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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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Photography Technique / Re: Your favorite f-number for landscape shots?
« on: December 28, 2014, 12:30:52 PM »
f=8 is the only valid choice. For any focal length and subject. seriously.

Yeah, after reading some more responses, this is likely the best answer!   50mm and f/8 is the setting our human eyes are fixed at, correct?  :D

My unwanted comment: So sad you going with pre conceived shots! It is a tremendous city and if you let yourself go you may just get unique great photos. My two cents.

Think of it more as a scavenger hunt with the applied science of technique.

Quote honestly, if I didn't have children in tow, I would be more adventurous... But I have one child who is pretty and the other who is possessed by the devil... So I spend a good deal of time making sure they stay alive. 

That's why I am going with a checklist... So I can get something done... in lieu of just photos of my children and wife shopping... because that is what I'm most concerned about.

My best advice, as someone with a family, keep it simple on the shots and the gear.  Like it or not, the family is the focus.  (It sounds like you already understand this but I had to say it anyway to make my point.)  You'll quickly get irritated that your enjoyment of the photography is lacking due to the family or vice versa.

Why do you need the 600EX flash?  Get a small low profile SunPak RD2000 or Canon 270EX-II (with Sto-Fen diffuser to match) to use for fill and leave the monster flash at home.  Most of your shots of the city or architecture won't use flash anyway.

When I am on trips like this, I usually take the same gear I take on many other outdoor ventures... 5D3, SunPak RD2000 flash, 24-70 or (not and) 24-105 as a primary lens, 16-35 wide lens and 15mm FishEye.  Other than a shoulder strap and small lens bag that holds both off camera lenses together + a little padded zipper pouch with extra batteries, media, etc that's it.  I put the lens case in a basic no frills daypack and depending on the destination, I might also throw in a CPL.  Sometimes I carry a small S120 P&S camera or a D20 Rugged P&S to hand to others to use or in case I need to be more discrete and put away the DSLR completely.

I'm also not sure why you want to drag a heavy expensive prime like the 85L-II around since it's primarily for single portraits but it's your gig.  I would think you could achieve something 'good enough' with the 24-70 f/2.8L.  Or even the 24-105L depending on the subject distance from background.  No offense, we all have our own styles and desires, but I keep the walking kit as simple as possible.  The FishEye lens is my 'luxury lens' because it is small, light and very versatile in some situations, esp with lots of people in a group which is common for me in our scout troop.  Maybe you could substitute a EF 50 f/1.4 for the 80L to save space and weight and still get the desired shots?

The other stuff that is a good idea would be a rain jacket and/or umbrella that fits easily in the daypack, water bottle (disposable for city security) no pocket knife (because you might take over a building or the subway or hold the city hostage or something with it), and a handy Metro Card or work the Day Pass thing (ugh).

Again, it sounds like you are pretty astute on this but I try to implore everyone I give advice to in these situations to keep it simple and go as light as possible.  It's a little easier to go light in the city since you can buy most of what you need in terms of food and drink.

Have FUN!!  Enjoy your trip and please post a few pics of you and your family!   :D

Try to book a table at the River Cafe on the Brooklyn side. They have a little place you can set up a tripod outside, so you can get the long exposure of the water and the NYC skyline. I took mine in April this year.

Great shot!  Did you enhance Freedom Tower or is it a different color by itself?

Photography Technique / Re: Your favorite f-number for landscape shots?
« on: December 28, 2014, 11:45:14 AM »
Well, I'm going to expose my ignorance here but...

f/8 and be there?  Sunny 16?

IMO, the landscape scene you are shooting, type/quality/amount of light and many other factors should probably influence the decision.  Snow, desert, urban, green forest or a mixture all require a possible adjustment.  How much contrast is desired?  And most importantly, is there a foreground subject in the picture?

If I'm shooting a person in front of said landscape, I'm going to try to get the smallest aperture I can to get everything in focus depending on desired ISO and shutter speed.  This requires a lot of light or perfect stillness and a tripod.

Since I don't shoot a lot of landscapes per se, I tend to bracket my landscape shots and decide what worked best in post.  In addition, I have found that I can get more contrast and better (bluer) sky in the shot if I use a smaller aperture.  f/11 or smaller for a bit better sky, esp if I'm shooting people with a background.  Fill flash is of course required in that case.

Even though this is a pretty vague question, I am interested to see what others post.  I feel like I can always improve my technique in this area.  (Heck, all areas!)   ;)

Reviews / Re: Lens cap review: (Exploding) Hama 77mm lens caps
« on: December 28, 2014, 11:23:05 AM »
Thank you again, Rusty. We are having 26-32 centigrade at the moment so the higher temperature might be too hot for the equipment. My storage solution is a Pelikan 1510 with two silica boxes inside. It looks very professional with my name and address carved on a plate! Now I either have to sell some stuff or get another one of those.

