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#1 Brian Luenser

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:00 PM

Sunday I had a nightmare come true.

I have a fairly new camera backpack. Like 4 months old. I was trading up to a better carrier for my increased collection of camera gear. But I never really liked this backpack. Too complicated and cumbersome. At least for me. Just too many compartments and zippers. My nightmare was walking off with my backpack on and a zipper unzipped and having a lens or two or three and maybe my camera plop out on the floor. Sure enough, I was taking some pictures of a house on West 5th street in Near West Fort Worth. I had my tripod and I was inside this friend's house switching lenses pretty frequently as necessary. Dangerous practice. I did walk off to go home only to find that one of the zippers was not zipped. Out on the street I had a lens just fall right out and fall like 4 feet to the street. The horror. It was my Canon 50 1.2. I had paid $1,300. for this lens exactly a year ago and had a few hundred pictures with it. Thought I was going to cry, but as my Friend was watching and I did not want him to think I sacrificed a lens to take his house pics, I just put it in my trunk and drove home. (after seeing that it really seemed OK, as far as no broken glass etc... ) After I got home I inspected the lens under bright lights. I saw no evidence of the fall. (maybe a tiny scratch.) I put the lens on the camera and started snapping pictures. It worked. It worked perfect. Auto focus and all. Since then I have taken maybe 50 pictures with the lens and it seems 100%. Really just amazing. Just as the lens fell and I picked it up I was wondering if I paid too much for the lens or the right amount. I looked at it this way. If it broke, I was out $1,300. But I am pretty sure a cheaper lens would not take a fall of 4' to concrete. (I speculate) So at this point I am thinking paying a lot for this lens may have paid off. I was lucky that I had four lenses with me. All new L series. And this was the second cheapest. (Only my 17-40 4.0L is cheaper) It could be my lens will stop working tomorrow and I will have to amend this post, but seems like if it seems to be working it is alright.

This is a picture I took with this lens hours before it fell. My fat darling condo cat. Grace. I may take the same pic in the morning and see if the lens is for sure OK.


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#2 Owen

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 11:43 PM

Ooooooooooooo, kitty with all fours to the wind; tum-tum just begs to be rubbed!

#3 Cowtown Mike

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:30 AM

Good that your lenes was not broken. It does appear to make the cat look very large....lol

#4 David Love

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 07:30 PM

Any advice on a good all around tripod?


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#5 Brian Luenser

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 08:05 PM

QUOTE (David Love @ May 19 2010, 08:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any advice on a good all around tripod?



All depends on your lenses, to me. If you have all standard sizes lenses, like nothing over 200mm, I would get a pretty cheap tripod. Using big lenses really needs extra steady footing.
I never realized how much until I took a pic of a plane landing at DFW at dawn. Was a 30 second exposure. As the plane was going in a straight line I really realized how shakey my mount was. You may remember the shot as I posted it. For the first 3 seconds it looked like the plane was jumping up and down. (It took 3 seconds for my camera to steady) That is with a Manfrotto tripod with the Manfrotto 322RC head. (Pistol grip) I think around 275 bucks worth of steady. I was using my 400mm.

My tripod is good but not the best by a million miles. It is aluminum, not carbon fiber. I would not mind shelling out 500 more bucks for a tripod but my fear of leaving it somewhere or it getting stolen keeps me from it. I don't enjoy photography if I have to worry to much about my "stuff". (like lenses falling out of my backpack.)

If I did not use my bigger lenses I would not spend more than a hundred bucks or so for a tripod and maybe 50 bucks for a good head. (Some type of ball head) I love my pistol grip head for ease of use but I have to turn my camera around to look up in the sky. (It has a very poor up and down range.) And of course I take half my pics from my balcony. Half the time looking up, half the time looking down. Hassle...

Also, I would not have any problem buying a tripod on craigslist. Of course I don't care if it is all scratched up. Would prefer it really. In fact cheaper than that you can have my last tripod for free. Bought it 2 years ago. Aluminum and too heavy. You might want it just to see if a cheap one works for you.
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#6 David Love

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 07:06 PM

QUOTE (Brian Luenser @ May 19 2010, 09:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (David Love @ May 19 2010, 08:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any advice on a good all around tripod?



