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Messages - unfocused

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EOS Bodies / Re: Is 22Mpx Really Enough?!!!
« on: October 25, 2012, 02:08:16 PM »
Why is it that so many people act as though Ansel Adams is the standard that all photography should be judged by?

Yes, he made many great images, but that was 70-80 years ago. There is nothing wrong with trying to emulate an artist from the 1930s and 40s, but you do yourself an injustice if you don't progress beyond that. So much has happened in the photographic world since.

Do yourself a favor. Go to a library and take a look at what has been happening in the past half century. You are cheating yourselves if you don't know anything about Frank, Arbus, Cartier-Bresson, Shore, Friedlander, Meyerowitz, Gowin, Eggleston, Winogrand, Uelsmann, Christianberry. After you've spent some time with these masters, start exploring what some contemporary photographers are doing.

Ansel Adams was great, but really, who wants to live in the past? (And, frankly, Edward Weston was better)

Lenses / Re: EF-S 15-85mm
« on: October 25, 2012, 09:56:20 AM »
I'm always curious what people mean by "L Build Quality." I have three "L" lenses (70-300, 100-400, and 100 macro) and I have rented two others (300 f4 & 400 f5.6). I'm hard pressed to see any consistent or practical difference in the build quality between these lenses and the 15-85 EF-S.

First of all, Canon has no consistent standard for its L lenses (other than price) so I'm not sure what defines "L Build Quality." Second, I have the 15-85 on my 7D about 90 percent of the time and it gets a fair amount of banging around with no noticeable effect. It is a heavy, very robust lens. Certainly handles and feels no different than any of the "L" lenses I am familiar with. (Yes, it does have that "self-zooming" feature that can be annoying, but I consider that just a characteristic of this particular lens). 

So, what is this supposed build quality that "L" lenses all have that the 15-85 lacks and is it practical or theoretical?

Canon General / Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« on: October 23, 2012, 04:12:59 PM »
Lots of confusion parading as truth on this thread, in part because people are mixing MSRP and MAP. Two different things. 

Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price is the price the manufacturer recommends that a product sell at. Traditionally, in photo equipment there has been wide variation between MSRP and street price (actual price generally paid). The difference has narrowed in recent years. Purpose of MSRP is to give retailers an idea of what the product should be selling for, according to the manufacturer. Depending on the manufacturer this could be accurate or a total fiction. Sigma, for example, tends to set an unrealistic MSRP on their lenses, that almost no retailer honors.

MSRP is just as the title says: "suggested."  My understanding is that in the U.S. at least, there are legal restrictions that prevent manufacturers from enforcing the MSRP as a firm rule. Thus, the growth of MAP or Minimum Advertised Price. MAP says the retailer cannot advertise a price below a certain number.

MAP is designed to help smaller retailers compete. I don't know the specifics of either Canon's or Nikon's dealer agreements, but it appears they enforce the MAP during rebate times (which have become almost year round). No retailer can advertise an item for sell at less than the MAP and still participate in the rebate program.

The issue, of course, is what constitutes an "advertised price." Again, not knowing the specifics of the agreement between the manufacturer and the retailer, I can't say for certain. But, it appears that there are some exceptions. As the OP suggested, it appears that MAP does not, in some cases, apply to auction sites. Similarly, it appears that there are exceptions for direct links from websites. For example, both Canon Rumors and Canon Price Watch have occasionally offered special links for discounted prices from either B&H or Adorama. In those cases, if you follow the website link, you receive a lower price than if you go directly to the merchant's web page.

I don't know if these special deals and auctions violate the MAP agreement, but I suspect that the big merchants like B&H and Adorama wouldn't use them if the did – too much at risk.

Is MAP price-fixing? I doubt it. Again, not knowing the specifics of the agreement, makes it hard to know. But, from what I understand, MAP is linked to a benefit given the retailer. For example, if you want to participate in the rebate program, you have to adhere to MAP. The retailer has the choice, they could turn down the rebate program (of course no one would do that), so it's voluntary and not mandatory. Similarly, most manufacturers offer "co-op" programs for advertisements (If you advertise their product, using their suggested marketing materials, they compensate you in some way) Again, it is not coercive, but it is a strong incentive to adhere to the agreement.

The voluntary nature of the agreement probably keeps it legal. If there would be a successful legal challenge, I suspect it would require proving that the agreement is not truly voluntary, but is so coercive that it is in fact price-fixing.  However, one thing the manufacturers have going for them is that they are clearly in a competitive market. Canon is not colluding with Nikon or Sony to fix prices, they are simply using incentives to keep their prices consistent among retailers.

