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Topics - Orangutan

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Photography Technique / Need advice: 60D + 100-400L
« on: June 21, 2014, 07:09:51 PM »
I'm struggling to get good photos with my 60D + 100-400L.  I experience this problem primarily with birds, which is the main use for this lens.   I compare the photos I get against photos others post from similar combinations (60D or 7D + 100-400) and I'm just not getting that quality.  I realize that people post only their best photos, but I'm not getting those results even under ideal conditions.  My assumption is that it's user error, and I'm hoping someone would be willing to help.

The unhappy result is photos that seem "crunchy."  See the 100% crop of the Oriole attached.

The settings were: 1/500th sec at f/5.6, ISO 100.  It was hand-held with IS on, and I have fairly steady hands.  As you can see, the bird is in pretty good light, and the histogram shows it was a reasonable exposure, though not  fully ETTR for the bird.

I just tested the lens in my back yard on a tripod.  I compared liveview with stand PD focus, and the focus results seemed similar, so I'm not (yet) willing to blame focus problems.

Any advice is appreciated.

Software & Accessories / Question about scanning film
« on: November 01, 2013, 08:58:46 PM »
Before I bought my first digital camera in 2004 I was just a point-n-shooter with film.  I have a few dozen "memory-quality" rolls of film (and prints) in shoe boxes I'd like to scan.  I bought a Canon 9000F MkII and have been playing around with it.  I'm generally happy with the results; the output is not fantastic, but it's about all I'd expect from the cameras I used.

Question: What can I do about dust on the negatives?  I've been using my blower before scanning, but there's still some dust that my blower can't remove.  I don't want to go to extreme lengths to remove dust, but would appreciate advice for a better way.  I saw on the Web that some people rinse and dry their negatives before scanning, but I'm reluctant to do that unless I'm sure it's safe.

Any suggestions are appreciated.  Thank you.

Technical Support / Photo scanning in Boston Area
« on: June 29, 2012, 09:25:44 AM »
A friend of mine near Boston has the proverbial box of family photos that need to be preserved.  I was wondering if anyone here has experience with scanning services in that area that will pull good quality scans and treat them gently at a reasonable price.  My friend would prefer not to send the photos away, but to work with a local business if possible.

Buying a scanner and doing the work personally is an option, but the concerns are time, effort, and the learning curve to do it well.


EOS Bodies / Canon Body Pollyanna Thread
« on: April 14, 2012, 10:20:51 AM »
Lately there's been a lot of griping on this forum regarding Canon's recent troubles getting from announcement to volume shipping on some key products.  So, in the spirit of Monty Python, let's look on the bright side of Canon!   N.B.: all of this is for entertainment purposes only!

I'll start:

  • Given Nikon's highly successful launches (D800 & D4), as compared to Canon's struggles with "ready for primetime" bodies and lenses, there will be a shakeup in Canon's attitude such that, in the future, they will no longer aim to launch products that just stay about even with Nikon, but completely blow it out of the water.   Based on this, we can expect the following from the 5D4:
  • Sensor covers the entire light circle, so no body rotation needed to switch between portrait and landscape; it can also shoot square, 4:3, 16:9, etc
  • 50MP in 3:2 aspect mode; 85MP in full light circle mode
  • Clean, portrait-quality stills at ISO 256K

I'd like to buy my 7-year old nephew his first camera.  Although he is careful, I have no illusions about the expected longevity.  Can anyone recommend a really cheap P&S?   It only need be good enough for him to enjoy.  (Yes, I know: sacrilege.)


While reading-up a bit on graduated ND filters I encountered a comment somewhere that two stops of graduation are usually the right amount to keep the sky from clipping.  This got me thinking, so I looked at DxOMark to compare the 60D (which I use) against the Nikon D7000.  The D7000 is rated at 2 stops more DR.  Putting these two propositions together, that would mean that a D7000 should be able to capture a full, natural, bright-sky scene without the benefit of a GND filter.  More generally, this should hold for any camera with a 2-stop higher DR.

Question: for those of you who have used cameras with DxO-rated DR that is at least 2-stops higher, is this true?  Can you really capture a landscape and sky, preserve important detail in the darker areas, and not blow-out the sky?

This is not an attempt to stir the cauldron of anti-DxO commenters; rather, I'm trying to look ahead a bit.  There's been a lot of debate regarding prospective new Canon gear, and the relative benefits of MP, DR and high-ISO.  For those of you serious landscape photographers, what is your "gold standard" for DR?  What scene do you need to capture, without a GND filter, to declare that your camera has "enough" DR?  (and if you tell me you want to point directly at the sun and still see detail in a gopher hole I won't take you seriously. :P )

EOS Bodies / What else will they do with that 18MP FF Sensor?
« on: October 17, 2011, 11:57:47 PM »
Would be a shame to see it go in just one camera.  Maybe this will give us the "split" 5D that's been discussed: an "entry-level" 18MP FF, plus a high MP direct competitor to the upcoming Nikon D800.  Of course, it won't be exactly the same sensor, but a "reduced-performance" variant.

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