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  1. #201
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Cool Monday ... the 12th of July

    The Summer Quarter begins ... and I have decided on finally getting the Metz mecablitz 76 MZ-5 digital SCA Flash unit w/ SCA 3302 M7 adapter,

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    an extra battery and charger ... because you do not what to be powerless sporting this beauty and then, a 3-year warranty to cover it, in case it decides to take the fall. Costs are heading up ... and the time to act is now. I suppose if this flash does not get your subject's attention, they are either dead or blind (or will be - muahahahaha).

    But, not only that, the SONY sale ($100 off) ends on 7/10 (Saturday) ... so, along comes the platinum-painted 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM lens to my bag of goodies (that should finally put a smile on Rooz's face ), to finish up this year's additions to the "improved" glass pile. Anything else is just going to have to wait until 2011.

    Like the TAMRON SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF), the Tokina AT-X 840 (80-400 f/4.5-5.6) will go into semi-retirement, carried with the α700 in the backup bag. I basically started this adventure with that bag ... and then caught Full Frame fever ... and expensive malady.

    This coming quarter, as previously mentioned, I have the three photography-specific courses, so all my glass should get some serious use, as things arise.

    The current pack out:
    • SIGMA 12-24mm f/4-5.6 EX DG D UWA Zoom (21 oz)
    • SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM IF Normal Zoom (28 oz)
    • TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Telephoto Zoom (Indoor shoots) (42 oz)
      or
    • SONY 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM Telephoto Zoom (Outdoor shoots) (54 oz)


    Total weight: 91 oz (103 oz subbing the 70-400)

    I will have to wait until the mecablitz shows up to figure out how to pack it up, also.

    Admittedly, because of the lens changes, this load is roughly 15-27 ounces heavier, even with the all different TAMRON lenses (definitely a much lighter load, depending on the needs). As you trudge around, that does burn some calories. Personally, I think the heavier stuff makes you choose your glass a lot more closely and possibly reduces your selections, out of self-preservation.

    Previous pack out:
    • K-M 16-35mm f/2.8-4 "D" (TAMRON designed lens) (Wide-Angle Zoom) (16 oz)
    • TAMRON SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) (Normal Zoom) (18 oz)
    • TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Telephoto Zoom (42 oz)
      and occasionally the
    • TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD Super-Telephoto Zoom (42 oz)


    Total weight: 76 oz (118 oz with adding the super-zoom)

    Oh, to be thirty years younger ... like the other students. Can you imagine ... younger and the financial wherewithal to do it, too? Now, that's my idea of going to school - Having enough knowledge to be dangerous ... and the equipment to make it all happen.

    After some closer looks at occasional results, the TAMRON 28-75mm f/2.8 is a superior lens. For the mere $400 it costs against the SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 HSM (~$850) ... the actual use comparisons are so close, it kind of hurts. Whereas, the differences between the KM 17-35mm f/2.8-4 and the SIGMA 12-24mm f/4-5,6 are far more noticeable and significant.

    TAMRON 17-35 f/2.8-4
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    SIGMA 12-24mm f/4-5.6

    The SIGMA UWA Zoom (bottom) is a much better lens (having 4 SLD elements the 3 Aspherical elements) for chromatic aberration and optical distortion ... well worth the price difference, as the TAMRON (or KM) SP AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 "D" (top) only has one SLD element coupled with the 3 Aspherical elements, trying to correct everything. The reason I now sport the two SIGMAs, is that they meet up at 24mm. Using the SIGMA UWA 12-24mm and the TAMRON 28-75mm would have left a 4mm gap (no overlap) in the focal length, and at that end of field of view ... that can be a pain on Full Frame.

    One of the things I asked for, last quarter, for this coming quarter, was a list of shots required for the completion of each course. I feel it tends to allow for better planning of my shots ... and perhaps some alternative shots for series-type. It also allows me to get ahead of the shots, since you never know what can arise throughout the year. The weather in the Midwest is notorious for changing at a moment's notice. "Last minute" photography, in my experiences, is not always my best. So any advantage is appreciated.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-11-2010 at 04:41 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #202
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Thumbs up Sure enough ...

    As requested, the course instructors have provided their project schedules and required work up front, this quarter. Boy howdy ... just ask and ye shall receive. It is a test, to kind of see what happens. I am hoping the other students take advantage of this and the quality of their work goes up, respectively.

    Now, the shot planning begins ...
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #203
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Red face As with all growth ... you wind up needing a bigger bag.

    One of the side effects of the addition of the SONY 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM lens was a fatal blow to the sling bag I used to sport with my other lenses. This thing is just enormous .. and as such, I went back to Calumet Photographic to shop for something a little more "fitting" to this situation.

    I was toting the lens on the outside of the Tamrac Velocity 9, in a a LowePro LC4 lens case, but due to the design of the Velocity, these large lens cases cannot anchor on the lower end and with the sheer weight of the 70-400 in it ... well, it can get nuts. It tends to swing quite a bit, as you move and bend. Also, that extra projection of the now fuller lens case makes for rather hazardous navigation through tight places.

    So ... back to the store for some a little more "all-in-one" solution ... yep, presenting the Velocity 10, designed with internal space for two DSLRs and associated lenses and flash!

    Well, two DSLRs? I can assure you, that's not going to happen.

    I am currently packing, right down the middle of the case, the α850 with vertical grip and the SONY 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM mounted on it. Then, in their standard lens cases (the square ones), on one side, I have the SIGMA 12-24 and the SIGMA 24-70, atop one another and in the other side compartment, the Metz 76 MZ-5. There are no lens cases on the outside, anymore, and it rides tight and unobtrusive. Unfortunately, to stay neat, the 50mm f/1.4 I usually pack will have to stay behind, packed in one of the two lens backpacks. Oh sure, I could pocket it, too. It's not anywhere near the size of the SIGMA 50mm f/1.4 DG EX HSM.

