April 17, 2014, 04:14:45 PM

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Messages - JPAZ

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Before you start spending $ on lenses, I'd work on getting very familiar with the camera.  i know the trip is coming up soon but try to shoot alot between now and then and carefully critique your own work.  Even after years of shooting, I still learn and modify my techniques as I use my camera.

As far as lenses are concerned, decide what is your "must have" range.  Again, if yo find yourself always wishing you could be closer, you need something longer than the 18-55.  Or, if you wish you could step back farther a lot, you need something wider (although a panoramic technique can make do). 

While certainly things like optical quality and faster apertures are considerations, I'd consider adding the EF-S 10-22 for wide and any of the 70-200's for longer.  Tripods are nice if you use them and are willing to carry one, but given the size of your setup, something like a small Gorillapod or a bean bag might make as much sense.  Then, get an extra battery, some extra memory cards, and finally figure out how you'd like to carry all this and you are good to go for a long time.

Canon General / Re: PMIdigital - worth it?
« on: April 05, 2014, 12:12:47 PM »
While almost all of my online purchase have been through B&H or Adorama or Amazon (and recently, Camera Canada), I have had good experiences with PMI and BuyDig as well.  As with anything, just use common sense.  As long as it is a new and warrantied by Canon item, they are both authorized dealers.


BTW, when I rented one last fall I added an Arca compatible plate.  Any thoughts on this versus replaceing the whole foot?

Just got the lens last night!   Played with it in existing light in my kitchen and, wow, it is everything I remember from when I rented one.

Now,  I had to order a drop in CPL for it, and I am looking for a good deal on a 2x iii. And, I'll need an Arca compatible plate. That being said, I'll be tapped out for a while!  Guess I need to reenter the GAS program  ;) .

Hope to find an excuse to shoot outdoors this weekend. 

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« on: April 01, 2014, 08:19:11 PM »
All of this depends on the budget and the intended use.  Looking at the OP's gear, there is not too much weight involved.  Yeah, I know that vibration and wind factors are better with a more substantial tripod. 

All in all, I am pretty happy with my Redged TSC-424 (Carbon fiber).  The head that came with it was just so-so.  I replaced the head with a Sirui K 40x and put Arca plates on my gear and I am "good to go." 

If I were doing a lot of Tripod work with heavy lenses, I might want something beefier.

Are the support base options any good (ones with feet at the base)?

While I've never used any of these options, I'd have to believe they are pretty unstable.  By definition, any significant weight like a tele lens would create a "top-heavy" scenario.  If you think you'd like something that is self supporting, I'd go with a tripod. 

While a but "corny" for some, check out "Old Tucson Studios".  It is a recreated old western town where many films and TV shows have been filmed.  A fire a few years back destroyed some of it but they've rebuilt some of it and there are opportunities for some interesting photos and backgrounds.

Depending on your interest and time allowances, you might want to go to the town of Oracle and check out the Biosphere, a huge greenhouse like structure that was allegedly built as a self-contained environment meant to replicate what might be done for space travel in the future.

South of Tucson, about an hour or so, is the tiny town of Tubac, and "artsy" community set in the desert that makes ro some interesting shopping, walking and photography, as well.

Pretty happy with the Sirui carbon fiber monopod

Three guys in Havana (fresh out of the camera as JPEG) f/ 7.1; 1/40; ISO 320; 24-105 @ 32mm.  Fabulous trip!

Maybe seal it with "Polygrip" denture cream?

 ;) ::) :)

Sorry, couldn't help myself!

Software & Accessories / Re: Lens Cover Retainers
« on: March 25, 2014, 04:14:26 PM »
Got my wife a generic lens cap on Ebay (was less than $4) for her NEX-7 that comes with a lanyard  permanently attached to the cap and ran the string through one of the lugs on the camera.  She was continually loosing lens caps and the glue-on/stick-on ones came loose.  This works for her because she has NEVER changed her lens despite having some alternates.   

For me, I'll put the cap in my pocket or in the camera bag and just leave the hood attached to "protect" the lens while I am out and about.  I do use a filter over the front element (lots of threads on the pros and cons of this, here).  I have lost caps a few times, but not lately.  It is not an issue if the front element is the same size when I change lenses (say the 24-105 swap for the 70-200 f/4) but more of an issue if the front elements are different sizes and I need a cap for each. 

Animal Kingdom / Re: Grizzly Bears
« on: March 25, 2014, 04:03:20 PM »
Very nice, indeed.


Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 06:44:54 PM »
FWIW, seems to me that both of these shops match each other's prices quickly. 

The "ranking" in the vote is the same as the price.  I get all that.  Pulled the trigger on the 300 after seriously considering the Tammy.  But, at the time, was going through a series of wildlife shots taken with my 100-400 (while watching some Verdins build a nest outside of my window) and was disappointed with so many of them that I felt the Tamron would not be a better option (at least in the under 400 mm range) than what I have. That and the temporary price that was being offered through the buyer's group on www.canonpricewatch.com was all I needed to push me over the edge.  I know what the 300 can do since I rented one last fall.  I understand that a zoom can be handy at times vs. a fixed length and the use of TC's.  The price difference is significant. 

Had I not been seeing so many not-too-sharp images (most of which are probably my fault and not the fault of the lens) at the time, might have still gone with the Tammy.  But, I will probably sell the 100-400 soon then look for a good deal on the 2xTC. 

BTW, never underestimate the power of a chimney, and a famous one indeed!   ;)

Photography Technique / Re: Can you share your workflow?
« on: March 12, 2014, 09:44:05 AM »

I'm planning to upload mine as a PDF, or PDFs if the 6MB limit is too small.

Thanks.  I know this will take some of your time and I am looking forward to it.  Always curious to see how others do things.  I learn a lot this way and change my methods accordingly.

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