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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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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!

I'd like to know too.  Looks interesting!  Thanks for sharing all the info.

Lenses / Re: Where do you sell used lenses
« on: February 13, 2014, 08:41:03 PM »
I usually end up selling them on ebay.  My lenses are always in top shape with sample images, or if there is a small issue, I describe it.  I get a very good price on ebay, but their fees are very high.
Same here.  I hate their fees, but other than a few attempts to scam me and a couple of LENGTHY waits on customs for international buyers, I've had very good luck.  I like to take shots of the lenses with my 180mm macro and post shots I've taken with the lens in my ad.  I'm always very detailed about any scratches, marks, etc., no matter how small to make sure the buyer feels comfortable.

What I hate and I worry the most about is buyer scams where the buyer (the crook) complains to eBay that the seller (me) screwed them over in some way and they either received the wrong item, never received the item, received a broken item or they somehow got an STD from the item they were sold.  Whatever the bogus complaint, eBay Buyer Protection automatically refunds their money and yanks it out of the Seller's PayPal account whether it is there to yank or not.  So at that point, it is up the the Seller to prove they did nothing wrong while the buyer enjoys a full refund.  It's a huge buyer scam and eBay provides the means to do it.  I've known others who were scammed like this and not only did they lose the item them were selling but they lost the money they were paid for it as well.

Big Ticket and Popular items are the targets of these scams and eBay doesn't seem to really care unless the seller is some kind of Power Seller or something.

Lenses / Re: Where do you sell used lenses
« on: February 13, 2014, 12:40:32 PM »
I think everyone here at CR would like and appreciate if CR would start a trade page to sell used gear to other CR members, etc.  Sort of a CraigsList for CR.  Call it CansList or CRList or something.   :)

Otherwise, I prefer to sell (in order of preference)...
1.  In Person to friend
2.  In Person from CraigsList
3.  Amazon
4000.  eBay  (eBay is not fun anymore like it was years ago)

I have never tried Fred Miranda but I may look into it.


Photography Technique / Re: How (and Why) I Took the Shot #1: Overlook
« on: February 09, 2014, 04:35:28 PM »
I agree with all the previous comments, Dustin's posts are always worth the time to read... thanks for sharing!

I enjoy reading Dustin's posts and typically I feel humbled, empowered or both after I absorb the material.

In this case, I'm humbled.  When I shoot the majority of my pictures, it's in the 'heat of the moment' and that is apparently where I thrive.  I am more challenged and slightly intimidated when I have to create a thought provoking image like the one Dustin has shared in a quite setting such as this.  My normal photography is of a journalistic style focusing on people and events so when I am faced with a 'blank canvas' of sorts, I struggle to create an image that is compelling.  Knowing the how and why behind a picture means a lot to me.  I'm anxious to see more when you are willing to share it Dustin.  Thanks!


EOS Bodies / Re: Best Sensor Cleaning Products
« on: February 06, 2014, 07:32:41 PM »
OK, sorry.  Couldn't resist! ;D

I've owned several bodies that required routine cleaning.  Some more than others.  Older bodies needed it more than newer bodies.  My old favorite 5Dc was notorious for sensor specks.

It's my opinion that static is the major culprit for sensor dust and the older cameras didn't mitigate it as effectively I guess because my newer cameras (5D3, 6D, 60D, etc.) don't seem to need cleaning as often.

My thoughts on this is that one should always check the sensor image (various methods either by zooming or using photoshop layers) to inspect for spots in the image after shooting the blue sky, etc at a small aperture.

The sensor should only be cleaned IF it is needed.  But once it is needed, a photographer should learn to do it.

It's not much more complicated than simple brain surgery.  And when doing brain surgery, it's best to not smoke, play with the cat or be around a running belt sander or chain saw.

Like surgery, you should be clean, maybe wear a hair net or hat and work in a fairly sterile environment.  The bathroom or kitchen might be a good idea as long as it's clean, you aren't baking bread or creating dust from rolling 50 feet of TP out on the floor.  Get the area a bit humid by running some hot water for while.  This will eliminate air born dust and reduce residual static.

Once the environment is set, use your favorite method.  Personally I start with a similar method to above where I try to clean the mount, mirror, etc first and then work my way to the sensor.  Then I start with air, test for spots, try dry methods and check again.  I only use a wet method as a last resort because it's such a PITA to end up with a pristine sensor.

When cleaning, you may find that static is your friend if it's built up on the dry brush you're using.

Whatever happens, just be gentle.  You're NOT touching the sensor, you're cleaning the thin glass filter on top of it.  It's fairly durable and repairable but if you're careful, you don't have much to worry about other than uttering profanity when success eludes you after the 10th go around.

EOS Bodies / Re: Best Sensor Cleaning Products
« on: February 06, 2014, 07:14:43 PM »
What?  You gotta clean the sensor???   :o  But..  but... for $3000+ that damned 5D3 Auto-Clean function should be doing the job for me!! 

Seriously... just turn it face down in the dishwasher....

No really, seriously this time, the air hose in the garage works great!

But if you're in a pinch at a nightclub, just use a swizzle stick and napkin.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 40D with grip for $300, or something else?
« on: February 05, 2014, 07:36:48 PM »
I love the 40D.  I have owned and sold no less than 4 of them over the years to friends and they all still love them.  Every time someone would ask what they should buy, I'd loan them my 40D and they were hooked.  It's still a great camera.  I still suggest it to many people who want a great "pro" camera at a bargain price.

I replaced my last 40D with the 60D and the 60D is also a great camera, but not quite the same as the 40D.  I'd say either the 40D or the 60D would be great bodies for your needs.

One advantage of the 60D (other than similar menu and newer technology) is that it uses the same battery as the 6D.

I guess as much as I love the 40D, I would have to probably suggest the 60D to pair with the 6D.  They are much closer siblings.

FYI, I have a 60D I have considered selling if you're interested.   :)

Software & Accessories / Re: Comfortable strap?
« on: February 03, 2014, 10:17:24 AM »
Optech USA all the way, get a utility or pro slink strap then add on the uniloop XL for the around the neck, this way you get the best of both worlds with a few clicks, carry 6d and 300f2.8 with ease

OP/Tech rocks!   8)

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