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Messages - justsomedude

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Lens Giveaway Contest / Re: *Contest* People - Post Here.
« on: October 10, 2011, 12:19:29 AM »

Lens Giveaway Contest / Re: Contest Announcement!
« on: October 10, 2011, 12:18:46 AM »
However, the community does seems very nice here. I may just have to stick around.  ;D

The community here simply rules... I've gotten a lot of help with my camera issues here in the past, and keep coming back.  Join in some threads - trust me, you'll like the people here.


Sports / Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« on: August 28, 2011, 08:03:23 PM »
American Levi Leipheimer whips around Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado on his way to victory in the inaugural US Pro Cycling Challenge...

Sports / Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« on: August 25, 2011, 04:08:07 PM »
justsomedude I have a question. How much does the 7D AF help you in capturing these shots(supposed you have a decent panning technique)?
I'm asking because with my 400d it is quite hard to get lots of in focus shots.. I usually put focus to manual and wait for the bike to come, else I may lose the shot..


Unfortunately, I don't think there is a straightforward answer to your question.  But if I had to answer yes or no, I'd say "no"...  the 7D's AF alone is not as big a factor as some people might think for these types of shots.  However, there are other aspects of the 7D that do provide a little advantage over other camera bodies (I'll get to that later).

Don't get me wrong, the 7D AIservo AF is a help, but only a small factor in the grand scheme of shooting this kind of shot at 1/160th.  The problem is at these slow shutter speeds (1/160th is "slow" for a racing motorcycle), the rider is moving and his fairings are vibrating/shaking violently due to wind/engine&road vibrations - so getting the entire bike/rider to be crisp is difficult (and sometimes just takes luck).  I've tried shooting as low as 1/125 and 1/100, but my keeper rate becomes atrocious.  1/160th is about as slow as I can go (in corners) while getting a somewhat decent keeper rate, and getting the entire bike to be sharp.  I have to bump the shutter speed up on main straights as the bike speeds are much higher.

All things considered, I'd say panning technique is priority #1 for shooting any type of shot like this, and always will be.  Even when my focus is spot on, most of my throw-aways are due to camera shake (translation: operator error).  :)  After panning technique, I think optics are the #2 consideration for panning shots, and they play a bigger role than camera body or AF type.  Shooting with a fast lens with image stabilization (in a panning mode) can significantly increase keeper rates.  Also, keep in mind that teleconverters -  while giving you more reach - will actually compromise image quality.  You also lose two stops of light with most TCs. 

I shoot with a 70-200mm and use a 1.4x TC if I really have to.  In a perfect world (where money grew on trees), I'd be shooting 300mm or 400mm f/2.8L IS lenses, like the two just featured on the home page.  Unfortunately, I don't have that kinda cash.  :P

Lastly, there is definitely a point where camera body comes into play, but I don't think the AF processing is necessarily the key benefit.  In my mind, the advantage to the 7D is the much larger pentaprism, which is actually larger than the 5D MKII's pentaprism (see pentaprism info in this review).  While processing certainly helps for tracking, it's of my opinion that this large pentaprism is a huge help to the 7D's AF system.  Either way, I'd put the AF system as the lowest priority with respect to obtaining higher keeper rates for motorsports photography (that is, in a 400d to 7D comparison... obviously AF is a factor if we're comparing a 7D to a powershot!). 

Remember, people have been taking these kinds of photos for years - long before digital AF came about... and somehow they were able to get tack sharp shots.  ;)  If you are able to get good crisp shots with pre-setting focus at a fixed distance, that means you're really dialing your panning technique down.  Ultimately, if you upgrade to a higher-end camera, you'll be well ahead of the curve for handling the AF features that come with it.

I hope this helps!

Sports / Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« on: August 10, 2011, 09:38:15 PM »
Impressive shot dude!

Thanks akiskev!  Here's another from the same corner...

