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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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Photography Technique / Re: Cool example of why gear doesn't matter
« on: March 09, 2014, 06:52:04 PM »
Heck man, this illustrates that every shoot presents untold amounts of unexpected problems and you just gotta be ready to work with/around those problems.  Loved it!  The photographer has a good and cheerful attitude and that helps everyone else keep going.  Better equipment does produce better quality but more than anything it merely makes getting the shot EASIER.  Better equipment doesn't replace the photographer or their vision.

Photography Technique / Re: Three days in The Big Apple
« on: March 09, 2014, 06:32:33 PM »
Wow-christianronnel, Those are a couple of inspiring shots!

I think my equipment list is coming together:
5 DIII + 7D w generic straps
24-105/ 24-70 +10-22 & 8-15 fisheye
1 ratty looking backpack
cards & batteries-
It could hardly be simpler
Just gotta talk my wife out of the plays on Broadway and most the museums now...
As far as I can tell from the web site , the Statue of Liberty is open, fingers crossed.

Thanks everyone!

Please don't avoid the Broadway shows, at least not all of them.  They are a must!  And since you list two bodies, don't carry them both at the same time, they will just weigh you down.  You will be walking A LOT.  Keep it light.  Just take a body, two lenses, and minimal extra stuff.  You'll have to deal with security sometimes, you'll have to manage and hold on to it all in the subway and you'll have to put it somewhere when you eat.  A lot of places you go are small.  Tables, chairs, etc are cramped.  One SLR on a BR strap with an extra lens in a backpack along with all your extra stuff (including perhaps a light rain jacket or umbrella) will be plenty.

And I'll push my favorite little flash one more time.  The SunPak RD2000 with a StoFen diffuser works great on the 5D-III for fill.  Don't forget to get a few eneloops.  Two AA batteries in that flash should last all day with an extra two in your pocket.

Photography Technique / Re: Three days in The Big Apple
« on: March 08, 2014, 11:39:35 AM »
As for a tripod, what if you took a Tamrac Zipshot?  You could use it as a monopod up on the top of Empire and it wouldn't get in anyone's way, etc.  I think the reason they don't allow the tripods is due to the crowds and the fact that the tripod legs stick way out and trip folks, etc.  Whatever the reason or whatever you decide, maybe you can use some kind of monopod braced against the rail to help with shots like that.  Good luck!  Enjoy!

Photography Technique / Re: Three days in The Big Apple
« on: March 08, 2014, 11:31:05 AM »
I would agree with winglet, if you're trying to keep it simple, a 24-105 (or 24-70) + a 16-35 (or 17-40) would be great.  Those two lenses would not weigh you down and you would have plenty of room left in your day pack for other stuff.  Make sure and watch the weather and maybe take a light jacket depending on temp and possible rain.  The only other lens I might throw in would be the 15mm FishEye because it's so fun and very small/light.  If IQ isn't your top priority, you could replace the 24-105 with a Tamrom 28-300 super zoom and you'd have more reach but still take a wide lens of some kind.

I haven't been to NY in a long time and everyone else has offered so much good advice on the city that all I'll say is the Subway makes NY a joy to move around in.  No waiting for taxis or buses, etc.  But most of the time you will want to stay on the street and walk.  There is soooo much to see.  It's a feast for the eyes.  Very interesting both day and night.

Technical Support / Re: Lightboxes, umbrellas, stands, etc.........
« on: March 07, 2014, 03:55:02 PM »
Strobist is an awesome online resource as well. Read the Lighting 101 section for awesome tips on starting out with flash. I invested about $60 for an umbrella, bracket, stand, and ETTL cable on B&H (lower quality, I guess) but it was perfect for starting out, and you can always move up.


David Hobby (Strobist) and Joe McNally are great flash gurus and they are a blast to learn from.  But they each use different methods.  I prefer David Hobby because he works in the manual settings realm which is the best way to learn what is going on.  Once you master things manually, you understand what is really going on and you can be much more creative.

Spend most of your time reading, buying books (try 1/2 price books too) and experimenting.  Don't get too caught up in buying stuff right now.  In fact, you'll learn a lot more by building your own light modifiers until you really know what you want.

Have fun!!

