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alansnap's Forum Comments

alansnap > alansnap Recent Activity > alansnap's Forum Comments
TopicRepliesLast Post
Which macro, the Nikon 105mm VR or the Tokina 100mm?
First, an admission. I'm a Canon user, so I hope what follows will help.

I used to buy non-Canon lenses and I think that was a mistake. I learned over time that the Nikon and Canon lenses are generally the best around. I had the same dilemma as you, but swallowed hard and bought the lovely Canon 100mm f2.8 macro for my full frame 5D MkII. That lens is non-L series but gives me excellent results. It has now been joined by the L series version with IS (VR by any other name). I'm not going to upgrade but if the new lens had been available I wouldn't have hesitated.

You say VR is "obviously no good for macro" but many people will disagree. Certainly the IS on the Canon allows for real close-up macro hand held, something that is often valuable in the field for flying insects etc. I imagine the same is true for the Nikon.

Since the demise of film, pros have taken the philosophy that the body is your disposable item - by that I mean that's the bit that changes most - and if you notionally price each shot in terms of a slide or print, the cost of the body is soon covered by the savings on film. Glass, on the other hand, is transferrable, and the better your glass the longer it will last. You have spent money on a good body, but it's value will diminish quickly as new bodies become available. If you buy expensive glass you can take it with you and its value will last.

If it were me, I'd go Nikon despite the extra price.



14 13/09/2014 - 9:03 AM
By LenShepherd
help taking blurred background shots on bridge camera
Thanks for your response to my comment. Super macro is really tricky as at such close distances even the slightest tremor will be relatively huge, and when you get in close exposures become much longer than you'd expect. If your subject measures say 5mm across and during exposure you move by even half a mm that's a big relative movement.

There are several things you can do to avoid this. First make sure the image stabiliser is enabled (pages 26 and 27). Next, increase the ISO on the camera. For every doubling of the ISO your exposure goes down by half. You can set ISO manually - see page 24 of your manual, or you could try "High ISO Auto" That setting is designed to reduce blur and will help you. When you look through the viewfinder the shutter speed is in the middle of the display. You should try for at least 1/30 sec or better. You will also see beside that on the left that there is a camera shake warning. If that is displayed you should increase the ISO until the shutter speed becomes enough for this to go out.

Finally with a static object you can use a tripod with image stabilisation switched off. A tripod won't really work with your daughter though.

Best of luck,


7 27/06/2014 - 10:48 PM
By Mizz82
help taking blurred background shots on bridge camera
Hi, your problem as presented looks to many of us to be about blurring backgrounds. You seem to be having a problem with your focussing.

I've checked the manual and you seem only to have one focus point - an area in the middle of the frame. As with many cameras you can focus and re-compose to get the part you want sharp.

Here's what you do:

- Compose your shot and remember what you want to include in it.

- Identify the object in the frame that you want to be sharp - your target object

- Point the camera so that the target object is in the middle of the frame

- Gently press the shutter button to the half way point.

- The focus frame will go green when it's in focus. (If the camera can't focus because the target is too close the frame will go red and you'll have to move until your target is in focus).

- Keep the button half pressed down

- Re-compose so that you get the image you want while holding down the shutter button

- Once you're happy that you have your picture press the shutter button all the way down to take your picture.

That sounds difficult, but with practice it becomes second nature.

If you can't get the objects you want in focus there might be something wrong with the camera, but I think that adopting the technique above will work.

I hope that helps,


7 27/06/2014 - 10:48 PM
By Mizz82
Stuck Shutter or A Simple Glitch?
Hi, now this may seem obvious and it's a long shot, but is the card locked by any chance? That may mean it won't write to the card. I hope you get this sorted out.

5 21/06/2014 - 6:37 PM
By lemmy
Insurance claim
If you want like-for-like replacement you have to make sure that the valuation on the camera reflects the price of its equivalent to-day. I have my EOS5D MkII in at the same value as the MkIII, so if the worst happens that's what I'll get. Similarly I make sure that the lens valuations are up to date. Some go up and some go down so be careful.

