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Messages - FTb-n

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Photography Technique / Re: What could I do better?
« on: March 18, 2014, 09:45:30 AM »
I have the 60D and the 70-300 non-L.  I upgraded to the 70-200 f2.8L II a couple years ago and it is considerably sharper.  I feared that I would miss the extra reach of the 300, but I did some testing by shooting the 70-300 at 300 and then shooting 70-200 at 200 and cropping to get the same field of view as the 300.  In my findings, the cropped 70-200 is still sharper than the 70-300.

Note that focusing the 70-200 may be more accurate because it can better leverage the 60D's center focus point which is more sensitive with 2.8 lenses.

I also highly recommend back-button-focusing. 

Regarding AI Servo, it helps to understand that this is a predictive focusing mode.  The camera tracks the subject's movement and predicts where the subject will be when the shutter is actually released.  Part of this is to keep the subject in focus during its movement while shooting at max burst mode.  With the 70-300, this may not be a big deal because the smaller aperture and the larger DOF gives you a greater margin of error.  But, with the 2.8 lens, the small DOF, and a fast moving subject; the subject could move out of focus during that very short window between firing the shutter button and releasing the shutter or during burst shots.

Because AI Servo is predictive, focusing is more accurate if you give the camera a second to record the subject movement before firing the shutter.  Try to press the focus button a second or so before you anticipate firing the shutter.

Also, note that AI Servo is more accurate while subject movement is in the same direction.  If the subject suddenly changes direction, AI Servo can take a second to detect and track the change.  I've learned this first hand with figure skating.  This is where the 7D is great asset because it has a processor dedication to focusing and it responds much quicker to erratic movement.  With the 60D, it helps to get in the habit of momentarily lifting your finger off the focus button when the subject changes direction.  This forces the system to start tracking all over and ignore the data from the subject's previous movement.

Lenses / Re: Thinking about this but wanting your thoughts....
« on: March 18, 2014, 01:47:11 AM »
Back when the 60D was my best camera, I invested in the 70-200 f2.8 II.  I needed the speed for low light, indoor sports such as figure skating and basketball.  The lens proved to be great for this purpose.  I also used it for event photography -- school concerts, church events, etc.  In short order, I added a 7D and a 17-55 2.8 and did more outdoor travel photography with both bodies and both lenses.  All tolled, the 70-200 was my most used lens on these crop bodies.  Today, I use two 5D3's and the 70-200 is still my most used lens.

My previous long lens was the 70-300 non-L.  In my experience, cropping images from the 70-200 is sharper than the 70-300.  I would expect that you will find the 70-200 very comparable to your 50-250 in usable range and a whole lot better in IQ.

Perhaps you don't "need" the 2.8, but it sure helps.  I use the aperture that best serves the need, but I'm often isolated on a single subject.  The 2.8 is great for this purpose.  I typically use 2.8 most of the time.  Granted, this shouldn't be a surprise because this is why I paid the extra dollars for this lens.

I highly recommend the 70-200 2.8 II.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 6D or 5Dm3?
« on: February 28, 2014, 08:45:13 PM »
I went from the 7D to the 5D3, mostly for shooting sports and events.  If you are accustomed to moving the focus point around or action is of a concern, you will love the 5D3.  After getting use to the benefits of the 7D's focusing system, the 6D may be a disappointment.  But, the 5D3 will be a real joy to work with.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« on: February 27, 2014, 09:35:52 PM »
Pakneh, sharp and noisy is better than clean and blurry.  I've shot thousands of images of figure skaters with a 7D and the Canon 70-200 f2.8.  Early on, I regretted not going higher with both ISO and shutter speed.  Don't be afraid of 3200-4000 (even 6400) with the 7D.  If you don't already have Lightroom, get it.  It's noise reduction is quite good.

Like Northstar said, expose to the right.  Overexpose 1/3 to 2/3 stops.  This will actually reduce some of the noise since more pixels will be exposed to more information.  Correcting for exposure and noise in Lightroom will give you some good results.

I would most often shoot JPGs to maximize the 7D's burst rates (and, admittedly save some disk space).  But, now it's all RAW.  RAW cleans up better and I don't rely on the burst rate as often as I anticipated.

Best advice -- experiment.  Next time you shoot, try shooting higher ISO than you're used to, or shoot RAW if you don't, and play with shutter speeds.  I prefer 1/640-1/1000 for figure skating and would presume similar speeds for hockey, at least for the players.  The puck may still be blurred.

Absolutely give the 6D a try.  I now use a 5D3 and went from 8 fps from the 7D to 6 fps of the 5D3.  For figure skating, I can't fully rely on either frame rate to make up for poorly timed shots.  (This is where the 12 fps of the 1Dx may shine.) 

