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Messages - Forceflow

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Software & Accessories / Battery Grip for 7D - any suggestions?
« on: May 18, 2012, 05:06:08 AM »
I would really like to get a Battery Grip for my 7D. There is of course the original which I would assume has the best weather sealing. But besides that, it's only expensive with basically no other functions. There do seem to be a vast number of third party options available and some of them at least claim some additional features. (Often at a reduced price and some even come with 2 additional batteries)

So my question is, does anybody has any experiences with third party battery grips and can recommend one for me? If the features are good and the quality is sound I don't mind paying more than for the original, but in that case it must be high quality! What I would really love to have is one that also has the small joystick, but from my little research on amazon this does not appear to be a feature any of the grips have.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L Officially Discontinued?
« on: May 16, 2012, 03:34:20 AM »
But soon, you won't be able to get a new 24-70/2.8 cheaper than the street price of the MkII.

Um, are you really suggesting that at some point the Mk1 will cost the same, or even more, than the $2300 Mk2, purely based on supply-demand economics?  That is so unlikely as to actually be preposterous.  ???

No matter how low the supply gets, it would only get close to the price of the Mk2 if the Mk1 were considered a 'collector's item' (and Canon L lenses, great as they are, are not exactly collectibles... or at least when there is a newer version with the same basic specs) or superior in some way to the Mk2, which also seems rather unlikely.  I doubt the Mk1, new, will ever get past $1800 because around that price point it is only $500 more to buy the newer, likely superior, Mk2 which also will have a higher resale value than the Mk1. 

I'm assuming you didn't really mean quite what you wrote...

Actually with the discontinuation of the Mark I and the delay of the Mark II this might really happen. If one NEEDS a 24-70 and the only few to be had are Mark I the price might indeed skyrocket up to (and in theory even higher than) the Mark II. It's the same reason why there is such a big market for black market ticket sales. If the tickets are sold out but you really, really want one you'll better be prepared to pay much more than the regular price.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D Is immortal
« on: May 12, 2012, 04:57:16 PM »
Holy crap... is this for real? I mean I could believe it taking pics after the submerging in water, but setting it on fire and it still works? This is truly insane. (And makes me really happy I own a 7D myself ;) )

EOS Bodies / Re: For those interested in 7D2
« on: May 11, 2012, 09:28:40 AM »
Uhm... I don't understand the poll.
You offer 'It's just for fun' and 'I'm a business person in an unrelated field' ?
Does the second option mean that the camera is needed even though it isn't directly connected to the field in general? (i.e. a dentist or plastic surgeons who indirectly make money off the camera)

Lighting / Re: 7D master functionality with Sigma flashes?
« on: May 11, 2012, 03:42:07 AM »
It works for me most of the time. I do have some problems when working in fairly bright environments from time to time. (But then not only my DG 610 Super but also my Canon 430EX has problems) I rarely use the built in flash though, most of the time I slap my Sigma Ringflash on my 7D and use that one for remote firing. That combination appears to be working better, but I am still not 100% satisfied with it. I think it's time to get a radio operated remote controller for my flashes.

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon 100-400 mm 4.5 - 5.6, May 5th Moon
« on: May 09, 2012, 01:36:06 AM »
@ K-amps: You did that handheld?  Geeze...... You don't need a tripod.  I took another one yesterday and got it sharper but I shot it at 1/1000th and with mirror lock.  It was sharper but not as sharp as Forceflow's.  I think Forceflow used a high ladder to take his with.

Uhm... no ladder was involved, but it was taken from my balcony on the 2nd floor with my MANFRETTO 550XPROB tripod with the 804RC2 head.

For the best possible quality you need a tripod and I would always use the lowest ISO possible. Even at 1/15th with 800mm the moon does not move so fast as to get a blurry image. Also I highly suggest using LiveView with maximum magnification to get the absolute best possible focus. Normally I hate LV, but for this I find it's an absolute must.

You won't have to worry about storage by then, surely everything will just be pumped straight in to the cloud and sucked back out to view it all in a thousandth of a second

I will never trust the cloud to store my photos. I won't put my photos in someone elses hands. I need to be responsible for my own stuff. That is the only way I know it's safe.

