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Photography QnA: Problems with Photo Equipment - Tips & Tricks

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Category: What's Wrong With My Photographic Technique? : Problems with Photo Equipment - Tips & Tricks

Looking for photo equipment tips & tricks? Ask all of your photo equipment questions in this Q&A.

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Photography Question 
Freddy Kietzmann
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 3/18/2008
  1 .  adobe bridge problem
I am no longer able to retrieve my keywords in adobe bridge (CS3 Photoshop). The find and search no longer works. Can anyone provide some help or a link where I get some tech support?

Freddy Kietzmann

10/19/2013 5:07:34 AM

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Photography Question 
Emile Abbott
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Emile
Emile's Gallery
emile-abbott-photography.com

member since: 9/29/2004
  2 .  How to refold a 5X7' collapsable B&W background
I just purchased a 5 X 7 foot collapsable background for doing portrait work. I comes in a round shape about 2 feet wide in a bag and expands out to 5' wide and 7' tall and has black on one side and white on the other side for use. My problem is there were no instructions on how to refold it back into the round shape. It seems like it might take two people but so far I have been unsuccessful in getting it back into the round bag. Any suggestions.
Emile
egabbott@rocketmail.com

9/1/2013 2:14:10 PM

  Sounds like one of the round collapsible reflectors - same principle. I suggest doing a google search on it. May sound silly but I bet you can find a youtube video of someone demonstrating it. For my reflector, I just hold either side and kind of twist my hands/wrists in opposite directions, right hand clockwise and pushing forward, left hand counter clockwise and kind of pulling backward. It's hard to explain.

9/1/2013 10:14:51 PM

  Nikki is correct on both accounts. It is hard to explain and there are youtube videos that demonstrate the procedure. Once you watch it being done it makes perfect sense and will fold up easily.

9/3/2013 7:05:52 AM

  One hand and 10 o'clock, the other at 4 o'clock and twist inwards toward each other twisting it in what feels like a figure 8 position.

9/3/2013 10:12:48 PM

  Thanks Nikii, Dayna and Dennis.

9/4/2013 7:04:51 AM

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Photography Question 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  3 .  Sensor Sensibilities
Has any one tried manually cleaning their full-frame sensor with one of those swab kits?
I tried to swab my D-800 sensor but I just made a mess of things! I can't seem to get rid of the residue.
(With my D300, it was a no-brainer.)

Local shops won't touch it, and I'd like to avoid sending the camera to Nikon to get it cleaned.

...any advice??

8/23/2013 2:17:50 AM

  I use sensor swab by photographic solutions along with eclipse all the time. About the only advice I can give is to make sure you have the right size swab. The real trick is to use the right angle and pressure and a smooth stroke. Try to use just enough pressure so that the swab doesn't chatter when you drag it along the sensor. My first attempts were a disaster to. Just keep at it....it's true...practice makes perfect.

Nick.

8/27/2013 4:23:31 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
 
 
  Early Instar Swallowtail (Papilio)
Early Instar Swallowtail (Papilio)
 
  Enlarged Portion of Frame
Enlarged Portion of Frame
 
 
Thanks Nicholas.
I know all about having the right sized swabs. (...after first having achieved disastrous results by using the wrong size.)
When I acquired the proper sized swab kit, I assumed that my dilemma would have been licked, so to speak.
I've attached a recent photo to illustrate exactly what I've been dealing with.

The good news, is that subsequent attempts in removing the residual streaks and spots have produced much better results, so at least I know I'm on the right track.

8/27/2013 5:47:45 PM

  Yikes.....I thought I had a problem because I couldn't get rid of some stubborn dust. I'm wondering if that is grease that somehow got on your sensor.

BTW is that the 800 or the 800E. I'm looking to buy an 800E.

8/28/2013 10:13:16 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Those streaks appeared after I attempted to clean a few dust specs.
That is residue left from my (failed) attempt at swabbing.
As mentioned, subsequent attempts have looked much better, so I think I'm feeling confident in my decision not to send it out to Nikon to be cleaned.

