Lightnings taking a ride

by ceinmart

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56,990 reputation
8117263
bio website jonrista.com
location Aurora, CO
age 35
visits member for 5 years, 1 month
seen yesterday

I am a relatively new photographer, having been at if for only a few years. I chose Canon gear when I finally took the plunge into DSLR. I am an avid hobbyist now, and love everything about photography, from the gear, to the science, to the art. I spent years reading about the technology and photography theory, so I am very well versed in the technical aspects of photography. My artistic skills are moderate, but improving. You can see my work @ the following sites:

My interests lie primarily in nature photography:

  • Birds
    • Songbird Setups
    • Shore Birds & Waders
    • Raptors
    • All others
  • Astrophotography
    • Moon
    • Wide Field
    • Deep Sky
  • Landscapes
  • Wildlife
  • Floral Macro
  • Insect Macro
  • Abstract

I currently use the following gear:

  • Cameras
    • Canon EOS 7D
    • Canon EOS 450D (Rebel XSi)
  • Lenses
    • EF 16-35 f/2.8 USM L Wide
    • EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
    • EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro
    • EF 100-400mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM L Zoom
    • EF 600mm f/4 L IS II
    • Canon EF 1.4x TC III
    • Kenko 1.4x Teleplus Pro 300 DGX
    • Periodic Rentals:
      • EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II
      • EF 500mm f/4 L IS II
      • Canon EF 2x TC III
  • Filters
    • Lee Foundation Kit (x2) + Tandem Adapter
    • Lee .3/.6 ND
    • Lee .3/.6/.9 Soft Grad ND
    • Lee .3/.6/.9 Hard Grad ND
    • Lee CPL
  • Tripod
    • Gitzo Systematic GT3532LS 3S. Series 3 Tripod
    • Jobu Pro 2 Gimbal
    • Gitzo Mountaineer GT0541 4S. Series.0 Tripod
    • Gitzo GH1780QR Series.1 Mag. Center Ball Head

Oct
21
comment What does “expanded ISO” mean?
I do know that Nikon, until very recently, had a base ISO of around 160 or 180, which made their ISO 200 the "best performing" from an SNR perspective. I do know that older digital cameras used to use ISO 200 as the base (and often the minimum), however for at least the last several years, Canon has used ISO 100 as their base (in actuality it comes out a little higher simply due to physics, but generally speaking.) I think Nikon's more recent releases use a true ISO 100 base, rather than something closer to ISO 200. Many medium formats use ISO 80 as their true base.
Oct
21
comment What tips and advice do you have for photographing the Aurora Borealis?
If you make the assumption that you need to brighten the resulting image during post-processing, then yes, ISO800 might end up looking noisier than ISO1600. But thats making the assumption that you need to increase the exposure of the image during post-processing. I'm able to get some great shots of the milky way with a 50mm f/1.8 at ISO 800 that don't require brightening, and given that the auroras are brighter than stars, I would imagine ISO 800 to be great at f/1.4. The auroras don't move fast enough to need a super fast shutter speed and a higher ISO (they change over a period of minutes.)
Oct
21
answered Where can I find comparisons for linear polarizers (for a cheap variable ND filter)?
Oct
21
comment What tips and advice do you have for photographing the Aurora Borealis?
Great writeup. Good tips overall. However when it comes to ISO, I wouldn't say "as high as possible". With an f/1.4 or f/1.2 lens, you should be able to get away with ISO 800. ISO 1600 on the 450D is atrocious, and you get a LOT of noise that will degrade night shots (I have a 450D, and plenty of experience with this.) My opinion on this would differ if Winston had a 500D or 550D, which have better sensors with better SNR. The 450D just has really bad ISO 1600 noise, though.
Oct
21
comment How can I create an inexpensive white backdrop?
I would avoid the blinds, as even wide ones will still cast a shadow at the edges. Blinds tend to have a curvature as well, and with their smoother, more reflective surfaces, that could also cause problems. Like Chills stated, a white sheet will be far more effective.
Oct
20
comment What should I do to switch my gear from Sony to Canon?
@Nick: Perhaps not APS-H, but full-frame or larger for sure. There have also been plenty of rumors about Canon wanting to expand into the medium format market. If they could produce a higher density, high readout speed sensor in a 56x44mm size (645 format), I would go for it. Leaf recently released the Aptus-II, an 80mp medium format sensor. I would buy a 120mp medium format camera from Canon in a heart beat, and if they can make a 120mp APS-H, it shouldn't be difficult to do it with a larger sensor. That was more my point, rather than the APS-H sensor itself being a keeper.
Oct
20
comment How to select children from a complex background?
What do you need to do with them once selected? Do you want to completely isolate them, or do you just want to move them around in the same picture? If its the latter, Photoshop CS5 has some new features that might support you, and wouldn't require you do perfectly extract them from the background.
Oct
20
answered What are the differences between Epson v330/300 and Epson v500 scanners?
Oct
20
answered Is it possible to use a lower ISO instead of ND filters?
Oct
19
comment Is it worth it to have the 50mm f/1.8 Canon lens?
@Matt: True, it is really, really cheap. However, the better build of the 1.4 should last for many years at least, where as the 1.8 could break at any time leaving you in the lurch. I wouldn't say the cost more than makes up for the lack of durability, but it does somewhat make up for it.
Oct
19
comment What should I do to switch my gear from Sony to Canon?
You state that the Sony 85/1.4 is the best of its focal length available. I've red several reviews of the Zeiss 85/1.4, which I believe is the same thing as the Sony. It is a superb lens, however in comparisons with Canon's 85/1.2, I found the Canon to be superior in several ways. One of the things that annoyed me about the Zeiss 85/1.4 was its focus plane shift as you stopped down...terribly annoying problem. It also appeared that flare was FAR better controlled with the Canon 85...it looked pretty bad in reviews of the Zeiss 85. Categorically, there are pros and cons for both brands.
Oct
19
comment What should I do to switch my gear from Sony to Canon?
I think it is very difficult to categorically state that one particular lens from one manufacturer is far better than anything else in its class. Canon has some superb 135mm portrait lenses, including a soft-focus lens that does a fantastic job naturally smoothing out skin without giving it that hideous look you get when its smoothed out with Photoshop. Even though it is not f/1.8 (which would have an extremely thin DOF), it is still an excellent lens.
Oct
19
comment What does “expanded ISO” mean?
On a Canon, ISO 100 is the true base ISO, not an expanded ISO, so you get true benefit by using ISO 100 over ISO 200. Some Canons are "expandable" to ISO 50, some down to ISO 25, and others have an ISO 80, all of which are "artificial" rather than a true analog ISO.
Oct
19
awarded  Nice Answer
Oct
19
awarded  Suffrage
Oct
19
answered Upgrade advice pentax to canon + which canon 50D/60D or 7D
Oct
18
accepted Is a “Zone” Large Format Camera with gold plating legit?
Oct
18
revised What's the best number of shots to combine to produce an HDR photo?
added 978 characters in body
Oct
18
answered Is it worth it to have the 50mm f/1.8 Canon lens?
Oct
18
comment Is there always a way to capture all the light ranges to get good HDR images?
I guess another important point to make (Matt already made it, but to be clearer) is that the vast majority of "HDR" images are indeed NOT high dynamic range images...they are simply LDR images that have been tone-mapped from HDR images. That doesn't mitigate the benefits of using the alternative and simpler Exposure Fusion process to create improved LDR images, though. It just means that the final results of any process are all ultimately LDR images that can be viewed on the limited gamut's of computer screens and prints.