While I would not simply dump it into any cloud I can assure you that the pros can keep your photos much safer than you can. I work in the business and the technology we employ to make sure your data is kept save is not affordable to the average joe. Of course that service comes at a price, but I would certainly trust my company much more to keep my photos safe than I could ever dream of.
Multiple DC locations equipped with the latest and most reliable backup hardware solutions, automatic duplication of any backup image into at least two locations. Fully automated validity check of the data with automated fail saves that will recreate a second copy should either one fail. And of course a migration path to make sure all data is moved onto the next hardware generation once it is being employed. (So no sad faces that there simply are no more 5 1/4" floppy drives out there)
Just like with photography it really depends on how much you are willing to pay. You can have your job being photographed by the guy with the disposable camera for free or pay a pro several thousand $ to make sure everything is perfect.

In 20 years time I would expect to have RAID datacenters with storage clouds that are self replicating you data over multiple locations. This being integrated right into your own devices to be viewed and worked with as you want. You wont have any more localized storage since this simply does not make sense when your dSLR will have full internet access to write any image you make right into your own private cloud space, instantly accessible to your laptop and all other devices for sharing or processing the image or even to integrate it right into your dA, Flicker or FB account.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: My first wedding Help!
« on: May 08, 2012, 06:52:11 AM »
I've seen many examples of people who have hired beginner photographers (paid or not) and received such dreadful photos that they were really upset. They can't do their wedding again and all record of it is completely lost.

It's a risk - you may end up with something, and you may end up with nothing whatsoever. The couple need to understand that this is a *real* possibility.

Well, I did state exactly this, plus I think there is a lot between 'beginner photographer' and 'non pro wedding shooter' or even 'non professional' photographer. Of course you should be able to do proper photography. But the OP stated that this was his first wedding, not his first shoot ever. I absolutely agree that somebody who does not know his way around a camera should not ever do a wedding. I really doubt that this is the case here however.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: My first wedding Help!
« on: May 08, 2012, 04:08:13 AM »
I disagree that a non-pro should never shoot weddings. I've done 6 so far and every time the couple was really pleased with the result. (Even though they were far from professional grade photographs) I think there are 2 categories of weddings.
One were the couple spends thousands upon thousands of dollars and expects everything to be perfect. Those will most likely also hire a prof wedding photographer at insanely (but sure enough warranted) high prices. Now, if a couple like this will want to hire a non-pro to save some (or rather a lot) of money: Run like hell! Do not do it, it's not going to be worth the trouble and everybody will be miserable.
Two (and this one is most likely not known to all those pro-wedding shooters) were the couple just wants to have a nice wedding. Families and friends, simple as that. On one wedding the bride made is especially clear that she only wanted a few shots of the couple outside of the regular wedding ceremony. She knew we could do great couple pictures, but it would have been stressful for her and more importantly taken her away from the actual wedding. It was her day and she wanted it to spend it with her friends and family. We took about 20 minutes of time between the church ceremony and the wedding reception and that was it. There were some nice shots, but nothing stellar. And you know what, she was happy! If a couple like this asks me to shoot their wedding I will gladly accept.

Be sure to talk to the couple well before hand and know their expectations. If you are confident in your photography skills and they know your limits and both match up, then go do it. (But don't think that it's going to be an easy job! Read the journal I posted earlier, you'll be dead by the end of the day no matter how small the couples expectations are!)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: My first wedding Help!
« on: May 07, 2012, 04:58:22 PM »
I composed a small article about wedding photography for non-pros:
It's less gear and setting specific but goes into the topic more generally. Shooting weddings can be very tricky and stressful. Be prepared and absolutely have two bodies with you!!! If yours fails and you have no backup with you that'll be it. There might be another dSLR that you can borrow, but you really don't want to work out the deeper functions of a Nikon body while trying to shoot the vows.
From your lens setup I would say you'll be okay, especially the 50 1.4 will help you a lot since it's a fast lens. But don't just look at the gear, there are a million things to look after at a wedding. (Trust me, I speak from experience...)