All depends on your lenses, to me. If you have all standard sizes lenses, like nothing over 200mm, I would get a pretty cheap tripod. Using big lenses really needs extra steady footing.
I never realized how much until I took a pic of a plane landing at DFW at dawn. Was a 30 second exposure. As the plane was going in a straight line I really realized how shakey my mount was. You may remember the shot as I posted it. For the first 3 seconds it looked like the plane was jumping up and down. (It took 3 seconds for my camera to steady) That is with a Manfrotto tripod with the Manfrotto 322RC head. (Pistol grip) I think around 275 bucks worth of steady. I was using my 400mm.

My tripod is good but not the best by a million miles. It is aluminum, not carbon fiber. I would not mind shelling out 500 more bucks for a tripod but my fear of leaving it somewhere or it getting stolen keeps me from it. I don't enjoy photography if I have to worry to much about my "stuff". (like lenses falling out of my backpack.)

If I did not use my bigger lenses I would not spend more than a hundred bucks or so for a tripod and maybe 50 bucks for a good head. (Some type of ball head) I love my pistol grip head for ease of use but I have to turn my camera around to look up in the sky. (It has a very poor up and down range.) And of course I take half my pics from my balcony. Half the time looking up, half the time looking down. Hassle...

Also, I would not have any problem buying a tripod on craigslist. Of course I don't care if it is all scratched up. Would prefer it really. In fact cheaper than that you can have my last tripod for free. Bought it 2 years ago. Aluminum and too heavy. You might want it just to see if a cheap one works for you.


I'm about to get into larger lenses, I'll probably be going the used route simply because I know I'm going to wind up getting 3 or 4 to find one or two that do what I want, more specifically, what I need. With HD movies being shot with DSLRs now, even though I take thousands of shots with my D90 I naturally lean towards the HD movie features and that brings an exponential level of cost when you get into camera mounts for HD movies.

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#7 Brian Luenser

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 08:28 AM

I am looking to buy a new camera lens. Like a big expensive one. I would like to find one used in good condition. I am a perfect candidate to buy a used expensive lens. Paying cash, don't care how it looks. (all my camera gear, the oldest being 2 years old, looks old as I do not care much about their cosmetic look or exterior scratches etc...)

I really like Craigslist. Like who doesn't? And the good thing about digital photography is that you can bring your camera and snap a few pics before you decide to buy. That doesn't mean you can't by a bad lens, but odds are with you in my opinion.

I almost bought my 50mm1.2L on Craigslist two years ago. A guy was selling his in Dallas for $1,200. Said it had only been used twice. Was not really much of a discount off of new but a few hundred bucks as no sales tax etc... Went to the bank, got 12 hundred dollar bills, and sent an e-mail to the guy to meet him. I was going to meet him at the Dallas train station as I was taking the TRE over. He did not show. Or answer any more e-mails. I think he had originally planned to steal my money and run. Can only guess for sure. In my e-mail I said I would buy him lunch etc... I think he decided he did not want to steal from me. Who knows. Anyway, a crazy Saturday Morning for me.

I guess I did not learn my lesson. This week I saw an expensive lens I want. Too good of a price. Said it had only been used twice. (I think I am learning that is scam talk.) I decided to look around other Cities Craigslists for the same model of lens to see what they are selling for. (For the 2 of you that don't know, unlike E Bay, Craigslist is always local.) Well sure enough, I found that lens in Los Angeles. THE EXACT same lens. Same photos. Same text. Same guy. That violated Craigslist policy. You cannot post in multiple cities. My guess? A scam for sure. I reported the guy to Craigslist. Likely, this guy is robber. Sure reminds me. Don't meet anybody from Craigslist, or any add, in a place that is not public. go to like in the police station parking lot or in the middle of a mall. I sold a few lens on Craigslist 2 years ago. That is also a bit of a risk. (He takes your lenses for free) We met in The Tower Lobby. I figured it was all on video in front of security.

Scumbags. You really have to always be on the lookout. I am personally not a guy that takes well to being done wrong. (Would end in an ugly way, for sure.) You have to deal with crooks so the next guy doesn't have to.