So, with the 6D, you will need to work on your timing and your tracking with that single focus point.  I'm guessing that the 6D doesn't have expansion points.  This will be a challenge, but it will certainly sharpen your skills. Again, the key here is to experiment.  Give the 6D a try.

FWIW, at the rink that I shoot, I typically shoot at f2.8, 1/800-1/1000, and ISO 3200-4000.

Lenses / Re: Do you top your pancake with a filter?
« on: February 27, 2014, 08:21:39 PM »
Here are a couple shots of my "mini-hood", the metal ring from an old 52mm rubber lens hood.  I had a bunch of these from my FD lenses for my AE-1 and FTb-n bodies.  I agree that it takes some of the pan-appeal out of the pancake.  But, I'm so accustomed to filters and hoods on most of my lenses, it's tough not to have some protection for the front element.  I think of this as my pancake hood -- I know, useless for the usual function of a hood.

Lenses / Do you top your pancake with a filter?
« on: February 27, 2014, 11:27:14 AM »
I use clear Hoya HD filters on all my lenses with large front elements like the 24-105 f4 and the 70-200 f2.8 II.  I also use hoods on these lenses that help keep things away from the filters.

But, I don't use a filter on the old 35 f2.0, which has a relatively small, deeply seated front element.  I've also found that a filter on the old 35 will introduce flare from candles or any small light that reflects off the front element and onto the back side of the filter.

The front element on the 40 isn't as deeply seated and protected as the front element on the 35.  Since I use it as a grab shot lens, it can be somewhat at risk.  Still, the appeal to this lens is it's size and I don't want to add a filter that might invite contact with stuff since I won't be using a hood.  My solution is to use the metal ring from an old rubber lens hood that adds just enough protection to deflect the lens from damaging objects when carrying the camera on my shoulder without a lens cap.

But, I'm curious.  Do any of you use a filter on your 40mm pancakes?

Lenses / Re: General purpose zoom for honeymoon
« on: February 25, 2014, 07:19:51 PM »
Curious thread. 

Two decades ago, my wife and I honeymooned in Hawaii.  I brought two AE-1 bodies, an FD 35-80 f3.5-5.6, and FD 80-210 f4, and an FD 50 f1.8.  The 50 got little use, but we have poster-sized prints from the others hanging on our walls.  Polarizer filters were used a lot and film speed was limited to ASA 200 and ASA 400.  These lenses pre-dated IS, so I was often pushing the limits of hand-held shutter speeds.

I'm watching the comments of 24-105 f4 vs. 24-70 f2.8 with great interest.  I have the 24-105 and enjoy the IS, especially when using polarizers and with landscapes where I may want a smaller aperture.  With Lightroom lens correction, the distortion isn't an issue. 

I'm intrigued by the 24-70 2.8 for the speed and IQ, but fear the lack of IS and the shorter reach -- and the price.  (Hmm...sounds familiar.  Before moving from crop to FF, I feared the loss of reach -- and the price.)  There are times when I'd prefer a faster lens, but the 24-105 still impresses me.

So, if my wife and I return to Hawaii, I wouldn't hesitate to bring two 5D3's, the 24-105, the 70-200 f2.8 II, and the 40 2.8 pancake.  The 70-200 may seem to be less necessary, but it's still my most used lens, especially when shooting candids and portraits -- which might get frequent use with my favorite subject on the beach ;)

PowerShot / Re: More Product Confirmations for CP+
« on: February 10, 2014, 08:33:43 PM »
So, the replacement for the SX50 is the SX70?  Why not the SX60?

SX70 was the last, premier line of Polaroids.  If Canon is going to skip an SXnn number, it would make more sense to skip SX70.

Sports / Re: track and field photography
« on: February 04, 2014, 06:14:29 PM »
Learn to shoot in manual mode and watch the light meter in the view finder.  I don't trust the auto exposure modes.  All too often, the background can adversely affect the meter reading (such as skaters against a white ice rink).

Action shots need a minimum shutter speed of 1/500 (maybe 1/400 for younger kids).  Preferred speed of 1/1000.

Shoot your 70-200 wide open (either 2.8 or 4.0 -- I don't know which lens you have).

ISO up to 3200 often produces clean images with the 5D3 without noticeble noise.  Don't be afraid to go higher.  I often shoot up to 6400 in indoor gyms.  Remember, a sharp noisy photo is begter than a blurred clean one.

Shoot AI SERVO focus mode and single-point focussing with 8 expansion points.  Use Case 2 to keep your subject in focus when something else gets in the way.  Lock on to your subject with the center point and follow your subject.  Keep panning with your subject as you shoot.  As long as one focus point stays on your subject, your subject will stay in focus.  Keep in mind that AI SERVO is a predictive mode.  It keeps your subject in focus by tracking its movement, then predicting where it will be when the shutter trips.  It works best when you start tracking a second a so before triggering the shutter.  Track with the shutter partially depressed. 

