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Messages - Frodo

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1
Lenses / Re: which 200mm lens to get
« on: February 20, 2015, 03:04:07 PM »
For me size is a big deal as I travel a lot.
My travel kit is 5D II plus 35/2 IS and 200/2.8 plus 270EX flash.  All this fits nicely in a Crumpler "4 Million Dollar Home" bag, which is a small bag.  I used to travel with the 85/1.8, but like the extra reach of the 200.  I have a metal screw in lens hood for the 200 that fits nicely over the mount end of the lens when not in use.  The original lens hood is huge. I previously had a 70-200/4 and there's no way that would fit in my current bag.  It does fit in my "5 Million Dollar Home" but that bag is significantly bigger.
The 200 is sharp and flare resistant. It takes the 1.4x nicely to give a 280/4.
The 70-200/2.8 is too big for my needs and the 200/2 is also way too expensive.

2
EOS Bodies / Re: New mirror mechanisms - how is this a good thing?
« on: February 14, 2015, 01:04:00 PM »
For a good comparison, check out Ducati's desmodromic valve train versus conventional cam-return-spring engine design.
You can really push those desmo's!

I love it when my passions coincide!
A bit off topic, but the cam valve closing of desmo heads is not so much for increased RPM, as many fours will rev way higher than a desmo twin.  It is to allow a faster valve closing rate to fully optimise the valve timing as Ducati is pushing valve overlap.
So yes, a good parallel Aglet, in terms of a cam minimising vibration.
However, I'm not convinced with the desmo technology in Ducatis. Maintenance is a nightmare and so I went from a Ducati to an Aprilia (another Italian) where I can do most of the maintenance myself. 

Mirror maintenance is not the issue in cameras that getting valve clearances right in bikes is. It is entirely reasonable to expect that the reduced vibration of the mirror will improve reliability of the more complex mechanism.  And having a mirror fall out during a shoot with the original 5D I can speak from experience!

But to come back to the topic.  In another thread there was discussion about sensor vs lens to maximise resolution.  Vibration (and subject movement) is also critical in these high MP cameras.

3
Lenses / Re: Would you buy this lens? Small, lightweight, 17mm/2.8
« on: January 15, 2015, 12:32:47 PM »
I forgot to mention that I owned the Canon FD 17mm f/4 ages ago.  Loved the lens.  F4 was fine - even in the days of Kodachrome 64! My how things change!
Would be less of an astro lens at f4 (my Samyang is great for that), but I could live with that.

4
Lenses / Re: Would you buy this lens? Small, lightweight, 17mm/2.8
« on: January 14, 2015, 12:45:43 PM »
Notwithstanding RO's comments about physical and financial constraints, I would be very interested in such a lens.  I've had the 20mm f/2.8, but was unhappy with the IQ. I now have the Samyang 14mm f/2.8, which has great IQ, but manual focus (I can live with that most of the time), and is not very robust (my first was replaced under warranty).  I would love something in between, but with better IQ than the 17-40.

5
Perhaps, I am approaching this from different angle, but I would suggest that you can cut your equipment by about 70% losing only about 5% functionality and making up for it in spades by increased mobility.

I would take only 6D + 24-70 F/4L IS USM + 70-300 F/4-5.6L IS USM. No second body, no flash, no F2.8 zooms, no tripod, no special holsters, no hard disks, etc.  No additional bags. 

Just 6D body with 24-70 packed in a large zipper plastic bag. Second such bag for the tele zoom. Gear kept at the top of your large backpack.  Take small light backpack for moving around cities and for short tramps. However, in addition take Sony RX100 to be always kept in your shirt pocket ready to go in 3 seconds.

It is different mindset, but it works.

I completely agree.  I suggest that the OP is taking waaayyy too much gear for a 6 month backpacking trip through those countries.  Definitely not a second DSLR body, get a small point and shoot instead.  Definitely not the f2.8 zoom, get the 70-300L.  If you want ultra-wide take the 16-35 f4 and a 50, not the 24-70.  Leave the heavy, bulky 600 flash behind and get a 270. 

6
Software & Accessories / Re: Lightroom 5.7 - Is it working for you?
« on: December 03, 2014, 12:33:56 PM »
I entered "no difference", primarily because these minor updates are boring and almost a waste of time.  Adobe is running out of ideas because advancements are slow.  They still can't get auto-exposure to work - heck auto-exposure on Photoshop Elements 7 and even Picasa is waaayyy better.