BTW, mine is a D800...not D800E.

8/28/2013 2:04:39 PM

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Photography Question 
Camille Jones

member since: 9/16/2009
  4 .  Canon 5D Mark III multiple cards
How do I designate which card will be used? I am unable to locate the answer in the instruction manual. Somehow it switches cards without shooting video at all! Surely this is a simple setting which I am missing!

5/2/2013 2:12:48 PM

  In the menu, go to "Record func+card/folder sel." Hit the set button. Go to "Record/play". Hit the set button. Choose "1" (your cf card), or "2" (your sd card). Hit set... :-)

5/4/2013 11:29:11 AM

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Photography Question 
Meghan Gonski

member since: 9/7/2007
  5 .  dedicated flash
So does ANYONE know how to change the ISO or f/stop on a dedicated flash when using it wireless off camera? I can't figure it out by Google or my 1 page flash manual.
I'm going to ask my instructor tomorrow but hoping someone could answer tonight as I'm taking pictures right now. I don't really want to keep my camera at only the flash settings. :(
Vivitar DF-483-CAN Series 1 (you don't have to have the same flash as me; just suggestions could set me on the right track maybe)

2/5/2013 1:34:02 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  If it's dedicated and wireless, doesn't it operate by changing the power output based on what you set the camera to?

2/5/2013 10:49:28 AM

Meghan Gonski

member since: 9/7/2007
  I don't know but when it's off camera it doesn't show the same ISO or f/stop as my camera.

2/7/2013 6:12:22 PM

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Photography Question 
Sheri Camarda
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 8/31/2004
  6 .  Tamron 400 lens - manual focus
Any tips on using this lens? Harder than I thought to manual focus it on the Niki.

12/29/2012 2:24:43 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Harder how? Harder to turn the focusing ring or harder because it has a different ratio to the change in focusing distance?

12/29/2012 5:34:15 PM

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Photography Question 
Hugo Luis Villalobos
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/5/2006
  7 .  Uploading photos from a Mac
Do any body else is unable to upload photos from a Mac computer? Every time I attempt to do so, I get an error message from the Java applet, wether in FireFox or Safari. Is it the tiff format?

I'll appreciate any help.

12/2/2012 9:09:07 PM

  Hi Hugo,
Sorry for the delay in responding.

Yes, the issue could be Tiffs. While it's possible to upload a Tiff file, it will take longer, especially if uploading more than one image at a time. Plus, if the file is a large size, it might be impossible.

The best approach would be to upload JPEGs, and then size them at anywhere from 800 pixels to 1600 pixels - maximum - on the long side.

I hope this is helpful!

Thanks,
Kerry

12/5/2012 7:06:28 AM

  P.S. Also, if your files are the right side and you are still having an issue, you might try the Alternate Image Uploader. You'll see that link at the bottom of the first uploading page. It often works, and it doesn't require a special program.

12/5/2012 7:09:13 AM

Hugo Luis Villalobos
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/5/2006
  Thank you very much, Kerry. The alternate Image Uploader worked perfectly. Problem solved.

Hugo

12/6/2012 12:35:51 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Kerry, you mention 1600 pixels. Doesn't BP down-size the photo to 800 pixels max, if the uploaded size is larger than 800? If so, is there an advantage of uploading to 1600 pixels?

12/6/2012 4:37:50 AM

  Hi Hugo,
Great to hear - thanks for the followup!
Kerry


Hi Ken,
Thanks for asking! Here's a Team BetterPhoto blog that addresses the issue:
Wondering what size images to upload to BetterPhoto?

Kerry

12/6/2012 6:55:16 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Kerry, thanks for the link. Just to confirm, if I upload an image at 1600 pixels on the long size, will BP allow me to display that same size from my gallery? Years ago, we could, which was great for uploading panos. But that changed a few years ago. Now, when I try uploading a larger sized image to my gallery; e.g, one to 1600 pixels, BP crunches it down to 800 pixels.

How do I display an image that's larger than 800 pixel in my basic gallery, without it reverting down to 800 pixels? THey all seem to scale back down to 800 pixels.

