August 22, 2014, 12:44:21 AM

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Topics - sagittariansrock

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Technical Support / Flaws on the rear element
« on: July 28, 2014, 06:36:18 PM »
Hi all
I just purchased an EF 100mm Macro USM (non-L) from a member on FredMiranda. The lens has very tiny pin-point flaws on both the front and rear elements, visible when a flashlight is pointed at them. They don't look like scratches, they are too small and superficial to be scratches- and they might only affect the coatings and not the glass. There are about half a dozen, and they are midway between the center and the edge on both elements.
My question is, will these affect the image, and if so, how can I test for it? The seller has agreed to take it back for a full refund but I don't want to return it unless I really see an adverse effect. Can someone please guide me on what to look for?
Thanks in advance.

Software & Accessories / Which gels to get and how many
« on: July 18, 2014, 09:51:54 AM »
Hi all
I am looking for gels for my 600s.
Which color gels should I get, covering most if not all cases of color correction?
Which color gels should I get, for most common/popular color effects?
How many of each should I get, to cover for burnouts and tears, etc.

Back story: I have recently started using shoe mounted flashes (600s) quite a bit, and now want to get some gels. I like the way the Honl gels attach to the flashes (transversely via velcro), but found there filter kit choices somewhat limiting. I contacted and Jason replied within a couple of days saying he will be happy to custom cut.
Now, considering shipping expenses and his having to custom cut, etc. I would like to make sure I ask for all the gels I need at least for a while. Hence, the question.

EOS Bodies / AF point illumination revisited- 6D AF point question
« on: July 12, 2014, 06:02:47 PM »
Just returned from a trip where I had taken the 5DII and the 5Dc. In the 7 days, had sort of gotten used to the AF point illumination of the 2 cameras. Came back to my 5DIII, and the lack of AF illumination was a nasty reminder of the issue. I truly wish Canon could somehow fix this issue... :(
I have been contemplating a 6D as a backup- can anyone tell me how its AF points behave?

Similar to the F stopper gatekeepers.
Doesn't need to be that fancy.
My Lowepro backpack has lugs for them and I need something here badly. Unfortunately Lowepro doesn't sell them separately- only one came with the bag.

Hi all
I shall be visiting the aforementioned places in the first week of July, so any suggestions regarding gear to take, locations to shoot, and precautions/tips will be greatly appreciated. I shall be taking one camera and 2-3 lenses, but I am completely open to suggestions on what to take for what.
Thanks in advance.

Software & Accessories / Need help finding a backpack
« on: June 06, 2014, 02:41:13 AM »
Hi all
I am looking for a backpack with the features below:
1. About 24-30 liters capacity. Vertically deep enough to hold the 135L/pro body.
2. Will be quite ergonomic- a rigid frame will be great.
3. Primary use will be carrying through airports on my back- doesn't need to hold non-photographic stuff, easy access not a necessity (I shall be buying a Lowepro transit for that).
4. Laptop sleeve will be big enough for 15" MBP and will be towards my back.
5. Tripod holder of some sort if I need to carry it.
6. As low a profile as possible.
7. <$ 200 will be great.

The backpacks I have looked at are Thinktank Streetwalker HD and Tenba Shootout 24L, but I have no personal experience with either brand. Any input on those as well as other suggestions will be very helpful.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Rant about 5DIII (and my oversight)
« on: May 31, 2014, 07:58:13 PM »
Never thought I'd be writing this, but I want to write it and get it out of my system so I don't have any more ill-feeling left about this little guy:
1. Truly surprised about the difference between 8fps and 6fps. I was shooting a commencement ceremony and trying to get the 'toss the mortarboards' shot. Boy, was it getting frustrating catching the mortarboard while still within the frame (and yes, I started clicking even before it was being tossed). Nothing like this with my 7D. Could the frame rate be restricted under certain conditions?
2. The lack of AF point illumination in Servo mode is very annoying. With dimly lit subjects in a mostly dark background, I kept losing them. And I had to stick with f/2.8 because I was using 200mm (so at least 1/250) and ISO 1600. I know pros would be fine with these, but I was terrified I shall miss the moments by focusing somewhere else...
Ok, I'm done. It was all right eventually. Just too nerve-wracking at the time.

Lighting / 600EX-RT vs ST-E3-RT as radio commander
« on: May 30, 2014, 09:38:12 PM »
Instead of selling my 3rd Speedlite, I decided to sell the transmitter instead. The decision was quite impulsive when I felt the need for fill flash while taking some product photos.
Now, it is a bit late as the transmitter is already gone, but I was wondering what additional features will I have access to using the flash as a commander instead? Or are they absolutely the same (except for the AF-assist, of course). Can the masters of speedlite shed some light on the matter? (pun unintended, just couldn't phrase it differently :) ) It might also help others who are thinking on these lines and haven't pulled the trigger either way.
Thanks in advance.

