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Messages - unfocused

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1096
Canon General / Re: Recommended photography books
« on: December 07, 2012, 12:56:03 PM »
This is great, I was just thinking I wanted to make up a reading list made up of good Photography books. Thanks!

Unfocused - just bookmarked your blog, will be checking it out in detail over the winter break!

Thanks. Now I feel bad that I haven't been keeping the blog up lately. I have probably about a dozen books I want to write about. Between full-time job, hobby photography and life, it's hard to set aside the time, but this will encourage me.

I would only add that photography books without text " help you further your understanding of photography"!
I go through Martin Parr's books over and over.

Great point. I was going to suggest to the OP that he look at portfolio books by some of the great photographers. (or go online to Masters of Photography.) Martin Paar is great. Too many photographers start and stop with Ansel Adams and never get beyond that. I think every serious photographer needs to have a working knowledge of Weston, Arbus, Frank, Winogrand, Strand, Cartier-Bresson, Uelsmann, well the list just goes on and on.

Brilliant advice in here. Looking forward to reading those. I am guessing that Barthes books are quite dense. I have read a few of him, and they are heavy. His book on rhetorics is the toughest I have ever read, and I have read quite a few :)

Actually, Barthes' Camera Lucida is a pretty easy read. Although 1) you'll wonder about halfway through what the "f" does this have to do with photography?; 2) it's addictive and you can read it over and over and still get something out of it each time.

Finally, one additional pitch for Robert Adams. Adams was an English Literature teacher before he became a photographer and his writing on photography is some of the most beautiful and poetic you will ever read.

1097
Lenses / Re: 70-300L for Outdoors?
« on: December 07, 2012, 12:38:39 PM »
I just want to comment on the IS of this lens. It is fantastic.

A few months ago, I needed to shoot a presentation in a very very poorly lit school library. I found that by bracing myself carefully and waiting for the speakers to pause, I could get usable shots even going down to about 1/8th to 1/15th of a second.

More and more, when I'm packing to go shoot outdoors, I'll put the 15-85 on my 7D, pack this lens in my bag and leave everything else at home.

1098
Canon General / Re: Recommended photography books
« on: December 06, 2012, 11:29:41 PM »
If you're studying Szarkowski's The Photographer's Eye, you are already demonstrating more discernment than most.

The Nature of Photographs, by Stephen Shore, is almost a companion or sequel to Szarkowski. Two books by Robert Adams will inspire you: Beauty in Photography and Why People Photograph. Try Szarkowski's Looking at Photographs as well. Then, if you want to challenge yourself, pick up Susan Sontag's On Photography and Roland Barthe's Camera Lucida.

All of these books are short, but contain lifetimes of lessons. Each can be read over and over again and each time you will learn something new. And, not a single one talks about f-stops, ISO, noise, bokeh, crop factor, or any of the other drivel that bogs people down. They are all about vision and understanding this fascinating and addictive craft.

1099
Lighting / Re: Help with choosing a soft box
« on: December 06, 2012, 05:53:44 PM »
Check used items on eBay. Many people seem to buy softboxes, use them for awhile and then sell them.

1100
Hey,

This might not be the right thread but I didn't see one that was way better. I'm still on the "optical" only system and was looking at moving to radio.  My question (that I can't find an answer on by Googling) is can two photographer radio sync with the same flash units?  I.e. with optical, during a wedding reception you could "four corner the room" and have all the flashes "usually" fire no matter which on of two or three people was shooting.  With the radio system, can you do the same setup?  Two-way sync to multiple masters?

I would think that would work if both of you set your transmitter to the same channel.

1101
Lighting / Re: Help with lighting setups for portraits...
« on: December 06, 2012, 03:08:52 PM »
The B&H kit is a constant lighting kit. Basically, 100 watt lightbulbs that stay on all the time. Good for helping you see the light, but hot for your subjects and may not be bright enough to overcome ambient light. It includes items like the green screen that you don't need.

The price doesn't seem all that great.

I agree with others, I would build on your existing kit.

