Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

Well here it is, Friday again. Seems it was already light outside a couple weeks ago. Winter's on it's way.Smiley Surprised

 

 




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Message 1 of 52 (1,851 Views)
Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

TGIF, agree CJ, and we've already lost an hour of daylight from a couple months ago.

 

Back to Spd's finding feathers all over his yard. Believe BeeBee was correct they're from doves and the most likely predator is a Coopers Hawk. Their diet consists mainly of other birds, they're numerous in the suburbs, and as can be read below doves are mentioned.

 

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birding/coopers-hawk/

 

 

I had about 20 Robins in my yard early in the morning last week and they disappeared real quick when a Coopers Hawk came rocketing through. He didn't get one and just ended up perching in a nearby tree. I've watched Coopers Hawks before and don't think I've ever seen such a faster/more maneuverable bird around here.

 

Yeah, you can tell Winter's coming since the Great Horned Owls are calling to each other like crazy during the cool nights. They mate/have their young in the winter months and are known as the "Lion of the bird world".

 

We just moved into another heat wave the past couple days and will be in the low 90's over the weekend. You can stick a fork in the crops around here with no rain and everything is drying up/dieing quickly. Corn is only about 4' high with little ears and not many soybeans on the browning plants themselves. Guess we're a little lucky we're right on the edge of the severe drought area and other states have suffered a lot worse.

 

Uniblurb3

If you get to thinking you're a person of influence, try ordering someone else's dog around.

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Message 2 of 52 (1,708 Views)
Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

We have a Red Tail that snags Doves in our neighborhood.

Message 3 of 52 (1,695 Views)
Employee

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

When I left for work just before 7am I was thinking I need to turn the light on in the laundry room to find the door to out to the car.
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Message 4 of 52 (1,692 Views)

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

What a beautiful bird.  Birds of prey are so amazing and graceful to watch.  Wish they would do something about the grackles around here.  There are times when it looks like Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 5 of 52 (1,688 Views)
Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

Know what you mean about the grackles OUfan. The wild grapes are ripe here and they move into the woods tree tops in giant flocks which must be near 1K. Sounds like bedlam (yep, 'The Birds') with them all squawking and raining seeds/wild grapes they knock off.

 

One of they identifying characteristics of a Coopers Hawk is their real thin tail when gliding down. But once they open it up and spread their wings they can turn on a dime.

 

Lots of Red-tails around here too Oz. Unfortunately their nest next to my drive in a high pine took a real beating with all the high winds we've had and I don't think they successfully raised a brood. Plus they're mortal enemies with the Great Horned Owls around here and the crows harass both species.

 

I'm still seeing fawns with spots here and they better grow up real quick before the cold weather hits.

 

Uniblurb3

If you get to thinking you're a person of influence, try ordering someone else's dog around.

Need help? Contact AT&T at 800-288-2020.
Message 6 of 52 (1,682 Views)
Expert

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

Off-topic from the off-topic ... Smiley Happy

 

I have a question for the photography buffs:

 

I have an old Canon EOS 10S 35mm film camera that still works very well.  I'm taking a business trip followed by a vacation soon, and would like a newer digital SLR to take with me.

 

Houston Camera Exchange will probably buy the 10S off me, but for a very low price (the only people who want them are photography students).  However, they will probably have some used digital SLRs available that I may want to purchase.

 

I'd like to stay with the Canon EOS line because I have 3 EOS EF lenses for the 10S that I believe will still work on the current Canon EOS line.  The question is -- what EOS digital SLR should I look for?  I don't really want to spend more than $500 (body only).  I think this puts me looking for a used 20D or 40D model.

 

Any comments/thoughts?  Should I go with this plan?  Any other Canon models I should look for?  Should I also see about selling the existing Canon EF lenses so that I could change manufacturers?  If so, who?  Nikon, et. al.?

 

Should I look at a new Canon xxD rather than a used?

 

Message 7 of 52 (1,655 Views)

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

At that price you are probably looking at a "newer" Rebel body.  Less features than some of the other EOS lines, but still takes great pics.  I've had my Digital Rebel since they first came out and it still takes great pics.  Will also fit your lenses.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 8 of 52 (1,642 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

SJ - I'm not that knowledgeable on cameras but I bought a Sony and it works quite well for myself and my wife.  Takes awesome pictures and we have been quite happy up to this point.  It comes in right at your price point.

