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Messages - awinphoto

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1741
Lenses / Re: Which 50mm Macro lens is a better buy?
« on: August 08, 2011, 08:05:32 PM »
TDP is a great resource.  If you are using the 100mm L I think you will be slightly disappointed with the 50mm overall.  The build is similar to the 50 1.4... small manual focus ring... lots of play in the ring... AF is kinda slow and noisy... Optically, compared to standard regular primes and zooms, it is very very good.  Compared to many of the L optics, it isn't as good.  Ziess is very nice but you pay the premium.  With the 5d, the 60mm ef-s is out, but perhaps if you have other primes are happy with you can try extension tubes... Also if you feel adventurous you can try sigmas offering or others but be aware of sample variations. 

1742
Lenses / Re: Which 50mm Macro lens is a better buy?
« on: August 08, 2011, 05:46:38 PM »
I had the 50mm 2.5 macro... it's a great lens depending what your expectations are (and noisy if you are used to USM)... I dont think it's as sharp (overall) as my 50 1.4, but the 1.4 is not a macro per se.  The 60mm ef-s macro gets good reviews from what I see.  The zeiss i'm sure is a superior lens optics wise but so is the price point and manual focus for that matter of fact. 

1743
Canon General / Re: 580EXII SpeedFlash
« on: August 08, 2011, 11:23:03 AM »
I've heard about the technical on how these puppies collect battery power by building up power within it's wiring so it has plenty of power to release within the flash.  It used to be common practice (whether you use high power strobes to on/off camera flashes) to "dump" the power by firing the flash right before you turn it off/disconnect power and I still do that to this day.  On the old flashes you could audibly hear the power within the flash by giving off a slight hum but you dont get that anymore with the modern flashes.  I would still recommend dumping power by pressing the test/flash button to fire the strobe then turn it off immediately.  If this doesn't help your battery situation, take the batteries out after usage or send it to canon to look at.  Has your flash always done this or just recently?  Perhaps after a long time of power build-up the flash got some damage within the circuit controller that is suppose to tell the flash to stop drawing power?  This is assuming the flash is completely "off" when you shut it down rather than in hibernation/sleep mode due to inactivity? 

1744
EOS Bodies / Re: DSLR Video. Sony is about to kick Canon's you know what
« on: August 03, 2011, 02:09:19 PM »
Competition is GOOD!  I believe its the main reason for progress in most endeavors.

I can imagine that Sony was smarting after the 5D MK II came out, and saw a need to do one step better.  Sony has lots of video knowhow, and I am happy to see them put it to use.

We should welcome it, because it will make the competition fish or cut bait!

Couldn't have said it better  :D

1745
EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mk III storage
« on: August 03, 2011, 01:02:44 PM »
I also like the build of CF cards... one time I was at an event and changed cards mid event... put the old card in the cheap plastic case they come with and put it in my shirt pocket... Well after everything was said and done, i went home, put my clothes in the washing machine without thinking, turned it on, and went to bed.  The next morning when putting the clothes in the dryer the card fell out of my shirt pocket... crap... once i opened the cheap case, drained the water inside, and let the card dry out, I was able to plug it in and retrieve EVERYTHING on that card. 

I also heard in a seminar once that photographers and news journalists found destroyed cameras weeks after the 9-11 disaster during the clean up (presumed to be people who either parished during the event and or dropped from the buildings) and they were able to plug in the CF cards and retrieve images from that event.  Obviously i cannot verify this but if true, wow. 

1746
Well, my budget is complicated. I don't want to spend over $500 on the tripod and ball head for now, though it it would make a significant difference I might stretch up to $650. Height is important to me, and I also need something that can handle itself on uneven ground (trails, for example). If my budget is unrealistic, please let me know.

In short, I need...

  • Flexible, sturdy legs for uneven ground such as trails, hikes, etc.
  • Under $650, preferably under $500. May save up to stretch further if necessary.
  • Stable and capable of handling a 300mm zoom lens in the future.
  • Easy to travel with (though I may just get a second, cheaper, foldable tripod for traveling purposes)
  • Over 60" tall.

My thoughts: you don't need to spend a lot of money on a tripod if you're just trying to stable a 3-4lb set-up for landscapes or long exposures. You don't need a fancy head. you just need something that will lock down and not fall over. Buy used if you can. Almost everyone has a couple a tripods they don't use. Get theirs. Then, if it's not working out - upgrade. .

