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I really like what Sigma has been doing. First, the docking station for lens firmware changes and now the mount replacement service.

And, I like that Sigma, Tamron and Tokina are all putting out higher quality lenses. We can only benefit from the competition.

I'm sure Canon and Nikon are worried about this trend. I just hope they respond by producing better and more affordable products, instead of just trying to cripple the third party products.

I'm actually surprised that Canon does not offer a wider selection of gels. These look great. I wish they were available in the U.S.  I might have to consider ordering some anyway and have them shipped here.

I think some of it has to do with the evolution of lenses and cameras.

Remember that using 35mm movie film started with rangefinders. 50mm does match the human eye in some respects. I have always read that 35mm became the standard wide angle because it gave a wider field of vision without much distortion. 85mm became the standard portrait lens because it was more flattering. I suspect that for many years those were the standards because on a rangefinder a much wider or longer lens was difficult to manage.

Probably just carried over to the SLRs.

Doing a quick search, it looks like Leica introduced the 35mm in 1930; the 73mm, 90mm and 135mm in 1931 and the 105 mm in 1932.

Back in the 70s I know from personal experience that 28mm, not 24, was considered the standard wide angle lens when you needed something wider than 35 mm and 135mm was the standard telephoto lens. I suspect that as lens technology improved lenses got wider and longer.

As to why it is, say 135mm rather than 125mm or 140mm, I have no idea. Obviously, from the above, the standards were a bit more variable back in the early days of Leica.

Canon General / Re: People that don't shoot in manual...
« on: July 30, 2013, 05:54:36 PM »
Well, I suspect that in the future Lew will be more likely to remember to engage brain before engaging keyboard. Unfortunate, because he is a good photographer.

To expand a bit on my earlier snippy comment. I spent about 30 years using "manual" on my F1. After decades of trying to manage five controls with two hands (shutter speed, f/stop, focus, film advance and shutter release)...I am sooo over manual.

The only thing I like better than the magical automation of DSLRs is the incredible magic of ETTL. You won't know what I mean unless you actually had the "joy" of trying to shoot with a potato masher strobe that took forever to recycle, had batteries that always died halfway through every assignment, used an electrical cord that broke if you looked at it and if everything did actually work, you had to guestimate how far away the subject was and then pray that you actually got an image (Oh, and don't forget to set the shutter speed dial to 1/60th or you are totally screwed and won't know it until you develop the film).

Yeah, the new technology can be overwhelming, but those good old days pretty much sucked.

Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual – they'll all get you to the same place.

Canon General / Re: People that don't shoot in manual...
« on: July 30, 2013, 10:47:23 AM »
There is a reason "P" stands for professional.  Haven't you ever heard of "f8 and be there?"

Get over it.

Software & Accessories / Re: Who Adopted Adobe CC?
« on: July 29, 2013, 06:48:30 PM »
I just received a notice that anyone who registers for the Photoshop World convention will now receive a "free" subscription to Adobe CC for one year. Adobe also seems to have extended their introductory offers from the end of July to the end of August.

Do you think they are having a harder time than they imagined in getting people to sign up?

Software & Accessories / Re: Examples why you should shoot in RAW.
« on: July 29, 2013, 02:18:08 PM »
One often overlooked reason to shoot raw: smart objects.

Process the image in raw to get the main layer/subject as best you can. Open as a smart object. Make a new smart object from that layer. Open the new object in raw and you can basically start over again, adjusting specific areas of the image. Using layer masks and the paintbrush tool you can make multiple smart object layers and open each in raw to fine tune the image so that each section of the photo gets exactly the treatment it needs.

I don't understand how this is something specific to RAW.  It sounds like you're describing photoshop.  Am I missing something?

Smart objects open automatically in RAW. So, each smart object layer gives you the full range of RAW adjustments. Basically, you can create an unlimited number of layers and fine tune each one  in RAW and then pick and choose the parts you want. And, since each layer is basically a RAW file, you can go back at any time and fine tune any layer.

You are correct in that you can certainly use layer masks and adjustment layers to accomplish some of the same things in Photoshop, but the range is much more limited. For example, you can create an exposure adjustment layer or a contrast adjustment layer or a saturation adjustment layer, but you cannot create a layer that adjusts all three in one.

With a smart object, you can create a layer that will open in RAW, allowing you to adjust exposure, saturation, blacks, contrast, whites, etc., in an infinite number of combinations all on that one layer. Then, when you return to Photoshop, you can use a layer mask to reveal or conceal the adjustments on that layer.

Take the dog example above. To my eye, the sky is still a bit overexposed and the dog's face is still a bit underexposed. I could take one smart object layer and in RAW adjust exposure, contrast, blacks, highlights, etc. to get the sky exactly as I want it. Then, I could make another smart object layer and adjust the dog's face to get it exactly as I wanted, again making multiple adjustment in RAW to that one layer. Then, it's just a matter of adding a layer mask in Photoshop and painting out portions of one layer to reveal the other.

Could I do that in Photoshop alone? Well, possibly, but I just wouldn't have nearly as many adjustment tools available. I could use an exposure adjustment layer on the dog's face, but usually an exposure adjustment alone won't do the trick. In RAW I can tweak the face so that it has a bit more exposure, but still preserve the deep blacks, protect the highlights and keep good contrast in the face.

Software & Accessories / Re: Examples why you should shoot in RAW.
« on: July 29, 2013, 12:55:39 PM »
One often overlooked reason to shoot raw: smart objects.

Process the image in raw to get the main layer/subject as best you can. Open as a smart object. Make a new smart object from that layer. Open the new object in raw and you can basically start over again, adjusting specific areas of the image. Using layer masks and the paintbrush tool you can make multiple smart object layers and open each in raw to fine tune the image so that each section of the photo gets exactly the treatment it needs.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
« on: July 29, 2013, 12:40:53 PM »
I'm in the skeptical crowd.

