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Messages - awinphoto

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1741
I already own a 17-40mm. After extensive testing and comparison I found it to do significantly better than the more expensive 17-55.

Funny how I thought the same thing about the 17-40 vs 17-55 on my original tests...

Interesting - how was it significantly better?

I tried out a 17-40mm and definitely preferred the 17-55mm from an optical standpoint - especially stopped down to f/4, the 17-55mm is sharper across the frame, and the EF-S lens, surprisingly, has less barrel distortion at 17mm than the 17-40mm, despite a broader zoom range and the 'sweet spot' effect of using an EF lens on a crop body.  The only place the L lens won was less vignetting.  From a build standpoint, the L lens is definifely better, of course.

I ended up getting the 16-35mm f/2.8L II instead of the 17-40mm for use on FF (as good or better at comparable apertures), and the 17-55mm on the 7D outperforms the 16-35mm II on the same body, from my own testing.  I shoot a fair bit of wildlife with the 7D and a telezoom, and bring a standard zoom along 'just in case' - in the rain, I bring the 16-35mm II, but otherwise I grab the 17-55mm lens, and in fact, I hung onto that lens after getting the 5DII for just that reason.

It's hard to say... when I did my testings I tested it against the sigmas and tokinas (my local store didn't sell tamrons so i couldn't test their version which has gotten good reviews) as well as each other...  I dont know... I just felt when I did my unscientific tests, the 17-40 locked focus a tad faster, felt more robust (i need my gear to keep up and be ok if it has a little bang here and there)... the L had weathersealing and  IQ i felt was close but not near enough to warrant the price difference.  The 2.8 would have been nice but that wasn't a driving factor because I was ok with my cameras ISO if needed.  For what I do and how I shoot, that's how I made my choice.  BTW, the sigma and tokina lenses tested were horrid in focusing in low light.  The 17-40 I was able to focus almost in the dark without even needing the AF lamp...  I'm sure under certain conditions the 17-55 could produce sharper images but I've been pleased with my lens. 

1742
EOS Bodies / Re: No Finalized 5D Mark III Yet [CR2]
« on: July 27, 2011, 04:43:04 PM »
How do you know that Canon does not want to do it?

Have you talked to the executives at Canon to find out?

Have you put the interview between you and them somewhere on the Internet where we can all read it?

That part's easy, even I can answer that...

gene_can_sing: "Mr. Canon exec, does Canon want to improve the video capabilities of the 5D line?"

Canon exec: "No comment."

gene_can_sing: "Will Canon address the shortcomings of the 5D Mark II in the areas of moire and rolling shutter?"

Canon exec: "No comment."

gene_can_sing: "Don't you want to keep your loyal customers by giving them what they want?"

Canon exec: "No comment."

...and so on.

Haha... it's sad but true. haha

1743
Wow... they require a full frame camera... granted when I was at school full frame digitals were rare... the original canon 1ds was your only offering... I dont recall if the nikon d1x was full frame or not... be that as it may, the 7D will definitely get your skill level up and when your in school and ready for your second class you will be more than ready for the 5D mark III =)  As i've mentioned before in other posts, from spending almost a decade with various canon digitals (10d, 1d, 30D, 50D, etc...) this was the first camera where I actually had to learn and sharpen my game a bit to fully utilize it to it's fullest potential.  You should also be able to resell it for a good chunk when your ready or keep it as a second backup camera. 

Funny how I thought the same thing about the 17-40 vs 17-55 on my original tests... I got the 17-40 because it's forward compatibility but others swear by the 17-55 but it is a personal preference.  I'd definitely look at the 70-200 F4 IS and non IS... the non is around $700 and the IS is closer to 1200... something to consider on a budget.  Good luck and let us know how it goes.  =)

1744

I wholeheartedly couldn't agree more.  Back in the day, even negative film you had some room to budge with printing and developing and contrast filters... With slides, you had little to no room to fudge... You could ask the lab to push/pull the film to over/under develop but it could only do so much and it easily looked bad if not done perfectly.  It also cost you money to do corrections such as push/pull and so screwing up exposure cost you dearly.  As a student that was food money you were wasting away by not nailing exposure.  I cant vouch for anybody but my school, but they pounded exposure in our feeble minds so much in most situations we could ballpark exposures just by looking at the scenes... Studios you 100% needed light/flash meters and with film, anyone forget the little treat of reciprocity and reciprocity charts?  =)  2 second exposure turned into 1 minute exposures depending on your meter readings and what film you used.

I recall getting some pretty dark or washed out slides with that old ASA-10 slide film, but the ASA25 Kodachrome II was a huge improvement.  Still, I have a few that were not perfect exposures from the 1960's, and I really cannot fix them, the detail is gone.  In contrast, I inherited some 1930's and 1940's B&W negatives from my father, and the exposure latitude is wonderful.  The scan to make beautiful prints even today, and were from a relatively simple camera.

