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Lenses / Re: Why Does the 100-400L Sell So Well Still ?
« on: June 05, 2013, 07:30:03 PM »
I also own both lenses and agree they are two very different lenses. The 70-300 L is half of my two-lens go anywhere, shoot anything kit. The other half being my 15-85.

If I'm traveling, or just out for a day shooting, these two lenses are always in my bag. I wouldn't want to be carrying the 100-400 around all day. But, if I'm trying to shoot birds or wildlife, it's the 100-400 all the way.

One reason the 70-300 L doesn't sell as well is because it's in a very crowded field and it is much more expensive than other offerings either from Canon or third-party manufacturers. (Except of course for the 70-300 DO lens, which I totally do not get).

Both are great lenses. They are about the same price. Pick one now and then buy the other one later.

Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« on: June 05, 2013, 09:28:09 AM »

Actually, Adorama doesn't charge  sales tax; the state of NJ charges it and for NJ residents we are legally obliged to collect it.

There is a provision on the NJ income tax forms for you to declare out of state purchases that are subject to NJ state sales tax; many  NY / NJ  residents actively choose to  purchase from  retailers who collect on their behalf,  as  it saves them  the  bother - in any case, you really do need to pay that tax when filing your state income tax return... 

As I've said before, I'm a long time customer of Adorama (since the 1970s) and they are my preferred retailer for photographic supplies. I also appreciate that they pay Helen to monitor and respond on this forum.

But, I have to say, on the tax issue, the comments are a bit disingenuous. Adorama (As well as B&H, Amazon, eBay and many others) choose not to collect the sales tax on orders in states where they are not legally required to collect the tax. They could do so voluntarily, but they don't. So, to suggest that collecting the tax on behalf of New York or New Jersey is a great service they provide to their customers in those states, raises the question – why aren't customers in all the others states they serve worthy of the same service?

Hopefully, in a few months Congress will take action to assure that all online retailers with more than $1 million in annual sales must collect sales taxes on behalf of their customers.

Judging by Helen's remarks, I must assume that Adorama is in favor of the proposed federal law. I would be interested in knowing if that is the case.

Canon General / Re: The library
« on: June 04, 2013, 10:43:36 PM »
If you are interested in critical thinking about photography there are a handful of excellent books that you can read very quickly, but which that you can come back to time after time and always learn something new.

My short list is: John Szarkowski's "The Photographer's Eye" (not to be confused with the Michael Freeman book of the same title); “The Nature of Photographs” by Stephen Shore; “Beauty in Photography” by Robert Adams; Roland Barthes’ “Camera Lucida” and Susan Sontag’s “On Photography.”

A person could spend almost an entire life just absorbing and learning from what these authors have to say.
Of course there are tons of nice monographs covering great photographers and it really just depends on whom you happen to be interested in. But, no serious photographer should be without Robert Frank’s “The Americans” – which is unquestionably the most influential photographic essay of the 20th century.
It used to be that if you wanted to read a history of photography, Beaumont Newhall was about the only choice available. Now there are a whole host of good histories. Newhall remains a classic, but his vision is a bit dated and rigid. Keep in mind that Newhall originally wrote his history to accompany a show at the Museum of Modern Art and his clear intent was to cement MOMA’s place as the center of photographic art. As such, his history focused on images that were in the collection of the museum and excluded images and artists that were not represented in the museum collection. He was an ally of Ansel Adams and together they worked to advance “straight” photography and exclude from photography’s history those artists that they disapproved of (William Mortensen, for example).

I think Naomi Rosenblum’s “A World History of Photography” is probably a better, more current and more inclusive history.

I recently finished Geoff Dyer’s “The Ongoing Moment” which is a delightful and thoughtful book. It won the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award for writing on Photography.

As far as “how to” books, I think the best approach is to pick them up as you feel the need to improve upon specific skills. There are a lot of good ones out there. All of them can teach you techniques. None of them can teach you vision.

Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« on: June 04, 2013, 06:29:22 PM »
I guess this can happen to anyone, but I have to say, I have been an Adorama customer since the 1970s (Back in the day when you had to go to the bank, get a certified check and mail it in) and have always had good experiences.

I've also used B&H, with no complaints there. This does sound like the transaction was a little complicated and keep it mind that the sabbath begins Friday evening, making a transaction on Friday afternoon even more difficult. Sorry you had a bad experience.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Act Fast! 600 RT Refurb in Stock
« on: June 04, 2013, 01:54:48 PM »
Discount is only on refurbished items. So battery pack wouldn't count.

The first time through (at the beginning of May) I bought two 600s and got the $125 discount. Unfortunately, when I went to buy another two, they were sold out. At the time I did some quick math and figured out the difference between the $125 off for two and 15% off was something like six bucks each.

Of course, if you can find something right at that $500 sweet spot, you can score a great deal.

I find the Canon Refurb store fascinating. Usually, a day or so after the sales end, many of the items that were out of stock magically go back in stock. Then, another sale begins and suddenly things go out of stock again right away. During the sale, some items may come back in stock for an hour or so, but it is pretty random.

I'm set with 600 RTs for the time being. One of these days, I hope to score a 200 2.8 prime, but I've found that one a real challenge.

I'm not complaining, in fact I kind of enjoy the game. But, I'm pretty much know that Canon USA is manipulating the stock. I wonder if they have an office  pool going – "Let's put ten 70-200 2.8 zooms on the site and everyone in the pool guesses how many minutes it will take to sell them out."

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Act Fast! 600 RT Refurb in Stock
« on: June 04, 2013, 11:45:03 AM »
Sold out now.

Pricewatch Deals / Act Fast! 600 RT Refurb in Stock
« on: June 04, 2013, 10:14:15 AM »
As of 9:10 this a.m. at Canon Refurb Store.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Refurbished Body
« on: June 01, 2013, 01:09:38 PM »
I just checked my wife's refurbished T3i, it has an almost imperceptible little pin mark by the serial number. Also checked my refurbished 600 RTs, they also have a little pin mark. So tiny, you'd never notice it if you weren't looking.

Another way to know, I think, would be if the owner still has the original box. Refurbished never come with the original box, but always with the "generic white" Canon refurbished box.

Really though, if you are buying used, it doesn't matter much whether the seller bought it refurbished or bought it new. In either case, you don't really know anything about the history of the camera and can only judge by the apparent condition, the price and what the seller is telling you.

Also consider this, even if the camera was once new, you have no way of knowing if you are buying it from the original owner, or if they just bought it used from someone else. 

At any rate, if the seller isn't offering the item at less than what you can buy refurbished then they are asking too much, regardless of whether they bought it new or not.

As an aside, I recently saw a new phenomenon on eBay -- people re-selling refurbished items still in the sealed Canon refurbished box. Looks like they bought them during the recent 15% off sale and then when the items were sold out at the Canon store, they were selling them for a slight markup.

I think you are all missing Woody's point. The important thing here is the trend line, rather than the numbers. The point is that Nikon's self-reported numbers started higher than Canon's self-reported numbers, but Canon has overtaken Nikon and the spread seems to be widening.

Gross sales are less instructive than seeing that the trend is that Canon has accelerated their sales at a much faster pace than Nikon.

Definite yes to the Manfrotto swivel mounts. They are very solid. Cheaper brands tend to loosen up and won't hold lightboxes and umbrellas in place over time.

I also prefer the Manfrotto cold shoes, as they are plastic, so less risk of a short. I'm paranoid about metal cold shoes, although I have used them by sticking a piece of gaffer's tape over the metal foot.

The Flashbenders are handy to have.

Don't know anything about the Quickbox, looks like an imitation of the Lastolite Ezybox.