"If you find this post helpful and it solved your issue please mark it as a solution.  This will help other forum members locate it and will also let everyone know that it corrected your problem. If they have the same issue they will know how to solve theirs"

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Message 9 of 52 (1,638 Views)
Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251


SomeJoe7777 wrote:

Off-topic from the off-topic ... Smiley Happy

 

I have a question for the photography buffs:

 

I have an old Canon EOS 10S 35mm film camera that still works very well.  I'm taking a business trip followed by a vacation soon, and would like a newer digital SLR to take with me.

 

Houston Camera Exchange will probably buy the 10S off me, but for a very low price (the only people who want them are photography students).  However, they will probably have some used digital SLRs available that I may want to purchase.

 

I'd like to stay with the Canon EOS line because I have 3 EOS EF lenses for the 10S that I believe will still work on the current Canon EOS line.  The question is -- what EOS digital SLR should I look for?  I don't really want to spend more than $500 (body only).  I think this puts me looking for a used 20D or 40D model.

 

Any comments/thoughts?  Should I go with this plan?  Any other Canon models I should look for?  Should I also see about selling the existing Canon EF lenses so that I could change manufacturers?  If so, who?  Nikon, et. al.?

 

Should I look at a new Canon xxD rather than a used?

 


I was told long ago that as for the bodies between Nikon and Cannon the advantages would be none they are both great.

Buy the one that fits your current lens collection cheaper that way or buy the one that has the lens you want they tend to vary in that department , a good example would be a sporting event most have both bodies so they can use the lens that fits the moment.

Message 10 of 52 (1,630 Views)
Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

SJ, did some searching around for Canon camera bodies. You probably could go with a used D40 body at a reasonable price but I'm not sure I'd want to go with a discontinued body to replace your discontinued 35mm. Then once you go to a D60 the prices skyrocket to $900 for new and only $100-$200 less used.

 

BeeBee has a point about the EOS Rebel bodies and this is what a friend of mine went with to use all his existing 35mm lenses with. His camera takes excellent photos and he has even had a few published.

 

In looking at different features guess you need to determine whether or not using the HD movie mode in 720p or 1080p is even going to matter? If I remember correctly you already have a great HD digital video camera and can still picture your Cape Canaveral rocket blastoff. And in a still digital shots is 12.2MP vs 18MP going to matter?

 

Seemed like B&H Photography is a good site to nose around but kind of in sticker shock. Below is a used Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital Camera body for $500.

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/831734-REF/Canon_5169B017AA_EOS_Rebel_T3i_Digital.html

 

But here's a new Canon EOS Rebel T3 Digital Camera and 18-55mm lens for $500.

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/753766-REG/Canon_5757B002_EOS_Rebel_T3_Digital.html

 

As you know to use PriceBlink and the above it $419 at 42nd Street Photo while selling for $500 at B&H.

 

I have an old 35mm Nikon with a bunch of great lenses and need to be doing the same thing you are. It used to be my brother's and has a real expensive 500mm zoom lens for taking Grand Prix type race car shots. But when I took it to a camera store I was told this lens would have problems when connecting to a digital camera body. Actually it was the camera which would have problems adjusting to the lens field. Not sure why?

 

You really need to get Phil on here and get his input. Good luck.

Uniblurb3

If you get to thinking you're a person of influence, try ordering someone else's dog around.

Need help? Contact AT&T at 800-288-2020.
Message 11 of 52 (1,622 Views)
Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

[ Edited ]

Uniblurb all Nikon lens work on all Nikon bodies its just with film  a 50mm was actually 50 and on a non DX digital its value would act as a 75mm or so I am told because of sensor size. I am still using a D80 but its all I need and the lens price has slowed my photo hobbie down still need a wide angle (expensive) and a 35 or 50 prime not sure yet.

Message 12 of 52 (1,606 Views)
Expert

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

[ Edited ]

Thanks for all the help, guys.

 

Houston Camera Exchange unfortunately did not offer me anything for the EOS 10S.  (I somewhat expected that might be the case).  They said that can't give 35mm film cameras away even with free tickets to an Astros game. Smiley Very Happy  Not sure which of those items is worth less.

 

But they had a very nice used EOS 40D for the right price, so I bought it.  I also did end up purchasing one lens, though, because my 3 lenses were 35-80mm, 28-105mm, and 70-210mm.  Because of the difference in size between a 35mm film frame and the digital image sensor in the 40D, all those focal lengths get multiplied by 1.6.  So those 3 lenses become the equivalent of 56-128mm, 44-168mm, and 112-336mm.

