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Messages - GMCPhotographics

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EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 08, 2014, 06:48:23 AM »

I think you really want a 1D-x....but for 7D money, good luck with that!
You think so? If the 7Dii doesn't give lower noise at up to 1600 they may as well not bother.

With that complete list, yes it's a 1D-x requirement. But if you take a single spec in it's not too much to ask. But I really can't see a 7DII having a faster frame rate than 8pfs....happt to be proved wrong though.

Software & Accessories / Re: Neutral Density Filters
« on: July 08, 2014, 04:55:45 AM »
So, I've recently invested in a 16-35 II. I'm looking to use an ND filter for long exposures, but I'm having trouble settling on one.

I've looked into the lee system, which is obviously awesome, but comes at a price -the big stopper is £99, the holders etc will run to about £120. Not a cheap option! The other Idea was a Hoya Vario ND in 82mm and then step down rings- even more expensive with the filter alone running to about £200.

I've just seen a NiSi filter on amazon. 10 stop coated filter in 82mm for £49.98.
I'm just wondering if this is a good buy- if anyone has experience with these filters or even this brand I'd be really grateful.

I've done a lot of filters in my time and none are truely neutral. Lee's big stopper has a green cast, Hoya's filters have a pink cast and B+W has a copper cast. I choose Heliopan becuase they have a colour cast which looks nicer (a warm brown cast) which helps sunrise / sunset shots by warming them up a bit. But none are truely neutral. Lee resin ND grads have colour casts too, usually a megenta cast which is most noticable on their .9 (3 stop). With most ND's, the higher the density, the higher the colour cast. I tend to prefer a 3 stop and a 6 stop, which I stack a polariser too if I need a greater density. I try to avoid the 9-10 stop filters as then have very strong castes....which is nice for BnW and art toned images though, but not so good for colour!

The vario ND's are a nice idea but they don't work too well on anything less than 24mm.

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod center column - yes or no
« on: July 08, 2014, 04:47:12 AM »
It's been said before that the prefect tripod has three characteristics - rigidity, height, and portability.  Unfortunately you have to decide which two are the most important since no tripod has all three.  Center columns sacrifice rigidity for portability.  Portability sacrifices height without a center column.  I ended up selling my Induro series 2 CF with a center column for a RRS series 24L CF without a center column. No regrets and as the RRS salesman pointed out your second airline portable travel tripod (<20 inches) is replaced by checking lugage.

I usually put the legs into my hold luggage. It's about 2kgs, no great weight. It's the ball head / fluide head which weighs a lot!

EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 08, 2014, 04:44:01 AM »
I want a faster frame rate and a little more reach for field sports and wildlife. If the light goes down I'll use my 5Diii. I wouldn't use a 7Dii above 1600 iso with my 300 f/2.8 anyway so if it can give me low noise images at that iso I'll be buying next year after the reviews are out. I'm assuming sensor and AF wise it will be a significant upgrade on the current 7d. After 5 years it should be.

I think you really want a 1D-x....but for 7D money, good luck with that!

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod centre column - yes or no
« on: July 07, 2014, 12:12:28 PM »
I'm wondering if anyone has any experience or feedback with this model?
"Sirui R-4203L 3-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod"  From what I've seen, it looks pretty darn good for the price but I'm not familiar with the brand.. at 70" it seems that may be a good height for me, I'm 5'10". 

Anyway, please give me your thoughts or comments.  Thanks!   :D

There is one user on CR who swears by them.  When getting a tripod, and laying out $600, make sure that you can get parts.  With camera sales tanking, I'd expect that tripod makers are hurting too, and some of them will drop out or get bought up.

You would not believe how often i have had to repair my Gitzo GT3541LS. I've replaced all the main screws and the lower legs several times. These tripods don't do salt water very well and if you use spikes, the end pieces have a habit of falling out. They are only push fitted in and even if one glues them in...they weirdly fall out. Every year, i've had around £110 UKP's worth of spare parts needed. I'm seriously thinking of going over to Really right Stuff in the hope their pods are more resiliant.
Ok, I know I shoot in some of the most harsh conditions...but come on! These Gitzo pods are actually quite fragile.

