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Messages - Mt Spokane Photography

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Unfortunately,  some people can see things differently than others.  Its not clear cut as to the definition of a design flaw.  If a product does not work forever, is it because of a design flaw? 
If a product works for a period of time beyond the warranty, is it a design flaw?  We'd all like our items to work forever, but it does not happen.
Where we worked, a person who was not qualified and did not understand the technical issues started up a web site and was notifying newspapers of a big problem, and showed a stolen video of a test of the product bursting into flames.  We were, in fact, trying to test the design limits and see what it took to do just that.  We then modified the product so it could pass that test.  The person had left the company by then and did not have the complete picture, much less a understanding of what he saw.  The newspaper reporters asked what the issue was, and we brought them in and showed them everything, the failures and the fix.  Of course, the person involved then accused them of being bought off.  Some people are that way, so its best to investigate rather than spreading information that might be incomplete, or even biased.
Since CR is not a investigative agency, it might be best to turn it over to a newspaper or Attorney General, or both.  Since Canon USA is in New York, that state might be a place to start.  Same with Canada, start in Ontario.  Let them investigate or at least ask for a explanation first.
I'd be one who was very cautious about releasing stolen documents that can't be confirmed.  I'd suggest to the leaker that he submit them to someone else, maybe he has and the others found them to be unreliable?

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS-1D X & EOS-1D C Cold Weather Autofocus Issues
« on: April 04, 2014, 12:46:26 AM »
I updated the post to include the date the issue was reported internally at Canon, as well as a photo showing what the issue is.

I retract my concerns.  Thanks to the moderator's update, the date of manufacture of my body is most likely out of the affected range.  It really irks me when manufacturers put out these internal product advisories, but don't tell consumers.
Lawyers, on the other hand, love it.  Hiding a problem is the stuff of class action lawsuits, and the attorneys always win.

Canon General / CPS Packet - Signature Required
« on: April 04, 2014, 12:37:41 AM »
I received a e-mail about my renewal of my CPS membership with a tracking number.  It went to trash, I get a renewal every year, no big deal.
Then, I got a automated call from FedEx saying that tracking # XXXXX was coming Friday and I had to sign for it.
I find it difficult to believe that the free membership is so valuable that it has to be sent by 2 day FedEX with signature required.  :)   No wonder cameras cost so much and profits are poor.  It is one thing that could go by the slow boat UPS Mail Innovations.  Maybe they think its a image thing and I'll be impressed by them burning money!

Hi Guys,

I'm looking to pick some of your expertise with regards to what lenses and/or accessories you would recommend for a new SLR user. I recently bought a 700D, partly in anticipation of my trip to Iceland later on this month. At the moment I just have the standard 18-55mm IS Lens that came with the camera, and am looking for some tips on what can help me take some great photos while I'm away.

I've been recommended getting a UV filter and a gradient filter - although I am unsure what benefits these would bring and how the quality of the third party filters that seem to litter amazon/ebay stands up? As far as I understand it they would help 'sharpen' the image and dampen any glare (something I imagine there will be a fair amount of in Iceland).

Is there anything you would consider a vital accessory that is easy to get to grips with as a novice?

Many thanks  :)

