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Messages - Northstar

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Portrait of your "Best friend"
« on: April 13, 2014, 10:15:37 PM »

Old Friend by ecka84, on Flickr

"hi...um, i'm stoned" 

jk...nice shot!

Lenses / Re: New 50mm Sigma ? There are other options !
« on: April 13, 2014, 08:10:13 PM »
...each to their own, personally I have outgrown my zoom lenses and prefer the quality the prime provides and have the ability to think about the composition and use my feet.
Certainly each to their own. But I have to disagree about simply using your feet. The walking zoom is fine in some situations, but at a wedding in particular, you're often locked into tight positions either dictated by discretion or sheer physical mass of guests or objects.

While in no way denigrating the brilliant properties of the EF 35 f/2is, the 24-70 f/2.8II is the events shooters best friend, along with the undisputed champion of the world, the 70-200 f/2.8isII. In my view, for events work and indeed a great deal of all commercial work, these two extroidinary zooms make primes an inconvenient irrelevance.

At a wedding or any commercial job that is dynamic (vs static) I have total responsibility to my client to deliver the magic moments by the boatload. Classy zooms are the strongest tools in my kit.


Just reviewing my post (right above yours) and noticed that we're "in sync".

Lenses / Re: New 50mm Sigma ? There are other options !
« on: April 13, 2014, 07:51:07 PM »
Interesting theories regarding the price drop. I believe there has to be some truth in the fact that these lenses were originally intended to be quite high market and fill the gap between Ls which have not yet come out ( 35 1.4L II , 50 1.2 II L ) etc and sit above the entry level primes. It seems owning both the 24 and 35 IS that the 35 is ahead of the game glass wise. I have also owned the new 40 2.8 which i did not click with and ended up selling a month or two after getting it. Did not have the sharpness or unique quality that the 35 IS has.

Someone mentioned wondering why i posted two shots that werent at F2 , well simply because a large majority of shots at a wedding are not F2 as its just too shallow at close range. however the abililty to use the F2 when i want to artistically produces better results than the 24-70 2.8 and the added benefit of the IS makes it a great low light lens during church ceremonies and for detailed shots without flash. There is also the added bonus of its great close up ability and its light weight along with its very good build quality and fast af.

Someone else mentioned they were surprised I have just noticed primes. Thats not really the case i have a house full of old cameras with primes and adapters to fit them to my DSLR i have played with for years. It was the leap from the safety of a zoom to the primes which require a little more thought which was always the hurdle. For years i told myself that the 24-70 2.8L was the best lens for weddings ever - probably following the flock a little ! I cannot comment on the new 24-70 2.8II L though as i have not used it so whether that can get close to the prime someone else will need to answer.

This is a list of the lenses /Cameras I have used extensively from which i am using to judge this 5d3+35 IS combo from when i started with digital around 2004

Pentax istD
Pentax istDS
Pentax k100, k200, k10, k20
Canon 5Mk1
Canon 5Dmk2
Canon 5dmk3

Tokina RMC 17mm - amazing lens for its age
Sigma 10-20 - staple diet wide angle for many years
Sigma 105 macro - noisy but good if it didnt scare your subject away or squash it
Sigma 70-300 - absolutely diabolical
Sigma 50mm 1.4 old one - poor back focussing issues
Pentax 16-55 - really good expensive lens
Pentax 18-55 - noisy and cheap but did the job
Canon 17-40L great lens but took a wack and fell to bits !
Canon 24-70 2.8L mk1 - fab lens used it for years just a bit on the heavy side and could be sharper
Canon 24-105 F4L still own this one - very sharp and very versatile just struggles in low light , used in the second photographers kit
Canon 50 1.2L never really got on with this one wasn't a range i liked but the glass was good
Canon 50 1.4 still have this as a back up as its not really worth selling , used in the second photographers kit
Canon 40mm 2.8 STM impulse purchase which i ended up sellling again , pretty average on all counts
Canon 85mm 1.8 part of current kit really like this lens lovely bokeh fast focus
Canon 70-200 F4 still have this in our kit good for longer distance work very fast light and sharp
Canon 200mm 2.8L owned this ahead of its time when i just started out and didnt really understand primes that well , wish now i had never sold it as it was a lovely lens and will probably buy another !
Canon 35mm F2 IS - current main lens absolutely love it sharp fast low light and close ups quality equal to Ls
Canon 24mm 2.8IS good landscaper and for wider interiors , glass not as good as the best L stuff but still good

That hopefull demonstrates where i am coming from with the judgement on the 35 f2 IS

Bokeh of the 35 f2 IS is very good , i am not sure i would say it is the best - to be honest i have a Super Takumar from the late 1960s 55 1.8 which has the creamiest bokeh i have ever seen in a lens - if it was AF i would use it all the time ! I would not be suprised if the sigma 35 and 50 art have slightly better bokeh but then i would be looking more for 85 135 or 200 anyway if bokeh was the main concern. For me the main concern was being able to shoot in low light, and thats what this lens is the master of - 35mm F2 with four stop IS , not sure if that will be better any time soon ?


Andrew...after looking through your list of lenses used, I would suggest that you're missing two of Canon's best...24-70ii and 70-200ii.

These two lenses truly are "prime eliminators"....unless you need the extra light below 2.8. 

Canon General / Re: Insurance for Camera gear
« on: April 13, 2014, 04:22:10 PM »
fyi....just paid State Farm bill for gear insurance two days ago...$187 annually, no deduct, $15k of gear. 

covers lost, stolen, damaged..etc. 

Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 12, 2014, 05:14:31 PM »
Thanks Mac, I had noticed that too, it is on the press release I linked to earlier, I had just read through the whole thing and realised where some confusion might have arisen originally.

Like I said, I wasn't trying to make an issue of it, just pointing out a simple E&O.

P.S. How's that 1DX coming on? Notice much difference between it and the 5D MkIII files?

I've made some minor revisions.  Thanks for the feedback.

Thanks for the nice review Dustin!   

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
« on: April 08, 2014, 10:11:05 PM »
Went to Laguna Beach the other day and was loving that last 30 minutes of light!


Photography Technique / Re: Missed opportunity
« on: April 08, 2014, 07:58:04 PM »
"Still a nice memory recorded. "

When photographers (and I am not saying that you are one just using your post as an example) say "nice memory" I want to drive to their house and throw a Nikon through their window... Detest that phrase..

Just saying is all...

also nice snapshot for 1/125


funny....i kinda like the phrase. 8)

Animal Kingdom / Re: Mooses
« on: April 08, 2014, 01:45:44 PM »
A Little Upset

These Moose in Grand Teton National Park were all hanging out together enjoying some willow along the creek bank when all of a sudden this guy had a little temper tantrum.

wow...great shot!


I can tell you that regardless of age, experience, talent or skill level, everyone gets nervous.  But that soon goes away when you get rolling if you are well prepared and you have a solid plan to follow.

Rusty.... a slight edit:

I can tell you that regardless of age, experience, talent or skill level, everyone gets nervous.  But that soon goes away after two or three shots of vodka!

 ;D ::)

Photography Technique / Re: Missed opportunity
« on: April 08, 2014, 01:16:48 PM »
living in the midwest, i see hummers about once a month....so maybe 5-10 a year.

i spent a week in Tucson recently and during the week i saw 100+ hummers....so that's a big part of it...the numbers game.   i'm no hummingbird shooting expert, but i got some great results because of the number of opportunities i had.

also, as someone else mentioned, you needed more reach....they get scared off if you get too close.   a 70-200 or 100-400 sure do weigh more, but you'll have a lot more shooting opportunities.

Photography Technique / Re: Missed opportunity
« on: April 08, 2014, 01:11:13 PM »
The results were quite dismal (the best effort is below), so I am not even going to ask what I did wrong.

Ok, but I will play the dumb guy and ask.  What about this picture did you not like?  It is tough to give advice unless we know what you were really intending for your shot.

You shot this at f8 with 1/125th.  That's not too bad.  F8 gives you a bit of DOF leeway for when the Hummer zips sideways (which they always seem to do).  1/125 gives you a nice wing blur but seemed to keep the head pretty sharp.  Not every BIF needs to be razor sharp. 

Did you try cropping this in post to get rid of some of the distractions to the left?

If this is your idea of "dismal", you and I ain't in the same league.   ;D A little cropping and some post (you *did* shoot this in RAW didn't ya?) and you would have a nice picture of a hummer.  Nonone is gonna pay you a million dollars for it, but it is a pretty good picture.

Keep in mind, this was truly a "snap shot".  I think you did pretty good with the time you had.  One thing to keep in mind is that hummers often come back to the same group of flowers after darting away.  That might give you some more set up time.

Me thinks you are beating yourself up a little too much on this one. :)


i did it for you...looks pretty good to me.


This company is paying photogs $20 an hour and you might have to drive as far as 100 miles... But that's neither here nor there. 

I read through the quiz... and I really want there to be write in answers. 

For instance...

If you are photographing a person at 12 Noon in bright sunlight what would you do? *
Use your flash
Over expose 2 stops
Under expose 2 stops
Reduce the ISO on your camera

I'd go with... tell everyone to stare into sun... and I'd shoot from a high angle in time lapse... so you CAN SEE the exact moment when they all go blind.

You are photographing a 5 month old outdoors on the grass. Which would work best? *
Put the baby in a car seat
Put the baby on it's tummy
Shoot from a high angle
Use a fast shutter speed

5 months... my freaking 7 month can't sit up.  I'd ask the mother if her body has snapped back yet and if she has thought of doing nudes... oh yeah.  My concern is the grass... I think if you put a baby on the grass, it is going to poke them and they are going to freak the f out.

But hey... good for them... they are making fat cash off of people.

lol..high angle time lapse ;D

Photography Technique / Re: Advice for trip to Western USA
« on: April 08, 2014, 07:28:36 AM »
Joshua Tree is out of the way from all the rest (much farther south near Los Angeles) and is not very scenic. Of course you can get nice photos there, but given your itinerary I would strongly advise dropping Joshua Tree.

totally agree!

So how did this story end?  How did it go?  Any pictures to share??

mack and rusty....lot's of good advice!!   (rusty, do you think he should practice first or just wing it ;D)

Here's a comparison (with the 70-200 Mk I, at least) I found that may be of interest:
Canon 135mm f/2 vs Canon 70-200 I L Lens Review / Comparison Test

I think the differences are pretty subtle and with the Mk II (he also did a Mk I vs. Mk II comparison), I'm sure they are much more subtle.  The 1-stop for speed is by far the biggest difference.

thanks Mack.   subtle indeed!  i would guess that 9 out of 10 people wouldn't notice the difference and wouldn't have a preference between the photos.

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