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Messages - CANONisOK

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Well, you specifically asked about the kit (as opposed to technique, etc.), so here's my two cents:

If you're renting a back-up body, definitely go with the 7d for the reach.  I shoot triathlons, bike races, and running races, and the 70-200 on my 7d is still often not quite where I need want it to be reach-wise.  You've got the 100-400, but if it happens to be a cloudy day you're going to struggle getting fast enough shutter speeds for a fast moving athlete.

That was exactly my thought process for renting the 7D. I might be able to simply borrow a crop body from one of my friends. I love well-isolated telephoto action shots where you can see the exertion/emotion on people's faces, blades of grass kicking up, etc!

And, hey, I thought about asking about technique as well - but I hate to bother everyone too much. I'd imagine for many of you it would be like trying to explain to your dog how to drive the car.  ;) I'm glad I'll have another person doing the wide/group shots and maybe I can focus on the up-close action.

You may be carrying too much equipment to manage for an event of this type. Just how big of an event is this? Are we talking a major corporation with hundreds of employees participating in intense athletic events, or are we talking about a bunch of desk jockeys having a good time and building some camaraderie?

The event will include thousands of participants from the entire metro area. My corporation is 100,000+ employees, but our divisional office is only ~150 people with maybe 50 participating.

Don't forget the first rule of shooting for a client (which is what you will be doing). If the client is happy, you are happy. If the client isn't, then you can't be. If your co-workers are used to and pleased with cell-phone candids, don't assume they want Sports Illustrated-style event photos. Remember, that most of subjects will be more than happy with a grinning, thumbs-up post event victory photo.

I did find out since posting that we will have another volunteer armed with a T3i and 18-55mm for some of the usual shots (she's helped out in the past, so I know what to expect). It would be nice for our office to be able to send some "fun" and more "polished" shots for us to submit to the divisional newsletter, etc.

Thanks for the advice. Great points!

I think in this situation, less is more.

Thank you. Excellent advice. I think you're right about the K.I.S.S. principle.

Canon General / Seeking advice for corporate sporting event gear
« on: May 20, 2013, 02:28:57 PM »
At my office the other week we had a meeting about one of these 2-day “corporate Olympics”-type events happening in a few weeks. Organizers mentioned that they were looking for somebody to photograph our employees participating in the various competitions. Despite being a humble amateur, I volunteered to take pictures. I figured it would be a good opportunity to improve my photography on something other than my kids… and the pics won’t likely be any worse than those from years past (blurry cell phone pics, flat & lifeless P&S pics, etc.).

The competition will feature a wide variety of competitions: individual and relay running (short, middle, long), cycling, tug of war, swimming, basketball, volleyball, home run derby, etc.

I was hoping to get some advice from the group on what would be a good kit to prepare for such an event – especially when it comes to lens selection. My goal is to balance what equipment would keep me prepared for most scenarios, while not going overboard. I’d appreciate any tips from those who do this type of thing regularly.

I am definitely planning on bringing the following:

  • Lowepro Pro Trekker 300 AW
  • 5D Mark iii w/ battery grip (and four LP-E6s)
  • Joby Ultrafit sling strap
  • Manfrotto 695CX monopod w/ quick release head (and mounting plates for my small whites)
  • Speedlite 430EX II
  • Plenty of SD and CF cards
  • OP/TECH rainsleeves
  • Water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, batteries, etc.

Then there is the lens list that is more open for debate (I’ve listed them in what I feel might be order of importance):

  • 70-200mm f/2.8 IS ii
  • 100-400mm
  • 135mm
  • 24-70mm f/2.8 ii
  • TC 1.4x iii

My preference as of late has been shooting with primes, but I can imagine in this situation I would do best having the flexibility of zooms. It especially pains me to be leaving the 300mm f/4 IS at home, as I’ve started to really appreciate what IQ advantage it can have over zooms operating in the same FL. The zooms might be the most useful - but the primes probably have the ability to "wow" more than the zooms.

