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Messages - FTb-n

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Canon General / Re: How Soon We Forget!
« on: October 10, 2014, 02:56:44 AM »
Photography is a great hobby (or profession) for those of us who not only enjoy the art of capturing that moment in time, but also marvel at the technological advances and fine craftsmanship that went into the development of our tools.

For decades, the film-based Leica M-series was a marvel in design and craftsmanship.  So was the Hasselblad.  I still appreciate the craftsmanship that went into the Canon F1, FTb-n, and the Canonet GIII's -- and the little Rollie 35's with the collapsible lens.   I still think that old Argus C3 is unique marvel in its simplicity and tank-meets-Brownie design.  The big thing in my early career was to push-process ASA 400 Tri-X film to ASA 1,200.  Shooting at 1,200 was FAST and way cool.

But, now, with a 7D or a 5D3, I routinely shoot up to ISO 64,000.  Last week, I played with 12,800 at a high-school football game.  The results at these speeds still amaze me.  I remember when Ektachrome ASA 160 was "high speed film."  It is incredible that one can get a recognizable image at ISO 12,800, let alone a clean one.  Looking back a few decades, it is fascinating to review the evolution of the camera.   The progress in the past ten years absolutely amazes me.

Photography is the art of capturing a moment that can be studied, discussed, and enjoyed for a lifetime.  The  photograph lives to reveal the details of an instant in time.  For the photographer, it's not only the image and the story within that sparks great interest, but also the tale of getting the shot -- the hunt itself. 

It is fascinating to discuss the techniques we use to get that shot.  I find it equally fascinating to discuss the tools that we use.  We are witnessing an incredible evolution of the camera, there is much to share as we watch it evolve.  It is this variety that fascinates me about photography for it offers so many different fields of study that can shared in spirited discussion -- from the image, to the hunt, to the technology that drives the evolution of our tools -- it offers the spice that keeps the pages of this forum alive and kicking.

Reviews / Re: Scott Kelby 7D Mark II Real World
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:38:02 PM »
It was interesting to note Kelby's claim that he shoots JPEGs for sports -- then to complain about the 5D3's buffer.

I interpreted that as he has to shoot JPEGs because he can’t convert the RAW yet.

He did state that he shot both the game and the wedding in JPEG because he couldn't convert the RAW yet.  But, I thought he also said that he "always shoots in sports in JPEG".  I assumed he does this speed up his workflow and turnaround time to get his images to his client during half-time and after the game.

Reviews / Re: Scott Kelby 7D Mark II Real World
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:24:35 PM »
Not like i forgot, but watching this video reaffirmed to me the differences between pros and everyone else. Here Scott about losses it because he thought he lost his "lock" button. I have no idea what a lock button is,what it's for, do i even have one currently?

I do enjoy listening to the pros talk shop and often learn something when they do.  Today, I learned how to switch the RATE button (that I never used) to a LOCK button.  So, after watching this video and re-assigning my RATE button, I'll see if I can speed up my workflow by selecting images in-camera as Kelby does.

Workflow is how I was introduced to Kelby.  He blogged about his method during the Olympics and I found it quite helpful.

The sports that I shoot are middle-school to high-school level and I typically shoot 400-600 images a game.  This depends heavily on the talent on the court.  Older kids tend to be faster and give me more opportunities, so I shoot more.  I tend to depend on timing more than spray and pray.  Part of this is old school habit from film.   But, I learned quickly with my 7D that burst mode can give a lot of images that you're going to cull later.  So, I try to time the shots and selectively burst, in part, to simplify the culling process.  I also think that my success rate of capturing those moments are better with timing than spraying.  Granted, with 12 FPS of the 1Dx, the spray method is may be more successful.

Kelby is used to 12 FPS with the 1Dx and seems to like using it.  Plus, he's burning out a 7DII battery after only one game.  I can't imagine the number of images that he must go through.

