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Messages - sagittariansrock

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You want a used camera at sensible money for landscape and portraits yet you rule out the 5D?
I have owned a few crop cameras (both 1.6 and 1.3 (1D4) and, for this sort of work my 5D was my preferred camera. It might be old but the images are excellent - made my 50D look a bit poor to say the least. Now that I use the 1DX my 5D is semi retired but the images are far from shabby and certainly better than anything I got on APSC cameras.
From my experience I would take a 5D over any of the cameras you are considering for landscape and portrait. The only thing wrong with the 5D (IMO) is the lack of liver view for macro work - but then you don't mention that as a consideration.

I had started writing a response on the same lines, especially after my recent good experience buying and using a 5D, but then I saw (s)he wants to learn video. That might be the reason to discount it.

Lighting / Re: 600EX-RT vs ST-E3-RT as radio commander
« on: May 31, 2014, 07:12:12 PM »
Unless budget becomes real issue, I would keep the ST-E3-RT. Having all three speedlite at dif. location is huge benefit for me.

I like to mount one speedlite from top, to get some highlight or background light.

Yup, budget was an issue. Not a real one, but I don't like keeping things that I don't use regularly. Especially since I haven't even started using multiple speedlites, it was difficult to justify keeping both.
One can use a lamp or a third party flash for hair light or background light I think, in a pinch.

Site Information / Re: HowTo? Revise "Gear List"?
« on: May 31, 2014, 12:08:39 PM »
Some of us have made it a point to waste a whole lot of time just to get our profile to match our gear ;)

Except in that case I needed to stop while I was still a '5DIII'. I wonder if I can delete my older posts now ;)

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.

Lenses / Re: I'm done - I have all the lenses I need
« on: May 28, 2014, 02:08:20 AM »
My 17 did come with the extra knob in a small bag in the box. I didn't get the funky instruction booklet though!

Tilt when focused at infinity is Scheimpflug, adjusting focus while tilted is Merklinger. Merklinger really is the key to using tilt well.

As a basic start out point a little theory makes sense, if you focus or your far point, then tilt for your near point you will get there quicker. So for a typical landscape image focus at infinity via 10x live view, then move your zoomed square to the bottom of the frame and tilt until it is sharp. That is normally all you need do unless the plane to infinity is not close to 90°, if it slopes up or down a lot from you then a focus adjustment will be needed.

For closer work the idea works again, focus for the far part you want in focus, then tilt to get the close part.

As for the amount of tilt that is needed, that all depends on how far the bottom of the camera is away from the plane of focus, if it is at eye leve, say 5',l 1° is typical with the 17 ( tilt degrees have a focal length factor, if a 17 needs 2° a 24 would need 3°) however put the 17 close to ground level, 8" or so, and you need the full 8°.

Thanks so much Macguyver and PBD!

The 17mm is a lot harder to use without a tripod (read: unusable in my inexperienced hands without a tripod). The FoV is great. Sufficient for very tall buildings. The focusing ring was disappointingly lose, especially compared to the 24 TS-E. Is that your experience, too?
As PBD said the tilt adjustment is very course and will need a lot of practice, but it is a fun toy to play with (I hope I make some money with it so I never need to part with it).
So I was reading Harry Merklinger's article and found tilt affecting vertical lines in my case too. Apparently the overpriced tripod mount solves that. I want to see if I can find a DIY way around it.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7d2 IQ thoughts.
« on: May 27, 2014, 05:01:00 PM »
This is my guess. What do you think?

I think you've made a lot of wild guesses, assumptions and crazy speculative leaps.

Exactly my thoughts after reading the post.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7d2 IQ thoughts.
« on: May 26, 2014, 04:47:15 PM »
Most of you have been using Canon for long and have been following its progress.

I realize 7d2 it will be fast, responsive etc etc. but do you think the IQ will be noticeably better than Canon's latest 70D say at ISO 1200?

I am wondering when (and if ever) the latest crop cameras will be able to compare with 5d2. Is 6 years enough for technology to reach a point where new crop camera's catch up to full frame?

