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Messages - pierceography

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I bought my first SLR (t1i which was quickly upgraded to a 7D) in 2009.  I've never been paid outside of my employer throwing me some "lens donation" money for a few city scape shots to hang in our conference rooms.  Though that isn't to say I wouldn't want to get paid, but my actual profession keeps me too busy to consider ever doing it outside of the occasional weekend shoot.

Photography is just something I like to dump a lot of my "allowance" into... as well as fend of questions/sarcastic jabs from my wife about why I insist in hauling a ridiculous amount of camera equipment with me when we go on vacation.  ;-)

Lenses / Re: 35L or 50L?
« on: March 20, 2013, 01:35:14 AM »
Apparently some copies of the lens have issues with consistent af and so perhaps I've been lucky there (after considerable micro adjustment to the af) but there are great copies of this lens about and buying from a reputable retailer always allows you to swap your lens for another if you do indeed get a dud. Amazon are great in this regard.

I own the Sigma f/1.4.  Took me two copies, but I got one with decent AF.  Being that it's still a 1.4, AF can be hard to nail, but when you do the results are outstanding.  I had the Canon 1.4 and sold it for the Sigma.  Real happy I did.

Here's a recent shot with the Sigma:

Technical Support / Re: Black Speck in Viewfinder
« on: March 18, 2013, 04:14:10 PM »
Thanks for the replies, fellas.  Somehow, I've managed to survive all this time without a Rocket Blaster.  Since I have noticeable dust on my sensor (even after having it cleaned a couple months ago) and now this speck on (hopefully) the focusing screen, I went ahead and ordered one today and will have it Wednesday.  Thank you, Amazon Prime.  :-)

But if the blower doesn't work, CPS it probably will be.  Fortunately, I can probably deal with it for awhile until I need to send the camera to CPS.

Lenses / Re: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG Sets New Benchmark for Excellence
« on: March 18, 2013, 03:21:45 PM »
I'm really thinking about picking one of these up.  As far as primes go, the 35mm range would be a pretty attractive addition to my prime kit (currently have the Sigma 50mm, Canon 85mm and 135mm).  I was going to go with the Canon 35mm f/1.4L, but after reading a bunch of these reviews that praise Sigma's 35mm, for a 50% cost savings and performance boost it almost seems stupid to not go for the Sigma.

Perhaps I can get some hobby paint and put a red ring on it.  ;-)

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!

Technical Support / Re: Shooting manual
« on: March 16, 2013, 10:18:49 PM »
I always have highlight overexposure blink warnings enabled.  Then I always know if my images are pushed too far to the right.  Very useful and often photo saving feature.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Just got mine Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM
« on: March 15, 2013, 09:49:45 PM »
Bokeh looks surprisingly nice too... I might have to consider this lens over the 35L.  Would be curious to see a side by side comparison of the two from someone on this forum.

Landscape / Re: The old red barn
« on: March 14, 2013, 10:40:24 PM »
Hmmmm... Just my personal opinion, so please take it with a grain of salt.  But overall, this image is fairly uninteresting.  The sky is lacking of any detail (not your fault, obviously), so I wouldn't worry so much about keeping the exposure there and try to boost the exposure in the barn.  And while I realize you mentioned you're not a fan of PP, I would add a gradient to the sky to keep it from blowing out if you do attempt to boost the exposure of the barn.

Increasing the contrast couldn't hurt either, since the image feels a bit flat to me.

Just my $0.02.

Lenses / Re: 5DIII+35mm or 50mm?
« on: March 14, 2013, 05:18:24 PM »
35mm. It's more versatile. The 50mm is such an overrated lens not to mention not a good portrait lens.People's heads will get distorted when shot with the 50mm (unless you're going for the distorted head look).

A 35mm will distort more than a 50mm?  You're going to have to specify what type of distortion you're referring to.  I typically prefer a longer lens (if I have the working distance) for portraits, as I find the distortion (what little there is) to be more pleasing.  35mm at close distance, in my opinion, is not a good portrait lens.