I do have to take issue with Kelby's assertion that the 5D3 isn't a sports body.  It is limited to 6 FPS.  But, the AF is clearly sports oriented.   Most of us not shooting professional sports can find the 6 FPS quite suitable.  It all depends upon the sport, the level of play, and one's dependency upon burst mode.

Reviews / Re: Scott Kelby 7D Mark II Real World
« on: October 08, 2014, 09:08:25 PM »
No grip.  I haven't tried one and can't say that I wouldn't like it, but I love that my 5D3's are more compact, lighter, and easier to carry than with the added bulk and weight of the grip.  If I shot extensively in vertical, I can see the benefit, but I find the standard grip quite comfortable in both directions.  No grip was a good move.  Let the customer decide if grip needs to be added.

One note about Kelby's review.  Those ISO 16,000 images did look great without any added noise reduction.  But, how much of this is the sensor and how much is the DIGIC 6 and its in-camera RAW conversion with in-camera noise reduction?  This is where I wish we could have seen the RAW images.

It was interesting to note Kelby's claim that he shoots JPEGs for sports -- then to complain about the 5D3's buffer.  I use my 5D3's primarily for sports and it only buffers if I burst in RAW.  Just now, I tested a 54 frame burst in JPEG with no hesitation whatsoever.  (I know, a minor nit.)

Lighting / Re: What 3rd party flash?
« on: October 07, 2014, 07:28:58 PM »
For ETTL, I prefer a Canon flash.  For manual, I prefer Yongnuo.

While I occasionally use the flash on camera with a Roundflash ring light, the vast majority of my need is off camera.  I've used Yongnuo YN460-II manual flash for several years with no problems. 

Recently, I started using the YN565EX-II with YN622-C remote triggers.  The YN565EX-II has ETTL, but I don't use it.  I prefer to manually control the power level.  This flash has almost twice the power of the YN460-II and with the YN622-C triggers, you can fully control the power level and zoom setting from your camera's menu (at least with the 5D3).  This is VERY handy.

For what it's worth, I don't like shooting with a flash at full power.  It can shorten its life in a hurry.  So, I often at less than 1/2 power, many times with two speedlites per umbrella.  It's not necessary for small groups, but it enables the use of lower power levels, which means much faster recycle times.

Regarding ETTL, my first generation Canon 430EX is very good.  But, the YN565EX-II is inconsistent in ETTL.  I can't speak for the Pixel flash, but I would hesitate to expect reliable ETTL from third party speedlites.  They have to reverse engineer the Canon ETTL software and I wouldn't expect the same results as with Canon speedlights.

EOS Bodies / Re: Upgrade Path Advice...
« on: October 06, 2014, 07:05:18 PM »
have a 40d, shoot predictable sports, already have nice glass
want a 6D for best image quality/$
7Dii is best sports shooter in my budget
which one to buy?

5Diii :)


EOS Bodies / Re: Which Camera Are You Looking Forward Too?
« on: October 03, 2014, 09:35:31 AM »
I thought it was odd to look forward to a camera that may soon be discontinued.  Then, after I voted, looked at the date of the post.  But, it is interesting to revisit this thread. 

FF wasn't anywhere near my ballpark back then.  I did upgrade from the XT to the 60D with a 18-135 zoom and thought this was the last camera for me for some time.  A few months later, a friend loaned me a 70-200 f2.8 Mark 1 for an ice show and everything changed since then.  I got hooked on the potential that this lens, and its successor, offered for low light performance.  Not long after, FF became vary appealing.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 80D????
« on: October 01, 2014, 11:15:41 PM »
Fall 2017 at the earliest.

My guess is that the next crop bodies will be an SL2 and a T6i with improved movie AF and WiFi (and maybe NFC).    The T6 will follow with WiFi, not sure about movie AF.

It would be nice to see a compact, sharp EF-S 18-200 IS STM.  The SL1 is a tempting body for traveling light, but once you start putting full size zooms on it, the total package isn't significantly smaller that a T-body with the same lens.

