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Messages - Forceflow

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Software & Accessories / Re: c't Digital Photography: A personal review
« on: August 06, 2014, 04:01:07 AM »
I had a (German) subscription for it. All in all I have 6 magazines now. I cancelled my subscription mostly because it really did seem all over the place. Some articles are super in-depth tech talk and some barely scratch the surface of a topic. Their test setups are good, but for my taste too limited. I regularly check their newest magazines to see if an article might be interesting, but I don't think I'll subscribe again.

Lenses / Re: Help deciding on a macro lens
« on: August 04, 2014, 09:29:23 AM »
It would help to know what you are planning to do with the lens. Macro is a huge field and depending on your goals the best lens for you might vary.
A magnification of only 0.5 would be a deal breaker for me, but might be perfectly fine for you. A while back I made a comparison shot that shows different magnification levels for macro shots:

As you can see the difference between 1:2 and 1:1 is quite significant. Personally I love and use Sigmas 150mm 2.8 macro lens. Image quality is stunning and the extra reach certainly gives you an edge when shooting insects and the such. It comes with image stabilization, AF and does not extend when being focused.

As for AF, it really depends. It's great for moving targets, but be prepared for a lot of hit and miss regardless. For pure static targets manual focus is king if you have enough time and a sturdy tripod. Where AF is also very helpful is when working with image stacking. Attach your camera to a remote computer and you can adjust the focus plane without having to touch the camera. This will make the stacking process later on a lot easier to do.

P.S. In the above picture the 2:1 shot was achieved using the 2x Sigma converter. You loose AF (at least on my 7D) and overall image quality does suffer somewhat. It's better than resizing the 1:1 photo, but not by too much.

Software & Accessories / Re: laptop for tethered shooting?
« on: July 24, 2014, 09:16:24 AM »
Just want to second the Surface Pro choice. I use it myself and I find it an extremely valuable tool for tethered shooting. The large screen makes it really easy to perfectly set the focus. Battery life is okay as well and it's light enough to carry around for quite a while. I also use it to do my focus stackings, so much easier to really control the focus and to make sure you really covered the whole area.
Only downside I see is that using it with the USB attached it will suck my 7Ds battery dry in no time. Be sure to have plenty of spare if you intend to do longer shootings.

Here some examples of mine...

Forceflow, this series is just brilliant! The burning wick? Spectacular. A perfect example of what makes macro photography so captivating -- seeing detail in things one has seen a million times but had no idea how it really looks...

Thank you :) Yeah the burning wick was a successful shoot and turned out to be the favorite piece of art on my dA page. I was really surprised by the final result myself, it was a really unexpected look for sure. Really have to pick up my camera again. Been way to busy with other things recently and my equipment is really just collecting dust these days :(

Software & Accessories / Re: If CC ends, LR 5.5 still partly works.
« on: July 13, 2014, 12:22:41 PM »
Well it's a step in the right direction. As long as that particular issue has not been solved I will not move into CC. My problem is that my photoshop files have way too much work in them as to just throw them away. Very often I go back to old picture to see what and how I have don a particular effect or redo images with other effects that I have just learned.
Sure I can just export all my final images, but if I ever want to do something different on them I either have to start from scratch or try to work backwards which may not be possible.

Here some examples of mine:

Stack of 6 images
Model    Canon EOS 7D
Shutter Speed    1/400 second
Aperture    F/2.8
Focal Length    150 mm
ISO Speed    100
Date Taken    Jun 13, 2011, 2:56:54 PM
Software    Adobe Photoshop CS4

~15 images also with the 7D but I think it might have been my old 50mm macro, not sure.

Again 6 shots
Make    Canon
Model    Canon EOS 7D
Shutter Speed    1/5 second
Aperture    F/5.6
Focal Length    150 mm
ISO Speed    100
Date Taken    Jan 1, 2013, 5:26:41 PM
Software    Adobe Photoshop CS6

Sadly not sure how many images, possibly something around 10. The bee proved to be very cooperative, it was alive and I did not freeze or cool it in any way. The day itself was rather cold and it was apparently warming up in the sun when I found the little bugger :)
Make    Canon
Model    Canon EOS 7D
Shutter Speed    1/250 second
Aperture    F/16.0
Focal Length    300 mm (Sigma 150mm macro with 2x adapter)
ISO Speed    200
Date Taken    Jul 29, 2012, 12:45:13 PM
Software    Adobe Photoshop CS6

I second Chaitanya's advice. If budget allows it a NAS solution (I use a Synology DS-413j with 4 1TB drives in a RAID) is really the most flexible one. Depending on your tech savvy it can easily be expanded and modded to even do off-host backups of specific data into 'the cloud'. I have a script running that backs up the most essential data every night onto my own private server in the internet for example.