Not doubting your story and not even doubting the service center's claim that it was water damage.

But, I just keep thinking of the millions of sweaty summer tourists carrying rebels all over the world and wondering, if this could happen to you, why wouldn't it have happened thousands of times before with cameras that are much less well-sealed?

I strongly suspect that there was something else that was the cause. As others have suggested, it could even be something that happened before you owned the camera – maybe as far back as the production line. I think the fact that the camera happened to quit working when it did may be just a coincidence.

Technical Support / Re: Can I remove water droplet marks in PP?
« on: July 28, 2013, 03:01:01 PM »
First, create a new duplicate layer so you can discard your mistakes and not affect the original.

Your best bets are the content aware fill, clone stamp, healing brush and spot healing brush tools. You'll just have to experiment to see which works best. You'll probably need a combination.

Are we talking distinct, well defined spots or overall blurriness? The more distinct the spots are, the easier to fix. If you have lost sharpness due to the water, it will be much harder to try to get the sharpness back, but once you've cleaned it up, some of the better sharpening tools (smart sharpen, unsharp mask and high-pass filter) might help.

If the spots are on an out-of-focus area, you might be able to use a blur filter or tool and then add a layer mask to reveal the blurred areas while preserving the main subject areas on the layer beneath.

Not an easy fix and will require some patience. May not be possible depending on what areas have been affected. You just have to give it a try. Consider it a learning experience in Photoshop.

Canon General / Re: Thrown in deep waters... throw me buoys pls..
« on: July 27, 2013, 08:50:19 PM »
So are you not Sanjay Gupta from the website in your sig or are you saying you've faked your way so far that the work shown on the website was pretty mic done by others and you managed to get a write-in credit for those movies, articles, and photos?

From what's on the website, I'd think you're qualified to certainly teach some tourists and safari staff the fundamentals of photography.  Maybe your time with a DSLR isn't so high, but a few fill in concepts aside, you shouldn't be worried.

Exactly. Don't worry about anything. That, of course, doesn't mean don't take it seriously, just don't freak out.

First thing – ask your students what they want to learn. Once you know their expectations, it will be easy to meet or exceed them.

Second thing – when you get there ask the staff to brief you on the behavior/ habits of the local wildlife. Tell them that this is an exchange. You can teach them photography skills, but they need to teach you about the local wildlife.

Last thing – remember you are not there to take pictures. You are there to help others take pictures. Kind of a bummer really, but you need to focus on your students.

Canon General / Re: Canon Camera Sales Down in Q2, Imaging Revenue Up
« on: July 27, 2013, 11:37:51 AM »
Quite a bit of news coverage on this is available. General consensus is that sales in China and Europe are not hitting their marks. Europe due to ongoing sluggish economy. China do to a tightening of monetary policies.

Canon upped their projections earlier in the year when the Yen was devalued. So, this may just be another correction due to international economic conditions. Canon was apparently counting on stronger high-end DSLR sales in China, that aren't going to materialize due to China's tightening the money supply.

All in all, not good, but apparently not entirely unexpected and Canon is still outperforming its competitors according to several stories.

EOS Bodies / Re: 'Revolutionary' Dual Pixel AF Explained
« on: July 26, 2013, 03:33:06 PM »
Am i the only one who prefers shooting with the optical viewfinder, even if live view is tzhe same speed? I think its not long anymore til Canon only releases only mirrorless cameras if the AF speed is the same. And then people like me can pay another 899$ or whatever for an electronic viewfinder :(

No, you are not the only one. But, I am increasingly thinking I am more of a dinosaur than I realize (But then again, that happens every time I look in the mirror anyway).

I get that Canon is trying to make live view as useful and accurate as an optical viewfinder, but I hope they don't start to compromise optical viewfinder performance. Sorry, but I just don't see how live view can ever compete with the ergonomics of a viewfinder especially with longer lenses and in bright light.

This seems to me to be another sign of the convergence of video and stills and I suspect that stills photographers are just going to have to learn to accept some compromises as video starts to rule the world.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D Mark II - How much will it cost?
« on: July 24, 2013, 09:27:35 PM »
I know exactly how much the 7DII will cost. It will be the price of the D400 plus/minus $100.

Canon General / Re: Compact camera for travel/everyday use
« on: July 23, 2013, 08:52:39 PM »
After a couple years of waiting and watching, I just bought a Fujifilm X-20. I am hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in September and wanted something light, as every ounce will count. I'll leave my 7D up top and take this with me.

It just arrived Sunday, and I haven't had a lot of time with it. Still learning the menus, but I did quite a bit of research to find something that would fit my needs.

I wanted an optical viewfinder and an attached modest zoom lens. I have no desire to start a new collection of lenses. There are rumors that Fuji may eventually release an X-100-style camera with an attached zoom lens. If they do, I may move up to that, but in the meantime, I believe this will work for me.

I could not be happier with the hybrid optical finder (it's a true OVF and not an EVF, with the shooting data overlayed.) I wouldn't push it to 1600 and I doubt if I will want to print much larger than 11 x 14 with it.

I also wanted a small camera that I could take with me to work and have with me at lunch time, as I work in a downtown area and like to take walks when I have the time. I was a little surprised at how small it is (not pocketable small, but certainly tiny in comparison to the 7D).

Not perfect (I would have liked a slightly larger sensor and it eats batteries), but after much research I felt it was the right choice for me and after a few hours of playing with it, I'm confident I made the right choice.

Besides it's got that Fuji X-series styling that is super cool. :)

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