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Thread: Enjoying a Canon 40D :)

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    Default Enjoying a Canon 40D :)

    I upgrade form a Canon Rebel XT to a 40D, and let me tell you that there is a pretty good learning curve. I was a little disappointed at the beginning, because I could not get the camera to focus just as easily as my XT. However, I bought a Canon EOS Digital Photography Guide and read for a while, and then read all the tips and hints at one of the Canon photography forums, and finally things clicked on. I took a whole bunch of photos like these two today, and I was pleasantly surprised. All I did was to watch the focus points to make sure they were spot-on the subject, while ignoring the rest of the frame. Also, I paid close attention to the WB, and switched it accordingly.

    Use a Sigma 70-300mm set to macro on the flower, and a little lens that I rally like, a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 on "Abbie."


    Rose after petals fell

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    I upgrade form a Canon Rebel XT to a 40D, and let me tell you that there is a pretty good learning curve.
    I use Nikon equipment, so I'm basically unfamiliar with differences in Canon cameras from one model to the next. Can you indicate why you decided to upgrade? Not so much what a Rebel XT might lack, as opposed to what kind of images that you've decided you want that a 40D will do better in some way than the Rebel XT? Or perhaps it's also just easier to use (longer battery life, lower weight, more accessories????), that's the sort of thing that would be interesting to hear about.

    I took a whole bunch of photos like these two today, and I was pleasantly surprised. All I did was to watch the focus points to make sure they were spot-on the subject, while ignoring the rest of the want that a 40D will do better in some way than the Rebel XT?frame. Also, I paid close attention to the WB, and switched it accordingly.
    With Nikon cameras I'm always having to be very sure that I plant the focus point right on something that has high contrast. With the older cameras that was more difficult, but newer models have more places in the viewfinder to put the focus point. Before it was sometimes necessary to focus and then disable autofocus while reframing and shooting. That tends to slow things down. The camera I use now has lots of points though, and it's easy to use my right hand thumb to shift them around while looking through the viewfinder, so keeping the framing right and getting the focus point over something that is sure fire to have enough contrast isn't hard.

    I set WB to Auto, and leave it there. But to begin with I shoot RAW only (or at least 99.99% of the time). I use UFRAW to convert camera data to an image, and it has an Auto mode itself (which sometimes is preferable to what the camera's Auto produced), plus it can be set to whatever the camera selected, or to any of the available preset in the camera (well, almost...). Basically by using Auto on the camera I can have two forms of Auto or manually pick any of the camera modes. Works fairly nice.

    The only catch to the above would be if I shot JPEG, where one might want to use the "fine tune" feature that the camera provides. For any one of the preset WB selections the camera can be adjusted in either of two colors for plus or minus several steps. The fine tune steps have not been added to UFRAW though. (I'm the one who provided data for the preset modes, and chose the option of not making 100+ fine tune adjustments, each with a test image, for each and every preset! So I can't complain that it isn't there. It looked just like real work to me...)

    and a little lens that I rally like, a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 on "Abbie."
    Don't know 'bout that lense, but I like that picture... almost. I do like that dog, definitely! For my tastes I'd like to see the background more out of focus. Either a wider aperture or a longer lens (or photoshop/gimp).

    With summer here, and sunlight coming through the windows of the local joint where we sit and pound on the table every day, I'm back to taking pictures in low light of people under mixed daylight from a window and incandescent room lighting. But the background is always full of junk. So I'm now putting an 85mm f/1.8 lens on the camera fairly often rather than the 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 that I like for a walk around (this is a full frame camera, so that's the same as it would be for 35mm film). That has been great fun, because the effect of the narrow depth of field of the 85mm lens is so nice with a FF camera (and I hadn't used that lense much for a long time just because on a 1.5x crop camera the DOF isn't as significant, and the zoom lenses were much more useful and had just as nice a bokeh otherwise).

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    I just could not resist the instant rebate offered by Canon, which placed a 40D body at $939.00, which translates to $100.00 more for what I paid for my XT nearly four years ago. While the XT is similar to what a Nikon D40 is, Canon's 40D is one step below its line of professional cameras. I though of buying a full-size sensor camera instead of the 40D. This camera is the 5D, which is an old model but regarded as a top camera on image quality, specially for landscapes and portraits. It has become a classic already.

    By buying the 40D, I can continue using the lenses I already have instead of having to buy high quality L glass designed for full-size sensors. With the 40D I can use EF as well as EF-S glass, and its crop factor extends the range of the glass. With the 5D, I would not have had this added range. As far as I know, all modern digital SLR cameras use the difference in contrast to lock focus.

