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 Post subject: Re: Photography thread 11.02
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:26 pm 
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Those are not bad photographs. Did you shoot native jpeg or convert from RAW?

Generally speaking the software you get with the camera is pretty good at RAW conversion. Technically speaking it should provide better results than Adobe Camera Raw (which is the plug-in for both Elements and Photoshop) because it is the manufacturer's own software. No one knows the peculiarities of how cameras create RAW files better than makers so the algorithms used should be the most finely tuned of the lot. I say SHOULD because these days Canon & Nikon etc. tend to palm bundled software off to third-party developers in whose hands pretty much anything can happen.

Adobe Camera Raw is a superb piece of software, tho. I mean, it's entirely possible to handle ALL post-processing within this plug-in (including more complex activities such as airbrushing, adding neutral density filters, gradients, masks, lens correction, perspective shifts etc.) without ever needing to drop the image into the parent software (whether it be Elements of Photoshop).

On the subject of lenses. Thirty years ago you'd certainly think twice about using third-party non-proprietary lenses such as Tamron or Sigma. Very often the reverse-engineering process which allowed them to "talk" to the camera and work in unison with the camera's highly sensitive light-metering systems was flawed to say the least. Worse still the lenses themselves yielded all kinds of unwanted effects such as image distortion and chromatic aberration.

These days, however, the build quality is significantly better. Sigma, Tamron, Tokina etc. all use high-precision laser C&C to cut their bodies and glass down to very precise tolerances. I have a couple of the higher-end Sigma "EX" lenses and the build quality is definitely as good if not better than standard Canon lenses - if not quite up to Canon's pro series. Unless you are really, really picky about geometric distortion it's perfectly possible to get by with even entry level stuff right up to professional level.

I mean, I have several very expensive pro-level "L" series Canon lenses. Whilst they yield demonstrably cleaner images with better bokeh, lower chroma etc. I could easily live without all of such. The only drawback to entry level and third party lenses is build quality. Canon's "L" series are built to last with all-metal bodies and full weatherproofing. That's something I can't do without when I'm shooting professionally outside in bad weather. And you have the confidence in knowing that if you drop them on the floor they are not going to explode into a million pieces. It's the same story with my cameras. I could quite easily get by using a 700D or whatever they are named these days. But these polycarbonate bodies just can't match the durability of my Canon 7D and 5D MKII.

One welcome development in the field of photography is the arrival of the Chinese and their heavily subsidised equipment. For years Chinese equipment was nothing short of a joke. But recently they've really got their act together. A good example would be Yongnuo and their astonishingly cheap flashes and transmitters.

For years if you wanted to buy a decent Canon flash you either had to fork out £220+ for the standard models and anywhere up to £500 for their top end stuff. Meanwhile a set of professional wireless triggers would set you back the best part of £800.

Admittedly the Yongnuo stuff isn't built to the same rock-solid Canon standard. But they are close. And getting closer. However, it's on COST where Yongnuo really kick ass. For the price of ONE of Canon's top end flashes I can probably buy EIGHT Yongnuo strobes all with built in wireless receivers. Sure, they won't last as long but who cares? Break one and you've still got another seven left in the bag.

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 Post subject: Re: Photography thread 11.02
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:38 pm 
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They were JPEGs. Maybe I should take another look at the camera's software to see if it processes RAW files! If I recall the software crashes on my computer and I am using my wife's software from a compact camera.

Back to the cheap lens, yes those pictures are reasonable and the cat one pretty good. But, shooting at a longer range results to date have been poor.

On a different note, I am wondering whether a Sigma 150-500mm lens (c. £600) would be worth it? I know their top of the range version (more expensive) can produce petty impressive results, but I am not sure about spending £600 on something which may not be top notch. Do you have any experience of this particular lens?

Sadly, Pentax lenses are expensive - c. £1,000 for a 300mm f4 prime lens. Maybe I should have transferred over to Canon / Nikon when I got my last camera! But the Pentax K3 came out better in reviews than the equivalent Canon / Nikon cameras and is a great top end consumer level camera.

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 Post subject: Re: Photography thread 11.02
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:26 pm 
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Dally wrote:On a different note, I am wondering whether a Sigma 150-500mm lens (c. £600) would be worth it? I know their top of the range version (more expensive) can produce petty impressive results, but I am not sure about spending £600 on something which may not be top notch. Do you have any experience of this particular lens?


I've never used it. But I would have no concerns about doing so. Of course I always advise people to buy the best glass they can afford. But unless image sharpness and lens distortion are absolutely critical issues I wouldn't waste the money. Professional level lenses are meant for professionals. I'm not saying amateurs should steer clear but you really need to know a good deal about photography before you'll be able to get the best out of a professional lens.

I've seen people throw two grand at a professional 18-55mm or a 22mm-80mm workhorse lens and a 70/200mm intermediate zoom and yet they scarcely know how to operate their own camera. I haven't the heart to tell them they've wasted their money.

I'd definitely be wary of spending big on a 500mm lens. Unless you are a dedicated wildlife photographer shooting at least once per week you're really not going to get a lot of work out of it. My 70-200mm cost me a grand and yet I doubt I shoot more than 5% of my photographs with it. If you are going to invest big money pile it into an everyday use zoom. At least then you are getting value for money.