But after all the above, I am back to scanning craigslist for a big lens. Again, mostly hoping to save a few grand by being able to overlook a lens with nicks and scratches. I do not have an L series lens that I have not dropped now. They don't mind it. I have dropped everything I own, including my camera. (Could be I am not old enough to have nice stuff.) Mostly is shows lots of use. If you use something enough, you will drop it eventually.
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#8 David Love

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:46 PM

Let me know what you find.

I still plan to get a telescope that I can record High Def with, mainly downtown stuff, might be a good Christmas present.

Thanksgiving present is a new HVAC system, bet you noticed it's much quieter lately, new water heater, new bathroom fixtures.

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#9 Brian Luenser

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:44 AM

Something I have been considering for a while. A very big lens. I decided to do it.

I have ordered a Canon 800mm 5.6L IS with Fort Worth Camera. Canon's current biggest and most expensive lens. (Fort Worth Camera has never seen one in person.) I was lucky that Canon USA has one to ship. I am thinking they are pretty rare. For example, there is not one in the Country for sale, used.

Of course it was tough to not buy one on line as the sales tax on one of these is $1,100. (The cost of a good lens) But Fort Worth Camera made me a great deal and I feel like I just paid about 600 bucks more than getting one on line. Plus, as few people realize, getting something on line does not mean you don't pay tax. You are required to file a use tax return to pay the same as sales tax. People seldom do. But sometimes they get caught. I have been caught before. (Buying expensive equipment at work from an out of state dealer.) You get caught usually because the company you buy from gets audited and then they just follow the trails of sales to their state to see who filed use tax returns. So anyway, I am paying a bit more, but supporting a local dealer rather than some New York dealer. And I am legal. And I have purchased everything I have photographic from Fort Worth Camera and they have been good to me. (Remember me breaking my 5D MkII when it was brand new by stuffing a bad CF chip in its socket?)

This new big lens is made with a magnesium alloy that makes the lens very light. Just less than 10 lbs. Actually lighter than their 600mm. It is this lightness and portability, that necessitates Image Stabilization. If you are pretty strong, you can use this lens "hand held." And I plan to.

This bad boy is supposed to come in on Tuesday (A week from today) I paid for the lens by wire transfer to save the dealer like 400 bucks in credit card fees. (To allow a better price)

There are not many toys that get me terribly excited these days, that I don't already have, but this amazing lens is such a toy. Too expensive to be a smart purchase. But I work hard and am quite thrifty. (Buy clothes and shoes only at Target) This is my biggest extravagance ever, I guess. I don't know why big lenses are so expensive. This lens costs more than my two biggest telescopes combined. (Computer guided monsters.) What's up with that?

One thing I did not really consider when I ordered this lens was my new commitment to the Canon brand. (Like as opposed to Nikon) But getting this lens means there is no changing later. It is quite the brand commitment on my part. I am OK with that. I like Canon. Not that Nikon is not as good. Nikon does not have any lenses as big as this one, by the way.

Stand by for some unique photos. (I am guessing many in the PHOTOS OF THE DISTANCE thread.) Don't bother looking in the "Here is my new dishwasher" thread. :laugh:

Oh ya, one more thing. If you see my wife with me out taking photos, remember this lens cost me 500 bucks...
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#10 360texas

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:02 AM

Wow ! Diagonal Angle of view is only 3 5' ? thats 3 degrees 5 minutes ?

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture 800mm f/5.6

Lens Construction18 elements in 14 groups

Diagonal Angle of View3 5' (with full-frame sensor camera)

Focus AdjustmentRing-type Ultrasonic Motor, with inner focus system; mechanical manual focus

Closest Focusing Distance19.7 ft./6.0m (maximum close-up magnification: 0.14x)

Filter Size52mm (Drop-in Gelatin Filter Holder)

Max. Diameter x Length, 6.4 in. x 18.1 in./162mm x 461mm (maximum lens length);

Weight 9.9 lbs./4,500g

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#11 Joshw

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:54 PM

Great googley moogly that's quite a zoom! That said, I'd love to see a good example of how much zoom that is (perhaps shoot a couple at 100mm, 200mm, then strap that 600mm on).

