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Messages - DigitalDivide

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Lenses / Re: 135mm + 1.4 extender _VS_ 70-200mm f/2.8 IS mkI
« on: September 04, 2012, 11:27:29 AM »
Did you consider the 70-200L f/4 IS?  It is an extremely sharp lens with very good IQ, and it has the IS to make up for the narrower max aperture.  Of course if you are trying to freeze motion IS will not help, but you did say you don't plan on using this lens to shoot birds or sports.  In that case the only disadvantage I see is the inability to get paper-thin DOF.

On the plus side, the f/4 lens is much lighter and more compact than any of the 70-200L f/2.8 lenses, and is much less expensive than the mark II.  If you could manage without it you could get the non-IS version of the f/4 for about the same price as the 200 f/2.8.  I have no experience with the non-IS version, but I understand it is slightly less sharp than the IS model.

Lenses / Re: Considering the 70-200 f4 is for my next lens
« on: September 03, 2012, 11:32:24 AM »
I use a BR strap.  If you think the weight of the f/2.8 will be too much for you, then you should stay with the f/4.

f/2.8 is only one stop faster.  Are you going to be happy with the IQ if you halve the ISO?  More likely, you should avoid the f/2.8 zooms if you're trying to take indoor photos without flash.  f/2.8 is not fast enough.  You need f/1.2 or f/1.4, which has a 3+ advantage compared to the f/4, which becomes significant.  The DOF also gets a lot thinner, so that is the trade off.  So my suggestion is to keep the 70-200 f/4 and thinking about adding a high speed prime (i.e. 35, 50 or 85) for indoor use for single subjects.  For multiple subjects or for deeper DOF, you're going to need a flash regardless.

+1 on the strap.  I have the BlackRapid RS-4 and my 5D2 and 70-200 f/2.8 L II hangs on there without any of the back or shoulder pain I used to get even with lighter lenses on a neck strap.

I also agree with the aperture comment.  If f/4 is not fast enough with the amazing low-light capabilities of the 5D3, one extra stop is probably not going to cut it.  I don't have any experience with the fast primes others have mentioned so I can't really add anything there; I don't take many portraits and I have the 50 f/1.4 and 100 f/2 for low light when I need them.

EOS Bodies / Re: Time from Announcement to Release
« on: August 29, 2012, 03:06:02 PM »
Careful with the renting idea though; 5D MkIII file format is not compatible with anything but the newest releases of Lightroom, Photoshop etc.  Updating won't work, you got to spend money.

Also be sure to arrange to receive the camera a little before you depart so as to allow some hands on time.  I don't have a 5D3 myself (wish I did!), but from what I have read here there would be a significant learning curve when stepping up from a T2i - especially for the AF controls.

Do the rentals typically come with the factory default setup or have they been configured to work well for a first time user?

Lenses / Re: Wider lens for new FF user - 35L vs. new 28 IS
« on: August 17, 2012, 07:20:12 PM »
But unlike in a clear "I am going out to [insert destination] to shoot something" situation, in which I'll pack a few lenses in a bag (which I still do often), I am now more and more finding myself putting one lens on the camera, strapping it around me like a satchel strap (over one arm, under the other) and running off with friends sans agenda.  This is sometimes out of trying to force myself to move my feet with just one length available, but it's also out of the pragmatic need to not need a bag -- having a bag while out in the city means it never leaves your side. 

So now, in this use, size and weight definitely matter.  The 24-70 is fine to hold and shoot, but it's a bit of a pickle jar to leave dangling around your neck all day (again, I'm not a pro).  I'll still take it on more serious/deliberate shoots, high-camera-need situations (i.e. vacations, events), etc., but for 'I'm just bringing it along if I see something interesting' responsibilities, the very light 28mm IS seems great in that regard.

If weight is a significant part of the problem, you might want to consider a Black Rapid strap.  I bought the RS-4 model after seeing many people rave about it on this site, and I am very happy with it.  It is amazing how little you notice the weight of the camera and lens, even a rather heavy one (such as the 70-200 f/2.8L II on my 5D2).  Changing lenses is a little more awkward with this setup, but it seems perfect for your single lens casual outings.  It is so easy and natural to grab the camera and raise it up to your eye and shoot.  Even if you decide on a new lens for the wider aperture or IS, I would recommend this strap for your application.

Lenses / Re: Your 70-200 f/2.8L IS II...
« on: July 31, 2012, 05:11:06 PM »
1) what you love about this lens?
2) what don't you like about this lens? 
3) How many times did you return it before you get the right copy (I've heard the 24-70 is known to go through many returns before photogs are happy w/theirs, so I'd like to know if this is the case for the 70-200 f/2.8 as well)?
4) what price did you purchase your's for?  what's a good price to get in now as it seems prices of lenses have gone up lately?
5) anything else you'd like to add...?