The gear growth thing is something I'm trying to currently reduce myself.  Good luck!

Reviews / Re: Lens cap review: (Exploding) Hama 77mm lens caps
« on: December 28, 2014, 02:13:44 AM »
Thank you for the offer, Rusty the Geek, but sending the thing to the other side of the globe does not make sense.
It is the rainy season now and the humidity is very high. The printer jams as paper gets sticky. I wonder if they make the same thing for the camera body as well....will google.

Just put it all in a slightly warm enclosure warmer than the surrounding air.  Problem solved.

Post Processing / Re: Infrared photography
« on: December 27, 2014, 04:32:17 PM »

Sorry OP but I can't resist!  This is somewhat related...

Who has performed an IR camera conversion, WHAT IR CONVERSION SERVICE/COMPANY DID YOU USE and what are your best tips for success?
(So I'm sort of combining my question with the OP's question.)

So far, it seems LifePixel is a good call but I know there are others.

Reviews / Re: Lens cap review: (Exploding) Hama 77mm lens caps
« on: December 27, 2014, 12:01:24 PM »
Does anybody have experience with the anti-humidity lens caps?

It looks a bit might get dust inside your lens.

Yes.  I have one.  I got it several years ago.  I don't remember where or how much I paid.  Regardless, my impression was that it is well made and designed.  It locks together solid and tight.  It also has a silicone O-Ring that seats against the lens when locked.  The way it's made, it won't allow dirt/dust into the lens unless you roll it around in the dirt/dust and then put your mouth completely around the end and blow hard.  If you test this, we all want pictures submitted showing the step by step process and results!    ;D

If you want to try one, I'll sell you mine cheap.  I don't use it much myself.  I just never got in the habit.  I probably even still have the box or whatever it came in.  I can definitely see someone using these on all their expensive lenses.  That's what I thought I would do but I never got around to it.  Now I'm in a downsizing phase.   ;)

Lenses / Re: Upgrade or not the 24-70 f/2.8, a thousand dollar question.
« on: December 27, 2014, 11:51:19 AM »
I'll save you the time of reading all the posts that will likely say the same thing...

The 24-70 f/2.8L vII is a must have keeper lens you will not regret owning.  Buy it and don't look back!  And many photographers have sold their primes after using this lens.  And buying the 24-70 v2 now, after it has been on the market for over a year, will mean you will pay less than many here who bought it in the first 6 months of its existence.  So there's that!

Now that I've summarized what everyone will probably say, I'll say that only you can decide that it will replace multiple primes, the other 24-70, etc.  I think we can all agree that each individual photographer has a unique affinity for his/her gear and the way it is used and appreciated.  You see, photography gear falls into different mental groups in different ways for most photographers.  Some value convenience and weight savings over a larger bag and lens choice.  Others will carry a lens 20 miles in a backpack to use it once or not at all.  It just depends on your personal needs/wants/habits and desires.

While I agree that primes shouldn't be compared to zooms, everyone does it anyway.  Because before you walk out the door, choices must be made on what will be carried.  And unless you use/capitalize on the strengths of your primes, thin DOF, faster than 2.8 aperture, low light shooting, innovative/creative shooting styles, etc... you'll likely find the 24-70 v2 to easily replace them.  Let's face it, if a piece of gear never gets used, what's the point of keeping it after a long enough period of non-use goes by?  That's the phase I'm in now.  Sell stuff and try to get better organized.

OTOH, if you find great pleasure in portraiture and special scene photography, you might want to keep at least one prime.  You know, compromise.  Get the 24-70 v2 and just keep your favorite prime.

Canon General / Re: Merry Christmas and A Happy Holiday Season to All
« on: December 25, 2014, 04:56:41 PM »
Merry Christmas everyone!  I feel very blessed to be a part of such a great forum.  Here's wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous 2015!!   :)

Lighting / Re: No 600EX-RT discounts this holiday?
« on: December 25, 2014, 04:55:08 PM »
Then, just for fun, I bought one of the Yongnuo YN-E3-RT

Did you review it yet anywhere? I'd like some opinion on this considering transmitting distance and general reliability, and the youtube "send me a flash for free and I'll praise you until kingdom come" unboxing vids aren't a great help there.

