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Messages - GuyF

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Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« on: June 24, 2013, 10:23:16 AM »
Insure your camera if you get a Benro. Just my humble opinion.

Strange post to make without supporting evidence (no pun intended).

As it is, I'm insured up to the eyeballs (and never made a claim, ever!).

From what I've read, the Benro is near identical to the Wimberley. Indeed the link I originally posted suggests the Benro is made by Wimberley - perhaps maybe not now but even if they once did, it suggests a certain level of quality.

Further digging suggests the latest Benro GH3 has a tiny bit of slop in the connections compared to the non-dismantleable (is that a word?!?) GH2. I guess that's to be expected, fewer parts means more robust structure.

Thanks for all the views - I'll probably go for the Benro GH2 and the money saved over the Wimberley can go on hiring a 500mm f4 or the 200-400mm for an airshow!

CR - just saw your post on breaking Benros - if it broke within warranty I just send it back to the vendor (the sales contract is between me and the supplier i.e. the shop). Also, what were you doing to break the Wimberley?

Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« on: June 24, 2013, 05:56:43 AM »
Thanks Kaihp, the Benro looks pretty good value for money.

5D MK III Sample Images / Re: 5D MK III Images
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:36:03 AM »
A foggy night back in January :

one last walk par Eneade, sur Flickr
Nice! It could be a scene from a thriller.

Yeah, and the dog turns out to be the killer! Great shot.
You dont give away the endings of thrillers!  >:(


Hey, I didn't say how the dog did it! (Spoiler alert: dog used a poison dart.)

5D MK III Sample Images / Re: 5D MK III Images
« on: June 23, 2013, 02:43:12 PM »
A foggy night back in January :

one last walk par Eneade, sur Flickr
Nice! It could be a scene from a thriller.

Yeah, and the dog turns out to be the killer! Great shot.

Software & Accessories / Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« on: June 23, 2013, 05:38:52 AM »
I'm considering a gimbal head for use with my Manfrotto 055CXPro3 tripod and wondered what the pros and cons were to the Wimberley Gimbal Head v2 and the Benro GH3.

From what I can see, the Benro is £170 cheaper, perhaps more flexible too in that it can be dismantled for storage and transport and it also has scale markers which could prove useful. It also appears that the Benro is made by Wimberley, see link:


Initially it would be used with a 5D3 and 300mm f2.8 IS (sometimes with teleconverters too) for airshows and birds in flight but I'm wrestling with the idea of selling the 300 and getting the 500mm f4.

Any thoughts or advice would be welcomed.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: 10 stop High quality ND filter
« on: June 20, 2013, 02:03:47 PM »
I also use the B+W 3.0 10-stop. It has quite a warm colour-cast but as I convert all long exposure shots to black and white, it isn't a problem for me. When I was looking to buy a 10-stop filter I found a site dedicated to the B+W filter but damned if I can find the site for you now. Anyway, the black and white and colour images were enough to sell the B+W to me.

If I were doing it all again though, I'd probably go for the Lee system due to the flexibility it offers and the lesser colour-cast.

Acutance - you suggest we represent the photographic community. I say we only represent ourselves and if someone wishes to lump us all together as a singular group then that's up to them. Just because someone enjoys this hobby does not mean they will have anything whatsoever in common with the next person. With over 7bn people in the world it would be naive in the extreme to think that even a tiny subset of the whole should act in a similar manner.

I agree politeness costs nothing but it's the same for common sense. Before talking to a stranger, is it worth asking yourself, "will this person want to interact with me in a way I will find acceptable?". Perhaps the person is in a hurry, perhaps they've had a stinking day and wish to be alone with their thoughts. Who cares, I'll interrupt them anyway and then be offended if they don't wish to act in a manner I see as acceptable.

It goes both ways you know.

As a final annecdote: I was taking shots at a busy falconry display with my 300mm f2.8 and a bloke starts saying I must be a professional and "that's a £4000 lens!". I was polite and said it was just a hobby. We chatted very briefly - he was asking what exposure I was using etc. He raised his eyebrows in a derisory way and said, "pfff, you think you'll get much using that?". I shook my head and carried on with my afternoon. Throughout the display he regularly strolled past me while giving me the same condescending looks. Nice.

If we were all the same, wouldn't life be boring?

Black & White / Re: Starting to work with black and white
« on: June 20, 2013, 01:12:01 PM »
Headstock shot is nicely done. When taking close up shots make sure the subject is clean i.e. you remove all the protective plastic from the scratch plate including the hard to get to bits under the volume/tone controls!

How are those Lace Sensors working out for ya?

Lenses / Re: Any comments on the 300mm f2.8 IS mk1 and 2x mk3 TC?
« on: June 19, 2013, 01:55:01 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I was looking at the test results over at The Digital Picture and the results really don't convince me the mk3 TC would be significantly better than the Kenko. The 2x is only really used in an "emergency" so I may have to look at the more (much more) expensive options.