The above is based on my understanding of typical retail practices and isn't meant to imply I have first hand knowledge of the specifics of the agreements between Canon and its retailers. Nor do I pretend to be a trade attorney (although I did stay at a Holiday Inn recently).

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EF Lens Speculation [CR1]
« on: October 23, 2012, 12:56:34 PM »
I would hope that if the 135mm gets an update, that the 200mm 2.8 would also be in line.
The beauty of the 135L is amazing IQ, very nice reach for a lot of situations, and an already-awesome f/2 max aperture, all in a very portable & affordable package.
See, the thing is, the major advantage to the 135L and the 200mm f/2.8 right now is that they are dirt cheap compared to their quality. You can get 70-200L level results from each for <1/2 the price. Once you update both, especially if there is IS, the price moves a lot closer to the 70-200L. Especially for the 200mm f/2.8, when its street price is <$800, I can't see anyone buying the updated IS version for $1500 or so.

I can see the 135L getting that update, because the f/2 is an advantage...the 200mm I hope doesn't get updated, because that means there is always that cheaper option around
Well obviously I disagree. I don't have much interest in a zoom at 200mm or less. So a light, small 2.8 prime with IS would interest me much more. Even at double the current price I'd be interested. Different strokes.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EF Lens Speculation [CR1]
« on: October 23, 2012, 11:42:55 AM »
I would hope that if the 135mm gets an update, that the 200mm 2.8 would also be in line.

I assume you did also notice that that the site references Photoshop plug-ins for sale: www.fashionactions.com

Ok, say there's no difference inside at all, other than the one port we know about.  That means Canon is charging a 91% premium for code that offers critical features for a certain group of users.  Why are people up in arms about this?  Adobe is charging a premium for Photoshop CS6 vs. Elememts, for the same thing, code that offers critical features for a certain group of users. But, Adobe is charging a 459% for their code.  ;)

Or you can buy a competitor's product (Corel Paint Shop Pro, for example) but no one does that.

Neuro's point is spot on. Who cares if the difference is in the hardware or the software? It's all in the "perceived" value and we have been programmed to perceive that physical differences in products are worth more than programming differences.

Ironic that this is a topic on a photography forum. Who should charge more? A chimpanzee using a 5DIII or a professional photographer with 30 years of experience using a 5DIII. The only difference is the programming.

If you like video training (I don't. I'm old fashioned and prefer a book) then Lynda.com is very good for web programs like Dreamweaver, Flash, InDesign, etc. Not sure about general photography training. (Oh, and Lynda.com books are also quite good.)

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon is on top again!
« on: October 17, 2012, 06:22:50 PM »
Did the bride really wear a cyan green dress?
Did the clouds really break from clear blue (sky) to green (gray cloud) to bright magenta (cloud highlights)?
Do you mean we should take this as an example of GOOD color?

Were you dropped on the head as a baby?
Did your parents never teach you any manners?
Are you just a jerk?

Still searching for our personal style, but I'm glad we're using Canon:

Nightbreath, two questions:

What are those things in the background? A giant horse and some sort of Tiki Head? They are certainly the Punctum in that picture (obscure reference to Camera Lucida).

Seriously, I've looked at your website before. Very impressive. Just curious, are you in Russia? Ukraine? someone else in the former Soviet Union?

EOS Bodies / Re: 6D with 3 flavor + Improve AF (compare to 5dm2)
« on: October 15, 2012, 01:55:50 PM »
Just a word of warning. I don't think anyone should count on being able to choose between a new 6D and a new 5DII.

Once the 6D hits the shelves, expect the 5DII to disappear. At a minimum, all rebates and discounts on any remaining 5DIIs in dealers' stock will end and dealers will quit receiving any new shipments. Canon did a remarkable job of pulling the 580EXII and making it impossible to find. Expect the same with the 5DII.

Refurbished and used models will remain, but they could very well be selling for as much or more than new models are now going for.

It is not in Canon's best interests to allow consumers to choose between the 6D and a heavily discounted 5DII. By the time the 6D is available, your choices on the new market will be the 6D or the 5DIII.

Sports / Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« on: October 12, 2012, 06:08:55 PM »
Don't usually post things on this site, but a few weeks ago I got caught up in the Route 66 Festival they have here every year. Very fun. I'm no car photographer, so these are more interpretations than documentation.