The 18-55mm lens is neither very wide nor a telephoto, so you might want to supplement it or replace it with a lens like the 15-85mm.  Then, one of the 70-200 or 70-300 L lenses would give you a lot of coverage.
Don't be afraid to buy Canon Refurbished lenses, you save money and get a 1 year warranty.
As far as filters go, they do not sharpen images, they degrade images.  The best ones like B&W, Heliopan have little noticible degradation, while the cheap ones on Amazon can have a big impact, and are wasted money.
UV filters are a sucker bet, you do not need UV filters.  Some buy them as lens protection.
Graduated filters can be used to darken a bright sky, they should be considered as a advanced tool, you may not be able to take advantage unless you are doing manual exposures.
Certainly a good tripod.  The problem is that a good one can cost you a bundle, and a cheap one is trouble. 
Certainly a remote release, this is one area where the cheap Amazon ones may save you money.
A Good Flash.  There are some reasonably priced Flash units that are compatible with Canon DSLR's.
Are you wanting to do video?  For bright outdoor video, ND filters are needed to reduce the light.  You do not have the capability of using high shutter speeds to reduce light, and if you want a shallow deoth of field, ND's are a must.  A ND filter is merely a light reducing filter, but cheap ones are not going to do a good job.
Probably the most important thing is to buy a few needed accessories and a lens or two, and learn how to use the camera to capture great photos.  Having the best gear in the world does not mean great photos, the photographer still is the one who makes or breaks a photo, so don't go overboard on accessories.
Learn to use RAW and do your processing with the Free DPP software that came with your camera.  I use lightroom and photoshop, but there are many good software photo editors and a lot of bad ones.
When you use jpeg, you may get many good photos, but taking a raw image gives you the ability to process the image as you saw it, not as the camera software guessed at it.  Sometimes capturing both raw and jpeg allows you to immediately upload the jpeg image or e-mail it to friends, and then manually process the best images later to keep or make prints.

Lenses / Re: EF 24-70 f2.8L II Shutter Speedss
« on: April 03, 2014, 11:34:14 AM »
The 1/FL 'rule' should be 1/2xFL or more for today's higher resolution digital sensors (and higher still for crop sensors).

Personally, I use a minimum shutter speed setting of 1/125 s.

Beat me to it.  We routinely view images from DSLR's at high magnification, and can easily detect any flaws in the image.  I've scanned a lot of old photos, and find that they are not as sharp as modern DSLR's, even though they were sharp for their day.

Software & Accessories / Re: Looking for a focusing rail
« on: April 03, 2014, 11:30:33 AM »
I'd like to get one as well.  I've had several large bellows type units  in past years, , My Olympus comes to mind, I wish I had kept one.  The Olympus was supurb quality.

PowerShot / Re: Canon PowerShot G1 X II Technical Report
« on: April 02, 2014, 11:37:01 PM »
I've had my MK I for about 1-1/2 years now, it is the wife's camera, and it gets used fairly often.
The issue of the poor viewfinder was not really well addressed, buying a optional viewfinder for $200 or $300 is not a option for us.
The lack of close focusing seems to have been improved.
The poor lens cover has not been improved.  We bought a third party adapter that works well.
No touch screen, or dual pixel AF, both of which I would make use of.  The Wi-Fi would get used.
I managed to score on a rebate deal with my MK I unit, paying about $100 after all the rebates, I don't expect to ever see a deal like that again.

Photography Technique / Re: California Travel Advice
« on: April 02, 2014, 11:24:23 PM »
Having traveled in England, I quickly realized that I could easily spend years and not take all the interesting sites in.  California is a large state, so you will need to plan carefully, and pick a few things to see and photograph.  It might take you 2-3 days to see all of Disneyland, for example, so you have to set your priorities and decide what type of scenery you want to see and photograph.
I was born in Los Angeles and my parents were smart to get me out of there in 1946!  However, fool that I am, I've seen most of the state over the years, and every bit is interesting.  It depends on your likes.

Lenses / Re: 24-105 vs 24-70 2.8 ii
« on: April 01, 2014, 11:58:47 PM »
For the recent sale prices, the 24-105 L is a very good value.  I finally sold mine after using it for several years, it was sharp with good color and accurate autofocus.  Of course, at 24mm, there is a lot of distortion, but lens correction software eliminates that.  I bought it new for $700 from a local person who got it as a kit lens with his new 5D MK I.
The reason I sold it was that after buying the 24-70mm MK II, the 24-105mmL did not get any use.  I had five of the 24-70mm L MK I lenses, and they were all disappointing, the 24-105 was better, but the 24-70MK II does a very good job.  Its rue that you pay a lot more to get a relatively small improvement.
If you are having problems with your 24-105mm L, it likely needs adjustment.  I've heard lo0ts of complaints from recent buyers, so the quality might have slipped over what it was 6 or 7 years ago. 
You might find this article interesting, it mentions a 24-105 that was believed to be very good, but it was actually poor and, when adjusted, it was a huge improvement.
Rogers writing is always a fun read.
Here is a link to the imatest before and after plot, there is a world of difference.

