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Author Topic: What worked.  (Read 34489 times)
John Camp
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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2007, 01:44:15 PM »
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What is perhaps more worrying, far more worrying than the 1 series bodies not coping, is the M8 having so many problems. Hell it used to be that the Leica was the one camera you could count on working come what may even after everything else had given up the ghost. The camera you could take to warzones and into the jungle. These problems together with the IR issue at the beginning are exactly what Leica did not need to happen...
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My M8 is now making its second trip back to Germany for repairs, since I bought it in mid-November. If I get it back in mid-April, which is when I expect it, it will have spend more time in Germany than in my hands.

The camera is so nice to use that in a moment of insanity, I considered buying another body so I'd have one while the other is being repaired. I am instead (or first) going to take a look at the Pentax K10d and three limited lenses; I can get the body and the three lenses for less than half of what a new Leica body would cost, and the K10 is not much bigger than the Leica, when the Leica is equipped with the optional grip, which mine is. And with image stabilization, the Pentax may be almost as effectively as fast as the Leica, although the lenses won't be quite as sharp.

The Antarctic trip sounds like it would have been a hoot; wish I could have gone. Nothing is more fun that a really difficult trip, once you're done with it and looking back. But on difficult trip, it pays to be extremely meticulous both in preparation and execution, or you will surely get bit on the ass by Murphy. Wandering around in a heavy rain with unprotected electronic equipment early in the trip sounds unwise...I might have let somebody else go first. But then, I wasn't there.

JC
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michael
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« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2007, 03:49:54 PM »
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There's no such thing as "going first". The Zodiacs leave the ship to do a landing, you get on our you don't. At the end of 2-3 hours they come back.

If you're afraid of the rain you get no shots.  

Michael
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ericaro
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« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2007, 04:49:12 PM »
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Michael,
         Fascinating story and pictures.Quick question. How did you and other photographers handle white balance in general? Whibal? custom? auto?clouds? It seems to me that many shots dispayed some surreal light and I wonder If white balance was tricky on the trip in order to reproduce those unbelievable cyan and blue hues in the deep glaciers.
                                        Louis Bouillon
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CatOne
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« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2007, 04:56:07 PM »
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Michael,
         Fascinating story and pictures.Quick question. How did you and other photographers handle white balance in general? Whibal? custom? auto?clouds? It seems to me that many shots dispayed some surreal light and I wonder If white balance was tricky on the trip in order to reproduce those unbelievable cyan and blue hues in the deep glaciers.
                                        Louis Bouillon
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105089\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Lots of people had means for checking white balance -- grey cards, whibal card sets, ExpoDisc, etc.  Bill Atkinson and Stephen Johnson gathered together all the means and went out on deck and compared the effects of using all of them, and then Stephen measured the actual light with his GMB Spectropherometer.  They gathered results and found that one means was consistently better than the others at being "accurate."  I believe one of the Whibal cards (the lighter grey one) seemed to be the closest -- No comments on the rest of the race.

Others used Auto white balance, some others picked modes.

As long as you shoot RAW you can always pick later -- it depends on whether you want to follow the (I need the scene to be exactly 100% color accurate to what it looked like!) Stephen Johnson school of thought, or the (Daylight starts at 6500, and warmth and saturation only go up from there!) Seth Resnick school of thought.

For example, it's possible that this Iceberg shot of mine:

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joedecker
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« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2007, 06:15:23 PM »
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Michael,

I had another question, how'd you like the DryZone?   I had a love-hate relationship with my own in the arctic last September, even with the provided lubrication the waterproof zipper was stiff and at times, during zipping, I'd find that I'd be left with areas where the zipper had separated.  (Once the zipper was zipped, I didn't have trouble with it separating after-the-fact.)  Did you have any experiences like that?

To be clear, that problem has to be taken in context.  Even if the "price" of a dryzone is a little more work at the zipper and a little more time, well, being able to turn your back and camera backpack toward a wave crashing over your Zodiac with confidence ones camera equipment will stay dry?  Priceless.

Thanks...

--Joe
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Joe Decker
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rhellie
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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2007, 07:13:51 PM »
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I took a dryzone bag along on that trip and found that it worked very well.  The waterproof zipper did begin to separate towards the end of the trip, but it always would seal if I rezipped it.  My only complaiaint about the pack is that it was a little unweildy getting on and off the Zodiacs.  One reason so many were caught in the rain at the South Georgia Zodiac cruise it that, after manhandling their packs onto the Zodiacs in the Falklands, many left their dryzone and other dry bags on the ship taking just the camera.  This allowed greater freedom of movement on board the Zodiac where all the shooting took place that day (we didn't make a landing - just cruised and looked at the incredible scenery and wildlife).  In subsequent Zodiac cruises more bags came along, but shooting around them could be aggravating with ten photograpers on a Zodiac.  

