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Messages - vargyropoulos

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Pricewatch Deals / Re: Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II in Stock at B&H Photo
« on: November 21, 2012, 01:45:44 PM »
I got a chance to take a few shots with the lens in the store last night.... I had a hard time giving it back.... may wallet and my kids college fund thanked me for it....

Lenses / Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« on: November 20, 2012, 10:08:45 PM »
I finally got the chance to pass by the local camera store, I tried the 400mm5.6, the 100-400 and the new 600....

at slower shutter speeds the 100-400 produced better results (expected)
at a higher shutter speeds (set my camera to ISO 1600 and shot at 1/500sec handheld) I did notice sharper images with the 400 prime lens, for example the hair on some of the people at the store were better defined when shot with the prime lens.

then for kicks, I took a few handheld shots with the 600 and decided that the previous 2 lenses were just toys.... I could read the sales tags on SD cards from across the store with that lens. make out the fabric in people's hat's half way across the store, etc

but anyway - back to my reality.... I'm still digesting the images from today and will probably make another run to test the 70-300L and any other contenders.

Canon General / Re: Photography websites. Where are you posting?
« on: November 17, 2012, 08:26:54 PM »
I'm also of the opinion that Flickr is better for putting up sets of photos (family vacations, photoshoot samples, etc). I have not interacted too much with the Flickr community so I can't comment on how constructive the criticism is.

I recently started posting on 500px (http://500px.com/VasilisArgyropoulos) and although the vast majority of comments/votes/"faves" are made with an anticipation of a reciprocal vote, I have received enough honest feedback that it has helped me improve my skills. I am not crazy about the anonymous "dislikes" since I have seen amazing photos getting flagged with dislikes just so that their scores would lower and bump the photo down the ranks.

Lenses / Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« on: November 02, 2012, 11:45:14 AM »
Thanks for the heads up! right now I can't wait for some of the transportation mess to clear up in the NYC area so that we can begin to resume a "normal" pace

Lenses / Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« on: November 02, 2012, 11:15:03 AM »
You can't have a lens that is too long for birds and wildlife unless you are shooting in a zoo.  Light is the big issue.  I use my 580 EX II plus a Better beamer.  It makes a huge difference when in shadows or low light.

This is a very interesting accessory... if it works with a 430exII then it will get added to my kit, thanks for the tip and nice bird portrait!

Lenses / Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« on: November 02, 2012, 11:11:36 AM »
There is definitely a big difference between AF systems of cameras.
Also, there is a big difference between 70-300mm nonL and 70-300mm L

hi Paul,

agreed on both points. for the body I am looking at the 5D3 if the "price roller coaster" settles in favorable grounds... this will be my body of choice... if the 5D3 is not in the cards then the 7D will be it.

I have not tried the L version of the 70-300 but based on your images and feedback, I will definitely check it out at my local store.


Lenses / Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« on: November 01, 2012, 01:05:51 PM »
yes, I agree... I currently shoot a rebelXT (8MP from 2005) so anything is an upgrade. I did try the 5D3 with the 24-70 (original) on the same Canon program this past summer and I found the image quality to be excellent at ISO 3200 and minimal noise at 6400.

too bad the 5d3 is on a roller coaster ride with these prices....

Lenses / Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« on: November 01, 2012, 11:23:08 AM »
I'd like to also state that all the images posted on this thread are amazing - thanks to all who shared!

for birds and small animals I end up doing a lot of cropping at 300mm so I suspect that I will be shooting at 400mm more often than not. I do shoot other type of photography (macro being my favorite) so I am covered on shorter focal lengths (my 100L macro is my goto lens lately for portraits of people and insects....).

from what I have seen here, the 400mm5.6 is starting to look like my next lens, but I will not make any purchase until I've had a chance to shoot all of the previously mentioned lenses at my local store... also need to wait for things to get back to normal after Sandy's aftermath here in new york.

of course like most of the folks on this forum, I do hope that one day I end up with a "complete set" of bodies and lenses but other priorities do come first as this is a hobby for me and not a profession.

Lenses / Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« on: October 31, 2012, 10:15:12 PM »
Thanks to everyone for the great feedback on this thread, I will agree with neuroanatomist that to get the "professional" looking tack sharp images you can never have enough reach but I feel that my skill level is not up to that point yet. I want to hone my skills getting closer to the wildlife and I have seen quite a bit of action during my deer hunting days of the past including a hawk swooping in to pickup a chipmunk at less than 100yards from me. Maybe by that time the 600mm version 3 will be out - who knows. for now 400mm should be adequate for me.

