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Messages - RC

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Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Eneloop batteries for my flash
« on: February 19, 2012, 11:02:32 AM »
Since we are talking about batteries, I want to share an awesome battery caddy to hold your batteries (I have 3, thanks again Syl).  Normally I don't get excited about a piece of molded plastic, but these caddies are excellent; strong non-brittle plastic, batteries snap in and will not fall out, orient your batteries up or down to indicate charged or discharged, and come in multiple sizes and colors.

Lenses / Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« on: February 19, 2012, 10:26:20 AM »

My main problem with the 15-85mm, is the lens creep. I'm really afraid of that.

Had a new 15-85 and lens creep only occurred very little and that was when I was pointing the lens straight up such as moon shots.  Sold it because I needed weather sealing with my 7D. 

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Eneloop batteries for my flash
« on: February 19, 2012, 12:58:40 AM »
I use only eneloop and imedion LD-NiMH batteries in my speedlites (because they're recommended by Syl Arena) and have no regrets, I charge them in a Powerex charger. I also use Energiser re-chargables in equipment such as mouse and keyboard, I sometimes charge my energisers in the powerex charger, but would never charge the eneloops and imedions in the compact energiser charger that I have- it doesn't auto switch off when the batteries are full whereas my powerex does, and the powerex has fast and soft charge options as well.
I simply pack a set of spare fully-charged eneloops or imedions when I'm using my speedlights(and CP-e4), I find they hold their charge well for re-chargables.

Dido, I too took Syl Arena's advice and use Eneloop LD-NiMH (low discharge) for ready to go and Powerex NiMH for when I have time to charge.  I use the Powerex Maha MH-C801D charger with 8 bays that has a condition, 1 hour (rapid), and soft charge modes. 

I learned the hard way not store batteries in your Speedlight.   Canon charged me $100 to repair a alkaline battery leak in my 580 EX II.

Edit:  The leaked alkaline battery was a Rayovac.   At the same time as my damaged 580, I also had a leak in one of my 430 EX IIs, also Rayovac alk.   Based on what others have posted, never store alkalines in a flash unit and store rechargables with caution. 

Lenses / Re: Grand Canyon Lens suggestions
« on: February 17, 2012, 02:37:35 PM »

Also, I have a good quality circular polarizer.  While I hope to be able to shoot  early and late, I do not plan to put the camera away mid-day.  Will a neutral density filter be a must?

I'd be interested in the answer to this also, as I will be there in March.

In case you miss my previous post:

"A polarizer will be extremely useful, I don't see the need for ND filter unless you have a very fast lens you need to shoot wide open with in full sun--your 15-85 even at 3.5 will be just fine."

Lenses / Re: Grand Canyon Lens suggestions
« on: February 17, 2012, 02:33:50 PM »
I have been following the CR Forums for some time.  This post finally prompted me to register.  First, FSU_Dan, wishing you a safe and speedy return from Afghanistan!  Second, I hope you do not mind piggybacking on your post. 

I am also planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, etc. in May.  I will be shooting with a 7D and have an EF-S 15-85 and EF 70-300L.  My only real expertise (a stretch) is motorsports (thus the 7D).  I am wondering if I will be happy with the 15-85, or if I need wider (say the ef-s 10-22) or faster (a prime)?  I would appreciate feedback from landscape and canyon shooters regarding lenses for the 7D on this trip.

Also, I have a good quality circular polarizer.  While I hope to be able to shoot  early and late, I do not plan to put the camera away mid-day.  Will a neutral density filter be a must?

I've been up there a couple of times with my 7D and 15-85.  I never had a shot I could not get with 15 but like I mentioned on an earlier post, a little wider for some shots would have been nice.  If it is convenient and affordable, I'd rent and bring a 10-22. 

A polarizer will be extremely useful, I don't see the need for ND filter unless you have a very fast lens you need to shoot wide open with in full sun--your 15-85 even at 3.5 will be just fine.

Lenses / Re: Grand Canyon Lens suggestions
« on: February 17, 2012, 02:22:45 PM »

One final tip, lots of dust, so keep your gear protected.  In May it still may be a bit windy, less so in the AM.

do you have any recommendations on how to protect from dust other than the platic bag method?  Any good rain covers that double as dust covers without breaking the bank?

