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Messages - Jon Gilchrist

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16
Panoramic tripod head (I use a Nodal Ninja).  Kolor Autopano Pro for stitching.  KRPano for viewing.  Lots of RAM and processor power.

Use whichever lens gives you the detail level you want.  I shoot with anything from 10mm to 58mm.  I'd shoot longer, but my rotator doesn't go below 10-degrees.

Some of my panoramas:  http://www.f3p.com/pano/

Best/favorite one: http://www.f3p.com/pano/StStans/StStansSanctuary.html

17
Lenses / Re: Do you still love 24-105L?
« on: April 25, 2013, 03:50:33 PM »
I've got the 24-105L and love it.  I also have the 50/1.4 (along with a bunch of other oddball 50-58mm vintage glass) and the new Sigma 35/1.4 Art lens.  Here's my advice: If you want a good prime and you have to dump one lens to add another, get the Sigma 35/1.4 and dump your 50/1.4.  The 35 is a bit wider, but at f1.4 there is no comparison to the 50.  Sharp sharp sharp, corner to corner.  I have to stop down to about 5.6 on my 50 before it gets good, and then you're into the same territory as the 24-105.  The 35 has great sharpness and good bokeh, much better than the 50/1.4.

18
EOS Bodies / Re: Future of APS-C Given 6D Pricing
« on: March 27, 2013, 10:50:30 AM »
Just my $.02, but I think the 7D2 is going to be beefed up to the quality level of the 1-series, but with APS-C.  Rugged high end sports camera, weather sealed, excellent AF and pretty much everything else.  Priced somewhere between the 5D3 and the 1Dx.  There is currently no camera in this niche, by anyone.

The 70D will move up to where the 7D1 was, with better AF and perhaps another fps or two and priced just below where the 6D was on release.

19
Lenses / Re: Also chasing Tack Sharp
« on: March 26, 2013, 07:34:34 PM »
I excluded 100+mm because my current go-to lenses for sharpness are in the 50-55mm range and there have been many times when I can't back up to properly frame my image, but very few times when I needed to get closer. I might be able to sacrifice a tiny bit more range for sharpness, but nothing more than 85mm. As I said before, 35 would work better than 85. As for my priorities, they are my own and well thought out. That they are different does not mean they are incorrect.

I read lots of good things about the 135/2 and the 100  macros, but they're too long to be practical for me.  I used the 85/1.2 for a couple days once and was underwhelmed by both the focus speed and ca when wide open.

20
Lenses / Also chasing Tack Sharp
« on: March 25, 2013, 10:14:29 PM »
This is similar to another thread about sharpness, but what I'm looking for is a lens that is sharp wide open.  I have the 50/1.4 and 50/1.8 Mk1 and while they sharpen up nicely at about f4 or 5.6, they leave much to be desired wide open. 

Here's what I'm looking for:

Wide aperture (prefer 1.4, but 1.8 would work. Maybe f2.)
Sharp wide open.
Approximately normal length.  Something from about 30mm-85mm, 30 would be better than 85.
Autofocus (so Zeiss and Samyang are out)

Any suggestions?  I'm seriously considering the Sigma 35/1.4, but I'm seeing conflicting reports of exactly how much better it is than others, and how it compares to other focal lengths.  Can I get sharper with a different length?

I currently shoot on a crop body, but may move to FF on one body.  I do not need weather sealing.  IS would be nice, but not essential.  Sharpness is more important than price, but price will be a factor.

21
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Old gear on offer, please help me decide
« on: March 22, 2013, 09:58:12 PM »
Pick up a second 60D. It will be familiar and will not have lost much value when the 70D and 7D2 are finally announced.  You can get a good deal on the Canon refurb site.

22
I have 32 PowerEx's and while they charge well and perform well, the self-discharge is a pain and I have to make sure they're all topped off the day before I plan to use them.  If I were buying again (or for my next purchase) I'd go with Eneloops.

On the other hand, I really like my Maha charger.

23
Lenses / Re: 650-1300 T-mount lens
« on: November 28, 2012, 11:52:11 PM »
I have one of these lenses that I picked up used for really cheap.  Forget handholding, and for the most part I don't think they'll work for your dish tracking project.

In no particular order, here are some of my observations.

You need a rock solid tripod to use this lens.  Really solid.  Like granite.  Better yet, set it on a brick wall far from traffic.  Any motion will cause your image to bounce.  Even a gentle breeze.  Mirror bounce will set it off too.

This is a completely manual lens, and you can't adjust the aperture.  Yeah, it says f8-f16, but what that means is that as you zoom (another thing entirely) the aperture changes.  It's always fixed at as wide as possible, there is no iris inside.

Speaking of manual lens, it's manual focus.  With this lens that means "you will have to continuously refocus manually" while trying to shoot.  Always.  Think you can just throw it to infinity and hit the moon?  Ha.  Nope.  You have to focus on the moon.

The lens is constructed such that temperature changes will affect focus.  You can watch the lens go out of focus as the lens cools or warms.

The lens is soft.  As others have said, you'd probably get a sharper image out of a 400L and some cropping.