For most of my photography, that'd be overkill, but when I was in Africa year before last I would have loved to have something like that.

#12 David Love

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:22 PM

My next lens will be in your sales tax range Brian.

WOW, that's a big honking lens.

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#13 Brian Luenser

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:59 PM

My big lens came in today. Canon sent it to the store priority FedEx. They usually do not. I was not expecting the lens until next week. Yippee.

I am totally happy with it. But I was too busy at work to go get it so my wife had to get it. It came in a very big box and she had to get a cart at the tower to bring it in. I told her by text, "Don't hurt your back. Or worse, drop my lens."

I was disappointed that I could not go get it. My wife said it really drew a crow in the store. Nobody had seen one. They opened it to look at it. (Remember it comes in a $950. case that is very impressive. (I think you could successfully throw the lens off of a roof in its case. Lens is bigger than I thought by the photos. I think I need another new tripod and head. (Number 4 I think in 4 years.) This time I don't think I can get by with a 300 buck setup. I am going to have to bite the bullet and get a very big one. With a Gimbel head is what the pros say.

It drove me crazy that it was dark before I could get home. But in my cold stocking feet I pulled the beast out on my balcony for a half dozen shots. (Dark and foggy, so nothing too far away.) But here is a shot of the Montgomery Plaza Target that I walk to all the time. A bit more than a mile away. I am VERY happy by what I see so far.

Picture number one. (I could cry)

Posted Image
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#14 Ron Payne

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:39 AM

One word - WOW!! Kind of creepy though if I imagine it pointed at our windows! :roflol:
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#15 Brian Luenser

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:18 PM

From my i-phone cam this morning

See. I told you this lens was portable...
Posted Image


Posted Image
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#16 360texas

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:32 PM

Question? the last segment (with knob - pictured on my left near window) is that a 6 inch long lens sun shade ?



I think your tripod is rather light weight. YOU NEED AN OVERHEAD CRANE

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#17 Brian Luenser

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 05:09 PM

Question? the last segment (with knob - pictured on my left near window) is that a 6 inch long lens sun shade ?



I think your tripod is rather light weight. YOU NEED AN OVERHEAD CRANE


Yes. That last segment is the sun shade that comes with the lens. I have gotten to always have my sun shades on. Not just a bit of protection for the lens when dropped, but might keep the lens from getting scratched. Also acts like my telescopes dew shield. And I think very important for picture quality. (Keeping indirect rays off of the primary objective lens.) This shade reverses to allow the lens to fit in the case with the shield.

Am sure disappointed that I need another new tripod. The one you see here is probably sturdier than it looks but not sturdy enough. The lens has two holes to attach to a tripod, fore and aft with about 2" separating them. They are different size holes. I am using the smaller hole, and unfortunately the one not directly in the center of the weight. So my lens/camera has too much weight in the front. With full friction on the head, the lens still is trying to point to the ground. (forcing high ISO/shutter speeds at night until I figure it out.) This lens has its own strap. At least for now, when I go on the balcony I have both the lens strap and the camera strap around my head. Mack does not offer a warranty expensive lenses. I would like to not drop this lens off my balcony. I need to mount some kind of permanent strap for my junk when I am out there.
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#18 Brian Luenser

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:50 PM

Still horsing around with my new lens. (Too cloudy and foggy for meaningful shots...)

Posted Image


Crop of just Haltom Jewelers Windows on Main Street.
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Barnes and Noble
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#19 ramjet

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:02 PM

With that thing, I can see you becoming of interest to Homeland Security. :ninja: Kidding of course. As always, love your pics. There is no suitable adjective to describe that lens...

#20 Ron Payne

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:09 PM

There is no suitable adjective to describe that lens...


"Insane" comes to mind, meant as a compliment of course! I think if I zoom in on the photo just a bit, I can probably read the book in that guy's hands at B&N!
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#21 Brian Luenser

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:14 AM

Nice clear morning. Day off work. New lens. Life is sweet. (But about froze on my balcony with that 25mph North wind.) I had to bump up my ISO to like 640 just to get me speed fast enough. The building was swaying, my tripod was moving and my big lens was like a sale in the wind. (I have have a mind to weld a mount to my balcony and just forget trying to find a tripod sturdy enough.

