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Topics - pierceography

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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 **

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Third Party Manufacturers / Fuji x100(s) to Supplement an SLR
« on: May 10, 2013, 02:51:40 PM »
Hello All,
So I'm seriously considering purchasing the new Fuji x100s.  I love my 5Dm3 and my variety of EF lenses, but the entire kit can seem a bit obnoxious at times... particularly for street photography or simply for a camera to casually carry around.  I have a point and shoot (S90), but rarely use it as I don't like shooting with an LCD.  So I'm looking to get some advice from members who have purchased the x100s or a similar camera.  Which do you find yourself using more?  Are you glad to have purchased a secondary mirrorless camera to supplement your SLR?

And the other half of this question is a bit more pointed; I'm also considering getting the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II.  However, I've come to the conclusion that I likely wouldn't use a TS lens nearly as often as a more compact mirrorless camera.

Thoughts?  Thanks!

3
Lighting / Trigger a 580EX II with a Cybersync Commander
« on: March 28, 2013, 09:37:29 PM »
Hi Everyone,
So I received my first Einstein and Cybersync Commander today, and I'm trying to trigger a 580ex ii as a slave.  However, I'm reading that the 580ex ii can't be triggered as an optical slave by a non-Canon flash.  So my question(s) are: 1) Is this true?  And 2) If so, how can I trigger the 580ex ii as a slave?  Can I use the cord from the Einstein to the 580ex ii or do I pretty much have to pony up for another PCB wireless trigger?

Thanks in advance for the help!

4
Lighting / Einstein Setup
« on: March 22, 2013, 11:04:22 PM »
I finally ordered the PCB Einstein and CyberSync Commander I've been eying for awhile tonight.  I plan on doing a fairly basic setup in my basement as a small studio to play around with lighting.  I also have a 580ex II that I'll use in slave mode as a secondary light.

Most (all) of my experience aside from having my speedlight in the hotshoe is natural light.

So what advice can anyone offer to a beginner at off camera lighting?

Thanks, guys!  :-)

5
Technical Support / Black Speck in Viewfinder
« on: March 18, 2013, 11:15:18 AM »
Hello all,
So during a shoot yesterday, I discovered a black speck in the viewfinder of my 5Dm3.  Though it doesn't affect the image, it is rather annoying.  I took a quick look at the mirror, and it does not appear to be on the mirror.  If I had to take a guess, I'd say it's on the focusing screen -- reason for my guess is that the speck is always in focus.

I've read around and the general consensus is to 1) Use a rocket blower to attempt to blow the particle out, 2) Send my camera to CPS for cleaning/repair, or 3) Live with it.

I'd really like to avoid 3, since I'm rather OCD and it would frankly annoy the crap out of me.  If it's 2, I can probably live with it until I need to have the camera cleaned... but I've also heard I'd likely get my camera back with even more black specks in the viewfinder.

So has anyone experienced and (more importantly) fixed this problem?

Thanks in advance for the help, everyone!

6
Lenses / Grey (Gray) Market Advice
« on: January 20, 2013, 08:00:37 PM »
Hello All,
So I'm getting pretty close to buying my next lens, and have narrowed it down to the 85mm f/1.2L.  Unfortunately, I missed out on the $1,799 deal amazon had around the holidays, but I noticed Adorama has the 85mm for $1,899 via "Grey Market".  So my question is: does anyone have experience with purchasing Canon gear over the grey market, and would you recommend it (or vice versa)?  It's a $100 difference, which would equate to a B+W filter I'd likely buy with it.  Or are there any rumors about the price dropping to the vicinity of $1,799 again?

Thanks!

7
Software & Accessories / Hoya ND 400X vs B+W ND 1000X
« on: November 07, 2012, 11:17:13 AM »
Hello All,
So I've decided to invest in an ND filter for a trip I have this Friday to NYC.  I want to do some daytime city shots, but want to use a slow shutter speed.  After a recent trip to the Caribbean where I would have loved to slow down the ocean waves against a dock in later afternoon sun, an ND filter seems like a decent investment.

I've narrowed my choice down to two filters: The Hoya ND 400X (9 stops) and the B+W ND 3.0-1000X (10 stops).  I'll bet getting the filter for my 24-70mm f/2.8L (mk1) and 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM (so obviously 77mm filter).

I'm leaning towards the B+W, but I'm curious if anyone has experience or opinions on either of these filters.  If you had a choice, which would you choose?  I've read the B+W is more prone to color shifts, is $25 more, but offers an extra stop of ND.  The Hoya build quality isn't as good as the B+W, and offers 1 less stop of ND... but seems to be better reviewed.

