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Messages - Botts

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Lenses / Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« on: April 11, 2013, 09:51:45 PM »
I would guess that 25% of the time, the camera will be used indoors where there isn't great light and a flash won't be possible to use.  I'm worred that the 15-85 won't be any improvement over the kit lens in that type of shooting situation.

No, the 15-85mm will not help you there.  The 50/1.4 or 50/1.8 would be good...if a short tele is what you need in those situations.  Else, consider the 35/2.

Here's my suggestion:

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 $499 (better IQ than the Sigma 17-50 and cheaper, too).
Canon 50mm f/1.8 II $109
Canon Speedlite 430EX II $254
Manfrotto 294 tripod w/ QR ballhead $135

Leaves you $3 from your $1K budget.  :)

Thanks for the tripod recommendation.  I will do some homework on the Tamron lens as well.

If you could spring like a few extra, or save up before buying the tripod, I would certainly go with http://www.ebay.com/itm/Benro-A2691TB1-Travel-Angel-Tripod-Kit-A2691-B1-T131-/290825133906?pt=US_Tripods&hash=item43b6875f52.  I know you said no eBay, but it's a way better deal off eBay than B&H.

Otherwise Neuro's suggestions are great.  The Tamron 17-50/2.8 is way way better in dim light than the kit lens.  The Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC is even better but $150 more.

Software & Accessories / Re: Program like GEOSETTER?
« on: April 09, 2013, 03:07:42 PM »
HoudahGEO for OS X is phenomenal, but obviously not Windows compatible.

Software & Accessories / Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« on: April 08, 2013, 02:11:22 PM »
make sure that u calibrate your monitor such that the luminosity is around 80 or 90 (cd/m2). this is critical. it is likely that your monitor will look too dark to you. that is ok. get used to it. this is the luminosity of paper. if the monitor brightness is set properly, then the images will look like what u c on your monitor. you need to adjust the brightness of your images to a properly calibrated monitor so that the brightness of what u c on the monitor is the same as what u c in print. ur prints will always b too dark until u do this.

John nailed it.  If your iMac display is set to full brightness, no printer could match the brightness.  Even my comparably dim (to your iMac) MacBook Pro is too bright at 332 cd/m2. 

One trick you can do, is pickup some 4x6 paper of the same type as your larger paper, that way you can print a hard proof before you go to your larger, more expensive  paper.

Software & Accessories / Re: Program like GEOSETTER?
« on: April 02, 2013, 05:44:05 PM »
Does the suggestion have to be Windows compatible?

EOS Bodies / Re: Expect a REALLY Big announcement on Monday
« on: March 31, 2013, 02:26:22 PM »
I heard that Apple and Canon are collaborating on a DSLR which has iPad functionality on the touchscreen interface. I'ts supposed to be called the "iCanPad".

actually.... why not?

and it will have a new scene mode dedicated to taking pictures of kittens...... because if there is anything that the web needs more of, it's pictures of kittens...

Kitten mode?! I need me one of these!  I'll own the internets!

Lenses / Re: Lens recommendation
« on: March 27, 2013, 11:06:42 PM »

Do you like 40mm on the 17-40?  I find it stays on my 6D far more than my 50mm.  Those 10mm make a big difference.

I've shot with the 24-70/4 IS, and the 24-70/2.8 VC in the last month.  I found I really liked the 24-70VC, but I also love the 35mm f/1.4.  It'll depend on what you shoot the most.

I'd sort your LightRoom or your Aperture by list and focal length.  That will likely really help with your decision.

Hi, I find I don't really use the 17-40 using the full 40mm but I do use it a lot around the 30mm and 35mm range. I would like to have both at some point I'm just trying to find which one to have first. I'd like it more for portraits at the moment. If you've used both, how does the tammy 24-70 2.8 vc bokeh compare to the sigma 35mm 1.4 bokeh? Thanks for the info

I'd reach for the f/1.4 every time if I were shooting portraits at 35mm.  At 35mm, 2.8 really isn't enough to throw the background sufficiently OOF in my opinion.  The Sigma 35mm bokeh can be harsher than the Canon L bokeh in my opinion as well.  If I were buying a 35mm solely on bokeh quality, I'd buy a used Canon 35mm.  If you're taking landscapes or other things you want extremely sharp, you may want to go Sigma.

If you are looking for a "traditional" portrait where you focus on the individual, and have no regard for the background being in focus, or really showing where the person is, I'd go with a 70-200 f/4 even, or a 100mm or 135mm as the length really helps with narrowing depth of field.  At 125-200mm and a close subject, even f/4 is enough to really throw out the background.
If you want to shoot "environmental" portraits, where the surroundings of your subject are important, one of the areas I really struggled when developing as a photographer was using too wide of an aperture.  I.e. I have portraits that I intended to be environmental, but the environment is entirely out of focus.  The worst was when I tried to compromise and have a half blurred environment.  Since then I've started using my tele's for portraits, and a 35mm or similar, usually my 40STM for environmental portraits, and not worry about keeping a small DOF.