7
I think most who talk down about it have not used it for an extensive period or even owned it and are pontificating solely based upon reviews online.

I respect Bryan's comment at TDP:

Sigma wins the 24mm contest and Canon wins at 105mm. But that's at f/4. Stop down to f/5.6, and you'll be hard pressed to find a difference in sharpness between these lenses. The Sigma has slightly more light falloff at long end but shows less flare. The Canon has less pincushion distortion in the mid focal lengths.
The Sigma focuses more quietly than the Canon, but the Canon focuses a bit faster than the Sigma. The Canon has a larger and better-positioned focus ring with more rotation (122° vs. 90°). The Canon uses smaller filters (77mm vs. 82mm), but the advantage should go to the size that is already in your kit. The Canon lens is lighter and slightly smaller – and is weather sealed.


No reason to replace my Canon, which is my most commonly used lens.  And buying new, I'd still buy the Canon.

8
One more thing.  Take a pair of knee length gumboots (do you call them Wellingtons?).  Essential for getting in and out of the Zodiac.  Also rain proof over pants (that go over the gumboots) as you will get wet in the Zodiac.  Buy them a little oversized so that you can wear a pair of thick socks inside.  Make sure they are comfortable enough to walk a couple of miles.

9
I sailed from New Zealand via the subantarctic islands into the Ross Sea in February/March 2012.
I concur with what wtlloyd writes.
I took a 5D and a 7D and neither gave any problems.  Definitely take a backup.  A friend sailed south from Ushuaia and I strongly encouraged him to take a second body.  He did.  His first failed and he got a once in a lifetime photo of a giant petrel threatening a penguin parent defending a creche of chicks.  I also took a G11 to take casual photos, but a weatherproof camera would havve been an asset to take photos on the deck in rough weather, and in the Zodiac, etc.
I took a 20-35 f/3.5, 24-105 f/4, 50 f2.5 macro, 70-200 f/4, and 400/5.6.  I would take it all again, except the macro which I hardly used.  But it is small.  400 was essential for birds in flight, but on land the 70-200 is fine for most wildlife as they are not frighted.  I do have some nice photos of royal penguins that I would not have got without the 7D / 400 combination.
I took a tripod but only used it when taking photos in huts.  Arrived at Macquarie Island in the dark at midnight to a wonderful aurora.  Couldn't use the tripod of the moving deck so had to shoot handheld.  I used a monopod with the 7D / 400 (and trashed it when I tripped over s sea lion when trying to get a photo of a right whale close into shore).
All the gear fitted into a Lowepro Flipside 400 backpack, with the monopod of the outside.  This is a great backpack as it allows you to rest the pack on the outer side and access the gear from the inside, meaning that if the pack gets wet or dirty from lying on the ground, it doesn't transfer to your back.  THis is also more weather resistant as the zips are hidden.
I agree not to get a sealed backpack as they are difficult to get into.
I bought a rubberised drybag that my backpack fitted into for trips in the Zodiac.  I think the Lowepro backpack would have been okay as I never got dumped by a wave, but I was not prepared to take the risk.  Once ashore, I took the Lowepro out and left the drybag with the Zodiac.
Take at least one spare battery per camera and charge fully before you go out. Bateries work less efficiently in the cold.  I also took a battery pack for the 7D so I could use AA batteries, but never used it and have since sold it.
The biggest risk for cameras is when a very cold camera comes into the warm, humid environment inside the ship.  This will cause condensation on and potentially inside the camera.  Put the camera in a plastic bag before go you inside and wait for it to warm up.
I took two hard drives and downloaded all photos each night, keeping one HD as a back up.
Take a laptop with your RAW processing programme.  THis will enable you to check image quality, focus, dust, etc.  YOu will probably have time to process images during long sea journeys - not something you want to do when you get back.
If you have a choice, get a berth low and central in the ship, near where the ship pivots in heavy weather.  The more expensive berths tend to higher up and much more exposed to motion.  "The more you pay, the more you sway!".  Some of the rich dudes were sick the whole trip.

Have fun!

10
Lenses / Re: Old lenses Canon will phase out
« on: November 09, 2014, 12:54:26 PM »
I own/owned 5 of those lenses, plus the 20mm f/2.8, which I didn't see there.  The 20mm is a dog and I was glad to get rid of it.  I replaced the 70-200mm f/4 with a 200 f/2.8 as the shorter end overlapped with my 24-105 f/4 when hiking and, although it was very sharp, it flared when shooting into the sun.  The 50mm f1.8 was sharp, but cheaply made.