First, you need a way to trigger your 430EXII off-camera. Cheapest ways are with third-party radio transmitter/receivers (as previously mentioned) or third-party infrared triggers. The Yongnuo ST-E2 is less than half the price of the Canon and actually has more features if you go the infrared route. The advantage is that it will work with ETTL, unlike the cheapest radio systems. Infrared can be spotty outdoors, although I've never had a problem with it. Indoors it is very reliable. It's a personal and financial choice (radio systems require a receiver for every strobe, infrared only requires one transmitter with the 430 or 580s.) Even if you eventually go the radio route, having an infrared transmitter can be handy as a backup in case a transmitter or receiver dies on you.

You can do a lot with just the 430EX and an umbrella off-camera. Adding another strobe will give you some more options. Umbrellas are easy to use, almost foolproof for nice, soft flattering light. They build confidence quickly.

Start small and add to your kit. If you think collecting lenses is addictive, wait until you get into lighting. You only need one 70-200mm 2.8 zoom, but you can never have enough strobes and light modifiers.

1102
Lighting / Re: 580ex II advice
« on: December 06, 2012, 11:18:51 AM »
Hey there Gang.  Question... I have a speedlite 430 ex ii which has been great for me and for Christmas to myself I got a NEW 580 EX ii to use on my 60D.  question should I have just spent the extra $ for the 600 or did I do ok just going to the 580?
I know there is a NEW 430 replacement coming in 2013.  Just having post purchase 2nd thoughts..

Bury the buyer's remorse. What's done is done.

With your 60D you can remotely control both the 430EXII and 580EXII off camera without any additional purchases, using the camera's infrared controller. With the 600EX-RT, you could do the same thing, but you'd be paying extra money for radio control that you can't use at all with your 430EXII and can't use with the 60D without buying the $300 transmitter from Canon.

Infrared has a shorter range and must be line-of-sight, but I've found in real world use that is almost never a problem (just be sure you point the strobe's IR sensor in the general direction of the camera).

You'll be amazed at how much you can do and learn with two strobes off-camera. Now you can start collecting light modifiers (umbrellas, soft boxes, etc. etc.). If and when you reach the point where you really need radio control, you can either sell the 580 and 430 or invest in a third-party trigger.

1103
Well it's about time. I'm just getting into speedlites and am not interested in:

1.) Spending $1,200+ for a two light kit, or
2.) Buying a bunch of optical-only flashes and being restricted to line of sight.

A 4XX RT flash, if miracles exist, will be priced at or below $399 and I'll be able to afford two for the price of one 600RT.

The 4XX RT flash, when it is released, will almost certainly not have a transmitter. Add in another $300 for that.

1104
Canon General / Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« on: December 04, 2012, 08:00:00 PM »
One more opinion to muddy the water.

You seem to like portraits (based on your photo stream). The good news then, is that you can invest in lenses that will work on either full frame or crop without having to decide between the two just yet.

There is nothing in your pictures that will be improved by going full frame, but a lot that will be improved by getting a longer lens. Choices would be: 85mm; 100mm, 135mm or 70-200mm. All will give you a little more reach which will flatter your subjects and create greater separation between them and the background. Even on a crop sensor, all of these lenses are very usable for portraits.

Also, consider investing in a strobe. With the T3i you can remotely fire an off-camera flash. You'd be amazed at how much you can do and learn with a single off-camera flash and an umbrella.

Cameras are short-term investments, lenses are long-term investments. Invest in a lens or two now, and when you feel you've outgrown the camera, then start shopping. 

1105
I think the point is that the 580EX II can already receive from (and transmit to) a 600EX-RT, using optical triggering.  I see your point regarding the ST-E3-RT, but not the 600EX-RT.  With the new flash, Canon offered good backward compatibility, not abandonment.

Yes, I have no problem with the 600EX-RT. My complaint is that Canon elected to produce a transmitter, but has yet to produce a receiver and does not appear inclined to do so.

Given that we are talking about customers who invested in the flagship strobe at the time (and often invested in multiple units), it is unprofessional of Canon to treat their top customers in this way. Keep in mind too, that a receiver is hardly a difficult product to produce, as many third-party manufacturers have shown.

