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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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136
Lenses / Re: sorry i have to ask....
« on: March 22, 2014, 10:13:59 AM »
Quote from: RustyTheGeek
Call me crazy but I thought the overpriced 24 and 35mm EF primes that came out with IS were a waste of time.

Crazy!

The 24 IS and 35 IS lenses are both spectacular for different reasons.

First, they replace older designs that were far inferior optically.

Second, the 24 IS has significantly less flare closed down (where most landscapers would use it) than both the 24L II and the 24-70 II.  The smaller size also makes it more portable for hiking.

Third, the 35 IS has rounded aperture blades unlike the 35L, plus it is smaller and lighter than the 35L.  Fantastic for a city walkabout lens for those reasons, plus less obtrusive/expensive looking.

Fourth, these lenses have the added bonus of IS, which can be useful in select circumstances when you lack a tripod.  IS is really only a bonus though, the real beauty is in the other advantages mentioned.

Thanks Ruined!  Now call me 'corrected'!  :)

I appreciate the concise list of reasons why the 24 & 35 ver II prime lenses are more desirable now.  I always knew the original 24 and 35 EF primes could have been much better (and probably were a waste of time) but the outrageous price of the ver II lenses soured my opinion of them prematurely.  I thought the necessity of IS for wide prime lenses was debatable and a lame excuse to offer the new versions for such a high price.  I'm glad that they dropped in price a bit and I'm glad to know there are other reasons other than IS to consider them.

137
Thanks for all the tips guys!

I'm only a kid with an awesome passion in the wonderful world of photography! I apparently am "known" around my school for being a photographer as I provide pictures of a lot of events we have here. I will have a lot of fun shooting tomorrow and will possibly post some pictures! (Though I do not know if my friend's want to be posted onto the internet hehe)  8)

How do you share your photos with your friends?  Do you use a photo site, social media site or other area where you have posted some of your shots?

Have a great time!!  :D

138
I feel the same way in some way every time something comes along like this.  There will always be something better down the line.  The question is, what do you stand to gain NOW if you get this NOW?

It's simpler if you don't have it yet.

In my case, I currently have the 16-35 ver 1.  I LOVE IT.  I have made thousands of great images with it.  I got a great deal on it when I bought it.  So should I replace it with a version II?  I probably won't but I will say that since I got the 24-70 ver II, having my cherished 16-35 with the same size filter would be a nice.  Having a wide lens like this is great for telling the story in the image, getting lots of people in the shot and showing a big picture of what's going on.  It's NOT necc for landscapes.  I'm not a landscape photographer but I know enough to know that a ultra wide lens isn't a good landscape lens due to the distortion that happens at the edges.

I would say that if you have never used a truly wide lens, the 16-35 is a great lens to learn with.  It is extremely versatile as long as you are willing to get close, really close to your subjects.  It's wonderful indoors and in tight spaces.  But if you are shy, stick with the 24 and up lenses, zoom or otherwise.

139
it shocks me sometimes the narrow point of view that is expressed about certain subjects and how little knowledge there is on this forum about professional photography. i thought there were more professionals on this forum but it seems more and more there is not...or at least they remain quiet readers for the most part.

I was not aware that CR was restricted to professional photographers.  I thought it was a forum for people to whine about Canon gear.  :)

Yeah, it gets kinda cheesy sometimes too.   ;D

140
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Lexar CF cards FAIL - Sandisk?
« on: March 20, 2014, 04:11:42 PM »
I just had a Lexar 32GB 1000x card fail and Lexar support told me that if I wasn't using a UDMA7 card reader that eventually all my UDMA7  cards would fail. I had been using an older firewire800/non-UDMA7  card reader and have now switched to the latest card reader from Lexar. Never heard of that before but that is directly from Lexar.


From an electronics, engineering and otherwise common sense viewpoint, what they told you is total hogwash.

