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Messages - Ben Taylor

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Canon General / Re: Upcoming trip, any can't miss spots?
« on: January 28, 2014, 05:24:27 PM »
Haven't got much advice for Amsterdam or or Greece but I've done Turkey quite extensively. It's a beautiful country with wonderful people. Cappadocia is an amazing place, definitely do a balloon ride. Istanbul is also brilliant, I think a TS-E 17mm would be an great addition. Don't over react to the "dangers" people are banging on about in some of the replies. It's inherently safe but as with anywhere, don't put yourself in a position to be taken advantage of and you'll be fine. We never felt intimidated or at risk driving around Turkey for 5 weeks, it's a lovely country. Pamukkale is also worth seeing if you can fit it in.

Check these links if you like - they're a couple of my blog posts from Turkey. Might give you some inspiration.

Canon General / Re: Useless or absurd accessories
« on: December 15, 2013, 09:12:17 PM »
I personally think of both polarizers and ND filters as being in the "clear" category.

So, you personally think a 10-stop ND filter should be referred to as 'clear'?  I do not think that word means what you think it means. :o

Jon I think you should head off to your local optometrist for a check up. Obviously your pupils don't dilate enough to make a 10 stop ND appear clear when you hold it up to your eye.  :D

This entire thread if full of absurd decisions rather than absurd accessories. Except that tiny camera attached to the cat, that's both useless and hilarious!

Canon General / Re: Useless or absurd accessories
« on: December 11, 2013, 06:45:42 PM »
On topic - a lens brush...

I'd add all 'lenspens' to useless (or rather 'potentially dangerous') category. (A piece of microfiber fabric cleans a lens more efficiently. Or dry and clean t-shirt when I'm in hurry...)

 :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

Canon General / Re: Useless or absurd accessories
« on: December 10, 2013, 06:44:06 PM »
I'd hardly call a gorillapod useless. In fact I'd say it's a very useful piece of gear. I travelled all over the world with a Gorillapod Focus paired with a BH30 ballhead for about ten months of this year and used it all the time. I shot 30+ sec exposures with the 5D3 and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II and never had an issue with vibration, slumping or not being able to compose a shot properly.

Seems to be more of an issue of people not buying the right one rather than a useless piece of equipment. Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely happy to have my TVC-34L and BH55 back but as a travel tripod it was perfect. 

Lenses / Re: January in Japan...Advice?
« on: October 23, 2013, 06:17:28 AM »
I was in Japan in January this year, mind you I only made it to Tokyo and up to Niseko for a snowboarding trip. In saying that, Tokyo is sensational and you could spend weeks there and never get bored. I wrote a blog post about Tokyo that might give you some ideas on photos or places to visit. Here's the link:

Here's my two hottest tips for Tokyo in January:

1 - If there's a sumo tournament on, go to it.

2 - Take a jacket.

I don't think you'd need to rent any gear, you'll go ok with what you've got.

Have fun, Japan's a fantastic country.

Lenses / Re: How to carry 5DMKIII with 70-200/2.8ISMKII
« on: September 18, 2013, 01:08:26 PM »
I'm in the same boat as a bunch of others here. Black Rapid RS7 attached to the tripod ring for the 5D3 and 70-200 II. It's very comfortable and much better attached to the tripod ring rather than the camera body, hangs just below my right hip.

The only thing that gets a little annoying is changing the strap from the tripod back to the camera body when changing to other lenses. To make this easier I've recently ordered the RRS B2-FAB-F clamp - I wish I'd done this a long time ago to be honest. I've been travelling since December last year and that's been the only bug-bear with the setup.

dhr90 - I very often have the F-Stop Guru on my back with the RS-7 over the shoulder under the pack with camera attached and it's not uncomfortable at all.

Lenses / Re: prime focal length choices
« on: August 27, 2013, 02:48:54 PM »
I'm using the 35L on my 5D3 and it's a superb lens for environmental portraits and candid shots. I'm also using the Sigma 84mm f/1.4 and while it has the ability to take incredible shots I'm thinking of trading it in for a 135mm for the extra focal length. Sometimes I find it's a little short for really effective subject isolation in busy environments (weddings / street photography for example).

