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Messages - Mt Spokane Photography

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Software & Accessories / Re: AFMA Software and Suggestions
« on: October 14, 2012, 03:06:18 PM »

Thanks, but what would mean 70 +1, 135 +3, 200 +7

I can only put +1 and +7 but what should I do with 135? This is way to confusing. Theoretically, I can do a test for each and every focal lenght, print it out and change it before the shoot.  :o
OMG, this is way too complicated. I guess for prime lenses it is much easier choice.
Do you know how Canon calibrates lenses?

What are the two distances you chose. What I read recommended is 5x the focal lenght.
If you have a zoom lens, AF accuracy is not the same at different focal lengths, so test the AFMA at the focal length you usually use and set it accordingly.
If you use a lens like the 24-105mmL at all focal lengths, at the minimum, set it to about 60mm to do your AFMA.  If you test it at 24, 60, and 105mm, you can find the best AFMA values for those focal lengths and see if its only a slight difference, or a major one.
For example, notice the two calibration curves for my 24-105mmL.  at 24mm, its a +1 adjustment while at 105mm, its a -2 adjustment.  Notice that the curve at 105mm is much flatter, so a small change in AFMA makes little difference.  With this lens I'd just use a setting of zero and it would be fine at all focal lengths.  But, since the 5D MK III has two AFMA settings, one for wide and the other for telephoto, I put in +1 for wide and -2 for telephoto, and it will interpolate at 60mm by using AFMA=0 or -1
With this lens, there was no real benefit from AFMA.
24-105mm L at 24mm

24-105mm L at 105mm

Lenses / Re: Kenko TC - 2 models - which one to buy?
« on: October 14, 2012, 02:38:23 PM »
As read in the lens rumor forum, with an kenko TC the AF is working on an 100-400L. But which Kenko to buy?

Get the new dgx, it reports exif data better/cleverer so it does af @f8. But really the newest one (there seems to have been a silent update by Kenko, so there are two ean codes for the dgx). Forget 2x, the iq will be too bad with your zoom, not to speak of af speed.
ean codes are Amazon assigned numbers, each seller can assign his own.  They mean nothing

Lenses / Re: AFMA'ed the 24-70 mk.ii ... not loving it.
« on: October 14, 2012, 02:36:58 PM »
What settings were you using?  It looks like high ISO when you should use low ISO and lots of light.  Manual settings of AFMA are difficult.  Lining up everything has to be accurate.
Try a image with the camera on a tripod, square to the chart with bright light, and Live view and Live focus.  If the image is sharp, then you need a better AFMA.
FoCal will not only adjust AFMA, but it can test for consistent autofocus, which points to a lens issue.  It will also help align the lens to the target so that you get consistent values.  Its worth the price.

I really do not recommend getting a expensive wide aperture lens with a body that has no AFMA.  Narrow apertures usually hide focus inaccuracies in the depth of field, but its tough to hide front or back focus at f/2.8 or wider.  You can, of course use it at f/8, but I doubt if you want that.
The images appear to be back focused, were you using AI Servo?  Is the lens focusing accurately with a static object?  If accurate on a static object at f/2.8, then its either a issue with not using AI Servo, or not having the AF point on the eye or wherever you want the focus point to be.
You may need to send the lens and body to Canon to be calibrated, with the 60D, there is no other way when lens and body do not match.

Also save money for a good tripod - far more important than the camera or lenses.  The tripod I use currently cost more than my camera - and it pays off.
+1, the accessories can run many times the cost of the camera body.  Thats why using a camcorder is usually best unless you have lots of time and are willing to build your own accessories or rig them from inexpensive components.
Lighting, Audio, tripods, real fluid heads,  lenses, remote focusing aids, magnifiers or external monitors, it can run into a huge expense. 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1dx, or d800e?
« on: October 14, 2012, 01:01:12 PM »
I bought a D800 to see what it could do, and a D800E will be similar.  For landscape use where DR and lots of fine detail are needed, the camera really shines (assuming you have a supurb lens for it).  Thats the rub, you have a very small selection of Nikon lenses that will let you get that maximum resolution from the camera, the 14-24 should do that, or you can get a Zeiss 21mm.  Just don't try to find a equivalent to a 135mm L or 100-400mmL, for example.

Lenses / Re: Comments on the design decisions of 24-70 II?
« on: October 14, 2012, 12:53:30 PM »
I'm very much aware of that, though some of those decisions can be derived from the lens specifications.

However, the bigger question was, do you notice that you would be using the lens in a different way than Mark I?
I doubt it, I do not know how the many different lens formulas they have tried affect the variables.  They try to balance all the factors, while, of course, giving maximum sharpness.  One formula may be sharp but have curvature of field, another might have more CA, and some might have more lens elements running up the cost, weight, and reducing light transmission.
How do we deduce which lens formulas they tried and what their properties were?
I would not use the MK I, I had five and did not like any, and sold them.  So any sustained use of the MK II at all would be different use.

