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Messages - TrumpetPower!

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Nikon D7000 or Canon 7D/7D2/70D
« on: February 16, 2013, 12:17:01 PM »
With one notable exception, the two systems are indistinguishable.

Sure, any given camera at any given time from either will outperform its counterpart on a particular specification, but that'll swap as likely as not in the next generation. If you happen to have some very specific needs, then it might make sense to pick the brand based upon how that particular generation of cameras meets those needs...but, in all honesty, brand X's next-generation camera will beat camera Y's current-generation camera, so you have to watch out for falling into the trap of forever chasing the latest-and-greatest.

That one exception I mentioned at the top?

User interface.

Do you like the way the controls and menus are laid out on your Nikon? Then stick with it. Did your Canon feel more comfortable? Then switch back.

Again, there are ways in which a particular camera is superior to the offerings from the other. If you want the ultimate all-around camera, get the 5DIII. If megapickles and dynamic range are all that matter to you, get the D800. If you want the ultimate action camera, get the 1DX. If you want the best low-light shooter ever made, get the 6D. If you want supertelephotos or tilt / shift lenses, go Canon. If you want a 12-24 f/2.8, go Nikon. And so on.

But, really...for 99 44/100% of shooters, the only meaningful difference between the two systems is the user interface.



Lenses / Re: Is the 45mm TS-E good for wedding photography?
« on: February 15, 2013, 06:14:26 PM »
Granted, I'm not a wedding photographer, but, of all the lenses I can think of to use at a wedding, the TS-E 45 would possibly be the very last of them.

Well, okay. I'd probably reach for it before the MP-E 65, or the 1200 f/5.6....



Lenses / Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« on: February 15, 2013, 02:48:29 PM »
I think that the biggest parts of learning to shoot are finding/manipulating light (which doesn't necessarily fit in this discussion) and learning to see the world through your camera.

I completely agree -- and that's exactly why I think zooms are so much better than primes for beginning students.

With a zoom, composition is a matter of finding the location where you've got the perspective you want and then turning the ring until your subject is framed the way you want. It's very intuitive and easy.

With a prime, you've instead got to start making compromises between perspective and framing, and you might have to switch lenses and start cropping to get what you want. And all that additional time and attention spent learning how to compose with a prime could be much better spent on learning about light.

Similarly, I'd encourage students to learn how to drive in an automatic transmission car. Might a professional driver be able to get something extra out of a manual transmission car? Sure, of course. But what students need to learn isn't speed shifting, but situational awareness and right-of-way. Having the additional confusion of all these levers and pedals takes away from what's important.

Once you've mastered that which is important, then it's time to start adding on the advanced techniques. But anything you can do to simplify up front is an advantage.

Indeed, I'd start students in green square mode. The first lessons would be on composition (no waist-up portraits in landscape orientation with the head centered in the frame!) and quickly add in light. Only later would I introduce Av and Tv modes, finally full manual, and I'd only mention manual focus late in the game as part of a discussion of the autofocus system. Indeed, I'd certainly spend time in the digital darkroom before discussing manual focus.

Many educators make the mistrake of making their students learn by reenacting the history of the field, keeping them from the modern methods until they've mastered the primitive. This is counter-productive! Make full use of all modern advancements to teach the most fundamental concepts. If there's a crutch that'll let students learn something important without having to claw their way to it, use the crutch! Then, when they understand the important parts, show them how to start dropping the crutches.



Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 40 f/2.8 STM
« on: February 15, 2013, 02:04:09 PM »
I thought some of you, though not interested in the content of the review, may be interested in my how-to on pouring syrup on the lens (or how I didn't actually pour syrup on the lens) http://www.petapixel.com/2013/02/15/tutorial-creating-a-photo-of-syrup-being-poured-on-a-pancake-lens/

Thanks for that! Again, well done.


Lenses / Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« on: February 15, 2013, 01:55:00 PM »
If you are on a budget, and a student learning photography, I would recommend going the prime route.

I very much disagree.

For one, a single zoom is cheaper than a trio of primes covering the same focal length range.

For another, primes are specialized tools. The only time you want a prime instead of a zoom is when the prime does something the zoom doesn't.

It used to be that that meant image quality, but no more. Many of the lenses with the best image quality are zooms, and some of the lenses with the worst image quality are primes in popular focal lengths. For example, the 20mm f/2.8 -- a perfect medium-wide for APS-C, is one of the most "meh" lenses in Canon's lineup. And the worst lens I've ever owned is a Canon 28 f/2.8, which should be the ultimate normal lens for the format.

