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Messages - Steve Todd

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EOS Bodies / Picture Style Settings, How Much Sharpening?
« on: February 13, 2015, 08:37:55 PM »
I've not used the highest setting (7) for sharpness in the picture style customization before, because I have just checked sharpness in DPP and made adjustments as needed.  However, while shooting the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, CA last weekend - a long time friend and fellow NASCAR photog, told me he always sets the sharpness setting in the picture style menu to the max setting (7). 

He said the max setting has given him sharper images right out of the camera that look sharper to him after processing in DPP, compared to adding sharpness in post processing of images shot at a lower sharpness setting in picture style. 

I have the sharpness setting in my cameras set at one level past the center mark, and have been satisfied using this method.  However, I'm always open to new methods that will produce sharper images.  I am wondering what the rest of you set your sharpness settings at, and have you ever tried the max setting?

Thanks in advance for your input!

Lenses / EF100-400L II Manual on Canon USA Site
« on: December 15, 2014, 10:37:45 AM »
If you're interested, the Instruction Manual PDF for the new 100-400 is available on the Canon USA site.

Here is a link, hope it works for you...if not just check the products tab on the website and navigate to the product page for the lens.


Lenses / With a new 100-400L, is the 28-300L Next?
« on: November 29, 2014, 11:17:20 AM »
I've had my 100-400L since borrowing one from the CPS folks at the 1999 Daytona 500.  It's been a great lens.  However, I must admit I have the "II" version on pre-order (and the current one sold).  As the 28-300L is now 10-years-old, I hope it will be the next zoom lens on Canon's list to get a make over. 

My 28-300L is the lens I pick when I want to keep things simple.  Not having to change lenses on the move and the ability to cover just about every subject, has made it my "Go To" travel lens, mounted on one of my FF bodies.  Although I've never had an issue with the push-pull design of either lenses, I can see the logic in moving away from that type of zoom operation. 

So, the question is, will we see a redesigned 28-300L anytime soon?

EOS Bodies / Interesting Article on DXO Mark Ratings
« on: November 10, 2014, 11:49:14 AM »
You may have already seen this, but I thought it might be of interest to CR folks:


Although I'm perfectly satisfied with the gear I have today, I'd still like to see a higher MP camera from Canon.  And I believe Canon will release one sometime soon.

If you really need a higher MP camera right now and can't wait on Canon, then buy/rent a purpose built (landscape/studio) camera today! 

Remember, 10-years ago, Nikon's top MP camera was 6.1MP, while Canon's was 11.1!  It took Nikon a while to produce a higher MP body, but they did!  And then Canon jumped ahead, and then Nikon jumped ahead......etc.

The real question, is what level/model of the Canon line the higher MP sensor will be in!  My guess, is that it could show up in both the 1-series and the 5-series bodies.  However, I wouldn't rule out it being in a totally new model!

Lenses / Re: What telephotos do we own?
« on: September 30, 2014, 09:46:28 PM »
I have the 100-400L, the 70-300L and a 28-300L.  The 28-300L rarely comes off my 1D X!  However, I am ready to purchase a true "Great White" (I know, they are actually gray).  It will probably be the 300 2.8 II.  Although, I am tempted to go with a 400 2.8 II, I think the 300 will best serve my needs (BIF, wildlife & motorsports).

Of all of the lenses that I have read reviews on, just about everyone rates the 300 2.8 II as probably the sharpest telephoto lens that Canon makes.  It also seems that it suffers the least when teamed-up with the 1.4X III and 2.0X III TCs.  That tells me a lot, as does having seen many fine images made with that lens on this site and in numerous publications. 

I would also like to see an updated/upgraded 100-400L, the flexibility of that zoom range makes it a very handy lens indeed.

Canon General / How Soon We Forget!
« on: September 29, 2014, 11:15:44 PM »
With all the chatter today about needing more MP or DR, let's not forget where we were just 10-years ago.  For those of you under 30-years-old, 10-years ago seems like a lifetime.  For those of us over 60-years-old, 10-years ago seems like yesterday!