19 21/06/2014 - 9:16 AM
By Nick_G
Pompeii - take the train direct from Sorrento, Vesuvius - there are numerous coach trips form hotels, Capri - an easy trip by fast ferry - enjoy the town and make for a side trip go to Anacapri and take the cable car to the top of the island. Take a cruise down the Amalfi Coast - a bit of fun and Amalfi itself is lovely.
I'm jealous,

In Taking photos | Page: 1, 2
11 18/06/2014 - 11:52 AM
By PhilT2
RSPB Calendar
Well done Keith. Super shot.

17 02/08/2014 - 10:48 PM
By KBan
Polarised filter needed for photographing cars?
I have used a circular polariser for as long as I've had an autofocus camera, that is, well before digital. It's the autofocus that can't cope in some situations.

In Accessories | Page: 1, 2
20 08/06/2014 - 12:08 PM
By AtticusFinch
Canon 100-400mm

Quote: Get A Sigma 50-500, cheaper & sharper

I'm not sure about the Sigma. A keen wildlife tog got one of these because her husband hogged the 100-400. She sent the Sigma back and got a replacement and then she sent that back too. Neither were sharp. I used to buy independent lenses, but I gave up because they eventually gave me bother and I've never had that with the Canon lenses. Plus independents tend to be slower to focus.

There's a reason Canon are still selling this lens - it's bloody good, but I would avoid second hand from e-bay. You'd be better to go to a reputable dealer like Wex or Harrison's where you'll get a guarantee with the lens.

I have the 100-400 and I really like it, though it is big. Speed isn't a problem with newer cameras where you can rack up the ISO. Have a look at some of the recent nature posts on my portfolio and also the one of the guy on the quarry wall. They're pretty sharp. Dust does get in so you'll have to clean your sensor a bit more often, but for me that's a minor irritation.



In Lenses | Page: 1, 2
12 04/06/2014 - 8:45 AM
By LenShepherd
IMac 27 incher
I use Aperture on my Macs and I find it OK, but I would stick with Lightroom, though you may have to upgrade to the Mac version. I suspect you'll have to change versions for Nik, though they may let you download on your current licence.
Enjoy the Mac, you'll never go back to Windows

11 07/06/2014 - 7:36 PM
By ancient_mariner
Can the Macbook Pro handle Photoshop and Lightroom smoothly?
I have a 2104 MacBook Pro with the 2.6GHz i5 processor and 8Gb of RAM and it knocks the socks off my (admittedly a little middle aged) Mac desktop in terms of speed of upload and processing. So if you get the newer processor you'll be laughing.

18 10/06/2014 - 10:00 PM
By elowes
Coming up with a theme or idea for a long project?
My thoughts are that you shouldn't keep them swirling round in your head. Write them down and then consider how you might deliver them. You have to decide what you're going to do with the results.
I have several projects on the go. One is aimed at getting my ARPS and involves one of my friends and his many interests, the other one still in the works is a record of cafes in the Blackpool area. This grew out of a couple of shots of the cafes in the street where my office is located, and then I thought, "Hang on, there's a story to be told for the whole area." So I have formulated how I'm going to complete it. Once I've taken the images I'll produce a book using Blurb.
Last year I went to Unseen in Amsterdam to see the photos and to take part in the Inside Out Project. I took a lot of fun pictures but they were just sitting there on my computer, so last week I did something about it and produced a book. I'm now waiting for it to come back.
Next I have to craft a book from my last holiday in India. After the previous India trip it took me two years to get the books done, so I hope I'm quicker this time. I'm letting the experience sink in and then I'll start to form the book based on a show I've been asked to give.
Projects are fun and give us a bit of purpose for our engrossing hobby. I hope you enjoy your projects, after all that's why you're thinking of doing them.

17 29/05/2014 - 8:18 AM
By garethpartington
canon 24-70
Thanks Steve, that's good to hear. Positive references are so hard to find.