I spent a couple of hours looking at photos that I took of the peak of half dome from glacier point between the 100-400L and 70-300 during the Canon photography in the parks - Yosemite program and there is a bit of improvement with the 100-400 but not much difference because I was probably shooting at a stone surface in broad daylight.

I will head into one of the local "big" stores and see if I can try out the different lenses and see if I can notice any differences right away.

Lenses / "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« on: October 31, 2012, 02:17:47 PM »
Hello, I need some advice on an "affordable" telephoto lens which will be used primarily for wildlife. initially I will be shooting birds and other animals within the parks in the New York city area, later on I plan to head upsate to see if I can find raptors (owls, hawks, eagles, etc). I currently have the EF70-300mm and unless I am shooting with very bright light it does not give me the sharpness that I would like.

I tried the 100-400L earlier this summer and it appears to be a decent lens
other lenses that look good on paper (price and features) are the 300F4 and the 400F5.6.
I am also considering the 70-200f2.8 ISII and a 2x converter

Does anyone have any opinion on choosing between the above mentioned lenses, or even to propose another lens/combo at a similar price range? AS far as bodies are concerned... either 5D3 or 7D... still debating on that one....

Canon General / Re: It's Halloween, Post your spooky photos!
« on: October 31, 2012, 02:05:26 PM »
Here is our attempt at a Halloween pumpkin this year:

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: I need some help my Canon friends!
« on: October 19, 2012, 04:26:15 PM »
to the OP:

personally I use my film camera to help me break "bad habits" or otherwise using the "auto" features of the DSLR as a crutch and I must say it has helped me improve my skill set and continues to do so. However once you're in a professional setting where you have client deliverables, you need to use the tools that you're most comfortable with and this may or may not be the "cool new toy" that you recently got (or will get).

my only complaint against film is that there is no instant feedback (unless you do polaroid tests or stuff like that)... more than once I've picked up prints from the lab only to drop my jaw and say why did I miss that. with digital, you do have the risk of "chimping" every other shot, but then you can alter settings on the spot to help ensure you get the keepers.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Working with film
« on: September 28, 2012, 08:50:47 AM »
I know you mentioned that you wanted EF mount but I recently got a hold of an AE-1 and I find this to be an excellent training camera, it has helped me get rid of some bad habits... some of those fancier SLR's may still have too many bells and whistles for training purposes

Lenses / Re: Which canon macro lense 60mm, 100mm, 100mmIS, 180mm
« on: September 25, 2012, 01:00:51 PM »
I use the Canon 100mm2.8L macro lens as I find it to be very versatile... excellent for macro and you can use it as a long portrait lens.

the other option is the MP-65.... but that is a very specialized lens

Thank you everyone for the feedback on this topic. I'll try to address some of your questions and comments below:

as far as print size is concerned, I currently print 8x10 on paper and I often use 100% crops of some of the images for screensaver/background images. In the future I would not imagine printing past 16x20. I crop significantly due to the fact that most of the insects that I have available to me are really tiny and I want to showcase some details that I may find interesting.

I agree the 5D3 is probably one of the best overall DSLRs on the market at the moment and even though I "only" had the 24-70L f/2.8 on it, I was very impressed with the image quality, I found it virtually noise free up to ISO3200, minimal noise at 6400 and at higher ISO speeds it will let me walk away with a very good possibly usable picture.

on my current setup (rebel XT, 100L f/2.8), I've conducted experiments and I have noticed that for certain subjects (fabrics, rusted metal, etc) I can take pictures at f/22 without noticing much change. for insects or flowers with smaller details, I do notice a slight loss of sharpness at f/16 and by f/22 I have lost a fair amount of  detail already.

I have not played around with focus stacking, although like LetTheRightLensIn mentioned below, I may not be able to apply it to moving subjects. I haven't dealt with extension tubes either.

distant wildlife... yeah that is a whole other dilemma, last winter I found myself needing ISO1600 to get decent shutter speeds for early morning ducks needless to say I had a lot of noise issues there.

I suspect my next step is to head into one of the big stores here in NYC and play around with some of the equipment. I'm still keeping an eye out on the upcoming rumors as I am interested to see what the new APS-C "semi-pro" body will feature. I'm not shooting professionally yet so I am not in a big hurry to buy something.

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