October 20, 2014, 08:22:47 AM

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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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It's funny that you forgot Canada considering the site is owned by a Canadian  :P

I am from Houston, TX and I see what you are saying WSmith. It is very difficult to find scenic landscapes. However, the cityscapes are quite nice, I haven't exploited it yet tho'.

It seems a few are from various places in Texas. We can definitely have a Texas meetup of sorts.

Yes!  I thought the same thing about CR having Canadian roots.  LOL!  FYI, I making a quick trip down to Victoria as we speak.   ;)

im in Quebec , Canada not far from the city of Montreal . you left out Canada in your poll. i feel so alone  :'(  lol

Canada!  I thought of that right after I posted the poll.  D' Oh!   :-[

I added Canada and changed UK/Europe to just Europe.   ;)

reply to this thread with the city that you reside in

I'm from Berlin - the big Berlin in Germany as my Fritz-style English writing attempts suggest.

Btw interesting voting option there: "UK / Europe" ... last time I looked, the UK is part of Europe, though it may not be in the EU for long and get a bit smaller when Scotland leaves next week. I 've just read the new name will be "RUK" as in "Rest of UK" :->

Yeah, I guess I was thinking in terms of the UK being an island.  But you're right!  And yeah, there's that Scotland thing too! 

From time to time, I notice that a fellow CR member is located in my city.  So I figured, why not see how many more there are?

If you wish, reply to this thread with the city that you reside in.  (And perhaps country if not in the U.S.)

For the record, I'm from the Dallas/Fort Worth area in (Arlington) in Texas.  U S A

Heck, who knows, maybe a small meetup would be in the works for some of us.   :D

Lenses / Re: Input on building a prime lens kit
« on: September 08, 2014, 09:46:30 AM »
It sounds like you're pretty close to your prime nirvana already.  Add one lens based on the advice above (RLPhoto, Neuro) and you're golden!

I think everyone that is a serious photography freak eventually starts down the path of "I want a great prime kit" with their FF camera.  It's kind of like buying a boat.  So go ahead and buy the extra primes, shoot and enjoy them, build your skills and eventually you'll probably get it out of your system.

I don't mean this in an insulting or bad way, it is just an honest observation.  I did the same thing.  But once you get past it, you will either become a dedicated and life long prime shooter, or you'll decide that the new zooms that Canon has released in the past few years are so good that it's not worth the trouble keeping up with all the extra gear.

The middle ground is if you divide up your shooting between thoughtful art shooting and busy event shooting.  Primes are wonderful for those times when it's "just you and your craft".  But unless you have a solid method and workflow set up for certain events to carry and use the extra primes, or you shoot portraits/babies a lot, I think the primes will eventually gather dust.

Personally, I tend toward the wide end.  I have the 24L-II, 28/1.8, 50/1.8, 50/1.4, 50 Macro.  I used to have the 135/2 and the 35L.  I have loved all these lenses but I honestly don't use them that often anymore.  It's just easier to use the zooms and the pictures are still phenomenal.  I still use the 28/1.8 for low light campfire shots, etc.  And for some reason, I've never found a groove for the ever popular standard 50mm FL.

In general, the 16-35L, 24-70L and 24-105L stay on my cameras 90% of the time and work great for my needs.  For swimming it's often the 70-200L or the 70-300L and maybe the 24-105L up close.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you decide!   :)

I'll update this in the next day or two with more detailed specs and a picture or two.  (Hint, it looks like a svelte black laptop.)  Feel free to contact me with questions.  And there have been several threads on CR discussing laptops for photography.

After a glass of wine or two, I have finally decided to sell my W520 Thinkpad.  So you should buy it right away before I sober up!   :o

Keep in mind that IT and computers are my business.  I shoot pictures for fun.  I read the CR forum for fun.  The W520 is a beast.  There are a multitude of reasons to have one as a photographer.  The primary reason is the 1920x1080 HD+ IPS High Color Gamut Display.  After that, you should consider the multiple drive options.  It can be docked.  It has a discrete graphic adapter built in that can drive multiple external displays.  And all Thinkpad keyboards are the best in the industry, bar none.