Quote:Sadly, Pentax lenses are expensive - c. £1,000 for a 300mm f4 prime lens. Maybe I should have transferred over to Canon / Nikon when I got my last camera! But the Pentax K3 came out better in reviews than the equivalent Canon / Nikon cameras and is a great top end consumer level camera.


I began with Canon - simply because it was a big name and the entry level bodies were affordable. I briefly moved over to the Sony Alpha system but even though I really rated the Alpha bodies the choice of lenses was very limited.

I have some very real criticisms of Canon (and Nikon) especially in relation to pricing. But you can't knock Canon's catalog of lenses. For instance I don't know any manufacturer who currently offers FOUR separate professional-standard 70-200mm lenses.

So whilst other manufacturers are undoubtedly forging ahead of Canon and Nikon in terms of camera bodies - all of them are way behind on glass. And as any photographer will tell you - glass is the most important factor when buying into any camera system. Good glass lasts you a lifetime whereas camera bodies are often outdated within 18 months.

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 Post subject: Re: Photography thread 11.02
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:54 am 
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Diavolo Rosso wrote:Anybody know how to replicate the look from the 1980s photos in this book?

http://www.hoxtonminipress.com/products ... oto-book-6

I'm not entirely sure exactly what the technical term is for what I'm trying to replicate, but I'm basically trying to get the same look/feel which I presume is a function of how the camera handled the light/processing of the photo. Any thoughts?


It's something which can be done in Photoshop but it takes an understanding of how film/photos degrade and how colours are 'lost' over the years. Generally speaking, aged 1980s photos tend to have a yellow hue to the whites and a loss of colour in the blues which gives the photos more of a red/yellow/magenta hue. The easiest and most basic way is to use the 'Selective Colour' adjustment layer in Photoshop. This allows you to alter the colour properties of each colour in the image individually. You have to be careful not to over do it though as it can look too heavily processed. Subtle adjustments often work best.






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 Post subject: Re: Photography thread 11.02
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:25 pm 
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Mugwump wrote:I've never used it. But I would have no concerns about doing so. Of course I always advise people to buy the best glass they can afford. But unless image sharpness and lens distortion are absolutely critical issues I wouldn't waste the money. Professional level lenses are meant for professionals. I'm not saying amateurs should steer clear but you really need to know a good deal about photography before you'll be able to get the best out of a professional lens.

I've seen people throw two grand at a professional 18-55mm or a 22mm-80mm workhorse lens and a 70/200mm intermediate zoom and yet they scarcely know how to operate their own camera. I haven't the heart to tell them they've wasted their money.

I'd definitely be wary of spending big on a 500mm lens. Unless you are a dedicated wildlife photographer shooting at least once per week you're really not going to get a lot of work out of it. My 70-200mm cost me a grand and yet I doubt I shoot more than 5% of my photographs with it. If you are going to invest big money pile it into an everyday use zoom. At least then you are getting value for money.

I began with Canon - simply because it was a big name and the entry level bodies were affordable. I briefly moved over to the Sony Alpha system but even though I really rated the Alpha bodies the choice of lenses was very limited.

I have some very real criticisms of Canon (and Nikon) especially in relation to pricing. But you can't knock Canon's catalog of lenses. For instance I don't know any manufacturer who currently offers FOUR separate professional-standard 70-200mm lenses.

So whilst other manufacturers are undoubtedly forging ahead of Canon and Nikon in terms of camera bodies - all of them are way behind on glass. And as any photographer will tell you - glass is the most important factor when buying into any camera system. Good glass lasts you a lifetime whereas camera bodies are often outdated within 18 months.


In my case I take 95%+ with at least a 200mm lens and usually 300mm (biggest I have) as I principally photograph wildlife, especially birds. I have only put on a "standard" lens for about 5 minutes in the last year! Yes, I agree that lenses are more important than the box that holds them but as I was not prepared to spend several thousand pounds on a professional standard camera the K3 came out best for my needs - fully waterproof, robust, good IQ, 8 fps. etc. Problem is I like to take close ups (often necessarily cropped) of birds and so the kit lenses that came with the camera, whilst good, are not good enough for the perfectionist in me!

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 Post subject: Re: Photography thread 11.02
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:21 pm 
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OK I took the plunge and have ordered a Pentax 300mm lens. Ordered online from a Dutch company as about £250 less than best UK online price. Just hope it does the business.

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 Post subject: Re: Photography thread 11.02
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:02 pm 
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Ok, so i'm wanting to offload my Canon Eos 60D, i don't really want to put it on eBay due to their expensive fees as every penny is needed for a full frame upgrade, so i am wondering if there are any other sites that are safe for selling it on, Gumtree is no good as i live on the Cumbrian coast far from civilisation lol, any help would be most welcome, thanks






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 Post subject: Re: Photography thread 11.02
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:49 am 
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The Mustard Tiger wrote:Ok, so i'm wanting to offload my Canon Eos 60D, i don't really want to put it on eBay due to their expensive fees as every penny is needed for a full frame upgrade, so i am wondering if there are any other sites that are safe for selling it on, Gumtree is no good as i live on the Cumbrian coast far from civilisation lol, any help would be most welcome, thanks


How much do you want for it? Is it body only?






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 Post subject: Re: Photography thread 11.02
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:15 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Photography thread 11.02
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:02 pm 
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Nice one.

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