. Do nothing, don't care for B&W grain anyway (or other reason).

Good point. Digital is great and there are now things possible at little or no cost that were unthinkable before. That's great. Other things are lost along the way. I haven't tried the Nik Software yet. I'm certain is does a great job.

But then there is still printing. And that's where traditional prints from film still are still ahead by over a hundred years. And that's where I see the biggest opportunity in advancing digital photography. In the meantime it's going to be a mute point if Canon puts out 21 MP cameras, 18 MP cameras or 10 MP cameras. It appears to be lost in translation anyway as far as I can see.

Lenses / Re: Packing small with primes. Advice needed please!
« on: November 30, 2011, 09:08:08 AM »
I've actually done that many times back in the days when I had access to two lenses: 50mm and 135mm. It never felt like I missed anything. And the two L versions of these lenses must be some of the best SLR lenses ever. I personally can easily live without a wide angle lens and the 85mm range is too "in-between" for me. Depends on your subject matter and personal preferences of course.

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