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Messages - FTb-n

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46
Lenses / Re: Baby on the way - lens help
« on: January 06, 2014, 03:18:52 PM »
When my kids were infants, my main lenses were an old EF 35-70 USM zoom on a Rebel film body (i.e. full frame) and the EF-S 17-85 on an XT.  The FF range of 35-70 was very effective.  But, the biggest benefit was that both lenses had USM focussing and were very quiet.  I had tried a third-party lens with a louder focussing system (about as aloud as the 50 1.8) and I often lost the moment because the baby heard the lens.

47
Canon General / Re: Rubber Hoods
« on: January 06, 2014, 03:02:57 PM »
I've used rubber lens hoods on my FD lenses for decades.  They generally held up well and I always folded it all they back to store the lens.

Most of these lenses had 52, 55, or 58 mm filter tfhreads.  Most of my EF lenses have thread sizes larger than 58mm.  I find rubber hoods for these lenses too inconveniently large in diameter and I prefer the plastic hoods.

I can't say which offers greater protection during a fall, but both offer good protection against bumps when carrying the camera with a shoulder strap.

48
EOS Bodies / Re: Change from T3i to 70d, or invest in a new lens?
« on: December 24, 2013, 02:11:13 AM »
I went from an XT, to a 60D, to a 7D, and finally the 5D3.  Before getting the 7D, I bought the 70-200 f2.8L II and the 17-55 f2.8 for use with my 60D.  For me, these are THE lenses for crop bodies.  You need to examine the focal range that you shoot most often, then choose which lens to invest in first.

I most often shoot candids, events, and indoor sports.  The 70-200 is an ideal lens for these situations.  It was my most used lens on the 7D and is now even more useful on the 5D3.

The 70D offers a better focus system for both action stills and video than the T3i.  If focus issues are an issue, then the 70D is worth considering.  However, the 17-55 2.8 and the 70-200 2.8 will give you a bigger bump in image quality than upgrading to the 70D.  These lenses are sharper and faster.  The 2.8 alone will give you greater subject separation if shot wide open and will make many of your images pop.  For available light, there are no better choices in zooms.

49
Canon General / Re: Renaming and storing photos
« on: December 21, 2013, 11:43:17 PM »
I download files into a directory based on the date then add subject to the directory, such as 2013.12.21.basketball.  I often shoot with two bodies and duplicate filenames is an issue.  Before getting the 7D (which includes an option for custom filename prefix), I wrote a small batch file to rename the images.  I would download files from the secondary body first, then run the batch file to rename IMG_xxxx.CR2 to IMB_xxxx.CR2.  Then I would download images from the main body and leave the filenames alone.

50
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Vote for T1i, SL1 or 6D
« on: December 21, 2013, 04:33:39 PM »
I shoot indoor volleyball for my kids' grade school and generally position myself net-side, so I have a good view of the front line and of net action.  I had good success with a 7D and the EF-S 17-55 2.8.  Now I use a 5D3 with the 70-200 2.8L II.  This is a great combination for this venue.  Go for the 6D.  You'll be better prepared for low light gym's and get better color.  Shoot with center-point focus.

Are zooms as good as primes?  Depends on the zoom and depends on the prime.  I do think the 17-55 and the 70-200 II challenge most primes with the latter lens being the better challenger.

51
Lenses / Re: Should I choose the 70-200 2.8 II?
« on: December 19, 2013, 12:43:11 AM »
Best advice I ever got was "never buy a lens until you actually need it."  So, do you need the 70-200 range? Do you need the 2.8 speed?  Do you need IS?  (Can you afford it?)

Now, the 70-200 is a very versatile range on full frame.  The 2.8 offers great subject seperation.  And the IS further extends its versatility for both creative slow shutter speed shots and hand holding during low light event work.  This is my most used lens and will likely outlast my 5D3.  If you have a need for the 70-200 range, get this lens.

52
EOS Bodies / Re: 7D shutter count
« on: December 13, 2013, 11:00:16 AM »
Have tested EOSCount?
I tried it on my 7D, then tried it weeks later - and hundreds of images later - and the shutter count didn't change.
Did you switch off your camera between? I've seen that the count did not change between different readouts if the camera was not switched off. Once switched off and on again the count did change. Can't remember if this is true for the 7D.
Yes.  The camera was cycled on and off many times in the weeks between attempts.  However, this was nearly two years ago when EOSCount was free.  I wasn't interested in buying it unless I had confirmation that it was reliable.

53
EOS Bodies / Re: 7D shutter count
« on: December 13, 2013, 07:24:00 AM »
I used http://eoscount.com/ and had no issues.  I think they charge like $1.99 or something but it worked perfectly with my 7D.  :)

Have tested EOSCount?
I tried it on my 7D, then tried it weeks later - and hundreds of images later - and the shutter count didn't change.

54
Lenses / Re: looking for feedback on choosing a 70-200 for weddings.
« on: November 30, 2013, 01:35:47 AM »
Here's another vote for the 70-200 f2.8 Mark II.  I don't shoot weddings, but I do shoot events in similar conditions.  My 70-200 is my most used lens and the IS is a big reason for it.  I have no problem shooting down to 1/40 with it and get interesting shots with my subject still, but surrounding people in a slight blur.  This isn't always my objective, I usually prefer 1/100 or faster, but there are times when you find a subject in poorer light and changing shutter speeds to get the shot is quicker than bumping up the ISO.  You have to work quick at events and a monopod would be too slow and limiting.  The IS does a great job of extending your freedom to get the shot in sometimes less than ideal positions.

More importantly, the IQ is fantastic and it does a great job of isolating your subjects.  Of course, this all depends upon your style of covering these events.  I prefer to stay in the background and love the perspective that I get with the longer focal lengths.  This could well become your primary wedding lens.  If so, the 2.8 IS version would be worth the investment.

