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Messages - sanfranchristo

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Advise Please
« on: May 02, 2014, 10:06:10 PM »
Thanks, I appreciate these tips very much, I have a Mac book pro, and will be needing apperature I suppose. I have a great deal to learn, but can't wait to get rolling, I will be heading to Bedfords Camera shop monday in Oklahoma City.

One minor suggestion - I don't think that many would argue that Lightroom isn't the better option over Aperture at this point. Unless you have a specific reason for wanting Aperture, I'd go with Lightroom (there are some good deals out there at the moment for the standalone version if you don't want to go the subscription route). I should also say that you don't "need" either when just starting out. Your camera will come with software to allow you to do basic processing of RAW files and preparation for web or print - Lightroom will come in very handy once you need more convenient editing and catalog management tools.

Lenses / Re: I just ordered my new 70-200 f2.8 MkII today!
« on: September 09, 2013, 05:55:50 PM »
I should be clear - it's a canon refurbished lens, so it's not "new."   But, a canon refurb with a year warranty is good enough for me.

I got mine from them also and it's indistinguishable from new, apart from the generic box. I actually like buying from Canon refurbished because (at least in my head) they've been tested and verified more than a normal production run (otherwise there'd be no "bad" copies of new lenses).

Technical Support / Re: My 5D Mark III most likely have cancer
« on: July 24, 2013, 12:16:00 AM »
Analogies of "dying" equipment to cancer are always fun! Ha ha...ha...yeah, not so much. Poor choice of words dude - not a joking matter for many.

I'm on the fence. The new features seem nice, but I am most interested in any performance increases, which I'll wait for some user reports on. I won't be going the CC route, but I am quite irked by the universal upgrade cost. I wish they'd tier it - I doesn't seem right to charge the same amount for those who upgrade to each version as those who upgrade from much earlier ones.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Canon 6D for $1424 delivered!
« on: May 13, 2013, 10:17:50 PM »
Too bad it's for AUS buyers only.  :(

Portrait / Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« on: March 06, 2013, 10:36:22 AM »
Please refer to some of the excellent advice (and warnings) on this same topic, thoroughly covered here:

(Without re-debating the issue, I will echo another commenter and say that your zoom lenses probably aren't up to the task and you should consider renting/borrowing/buying a proper portrait prime at the very least. It is also a somewhat reckless idea to shoot without a backup DSLR body of any sort.)

Lenses / Re: UV filters (any difference?)
« on: March 03, 2013, 09:54:43 PM »
So I bought a couple lens recently (17-40mm and 24-105) and want to get some UV filters for them.

Is there any real difference between various filters?

For instance, Hoya UV filters range from $30 to to $110.  My gut reaction is that it is mostly marketing junk and the $30 one is fine.  But would appreciate anyone with knowledge or thoughts to the contrary!  Thanks.

There is most definitely a difference between various quality filters. B+W and Hoya multicoated filters are generally regarded as the best options. (I have B+W filters on nearly all my lenses, though I have seen tests where the Hoyas have been ranked slightly better for clarity/light passing - though it's probably imperceptible between those two options at the high end). Cheap filters like Tiffen, however, may create noticeable difference in your photos vs. none, so I'd avoid those for your everyday filters.

It is true that you do not really need the UV protection with a DSLR, though I've found the UV filters to be less expensive than their clear glass counterparts. Perhaps if I were working in a studio I would side with the purists who don't use any, but I'm too nervous about scratching the lens itself to go without one for protection.

I have a B+W MRC UV (regular, not slim) on my 17-40 and haven't noticed any issues with it.


Lenses / Re: Which pair of lenses to get?
« on: February 10, 2013, 03:33:28 AM »
Based on the lenses you are considering, I'd suggest getting a used 24-105 and 70-200 f4 IS, which are both plentiful. The price difference between those and the other options you are considering looks to be about enough for you to get a 5Diii instead of a 6D or 5Dii. If you're serious about video, I'd go that route - from what I understand you'll appreciate the video features of the 5Diii over the other two (I haven't used the 6D but have read about and seen the moire issues), and won't miss anything with those lenses (very minor difference in sharpness with the 24-105 is not a big deal with video and the 70-200 f4 is better than the original f2 IMO).