    Added benefits (40D over XT):
    a. Live-View, which I can use for macro photography
    b. Faster shooting, up to 6.5 fps instead of 3 fps
    c. Complete control on all the presets used in the shooting modes. I can adjust just about every thing, and then save up to 3 custom settings for me to use depending on shooting conditions
    d. Stronger and more weather resistant body (instead of plastic)
    e. A step closer to Canon's professional cameras

    I shoot RAW, too, but switch WB from auto to some of the other modes, that way i don't have to adjust on the computer later. The Tamron above is a very nice little lens. It's quite fast, sharp, and I bought it to replace Canon's 18-55mm kit lens. I plan to buy a "nifty 50" in the near future, in f/1.4. This version costs $300.00, the f/1.8 costs around $80.00, but the f/1.2 costs nearly four times as the f/1.4.

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    Default Great

    Ray, I REALLY like #1 (fresh rose). Especially the dark background. Your border really adds to it too.
    It might be time to try some canon lens for possibly faster focus (?).
    You can set your preferred focus point to where you usually put your subject. Don't forget your exposure lock--it will come in handy when you shift your frame after focusing. -ideas to play with-
    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by BTK View Post
    Ray, I REALLY like #1 (fresh rose). Especially the dark background. Your border really adds to it too.
    It might be time to try some canon lens for possibly faster focus (?).
    You can set your preferred focus point to where you usually put your subject. Don't forget your exposure lock--it will come in handy when you shift your frame after focusing. -ideas to play with-
    Ben
    Thanks, Ben.

    While with the XT is was much like point and shoot, the 40D forces me to take charge of it. This may be the most significant difference between the two, at least in regards to better images. Now I have to think about the shot before I press the shutter button. That gives me time to think about what I am trying to achieve, and how to do it (what controls to change or adjust, etc.).

    I have been shooting in Av, TV, P modes most of the time, and can tell the difference in image quality since I can control the camera more each day. But don't really have the time to experiment with M at the moment. Someday, maybe, I will buy a couple of old Zeiz lenses, place a Pentax mount/adapter to use on Canon, or even an old Nikkor f/1.4 I have. Everything would have to be manually controlled, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    I shoot RAW, too, but switch WB from auto to some of the other modes, that way i don't have to adjust on the computer later.
    White Balance is not applied to the RAW data though, it's a correction that is only made when an image format, such as JPEG, is generated. Hence you do make that adjustment on the computer later. When shooting RAW all that happens is the selected WB mode, or actually the set of channel multipliers for the mode selected, is noted in the meta data and then when the raw data is converted the software may be configured to use the same correction the camera would have used. It can be configured to use a different set too...

    As I mentioned, I use UFRAW to convert raw camera data. It has WB options that are identical to the camera's options. That is made available initially by someone simply setting the camera to each given WB mode, making an exposure, and then looking at the Exif data to see what the channel multipliers are listed as. UFRAW was then coded to have the same labels for options with those same multipliers (for each specific camera). Each time a new camera comes out, the maintainer of UFRAW has to wait until someone who buys that model is kind enough to record the data and send it to him.

    Hence, at least with UFRAW (and I would bet this is true with virtually all RAW converters), it makes absolutely no difference what the camera was actually set to when an image was exposed, it can be processed with any of the possible WB modes... with the single exception that if the camera is not set to Auto WB then the cameras auto WB detection adjustment cannot be applied later (because the camera supplied multipliers will be those of only the mode that is selected, and the cameras idea of what it should be is not recorded and therefore lost forever).

    If the camera is in Auto, the camera will provide what it calculates as the right multipliers. The converter can use those if it chooses. Otherwise it can calculate its own idea of what it should be, or use any set of multipliers that are the same as the cameras preset modes can also be used.

    Hence if you shoot RAW (and certainly if you use UFRAW but I'd bet it is the same with almost any converter) there is a disadvantage to setting the camera to anything other than Auto WB. You gain nothing by selecting any specific mode, but lose the option of seeing what the camera thought it should be.

    For the 40D UFRAW has options for Daylight (5032K), Shade (6565K), Cloudy (5745K), Tungsten (3245K), Fluorescent (3736K), and Flash (5931K), which are identical to the WB modes the camera would use if you shoot JPEG. (Note though that the color temperature figures I've given are as calculated by UFRAW from the appropriate multipliers, and will be close but not necessarily the same numbers that Canon might list for the same multipliers.)

