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GSpotter
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2011-03-03, 00:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
You have to question whether people really want small lenses
Good point. A co-worker recently bought a Canon 550D kit. I started to teach him a bit about photography. He several times commented on my professional looking lenses whereas he only has these "toy lenses". The comments were ment funny, but you could sense a bit of lens envy...

Regarding the recent porky lenses: Someone at nikongear.com opened the new 1.4 lenses to check the motor (I couldn't find the thread with the actual picture again). Until then, I thought Nikon only uses ring type SWM motors in their lenses. But the new wideangles use SWM micro motors (maybe the gear ration helps in a more precise focus adjustment?). So the lens barrel has to be bigger to include the motor which sits like a wart on the side of the lens.

Edit: Found the pictures of an opened 14/1.4 and 35/1.4

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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PB PM
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2011-03-03, 01:00

I think you have to be a member to see those posts.

As for lens envy, I think most hobbyists would be lying if they said they didn't have some of that. That being said, have found that it fades with time as you come to see what you like to shoot, and with what focal lengths you use the most. Sure I'd love to have every pro lens so I could shoot any subject I want, in just about any lighting conditions, but that isn't affordable or practical!
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GSpotter
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2011-03-03, 01:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
I think you have to be a member to see those posts.
Ah, OK. I became a member as this site contains some great info for nikon users. One of the moderators is Bjørn Rørslett.

That being said, have found that it fades with time as you come to see what you like to shoot, and with what focal lengths you use the most. [/quote]And when you have a heavy backpack when visiting the zoo or taking a photo tour...

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Matsu
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2011-03-03, 11:19

All the reading on Thom's page was quite good. I liked the state of DX/FX too. Thanks. BTW, you guys are great. Somehow, quite accidentally, I've found a band of civilized, curious, and informative photonerds, without having to wade through the typical camera-gear flamage.

Yesterday I got out in bright mid-afternoon light with about an hour to kill and a few buildings and walks I wanted to study. It occurs to me that I've been too focused on speed, mostly because I aspire to shoot people/events (as a commercial sideline)

RAW files from the D300 and Sigma at f/4-8 are really quite good. They need a little more dynamic range, but there's detail and solid flare suppression, and nicely saturated color.

A few times yesterday, some very polite people actually stopped to avoid walking through my shot. I was pretty focused on the building, but they noticed me and my gigantic camera (D300 plus 18-50 f/2.8)

It would have been nice to have a stabilized f/4 zoom or a couple of small f/2 or even f/2.8 primes, provided that they were sharp from the widest aperture. If I were commissioning lens designs for my use, I'd want to see a completed, stabilized, f/4 zoom lens progression alongside the f/2.8s, though I'd probably only be interested in the wide one. In a sense Nikon's there with the 16-35, 24-120, and 70-300, though the last is variable.

For primes, I'd say design them from about f/2 so that they have razor sharp centres, but vignette a bit and sharpness falls unless backed out one stop. Sort of a hybrid f/2-f/2.8. They almost have this with the current 35mm f/2, though from tests it looks more like an f/2.8-5.6 before the centre and sides respectively get right.

Thom's bit about mirrorles is really intriguing - especially about just morphing it into the crop DSLR bodies. Canon's probably best positioned to do this. They could just make it so a line of mirrorless EF-x lenses protrudes into the lens throat. The large diameter gives them lots of room for pancake looking wide primes once you get the whole mirror assembly out of the way.

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PB PM
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2011-03-05, 18:47

So I got the Nikon AF-S 60mm F2.8G during the Henry's Nikon sale, and WOW this lovely nano crystal coated lens is razor sharp! I thought about going for the 105mm VR, but opted to get the 60mm because I don't shoot a ton of macro, but I need a macro to do a shoot for client. Sadly none of the rental shops here have them, but at $499 it was hard to turn down.
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Matsu
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2011-03-05, 20:17

Isn't buying a new lens fun? Nikons macro's always look excellently sharp in online photos I've seen, you're going to make great use of it.

I'd did a fair bit of online research re bags. I really like the security of the backpack you use, and the comfort of a backpack in general. Since I don't have tons of gear, I think (for now) I just really need a bag I can shoot out of, which means either a sling, or a shoulder bag. It would also be nice if said bag didn't outright advertise the photo gear inside so that I can grab it and go for a walk around the city. If it holds securely on me while riding, all the better.

For shooting an event, I really like Think Tank's Retrospective 20 or 30.