I wish instead of bringing out new flashguns they would bring out a receiver unit for the ST-E3-RT to make the 580's compatible...

Exactly.

1106
...the abandonment of the 580EXII was very unprofessional in my opinion...To release the 600 EX and transmitter without releasing a backward compatible receiver was an unconscionable disservice to the many professionals who invested in multiple 580s...

That is a ridiculously uninformed and inaccurate statement to make. The 600EX-RT is fully backwards compatible with all previous Canon Speedlites and maintains full functionality with all the features the legacy gear had, the feature set on which they were sold at the time. It has added a complete new feature set, but it has not abandoned the old one.

If you are going to flame someone, at least have the decency to read their post. I clearly stated that Canon has not produced a RECEIVER that is backwards compatible for the 580EXII.

1107
Ordinarily I am very forgiving of Canon. They have a business to run and their profits help create products that I want.

But, the abandonment of the 580EXII was very unprofessional in my opinion. This was a strobe marketed to and used by professionals (which I am not). To release the 600 EX and transmitter without releasing a backward compatible receiver was an unconscionable disservice to the many professionals who invested in multiple 580s.

In addition, though, it was probably very bad business on their part as I am sure, even as I write this, Yongnuo and others are reverse engineering the strobe and transmitter and preparing a receiver for the 580EX (At least I hope they are doing that).

1108
EOS Bodies / Re: 6D Likely Price Trend
« on: December 03, 2012, 01:32:23 PM »
...Once the initial buyer rush is over, expect the camera to be included in Canon Rebate deals...

The frequency and length of rebates deals has grown significantly in the last few years. I would be willing to bet that the 6D will be on a spring or early summer rebate program.

I would also be willing to bet that the price drop for the 6D will be nowhere near as significant as that of the 5DIII. There are competitive reasons why the market is driving down the cost of the 5DIII (the D800). The D600 and the 6D are already competitively priced, so there won't be the same pressure.

The price of the 6D is not going to go up between now and July, so you can safely wait until May to see what happens. I wouldn't wait any longer because babies aren't always as accommodating in their schedules.

1109
EOS Bodies / Re: Downgrade to crop
« on: December 03, 2012, 01:11:43 PM »
So I ask you FF shooters: what is it that you can do nowadays with you FF that you would no longer be able to do if you downgraded to crop?

Well, no small number of FF shooters would miss the ability to post smug things about how superior FF is on intangible things like dreamy bokeh, color saturation, etc..., whether they could actually pick a FF print out of a police lineup or not.   ;)

I think the biggest thing about going FF to crop would be losing 2 or 3 stops of low-noise performance at higher ISO settings, at least when comparing it to the newest FF bodies.  That is very valuable stuff.

I think you can get all the blurry background/shallow depth of field most people would really ever want using a crop body by following the basic rules.  Bright prime lens shot wide open, shot close to subject, background far away, etc... Frankly, I find the 50 f/1.8 DOF shot on a crop to be too thin sometimes.  My wife actively dislikes the look, actually, when we shoot my girls and you see an eye or two in focus, but an ear that is blurry.

Three pages later and nothing has been added. This thread could have stopped with Scotty's response and covered about everything that needs to be covered.

1110
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Information [CR1]
« on: November 30, 2012, 02:53:18 PM »
The tidal wave of used 7D bodies hitting the market will obliterate Rebel and 60D sales. I can get a well worn 7D for a hair under $1000 and a barely used one for a little bit more. Hate to think what would happen when that price drops down to compete with new T4i bodies

I'm curious about this "tidal wave of used 7D bodies hitting the market." Where are they coming from? As of a few minutes ago, there were about 140 7Ds listed on eBay in categories other than new (used, refurbished, etc.)

That's a decent quantity, but it doesn't comes anywhere close to the new sales every day of the 60D, T4i, T3i, etc. Certainly not enough to skew the new market in any significant way. Most customers don't buy used and don't want to buy used, which is the reason you can buy a "well worn 7D for a hair under $1000." Plus, one shouldn't assume that the introduction of a 7DII will suddenly prompt all current 7D owners to sell their current bodies. I, for one, will be keeping mine.

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