It also used to be that that meant speed, but not very much any more. While there are times when you want to shoot faster than f/2.8, those situations are rare and marginal. With the high ISO capabilities of modern DSLRs, you don't need the speed for low light shooting. And razor-thin depth of field effects are a specialist "look" of a certain style of portrait photography.

Now, there are a number of specialist lenses that happen to be primes that are well worthy of consideration. True macro lenses are always primes, for example, and lenses with movements (TS-E) are always primes. Until the 200-400 goes on the market, all the Great Whites are primes. The amazingly diminutive Shorty McForty is a prime. And, yes, the super-fast portrait lenses are all primes.

But each of those lenses has something in particular that it does that a zoom doesn't, and it's for that something in particular that you'd want said lens. When you don't need that something particular, though, the zoom is far superior to the prime, as it's literally a bag full of primes in a single lens for less money.

Some will suggest that the big limitation of a prime -- that you can't change focal length -- is somehow a creative advantage. Bullshit -- with a simple piece of gaffer's tape, your zoom suddenly acquires the exact same creative advantage as the prime. And a two-second adjustment gives your zoom the same advantage as with another prime of a different focal length.

So, rattlit, my suggestion still stands: get the 17-55 (and, if you really think you need it, a $2 roll of gaffer's tape).



Lenses / Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« on: February 15, 2013, 01:34:05 PM »
I would like to have an ef lens rather than an ef-s lens because it'd be really nice to be able to share the lens with my fathers' film camera (eos 2000 i assume and it's lens is currently broken).

My first recommendation would be to forget that limitation. There's nothing for a student to learn with film these days. Any more, it's at most an advanced elective or an expensive toy. Yes, yes -- there are people still creating great art with film, and there always will be. And there are painters who still grind their own pigments, too, and chefs who have on-site gardens. But that's not what those fields are about these days, and that's certainly not what you need to learn.

If you can let go of wanting glass to use on both your modern APS-C DSLR and dad's old relic, I would first recommend a standard zoom for the format. At KEH, I see the ultimate such lens, the 17-55 f/2.8 IS, available for well under your budget limit.

And, frankly, that's all I'd recommend you get at first. Save up the remainder of your budget for something else.

If and when you start to get frustrated with the limitations of the 17-55 -- and, frankly, there aren't any, except for focal length and maximum magnification -- then add to your kit with something that directly addresses those limitations. You might want a macro; you might want an ultrawide; you might want a telephoto. But wait until you know what it is that you want, and then get it.



Lenses / Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
« on: February 14, 2013, 04:45:01 PM »
Travelling around on a bike - surely the real question here is 'why can't you get a bike panier to carry photographic kit safely?'

I'm all for bicycles as primary modes of transportation, but I couldn't in good conscience recommend to somebody to carry a Great White on a pannier. You're talking about ten pounds of precision optics that costs a thousand dollars a pound. It's very common to take a spill on a bike, and just one would wreck that lens.

Sure, you could get a custom case that would properly protect the lens against a bike wreck, but there's no way you're going to fit it on a pannier.

I could see carrying a Great White in the cargo section of a larger velomobile, such as a Quest. But not on an open-frame bicycle.



EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D III Dynamic Range
« on: February 14, 2013, 04:36:39 PM »
but still no 5d2 samples for me to compare.. from anyone?...


Since none of us bother trying to recover images where the flash didn't fire, none of us have ever had problems with noise in Zone -2 shadows. And none of us care what kinds of noise may or may not lurk in Zone -2 shadows.

You're the guy claiming that brand X car is complete junk because it can only do 45 MPH in first gear, while brand Y car is totally awesome because it can do 50 MPH in first gear. All the rest of us are telling you you're an idiot for waiting so long to shift gears, and that we're not at all interested in seeing how fast we can drive in first gear.

And then you have the nerve to insult us for not bothering to test-drive our cars way past redline for you to see just how fast we can get them to go in first gear.

(Of course, the car analogy breaks down at this point, as there's no danger from exposing images in a pointless manner. But why bother wasting our time on something as stupidly pointless as seeing what kind of noise there is in a lenscap-on shot with enough digital gain to put it in Zone III?)



EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D III Dynamic Range
« on: February 14, 2013, 10:25:24 AM »
nobody's asked to recover 5 stops in this thread.

Actually, you have (and did so again right here), but never mind.

I found my camera would show FPN with less than TWO stops of push on shades as high as -3EV to start with, even worse on a -5EV shade pushed 2 stops.

So, you underexposed your shot by three stops, and you're upset that you weren't able to push your Zone II detail-less shadows to midtones. And then you underexposed another shot by five stops, and you're upset that you weren't able to push your maximum-density clear-negatives pure blacks  to light shadows rich in detail.