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Opinion on upgrades
« on: February 08, 2013, 10:37:28 PM »
Without regard to the pros and cons of moving to a FF for the lenses/budget you are working with, I hate reading unfounded concerns of sharpness or lack thereof. Sharpness is probably the most overhyped aspect of lenses and one that causes stress to those considering purchases. OF COURSE it is important, but the reality is that virtually all new lenses from the big makers are very sharp by definition. There are definitely some that are technically sharper than others in a lab, and in some instances there may be noticeable differences in practice, but sharp lenses are only one factor in getting sharp photos (if that is even what you truly want all of the time). I have fallen into this trap of reading how a lens "was soft" when contemplating upgrades and it can cause undue concern. I've said it before, but most of the best photographers to have ever lived shot with much less sharp lenses that you have access to today (at all price ranges).

I do have my share of Ls so I appreciate better or the best quality depending on the use and output, but I also have the 50 1.4 and can take tack-sharp photos with it with no problem! Of course there are caveats, but if you have a good copy and know how to use it (which it sounds like you do), it will be GREAT on the 5DII and you shouldn't be considering the 1.2 at this point unless money is no object or you have a specific need for top performance at 1.2-1.8 apertures (which is even debatable). Rest assured that your 50 1.4 is sharper than the 17-40L you are considering (I have both, and the 17-40L is a good value used if you need a very wide angle on a FF). Of course a prime vs. a wide zoom is not a fair comparison, but that's my point - there are so many variables to consider that I'd hate for you to think that you wouldn't get great shots with your 50 1.4 compared to an "L" or that it is too soft for a FF.

I am generally in the spend-on-lenses camp, but there is a balance to be had. I am a big fan of FF, and would recommend 5DII + 50 1.4 vs. T3i + 50 1.2 in that hypothetical debate. (I haven't had a crop so I can't speak to what appears to be a very impressive 17-55 though one lens probably shouldn't determine whether you shoot FF or crop. There really aren't many good, affordable options for wide angle FF lenses, but a used 17-40L is a decent place to start only if you really need the very wide end of it.)

EOS Bodies / Re: Cost of Canon 5D mk III
« on: February 05, 2013, 12:21:48 AM »
In defense of the OP's sentiment, we have become conditioned to the price of most electronics dropping in price with each successive generation more so than this range of DSLRs have. From the outside, it's hard to know exactly what the P&L looks like for the 5Diii - it clearly leverages much from the previous model that is "paid for" many times over (from an R&D perspective), and shares some features and presumably development costs with other current generation models. It's not unreasonable to think that it should be priced X% less than the 5Dii, which should have been priced X% less than the 5Dc in a relatively new and rapidly advancing and technology space. Look at not only the specs of the point-and-shoots, but also the prices - they have generally dropped significantly as quality improved, where as the DSLRs in the 5D range haven't. At this point we just have to accept that brand loyalty (or being bound) to one of a few options makes these more like specialized Apple products or proprietary game consoles that will keep adding new functionality without necessarily coming down in price and less like commoditized categories such as TVs and point-and-shoots. (Having said that, I still think it's unacceptable that the 5Diii didn't launch at least a bit less than the 5dii was originally.)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: January 26, 2013, 03:31:49 PM »

If you can sidestep the obligation, do. If you really can't, don't panic. It's a grand challenge, and you can have fun if you allow yourself to.

Beav talked about expectations -- very important. Make sure they know they have no reason to have great expectations. That said, I expect they've seen some pictures you've taken, and you should be flattered they asked you. But again, make sure they know event photography is a specialized occupation and getting a nice landscape shot is not the same as a wedding.

A few thoughts:

1. Keep it simple. Go with the equipment you have. It's what you know. Trying to learn a flash, even just for fill, will get in the way. Forget a second body. The chances that your body will malfunction is about the same as them changing the date back to six months from now. A second body, with a different lens, can be helpful, but you're disadvantaged. First, you're shooting a wedding, and you know nothing about how to do that properly so all your attention needs to be on getting that right. Second, it's too confusing in this situation to remember a second body and what settings are on which body (it's more than just another lens). Keep it simple. Go with the equipment you've got.