However, when I look at my old 35mm negatives from the 1950's and 1960's, its amazing what a simple point and shoot digital camera does by comparison.  and my old polaroid color prints are nearly faded away.  I need to get them all scanned, I should have scanned them 15 years ago.

At school we made and kept charts just for reciprocity and used them for almost every studio shoot...  tmax 400, meter 2 seconds, reality 45 seconds, meter 4 seconds, reality 1.25 minutes... etc... depending on the film we were using it would get brutal... set the camera on bulb, start the stopwatch, and go get a drink haha. God forbid you were bracketing exposures.  One time using ultraviolet woods filtered strobes I burned out my strobes multi popping my exposure trying to build up the exposure... set off the school fire alarms, fire dept, haha.  God bless film. 

1745
Software & Accessories / Re: To HDR or Not To HDR
« on: July 27, 2011, 01:15:30 PM »
Coming from a film background, I always loved the zone affect... So to that extent, I view HDR as a way to achieve zone photography... but I like it to a very fine point... I like it when it's getting towards the zone affect... Just a kiss above what the camera can naturally pump out... when you start getting halo's and extreme HDR then i draw the line.  On my homepage on my website, the castle picture was used with HDR... Not overdone in my opinion (no halos) and just enough to bring out additional detail that couldn't be drawn out otherwise... That's as far as i go with HDR. 

1746
There's so much latitude with digital images, especially RAW files, that it's easy to become overly dependent on post production to correct simple mistakes that could have been avoided in the field in the first place...

I suppose the extreme example of those would be learning how to shoot on color slides. I thought it was rather barbaric how one of my instructors made us do this, but in retrospect, it helped immensely in learning the very basics of photography. There's zero margin for error with color slides, and in that regard, it makes 1.6:1 digital cameras look like medium format Hasselblads.

I wholeheartedly couldn't agree more.  Back in the day, even negative film you had some room to budge with printing and developing and contrast filters... With slides, you had little to no room to fudge... You could ask the lab to push/pull the film to over/under develop but it could only do so much and it easily looked bad if not done perfectly.  It also cost you money to do corrections such as push/pull and so screwing up exposure cost you dearly.  As a student that was food money you were wasting away by not nailing exposure.  I cant vouch for anybody but my school, but they pounded exposure in our feeble minds so much in most situations we could ballpark exposures just by looking at the scenes... Studios you 100% needed light/flash meters and with film, anyone forget the little treat of reciprocity and reciprocity charts?  =)  2 second exposure turned into 1 minute exposures depending on your meter readings and what film you used. 

1747
On the subject of glass collection, I do need some advice. I'm looking for something that's fast, good for portraits, but has telephoto zoom (such as the 70-200mm f/2.8 [or 4] USM or 75-300mm) and is good for moving horse photography if I find I need to do it. IS is irrelevant to me. Are the ones I mentioned good options, or is there a better one I can get in the <$1600 price range?

Is $1600 the budget just for this lens, or for all your lenses?

You might want to consider a Canon 70-200 f/4L (around $500?) and a fast prime for portraits (i.e. Canon 85 f/1.8 or Canon 135 f/2L). At least with the 85 you would still be under budget and able to either save money or pick up another lens. If you really need the extra stop of the 70-200 f/2.8L it's worth it, no question about that. But it's also pretty heavy and expensive. The 70-200 f/4L's are feathers by comparison, and the non IS version is cheap (relatively speaking). While the 70-200 f/2.8 does make a good portrait lens, a fast prime makes an even better portrait lens while the 70-200 f/4L gives you a zoom for covering horses and other fast moving events.

That said, I find myself using my Sigma 50 f/1.4 a lot for portraits. It equates to about 80mm on crop and it seems to be a natural FoV, plus that lens has incredible bokeh. Something to consider.

The 70-200 F4 is closer in the $650-700 range after the latest price increases but you can probably find a used one for cheaper on the used market... It's probably not a good general purpose lens so you will want either a fast prime or a 17-55 or 17-40 or look at the 24-105/24-70 plus maybe a 200mm 2.8 or other fast primes i listed in a prior thread.

1748
The school I will be attending in a year or two offers rental equipment but requires that you buy your own camera. The rental equipment is for flashes, various lenses, and more expensive cameras that students couldn't possibly afford. The school I would be attending in the mean time does not provide or rent equipment because they're very small. Their main focus is work shops and fine art. They still have yet to get back to me, and I'm thinking that I should just drive over in person today to ask. Sometimes it's hard to get concrete answers by email.

