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Messages - TWI by Dustin Abbott

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256
Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 08, 2014, 02:00:46 AM »
Very nice review Dustin!

It is good to see an image and photography based review, rather than chart porn. I have the Sigma and despite it´s phenomenal sharpness, I can relate to all your concerns and worries and why you decided not to get one. Clinical is a descriptive word.

Thanks for the valuable feedback.  My goal was not to bash the Sigma, but rather to demonstrate my reasons for choosing the Canon.

257
Dustin,

Great idea and nicely written article. I'll have to try this the next time I'm at the national aquarium in Baltimore.

Would you mind posting the ISO, f-stop, and shutter speeds of some of the photos you took?

Thanks again!

Vivid

Most all of the shots are in the ISO 10K-12.8K range.  Shutter speed is typically around 1/100th second, and all of the shots are wide open in terms of aperture.  With the 70-300L, however, that means that at best it was usually f/5 and more typically f/5.6.

Thank you, Dustin!

No problem.  The great high ISO performance of the 6D makes the 70-300L a viable option in what would have previously been unfavorable conditions.

258
I'm shooting a wedding there early April.  I grew up in the Scottsdale area, but haven't lived in AZ for nearly 20 years and haven't ever really shot the Tucson area.

259
I agree.  That being said, if a genuinely sharp wide open 50mm f/1.8 IS came to market (with the modern reduction in CA, etc...) along with curved aperture blades, I would take it over the 50mm f/1.4 all day.  I actually own the newer 35mm f/2 IS and it is a fantastic lens.  I rarely find myself wishing for a wider aperture as it is so completely usable wide open and the DOF is already pretty shallow.
I would be interested in a 50 f/1.8 IS as well, but find that the 50L does extremely well at portraiture, which is what I use it for 95% of the time.  I have heard great things about the 35 f/2 IS and would definitely like to try one out.  As the only Canon IS lens under f/2.8 that costs less than $5k, it's always intrigued me.  Have you reviewed it or blogged about it on your site?  If not, I'm sure more than a few of us would be interested to read your take on the lens.  I don't think I've seen a real-world review of it by anyone - just the usual charts and graphs...

I've got the review about 85% done, but it's been on the back burner recently.  I need to get it done!

260
Nice article Dustin and it's pretty amazing what the combination of new technologies (high ISO bodies) and old ones (polarizers) can achieve in the right hands.  I liked the photos as well and think the jellyfish one turned out really well.

The High ISO performance of this current generation is really pretty stunning.  If another stop or so can be gained in the MKIV of the 5D line or the 6DII, it really changes the game.  If you could treat ISO 12800 or even 25600 like you do 6400 now...wow!

The downside for the manufacturers is that photographer's need for primes is dropping.  A two lens kit of a couple f/2.8 zooms (particularly with stabilizers) really covers most every need.  Primes offer more creativity and flexibility with shallow DOF (and I love them), but I'm going out of the country to shoot a wedding next week and am only packing a 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 zooms.
I know and I hate to see the new lenses coming out with slower apertures because the shallow DOF is what makes [D]SLR photos so unique and different from compact cameras and phones.  I hope the camera companies realize that this is the one trump card that they will always hold over camera phones :).

I agree.  That being said, if a genuinely sharp wide open 50mm f/1.8 IS came to market (with the modern reduction in CA, etc...) along with curved aperture blades, I would take it over the 50mm f/1.4 all day.  I actually own the newer 35mm f/2 IS and it is a fantastic lens.  I rarely find myself wishing for a wider aperture as it is so completely usable wide open and the DOF is already pretty shallow.

261
Thanks for the info Dustin.  I didn't think of using the polarizer before.   :(  I had difficulty shading the incoming light outside just to get this.  Off-topic, the current display from flickr changed and take sometime to getting used to.





These look nice.  I've been toggling back and forth between the two looks on Flickr for months, so I am pretty familiar with the interface already.  I like it for viewing and commenting, but finding some of the other functionality of Flickr is a little clunky.  They are definitely changing their focus.  I'm a little concerned about the death the Getty Images partnership with Flickr, too.  I liked the approach of Getty inviting images through Flickr rather than going through the work of submitting images directly that might not get accepted.

262
Was planing on doing just the same thing in a month in Beijing and/or Shanghai aquarium. But I have my doubts. CPL is effective in removing reflections when there is a nice angle between the camera and the glass. And even then it would not be a 100% result. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to lean the lens flat to the glass (or at a small angle with hand covering) and discard all reflections whatsoever and gain more than a stop of light?.. I guess I'll have to find out myself.

I've done those things but a polarizer might (I'll also do some tests) make it easier.  Sometimes, a wide angle causes distortion of the subject which you might not want.  A longer focal length + CPL + high ISO might do the work.

If you have opportunity to both have full access to the glass and you can frame your shot effectively that way, your technique should work.  The polarizer approach has the advantage that you don't have to wait for people to get out of the way, you can frame freely, and you can get your shots off faster.  The aquarium I was in was particularly busy, but I didn't really have an issue getting the shots I wanted.  In fact, I shot the lead image in the article of the stingray from a crowd during a "show".  I wasn't even close to being in the front of the crowd (for some crazy reason they don't want the 6+ foot tall guy standing in front of the kids.  Weird 8) )

263
Dustin,

Great idea and nicely written article. I'll have to try this the next time I'm at the national aquarium in Baltimore.