I would be very happy if the new 7D2 quality would be close to 5d2. Wondering if that is too much to hope for considering the frame size difference?

As I peer into my crystal ball I'm seeing that the images will be technically better, but the increase in image quality will be unnoticed by most.

Don't you worry, the marketing department will make sure we not only notice the improvement, but are absolutely hooked to it.
Think television- once I thought standard definition was fine, and Trinitron was as good as it gets. Now, even high-def is passe and 4K is the next great thing.
So yeah, when everyone has a 4K monitor on their desks, can you imagine the level of pixel peeping that will go on?

Lenses / Re: I'm done - I have all the lenses I need
« on: May 23, 2014, 12:55:46 PM »
1. Did yours come with an extra, bigger shift knob like your 24mm TS-E?
2. I see some paint chipped around the barrel. Never seen this in any of the refurbs I bought before. Is this usual? Should I worry about impact damage? They also shipped with the movements unlocked, which I wasn't too happy about.
Glass looks great, and the build quality is awesome.
I am so looking forward to using this after the long weekend.
No, it didn't but neither did my TS-E 24mm and I had to call and email them several times to get it, only to find that the Tilt knob screw was loose and the Shift knob so tight that I halfway stripped it trying to get it off until I gave up :(  They were supposed to refund my shipping as well, but it doesn't look like that has happened, so I'll be following up with Canon.

I can't believe the paint was chipped - most of my refurbs, including this one, have been practically brand new.  My 5DII was beat up and scratched a bit and had fingerprints on the mirror, but was still pretty good.  I guess it's the luck of the draw...but at least your glass is perfect and it works well.  I'm excited to get out with mine over the next few days, too.  I have been working at least 2 jobs 6 or 7 days a week (consulting gig and teaching or more side consulting) since December and I'm finally back to just working 30-40 hours a week and this will be my first real weekend in 6 months, so I'm going to have a great time!

Also, a quick tip or two for you - if shooting landscapes, 1-3 degrees (usually 1) is all that's needed at f/8-11 for full depth of field.  Tilting is tricky - focus on a distant subject, tilt the lens until the near subject comes into focus, then re-check the far focus and adjust tilt/focus until both line up.  For buildings, level the camera with the lens pointing up 1 red bar (with the in-camera level) for more natural looking perspective.  Finally, if you get a spot on the front element, the LensPens work really well for cleaning.  The old ones sucked, but a few years ago they really improved them. 

Have fun shooting and post your results in the TS-E 17 thread...I'll do the same...

Thanks a lot, these are really useful advice. I was concerned about the tilt and focusing.
Here's a titbit: I went and bought a 24mm TS-E while I was waiting for the 17mm to arrive and have been playing with it since yesterday. (Yeah, that's how bad my GAS is...)
And I wasn't aware of the difficulty of tilt and focusing until I tried it. So your tips are greatly appreciated and will be a good starting point.

I guess I'll be calling Canon and bitching about the screw now...

Lenses / Re: I'm done - I have all the lenses I need
« on: May 23, 2014, 11:51:24 AM »
LOL and have you had a chance to play with your TS-E 17 yet?

So I got my 17mm TS-E yesterday, haven't got a chance to play with it yet. But I have a couple of questions since you also just purchased the same lens:
1. Did yours come with an extra, bigger shift knob like your 24mm TS-E?
2. I see some paint chipped around the barrel. Never seen this in any of the refurbs I bought before. Is this usual? Should I worry about impact damage? They also shipped with the movements unlocked, which I wasn't too happy about.
Glass looks great, and the build quality is awesome.
I am so looking forward to using this after the long weekend.