So, for those who have the experience, what are your suggestions for lenses? Unless I am mingling in the crowd of athletes between events, I can’t imagine I’ll use the 24-70mm much, and I’ve debated just throwing the 50mm in the bag instead for such moments. Along the same lines, I cannot thing of a scenario where I would need an UWA, so I’m planning on leaving the 16-35mm at home.

Secondly, is the need for a backup body. I’m thinking about renting a 7D or a second 5D3 for backup. Although it is not a paid gig, I’d definitely feel bad if something happened and my personal camera crapped out during the event. Is this a must?

Anyway, thanks in advance for any suggestion you all can provide. Thanks!

Lenses / Re: Poll: Most Wanted New Lenses of 2013.
« on: May 07, 2013, 04:07:56 PM »
I want a lens that does not yet exist. I would like a 24-135 f1.4-f2.8 L with IS. Preferably less than 800 grams; black, not white; and using a 77mm filter.

That would be my perfect walkabout lens (the the perfect kit lens).  The 24-105L is really nice, but I wish it were faster.  I've finally come to appreciate the advantage of the faster lens with the 5D3 AF system.

I also like the idea of a modest-range walkaround lens. Longer reach than 70mm, but not going crazy like the 28-300mm to reduce distortion and keep size/weight reasonable. However, I think this one sabotages its chances in two key areas:

1) I'd be shocked to see a zoom with that kind of range open up to f1.4. Even f2.0 would probably be fantasy. Consider the 28-300mm which has f3.5-5.6, or the 28-135mm which also has f3.5-5.6. I think we'd be lucky to get f2.8-3.5 over a 24-135mm range. Throw in IS and there goes your weight criteria.

2) If they sold a great-quality lens in that range, we'd have no need to buy any other bright primes or even the 24-70mm f2.8 ii! The kings of marketing and product-differentiation would never allow it. That reasoning explains the good-but-not-great IQ of the 24-105mm.

But as long as we're dreaming... count me in for one also!  :)

Lenses / Re: 35 & 85 or 50 & 100 for photographing kids
« on: May 05, 2013, 12:33:46 PM »
You mentioned the 135L in your original post. To me, that is a great compliment to your 50L.

With children of a similar age range, I find the 135L to be the perfect lens to capture their more active moments (soccer, walks in the park, festivals, etc.) when you want to focus primarily on them in action. The colors and detail this combo produces are often fantastic straight out of the camera. (With a young two year old and a young four year old, I have little time for twiddling around in LR, DPP, etc.)

When I can find some free time (ha!) I'll try and post a couple of examples.

Canon General / Re: No Announcement Today
« on: April 23, 2013, 05:51:57 PM »
Beside the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II & 24-70mm f/2.8 II, I can't think of any [non-niche] noteworthy lenses Canon has announced in the last three years.

70-300L :D

I've seen a lot of people around here (and elsewhere) praise the 40mm f/2.8 STM as a great general-purpose lens.  And it certainly has a noteworthy form-factor!  :)

Canon General / Re: No Announcement Today
« on: April 23, 2013, 09:22:40 AM »
No problemo ... Canon can take as long as they want, as long as they release the best 7D II to knock the socks off the competition.


And if they are truly delaying the 70D announcement to incorporate a new & improved sensor, I'm all for it. I'm looking for a new crop backup and don't need a APS-C mini-1DX (the rumored 7DII).

Lenses / Re: Canon 100-400mm L EF mount alignment question
« on: April 22, 2013, 05:02:48 PM »
Perhaps it is just the size of the lens that is a little awkward at first.
At 3 lbs plus, it's a heavyweight, and if your hands aren't used to it, it may take you a couple tries.

I'd considered that at first - but my 70-200 f2.8 ii is heavier and longer when mounting. And I've never had any issues mounting it on several different bodies. I think this 100-400mm mount was a little bit off-spec when manufactured.