This is a Elder Middle School. Used to be North side High School. A historic structure. A total jewel.
Posted Image

First Sun hitting the old Stockyards building.
Posted Image

Looking over Montgomery Plaza to Museum Place Building.
Posted Image
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#22 Matt615

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:39 PM

Some of the residents of Montgomery Plaza heard about your new lens and made sure to close their blinds...

#23 Phil Phillips

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 06:32 PM

Brian,
Now all you need is a 2X extender. 1600 mm!!!!!!!!!

#24 Brian Luenser

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:35 PM

Brian,
Now all you need is a 2X extender. 1600 mm!!!!!!!!!


I have one that I bought with my 400. Thanks for reminding me, Phil. Act surprised tomorrow...
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#25 David Love

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 09:52 PM


Brian,
Now all you need is a 2X extender. 1600 mm!!!!!!!!!


I have one that I bought with my 400. Thanks for reminding me, Phil. Act surprised tomorrow...


What's that puppy weigh?

Can't wait until you get your first shot of someone looking back!

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#26 Brian Luenser

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:21 PM

Just 10 lbs. Is a magnesium alloy. Not that ten pounds aint heavy...
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#27 Brian Luenser

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:15 AM

My first video with my new lens. As this is not cropped it gives you a pretty good idea of the magnification.

It was basically dark when I took this video. Was also in a 26 mph wind. I used the youtube stabilize function to edit. It stabilized the movie quit a bit but did knock of some quality in the process. I added the dorky music as it was better than the high winds hitting my cheap built in microphone on my camera. Traffic behind airport is Loop 820. About 7 miles away.


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#28 Cowtown Mike

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:57 AM

Good clip on Meachem airport. Yes the music was better than the wind and almost put me back to sleep. LOL

#29 Brian Luenser

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:22 PM

My new tripod and head came in today.(To safely use my new 800mm lens.) I am very happy with both. It is Gitzo's best tripod, a carbon fiber 5531s. And of course, the Whimberly II head. An American made beast. The Cadillac of tripod heads. It keeps the whole camera lens combo balanced. And ROCK STEADY. This is my first Carbon Fiber anything. I did not want to trust it. Sounds too much like plastic. But was assured it will last longer and be steadier than aluminum. About $1,600. worth of tripod and head. The cheapest I could really get by with with this new lens. Not only does it need to be very steady for pictures, it needs to securely hold this most expensive lens. (It is like I am holding up a new Ford Fiesta, value wise) But without any insurance. It falls, I cry.
Note there is no center column for the tripod. The best don't have one as it introduces wobble. Everything you see is head.

From my i-phone of course.
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#30 Ron Payne

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:25 AM

I assume this rig is registered with NASA? :swg:
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#31 Brian Luenser

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:10 PM

When I went out at 4:30AM for my Saturn shot, I took this shot of the tip top of the Fair Building. (My first building shot with this lens. Mostly the lens is too big for shots of buildings in this City. Maybe pointing toward Denton.)

This is a 4 second exposure in a breeze. My new tripod live up to its hype. This is the Terra Cotta top floor.

Not bad from the ground a few blocks away.
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And a crop of that. Not bad for total darkness. (City lights only. But not even much of that up 20 floors.)
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#32 David Love

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:15 PM

When I went out at 4:30AM for my Saturn shot, I took this shot of the tip top of the Fair Building. (My first building shot with this lens. Mostly the lens is too big for shots of buildings in this City. Maybe pointing toward Denton.)

This is a 4 second exposure in a breeze. My new tripod live up to its hype. This is the Terra Cotta top floor.

Not bad from the ground a few blocks away.
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And a crop of that. Not bad for total darkness. (City lights only. But not even much of that up 20 floors.)
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Bet you could read the wattage on that bulb if you were so inclined....

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#33 David Love

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:19 PM

My first video with my new lens. As this is not cropped it gives you a pretty good idea of the magnification.