Lighting / Re: Recommendations for lighting system
« on: October 01, 2014, 09:37:03 PM »
I'm primarily an available light shooter.  But, 14 years ago, I started exploring portrait work with the Christmas card of the kids (or kid, back then).  This was my excuse to expand my light system each year.  Now I shoot the group photos at my kids school, portraits for the church and figure skating club, occasional family portraits, and some senior portraits.  But, I'm still learning.

First tip, don't buy on anticipation, buy on need.  Wait until you have identified a need before you buy more gear.

For small items, a light tent works well (as Neuro mentioned).  I have windshield shades made from white Tyvek that I use for a makeshift tent, but I seldom shoot small items.  Checkout Amazon or BHPhoto for tents.  Or, make your own.

Start with two 60" umbrellas.  Learn how to use them and forget about light boxes -- for now.  If most of your need is indoor work, I highly recommend the Photoflex 60" convertible for about $52.  (Use smaller 45" umbrellas outside if there's wind an no assistant.)  These 60" umbrellas are satin white with a removable black cover.  I don't use the cover, but it can be great for controlling the light.  I use shoot thru and bounce with this umbrella.  Incidentally, the black cover is for controlling the spill.  It does nothing to affect bouncing the light off the inside of the umbrella. 

Over the years, I have collected lots of 40-45" umbrellas of different types before discovering the 60".  I always thought 60" was too big.  I wish I had started with the 60".  (To be fair, I still use some of those smaller umbrellas, so it wasn't a total waste.)

Consider 12' heavy duty Cowboy Studio light stands from  You can get two for $72.  I have 7' stands from Photoflex and Bogen, good stands and more money, but I prefer the Cowboy Studio.  The heft with the 60" umbrella is handy.  Plus, I like the height option.  Frankly, there are lots of good options in stands.  Check out stands at and and review the comments.

For brackets, get the Manfrotto 026 Swivel Lite-Tight adapter.  They are very sturdy metal brackets.  You can get plastic multi-brackets for half the price, but at some point you will end up with heavier lights and appreciate the heavier bracket.  I wish I had started with these.

I don't have a good recommendation for cold shoes.  Manfrotto makes a plastic one which is fine until the the wind catches the umbrella during an outdoor shoot.

For speedlites, start with two Yonguo YN565EXII speedlites and four Yonguo YN-622C remote transceivers.  (Why four?  They're cheaper two at a time and you will end up with more speedlites down the road.)  These speedlites are about $105 each.  I started out with the Yonguo YN460-II for half the price, but the YN565EXII are almost twice the power.  Plus, when used with the YN-622C transceivers, you can control both the power level and the zoom setting from the menu of you 5D3.  This is VERY handy.  I don't recommend using ETTL with these units, they can be inconsistent.  If ETTL is a must, then you need Canon speedlites.  But, I recommend shooting in manual mode where you have more control over the flash and aren't dependent upon the variants in what the camera's light meter sees.

To recap, for a starter system, consider:

- two Yonguo YN565EXII speedlites at $105 each
- four Yonguo YN-622C remote transcievers at $78 per pair
- two 12' Cowboy Studio stands at two for $80
- two Manfrotto 026 Swivel Lite-Tight brackets at $34 each
- two cold shoes (or use the small stand/shoe that comes with each flash)
- two Photoflex 60" convertable Umberellas (UM-RUT60) at $52 each

Total cost, $618.  One Canon 600EX-RT is $500.  This is my basic system and I find it to be extremely versatile.

I have expanded and often use two speedlites per umbrella using a DIY mount for the Manfrotto bracket.  For people shots, I can dial down the power on each flash to speed up the recycle time.  This allows me to burst 2-3 shots in a row.  Often times, the subject relaxes after the first flash and then gives me a nice smile or look.  I like having the option to capture this moment.