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« on: April 01, 2014, 11:39:15 PM »
Quote from: Mt Spokane Photography link=topic=20230.msg382371#msg382371
Even Chinese tripod legs cost well over $300 for good ones from Feisol or Induro. 

feisol is not chinese, it´s taiwanese.
and i guess from their warranty the factory is in taiwan too:

The Republic of China is located on the Island of Taiwan.

Looking back to my Disney Trips, the first was in 1956 or 1957,  and 3 or 4 more times later, the photos are now valuable, and I wish I had better images.  The first, in the 1950's when I was young were taken with a B&W film in a box camera.  Later, I had various cameras, but I liked the ease of use with my Olympus superzoom and 35mm film. 
Since I was taking photos of my kids on the rides during the last few times, I found a zoom to be valuable.  I like close ups of the faces coming down things like the water slide, and photos inside some of the dark indoor rides.
I think that you will wish you had the DSLR when your kids are grown up in 20 or 30 years.  I wish there had been one when I went.
In 1998, my daughter went to Disneyland with my grandson and took my new Digital Camera, a 1.3 MP Fujifilm MX700.  It struggled at almost everything compared to even a camera phone today.

Lenses / Re: When Canon registers a patent, what does it mean?
« on: April 01, 2014, 11:14:55 AM »
Canon does not issue patents.  They apply for patents, and a unknown percentage are approved by the Patent office and they issue the patent.  The time from application to issue is normally at least two years.  In some cases, the patent is put into production before the patent office approves it.
On some products, you may have seen the words "Patent Pending".  That's because the patent had not been issues when the item was produced.  It is protected by the patent though, the date of patent application, or even a earlier date can be the deciding factor.  In my workplace, designers are issued notebooks to record inventions as they progress from idea to a workable invention.  Only a few of these are submitted for a patent, and only a few of those make it into a product.  I used to evaluate patents in my field of expertise, and appear before a patent committee to recommend applying for a patent.  There are some pretty wild inventions out there.

Landscape / Photography in the Palouse
« on: March 31, 2014, 11:27:42 PM »
I noted that there is a photography event and workshop right on my back doorstep in the Palouse, which is the name that we use when referring to the area South of Spokane, Washington.  The Palouse river winds its way thru the hills, so that might be the reason for the name.
The rolling hills have huge wheat crops, with special combines that can climb the steep hills as well as run at a steep angle on the sides of the hills.  Its not Kansas, but there is wheat as far as you can see, and a good ways beyond.  I attended Washington State University in the heart of "The Palouse" many years ago. 
With all the beautiful scenery here locally, I should be spending more time taking photos.

It makes little sense to buy into a business that is selling compact cameras.  Canon is also rumored to be getting out of the low end point and shoot business, that makes more sense.
Panasonic does make some very good video equipment and lenses, that might be what interests Canon.  The factory with its skilled workers might also be worth a ton of money.  They might buy it to keep Sigma or Tamron from buying it.

Lenses / Re: Lens deals suddenly dry up
« on: March 31, 2014, 10:37:04 AM »
The high prices for new lens models is the same as most other products.
Products have a life cycle, and the high initial price is to recover the investment in tooling, and because people will pay more.  As a product matures, prices drop, cost to produce drops, and demand drops.
With Camera lenses, improving a lens means more exotic glass, tighter tolerances, and usually more lens elements which also affects prices.
Check out something like new car prices.  When they first come out, prices are much higher than last years model, but by the end of the year, there are big sales and the selling price is much lower.

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