Would you mind posting the ISO, f-stop, and shutter speeds of some of the photos you took?

Thanks again!

Vivid

Most all of the shots are in the ISO 10K-12.8K range.  Shutter speed is typically around 1/100th second, and all of the shots are wide open in terms of aperture.  With the 70-300L, however, that means that at best it was usually f/5 and more typically f/5.6.

264
Nice article Dustin and it's pretty amazing what the combination of new technologies (high ISO bodies) and old ones (polarizers) can achieve in the right hands.  I liked the photos as well and think the jellyfish one turned out really well.

The High ISO performance of this current generation is really pretty stunning.  If another stop or so can be gained in the MKIV of the 5D line or the 6DII, it really changes the game.  If you could treat ISO 12800 or even 25600 like you do 6400 now...wow!

The downside for the manufacturers is that photographer's need for primes is dropping.  A two lens kit of a couple f/2.8 zooms (particularly with stabilizers) really covers most every need.  Primes offer more creativity and flexibility with shallow DOF (and I love them), but I'm going out of the country to shoot a wedding next week and am only packing a 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 zooms.

265
Very good information. Thanks for sharing Dustin.

My pleasure

266
Here's a little technique article for those interested on utilizing a polarizer even in lower lighting conditions like indoor exhibits or (as the example photos in the article) an aquarium.

http://dustinabbott.net/2014/03/circular-polarizer-where/



"...In the perfect world for photographers, it would always be “golden hour”.  The light would be soft and directional, making even mundane things appear rich and interesting.  But in the real world golden hour only comes (at best) twice a day, and often not at all.  Experienced photographers learn to use things like circular polarizers and ND (neutral density) filters to help control the light in less than ideal conditions.  These filters are particularly helpful when the light is more harsh and glaring.  I personally like to have a circular polarizer available for all my lenses.

But this little article isn’t about using a circular polarizer in a conventional way.

It’s about why I screw on a circular polarizer in a very dark place like interior spaces at zoos and, most recently, at an aquarium.  What?!!"
...to read more click the link above...

267
I just got mine a couple days ago, today is the first time I got to shoot it, impressed so far.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/102275892907916454902/albums/5981941679104710113/5981941677733606626

That's very nice, how much is the sky held back?  If it's not, it looks like it is a bit.  But it looks natural, so nice job.  Not sure I would have put the sun in the center like that for this shot, but I have to admit it does work this way anyway.  I need to get one of these lenses.  I don't like the idea of the corner stretching projection (I'd prefer 16 to 20mm), but there's really no other wide angle that comes close in IQ, that I can justify blowing the money on right now.  Anyhoo...again bravo...and my favorite part is the snow and trees in the bottom half.

Thank you.  I almost always go for the natural look, even though the facebook folks seem to love the gaudy HDR ones.  This is a 7 shot bracket, enfused, no other processing.  The wind up on this tower was crazy too, so I know sharpness suffered because of that.  This was just a quick test of the lens, since winter in Wisconsin you take any sunshine you can get.  Once it warms up I'll get some real shots.

A nice image, and very natural looking.

268
Reviews / Re: Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Wide Angle Review
« on: February 27, 2014, 08:23:01 PM »
Been thinking of adding an af confirm chip to my lens, but the pictures of some of these chips on ebay seem to suggest that they are low quality and dirty/rusty in general. So I'm a little concern that the chip might shed dust or come loose and scratch the sensor. Do y'all have any issues with this chip? What's your experience? Thanks.

If you go for the chips mentioned above, you should be OK.  They are pretty good quality. Just make sure that you have it glued well, and it should stay in place nicely.

P.S.  Nail polish remover helps clean up any excess glue.

269
Software & Accessories / Adding Punch through Exposure 5
« on: February 25, 2014, 09:40:43 AM »
Adding "Punch" Through Exposure

There are some people who make a very good living by buying somewhat rundown houses, renovating them, and then “flipping” them for a large profit.  Not everyone can do this.  Some people try it and discover somewhere during the renovation project that they have made a terrible decision.  But those that are successful often share a certain quality:  they can see the “bones” of a house.  They can look past the clutter and disrepair and visualize what the house could be.

This little article is about applying the same principle to photography.  As a professional photographer I take a lot of pictures, and most of the time I at least think I’ve taken a great shot when the shutter clicks.  Some photos are amazing all by themselves, but others are a lot like those rundown houses – they have good “bones”, but they are lacking a bit of punch.  I have enough experience with both photography and software that I can look at a photo and pre-visualize how it will look when I’m finished.  Experience has taught me how to achieve that vision most of the time, and a big part of getting the vision of the finished product out of my head and into reality is through the use of Alien Skin Exposure
..."

To read more, click http://dustinabbott.net/2014/02/adding-punch-through-exposure/:

You can also read a smaller version at the Alien Skin blog later today.  Enjoy

270
Reviews / Re: Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Wide Angle Review
« on: February 25, 2014, 09:36:06 AM »
Interested in getting this lens. Which is better, get a Canon mount lens + EMF chip for AF confirmation & correct EXIF data or Nikon Mount lens with Nikon to Canon EF adapter (Nikon mount lens has AE support and focus confirmation) ? In short, which is the more reliable way to get the AF confirmation light & correct EXIF data? TIA

I would add the EMF chip.  Going with the adapter means that you introduce the possibility of some image quality less through an adapter that is less than perfect.

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