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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:57:10 AM »
Yep. Time to start progressive length/elevation/weight training with the pack. I wouldn't mind gaining a few pounds of muscle and losing a few pounds of fat.

Right now I just wish that the temperature and humidity would get below 90 degrees and 90 per cent. At this point, the only hiking I would want to do involves just a large hydration bladder and not much else.

Yes!  When I'm training in May-June for the summer Philmont expedition in July, I'm in my hilly neighborhood sweating buckets carrying a heavy 60+ lb pack for 3+ miles every morning in the same hot/humid conditions.  I'm drenched when I get home and it's hard to breath.  But thinking about the dry+cooler climate in Cimmaron, New Mexico gives me motivation to keep going.  Good luck with that training!  Eat lots of protein!  (BTW NancyP, what part of the country are you located in and where do you plan to hike on your trip(s)?)

And remember, the training isn't just about stength and stamina, it's about mental conditioning.  You're also building confidence for the various challenges of the trail.  Once you get to a certain point in your training, you reach a relative plateau where you can keep going for much longer distances over different terrain as long as you maintain the will to do so.  The harder and more challenging your training, the less challenging the trail will be in comparison.   :)

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:36:02 AM »
Another big reason I prefer Thinkpads - they have the best keyboards in the business.  Also, ease of setup using the ThinkVantage Tools and System Update utility.

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:35:01 AM »
I have a 17" desktop replacement which is essentially a Clevo chassis that's been heavily customised. I think the main US seller of these is Sager, but if you're based elsewhere, google "Clevo Resellers" and you'll find local suppliers. My system is 6 years old, has 16GB of RAM, 1.5TB of storage spread across three drives, and more ports than you can shake a stick at. I went for the highest end model, which is effectively a desktop system in a very chunky laptop box. The screen is good, and it's by far and away the best laptop that I've ever owned. However, it's HEAVY (about 8-9KG including power brick), I cycle 20 miles a day with it strapped to my back, and even though I'm pretty fit, I think it's time to get something less crazy and a bit easier on my spine.

Check out some of the smaller Clevo based systems, they're highly configurable, and they can easily be upgraded down the line if you need to. They aren't pretty, but they're all built like tanks, and they perform extremely well.

Wow!  Sager!  I haven't seen that name in a LONG TIME!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DIII dual cards
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:27:56 AM »
mackguyver - I've got 15 years worth of files. all with the RAW versions in a subdirectory.  With file sizes so big now I'm having trouble finding space.  The 2x1TB drives in my laptop are 90% full.  I'm just waiting for a drive to fail.  At least my data directories are backed up to a 3TB NAS drive.

15 years of files in 1TB???
Gee, I have 5 years worth of files that are using 4+ TB (and I'm on my third 2TB volume now).  And I've done some serious cleaning a couple of times!

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:13:04 AM »
Why do you need a new one, if your is 1-yr old and pretty fast?
I'm using a VAIO Z, which is about 3 or may be even 4 years old. It used to be a top-range, so it's pretty competitive now with i7-2660k, 8 gigs of ram and 256Gb SSD drive(RAID0 of two 128GB sticks).

The only thing you need for photography you need is an external display. Get yourself a nice 27" IPS DELL and have fun.

This is very close to what I have too - a 3 yr old Vaio that I upped to Crucial 8Gb RAM and added a Samsung 500Gb SSD. The biggest improvement that came though was when I bought a 22 inch external display! The original 16.4" TN screen is totally unacceptable for photo editing so I can't recommend anything that doesn't have an IPS display. So many headaches were due to the poor screen on my laptop.

My laptop is now my desktop and doesn't move from the desk.  :(

I am going to do the same but don't have a external display picked yet. I work exclusively from a 2010 Macbook Pro. Any suggestions?

There are other threads that talk about displays.  (I'm bad about hijacking threads myself sometimes.)  So I'll say that the DELL U2410 and U2711 are ideal IPS displays but there are others.  Read the other threads and you'll learn more.

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:09:21 AM »
I'm a little late to the party here but let me address some of the points in a general sense without naming names.

Laptops (Apple or PC) are always a compromise compared to a good desktop unit with a high end IPS display.  And I agree with many who say gaming laptops are overkill.  A gaming laptop is purposed for a completely different use dependent on 3D video performance.  For photography, it's all about the display and CPU/RAM/SSD and protecting the data.

