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  • From what I gather don't cokin and lee use the same filter holder sizes - I seem to recall people suggesting that you get Cokin holders and then Lee filters as opposed to Lee kits (due to Lee oft selling out). So even if you want to upgrade later you can keep using the same holders
  • It sounds like there's really no great bonus to using a handheld meter over a DSLR and test shots with the histogram. At least for situations outside of the studio environment and balancing various different flashes.

    The only other bonus mentioned is a spot-meter capable one for landscapes if you're using a short focal length lens; although even then test shots would likely still result in a similar final result.

    I had been wondering if a handheld might be of use in changing light. The other day I was shooting into the evening so the light was steadily changing all the time. Of course a test shot showed that I needed to keep adjusting the settings to compensate; but I wondered if a meter would have helped just keep an eye on the changing light without needing to keep taking and reviewing test shots
  • As the title says, in this day and age of histograms, built in light meters and the LCD on the camera what are the benefits (if any) of having an external light meter.

    I'm aware that an external meter can be of great help in balancing flash units when doing a studio or otherwise flash dominated lighting setup. Being able to fire flashes and read the light and balance so that the final shot works without needing a legion of test shots.

    However outside of that niche area I'm struggling to work out if there are any bonuses or if there's any real gain to using one for other mediums. Is it really a benefit to be able to use an external meter to check lighting when working in the same ambient lighting as the subject.
  • Oh wait I've got the worst thing - stickers on books.

    Seriously they stick stickers onto book covers to show the price or for a discount or something and the stickers often are VERY hard to get off and thus you either have a book with a price sticker forever or one with bits of a sticker or a gummy mess... Sure you can read the book but it kind of loses its appearance...
  • What I really hate are the the stiff plastic kind that not only do you have to cut into* but where they had the great idea to put paperwork/instructions behind the product in the package. That's great except it means you can't actually get into it unless you only cut it on the super tough seam of the plastic - cut anywhere else and you're slicing through the paper bits that come with it.
    Sure this kind of packaging is great for companies and shipping but gods its a nightmare for opening.

    *Often with a knife because so many modern scissors are utterly useless and because if it can't be done with one snip, once you're half way through you run out of space for scissors and your hand at once as the plastic is so rigid)
  • Few thoughts:

    1) Maha/Powerrex make a good series of chargers which let you set the rate at which they charge for each battery and cut off the power once a battery is charged. For multiple flashes I'd go for at least one if not two 8 cell units (they've some good units like their C9000 but with only 4 cells at a time its not enough for more than one flash).

    2) Enloop got there first with smart batteries that would hold their charge for a very prolonged period of time; up to 80% even after a year when fitted into a device. Today most good brands have their own smart batteries; but Enloop oft get recommended as they were the first to have them. Certainly they are a must for flashes since they allow you to grab and go - rather than finding that its drained down whilst being stored (and so too have your spares).

    3) In very general terms the Slower you recharge AA or similar batteries the better. If you fast charge them over an hour or half hour they will show diminished performance over time very quickly. Instead setup so that you'd leave the charging units to charge overnight (hence having at least 8 if not more cells charging at any one time). This way you give them a lot of time to charge (and if you go with point 1 about units that allow custom rates you can set to a good slow rate).
    Many cheap rechargers often boast on their speed but that's detrimental for flash batteries as they will be recycled (drained and filled) very regularly; even up to once or twice a day for some photographers.
  • Mike would you care to elaborate on what you mean by irresponsible behaviour? Might be most of it is things most of us assume already; but there could be some forms of it which do not appear irresponsible.
  • There's no real "Permit" nor "licence" just do as you've been doing and ask the event organisers. In general bigger events won't care so much as smaller events as bigger events will be more used to the public attending and thus people bringing cameras and many horse trials you should be able to get close enough to get a decent shot or three. Angles might be a problem and sometimes the only good angle for a shot is going to be if you're standing out in the arena [ergo beyond the barrier]. Sadly whilst most barriers offer no protection what so ever against a horse (most events its just a bit of rope or tape held up by a few standing poles) the legal and insurance aspects change depending on what side you're on. So events big and small might well discourage or disallow you to be beyond the general public barrier. But depends on the event and situation.