To zoom the lens you have to loosen a locking collar, slide the barrel out to the marked length, and re-tighten the collar.  The collar is not the highest quality, and the tighten/loosen thing is sometimes like taking the lid off a pickle jar.

So that's the good points.  Ha.  Just kidding.

This lens is a monster, and if you get the right one it's that nice Canon off-white.  As such, it will get attention from everyone around you.

It comes with a tripod mount and you can spin the whole thing to switch from portrait to landscape (as a good tripod mount should).

I haven't noticed flare problems.

The front element is a big honking piece of glass that is kinda impressive.

You can take pictures that are passable if not good, from 4 miles away.

Some of the moon shots in this gallery (mostly the first few, I think) were taken with this lens or the lens plus the 2X converter.  http://www.jongilchristphotography.com/Places/Nature/Astronomy/14675037_9bnkFK

Picture number 26 in that gallery is Touchdown Jesus at the University of Notre Dame from about 2.1 miles away.

This picture is the Golden Dome at ND from Rum Village Park about 4 miles away. It was a clear but cold day and kinda windy.  This was one of the first pictures I took with it.  http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/76915_1573142581385_3504694_n.jpg

My overall take on this lens is that it's fun to have and play with, but not something you will use very often.  I'm considering selling mine as it hasn't been out of the my closet for over a year.  If you have any questions, feel free to PM me or ask here.

24
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Tripod - Help
« on: October 28, 2012, 11:28:16 AM »

I have the Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod + the rubber/spikes optional feet + 701HDV fluid video head and they work great with my gripped 7D, plus I shoot mostly video too. I paid roughly $150 for the tripod legs + $30 for the Spikes + $120 for the fluid head, so approx $300 in total (except I purchased in the UK for < £200).

I'd highly recommend the fluid video head for 2 reasons: (1) great for panning up/down or left/right really slowly and smoothly for HD video work (and I mean S-L-O-W-L-Y), plus (2) the video head is great for still photography too (if you want to shoot portrait - then use the 90-degree shift in the 055XPROB stem instead) - just as good as a ball-head.

Ditto this.  If you're doing video, you absolutely DO NOT want a ball head.  Ball heads are great for photography, but for video they're useless unless you never want the camera to move.  Get a decent fluid head like the 701HDV and you'll never be sorry.

25
Lenses / Re: Vintage Lenses: Any Advise?
« on: October 08, 2012, 10:27:33 AM »
But try to show me any affordable 50mm or 55mm shift lens...

It's not 50/55, but I have an Olympus/Zuiko 35mm shift (no tilt) that I picked up off ebay with an EOS adapter fairly cheap. I don't remember the exact price, but I think it was under $200.

Samyang has a 24mm tilt-shift that looks remarkably like the TS-E 24 without any electronics that they showed at Photokina.  I'm still waiting on price, but it should be a great lens.

26
Lenses / Re: Old manual focus 50mm: Sharpness
« on: September 24, 2012, 12:44:01 PM »
I've got a micro-Nikkor 55/2.8 that I use via a Nikkor-EOS adapter.  Very sharp, and fairly inexpensive.  Will do 1:1 with the right extension tube (which I don't have and don't know the model number offhand).

27
Lenses / Re: Vintage Lenses: Any Advise?
« on: September 24, 2012, 12:37:27 PM »
Just had another thought.  If you are gathering a set of primes to do video work, the hard converted lenses like the EdMika and Jim Buchanan conversions can usually be converted to smooth aperture instead of detents by removing a spring loaded ball during the conversion process.

28
Lenses / Re: Vintage Lenses: Any Advise?
« on: September 24, 2012, 12:33:03 PM »
I've got Olympus/Zuiko adapters, Nikon adapters, and M42/Pentax/Takumar adapters, along with an EdMika adapted Canon 55/1.2 FL and a Jim Buchanan adapted Minolta 58/1.4.  They all work great on crop bodies, not sure about full frame as sometimes there is mirror interference.

I highly recommend the Canon 55/1.2 FL, the micro-Nikkor 55/2.8, and the Super-Takumar 50/1.4 or SMC-Takumar 50/1.4.  The SMC-Takumar is very slightly sharper than the Super-Takumar, but not much.  Of these, the Canon is the most expensive and the Super-Tak the least.  If you need razor thin DOF, the Canon is the tool of choice.  If you need macro, the micro-Nikkor is stupid sharp and focuses to 1:2 without the extension tube adapter.  Takumars are plentiful and relatively inexpensive.  All of these are built like tanks and a joy to work with.

Feel free to PM me for more info.

29
Lenses / Re: Battle of the 50mm's - 1.8, 1.4 and 1.2L
« on: July 05, 2012, 02:56:48 PM »
Yes, the 55/1.2 FL conversion is manual focus and manual aperture.  The chip gives you focus confirmation beep but does not autofocus.

30
Lenses / Re: Battle of the 50mm's - 1.8, 1.4 and 1.2L
« on: July 04, 2012, 09:28:50 PM »

LOL.  And if you are really a crazy 50mm nut, add the Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 with EdMika adapter like me. 


DZ3C3796 by drjlo1, on Flickr


DZ3C3795 by drjlo1, on Flickr


I have one of these and *LOVE* it.  I've got two more sitting here waiting to be converted.

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