April 18, 2014, 12:40:34 AM

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Messages - miah

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1
Canon General / Re: Insurance for Camera gear
« on: April 14, 2014, 06:04:00 PM »
Neuro's getting a bit better rate, I'm paying $10.35/1000, but I'm amazed that they write these policies at all. My gear is outside, in the weather and susceptible to spill, hanging on my motorcycle in unlocked panniers, in third-world nations, at night, often unattended. It's like a checklist of risk. Yet in many years of traveling I've only had to lodge one claim for a theft that occurred in Bolivia--so maybe the insurance companies are smarter than I think? State Farm replaced everything, Fed Ex'ed it to my home in the U.S., no deductible, no questions asked--in spite of not having what anyone might consider a serious police report. Amazing. And well worth $10.35/1000.

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Canon General / Re: Insurance for Camera gear
« on: April 13, 2014, 11:05:22 PM »
You should be able to buy a State Farm Personal Articles Policy as a stand-alone, with no connection to homeowner's or renter's policies. Mine covers 17K with no deductible for $176 annually.

3
Like resale value, we have to keep this "build-quality" issue in perspective. A lens that could take repeated falls off two-story buildings would be great, but not if it requires two sherpas to lug it around for you. For my purposes, traveling solo with minimum kit either on foot or motorbike, durability must be balanced against size and weight. After seeing the images posted on this thread, I'm convinced the Tammy's IQ is more than adequate for my needs. I think we can all agree that the price is an exceptional value. And now with wickidwombat's comparing the build-quality to that of the Canon 100L--a lens I own, love and have carried over hill and dale without a hitch--I'm convinced that the Tammy has the right IQ, AF, size, weight and build-quality to go ahead and place my order. I'll keep it tethered to me, as AlanF and I discussed in this thread, but expect it to last through many a trip.

Thanks to the early adopters who bought this lens and shared their experiences here!

4
Tried out the Black Rapid RS-4 this afternoon. The Tammy is very comfortable hanging from it. As some might know, my 5DIII once fell off the 300mm when it was slung over my shoulder. I'd like to secure the 5DIII to the Black Rapid and also have an extra safety link from the Tammy/camera to the shoulder strap in case the screw comes loose from the Tammy tripod bush. I am thinking now of getting the Black Rapid wrist strap, screwing that into the 5DIII and threading its loop through the shoulder strap that is attached to the lens tripod mount. Has anyone tried something like this or has a better suggestion?

Sorry for the tardy reply, AlanF, but this is the first chance I've had to take photos of my strap set-up. I haven't yet dropped a lens or body, but I came close to dropping my 5D one time when changing lenses from my shoulder strap. So, like you, I prefer a fail-safe.

I prefer the Joby strap to Black Rapid. I like their rubber bushing/style of lock-nut better and I can adjust the length of their strap very quickly with one hand/no buckles. That means I can wear it long enough to hold my camera/lens beside my waist, gun-slinger style for quick action, then quickly suck it up under my arm pit if I want to scramble up a rock without banging the camera into everything.

Both body and lenses-with-collars are equipped with Induro PU-60 base plates for my tripods.

I attach the Joby slider to a Kirk 1" Std Quick Release which attaches to either the camera, for short lenses, or collars, for long lenses. This allows me to quickly doff the strap and attach either the body or lens to my tripod in a heartbeat. I got the idea to use the Kirk SQR from Neuro, and it hasn't let me down yet.

Next, I use an Optek neoprene wrist leash (very soft and comfortable) on my right wrist, making sure to tighten up the toggle. It stays on my wrist all day. I modified the tip of the leash by sewing on a 5/8-inch, male-side, Fastex Side-Release buckle. I then sewed a very short female Fastex buckle to the right-hand strap bracket on the 5D body, using a short length of webbing. Make sure any leash attached to the camera body itself--chest strap or wrist strap--is as short as possible to minimize wind flappage.

This set-up allows me to have both my lens and camera attached to me at all times, together and/or independently. The wrist leash is long enough that I can still get into my backpack, take a drink of water, etc., without unclipping myself from the camera body, as the whole rig hangs at my side from the chest strap. If I want to change lenses while all leashed up? No problem. Lenses with or without a collar? No problem. Quickly jump to a tripod regardless of lens? No problem.

This is the most versatile set-up I've come up with. I don't like hand straps--something you were leaning towards--because they often use up the body's tripod mounting threads where I'd prefer to have a base plate. Too, though they offer some added stability, they're too slow to get in and out of as circumstances change. Finally, you can see in the photos that I keep my collars rotated 90-degrees when dangling the camera/lens from my Joby so I can quickly lift the body by its grip and rest the barrel of the lens on my left hand. Obviously, I have to loosen the collar screw and rotate things right-side up when jumping to a tripod. I find this 90-degree collar tilt also puts the body/lens in the best gun-slinger position for a quick-response shot.