It was basically dark when I took this video. Was also in a 26 mph wind. I used the youtube stabilize function to edit. It stabilized the movie quit a bit but did knock of some quality in the process. I added the dorky music as it was better than the high winds hitting my cheap built in microphone on my camera. Traffic behind airport is Loop 820. About 7 miles away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8YoJdYy0O8


...anyone know what the largest sized jet Meacham can handle?

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#34 Volare

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:11 PM

Oh you can easily get a 747 in there. Now you couldn't fuel it for a transcontinetal trip, but it would fit.

The long runway is 7500 ft long.

#35 Brian Luenser

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:07 PM

A shot of University and Jacksborro Hwy. during the Marathon.
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And a crop of that intersection. Pretty long way away. Am really happy with my lens.
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#36 Brian Luenser

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 05:08 PM

OK, here it is. My 2012 WORLD FAMOUS HILLBILLY Lens test. My wife asked me why I call it a hillbilly test. Here's why. So many variables that the test is not perfect by any means. Example, I was going to do this lens test yesterday afternoon. But I couldn't. Why? It was partly cloudy. I can't test one lens while the sun is hitting my target and then it be in the shade by the time I mount my next lens. So that is one variable. (Lighting and cloud conditions.) Another is wind. As I am on the 28th floor, if the wind is over 5 knots or so, this building sways. Not much, but if you are using an 800mm lens with a long exposure (Say 1/250) an image of the distance, later magnified is going to be blurry. I have learned these lessons the hard way. Many a night, I will get home from work in the dark, pick up my big binoculars and see that Dallas looks crystal clear and take some photos with my biggest lens... only later to see they are just a mess. They look out of focus for example. Problem was that maybe it was a very long exposure, like a second. In a second, if it is windy, my location is varying like a half inch in a second. (Completely guessing at the amount.) So I am asking too much of my gear to take a long exposure from a tripod on the balcony of a skyscraper. I have learned, that I am better to push the shot to 4000 ISO they accept the blur. (But except the graininess of high ISO in the dark, where it is most evident.)

So all that being said, there are many variables. Some I cannot control. So the test is not perfect by any means. But is it useful and telling? You betcha...

Let me start by showing you all my original photos in their native size. It will give you an opportunity to see the difference different focal length lens make. These photos are 100% un-molested. Did not crop, adjust contrast, sharpen or anything else. They were only dumped out of my camera and uploaded to my host server. Most of you know this, but for those that don't, I have a Canon 5D MKII camera. I am testing all my current lenses. I will label the lenses.
My target is the top of the Purina Mills plant on I-35, just East of Downtown. I am thinking about a mile from me.

Canon 17-40mm 4.0L This shot at 17mm.
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Canon 17-40mm 4.0L at 40mm
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Canon 50mm 1.2L
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Canon 70-200mm Zoom 2.8L IS (at 70mm)
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Canon 70-200mm Zoom 2.8L IS (at 200mm
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Canon 400mm 5.6L
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Canon 800mm 5.6L IS
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Canon 800mm 5.6L IS With Canon 2X adapter on. (1,600MM)
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And here is a crop from each image. (All a different lens) This magnification will really point out the difference in quality
of the long range capture.

The 17-40 at 17
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The 17-40 at 40
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The 50mm
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The 70-200 at 70
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The 70-200 at 200
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The 400
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The 800
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The 800 double to 1600
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The lenses in the test. I laugh, that I have to use my i-phone to take a shot of gillion dollars worth of photo gear.
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Conclusion? Well, it is pretty obvious that bigger lenses capture images far away better than smaller lenses. But I can take away these things. My new 800mm was $15,000.. Though an amazing piece of glass, and worth 15 grand to me, it is definitely not 8 times better than my 400mm even though it cost 8 times more. So unless you are rich, or take long distance shots for a living, Canon's biggest lens is not worth it. But I am thrilled with it and have no regrets. The fun is just beginning for me...
One other little takeaway. Still not sure the 2X doubler is worth 500 bucks. The reason is primarliy that you have to focus manually when it is on. A VERY critical procedure to high quality images. In fact, I am going to start having to hook my camera up to a laptop to focus good enough. I think you can see in my test that the 800 by itself produced a sharper image than the 800 doubled with the 2x. Had I had a better focus, I think it would win.
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#37 Volare

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:38 PM

Another way to compare would be the 400 x2 versus the 800.

