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Messages - JPAZ

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Where do you buy 5D Mark iii?
« on: July 22, 2014, 05:03:38 PM »
It will be fine.  I used the "street price" program for my 300 f/2.8 ii and it came in at a great price from an authorized dealer without a hitch. 

Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: July 22, 2014, 01:12:17 AM »
Gotta say something (although it does reiterate some what's been posted thus far).  Much of your decision for this particular trip depends on the trip specifics.  Don't spend hundreds on a pack that won't serve your purpose.  I have Arcterx, Osprey and an F-stop Loka.  I also have a flimsy lightweight day pack.  There are uses for each.  Questions to be answered include how quickly you want to access your gear.  No matter which pack I am using, my camera is in a Thinktank Holster with my lens of choice for that day.  The holster is hung from my pack shoulder straps and not my neck and is secured against my torso with either the backpack hip belt or an independent waist belt (depending on which backpack I am carrying).  The camera strap is around my neck but very loosely as a security blanket with no camera weight on that neck strap unless I take the camera out of the hoster and the holster top is partially zipped protecting the camera but allowing the camera strap to come out.  If the weather turns bad, I put the camera strap completely in TH TT holster and throw the all-weather cover on it.

For additional camera gear, I've had stuff inside the backpack (maybe use the F-stop ICU but have also just wrapped in socks or clothing) but have also hung a Lowepro lens case off the backpack hip or shoulder strap if I want quick access to a second lens.  The goal is always the same: immediate access to my camera in front of me while protecting my stuff from the elements.

Finally, I agree with everyone who says not to skimp on boots (and wear them a lot for many days before going on the trail) and account for water which can get quite heavy and also leak into your camera gear in whatever pack you carry if you don't account for that.

Have a great trip.


Pricewatch Deals / Re: Searching for a lightroom 5 deal...
« on: July 13, 2014, 11:32:19 PM »

Their website does not seem to offer the option of downloading a "standalone" version anymore

On the other hand......

That is absolutely the place to go if he is buying a new copy.  But, if he already owns the license, this might be better:

or for Mac:

It has all the stand-alone versions of LR for that can be downloaded and then it is just a question of installing and activating

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Searching for a lightroom 5 deal...
« on: July 13, 2014, 10:55:42 PM »
Their website does not seem to offer the option of downloading a "standalone" version anymore and I don't know what is feasible but, assuming you owned the copy of LR5 that was working on your old PC and had the install disks, you should be able to put it on the new machine.  What is frustrating is that you cannot "deactivate" the old version to activate the same product on a new machine, however.  Same thing happened to me when my old PC decided to give up the ghost and my restore from backup would not install LR.  Spend some quality time with Adobe support.  It is a bit of a hassle, but they helped me activate it on my new machine through their workaround.

Now if you do not have the install disks, do a "search" on  It takes a bit of looking, but you can find an LR 5.4 download that they say will install on a machine without any previous additions of Lightroom installed.  Then, it is all about activation (see above).

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: July 13, 2014, 10:30:05 PM »
I used and liked my 100-400 but it frustrated me.  Maybe I don't have one of the "good" copies but there have been many times when the image is fabulous.  But, there seem to be many more times when the image is not that good.  My frustration peaked during my trip to Denali last year.  I just could not get the IQ I was searching for and now would like to repeat that trip someday since I got the 300ii.  Here's one of the "better" images I got using the 100-400 at 400 with the 1.4x.  In fairness, these critters were way far away but I think I can do better.

So, do I go for the 100-400ii or not?  We will see how it fares if and when it arrives and at what price.

Software & Accessories / Re: Post Processing help please.
« on: July 05, 2014, 03:31:49 PM »
Hi Graham,

I have DxO (v8) and used to use it a lot.  Again, the ability to batch process a whole group of photos is nice.  You can set it up to output into a variety of formats.  And, the lens corrections are well done.

But (in all fairness), I've never taken the time to truly master using DxO.  Some on these forums use it and use it well.  I've found LR more intuitive and quicker (for me) and hence I think I get better output.  I think it is a matter of personal choice. 

No matter what you choose, work with it and you will be fine. 

Technically speaking, the quality of the JPEG compression affects the final pixel count as does the final desired size of the picture.  This really does not matter so much for reducing a count to let a photo fit onto a web site like CR but cn affect the look of the final product should you want a big reproduction for yourself.  There were some pretty startling examples of this in a blog talking about compression (google "why facebook photos look so bad" to see some of this and other examples).  And the amount of information stored is somewhat fluid as well.  If, for example, you do a lot of editing especially with layers in PS, the final file is often larger than the original.  So what you see on FB or Smugmug is not always 100% the same as what I have on my HDD or on a quality print.

Anyway, that's my understanding of this which may not be totally accurate but works in my head.  Maybe some others can add to this.


Software & Accessories / Re: Post Processing help please.
« on: July 04, 2014, 10:56:02 PM »
Are you Mac or PC?  One quick and easy way to reduce pixel counts is with Paint which comes with windows (I'll use to reduce a jpeg to post on CR).  You can use something more complex (but with more options) like Elements. Or go full guns with PS.  There are lots of other ways to do it as well. FWIW, DPP is fine but I find LR much quicker and easier to use for post.

DxO has some virtues and one of the things you can do is to set it up the way you like it and let it run through a folder full of RAW images while you are doing something else, almost like an automated processor with the ability to come back later and tweak things you might want to change.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Racket Tailed Drango
« on: July 04, 2014, 01:00:55 PM »
Like I said, I was too far away and it was early in the morning but here's the best I could do when I saw the Drango.  I played around in post and finally decided the silhouette was the best option.  I like your shots much better!

I'll echo everyone's welcome.  Been to Churchill for the Polar Bears.  Maybe I need to go during another season!


CRashplan, for $50/year sounds pretty good, i'll explore that further.   I'm curious an alternative to crashplan, why wouldn't i just use smugmug or zenfolio to store/backup my photos/videos?

FWIW, I use Smugmug to share my photos but I use Crashplan to back everything up. 

First, I can't say this is a flawless system because so far, I've not had to depend on the cloud backup I use.  But, I have a two disk "mirror RAID" set up in my PC.  I have had to replace a drive more than once but the mirrored drive is still unharmed.  Because I could have a catastrophic computer failure or something could happen to my house, I also use Crashplan.  The cost of an unlimited cloud backup for my entire household is cheap considering that constitutes 2 PC's, and 3 laptops.  That way, in a worse case scenario, I won't lose much.  Now, I keep meaning to also do periodic backups on an external HDD (belt and suspenders) but I honestly am not as reliable on doing this as I should be.  I thought about an NAS (Drobo or another) but worry that this, too, would be lost in a catastrophe like a house fire unless it is off site.

Congrats.  I think you will be happy.  BTW, the strap is the most comfortable one of all my bags and the design of the strap gong all the way around gives me a great sense of security in terms of strength. 

EOS-M / Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« on: June 24, 2014, 12:54:58 PM »
Hi.. Don't have the camera in front of me right now.  Could you please go through the exact steps you used to do this?  I am a "back button" focuser on my DSLR and the closest I've come to this experience on the M is to use touch screen focus.

Lenses / Re: 300 2.8 IS Mk1 v Mk2
« on: June 23, 2014, 09:25:10 PM »
You might want to look at this new thread of photos with the 300 and the 2x started by one of our CR regulars....

Lenses / Re: 300 2.8 IS Mk1 v Mk2
« on: June 23, 2014, 08:12:36 PM »
No experience with the Mki but the Mkii with a 2x TC iii is really awfully good.

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