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Messages - pierceography

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1
Lenses / Re: Lens Advise for Europe Vacation
« on: March 11, 2014, 09:36:33 AM »
A lot of good comments about the weight I'll be carrying.  It's definitely a concern, but my plan is to take the six lenses I've listed, but only carry three at a time (perhaps only two if I'm lugging the 70-200mm).  I do a fair amount of urban exploring (Detroit area), and am used to hauling a body + four lenses, flash, and tripod.  And those familiar with Detroit urban exploring (probably not many in this forum) will know that means a LOT of stairs.  It's definitely taxing on the legs, hips, and shoulders, but that's what ducking into a pub for a pint or two is for.  :-)

Good advice on the low light situations.  That's the only reason I'm bringing the 35mm f/1.4 even though the focal range overlaps with my 24-70mm.  Having the extra two stops of light will be essential inside.

And I'm always used to getting screened by airport security.  That's why I always arrive as early as possible.  That and my customary pre-flight beer.  :-)

2
Lenses / Re: Lens Advise for Europe Vacation
« on: March 10, 2014, 11:36:44 PM »
Thanks for all the replies, everyone.

I still have four days left to decide, but I've packed the following lenses:

12-24mm
24mm tilt/shift
24-70mm
35mm
70-200mm
135mm

Some additional notes based on comments:

* I'm bringing a B+W 1000x ND filter (10 stops) - Thanks axtstern.
* I'll also have my x100s as my "don't want to haul 10lbs of equipment" camera.
* I've always been a wallet in my front pocket kinda guy.  :-)
* My wife is amazingly patient (both of my generally odd behavior and loose photography budget!)
* The pelican case is only for the flight.  I plan to take my messenger back with body + 3 lenses most days.  Oh, and tripod too.
* All my gear is insured through our home policy.

I'd love to take the 85L, as it's one of my favorite lenses, but the weight and my intent of shooting mostly architecture have me dropping it (huh, poor choice of words) off the list.  I might replace it with the 50mm Siggy since I have some extra room in the pelican case and it's much lighter.

axtstern: I considered bringing my 2x teleconverter, but that's always a pain to change in the field, so I've decided not to over-complicate things... more.  And you're definitely right about the "gentle nudge"... I had a good idea of what lenses I wanted to take, but it's always helpful to get some fellow photogs to back up my gut feeling.

nmccrea43: Great pictures, I can only hope mine turn out as nice.

Thanks again for all the replies!

3
Lenses / Re: Lens Advise for Europe Vacation
« on: March 10, 2014, 09:50:26 AM »
Thanks for the advise.  I thought about getting the 17mm TS-E instead of the 24mm, but I want to use filters and the 17mm is difficult (though not impossible) to use filters with.

I like your suggestions.  I think I'll wind up taking those five lenses, as well as the 70-200mm.

4
Lenses / Lens Advise for Europe Vacation
« on: March 09, 2014, 08:58:13 PM »
Hello all,
It's been awhile since I've posted here, but I have a fairly cliche question: What lenses do I take for a vacation?  My wife and I are heading to Paris for a week in a few days, and I'm having a harder time than I would have thought picking the lenses I want to take with me.  Here's what I've got:

Sigma 12-24mm
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II (*)
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II (*)
Sigma 35mm f/1.4
Sigma 50mm f/1.4
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L II
Canon 85mm f/1.2L II
Canon 100mm f/2.8L (+)
Canon 135mm f/2L

(*) = Definitely taking, (+) = Not taking.

I'm fairly certain I'm going to take the 70-200mm for some people shots, as well as the 35mm for some evening photos after the sun has set.  Otherwise, I'm pretty up in the air.  I'm mostly interested in photographing the architecture and museums.

I'd like to keep it to six lenses, but I could conceivably take them all since my carryon will be a pelican case.

As a side question, I've already covered the red lines on all my lenses with gaffers tape.  I realize I'm probably being a little paranoid, but does anyone have other suggestions for protecting my gear?  I'm planning on using a messenger bag instead of a backpack and keeping it buckled.

Thanks, everyone!

** EDIT: I'll be shooting with my 5Dm3 **

5
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Auto ISO
« on: May 29, 2013, 09:30:38 AM »
I'm with Dylan777.  I'm almost always on Auto ISO, but I have it limited to 12,800 and will try to keep it below 6400.  If I do happen to go above 6400, I'll consider rendering the photo in black and white so the grain will look more natural.

I used to almost always set the ISO myself, but that was back when I was shooting mostly architecture and landscape.  Now that I go for more "candid" shots of my family, I need to be faster.  So 95% of the time I'm in Av with Auto ISO.  I can't really complain about the results.  Any strange colors or exposure I can almost always correct in PP.  But, of course, if I want to have full control I'll go manual.  However that's usually limited to architecture/landscape or "studio" style work.