I'm an IT guy by trade, I've been immersed in various electronics for 30 years and I have never heard anything so ridiculous.  If you can find this odd fact confirmed somewhere, fine, I'll eat my words but in general, a reader is just that, a reader.  The SD specifications for compatibility state how the device, chipset and firmware are supposed to work and SD cards & readers are backward compatible.  If they weren't, there would be some physical notch preventing insertion.

http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2520/~/sd%2Fsdhc%2Fsdxc-specifications-and-compatibility

The only thing that is going to cause compatibility problems has to do with the upper level file system format (FAT32, exFAT, etc) not how the device is accessed by the reader itself.

The only difference between the different specifications is transfer rate.  Period.

141
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Lexar CF cards FAIL - Sandisk?
« on: March 19, 2014, 03:36:16 PM »
I agree that all cards can fail.  It's like hard drives, they have a mind of their own.  And there is definitely a strong possibility that some cameras are going to favor (or not favor) certain cards.

I also agree that as the industry strives for more profit and capacity, the quality of the chips and consistency goes down.

Over the years I have purchased a LOT of cards in CF, SD, MicroSD, etc.  In the last couple years, I started testing them with verify programs before I used them for pictures in the cameras.  This at least gives me the knowledge that they aren't totally bad.  Can they become bad later?  Sure.  But at least I know they are starting out good.

So I don't worry much about the brand.  (I've had Lexar, Sandisk, Transcend, WinTec, PNY, Kingston, PreTec, HP, SCT, and a few others I can't remember ATM.)  I read the recent reviews, purchase when I find a good price and then I TEST THE LIVING SH*T OUT OF THE CARDS before I use them.

Here's more info on counterfeit cards and also test programs....
http://petapixel.com/2012/12/09/beware-counterfeit-memory-cards-being-shipped-from-amazon-warehouses/
http://flashfakecentral.wordpress.com/testing-flash-memory-chips/h2testw-english/

142
Lenses / Re: sorry i have to ask....
« on: March 19, 2014, 11:14:57 AM »
Seems like a lot of folks are interested in the extreme lenses in the long range.

Me, I would like to see a 24-105 ver II.  I would also like to see a 16-35 III.

Call me crazy but I thought the overpriced 24 and 35mm EF primes that came out with IS were a waste of time.

The 24-70 ver II that came out was obviously a hit but also way overpriced.

For most mid-range enthusiasts, the 24-105 has been a great lens.  It is likely most folks 1st L lens with good reason.  Why doesn't Canon improve that lens after all this time?  Seems like it would sell well for them.

143
Software & Accessories / Re: Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga for RAW editing
« on: March 18, 2014, 12:00:43 PM »
Yes, I have set up three of the new Yoga Pro 2 units.  It's a great unit but the ultra high 3200x1800 native resolution is a bit hard to use with LR. I agree with KKCFamilyman on his comments about the other Thinkpads.  However, I don't agree with gshocked about 1920 x 1080 being too hard to use on a 12" screen.  At least once you've seen 3200x1800 on a 13" screen!

Unfortunately, Windows doesn't scale well when you change away from native resolution regardless of the screen.  Neither does Mac OS so don't assume a mac with retina is any better in this regard.

You might want to consider the laptop you buy mainly on other factors other than the screen (performance, size, weight, ergonomics, keyboard, battery life, ports, etc) and then connect it to a high quality external monitor for serious editing.  It's pretty much impossible to find the perfect laptop for editing without an external monitor, etc.

144
After much debate, I decided to buy a compromise laptop - the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P, which seems to have everything I wanted (16GB RAM, fast processor, powerful (dual discrete) GPU(s), nice keyboard) except for a top notch monitor.  I then realized that I use a laptop so little that it made more sense to put my money elsewhere - a new 1DX - but I really appreciate everyone's advice and will probably circle back to this in a few months or so when I decide to upgrade.
I'm not sure about your budget but I would suggest that you might be able to have both.  Have you considered a nice refurbished Thinkpad?  A T420 is a solid unit that will give you everything for around $500 and then you could add more RAM and/or a SSD drive if desired.  If you want an even better laptop for your needs, get a used W520 for around $800 - $1000.  Both units are built like a tank, offer great performance and will outlast just about every other laptop out there.  Feel free to PM me if you want more info.