Posted some shots on my website: http://www.unfocusedmg.com/cars.html

A couple examples.

I think photoflex offers very good value for the price. http://www.photoflex.com/

If you sign up for their newsletter they e-mail lighting lessons that are very good (of course, it is always promoting their equipment). 

I've also found that eBay can be a very good source for used softboxes etc. It seems like a lot of people buy these, don't use them much and then sell them. Just compare the prices to new to make sure you are getting a good deal.

One thing you can learn from my mistakes – buy the Manfrotto umbrella brackets http://www.adorama.com/BG2905.html. They are slightly more expensive than other brands, but very well made and there are few things more embarrassing and distracting than having a soft box or umbrella keep shifting while you are trying to shoot. Some of the cheaper brands and designs just don't hold up.

You mention sync cables. I know that professionals prefer radio triggers and if you can afford them they are great. But honestly, I've had very good luck with infrared triggers, even in bright sunlight. Yongnuo makes a knock-off of the Canon infrared trigger that is cheap and I've found very effective. If I were doing this for money, I'd invest in radio triggers. But I'm not.

If you want some fun things to play with, the Interfit Strobies Kit http://www.adorama.com/PASTR100.html gets you a lot of toys for not a lot of money. I wouldn't buy them until you got a couple of  umbrellas and a softbox, but if you want to experiment, they are an affordable way to do that. Just be sure to order the correct adapters for your speedlite.

Finally, let me just say this: you can do a lot worse than a single umbrella. Really, you can make beautiful flattering portraits with just one umbrella, adding other tools as you learn. A decent umbrella, a Manfrotto bracket and a solid lightstand will go a long way.

Canon General / Re: DxOMark vs. Reality
« on: October 10, 2012, 12:10:04 PM »
....I know, that most of you simply do not care about facts, but for the rest, who are more open minded, I explain (once more).

DxO Analyser is not made for the photographers. It is for the engineers and technicians. ...

And what do they do with it?

Confuse photographers and themselves.   ;D

Best. Answer. Ever

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Future of APS-C
« on: October 09, 2012, 10:19:47 AM »
Here we go again. It seems like no matter how many times we shoot this zombie idea in the head, it just keeps coming back. One more try:

APS-C far outsells full frame. Full frame remains a niche market in the DSLR world, not the dominant format.

There is a substantial cost barrier to entry with even the "bargain" full frame cameras now being announced. To purchase the lowest cost full frame camera with any lens that can take advantage of the larger format requires an investment of about $2,500 minimum. That is cost prohibitive not only for casual photographers, but for many, if not most, enthusiasts as well.

The APS-C genie is out of the bottle and it's unlikely either Canon or Nikon can put it back in. Serious APS-C enthusiasts prefer the format for a variety of reasons, probably the biggest being the extra reach the format offers for telephoto lenses.

The success of both the 7D and the 60D demonstrates that there is a solid market for higher end APS-C cameras. Neither Canon nor Nikon can afford to leave these customers on the table.

With the current state of technology, alternatives remain inferior. That includes both in-camera cropping of a larger sensor and mirrorless EVFs. While this may change in the future, the future isn't here yet.

The truth is, not even Canon and Nikon know where the market is headed. As responsible, well-managed companies, they are trying to position themselves to take advantage of whatever direction the market goes, but they can't predict or direct the market over any long term.

What they do know is that the bottom has fallen out of the formerly lucrative point and shoot market, thanks to cell phone competition. They know that enthusiasts are a coveted segment because they have disposable income and are willing to spend it. So, all of the companies are trying to offer a variety of products that will appeal to those highly desired consumers who are willing to part with substantial amounts of money for their hobby.

Too many people are confusing the decision to offer a lower cost full frame body with a guaranteed demand  for the product. The truth is, camera manufacturers think there is a demand based on market research, but they won't really know that for a year or two, after they have seen and studied the actual results. In the meantime, they are certainly not going to sacrifice a proven segment of the market. Such an irresponsible gamble with shareholders' money carries risks that no conscientious executive would take.

EOS Bodies / Re: mhm... open letter to canon?
« on: October 05, 2012, 11:30:51 AM »
This thread is absolutely the stupidest thread on this site currently active, and adds to the cesspool that most of the internet already is.  This is embarassing for the site.

I don't know. There is some pretty stiff competition for stupid around here. Although I am a bit partial to these threads where people know more about Canon's business than Canon.

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