Canon General / Re: Why Image Quality isn't Everything
« on: February 28, 2014, 07:57:21 PM »
I love that leopard!  Go leopard, Go!   All humans are mere tasty meaty obstacles in his path!  Bwaa Ha Ha Haaaa!   :o

Lenses / Re: Good lens for hiking
« on: February 28, 2014, 05:49:31 PM »
Hey, thanks for the clarifications tapanit!  You are fortunate that you have the luxury of easy consistent water access.  That makes a big difference with how far you can go and weight reduction overall.  Please don't get the wrong idea, I wasn't trying to criticize, only illustrate why weight is an important factor for me.

I try to minimize the extra effort and energy it takes to manage all the extra bits of gear.  Since we put a lot of our stuff up in bear bags at every camp, there is a lot of packing and unpacking every day.  The more items you have, the more you have to unpack/repack, make room for, organize, account for, keep clean, etc.  It gets tiresome after a few days.  IMHO, when hiking, the simpler the better.  So that's why I am trying to really think the whole "better camera" thing through.  Because the group loves my pictures regardless, even if they're just from the little rugged D20.  I'm the only one who really appreciates/enjoys the IQ difference and superior handling of the SLR.

And yes, the rain makes for rather flat pictures but at least there are no harsh shadows and lens flare, right?   :)

Lenses / Re: Good lens for hiking
« on: February 28, 2014, 02:39:51 PM »
I'd go with a Ricoh GR if I were hiking. Superlight, truly pocketable and great image quality for the price and size.

I'm intrigued by the Ricoh GR.  Hmmmmmmm.

Lenses / Re: Good lens for hiking
« on: February 28, 2014, 11:11:14 AM »
My current kit for week-long hikes in is 5Dmk3, Voigtländer 20mm, Canon 40mm and 70-300L, plus Ricoh GR. Works pretty well for me.

Wow.  8+ pounds?  Plus the space required in the pack. What kind of hiking are you doing?  In my case, I will be totally off the grid for 10 days covering ~90 miles in the mountains.  There could be daily rain.  I'm in a group of around 14 scouts and adults.  Only stops I will make are for daily program camps, and food pickups every 3 or 4 days.  No power, etc.  So whatever I take, I have to carry for the duration.  The only weight variations are from food/water consumption and whatever weight I might take on for someone else having trouble.

So while I have learned that adding a little weight isn't a big deal if I'm in shape and trained for the trip, throwing caution to the wind and taking what you take would likely make the trip miserable for me.

Lenses / Re: Good lens for hiking
« on: February 28, 2014, 11:01:30 AM »
I'm debating this very subject for my own hiking.  I have a Canon Tough P&S D20 that hangs from a super magnet on my pack strap that is durable, simple, light and easy while hiking on the trail.  But once I arrive at my destination, I would prefer to use a SLR with a wider lens, etc.

There are soooo many angles to this challenge.  I've considered small systems.  Better P&S cams like G series, S series, etc.  Ugh.  Expensive, fragile and a whole other system to build and maintain.  However, if I were to buy another system, I think it would be a Pentax K-3 with a WR lens.  I've almost bought that several times already and chickened out.  It's weather and shock resistant and a very good camera to boot.

I got a Canon SL1 on a super sale before Christmas for $349.  I'm thinking it might end being a throw away body if it can't hold up to the hiking.  (Shocks, temps, dirt, moisture, etc.)  I hate to see that and I don't want to miss out on pictures if the thing dies on day 2 or 3!  That's my biggest fear, not that I lose the $349.

If you do a search, you'll find a thread I started back in November or December on this very subject.  I'm still debating.  And, I'm still considering spending a small mint on a new ultralight zPacks sleeping bag and tent to save 5+ pounds so I can absorb the extra camera weight without penalty.

Check out http://zpacks.com for some ultralight gear and you might find a way to make it all work if you can afford the prices.  Also look at http://gossamergear.com for a super lightweight pack.  I probably won't go for a UL pack but I am seriously considering the zpacks bag and tent.

Lenses / Re: General purpose zoom for honeymoon
« on: February 27, 2014, 06:40:56 PM »
Well, against my better judgement (and previous post advice), if you simply can't be swayed from taking an SLR, etc, I would probably take the 24-70 and then maybe a 16-35.  I heavily use both of these lenses so it's a tough call.  And if you were to someday have both zooms, they share the 81mm filter size and are both f/2.8.

If you need a flash for basic fill, don't take a big one.  Get a SunPak RD2000 and a Sto-Fen diffuser.  I added a foil reflector in my diffuser to push more light forward when I have it up 45 degrees.  A couple eneloops run forever but it's usually backed off a stop or two since it's just fill.

And again, take the least amount of camera stuff you can.  Take the body, the zoom and maybe one sweet prime for bride portraits, an extra charged battery and a couple mem cards.  Take the RX100 and use it most of the time.