For carry on bike/urban, Incase's DSLR sling bag looks like a nice budget alternative. Packs slim and still holds two bodies with lenses or one body with three, but doesn't look like it takes gripped bodies easily. Also like the Think Tank Sling-o-matic 20 or 30. They scream camera bag to suspicious onlookers, but look like they could probably shield your gear from a small explosion.

Splitting the difference between the two, and looking damned sexy as well, is another Incase product: The Ari Marcopoulos Camera Bag. Ari, the skateboard guy, amongst other urban/travel images. I love the look of this bag, and the strap design looks ingenious. I wish there were somewhere in Toronto to check it out in person. Just a smidge bigger than the Incase sling in all directions, it also holds an iPad (and by the looks of it would take a small laptop easily, though this isn't a requirement for a shoot, just a nicety for non-photo related uses.

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Ryan
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2011-03-05, 20:30

A slightly OT question, but does anyone have any experience with Zeiss lens wipes? I need to clean my lenses, but based on what’s locally available it’s either those wipes or a basic cleaning kit from Wolf Camera. Unfortunately, I have to have it by Tuesday so no time to order from Amazon, unless I overnight it.
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PB PM
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2011-03-05, 20:40

Just get some cheap microfiber cloths from the camera store, anything else is just a rip off.
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GSpotter
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2011-03-06, 06:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
For shooting an event, I really like Think Tank's Retrospective 20 or 30.
I have a Retrospective 20. It's (at least for my requirements) the best photo bag I found so far: From the outside, it's relatively small (in relation to what fits inside) and inobtrusive. It's less padded than e.g. a Crumpler Bag, but as I don't plan to hurl my bag around, I prefer the smaller size. The bag is very versatile, has many pockets (esp. for the little things like filters, cards, and other stuff) and a great, broad shoulder strap.

The bag can hold a 70-200/2.8 (hood reversed) mounted on the camera, a 16-35/4 and a 85/1.4 and at least one flash in the front pocket (and an iPad in the back pocket). If you compromise on accessibility, you could load even more stuff into the bag (until your shoulder will start complaining )

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Matsu
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2011-03-06, 11:47

Details, pinewood or black? Does it have a waist cord or something to make sure it stays near the torso? How's the strap? Ideally, these bags should ride just above the hip and close to the body, does it work well that way?

My ideal event kit would include. A large-ish DSLR, a couple of flashes, 24-70, 70-200, 85 1.8, fisheye, and a second body (though this isn't in the budget).

The bag wouldn't need to carry both DSLRs mounted, since one is in the hand at all times. It's just fine if you can mount the second on location and then swap camera 1 and 2 from the bag as needed. I noticed that the while the twenty doesn't carry quite as much, it is a bit taller than the 30, and the ten seems almost as big as the twenty in the online pics.

Can you squeeze a flash into the side pockets? Can you tell I really like the look of these bags?

I also really like the design of this: Incase Ari Bag Thought I'd post the link. Watch the video if you get a chance. See how it sits on the shoulder and slings to the front? It might be a really great messenger/sling hybrid. Love the strap system... I wish it came in a really dingy looking fabric.

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PB PM
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2011-03-06, 13:23

Have a look at this review of the Retrospective 20, you might find it helpful.

http://www.hunterphotographic.com/ph...rospective-20/
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GSpotter
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2011-03-06, 13:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
Details...
I have the black one. It doesn't have a waist cord, but it has a strong strap on both sides. You could add a carabiner to each of these straps and then pull a belt through the carabiners to easily make a DIY waistbelt for the bag (In fact, I'll probably do this myself). But even without the belt, the bag sits tight to the hip. When I don't have the iPad in the back pocket, due to the the light padding, it even hugs the curves of the body. So it at least feels closer to the body than my previous bags.
The shoulder strap is great. Very strong and broad and the shoulder part has some nice grip so it will not slip from your shoulder.

You should easily be able to put your gear into the bag. As the fisheye and the 85/1.8 aren't too big, you could stack them and probably there' still enough room to put the flash into the side pocket (which leaves the front pocket to put the second body). When I wrote my first comment, I checked that the SB-800 even fits into the pocket next to the 16-35 (which is about the same size as the 24-70), although you then cannot remove the lens without first removing the flash. The pocket is just an unpadded nylon (or similar material) pouch on the inside of the bag.

