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Long Weekend with the 20D

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by RobertP, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. RobertP

    RobertP
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    I'm recently back from a long weekend in Prague during which I took 360 pictures - mostly of various old buildings, bridges and other tourist type stuff.

    I had my Tamron 28-75 XR Di on the camera most of the time and the kit lens in the bag as it was light and would get me to a bit wider. I found the Tamron ideal most of the time and 18mm not wide enough when I needed it. (yes I have seen Seanys thread :) )

    I shot in raw with small fine jpg for instant gratification on the laptop I took with me. Battery life was amazing. I had bought 2 1600mah compatibles from an ebay seller. One battery lasted 3 days and I only changed it because I thought I should - it still showed 30% ish. I did not turn the camera off AT ALL - apart from lens change and card removing... just let the camera sleep.

    I've started working through the pictures with rawshooter. The jpg's produced so far are much better than the camera jpg's viewed at the same size. Seems a worthwhile exercise but a bit of a chore.

    One thing I have realised looking at the pictures is that the pattern mode (or whatever the default is called) AF is often picking the wrong point. I noticed one of Seanys' sample shots with the wide angle had the same problem - Diane (?) on the chair has her forearm in sharp focus, not her eyes. I found the same thing with a thin tree branch stealing the focus from a nearby building. I just spent some time playing with the 'pick your own' focus point and got the kind of results i was expecting with every shot....something valuable learnt.

    Still not sure which is the best mode to choose. Most of the time I left it on 'auto depth of field' and changed to aperture priority when I wanted a particular DOF or best sharpness. Any thoughts on best mode for situation?

    I bought a 'bens pizza XL' Crumpler bag as a carry round for the camera and have been dead impressed with it. very quick to get the camera to hand, not too obviously a camera bag (looks like a lunch coolbag) and comfortable with what is quite a heavy lens on the camera. Only thing I did not like was the canon neckstrap - I did not use it other than to wrap round my hand and just found it bulky. I need a wrist strap.

    On the subject of picture processing.... Rawshooter has a huge pdf file that I might read oneday..... before then can someone tell me what is sharpness slider does? Well more would you use it as well as unsharp m on the jpg (if you thought it needed it) ? So far I have left it alone as I did not like the effect. I know I could take the raws into CS but that is more time than I want to spend. I have a few shots I really like and might spend more effort on those but not 300 odd.

    Once I work my way through them all I will put some up on some webspace.

    Hmm I seem to have gone on a bit. :rolleyes:
     
  2. mr jones

    mr jones
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    yeh i found that letting the camera select the point isnt good for what i do, so ive always used the manual function to focus exactly what i want. its not fault of the camera, its a dumb device, it cant tell what your looking at, hence why it always focuses on the nearsest and most distinguisable object, usually the mic stand or a cymbal!

    i mirror your opinions on crumpler bags, i bought a 15love bag from them and its superb, not only is it stylish (am i gonna pull girls in nightclubs looking like a bird watcher.... no im not!) but it kinda disguises whats in it which is brillaint, people thinks its just a record bag full of uniwork! its also very well padded and keeps the camera close at hand.


    im using rawshooter as well, cant say i use much of the functionality, although i find the exposure and white balance settings much better than Canon-DPP or photoshopRAW, ive used a few of the shadow and highlight functions as well but ive always used tattyshop for sharpening and cropping as i tend to use that on all pictures.


    i tend to stick to apature priority the majority of the time, ocasionally delving into fully manual if exposure proves a problem (bright lighting behind subjects etc etc etc etc) some times i just go lazy and use the P function though, but thats generally when mucking around
     
  3. seany

    seany
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    I actually always choose the af point, i never leave it down to the camera. I was wondering actually why diane was out of focus when i know i picked the af point myself. Shooting at 2.8 with no flash can lead to a a difficult af though.

    I tend to leave it on apeture priority as jamie does. If you want large depth of field or faster shutter speeds then just stop it down

    I need a new bag, my lowe pro bag is two small. take some shots of your bag for us Jamie please;)
     
  4. mr jones

    mr jones
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    gimme 10mins

    to sort some pictures out

    (and find some batteries for my compact)
     
  5. seany

    seany
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    Well i've just used the eos viewer and on the photo of Diane i cant actually bring up the af point. That can only mean that focus was not achieved.

    It's ok if you cant find any mate, just a shot of the bag will do;)
     
  6. mr jones

    mr jones
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    ok here are some pics

    its ideal for what im doing, but if you wanna keep stalker lenses like john you'd probably need a rucksac design


    both pictures are an excellent example of Moire patterning where the bag pattern has effected the CCD, looks all weird, plus its a **** camera!
     

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  7. seany

    seany
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    Well i think really i'm going to need a couple of bags, one for round town which something like yours would be handy for. One for Hiking and trips out ect

    I think i might need a bit bigger then yours, but not much. Be a while before i get a 70-200 IS:rolleyes:


    Thanks jamie;)
     
  8. mr jones

    mr jones
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    please bear in mind the pad of paper is solely there for no other reasons but to a) draw artists impressions if the camera breaks down and b) get girls numbers :rolleyes: :suicide:
     
  9. seany

    seany
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    What do you thing to these two. Not bad for no flash in that light, caps at f4 balls at 2.8


    I tell you what i've read that with 85.18 you have to be careful to get both eyes in focus with the shallow depth of field you can get if its wide open. Even with the 16-35 at 2.8 you can see that close up it can throw one part in to blur. God knows what the 85 will be like:laugh: Good example of what i mean in the 3rd pic, af point was on the 'a' in canon you can see the dof starts getting shallow at the n
     

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  10. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    Yeah having migrated from the Eye controlled focus of the EOS 3/30 i found the 10/20D in full auto mode left me a lot of dead shots for the very reason above, now i tend to leave the centre sensor active by default, and only change to all sensors as required.
     
  11. RobertP

    RobertP
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    Don't know if it is significant but I tried shooting a focus calibration sheet today. It has a horizontal line in the center and scales at the sides so you can see if it has got the focus right.

    On pattern mode with the central AF red square lighting up on the line it was about 10mm front focusing from about 1m distance with the lens at 75mm.
    Change to manual selection of AF point and setting the central one active focus was spot on accurate.

    Of the shots I have where the focus point is not what I would have chosen - all are focused on something nearer...none further than my subject.

    I can't see me using pattern mode AF much in future.

    To be fair no one that has seen the shots can see the problem until I point it out - then they don't see it as a problem.

    Oh and as everyone seems to be attaching pictures - heres my carry round bag (using my very small Oly c5050) :)
     

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  12. RobertP

    RobertP
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    I've been playing with web album freeware. I think I will try something else as I think the navigation is not great... but anyway...

    30 odd Prague pictures are here

    There are thumbnail that show you a larger low res preview. click the image and you get a resized to about 500k file size version of the original.

    I saw the recommendation for the flash based album software.... but somehow I just don't like flash sites... too slick?
     
  13. mr jones

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  14. RobertP

    RobertP
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    Thats the flash one I looked at. I don't like the one I used much but looking at the demos on the simpleviewer site I don't like that either. I will give you its easier to navigate.

    Guess I'll have to try some of the others or just write some basic html myself.
     
  15. malc1

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    In this forum , there seems to be a wealth of experience. Is there anyone who has used a sigma 135-400 on the canon 20d? I've read that some older lenses are incompatible. Is this one of them?
     
  16. seany

    seany
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  17. malc1

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    Thanks for that seany, I haven't bought the camera yet. I use the lens on a EOS1000F.

    malc1
     

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