My other three that I own are fine, although the 50mm macro could do with a better AF motor and go to 1:1.   The others are great.  The 85mm f/1.8 has some CA but I knew that when I bought it.  And the 400 f/5.6 is great wide open, plus nice and light and cheap - my watersports and birding lens.  Would be nice to have IS and to focus closer, not critical at this price point.

There are some oldies and goodies in there!

11
(I'm also skeptical of the oft-encountered contention that you will need to use a tripod and can't use very fast lenses.  I never use a tripod and often use very fast lenses wide open with my a7r and don't think my success rate is noticeably different; I doubt there's anything special about my hand-holding technique.)

Having shot film cameras for very many years, I relied heavily on the 1/focal length rule and it served me well.  I absolutely agree with Accutance that moving to the 20-odd MP 5DII changes that fundamentally.  I now find that with 1/focal length, camera movement often limits the resolution of the image.  If I am to get the maximum resolution out of my current system I need to use at least 2x 1/focal length, or better still use a tripod.

Other factors also start to come into play, such as depth of field where OOF areas become more evident (which is not always a problem).

In terms of the original question, it is interesting to compare the MP figure provided by DXOMark (without getting into the DXOMark debate) of a good lens (such as the Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art) on a 5D with the same lens on a D800.  The D800 resolves more detail.  But compare a mediocre lens and the increase is less marked. 

Cheers

12
Hi Sporgon
Thanks for the effort of posting those photos.  I have the same experience that "over-exposure" or ETTR tends to compromise tonality in skies, well illustrated with your blue bucket (I use LR5).  You comment that you have gained little in the black bucket.  That bucket is providing you with sufficient shadow details for the image, because this is quite a low contrast scene.  If, however, the blue bucket was in the sun and the black bucket in the shade, more exposure would have allowed you to capture more shadow detail.  And in my case with a 5DII, reduced banding.
So its a case of deciding what is the priority (as you will already know!).
Nevertheless I'm not sure why tonality is lost in skies when exposing to the right as there should be more information at the right side of the histogram.

13
Lenses / Re: 70-200 2.8 II or 100 2.8L and 135 2 and 200 2.8
« on: October 17, 2014, 02:09:05 PM »
The lens you have with you, is the lens that will be used.  The 70-200 f2.8II is too heavy and conspicuous for the sort of photography I do.  I often go hiking with my 24-105 as main lens.  I had a 70-200 f4 and found that the overlap with the 24-105 meant I hardly used it and when I did it was at 200mm.  So I bought the 200 f2.8, which pairs nicely with a 1.4x converter for a close to 300mm lens.  I'm off to Australia for a fortnight on a work trip. If I owned the 70-200 f2.8, it would not come.  The 200mm will come.

It seems your main need is for photographing kids.  Unless you are shooting sports, I suggest that 70-200 is too long for a crop camera, as others have said.  My favourite kid photos are when I get close to them and relatively wide, shooting at their eye-level - kids soon ignore the camera.  This shows the kids in their environment (parties, playgrounds, beaches) rather than isolating them from it.  A zoom would be ideal for this.  A 24-105 on crop camera would be great.  The Sigma 50-150 would be good for something longer.

For portraits on FF, the 135 f2 would be better than my 200 f2.8 and I sometimes wonder if I made the right choice.

The 8.5 f1.8 is a nice cheap portrait lens and focuses fast.  But it does not focus close enough on FF, but on a crop would be tighter.  Finally this lens does not work well on an extension tube, although its okay with a 250D closeup lens for an emergency macro.

The 70-200 f2.8II is by all accounts a great lens.  But it is big, conspicuous and expensive.

14
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Why would Canon pick this combo?
« on: September 30, 2014, 02:13:25 PM »
Canon also sold crop sensor cameras as a kit with the 28-135, which is also a full-frame lens. 
At the end of the day, if you don't use the lens, its not cheap.
As a walk around lens on a crop sensor, I'd far rather have the 17-55 f/2.8 than the 24-70 f/4.

15
Post Processing / Re: Post processing, coma removal
« on: August 20, 2014, 02:57:03 PM »
Yes, I'd love to be able to correct coma.  My EF35/2 IS is a wonderful lens, but the poor coma renders it useless for landscape astrophotography.

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