As can be seen in the linked review (there are also some reviews on YouTube), the 20 can carry quite a bit: Due to its taller size, you can put a big DSLR (it doesn't get much bigger than a D700+grip) with a mounted 70-200/2.8 into the bag (or you could stack smaller lenses).

Did I mention that I really like not only the look of this bag but also it's functionality?
It is very low key and doesn't scream "I'm holding $$$ of camera equipment".

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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PB PM
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2011-03-06, 13:57

That's the big down side of Lowepro bags, everyone who is looking to steal camera gear knows what you've got on your back/side. Of course unless the thief has a gun I figure I could just beat them down with the D700 plus grip...

That bag looks really tempting now that I've read that review, but the price is a little steep.
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GSpotter
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2011-03-06, 15:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Of course unless the thief has a gun I figure I could just beat them down with the D700 plus grip...
Hmm, with the 400/3.5, I probably could crush a baseball bat...
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Matsu
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2011-03-06, 21:28

There are some Domke knock-offs available cheap, but as usual these seem harder to source out of Toronto than they are through just about any online US retailer. Might have to make a trip to some of Toronto's Asian markets.

Also, Lowepro has a classified series that looks promising as well. The slings ride over the right shoulder, which might not be best for shooting. One or two of the shoulder bags might be comparable though.

A little more digging online brings up the names Mekko and Safrotto for the Domke knock-offs. The latter seems to be a Chinese Ebay distributor, but overall, meh, I don't really like this style of bag. It sort of shouts, HEY everybody I'm carrying a camera.

One last edit. There are some decent local prices for Crumpler's wares here. Thoughts?

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Last edited by Matsu : 2011-03-06 at 22:04.
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PB PM
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2011-03-07, 00:57

Not sure about in Toronto, but one of the dealers in Vancouver has the 4 Million dollar home on sale for $49, but that bag is a little small.
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Matsu
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2011-03-07, 09:49

I'm strongly leaning towards an R20 or 30. I have a tendency to want to get the bigger bag, just in case I want to carry more stuff, but that's not always the smart move.

They're not actually in stock according to Henry's website, but the downtown store has a wall full of bags, and they might be there. I want to check them out side-by-side first. I can always slip a little extra padding into the bag if needed.

I think the set has only one obvious drawback. It doesn't really have a positive closure besides the velcro. It could use either a zipper under the flap or a small buckle on the flap to secure it for transit use. I have a local shop who I trust to add either. Which do you think is better?

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GSpotter
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2011-03-07, 14:51

I don't think the R30 holds much more than the R20. It's just a different way of packing: The R20 holds a camera with 70-200 vertically. With the R30, you have to put that combo sideways. It's just a matter of personal preferences.

Regarding the positve closure: My Crumpler had a small buckle (which I would prefer to the zipper). On the other hand, the velcro patch on the Retrospectives is rather strong (there's a reason for the sound stop feature). So far, I didn't have the feeling that something could fall out of the bag.

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Matsu
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2011-03-07, 17:38

Yeah, I'm not sure which is better in order to deal with an iPad or small laptop on the odd occasion. What sort of nylon is the black shell, how's the water resistance without the cap? The Pinestone is cotton, I assume it could be waxed to make it a truly heroic, vintage looking piece, especially if darkened to more of tan/brown than a green - but I can't tell from the online samples.

Some suggest that you can shoot out of the R30 with the 70-200 mounted, since the bag deforms and gives a little, but that you wouldn't carry that way outside of the event you were shooting.

Last edited by Matsu : 2011-03-07 at 18:21.
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GSpotter
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2011-03-07, 18:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
Yeah, I'm not sure which is better in order to deal with an iPad or small laptop on the odd occasion. What sort of nylon is the black shell, how's the water resistance without the cap? The Pinestone is cotton, I assume it could be waxed to make it a truly heroic, vintage looking piece, especially if darkened to more of tan/brown than a green - but I can't tell from the online samples.

Some suggest that you can shoot out of the R30 with the 70-200 mounted, since the bag deforms and gives a little, but that you wouldn't carry that way.
It's meant to carry it sideways. Vertical would be a rather tight fit. Probably the flap would not reach the velcros anymore. It might be OK as an interim solution while shooting but not for transport.


The nylon seems to be of high quality and is ok for a short shower.

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Matsu
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2011-03-08, 10:28

I have a suspicion that bag buying syndrome may be as perilous as lens buying syndrome. I hardly have enough equipment, and already I can think of three or four bags I just need to own. If this weren't camera related, I'd be a Seinfeld punch-line. And, being and endless tinkerer, I can think of an equal number of mods.