With all this talk of swaying buildings, do you ever feel the building swaying on the 28th floor?

#38 Brian Luenser

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:36 PM

Another way to compare would be the 400 x2 versus the 800.

With all this talk of swaying buildings, do you ever feel the building swaying on the 28th floor?


Never. Not even my 5 years on 34. I do see evidence of the swaying, mostly curtains dancing in unison.
My wife does not like to think the building is swaying. One Saturday she came home from church and I had cookie sheets on the kitchen counters with little plastic parts floating in water. I was watching them dance around to the movement on a big wind day. She did not care for that a bit. (I originally told her that concrete buildings do not sway. Mostly true.)

I could have done the 400X2 and even the 70-200X2. But I think I would have found the same problem with the 800 needing a laptop attached to my camera to focus good enough.
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#39 Volare

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:56 PM

Yeah, I was just saying the 400x2 to compare to the $15k 800. So people could see the difference to see if the $$ is worth it (for them). Obviously it was for you!

#40 Phil Phillips

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 03:13 PM

Very usefull info. Thanks for the work. I agree with you on the cost of the 2X compared to the results. I rented one for a few days and found the same as you, so I bought a non-Canon for about $120 that I thought worked as well. I find I use it so rarely, glad I did that. My absolute favorite go-to lens for vacations is the 28-105L IS. Anytime you want to borrow to give it a try, let me know. My office is near you in the Mallick Tower, 7th floor. In fact, I keep expecting to see a photo of me sleeping at my desk posted here using your new 800mm since my office faces east!!!!!

#41 David Love

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 05:45 PM

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Conclusion? Well, it is pretty obvious that bigger lenses capture images far away better than smaller lenses. But I can take away these things. My new 800mm was $15,000.. Though an amazing piece of glass, and worth 15 grand to me, it is definitely not 8 times better than my 400mm even though it cost 8 times more. So unless you are rich, or take long distance shots for a living, Canon's biggest lens is not worth it. But I am thrilled with it and have no regrets. The fun is just beginning for me...
One other little takeaway. Still not sure the 2X doubler is worth 500 bucks. The reason is primarliy that you have to focus manually when it is on. A VERY critical procedure to high quality images. In fact, I am going to start having to hook my camera up to a laptop to focus good enough. I think you can see in my test that the 800 by itself produced a sharper image than the 800 doubled with the 2x. Had I had a better focus, I think it would win.


I'll bet you double check every zipper, clasp and connection on your backpack / carrying cases before you head out now!

Can you imagine having the same kind of oops with your newest equipment, gives me nightmares?

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#42 Brian Luenser

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 05:59 PM

Sure enough. The big lens is an uninsured, fragile, concealable Ford Focus. (Has just been out once in 3 weeks)
Plus, if something happens to me, and my wife has to sell the big lens, a scratch or two will knock off several thousand dollars of the value.

But I do not intend to baby the heck out of it. I have 2 straps around my neck the whole time I use it. On the tripod or not. I have my camera strap as well as the lens strap being utilized.

I had a stereo that I bought overseas in the Military. I spent $3,500. IN 1978 dollars. (10k) It was amazing. Cerwin Vega amp, Nakamichi Pre-amp, Nakamichi tuner. Bose 901's. I had a shabata diamonds stylus on my Audio Technica cartridge on my black widow tone arm on my direct drive quartz locked turntable. The punchline? You guessed it. I had it for 15 years. Turned it on maybe a dozen times. Was too scared something would break. I gave it all away when I wanted more space. (I still have the turntable... in my wifes trunk trying to give it away) So my lesson is, don't have such respect for something that you don't use it.
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#43 Brian Luenser

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:26 AM

Very useful info. Thanks for the work. I agree with you on the cost of the 2X compared to the results. I rented one for a few days and found the same as you, so I bought a non-Canon for about $120 that I thought worked as well. I find I use it so rarely, glad I did that. My absolute favorite go-to lens for vacations is the 28-105L IS. Anytime you want to borrow to give it a try, let me know. My office is near you in the Mallick Tower, 7th floor. In fact, I keep expecting to see a photo of me sleeping at my desk posted here using your new 800mm since my office faces east!!!!!


