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Messages - FTb-n

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Photography Technique / Re: Is RAW worth it?
« on: August 30, 2014, 11:24:37 AM »
I've tried shooting JPG to save disk space for sporting events, but often found gyms with challenging lighting and wasn't happy with skin tones, even when I used custom WB.  I gave up and shoot RAW exclusively.  It's a lot easier to tweek color corrections with RAW images.

Photography Technique / Re: Back-button focus?
« on: August 30, 2014, 11:14:30 AM »
To me BBF is the most natural way to use the camera.  It seems most inuitive that focusing and tripping the shutter are two distinct actions that should be done with two distinct buttons.  Since I most often shoot in full manual mode, I like to have focus and exposure set before tripping the shutter and don't want the shutter button changing one of these settings.

The biggest drawback is handing he camera to my wife, who isn't used to it.  But, my kids took to it quickly.

The is, however, one case where I may reassign focus to the shutter buton.  When shooting a 90 minute figure skating exhibition in AI SERVO, it can get tiring to sit on the BBF button for most of the event, even when using a monopod.

Canon General / Re: Gear Realities
« on: August 14, 2014, 04:49:13 PM »
I do marvel at the great sports photos of yesteryear with the seemingly limited F1 body with a 250 exposure back and 3 fps motor drive.  I'm shooting my kids' sports events with a 5D3 and 70-200 f2.8 II in the same high school gym where I shot yearbook photos as a student with an FTb-n loaded with ASA 400 Tri-X.  I constantly wonder what shots I could have captured as a student if I had today's gear.

Best advice that I heard was to wait until your gear is holding you back before upgrading.  For me, I was constantly pushing the ISO limit of my Rebel XT when moved up to the 60D.  Then I pushed the 60D to its focusing limits before moving to the 7D.  I was convinced that this was THE camera for me, but I kept relying on NoiseNinja to cleanup high ISO images until I finally took the plunge with the 5D3.  So far, the 5D3 is handling my needs quite nicely.  There may be a 1Dx in my future, but not any time soon.

Arguably, this may have been a more expensive path from the XT to the 5D3.  But, it proved to be a necessary path to prove to myself that I could actually leverage the benefits of the 5D3 and shoot enough photos to justify the cost.

Decades ago, I sold cameras at Target and learned two things about a buyer's tendencies.  First, it can be quite tempting to be drawn to the fancy gadgetry of the latest and greatest camera.  It's the awe for the technology that inspired these sales.  Second, it is easy for the less experienced photographer to confuse more automated modes with advanced photo gear and be sold on the idea that such automation can fill the void of experience and talent.  These are buyers who look for "cameras that take great pictures" rather than looking at cameras for "photographers who take great photos".

PWP, thanks, the flexibility to "hinge" just below the belt is what I was after.  Even with the 70-200, I can quickly and easily swing the camera if I sit down.  Further, keeping the body in the clip makes changing lenses easy.

I never tried the Spider Pro and have been intrigued with it.  I can see where it would be quicker than the PD Capture Clip.  But, I opted for the Clip for two reasons.  One, I wanted the smallest possible plate on the bottom of the camera body and preferable flat.  Second, I prefer the lens to hang down and with the front element facing the ground.  I like that the Capture Clip keeps it in this position.  From web research alone (and not first-hand experience) the Spider Pro seems to allow for more swing that I might prefer.   Again, can't say for certain since I didn't try it.  The Spider Pro was my second choice, but so far, I've been happy with the Clip.

For what it's worth, I first learned of the Capture Clip from a friend when the Kickstarter campaign was initially launched.  The Clip came a long way since then.  As one who tinkers with mods, I'm enjoying watching the ideas and the growth of this company.

Another vote for Peak Design's Capture Clip.  I use two on a ThinkTank Pro Speed Belt, but I don't mount the brackets directly to the belt.  Check my previous post on this:

I sewed two-inch strap into a simpler version of Peak Design's Pro Pad.  I like that the clip is horizontal and that I can slide the clip around the belt.

I'm now using two 5D3's, one with a 70-200 f2.8 II and the other with a 24-70 f2.8 II.  This works a lot better on my waste than my shoulder -- no more headaches.  If I need an extra lens, I can add one of ThinkTank's lens pouches to the belt.

It's worth noting that I almost always have one camera in hand, so the weight on the belt is typically from a single camera and lens.  Still, I find it comfortable to carry both cameras on the belt.

Another note.  I make my own straps out of 1" military grade tube webbing with the ends sewn to a length of 3/4 old-fashioned camera strap.  If things get moving quickly, I can throw one strap around the neck and the other around a shoulder like the old pros did and switch pretty quickly between the two. 

And, another modification.  Before attaching the strap to the camera, I run it through a hair bungee.  When the strap isn't in use, I wrap it up and keep it in place with the bungee.  When I need the strap, just pull.  See the photo below.  Also, note that the 3/4 strap on the right side is long enough to double as a wrist strap.

