February 28, 2015, 10:08:01 PM

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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:46:50 PM »
LDS - I won't argue with your replies to my points above.  I think we are both right and I suspect you probably would agree with that.  I'm glad you shared your knowledge because that way, we all learn something!   :)

In general, I think hard drive technology, after all these years/decades, is amazing and impressive but also somewhat disappointing.  Because it is a mass produced item that has continued to drop in profit margins it is a dying product and yet is still necessary.  So the overall quality is dropping slowly.  But I do think that the quality is fairly consistent across all products with there basically being two classes, consumer/retail and enterprise.  What you say is true about warranties and enterprise vs consumer lines but in this case, we are asking to copy data to a drive for a few hours or days and then store the drive away.  It doesn't need to be a mil-spec 15,000 RPM database grade drive to do that.  It just needs to hold the data.  If someone is smart, they will check it every couple years and eventually copy the data from it to (hopefully) a better and more reliable media in the not-too-distant future.  And that is all we need it to do.  Hold the data for a few (5, 10, 15?) years.  At least that is my realistic expectation.

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:35:23 PM »
I have never bought drives with consecutive serial numbers, I do check to see that they are from different batches, they often have different firmware versions as well, but I do generally buy them from the same manufacturer.   My drives are powered up 24/7, they are on a UPS and protected from spikes and brownouts.  The raid 5 arrays can withstand 2 drives failing and keep on going.   My current set of six  2TB drives are reaching 5 years old, with no failures. I'll likely be replacing them with either 6TB Drives, or SSD's. The NAS before this one lived 5 years then the power supply died, but the disks were not affected.  Even before that, I had a 4 drive Raid Disk Array of 150TB Drives, no failures, Before that, 4 - 72 TB Drives, Before that, 4 36 TB and before that a 4 Drive Raid Array of 13GB Disks (1990's) with no failures.  All of my CD's made during the late 80's to late 90's rotted away, but I still have that old data on my hard drives.

I think Mt. Spokane is pretty sharp, has some great skill and experience with storage arrays.  In short, he gets it, he knows what he's doing and he is covering all the bases.  I also think that he is incredibly lucky.  RAID 5 has diminished in popularity because it is so fragile and only tolerates ONE drive failure in the array.  RAID 6 (among several other types) is becoming a more common PARITY Array type because RAID 6 can tolerate 2 simultaneous drive failures in the given array.  RAID 5 performance is fair at best, RAID 6 performance is poor.  Rebuilds after a drive failure in either array can take days, weeks or even months.  For this reason, RAID 1+0 (10) is also popular if performance is more important.  I won't go into the endless details of RAID here but I will say that unless you are ready to face a steep learning curve and a lot of stress and expense, don't implement a RAID array for yourself any more complicated than a RAID 1 mirror.  It's just not worth it IMHO.  Not only do you need to understand the technology, you need to understand the hardware and how to operate it.  And once you venture past a simple RAID 1 mirror array, the hardware is critical for performance, acceptable reliability and even the possibility of recovery.

In my experience, drives fail in an unpredictable way and I'm amazed that Mt. Spokane has had such a long timeline with no failures.  So while that is wonderful for him, I think it's a bit outside of the expected norm.  I also predict that once he installs 6TB drives, he will probably see his first failure(s).  It seems like as drive capacity/density has increased over the last few years, so has the failure rate (or at least the likelihood of data loss).  And just because a the drives haven't failed, doesn't mean there can't be data corruption or loss.  Backups still must be maintained and like you might expect, the more complicated the array, the easier it is for errors to creep in.  Which is why you need more expensive controllers, etc for any array more complex than RAID 1.

BUT - we are digressing.  This thread is about BACKUP.  A lot of ideas have been tossed around.  I stated my thoughts above and I'll repeat that if you put your faith in writable dye based media, you better test it every year or two because there is a definite history of this type of media failing after a few years.  As for what kind of drive to use, I won't argue about what drives are best.  All I know is that we all have a LOT of data to back up in the TB range.  So external hard drives, whatever kind you prefer, are about all that is affordable and fast enough to get the job done.  And while 'The Cloud' is big, it is very slow and out of your control.  (Hello Mr. Dotcom?)

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 02, 2015, 07:26:22 PM »
2.5" Ext Drives.

These are usually cheap drives designed for laptops, and not designed to last long (you can see it from their actual prices). There are drives designed for long term storage, but it's not those. They may last longer if you connect them just for backups, and then store them properly, but don't expect much. They are cheap, though. Anyway, even magnetic archiving will decay with time (flash memories included).