I haven't used this lens extensively yet as I just got it a few weeks ago, but I'm already loving it.  I already have the 70-200 f/4 L IS which is another great lens, but I decided I wanted the extra stop for DOF control.  I had a chance to use it during the Olympic torch relay recently.  I got a couple of good shots although the runner passed by very quickly and the crowds make it difficult to get a clear view.  The lens performed very well under these difficult circumstances.  (I used the center AF point in AI servo mode on my 5D2.)

1.  The focal length range is very versatile on FF, making this a great all-rounder for sports and action shots.  It is fast enough to handle moderately low light, and the aperture is wide enough for portraits and blurred backgrounds.  I'm looking forward to trying it with my 1.4X TC as the loss of IQ should be quite small.  I find the combination of my 24-105 f/4L and a 70-200, plus the TC and an extension tube, covers most shooting situations in a compact and relatively light weight kit for travel photography.
2.  The first thing that comes to mind is the MFD - it is noticeably greater than the 70-200 f/4 L, and it makes the lens significantly less useable for casual closeups.  It is heavy, but I stood around for over an hour at the relay and didn't really notice it.  I was using a Black Rapid strap, which helped.  I find the weight most noticeable when it is in my camera bag (I think I must have weak shoulders!)  Nobody seemed to find it conspicuous in the crowd, maybe because I was standing next to an ITV cameraman :D
3.  I haven't returned it, it seems fine.  I think it may be front focusing just a tad, so I will try AFMA.  Partly I am just not used to the small depth of field at these focal lengths.  With a cheap consumer lens at f/5.6 you get plenty of DOF, but at f/2.8 that is no longer the case.
4.  I got mine for about $2,300 during the last round of Canon rebates.  Sounds like I missed the lowest prices at the end of last year, but I didn't have the cash to buy it then.  Although it is a pricey acquisition for an amateur, the lens has such a great reputation that it should be worth near what I paid if I ever need to sell it.
5.  The build quality is simply fabulous!  In short, it is good enough to replace a bag full of primes in most situations.

Lenses / Re: Filters
« on: July 31, 2012, 11:34:21 AM »
Can't say I've ever had the problem but maybe try popping in the oven at something fairly low like 80C for a while and see how it goes? It sounds like different expansion rates in the opposite direction caused your problem.

Thanks, that may be worth a try.  I suspect you are right that the problem is caused by different rates of expansion.  The jamming happened when I was jumping in and out of a heated vehicle in freezing temperatures, so the filters were presumably expanding and contracting.  I tried letting them sit in my freezer for a while with no success, so maybe heat will work.  At least the filters are not stuck on the lens, I wouldn't want to put that in the oven! :o

I should probably look up rates of expansion for steel and brass... :)

Sports / Re: 2012 London Olympics
« on: July 30, 2012, 08:27:29 PM »
Brilliant news.  I'm going to take the Zenit Photosniper I found in the attic, see if it still works.

That should get you some serious attention from Olympic security! ;D  But then again, since it is apparently no big deal to gatecrash the parade of nations maybe they wouldn't notice... ::)

I was not familiar with this device and I had to Google it.  It seems like a pretty cool idea.  There are a few on ebay right now so apparently they are not that rare.  It would make an interesting addition to a vintage camera collection.

Lenses / Re: Filters
« on: July 30, 2012, 06:16:59 PM »
Is this for use with the 16-35mm f/2.8L II?  The 82mm diameter makes me suspect so, and there are a few additional considerations when using a CP on a wide angle lens.  First, you may need to use a thin profile filter in the case of the CP, as a standard type may vignette at the wide end - especially if stacked with a second filter such as a UV.  And secondly CPs can be problematic with ultra-wide lenses, since the polarization varies across the wide angle of view and can make skies look patchy and uneven.  There was a good thread discussing this recently:


Buy a B+W AUC Zirkular-Polfilter Käsemann with MRC-sealing

It delivers a perfect picture quality.

I own the B&W BWKCPMCS77 slim 77 mm Kaesemann MRC CP, which I purchased a few months ago.  I love B&W filters and use them on all my lenses, but I can't say I recommend this model.  It is very thin and I don't get any vignetting on my 17-40mm f/4L provided I don't stack filters (when stacked with an F-Pro UV I get just a touch of vignetting at 17mm on my 5D2).  But the thinness has its disadvantages.  It makes the control ring difficult to adjust because there is not much to grab onto, particularly if a lens hood is fitted.  It also means that a conventional lens cap does not work since there are no internal filter threads.  The supplied special cap invariably falls off when I put the lens in my bag, making it essentially useless.