So... opinions!  Go!  :-)

8
Canon General / It's Halloween, Post your spooky photos!
« on: October 31, 2012, 12:57:00 PM »
Here's some of mine from urban exploring in Detroit. Feel free to share yours!

9
Software & Accessories / New Canon EOS Utility - 12.2.0
« on: October 10, 2012, 11:16:34 PM »
Mac users pay attention!  Canon released their promised EOS Utility update which fixes the problems with using the utility for tethered shooting, or anything else really.

I've verified that version 12.2.0 allows me to remotely control my 5Dm3 and 7D.  I updated my lens profiles on both cameras as well.

Just in time too... I'm about to leave for vacation and didn't have profiles for the 2x teleconverter I just picked up last week.  :-)

** Edit: This issue affected users of OS X 10.7.5 and 10.8.x -- I've verified the update works on 10.7.5 **

10
Software & Accessories / AFMA Software and Suggestions
« on: October 10, 2012, 11:22:55 AM »
Hello All,
I know this has been discussed in previous threads, however I'm starting a new one specifically related to someone who's never worked with AFMA and looking to get a little guidance.

My setup currently includes a 7D, 5Dm3, Sigma 12-24mm m2, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L (I), Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Canon 100mm f/2.8L.  Particularly, I've noticed the 50mm and 100mm could use some adjustment.

So I have a few questions regarding AFMA:

1) I've read a bit about FoCal, but have no personal experience with it.  My budget for software (or anything else, really) is pretty tight right now.  The Pro version runs around $114 USD.  It sounds like most people in here use Pro.  So would Plus or even Standard work fine for just some basic AFMA?  I don't necessarily need the extraneous bells and whistles that come with Pro.  However, I also have a mac... and from what I've read, you need a Pro license to use the mac beta.

2) Are there any other methods/software recommended for AFMA?  I read neuro's guide, and while informative, I certainly don't have the gear to accomplish it.

3) And finally, is it a lengthy process?  I ask, because I'm heading to the Caribbean for a week this coming Friday, and would like to "fine tune" my camera(s) before heading down there, as it's something of a "once in a lifetime" type of trip for me.  I wanna make sure I can take full advantage of the scenes I'll likely encounter.  Probably should have investigated this more than a few days before I leave.  ;-)

Thanks in advance for the help!

11
Lenses / How to Test a Lens
« on: September 21, 2012, 12:53:12 PM »
So this is a pointed question, but could certainly turn into a broader topic of lens testing.

So yesterday my brand new 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM arrived, and I couldn't have been more excited.  I've been scoping it out for awhile, and finally pulled the proverbial trigger when I'd squirreled away enough money.  I'd long heard about how amazingly sharp this lens is, and already owning two other L lenses, I definitely have the red ring addiction.

So I got home and decided to test the lens, since I've had some some copy issues with Sigma (I know, they don't have Canon's QA).  I compared it to my primary lens, the 24-70mm f/2.8L.  I took pictures of one of my wife's cookbooks at 70mm (obviously the only comparable focal length) at apertures f/2.8, f/8, f/11, and f/16.  Camera (5Dm3) was tripod mounted, ISO set at 100, mirror locked, and shutter triggered by a two second delay.

I gotta say, I was a little surprised when the two lenses came out pretty close in terms of sharpness at 70mm at f/2.8.  While the 70-200mm was a hair sharper, it wasn't the "omg the 70-200mm blows the 24-70mm out of the water" that I had expected.  I wish I had comparison images to post, but unfortunately I left my camera at home, and wanted to post this topic while it was fresh in my head.  I'll post the photos when I get home tonight.

So I have two questions:

1) I'm no professional, so does anyone who is or has experience with these lenses have any input?  I'd heard the 24-70 was notoriously soft (never really noticed it myself), and expected the 70-200mm to be noticeably sharper.  Bottom line, I'm concerned I may have gotten a soft copy of the 70-200mm, and at $2500, I'd likely get it replaced if that's the case.

2) Does anyone have a favorite method of testing lenses?  I've often photographed a newspaper taped to a wall or something similar (cookbook) to check the center, corners, etc at various focal lengths and apertures.  I'd love to get one of those testing charts, but they're wildly expensive online and I'd rather buy actual gear.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

* Posted this in rumors by mistake.  Moving to Gear Talk.

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