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2
1 24/05/2014 - 4:11 PM
By alansnap
A bit of a camera dilemma
Hi Steve,

First things first. The 70D is a brilliant camera, with the latest sensor technology and processing. Keep it whatever you do. You like nature and wildlife so the cropped sensor is perfect for that as it effectively increases the focal length by a factor of 1.6 over the full frame cameras like the 6D. If your standard lens is the STM version of the 18-55 (the kit end) then it's perfectly capable of producing great results.

By the look of it you have enough money to consider buying another camera, but I would buy some glass. If you are really into wildlife you need a fast focussing zoom and I agree the Tamrons don't cut the mustard. If I had the cash, with that camera I'd buy the Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM Lens. It's expensive that's for sure, but at the moment you'll get £100 cash back.

If you start making some money then you might consider a spare camera body, but wait until you test the market. Whatever, once you've bought an L lens you'll not go back to anything else, so be warned Grin

All the best,


11 22/05/2014 - 12:19 PM
By Evertonian
Hi, Newbie Here
Hi Carol, welcome to EPZ. I've dipped in and out for years. Enjoy our community.

12 30/09/2014 - 11:25 AM
By darek90
Looking For Advice Re Melbourne and Great Ocean Road
Hi John,
Colleen talks about in and around Melbourne. Out towards the Great Ocean road there's Philip Island and the Little penguins - fun to see but you can't take your camera.
Moving on to the GOR itself Start with Erskine Falls near Lorne. There's a good cafe near there where the parrots come in from the forest and you can feed them and get your fingers nippedGrin Apollo Bay is beautiful and somewhere you might stay, then there's Cape Otway and the lighthouse there. Not far from there is Mate's Rest with it's tree ferns and rain forest walk. Then, naturally you have to go the 12 Apostles. We only got as far as Port Fairy, another good stopping off point. You need an Aussie to tell you about more places.

6 28/04/2014 - 1:02 AM
By MichaelMelb_AU
Airport Security Checks- USA
I would complain. I've never had any problems with spare batteries when they were in the hand baggage with my camera. Another reason for not going!Grin


9 27/04/2014 - 11:53 AM
By camay
ipad 4th gen or ipad air
We have had two generations of the iPad, and neither has had cellular, and we've not missed it. The Air is certainly neater and has a super display. Looking at the comparisons, for me the A7 chip is the differentiator. So, if you need the speed, that's the one to go for.
With cameras and electronics in the past I stuck to my budget and regretted not buying higher performance later. Now I also set a budget and then go for the model that's just beyond my budget. Sounds crazy, but by getting the one that's just that bit better you give yourself a little future proofing in that you're not tempted to upgrade too soon.

12 27/04/2014 - 9:20 AM
By Coast
eos m
Finally posted my reportage shots of the quarry in Kerala here. Glad you bought one, I really love mine.

22 25/04/2014 - 8:31 PM
By steve486
eos m
I have an EOS M as a second camera because I can put my SLR lenses on with the required adapter. I'm very happy with it and I carry it everywhere with me. I'll post two shots tomorrow one with the M and one with my 5D MkII where I took a wide-angle reportage shot followed by one with the 100-400L on the SLR. Image quality is very good indeed.

In Digital cameras | Page: 1, 2
22 25/04/2014 - 8:31 PM
By steve486
Day 09 March 2014: Photographing Church Interiors

In Photo Month Forum | Page: 1, 2
94 13/03/2014 - 7:13 PM
By Dannecus
Carbon Trends
The point of the swivelling centre column on any tripod is to allow you to splay the legs for low angle photography and I have found my alloy Manfrotto to be pretty good for this. You're quite right about the physics of course, but there are time when, like it or not, you can't get sensible placement of your tripod legs so you have to compromise on the stability front. You can put a counterweight on the column to hold things steady. I always use a cable release and mirror lock-up for this sort of work, and if you do that you will reduce the human induced and mirror slap movement.

