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Messages - JPAZ

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Mindshift - Does it fit?
« on: August 16, 2014, 05:22:06 PM »
VERY funny NancyP.   ;)

But seriously, nobody out there with first had experience with this product?

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L For Sale
« on: August 16, 2014, 11:36:07 AM »
Just added up all the balance remaining on my MIR cards......
Darn!  A little short. 
Guess I'll just have to continue to crop to get that FOV.

Third Party Manufacturers / Mindshift - Does it fit?
« on: August 15, 2014, 05:09:00 PM »
I am being plagued by GAS again  ;) .  I am looking at the Mindshift r180 Professional camera backpack as an option for an upcoming trip.  I've looked at many reviews.  There are no dealers in my area that carry the product so I'd have to order one to see if it works for me.  If any of you have any experience with this bag, I 'd appreciate some insight.  My questions:

 -Can I fit a 5Diii with a 25-105 and a 17-40 plus a 70-200 F/4 IS into the rotating lower bag / fanny pack part?
-Anyone take it aboard an airliner as carry on and how did that work out?

Thanks in advance.


Canon General / Re: Which Lens to Take
« on: August 07, 2014, 11:13:05 PM »
I speak from direct personal experience in the Kumbi, Mustang and also Eastern Bhutan.  I bring my "travel triumvirate" of the 24-105 (used almost all the time), the 17-40 for interiors of temples, and the 70-200 f/4 IS for the occasional reach.  Even with that tele, you'll likely do some cropping when you get home.  Of the 3, the 24-105 was used for about 80% of my shots.  Of course, you need to consider the weight and how much support you will have. 

I also cannot emphasize the need for batteries.  If you are camping, there will be very few opportunities to recharge the battery.  Even if you stay in tea houses or lodges, there might not always be an ample power supply.  I trek with 5 batteries and avoid chimping to prolong the battery life.  The 5Diii powers up so quickly that I turn it off when not shooting. I don't bring a flash. I don't bring backup drives to save weight but carry a whole lot of memory cards.  I delete nothing until I am off the trek.  I do  not bring a tripod but you might consider one of the combo hiking pole/monopods if you feel you need camera legs.  The going can be tough.  You will be at altitude.  Don't expect to cover huge distances each day.  Don't carry anything that is not needed.  If support is an option for your trek, the locals who are quite accustomed to the altitude and weather can be hired to help carry your gear.  This is not meant to be abusive to these folks but I live at about 1200 feet and they live at 9 or 10 thousand feet altitude.  Carrying some of your gear is a great job for them.  Do expect dust and do take appropriate precautions to protect your gear. 

Obviously, this all depends on your shooting style and where you will be.  If I sounded negative in my comments above, I don't mean to.  The Himalaya is an amazing place.  The regions in Mustang are a very desolate high desert with incredible cave monasteries while the Eastern area in Bhutan is plush and green with isolated villages.  The people are stalwart and amazing.  The Tibetan Buddhist culture and temples are fascinating.  The weather is unpredictable.  If I had to sum up my experiences in Nepal and Bhutan in one word it would be, "Magic."  Feel free to PM me if you want any specifics.

EOS-M / Re: Difficulty attaching lenses to my new EOS-M
« on: July 26, 2014, 12:22:42 PM »
I have not noticed any difficulty with my 2 M lenses or my adapter used for EF lenses.  There s really no difference comparing this to any other SLR/DSLR with interchangeable lenses I've experienced.  Can you compare this to any other camera or is this your only detachable lens camera?  If it feels significantly different to you, something is not right.

Photography Technique / Re: Getting photos home from overseas
« on: July 26, 2014, 12:18:58 PM »
If you are really worried, shoot to two cards and back up to a portable HDD each night (while sleeping).  In the worst case scenario, you'll lose some photos (theft, fire, etc.) but have a wonderful trip.  Don't stress over it.

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......   https://www.adobe.com/products/catalog/software._sl_id-contentfilter_sl_catalog_sl_software_sl_mostpopular.html?promoid=KLXMI

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 adobe.com.  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!

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