6
Lenses / Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« on: May 28, 2013, 09:43:20 AM »
I agree with neuro in that the gap of 100mm (35mm - 135mm) between your lenses would be... annoying.  And the 85mm, while a fantastic lens, is not suited for street photography because of its slow AF.  However, I'm not sure how well the 100mm(L) would work for street photography either.  It can take awhile to hunt across the entire focal range, while the 135mm is quite fast.  Though, I would take that comment with a grain of salt, since I haven't used the focal range limiter on the 100mm, as I generally only use it for macro.

If it were up to me, I'd probably go with the 135mm and possibly pick up a 50mm f/1.4 (Canon or Sigma) and the Canon 85mm f/1.8.  That would give you a pretty nice range of primes, and still come in less than the cost of the 85mm f/1.2L II.  Granted, you wouldn't have a dedicated macro lens, but as you've already pointed out, you can always go with extension tubes.

7
EOS Bodies / Re: Make yourself happy
« on: May 23, 2013, 11:41:48 PM »
BTW, I can't wait to realize how I feel shooting with the Fuji x-100s...

+1

Ordered mine two weeks ago.  I hope Fuji starts replenishing stock soon!

8
Software & Accessories / Re: Horror has a face -- new Flickr
« on: May 20, 2013, 11:23:19 PM »
Let's try to be objective here.  ANYTHING would be better than flickr's current interface.  If I were to design a photo web application in 1999 with nothing but frontpage extensions I could still have done better than what flickr's been offering since yahoo pillaged bought them.

Just because it's different doesn't mean it's better.

Though the 1TB of free storage is nice.  I might have to give it a test drive if the REST/JSON API isn't terrible.

But if I were already a pro user... ouch.

9
1TB = Free
1TB + No Ads = $50/year
2TB = $500/year... ?

I'd be bitter if I were a pro user too.

That's some odd math by the yahoo folk.  Glad I wrote my own photo app.

10
I wouldn't worry too much.  Just use common sense for the most part and you should be fine.  When I went to the Caribbean last year, I had my 5Dm3, 24-70 (mk1), 70-200, 100mm, and a few other lenses.

The vast majority of my pictures were taken on the beach, including some where my camera was almost sitting on the sand trying to get angle shots.  I would never change lenses on the beach -- I'd head back up towards the beach hotel we stayed at if I wanted to swap.  I'd only set my camera down on my camera bag while I was on the beach, but even that was only a few times.  And I never took my camera (and myself) into the water -- though I wouldn't worry about going waist deep if the waves weren't too much.

The best piece of advice I can offer is to watch the humidity.  Our hotel room was air conditioned (thank god), and being on an island the humidity was usually close to 90%.  With the temperature and humidity differential between our hotel room and the exterior, my camera and lenses would immediately fog up and be unusable for ~10 minutes once I walked outside, which would make it real difficult to run out and grab a shot if I saw something interesting.

So I would bring several large ziplock bags, put your gear in them before you plan on heading out, and let them sit outside (we had a secure porch area) so that your gear can get acclimated to the temperature.  The bags will prevent some fogging, but will it will take longer for your gear to become acclimated.

11
Lenses / Re: Canon 70 - 200 f2.8L version 2
« on: May 18, 2013, 09:21:39 PM »
I own the 85 1.2/L, 135 f/2L and 70-200 f/2.8L IS II.  I probably use the 135 the most, followed by the 85 -- but I'm on a big prime kick.

If I travel, it's the 24-70 II and 70-200, hands down. Can't beat the versatility.  But it's all a matter of preference.

12
This doesn't apply to the OP's question, but some other nerds out there might find it useful.

I have a script which traverses my photography directories and indexes every photo.  I use exiftool to extra the photo metadata, imagemagick to create various sizes of the photo (two thumbnails, two web resolution images), mysql to store the metadata and statistics on the photo, and perl to tie it all together.

Probably not an ideal solution for most, but it's likely the most customizable!  :-)

13
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Fuji x100(s) to Supplement an SLR
« on: May 15, 2013, 01:30:11 PM »
Exactly my thoughts on the TS-E 24mm.  I love shooting architecture -- which is the bread and butter of any tilt shift lens -- but with my son being born a couple weeks ago, I fear my architecture shooting days may be few and far between now.

I was also hesitant about purchasing such an expensive camera with a fixed prime lens.  However, since my son was born I'm yet to break any zoom lens out of my bag.  I've been exclusively using my 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, and 135mm.  I've been using my 85mm the most, as I really like the bokeh that lens produces as well as the the frame you get with the 85.  BUT if I had to pick only one of these lenses and discard the rest, I would likely go with the 35mm for its versatility.  So that made my decision on the x100s a little easier.

Congratulations on your baby! Is it your first? My life changed for the better, but with less time for self indulgence :)

Thanks!  Yes, my first.  And life has certainly changed, and also for the better.  I'm definitely taking more pictures (my 5Dm3 with a prime lens is always sitting on the kitchen table) and losing a lot of sleep, but no surprise with either of those.