I hope this helps.

5
Forgot to add: all are on a 5D3, ISO 1250, f/8, 1/2000s.

Thanks for posting these, Albi86, just one question: Were all of these shots with the Tammy at 600mm?

6
Miah, I love the first image of the flying ducks ... very beautiful, the ducks seem to pop out of the image ... very nice indeed.

Thanks, Rienzphotoz, the originals look a lot better (of course). I was just glad to shoot my first birds of the year. It's unusually warm here in S Colorado, so they're showing up early. I'll head out again for a walk this morning and see what I find.

Nice. What were the sizes of each before you reduced them (if you did?)?

Thanks, AlanF, I also wanted to ask you how close to the Robin were you? It's a nice shot that shows off the Tammy. My original 5D3 files were cropped as follows:

5D3 native: 5760 x 3840
Mallards: cropped to 1595 x 1063, then reduced to 720 x 480 for posting
Red-Tailed Hawk:  cropped to 1648 x 1098, then reduced to 720 x 480 for posting

Quick PP in Lightroom only, no plug-ins.

7
Yeah, thanks for posting these, AlanF. Very helpful indeed!

I shot these two today, male and female mallard ducks and a female red tailed hawk, using the trusty 400 f/5.6 and 5D3. Both photos are heavily cropped, hence the desire to pick up the Tammy.


8
Let's be honest about this whole resale thing; percentages do not tell the whole story. Even if the Tammie lost 50% of its value on the used market, say after 3 years, that means you had use of a very nice 150-600 zoom for 3 years for less than $535 US! The Tammie is not a Canon 600, but $535 is just 4% of the cost of the Big White. I'm a serious hobbyist, not a pro making any significant amount of income from photography, so the Tammie's quality/value--even when factoring in resale--looks like a no-brainer.

This morning, walking on my property here in Colorado, I spotted 5 bald eagles and 2 red-tailed hawks (not to mention some prairie dogs, a coyote and a slew of mule deer). While I didn't have a camera with me, my 400 f/5.6 would not have been long enough to put a significant number of pixels on target. The Tammie, "compact and light" as it is, would have been the tool I needed to capture one or more of these feathered friends. Hmm, maybe I need to get off the pot and place an order, but I'd still like to see a few more sample pics... Are you hearing me AlanF and Don Haines?  ;)

9
I would love a 300mm f/2.8, but to be honest, i would be slapping on a TC almost all the time, so having a native 600mm lens would be ideal. f/8 is a little slow for what i need (forests at dawn/dusk), but i guess this is where the ISO performance of the 5D III should come in....  hmmmmm....  I am extremely interested in this lens! I guess the 4000 Euro i would save on this lens could go to some awesome trips! ;)

F/8 at dawn or dusk will be unusable for anything other than telephoto landscape photography of very still subjects, on a heavy tripod, with mirror lock...along with the longer shutter speed required.  I shoot often at dusk, sometimes at dawn.  If you're wanting a shutter speed faster than say 1/100 second, then you need radically more light than f/8, or even f/5.6.  If you disagree, then perhaps you're referring to shooting more in the "golden hour" than that transition to the "blue hour".  I'm talking about shooting in the half hour when the sun is below the horizon.  My 6D autofocuses like a champ in this gloom with an f/5.6 lens, as does its noise floor.  But I can't expect to shoot action, even with an f/2 lens...let alone f/8 (or specifically an f/6.3 lens that is closed to f/8, as in the case of the Tamron).

F/8 photography of wildlife, is good for bright daylight, and that's about it...unless the animal is asleep.

Huh? So just what faster-than-f/2 lens are you using with your 6D to successfully shoot wildlife action during the "blue hour?" Surely the slow EF 500 and 600 f/4 primes are out, and by this standard so is the EF 300 and 400 f/2.8. Which begs the question: what oh-so-busy critters in your neck of the woods allow you to crawl up beside them and snap away in the twilight with your 50mm f/1.4?

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Thanks, AlanF, all that's really helpful. Question: How does the overall fit and finish feel? I don't own any Tamron lenses, so other than reading reviews I don't know whether the lens feels solid or like junk. Those are extremes, of course, but I'd like your take on how well this thing might hold up with heavy use out in the field. And will the Tammie, as you originally hoped, become your travel lens of choice?

11
Thanks for posting these shots, AlanF. We all know you're accustomed to the rarified air delivered by the EF 300 f/2.8, so if you think this lens delivers it probably does. I look forward to more images and your overall take on the AF, build quality, etc. after your tests. And personally, I don't want to know "it's a good value for the money." The excellent price is great, and far more in reach than any of the big whites, but I want to know that my time out in the field using the lens is well spent.