As I said, I'm going with the 7D for now. I think the 5D Mk ii is better however it stretches my purse strings too much for it to be comfortable. I'm going to spend a few months to a year building up a glass collection, then purchase the 5d. I don't want the first DSLR I purchase to be used just in case, but the second I won't mind so much. With canon hinting that something big and exciting might be coming out next year anyway, I think it's wiser to not break the bank now and just hope the school means film (considering they have the only public dark room in the area, I'm going to assume this is the case).

On the subject of glass collection, I do need some advice. I'm looking for something that's fast, good for portraits, but has telephoto zoom (such as the 70-200mm f/2.8 [or 4] USM or 75-300mm) and is good for moving horse photography if I find I need to do it. IS is irrelevant to me. Are the ones I mentioned good options, or is there a better one I can get in the <$1600 price range?

Trying to keep under $1600... I kinda want to go with the 17-55 and 70-200 F4 L..  The 17-55 wont be able to move over to the 5d when you move over to full frame but will suit the 7D just fine.  If you want to have lenses that will move over with you when you make the jump, you can get the 17-40 L and and a used 70-200 F4 IS or 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS.  I would stay away with the 70-300 unless you are getting the L version... kinda soft and will cause hair to fall out.  You can also try a sigma 70-200 2.8 which is around $900... They are good if you find a good copy (test a few at the camera store).  This could get you started until you get some more money for fast primes...

Lastly you can pick up a 24-105 or 24-70... that would chew up most your money but you could pick up a fast prime like a 50 1.4 or 85 1.8 or maybe 100 2.0  not much telephoto effect but will get your feet wet. 

1749
The school I will be attending in a year or two offers rental equipment but requires that you buy your own camera. The rental equipment is for flashes, various lenses, and more expensive cameras that students couldn't possibly afford. The school I would be attending in the mean time does not provide or rent equipment because they're very small. Their main focus is work shops and fine art. They still have yet to get back to me, and I'm thinking that I should just drive over in person today to ask. Sometimes it's hard to get concrete answers by email.

As I said, I'm going with the 7D for now. I think the 5D Mk ii is better however it stretches my purse strings too much for it to be comfortable. I'm going to spend a few months to a year building up a glass collection, then purchase the 5d. I don't want the first DSLR I purchase to be used just in case, but the second I won't mind so much. With canon hinting that something big and exciting might be coming out next year anyway, I think it's wiser to not break the bank now and just hope the school means film (considering they have the only public dark room in the area, I'm going to assume this is the case).

On the subject of glass collection, I do need some advice. I'm looking for something that's fast, good for portraits, but has telephoto zoom (such as the 70-200mm f/2.8 [or 4] USM or 75-300mm) and is good for moving horse photography if I find I need to do it. IS is irrelevant to me. Are the ones I mentioned good options, or is there a better one I can get in the <$1600 price range?

Is $1600 your total budget for all lenses? 

1750
With a crop camera you cut off the beauty on every side of the frame.  :'(
So take a couple of steps back...

That's exactly why a crop body delivers deeper DoF - becaiase you need to take a couple of steps back to match the framing of that lens on a FF camera, and that increased distance means deeper DoF.  Short of going out and building yourself a lens with f/0.75 for your APS-C camera, you'll never be able to achieve the shallow DoF of f/1.2 on FF.  Personally, I often get comments on portraits about the simplicity of the backgrounds - in fact, there is often a lot going on back there, it's just effectively blurred out by the wide aperture of the 85L.

Having said that, I do agree that a 7D should be as useable for photo classes as a 5DII, and you can certainly achieve thin DoF with an APS-C sensor, if not quite as thin as with FF, much less MF.

but who really shoots at f1.2.. ok perhaps sometimes...  but realisticlly no...  most of my lenses are f2.8 so the sweet spot for the lens is around f4, which is where i normally shoot....

Exactly... Even if you can shoot 1.2 on portraiture, the eyelash will be in focus but the eyeball wont or visa versa... Kinda freaks out clients when they see that cause they think in their minds it's out of focus... We as photographers can appreciate it but clients, unless they are fine art type of people wont buy them... on my 50 1.4 I shoot around 2.2 give or take... thats it's sweet spot for me on portraits... enough is in focus for the client to appreciate and a nice soft background. 

1751
This whole debate is moot if the OP comes back and says the school wants her to shoot 35mm film for the first year or so...  Please get clarification on that... then once you got that figured out, see if your school have a free rental dept and can rent both digitals as your classes get to digital.  Heck by that time the 5d mark III may be out and you can purchase that, case closed. 

1752
EOS Bodies / Re: No Finalized 5D Mark III Yet [CR2]
« on: July 26, 2011, 10:23:34 AM »
February 2012 would be the earliest for an announcement that will address the 5D line.