Here's a look back to 2004:

Canon EOS-10D, 6.3 MP 1.6x crop sensor, 3 FPS, $1,499

Nikon D100, 6.1 MP 1.5x crop sensor, 3 FPS, $1,499

Canon EOS-1D II, 8.2 MP 1.3x crop sensor,  8.5 FPS, $4,495

Nikon D2H, 4.1 MP 1.5x crop sensor, 8 FPS, $3,199

Nikon D1X, 5.3 MP 1.5x crop sensor, 3 FPS, $3,899

Canon EOS-1DS, 11.1 MP full frame sensor, 3 FPS, $7,999

Kodak DCS-14N, 13.8 MP full frame sensor, 8 FPS, $9,000+

So, what's my point!  Just this, what we thought was fantastic back then, is "not so much" today.  However, there are millions of great images from back then!  And in 10-years from now, we'll probably still be arguing about needing more MP and DR, yet we'll still have tons of great images from right now!  Life is short my friends, get out and enjoy what you have right now!  The future will be here starting tomorrow, and with it, undoubtably more of everything you could ever wish for or imagine!  

Here in the Southwest US, we are used to paying camera fees for non-commercial photography.  Most of the Indian Pueblos here charge a fee, even for people only taking pictures with their cell phones!  It's no big deal and usually doesn't amount to much.  However, I'm sure some of the pictures taken at those places end up being sold. 

I just hope the current policy doesen't change in the future because of people taking advantage of the current rules like it has in other places.  I remember the first time I went to Egypt, photography (with fees at certain places) was allowed everywhere with the only exception, that flash photography was prohibited in the tombs and museums. 

Now, they charge camera and video fees for just about every historical site.  And at some of the best places there (probably due to people using their photos commercially), they prohibit photography altogether.

Lenses / Re: Do you keep all your boxes?
« on: September 21, 2014, 09:41:10 AM »
I must admit, I have kept every Canon camera/lens box since 1978.  However, being in the Air Force for 30-years and moving more times than I want to remember, I've lost most of the pre-1980 stuff.  I do have most of the EOS-1 film body boxes and now, all of my digital camera boxes.  I have included the boxes and all material that came in them whenever I sold one of my bodies/lenses, which made the new owners very happy. 

Now that I'm in my "Golden Years," I guess it's time to start thinning things out.  There used to be photo swap meets here, which were great places to find/sell old gear.  However, no one seems interested in doing that these days which is probably due to the Internet?

Oh well, maybe I can make someone's day down the road with some little treasure they've been looking for.

Canon General / More on Hollywood Filmmaker's Albuquerque Landscapes
« on: August 06, 2014, 10:33:52 AM »
Last month I posted a short video on a retired Hollywood filmmaker's HDR panoramas of Albuquerque.  However, the video only touched on his finished results.  This link will take you to his site and some of his work:


After viewing his work, you will understand why I picked ABQ as my retirement home.  Our Fall is usually spectacular, and the winter and spring scenes can be quite good as well.  If you like thunderstorms, July and August can produce some intense weather formations and plenty of lightning!

EOS Bodies / EOS 7D II Specs Listed on KDrama Stars
« on: August 01, 2014, 10:22:01 AM »
Don't know if this is legit, but here is what is on the Korean site:


EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7D - Weird black pictures problem
« on: July 20, 2014, 07:01:04 PM »
Having used digital SLRs since 2005 (5D, 5D Mk II, two 1D Mk IVs, and a 1D X), I had never experienced a completely black image until late last year.  In November, while shooting at Mission San Diego, I experienced one!  It was on my 1D X, with a reliable flash card and in very good available light. 

The image contained all of the shooting data as if it had been one of the images of the same subject both before and after the blank one?  There was no fault/error code at all!  So, I feel your pain!  That happened at around 800 shutter actuations and has not occurred in the 3,000+ shots since. 

I spoke with Canon Irvine about the experience when they performed a clean and check on my 1D X in February.  Nothing was noted during the check and all has been well since.  I guess the old saying "Truth is stranger than fiction" might actually apply here!

Here's a short video feature on an award winning movie maker turned landscape photog.  He's an Albuquerque resident (transplant from LA) making a very good business for himself.

BTW, notice his choice of camera/lens combination, and his (homemade) tripod mount!

Sorry, the original link didn't work very well!  Here's a link that actually works on YouTube:

Health scare leads artist to world-renowned art

Software & Accessories / Re: To filter or not to filter
« on: July 14, 2014, 04:57:25 PM »
I have used quality clear/uv filters on all of my lenses since 1969.  I've saved the front elements on two of my lenses by having a filter on them when they fell/hit a metal object.

I do remove them if I am going to shoot a sunrise/sunset.  Also, I remove them if I am shooting anything (Trains, Race cars, etc.) that have bright lights on them that are coming directly toward me, even during daylight hours.  I can only think of one other case where I removed the filter, and that was due to the Sun reflecting off the water?

Did I mention I live in the high desert...even the dust gets dusty!

Oops!  Sorry, missed that one...Senior moment I guess!

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