Thanks again for the feedback!

Lenses / Re: Canon 100-400mm L EF mount alignment question
« on: April 22, 2013, 04:05:44 PM »
Thanks for the quick replies. Having searched the forum and google, I didn't see any other reports of this being a known issue. But it's nice to have actual confirmation from other users that this is not a consistent issue.

I already ordered a replacement from B&H... I'd gotten the first from Amazon when it was the lowest price, but they were out of stock now. Now B&H is in stock at the same price as I paid through Amazon PLUS they have the 2% credit going. Fair tradeoff, I suppose.

Now let's hope the second one is just as good as the first copy from a performance standpoint!

Lenses / Canon 100-400mm L EF mount alignment question
« on: April 22, 2013, 03:18:47 PM »
Good afternoon, I have a question for the group regarding the EF mount on the 100-400mm L. I just received the lens on Saturday and tested it out this weekend. I am very impressed with the optical performance of the copy I received. Will enjoy having the extra reach on my 5D3.

However, one issue that I noticed immediately is the difficulty in getting the proper alignment when mounting this lens to the camera. For a pretty simple system (align the red dots, insert lens to mount, rotate clockwise) this lens required 5 or 6 attempts to get aligned and mounted each time I put it on the camera. The lens hardware seemed to want to go in the mount in a non-normal orientation. I've never experienced this with any other lens on this or previous cameras I've owned.

Looking at the bayonet mount, I could not detect anything different than my other lenses which would cause these alignment issues - but I'll look closer again today after work.

My question to the brain trust is this: Has anyone else had issues with the EF mount on this specific lens (or specifically with a 5D Mark iii)? I hate to send back a lens which is optically good if this is a universal attribute of this specific lens. However, I don't want to keep it if this is not a common issue and risk damaging the mount on my 5D3.

Thanks in advance for any experience you all can share.

Lenses / Re: Best tele prime for full frame?
« on: March 25, 2013, 05:18:49 PM »
I'll second (or third, or fourth...) a vote for the 135L. I also have the 70-200 IS ii which has great sharpness, but have come to appreciate the much lighter weight, lower "profile", and excellent image quality of the 135L. I can't imagine anyone would regret adding it to their kit.

Lenses / Re: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG Sets New Benchmark for Excellence
« on: March 25, 2013, 01:40:26 AM »
Canon going to leapfrog the sigma in IQ... how much wishful thinking is this, how much "better" do you think Canon's will be?.... oh, right... the "colors" and "bokeh" will all be $1000 better like all the other L lenses compared to the competition.  And will probably be sharper at F/1.4 than the siggy is at F/2.8 right?

My guess is that it would be marginally better than the Sigma, but certainly not worse. Heck, if it could merely match the Sigma IQ and not have the onion bokeh I'd say that would be a pretty swell lens!

As for the recent trend of L lenses... what, more like the 24-70 F4L or F2.8LII? Because the F4L is trash and costs a fortune.

I hope that's a rhetorical question! But it's a fair one, and to be perfectly honest since picking up the 24-70mm ii I forget that "other" new 24-70 L even exists. With that one exception, I have to go back to the 16-35 ii to find a top-level EF lens that has been even modestly disappointing on my radar in the past half-decade or so. Of course, I can't speak for those renting/buying super-teles, but I read mostly good things about those recent releases too.

Lenses / Re: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG Sets New Benchmark for Excellence
« on: March 25, 2013, 01:13:29 AM »

Without a doubt!  Especially if it was outdoors, in the rain.

Seriously, I wonder if anyone has taken anything other than a 1 series to the rainforest, places like the amazon, or Borneo...or even just central america.

Rainforest... Check. Central America... Check.

I'm a chemical engineer, and I use my iPhone multiple times a week to take pictures out in the field for documentation. 

I didn't know the iPhone is intrinsically safe.   ;)

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