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Messages - fotoray

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Software & Accessories / Re: To HDR or Not To HDR
« on: July 27, 2011, 04:50:33 PM »
Exactly, neuroanatomist! Everything in excess is bad.

But with HDR, what's excess? The way I see it (pun intended?), the main idea of HDR was to get the camera closer to what the human eye sees. I always felt that's what the grandaddy of HDR, Ansel Adams, thought at least. Now, a camera on RAW has the majority of the dynamic range the human eye does in most situations (i.e. daytime landscapes). To go beyond what the human eye can see looks contrived, tacky and just plain bad. Not only that, but throw in the supersaturation HDRers like to use, and you actually start getting farther away from the human eye. I only HDR to give me those extra one, two, or maybe three stops on both sides of what properly exposed RAW image can give.

Sure you could say, "Well, that's my artistic prerogative," and you'd be entirely right. But then you could take a few torso-up portraits and fill the top with a rainbow gradient fill and suddenly call all those senior pictures you're going to make a couple hundred dollars on "art."

For me, the allure of photography is its commitment to reality.
HDR comes from High Dynamic Range, which means no more and no less than ability to reproduce details in extremely bright areas and dark, without blowing off the whites or producing opaque detail less blacks in the shadows!
It does not mean wired bizarre or as some call  "artistic" effects.
All that, I am saying is that legitimate, perfect technical term was reduced in to description of cheap effects produced by couple of simple programs.

My objective when using HDR is just that:  "reproduce details in extremely bright areas and dark, without blowing off the whites or producing opaque detail less blacks in the shadows!" And I have found some success using Photomatix.  However, my final images often come out flat with too little overall contrast, while also usually needing more saturation.  Generally just dull looking.  Can fix some of this in Photoshop, but results rarely live up to what my "mind's eye" visualized.  Often when I get the final contrast similar to what I want, the result is much like one of my bracketed images.  So I have gone to a lot of trouble when conceivably correcting the best bracketed image may have provided similar contrast - and a satisfying result. 

Can't avoid HDR that exists in many scenes we want to photograph.  So the motivation to reduce the DR in the  final image will always remain.  In time, the HDR software and/or in-camera equivalent processing is only going to get better.

Lenses / Re: EF Lens Adaptor for iPhone 3 & 4!
« on: July 07, 2011, 10:54:36 PM »
with this gadget, who needs any other camera??????

Software & Accessories / Re: corrupt file name provided by my 7D
« on: July 01, 2011, 12:28:40 PM »
Ponds is absolutely correct.  It doesn't seem like card corruption.  Setting your color space back to sRGB will fix the 'problem'.  See p.82 of the manual, which indicates that images captured with the color space set to Adobe RGB will be named "_MG".

Thanks for the feedback.  I will cease to be concerned about the "_MG" as an "error", as I prefer the wider gamut of the Adobe RGB color space.

Software & Accessories / corrupt file name provided by my 7D
« on: June 30, 2011, 07:34:57 PM »
I have always formatted my CF card with the 7D.  The standard RAW file name has been IMG.xxxx.CR2.

Suddenly I now get _MG.xxxx.CR2.  The file itself is OK, just the name that is automatically written has somehow been corrupted to  _MG.xxxx.CR2.
I have been numbering my files continous via the 7D menu.   Thought of resetting the numbering to zero, but would rather not, if it's not necesary to fix this issue.

Any ideas of how file name got corrupted, and how to get rid it? 

EOS Bodies / Re: The Land of Crazy or.... ? [CR1]
« on: June 22, 2011, 04:22:11 PM »
I can't see the 7D mkII being a FF...  it could not really be a replacement then, but a change!!!

What ever happens, i just hope for something new this summer, whatever is announced it will hint as to what else we can expect!


+1.   The 7D has its own place in the EOS family, and it has been/is very successful.  And it was introduced less than 2 years ago.  A true second-generation 7D would remain APS-C - and compatible with EP-S lenses (like the 10-22 and 17-55 as CR points out). 

I note that 7D rebates have just been introduced.  What does this suggest relative to this 7D rumor?

I originally posted this topic and appreciate the helpful feedback. 

Lithium-ion batteries do not have a memory problem, so the recommendation to keep the LP-E6 near full charge seems reasonable.  And to avoid full discharge!

The Canon LC-E6 charger circuitry prevents battery "overcharge", or overheating, so I often leave a charged battery in the (plugged-in) charger and grab it when needed.  This practice seems to maintain the battery at/near full charge - indefinitely.   

Anyone see a downside to this?


I recently had a curious experience with one of my LP-E6 batteries....

I have four LP-E6 batteries for my 7D.  All appear to be genuine Canon batteries - not counterfeit.  I have numbered them 1 to 4 and have them registered in my 7D.  I rotate them regularly and keep them charged using the Canon LC-E6 charger.

