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Messages - Botts

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Software & Accessories / Re: External HDD for backups
« on: August 17, 2013, 01:04:30 AM »
Hi all,

I'm currently backing up all my photos and other work on a second (and third) physical drive in my PC, but I've decided that I'd also like to back everything up on an external drive. I'm not interested in the passport-sized 2.5"drives, as I've had a couple of them in the past, and they've both recently died for some reason. I'd prefer a 3.5"sized drive that also needs plugging in to the mains. As for size, something around 2TB is ideal, but if anybody can suggest a bigger one that is better, great!

As for brands, I'm not that particular, although I had one of the LaCie Porsche drives about 8 years ago, and it died the second time I used it. If their quality has improved much in the last few years, I'd happily consider them too.

As for interface with the computer, it'll have to be USB2. I don't have USB3 ports on my computer, and I don't have Firewire either.

What would you guys suggest as a solution for this?


My list of must haves:
  • USB 3.0 (future speed advantage if you don't have it now)
  • Minimum 3TB (it's a minuscule price to upgrade to 4TB even, nothing is worse than outgrowing your backup and having to buy a new drive and subsequently throwing out your previous 2TB drive.)
  • Seagate, WD, Hitachi, or G-Drive (sometimes Lacie's are great, but you never know what drive you're getting inside it.

Software & Accessories / Re: Flash for FoCal - Anyone try it?
« on: August 17, 2013, 12:50:15 AM »
Well, back to the old drawing board.  Thanks for the replies. 


My solution was: go to Home Depot, buy two 500w halogen construction lamps that came with a stand, light FoCal target.  All is good.

Cost me under $30 on sale.

I was looking to pick up a Mac Air because I want something light and convenient for viewing and editing photos in the field...but then I noticed the Retina display on the MacBook Pro, the resolution is so much greater than the Air...and more power.

It would be mainly for viewing and editing photos in Aperture and Nik....and surfing the web.

Any thoughts from owners of either would be appreciated.
I'd go with neuro's solution probably, a MBA and a 27" Cinema Display.

The MBA is pretty speedy, and the Cinema Display is epic.  I'd also consider a 21.5" iMac and a base model MBA.

Disclosure: I'm an Apple Certified Support Pro, and an Apple certified Aperture Pro, but I'd seriously give the Lightroom 5 beta a try.  I find I'm editing my photos in it then adding the JPEGs to Aperture.  For more difficult images I'll use DXO. *embarassed*

I can't give up the nice syncing and faces/places features Aperture has, but I prefer the look of my RAWs developed in LR5 or DXO.


EDIT: For some shots, I do need to be further away and then crop around the main object
Does that change anything?

You're going to lose resolution, so your cropped images will have far fewer pixels.

Also, keep in mind that Aperture and some other software will not process SRAW.

Your best bet since you will crop some shots is to shoot in full-RAW.  Once you process then convert it to an 80% or so JPEG and delete the RAW if the photos are for one time use.

I may even shoot JPEG+RAW in your circumstance for a while, and see how often you even need the RAW if you are short on HD space.

Canon General / Re: Desired fantasy gear
« on: May 29, 2013, 11:57:05 AM »
If I can blue sky whatever I want, with no regards to engineering difficulty, I would like to see a:

24-70-ish f/1.8 for FF.
200mm f/2.8L IS.
135mm f/1.8 with IS.
400mm f/4 not DO, IS.
Fuji like OVF overlay.
Invisible IR LED for AF illumination.


If you haven't felt limited by the AF in the XS, then the 6D will be an awesome body for you.  The 7D is fast, and has good AF, but if these aren't crucial in your photography, you'll be way happier with the image quality, and artistic options of a 6D.

The 6D is very similar to the 5D3, and I'd choose it over the 5D3 every day of the week as I don't shoot things that move quickly.

Lenses / Re: IS mandatory? 70-200 f/4 IS vs. f/2.8 Non-IS
« on: April 17, 2013, 01:32:42 AM »
I ended up getting the 70-200 F4 IS. It is a lot lighter than the F2.8 version, and if you are going to be lugging it around all day the extra weight becomes a big factor.

A great point that makes a huge difference in how likely you are to carry your 70-200mm vs leave it in the car or hotel room.

Finally I checked the original posters signature, he is shooting with a 6D.  He's got the ISO flexibility to give up the stop to gain IS.  It's a compromise, but since he said he's primarily shooting subjects that are stationary, he is probably better with IS, knowing that he's got the high ISO performance if he's shooting things that move.