As always, this is only my opinion and others may like 85mm over 135mm. I can't fault the 35mm focal length though, it's very useful for portrait work.

Canon General / Re: Just For Fun!
« on: July 14, 2013, 04:14:53 AM »
17. Apathetic posts that don't contribute to the thread.

Actually don't worry, I don't care anyway.vv ;D

Landscape / Re: Long Exposures
« on: July 13, 2013, 02:39:38 AM »
Hi all, I'm new here (as you can probably tell from the post count).

I thought the best way to say hi was to post a few images from earlier this week.


Welcome. Is that Cleveland Pt in Brisbane?

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: [advice] My last tripod
« on: May 12, 2013, 12:34:03 PM »
Neuro's choice is spot on as far as I'm concerned. I used the BH55 LR and TVC 34L combo and I will never need to upgrade unless I want to use a wimberly style head. I would recommend a levelling base for pure convenience as well.

I also use the RRS BH 30 on a gorillapod focus for travelilng (currently what's I'm using) and it's a surprisingly good combo.

I haven't had any issue with the lever releases as Noisejammer mentioned. The lever sits quite flush to the camera body's profile once closed so it doesn't stick out very much in my opinion. You also won't fully open the lever if something catches, there's a bit of a friction point (for lack of a better word) that requires you to move the lever a bit further beyond it to open the plate completely. Hard to describe but the chances are small.

Not sure if the mods here like external links but if you use your trusty internet searching tool and search for RRS TVC-34L review you'll find a quick review I did on the combo on another forum of the TDP variety.


I'm currently travelling the world and have been using a gorillapod focus as my tripod. I've been more than pleasantly surprised, even with the 5D3 and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II. Tack sharp 30sec exposures.

I've coupled it with a Really Right Stuff BH-30 ballhead which is superb. Could be overkill but at least I'll have something that will last.

Not sure if it will give you the height you need but it will certainly handle the weight (at the right price too)

Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: Samyang 14mm f2.8
« on: February 16, 2013, 11:45:25 PM »
Good idea! Here's a couple of mine. I love this little lens.

Brisbane City Lights from 70 Stories by Ben__Taylor, on Flickr

Lit up by Ben__Taylor, on Flickr

Kicker! by Ben__Taylor, on Flickr

... by Ben__Taylor, on Flickr

Software & Accessories / Re: Rucksack Camera Bags
« on: January 26, 2013, 05:56:37 AM »
Oh, they also don't look like a camera bag, open from the back and they use a removable ICU (internal camera unit) that can be taken out if you want to use it as a normal pack.

Software & Accessories / Re: Rucksack Camera Bags
« on: January 26, 2013, 05:55:24 AM »
I don't think you can go past f-stop backpacks. I'm currently carting the f-stop guru around the world on a year long trip with a 5D3, Sigma 85mm f/1.4, Samyang 14mm f/2.8, Canon 35mm f/1.4L, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 580 exII speedlite, hard drives and heaps of other bits and pieces. It's a steel frame with really well designed straps etc. I swear by it. Took it on a trek through Iceland last year in Winter with a similar kit and never had an issue with sore shoulders/back.

Very rugged and well designed. I would highly recommend them.

14mm f/2.8
35mm f/1.4L II
135mm f/2.0L
300mm f/2.8L IS III
600mm f/4L IS III

For what I currently shoot:
Canon 14mm f/2.8L
Canon 24mm f/1.4L
Canon 35mm f/1.4L
Canon 85mm f/1.2L
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II

If I had more opportunity to shoot wildlife as well as what I currently shoot:
Canon 14mm 2.8L
Canon 35mm f/1.4L
Canon 85mm f/1.2L II
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II
Canon 600mm f/4L IS II

Although this would make the travel bag rather heavy...

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