The quest for the definitive backup media continues.... :)

Umm... you're off a bit on the 2.5" drives.  The 2.5" external drives are simply SATA laptop hard drives.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Yes, the drives are usually less expensive because they are typically not the highest performance, being 5400 RPM which is fine for their intended use.  Their price is usually market driven.  But they function just like any other laptop hard drive for better or worse.

I'm not sure what you mean about 'There are drives designed for long term storage'.  Hard drive technology is pretty universal when it comes to the platters and their magnetic retention.  There are drives designed for enterprise level use and durability but in this case we aren't talking about MTBF, we are simply talking about magnetic retention.  Hard drives don't typically fail based on any logic.  They just fail whenever they feel like it.  They are mechanical devices.  Use them less, they will usually last longer.  I spent time for years with a friend that owned a data recovery company and I know a thing or two about hard drives.  And all the companies make lemon drives, sometimes on purpose (profit) and sometimes by accident (bad parts lot, etc).  Regardless, hard drives are pretty reliable on the whole.  Sort of like airplane travel.

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 02, 2015, 04:41:53 PM »
We have to face a hard fact:

The files that we store today in hard disc, or any other media that allows you to delete will be deleted someday.

Imagine that after his death, his children will seek the childhood photos of a million RAW files ... What are the chances of it find the file he seeks, and can view it and process it before printing?

Does anyone have the illusion that other people have the same care you have with your files?

Yep.  Pretty much.  It's up to the 'person in charge'.  At this time, that is likely you.  Later, it will be someone else.  If I am any indication, based on my personal OCD habits and 'save stuff' mentality, we're all doomed because as much as I hate to delete or toss things, I still don't have much (or care much) with regard to my parents' stuff.  A few prized items that mean something to me but otherwise, nada.

So, I'm trying to force myself to realize deep down that 99.9% of my valuable stuff that I have worked hard to buy/acquire/care for/store/obsess over/worship/whatever will be gone in the dump or sold off in probably 20+ years.  Little by little that is helping me "detach" from it since it's essentially gone at some point anyway whether I am here and in an institution or dead and buried it will all still be out of my hands and concern.   :-\

That's pretty much it.  Back in my teens, 20's and 30's I was going to live forever and I wanted to acquire stuff.  Now that I'm in my 40's, my older relatives are dying off and I'm faced with dealing with their stuff, I'm realizing that it's all just crap that gets old and will end up in a garage sale, trash can or on eBay.   :-\

Ashes to ashes and all that...

The nice thing about photography these days is that a few great photos have the potential to live on for someone who cherishes them.  So in doing something that you love, you will brighten the life of someone else in the process.  There aren't too many hobbies that work in that way.  That's why I have so many images uploaded to zenfolio for everyone else in the scout troop, church and school to access.  If those images mean something to others enough for them to download and share them, they might live on down the line for others that cherish them and all my efforts will not be in vain...   :D

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 02, 2015, 04:11:53 PM »
I agree with Analog as being superior.  Nothing beats a few photo albums in the cabinet that are easy to pick up, look through and enjoy.  Anything more becomes cumbersome at best and impossible at worst.

But our world is now digital.  Most seldom print anything.  So it all must be preserved somehow.  Print a few, great!  But wouldn't it be great if we still had the negatives to all those ancient photos from 100 years ago?  Now we do as long as they aren't deleted they can live forever in a digital format as long as they are cared for and maintained.

Unfortunately the true reality is that there is now so much overwhelming data that it is a real possibility that most of what we have now will never be seen after the initial creation and will likely be deleted/discarded at some point if not by us then by someone else in the future.  Sort of like a lot of the studio music tapes from the 50's, 60's and 70's of famous music artists.  Tape was expensive and if the music wasn't making money or it wasn't a "keeper", studios would record over the earlier sessions because they had no desire or need to keep hundreds or thousands of tapes 'just because'.

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 02, 2015, 02:08:31 PM »
OK, IT Geek here.  I'm just going to say this...

Burnable Media = DVD/CD/Blu-Ray/Whatever = NOT Long Term, the chemicals/dyes fade/die over the years.

Magnetic Media = Hard Drives ONLY = GREAT Long Term, the technology is mature and reliable over the years.  NOT RAID Arrays.  (RAID is fault tolerant working storage, not for long term archiving.)  KISS.  Simple is best.  2.5" Ext Drives, not large AC powered drives.

Pressed Media = CDs, etc that are actual metal media, not dye based = BEST Long Term, nothing to fade or corrupt as long as the physical medium, plastic, metal film, etc are not corrupted by heat, sun, or physical abuse like scratches, etc.

It all comes down to what the archive goals are.  In general, I put everything on large external hard drives and store them in a cool, dark, fireproof place and check them every year or two.  Refresh if necc.  Create two copies if necc.