Tripods are probably the one thing people skimp out on the most... can you blame them?  Spending $1000-2000, another couple grand combined on lenses, etc... Whats next, a tripod?  But then again a good tripod would be like buying a good car... If you buy the right one, it can last you almost forever.  If you skimp out on one that "just locks down", you may have failures at bad times like I did with in the river shot.  Like a good car, or lens for that sake, it can last you a long time, longer than any modern camera.   

1747
Well shoot $500 on a tripod will give you a very fine tripod.  Unlike cameras/lenses there are a plethora of different brands all competing in this market, each with it's own quirks and goods/bads/uglys.  I cannot recommend any stronger than to not go by blind faith of the internet on this purchase because in many ways, you may become as intimate with your tripod as part of your gear as the camera itself...  But what I would do is run some searches, I can even do an initial search on adorama... search under your criteria... 60" check, carbon fiber or light weight aluminum... heavy load (the more the load, the more stable it should be)... and then print out your list and take it with you to the store... compare prices, compare tripods... they should have several out on display... find those particular models on your list (and even some that may not be on that list as long as it's meeting your criteria via specs).  Hint... even if the tripod is not on display but in stock, if the camera store thinks theres a potential of a sale, they'll help you take out the tripod and test them...  anything to get a sale.  Lastly, there are 2 heights to consider... a height with a closed center column and a height with an extended column... ONLY USE THE CENTER COLUMN FOR EMERGENCY OH CRAP SITUATIONS.... you severely lose stability and do not rely on that to always be there for you. 

http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=itemlist&cat1=Tripods&cat2=Tripod%20Legs%20%26%20Leg/Head%20Combos&cat3=Leg%20%26%20Head%20Combo%20for%20Still%20%26%20Video&Feature2=10%20To%2019.9%20Lbs&Feature3=60%22%20to%2072%22&Startat=61

http://www.adorama.com/BGMT294A3327.html

http://www.adorama.com/BGMT294A3324.html

This is a good generic lists of aluminums and carbons meeting your broad needs of 11 plus load weight and 60" tall min.  They are head/leg combos but you can get more specific and better gear mixing and matching... I stand by my recommendations on heads earlier and already gave you those links but for legs $300 an under...

http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=itemlist&cat1=Tripods&cat2=Tripod%20Legs%20%26%20Leg/Head%20Combos&cat3=Tripod%20Legs%20for%20Still%20%26%20Video&Feature3=10%20to%2019.9%20Lbs&Feature4=60%22%20to%2072%22&Startat=1

Broad search...

some highlights:

http://www.adorama.com/BG055CXPRO3.html

http://www.adorama.com/FPTPF1228.html  flashpoint is adoramas house brand... you probably wont be able to test them at a local store but they are at a great value...

http://www.adorama.com/GTMT8260.html

http://www.adorama.com/SLP500DXLBK.html  I've used this one... true to description and light weight despite look.

http://www.adorama.com/SLP723CF.html

http://www.adorama.com/SLP823CF.html

Anyways heres some quick suggestions to look at (at the stores...)  play with them and see what feels the best for you and your budget.  Good luck once again.   


1748
EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mk III storage
« on: August 02, 2011, 06:37:09 PM »
After Canon made a point of emphasizing (with the releases of the 50D and the 5D mark II) the forward compatibility with these cameras and UDMA Compact Flash cards, I think that's where Canon is really expecting the technology to evolve into.  I cant see them switching to other cards, no matter their popularity, if they impede speed or performance of the system and buffer, especially as the MP's increase.  CFast, there seems to be so little information yet alone actual products on hand to warrant to camera dedicated to them.  For the speed factor, I hope the new 5d has 2 CF slots so the camera wont suffer due to a slower card. 

1749
I think the Manfrotto legs with the horizontal bars are the video supports, defnintely stay away from those.

They can do video but we needed them for our 4x5's and shoot, you could set them up near a tornado and they probably would stay still haha.  Plus the quick release legs were wonderful but VERY heavy and overkill if you dont need it. 

I use a Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 with a 488RC2 ballhead.   It's a great tripod, and it easily supports a gripped body and big white zoom (100-400mm or 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II). 

The number on the end of the CX series names is 3 or 4, and refers to the number of sections in the legs.  Some will say fewer sections is more stable, but 3- and 4-section tripods have the same weight specification.  More sections means a shorter folded length, but also an extra set of sections to extend so setup takes slightly longer. 