July 31, 2011
High Plains Raceway, Colorado

f/6.3 100ISO 1/160s 100mm
70-200mm f/2.8 IS II and 1.4x TC extender
7D Body

Sports / Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« on: August 02, 2011, 04:42:30 PM »

July 31, 2011
High Plains Raceway, Colorado

f/7.1 100ISO 1/160s 135mm
70-200mm f/2.8 IS II and 1.4x TC extender
7D Body

Sports / Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« on: July 31, 2011, 09:27:37 PM »

Shot July 31, 2011
High Plains Raceway, Colorado

f/4 100ISO 1/160s 165mm
70-200mm f/2.8 IS II and 1.4x TC extender
7D Body

Contests / Re: Holga Giveaway
« on: July 25, 2011, 05:56:53 PM »
NICE!  Count me in on the contest, please!


EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: June 13, 2011, 05:59:00 PM »
Okay. I was confused too. Because I was also thinking: "isn't that what autofocus does anyway?"

Glad you clarified that. I'm a big fan of the Tokina 11-16. At the risk of unleashing a firestorm of Canon lens fetishists, I have to say I think it's a better lens than the Canon 10-22. I'm going to have to try the center-point focus now. I guess usually, with a lens that wide, I haven't found focus to be as critical, so haven't really noticed the problem. Now, I'm curious.

Unfocused... I totally agree, and feel the Tokina 11-16mm is far superior to the Canon 10-22mm.  I've owned both, and after comparing the CA and clarity between the two, I found that the Canon was no match for the Tokina (at least on my 40D).  I'm hoping the replacement lens brings similar performance to my 7D.

Regarding the focus issues I had, check some samples on my website.  Look for "Tokina" in the title of the problem images.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: June 13, 2011, 05:14:42 PM »
Gee, you mean Tokina has discovered the normal behavior of automatic AF point selection?   Regarding Automatic AF point selection Mode, Canon states, "When working with non-moving subjects in the One-Shot AF mode, the EOS 7D starts with all 19 AF points active. The camera will then use the point or points which “see” the nearest subject with adequate detail."  I'm not sure what Tokina thinks the problem is here...


Maybe I should've been clearer in my original post, but the problem I experienced was in manual AF point selection mode.  Manually selecting any of the outside AF points would result in no-focus, and the lens would automatically focus on whatever was nearest to it.  So, even if I had selected a distant object with an outside focus point - if something was closer - the lens would focus on that.

That, to me, is a problem - but can be overcome as long as the user is aware of the limitation.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: June 13, 2011, 03:42:43 PM »
After experiencing various AF problems with my Tokina 11-16mm, I finally sent it in to THK Photo Products (Tokina's US servicer) in California for service/repair.  It looks like Tokina is quasi-acknowledging a compatibility issue with the 11-16mm lens and the 7D.  Here is the first response I received from the THK service representative in my email correspondence with him on June 13, 2011:

Quote from: THK Photo Products
In regards to the Tokina 11-16mm lens you sent in for repair, my technician has informed me that it was necessary to send your lens back to the factory in Japan.

We can offer you a replacement lens or arrange for a refund from the place of purchase.

After replying that I would love a replacement (as I truly love the lens), I asked the service rep if a replacement would definitely solve my problem - as I would like to avoid a repeat of the same AF issue.  Here is his response:

Quote from: THK Photo Products
Japan has found that when using this lens on the 7D, it works best when used in the Center Focus Mode. In the 19 point AF mode, the camera will automatically focus in on what ever is nearest in the frame, and this can cause soft images., However, when using the Center Focus Mode, the camera will focus in of the center of the subject without any problem.

We will replace the lens for you immediately.

However, it is not clear why my original lens would have to be sent back to Japan, unless there is some type of update required on earlier models of the 11-16mm to make it compatible with Center Focus Mode on the 7D.

Anyway, it looks like this should solve my OOF problems, and I'm looking forward to receiving the replacement lens (even if it means I can't use the other focus points).  I do love the Tokina 11-16mm, and am glad THK was prompt and responsive to my service request.