    You can use any of them (or use the multipliers the camera listed, which would be identical if a mode is selected but could be anything if Auto WB is used) or you can ignore them all and let UFRAW decide what it thinks it should be (which at least with my cameras is sometimes exactly the same, and sometimes very different, so it is worth having both the Auto WB from the camera and another Auto from UFRAW too, because almost always one of them is very good).

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    Default Floyd

    If you had a Canon, you wouldn't have to mess with your UFRAW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BTK View Post
    If you had a Canon, you wouldn't have to mess with your UFRAW.
    If that's your best troll, don't bother.

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    Thumbs up Good to hear...

    Glad you are enjoying your Canon 40D Ray. I have one myself. Amazing camera. I am sure you will continue to enjoy it for some time. Nice shots also. Thanks for sharing.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    I shoot Canon and almost always in raw. I don't use UFRAW, but I do the same as Floyd. Auto WB, and adjust during conversion.

    I was often adjusting the jpg image files for contrast, color, and exposure anyway, and found that using a good raw processor on all files was actually faster than tweaking half the images into Photoshop. Besides, the quality is better after -- a short learning curve.

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    Thanks to both of you for the tips on WB and UFRAW.

    Getting ready for a trip down the Richardson to the Copper (dip-net), but if you have any more tips or suggestions, I am willing to listen. I will be back in a few days.

    Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    Thanks to both of you for the tips on WB and UFRAW.

    Getting ready for a trip down the Richardson to the Copper (dip-net), but if you have any more tips or suggestions, I am willing to listen. I will be back in a few days.

    Thanks again.
    Given the numerous scenic landscapes of rivers and sloughs that you've posted, that should be one very productive trip! A good suntan, a cache full of fish, an education using a new camera... and we'll get a few images to look at too!

    Whatever, when you get back, post something tell us about the work flow you use to process your images. (It won't make total sense to me because of the different computer platform, but some parts are necessarily universal, and that's always a useful exchange of information.)

    Also, I'm not sure what Canon has in the way of exposure metering and on camera tools to deal with exposure (such as the histogram and a highlight display that blink where the image is over exposed). Using the tools other than the traditional light meter can be much more accurate, but it is non-inuitive and unpopular with old photogs that took 3-4 decades to finally figure out through the lens light metering! But that is a good area to learn more about when you step up into the higher end range of cameras.

    When you get back...

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    Canon cameras have options to show the histogram & blinking areas for blow highlights and over dark shadows, pretty much like the Nikons. And I agree, while not intuitive at first blush, they provide the best metering solutions. The 40D offers a spot meter, but I have never even tried it. I've gotten so used to the histogram, I can't see the use of it anymore. I even have a hand held 1 degree spot meter at home that never gets used anymore. Why bother?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    Canon cameras have options to show the histogram & blinking areas for blow highlights and over dark shadows, pretty much like the Nikons. And I agree, while not intuitive at first blush, they provide the best metering solutions. The 40D offers a spot meter, but I have never even tried it. I've gotten so used to the histogram, I can't see the use of it anymore. I even have a hand held 1 degree spot meter at home that never gets used anymore. Why bother?
    I figured that Canon was probably just about exactly the same as Nikon, but didn't really know. Nikon doesn't have a blink on underexposure display, only for overexposure.

    I'm like you as far as ignoring the light meter most of the time. I pretty much leave it on "spot", and usually use that when I do want it. In a way that's a bit hilarious, as Nikon has this astounding "Matrix" metering system that is reputed to work very well. But it is too complex for a human to predict what it is going to do, and I want to control exposure (just because that's part of the enjoyment I get from photography).

    But there are times! I saw a very good example described a couple days ago in another forum where the discussion was about Auto-ISO (which doesn't normally enter my world either). But the comment was that, with the wide ISO range of the Nikon D3, if one sets up a shutter speed and an aperture for the desired effect, and then has to deal with rapidly changing lighting, the Auto-ISO is really nice. The example was a wedding: following a couple coming out of the church from dim light into bright sunlight! The only way to do that quickly enough and get the shots needed is to use the light meter, and using Auto-ISO is perfect except that one has to watch each exposure to make sure it doesn't transition into totally blown highlights (when the auto adjustment hits the limits that have been set, it doesn't change other settings to compensate).

    Hmmm... flash (which I don't often use either) is another example where metering might be more useful than not.

    Hence, while my prefered style is one that doesn't need the use of a light meter very often, for some types of work that would not be true and some photographers might want to use a light meter most of the time.