When my wife and I found out we were expecting, I went on a prime lens buying spree.  Literally picked up the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Sigma 50mm f/1.4, Canon 85mm f/1.2L II, and Canon 135mm f/2L within the span of four months, and also threw the 24-70mm f/2.8L II in there for good measure.

So far I'm immensely happy with my decision to invest in primes, and also glad I have the 24-70mm ii for when my kid gets a little more mobile and I'll need some more versatility.

And also why I'm very happy with my decision to order the x100s over the weekend.  A bulky SLR and primes are great for when we're around the house and I want to get some photos, but once we start traveling more with the baby, having something a little more mobile and easy to carry will be great.  :-)

14
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Fuji x100(s) to Supplement an SLR
« on: May 15, 2013, 09:18:57 AM »
I've had my X100s since release as a compliment to my 5DIII. I'll list my current setup and usage.

Gear:
5DIII, Canon 50L, Canon 85L II, Tamron 24-70 VC, & Canon 70-200 IS II
and... Fuji X100s.

What gets more use? The Fuji X100s by far.

Usage
Daily Shooter: Fuji X100s - It is small enough that I keep it in a small case and toss it in my bag every day.

Street shooting: Fuji X100s - Small, discreet, silent

Portrait Shoots: 5DIII, 50L, & 85L II with Fuji X100s as a compliment

Event Work/Photojournalism: Tamron 24-70 & Canon 70-200. Although, I did shoot an event last night with the 5dIII + Fuji X100s for an 85mm + 35mm prime combo and it worked out pretty well! For paid gigs though, I'll stick with my zooms.

Low Light Work (low action): 5DIII and Fuji X100s (the Fuji actually handles noise "slightly" better than the 5DIII).

Low Light Work (action): 5DIII - Fuji AF is too slow in low light for action shots for my tastes.


Additional Points:
To answer someone's question earlier about one-handed shooting with Fuji X100s - Yes for shooting, not for changing many settings. With one hand I can grab the camera, turn it on, swap between OVF and EVF, and take a shot. (worst case scenario, with a neck strap and X100s pressed against your body, you can change shutter speed, aperture, etc).

AF - I have found the Fuji X100s AF "good enough" for me probably 90% of the time in good lighting (phase detect AF only engages in good light. in low light, it uses the slower contrast AF which is the same as the original X100)

Usage percentage - I'd say I use my X100s 75% of the time, if not more. I end up bringing it for most professional work too, so it gets used a lot. It is also the most fun camera I have ever used, so that helps.


Limitations & Quirks -
*The X100s is still not a "perfect" camera, and does still face some limitations. The AF is nowhere near 5DIII/OM-D levels. In low light, it gets worse as mentioned above.

*Fixed 35mm lens - Great as a second camera, but I would never own it as my only camera.

*Still room for improvement - The focus peaking in MF could be better; Exposure compensation dial doesn't work in Manual mode; no customizable Q menu, etc. Basically, there are a few small things that could be better but Fuji is in my opinion, the BEST at offering users frequent software updates and listening to user feedback.

*Image Quality - Pretty amazing for APS-C. It is the best IQ I have seen come out of any APS-C sensor camera and is mostly indistinguishable from the comparison shots I have seen with a 5DIII + Canon 35L and the Fuji X100s. My 5DIII + 85L II on the other hand, well... nothing short of a $10,000 kit can top that combo.

JPG vs. RAW - Both are great. The Fuji has one of the best JPG engines of any camera in my opinion. However, I still mainly shoot in RAW. You may read things about issues with the X-Trans sensor and Adobe, but rest assured that these issues have been resolved to the satisfaction of 95% of Fuji users (there will always be the remaining 5% pixel peepers).

Overall I've never owned a Fuji before the original X100, but I am smitten. I'm biased because I love it so much. I can't wait for the X-pro 2 to come out (which will hopefully be an interchangeable lens X100s).

This is a fantastic review and comparison.  Thanks for sharing!

15
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Fuji x100(s) to Supplement an SLR
« on: May 15, 2013, 09:18:00 AM »
Life is crazy and fun :) I am actually contemplating selling my 17 TSE to finance the x100s and its various filters, flashes for it, and stuff. I was very ambitious when buying the TS lens, but with two small children I have not had time to really learn how to use the tilt and shift. Given my other lenses, I feel that I have much covered so I will not be to hard on my day to day photography.

Exactly my thoughts on the TS-E 24mm.  I love shooting architecture -- which is the bread and butter of any tilt shift lens -- but with my son being born a couple weeks ago, I fear my architecture shooting days may be few and far between now.

I was also hesitant about purchasing such an expensive camera with a fixed prime lens.  However, since my son was born I'm yet to break any zoom lens out of my bag.  I've been exclusively using my 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, and 135mm.  I've been using my 85mm the most, as I really like the bokeh that lens produces as well as the the frame you get with the 85.  BUT if I had to pick only one of these lenses and discard the rest, I would likely go with the 35mm for its versatility.  So that made my decision on the x100s a little easier.

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