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Messages - ahsanford

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106
Great thread, thanks!  I was spec'ing out my landscape needs and this concern came up.  I was consderiing the Zeiss 21 over the Canon 16-35, ironically (seeing your 21mm finding).

Would pulling one level off of the foundation holder (so it can only accept one 4x4 or 4x6) in front of the polarizer help things much?

Also -- do you have other 105mm filters to try this with?  I am wondering how filter thickness affects things.  There are alternate high quality filters that claim to fight vignetting with a thinner design.

Thanks!

- A

107
Software & Accessories / Re: Use a CPL with an ND Grad setup?
« on: January 14, 2014, 03:40:47 PM »

So I've done some reading on the Lee setup.

I have the Foundation kit, and I have WA rings to avoid the adaptor ring vignetting problems.  But still, I saw the attached (see below) regarding stacking ND grads and the potential for vignetting still exists.

But surely the 105mm CPL going on the end of this -- despite the larger diameter -- could still vignette if it was thick enough, right?  If I was to buy a 105 CPL, Should I buy the beastmaster thick Lee one, stick to my trusty B+W Kaesemann ones?  There are a bunch of higher quality/price options at this diameter than what I am accustomed to seeing.  Any recommendations?

- A


108
Software & Accessories / Re: Use a CPL with an ND Grad setup?
« on: January 14, 2014, 12:52:39 AM »
How about: 4"x4" CPL (varies, but $215 seems the good quality price point), Wimberley Plamp to hold grad ND ($36) = $251?

—or, since I infer from your first post that you have a screw-in CPL sized for your lens already—

How about: Wimberley Plamp to hold grad ND ($36) = $36?

A plamp?!  Absurd.  Great.  Absurd and great. 

Have Lee Filters representatives heard of said plamp?  You think they'd sue.  :-P

Thx,
A

109
Software & Accessories / Re: Use a CPL with an ND Grad setup?
« on: January 13, 2014, 10:03:47 PM »

Considering...

Neuro Option 1:
Tandem ring ($32) + a second Lee Holder ($88) + 4"x4" CPL (varies, but $215 seems the good quality price point) = $345

Neuro Option 2:
105mm ring ($64) + 105mm CPL (varies, but $300 seems the good quality price point) = $364

(Takesome1's option of handholding doesn't really fly for longer exposures, so I'm going to pass on that.  Thank you, though!)

Now I'm all for hoarding gear for future use, but I use my current ND grad setup once a year.  I have the money for the above but cannot reasonably justify it, and I don't see buying it inspiring me to shoot with it much more often.

So, revising Neuro's #1 option above:
Tandem ring ($32) + a second Lee Holder ($88) + renting a 4"x4" CPL ($30 from LR) = $150

And I have a choice to make.  Shoot either with an ND Grad or a CPL, or pay $150 to do both simultaneously.

Other ideas?  Or are my options about right?

- A

110
Software & Accessories / Re: Use a CPL with an ND Grad setup?
« on: January 13, 2014, 06:58:18 PM »

1) Mechanically can you use both?  It would seem that a lens-directly-mounted CPL would be pain to adjust as it would also turn the adaptor ring (and therefore the filter) for the Lee system.

2) Compositionally, is there value in using both simultaneously?  Surely the ND grads will solve the sky contrast problem, but a CPL could then be used solely to tame glare and reflections.  But how often does that come up?

Yes you can use both, and without the items listed by Neuro you can do it by carefully positioning your CPL or hand holding your ND grads.

How often does it come up? Often if you are shooting water.

Great feedback, folks.

I found a Joe Cornish how-to video here with the 105mm option...
http://bcove.me/rk08k3ji

Moving forward with this idea, the two 82mm lenses I am kicking around for this application are the Canon 16-35 II and the Zeiss 21.  Given that...

1) Does that focal length tilt you more towards one of your three recommendations, i.e. is one of those solutions better for those lengths?   Presume I'm using the appropriate 82mm Lee wide-angle ring with my standard Lee 100mm holder.

2) Are those focal lengths still worth pursuing a CPL for?  They should manage reflections just fine, but UWA lenses and CPLs can get that 'pseudo-vignetting of sky' associated with the polarizing effect being variable as a function of angle to the sun.  In other words, at those focal lengths, is a CPL doing more harm than good?  (Presume copious sky is in frame -- I'm shooting the beach, not a waterfall...)

Thanks again!

- A

111
Software & Accessories / Use a CPL with an ND Grad setup?
« on: January 13, 2014, 05:15:57 PM »

All,

A rudimentary ND grad question here.  I'm off to shoot some beach landscapes for vacation soon.  I'm keen to use my infrequently used Lee ND grad filters (I have the 100mm outrigger which takes the 4"x6" ND grads), but I also shoot my handheld (i.e. touristy) landscapes with a CPL to manage the sky.

