April 17, 2014, 11:43:56 AM

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Messages - johnf3f

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Back Button Focussing and AF Points
« on: April 16, 2014, 08:48:17 AM »
It took me quite a while to be convinced to try BBF, I was very skeptical! Well now I am happily eating my words, it is much more flexible - once you get used to it!

Software & Accessories / Re: The best tripod ...
« on: April 15, 2014, 04:22:46 PM »
From my experience Neuro's comments are spot on!
I am a great fan of Gitzo tripods as here in the UK they offer excellent backup/spares service as well as some of the best tripods going. Unfortunately RRS products are difficult to find here and hideously expensive so your decision may depend on where you live - either are excellent.
Your gear list suggests that it would be a mistake to skimp on your support so I would strongly suggest you only look at the Gitzo/RRS range of tripods. There are some good alternatives but you have some of the best gear going so why compromise?
Heads are a very personal choice and depend very much on what you want to photograph. I use Ball heads, Gimbals and Geared heads depending on what I am doing. For general use a good ball head is hard to beat but make certain you get one that locks securely without any creep/droop. This does not necessarily mean an expensive one, but generally the good ones cost more. One exception is the little Triopo RS3 which is the smoothest, best locking ball head I have yet tried and will hold any Canon lens - well maybe not a 1200 F5.6! As Neuro suggests I would avoid Manfrotto ball heads and all Gitzo heads.
For your 300 F2.8 I would suggest a good quality Gimbal head such as the Wimberley 2 as it offers great support/rigidity with the freedom of movement to track moving subjects.
Let us know a little more about your specific interests/requirements and budget and I am sure the suggestions will flow in.

Thanks a lot, John and Alan! Your posts have helped me make up my mind.
I am going to get one each for the 70-200 II and the 2x III.

I was a bit iffy on the cover for the extender. These covers are double sided so there is little grip on the extender and it may slip around quite a bit.
If you do get one I would be interested to know how you get on with it as I could do with covering my extenders.

By the way, I got the coats for the 70-200 and both extenders (I still don't have the 1.4x, but I guess it's a matter of time).
The coat for the extender does not slip around. I can post pictures, but I don't know what they will show. But its totally worth it, especially I shall use the 2x with my 135mm, and with the black side out it doesn't look as ridiculous (black lens, white extender, black camera)!
Amazing service from Outdoor photographer via eBay by the way! I am thoroughly impressed!

Thanks for getting back to us. I will get some of those extender covers!

Can't speak for the Benro, but I do have an early Wimberley 2 and no it has never had any maintenance/servicing and yes it functions perfectly.

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« on: April 05, 2014, 07:12:11 PM »
If you are going to buy a tripod buy the last tripod you will ever need.  Same for the head.  DP review recently did reviews of 10 full size ball heads.  most are out of your range but one budget model was found that is very, very good.  http://www.dpreview.com/articles/8192473209/battle-of-the-titans-top-ball-heads-tested/7Start with this $200 head and spend 300 on legs.  Carbon fiber has advantages but you will get much more bang for your buck with Aluminium.  I liked Benro and Manfrotto.  you should do very well at $300 dollars.  2 points to consider.  3 section or 4 section. 3 is quicker to setup and use, 4 will be smaller when carrying.  The other thing to consider is leg locks.  Some people like the twist ones, I like snap hinge ones.  your taste may differ.  I like the hinge because I can see when it's locked.  That prevents surprises if the twist is not locked.

Interesting.  They didn't give a reason for not including the Giottos in their test.  Did they intentionally exclude Chinese brands?

Don't know where Sirui heads come from - China?? If they had included Chinese they might have included the silly little Triopo RS3 - no they couldn't do that as it would have put too many of the others to shame (including the Sirui K40X - I have both).