 

The 56-128mm is obviated because its entire range can be covered by the 44-168mm.  The 112-336mm is a very old lens from Sigma, apparently it's chip will not properly autofocus with the newer Canons.  It mounts on the body and can be used in manual focus mode, but I probably won't do that.  So that leaves only the 44-168mm as a good usable lens, and I wanted another lens to cover a bit more of a wide angle.

 

So I also bought a standard 18-55mm lens (equivalent of 28-90mm on a 35mm camera), which is also much lighter than any of the other lenses.

 

Then I had to add on an 8GB CF card, tripod mounting plate, UV filter, and polarizing filter. Smiley Surprised

 

The total went over my limit, but isn't that how it always goes when you do these things? Smiley Wink

 

So, I think I'm set.  I hope to get some good pictures (and video) while on my trip.  By the way, Uni, you're correct -- I already have a 1080p camcorder (also a Canon) that works very well, so any movie modes on this camera don't matter.

 

Message 13 of 52 (1,601 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

[ Edited ]

I'm no expert.  Just a serious hobbiest.   So.....

 

I own a Canon Rebel XSi which has the 12 mp sensor.  I have the original 18 - 55 mm lens that came with it and I purchased the 55 - 250 mm lens.  To convert these focal lengths to 35mm film sizes which most of us are more familiar with.....you multiply by about 1.6.

 

The latest Rebel model from Canon is the T4i.    If I could afford it I'd have one in a minute but I can't justify it.   If you can find a good price on the T3i that would be a good way to go.  Keep in mind that those older lenses might fit but probably not compatible with the auto exposure and focus of the latest models.  Also....the digital sensor is smaller than the 35mm film frame.  The film lens will work with the digital sensor but only part of the field will show in the picture.  In reverse....digital lenses will not work properly with the 35mm film camera because the image the lens produces is smaller than the frame size...causing, in many cases, a vignetting effect. (think I spelled that right)

 

There is no doubt that modern lenses are sharper than the older ones.  Exotic glass formulations containing rare earths also contribute to sharper images with less distortion, etc. etc.

 

For the T4i and including the 18 - 55mm kit lens you'll part with around $850.

 

There is not a whole lot of difference between the T3i and the T4i.  But a couple are important.  For example.....if you shoot sports and like to hold the button down for muliple exposures the T4i will take more in each burst and at a faster rate.   The internal firmware (electronics and programming) is the very latest version and THAT can be very important in the digital world.   But....in general....the T3i would be a great camera.  Perhaps the last one you ever buy.

 

If you don't like having to change lenses in the middle of taking pictures....you might buy the body only and then take a close look at the TAMRON 18 - 270mm zoom lens...with the new, quiet auto focus motor, etc.  This lens has received rave reviews.  Especially as an all purpose lens.....particularly for travelers.  It is an amazingly compact lens for such large range.  Distortion figures are really quite excellent for this kind of lens.  If I had the $500 to $600 to buy one I'd be a proud owner right now.  But I make do with my two Canon lenses.

 

Now....if interchangeable lenses are not important to you....Canon makes a camera, physically similar to a DSLR....the SX-40 (I think that is the model)  which has an extremely wide range zoom lens built onto it....but not user removeable.  I don't remember the focal length range and I'd have to exit this forum to go look it up.  But you can do that.  My grandson recently bought one and he loves it.  I think they are priced around $350 to $375.  It is a great all around camera.  The DSLR type viewfinder is NOT an optical finder like in a regular SLR.  Rather it is a high resolution LCD electronic viewfinder. 

 

Quality wise.....Nikon and Canon are  pretty much the same.  Tip top.  You really can't go wrong with either.  They generally have similar models at comparable prices but I'm not a Nikon man so I have not stayed abreast of their latest models.

 

RE Sony.  Also excellent quality.  Sony has made still cameras for many years.  But it was in the early 2000's that another famous maker, Minolta, decided to get out of the mass market and stopped making cameras.  Minolta made a deal with Sony.  All of the company's R & D in DSLR design was turned over to Sony when Sony bought out this part of the Konica/Minolta business.  Sony agreed to support warranties of Minolta cameras already sold and still covered.  Sony also agreed to use the Minolta lens mount so that all the zillions of Minolta owners with stables of that company's lenses would not get left with useless glass.  Currently....the higher end Sony lenses are designed by Zeiss and carry that brand name.  There is no doubt that they are excellent cameras.