Read about how the big boys, National Archives, etc are facing this challenge and all the things they are trying to overcome.  It's a fascinating topic.

Lenses / Re: Buying lenses (or bodies) right after Christmas (poll added!)
« on: December 29, 2014, 05:06:09 PM »
not sure what most stores do with returned electronics.  Generally if the item looks like it has been repackaged up, I would return it and ask for an item that had not been previously opened.  Most retailers I deal with would glad cooperate.

Some retailers may sell returned items as previously opened or return the item to the manufacturer.  Depends upon their agreement.

In my experience and understanding, most reputable retailers will sell returned items several ways.  If it is still factory sealed and in perfect shape they usually just sell it again as new.  If it is opened or used but still in perfect working order, it may be sold at a discount with disclosure that it was a return item.  And then if the item is faulty, it will go back to the manufacturer.

The problems occur when the retailer is scammed/tricked with return items that appear unopened but were not only opened but the item is removed (stolen) and replaced with a brick or something and sealed up to appear unopened.  (Rocks in Box situations.)  Or the retailer intentionally or accidentally makes a mistake that misleads the customer about the working condition, etc.  So some retailers will open every single box regardless of appearance to make sure the item wasn't stolen and returned.  So that means every single return must be sold at a discount.  And a lot of customers won't buy a return item regardless of discount because they don't want the hassle of possible problems.

The whole return process can cause bad outcomes for the customer and make the retailer appear incompetent or shady so some retailers just wash their hands of the whole process by selling returns off wholesale to help ensure customer loyalty, satisfaction, etc.  And then others distance themselves from the discount return item buyers a bit by selling on eBay, etc where buying used items is more tolerable.

To answer the OP question:  Would I buy from a retailer at this time of year?  Sure!  If it's a reputable retailer, they are going to sell new items as new items.  Otherwise, it will be sold as 'open box' or whatever.  If it's a shady seller, it doesn't matter when I want to get screwed over, they will probably do that whenever I am ready and willing.

CPW has never given me any reason to suspect a problem.  I have enjoyed some great deals through CPW so I think CPW works very hard to maintain trust between both the retailers and the customer/subscribers.

Technical Support / Re: How to remove a filter that is bent.
« on: December 29, 2014, 08:36:09 AM »
Good luck!  Hopefully the repair will be fast, complete and they will make it the best lens you ever owned.  (Or accidentally return a 100-400 vII!  Ooops!)  Happy New Year!   :)

With children I would recommend Bryant Park, if only for the carousel.

We were there briefly last night.  people were ice skating.  Both the wife and my eldest daughter were in moods... So it was an uneventful night.

Ahhh... traveling with the family.   ::)

Photography Technique / Re: Your favorite f-number for landscape shots?
« on: December 28, 2014, 04:45:22 PM »
Whatever stop or technique allows you to keep everything in focus for a given scene.

On a view camera f16-f64 with tilt/S___...

On a dSLR f8 to f22 or something around f8 and focus stacking if need be. Typically on focal lengths >35mm so the space doesn't feel to artificially expanded.

Good point!  I think this is a fact that many overlook or don't understand.  There are times when I am forced to use a wide angle FL for a landscape shot but I try to use a longer FL (as stated above) whenever possible.  Otherwise the edges usually need to be cropped a bit.

Reviews / Re: Lens cap review: (Exploding) Hama 77mm lens caps
« on: December 28, 2014, 02:58:39 PM »
As I state above, I use the Tamron Lens Caps.

They grip very well and they are grooved so that when you pinch them and put them on the lens, once you let go, you can turn them about a 1/2 turn or so and they will tighten up against the lens and stay on very well.

At least that's my experience.  When I use them.   :)

Photography Technique / Re: Your favorite f-number for landscape shots?
« on: December 28, 2014, 12:59:28 PM »
If lighting permits, I prefer gaps between F5.6 and F11 in most landscapes. Sometimes I wish my camera had also ISO 50, 25, 12 ...

Yes.  I also wonder this.  Why not?  It's just a software based electronic sensitivity setting after all.
I think ISO 1 would be a mind blower.   ;D  Or maybe a Lowest Setting called NN (No Noise) or even ISO 0!  LOL.

Wait, ISO 0 would effectively be NO sensitivity or the same as OFF so... maybe not.

Photography Technique / Re: Your favorite f-number for landscape shots?
« on: December 28, 2014, 12:34:53 PM »
f=8 is the only valid choice. For any focal length and subject. seriously.

F8 Seriously ?
Thats like asking a Coma Patient What mood are you in


Well, maybe f/6.3 or f/11 if you have glasses.   ;D

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

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