Post Processing / Re: My Basic & Practical Back-Up Strategy
« on: August 09, 2014, 01:47:22 AM »
Anyone else remember using a hole punch to make single-sided floppy disks into double-sided floppy disks (back when they were actually big and floppy)?

I do.   I recently found one of those floppy floppies in an old box of stuff.  Too bad I no longer have that fancy dual floppy Columbia PC clone.

EOS Bodies / Re: One other hoped-for feature on the 7D2
« on: July 29, 2014, 11:55:19 PM »
I shoot mostly in manual and do have my 5D3 configured with the SET button/top dial controlling ISO.  But, it's awkward and I often forget to use it.  When I need to change ISO quickly, I still press the ISO button then dial in the desired setting. 

So, for manual mode, there are three ways to change a setting -- top dial, back dial, and SET/top dial.  And, there are three exposure settings that one may wish to change with some frequency -- shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.  Currently, with the 5D3, you can re-assign either dial to aperture and shutter speed.  It would be nice to be able to re-assign any of these three modes to change settings to any of these three exposure settings.  Personally, I'd like the top dial set to shutter speed, the back dial to ISO, and the SET/top dial to aperture.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« on: July 25, 2014, 11:40:27 AM »
Roo, I like the controlled motion blur of your slow shutter speed shot and would rank it much better than "ok".
Panning with slow shutter speeds was a necessity before high ISO digital cameras, but it's easy to forget about this technique when you don't need it for proper exposure.  Definitely keep working it.  You've reminded me to do the same when I shoot figure skating.

I replaced a 70-300 non-L with the 70-200 2.8L II IS and was very leery of the extra weight.  I had already experienced headaches from shoulder bags with an old Rebel XT and the 70-300 non-L, so the weight of the new lens on the slightly heavier 60D did concern me.  Ultimately, it's not an issue.

Of course, your mileage may vary and my needs are different.  I shoot a lot of indoor sports and events.  The 2.8 is critical for low light sports and the IS is critical for events with even less light.

I also dabble in portraits and this lens is my first choice.  I love the flexibility of having 2.8 to isolate the subject.  I bought the lens for low-light speed and expected the shallow DOF to be an added benefit.  But, I didn't fully appreciate 2.8 -- especially on FF -- until I used it. 

Since first getting the 70-200, I've switched to full frame and now routinely carry two 5D3's, one with a short zoom and one with the 70-200.  The latter is by far my most used lens.  The weight issue was solved with shoulder bags from ThinkTank and, most recently, Capture Clips by Peak Design.

I appreciate the temptation for the lighter and cheaper lens, but I can't imagine not having the heavier 2.8.

Lenses / Re: Hawaii travel advice
« on: June 28, 2014, 02:27:09 PM »
This all depends upon what you normally shoot when sight seeing.  For me, the 70-200 f2.8 II is my most used lens with the short zoom (24-105 or 24-70) a distant second.  Granted, Hawaii means more scenery and more wider shots, still, especially with the family along, the 70-200 on full frame would be my first choice. 

My dilemma would be between the 24-105 with IS or the faster 24-70 without.  For scenery, I like a polarizer and smaller apertures.  Image stabilization can be an asset.  But, the 24-70, which is relatively new to my kit, is winning me over and would likely be my second lens.

It's 16 years since I visited Hawaii and I took two AE1 bodies, an FD 70-210 f4, an FD 35-70 f3.5-4.5, an FD 50 f1.8, polarizers, a Sunpak flash, and a tripod.  Fastest film was ASA 400.  I have four poster-sized prints on the wall, two from each zoom.  The tripod was an asset for one of them.  Polarizers helped with each of them.  The flash and the 50mm got very little use (if any). 

So, I think I would feel quite comfortable with the 70-200 f2.8 II and the 24-70 f2.8.  But, I couldn't travel that far to a photogenically rich land like Hawaii without both zooms.  (I would also bring two FF bodies.)

Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: June 13, 2014, 01:48:20 AM »
This is the third review I read from Dustin Abbott. Great review once again. Very honest.

I was seriously considering the reviewed lens but got caught up by the announcement of the Sigma 50 1.4 Art (not sure I want to buy a 35mm AND a 50mm). Anyway I might end up just buying the 40mm instead, so here comes my

question: how does the 35mm f/2 IS compare to the 40mm f/2.8?

I understand the max aperture small difference, the 300$ price tag gap, and the former being a tad wider, but what in terms of:
- sharpness (@ 2v2.8 and 2.8v2.8)
- distortion
- bokeh rendering
- Dustin's "WOW" effect

Thanks in advance.
I own both.  The 40, which I bought on sale for $150,  was a splurge purchase.  I bought it for the fun factor and justified the purchase because it is an incredibly sharp lens.  I use it mainly as a grab shot, travel light lens and as a backup to my 70-200.  On many occasions I'll shoot indoor sports and only expect to use the longer zoom.  But, just in case I get in  tight situation, I throw the 40 in a pocket and it has come in handy.