One day battery #2 would not accept a charge and was dead as a doornail when I put it in the 7D - could not operate the camera at all with this battery.

I put the battery aside convinced it was gone forever.   In spite of this, a couple weeks later I put battery #2 back in the 7D and saw a small trickle of life in it.   I then succeeded in charging the battery.  The 7D said it was 95% charged but had some degraded performance -- meaning only two of the three green bars were lit.

Batteries #1, #3, and #4 continue to work fine, so I am comfortable that my charger is working properly.

I accept that battery #2 may nearing it's useful life.
Or am I missing something?    Any advice on special battery care that I may not be doing?   

EOS Bodies / Re: 3D (Again) & 5D Mark III (CR1)
« on: June 14, 2011, 01:39:34 PM »
Summer 2012 for the 5D3? It's barely summer of 2011! Has Canon just decided to stop releasing anything new? They're just moving at a glacial pace at this point. Ridiculous.

Don't forget about the earthquake!  I'd rather they regained full operating capacity than hurry and maybe deliver products with lots of problems. 

The gold 'ring' (not a solid plastic ring like the red and green rings, but just a dashed, painted line) signifies the lens uses an ultrasonic motor (USM) for autofocus. 

However, on one new EF-S lens with USM (the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM), Canon has eliminated the gold ring.

That 'inconsistency' in the use of the gold ring actually goes back to 1999 and the EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM, about which which Canon stated, "The front part of the zoom ring now sports a silver ring for a luxury touch," despite the lens having USM (it still has the Ultrasonic symbol painted in gold on the barrel).  That may be the earliest use of the silver ring, I'm not sure.

So, currently, you can't tell at a glance whether a lens has USM.  Put another way, if a lens has a gold ring (or a red or green ring), it has USM; if it has a silver ring, it might or might not have USM (but probably it doesn't, based on the small fraction of silver-ringed lenses which have USM).

Thanks for the info.   Very interesting.  I read the Canon release on the new EF-S 55-250 zoom and there is no mention of USM,  so it has the painted silver ring.   From now on I'll be more conscious of gold vs sliver....

What is significance of gold versus silver rings on EF-S lens barrel?   

The new EF-S 55-250 lens appears to have silver ring (if it is a color photo).  The older 17-85 has gold, the newer 15-85 has silver, while the 10-22 has gold.  There seems to be a random mixture - or is it really random?

Does this have a meaning - like the red ring is for L lenses, and the green ring for DO lenses?   ???


Canon General / Re: Odds & Ends
« on: June 10, 2011, 11:59:24 AM »
Darn good article --  “How to test a lens” by Roger Cicala !

The touch-and-feel tests are exactly what I needed to know and review before I picked up some used lenses. Thankfully I got lucky in spite of my lack of knowledge, but I'll be far better prepared to buy used and news lenses from now on.

Thank you Roger.

Yes +1 for Roger.   I recently bought a LensAlign MkII and was disappointed in lack of instruction manual, although their website has an article describing how to use other models like the LenAlign Pro and the LensAlign Lite.   Roger's article helped fill some of the gap related to focus testing using LensAlign technique - in addition to other valuable tips.  Very good article!

Software & Accessories / Re: advice on CF brand
« on: June 08, 2011, 02:46:07 PM »
I would recommend sticking with Sandisk. ALWAYS buy big brand name cards, and ONLY cards with lifetime waranties. You will be happy with the Sandisk CF's. Adorama has a 2 pack of 16gb Sandisk 60mbps cards on sale for $120 for 2 of them.  Great value.

+1 for SanDisk

I highly recommend using SuperDuper! to do what you need.  I've used it for years now and have had 0 problems with it.  It's fast, powerful, and offers a lot of flexibility.

Thanks to all for the helpful feedback.

I downloaded a trial version of SuperDuper and read the User's Guide and agree that it does what I need - and more.  And very clearly documented.  Many functions become active only after purchase.  Costs only $28.   

One benefit of this solution is that I can continue to use Time Machine to back up my internal startup drive to a dedicated external drive, while also using SuperDuper to back up my RAW pic files on their own external drive to an another external backup drive.   SuperDuper allows for flexible backup scheduling.

Cautions about LaCie hard drive reliability are also appreciated!   

Software & Accessories / Re: Flash cord recommendation
« on: June 07, 2011, 05:42:30 PM »
Check OCFGear.com  (Off Camera Gear) for (much) longer cord than the Canon OC-T3.  The build quality is identical to the OC-T3, but it is a bit pricey.   Does provide for off-camera flash for considerable distance from camera,

Time Machine can only back up the internal drive (where Mac OS is loaded) to a designated external hard drive.  I'm interested in backing up an external hard drive (with data only) to a second external hard drive (also
only data).

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