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Messages - Mr Bean

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Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
« on: September 20, 2013, 07:39:43 PM »
Wax Lip orchid, after rain.

Tall Sun Dew after rain.

Lenses / Re: How much are you using the 40mm pancake?
« on: September 15, 2013, 12:32:01 AM »
Its become my "standard but slightly wide" lens. I don't use it all the time, but at parties, for a happy snapper lens, its great. Doesn't attract attention (although the 5D3 with grip does ;) ), and its a sharp lens. Used it last night at a function where I wanted to wander around taking group shots without the flash. ISO 1600 @ f3.2 was perfect. And good as a pano, as someone has already mentioned.

Lenses / Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« on: September 12, 2013, 06:56:25 PM »
it's not unlike car transmissions.
Today there are plenty of options from excellent torque converter automatics, to dual clutch automated manuals, to single clutch automated manuals, to multi clutch plate autos.  They are all excellent and do the job really really well and often are faster changing than any human could dream of.  However, driving a manual transmission and getting it right, honing your skill is still an immense pleasure to many.  Zeiss provides the user with the pleasure of something mechanical that's incredibly well engineered, designed, and built and the opportunity for the user to get it right himself.
You propose Zeiss could clean up the high end market.  They already do.  They don't have much competition.  It's a small market.  Zeiss already sells every lens they make.  Sometimes it's not all about profit, sometimes it's about making more than enough, closing the doors for the day, go out and enjoy life.

And as an owner of a Zeiss lens, I bought it for its excellent optics and mechanical robustness.

I grew up with manual focus lenses. My cupboard at home is the current resting place for half a dozen FD lenses, an A1, F1 and EF body. So, manual focus is not really an issue. In fact, compared to the FD lenses, the Zeiss is easier to focus because the camera body has a focus confirmation light. Won't find that in an F1 body ;)

Sure, the lens doesn't get used much. But that's simply the nature of the UWA lens I have. And besides, landscapes don't move much to demand AF :)

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: September 09, 2013, 08:20:06 AM »
I like all the bird postings.  Partly that's because I simply love birds and birds themselves are attractive but I'm trying to perceive what makes some shots stand out above others.  Sharpness seems to be the big deal in most threads and I won't dispite it's importance but in looking a Steven's shot, I find it warm and appealing.  Why?  The framing, the sky background, the colors involved?  What typically do you guys aim for and how do you know when you've got something that is going to be well received?

I'm more on the super sharp (around the eyes and face) type image. However, like rpt, I'll contradict myself by saying that BIF pics I prefer with a bit of blur. A well panned image, body and head sharp, but blur in the wings adds a sense of movement, which is fitting.

Lighting / Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« on: September 09, 2013, 05:00:53 AM »
Nice pic eml58, very nice.

I've only fiddled with fill flash for birding pics this weekend and while I'm pleased with the results, a noticeable side affect was the reaction by the small birds I was photographing. I suspect it maybe the pre-flash kicking off on the 580EXII which gets their attention. Larger animals, perhaps used to human interaction (to a degree) may not be bothered by it. I'll continue to develop the technique for challenging lighting conditions, but I wouldn't use it all situations.

Regarding the sync speed, on my 5D3 I had it set to Av mode and the flash symbol for high speed sync would automatically appear over 1/200sec.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: September 08, 2013, 06:51:03 PM »
I love real light [sunshine], but if your bird is in the shadow of a tree, you can use the fill flash to help you a little.
That's my thinking and preference. The area I was photographing the robin is a heavily shaded, tall treed environment. In a few months, the bushes close to the ground (prickly current bush) will be laden with berries and these little birds will be in that light, which is more even and better balanced. So, in this case, I'll just go with natural light.

As the robins were around 3-4m above me, the back-lit sky was causing havoc with the metering. As it was, I had the camera over expose by 2/3 stop, and the fill flash run 1/3 stop under, so it didn't "look" like a flash image. Well, that was my logic of the camera set up.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: September 08, 2013, 08:13:23 AM »
Black-crowned Night-Heron, Juvenile

Just saw this one. Love the detail. Hmm, the more I see images taken with 500-600 big whites, the more I feel I can justify one, next year ;)

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: September 08, 2013, 08:10:09 AM »
Eastern Yellow Robin.
Trying a slightly new technique this weekend, an on-camera fill flash, to give better light in the shadows, without overdoing it. When it works, it works well. The biggest downside is the birds are put off by the flash going off. Oh well.... :)

Nice job with the flash. It's not to much and fill the shadow. Well done.
Thanks Click. Using fill flash with birding is new for me (I've seen it done, but it often looks over cooked IMHO).

The little blighter moved his head, just as the pic was taken, so, its ever so slightly blurred (the body is tack sharp). I suspect it was pre-flash going off, before the main flash kicked in. And considering the shutter speed was 1/60th :)

I think it looks balanced, partly because the background light was more like 1/1000sec and the foreground was 1/60sec. Oh well, things to learn, things to try :)

Macro / Re: Canon 100mm IS USM L Macro Photos
« on: September 08, 2013, 05:25:22 AM »
Tall Sundew with captured prey. Looks like a mosquito was caught by this one.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: September 08, 2013, 05:20:46 AM »
Eastern Yellow Robin.
Trying a slightly new technique this weekend, an on-camera fill flash, to give better light in the shadows, without overdoing it. When it works, it works well. The biggest downside is the birds are put off by the flash going off. Oh well.... :)
5D3 + 300mm f4 with 1.4x TCIII + 580EXII

Macro / Re: Canon 100mm IS USM L Macro Photos
« on: August 31, 2013, 06:25:33 PM »
Spider Orchid. While the day ended up being windy, meaning the orchids danced across my view finder (not helpful for 1/2 sec exposures) I managed to freeze an orchid with the fill flash, while retaining that blur :)

5D3 with 100L macro + OC fill flash.

Video & Movie / Re: Timelapse reel for 2013
« on: August 31, 2013, 06:20:20 PM »
Very nice :)

Site Information / Re: The 10 Commandments of CR
« on: August 24, 2013, 06:05:50 PM »
You will not argue with Nuro. The scientist of this forum. :) Respect!
Or, to word it another way....

Thou shall take Neuro's word as Gospel

Lenses / Re: How to clean lenses ?
« on: August 22, 2013, 06:35:49 PM »
+1 for the Rocket blower.

Then I use B&W lens cleaner fluid with Mikros microfibre cleaning cloth. A squirt of the fluid on the cloth, and a gentle wipe. Takes less than a minute.

Technical Support / Re: White balance, how to determine?
« on: August 15, 2013, 08:57:08 AM »
Accurate colour in flower pictures demands camera profiles and the easiest way to get them is with an X-Rite Color Passport.

+1 on the X-Rite Color Checker Passport.  Small, light, easy to slip in a bag, and quite tough.
Thanks all, for the replies and ideas. I'll try the grey card / white card as a test over the coming weekend. But, the Colour Checker Passport seems (to me at least) to be the most scientific approach to the issue. When I've tried to use the eye ball approach, that is, does it look right on the screen, usually through sheer dumb luck it works, sometimes :)

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