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Messages - FTb-n

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Pricewatch Deals / Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« on: September 07, 2013, 12:45:19 PM »
Get used to internet sales tax?

Or, you can vote for politicians who aren't addicted to spending other people's money.  Just saying...

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: If you plan to upgrade your camera, read
« on: September 07, 2013, 12:40:44 PM »
It all depends upon what you shoot.  I did upgrade from a 60D to a 7D and saw a huge increase in my keeper rate for sports shots.  If shooting sports and a 5D3 is too expensive, I would certainly recommend a 70D as an upgrade to a 60D.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« on: September 06, 2013, 10:05:52 PM »
Those products just arrive in your mailbox by magic? They don't travel over the highways or land at an airport? They don't get delivered by someone driving on your street?

And, it's not just for infrastructure. That sales tax pays for the fire trucks that come to your house if it catches on fire. It pays for the police officer who patrols your neighborhood so no one steals that new lens you bought.
There are ample taxes on fuel paid by carriers to cover the costs of roadways.  Unfortunately, in Minnesota, by law, no more than 60% of said taxes can actually be applied to such infrastructure.  In practice, significantly less actually goes toward roads.  The rest fuels non-infrastructure related political pet-projects.

As for protecting my home from fire and theft, I pay property taxes for those purposes.  But, like gas taxes, only a small percentage of what I pay actually goes to police and fire departments.

Sales tax, while difficult to digest, makes sense:
It brings the local stores to a level field of play.

Sorry.  This sounds too much like an interstate tariff, which violates the commerce clause of the Constitution.

In Minnesota, the sales tax has been raised to pay for, arguably, "pet projects" of political interest groups that go well beyond covering infrastructure related costs of doing business in this state.   

There is an implication here that Internet sales represents a black market of sorts because it avoids local sales tax.  If it's true that avoiding local sales tax is a motive for buying online, this should be a clear indication that local sales tax is too high.  Remember, online purchasers often have the added cost of shipping which often offsets the "no sales tax motive". 

Some big chains in Minnesota tried using the "level playing field" argument to promote an Internet sales tax.  Truth be told, if these stores were more competitive on the high dollar items (TV's and DSLRs), more people would buy from them.  Speaking for myself, I buy photo equipment online because the initial cost is much cheaper than local merchants.  (And, no, I don't "showroom" at local merchants than buy online.)

I would also argue that the "use tax" is unconstitutional because it goes beyond collecting outstate sales taxes.  It essentially taxes the ownership of property which infringes upon the right to own property.  The right to own property is not protected if such ownership can be "ransomed" by the state.  But, I digress (sorry, mods).

Canon General / Re: Camera skin for 5D MK III
« on: September 05, 2013, 02:57:04 PM »
I use GGS optical glass protectors from Amazon.com.  The 5DIII version includes a protector for the info LCD.


PowerShot / Re: Compact Camera suggestions?
« on: August 28, 2013, 08:24:00 PM »
The Canon S100 is a great little camera and surprisingly clean at 1600 for a P&S.  But, if action is the priority, then DSLT is the only answer.  I'd look at a refurbished T4i, T3i, or T2i through Canon's refubish store.

Canon General / Re: Yellowstone vacation advice
« on: August 25, 2013, 02:43:50 PM »
I also added Fred at the bottom. He was our resident bison that slept pretty much outside of our cabin at Lake Yellowstone.  He was quite friendly, but I didn't get any closer that what you see in the pic.

Fred looks familiar.  Does he offer guided tours from Canyon Village to Fishing Bridge?

Canon General / Re: Yellowstone vacation advice
« on: August 24, 2013, 02:12:12 PM »
My wife, two kids, and I just returned from Yellowstone.  We visited the park by RV and didn't do any trail hiking, so my photo needs will likely differ.

I used ThinkTank hosters, one for a 7D w/70-200 f2.8L II, and another with 5D3 w/24-105 f4L.  The latter was my most used lens -- love the IS.  I also kept a Hoya HD polarizing filter on it.

To be fair, my want to get the shot under the most optimum lighting was tampered by not wanting to drag the family out before dawn or onto the trail.  Still, I found my gear selection quite handy for all but flying creatures.

Toward dusk, I swapped lenses and put the 70-200 on the 5D3 then upped the ISO in anticipation of buffalo street dance by headlight shots.

Lastly, don't forget the bear spray.  There have been several grizzly sitings and one attack near Canyon Village in the past few weeks.

Lenses / Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« on: June 24, 2013, 09:35:58 PM »
Here's another vote for the 40 2.8.  I own this lens and the 50 1.8.  The 40 is quieter, focuses faster and is sharper corner to corner with both lenses at 2.8.  As for the 50 1.4, TheDigitalPicture image tests shows it to be quite soft wide open.  Niether 50 is really sharp until you stop them down close to 2.8.

The 50 1.4 and 1.8 will give you an edge at lower light if you're ok with softer images.   But, the 6D is great at higher ISO's.   You may not need that edge.  You also may find the DOF too be tighter than you want on the FF body.

Lighting / Re: On Camera Flash: Direct or Bounce, candid.
« on: June 20, 2013, 03:06:13 AM »
I rarely use flash for candids.  That's one reason why I went FF with the 5D3 to avoid using flash, especially with candids.  The flash tends to spoil the moment and one candid moment can often lead to several if the photographer's presence isn't felt.

But, if you must use flash.  Bounce it or diffuse it or both and get it off camera if you can.

Lenses / Re: Help complete my bundle...
« on: June 20, 2013, 02:56:20 AM »
I love the 24-105 on my 5D3, great all around lens and love the IS.  While 2.8 would be nice, the 5D3 makes the slower 24-105's f4 usable in low light.  And, for more creativity, think small stream rushing over rocks at a slow shutter speed, the IS offers it.