145
Quote
I'm a bit puzzled why you started an otherwise informative and enlightening post with such a condescending beginning.

the title of this thread and the presumptions made by the OP annoyed me. statements like "anyone could get excellent shots there - especially a Phase One." warrant a sharp response imo. it cheapens the often unseen efforts, experience and ability that many pro photographers bring to the table.

i have generally steered clear of threads like these. the threads about Andreas Gursky's work are another example of presumptuous statements being bandied about that just exhibit ignorance. its one thing to have opinion...its another thing to marginalize a person or his work out of ignorance.

i carefully worded that opening statement so as not to completely disregard the presence and contributions of a number of members on this site and possibly jog a few more responses from professionals. i stand by the statement as i wrote it. there are many whom i enjoy and respect on these forums, both professional and amateur. Sporgon and Florian to name a few, as well as others.

and to be clear, i personally dont place myself anywhere near the experience and abilities of a great photographer. by my own estimation, i'm very far from where i want to be. but when all is said and done, i want to be able to say that i am a true expert in this field. someday. its because of this that i work very hard and keep an open mind towards others in my profession. i want to always be learning and improving and take pride in being able to contribute to the growth and success of those that i do work with. 
   

Thanks agierke.  That's a great explanation.  This CR forum is the only one I mess with because most of the valued contributors like Sporgon, Florian, (et al, there are so many more) share so much good knowledge and the moderators do a good job of minimizing the BS and crap.  Ignorance is why we all come here.  To minimize it.  And as I said at the start of this thread, this thread is interesting because it has the potential of enlightening me about something I've always wondered about.  All we have are assumptions until we can replace them with facts.

146
After this, I will be a "run around" photographer at their prom (class officers of 2015 "hired" me), in which I will be getting candids and all that nice stuff....
You'll want the Lightsphere for that part...and good luck with both parts of the shoot!

I agree, the Lightsphere will work best indoors.  Another good diffuser that is lighter and less bulky is the Sto-Fen diffuser.  I typically make sure the little white card is pulled out of the flash before I mount the diffuser to direct more light forward.  Then I point my flash up at an angle to soften the light and get the light source up higher to minimize shadows behind the subject.  This is what flash brackets do, they get the flash up much higher to further minimize shadows.

I can't wait to see your pictures!  Good or bad, you will learn a LOT.  The question is, when do you want to learn?  Before (from practice) or after?

Keep in mind that the indoor prom pictures will require a much higher ISO than the garden pictures to look balanced with the ambient light.  Don't make the mistake of relying on the flash to light the entire venue resulting in what I call 'crime scene photos' where the only thing that you see is the subject with a dim/black background and overexposed faces.  You can get that result from any camera, phone or point and shoot.  Use your skill and equipment to capture more interesting pictures.  Again, practice.  Good indoor photography is also a challenge and requires practice.  Make sure you shoot RAW so you can fix light issues in post.  Trust me, you will!

When shooting the prom, take some shots of the overall event but make sure you mostly shoot people, couples, and shots with emotion, laughing, expressions, etc.  Think about what people will think when they look at the picture.  Will it be boring (shot after shot of the crowd or group shots with tiny faces) or will they laugh and comment on this or that because it is easy to see in the picture (person A laughing with person B) where their faces fill the frame?  You have to get close, you have to be bold and you have to get folks to relax.  Take at least two or three shots.  Make sure they didn't blink or have half closed eyes.  Make them look good.  Don't be afraid to say, 'You blinked!" and then ask to take another.