These complaints are repeated over and over in the B&H user reviews, but I could live with them as tradeoffs for the lack of vignetting.  However, while using this filter in cold weather at Bryce Canyon NP in Utah, it frequently became jammed on my UV filter.  I think this is because, unlike my other B&W filters which are brass and don't get stuck, this CP is made of steel - presumably brass is too soft to use for a thin profile filter.  Finally it jammed permanently, and nothing I have tried has succeeded in freeing it.  I was planning on selling it and going with a grad ND setup instead, but I can't do that until I can separate it.  Very disappointing from an otherwise excellent brand...

Any advice on separating jammed filters would be much appreciated :D  I don't think it is cross-threaded, but filter wrenches don't work, even when used with elastic bands for better grip. >:(

EOS Bodies / Re: Good price for a used Canon 1V-HS?
« on: June 29, 2012, 05:23:51 PM »
1v taking Infrared film is definitely a plus, but I don't think I can justify *another* $500 on a toy (seeing as on monday i'm signing up for $500,000 of debt; ie buying a house). So it'll probably just have to be a little 1100D-film-equivalent (seeing as the glass and film are the important bits).

The 1V is not the only Canon EOS camera that can handle infrared film.  I've known for some time that my EOS 10S is infrared compatible, although I've never tried it.  The key for infrared seems to be if the body uses a mechanical sprocket counter.  This website has a nice list of models and their counter types:


Here's another site with plenty to say about EOS cameras and infrared:


So it should be possible to buy an infrared-compatible EOS body for a lot less money than the 1V.  The EOS 10S is recommended but it is getting long in the tooth and it may be hard to get a good one - although mine is 20 years old and still works great; I've had the shutter replaced once but that is the only repair it has required.  In any case, most of these old models are so cheap now that they can almost be considered disposable.  Buy a couple and run some cheap print film through to make sure they work before loading the expensive IR stuff.

EOS Bodies / Re: Good price for a used Canon 1V-HS?
« on: June 27, 2012, 03:19:48 PM »
Last year I managed to pick up a 1V-HS for $420 US in a 2nd hand store in Japan (their used market is massive) and it was in mint condition (as were the three others sitting next to it for the same price). I have seen excellent 1VHS bodies here in Australia for $550 USD (parity exchange rate)

Where is the best place to find good used equipment in Japan?  I go there fairly regularly for work and would like to check out what is available.  You say a second hand store so it sounds like a smaller place than the Bic Camera and Yodabashi Camera superstores, where I often go to drool over the latest Canon stuff that they have out on display.  Most of my recent trips have required at least a few days in Tokyo, which I imagine must have a whole district of used camera stores.  Somewhere around Akihabara perhaps?

A 1V for under $500 US sounds like a great value.  I was looking at used 1Vs at KEH last year before I took the plunge into DSLRs with a 5D2.  (I don't want to abandon film completely, but my EOS 10S is 20 years old and it would be nice to upgrade to the ultimate Canon 35mm body.)  I could swear the 1Vs were selling for quite a bit more than $500 over a year ago.  Maybe they have come down as the demand drops off and FF DSLRs are getting more affordable?

I always enjoy scoping out used medium format too.  Maybe I can add to my collection of Bronica gear.  Or, if my wife doesn't forbid it, expand into Mamiya, Pentax, Rollei... :P

Lenses / Re: Help picking lenses for vacation!
« on: June 16, 2012, 04:20:54 PM »

I recently bought BlackRapid RS-7 strap. Wow...this strap helps alot.

What I like about this strap:
1. Reduce a lot weight compared to Canon neck strap, now I can carry  5d III all day
2. You look less tourist while travel


I second this.  I actually use two of them connected and either shoot two bodies or do a body on one and a lens case on the other.  I've gone on several mile hikes with my 70-200 with no problem thanks to these straps.

I strongly agree with this also.  I got the RS-4 and it is amazing how little you notice the weight over a long period.  The camera and lens hang close to your body around hip level, keeping it as close as possible to the vertical axis of your body.  This seems to minimize the force to one side, which I find is much more of a problem than the weight itself acting downwards.  I suspect this is also why I tend to prefer the slimline messenger style bags.

The other advantage is that I can have the camera bag on my left with the strap over my right shoulder, and the camera on the right with the RS-4 over my left shoulder.  This helps to balance the weight even more.  When I am walking I usually keep one hand on the camera grip to stop it bumping against my hip (and because I am still a little paranoid about the swivel connector breaking :o), but this may also make it harder for someone to snatch the camera in a crowd.  When I visited Italy it was late September and the crowds were not too bad even in Venice; I hate to think how it would be in mid-summer.