The 35 IS is my low light speed demon.  Very sharp, great close up,  fast focus, very bright, and very fast.  With less glass, I think it lets in about a third stop more light at 2.8 than my 70-200 does at 2.8.

I have the 24-70 2.8 II, which covers most of my short focal length needs.  But, if low light is a concern (such as a wedding reception) I grab the 35.  What I have yet to do is explore the thin DOF more...definately on my todo list.

For what it's worth, I'm waiting for a new EF 50 IS at 2.0 or faster and plan to add it as a complement to the 35 for better low light coverage.

I got the 40 before the 35 was introduced.  If I had neither, the 35 IS would be my first purchase.

Congrats on the order and enjoy the 60D.

For what it's worth, my 5D3 has 6fps, not much faster than the 60D.  Most of the sports that I shoot is grade school level and I can't say that I miss the 8fps of 7D.  There are times when burst is handy, such as a layup in basketball when there are a couple seconds worth of shots.  But, when trying to get the batted ball or the moment when the basketball leaves the hand, it's all about timing that first shot.  Relying on burst won't help.

When you dig into the 60D, there's really a lot there.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my 60D could control my 430EX flash off camera, in full auto, using the popup flash.  I could also use the popup as a fill flash.


I upgraded from a Rebel XT to the 60D and then added the 70-200 f2.8L IS II.  My main need was figure skating, grade school sports, and indoor events.  From the XT, this was a huge improvement. 

Shortly afterward, I added a 17-55 f2.8 IS.  It wasn't long when I realized that the XT was a poor second camera, then I heard the calling of a refurbished 7D direct from Canon.  The 7D proved to be a great improvement with more challenging sports action.

First, the difference for me wasn't really with the 8 fps.  I rely more on timing of the first shot then may burst a second or third one.  But, the biggest issue was with tracking erratic movement such as with figure skating.  My guess is that the 60D had an in-focus success rate of about 80% where the 7D was at least 90%.

But, perhaps the biggest problem was that I didn't fully understand the predictive nature of the AI Servo mode.  It isn't completely live focus, but rather it records movement to predict where the subject will be when the shutter is actually tripped.  So, it works great tracking a subject that moves in a straight line.  But, it can be off when the subject changes direction.   The 7D can usually keep up, but the 60D lags behind when tracking the change in direction.  It's sometimes best to momentarily lift your finger off the focus lock when the subject changes direction to force the camera start its calculations all over.

Another issue that you can run into is with burst mode or "near" burst mode.  The 60D can only burst a few RAW images before filling the buffer.  Part of this is due to the slower SD cards.  It does a better job with smaller JPGs.  Still, for me, this wasn't a huge problem.

That's the negative and is most noticeable with challenging sports action.

I still find the 60D to be a great camera and the articulating screen was quite handy for both creative shots and candids.  Today, I mostly shoot with two 5D3's, but I kept the 60D (and the 7D).  My wife kids now use these.  On occasion, I'll grab the 60D and 17-55 or the 35 f2 IS for a lightweight grab shot camera -- especially for times when I don't want to carry 5 grand worth of gear for more casual shots.

For crop bodies, if lots of sports was my main need, I'd be tempted to look for a refurb 7D.  But, for a more general purpose camera that can handle sports, the 60D is a great choice.  Keep in mind, it's only when compared to the 7D that 60D falls short in the sports department.

Lenses / Re: Next Lens Canon Should Release?
« on: June 08, 2014, 11:58:55 AM »
I'm waiting for an EF 50 f1.4 USM IS followed be an EF 85 f2 USM IS.  The 35 f2 IS needs a couple big brothers.

Lenses / Re: Covering 70-200 Indoors.
« on: June 07, 2014, 12:49:43 PM »
I shoot lots of indoor stuff from figure skating and grade school basketball to concerts and plays.  Before going full frame, I used a 7D with a 70-200 f2.8 IS II and a 60D with a 17-55 f2.8 IS.  I used the 7D/70-200 combo the most, perhaps 80% of the time.

Now that I shoot full frame with two 5D3's the 70-200 gets more use.  Because its "wider" than on the crop body, the I don't fall back to the short zoom as often.  For sports events, I often leave it home.

One thing to note.  I feared the loss of reach with going to a full frame body.  In truth the 70-200 is a more useful range on full frame for both indoor sports and candids at events.  But, when using higher ISO (1600 and up), I would rather crop a full frame image at 200mm than use a crop body image at 200 (effectively 320mm).  I find that the cropped full frame image is sharper and richer in color depth.

For outdoor shots with baseball and soccer, I'll switch between the 5D3 and the 7D with the 70-200.  With kids soccer, I find that the full frame is more useful.  I can position myself along the sidelines near the goal and wait for the action to come to me.  It's true that I have more reach with the 7D and can get shots across the field, but I rarely like these.  With baseball, I tend to rely more on the 7D.

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