Photography Technique / Re: How can I get this apple sharp?
« on: March 13, 2014, 09:27:50 AM »
The issue isn't that the background is too close, it's that you are too close to the object in order to get a big enough DOF at all. I am not quite sure about the dimensions in the OPs pic and it might just work, but in my case I was way too close to get anywhere near enough DOF to make this shot work. This is not a cropped shot, check out the much larger version on my deviantArt account:
DOF will only get you so far, you might be able to get an okay sharpness throughout the image but never the crisp clean look when working with multiple shots. And once you get anywhere into near macro distances there's just no way to get enough DOF in one shot. And he's pushing it with f/14 already I'd say.

Photography Technique / Re: How can I get this apple sharp?
« on: March 13, 2014, 03:46:01 AM »
Stacking really is the only way to go in this case. This is a result that I got with stacking:

Your situation looks similar, so I would really give it a try.

Lenses / Re: How to clean lenses ?
« on: August 23, 2013, 06:08:01 AM »
I strongly suggest checking out this:

Those guys know what they are doing and also put the whole thing into perspective.

Lighting / Re: 3rd Party Flashes vs. Canon's...
« on: August 01, 2013, 01:40:17 AM »
I have a Canon 420EX, SIGMA 610 DG Super, SIGMA EM 140 DG and two Yongnu Speedlite YN560-II.
The 420EX was my first flash and while it is a nice unit I feel it was too expensive for too little power.
I absolutely love the 610DG Super. Packs a hell of a punch with a pretty good recharge rate and very nice features. It can remotely trigger the 420EX as well. (Though it's still the old light trigger and not the new radio trigger) Also it's apparently built like a tank. The one I have now (second unit since the firs was stolen) was dropped on several occasions once from at least 2 meters high on hardwood floor and still works with absolutely no problems.
The two YNs are 'dumb' units but that's what I bought them for. (Really no need for another smart flash) Those are a real bargain if you are looking for very powerful manual flashes. (Awesome recycle rate!)

Had both 150mm non-Os and 150 OS. Loved both lenses, really sharp and great performance. Certainly a keeper. (Only reason I do not have the non-OS anymore is because it got stolen and had to get the OS since the non-OS was no longer available)

EOS-M / Re: Crazy moon
« on: July 23, 2013, 09:44:59 AM »
7D + 100-400mm + Sigma 2x Converter

Really depends though I do try to make at least some small talk. Being a photographer out in the public becomes more and more difficult so I always try to be as open and friendly as I can. Sometimes conversation does become quite interesting after a while even if it did just start with 'Wow, I wish I had a camera like this'

There are times however when I've been running around all day in the heat with my 20+kg of equipment where I am just no longer up for small talk. People do tend to notice that before they even start talking to me however ;)

Software & Accessories / Re: Adobe Creative Cloud - Adobe Owns you!
« on: June 18, 2013, 12:00:53 PM »
It still come back that after three years, sure you have a copy of cs6 but none of the PSDs you've made using CC will work fully. Then they jack up the price at the end of those three years and now your hands are tied. Do I trust adobe to support CS6 with updates? Nope. They've never done it in the past with any releases. They simply released a new version of PS.
Yeah, now you are just creating conspiracies from thin air. My files from CS2 and CS3 still work in CS6, and seeing as Creative Cloud is based very much on CS6 w/ upgrades, your PSD files will still work. Or, you can save them as .tiff, .dng, or a variety of other formats that work perfectly fine in a dozen other programs.

You have it the wrong way around. It's not the question if your CS6 files are going to work in CC but if your CC files will work in CS6. (As this will be the last version you'll be able to use if you stop using CC) And that is going to be a big if. That is putting a lot of trust into Adobe and their shareholders. If they at some point decide to change the PSD format so it wont be compatible with non CC versions you'll be stuck dead in the water. Since the updates will pretty much roll out without you knowing about it they can all of a sudden switch off compatibility and by the time you realize what happened a big chuck of your work may already have been saved in the new format.

I am not again CC, but I am against having CC as the only option. Because this clearly points out that Adobe wants to pressure people into the CC model. They do not want to give people a choice. And a company who does that might just decide to up the pressure a bit more down the line. TIFF and DNG are all fine as long as you don't rely on the ability to change effects or layers later on. Personally I often use that ability with my images and loosing the actual PSD with all it's functions would mean I would have to start from scratch.

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