Another advantage is buying it from ME.  No really, I'm serious.  If you wish, I'll work with you and configure it however you like.  Heck, if I like you and you play your cards right (you know, like you BUY IT) I might even offer to support you remotely for a short time.   8)

Anyway, this is a limited time offer for CR members only!  (Limited time because I'll eventually sell it.)

The basic specs are...

Lenovo Thinkpad W520 model 4276-39U laptop w/ i7-2720QM 2.20 Ghz CPU, 15.6" HD+ IPS screen. (1920 x 1080)

It has been upgraded with the following:
256 GB internal mSATA SSD Card in place of stock hard drive with Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
2.5" SATA Drive Bay still empty!  (Allowing a large secondary hard drive to be installed up to 2TB.)
16 GB RAM with 2 memory bays still free (allowing 16GB more RAM = 32 GB TOTAL RAM if desired)
It also has Bluetooth 3.0 integrated, web cam, fingerprint reader, WiFi, DVD/RW, and all the other stuff you would expect.  I'll customize it to the moon if you like but I already souped it up where it matters.  (For great photography performance, etc.)

Here are some great reviews of the W520.  It's not a normal laptop by any means.  It's a workstation replacement designed for engineering companies and specialty industries like graphics and photography.

Sold to a nice local buyer.  I'm looking forward to selling something to a CR member soon though!    ;)

Canon 24mm f/1.4L - II EF USM AutoFocus Lens - $1350 - Arlington, Texas

I'm about to list it on eBayI dropped the price for the last time here and on CL.  Price is now less negotiable.

This lens is in Mint/Like New condition and it retails for $1750 new.  Please don't waste my time with low-ball offers.  Lens is offered as-is but I stand behind it as a solid A+ lens that is in pristine condition.  I ship with UPS or FedEx for better tracking and I pack extremely well.  I also have over 700 feedback (100%) on eBay as "rl01" since 1999.  I've been selling stuff online for a long time.  http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=rl01&ftab=AllFeedback&myworld=true&rt=nc

This listing is for a Canon 24mm f/1.4L - II EF USM AutoFocus Lens.  Serial number 2097890.  The lens hasn't been used much and I have finally decided to part with it. The lens comes with box, hood, lens pouch, lens cap, warranty card, etc.  (Everything it comes with new that has never left the box.  I leave everything including the hood and cap in the box and use my own caps, etc instead.)  The lens is in perfect condition and a 10/10.   It is superb in low light and extremely sharp.  It focuses fast and has beautiful bokeh.

Note:  I also have a pristine Hoya HD UV Filter (pictured) that has lived on the lens since I bought it.  It costs over $100+ new but I'll include it for only an additional $50 if desired.

You will LOVE THIS LENS. Great for everything, esp low light indoor and event photography. It's superb for outdoor landscapes and night sky photography.  The Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 L II USM Lens is, without question, Canon's best-performing (optically and physically) and best-built autofocus 24mm lens. If you want the best Canon 24mm AF lens, look no longer. This is it.  I don't think a bad review exists out there. I did the work for you...


Product Description:
Canon's newest fixed length L-series lens, the EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM, incorporates the newest in Canon lens technology for spectacular sharpness and impressive performance at all settings. It features two high-precision, large-diameter aspherical lenses for sharpness across the sensor, even in peripheral areas of full-frame sensors. Lens elements have a newly-designed anti-reflective SWC (Sub Wavelength Coating) that departs from conventional coatings by using an extremely fine structure that minimizes ghosting and flaring across the lens surface, regardless of the angle with which light enters or exits. It also features two UD lens elements to minimize chromatic aberrations, incorporates rear-focusing, ultrasonic, quiet and high-speed AF with full-time manual override. A circular aperture provides beautiful out-of-focus detail and offers legendary dust- and water-resistant L-series construction using only lead-free glass.

