September 22, 2014, 06:22:25 AM

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Messages - johnf3f

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31
You know you want one - just do it!
The only question is which one. To me there are only two choices, either the 800mm or 600mm, I suppose you could include the 500mm for mobility.
Many people go on about lenses being too long - this is the opposite of my experience, in fact on only 2 occasions has my 800mm proved too long normally it's too short!

I most definitely would go for the 300 f/2.8 IS II because it's not too heavy of a monster and you have the option of extending its range using tele converters. Such a lens would have to get a lot of use from me, and I usually don't have a need for 400mm plus.

I have the 300 F2.8 but, unfortunately, it get far less use than my 800 F5.6 L. The 300 is a great lens and very portable, plus it works well with extenders. The 800 is just better for my uses.

32
Canon General / Re: Servicing Canon Bodies?
« on: July 10, 2014, 06:37:28 PM »
Given you location have a chat with Canon at Elstree Studios or Colchester Cameras:
http://camera-repair.co.uk/

Canon will probably say to go to them anyway!
You could also contact Canon HQ in Reigate

33
You know you want one - just do it!
The only question is which one. To me there are only two choices, either the 800mm or 600mm, I suppose you could include the 500mm for mobility.
Many people go on about lenses being too long - this is the opposite of my experience, in fact on only 2 occasions has my 800mm proved too long normally it's too short!

34
Canon General / Re: What's Would You Keep? [The anti-G.A.S. thread]
« on: July 10, 2014, 06:28:09 PM »
If I really HAD to get rid of almost everything then I would keep my 1DX and 800 F5.6 L, if I was allowed I would also keep my 24-105 (which I use occasionally) - the 1DX is virtually glued to the 800!

35
Software & Accessories / Re: Canon BG-E13 Flimsy Tripod Mount
« on: July 10, 2014, 06:11:05 PM »
You are not alone! I use tripods quite a bit and this is precisely what put me off Battery Grips. The only one that I have tried that I was happy with was the PB-E2 (for my EOS 3) - they don't make then like that anymore!

36
I use Gitzo Systematic and Mountaineer (with center column) in both 2 and 3 series and love them!
I would suggest that you have a look at a 2 series if you are using lenses of 300mm or less. They are lighter and good enough for my 300 F2.8 - with or without extenders.
For my long lens I use a 3 series Systematic (3530LS) . Whilst Gitzo do not recommend it for lenses like my Canon 800 F5.6, I find it more than adequate. I have tried both a used 5 series (5541) and new 4 series Systematics and could find no significant advantage in them. Yes they are more rigid, but even at 800mm, the difference was not enough to justify the extra weight let alone the price!
My personal recommendation would be to look at the GT3530 LS, 3540, 3531 and 3541 models, I am not so keen on the latest models as they offer little or no advantage to me and they weigh more - let alone their higher cost!
If you add the accessory center column (handy for landscape work) + a couple of top plates then you have all the tripod you will ever need for any (current) Canon production EOS lens. I recently picked up a mint center column from E Bay for 35Gbp ($59) and the top plates for 15Gbp ($25).

37
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!

38
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.

39
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.

40
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!

41
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!

42
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.

43
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!

44
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.

45
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.

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