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Messages - johnf3f

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16
Canon General / Re: Should we tell them?
« on: July 07, 2014, 06:21:13 PM »
I am happy to offer advice but only if they seem  to be struggling and I know what the solution is! I am always careful to make sure that I don't make them look like an idiot and also that I don't make myself look like one!

17
Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod centre column - yes or no
« on: July 07, 2014, 05:56:39 PM »

You would not believe how often i have had to repair my Gitzo GT3541LS. I've replaced all the main screws and the lower legs several times. These tripods don't do salt water very well and if you use spikes, the end pieces have a habit of falling out. They are only push fitted in and even if one glues them in...they weirdly fall out. Every year, i've had around £110 UKP's worth of spare parts needed. I'm seriously thinking of going over to Really right Stuff in the hope their pods are more resiliant.
Ok, I know I shoot in some of the most harsh conditions...but come on! These Gitzo pods are actually quite fragile.

[/quote]

What are you doing to your poor Gitzo?
I have 3 for over 5 years and 1 (older model) for about 4 years - I haven't repaired anything! I do use/abuse them quite extensively and have had zero issues. They are used as walking sticks (crossing rivers) supports for me when my knees pack in, occasional light brush busting and I put cameras on them as well. The only maintenance I have done was to clean the leg locks of my 3320BS - but then it was almost buried in sand! In salt water environments I normally us my old (secondhand) G1329 Mk2 as the leg locks are easier to clean - but they haven't got dirty yet - still I have only had it about 4 years.

For the OP I am happy with or without center columns on tripods though for long lens (300mm +) work I find a center column to be a significant disadvantage.

18
Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod centre column - yes or no
« on: July 05, 2014, 06:21:11 PM »
I'm wondering if anyone has any experience or feedback with this model?
"Sirui R-4203L 3-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod"  From what I've seen, it looks pretty darn good for the price but I'm not familiar with the brand.. at 70" it seems that may be a good height for me, I'm 5'10". 

Anyway, please give me your thoughts or comments.  Thanks!   :D

I don't have that tripod but I do have a few Sirui products and find them to be very good. I currently use the P424 Mono pod (similar leg thickness to the 4203 tripod) and  can confirm that Sirui carbon legs are close to Gitzo in performance and I love the Sirui leg locks!
My problem is that I wonder whether you need a monster like the 4203? Yes it is a cracking tripod but what lenses are you going to use it for? If you are looking at a 600 F4 or an 800 F5.6 then the 4203 would make you very happy. However if you are thinking of shorter lenses then have a look at the Sirui R3203. This would be more than enough to do the job with quite large lenses and quite tall enough. I am 5ft 9inches tall and use tripods of 140cm tall quite happily - this one is quoted at 150 cm so it's plenty high enough.
As a footnote I would add that if I hadn't got my Gitzo tripods so cheap the Siruis are what I would have bought.

19
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1DX dust behind superimposed screen
« on: July 05, 2014, 06:02:54 PM »
Since I moved to a 1DX I have no spider!
Must complain to Canon!

20
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1DX dust behind superimposed screen
« on: July 04, 2014, 05:33:27 PM »
I wouldn't worry about a few dust spots. I had a very small spider in my 1D4, he was a little distracting when I was trying to compose a picture but I got quite fond of him/her after a few days.

Your real name isn't Peter Parker, is it?   ;)

Nice one Neuro!
No my name is John Farrell, but the producer changed it so it would sound better in the movie!

21
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1DX dust behind superimposed screen
« on: July 03, 2014, 04:52:07 PM »
I wouldn't worry about a few dust spots. I had a very small spider in my 1D4, he was a little distracting when I was trying to compose a picture but I got quite fond of him/her after a few days.

22
Lenses / Re: Why do fast primes not have IS?
« on: June 25, 2014, 08:59:37 PM »
That's why I don't shoot moving objects or sports with IS.  I shut it off on my 300 and 400 f/2.8's because my miss rate increased with IS turned on.

+1
That's exactly what I was getting at, only you said it with FAR fewer words!
Additionally I really find little use for IS on stationary subjects unless the light is stupidly low!

23
Lenses / Re: Why do fast primes not have IS?
« on: June 25, 2014, 05:12:10 PM »
I don't know why Canon's fast (short) primes don't have IS - but I hope this continues to be the case.
My concern with IS is that it introduces a dead element in the focal path (this is my description for a piece of glass that does nothing) also IS slows up AF acquisition. On longer lenses (300mm +) then I agree that IS can be handy (to have in reserve) though I very rarely use it these days.
Back in January I turned off the IS on My Canon 800 F5.6 L IS and was happier without it. AF is faster and I have had no problems regarding shutter speeds (note I use ISO's of up to 12800) also due to the improved AF my "Hit Rate" is higher. Since then I have turned off the IS on all my IS lenses (300 F2.8 L IS, 70-200 F2.8 L IS and 24-105 L IS) and have noticed similar improvements. IS can be handy to have in reserve but on my 300 F2.8 and shorter lenses I really don't have much use for it, on the 800mm it can be handy for Dawn/Dusk shots but as soon as the light is near passable I turn it off.
Just my 2p.

24
Attached is one of the very first shots I took with my 300 F2.8 + Mk3 extender. Note this file is unedited, I have merely JPEGed it and scaled it for web.

25
Lenses / Re: 300 2.8 IS Mk1 v Mk2
« on: June 23, 2014, 07:18:26 PM »
Frankly either lens is superb and both work well with the 2 x mk3 extender, I wasn't too happy with the Mk2 version. Everything about the 300 F2.8 Mk2 is better, but only a little better. If you can afford it I would go for the Mk2, I couldn't but I am VERY happy with my Mk1!