Lenses / Re: IS mandatory? 70-200 f/4 IS vs. f/2.8 Non-IS
« on: April 16, 2013, 03:51:52 PM »
Well, title says it all. I've never shot with an IS telephoto lens and I was wondering if that should affect my next purchase? I don't do video whatsoever and I try to shoot handheld when possible (although I will 'pod it when necessary). The couple stops of Aperture seem to be quite a difference but I'm willing to compromise if the IS makes that much of a difference. As you all probably know, these lenses are within the same price range so the money isn't a factor. Thanks in advance!

* Most of my photography are static objects but I do like to shoot moving animals occasionally.

I went through a similar decision last year.

I shoot handheld whenever possible.  I shoot mostly static objects with my camera, sometimes I shoot moving animals.

For me, on a static subject, the IS made a bigger difference than the extra stop in terms of sharpness.  I went with the 70-200/4 IS.

This was with the 70-200/4 IS on a 6D at 1600 ISO, f/4, 1/125s.

IMG_2250 by BrianBotterill, on Flickr

Lenses / Re: Lightweight lens for backpacking and bicycle touring
« on: April 16, 2013, 03:31:18 PM »
Are you planning on taking only one lens?  If so, the 10-22 might leave you wanting more reach over the course of a trip like that.  I'd suggest the 15-85 from those you mention.  It's a great lens, obviously wide zoom range, good MFD, and my heavily used refurb. copy has sharpness on a par with my 24-105L.  I've not seen it bundled as an entry level lens... maybe you are thinking of the 18-55 kit lens.  Downside of the 15-85 is it's 5.6 at the long end.  Put a shorty 40 or fantastic 50 in your pack for lower light capability.

The 15-85mm was a common kit lens with the 7D.  Certainly not an entry level though.

If you aren't planning on using your camera for a lot of handheld night shots, I'd certainly go with the 15-85mm, it has fabulous range, and is quite sharp.  If you are ok with less range, and would benefit from a wider aperture, and marginally more sharpness consider the Canon 17-55/2.8 IS.

You can't go wrong with either.  I think you'll feel extremely restricted if you only take an ultra-wide.

Technical Support / Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« on: April 16, 2013, 03:25:41 PM »
I use Aperture to convert my RAW files about 90-95% of the time.  Images that need extra work get processed with DxO and reimported to Aperture as TIFF files.

DxO's perspective, and distortion/vignetting correction is second to none.

I'm an Apple Aperture Certified Pro, so I have more background than most with Aperture, and love teaching it.  Once you learn how to master keywords, and smart albums, I find its asset management second to none.

I can't wait for a new version of Aperture, or ideally, for Apple to acquire DxO, but even still, I really like it for normal use.  If you decide to go Aperture, I'd definitely recommend Peachpit Press' Aperture book.

Technical Support / Re: Which RAW processing software do you use?
« on: April 16, 2013, 03:20:54 PM »
I feel bad voting DxO as it stops Aperture from getting an extra vote.

I use Aperture to convert my RAW files about 90-95% of the time.  Images that need extra work get processed with DxO and reimported to Aperture as TIFF files.

DxO's perspective, and distortion/vignetting correction is second to none.

I was also looking into the new version to use on a Mac with a 5D III. Anyone else have experience with how it's working on a Mac? There seems to be a few details in the installation that have to be followed very specifically.

Bombproof on my retina MBP.  I use it lots.  The key is getting the right version of Mono. You cannot just go download the most recent version of mono

See this support email I received.

Hi Brian,

It looks like you're using the wrong version of mono - you should install the version listed in the manual - this can be found on

That should resolve the issues you're having

many thanks


On Mon, Jan 7 at 6:24 PM , Brian wrote:
From: Brian
Subject: Focal Pro, nothing but Fully Automatic works.

FoCal Type: FoCal Pro for Mac
FoCal Version:

Message Body:

I’m using Focal Pro for Mac with a Canon 6D.

It gives me a warning message which I have attached when I start the program.

Whenever I try to use a function other than Fully-Automatic, Focal crashes with no warning or message. Is there a way to resolve this?


Also for those of you having inconsistent or poor results, more than 10eV is the key.  A single 500w halogen work lamp wasn't bright enough for me indoors, I had to use 2 to get anywhere near consistent results.

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  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.

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