    I've done much the same as yourself - more for showjumping but its a similar affair.
  • Cat

    No dog

    no wait cat

    hold on a sec dog

    Now wait what was the question again?
    *wonders if it should be goldfish*
  • http://www.fujifilmstudentawards.co.uk/thebrief.php

    Interestingly its a "shot from the hip" brief for the shots as opposed to fully composed with the viewfinder - which would explain a bit of the wonky horizon but not the bland totally lifeless content.
  • Just goes to show how badly art is being taught to generations of students Sad
  • I owned both the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L and the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L MKII and I used them with the 2*TC MKII. I would say that with the original lens the combo worked, but only in very good light and wasn't that ideal. The image quality hit was quite significant - although if you're only posting on the web very useable at 1000pixels on the longest side.

    The MKII of the lens is a superior lens and the 2*TC works better with it; still not outstanding but certainly solid performance and image quality more akin to the old 100-400mm (The new version of that lens is superior).

    The MKIII Teleconverters are mostly not that different optically; their big gain is new AF chips which only work with some of the new MKII lenses (specifically the super-telephotos so 300mm f2.8 or longer). You might see some edge improvement on fullframe; but if you're on crop likely little difference in the MKII to MKIII in teleconverters.

    Of course a prime lens of the right focal length will always be superior to this combo; the teleleconverter though can work in a pinch when you need it and have nothing else and - if you've already got the lens (and in my view 70-200mm are great all rounders) then the TC is a marginal cost.
  • I think the greater record is the op still being around after 10 years to reply Tongue

    Have you still got mice?
  • One of my (few) best landscape shots was taken with a 70-200mm near the 200mm mark. Telephoto most certainly works for landscapes and as said lets you move in and pick out a little bit of the landscape to show instead of trying to show it all.

    In general the whole "wide angle for landscape - telephoto for wildlife etc.." are only conventions; sometimes of convenience or nessessity; but only ever conventions and often just a marketing tool. Furthermore they aim to achieve a rough style of result; yo ucan thus certainly use lenses the "wrong" way for different subjects or situations or even use them differently within their own theme.

    It's part of broadening your skills to diversify in different methods and to experiment.
  • Be a really neat idea - if they signed up and used the "critique" section. Could be part of broadening their horizons and getting feedback from more than one source etc... If you made mention of it herei n the forums so people would notice it could be a really neat project for a week or so.
  • Yeah people shouldn't be feeding them; ideally you want a natural population supported by available food not one being artificially boosted. What can happen then is that they put extra pressure on wild resources beyond what they can support; or any sudden stop in the artificial feeding results in a starving/resource stripping period.

    There's even some argument that bird feeders are bad for grain fed species because there are select species that will bully other birds off feeders. Thus some get an edge over others in this niche resource which means that they can boost their numbers whilst some other species are left with dwindling resources.
  • Kites and a lot of other birds of prey suffered partly due to things like changes in habitats - the vast loss of hedgerows and haymeadows after WWII basically decimated our small mammal population - a key food group for a lot of raptors. However many were also hunted by those raising livestock and for pheasant/grouse shoots. Reduced food and increased population decline through hunting/pest control resulted in their populations tanking and even when there was food for them naturally the hunting element kept on reducing their numbers.

    It's why having gamekeepers and farmers on board with conservation has to happen; or at the very least we have to have an effective legal system to prosecute those who kill such species unlawfully.
  • Tablets are totally separate to phones; Samsung is purely manufacturer. Thus it won't need a sim card nor any contract or suchlike; just power it up and go and use it. You ;might need a google account to buy apps on the appstore; but if she's just browsing the net she won't need that.