Some friends of mine had their engagement pictures done recently, and the photog used ONLY a 35mm at close distances (despite being outdoors).  The couple were... larger... individuals, and the 35mm under 10ft away did nothing to help them out.

Yes, the 35mm is a fantastic lens, and if you don't have the distance to work with it's great for portraits.  But if you have the working distance, I see no reason why you wouldn't go with the 50mm, 85mm, 135mm or even 200mm.

Lenses / Re: 5DIII+35mm or 50mm?
« on: March 14, 2013, 11:11:38 AM »
For portrait, I'd say the 50mm hands down.  But that really depends on the shooting situation and style.  If you're doing full body shots and don't have the space, the 35mm is really your only choice.

As for a walk around... it's again pretty dependent on what you generally shoot, but that's a toss up to me.  The 50mm obviously a more normal lens, and would probably be more versatile.  But I personally shoot a lot of architecture and landscape, so I'd probably lean more towards the 35mm if given only one choice.

Bottom line, it's completely up to you!

Landscape / Re: Landscape From 36,000 Feet!
« on: March 14, 2013, 08:09:19 AM »
Very nice.  I especially like the wing and engine in the shot for the extra points of interest.  Though, I suspect you didn't have much choice in the matter.  ;-)

The only reason I kept my 7D after getting my 5Dm3 was for macro shooting.  I've always felt that if you're primarily a macro shooter, there's no reason to go full frame, since you'll lose the additional length a crop sensor provides.

If I don't have my 7D in my bag and need to pull out my 100mm macro lens and use it on my 5Dm3, I always miss the extra reach.  Unless, of course, I absolutely need the extra ISO performance... but I'm generally on a tripod, so I'm not as worried about ISO.

I would keep the crop body, or upgrade to a 7D or new (unreleased) 70D.  My $0.02.

Canon General / Re: your scariest photography moment?
« on: March 11, 2013, 12:09:22 PM »
Side of a lake, bag on a slope, tipped over, opened, 24mm f/1.4L II rolled out, all in slow motion, off it went, comedy-style, down to the waterline...plop! :-/

$312.08 repair charge for cleaning and water damage.

Maybe I got off lightly!

I'll say!  Could have very easily been purchasing a new 24mm!

Canon General / Re: your scariest photography moment?
« on: March 11, 2013, 01:08:24 AM »
Every time I talk to my wife about purchasing new equipment.

+1 lol

Mine is whenever my wife logs into our amazon account after I've ordered a new lens.  Tomorrow should be fun... Just ordered the 135mm f/2L yesterday.  :-)

Lenses / Re: 135mm L
« on: March 06, 2013, 12:06:09 AM »
So I spent the past couple of weeks researching portrait lenses (mostly this one and the 85mm f1.2), and partly as a result of this thread, I picked up the 135mm this afternoon.  I can't wait to get out with it a bit tomorrow.  I think my fiancée will really enjoy not waiting around for the slow focus of the 100mm f2.8L... fewer frozen smiles, here we come!

I recently read your review of the 50L and found it very informative.  There is someone in my area who has the 50L on Craigslist for a very tempting price.  I already own the 85 1.2 and plan to buy the 135L in the very near future.  I currently own the Sigma 50mm f/1.4, but have that red ring addiction.  With my current obsession with primes, the 50 1.2 seems like the next logical upgrade... If the price is right, of course. :-)

Has anyone had experience shooting babies with the 135L?  I ask because I'm expecting my first child in less than two months, and have been "upgrading" my lens lineup from wide angle architecture to fast primes in anticipation of my kid being my new photographic muse.  Already picked up the 85L for its spectacular DoF and bokeh.  I've been sold on the 135 for awhile now, given all the raves reviews.  Just need to squirrel away the money. ;-)

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