Filter Size: 77mm
F-Stop Range: 1.4-22
Minimum Focus Distance: 3.0 in./77mm
Magnification: 1:6.25
Angle Of View: 84 Degrees
Groups/Elements: 13 elements in 10 groups
Length x Diameter: 3.3" x 3.1" / 83.5 x 77.4mm
Weight: 22.9 oz./ 650g

Included Items: Front and Rear E-77U 77mm Lens Cap & Lens Dust Cap E, EW-83K Lens Hood, Lens Pouch LP1214.

I shoot in the annual 30K range at various events, campouts, swim meets, etc.  Shooting swimming eats a lot of frames.  I usually shoot several different bodies depending on the subject or activity.

For example, my 60D had about 26K frames on it in June 2011.  I've probably got at least that many, probably more on the 5D3 as well.  I've tried to slow down the frames a bit but in general, I just shoot what I feel is necessary at the time.  Then I process them, upload them, move on.  Cameras are just tools and the more you do, the more you use them.  That's why I have them.  Not using them fully would simply be a waste.

It is refreshing however to shoot only a hundred or so frames at smaller activities!

Hmm.  I used to work harder with using a gray card and/or other device to peg a custom WB at the venue.  Hmm.  Maybe I'll start doing that again.  It's not that hard, I just got out of the habit.  (You know, LAZY!)

The gray card doesn't solve everything though.  If you introduce flash or other light of your own, a gray card won't help you when the WB is off too much from the ambient light color.  I get this a lot in swim venues and other gyms.  The mercury vapor lights above are bright and directional enough to show up in all the pictures but if any other light is present like strong daylight from windows, fill flash or whatever, the people end up with green or yellow caps and capes.  It's pretty hard to avoid if the people are located below one of those light sources.   :(

I have used an Expodisc alternative before.  But you could make a pretty good DIY Expodisc with a white coffee filter!

I feel taking too many shots affects my composition and overall quality. I get fewer keepers when shooting more, than when I think twice before taking a shot.
I am sure it depends on the person involved.

I would tend to agree but only to a point.  I shoot more than some, less than others.  My bigger concern, esp with flash, is the distraction I cause the event itself with flash or shutter noise.  But when I restrict myself too much, I find I miss good shots.  It's a balancing act for sure!

Which is why I still use my 28 f/1.8 prime quite a bit for campfire shots, etc.  In your case, maybe that 40mm f/2.8 pancake will suffice.  (Didn't I see that in your list?)

I have some quicker primes, like a 50/1.4 and the 100L macro, but I'm leery to sign up for a fixed FL in such a dynamic environment. 

- A

I understand your point.  I totally agree.  Keep in mind however that a wider prime like my fast 28mm will capture a lot and I can always crop a bit.  (Plus, I can human zoom IN.  It's harder to human zoom OUT esp in tight spaces.)

Something else to consider that is NON-Photography related.

NO ONE-ON-ONE WITH KIDS.  In other words, never be alone with a kid.  Always have another adult(s) or a group of other kids around you or within eye-sight.

This is a core standard YPT (Youth Protection Training) rule that protects both the adult and the child.

It would be a good idea to watch this YPT training video.  It explains good standard practices no matter where you are.  School, church, scouts, public places, etc.

Another approach indoors where it's dark might be to use Tv and let your images go a bit dark if necc to preserve focus.  (Then bump back up in post.)  Dial in Tv of 1/30 - 1/50 or so depending on your skill level in low light and your ability to hold the camera still.  (Obviously you will need to shoot multiple shots to try and get a keeper.)  With your lens having a f/4 limit, your camera will be struggling to get the exposure and might be dipping pretty low on shutter speed in Av mode.  You might even have to (shudder!) go to 6400!   :o

Regardless, focus can't be fixed.  Everything else can be improved a certain amount.  Shooting in the dark is always a challenge.  Which is why I still use my 28 f/1.8 prime quite a bit for campfire shots, etc.  In your case, maybe that 40mm f/2.8 pancake will suffice.  (Didn't I see that in your list?)

Great to hear ahsanford!  I'm glad you are considering options while staying relaxed.  Go look at my site and you'll see that I end up shooting a LOT of kids.  (Boys scouts, school stuff, etc.)  And I'm often in cramped quarters and strange light so my 16-35 gets a lot of use and every once in a while I bring out the Fish-Eye when I think about it.