    As an aside why won't she use a laptop at home? There are some neat tablet/laptop hybrids and one thing I find GREATLY beneficial with a hybrid or laptop is having a proper sized keyboard to type on. Tablets are abit of a pain to type on - doable but not as fast as a keyboard and even the 3rd party attachment keyboards are tiny and fiddly.
  • Gear:

    Amateurs can buy what they like; they don't have to justify the potential revenue increase next to the investment cost.

    Pros can buy what they like; they can offset the tax and also they don't have to worry about spending so much because it will make money for them

    Gear doesn't matter, whatever you've got works

    Gear matters totally; its the only important thing.

    All four are spoken of in the same way that people speak of seeing bigfoot; but in reality not a single one is true.
  • But that's it isn't it- we assume that professional means skilled within ones trade and there is a romantic view that a "pro" is indeed highly skilled; maybe not "the" best but certainly above average.

    The truth is that whilst this holds true for some areas of the market; the artistic sector is open to any and most often its nothing to do with craft skill but marketing and business skill.
  • Honestly I wouldn't even dwell on the matter.

    There were cowboy wedding photographers in the film days and there are cowboys now. It's a market that has opened up a lot more; but I think its also a reaction to a lot of job markets closing down at the same time; rising unemployment means more people pushing into more market areas and photography is an affordable avenue compared to some.

    Furthermore there are no gatekeepers. There is no awarding body; test; degree; licence that allows you to be a pro. You have a camera; you charge - you're a pro.

    So you get all sorts from the skilled to the clueless. A lot of the latter are litlte more than hobby jobs; they last for a while and likely won't make back their investment (esp if done legally with tax) but they'll last for a bit, mostly trading in friends circles and eating up the section of the market that honestly cannot likely afford a good quality professionals wages for a shoot [or if they can they'd have to sacrifice in other areas of the wedding).
    Many will close down; some will have huge meltdowns because they advertise poorly (using shots from a workshop; using the two lucky great shots they did get and nothing else; encountering a situation outside of perfect; etc....)

    A smaller number will hang on; they'll be bad but marketed and run well enough to turn a profit and no one will get killed over it.

    In the end I'd say mind your own and don't worry about it. If you wish you can give friendly advice to those who have clearly not thought things through, but otherwise there's nought else you can do.
  • Few thoughts:

    1) Due to the volume of posts you have to put YOUR effort into getting noticed yes; this is no different to any other large community. You can help your case significantly by:

    a) Posting at a good time; the dead of night (GMT) or at weekends are poor times to post in general; weekdays during the 7am through to around 6pm are a rough good time to post when people are around (basically you're abusing lots of people sneaking off work or just before or after work)

    b) Title your post well; then inside it include information such as your settings; equipment used; any critical thoughts of your own; any things you wanted to happen that didn't'; questions etc..
    The more information you put up the more serious you appear. Not only is that helping you critique and understand your own work ;but it encourages others to come and join in.

    c) Be polite around the site; help others; thank others for helping you; contribute and be around. This increases your chances that people will WANT to take up their free time to help you out in your hobby.

    2) Use the critique gallery; helps to get you noticed and focused on by those eager to critique.

    3) Try not to get too defensive; by all means justify your choices and explain your thought processes; but be humble and don't be offended if others don't like your work - remember to thank them and take their viewpoint into consideration or ask them to elaborate upon their point if you don't quite understand it.
  • Not only greed; some are also so terribly desperate for income that they will try anything to get money they need; especially when the pay-off is huge.

    Plus we are used to most companies using over-seas callers now so a heavily accented person on the end of the line is normal to us. Heck most times I call the bank its overseas or at least heavily accented.

    The "In person" part is also bold for the scammers; most won't show face nor anything so to turn up to collect the payment is a very bold move for them. Granted it might also mean this scam is short lived; but it is another thing that might make some feel more confident as any real scammer would never turn up.