Avoid TN Displays, get IPS.  Most everyone agrees on that and the OP wants the BEST, not a compromise to save $$.

Durability - Many have said they went out and looked at laptops to compare.  Most laptops at retail stores are not built to the standards that business line laptops are.  Lenovo Thinkpads vs Lenovo Ideapad.  DELL Precision/Latitude vs Inspiron.  HP ProBook/Elitebook vs Envy/Pavilion.  The major name business lines are built like tanks for enterprise traveling workforces.  The retail lines are built for individuals who don't know the difference and want shiny plastic.

Display, CPU, RAM, SSD all matter, but not video.  After that, it's just a difference in configuration.

Macbooks aren't better, they are just different (and overpriced)They won't last longer.  They have the exact same hardware inside built by the same manufacturers.  If you like Mac, buy it.  Heck, you can even install Windows on it if you want.  But macs don't have much in the way of versatility.  They are pretty limited for real world use with abbreviated ports, no docking or removable parts like batteries, optical drives, etc.  And I HATE GLOSSY HIGH CONTRAST DISPLAYS.  But to each their own.

Workstation level business laptops are expensive but they offer multiple custom configurations like drives with RAID, mSATA and other options including replacing the optical drive with even more storage, etc.  So you can create a custom drive setup that protects your images and even backs them up internally without the need for external drives hanging off, etc.  This is one area where macs and other retail offerings are totally lost.  You can also get custom docks that you can connect at your desk with everything including multiple displays.

What would I buy?  The Thinkpad W series from a W520 on up are excellent.  DELL and HP also have great workstation level IPS offerings that are similar.  These are serious workstation replacement products that are much more durable and powerful than retail products (and macs).  You could get a refurbished unit for a lot less and still enjoy everything you need including good performance and IPS display.

I'm not familiar with the Acer unit that has been mentioned here heavily but someone is pretty impressed with it so it's probably worth a look.  It's still a retail laptop however so I'm a little worried about the durability.

Finally, I saw a comment about why shouldn't all devices have the better IPS displays?  Well, it's mostly about money and profit.  IPS is more expensive and most devices are built for profit for a market that doesn't know the difference and doesn't care.  Most of the market wants a cheaper device with specs they think matter, like hard drive capacity and fancy names on the audio chip.  An iPad costs a TON of money and gives Apple something like a million percent profit margin to boot.

OP - Good luck finding what you want.  Please stay in touch here and let us know what you decide.  Again, my suggestion is to go with a Thinkpad W series or one of the DELL or HP business offerings.

Video & Movie / Re: Canon 6D - RAW and stabilizer test
« on: August 27, 2014, 08:21:55 AM »
Wow, that's cool.  Sort of like a marketing video for... stabilizers!   :D

Ummm.... which stabilizer did you buy?

Neat!  Any more comments for the OP?

Aww, money's always an issue, I just choose to spend mine differently than my neighbor's. I don't have cable TV, I cook my meals at home, I'm content driving a pick-up, and I work 70 hours a week. Even if you don't make much, if you live frugally you can get cool stuff. And, even if I do buy this big-ass lens, I figure I can always sell if for $8000, so it really only cost $2k. Some people spend that much a year on cigarettes.

I not only agree and relate but I applaud your discipline!  Another consideration once you start down the road to top end gear is insurance.  Gear gets damaged and stolen so don't get burned!  Make sure you are covered.  I'm interested to hear what you finally decide!

Edit:  Something else to consider before buying a $12K lens... selling it.  This is sort of like owning a multi-million dollar home.  The market for that home is very small.  It can take a long time to sell while trying to find the right buyer.  There are very few photographers out there willing to invest in such a lens so who knows if you will have to discount it to sell it?  I would suggest buying it used if possible to help offset that possible future selling discount.

Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: August 26, 2014, 09:43:14 AM »
Hi NancyP,

It sounds like you are doing great with your research!  Kudos for putting in the time/effort to optimize your gear.  To my recollection, I think the guideline is 30% of your body weight.  So I suggest to help with this challenge you could....