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon 100-400 mm 4.5 - 5.6, May 5th Moon
« on: May 07, 2012, 11:37:55 AM »
@serendipidy: Thanks for the praise :) I am really glad how this one turned out myself, would not have thought I could get one that sharp. I do have to say that I really like your shot as well, especially considering it was your first attempt and even handheld! Great work!
Do keep in mind however that I have taken that shot using my 2x converter together with the 100-400. So my camera settings might not be too useful for you. (And of course you wont be able to achieve the same level magnification)

Turns out the image I used was actually one of the really slow ones. It was indeed taken at 1/15s with an aperture of f/18. The camera was set to ISO 100. Camera RAW settings (PS 6 demo version) were as followed:
Exposure -0.5
Clarity +30
Tone Curve
Lights -20
Darks -20
Shadows -30
Luminance 30
Lens Corrections
Set the right lens and checked Remove Chromatic Aberrations also set Defringe to All Edges

All other Values were the default ones. All I ended up doing in Photoshop itself was to crop and resize the image. The tripod I used is the MANFRETTO 550XPROB with a 804RC2 head. It's on the heavy side, but really sturdy and quite affordable. Hope this helps!

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon 100-400 mm 4.5 - 5.6, May 5th Moon
« on: May 07, 2012, 02:21:58 AM »
@forceflow: What shutter speed did you take it at? It is a beautiful shot.

I have to look that one up once I am back home. Due to some bad layering in PS exif data is not correct. I think it was taken somewhere between 1/100 and 1/200 I think. But I'll check it later tonight!

I had two occurrences where I needed Sigma service. Both were on my 70-200. The first one was some sort of dirt which had accumulated behind the front element. I would say it was some sort of fungi since it was a prefect ring forming at about . Sigma cleaned the lens for free but added the disclaimer that this was not a warranty issue and that the free service was voluntary from their side. This time it was send through the store and I had my lens back in about 5 working days.
Second occurrence was a broken AF at the outer edge of my warranty (Three weeks later or so and I would have had to find out just how flexible they really are). I thought to be clever and actually brought it in myself since their German service station is rather close to my work. turns out that this was maybe not such a good idea. The lens was repaired for free, but this time it took them something like 3-4 weeks. Though to be fair their service station is not really equipped to receive equipment for repair, so it might have gotten lost in the shuffle a bit there.
Both repairs were flawless and both times the lens was very clean and free of any visible dust inside. (Which was not the case before the repair, though it never affected image quality as far I as could tell) The lens held up after that, at least until it was stolen :(

This was Sigma Germany btw...

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon 100-400 mm 4.5 - 5.6, May 5th Moon
« on: May 07, 2012, 01:13:04 AM »
Thank you :)

I used my 7D in combination with the Canon 100-400 L and my Sigma 2x extender. Originally I did not even want to buy that extender again, but since I saw a used one in a store for a real bargain I thought what the heck. (Especially since it was the same price as the cash back I'll get from Canon for my 100-400)
I would not have thought it would be possible to get this much detail out of the two, but apparently you can. It is pretty difficult to work with however. At 800mm the moon moves very fast through the VF and AF is of course not functional at f/11. Even though I have a pretty sturdy tripod was I really glad to have IS in the 100-400 else MF would have been next to impossible as well. I had to resort to using Live View with maximum magnification to get the best focus, but at that setting the image will really shake immensely even from just touching the lens. It was quite a pain, but from the result I would say it was also worth it.

The Image has been cropped to 2778x1852 and then resized to 1920x1280, so be sure to enjoy the full view of it.

Lenses / Re: Canon 85 1.8 vs. Sigma 85 1.4
« on: May 06, 2012, 12:11:37 PM »
Love my Sigma 85mm 1.4 I would say it's the one lens with the highest IQ and I ven never get enough of it. That said I have not tried the Canon 1.8 in comparison, but from the reviews I read I was confident that the Sigma was simply the better option. So far I have certainly not regretted it.

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