I would be among the few who say the more sections it is the less stable it is on the heavier gear... Then again the same can be said by extending the center column. The more sections, the taller it potentially can get but only you can gauge how important that is for you.  His tripod is a very nice tripod and a hair over $300 on adorama legs only.  I would recommend an action grip ball head such as:

http://www.adorama.com/BG322RC2.html
http://www.adorama.com/BG3265.html ... They take a little getting used to but once you master them, they are easy to set up and run with.  The cheaper one carries less load weight so that is something to consider. 

tripods, well feel free to peruse
http://www.adorama.com/SearchSite/Default.aspx?searchinfo=carbon%20fiber%20tripod

They are all excellent choices however they each have their own quirks...

http://www.adorama.com/BG190CX3.html... another nice choice with 3 sections... But dont take my word for it.. go to your local store/stores and look at them... hold them... operate them... see what feels best for you given your new knowledge about tripods. 

1750
One last thing to consider with tripods is leg flexibility... Manfrotto on a lot of legs have a sliding locking horizontal support bar that connects to the legs to the center column.  You will want to be able to control each leg individually.. Sometimes you may be on unstable grounds in which one leg is shooting out at the standard 30 degrees angle and another leg, given your location, maybe 50-60 degrees, etc.... If you dont have that control on your legs, it can hinder your photo shoot.  You will know what i'm talking about as you play with the tripods... lastly on heads, see if you can get a nice sturdy ball head.  Ball heads carry the weight better over the tripod where as standard pan/tilt heads are cheaper but instead of holding the weight directly on the body, you are carrying the weight on a few screws and metal/plastic as it hovers above the center column.  It's just not as secure.  Manfrotto has high quality heavy duty pan/tilts but you still can beat a nice ballhead.

Do you have any specific recommendations?


Whoo. It's gonna take a bit but I'm going to read through the rest of the responses and then reply to them.

I wasn't intending on being condescending and or rude, I was just seeking clarification about how you said you had it, tested it, and loved it and then "just got it" the other and are having buyers remorse.  Do keep in mind regarding distortion... this lens is designed as a 17-40 on a full frame camera... 17mm on any camera will have some level of distortion... Same as the 17-55 in some regards on the 17 end, as well as lets say the tokina lens and the 16-35 I or II... The full frame will show the distortion more than crops, but it's still there. 

Ah okay! :) It was just a misunderstanding then. My apologies. I agree that that there will always be some sort of distortion. However I have learned that photoshop has a feature built into CameraRAW that can fix most distortion problems. This will come in handy, though I do need to get a legitimate copy of photoshop since I cannot borrow my friend's forever. That's gonna be a little pricy.

Quote
Some lenses to keep in consideration that will have fast(er) speeds and keep distortion in check (20mm 2.8, 24mm 1.4, 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.4, they are all within the range of the 17-40, should keep distortion better in check, and 2.8 or faster) It's a great outdoors/travel/walk-around lens, but indoors, you will need to have a fast prime if you really want to shoot handhold.  I do architecture (one of my specialties) and real estate photos... I shoot with the 10-20 and 17-40... But then again I shoot low apertures, tripod always, and they are static.  Sometimes if I cant shoot tripod I still use low ISO but throw in off camera flash or strobe.  Light will always be an issue indoors so either use a faster lens or use a flash (ideally either strobe or off camera flash).  The 7D has a great commander feature if you can pick up some 580's or 430's... scatter them around the scene out of view from the camera and you never have to worry about lack of light. 

I am in need of a good tripod. Somebody recommended manfrotto and I'm currently weighing my options.

Lighting is something I'll definitely need to invest in. Before getting external flash, though, I want to try to make the pictures as good as possible without flash. Force myself to practice, so to speak. You have some good suggestions here.

Quote
I never said it was foolish not getting the 17-55... I said I liked the 17-40 personally, however you need to really and fully know it's capabilities and limitations to get the most out of it.

I mixed you up with somebody else who said that to me, oops. 

Quote
By going in a shoot fully educated on your gears limits will allow you to forward think so you know how to counter the limitations and push the limits to get awesome shots.  Also remember the 17-40 can be used by the 7d and 5d whereas the 17-55 can only be used on crop cameras.  Regarding your expectations of high ISO, check out the link i posted earlier... it'll give you a good idea of what this camera can do not only against itself but competitors.

Thanks :)

While at school, I used manfrottos tripods almost exclusively... We shot with 4x5's and medium formats so i needed heavy duty gear to handle the weight and strain of the cameras... I dont shoot much 4x5's any more but now my gear includes a Slik Pro 700 legs (i think thats the number) and manfrotto heads... The legs are aluminum and light weight compared to my old heavy duty manfrottos... I would love a carbon fiber manfrotto or better, but the slik is light weight yet extremely sturdy for me.  Keep weight and load in mind... Weight because you have to haul this puppy with you on shoots and load because if the head AND legs aren't strong enough to hold secure your gear, you can not only lose shots but damage your gear.  I had an old tripod fail on me wading in a river waiting for the lighting to be right before I shot the image... I barely caught the camera in time before it fell in the river. 