Is it really just a case of using the CPL or the ND Grads?  Is it possible to use both simultaneously?

1) Mechanically can you use both?  It would seem that a lens-directly-mounted CPL would be pain to adjust as it would also turn the adaptor ring (and therefore the filter) for the Lee system.

2) Compositionally, is there value in using both simultaneously?  Surely the ND grads will solve the sky contrast problem, but a CPL could then be used solely to tame glare and reflections.  But how often does that come up?

I ask b/c the lens in question will likely be a rental with a filter diameter that I do not presently own.  So I am asking if I should be renting a CPL to go with that diameter knowing that ND grads will be used for certain? 

Thanks for your advice!

- A

112
Lenses / Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« on: January 10, 2014, 12:29:33 PM »
Personally, I use my 17-40L a lot for landscape, especially waterscapes, usually near the wider end.  It gives a dynamic look that's different than just stitching multiple shots together, but of course that look isn't for everyone.

[ahsanford:  truncated the copious great stuff you mentioned]

I'd also be careful about what people can see you doing in a parking lot, like putting valuables in the trunk where others may be watching.

Absolutely great.  Thanks for another super post -- I need to aggregate this into a master list.

- A

113
Lenses / Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« on: January 10, 2014, 12:17:18 PM »
And a couple from Honolulu/Waikiki...

By the way, if I recall correctly, winter time is Big Waves time so you may have ome nice oppotunities of North shore, where there are some surf competitions I think. However, I don't know if this may make snorkelling harder...

Great shots, thanks!  The lookout, in particular, was already on my list -- I can see why!

- A

114
Lenses / Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« on: January 10, 2014, 12:15:40 PM »
For hiking trails the best resource is http://hawaiitrails.ehawaii.gov/island.php?island=Oahu.  If you do not mind a little exercise you will see a whole new side to Oahu if you get off the roads and into the jungles!  Any trail that takes you up to a ridge should give you some great shots. 

The north shore is raging this time of year so lots of surf shots on that side.  There can also be some pretty intense rain storms on the windward (east) side.  In both cases do not turn your back on the water; waves can grab you quick and flash floods come, well, in a flash.  Other places I like are Kaena Point (Oahu's west end) and the Makapuu/Sandy Beach area (the eastern end and a lot easier to get to).

People bad mouth Oahu but with a bit of effort you can find some amazing spots!  One additional word of caution - property crime is bad all over Hawaii.  Do not leave anything valuable in your car even if you just jump out for even 5 minutes to shoot something.  After dark it's best to get out of my favorites above . . .


Great feedback -- I appreciate the hiking maps site.  It's solid.

- A

115
Lenses / Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« on: January 09, 2014, 06:45:15 PM »
If you want your photo looks like the one below, then get disposable film underwater camera :-\

Maybe rent a decent UW camera - with insurance just in case.

Hmmm... if I ship an LR rental right to my hotel:
  • Canon Powershot D20 --> $50 incl. shipping
  • Nikon 1 AW + 10mm lens --> $78 incl. shipping

That's expensive for just one day of shooting.  I'll have to think about it.

- A


116
Lenses / Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« on: January 09, 2014, 06:28:23 PM »
definitely a disposable UW camera with flash, I used my gopro rig for movies and stills. I have a big UW rig with strobes but did not bring them this trip as I wanted to use the gopro. BTW it was years since I had been back to Hanauma Bay and was very disappointed in the reef system and the lack of sea life from the "old" days. I was told that was because they no longer allow feeding the fish, oh well!!  There were way better places for me to snorkel and dive anyways!!  ;)

I just read a half-dozen reviews of $40-60 waterproof iPhone 5 housings and none were truly waterproof, and most had interface problems calling up the camera app -- the shutter button is the standard volume button, but touch-focus/metering the shot, and just getting camera mode running, etc. was generally a nightmare.

Definitely looks like a disposable film rig will be the winner.  Flash for sure.

- A

117
Lenses / Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« on: January 09, 2014, 05:58:07 PM »

That reminds me!  What underwater camera would you recommend?  I will not buy a new one as I never shoot underwater but Hanauma Bay snorkeling is on the list and might make for some memorable snaps.  So this is a one-day shooting opportunity only.

I was likely going to get some disposable film underwater camera, as I won't rent that Nikon AW rig or risk my 5D3 on some rubber housing.  And I'm not interested in a $100-200 P&S.  I need a one-time solution that takes decent pics underwater.

Any recommendations?

- A

118
Lenses / Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« on: January 09, 2014, 02:13:20 PM »

Thanks for all the great tips, gang.  My current loadout is...