I shall list the advantages of 600EX-RT over the ST-E3-RT as I see them posted in the thread (thanks, again!):
1. Optical trigger
2. Angle of LCD screen
3. Longer life of batteries (4x AA vs 2x AA)

Canon General / Buying refurbished from Canon
« on: May 30, 2014, 09:28:50 PM »
Sharing some recent experiences purchasing direct from Canon- hopefully it will be helpful (FYI, I have purchased 9 lenses and 3 SLR bodies so far):
  • Condition of lenses and bodies: All but 1 of the lenses I purchased from Canon have been spotless cosmetically, and all of them have been perfect optically. The one with cosmetic flaws was the TS-E 17mm, with slight paint flakes around the barrel. Most of them didn't need AFMA, the one that did was consistent after AFMA (24-70 II). The T2i and 7D I purchased were perfect with extremely low shutter count, but the T3i was DOA. I only found that out AFTER my 90 days period was over (at the time Canon refurb warranty was 90 days), totally my fault, and yet Canon replaced the camera.
  • Accessories: They come with all regular accessories. The only exception was that the TS-E didn't come with the larger spare knob.
  • Customer service: This has been generally great. I mentioned the out-of-warranty replacement above, and the knob mentioned above is also on the way- a representative listened to the problem and promised to Fedex the item. I was purchasing an extender and the 40mm last week, a very small buy, and just decided to ask the Chat rep if I can get free shipping. For no reason whatsoever- I just asked "I was wondering if I can get free shipping". He gave me a code for that. So, it doesn't hurt to ask.
    On the other hand, during a recent 20% off sale, I tried to purchase the 135L (like so many others) and couldn't because of a bug in the website. I asked Canon via email and phone, and they gave various reasons like "the lens is sold out", "it was never in stock", and "the lens isn't even available refurbished and I was accessing an old cached page". A fellow CR user described a workaround which I followed and put the order through. Sure enough, I received the lens which clearly was in stock. So double check if something like this happens to you, and don't just go by the sales rep's words.

Technical Support / Front focusing issue with Canon 50mm f/1.4
« on: May 20, 2014, 04:03:03 AM »
I recently decided to upgrade my standard prime 'slightly' by moving from the 50/1.8 to the 50/1.4. I was hoping to use this primarily with my recently purchased 5D.
I bought this used from
I am disappointed to see that my 50/1.4 front focuses by almost 1 cm near its MFD with my 5D and slightly less with my 5DIII. I haven't tested all focusing distances yet.
Now the 5D doesn't have AFMA and focuses perfectly with my 135L. So I don't see the point of messing with its calibration.
At this point, what are my choices?
1. Get rid of the lens? I can't return it as it's not the seller's fault. Is it wrong for me to sell it?
2. Get it calibrated by Canon. Any idea of the cost? It might not be worthwhile if it's costly.
Is this an inherent problem of this lens? Does this signify internal damage due to drops, etc.?
Any advice will be appreciated.

So I bought a used 5D (thanks for the helpful suggestions) and a 17mm TS-E at the same time. While I would rarely if ever use the TS-E on the 5D, when I do I won't have live view to help me.
Now, those of you who have had dSLRs and tilt-shift lenses before the advent of live view, any advice or tips will be greatly appreciated. Should I, for example, get the grid screen? Any other screen? etc...

Third Party Manufacturers / Panning clamp question
« on: May 07, 2014, 02:57:19 PM »
Hi all, I have just received a Sunwayfoto panning clamp to use on my Arca Swiss Z1 ballhead, but the included M6 screw (as well as the screw for the ballhead) is too short. There is a gap after which the threads start inside the ballhead stem, and the screw threads don't reach deep enough.
If you are using panning clamps from RRS or some other company, can you tell me how long the screws are approximately? Does anyone actually use a panning clamp with the Z1. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Used 5D with sensor replaced- good deal?
« on: May 07, 2014, 01:40:19 AM »
Hi all
I was looking for a used 5D (classic, mark i, original, etc.) and I have found one with the sensor allegedly replaced by the 1st owner, along with the mirror fix, also alleged. The camera is now being sold by the 2nd owner, who seems quite honest and candid about everything but doesn't have any documentation from Canon (it seems he tried to get it).
Now, should I be concerned about a replaced sensor? The price is not bad, considering he is adding a 50 II (which I will have to sell, though) and an RRS L-plate, all for $ 525.
Thanks for your advice in advance...

With my 135L, I frequently need to use the portrait orientation.
However, I don't have a flash bracket and the ones available don't attract me for two reasons:
1. It's another bulky fixture.
2. The flash will be turned sideways (90 degrees compared to when you have it above the lens in landscape orientation.

Is there any other alternative to use off-camera flash if I don't have an assistant?

Second question: I'm trying to use an eBay knock-off of the flashbender to create catchlights- but I can't see anything!
Is it the distance or the angle of tilt that's wrong? Is the cheap knock-off not as reflective? Do I need to zoom in more (I had mine at 24mm)?

Thanks for your advice.

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