I made the wrong choice on the day in question, my Canon 5D was fried never to revive.  I was glad to have a 20D as a backup which functioned well throughout the rest of the trip.

It was an incredible trip with a great group of people.
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CatOne
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« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2007, 07:21:22 PM »
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I had problems with the DryZone zipper sealing properly.  Generally when it needed some lube and I was going around a tight spot it wouldn't "catch" and thus not seal and it was definitely not waterproof.

I could always get it to seal by unzipping and re-zipping... in the worst case 2 or 3 times.  I think a little more break-in with some more of the seal snot and it would have been good.

Definitely worth it for the zodiac trips.  I didn't find it unwieldy -- it was just a bit more of a burden than my normal Lowe Pro... with the exception of the fact that the items in the bottom of the pack were very hard to get to.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2007, 07:24:22 PM »
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On the dryzone 200 question.

When I took part to the San Juan WS 2 years ago, the only participant that had brought one saw the zipper dying on him after 2 days... It seems that these babies hate sand. Pure water and rain is probably an easier scenario for them.

Regards,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
ericaro
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« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2007, 09:04:57 PM »
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Thanks Bill,
               I looked at your antarctic portfolio and my favorite shot is the tabular glacier with the gazillion microscopic penguins on top. Stunning!
                       Louis bouillon
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2007, 12:12:02 AM »
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Hi!

Well, Leica is a small company, they don't have enormous resources for development and testing. The old Leicas didn't have sophisticated electronics and could do without sealing for that reason. Sealing a camera is not really easy, at least this is what Pentax said about the K10D.

I think that the main conclusion may be that you need to be careful even with professional and sealed cameras in harsh environmental conditions.

Best regards
Erik

Quote
What is perhaps more worrying, far more worrying than the 1 series bodies not coping, is the M8 having so many problems. Hell it used to be that the Leica was the one camera you could count on working come what may even after everything else had given up the ghost. The camera you could take to warzones and into the jungle. These problems together with the IR issue at the beginning are exactly what Leica did not need to happen...
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Rob C
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« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2007, 08:31:04 AM »
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Hi!

Well, Leica is a small company, they don't have enormous resources for development and testing. The old Leicas didn't have sophisticated electronics and could do without sealing for that reason. Sealing a camera is not really easy, at least this is what Pentax said about the K10D.

I think that the main conclusion may be that you need to be careful even with professional and sealed cameras in harsh environmental conditions.

Best regards
Erik
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105156\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Erik

Yes, they are small and have been all but annihilated time and time again; the experience should have ensured that they play safe and not rush to market with flawed goods. Why should anybody imagine that the public must be the trial monkey (at its expense) whilst the manufacturer just smiles and churns out prototype after prototype?

In my view there really are no good excuses, just reasons of desperation.

Ciao - Rob C
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theophilus
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« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2007, 02:08:19 PM »
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...It therefore surprises me to see the suggestion made that someone's insurance company might be willing to pay for an owner's madness...
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My insurance company gave me a "no questions asked" policy, but I am not a pro.  It is a rider on my homeowner's insurance.  Insurance liability is totally different for a business or self-employed individual, you can't put these things on your house.  

I specifically said "If I'm standing in 4 feet of water in Barton Creek and trip and dunk my camera, or if I'm in -30 degree weather in the mountains and it freezes or I drop it off a cliff, you'll replace it?" and the answer was yes.
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Schewe
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« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2007, 03:54:34 PM »
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After coming back and accessing my equipment problems I can trace all of the issues from that one landing in South Georgia...

I tended to use my DryZone bag as a holder for my LowePro Sling bag. I would pack the sling inside the emptied DryZone, zip it up and on shore, take the sling bag out an work from that...leaving the DryZone on the beach.

But in South Georgia, short of a waterproof housing, nothing could have kept the cameras dry. I lost one 1Ds MII info LCD while shooting (it came back later in the day), the main LCD on a Digital Rebel, a 17-40 F4 gave constant Error 01's (and still does) and a 28-135 errored out, then refused to auto-focus. I recently tried it and it's now working normally (but still going back to Canon).

Other than that one landing, I don't think I had any other issues except for the normal problems of keeping track of cards and getting everything downloaded safely while having 8 different cards in rotation-4 4gigs & 4 2gigs. I only had image corruption on one card and it was my own darn fault...I popped the card lid before the camera was done writing. I was in a hurry to change cards.

After losing the two lenses, I was down to just 3 lenses; 24-70, 70-200 & a 400 F4. Other than the 17-40, it was all I really needed to bring in the first place. Course, I would have LOVED to have a preproduction model new 16-35mm. Seth and I both begged Canon to give us early units, but they weren't available, even to us.