Nothing too special other than avoid those clouds of dust when cars pass by on gravel roads, swap lens in your car or with the wind to your back.  Might be a good idea to have a plastic bag in your pocket in case you are out a ways from your car and a wind picks up or a bunch of bikers come passing thru.  May is typically a very dry month so you shouldn't have to worry about rain but be prepared just in case.  The summer monsoon for the southwest doesn't begin until early July.

Stay safe, welcome home, and thank you!

Lenses / Re: Grand Canyon Lens suggestions
« on: February 17, 2012, 10:08:22 AM »
I am going out to the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, and redrock in late May.  I currently plan on using my 17-40 but have been reading comments about the image quality at 17mm on a FF camera(will be using either 5DII or III if it is out).  I am debating on renting either the 14mm, 24mm, or 16-35mm.  What do you guys think? Should I consider a good tele?...

I was up there about 1 year ago with my 7D.  I spent more time at Monument Valley than the Grand Canyon.  At that time my widest lens was the 15-85.  About 90% of my shots were at 15mm (24 for FF) and I didn't really t feel the need to go wider however a few less mm would have been nice.  So for FF at MV, 24mm would be fine.  I have not been to Antelope Canyon but from what I understand, you will want wide.   Based on what you are debating, I'd rent the 16-35 which should be great for all parks.  I now have it for my crop and I love it, should be perfect on FF.  BTW, I only used my 70-200 a few times, might be more handy for FF shooters.

Time of day is essential for for these canyons.  Morning, evening and midday light are like 3 different canyons.  My favorite time for lighting at MV is late afternoon since it adds extra warmth and drama to all those red buttes.  Lots of hard light and heavy contrast so be prepared.  The GC has some many different looks based on time of the day. I prefer sunrise and very early AM.  Personally I think MV is far more spectacular than the GC (unless you are going to hike to the bottom or visit the north rim).  Speaking of the GC north rim, it is way more impressive (IMO) than the south rim.  When at MV, don't just stop at the lookout point at the visitor's center, take the loop road (I think its 11 or 13 miles), you will be glad you did, trust me. 

About 100 miles to the SE from MV is Canyon de Chelly (pronounced canyon de shay [long "a" in shay]).  If you got the time this canyon will blow you away.  If you only do one thing there, drive the south rim out to Spider Rock overlook.  Jeep tours in the bottom of the canyon are offered and give you a whole different look.

One final tip, lots of dust, so keep your gear protected.  In May it still may be a bit windy, less so in the AM.

Enjoy your trip!

Lenses / Re: What lens for 7D EF-S or L
« on: February 15, 2012, 04:23:17 PM »
Just throwing out another option and I realize it is probably not the best one for most crop shooters but here's what I did. 

My primary lens for my 7D was the 15-85.  A lot of things about this lens I really liked but overtime the excessive distortion at 15mm and the lack of weather sealing became issues for me.  So I sold the 15-85 and bought the 16-35 II and later added the 24-105.   Yes a lot more money but I do enjoy the weather sealing and constant aperture.  16mm is barely wide enough for me and it is possible I could buy or even rent the 10-22 if I need to go wider.

I do agree as many have already posted the 10-22, 15-85, and 17-55 are probably the best general lens choices for most APS-C shooters.  But if you got the funds and weather sealing is important, you might look at the 16-35.

My personal suggestion for how wide for landscapes would be at least 24mm FF which is 15mm crop--that is why I say 16mm is barely wide enough for me.

Software & Accessories / Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
« on: February 15, 2012, 02:51:26 PM »
I am not so interested in creating great photos from my computer and software but instead my goal is to make great photos from camera, lens, light, technique and skill.  With that being said, I still do some editing with software to make corrections and adjustments such as WB, lens correction, noise, minor exposure, and maybe some perspective correction (since I don't have a TS lens).  Therefore Lightroom seems to be the ideal software for me.  In fact I have never been so wow'd with a piece of software until I downloaded LR3 trial and watch some online tutorials.  I also use DPP and an alternate editor.

(I have also dabbled with PSP, ACDSee Pro, and Elements)

I still consider myself a beginner at photo editing and maybe someday I'll change my tune some and do more extreme editing.