    Anyway ... I hope I can keep from knocking people over, now, looking like some kind of mountain man.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-21-2010 at 09:36 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #204
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Cool New shoot opportunities

    Editorial Photography (DPH210)

    Assignment: Shoot 4x Business/Ironic/Dramatic Portraits

    Proposal:

    The Des Plaines Police Department is participating in a "National Night Out", where all their vehicles and staff will be on display. As such, this will provide an opportunity to capture these officers in a more formal and controlled atmosphere than the rigors of a daily, on-the-job scenes.

    Lighting opportunities abound with multiple vehicle concepts, consisting of the standard squad car, the SUV, the Motorcycle and ATV. Both strobes and hot lights and portable reflectors/drapes may be the order of the evening, to effectively light the entire scene.

    Preparation/Research:

    Some site/location inspection will need to take place, as this event is happening at three locations around the city of Des Plaines. Limited power availability will have to be considered for the 3x 1000W lamps to prevent circuit failure. Extra power cords will have to be considered for multiple power feeds.

    (to be continued)
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-23-2010 at 12:55 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #205
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    ... I was toting the lens on the outside of the Tamrac Velocity 9, in a a LowePro LC4 lens case, but due to the design of the Velocity, these large lens cases cannot anchor on the lower end and with the sheer weight of the 70-400 in it ... well, it can get nuts. It tends to swing quite a bit, as you move and bend. Also, that extra projection of the now fuller lens case makes for rather hazardous navigation through tight places.

    So ... back to the store for some a little more "all-in-one" solution ... yep, presenting the Velocity 10, designed with internal space for two DSLRs and associated lenses and flash! ....
    Don,

    I have the Velocity 9 sling pack as well. It can fit quite a bit -- I've packed my A900 w/Tamron 70-200, Sony 50mm, Sigma 28-90 mm, flash, Yashikamat TLR film camera and accessories. One of the problems I have with it though is the strap's tendency to cut into the neck. Also, there are times when I'd like to be able to have the laptop in the same bag.

    So, I've been considering the Tenba Shootout Rolling Backpack, Large (Black). Room for lap top, plenty of photo gear and the option of rolling it to save the back and shoulders.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  6. #206
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Talking Packing up your troubles in your old kit bag and ...

    The "Velocity 10x" sits more square on my back ... and the strap is over to the right a bit more, reducing that neck impact quite a bit. It must just be the overall design of the "Velocity 9" that causes this, as it was a constant issue with me, also.

    I know there is no way a laptop would fit inside it, with the gear, but what I have placed in it sits all nestled without a lot of "grabbing" by the interior lining of the case.

    I suppose one of the smaller "netbooks" or Asus EEE 10.1-inch versions might fit in the outer pocket. It might be worth a look, as that outer pocket is quite large.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-26-2010 at 08:05 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #207
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Red face I'm not tootin' my own horn ...

    No, far from it, my friends.

    I do not know if any of you ever look at my "wish list" at the bottom of "my gear list."

    Back in 2009, I set up a projection plan to acquire several new pieces of glass and a more powerful flash in 2010, to go along with my plans for school. I also had a telescope idea tossed in, more for fun than real need, but that purchase is looking like next year ... when the "2012 Kiss-my-Ace Asteroid" gets a little closer (Well, just kidding ... kinda ... uh ... shrug ... if it is coming, they are keeping it real quiet ).

    Meanwhile, many serious discussions have taken place in the past three quarters, this year, about the kind of lensing I will need to complete my "portfolio" work .. and you just cannot take decent pictures if you do not have the glass to make it happen. Oh, you can get close, but these academics are really critical. I know, I've seen how they dice and chop the work.

    So, I made the investment ... now, I need to continue to sharpen the skills to go with the ocular improvements. One thing I am not doing ... is worrying about getting the glass anymore.

    The best we all can hope for is to get the budget we need to do the right thing. I know I have taken the slow route to get here ... and I have learned incredible things along the way. I have tried to voice these occasional discoveries ... so we all can benefit in the discussion. I know even SONY has peeked in on our forum. I mean, how cool is that?

    Anyway ... the value of all of this is truly relative. I mean, it all depends on who is looking. All the contributions by you guys have been wonderful, colorful and have made this forum a powerful place to learn in and (pardon the pun) ... develop.

    Yes, our Canikon-cousins have also played their respective roles in the myriad of exposure and rationale to make the final call, at this point. We should all be better photographers, at this point, regardless of what other avenues we have taken in our craft.

    What ever the case ... GET THE SHOT!
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #208
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Wild, Wonderful, Wyoming
    Posts
    1,043
    I for one am glad you've seen the light on good glass, Don. Now if I could just persuade you to sell off some of the collection, you could get even more good glass...
    A good photograph is knowing where to stand.
    Ansel Adams

    Rule books are paper, they will not cushion a sudden meeting of stone and metal.
    Ernest K. Gann-Fate is the Hunter.

  9. #209
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,421
    id suggest more work on the pictures and less work on the collection.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  10. #210
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Wink Here it comes ...

    When, it is pretty obvious that's not going to happen, mate. I was just turned on to a SONY CZ 16-35mm f/2.8 UWA Zoom for about 3/5ths its norm price. Talk about your "day late" scenario.

    Just as obvious ... I cannot pass it up. As much as I like the older SIGMA AF 12-24mm f/4-5.6 DG EX UWA Zoom ... this is the "next generation." So, in about two hours, it goes in the bag.

    How's your day going?

    I'm just a "collector", looking for a place to shoot.

    EDIT: Got it! It's a lot heavier than the 12-24, that's for sure.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-27-2010 at 03:10 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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