 

Now...finally....Panasonic.   In the world of photography there is a brand name which carries an almost religious connotation.  Especially for its lenses.   I am referring to Leica.  Many photographers....professionals and serious amateurs alike....believe that the images produced by a Leica lens possess a beautiful quality that really cannot be defined.  More or less spiritual quality.  Contrast is usually more moderate and highlight and shadow detail seems to be better rendered by Leica lenses.  Panasonic high end cameras use Leica lenses.  My middle son uses one and, indeed, his images have wonderful quality.  Absolutely no argument here that Leica lens design is the best on the planet......at least not from me.   BUT...ain't there always a but?.....at least until recently Panasonc cameras have had some problems with image noise.  Not much you understand but it is measurable and in huge enlargments it has been visible.   I've not been following Panasonc's progress so perhaps this has been corrected.

 

Now is a good time to mention image "noise" in digital cameras.  Basically....the higher the resoution of the sensor....the more pixels are crowded into the same dimension area....resulting in less light gathering capability for each tiny pixel and, therefore, less signal output.  This is compensated for by higher amplification in the on-board circuitry....which, in turn, results in higher noise generation.  Manufacturers have spent a lot of time and money on this problem.  Some with greater success than others.  In my opinion Canon is one of the most successful....while still maintaining sharpness.  Other manufacturers..at least some of them...have countered the problem by sacrificing definition (sharpness).  My DSLR is 12 megapixels.  The Canon T4i has an 18 mp sensor.  But physically they are the same size so that is 6 million additional pixels crowded into the same space.  Get the picture?   The various solutions have been very creative.....both in the on-board firmware and in the design of the sensors themselves.  AND extensive research continues.  Some just accept slightly reduced sharpness which kind of "hides" the noise.

 

Remember when super high speed film emulsions became available?  They could take pictures in a lot less light but graininess of the image was a problem.  It never was completely solved.  Well....."noise" in a digital image results in a similar (not exactly the same) situation.  In all fairness I should point out that these imperfections don't really become apparent except in really large blow-ups or when cropping down to only small parts of an image.  Viewing distance is a factor also.  I've got a gorgeous 20" X 30" enlargement of a picture I took in the Canadian Rockies hanging over our fireplace.  That photo was taken with a 4 megapixel Minolta point-and-shoot camera.  Pixelation and noise are hardly noticeable.  But then...that large of a photo is normally viewed from several feet away.  Get my nose right up to it and, yes, I can see the impercetions.

 

Professional grade cameras don't really shoot much better pictures than the amateur variety like the Canon Rebel series.  BUT....for example....a 24 megapixel sensor is physically larger and thus sharper and less noise problems.  Also the camera is thoroughly sealed against dust and moisture, the shutters are tested for much heavier use, etc. etc. etc.    Great....but it all comes at a price.  Typically $2,000 to $6,000.  For a pro whose livelihood depends on getting good results.....that is justifiable.   But it ain't in my budget and I don't imagine it is in most of your budgets either.

 

The Canon T3i is still current.  It has very high resolution at 18 mp and noise is way down.  The images are very sharp and the ISO (we used to call it film speed ASA) can be pushed very high.  I've forgotten the exact figure.

 

For really thorough information and testing of photographic equipment....only one site really stands out.  Go HERE.   IMHO it is the very best and there are reviews on digital cameras dating back years.  Thorough lab testing...sample photos....reader opinions....comparisons with other brands of comparable cost....etc. etc. etc. 

 

Guess I'd better shut up.  Your quarter's worth ran out.

 

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money. .......Margaret Thatcher
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 14 of 52 (1,582 Views)
Expert

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #251

Phil, thank you very much for that write-up.  That brings together a lot of things that are specific to digital SLR photography that are exceedingly useful.

I know a decent amount (not a huge amount) about photography, but I learned it all back in the film days, so digital is completely new to me.  Many of the same things apply, but not all.

I think we may have been posting at the same time ... in my post above I explained that I went ahead and got a used 40D.  It's 10 Mpx, and only 1 generation out of date (the current equivalent model is the 60D).

I actually did read the review of the 40D on dpreview.com, and they liked it.  I'll have to say, that's one of the most comprehensive reviews (and websites) I've seen.  Definitely will be going back there to read more about digital photography.

I'm going to try to take some test photos this coming week and see how they turn out.  Guess I need to figure out how to manipulate RAW images. Smiley Very Happy

 

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