55
Lenses / Re: Canon 40mm f/2.8 Lens: Thoughts? Reviews? Is it worth getting?
« on: November 15, 2013, 11:16:44 PM »
I love mine.  I first got it for the 7D and used it for family events when I didn't want the heft of the 17-55.  Now that I have the 5D3, I find it even handier.  Tomorrow, I'm shooting my kids basketball game with the 5D3 and the 70-200 f2.8L II.  I'm bringing the 40 in case there's a chance for a group shot.  It's very easy to travel light with this lens.  Also, IQ is great, corner-to-corner, and wide open.  I prefer the 40 2.8 over the old 35 2.0 and the 50 1.8. 

56
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Image Quality - Body vs Lens?
« on: November 14, 2013, 01:25:36 AM »
One more note.  It is true that the 5D3 yields sharper images than the 7D when using the same lens.  The image quality comparison tool on The-Digital-Picture.com illustrates this quite nicely.  Contrary to popular belief, the extra pixel density of the 7D doesn't necessarily result in sharper images compared to cropping a FF image to the same perspective.

When I made my move to FF, I feared the loss of that extra reach with my 70-200.  I had grown accustomed to capturing shots of skaters at the far end of the rink with an effective focal length of 320mm.  So, when I got the 5D3, I did lots of comparison tests between it and the 7D with the same 70-200.  I cropped the 5D3 images to the same perspective of the 7D.  In my tests, the cropped 5D3 images typically looked as sharp or sharper than the non-cropped 7D images -- and always looked richer in color depth with less noise.

57
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Image Quality - Body vs Lens?
« on: November 14, 2013, 12:50:00 AM »
I shoot a lot of indoor sports and lots of figure skating -- fast, erratic moving subjects in sometimes challenging light.  I went from an XT with a 70-300 f4-5.6 (non-L) to a 60D with a 70-200 f2.8 II.  Somewhere, in between, I borrowed a 70-200 f2.8 Mark I for my XT and saw a huge improvement.  But, noise at 1600 was still noise.  With that one experience, I was sold on the 70-200 L.  But, I also realized that sensors do matter.  It's not like 40 years ago when Kodachrome 64 was just as good in a Canon FTb as it was in the F1.

Since then I upgraded to the 7D and my keeper rate went up significantly due to better focus tracking.  But, I still needed Noise Ninja or Lightroom to clean up the noise.  I often shoot between 1600 and 3200.

Early this year I upgraded to the 5D3 and my image quality increased dramatically.  Rarely do I need to clean up noise.  Images are sharper and with the bigger pixels, color depth is deeper.  For challenging, harsh lighting, I have more flexibility in Lightroom to tone down the highlights and bring out detail in the shadows.

I went through a lot of mind games to convince myself that I would never "need" full frame because I just couldn't see myself spending the money for it.  I thought the 7D was the greatest camera made -- until  my 5D3 arrived.

Granted, for outdoor stuff, I still get some good use out of the 7D.  But, it's a backup body when indoors.

It's easier to invest first in lenses.  They often last longer.  That 100 f2.0 should be great lens on crop or full frame.  (It's still on my wish list.)  But, sometimes there's no escaping the benefit of upgrading sensors (even if the body surrounding it isn't top of the line).

So, body or lens?  Yes.



58
Spent a few minutes playing with back-button focus a couple years ago and never went back -- or front, so to speak.  I find back-button focus to be quite natural and love disconnecting the focus from the shutter button.

59
Lenses / Re: Refurbished Lens From Canon
« on: November 08, 2013, 10:34:15 AM »
I purchased a refurbished 7D and am currently watching prices for refurbished 5DIII's to drop to grab another one.  I'm not, yet, in the market for another lens, but I will definitely look at Canon's refurbished lenses first.

Canon's refurbished products must pass individual inspection before being sold.  I would assume that this includes a focus check for lenses.  New lenses don't get this kind of individual testing before being sold.  Now that refurbished camera's and lenses (through the Canon store) have the same one year warranty as new products, I don't see a down side for buying through Canon's Refurbish store as long as the price is right.  (I have, occasionally, seen some promos on new products beat the pricing of Canon's refurbished pricing.)

60
Lenses / Re: Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 II vs Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II
« on: November 05, 2013, 10:36:29 AM »
I would echo the suggestion of the 70-200 f2.8L Mark II and the 40 f2.8.  I don't have the 24-70, instead, I have the 24-105 f4.  The 24-105 offers greater range, but I still prefer the 70-200 most of the time. 

This all depends upon what you shoot.  For me, it's most often sports (mostly indoor) and events (people candids) with some portrait stuff.  The 70-200 on a FF body is a great range to isolate you subject.  Note that at events, I also like to stay in the background and out of the way.  It's only for those "establishing" shots and group photos that I go to the shorter zoom or a shorter prime.

For me, the jump from 40mm to 70mm isn't a big deal.  If the 40 is a little too wide I can either move closer or crop.   Granted, it is nice to have all focal lengths covered between 24 and 200, but I don't get too hung up on not having the full range between 40 and 70. 

Just last night I shot grade school musical (basically choirs and school bands) with the 70-200.  I used a 35 2.0 for some establishing shots of the venue and crowd, but everything else was with the 70-200.  I have no problem getting a group of kids in the shot or zeroing in on one or two.  I had my 24-105 with me, but didn't use it because I didn't need anything wider than the 35.

I also find that the 70-200 is great for portraits -- up to 2 in an average living, or larger groups outside.  If individuals are the subject matter, I try to avoid the wider focal lengths which can be less than flattering.

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