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About SurfGazer

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    Elite Member


  • What I do for a living:
    IT Consultant
  1. Generally speaking those higher end lenses have better image qualities. e.g. those 300 F2.8 prime lenses are each manufacturer's showcase lenses, and each has put lots of engineering weight behind it to make it the best of the best. Of course, I'm not saying the F4 primes are bad, they are just generally not as great as the F2.8 lenses. So if I'm looking for the best image quality that I could get, I would use the 300 F2.8 lenses even when I shoot at F5.6 or F8 (more on aperture below). But considering the cost, weight and use case, those F4 are still very very good when shoot at F5.6 or F8. If I were you, I would go for the F4 lenses for the surfing pictures. They are lighter, with good image quality. Also, if I were you, I would always shoot at the maximum aperture (in this case, F4) to have better subject and background isolation, all you need to do is to increase the shutter speed and/or dial down the ISO during sunny days. These good prime lenses (F2.8, F4 primes) are designed to have their best image qualities even shoot at their maximum aperture, only low end lenses will require us to step down the aperture to get decent image quality.
  2. It really depends on the camera body that accepts what type of memory cards, e.g. My Nikon D500 takes one XQD card and one SD card, my Nikon D810 takes one Compac Flash and one SD card. I use various brands of cards, e.g. Lexar, Samsung, SanDisk, but try to stick with these name brands, and have not encountered card malfunction issues. Another thing worth mentioning is to pick those high throughput/speed cards as much as possible, especially in shooting continuous mode and don't want to see the cards to slow down the buffer draining speed. One important thing to know is try to use the camera's "format" as much as possible when erasing ALL the pictures on the memory cards, individually deleting picture files on the cards is not a good way to free up space or empty the cards. This is very much like computer's hard disk that you don't want to see the data fragmentation on the disk.
  3. Hi John, As I mentioned, I use Lightroom as the first step of my entire photo processing, for most of my photo adjustment, probably about 90%. All basic changes such as cropping, exposure adjustment (local and global), highlight/shadow, color saturation, initial de-noise, minor color adjustment, etc. Then the Lightroom adjusted file will be sent to the Photoshop for further noise removal (using plug-in such as Nik Collection's Define, or Topaz's Denoise). If there is some minor edit needed, e.g. to remove a small tree branch in a bird picture, I will usually do it in Photoshop at this step, finally in the Photoshop, the picture will be sharpened and exported to become the final product. For me, I use both software since each is good at some areas (or at least I'm more familiar with certain adjustments in one software) or at least easier doing certain adjustment in a specific software. I'm attaching your picture that I have adjusted in Lightroom, with the adjustment dials I used in lightroom. Eric
  4. Hi John, I use the combination of Lightroom and Photoshop in my photo editing process. Most of the photo adjustments are done in lightroom, only some complicated editing will be done in Photoshop. On top of that, I use some other plug-ins, such as Nik Collection, Topaz, etc for some specific adjustment (mainly for noise control). In reality, all these software and plug-ins can do what you are trying to achieve: localized adjustment. For the specific adjustment you mentioned here, the dial that you wanted to change is the "highlight", not the overall "exposure" or the "brightness". When you bring down the picture highlight, the extreme white area will lose its intensity. If you change the overall exposure or the brightness, you will bring down the entire picture's brightness and cause the problem you are seeing. Most basic photo editing software has the capability of adjusting "highlight" and "Shadow". Hope this helps. Eric
  5. I use Lenscoats and Rolanpro on my big lenses, but mainly for preventing scratches or nicks on the lenses. These "coats" are not meant for waterproofing the lenses, so rain or wave splashes will still cause the wet of the lenses.
  6. Go for the 150-600mm, doesn't matter if it's Tamron or Sigma, you won't regret it. If you are looking for this range of telephoto lenses, you really want as much as possible. You already have the 70-300, the 100-400 won't change too much for you in terms of reach, though you do get a big bump up on picture quality with the L lenses. I use Nikon D500 (1.5x crop, similar to your Canon 7D2), and I use 200-500mm zoom and 600mm prime lenses. As Jim DE, Plug and teaser mentioned, if we are shooting birds, we always want more reach (longer lenses).
  7. I have a 1.4 TC and I'm a Nikon shooter. I used to have a 300mm f4 lenses only, that 1.4TC helped tremendously when the subjects were farther away, especially in good lighting. Now, I'm having more lenses choices and the 300mm is only used when and where a 300mm is appropriate, so the 1.4TC has not been used often anymore. My conclusion is that the 1.4TC doesn't degrade too much of the picture quality when the lighting is good enough, especially when the TC is used for fast prime lenses (e.g. F2.8, F4 lenses), and it doesn't impact the AF speed too much either with these fast lenses. But for slower lenses, I would definitely avoid using the TCs, I would rather crop pictures in this situation. Avoid 2.0TC at all cost, most of those 2.0TC will probably only produce ok quality pictures for F2.8 lenses. The 1.7TC is somewhere between.
  8. Hi Young, I have been using D500 for the last couple of years, but I don't recall there is "custom setting" or "user setting" options to remember certain set of parameters, at least I personally never used on this camera (I did use "User setting", those U1, U2 when I had my Nikon D7000 years ago). As to the Micro Focus adjustment, aka AF-Fine Tune in Nikon world, I would say it's more an feature for prime lenses since their focal length is fixed and once the AF-Fine Tuning is done for that focal length, it will be accurate thereafter. The camera will remember only one single AF-Fine Tuning value for the particular body+lenses combination. But for zoom length, it's not easy since each AF-Fine Tuning will need to be set for different focal length, e.g. your 150-600 lenses, if you use at 600mm all the time, yes, you can fine tune at 600mm, F6.3, the camera will save that value for you once the AF-Fine Tune is complete. But when you zoom out at 300mm, e.g, that saved AF-Fine Tune value might not be applicable anymore. But this is not the reason that Nikon suggest you not to fine tune, I do AF-Fine Tune for all my prime lenses. If you suspect your camera+lenses AF is off, what you can do is use your Tamron's Tap-in to adjust the lenses (at least for that Tamron lenses), that will give you the capability to tune at least 3 different focal length, e.g. you can tune the 600mm, 400mm, 200mm, etc. if these are the most frequently used focal length. Hope this helps. Eric
  9. Incredible shot, Sony got some real good cameras and lenses lately!
  10. Striper, Not sure if you have got what you were looking for yet, also what size of prints you are looking for? SG
  11. It probably depends on the camera, each brand of camera might have slightly different ways of naming the files. I'm using Nikon, so at least on my cameras, the picture name will rotate after it reaches its maximal number, e.g. if start with ABC00000 and goes all the way to ABC99999, then it will wrap around becomes ABC00000 again. The file name number is controlled by the camera body, not by card. So when start using a new card, if on the old card the last file name was ABC12345, then on the new card, it will start with ABC12346. As fluke is doing, I also download pictures to computer and separate them by date folder, so it has very less chance to have a overwritten file in the same folder/date.
  12. WOW .. this is really cool
  13. Amazing! Thanks for sharing!!
  14. Thank you for the info!
  15. Great eagle pictures, Rick! How is the eagle activity there now? I'm wondering if it's worth driving down there now, in the last two years, I started to make trips to the dam around mid October.