Lenses / Re: Kenko TC - 2 models - which one to buy?
« on: October 14, 2012, 12:46:34 PM »
Only the 1.4X is going to AF with the 100-400L.  A 2X would give you f/11 at 400mm and will not AF.
If you have a f/4 lens, a 2X will allow AF.
I'd also be concerned about more distortion with the 2X.

Software & Accessories / Re: OS Questions
« on: October 14, 2012, 12:43:38 PM »
A few more to answer would be, "Will the programs I buy in the future need 7?"
Do I have enough RAM and Speed to make 7 worthwhile?

All of my software works on XP. For now. In the future, that's anybody's guess. And if push comes to shove, I can always install Win7.

Speed was also an (unspoken) thought that I had. In order to best use an older machine's specs, am I better off using XP? I'm thinking right now that I probably will be.
Speed will not be a issue, but compatibility with your computer hardware might be, it depends on the age.  I found one laptop that would not load windows 7, a message popped up saying it was incompatible.
You can download and run the windows compatibility checker to do this.  If a windows 7 disk came with your computer, it should work fine.  Since you have a new hard drive, try installing it, you may be surprised at how smoothly and quickly it installs.  You can always install XP over it, just choose the erase partition option when installing XP, or use a utility to format the drive.

Generally, the kit deals consist of camera and lens with a bunch of junk grade extras thrown in.  Don't get taken.
Zooms are not really that great for video, the focus changes on almost all of them as you zoom in or out. 
Get the camera and 18-55mm IS kit for everyday photography, but buy a older fully manual Nikon prime lens for video.  Adapters are cheap and do not degrade quality, so you can leave one on each lens.
Look for a 28mm and a 50mm to start.  You should be able to find them for a song.  The Nikon 55mm Micro is a good choice, as it is a macro lens (1:2) so you can take closeups if needed.

Lenses / Re: "Zoom Creep" on the 24-105L : My Solution
« on: October 14, 2012, 12:28:57 PM »
The issue comes when the adhesive dries up and the tape curls and jams your zoom.  Then it can't be easily dismantled for repair either.  Good tape might last for many years, while some of the cheap Chinese made stuff lasts 2 years.  Its all in the adhesive quality.
The tape that Canon uses inside your camera, for example, is the good stuff, tested for life and resistance to heat and humidity, but what you buy at a hardware store may not. 
Also note that use in hot and humid climates will accelerate degradation of some adhesives, sometimes in just days.  There are two basic adhesive types, silicone and acrylic.  Most tapes are acrylic because its cheaper, and has properties more suited to a casual user.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Sherlock Holmes tracks down the Culpret.
« on: October 13, 2012, 05:13:08 PM »
Did you discover any eggs?
We have 23 hens, plus three duck hens, we are awash in eggs.  We sell the extras.  Rabbit for dinner tonight!  Much better than chicken, Imho.

Software & Accessories / Re: Arca-Swiss requires plate
« on: October 13, 2012, 05:09:50 PM »
Yes, you need a quick release plate for your camera (and lens tripod collars, if any).  If you will shoot portrait orientation from the tripod, consider an L-bracket instead of just a base plate for the camera (yes, the ballhead has a drop notch, but centering the weight over the ball is better, and also enables you to do a pano rotation in portrait orientation).

Clicking the Accessories tab on the page you link shows the 'generic' base plates (fit any camera, you'd need the 1/4") from Arca-Swiss. But, lots of vendors make compatible plates since the AS system is 'the standard'.  Check out Wimberley for a good generic plate (P-5) and lens plates for tripod collars.  I like Really Right Stuff plates and L-brackets a lot - they are camera-specific, meaning no chance of the plate twisting. RRS gear is available only direct from them, though. Kirk plates and L-brackets are of equal quality to RRS, and distributed by B&H/Adorama.
+1 all of the above.  I have different brands, some fit lenses, some fit bodies, and a few generic ones.  I have both RRS and Kirk and they are good.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: What to do? Upgrade from 400d
« on: October 13, 2012, 05:07:21 PM »
There are lots of possibilities
A fast f/1.4 prime would gain two stops in low light, but you can also get a extra stop by upgrading to a 5D MK II.  Do both and gain three stops.  Thats a huge difference. 
Consider a 50mm f/1.8 or a 30mm f/2 for a economy way to get more stops.  A 40mm f/2.8 is cheap, sharp, and will add a stop.  As much as I love my 70-200mm f/4 IS, it is not a low light lens.
Going to a 5D MK III will add yet another 1/2 stop.

Animal Kingdom / Sherlock Holmes tracks down the Culpret.
« on: October 13, 2012, 05:00:01 PM »
I noticed a depression had suddenly been dug out near our flowers this morning, so while my hand is healing, I grabbed my wife's G11 to photographically track down the culpret.  As you can guess, I was pretty suspicious.
The images seem to lack punch, its a gray day and I did not feel like spending time on them.

A hole dug in my yard.

So I looked for clues and finger - er - footprints.

Sure enough, just follow the clues.

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