October 20, 2014, 01:13:07 AM

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Messages - wsheldon

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Canon General / Re: What is your Least Used Piece of Gear?
« on: July 31, 2014, 04:29:52 PM »
A Wimberly Plamp.
Lens baby Muse
An array of flash accessories too embarrassing to use.
Oh it hurts the money I've wasted!

Boy that hits home. Ditto on the flash mods and Plamp. We need to start having anonymous swap meets at our photo guild meetings so I can clear that stuff out without admitting to owning them.

Local camera shops here in Los Angeles were the same story as B&H, KEH, Adorama, etc.:  they offered around $650 for something they'd clearly flip for $1100-1300, so that's out.

I've opted to give Fred Miranda a try.  We'll see how it goes.

My only hangup was the call to describe my lens as a 9 or 9+.  I believe it to be a perfectly clean lens other than scuffing on the hood, so I called it a 9+ but was sure to flag the hood scuffing.  We'll see how I do!

- A

I think that's reasonable - hood scuffing from bag transport is completely normal, and often described in listings for 9+ or 10 lenses. Just disclose and you should be fine.

I work in marshes off GA, and regularly have to deal with swarms of mosquitos and sand gnats. This is what we live in during the summer research season: http://www.bugshirt.com/. Overkill for the occasional foray into buggy locations, but can't beat the protection. It was a godsend in Denali last year too. Not a single bite.

I don't have any problem seeing through the mesh to focus, but the shirt is designed so you can partially unzip near your eyes and keep the rest of you protected.

That is weird. If it only happens at fast shutter speeds that probably rules out card/card reader errors that often show up as partially incomplete or corrupt images. I agree with Sporgon that a problem with the second curtain hanging up seems more likely than a delay. Sounds like a trip to Canon service may be in order, since you can reproduce it with different lenses.

Good luck.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: HUMIDITY ALERT!
« on: July 18, 2014, 08:35:49 AM »
I've lived in humid climates for years (S. Florida and Georgia), and it is a challenge if I have to store gear in non-humidity-controlled spaces. Desiccants in air-tight containers are ideal, as neuro describes, but I've personally had more problem keeping bags mold-free than camera gear and lenses. Any bags (or straps) with natural fibers or polyurethane foam padding mold very fast in high humidity, and then you might as well throw them away. I stick with weather-resistant backpacks and bags from F-stop and Timbuktu or use hard cases, which fare better. Good luck!

EOS-M / Re: Arca Swiss plate for EOS M
« on: July 15, 2014, 08:42:21 AM »
I read in another thread elsewhere that the Kirk PZ130 works well too and it does not interfere with opening the battery door either.


I use that plate on an Olympus PEN and agree that is probably a good bet. It has a low back lip to prevent twisting and the screw can be moved between 3 slots to accommodate different tripod socket positions, so it's quite generic for P&S and small mirrorless cameras.

Software & Accessories / Re: Rain protection for 5D3 and lens
« on: July 14, 2014, 01:29:45 PM »
Like a camera, the best rain bag is the one that you have with you when you need it.

I always keep a couple of these in my bag. They are inexpensive and don't take up hardly any space. Sure, they are not the best, and are essentially disposable,  but they work well in a pinch. They come two to a pack.



Work well, and really cheap, practical insurance.


I have a question, what about the tripod mount ring... Just noticed that it doesn't come with the F4?

How crucial is it for tripod stability? I don't notice that it's prone to leaning more than any other lens I've used, perhaps 85mm is the exception?

Canon is asking 145$ for Canon Tripod Mount Ring A II??? That is crazy!

You can probably find a more affordable third party mount ring ;)

I bought the Opteka tripod ring for ~$25, and it didn't prove to be worth keeping on the lens. The fit was loose (I couldn't tighten it down to maintain position without wobbling and rotating) and it appears to be made of some pot metal that is rough and not nearly as nice as the OEM rings on my 100-400 and 180 macro. The interior of the ring was lined with very thin paper-like felt that rubbed off immediately. So I never really used it because I was nervous about it breaking with the camera/lens attached and didn't think it held the lens tightly enough to minimize vibration when on the tripod, defeating the point.

Like others here I concluded that the lens is light enough to use hanging off the camera body when a tripod is needed, so I shouldn't have bothered.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 02, 2014, 02:36:50 PM »
Either way, lens testing is road to madness.  I say rent before you buy and you'll never be upset.