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« on: April 02, 2014, 05:01:30 PM »
I am not surprised that you had trouble trying to remove the QR clamp as the Chinese LOVE thread-lock, but I don't understand why you would want to remove it! However, with some force, it could have been removed quite easily. What you need is an Allen Key that fits! I, almost invariably, use metric Allen keys on Imperial bolts and vice versa with Metric bolts, why? Because they FIT better and don't cause this problem! I have done this on mine, just to check before I posted, and had no problem.

well i used the key that came with the head.

believe me im a big guy.. more strength would not have help.
why do you think the screw is broken.. because i used more and more force.  ;D

all i can say is... i have never had this issue with other heads.
and i had quiet a few.

Ahh - I see your problem! The key that came with mine is a poor fit as well.
The threads on mine were about a third covered with some form of thread lock, which is far too much. If yours has even more then it probably is pretty immovable!

Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm DO
« on: April 02, 2014, 04:47:19 PM »
What do you think of the 400 DO outresolving a 600 f/4 L?
I have been searching for the images I took to illustrate my post but I have to admit I can't find them - sorry! They may be on my old PC (which I still have) so I will see if they are on there.
Basically I fancied one (but couldn't afford it!) so I tried out the 2 at my local camera shop. As a comparison I then mounted my Canon 600 F4L IS and took pictures of the same subject (a BMW 3 Series) from the same place. The difference was that we could see that the lacquer on the rear of the car had crazed slightly with the DO lenses we weren't easily able to pick this up with the 600.
As I said I will have another look for the images.
The 400 DO is certainly a very controversial lens - but the ones I have tried have impressed me though less so with extenders.

Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm DO
« on: April 01, 2014, 08:23:29 PM »
You wrote:
"For all the pomp about the 300 f/2.8 ii, once you slap on that 1.4x iii converter, it's not a vast improvement in sharpness, if any, over the bare 400 f/4 DO...from looking at Bryan's test comparison at the-digital-picture.com."

All I have said was what you wrote does not match up with Canon's own measurements and a simple examination of Bryan's site. I am not defending anything or have any of the motives that you somehow have attributed to me. Could we please restrict this to rational discussion.

Have you tried out a 400 DO?
 What do MTF charts mean in the real world? I don't know, but what I do know is that I tested 2 second hand Canon 400 DO lenses against my Canon 600 F4 L IS at the same range and both out resolved the 600. I recently tried another 400 DO against my, current, Canon 800 F5.6 L IS and it was out of it's depth. However at half the focal length is was FAR from shabby!
I fully accept that images from the 400 DO need more processing and that they don't work well with 2 x extenders - but, as a bare lens, their resolution is top notch.
Do not let me put you off decrying this lens - PLEASE carry on! If more people keep doing this then prices will fall and then I can afford one!
P.S. I do have a Canon 300 F2.8 L IS and with the 1.4 extender I find it does not quite equal the 400 DO as a bare lens.

Need something for when carrying a tripod is too much...

Depends on your budget and what lenses you are using.
I agree with Neuro's RRS recommendation and JPAZ on the Sirui mono pods. Personally I have a Gitzo GM2541 - it is very light and will cope happily with any current Canon lens. I would say that I found it a bit skinny with my 600 F4 but it supported it quite happily. My other mono pod is a Sirui P424. In Gitzo terms this is equivalent to a 4 series - so the P424 is pretty chunky! However it is not too heavy, very rigid, well made, supports pretty much anything and is fairly cheap. I suspect it would be overkill so the P324 model may be more appropriate.
If you are not supporting anything bigger than a 3 kilo lens + a pro body then the Gitzo GM2541 is the kiddie!

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« on: April 01, 2014, 07:46:03 PM »
i love my FLM58...

it´s the best ballhead for my needs and better then the praised RRS BH-55... if someone ask me. but then i am from germany and so i don´t have to support RRS. ;)

it´s big and heavy but it´s the most stable ballhead i ever had the pleasure to use.

10 years warranty are not bad either.


i also have 2 cheap sirui ballheads, kx-30 if im not wrong.
they have a blue numbered ring and it´s pretty useless.
after 2 weeks this ring was going lose and now rotates freely.
happend on both heads... i read about it too.
seems to be a common issue.   

also the fine positioning with the sirui is a pain in the a**.
maybe if you don´t know better ballheads you are satisfied.
i am not.

doing macro i constantly have to lock/unlock the ballhead because when locking the ballhead the camera/lens moves a bit. enough to kill the composition.

on one ballhead the plate was screwed so thight by the factory, that i destroyed the screw head when trying to unscrew it. im unable to remove it, i would have to drill the screw away. but it´s not worth it.

overall im not very impressed by siruis ballhead quality.