The more stuff you take, camera or otherwise, the more attention it will steal away from your wife.  Take something to play some great music in your room.  Take a corkscrew.  Take something simple and sentimental to give her she will never forget.  Make her the full focus and center of your attention and she'll always look back to this time with warmth and love.

Take it from someone who has been married 15 years (and counting) --- HAPPY WIFE = HAPPY LIFE!

Have a great time and congratulations!

BTW, I looked over some of your images on flickr, etc.  I like your work.  However, the few shots I think I saw of your girl... SHE IS STUNNING.  ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.  You must be very happy.  Enjoy!

Lenses / Re: General purpose zoom for honeymoon
« on: February 27, 2014, 10:00:31 AM »
IMHO... unless your wife is really into photography, impress her with your sacrifice of leaving 90% of your stuff at home and make this trip about HER!  Make a STATEMENT to her by sacrificing your photo gear for her.

She'll feel more cherished and honored, not sidelined.  You'll be glad you did, or if you take all your stuff instead, you may regret it forever.  Seriously, ask any woman, they'll tell you to K.I.S.S.!!  This is a special romantic time, not a normal vacation.  I totally understand what you are thinking and I am also telling you to take a step back and put photography way down your list.  You should be planning special surprises for her, a few nice places to eat, etc but otherwise, it's a big love fest, not a photo trip.  She may not say anything now but in the future, esp after talking to her girlfriends, all your photography very well may come up in the future and bite you in the ass.  Esp if you aren't a pro, just a serious enthusiast.  Again, take a bunch of photo gear at your peril!

Take a Point and Shoot, buy a G16 or something and let it go.  That will impress her far more than "only" taking 40% of your gear and a new lens.

Lenses / Re: General purpose zoom for honeymoon
« on: February 27, 2014, 09:50:32 AM »
I traveled to Spain and Italy over a year ago and only used the sigma 35 art. Heres the link

Simply beautiful! (So is your female model.) My only primes are a 50 and 100 ... these make me want to invest in a 35!

Thank you JonAustin. The lovely model is my wife. She too likes photography ;) I really suggest the 35 for walk around I also use a 50 and love the 35 because you can frame the subject with a nice background. 24 is too wide for me to frame the subject and 50 is to close. The sigma 35 art is really something special it killed my 24-70 vii in terms of contrast and colour.

Beautiful images, beautiful wife!

You are truly blessed!  Great trip, great to have a wife that shares your passion.  She looks like she had fun.  So did you obviously!

Software & Accessories / Re: Hand Strap
« on: February 26, 2014, 08:19:00 PM »
I have the Nikon AH-4 Hand Strap on all my SLRs.  Much better design, more comfortable, etc.  Made of leather, good construction, good design and guaranteed to confuse the hell out of whoever borrows you camera.  Add the back button focus to the confusion and they'll be running away screaming!   ;D


They are expensive but I've had decent luck with some of the eBay choices (for less) too.  YMMV

How many images do you need to capture in a session/day/whatever?   Personally, with cameras that have a single card slot, I have two equal-sized cards, when one is full I swap them, transfer the images to the computer, and leave them on the second card until they're backed up from the computer. That means have two copies of each image from the time I first transfer them.  I format each card when it goes back in the camera.  That way, I also have an emergency extra card.

So, if 16 GB covers a shooting period, IMO 2 x 16 GB is better.

Ditto.  For most cameras, (not including video) 16GB is sufficient for a typical day.  If anything goes wrong and you have shot enough to be on the 2nd card, you won't lose ALL of your pictures from the calamity.  Tragedies include camera theft of loss, card corruption, accidental issues or whatever could possibly kill your card and its contents.  I always try to use multiple cards if possible for longer trips or larger shoots.  Think one per day or two per wedding, etc.  Better to have a few pictures survive on one card than none at all!

And then there is also the process nuero discusses.  Have enough cards to be able to leave pictures on them a while in case something happens to them on your computer.  Unless your pictures aren't important to you, cards are much cheaper than lost pictures.  If the pictures aren't important enough to value more than the cost of a few memory cards, then just buy a point and shoot, stick a 32GB card in it and fill it up over a year or two and hope for the best.  Which is exactly what I see often as an IT guy, people that come to me with a corrupted SD card in their camera hoping I can somehow perform a miracle on 2 years of pictures they never got around to offloading onto their computer, which itself hasn't ever been backed up either!

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