Gain weight until you reach the 30% number you need.  If you had a body weight of say, 185, you could carry 55 lbs!!   So go hit that steakhouse!!  :D
Lose weight until you reach the 30% of a fellow hiker and just let them carry you in their pack!  If you have a big tall body builder friend that weighs say, 250, then you only have to lose about 35 lbs and you would be on the upper limit of what they could carry!   :D

Of course, the second option means you won't have any gear or photo stuff so I guess the first option is the preferred option and you get to eat all you want in the bargain!  Please provide pictures as you approach your target weight!  OK, I'm a bad boy.  I'm feeling kinda silly this morning.  :-[

Kidding aside, good luck in your efforts and keep us posted.  It sounds like you are going to discover some good methods and gear along the way here.  And I am interested in what you find because my younger son is 15 but he's around your weight and size so I'm always on the lookout for gear that will work for him.  He's a bit taller but he's pretty skinny so he has a small waist size.  We went with a deuter SL pack for him this summer.  The SL is their slimmer women's model but it doesn't look like it all.

I'm not as qualified as some of the sports shooters here (and I'm not a pro, per se) but it sounds like money isn't a problem for you.  In my experience shooting sports, events, or anything where I have to shoot things that require mixed FL, I use two bodies.  One body with a FL range for up close and another body/lens for the longer reach.  There's really no substitute for the speed gained using two bodies.  Esp if you need to use a tripod or monopod on the long reach body.

It's up to you how you achieve it but if it was me (with the funds you appear to have and the desire for the ultimate setup), I would have a fast crop body and a fast FF.  A 70D (or 7D2) + 5D3 (or 1DX).  Then match whichever hyper-expensive lens you prefer to each body.  Maybe the 70-200/2.8-II and one of the fast tele-primes?  (I'm not experienced with any of the monster whites.)

In the real world where most of us live, spending $10K-$20K all at once just to shoot school/youth sports as a non-pro is pretty amazing.  Based on the settings you used in your example I sincerely hope you step up your skills game to match all this gear so you can get the most out of it.  There will be a significant learning curve if you buy all this stuff at once!!  Also, don't forget that you will need extra batteries (7D2 will be different), faster memory cards, different/bigger bags/belts, tripod/monopod and a better way to carry all this stuff for hours on the sidelines without passing out.

Good luck and please let us know what you decide!  It sounds like an amazing upgrade is about to happen!   :D

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 22, 2014, 05:10:18 PM »
Wow!  A lot has been posted on this today.  Must be a lazy Friday!   :D

IMHO, based on this latest RUMOR, I think I'll be pretty glad that I jumped on the 70D + Kit Lens refurb from Canon a few days ago for $836 + tax.

The 7D-II will no doubt be a great camera but I don't think I'll be inclined to spend the major $$ it will command.  Like jrista, the sensor doesn't sound like a huge game changer anyway.

Canon General / Re: Lens Cleaning Techniques/Opinions
« on: August 22, 2014, 04:42:37 PM »
Maybe use RAIN-X!!   :o

Canon General / Re: Lens Cleaning Techniques/Opinions
« on: August 22, 2014, 02:19:52 PM »
From Roger's article: "We know breathing on the lens and using the corner of your T-shirt usually works."

Honestly, I do this more often than I care to admit and I've never had a problem.  My normal "careful" method is virtually the same, blow off dust and breath vapor on the lens and use a microfiber cloth.  If there is a really bad or oily spot, I use lens cleaning fluid with a microfiber cloth.  I avoid anything very complicated and I avoid like alcohol or ammonia because I don't want to damage any of the coatings on the filter/lens.

The big key is to avoid rubbing any grit, dirt or sand around on the glass, possibly causing micro scratches!

But in general, I see no reason to go OCD nuts on how you clean lenses.  They don't get THAT dirty anyway and I use mine in all kinds of environments.  The worst issues are usually finger smudges with dirty fingers that contain oils.

This is also why I buy upper mid-range quality lens filters, they have harder glass and better coatings.  That way, I don't have to clean the lens front element very often, if ever.

Good luck!

Portrait / Re: Little girl looking at flowers
« on: August 22, 2014, 10:48:23 AM »
Beautiful little girl, Vossie. Love the image of her walking away in those boots!

Ditto!   :)

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