Why speedlites over studio strobes?  Price, portability, recycle time, and great battery life.  Unlike studio strobes, the speedlite will have much quicker duration and can be used to stop the action for specialty shots.

For the record, I have a Canon 430EX Mark I (with the plastic shoe).  This is my portable, travel flash.  If I do want to use ETTL or need a flash for grab shots, this is the one that I use.  For all off camera work, I use the Yonguo's.

Great resource --  David Hobby, The Strobist, knows his stuff (but, he doesn't like Yonguo's). is another great site for making your own light gear.

Last tip.  Practice, practice, practice.  Play with your setup in your house, in your garage, and outside after dark.  Get to know what the pattern of the light looks like when you bounce versus shoot thru.  Experiment with shadows of makeshift subjects.  The more comfortable you are with your gear before a shoot, the better.  You don't want to be in front of a client trying to figure out how to setup the flash or control the remote trigger.

Ok, one more last tip.  Sometimes the best light is the simplest setup.  The Yonguo's come with a little shoe stand.  Set up two speedlites, each with its own remote transceiver and stand.  Then set them on different tables or even on the floor with the head aimed at the ceiling.  Aim one toward a wall if you want a stronger shadow.  Depending on the ceiling color, the proximity to walls, and the wall color, this can do a nice job of flooding the room with light.

Lighting / Re: Speedlites - How many are enough?
« on: October 01, 2014, 06:49:37 PM »
Four Yongnuo YN565EXII speedlites and five Yongnuo YN-622C remotes.  Maybe more.

I typically use two 60" white umbrellas (45" for outdoor shoots) with two speedlites per umbrella.  In most cases, this isn't essential, but the two speedlites allow for dialing down the power to get very short recycle times.  I can shoot a manual burst of 2-3 shoots without delay.

I don't use ETTL with these speedlites.  I prefer the consistency of shooting in full manual and don't always trust what my meter happens to be reading.  Plus, these speedlites are great in manual mode, not so great in ETTL.  If ETTL is high priority, then Canon flash is a must.

The YN-622Cs work quite well with the 5D3.  One could get by with cheaper remotes from Yonguo, but I like using the 5D3 menu to control the power and zoom setting of each flash (or up to three groups of flashes).  This is very handy.  The built-in optical slave is another option, but I use these for fill flash with some outdoor shoots.  It has become easier to simply use one remote per flash and not worry about whether the optical slave flash will see the master flash.

Another option is using 1-3 speedlites on it's little stand-alone foot shoe and place them on tables to bounce off the ceiling.  This all depends upon the room.

If shooting with a backdrop, I also bring two Yonguo YN460-II with two more YN-622C remotes.  I particularly like blowing out white backdrops, so these speedlites work well for this.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: One is the loneliest number...
« on: October 01, 2014, 06:27:06 PM »
I try to carry just what I need.  In most cases, I want a focal range of 24-200 with fast lenses.   So, I carry two bodies and two zooms -- a 5D3 w/24-70 f2.8L II and a 5D3 w/70-200 f2.8L II.  For some sports events, all I really need is the 70-200, so I will just carry the one 5D3, the 70-200, and 40 pancake -- just in case.

I don't like changing lenses.  It often wastes time and risks losing a shot.  Plus, it increases the risk of dust on the sensor.  So, for me, the second body is one half of my system and not just a backup.

I also don't like carrying more than I really need.  I'm not that good at this yet and often grab a third lens when shooting at a new venue.

For those landscape hunts, my impulse would be to carry the same two 5D3's and zooms -- the 24-70 for landscapes and the 70-200 in the hopes of an encounter with wildlife (at a safe distance, of course).  If moving water is part of the hike, then I'd swap out the 24-70 for a 24-105 4.0 with IS.  I prefer the controlled motion blur of the water that the IS allows.  Odds are good, however, that I would leave a 5D3 and the longer zoom behind and stick with the 24-105.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: What is your DSLR favorite use?
« on: September 30, 2014, 04:22:02 PM »
I shoot mostly kids sports and figure skating, then school and church events, some portraits, and outdoor touristy stuff (when we actually do the outdoor touristy stuff).