Now to try and sell the 300mm and justify a 500mm f4.....


From what I gather photography is a bit like fishing; no sooner have you picked a quiet spot to practise your hobby than someone appears from nowhere to enquire what you're doing or if the fish are biting. I'm convinced many fishermen don't have a hook on their line, they just want the peace and quiet of sitting on their own for a couple of hours. Maybe with a beer and a sandwich. Perhaps there's a nice bit of Parma ham on the sandwich....sorry, I'm getting off track....

I often go to my local park and whilst lining up a shot a few years ago (40D and 17-50mm lens, so nothing "fancy") an old woman once asked, "oh, what are you taking a picture of?" I looked at her blankly hoping her tiny brain would allow her head to turn in the direction I was facing and make some half-baked guess as to the subject (it's a public park for ****'s sake!). However the evil voices in my head made me say I was an architect and the park had been bought over and was to be redeveloped for housing - I was taking pics to show a before and after "vision" for a large piece in the local paper. The park contains a large stately home dating back about 600 years and the notion of it being bulldozed would certainly set tongues wagging among the blue-rinse brigade. Job done. (Note to non-Brits: for some reason old women here insist on dying their hair blue or pink. Must be some 1977 punk throwback thing.)

However the thing that always demands public scrutiny is carrying a big white lens (anything less than 300mm need not apply). People are quite insistant that you're a professional. They cannot conceive that a person may have a job, save for years then buy things that make them happy. I got so fed up of people queing up to interrogate me that I cut the sleeve off a black sweatshirt and use that as a lens-coat. Not once has anyone spoken to me when I'm in "stealth mode"!

Watched a programme last night that showed an airliner trying to land in an extreme crosswind. Wheels touch down on left side and as the co-pilot (pilot had said, "give this one a go") tries to correct thing, the left wing-tip touches the runway. Full gas and they go around.

Immediately fingers are pointed at the captain for allowing the co-pilot to try the landing. It turns out that when the wheels touch down, the flight stick reduces full left or right input to a max of 50% - afterall, if the wheels are on the runway, what do you need 100% bank for?

The simulator couldn't replicate the strength of crosswind recorded on the day! Next step was to revise the manual explaining the 50% reduction of aileron reponse if any of the wheels are contacting the runway.

Kinda puts Canon's "phenomenons" into perspective!

Ah, sorry Haydn. A colleague just mailed it to me and I hadn't seen it before - I assumed it was very recent.

Lenses / Any comments on the 300mm f2.8 IS mk1 and 2x mk3 TC?
« on: June 18, 2013, 02:05:57 PM »
Have any of you tried the above combo?

I currently have the Kenko 2x Pro 300 DG (red dot) which is okay for the money (cost about £110) but images aren't quite as crisp as I'd like so I don't use it that often. Can any of you comment on the sharpness of the 300mm with the mk3 converter or post images? Also, is the AF speed still acceptable to you? I'd be using the combo for airshows or birds in flight etc.

Whilst I'd rather have the 500mm f4, I'm thinking of the cheaper option first! If I got the mk3 TC I'd probably also buy a Wimberly Gimbal head too.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Body is a 5D3.

Yeah, I vaguely recall seeing footage of an Airbus at an airshow where they were doing a slow, wheels-down fly-by. The onboard computer decided they were to land in some nearby trees while the pilot tried to give it full power and save the aircraft.

Amazing what a few lines of bad coding can do.

Technical Support / Completely off topic but you gotta see this....
« on: June 18, 2013, 01:21:00 PM »
Firstly apologies for posting this here as it doesn't talk of dynamic range and taking shots of the inside of lens caps. Mind you, technical support is required - read on:

A brand spanking new Airbus 340-600, the longest passenger airplane ever built, sits just outside its hangar in Toulouse, France without a single hour of airtime.

Enter the Arab flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground, such as engine run-ups prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi.

The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area. Then they took all four engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft. Not having read the run-up manuals, they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600 really is.

The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had all 4 engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying to take off, but it had not been configured properly (flaps/slats, etc..).

Then one of the ADAT crew decided to pull the circuit breaker on the Ground Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm. This fools the aircraft into thinking it is in the air.

The computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can't land with the brakes on.

Not one member of the seven-man crew was smart enough to throttle back the engines from their max power setting, so the $200 million brand-new Aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totaling it.

The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown due to the news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere.

Finally, the photos are starting to leak out.

A French Airbus: $200 million dollars
Untrained Flight Crew: $300,000 Yearly Salary
Unread Operating Manual: $300

Aircraft meets retaining wall, and the wall wins.

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