- A

Even that isn't a guarantee, given sample-to-sample variation in lenses and lens-body interactions. Check the LensRentals blog for some large sample-size comparisons of popular lenses to see how scattered they are in IQ and focus accuracy, e.g. http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/09/there-is-no-perfect-lens

Bottom line is that imaging perfection is a unicorn chase, requiring lots of free time and money. Not to say that I'll stop reading these tests and lusting too ;)

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod centre column - yes or no
« on: July 01, 2014, 11:34:16 AM »
For those of you with the 055 series tripods from Manfrotto, there is a fairly cheap "short center column" you can get for them that saves weight and allows the tripod to go much lower, yet still gives you a extra 6 inches or so if you ever need it.  I highly recommend it.

I actually have one of these that I forgot to sell along with my 055-MF3 tripod several years ago (see http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-055XCCSB-Black-Centre-Column/dp/B001VEJOXI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404228674&sr=8-1&keywords=manfrotto+short+center+column).

It's free for the postage if anyone wants it.

Photography Technique / Re: The definition of insanity
« on: June 25, 2014, 01:57:07 PM »
For me, like you, it is a constant battle (mostly with myself).  My wife and I are trying to work it out.  I pretty much ruined our honeymoon in Paris (2008) taking photos of the Eiffel Tower (and everything else I saw).  Now, if I am out or traveling on vacation with my wife, I take the M, with perhaps the zoom or 22.  And try not to get carried away.  But, my wife does encourage me to go off on my own when we travel, so I take my regular kit as well.  I just don't try to use it when with my wife.  We recently spent 3 weeks on Maui.  My wife had purchased a four day workshop for me.  She stayed at the condo, I went on the workshop.  And, my wife encouraged me to go out at other times alone.  It works if your wife is understanding of your hobby and independent enough to send you out to do your thing.  That makes it much easier to use a little camera and limit yourself to quick snaps (or nothing at all) during the time you spend with her.

Congrats - sounds like a lesson learned (honeymoon) and recipe for a successful marriage. Good advice as well.

Photography Technique / Re: Need advice: 60D + 100-400L
« on: June 24, 2014, 07:54:05 AM »
And here's a 100% crop of that sandpiper above for reference.

I searched some earlier photos and found this, possibly the best-quality I have.  The first is the full-frame scaled down; the second is a 100%crop.  I'm fairly sure this was hand-held, and I couldn't find IS info in the metadata, but I assume it was on.

1/1250, ISO320, f/6.3

I think the two key factors here are: f/6.3 and the lack of any false targets for the AF.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on what made this work when others didn't.


That's nice, and more in line with what you should expect of that lens and camera under good conditions. If you keep your shutter speed at 1/250-1/500 or better at 400mm with IS on or use a good tripod with IS off, keep ISO <800, nail focus on your subject, and exposure properly you should be able to achieve this quality with other subjects. You're shooting at an effective focal length of 640mm and technique is really critical and makes or breaks an image. It definitely takes practice.

Photography Technique / Re: Need advice: 60D + 100-400L
« on: June 24, 2014, 07:44:40 AM »
Most lenses are better stopped down a bit, but the 100-400 is quite good at 5.6, particularly in the center. If your f5.6 shots are noticeably soft then I'd look at focus accuracy (front/back focus), DOF limitations or long lens technique before concluding the lens is soft. Here's a shot at 400mm, f5.6, ISO100, 1/650, hand held on a 50D:

The DOF is so shallow near MFD that the entire dragonfly isn't in focus, but at the plane of focus in the middle of the rear wing the image is very sharp and lines are well resolved.

Photography Technique / Re: Need advice: 60D + 100-400L
« on: June 23, 2014, 11:30:31 AM »
And here's a 100% crop of that sandpiper above for reference.

EOS-M / Re: Which batteries do you use on Speedlite Flash 90ex?
« on: June 23, 2014, 11:18:14 AM »
I just bought one to use on my G1 X at Amazon for $61, and found it controlled my 580 EX II on the G1 X and my 5D MK III.
Pretty cool little flash.  I use one on my 6D to control 430EXII's remotely.  I still rather have an in camera flash like the 7D for that purpose.

Same here - picked one up for fun on whitebox special at Amazon (~$45)  even though I have an ST-E3. I use it to control 430EX and 270EX2 flashes for small macro setups when the 600's are too big. And ditto about the Eneloops - they work well.

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