If I were to go again, I would opt for a 300 F2.8 (like Seth was using) over the 400mm. I often found the 400 a "little too long".
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method
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« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2007, 04:07:26 AM »
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And was the gigage record broken? If so what was it?
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Schewe
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« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2007, 11:26:19 AM »
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And was the gigage record broken? If so what was it?
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I shot just under 200 gigs over 20 days for a total of about 15,950 or so images. The biggest day, Feb 18th, I shot over 2300 captures for about 34 gigs. My previous largest was 27 gigs in a day last trip. One of the reasons I had such a high shot count was I was doing a lot of panos of between 2-20 frames per shot. It doesn't take a lot of panos to really ramp up the total shot count.

My initial "select count" is about 1200 images. I have no idea what my final hero print count will be. . .I'm still editing-hell, I'm still editing last year's shoot too. You can see a first cut of Icebergs all shot on Feb 19th at [a href=\"http://schewephoto.com/Icebergs/slideshow/index.html]ICEBERGS[/url].
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CatOne
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« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2007, 11:57:01 AM »
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... You can see a first cut of Icebergs all shot on Feb 19th at ICEBERGS.
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>bergose

MAXIMUM BERGOSITY.

;-)

[a href=\"http://blloyd.smugmug.com/gallery/2518842]More bergage.[/url]

Nice meeting you, Jeff.  Oh and nice call wearing the parka to the Lightroom launch party.  Oh and I liked the comment "Yeah, there was an Apple guy on the trip as well... he was using Aperture.  That was... okay."
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2007, 02:02:00 PM »
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Hi,

I agree on what you say, but...

- People like Michael Reichmann love Leicas, reliability notwithstanding.
- They make excellent lenses

So they give a lot of satisfaction to people. Personally I don't think that Leica enthusiasts should be deprived that experience.

If you need something that works all the time you probably need a couple of professional cameras. The kind that you can drop on the floor. Heavy metal, lot of o-rings, three pounds without lens...

Best regards

Erik


Quote
Erik

Yes, they are small and have been all but annihilated time and time again; the experience should have ensured that they play safe and not rush to market with flawed goods. Why should anybody imagine that the public must be the trial monkey (at its expense) whilst the manufacturer just smiles and churns out prototype after prototype?

In my view there really are no good excuses, just reasons of desperation.

Ciao - Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2007, 03:48:58 PM »
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Hi,

I agree on what you say, but...

- People like Michael Reichmann love Leicas, reliability notwithstanding.
- They make excellent lenses

So they give a lot of satisfaction to people. Personally I don't think that Leica enthusiasts should be deprived that experience.

If you need something that works all the time you probably need a couple of professional cameras. The kind that you can drop on the floor. Heavy metal, lot of o-rings, three pounds without lens...

Best regards

Erik
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105510\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Erik

I don't wish to come across as a dog-with-bone person, but to conclude my participation in this thread, I'd be surprised if Leica ever considered their M and R products as anything other than 'professional'!

Buenas noches - Rob C
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peterpix2005
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« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2007, 05:09:01 PM »
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My initial "select count" is about 1200 images. I have no idea what my final hero print count will be. . .I'm still editing-hell, I'm still editing last year's shoot too. You can see a first cut of Icebergs all shot on Feb 19th at ICEBERGS.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105486\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't  question Jeff's photographic ability, but after seeing his work from last year's cruise plus the work of the other photogrpahers, its clear Antarctica is certainly one place where F/8 and be there counts. Wonderful light and many opportunities for photos plus great vision by the photographers!

Peter
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CatOne
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« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2007, 06:05:10 PM »
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I don't  question Jeff's photographic ability, but after seeing his work from last year's cruise plus the work of the other photogrpahers, its clear Antarctica is certainly one place where F/8 and be there counts. Wonderful light and many opportunities for photos plus great vision by the photographers!

Peter
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105536\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Funny thing.  There was a ton of time when I was thinking exactly that "Oh, this just just F8 and be there stuff... point, compose <just a bit> and you're good to go."

A bit of shame that we never got the clouds to lift while we were along the Antarctic peninsula.  I was hoping to get a landscape shot or two, but we never had a clear morning or evening when we were in the vicinity of land.  We had clearing one afternoon (only) for a few hours mid-day.  So the cloudy skies were great for iceberg and wildlife close-ups, but really I don't know that I really ever brought a lens wider than my 70-200 (on a 1D mark II) out of the bag once we got south of the Orkneys.  Seeing and hearing details of the Lamar Strait from the previous year made me a bit jealous.

Oh, that and Michael's 4 am calls "It looks... like... in about 15 minutes the light might be really good!"  Those who wandered outside found clouds... and to white balance them grey required a color temperature north of 11000K :-)
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