Google "Canon back button focussing".  It may take some getting use to, but it is quite handy.

Set drive mode to high speed burst.  But, don't make it a crutch.  In many cases the only way to get "the" shot is with good timing.

Some indoor venues may benefit with custom white balance.  But, shoot in RAW and you can fix this in post if needed.  If not comfortable with custom white balance, shoot AWB.

Develop good habits for holding the camera -- cradle the lens in the palm of your left hand and keep your wings in.  Pan at the waste.   A monopod will help eliminate fatigue for longer events.  Hold steady, but not too tight.  Relaxed hands are steadier than clenched hands.

If using IS, set it to pan mode.  At 1/1000 second, you can turn off IS.  Some advise turning it off at anything above 1/500.  But, with the 70-200 f2.8L II, I can't tell a difference with IS on or off.

Learn to anticipate the action and be prepared.  Lastly, practice, practice, practice...

Lenses / Re: Lens filters or not?
« on: February 01, 2014, 04:57:24 PM »
I strongly recommend the Hoya HD over the Hoya Pro1 or Hoya HMC.  It's very tough, I found no noticeable difference in IQ with or without the filter, and it's very easy to clean.

Based on other reviews and not personal experience, B+W is the only other filter I would consider.

Footote.  In my experience, the FF body yields sharper images than crop bodies given the same lens.  To me, this largely offsets the "benefit" of the extra reach of a crop body.

I was shooting with a 5D3 and a 7D as a second body.  I often shoot with two bodies.  Recently, I replaced the 7D with another 5D3.  Note that I still have a 60D.  The feature "benefits" of the 7D and 60D -- high FPS, extra reach, articulating screen --paled when compared with the benifits of full frame.  And, I reaaly liked the articulating screen.  My 5D3 is sharper, has more color latitude, is better in low light, and yields smaller DOF. But, you know this.

The 5D3 is a step up from the 6D for action.  For me, this was a must.  If you don't find the 6D focus system to be limiting for what you shoot, then  get another 6D.  Down the road, I think you would find the 70D to be a dissapointment becuase it still is a step down in IQ.  Plus, when switching bodies, it is nice that both have identical controls.

Also, keep the 24-105 for your wife.  If you were to go with the 70D and you wife wants a good zoom, then you afe looking at the 17-55 f2.8  which is a GREAT crop body lens.  But, the 6D/24-105 is a sharper and more versatile kit than the 70D/17-55. 

I'm using the 7D and the 60D as "training tools" to help my wife and kids get more comfortable shooting in manual or AV and with back-button focussing.  Also, using them to encourage more selective use of ISO.  This way, they will be more comfortable shooting with one of my 5D3s if I need their help or if they want more out of their shots.  My bet is that the 6D will be just as easy to learn the craft as the 70D is.  The only caveat is whether video is a high need.  Then the 70D might be more attractive.

I'm using two Seagate 3 TB USB 3.0 drives (STBV3000100) and manually mirroring them so I have two sets.  In addition, I burn to BluRay discs. 

Get the 6D and you won't look back.

I upgraded from the 7D to the 5D3.  High ISO for sports and indoor events were the main motivation.  But, I'm glad that I did so before a trip to Yellowstone.  My 'L' lenses are sharper on the full frame body and the color latitude is deeper.  If action isn't a priority, the 6D is a great choice.  It would have been mine had I not needed the focus benefits of the 5D3.

For what it's worth, if you do go 70D, the 17-55 is a great lens for it.  Still, since your considering the 6D, I'm betting that it's the camera that you really want, but just need some confirmation that full-frame is what it's cracked up to be.  IT IS!

Lenses / Re: What to Buy?
« on: January 26, 2014, 09:39:27 PM »
I mostly shoot indoor sports and events with a 70-200 f2.8L II.  Last year, I made the jump from a 7D to a 5D3 primarily for the high ISO advantage.  But, I found other improvements.  Color depth was greatly improved, my images are sharper, and I can get smaller DOF with full frame.

My biggest concern was losing the extra reach of the crop body.  But, I've found that my 70-200 is sharper on the 5D3, so sharp, I'd rather crop a 5D3 image than use the 7D -- at least with high ISO indoor shots.  I think you will find that your 24-105 and your 70-300 will be far better lenses on the 6D than your 7D. 

Renting a 6D is a good idea.  Take some test shots with the same lens on both bodies to see if cropping the 6D image will make up for the "extra reach" of the 7D.  Granted, there will be less pixel density, but I think you will find a sharper image.

The 7D has a better focus system than the 6D.  If action is your primary subject, this may be an issue.  If not, the 6D is a great option.  My advice is not to wait for the 7DII.  Either go 6D or wait until you can afford a 5D3.  Don't overlook the Canon refurb store.

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