LOL!  Yeah, after the investment in three 600EX-RT flash units, I figured another $90 impulse buy wasn't much of a stretch.  I made the choice based on a few quick review readings and the feedback on Amazon.  The little bit I've played with everything sitting on the couch today while watching Christmas Story, it seems to work fine.  Hopefully I'll be able to give it more time soon doing something useful.   ;)

Canon General / Re: What Canon stuff did you get for Christmas
« on: December 25, 2014, 04:36:39 PM »
I have been selling some of my gear to generate funds.  Lenses, bodies, etc.  I also bought and sold a few new Black Friday items for a great profit.  This all began back at the beginning of Sept.  Found/bought many great deals, esp Black Friday.  So after about 90 Days...

After all is said and done, I ended up getting/keeping the following items for Christmas...

7D Mark II  (Sold my 6D, 60D, 70D, etc to fund but I might obtain another 6D eventually.)
16-35 f/4L IS  (Might Sell, not sure but decided to start using it for now.)
600EX-RT Flash x 3 + Sto-Fen Diffusers
Yongnuo YN-E3-RT

Other Misc stuff...
PixelFast CF Media

Later, when it arrives...
MagMod Dome Diffuser

With the extra flash units, I may buy a few new eneloop batteries.  I haven't purchased any new eneloops for years.  All my eneloops still work great after 3-5+ years!!


You went through all that "mission impossible" stuff just to sell something?  Was it worth it? 

Seems like a lot of work and worry.  Looking out for accomplices?  Really?

You expect them to give you their phone number but you use a throwaway number app??

Why would you ever use Craig's list if you have such worries?

It's your stuff and your decision and I respect that.  But if I had any of these concerns, I would not use Craig's list.

Do you ever get a friend with a CCW to wait in the background in case the "deal" goes bad?   ;D

It's been busy and I didn't notice this reply but now that Christmas is here and I'm pretty caught up and chillin' I've had a chance to look at CR again.

I think AcutancePhotography's post deserves a quick reply...

Yes, it is a bit of work and worry.  (But not too much.)  I realize it seems like I'm going overboard with precautions or that I seem overly paranoid.  Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how you choose to sell something, there is possible risk of loss and trouble involved with every method.  With ebay, you will pay more in fees and risk someone lying about you as a seller and in the worst case, costing you your item and also your payment due to an ebay buyer protection refund.  It has happened.

With Craigslist, I have recently experienced a simple but costly theft in broad daylight.  Fortunately there was no violence involved but it could have been prevented by taking precautions.  If I am selling a $50 widget, you are correct, all the precautions I mention are probably pointless.  But with a $3000+ camera or lens, recent events have proven that I need to be more careful.  Not selling on CL may be one choice but I don't like to give up or quit, I like to adapt, solve the problem and carry on to achieve my goal.  In this case, my goal is to sell my stuff and not get ripped off.

As for the throw away number... think about it.  You are dealing with total strangers.  After you deal with a few, you start to realize there are a lot of irritating people out there (at best) and some folks are downright creepy/dangerous (at worst).  Until I feel comfortable giving out a real/permanent contact method, I want to have the ability to totally cut them off if I need to without it causing me a lot of trouble/grief in the process.

CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) - While I do have a license for this in Texas, I rarely carry.  I go too many places where it's still prohibited.  (Churches, public schools, boy scout property, etc.)  And unless I am facing a lethal threat, I can't pull it out anyway.  However, after I was robbed, I did give it more thought, that's a fact.

Again, I feel it is best to HOPE FOR THE BEST BUT PLAN FOR THE WORST.

And you're right, taking steps to mitigate problems ahead of time isn't for everyone.  In that case, it probably is best to simply avoid selling with a anonymous system like CraigsList.

Lighting / Re: No 600EX-RT discounts this holiday?
« on: December 25, 2014, 01:12:15 PM »
I took the plunge on these NEW units from BigValueInc (eBay - canonpricewatch) back on Dec 10.  I paid $430each  (now $446) figuring that was about the best I would find for new/non-refurb units.  I bought 20.  I mean 2.   ;)

Then, just for fun, I bought one of the Yongnuo YN-E3-RT from Amazon Prime for $89.  Now it's $99.

Technical Support / Re: What a day: dropped my camera.
« on: December 22, 2014, 03:56:12 PM »
Guys, I'm sorry all of you have damaged your great cameras.  However, I see that as a BATTLE BADGE OF HONOR!

Seriously!  You are out there, shooting pictures, doing your thing!  The camera got damaged.  So what?  You're human.  It happens.  If it still works, keep using it.  If it doesn't, get it repaired.  But DON'T DESPAIR!  The camera was damaged doing what it and its owner loves!!  You didn't buy it to keep in the closet, all safe and pretty.  You bought it to use it and that's what you're doing!  Accidents happen and along with those accidents, so did a lot of great pictures!

If the repair costs way too much, it might even be time to buy another one instead.  But whatever you do, don't be depressed!  Be glad you are such a trooper and you keep on rockin' that camera!!

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