If other BPers can display images that are larger than 800 pixels, please chime in. Thanks!!

12/6/2012 8:09:05 PM

  Hi Ken,
Thanks for the input. Yes, the pics will be downsized, except ... (from the Team BetterPhoto blog):

"The only exception is when you upload an image to your home page on your Deluxe or Pro BetterPholio web site. Whatever sized image you upload to your home page is what will be displayed there."

Hope this makes sense!

Kerry

12/6/2012 10:23:15 PM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Kerry, yes, that makes sense. I was hoping BP would allow larger-sized images in our basic galleries, and for the contest. Maybe one day? :-)

12/7/2012 3:43:05 AM

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Photography Question 
Frank P. Luongo
Contact Frank
Frank's Gallery
francislphotography.com

member since: 6/7/2004
  8 .  Problem with lens
I have a Canon T3i

My tripod is aluminun , It has ballhead directly. It's heavy and works OK with my kit kens 18-55.
With my bigger lens, I compose, then seconds later I find the lens in a lower position.
Is this "lens creeping"---I've heard that term before.

What are my options.

11/25/2012 9:48:22 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Lens creeping is when you're aiming down with a zoom lens, and because there's not enough built in friction/resistance in the lens barrel, it's own weight makes is slide down. Like a window that you open that doesn't stay up.
If what you're having is the lens on the tripod won't stay level, the tripod isn't made to support a lens that heavy, or you're not tightening it enough, or something is loose or worn out that you can't tighten it enough.

11/25/2012 9:59:51 AM

  Frank, if the whole camera's sinking, a too-light tripod body or head is possibly the answer. A cheaper solution (if it works) is tightening the obvious stuff. Then try wobbling your camera while it's on the tripod. If it gives, you need to do something where the camera base attaches to the tripod -- some kind of washer.

For lens creep, I carry a wide rubber band and, after composing, slip it over the seam between the moving and the still part. Looks weird, but it works.

11/25/2012 11:00:36 AM

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Photography Question 
Meghan Gonski

member since: 9/7/2007
  9 .  Flash unit display wrong numbers
here is something very puzzling when I have the DF-483-CAN vivitar series 1 flash at the 90 degree angle front facing; it's supposed to know my ISO, shutter, and fstop. when I change my ISO it syncs good. However for my f/stop it displays the wrong number:
camera flash unit
f/2.8 f/2.8
f/3.2 f/2.8
f/3.5 f/5.6
f/4 f/4
f/4.5 f/4
f/5 f/5.6
f/5.6 f/5.6
f/6.3 f/5.6
f/7.1 f/8
f/8 f/8
f/9 f/8
f/10 to f/22 f/11

Anyone know why this discrepancy happens/how to fix it?

11/13/2012 1:49:56 AM

  Bouncing the flash will cost a stop oflight or thereabouts.

11/13/2012 7:40:53 AM

Meghan Gonski

member since: 9/7/2007
  ?? I'm not talking about bouncing the flash, just talking about the displaying of the f/stop number on the back of the LCD flash. It doesn't match the camera LCD.

11/13/2012 1:54:18 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Looks like your flash can't set to the "in-between" f/stops.
Think of how a ruler is marked for 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch, but the only numbers on the ruler are whole inches, 1,2,3,.. Now f/stops are displayed on the camera lcd screen, but track down a lens that had f/stops written on the barrel, you could set it to f/6.3, f/7.1, but the only numbers written would be f/5.6, f/8, f/11. Those are like the whole inches and f/6.3 is like 1&1/4 inches.
So your flash doesn't set to those, it just jumps when the camera gets on a regular f/stop. Or maybe it can but doesn't display. I'm guessing that it doesn't set and it's depending on the latitude.
Is that an older model flash that was made when it was film over digital? If so the latitude of film or the photo lab would compensate for the difference in what the camera was set to.

11/13/2012 2:36:35 PM

Meghan Gonski

member since: 9/7/2007
  I'm pretty sure the flash model is new as of 2011.