Lenses / Re: Lens recommendation
« on: March 26, 2013, 01:32:34 PM »
I forgot to mention i do have the 50mm 1.8 canon but i feel it is a odd length for me i feel like its too long. I am borrowing this lens (the 17-40) basically until i buy the next lens. I am on a limited budget i basically have enough for one lens. I have about $1350 at the moment

If you feel 50mm is too long on your 6D, then you will likely feel the same about the 35 on your T3i.  I'd go for the Tammy.  After a few months, see if you've developed a preference - where you've used it the most (i.e., wide or tele end), and base your prime lens purchase on that.

Do you like 40mm on the 17-40?  I find it stays on my 6D far more than my 50mm.  Those 10mm make a big difference.

I've shot with the 24-70/4 IS, and the 24-70/2.8 VC in the last month.  I found I really liked the 24-70VC, but I also love the 35mm f/1.4.  It'll depend on what you shoot the most.

I'd sort your LightRoom or your Aperture by list and focal length.  That will likely really help with your decision.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D2 refurb or new 7D as backup to 5D3?
« on: March 24, 2013, 03:25:06 PM »
My lenses - I own:
24-105L, 35 f/1.4L, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8 and 70-200 f/2.8

I think if I take the money I save from buying a 5D2 and put it into a 16-35 f/2.8 II, I'd have a nice wide angle I could use for the 7D that puts me into the ~24-50mm effective range.

I also have been weighing the cost of a 1.4x II extender - $399 to $499.  Half to more than half the way to the $969 refurbished 7D...  Rather have the 7D (for now) plus it gives me 1.6x AND AF that still works @ f/2.8 and faster using double cross-type points...

Thanks to everyone.

I think you made the right choice with the 7D for now.  It's a great camera, with great autofocus.

I would REALLY consider renting that 16-35 first.  I was all gung-ho to buy one, so I rented it and realized that I'd likely never use it.  Alternatively to getting the 16-35, I'd strongly consider buying a used 17-55/2.8 IS (~$800).  The lens is very sharp, it has IS, and is still a fixed 2.8.  It is for crop body only, but is the best normal lens on the 7D.  Then you could use either your 85/1.8 or 70-200/2.8 on your 5D3.  You'd have the advantage of both focal length ranges at reach at all times.

After using all three methods, traditional, back button AF, back button AF off, I settled on the last, it has all the advantages of independent control that traditional doesn't, but not the thumb committing and tiring disadvantage of method two. I strongly recommend people play with all their settings to find out what works best for them in any particular scenario.

I shoot like private does with AF-On as AF Off, and I really like it for the same reasons he mentions.
It blows the mind of my bird shooting friends, but it works well for me.  I find that I find the need to kill AF far more than I find selectively activating AF useful.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D2 refurb or new 7D as backup to 5D3?
« on: March 23, 2013, 02:47:54 PM »
Thank you for your reply, but the 6D is out of my budget for a 9/(11)-point, center-only cross-type AF system and I truly need to choose between a 7D or 5D2.  Plus, I don't care for the 60D-like simplified rear panel of the 6D.  Just does not suit my years of Canon EOS usage.

You mention the AF performance and your need for tack sharp photos in several posts.  IMO that completely knocks out the 5D2. The 7D has phenomenal AF and great IQ if you are shooting with strobes when the light gets low, and not relying on high ISO performance.

I still miss my 7D for action, and am eagerly awaiting a 7D2 to pair with my 6D.  That said, the center point on the 6D beats the 7D for accuracy, but the only point on the 6D that does that is the center point.

One last consideration is focal lengths, you won't be near as wide with the 7D, but as you have a 20D I'm sure you've already experienced that.

Exactly. I thought eventually she could carry the 18-55, 55-250 combo and be set if she was at some indoor sports. I know these cameras are not meant for high iso but it has to be better than ps and m4/3's. but i could always get that when the time comes. They are going to be 6 this year so I guess we have sometime.

I had rented the OM-D before, and I'd give it the edge in high ISO quality over my 7D and T2i.  It'll be interesting to see if the SL1/T5i have finally gotten a sensor that can beat modern m4/3 cameras.  Time will tell once they get into people's hands.

Thanks everyone. Lots of good advice. Yeah she already ok'd the sony nex 6 and it has an evf so we could keep that but then if I went that route I would consider the nex 3nl since its half the price with all the same stuff she uses. Just not sure if squeezing in the eos would be better for the fact that hopefully i can get her a 17-50 2.8 someday and it would be a better combo. Never been a fan of the 4/3's cameras. She looked at the rx100 and hated the flash placement. I want the eos m but everyone seems to not be satisfied with the af speed and grabbing you kids you need all the speed you can get.