Surprised you had problems with the Sirui K30X - my K40X has given me no excuse to criticize it after 2 years. I agree the little Blue ring can move about but then I haven't found a use for it so I don't care.
I am not surprised that you had trouble trying to remove the QR clamp as the Chinese LOVE thread-lock, but I don't understand why you would want to remove it! However, with some force, it could have been removed quite easily. What you need is an Allen Key that fits! I, almost invariably, use metric Allen keys on Imperial bolts and vice versa with Metric bolts, why? Because they FIT better and don't cause this problem! I have done this on mine, just to check before I posted, and had no problem.

Thanks, Johnf3f, I have gone that route with the Canon 12mm extension tube, but infinity focus and AF are lost.  I want the flexibility of going from macro to tele without fiddling.  I like what Jappe did, but before a start modifying, I would like to know whether the Sigma 180 2.8 + Canon TC III combination will AF.

Don't understand why you lost AF! The extension tube should just relay the electrical signals and no functionality should be lost, though infinity focus would go.
I am afraid there is no solution other than modifying your lens/extender at your own risk! Though you could try the old Kenko 1.5 (Note 1.5 not 1.4) extender which will work with any lens - but the IQ is not great though they were only 50 quid brand new. I found cropping was better.
A far better (though more expensive) solution would be to get a used Canon 300 F4 L IS or a Canon 400 F5.6 L - pricey but very good!

I modified a cheap extension tube to allow the use of extenders on any Canon EOS mount lens. It completely eliminates the problem of the lens rear elements fouling the front element of the extender. You will loose infinty focus but that is hardly a problem on a Macro lens!
For reference the extension tube is 13mm long. If you look at the one on the right you can see that I modified the anti reflection screen with a Stanley Knife. Cheap - simple and it works!

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« on: March 29, 2014, 05:12:41 PM »
+1 on the used tripods. There are some real bargains out there if you hunt about. Between a friend of mine and myself we picked up a mint Feisol 3342 and 2 older model Carbon 3 series Gitzos (one Systematic and one Mountaineer) for about $480 in your money. We were lucky but it does show what can be bought - and this is in Ripoff Britain!
As to heads, especially ball heads, they are cheap. My Triopo RS3 + an Arca compatible QR clamp cost less than $70 and weighs less than 350grams (with clamp) and it easily copes with any current production Canon lens. I don't really know what it will support without creep as my Gitzo tripods are too bendy! In the attached image - that is a Canon 600 F4 L IS on it.

Lenses / Re: Ordered 300mm 2.8 II; tips/suggestions
« on: March 29, 2014, 04:36:03 PM »
Unlike the others I am a big fan of Lens Coat type covers - though I do use a different brand:

I find they protect the lens from scratches and subdue the Canon white! I am a wildlife photographer so this can be an issue, in your case I don't think the cars will be scared off!
Make certain you get the Canon Mk3 extenders as these are specifically designed for your Mk2 lens.
You will be VERY happy with this lens, it is a little better than my Mk1 version - which is stunning - so get out and enjoy it!

Software & Accessories / Re: Alternatives to RRS MH-02 Monopod Head?
« on: March 26, 2014, 07:21:24 PM »
Thanks johnf3f.  Does the Sirui head allow for 90 degrees rotation without having to use a special tool, like the MH-02 does?  That's the feature I'm really looking for.
Looking at your original post I assume you are thinking of the different orientation of QR plates on your cameras and larger lenses. If you do the same as me - I align my QR plates along the center-line of my long lenses (equipped with lens feet) and at 90 degrees on the cameras. If this is the case then - no the Sirui does not accommodate this without the use of tools.
If the above is not the case then I may well have got your post wrong

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