2. Work on getting one memorable shot. You can give them 50 mediocre pictures, and one great one -- all they'll see is the great one. That's the one they will come back to in future years, and they'll remember you gave it to them. Try to plan something in advance if possible. If not, keep looking for that one moment when everything comes together perfectly -- and don't hesitate! Shoot the damn thing NOW. And tell them you're best hope is that you can give them one, single memorable picture.

3. Don't be afraid of the high ISO capability your camera has. Use what you need to get the right aperture/shutter speed to make the shot.

4. If you're going to be the "official" photographer, be it. Don't let people get in front of you or block you. Direct people into shots you need. You're in charge of this production. Don't be a passive photojournalist just shooting what happens. MAKE it happen. And as I've said here before, the best piece of advice I ever got when I started doing weddings so many, many years ago -- Do NOT be afraid to do it over. If you screw up a shot, stop everything and have them do it again. Now that may not be possible on the altar (but it may be if you've got the chutzpah) but have them restage it a few minutes later if need be. Always better to be embarrassed (which everyone will forget) than hand them a bad picture (which they will NEVER forget).

People have mentioned visiting the venues where you'll be working, good advice. And finally, I'd suggest looking at some wedding photographer sites -- look at the standard shots they all get, and plan to get those at least.

And have fun. The worst that can happen is you take some lousy pictures. At least I haven't heard any mention of a shotgun!

+1 for all points, especially those in #4 which most non-professionals (including myself) are either too polite or embarrassed to embrace in the moment.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: January 26, 2013, 03:28:06 PM »
Thanks for all the advice everybody, a lot to think over. The wedding is at a church, then reception, pretty simple, not huge.

After reading your comments I've now been considering is talking to him into hiring a photographer, and then I'll just bring my 6d, and pancake lens just for some candid photos to give to them.

If he insists on me, I'll then tell him to at least hire someone for the ceremony and I'll shoot the reception.

If he really insists on not hiring a pro, then screw it, I'll just take my stuff and he'll get what he gets!

I'd much rather see them with quality photos than meh photos, from their friend who just does it as a hobby.

But whatever happens, I think I may invest in a nice 85mm. Maybe a new 50mm if they release a new one.

Wise choice to discuss further. I was in a similar situation and as long as the expectations are very clear, I think you could pull it off. One other thing to consider is whether you want to be part of the wedding or not. I offered to shoot a close friend's location wedding but he rightly said he wanted me to be "part of it" and not worried about shooting. There will be a trade-off. I was subsequently asked by another, more casual friend, whose wedding I may or may not have attended otherwise and it was a much easier decision to do it as it will be a very informal, outdoor event. If your friend knows what you are capable of (walk through some of your relevant shots) and they know what you can and can't deliver (based on location and equipment) then don't be afraid if they aren't expecting more than you can deliver. If you go ahead, I would just add this...

You have a high-ISO beast and some decent options for the wide and normal ranges. If you can, rent or borrow a 70-200 2.8 IS (ask them to cover it). It'd be worth it - that can get you very good results and cover just about every need, including portraits and the ceremony.  I would be concerned about the lack of a lens longer than 50mm for portraits (the 85 1.8 is a quality, affordable option to consider adding in general). Do you know anyone that can lend you a second Canon body (or do you have your old one)? Even a lesser-caliber one than your 6D will come in handy to have with a prime attached. Obviously, extra batteries and cards to be safe (or know what the charging options will be). I echo another commentor in cautioning about flash - yes, you "need it" for weddings, but if you aren't experienced with it, you may more do more harm than good, and more importantly, you will spend time trying to manage it and miss shots. Just be clear about where and when you expect to be able to shoot and forgo the flash (if you have one, maybe bring it to have on-camera for nighttime "party" candids, but don't rely on it for portraits - get those done early or outside). A good photographer is ultimately a good photographer - it is about the subjects and moments. Perhaps most importantly, to go to the location in advance (if possible) and establish a clear shot list with times for yourself so you have people when and where you need them, and don't miss anything.

Canon General / Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« on: January 26, 2013, 02:34:53 PM »
Adding my $.02 to some of the good advice that has been offered. With all due respect, and as constructively as possible, I think you are getting WAY ahead of yourself with your proposed purchases based on on how long you have been shooting. Just a few things I will echo or challenge...