I watched the video of the Retrospective lens changer in action. It's a very slick shooting bag, but it doesn't work for carry. It's too bad Think Tank doesn't make an R32 - with the height of the 20 and width of the 30. Can you stand two zooms and two primes in the main compartment on the 20, like a three column layout with one a little narrower for the primes?

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PB PM
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2011-03-08, 13:45

I think the bag makers design the bags in just such a way that you need at least two. I've managed to get away with one of the last few years, but I think I shoulder bag is in order, most likely one of the Crumpler "x" Million dollar homes. A backpack is great for hobby shooting, but they are big and bulky.
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GSpotter
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2011-03-08, 13:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
Can you stand two zooms and two primes in the main compartment on the 20, like a three column layout with one a little narrower for the primes?
You can either stack shorter lenses or you could put two smaller lenses in one compartment (maybe separated by a thin cloth or something), as can be (vaguely) seen in one of the pictures of this review.

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Matsu
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2011-03-08, 15:09

The two cameras mounted and stacked vertically has me almost sold on the R20. Looks like there's still room in the middle column for one/two more lenses.

Either the R20 is bigger than I thought, or that's a small photographer.

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GSpotter
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2011-03-08, 17:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
The two cameras mounted and stacked vertically has me almost sold on the R20. Looks like there's still room in the middle column for one/two more lenses.

Either the R20 is bigger than I thought, or that's a small photographer.
Hmm, yes, the proportions seem strange. I think the bag looks relatively small when I use it. On the other hand, I'm always astonished what can be packed into it. It almost feels like the male version of a woman's handbag...
In my opinion, the bag is big enough to hold so much camera gear that it gets uncomfortable to wear on one side (or in other words: the bag is not the limiting factor on what I'll put into it).

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Matsu
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2011-03-09, 12:01

I'm trying to figure out how to achieve the lowest profile possible for street/event shooting. I never want to be the most interesting thing in the room. I do my best to keep a casual and friendly, but unassuming demeanor. For the most part I succeed. However, I'm a bit too big to go around completely un-noticed, especially with a giant camera and lens in my hands.

I think it might be important to scruitinize even my clothing, and camera bag for the least amount of visual distraction. I like bags that don't make you look like a SWAT team commando. Can't decide whether to go with the Pinestone or Black. It doesn't help that the Pinestone looks to be a different color from web page to web page.

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Last edited by Matsu : 2011-03-09 at 12:33.
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Matsu
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2011-03-10, 10:40

Hey, anyone know of a source of decent quality reasonable priced lens holder inserts/dividers?

I found a Mil-surplus place in Toronto with a few bags that have more or less Retrospective type dimensions to them. They lack some fo the other good features, but if the don't look ratty, they might be strong enough to warrant a little DIY work.

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PB PM
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2011-03-10, 17:10

I think I've nearly come to a decision on lenses, thankfully because I've been thinking about it way too much. I think I'm going to go with a used 28-105mm F3.5-4.5D, it will give me moderate wide angle coverage and decent telephoto coverage as well. I decided to go that route, because I'd rather spend my cash on a vacation where I'll get to use my gear, than let my gear spending use me. I thought a lot of about the 16-35mm F4, and I know that I'd like the lens, but with tax it would be $1400, so that will have to wait till the end of the year or early year. I might use some of the cash I was going to spend on lenses renting the 17-35mm F2.8 for my trip, not sure yet.

Last edited by PB PM : 2011-03-11 at 05:17.
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SpecMode
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: El Dorado County, California
 
2011-03-10, 17:34

Since I do most of my shooting outdoors, and I wanted something to cover the focal length gap between my 17-40mm and 70-300mm lenses, I ended up picking up an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens on Amazon, and it just showed up today.

It is noticeably heavier than the 17-40mm, and unlike that lens it physically extends when zooming out (though not nearly as much as the 70-300mm does). That being said, I see this becoming my everyday lens on the 7D, with either the 17-40mm or 70-300mm on my 50D as a backup. Definitely looking forward to putting this thing through its paces!
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Matsu
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2011-03-11, 16:11

Still can't decide on a bag

Crumpler's 8 "million dollar home" bag also looks workable. Height being its main advantage: if the sides are sturdy enough, it can carry a 70-200 on camera, with the hood on, ready to shoot. It's 14" tall - the exact height of the VR1 w/ hood on, plus D300.

Thoughts? Is it too much bag?

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