In general carbon tripods are great for weight reduction, but will be more susceptible to wind problems. I have a Three Legged Thing which is great for weight reduction, but comes with its own sling that hangs between the legs so you can add ballast, or, failing that, hang you camera bag off it - though be careful in the wind as it will swing around.

So your centre column is no more or less useful than that on any camera, successful use depending on intelligent application of all your skills.


In Accessories | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
6 07/03/2014 - 12:44 PM
By Robert_Malcolm
print size for competitions
Hi, remember that what you set as the maximum size is just that, so smaller sizes are acceptable and you should state that clearly in the rules. In any community competition you'll get a mix of people who will print at home and others who will buy from a shop, so the easiest is to set a maximum size that any home printer can get easel. So A4 as the maximum size means home printers won't have to faff around cutting down larger bits of paper while you don't rule anyone else out.
Next question is - do you want them mounted or unmounted? For a community competition I'd suggest you go for unmounted and then you can display them as you like.
Are you going to stipulate that prints won't be returned? If you do, you can laminate the prints and then displaying in any community space becomes easy. This isn't unusual and is of the essence of community competitions, as you can pass the prints around local halls and pubs etc to get maximum exposure. Between venues or even every day laminated prints can be wiped down after local punters have pawed them.
Good luck,

16 09/02/2014 - 7:48 PM
By cats_123
Leica M
When I had an M6, I had two lenses I used above all others. The 35mm Summicron-M ASPH is a fabulous lens and I used it most of the time. Another one not mentioned above the the collapsible Elmar 50mm f2.8. It was a lovely little lens and folded into the camera like a pancake lens. Again results were excellent as you'd expect. Finally I had a 90mm Elmar f2.8 and again it was stunning. Have a look at the first page of my portfolio and you can see images with all three lenses.
If I had the money I'd buy an M9, but that's very unlikelySad

In Digital cameras | Page: 1, 2
5 18/01/2014 - 9:24 PM
By mike_j
Tripod Help
Look at the Giottos Ball heads. I have the MH1300, which has a huge ball. The adjustment is excellent as it has a friction control that can be set to allow you to move the lens body combo without it flopping all over the place. Once you've set it up you can lock it in place with another knob on the opposite side of the head. Very effective. I marry that to a Manfrotto 190B and it's a great combination. It's a bit heavy though it works.
If you want something lighter have a look at the Brian tripod from Three Legged Thing. You can get it with the Airhead for 359 at Wex. I have this and it's an excellent travel tripod though not as rock steady as the Manfrotto. It is however much easier to transport and will go in a suitcase for travelling.

14 04/12/2013 - 3:35 PM
By phil99
russel v alfie
Placido Domingo any time!

7 04/12/2013 - 2:13 PM
By AlanJ
The Future Of Ecommerce ??
Na it's not real. The warehouse (Sorry, Fulfilment Centre) staff loading the goods didn't appear to be running.

9 03/12/2013 - 11:41 AM
By keithh
So you want to be a pro photographer… ?
Nice one Ade. I'm in a similar boat having jumped from mainline IT to a small consultancy. At least I have a pension behind me. Year three now and we're in profit, but years 1 and 2 were awful. I wish you every success, I would say you deserve it, but one thing I have learned is that skills aren't enough, so I wish you every success, because you've worked for it.

29 04/12/2013 - 11:14 AM
By ade_mcfade
Extender EF 2x III
It probably would work - it's best to go into a shop and try it. The Canon Website says that the EF Extender is comparable with L series telephotos and zooms.
However you definitely would lose AF. A 1.4 converter causes you to lose one stop, and a 2 times loses you two stops so the image will be very dim. That rule is true whether you have a full frame or APS-C sensor - it's just a rule of optics. I might try the 1.4X instead. Check it out here. You would have AF at the 70mm end where aperture is F4, but lose it at longer focal lengths.
With a 7D the sensor and processor quality is so good that I would just crop to get better magnification.