My suggestions are:
- Install DPP from your CD which came with your T3i. 
- Download a trial version of LR.  I see that you can get a smoking deal on LR3 right now but keep in LR4 is right around the corner.
-  Watch these Adobe LR tutorials for starters:

What is LR
Be Organized
Lens Correction and Perspective Correction
Create Stunning Images


Lenses / Re: 24-105mm vs 17-40mm on crop
« on: February 12, 2012, 11:56:43 AM »
Thanks the pros and cons!!
Now, if I do decide to go with the 24-105mm, I'm not REALLY missing out on TOO much wide angle (I've tried shooting around at 24 today)
So, let's say I'd have just about enough cash by the end of the year (after assuming I've already bought the 24-105), and sell my 18-55 kit lens, and have enough cash for either a sigma 17-50mm 2.8 or the one from Tamron when I REALLY need it in some situation.
Would this plan be efficient? And are the sigmas and tamrons as good in image quality (I wouldn't care too much about the build quality, due to the fact that it wouldn't be my primary lens, I suppose)

So with the assumption you have the 24-105 and sell the 18-55, and then you find yourself needing to go wider, then pick up a 10-22.  If the need for wide is infrequent consider used or rental.  Now you have a very nice set of lens which do compliment each other.   (BTW, the 10-22 has a good resale value if you ever switch to FF.)  Not sure what the resell on the 18-200 is but you might dump it too to help fund your lens upgrade.  Work on your lens first then your body.

Lenses / Re: A Lens Roadmap? [CR1]
« on: February 11, 2012, 12:31:26 PM »
All I want from this lens is the 35L II.

The current version is stellar, so it will be interesting to see how they can improve it.

Yip, 35L II for me is next on my list.  I also want something 50 that is better than what is offered now.

Lenses / Re: 24-105mm vs 17-40mm on crop
« on: February 11, 2012, 11:10:46 AM »
Is 24 wide enough on a crop... That's what I'm mainly worried about.
And for video, which I do plan to take from time to time, I've seen people's example videos of how important IS is for videos.......
For me 24mm on aps-c is not wide enough. Although 24-105 is great for full frame, for crop sensors it's just not right. I know it because my dad has a 24-70, and every time I try to use it on my aps-c body, I find its zoom range very awkward and go back to my 17-55.
There is a small possibility that 24-105 will suit you, if you TOTALLY FORGET wide angle that is.

Agree.  24 is not wide at all on a crop.  I have a crop and the 24-105 plus the 16-35 which is barely wide enough for me.  I use the two as my walk around lens when I don't mind carrying a second lens-- the 24-105 being the second lens.  Both lens are fantastic. 

Lenses / Re: 24-105mm vs 17-40mm on crop
« on: February 11, 2012, 10:53:59 AM »
Based on what you currently have and since you didn't mention landscape photog, I'd go with the 24-105.  That way if you decide you need something wider, you can add the 10-22 which compliments the 24-105 very nicely as opposed to the 17-40. 

Lighting / Re: I Need a Flash
« on: February 10, 2012, 04:23:14 PM »
To simplify it, use ETTL with moving subjects and manual with static subjects.  Of course everything has an exception.

Lighting / Re: I Need a Flash
« on: February 10, 2012, 01:06:01 AM »
I would seriously reconsider getting a 580 EXII even if you have to wait longer or buy one used.  I'm not a flash expert but I've been doing lots of studying and experimenting with flash and have found the 580 to be wonderful not only for its higher GN and features but mainly because of its wireless master function (I have 1 - 580 and 2 - 430s). 

My only body is a 7D which can act as a wireless master but having the option for an off camera master via an extra long ETTL cord makes wireless flash almost limitless.   With horse photography (assuming you have horses in the horse barn) I can only image the need for an additional flash and a way to trigger it.

Assuming you have the funds or can save up or buy used,  these 3 items will do wonders and open up a whole new world of photography:

- 580 EX
- Extra long ETTL cord (go for the 33 footer)
- Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites

Why the long cord when the body has inbuilt wireless?

Lots and lots of reasons.  I didn't realize how valuable this was until I started playing around with wireless flash   The key is line of sight between your master and remote.  Using your camera as the master really limits your options as where the slave units can be placed.  Having the ability to move your master and change angles opens up all kinds of options as to where you place your slaves

For example:
- Firing a flash behind your subject that is out of the line of sight of your camera
- Firing a flash above, behind or anywhere you don't have line of sight
- Shooting into the sun make wireless flash very infective due to signal deterioration.   Simply position your master so the sun is behind the master and you have restored effective out door wireless flash
- Maybe you have a couple of slaves outside a window which need to be triggered

The list goes on, if you are serious or just want to learn more, get Syl Arena's book

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