Sorry, but I ain't got nothin' for ya, except to suggest that you really should take an introduction to photography class.

Here's another hint: if your scene has large dark expanses of areas with little detail, you really shouldn't be trying to lighten those areas. Indeed, those are perfect candidates for crushing them to near-black to enhance the image's overall contrast. Trying to lighten them is going in the exact worng direction.



Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 40 f/2.8 STM
« on: February 13, 2013, 08:35:25 PM »
Long Live the Shorty McForty!


It is just Shorty Forty...similar to Nifty Fifty...Most reference on the net is just Shorty Forty...no need to infuse a Mc here. It is like some one trying to rebrand the 50mm a "Nifty Von Fifty" or "Nifty Herr Fiftty".

There is no linkage to this lens in particular to the celtic naming you are trying to promote other than someone trying hard to make it stick....may be if it were wearing a kilt? ;)

Well, I don't know about anybody else's Shorty McForty, but mine not only wears a very stylish kilt, but it's got great big hairy brass ones hidden underneath, swinging freely in the breeze. It positively thrives on the Water of Life. And the way it plays the pipes would raise the dead and kill the living. Oh -- it also likes haggis for breakfast and porridge for supper.

...that, and I've not only always heard it referred to with that honorific, I also like the way it rolls off the tongue.


Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 40 f/2.8 STM
« on: February 13, 2013, 07:42:57 PM »
I had the 50/1.8 and I rather have the 40/2.8 due to the optical quality.

Same here, the 'lil 40 is much better in every way.

Almost every way.

The Plastic Fantastic is over a stop faster and a bit longer and thus can get a shallower depth of field.

The extra stop is nice for low light, too, but the insane high ISO abilities of modern cameras make that advantage of wide apertures much less important.

If I had to choose between the Plastic Fantastic and the Shorty McForty, I'd pick the Shorty McForty in a heartbeat, though. The Plastic Fantastic wouldn't be my go-to lens for wide aperture work, so that one area where it narrowly beats the Shorty McForty is irrelevant to me.


EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Panic button - 1Dx
« on: February 13, 2013, 03:12:01 PM »
Don't be afraid of either the green square ... for emergencies. ... Green square (or P on 1-series) all the way.

I actually sort of miss the green square mode.  Where it came in handy was when I wanted to hand my camera to someone else so I could get in the picture, without giving them a mini-lesson.  Specifically, green square mode cancels out back-button AF, whereas P mode on the 1D X does not.

I've mentioned today in the thread for the review, but slap the Shorty McForty on an un-gripped 5D, put it in green square, turn on live view, and you can hand it to anybody and they'll know just what to do with it.

...of course, it doesn't prevent them from taking a waist-up landscape-orientation picture with your head centered in the frame, but....


EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Panic button - 1Dx
« on: February 13, 2013, 02:20:56 PM »
Don't be afraid of either the green square or P modes for emergencies. You'll get the shot, even if it's not as well executed as you might like.

If there's a particular type of emergency you often find yourself in that's better suited to some particular setup, then that's where the program modes come in. But just, "Elvis just stepped out of the flying saucer!" types of shots? Green square (or P on 1-series) all the way.


Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 40 f/2.8 STM
« on: February 13, 2013, 01:27:37 PM »
And I didn't really pour it on the lens, I fashioned a dummy container then masked the lens in from a separate shot.

Indeed, ELA suggests that and a couple other PS manipulations...but it was well done!

Thanks, that's an interesting site, though I'm not quite sure how to read the "results"

Neither am I, though I'll heartily agree that the post-processing was very well done. I haven't critically examined it, but it's at least good enough that it doesn't make one think that critical examination is necessary -- which translates to, "Mission Accomplished!"



Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 40 f/2.8 STM
« on: February 13, 2013, 01:05:17 PM »
You call that shi7 syrup?  It's CRAP.

Ha ha, I bought it *specifically* for the shoot. I wouldn't feed my kids with it, but 100% pure maple syrup is a bit expensive to go pouring over a lens for one shot ;)

Not only that, but the cheap S___ has all sorts of thickeners that make it more photogenic. Perhaps not surprisingly, they also do a good job at thickening those who eat it....

I'd do two things for that shot, though...first, I'd transfer the syrup to a small pitcher so it wasn't so obvious that it's the cheap S___...and I'd also consider using motor oil / transmission oil / Slick 50 / etc. instead of syrup.

...it would depend, of course, on whether or not the lens was intended to remain functional after the shot. I'd probably ask Canon for a warranty reject destined for the scrap heap for a donor lens, but I know there're photo shoots where nobody would bat an eye at a few hundred spent on props.



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