When shooting the prom and it gets pretty dark, you might end up using shutter priority to lock in the slowest shutter speed you can consistently hand hold and then take a lot of (high ISO, probably 3200) shots to hopefully get one that is in focus.  Low ambient light is tough!  Take plenty of shots and make some of them 'insurance shots' with flash, that you know came out ok even if they aren't super great and then take others that are more risky but have the potential to be great shots if you can manipulate them enough in post.  I have always found that the shots look spectacular on the LCD but once you see them on your large computer monitor, you see all the imperfections.  Noise, slight focus issues, blurs, etc.  This is why you take a LOT of shots.

Take plenty of batteries, esp for the flash.  Eneloop batteries work best and last a long time.  Alkalines don't.

Sorry for all the lengthy posts but I've been where you are and I really hope you have a successful time!  Please share some of your shots, both good and bad!  Share the experience and what worked and what didn't!  Good Luck!!

147
That's a good run down.  Thanks.  When is the prom?  How much time before the big night?

Just to be clear, when I said PRACTICE, I meant as soon as possible, several DAYS before the shoot, not an hour.

Then, you should get to any shoot at least an hour early (or more) to set up, prepare, make sure everything is good, etc.  I could write a list but in general you should be ready to press the shutter at least a half hour before anyone is due to arrive.  Then you can relax, casually go over your plan and get 'in the zone'.  What people will interpret as a skilled photographer on a shoot is how prepared and smooth you are, not how good the pictures are.  (That comes later!)  If you are still setting up, can't find things you need, tripping over your gear or yourself and appear confused and stressed, this is bad.  What you are shooting for (pun alert) is cool, calm and collected.  Easy going, fun and cheerful.  You are a master of all things photographic, technical and spiritual!  You make the birds sing, the clouds part and the sun vary its intensity and white balance with a wave of your hand! ........... OK ........... I got carried away.  No one can make birds sing.

What I'm trying to say is that the practice session DAYS AHEAD OF TIME will help you be experienced and organized.  You'll know what to expect, you'll have a solid plan that you are CONFIDENT will work because you already tested it, proved it and you already know what images your poses, your camera settings and your plan will produce!  Without proper planning and practice, you are lost.

I can tell you that regardless of age, experience, talent or skill level, everyone gets nervous.  But that soon goes away when you get rolling if you are well prepared and you have a solid plan to follow.  And don't be too surprised when things don't work exactly as you expect.  This is also normal.

148
it shocks me sometimes the narrow point of view that is expressed about certain subjects and how little knowledge there is on this forum about professional photography. i thought there were more professionals on this forum but it seems more and more there is not...or at least they remain quiet readers for the most part.

I'm a bit puzzled why you started an otherwise informative and enlightening post with such a condescending beginning.  Having been such a respected and talented individual as you claim for so long, one would think you would have developed a better proof reading ability of posts such as this before you submit them.

I appreciate you sharing everything you did because it gives a great perspective into what jobs might be possible for others that might want to follow in that line of work.  So often people assume that making a living as a photographer means you can only be the photographer.  Your post shares an interesting alternative.

In future, perhaps when you observe a knowledge gap or ignorance of a subject, simply share your knowledge and let others benefit.  Being ignorant isn't something to be ashamed of, it's simply what everyone is until they learn the things that make them less ignorant.  Since you have been the receiver of so much experience and wisdom over the years, kindly pay it forward!

149
I don't know too many actual pros personally. 
I know a decent number and I used to correspond with one of Vogue's top photographers and while he has many assistants, he was very involved in every step of his photographs, including scanning them (this was the early 2000s), which is how I got to know him.  I just wish I had kept in touch with him...

I naively thought most artists (pros?) were insanely protective of their craft, the process and most of all the finished product.  Now I can definitely see a gifted photographer that cut teeth on film maybe having an assistant to help with all the tech stuff and working magic on Photoshop at the behest and direction of the artist but I would think most 'old pros' would feel silly having an assistant place their tripod and camera for them.

150
OH, and I'm really sorry but I have to say, my dyslexia keeps giving me a double take and a chuckle every time I see the thread title!   ;D

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