That makes perfect sense Gregory, thanks.
Do I have anything to worry about though? because like f/22 is very different from f/11 but flash unit still says f/11. I thought that the f/stop plays a part in the flash configuration for power etc. so having the wrong number would mess it up.
I could be wrong though, I'm very new at flash photography. I normally shoot natural light.

11/13/2012 3:38:23 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Under more common circumstances f/22 with a flash is going to be really close to something or using a more powerful studio flash, something plugged in to a power pack.
You're probably on an auto setting and it just won't go up to f/22. With a hot shoe flash, even full power your distance is going to be 3.5-4 meters. And that's iso 400. That's going by the scale on my flash. And it's got pretty good power.
So you don't have anything to worry about. It's not usual shooting that requires f/22 with a hot shoe flash at your typical shooting distances. Auto settings are mainly designed for those typical situations that don't go too far to either side of f/5.6, shooting distances the size of a typical family room. Not a full power blast to get to f/22.

11/13/2012 4:37:08 PM

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Photography Question 
Steve Rumble

member since: 3/8/2012
  10 .  Canon L Series Lenses
I am an amateur photographer who shoots with a Canon 60D and an 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens. I just bought a 24-105 f/4L IS lens, and did some test shots in my living room of a book cover from about 10 feet away. I then compared it to the same shot with my kit lens (same settings), and at 100% crop I cant tell the difference. I find the 24-105 a bit soft, like the kit lens. I used a tripod, cable release, mirror lockup, and I still can't get tack sharp images at 100% crop. What am I doing wrong? The lighting wasn't great where I was shooting, but even when I used my 580 exii flash I got similar results. Can anyone give me some advice? I am a bit disappointed in my purchase, although I am still learning about the lens. Maybe I just expected to see an immediate big difference in IQ between the 2 lenses. Any help would be appreciated.

10/5/2012 8:54:32 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Looking at the mtf charts of both lenses on Canon's website, they look similar. So I'm not surprised that you feel the optics look the same. One of the drawbacks of zooms is a loss of optic quality. And if the zoom is a zoom that goes from the wide angle side to the telephoto, even if it's a short telephoto, you're not going to get optics that would be considered too great. With either of your lenses, it's over 4 times the focal length that they are covering. So even the L series could be on the soft side.
However, because they are zooms, what it takes to maintain good optics over a changing focal length, coupled with keeping a constant aperture over a wide range of focal lengths, is the main reason for the price difference. There might be differences in the one being made with more plastic versus alloy, but I didn't check for that.
Your decision to get the new lens may have come from hearing about the quality of Canon's L lenses, and you may feel disappointed. And justifiably so if being able to shoot with a constant aperture at all focal lengths wasn't something you felt would be needed that much.
So you're not doing anything wrong. You might actually be able to see some differences if you try shooting at different focal lengths, or apertures. Lenses don't keep everything looking the same all through their zoom range.
All that being said, anytime a zoom lens is able to keep a constant aperture, it's going to cost a lot more than one that doesn't. It's hard to construct a zoom like that and not have some spots where things fall below acceptable standard. Whether that lens also has everything else over the regular lens isn't automatic.

10/6/2012 10:49:28 AM

Steve Rumble

member since: 3/8/2012
  Thanks for your response, Gregory. For me, what matters most is IQ, so I may be returning the 24-105 for some faster prime lenses. I think most of my pictures are portraits anyway. I do have it in the back of my mind to become a professional at some point (when I feel I'm ready). Is it worth the investment to keep this lens, because it is good quality? I guess I just wanted to start investing in better equipment, and I thought the 24-105 would be a good walk-around lens. Is it the case that someone more experienced would be able to see differences in IQ that I can't? Anyway, I appreciate your feedback.

Steve

10/6/2012 1:01:37 PM

  Steve, after Gregory's very detailed response I am a little reluctant to suggest this as I am not much into all the tech stuff. But the thought that came to mind was, " Are you using auto or manual focus. I remember reading on some forum that even on the better makes of cameras the auto sometimes mis focuses. Google something like "Soft focus problem with Canon 60D" and I suspect you will be taken to a dozen or so websites with suggested fixes.

