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Messages - TrumpetPower!

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601
Software & Accessories / Re: Head for Manfrotto 055xprob
« on: October 08, 2012, 08:42:39 PM »
But the OP wants a head for indoor real estate - so presumably he will be using 14mm or 16-35mm lenses and not telephoto, so a good sturdy ball head with quick-release plates would be better for moving tripod + camera from room to room, as well as upstairs/downstairs.

You just described the Really Right Stuff BH-40....

b&

602
The Manfrotto 055XPROB can be put right down on the ground, and it's more than up to the task of holding your gear. Indeed, it works great with a gripped 5DIII plus the 180 macro with flash on rails on a ballhead -- just be prepared to weigh it down if you need to extend the setup past its tipping point.

(I actually prefer its older cousin, the 3021BPRO, for on-the-ground work. I've got both. The 055XPROB is great; the 3021BPRO is even better.)

Cheers,

b&

603
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Problem with dynamic range!!
« on: October 06, 2012, 12:10:10 PM »
I changed to spot to meter then to evaluative to shoot

That's probably your problem.

If you're doing spot metering and then making exposure adjustments (such as by putting on a filter), then you've got to be using manual exposure all the way. Otherwise, the camera is going to take a fresh reading and come up with its own best guess, which may well be a very confused guess through your filters.

Cheers,

b&

604
The Manfrotto 055XPROB is a superlative tripod, especially for low-angle / macro work on the ground, and it's pretty inexpensive. It's not as light as the carbon fiber tripods, but it's not all that heavy.

Put a Really Right Stuff BH-40 on that, and you're good to go.

If weight is an object and money isn't, RSS is making some great carbon fiber tripods.

Cheers,

b&

605
Software & Accessories / Re: Head for Manfrotto 055xprob
« on: October 06, 2012, 10:06:13 AM »
I'm a really huge fan of Really Right Stuff. Give them a call, describe your gear and what you want to do with it, and they'll get you set with exactly what you need.

Cheers,

b&

606
Lenses / Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
« on: October 04, 2012, 07:53:31 PM »
If it's just two lenses, then a standard zoom (24-70 or 24-105, your preference) and a telephoto zoom (70-200) is going to be your best bet. That's especially true since you don't have enough experience to know what you're doing; the versatility of the zoom will probably be a blessing for you.

No matter what you do, it'd be silly to not have the Shorty McForty (or at least the Plastic Fantastic) in your pocket. It's just too good and too small a lens to not have as backup.

If you were going to do a wedding with just two primes, you'd want a 35 and an 85.

More commonly, you'd have one of the holy trinities. 35/50/85 is the classic. 24/50/100 can work well. Some might like 35/85/135.

(Of course, all these focal length suggestions assume full frame. Adjust accordingly for crop.)

However, I wouldn't at all recommend doing a wedding with only primes until after you've done enough weddings with zooms to know what you're doing.

The ideal setup for a novice wedding photographer would be the holy trinity of zooms (either 16-35 or 12-24, depending on availability, plus standard and telephoto) plus a holy trinity of primes (pick any) with two bodies. You'd keep the standard zoom on one body, the telephoto on the other body, and only swap those out with one of the other lenses when you had a specific need to do so. That'll give you enough backup equipment to laugh in the face of disaster; enough options to cover any unexpected situation you might run into; and only be moderately burdensome.

Of course, it'll set you back five figures....

Cheers,

b&

607
Reviews / Re: Review - Canon TS-E 24 f/3.5L II
« on: October 04, 2012, 02:02:50 PM »
Imagine a picture of a little wildflower filling one side of the frame with a field and stream in the midground and the distant mountains in the background...and all of it in sharp focus except for the grass right underneath the flower with dreamy bokeh.

That sounds like you're speaking from experience. I'd love to see it. It might put me over the fence on buying one.

I'm writing from anticipation as much as anything else. I haven't shot wildflowers since getting the version II, though I've played around with perspective and the like with an eye towards what I'll do in the spring.

Here're two sorta-samples, though. The poppies are with the version I from some years back. The other was messing around in the back yard. Neither are near MFD, mostly for compositional reasons.

I'm also attaching a rough draft of the shot I took of the annular solar eclipse this past summer. The foreground on the lower right is several feet away. The rest...is a little bit farther.

Cheers,

b&

608
Reviews / Re: Review - Canon TS-E 24 f/3.5L II
« on: October 04, 2012, 01:40:23 PM »
A note on shift panoramas: simply shifting the lens doesn't make for a perfect perspective stitch, though it's generally "good enough" in the real world. Ideally, you want to keep the front element of the lens fixed while you shift the body. If you're using an Arca-Swiss clamp, you can easily fudge this -- even easier if the plate and clamp is laser-engraved (as most quality gear is).

You can create a shift panorama with this lens with the same field of view as a 16mm lens. Not only will this panorama be higher resolution than a similar shot made with a 16mm lens, the image quality on all fronts will be significantly better than what you get with a 16-35 L II. Yes, the fully-shifted corners on this prime are sharper and brighter than the normal corners on the zoom.

Also, this lens has an amazingly short minimum focus distance. You can almost focus on the lens cap -- and you probably can with an extension tube. That means that this lens lets you do wide-angle high-magnifcation near-macro shots like none other. Imagine a picture of a little wildflower filling one side of the frame with a field and stream in the midground and the distant mountains in the background...and all of it in sharp focus except for the grass right underneath the flower with dreamy bokeh.