Going back to the OP's original question, if you get a pod with no centre column...then you can't be tempted to use it, which will cause sharper images! For marco work, my Gitzo can my camera to a few inches above ground level and I've never needed a "bouncy" centre column to get closer to a macro subject.

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Canon 55mm f/1.4 & Other Primes
« on: July 07, 2014, 12:05:25 PM »
Dissapointingly, the three 50/51/55mm f1.4 designs all seem to be using gausian optics...which has largely been the blame for poorly resolving optics. Both the Carl Zeiss and Sigma 50mm lenses use a back focus design (simular to the 35mm f1.4) to resolve a higher resolution. Gausian optics offer a smaller and light weight construction, but at the expense of more optical defects and lower optical resolution.

I was hoping to see a new approach from Canon with their 50mm optical formulas, but these three patents look like the same old, same old. If any of these three lenses make it to the market place (and that's a big "IF") then i doubt we'll see much improvement over the old one...which makes me ask...why bother?   

Lenses / Re: DigitalRev review of the new 16-35 L IS
« on: July 04, 2014, 09:29:37 AM »
Count on Kai to do a Suarez ;D
As to the "negative" comments on the video, one has to understand that, this is Kai' way of promoting Digitalrev and he does it very successfully ... despite being located in Hongkong, Digitalrev has excellent sales from all over the world, largely due to Kai's popularity as vlogger on youtube.

I've bought from DigitalRev a number of times...from before he did video reviews too. If i have need of his services, i'd happily buy again. But those reviews are erm...not my bag.

Lenses / Re: DigitalRev review of the new 16-35 L IS
« on: July 04, 2014, 08:15:00 AM »
And he needs to learn to hand hold the camera properly!! Is he not supposed to rest the lens on his left palm?!??

That's the problem with the internet, anyone with a video camera and a web site can set them selves up as internet review authorities...with very little tallent or skill. This guy is a camera salesman who takes out the piece of kit for a walk and show. It's not much of a review and it certainly wouldn't sway me to buy anything from them due to one of their "reviews". it's a little bit like unboxing videos....excuse me please, I have a life and it's more precious to me than watching some one unbox something they have recently bought....regardless of how rare it is.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 f2.8ii or i
« on: July 03, 2014, 09:42:43 AM »
No worries GMC, we agree, I just wanted to moderate the very negative overtone of your previous post.

Of course extenders are not as good as native primes. But for the hobbyist that will never buy a 400 better than that, having better results/possibilities with extenders are something to take into consideration too. That's all :)

Sorry if you felt my reply was negative, it usually quite factual which can voice as a bit cold on forums. No offence were intended or implied and i'm quite freindly really. The 400 f5.6L is a very cost consious lens and very capable too. It lacks a close MFD and IS system but optically and from an AF point of view, it's a fantastic lens which often gets over looked. 

Just to push the conversation on a bit. The 1.4x TC on the f2.8 II L version is interesting too, it pretty much negates the need for the 300mm f4 LIS. The combo is just as sharp, AF is just as good, it's IS is superior and it zooms too.

Lenses / Re: Review: Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS
« on: July 03, 2014, 09:31:48 AM »
It isn't difficult or that time consuming to make your own with the free Adobe Lens Profile Creator.
I remember they had really detailed instructions about this when they first released it, but I never got around to trying it.  Have you made some?  If so, I'm guessing the results are pretty good given that it's a profile of your own lens+camera combination.

Does it need much adjustment? I thought this lens was nearly perfect :D

Lenses / Re: 70-200 f2.8ii or i
« on: July 03, 2014, 06:42:33 AM »
I've used a 70-200 f4 LIS with a 1.4x many times. It becomes an effective 100-300 f5.6 LIS with simular optical charectoristics to the new 70-300 f5.6 LIS. Sure, if you want to use a 2x tc you will need a 5DIII or 1Dx and only the centre points will work....but even with the f2.8 LIS II version, the 2x is pushing it a bit and the AF is pretty slow and ponderous.