That 17-55 2.8 is a wonderful piece of kit.  It's unparalleled in Canon's full-frame line.  The 40STM is a great lens too, but I found it too wide as an everyday walk around piece on my crop 7D, and I still find myself wanting to switch to the 35mm quite a bit, even on the FF 6D.

Have you played with Olympus' m4/3s?  They are another astonishing camera, with IQ that is lens limited, not sensor limited when compared with the T1i-T4i.  This may change if the SL1 or T5i have new sensors though.  They are also a very ergonomic series, specifically the OM-D.

In the end though, with what you mention in your later posts, specifically shooting kids, and likely some day in the future, kids sports, I would probably go SLR for the AF and long lens advantages.


Prior Apple Genius here.  Bseitz brings up what seems like it should be the truth.  The reality is though that OS X and Aperture are extremely intelligent when it comes to allocating RAM.  Aperture won't use what it really needs at the expense of other processes to an extent.  It knows that you may flip into something more important, so it won't take what it really wants.

Swap used in activity monitor gives a better indication of whether or not you've maxed out your RAM.

Finally, as someone who has used a MacBook Pro with both 8GB and 16GB of RAM in a similar use case to yours, I noticed a big increase going to 16GB of RAM.  Going from 16GB to 32GB in my iMac wasn't as big of a difference, still a nice little boost though.

At the risk of hijacking the thread, only doing this here hoping for benefit to more people than myself:

I always get confused about Page ins / Page outs / Swap. I used to use Page outs as my indication for needing more RAM, lately, haven't had a problem with it though. I mostly used Page outs because it also gives a bytes/sec readout, so you can tell what you're currently using. For swap, am I correct that it shows what you've used since the machine last restarted? For instance, my swap currently shows 2.92 GB, Page outs 2.42 GB (0B/sec), and Page ins 24.06GB (0B/sec). 3.42GB available RAM. So currently, I have plenty available, but given that I haven't restarted in a few weeks, at some point I did something that required some swap, and that's still showing up on activity monitor.

Thoughts? Thanks for your help!

Swap is what is currently being used.  Page ins and page outs are cumulative.

OS X won't move memory from swap to active unless it determines that it is being required.  Some apps may store some files in memory that aren't accessed until you do something to require their loading.  I.e. you may have a preview window open on a different desktop, and not actively using it.  Similarly, a video game may precache a level, but it isn't needed until you finish the current level.  OS X won't waste the computing effort to move this from swap to active unless it is needed in active.  Obviously this causes a slight delay, but OS X won't put it back in swap as long as you need it.

Right now my Mac is using 7.11GB of swap, but I have 4.55GB of RAM free, and 11.42GB used.

If you want to do some easy reading on this see here Apple KBase article on reading activity monitor.
For some more in depth reading, here is the developer page on virtual memory. Developer Info.

tl;dr If you have no, or little RAM available (green), and a large swap file, you'll want more RAM.  If you have GBs of free RAM and some swap used, don't worry.

I'd consider M43 instead of the Sony just for lens selection.

Above all though, I'd consider whether or not your wife wants to learn the PASM modes.  I know that my fiancĂ© would simply be frustrated with my teaching, as she is quite happy with her iPhone at the moment.  She may be further ahead, but I would wonder if she might want something smaller and easier.

I'd seriously consider a Panasonic ZS30 for her if I were you.  Lots of zoom, very good automatic mode. And PASM if she eventually wants to progress to this.  It has a 24-480mm equivalent zoom range.  I wonder if your wife would feel constricted by the 40mm prime.  40mm on crop is still pretty narrow/tight.

The Panasonic ZS cameras, are a great option IMO.

Finally, the other advantage:  With a DIY build, you're not confined to a particular OS.  You can install Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows.  You could run both Mac OS X and Windows.  Whatever floats your boat.

As an individual who has gone down the hackintosh path before, if you want to run OS X on a custom built machine, you really want to build the machine for OS X.  Also, you'll have to be ok with not applying OS updates until they're tested by the hackintosh community and some other instabilities.

Next, you have to determine how valuable on site editing is for you.  I have had an iMac, and now run a 15" retina MBP.  The ability to have solid computing power while on site is invaluable.

Finally, the iMac and retina MacBook Pros have Thunderbolt and therefore the ability to add PCIe expansion cards.

All said, if you want to edit on the go, the retina MacBook Pro is the best option.  If raw processing power in the office is key, the DIY machine is going to be the cheapest, but the iMac, and OS X are sleek and operate day in, day out.  Bootcamp will run Windows flawlessly on any Mac too.

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