Tons of umbrella's out there, not sure there is a lot of differences between them. I've used Photoflex. I'm sure you can pay more and probably would be more durable, but I haven't had any problem with them.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: 600EX-RT speedlite deals?
« on: May 28, 2013, 01:54:07 PM »
I wish there was a way to have an email notification be sent when they're in stock or something. That $370 price tag sure is a bargain. Guess I'll just have to keep checking every 5 minutes...

Just sign up to have CanonPriceWatch.com notify you by email when they are in stock.

Canon General / Re: Need 'something' to hold 'anything'
« on: May 27, 2013, 06:35:09 PM »
Don't forget the old reliable Justin Clamp http://www.adorama.com/BG175F.html

The flex arm http://www.adorama.com/BG237HD.html

Snake arm http://www.adorama.com/BGMA050A.html Which seems way too expensive to me.

Technical Support / Re: Going medium format for studio work?
« on: May 27, 2013, 01:57:52 PM »
...I would call the company but I'm afraid to feel like a "noob" like the kidz say without any prior knowledge...

There is no reason to hesitate to call the company. This is high-end stuff and if you have the means to buy, they will be only too happy to guide you through the choices. Also, I notice on their website that they have a worldwide listing of rental outlets. You might consider a rental before buying.


That's a good idea! The only problem would be: If it's the charger, I would damage my (new) replacement battery... Weekend is over anyways.

Why do you avoid amazon? Is it not that good in the states? Here (Germany) they have in my humble experience by FAR the best service. Wish we had B&H over here, though. Bought some stuff there on vacation - amazing.

Thanks again!

Sorry, didn't realize you were in Germany. Hard to know with the internet.

I don't think the battery charger would damage the battery. More likely, it just wouldn't charge it. I was just trying to help diagnose the problem. It's probably a battery or charger issue, since from what you've said, it doesn't sound like the battery is getting charged at all. But, I wanted to rule out a camera problem.

As for Amazon, my bias is just based on the company's policies. They have built their business model on tax avoidance, avoiding making any concrete investment in facilities and minimizing the number of persons they employ.  I prefer to spend my dollars with stores that actually pay taxes and employ people. So, it's a personal/political decision, having nothing to do with service or quality of product. And, I'm not pure, there are times when I buy from them if I can't get the product or competitive price elsewhere.

Good luck on the 6D. So disappointing to have it there and be unable to use it. But, keep in mind that in a week or so, everything should be resolved and you'll be happily taking pictures.

If Mt. Spokane is right and it's the battery, you could always find a local store and buy a battery. This would give you the ability find out if it really is the battery and, since you were wanting to shoot this weekend, you could enjoy the camera then deal with Amazon on Tuesday. You'll want a 2nd battery anyway, so that would not be a waste of money.

That's what I would do.

Zip over to the nearest Best Buy and pick up a second battery. Unfortunately, they won't have Canon brand, but since it's only your spare and this is an emergency, it's okay. Put the battery in the camera immediately, without trying to charge it. Usually they have a little juice in them to begin with. Should be enough to power the camera up.

If it doesn't, then stick it in the charger for about an hour. You should be able to tell from the indicators on the charger after an hour if the battery is charging (You should get two or three fast blinks, a little pause and then two or three more. Or, if fully charged a solid green.)

If the indicators aren't showing any progress, it's probably your charger that is bad. If they are showing some progress, then take the battery out and put it in the camera again. An hour of charging should be plenty to give it enough juice to power the camera on. If it doesn't power on, it's probably the camera.

If it does, then use the battery check on the camera to see how much juice is in the battery. If it shows 50% or more, go ahead and use it like that, until the battery drops to like 10-20% or so and then charge it up fully.

You'll then know that you have a bad battery and, as Brett says, you can deal with it on Tuesday. I would think they would just send you a replacement battery. At least that's what I would expect of Adorama or B&H. I don't know about Amazon. I avoid them whenever I can.

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