Go to your local store and they should have a nice selection of tripods... feel them, hold them, and do your research.  Regarding the photoshop... look on craigslist and look at your local colleges... A lot of them sell photoshop and or creative suite at student prices... At my local university in nevada, they have the entire creative suite for $299 student price.  Fully legit copy.  I knew a few college students there but see if your local college has software discounts at the student store.  Also keep in mind adobe typically has a product cycle on a strong 18 month cycle... CS6 should be out sometime in the second/third quarter of 2012 so perhaps you will see CS5 at a discounted price.  Lastly, i heard adobe now has a subscription option?  You pay a monthly fee and you get to use their software...  Doing that for i think for a few months pays for the entire purchase price but if you need to have it now and cant pony up $699, then that's a good option.

Good suggestions! Thanks!

If you tell me your budget you would be willing to spend (on the set) I can give you specific suggestions... There are SO MANY brands and quality types it really is very broad. 

1751
Canon General / Re: Straight Photos with SLR camera
« on: August 02, 2011, 02:45:11 PM »
I love the levels on the 7d, however since I dont know what camera you are using, i second neuros suggestion with the hot shoe bubble level... That's what I used before my 7d. 

1752
One last thing to consider with tripods is leg flexibility... Manfrotto on a lot of legs have a sliding locking horizontal support bar that connects to the legs to the center column.  You will want to be able to control each leg individually.. Sometimes you may be on unstable grounds in which one leg is shooting out at the standard 30 degrees angle and another leg, given your location, maybe 50-60 degrees, etc.... If you dont have that control on your legs, it can hinder your photo shoot.  You will know what i'm talking about as you play with the tripods... lastly on heads, see if you can get a nice sturdy ball head.  Ball heads carry the weight better over the tripod where as standard pan/tilt heads are cheaper but instead of holding the weight directly on the body, you are carrying the weight on a few screws and metal/plastic as it hovers above the center column.  It's just not as secure.  Manfrotto has high quality heavy duty pan/tilts but you still can beat a nice ballhead. 

1753
Whoo. It's gonna take a bit but I'm going to read through the rest of the responses and then reply to them.

I wasn't intending on being condescending and or rude, I was just seeking clarification about how you said you had it, tested it, and loved it and then "just got it" the other and are having buyers remorse.  Do keep in mind regarding distortion... this lens is designed as a 17-40 on a full frame camera... 17mm on any camera will have some level of distortion... Same as the 17-55 in some regards on the 17 end, as well as lets say the tokina lens and the 16-35 I or II... The full frame will show the distortion more than crops, but it's still there. 

Ah okay! :) It was just a misunderstanding then. My apologies. I agree that that there will always be some sort of distortion. However I have learned that photoshop has a feature built into CameraRAW that can fix most distortion problems. This will come in handy, though I do need to get a legitimate copy of photoshop since I cannot borrow my friend's forever. That's gonna be a little pricy.

Quote
Some lenses to keep in consideration that will have fast(er) speeds and keep distortion in check (20mm 2.8, 24mm 1.4, 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.4, they are all within the range of the 17-40, should keep distortion better in check, and 2.8 or faster) It's a great outdoors/travel/walk-around lens, but indoors, you will need to have a fast prime if you really want to shoot handhold.  I do architecture (one of my specialties) and real estate photos... I shoot with the 10-20 and 17-40... But then again I shoot low apertures, tripod always, and they are static.  Sometimes if I cant shoot tripod I still use low ISO but throw in off camera flash or strobe.  Light will always be an issue indoors so either use a faster lens or use a flash (ideally either strobe or off camera flash).  The 7D has a great commander feature if you can pick up some 580's or 430's... scatter them around the scene out of view from the camera and you never have to worry about lack of light. 

I am in need of a good tripod. Somebody recommended manfrotto and I'm currently weighing my options.

Lighting is something I'll definitely need to invest in. Before getting external flash, though, I want to try to make the pictures as good as possible without flash. Force myself to practice, so to speak. You have some good suggestions here.

Quote
I never said it was foolish not getting the 17-55... I said I liked the 17-40 personally, however you need to really and fully know it's capabilities and limitations to get the most out of it.

I mixed you up with somebody else who said that to me, oops. 