I've waited a long time for Nikon to recapture the lead on Nikon and their 36 mp camera. And now I read that Nikon will introduce an upgrade to the 800e in June.  Why am I not jumping ship?  I do have a lot of canon glass and have been a local customer. I own the mk III and 6d and I love the images .BUTT, COME ON ALREADY cCanon. Get your stuff together!
The thing I wonder about your post and others like it is - how many people "need" 36+ MP?  Sure, it's always nice to have more than you need, but unless you have the very best lenses - Canon Mk II big whites, Zeiss Otus 55 & Zeiss 135 f/2, etc., there will be little increase in actual resolution.  It would help a lot with cropping and would equalize the FF vs. crop war for wildlife...but again, only with the very best lenses and technique.  I've printed many large prints at 40x60 or larger at 300dpi (that's around a 3x enlargement for 5DII files) and found little to complain about.  Most people share photos at 1600x1200 or less online and rarely, if ever, print anything over 8x12"...but these are the people who often scream the loudest over their inadequate megapixel bodies!

While we wait for more MP, I'll keep shooting what I've got and won't lose any sleep over my 18 and 22 MP bodies 8)

While most people (e.g., me) don't need a high MP camera, I am sure there's a market for it. There are a lot of people in landscape, product or architecture who have continued with or switched to Nikon because of the D800. While it's not as popular or as versatile as the 5DIII and therefore doesn't sell as much, it still has a unique niche in the dSLR industry.
I believe the lack of a high MP camera in Canon's lineup reflects still-developing technology rather than lack of interest in the market.

Lenses / Re: Canon 85mm both front and back focussing issue ?
« on: May 22, 2014, 02:34:03 PM »
Not worth paying for calibration.
I had similar experience with a 50mm/1.4 (which was fortunately systematically front focusing at least, therefore correctable by AFMA- so I could sell it with a clear conscience).
I think I am done buying fast lenses without warranty, whether Canon or third party.

Technical Support / Re: Front focusing issue with Canon 50mm f/1.4
« on: May 21, 2014, 11:56:04 PM »
I have just purchased another, this time within warranty. So hopefully Canon will calibrate it if it's off.

Understand that the lens can only be so calibrated - sending it to Canon will not fix the issue.  Your issue is that you need a lens that out of the box works great with your 5D.  If you send in your lens and 5d, expect it to screw with your other lenses.  This is why the AF microadjustment is such a huge deal - it allows you to adjust how a body uses a lens on a 1:1 basis.  The Dof is so small, you've got 1/8" either side of what it thinks is focus, so are you shooting these hand held or?

Couple of things to note: my 5D works perfectly with my 135L and my 50/1.8II. My (ex) 50/1.4 front focused with both my 5D and my 5DIII. When I described this to the Canon tech he said (and I agree) that the 50/1.4 might need to be calibrated. Even in absence of AFMA, there should be more or less accurate focusing (I tested wide open near MFD, but my real-world shots were at much smaller apertures and longer distances).
Since the errors were systematic and reproducible, it is clear to draw this conclusion.
The attached image was shot hand held at f/4.5 and the focus was on the singer with the blue microphone.
As you will notice the standing silver microphone is in much sharper focus. It is not motion blur because the motion wasn't fast enough to cause blur at 1/60th of a second. You can see some of the singers in the same plane as the silver microphone are sharply focused.

I had this issue with 2 copies and when my 3rd one started to mimic the issue I figured I'd try to fix it myself (as I no longer used it as a work lens).  I referenced this guide that another Canon Rumor member (Emil) posted back in September:


Thanks for the information, David!

Lenses / Re: 24-105 vs 24-70 2.8 ii
« on: May 21, 2014, 11:47:22 PM »
Hmm That was an interesting read on the lensrentals blog. I wish i could just send them my lens! Ill have to contact canon about sending this lens to them, the biggest worry there is that it will come back with a "within Specs" ugh.
Although I would love to have the best 24-70 and never question it, i feel i can make better use of the 1800 dollars. And i already have with a polarizer and nd filter. And a preorder sigma but still no answer on that.

You bought the 24-70II, right? You ended up keeping it? Is there some issue with it?
I bought my 24-70II and it performs amazingly with just a little AFMA. Best lens ever.

This shows that being at the right time at the right place can put you in the Outlook magazine.
Congratulations, squirrel!

P.S. Great shot, Michael.

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