Lenses / Re: Help picking lenses for vacation!
« on: June 15, 2012, 05:38:45 PM »
I recently returned from the second of two trips to Japan this year.  Since these were both business trips, I wanted to get the maximum flexibility from my camera without having to lug around too much gear.  In Japan I walk and use public transport a lot, and there is a limit to what I can carry alongside my luggage and my work laptop.

On the first trip I brought my 5D2 and the 24-105 kit lens only.  That worked pretty well, being reasonably light and compact, but there were a number of times when I wanted more reach.  So for the second trip I bought a new bag and packed the 24-105 along with my 70-200mm f/4L and a 1.4x teleconverter.  This worked out great - the weight and bulk were not a problem and I got a lot of shots that would not have been worth taking with the 24-105 alone.  I was shooting outdoors only, so the slow lenses were not a problem.

The bag is worth mentioning, as I think picking the right one makes a big difference to the experience.  I got a Tamron UltraPro 7, a messenger style bag designed for a DSLR and two lenses plus accessories.  I like the messenger style, compact for the capacity offered and it doesn't look that much like a typical camera bag so it attracts less attention.  I also find the slim-line style puts less strain on my back than wider models.  For trips when I bring more equipment I like Neuro's idea of bringing a large case and also packing a smaller bag to carry only the lenses I need on a specific outing.  I plan to try this at the next opportunity.

As far as lens selection goes, the 17-40mm and 24-105mm should be a good combination.  The 70-200mm f/2.8 may well be too heavy - I just gave in to my desire to own the mk2 version :), and it is certainly hefty if you are not used to big lenses.  I am torn between selling my f/4 version to fund future purchases or keeping it for trips when the f/2.8 is too much.  I need some time to get used to the 2.8 before I decide.

One comment about the 17-40mm - for architecture you need to be a bit careful, as it does introduce quite a lot of distortion especially at the wide end.  I got this lens just before a Spanish vacation, and overused it shooting in cities not realizing how it would look.  I was still using slide film at that time though, so this may not be as much of an issue with digital given the ability to correct in post.  The ability to go wide in confined spaces in cities like London and Venice is certainly handy, since backing up to get everything in shot is often not an option.

Lenses / Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
« on: June 05, 2012, 05:14:10 AM »
Maybe I am off base here, but if compact and light is what you want have you considered buying an APS-C body?  A T2i plus the highly regarded 10-22mm would come in well under what you'd pay for the 24L f/1.4.  The 10-22 is only 3.5in long and weighs 13 oz, not as light and compact as the 50 f/1.4 but the smaller lighter body should more than make up for it.  I'm always amazed when I pick up my daughter's T3i how little there is to it compared to my 5D2. :)

The IQ of this combo should be pretty good as long as you are not looking for the speed and DOF of an f/1.4 lens.  The Rebel doesn't have the low light and AF capabilities of your 5D2, but it has the same sensor as everything up to and including the 7D.  The AF might not be an issue if you are using the camera for landscapes and street scenes.  The flexibility of a zoom might be a plus for a walkaround lens.  If not, the 14L f/2.8 is another option, but say goodbye to light and cheap. :o

Just a thought...

Lenses / Re: Used Lenses
« on: June 04, 2012, 01:52:09 AM »
Something to consider beyond seller rating is WHAT they have been selling - e.g. 5000 sales of bubble gum, and now an L lens? You can see if the item description jives with this story.

Good point @Ew.  I would not trust the description from someone who does not sell a lot of similar items.  If I did buy from such a seller I would look for a significantly lower price to offset the risk.  Usually someone else apparently less risk averse than myself (not too difficult ::) ) bids the price up beyond my comfort level, thereby solving the problem.

Lenses / Re: Used Lenses
« on: June 04, 2012, 01:19:40 AM »
I have bought quite a bit of Bronica medium format gear from KEH, and I always found their rating of the condition to be accurate, even conservative.  I have seen the same experience echoed on Bronica and other forums, and I can't recall seeing any complaints.  I also had a very positive experience selling some of my used gear (again Bronica) to them when they came to my area.

I have bought Bronica equipment through eBay too, with no problems.  I buy from sellers with high ratings (99.x% typically) and usually with plenty of feedback to give confidence.  If in doubt, I will read through the negative and neutral ratings to see what the problems were and how the seller responded.  At least one purchase was made from a UK seller (I'm in the US) and there were no additional complications.

If looking for something specific I find it helpful to search completed listings on eBay to see how much the item generally sells for.  You can compare that price to current auctions or to B&H, Adorama or KEH prices to decide where to buy.  Depending on rarity and demand I have found some bargains on eBay but also some popular items which often get bid up to more than they are really worth.  The best results come from watching the market for a while until a good opportunity comes along (eg. after Christmas when people are unloading unwanted gifts).

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