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2
16 10/12/2013 - 12:09 PM
By brian1208
Waterfalls in Shropshire.
Used to live in Shropshire, and I can't think of any except that one in Carding Mill Valley near Church Stretton that Keith mentions.

3 27/11/2013 - 10:29 PM
By alansnap
g6 wifi wont connect to iphone 4
No idea personally, but connect to the Apple site. On the Support page there's a Communities pane. Click on that, ask the question and you'll get replies pretty quickly.

10 22/08/2014 - 8:06 PM
By c40uk
outside shoot in glasgow
Glasgow Green with the People's Palace. Along the Clydeside from the Green towards the City. Along the river you have buildings and bridges as well as the river. Moving a block or so away from the river there are some open areas with graffitied walls though they may have been cleaned up for the Games. Pollok Park and the Burrell Museum is another nice open space with buildings around about. Of course there's also Kelvingrove with the gardens and the Art Gallery. If you want something more modern, go down river from the Green towards the Armadillo, where you have the docks, the new buildings the bridges and cranes.
Hope that helps,

6 28/11/2013 - 4:49 PM
By adrian_w
which body
Buy the latest you can afford, so the 550D is better without doubt.

6 22/11/2013 - 8:52 PM
By youmightlikethis
Please watch this......
Indeed very moving. The fate of the albatross is well documented, but every individual who adds to the carnage thinks that it's only one piece of plastic, that can't do any harm. Off course it can and it does.

11 23/11/2013 - 4:12 PM
By maggiem
Greetings from Greece!
Welcome on-board. You'll find us an eclectic bunch. I really like your website. The photos are intriguing, particularly the ghost ship.

6 18/11/2013 - 6:38 PM
By pablophotographer
Can chromogenic film be processed in ordinary mono developer?
I don't think so. Chromogenic film uses colour chemistry as you already say. You'll just have to bite the bullet if you really want to see what's on that film. Another way is to look it up on the net.

11 17/04/2014 - 7:06 PM
By burnaby6
Balancing the colour of an ND Filter
Hi, That does look pretty bad. Without the EXIF we can't be sure how to help you. There are several options
Auto White Balance. Sounds daft I know, but AWB can be very effective in removing casts.
If your camera allows you to set a custom white balance, you could try that. When you fit the ND you use a grey card to set the white balance. At a pinch you could use the waterfall as neutral background.
Otherwise make sure you shoot in RAW so you can correct it in the computer. If it's a fixed shift then one click will fix it.
I tried to fix it in Aperture, which is pretty good at this, but the leaves are still brown.

Veryy odd,

38 26/12/2013 - 10:42 PM
By camay
Day 15 November 2013: Sports, Speed and Action

In Photo Month Forum | Page: 1, 2, 3
73 18/11/2013 - 9:24 AM
By MattB1987
Day 15 November 2013: Sports, Speed and Action

In Photo Month Forum | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
73 18/11/2013 - 9:24 AM
By MattB1987
Day 15 November 2013: Sports, Speed and Action

In Photo Month Forum | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
73 18/11/2013 - 9:24 AM
By MattB1987
Hello From The Highlands of Scotland
Hi Simon, welcome to EPZ and our mad eclectic world.
You can find tutorials on EPZ TV - on the left hand side of the home page under "New Articles" click on "Videos" and then "More videos." That will get you into a list. Look also on the "Techniques" tag.
Since you're on-line in Kenya, if you have an iPad go to iBooks and buy David Noton's iBook The Composition Tutorials. It's a bit lightweight, but it does cover the basics quite well. I have it to remind me of what I'm trying to get when I'm out on location. When you get back home, join your local camera club. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but contrary to popular opinion clubs aren't totally full of old farts like me.
All the best,

In Introduce Yourself | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
6 15/11/2013 - 7:35 PM
By pablophotographer
Treadmill for exercise
Park further away and walk to work - who the hells wants to run at a wallGrin Stand up at work, and walk up and down stairs at ALL times. Walking up and down stairs uses more energy than jogging . There are lots of ways of getting exercise that don't involve running kit. I cycle when I can all year. It's only 3 miles each way, but it gives me regular exercise, though I have the Blackpool promenade and back streets to cycle on which helps. Modern bike lights are superb, but you still have to contend with idiots in cars and white vans of course.