Hopefully others will find this information useful.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: June 04, 2011, 01:10:05 AM »
Nice shot. How'd you light it?

Thanks unfocused! 

This shot was lit with two off-camera speedlights triggered by the cheapie Yongnuo RF602 radio triggers

The main light was a Canon 580exII bounced off a white umbrella.  It was located just above and behind the camera position, about 4' off the gym floor.  The umbrella was angled at an approximate 45-degree down angle and aimed directly at the kettlebell/hand area. 

The side light was a Vivitar 285HV gelled red using the old DIY credit card gel holder trick (which only works on the Vivitars).  The speedlight was 90-degrees off the camera position, about five feet to the left of the kettlebell.  It was mounted on the Yongnuo radio shoe, which was attached to a Gorilla pod.   The flash head was no more than 18" off the floor, and aimed directly at the kettlebell - or just five-to-ten degrees to its left (into the image).

Sorry, but I don't remember the power settings on the speedlights.  I need to start taking better notes of my setups.  :/ 

Here's a graphical depiction:

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: June 03, 2011, 12:32:13 PM »
Cool. I would love to see the new results. :)

As promised, I'm posting a follow-up shot from my 7D with a 50mm f/1.8 lens after returning from Canon service.  Focus point was on the vertical part of the kettlebell handle, and auto-focus was used.  The hand and handle are all damn sharp.  This was shot at f/5 - in hindsight I should've stopped it down more to get the entire kettlebell in the DOF.  Oh well.  100ISO, with a very tiny amount of USM applied in post.

click for full-res

Sorry for the watermarks, but since I'm selling it as a stock image, I have to limit useage.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 24, 2011, 02:03:37 PM »
Thanks for the replies Neuro and Awin.  I have a few projects in the coming days, maybe I'll post up the results... in happier threads.


EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 24, 2011, 01:28:56 PM »
I've spent time thinking about your striping issue (banding) and since it's in a particular area, I would hate to think it's a bad sensor... I know they issued (a while ago) a firmware update that dealed with some banding issues, however if you have a fully up to date firmware, then I dont want to do the disservice and make suggestions without really looking at the camera and knowing the situation first hand. 

Fingers crossed and give us updates as you get your camera back.


Here is my latest, and hopefully final, post on this issue.  The 7D and 50mm arrived back from Canon yesterday, and both are performing well.  A few notes...

1) The 7D was reported to be totally within specification.  However, Canon did note in the service list that "electrical adjustments" were performed on the sensor.  In my first round of tests, the bright vertical band is totally gone.  So whatever the "electrical adjustments" were, it appears to have solved the problem.  I don't know how it can be "within spec" yet warrant "electrical adjustments", but whatever, it's working - so I'm not going to bitch about their reporting details.

2) Since the 7D was JUST in for the AF issue a month ago, I decided to send along my worst Canon performer for this round of service - the 50mm.  It turns out the AF board IN the lens was fried.  Canon replaced it free of charge.

3) As of now, all of my Canon lenses focus very well with my 7D, and I am now a very happy 7D owner.  The Tokina AF is still atrocious, and I have just packaged it for a trip out to THK in California.

This AF board issue leads me to wonder - am I frying my AF boards as a function of my own usage procedures?  I realize that it is considered VERY bad practice to swap lenses with a camera body powered ON.  However, the primary concerns with swapping a lens with a body in the ON position is attracting dust on a positively charged sensor (at least from what I could find).  The second biggest concern I could find through my searching seems to be limited reports of frying IS systems on high end IS lenses.  The least reported issue is frying an AF board (I actually found no reports of this issue due to hot-swapping lenses, so I guess I'm reporting it now). 

I know I am not the most diligent at turning OFF my body when swapping lenses, but I am thinking I may have fried the AF boards of my Tokina and 50mm by swapping my lenses out improperly.  What are your thoughts on this?

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