    Plus who hasn't had a "do you have PPI - we an find out and refund you and it won't cost a penny" phone call, both from scammers and legitimate companies.

    Rather like the "this is Microsoft here to fix your computer" scam its also just real enough to be believed. .

  • Quote:At his funeral, they lit four candles . . .

    No no no forkandles - handles for forks
  • The title basically summarises the primary intent of the thread; whilst I've come a pretty long way on my own I feel that some additional structured guidance would be of great benefit to myself; and with my course (conservation) ending in the next few months I might find myself with more fully free time to dedicate to my photography.

    I'm UK based (Suffolk), though not exclusively looking for in person assistance; and thus I welcome any input people have to offer

    You can see most of my more recent works on the website below, and in general most of my equine is one first "page" of photos so just scroll down.

  • Point and shoots are not about quality but convenience. The average person takes photos and shows them on the back of the camera; some make it to the internet and a handful to prints. They are not putting huge demands on teh gear so the gear doesn't have to perform to a high optical standard.

    That said most are pretty good - the optical zoom ranges are pretty decent on most; sure the long end is a bit softer; sure the dynamic range is often lacking; but its good enough for that user group.

    The 3*teleconverters that screw on the end of the lens or the "digital" zoom in cameras are often bigger drops in quality; more noticeable; but for some the quality drop is fine. They more want to record the event and their emotional and personal connection to the scene is what makes it important to them.

    Heck I get jealous and oft wish I had a little point and shoot for those rare case when something far off is seen that you want to get ap hoto of ;but which you didn't bring the huge super-telephoto lens for (or if you did its not on the camera at that moment etc..)
  • A few thoughts:

    1) As said the time/day and such of when you post can be very important. Weekends generally generate less interest no matter what time you post something whilst during the weekday they get more attention. The time is a huge factor - post something at 2 am and it will be buried before most are awake; whilst if you post at the wrong time during peek activity you can get your post buried in a sea. This is applicable on any social website - more active ones more so - and those with a bias to a certain time-zone will vary on your local time as to when its best to post; but otherwise its a universal truth.

    2) Your individual efforts are nothing; all people see is the photo. That photo is then measured up to all else that that viewers see which means for something like natural studies you're up against national geographic and all the other big names too often as not.

    3) Wildlife has a lot of captive stuff in it; even on most sites the designation "wildlife" often more so means "its not a common domestic animal" rather than "actually living in the wild animal". So people often assume its captive or trained more so than not; esp if the shot is left without additional notation and the pose could be done to hide things like leashes or jessies.

    4) Sometimes a story helps - to write what happened underneath and the like; a picture might say 1000 words but they might not be the right ones for what you want it to say or express to people.

    In general you've got to have a measure of self confidence and self worth. I also find it helps to be involved in a couple of websites - generalist high activity ones - niche focused communities and sometimes you've just got to have a friend site with a few mates which might not be as active in terms of volume but might well be more social and welcoming commentary wise.
  • ST where did you get your adaptor from?
  • Aye I saw them too; although I can't seem to find their store; they seem to trade only locally? Unless I'm just being stupidly blind.

    And yes I think manfrotto has a thing with their quick release system; it will fit into any camera without any modification. It's quick and simple and I think works well for the amateur; most casual systems are light enough not to have much weight to pivot around. That said I am surprised they don't do a line of quick release plates custom to camera and tripod collars that could use their system; but without the rotation. That said apparently theyv'e got their own head modification for holding arca swiss plates so they are not totally blind.
  • Aye though I'm still relying on the manfrotto quick release system using that; the problem there is that I have had hte camera slide/rotate on the mount. Having a grip-pad of rubber is good; but only if both surfaces have it; and the arca swiss plates certainly don't so its easy to slip and pivot around the screwmount.

    Hence my interest in a proper quick release system that won't have any chance for rotation