26
Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« on: June 21, 2014, 05:01:46 PM »
Mack - we could have 300/2.8 II + 2xTC thread, there is now quite a group of us!

Yes it would and there would be some nice images too!
It's a very good combination.

27
Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« on: June 18, 2014, 05:23:11 PM »

If you say you do not need IS, then I believe you and salute your rock solid arms and their strength. However, not everyone has your natural stability. Here is what Bryan from TDP, writes, and he claims to work out regularly with weights.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-600mm-f-4-L-IS-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

“I relied on IS a lot when using the version I 600 L IS lens - especially when shooting wildlife. I didn't handhold that lens a lot due to its shoulder/back injury-inducing weight, but the tripod-sensing IS system was quite helpful in reducing vibration (including from mirror slap) when shooting from a tripod. Handholding the 600 L IS II is much easier and I am now relying on IS much more frequently to help me get the shot. I find IS to be an extremely valuable feature for this lens.”


For what it's worth I have arms like pipe cleaners and can barely do a push up!
Though a lot of it is down to technique, not strength, most people can support large lenses surprisingly well for short periods. Locally there is quite a petite lady who rarely uses a tripod with her Nikon 500 F4 + D4 - so it can be done!
My problem with IS is that it slows things down, when you have a small bird flitting here and there I have enough trouble keeping up with it - let alone the IS slowing things up! Try it for yourself. Also I believe that IS is not effective at shutter speeds of less than 1/500 sec so it is of limited use for many subjects.
I should state that I use a 1DX and it's ISO capabilities are a significant part of the equation, were I using a different camera this may alter my opinion.
However, regardless of the camera used, I prefer to shoot with IS off and only use it when necessary (in desperation in my case!). It is a very handy feature, to have in reserve.


For rapidly moving birds etc, use Mode 3 on your IS - the IS kicks in only when you actuate the shutter, and Mode 3 was introduced precisely for tracking fast, erratic motion.

I don't understand why you write that IS is not effective below 1/500s. there are oodles of published measurements and examples of IS working brilliantly down to 1/10s or so - just look at the lens tests on TDP. The following link explains Mode 3 and states image stabilization at 1/5s for the 600mm f/4 II:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-600mm-f-4-L-IS-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx


By shutter speeds below 1/500 sec I mean shorter/faster shutter speeds. At longer/slower shutter speeds IS can become very useful, especially with longer lenses. However with the ISO capabilities of some modern cameras it is becoming less valuable.
I cannot comment on Mode 3 IS as my lenses do not have it. However IS uses a moving element so focus will necessarily be affected, even if only briefly - so I still say IS is a good feature to have in reserve, to be turned on when required.

28
Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« on: June 17, 2014, 07:08:08 PM »

If you say you do not need IS, then I believe you and salute your rock solid arms and their strength. However, not everyone has your natural stability. Here is what Bryan from TDP, writes, and he claims to work out regularly with weights.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-600mm-f-4-L-IS-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

“I relied on IS a lot when using the version I 600 L IS lens - especially when shooting wildlife. I didn't handhold that lens a lot due to its shoulder/back injury-inducing weight, but the tripod-sensing IS system was quite helpful in reducing vibration (including from mirror slap) when shooting from a tripod. Handholding the 600 L IS II is much easier and I am now relying on IS much more frequently to help me get the shot. I find IS to be an extremely valuable feature for this lens.”


For what it's worth I have arms like pipe cleaners and can barely do a push up!
Though a lot of it is down to technique, not strength, most people can support large lenses surprisingly well for short periods. Locally there is quite a petite lady who rarely uses a tripod with her Nikon 500 F4 + D4 - so it can be done!
My problem with IS is that it slows things down, when you have a small bird flitting here and there I have enough trouble keeping up with it - let alone the IS slowing things up! Try it for yourself. Also I believe that IS is not effective at shutter speeds of less than 1/500 sec so it is of limited use for many subjects.
I should state that I use a 1DX and it's ISO capabilities are a significant part of the equation, were I using a different camera this may alter my opinion.
However, regardless of the camera used, I prefer to shoot with IS off and only use it when necessary (in desperation in my case!). It is a very handy feature, to have in reserve.

29
Lenses / Re: Traveling to the UK/Ireland
« on: June 16, 2014, 08:07:37 PM »
Hope you enjoyed your trip.

30
Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« on: June 16, 2014, 08:00:29 PM »
In simple terms, if you have a very sharp lens, then every small blurring event, such as minute camera shake, will be noticeable. If you have a very soft lens, then a minute amount of camera shake would not be noticeable in the overall blur. So, you would be crazy to hand hold a 600mm f/2.8 II with IS off, or more sensibly a 400 mm f/5.6 at a low shutter speed. However, a Tamron 150-600mm at 1/1000s with IS on would not register any camera shake.

As Weixing write there is no wrong or right way, but you can have accessories that are overkill for a particular lens.

I have only used the IS on my Canon 800 F5.6 L IS for a couple of shots this year - all my other shots (both hand held or on a tripod) have been with the IS turned firmly OFF. Why - because I get faster AF and a higher hit rate, especially if subjects move. Given the lighter weight and better balance of the Canon 600 Mk2 (that you quote) + the extra stop of light and it is hardly a chore to use hand held and there is certainly no need to turn on the IS in anything but poor light - my 800mm is not as good in this respect being F5.6. Note I am not a bodybuilder - I am a 55 year old arthritic Diabetic. These lenses are not that difficult to manage!

To the OP.
I do not claim to be an expert, but I have primarily used long (400mm +) lenses for quite a while. When the light is good you can keep the shutter speeds up and manage quite happily without support. IS/OS etc have their uses but are no substitute for a decent tripod + head. If you get cheap support you will rapidly outgrow it and end up spending more in the long run. It's up to you, but I would suggest you get good support from my experience.

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