My primary go-to gear is a 5D3 w/24-70 2.8 II and a 5D3 w/70-200 2.8 II.  The latter gets the most use.  For walk-around and landscapes with moving water, I'll use a 24-105 f4 IS.  When light is a particular challenge, the 35 2.0 IS comes along for the ride.  The 7D still gets used for outdoor sports.

There are many sporting events where all I need is one 5D3 and the 70-200.  I'll grab the 40 2.8 pancake for a backup if I need a group shot.  The 40 is also used for traveling light on either a 5D3 or a 60D, pending the field of view that I'm after.

I've kept the 7D, the 60D, and older lenses for use by other family members who a budding, young, photographers.

When I want to travel really light, it's S100 time.  But, I recently added a G16 for this purpose.

Lenses / Re: 50mm f/1.4 Canon vs. Sigma
« on: September 30, 2014, 03:15:54 AM »
A renewed 50/1.4 may not even be "1.4" but rather "1.8" or "2.0" but with the addition of IS. Unless Canon wants to canabilize sales of the 50/1.2L, a newer 50mm from Canon won't have better IQ than the 50/1.2L and thus will not have better IQ than the Sigma.

I'd love to see Canon refresh the 50 1.4, but I do suspect the next "consumer-grade" 50 with IS will be a 1.8.

Canon did introduce a new 35 2.0 IS that rivals their 35 1.4L (with both at f2.0).  Open up the L version to 1.4 and it softens up a bit around the edges (which is fine since it's still sharp in the center).  I don't use this prime enough to warrant buying the L-version, but I paid $600 for the new 2.0 IS.  The 50 1.2L is in demand for its speed.  I don't see a sharper 50 1.8 IS taking sales away from it.   

Canon upgraded long favorite lenses like the 24-70 and the 70-200 with more expensive and sharper versions. So, why not also upgrade the rather soft 50 1.2L?  This lens is a workhorse for wedding photographers during receptions.  Many of these same photographers use the new 24-70 2.8 II for the rest of the wedding.  This zoom is sharper than the 50 1.2L.  I would think these photographers would jump at the chance to get a super fast 50 with the IQ of the 24-70 II.  The demand has to be there for Canon to fill.  On the flip side, maybe a slightly soft 50 1.2 is okay for people shots at a wedding.

Maybe there's two new Canon 50's in the works??

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Which Canon L Lens for 7D Mark II?
« on: September 30, 2014, 02:26:20 AM »
... for event photography 6D + 24-105L wins, essentially :). ...

I say go FF (6D or 5D3) with the best lens you can afford ;).

+1.44, which is essential the FF equivalent to +0.9  ;)

For shooting crop events with crop bodies, such as the 7D or 7D2, the 17-55 2.8 is tough to beat (unless you go with primes).  But, there's no question that a FF body with the 24-105L edges it out with better low light performance, longer reach, and slightly smaller DOF.  This is exactly why I upgraded from a 7D/17-55 to the 5D3/24-105L.  The OP will essentially enjoy his new 5D3/24-70 2.8II.  :)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Which Canon L Lens for 7D Mark II?
« on: September 28, 2014, 11:29:21 PM »
One of biggest problems with the 7D is that there are no good L zoom lenses for general purpose shooting. There is nothing equivalent to a 24-105L or 24-70L with high build quality and weather sealing.

Technically true.  There isn't an L-glass equivalent to a 24-105L or 24-70L for crop bodies.  But, the 17-55 f2.8 is essentially L-glass without the weather sealing.  True, the build quality of the 24-70 and the 24-105 feels better, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the 17-55 f2.8.  Put a good clear filter and you'll "seal" it from dust.

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