Good luck Pete

10/6/2012 3:33:08 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  It may not be a question of experience, unless you're so new that you're unfamiliar with the sharpening that needs to done with every digital shot due to the noire, also called anti-aliasing. If you're judging the images straight from the camera, use the unsharp mask and add 80-100% of sharpening with a pixel size of .5-1, and judge it then.
Considering the lens a good investment is relative. The convenience of having that zoom range in one lens is something one person finds super handy, while the next person prefers two lenses that may skip the 100mm area to a longer range. With an even wider aperture.
Your taste or discretion may change. The first longer lens I bought was the 75-300 zoom, which is common. It wasn't expensive, and everybody wants a longer lens for all the things they want to shoot that are available to them. What's one of the first things that got you hooked on photography? National Geographic. What's one of the first things you want to go shoot? Birds in the back yard and the zoo.
I see a clear difference in some of my other lenses that I have versus the 75-300. Knowing what I know now, and having what I have now, I wouldn't choose a 75-300. But take me back to when that was the first time going above 135mm, I know I wouldn't want to wait several years to pay more for a better lens when 300mm was about $270 away.

10/7/2012 11:40:03 AM

  Steve just a thought when I read your question (since I read the questions to learn not to answer because I am very much an amateur) was the IS off?
Memoriee

10/8/2012 9:41:27 PM

Steve Rumble

member since: 3/8/2012
  Thanks everyone for your help. I decided to return the lens and work on my technique for now. I tried all of your suggestions, but still can't really notice a difference. Maybe I was expecting too much, but I figured that a lens that costs 3 times more than the one I have should give noticeably better results. I'll upgrade once I have done all I can with the equipment I have.

10/10/2012 1:06:39 PM

  You tested the lenses in the worst possible conditions. First you had dim light, second you took photos of a book cover. Also, were the f stops on each lens the same when you took the photo? How about ISO, focus point, shutter speed and distance as well as the zoom of the two lense? If any one of them were different your tests are meaningless.

Although the 24-105L is a great walk-around lens for a FF camera, any 5D series or any 1Dseries it is not ideal for a crop camera or any XXD cropped because the widest angle image you will get is equal to 38mm. The 1.6x crop factor causes this. My 24-105L sits on my original 5D whereas on my 40D I use a 17-85 f3,5-5.6 lens. The 15-85 is even a better lens but almost twice as expensive. I seldom use the 40D anymore so I did not bother to upgrade the lens. But I will use my 70-200 f4L IS on it when I need the reach.

In general the L lenses are built much better and are sharper at all ranges than a non-L lens. They also contain better, read: more expensive glass, inside them. Not all L lenses are equal in sharpness. For instance my 70-200L is sharper than the 70-300m L at 200mm. So beyond 200mm the 70-300L can only go down hill but overall it is a decent lens. For 300mm I use the f4L IS prime lens (no zoom).

Now go outside and take some photos. Per Canon instructions the IS MUST be turned OFF when using the 24-105L on a tripod. Find a subject about 8' away with a background at least 16' away from the camera, set the correct WB, ISO 200, f5.6, single shot, Apperture priority, center spot focus, partial metering. On both lenses set the zoom to 24mm and 100mm for your test shots. You can add 50mm so that you get the sweet spot for each lens also. I only hope that you are using either PhotoShop Elements or CS for your editing. Also heed what Gregory said about the images Out of Camera, OOC, do need sharpening. Even on the 1DX (but not quite as much). When you check your images ignore the corners and sides but concentrate on where you focused. The background should be blurry and out of focus.


Memoriee - IS stands for Image Stabilization which helps to eliminate the shakiness the camera has due to the photographers small movements and allows you to shoot at slower shutterspeeds. It does NOT prevent blur due to subject motion. Only high shutter speeds can do that. With a Nikon it is called VR for Vibration Reduction and it does the same thing.

10/10/2012 1:48:26 PM

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