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    40D's are a great Camera. Much improved over the 30. I just found a cheap source for batteries for them as well. $11.95 each and they last at least as long as the Conon batteries.
    Tennessee

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    Here is the link for the battery source:
    http://www.diamondbackbatt.com/canon...11battery.aspx
    Tennessee

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    Default Follow-up

    Will post again later, and maybe a photo or two. Just came back early from Chitina when I dip-net for salmon (upstream from the bridge). The fishing was quite poor, including a few salmon being caught by the fish wheels. My friend (plus kids), and I tried drifting from the boat a few times, and from the shore at the other side, but decided that such catch would be much cheaper at Fred Mayer than burning fuel with the boat. We were got there Thursday, and left Friday morning almost empty handed. Caught a couple of kings from the boat, and five reds from shore. We usually go there twice per season, and although we both can keep a large catch, his is much larger because he has four kids I only keep around 4 kings and 20 reds per season, which is plenty for my wife and I plus the sons when they come to visit sometimes.

    It's sort of expensive this year with the high price of fuel, so we stock-up in Fairbanks top-off at Delta Junction when we have to (cheaper at end of town on the way out), and bypass Glennallen where it costs a fortune.

    Took a few Ok photos, but i have to remember not to get so excited when I see a moose and forget to set the camera and lens for the occasion. For example, switch to aperture priority to achieve more or less DOF and so forth Luckily I don't do the same when hunting anymore. But let me tell you! that first, second, and third moose I shot were pure miracles under the adrenaline rush! I am glad I was younger and my heart could take it.

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    Default Rinbow Ridge

    This one is not a particularly good photo. It is kind of weird because of the lack of dark colors. The mountains are called Rainbow Ridge. Maybe part of the Rainbow Mountains? Alongside the Richardson Highway, between Summit Lake and Delta Junction. It's perhaps the most scenic area near the lake, except that there is little vegetation. But there are lots of rust and orange colors near the top of the mountains, which sometimes makes for a spectacular view.

    For those of you who want to know what I did to take and then process this photo: I mounted the camera on a tripod, and use a slightly slow shutter speed. The image was a little over-exposed, so I "underexposed" it using PSE6 for the Mac (same as the PC) to darken it a little, and increased sharpness to perhaps 25%. Finally, converted the image from 16-bitts channel to 8, and ran it through "Auto Smart Fix." However, this process overexposed it a little, so adjusted the brightness down a little.

    I save the original RAW, plus a 16-bitt channels original copy of the RAW image in TIFF, and then work on a 8-bitt copy of the TIFF image. I also save this 8-bitt TIFF as another original. From TIFF copy, then it goes into JPEG to post here. The "original images are save to external hard drives, and to DVDs for storage.

    The frame is one of numerous that I bought from "shooterfreaks.com" for PSE6. By the way, if you really want to see some of the best photos around, take a look at that forum. I don't post there, since I am not up to that caliber of photography.

    In this photo, the camera is pointed at the top of the mountain, from perhaps 3' from the water.

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    This one is similar, except that it shows a tree at the left, and converted to B&W with an infrared effect. I am not too crazy abut this photo, but my wife likes it

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    Default Nice Job Ray from AK !!

    Amazing post to read and de-cipher.

    Great photographs.. the portrait of the dog ! that is a classic for sure !!

    Great composition !

    In today's world of digital (thinkers). it seems like a real pain to create an image.

    give me a Pentax K1000 no batteries no light meter, 24 exposures of FILM.

    I bet anything I can generate more $$ from those 24 exposures, then you can (floyd davidson) with 10,000 of your professional digital nikon images.

    I had to fall down laughing when I saw your barrow post !! 1 person responded in 5 days !! what made this post so comical was the fact you plastered your name, copyright notice and e-mail all over each image but totaly forgot to describe what is going on in the photographs. outstanding job!!

    digital sure has taken the creative-ness out of photography.. the CAMERA does it all. auto focus, auto WB, autoISO, auto - this & auto that. no wonder some people cannot grasp the basics of the "Art of Photography" !!


    I will purposely stay away from each of those two brands of cameras just for one reason.. .. to PROVE it can be done with any camera !!

    If you are purchasing a lens for your camera and you spend the extra money to purchase a 1.4 lens over a 2.8 ??? I would take the 2.8 lens anyday of the week. Only because.. I NEVER EVER open a lens to those f-stops to create any image. It is impossible to get the detail and razor sharpness using an f-stop of 1.4 I would not waste me time or $$

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