Also, FYI, I use the heck out of my SunPak RD2000 with a Sto-Fen diffuser.  It stays on my camera and I use it 90% of the time.  I have 3 of them and one is gelled with diffuser, one is plain with diffuser and one is plain without diffuser (mostly for outdoor sun).  It works great on the 5D3 & 70D but the ETTL doesn't work on the 6D.  http://www.amazon.com/SUNPAK-RD2000C-Sunpak-Camera-Flash/dp/B001GS6Q9Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409941442&sr=8-1&keywords=rd2000  (See my review by RL)

http://rustythegeek.zenfolio.com/nasa2012#h6cdc731 (Inside the Mission Control simulators, etc with FishEye)
http://rustythegeek.zenfolio.com/galveston2012 (Inside the ship with FishEye)
http://rustythegeek.zenfolio.com/alliance-hires#h3e272ad2 (Inside the Control Tower with FishEye)

Just remember - get insurance shots from time to time and then have fun the rest of the time.  Experiment.  Go outside your comfort zone.  You only need one really cool edgy shot to work and that might even be after a lot of tweaking in post!

Use this event as an excuse to buy (or rent) the 15mm Fish-Eye!  You'll have a BLAST with it!   :D

I shoot enough events that I feel like I can offer some decent advice.  All the advice given is good and solid... and my head is spinning after reading it.

My BEST ADVICE ->  K.I.S.S. Principle  <- My BEST ADVICE  (Read distant.star's advice again.  Relax and enjoy!)   :)

I don't care how much you shoot, how many events or whatever, every photographer who gives a hoot will over think these things because they want to do a great job.

There are many ways that this can be done with many cameras and lens scenarios.  In general, you have good equipment and a LOT can be fixed in Post so don't kill yourself.  Take your time, relax and try different things.  Watch your LCD as you shoot and adapt as you go.  Don't take too much stuff.  And ditch the CPL.

So here's MY two scenarios...  ::)

Simple - Take the 5D3, 24-70 and Flash.  Shoot RAW.  Set your WB to daylight and leave it there or use the gray card and set it custom but once it's set, don't change it.  Corrections in Post will be much easier starting from the same place every image.  Set ISO 3200 indoors and 400 outdoors.  Create custom camera settings for indoor and outdoor to save time.  Set for Av Priority f/4 (lowest you can go) with Flash ETTL AUTO indoors.  Outdoors, depending on light levels, shade, etc you might need to go with center point metering.  I wouldn't worry about HSS, you won't have time.  It would probably be better to use a smaller aperture anyway to help control all the background light and have more of the scene in focus.  Point flash with Sto-Fen up 45 degrees indoors, 90 degrees forward outdoors and dial in EC on the fly like wickedwombat suggests.  (This is pretty much what I do most of the time.)  I wouldn't take the 70-200 unless you are planning to get a lot of face only shots, or maybe just noses and eyes.  Heck, I would have my 16-35 L lens hanging on my belt because I would find it much more useful indoors where I'm cramped and trying to get the event in the frame.  And you might shoot a bit with no flash so the aquarium will be pretty, or with the flash dialed back quite a bit so as not to overpower or reflect heavily off the glass.

Another indoor flash idea, gel the flash to match the aquarium light color.  Some kind of blue or green perhaps?

More Work and Versatility - Take the T2i with the 24-70 for reach and put the 16-35 on the 5D3.  Put the flash on the T2i.  Use the 5D3 wide with available light indoors and out for group, event, story shots, etc.  Use the T2i for candids, etc and light the faces better with the flash.

Another lens I would take for some fun shots would be... drum roll... the EF 15mm f/2.8 FishEye!  Inside with the aquarium, letting the kids get really close and capturing them near the tanks, no flash.  I think that would be really neat!  Also, held up high it would give some great story shots.

Seriously, relax and enjoy this.  To reduce the worry, go to the venue early and experiment for an hour or two.  Make sure it's about the same time of day!

Keep us posted on how this goes and what you ended doing.  Sharing a few pictures would be nice too!

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