Thanks Phil. Not sure I knew anybody but Canon made 2X adapters for Canon lenses. I think I will extend my test with more use of the 2X, include mounting it on the 70-200 and the 400. The 70-200 2.8L IS is a pretty good candidate a it would keep its auto focus. No doubt your 28-105 L series lens is a jewel. If I had my lens selections to do over again I sure might have bought it rather than a few of my other lenses. (Like my 17-40 and 50. And even my 70-200 as a 2x on your 28-105 surely eliminates the need for the 70-200.) After reading my photo books early on I was pretty well under the belief that only prime lenses were really great. Wasn't until I got my 70-200 did I realize that a really good zoom (Like a Canon L series lens) could pretty well match a prime.

I did not know you worked in the Mallick Tower. An interesting building. Must have a great view of downtown from there. I bet ya a crisp 5 dollar bill you could not get us on the roof some time... BTW, I sure like the new blue lighting on the crown. Now don't be surprised when I get a shot of you snoozing at your desk there :laugh:
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#44 Phil Phillips

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:36 PM

The building was remodeled a year ago and is much nicer than it was. An interesting tornado relic is a big shard of glass embedded in the wall halfway up the two story atrium just inside the entrance. Management just covered it with a deep frame and left it. I went back and looked at some photos of the building and it really took a hit.

#45 Brian Luenser

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 06:59 PM

I bought a Canon Rebel T3 yesterday. For a special idea in my head. (Stand by. Act surprised)

3 Years ago my first digital SLR was a Rebel XSi. This T3 is a bit newer, has a newer processor and video. (Pretty sure my Rebel XSi was the last SLR Canon sold without video capability.) I think my T3 video is limited to 720 lines. That's OK for the most part. In fact, I have started shooting video on my 5D Mark II on a medium setting, like 720. I feel like it loads faster on YOUTUBE and more importantly downloads faster. A 1080P at 30fps takes so long to load up on YOUTUBE that nobody does it. In fact, I don't think most people these days even watch private videos. I have posted some what I thought was great video to see that a month later it has 6 views. (Thanks Dad) Unless of course it is on every major TV station in the World like my Fort Worth Explosions video. BTW I just sold another piece of that video to a major TV network (I think my contract forbids me discussing details at all). Not tons of money. But not pocket change. (Another 1099 for my 1040) BTW, have never deducted any photo expenses or equipment. (Stealing really if I did not really buy them for any kind of business, in my opinion) And not worth increasing my audit chances. I have nothing to hide but surely do not want to have to dig up years of contracts, receipts etc... I could only have a loss for a photo business as I have 30k in cameras and lenses in the last 3 years. (A thousand bucks if my wife is around)

This new T3. Looks and feels like a toy to me after my full frame big camera. It has my very first kit lens. (When I bought my XSi I just got the body) the lens is the 18-55mm with image stabilization. Wow, if that doesn't seem like a carnival trinket. Seems to take good shots, at least from the 10 shots I have taken. I just may line up a Hillbilly Camera comparison. (The 18-55 is an EF-S so will not go on my big camera, but I can use any of my L series big boy lenses on the T3 for a test.) I have thought about how funny my 800mm would look attached to my T3. It would work. Pretty sure the T3 is lighter than the leather lens cap on the lens.

I always kind of laugh when I take pictures of a camera with another camera. meaningful somehow. Like a snake eating a snake or something.

Shot of my new camera on my floor. BTW, is seems really strange having a built in flash again. (Not on my big camera)

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#46 360texas

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:57 AM

With all the lenses I think the T3 has a 1.6 crop factor so your 18 to 55mm is really a 18 x 1.6 = 28.8mm and 55 x 1.6 = 88mm So 29 to 88mm zoom lens. As you mentioned it is an EFS lens mount and won't fit on your 5dm2.

As mentioned when you put your big gun the EF 800? mm lens on it the 1.6 crop factor make that lens a 1280mm.

YEAH !

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