Quote
By going in a shoot fully educated on your gears limits will allow you to forward think so you know how to counter the limitations and push the limits to get awesome shots.  Also remember the 17-40 can be used by the 7d and 5d whereas the 17-55 can only be used on crop cameras.  Regarding your expectations of high ISO, check out the link i posted earlier... it'll give you a good idea of what this camera can do not only against itself but competitors.

Thanks :)

While at school, I used manfrottos tripods almost exclusively... We shot with 4x5's and medium formats so i needed heavy duty gear to handle the weight and strain of the cameras... I dont shoot much 4x5's any more but now my gear includes a Slik Pro 700 legs (i think thats the number) and manfrotto heads... The legs are aluminum and light weight compared to my old heavy duty manfrottos... I would love a carbon fiber manfrotto or better, but the slik is light weight yet extremely sturdy for me.  Keep weight and load in mind... Weight because you have to haul this puppy with you on shoots and load because if the head AND legs aren't strong enough to hold secure your gear, you can not only lose shots but damage your gear.  I had an old tripod fail on me wading in a river waiting for the lighting to be right before I shot the image... I barely caught the camera in time before it fell in the river. 

Go to your local store and they should have a nice selection of tripods... feel them, hold them, and do your research.  Regarding the photoshop... look on craigslist and look at your local colleges... A lot of them sell photoshop and or creative suite at student prices... At my local university in nevada, they have the entire creative suite for $299 student price.  Fully legit copy.  I knew a few college students there but see if your local college has software discounts at the student store.  Also keep in mind adobe typically has a product cycle on a strong 18 month cycle... CS6 should be out sometime in the second/third quarter of 2012 so perhaps you will see CS5 at a discounted price.  Lastly, i heard adobe now has a subscription option?  You pay a monthly fee and you get to use their software...  Doing that for i think for a few months pays for the entire purchase price but if you need to have it now and cant pony up $699, then that's a good option. 

1754
...I guess I suppose having the the camera on bulb for a few minutes at a time if not longer with humidity and cold temperatures (situations which digital cameras struggle and have to work harder) then noise would be visible... I'm lucky enough to be in a dry climate with warm summer nights...

Actually, cold is better.  A major component of dark noise is thermal, and noise goes up with temperature.  The image sensors on the cameras I use for microscopic imaging (where exposures in the 2-4 s range are needed to capture fluorescence) are Peltier-cooled to sub-zero temperatures to reduce dark noise.

I thought cold would be worse (batteries lose power, computers get sluggish, etc..) but i'll take your word for it because I have no reason why not to in this situation. 

1755
I just checked my 7D... long exposure NR is set to OFF.... still no noise

I'm glad you don't see noise in your shots in your applications, but it doesn't mean it's not there.  Noise is present in every image, but the amount obviously varies, as does the impact, and the latter is certainly dependent on the application (cropping, on-screen viewing, small prints, large prints, pixel peeping, etc.).

Long exposure noise is different than high ISO noise, in that the former is reproducible for a given exposure time and sensor temperature, whereas the latter is random.  Thus, long exposures can have NR applied quite effectively in-camera (the computation is very simple, literally just subtracting the e- recorded at each photosite in the dark frame from the same photosite in the image).  NR for high ISO is much more computationally intensive, and a computer will do that better than the on-board chipset.  Also, post-processing NR for long exposures is not the same as NR for ISO noise.  Unless you plan ahead and shoot a dark frame, you can't do long exposure NR in post.  Many astrophotographers keep libraries of dark frames at various exposure times and temperature conditions and apply those in post, because it speeds up the image capture (i.e. you can just take a set of 30 s exposures abck to back, instead of the in-camera process of 30 s exposure followed by a 30 s dark frame).

I will say I haven't attempted astrophotography in almost 6-7 years (and even with that I shot with my medium format camera)... I guess I suppose having the the camera on bulb for a few minutes at a time if not longer with humidity and cold temperatures (situations which digital cameras struggle and have to work harder) then noise would be visible... I'm lucky enough to be in a dry climate with warm summer nights so I wouldn't have the same situation humidity wise as if I was sea level at lets say san fran or the midwest... (I had to do a shoot in chicago in which the humidity was so high (99%) my 30D at the time quit working until i got it in an air conditioned room to cool down and dry out. 

Most of my long exposure stuff is for things like fireworks/lightning and high end architecture at twinight and usually (with digital) I dont get exposures longer than 30 seconds and typically noise at low iso is no problem for what I use it for.  (film with reciprocity my long exposures get a heck of a lot longer to make up for it)

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