12
OK, climber, thanks. I think I have it set up right, now. I didn't realize that as you press and then continue to hold the AF-ON button down it's focusing overrides the ability of the shutter button to initiate focus; the shutter button only initiates metering and the shutter. Cool!

13
apersson850 thanks for your input. On the Tv subject, I'll throw this point into our discussion. While I certainly agree that shutter speed is more important than aperture for BIF, Tv may ask for a wider aperture than your lens can deliver, resulting in inadequate exposure. Let's say you set Tv to 1/2000 and you're sure from previous experience that this is adequately fast to stop the subject. Tv asks the camera for its widest aperture, but f/5.6 just isn't good enough. You preview the resulting shots and they're all horribly underexposed because at that speed and that aperture the available light was just too low. Auto ISO gives the camera an out. It automatically pumps up the ISO (within your predetermined limits) if the first two factors are inadequate to deliver sufficient light.

Like cervantes said, at least Tv allows us to use Exposure Compensation, so sometimes it's a must, though we can continue asking Canon to provide this feature in future firmware. But I would argue that even when using Tv mode over M mode, at least in my limited experience, Auto ISO is the only automatic feature standing between me and a typically underexposed shot. Why underexposed? Because like cervantes I prefer a low ISO and typically set it too low for rapidly changing conditions when I do so manually.

Now, something else came to mind as I read over your advice for using the * button for right-zone focus instead of cervantes shutter button, and then climber chimed in with a way to quickly jump to the center zone. And perhaps this question is best answered by cervantes: apersson850's solution makes more sense to me--and I like climber's addition--because won't actuating the shutter to actually take a picture (after choosing to focus on the left or center zones using the AF-ON or multi-controller, respectively) ALWAYS jump focus back to the right zone? After all, the only way to trip the shutter is to squeeze past the half-way point on the shutter button, the same half-way point that asks the AF to use the right zone. Am I missing something here? If not, apersson850's idea to use the * button for the right zone and climber's suggestion to use the multi-controller for the center zone would allow us to use the shutter button for the one thing it's best at: snapping the photo.

I look forward to your comments!

14
cervantes, you are The Man. I've been searching for a succinct explanation of the 5D3's celebrated AF system with regards to BIF ever since I purchased the body a little over a year ago. Even the Canon tutorials on youtube are far less valuable than your advice. Thank you very, very much. I'm sure this took a fair amount of your time and those of us here on the forum appreciate it.

Your specific advice for AF settings was excellent, but I'd also like to hear your take on some other settings. As I work my way into shooting BIF, alone and without benefit of workshops or books, I've concluded that keeping the shutter speed high enough and aperture wide enough can only be accomplished in Manual mode. Av invariably gives me an unacceptably slow shutter speed (motion blur) while Tv often fails to select an appropriate aperture. That means Auto ISO must jump in there to make sure my defined shutter speed and desired aperture results in a proper exposure.

As previously mentioned by yourself and others, we need Canon to give us a firmware update that allows Exposure Compensation when shooting in M mode and Auto ISO, especially with birds due to the overwhelming brightness of the sky. But given this handicap, would you still advise shooting M and using Auto ISO? And if so, what ISO limits do you like? If not, how else do you approach the speed/aperture/exposure/noise conundrum when it comes to shooting feathered rockets?

ONE MORE QUESTION
I have my C3 parked with the following settings for BIF (in addition to making changes to my AF and AF-ON per your excellent instructions), please review and offer suggestions as this is the fast-dial place from which I start: Manual mode, 1/1000, f/5.6, Auto ISO, AWB, AI Servo, Evaluative metering, High-Speed shutter, 1000X 32GB CF only (SD card removed to improve buffer dump), RAW

Note that I'm typically outfitted with a 5D3 body and a 400 f/5.6 L prime lens or sometimes my 70-300 L zoom, with or without a Kenko 1.4X teleconverter, on and off tripod. I'm saving for a 600mm, but alas, that may be a long wait...

Thanks again for offering your advice and for the helpful members who've chimed in with their 2 cents.



15
Lenses / Re: Short tele for street portraits in Southeast Asia
« on: January 24, 2014, 08:14:18 AM »
I'm shooting in SE Asia right now, where I've been for over 3 months. The 24-105 cannot be beat for focal range versatility and not having to change lenses out on the street. That said, I also brought a 35mm f/2 (smaller, lighter, cheaper than L) and it has quickly become my favorite street lens--when and if you can get up close and personal. At home I have a 100L and love it to death, but travel requires doing more with less.

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