In full disclosure, my most used lens is the 70-200 f2.8 Mark II.  For fast kids, indoor sports, and even event candids, this lens is great with the 5D3 or 6D.  It's one worth saving for.

For flash, EX 430 or up.  But, this is a tougher call.  I rarely carry my 430 with me.  But, I have delved in portrait work and prefer several Yongnuo 460ii's with umbrella's.  They give me more flexibility on the cheap -- especially when paired with Cowboy Studio radio triggers.  It's fully manual, but easy to work with.  My 430 is reserved for emergency use when low light is too low and multiple flash setup isn't practical.  I often use the 430 off camera in hand-held soft box.  To be fair, the 580 or 600 would give you more options within modifiers like soft boxes due to the added power.

My advice on the flash is to wait until you know the limits of the 6D in available light and you've identified what you really want in a flash.

Regarding the 40, you don't need it with the 50 1.8.  But, it is fun to use.  It's cheap off Canon's refurb store, focusses faster and quieter than the 50 and is sharp from corner to corner.  It's my travel light lens.  You don't need it now.  Save this for down the road as a fun way to treat yourself with a new toy.

Lenses / Re: If you could only have three lenses...
« on: June 02, 2013, 10:48:18 PM »
Assuming FF, specifically 5D3:

EF 70-200 f2.8L IS Mark II
EF 24-105 f4.0L IS
EF 35 f2.0 IS

...and that new 40mm pancake body cap  ;D

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Refurbished Body
« on: June 01, 2013, 12:43:35 PM »
I bought a refurbished 7D from Canon last year and have had no problms with it.  It's my understanding that these a warranty returns or open box items that have been fully tested by Canon with any parts not up to spec replaced.  I don't think they are post warranty used cameras.  Does Canon take trade-ins that would give them a stock of used cameras?

My 7D does have a small punch hole to the right of the serial number.

Canon does warranty their refurbished products for 90 days.

EOS Bodies / Re: Digitalrev speculates on D7100 vs. 7D2
« on: May 27, 2013, 11:58:58 AM »
I would expect high ISO raw files to be cleaner than the 7D, but not near 5D3 levels -- maybe cut the difference in half.

But, I would agree that the advertised high ISO improvement would bw with the JPEG processing.  If they simply replaced the two DIGIC 4's with one or two DIGIC 5+ processors, we should see a full stop improvement in cleaner JPEG processing.

Ultimately, I'm hoping the wait has been for a reason and will be worthwhile.  Canon must know that 7D users want cleaner high ISO images more than a higher megapixel sensor or even faster FPS.  So I'm optimistice that they have been spending this time developing a new sensor.

Still, I went for the 5D3 a few months ago and I'm waiting for another Canon refurb sale to pick up a second body (hopefully, this fall).  Admittedly, I don't want the 7D2 to come close to matching the 5D3 high ISO IQ.  If I invest in the second 5D3 body, I don't want to be tempted into investing in a 7D2 body next year. 

Which could be another reason why Canon is waiting until next year for the introduction.  If the 7D2 is close to the 5D3 in IQ, give the 5D3 two years of sales, then temp 5D3 owners with a cheaper alternative to the 1Dx.  I won't go back to crop unless the IQ improves significantly -- regardles of the FPS.

Lenses / Re: What other lenses for my 60D
« on: May 13, 2013, 09:33:55 PM »
I own both the 60D and the 7D.  Best two lenses for these bodies are the 17-55 f2.8 IS and the 70-200 f2.8L IS II.  Of course, this all depends upon what you shoot.  Of the three that you suggest, I highly recommend the 17-55 f2.8.

So, what if you move to FF?  If you're considering such a move soon, then consider the 6D with the 24-105 f4.  This is the "FF counterpart" to the 60D and 17-55 f2.8, only better -- better low light, better color, greater focal range.

(FWIW I recently added a 5D3 with the 24-105 to my kit.  I don't regret having the 17-55 that can only be used on the crop bodies, it makes a good backup system to my 5D3 if I need it.  It also makes a good system for my daughter and potential apprentice who's interest in photography is growing.  More importantly, for the past year that I've owned the 17-55, I got images that would not have recorded with a slower lens.)

The 24-105 is often a great buy as a kit, anywhere from $200-300 less than buying it solo.  Buy it now and you'll spend a few hundred extra in preparation for the move to FF.

So if you plan to use the 60D for a while, then get a lens that works well with the 60D, you'll get more use out of the 60D.  The 24-105 is a good lens on the 60D/7D, if you don't need the wide end and always shoot in lots of light.  But, the extra stop of the 17-55 is big asset.  If you move to FF, you can sell the 17-55.  Sure, you may lose some money in the process, but it should be a near wash compared to the higher cost of the 24-105 solo (assuming this is your lens of choice for FF).

Also, for price, consider the Canon refurbished store.

EOS Bodies / Re: AF "Cases" for use with Dance Photography
« on: May 07, 2013, 10:41:21 PM »
I shoot figure skating with a 5D3 and a 70-200 f2.8L II.  There's a lot of erratic motion with change of direction and varying speeds.  Sometimes there's a single skater, sometimes several.  Case 5 is supposed to be for sports like skating, but I find that Case 2 is more effective, especially if there are several skaters and I trying to get shots of one in particular.  Case 2 is better at staying locked on the skater when others get in the way.

I also shoot single point with 9 point expansion and AI Servo.  When using expansion with Case 2, the key is to lock on your subject with the center focus point.  The surrounding expansion points will then help stay locked if the center point moves off the subject.

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