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Messages - awinphoto

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Lenses / Re: buying advice: canon 85mm f1.2 II or f1.8?
« on: December 15, 2014, 06:26:21 PM »
Thanks Ryan85 and awinphoto for your awesome replies. Correct if I'm wrong, if I read your responses correctly, the f1.2 does not focus fast enough to keep up with even normal-speed actions, let alone fast dancing. That was my main concern. It would make a dreamy still portrait lens, though, when we pose the groom and bride after the guests have all gone.

I would say that you are correct...  I shoot studio and on-location portraiture and tried many lenses... If you've ever played with the 50 1.2, i would say it's kinda the same issue... focusing is too slow and too unreliable... and to it's defense, 1.2 is shallow... extremely shallow, so it's a lot of glass to move and not something to take lightly...  So when it does nail the focus, it's very good... but, it can miss, and miss bad, especially in bad light...  To me, i couldn't risk spending $2k on a lens that was a crap shoot if i would get a shot or not... the 1.8 was a lot more reliable, and fast and extremely good quality of imagery. 

Lenses / Re: buying advice: canon 85mm f1.2 II or f1.8?
« on: December 15, 2014, 05:57:40 PM »
Excellent all-around responses! Thanks all! It looks like one of my main concerns wasn't made clear the first time, so allow me to add this wrinkle to my question: is the focus fast enough at for me to shoot reliably at f1.2 during a wedding event? Not at the altar where everybody is basically stationary, but when the bride is coming down the aisle or when she's tossing the bouquet or everyone is dancing at the reception... you know the drill. I'm all for big aperture and sweet bokeh, but is my subject going to be in focus? An all-bokeh pic of the bride's face (exaggerated) isn't going to sell money.

Thanks again!

While they are good at giving us a laugh, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adQHzNfvzFM#t=106 this gives a decent comparison... Fast forward to about the 7 min point.  they conclude that when the 1.2 does give sharp images, they are amazing, but the big word is WHEN.  If your shooting a wedding and you absolutely had to nail the first kiss, this ISN'T the lens i would rely on... the 1.8 is quite good on focusing and so far, so good...

Lenses / Re: buying advice: canon 85mm f1.2 II or f1.8?
« on: December 15, 2014, 11:45:54 AM »
I dealt with a similar delima... I eventually opted for the 1.8...  it's not as sexy as the 1.2, but very sharp, fast focus, and for professional portrait work, it works like a charm.  There have been some people who say that the 1.8 has some CA wide open... i typically shoot around the 2.0-2.2 range and if there is CA, it really isn't obvious or ugly...  Just did a jewelry catalog shoot with that lens only and images came out great! Now if they can issue a mark II of that lens to have IS, that would be perfect... until then, this is a great bang for your buck. 

Lighting / Re: R.I.P Metz Speedlites.
« on: November 21, 2014, 11:17:24 AM »
I have almost two dozen shoe mount flashes.
Used to have tons of Metz.

In 2006 I suggested they build a flash with manual
power settings exceeding their dated full/W/M range.

They answered that they don't see a market there.

Enter strobist.


Today about EVERY flash has manual settings at
least in full stops from 1/1 down to 1/64, some
down to 1/128 or even 1/256.

Every flash except most Metz devices.

Then I told them the world was ready for a ringflash
meant to fill in at very close range for wedding/event
shooters. made very clear that this ringflash must
work on the most frequently used lenses in these
genres, all with 77mm filter thread.

Took them two years, and then they produced the
MS-15 light. With 72mm filter thread.

You lose when you go to a gunfight with a toothpick.

German wages were not the problem, their product
portfolio failed big time.

What flash do you have (other than their old handlemounts do you have?)  I've had the 50 series flashes, 70 series flashes, etc and they all had manual power settings just like Canon flashes...  Even the cheaper 54mz went from 1/1  to 1/256

Lighting / Re: R.I.P Metz Speedlites.
« on: November 21, 2014, 10:42:58 AM »
I've had many metz flashes...  extremely solid products...  never once had to even think about the warranty...  like apple, they just work.

Which would be the very reason why Metz is broke - how can you expect a company to make some profit if their products simply keep on working!? Decent business practice dictates to implement planned obsolescence by some kind of suicide device or forced upgrades to retain compatibility with other products :-o

Well Canon and Nikon has sure learned not to make that mistake lol.  The only reason i stopped using Metz was when the 7d came out and i wanted to be able to use the commander...  I made a profit from what i originally spent on the metz flash to what i was able to resell them (thanks to inflation and price increases during that time)...

Lighting / Re: R.I.P Metz Speedlites.
« on: November 21, 2014, 10:19:58 AM »
I do hope that their flash business will survive. I have a Metz macroflash and an AF 58-2 which is quite good (besides its old fashioned interface)...
Maybe it's time to buy a new Metz flash to strenghen their business ;)

Only if one wants to live with the uncertainty re. warranty and future availability of service/repairs, spare parts etc.

I never bought third party strobes for Canon. Price difference for Metz strobes vs. Canon speedlites was not good enough for me to take any compatibility risks with reverse engineered third party gear. ETTL II in itself is complicated and finicky enough to avoid any additional source of problems.

Had Metz come out with Canon RT-compatible strobes and transmitters (!) at half price compared to Canon, then I would have considered. But either their engineers did not see fit to build them and/or German and EU laws did not provide any possiblity to work around Canon patents and protected designs. This is not China. The playing field is not level, but heavily tilted due to these types "imperfections of globalization".