As far as bodies, I think you are overestimating the nuances with various AF capabilities and proposing a pretty giant leap in functionality and price from where you are now. There's no doubt that the AF system of the 5DIII is much improved over the 5DII, but either a used 5DII, which can be had at a very reasonable price now, or a 6D while still on promo seems like a better value proposition from where you are now. Bodies change every few years, so this is not going to be a very long-term investment for you. I'd strongly recommend a used 5DII to make the initial move to FF instead of spending on a 5DIII right now.

For lenses, I am a bit shocked that you're even considering a 50 L or 85 L. We can go on for days about "sharpness" of the 50 1.4 vs. 1.2, etc. but I find the debates about sharpness to be the most over-emphasizes aspect of photography for all but those shooting commercially or for large-format print. Look around the web at some of the top-notch shots taken with the 1.4 before you settle on how sharp it isn't. When used properly (assuming a good copy), the vast majority of people will not see the difference in a very good lens vs. a "legendary" lens. The 50 1.4 (or even 1.8 ) would be my general recommendation for the first lens to buy on a FF. The 85 1.8 is perhaps the best value portrait lens, and unless you have a very specific reason for the 1.2 (and the skill to use it), there is no reason for you to consider spending that much yet. The work of many of the best photographers (historically) would not be considered "sharp" by the standards of today's digital pixel peepers.

Other lens thoughts... the 40 2.8 is a very capable and fun lens to explore FF with - and a tremendous value. I'd recommend that as a first purchase - even if you outgrow it, you'll always have a great-performing option in your pocket or travel bag. Consider a used 70-200 4.0 IS - you can get good deals on these, and unless you have a specific, income-generating, need for more light, it is one of the most versatile lenses to explore the longer end with - with fantastic results. That, paired with a "normal" prime will get you very far. I will also plug the 100 macro L as a possible first L - it's true that the non-L has almost equal IQ, but this makes a fantastic macro and portrait lens (the IS helps) that you will have fun with and probably never outgrow (and is somewhat reasonably priced right now).

One other +1 would be Lightroom. Looking at some of your photos, you will be well served to improved your PP skills (corrections, enhancements and cropping) and Lightroom is easy and affordable. It will make a big difference in quality and sanity.

Renting is often a good option, as is befriending other photographers in the same situation as you to periodically trade lenses and equipment. Have a good macro? Find someone with a very long tele.

If I could tell my former self one thing, it would be go out and shoot and stop reading about technical capabilities of cameras and lenses and what they do or do not do in labs or for others. It's good to be informed when making investments, but the best equipment for you is what you enjoy and actually use. Choose one thing and use it until you have a very specific, well-defined, need for an upgrade or addition. Good luck and go SLOW with the $ investments.

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Yes. It's a joy to use, the image quality is very good, and it's relatively inexpensive so if you're even curious, just get it. It quite easily fits in a pocket so if there were times when you didn't have your 50mm available (say you were out and about with just a telephoto or needed to travel particularly light), it allows you to have a reasonably fast and wide option handy at all times. It's almost worth it just for the comically small size, especially on a full-frame body. This also makes it a great option for street photography - it's as inconspicuous as you can get with a full-frame and is arguably the perfect focal length (appeasing those in either the 35mm or 50mm "normal" camps).

Pricewatch Deals / Re: 5d mark iii Amazon price drop
« on: October 24, 2012, 01:08:11 PM »
You mean it was  >:( :o :-\

I put it in my cart last night and was going to purchase it today from Amazon and as I was going to check out I noticed the price had gone back to $3459.  Not sure what gives with this.  I love Amazon but they may have just lost a sale from me on this and the grip.  I may have to go with BestBuy instead  >:(.

was 3499 or whatever ..

now it is $3249

not the cheapest but price did drop

This is kind of moot now with other current deals, but why would you have any expectation that you could come back to something in your cart at a later date and not be subject to price changes? No ecommerce sites function like that (after the initial add-to-cart session). I would assume that you purchase on Amazon regularly, so you should be very familiar with how frequently they, in particular, update prices - yes, this is a particularly unfortunate large jump (vs. the cents that books go up and down everyday in one's cart), but you clearly knew it was a "deal".

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