So, everyone who said, "I'm not getting a 5DII because the 5DIII is coming out soon," keep on waiting.  Because as we all know, vaporware cameras take wonderful pictures, don't they?

I can wait with what I got... I still dont want/need to buy the 5DII yet.  Now if i didn't have CPS then it could force my hand in the purchase but until then, I can wait.  As long as my clients are happy with my work so far. 

1753
EOS Bodies / Re: No Finalized 5D Mark III Yet [CR2]
« on: July 26, 2011, 10:21:23 AM »
You mean the 5DIII won't be released before the 1DsIV?  Shocking, simply shocking.   :P

What if there never is a 1Ds4 but there is a merged 1D5 (FF 28MP @ 6FPS with internal cropping to APS-H @10FPS, $5500) introduced in about a month, is your prediction right or wrong? And what exactly is a 5D3? Even Canon doesn't seem to know. What if Canon introduces a $3000 FF 16-20MP Lord of Darkness camera simultaneously with the 1D5?

I'm less critical than I may sound but, if you're going to make predictions, please make them with enough detail that we can determine if they're right or wrong.

Then again CR never claimed a new flagship was coming soon period, just that the 5D MIII wont be until feb... So maybe the 5D  still will be released before the 1ds.   ;D  The only hint about the 1ds was it was removed from the website... didn't that happen some time last year and then reappeared a few days later?

1754
Speaking from one that's gone your route (graduated Brooks Institute, your schools competition in, 2004), I have a few bits of advice and clarification.  When I started in the early 2001, they required a 35mm film camera.  By the time I graduated, they didn't have that requirement anymore because they were in the process of going strictly digital, which was a decision I opposed at the time.  While I was there, the first half of my time was dedicated to film and fundamentals... 35mm, 4x5's, medium format, studio, advanced studio, lighting, portraiture, strobes, etc... My school had a large rental dept that was free to students for 3 day rentals on most equipment, however the popular stuff got taken quickly so if you really liked a certain piece, they suggested you get a student loan and buy the gear to insure you always had them for your disposal. 

I dont know if your school has a darkroom or still emphasizes film, and if so, odds are they want you to get a film camera.  I wouldn't stress too much over the film camera as long as it's manual with a manual sync for strobes and hotshoe.  If your school says it's fully digital, which it might be, then ask if they require full frame or if aps-c is acceptable. 

Make sure you go into the school and this profession with your eyes wide open.  It used to be the joke amongst pro photographers you needed to marry a sugar momma or daddy to support your profession until you get the one shot that gets you your first big break.  While I would like to say a lot has changed from then, this is still a very aggressive saturation of pro photographers and hobbyist photographers who would think it would be the cat's meow to take jobs away from a pro and get a few bucks for their work.  Can you blame them?  No, but it does eat away from our potential earning potential.  If you want proof of this, go to your local yellow pages and search under photographers or photography... look at the pages of competition.  Most will not have the technical quality you and I would have, but consumers dont care if the photographer is really good at marketing and sales.  You need to develop a style and niche that would make people to want to choose you rather than joe blow down the street. 

Lastly, you mention that you are getting married shortly, please make sure your significant other is fully prepared for the profession of professional photography.  I met my wife while I was at school and while we were dating I kept warning her how expensive photography was, but it wasn't until AFTER we were married and the cost of camera gear were being budgeted in our expenses that she really understood how expensive photography was.  Every time I upgrade lenses and cameras she gets humbled.  I hear from a lot of professional photographers that the cost of gear for newly weds and starting up photographers can be a big issue with finances so please make sure your fiancee is fully prepared for the costs to be a pro photographer. 

Good luck and if you have more questions or concerns, feel free to reply or send me an email regarding school. 

1755
Lenses / Re: why????
« on: July 25, 2011, 03:14:18 PM »
Believe me when I say i am holding my breath on such a camera.  I have the funding set aside and while I would prefer to hold off until a 5d 3, if i dont see any camera POSSIBILITY within the next quarter, I may have to get a mark II and unload it when the mark III comes out...

Since I am not a pro I have the luxury to wait. In your case, you will have to do some gain/loss evaluations by getting the 5DII and sell it later. I doubt we will see a 5DIII in the next quarter, but we might get an announcement. Monitoring Nikon should help us find out more about the 5DIII expectations and release dates. I expect an announcement and maybe even a release of the D700 replacement within this year. But this is just an educated guess, nothing more.

I do shoot professionally and as of right now, my 7D is quite serviceable for 99% of all my clients needs right now.  Switching to the 5D would be more of a personal preference because of the full frame sensor and the little bit more ISO/IQ i'd get from such a camera.  In the time being i also have CPS in my back pocket to get loaners of 5d's and 1d's if and when a shoot pops up in which i need that camera... I can wait longer if needed, I just wish canon will "show their cards" soon. 

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