Never used the 1.4, didn't remember the aperture reduction was lower. Thanks for the reminder.

of course I never used a true big white to compare but I was very pleasantly suprised by both AF and IQ during a recent outing (rugby game, sideline, fast wingbacks coming at me). Clearly didn't fail me.

I recently compared my 70-200 f2.8 LIS II with a mkII 2x teleconverter with a 100-400 f5.6 IS L. The IQ was very good from both lenses. The 70-200 combo has more vignetting and softer corners. It was heavier and more unweildy too. Slightly longer focal length too. The IS usnit was clearly superior and the AF was a tad faster, which really suprised me. It's an effetive combo, but compared to the 400mm f5.6 L there is little comparison. The prime is sharper, less vignetting, CA etc, it's AF is snappier, faster and more accurate. It was far far lighter and a lot easier to use...but slightly less versatile.

It would be awsome if Canon can make a 70-400mm which has the IQ and AF speed of the native 70-200 f2.8 LIS II.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 f2.8ii or i
« on: July 03, 2014, 06:13:53 AM »
I recently had some unplanned cash at hand and upgraded the 4 IS to 2,8 II IS.
Although pretty much razor sharp, sometimes the 4 did limit my exposure time - I know ...this is post-hoc rationalizing for GAS
I really see a difference in autofocus performance on my 5D3, and I can make good use of the additional weight for training purpose...

Bottom line: If IQ is your driver, 4 will get you there. If weight and shooting time per day may be a limiting factor, don't go for the 2,8. It is substantially heavier more than double the weight and very obvious (no really for candid portraits)

If you are strong and committed to weight lifting -go for it, it is sooo cool...

With the 4 you have no room for extender. It's f8 and bump iso or f8+ and MF. 2.8 leave you much more headroom.

The faculty to be useable with a x1.4 or x2 is a point to consider (what's not to love in a good 140-400 f5.6 for 400 bucks? -once you already have the lens that is-)

I've used a 70-200 f4 LIS with a 1.4x many times. It becomes an effective 100-300 f5.6 LIS with simular optical charectoristics to the new 70-300 f5.6 LIS. Sure, if you want to use a 2x tc you will need a 5DIII or 1Dx and only the centre points will work....but even with the f2.8 LIS II version, the 2x is pushing it a bit and the AF is pretty slow and ponderous. 

Lenses / Re: 70-200 f2.8ii or i
« on: July 03, 2014, 04:36:57 AM »
..Neither have direct equals in other bands which says a lot about the quality of these lenses.

uhmmm..  the Nikon 70-200 f/4 VR may not be pro quality build but it's optically quite a good performer and is, for example, one of the better lenses to use on a D800e for maximum resolution.

So there's one.

And the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 VC is no slouch either, turning in a similarly good performance.
That's 2 other options or at least one if you want an EF mount.

As I said, there is no direct equal for either lens. While the Nikon version is a match optically, it's build and application are not Pro build. As I said many times before, there is more to a lens than it's optics. Just becuase Nikon have made a lens with the same optical formula, it doesn't make it the same lens.

I have actually thought about getting a 400 mm f/4 prime (big white that unfortunately does not exist)

Another option is a 200mm f2.0 LIS with a 2x converter or a better option is a 300mm f2.8 LIS mkII and a 1.4x TC....makes a great combo.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show us your Hooters (Owls)
« on: July 02, 2014, 03:38:44 PM »
Here's a few of mine:

There's Eagle Owls, A Snow Owl and a long eared Owl.
All taken with a 5DIII or 7D and either a 70-200 f2.8 LIS II with a 1.4x TC, 400mm f5.6L or a 400mm f2.8 LIS and a very sturdy tripod.

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