Definitely Going to Bring List
Kiboko 22L (carry-on, will hold everything, fits under seat)
Smaller day-bag for hikes/walkaround

5D3
Wide scenery lens rental -- Zeiss 21 or Canon 16-35
24-70 F/4 IS + hood

Tripod / Ball head / mounting plate / shutter release
Lens filters -- UV and CPL
Lee filter kit + ND grads + Big Stopper

BlackRapid strap
'Photo trip stuff' -- air blower, cleaning kit, filter wrenches, etc.
Batteries / charger / backup cards / yadda yadda

Flashlight (for pre-dawn shooting)
Something for drying/cleaning gear from saltwater splashes (tap water bottle and a facecloth)

The Maybe List
One small prime (28, 40 or 50)
70-200 F/2.8 IS II + hood + tripod collar
2X III Teleconverter
Waterproof camera for snorkeling
Trash bags or a storm cover

The Not Bringing List
100L Macro (again, the 24-70 has that excellent 0.7x macro option)
600 EX-RT Flash (I generally am a natural light shooter unless it's an indoor event)


I've downgraded the stellar 70-200 and the 2x to the maybe list.  I know I'll get great shots with it, but it's heavy, takes up a lot of bag space and is quite conspicuous.  Principally, though, the majority of the heavy photography downtime without my gf will be on a scenery photo tour where wide shots will be the focus -- the guide even recommended the Nikon 14-24 or Canon 16-35 for where he's taking us.

But my mind is not made up.  I appreciate everyone's guidance on this, and I am always game for cool locations to check out!

- A

119

In both cases, the lenses need to be perfectly usable at their maximum aperture. The current 1.4 (at least my copy) wasn't.

The current 1.4 at f/1.4, 1/60sec, iso 1600, handheld  ::).

Thanks for sharing that.  I think the wildcard in any assessment of the Canon F/1.2L and F/1.4 is copy to copy variation.  My 50 F/1.4 @ 1.4 is solid in the center but is problematic away from it.  I relegate most shots to F/2 or narrower because of this.

Roger at LR has posted at length about the scatter seen in his stable of lenses.  Some copies are stellar while others are weak. 

Thankfully, the newer Canon non-L IS refreshes have really tightened up the performance to where most new lenses are loosely equivalent in performance.   Hopefully this new Sigma will also have a small copy to copy variation as well.

- A



120
Just curious. Why would someone pick a 50mm f/1.8 with IS over a 50mm f/1.4 (no IS)? Or vice versa.


Many, many threads have weighed the answer to that question.   I'll take a crack at it here, but understand that the physics majors and the working pros on this thread probably see this argument quite differently.  :D

Why Slower with IS is better


With some exceptions, a narrower max aperture lens like a F/1.8 or F/2 should be smaller and lighter than a F/1.4 lens.  That absolutely will be the case with Canon's 50 F/whatever IS -- expect it to be about as big as the recently 35mm F/2 IS, as the non-L IS refreshes seem to be paired housing/size-wise.

For comparison's sake, the new Sigma F/1.4's dimensions are very close to the Canon 24-70 F/4 zoom when closed/at 24mm:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Product-Images.aspx?Lens=823&LensComp2=0&LensComp=824
(mouseover the 'Select View' below the pictures and you can make the hoods disappear for a truer read on size.)

Probably more important for the shooters on this forum, presuming (for the sake of example) it's a 4-stop IS system, provided the subject is not moving, you have a lens that is 3-ish stops better for handholding in low light.  That advantage can be used a few different ways:

  • For a given shot that the non-IS lens would make (assuming it's not right at F/1.4), you can get the same shot while still moving your ISO back down to a more reasonable level, and minimize noise.
  • Or, you can stop down the lens to gain sharper image and/or more working DOF.  Keep in mind that an F/1.4 non-IS lens in a dimly lit room may have to be slammed fully open to net a low-light shot without cranking the ISO too high, and that can be a fairly limiting DOF to work with, plus no lens is anywhere near being sharp corner to corner at F/1.4.

I shoot a fair amount in low-light, handheld, and without a flash.  So IS is a big help for me.

Why Faster without IS is better


You can generate a smaller DOF, which is awesome in some compositions.

If you have quickly moving subjects (and you aren't gunning for a blurry one), the upside of IS effectively lost.  IS helps with longer shutters and unsteady hands, but it can't freeze (for example) a five year old with happy feet.  So if your subject is moving, take the aperture over the IS.

Some folks really rave about the color and draw of the really big F/1.4, F/1.2 and F/1.0 lenses.  Quite simply, you are letting more of the light in and it shows.  Folks often claim such large aperture work has a 'magical' feel or tone to it.  On my F/1.4, when I shoot it wide open, I note richer colors + healthy vignetting on my FF rig that simply looks more memorable at first glance.  You can't/shouldn't shoot wide open all the time, but it's a killer look for some shots.

So there are two schools on this.  There are a good (I'd guess) half the people in this forum that would take the speed of the F/1.4 without IS at this focal length.  For what I shoot, I wouldn't -- I'd probably take the IS.

- A

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