As it is, I do not see a viable future for Metz. Mahogany furnished TV sets and simple hammerhead flashes are somewhat out of style. And lower-end "commodity" products cannot be produced at competitive costs in Germany.

I've had many metz flashes...  extremely solid products...  never once had to even think about the warranty...  like apple, they just work. 

Lighting / Re: R.I.P Metz Speedlites.
« on: November 21, 2014, 10:17:46 AM »
I wonder if this means I will be able to pick up a 70 series flash for cheap soon...  I had one back in the film days and it still out-powers todays top canon and nikon flashes...  Had to sell it because it wasn't digital compatible... Would pick one up now if they didn't jack up the prices to what they are...

Photography Technique / Re: Game Ranches for photography
« on: November 19, 2014, 05:36:22 PM »
One thing to note is most zoos, wildlife parks, and captive habitats have copyrights on their animals and strictly prohibit commercial photography without their permission.

I photograph at both zoos and in "the wild" and I use them for different reasons.  My zoo shots are just for playing around - to get used to equipment and to practice in a controlled environment.  In the wild I will typically have very little time to react, so it is very wise to be familiar with my equipment ahead of time.

Getting photographs in the wild is difficult, but it's also very rewarding.  I am not a full time wildlife photographer, but I do spend at least an hour a day on it.  Many days I only "get" a few ducks or sparrows, but once in awhile I get something very nice.  Last week (while on my first walk with my 7D2) I found a coyote.  Over the weekend I found a family of river otters.

Animals are very different when in their own element vs. when they depend on people for food and care.  There is a different look to the animal's eyes.

Also keep in mind that a number of famous photographers have had their reputations ruined because they passed off a wild animal park photo as a truly wild one.

The ranches and parks we are talking about are pay per use places... They know you are using them for commercial use...  They typically have more authentic enclosures so they look good photographically... 

Photography Technique / Re: Game Ranches for photography
« on: November 19, 2014, 04:30:55 PM »
This is the difference between a "WILDlife photographer and someone who takes pictures at the zoo.

There is nothing wrong with taking pictures at a Zoo.
There is nothing wrong with taking pictures at the back yard feeder.
What is unethical is when you present your pictures as real "wildlife" taken in a natural setting.

Well that's just the thing... most wildlife photographers wont go to a sanctuary take an award winning photograph, and then submit to national geo and say they are in the middle of yellowstone...  But, in the end of the day, if a commercial photographer is assigned a task of getting a specific shot that an advertising or marketing manager wants of a leopard or wildcat stalking a prey and it has to be to ready for press on friday, there's little difference if they risk their lives and livelyhood in the wilderness hoping to get a shot vs going to a sanctuary and nailing the shot.  National Geo allows for many photographers to spend weeks if not months on assignment, but others dont get that luxury as a working photographer, a professional photographer. 

Photography Technique / Re: Game Ranches for photography
« on: November 19, 2014, 03:27:22 PM »
I've never shot at one (other than wild animal parks and zoo's), but i have talked to many who have, including many who have shot advertisements for national parks, zoo's and national geographic.  Here's the deal, there are key shots that many photographers are trying to get that frankly are difficult if not impossible to get without using the biggest telephoto lenses money can buy, and camping out for days on end hoping to get lucky.  And as one National Geographic photographer put it, some shots, frankly, if captured in the wild, means that you would have had to be close enough to the animal, and in some instances and animals, means that you would have seconds to get out of there before you become lunch.  The rest of the time, it's all about luck and patience... something many photographers dont have, especially if they are renting gear or on a deadline...  Does it take away from the purist POV?  perhaps...  If shot and framed properly, would the average viewer know if the scene was taken at a certain park or ranch vs out in the wild... nope. 

I was going to get one of the 82mm UV filters when I remembered that I have almost 2 dozen B+W filters tucked away and never used.  UV, ND, Pol, I just don't use filters.  so, I forced myself to resist adding another one.

If you have the urge, feel free to buy one and have it shipped to me =)  I'll test it out for you!

Lenses / Re: 400 f/2.8L II IS on sunny days and white jerseys
« on: October 20, 2014, 03:15:44 PM »
You know what?  While i hate to see equipment struggle like this it's hard to determine the issue on a forum.  If you would mail me your lens for a few weeks, i would be glad to test it out and give you a detailed report afterwards.  =) 

Reviews / Re: Are Gitzo's really overrated?!
« on: October 06, 2014, 01:30:56 PM »
They are overrated in the same way profoto lights are in the lighting arena, hassy's are in the MF arena, and the Nikon D800 is in our arena...  There are always going to be other manufacturers that can do the same thing cheaper, better, and have better customer support, and to those who do not need them, they are extremely over-rated.  I've come to the conclusion that in photography, there is no holy grail set-up... nothing you buy will make you a better photographer.  It can make your job easier and be more reliable, but in the end, it cannot do it's own thing and take it's own pictures.  If it's the gear (and the only gear that will help you do what you need and nothing else will do), then no, it's not overrated.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Why haven't you left canon?
« on: October 01, 2014, 03:08:46 PM »
Shhhh!  Dont tell anyone, but the real reason i haven't left canon is while not in use, my Canon 5d mark 3 turns into a robot and is keeping me, my wife and children under lock and key... we cant escape... Even my brave dogs are prettified of 5d3 robot machine, or "killer" for short.  Killer has threatened to stalk me for all my days if I ever dare switch so for my safety and those in my family, we are Canon for life.  But Shhhh!  keep it on the down-low

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: One is the loneliest number...
« on: October 01, 2014, 01:39:24 PM »
I usually have 2 cameras... one primary, one backup... 

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