Cheers,

b&

609
Software & Accessories / Re: NEW RAW Converter - Photoninja
« on: October 03, 2012, 08:05:17 PM »
It's worth noting that this is $130; that there's a non-functional demo version (save, etc. is disabled) available for free download; and that there're both Windows and Mac versions but that the Mac version requires 10.5.8 or later.

Cheers,

b&

610
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Better dynamic range than my 5DIII
« on: October 03, 2012, 06:00:09 PM »
It's almost guaranteed that that was shot with a large format camera, possibly even using 8" x 10" film. If so, then it's to your 5DIII what a PhaseOne IQ180 is to a cell phone camera.

Cheers,

b&
Except that negative format has nothing to do with DR that OP is talking about.

It does if it's black and white film compared with color digital.

b&

611
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Better dynamic range than my 5DIII
« on: October 03, 2012, 05:23:29 PM »
It's almost guaranteed that that was shot with a large format camera, possibly even using 8" x 10" film. If so, then it's to your 5DIII what a PhaseOne IQ180 is to a cell phone camera.

Cheers,

b&

612
EOS Bodies / Re: 7D or 5D2
« on: October 03, 2012, 03:48:40 PM »
Since the goal is a 5DIII, I'd suggest a 5DII today. Start saving for the 5DIII, and consider the resale value of the 5DII as a down payment on said savings.

However, if you mostly shoot sports today or anything else that needs a high-performance camera more than you need the best in image quality, then get the 7D (but still plan on selling it once you've saved up enough to get the 5DIII).

Also, as EOBeav pointed out, if all you shoot is landscapes, there's really not that much difference between the 5DII and the 5DIII. Yes, the 5DIII is a better landscape camera, but probably not enough so that you'd notice in a side-by-side comparison of prints. Where the 5DIII shines is in performance (framerate, autofocus) and low light situations.

Think of the two of them having basically the same film low ISO film, but the 5DIII gets you a much better camera plus some higher ISO film. If all you want of a camera is a light-tight box with good film, the 5DII is the way to go. If you need more than just the film to get the shot, the 5DIII is the better choice.

Cheers,

b&

613
Lenses / Re: Excellent shorter lens with TC vs Average longer lens
« on: October 02, 2012, 12:35:21 PM »
Thanks, should have mentioned that my interest is mostly astronomy related.

In that case, forget entirely about SLR lenses. Instead, get yourself a decent (real!) astronomical telescope and whatever adapter you need to mount your camera to it.

Everything involves compromise. There are lots of compromises necessary for making photographic lenses that come at the expense of astronomical suitability, and vice-versa. An upside-down image is a non-starter for a photographic lens, but hardly even worth mentioning for a telescopic lens, for example. Pleasing (or, at least, not distracting) out-of-focus blur is necessary for a photographic lens, but not even remotely on the radar for astronomers.

You will get <i>far</i> more bang for your buck with an astronomical telescope than with a telephoto lens.

There are exceptions, of course...if you're looking for wide-angle shots, such as of the entire Milky Way, then you'll need a typical wide-angle photographic lens. And a Great White is going to do a pretty decent job at wide-field astrophotography...but a $12,000 telescope is going to do a much better job than a $12,000 400 f/2.8 II. Still, if you're wanting to do an automated search for extra-solar planets, you're probably going to go with an array of several 200 f/1.8s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SuperWASP

Cheers,

b&

614
Lenses / Re: Excellent shorter lens with TC vs Average longer lens
« on: October 02, 2012, 10:03:34 AM »
Unless you're an astronomer or in the espionage business, there's very little real-world utility to lenses longer than about 800 mm. The most common case would be birding...but a successful bird photographer knows how to get close enough to the subjects to use a "normal" supertelephoto.

The 300 f/4 is an excellent lens. It's a bit short and slow for birding; if you'd have a teleconverter permanently attached, strongly consider the 400 f/5.6 instead.

You're always going to get the best results with a larger sensor and a (quality) lens that's (natively) long enough to properly frame your subject. But, if you're distance-limited...well, at first, it's a tossup between a (quality) 1.4x teleconverter and an APS-C body with higher pixel density. Some combinations will be better than others. If you're still distance-limited in such a situation, your only choice left is both. And if you still need to significantly crop with a teleconverter on a crop body, then either you need to get closer to your subject or you need better equipment or you're in the worng line of work.

Of course, what you're doing with the final output is a question, as well. If all you're looking for is something to post on BookFace, then you can settle for a lot less than if you're on assignment for <i>National Geographic.</i>

Cheers,

b&

615
Canon General / Re: Dream Package for Soccer???
« on: October 01, 2012, 07:04:41 PM »
As I understand it, the standard single-shooter setup is two bodies: a Great White on a monopod (at least a 400 or 500 for big field sports -- rent one if need be) on the left, and a 70-200 on the right. Most of the time, you shoot with the Great White. When the action gets close, that goes over your left shoulder, lens pointing down, left arm wrapped around the monopod. In the same movement, you bring the 70-200 up to your eye with your right hand.

You'd have a normal and an ultra-wide on your belt, and swap with the 70-200 when warranted (mostly for crowd / sidelines shots when action is slow.

I know there's lots of excitement at this chance for you (congratulations!), but I'd keep it simple. If you've got extra gear, have it available (with a friend in the stands, for example) as a backup in case of disaster, but don't have it with you. (Extra memory and batteries, a Shorty McForty, that sort of thing excepted, of course.)

One last suggestion: see if you can get in touch with somebody local who already does this for a living. Offer to buy lunch in exchange for tips. Oh -- and see if you can do some practice runs at a high school or college game (or even practice session), too.

Cheers,

b&

P.S. I also understand that good knee pads are not optional. b&

P.P.S. Have fun! b&

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