19 14/11/2013 - 7:52 PM
By lenscapuk53
New lens to buy
I agree with Malcolm that a telephoto is probably going to be more useful to enable you to capture some detail in the distance. As you're going to Oz you will undoubtedly get up close to roos and probably koalas. I telephoto will help you capture these and other critters.
I have a 5D and use the 24-105mm almost all the time (thats 17-55mm on the crop sensor). I recently regretted lugging my 17-40mm great though it is when I missed the chance to get some good macro shots in Italy as I had brought the extreme wide-angle instead of my macro lens. 24mm (17mm) used to be considered extreme wide-angle. The 10-20mm at its wide end is nearing fisheye and honestly I find I mainly use that sort of range in enclosed surroundings.
Enjoy your trip,

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2
10 16/11/2013 - 12:17 AM
By Robyourduck
In theory, yes, but in practice your studio light will be so much more powerful than the speedlite that it's probably not effective. You could of course drop the power output of the studio light.
Why not reverse the process and use the studio lights as the main source and the speedlite as the hair light? You will have to slave it of course and use it on manual settings.

5 14/11/2013 - 9:36 PM
By Granddad
Does a computer use significant power when hibernating?
I suggest that you read the manual. The manufacturer will tell you what power is being used in hibernation/sleep mode. It shouldn't be significant.

7 14/11/2013 - 1:55 PM
By thewilliam
RAW or Jpeg
I agree with Malcolm. You will probably need a new computer. RAW has so much more flexibility that I just don't think of shooting in any other format. Even with large jpeg your new files will be so much bigger on the 7D than the 40D that you will still have to wait for them to load.
As far as burst capacity is concerned you will probably need faster memory cards too. Buy the best you can afford. You seldom need to shoot more than 5 or 6 shots in a sequence and if the camera is struggling to store them it's probably down to the write speed of the cards you're using.

31 09/12/2013 - 4:18 PM
By DJtheDalek
Slimline kitchen appointments calendar printers - recommendations
Hi, I find that my local printers are much more reliable. They tend to be a bit more expensive, but you get better value. I use pdfs for the image and this is then added to a template by the printer. If you want to work online the printer I use is Forsyth & Steele in Poulton le Fylde. They have produced my calendar for the last four years at a very good price. Give them a call. They use an FTP server to enable you to download large files. Unless you're able to send big files the quality of printing will be compromised.
All the best,

In Printing | Page: 1, 2, 3
1 14/11/2013 - 9:36 AM
By alansnap
Why don't my shots appear in the Canon Gallery?
Hi David,
Thanks, I can find that one now. The order on the gallery seemed odd in that I could find older entries. I expect it was the way I set up my filter.

8 23/11/2013 - 7:19 PM
By saltireblue
Why don't my shots appear in the Canon Gallery?
I'm a Canon user and upload all my EXIF data with my images, but I can't find any on the Canon Gallery. Is there a problem with the linkage?

8 23/11/2013 - 7:19 PM
By saltireblue
I'll admit ... I've not searched!
Hi Mozzy,
You have entered competitions. They are not a lottery where a winner is picked at random. You are up against everyone else to show that you are more skilful than they are. If your photos aren't good enough, I'm sorry, but you won't win.
Ok let's get a bit more focussed. On EPZ you're up against hundreds of people and if those are your only competition entries then you and almost everyone else will struggle. A gentler way into competition is through local camera clubs. Most clubs have regular competitions and by entering those and learning from the winners you should improve your photography. It's been said above, if you want to win you have to work at it. Maybe a better way is instead of climbing the big mountain that is EPZ you try the smaller foothills of club competitions first. Once you start winning these then wider competition will become easier.

6 13/11/2013 - 8:15 PM
By Griff2012