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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 8:14 pm 
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Teams to Replace APU Heater Power Box; Launch No Earlier than May 8 (source) :evil:

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    Image above: At NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A,
    a technician makes his way across a platform in space shuttle
    Endeavour's aft section as work begins to remove and replace
    the aft load control assembly-2 (ALCA-2).
    Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett › Larger Image
Bob.

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Last edited by Bob Andersson on Sun May 01, 2011 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 8:22 pm 
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bummer :(

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 3:59 pm 
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Nice shots Gordon! Love the Heron. We'll turn you into a wildlife photographer yet! :P

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Pelican // Black Rapid // Think Tank // Manfrotto // Garmin

Reflections On Canadian Wildlife
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 6:09 am 
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Outstanding shots Gordon, wow!! Im speechless...
I like it so much, the wildlife ones are spectacular!

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 6:38 pm 
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Thanks everyone, I'll add some more later!

In sadder news I'm going to have to abort my attempt to view the launch as it keeps slipping back. You basically have to move here for a few weeks or months, or be extremely lucky to catch a launch in person, and so far they keep eluding me. So that's it for me and Endeavour, although there is always Atlantis in June...!

More 500mm shots coming soon though!


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 8:14 pm 
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I hope you get the chance to experience the launch someday soon Gordon!
Waiting for the rest of the photos!

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 10:39 pm 
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Hi everyone, apologies for the delay in updating this page!

I've now written an article about using the big lens:

Canon EF 500mm f4L lens review!

I'll keep this thread open for any questions or comments, along with of course update on the STS 134 mission, which should hopefully launch in about 14 hours time. Sadly I'm in New Zealand right now...

Gordon

PS - here's a bonus photo taken with the 500mm which isn't in the article...

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Cocoa Beach girls taken with 500mm by Cameralabs, on Flickr


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:23 pm 
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Spotted a typo: "Scott had grabbed my rented EF 70-300mm f4L lens on his EOS 7D" unless you got some secret Canon test lens I'm not aware of that existing...

While I haven't handled the 500/4, using the 300/2.8 with 2x isn't far off (600/5.6) and something I've yet to fully explore. Gordon, sounds like you enjoyed using it wide open, but did you ever feel you didn't have enough DoF? An example of that would be "close up birdie". Looks great small, but at original size the non-existant DoF is clear. A few mm off and the eyes would be out of focus. Nice shot!

Conversely, did you ever felt the urge to stick a 1.4x on it for more reach?

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:58 am 
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Thanks popo, corrected. It would have been nice if the 70-300mm was f4 all the way, but alas, it was the f4-5.6L. Still a nice lens though and I hope to publish some formal tests for it in the future...

I actually had the chance to shoot with both the 500mm f4L and 300mm f2.8L at the Shotover Jet while still in Queenstown before my trip, thanks to local photographer Blair Pattinson. The 300mm is of course lovely, but the 500mm just hit the sweetspot for me in so many ways. So to answer your questions:

1: Coverage. I never felt the need on my trip for a 1.4 converter. I think I would have if shooting full-frame, but on a cropped body at 800mm equivalent, it was fine for birds, the beach and the sun. Equally, it never felt too long for the things I was pointing it at - it felt just right.

As for the 300mm 2.8 with a 2x converter, it would certainly be similar in coverage and DOF, but I doubt the quality would be anywhere near as good as using a 'native' 500 or 600mm.


2: Depth of field. Remember I'm not a seasoned user of super-telephotos, so was finding my feet throughout my trip. I started off using f5-5.6 simply to be a bit more forgiving, but for most subjects the 7D's AF sensor and the 500mm's AF motor were sufficiently quick and accurate to get it spot-on a lot of the time at f4.

I then began to get hooked on the ultra-shallow DOF, and tried shooting at f4 pretty much all the time. As you saw in my f4 samples, the DOF, especially on close range subjects, didn't always cover the whole subject, but so long as the face or eyes were sharp, I was happy. Closing to f5.6 or 8 would have been more forgiving without losing too much of that out of focus background though if you preferred.

When handholding shots of birds flying past, I found I had to use f8 though as there was too much variation in distance - see the shot of the pelican in flight.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:51 am 
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Thanks alot Gordon! Im enjoying so much the review.

P.s very nice pic of the Cocoa beach!

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:38 am 
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Definitely the 300/2.8 x2 isn't the absolute best quality combination, but it was in my case the value option to get much beyond 400mm with phase AF. There are times even when using that combination I feel the need for even more reach. That's why I thought 500x1.4=700mm would be handy as you maintain phase AF. On handhold-ability, the other day I was using the 100-400L x2 for 800mm in live view hand held, with the old IS system just about managing to keep things steady enough. I think 800mm is about the practical limit for me to keep steady.

Also nice to hear the fixed length wasn't an issue. The 500/4 sure sounds like fun to use, but personally I'm going to hold out for the 200-400 extender as zoom capability comes in very useful.

I'm kinda planning a wildlife photo week later in the year, so possibly I might look into hiring locally to give the heavy Canons a play.

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:16 pm 
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that 200-400 with extenders is definitely on the list, I just hope the price is going to be somewhere reasonable.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:26 am 
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As anyone following this thread probably knows, Space Shuttle Endeavour finally took-off at 8:56am Florida time on Monday 16th May. I sadly couldn't stick around any longer after my last attempt, so missed it by 10 days - tricky business this rocket launch viewing...

Anyway, one of my friends, Trey Ratcliff from Stuck In Customs returned and witnessed the launch in person. He grabbed one of my favourite photos of this launch, actually exploiting the low cloud which frustratingly obscured the view after the first few seconds.

You can see it here:

http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portf ... ZKwgz-A-LB

The low cloud base was also exploited really well in this photo, taken from the other side in an aeroplane!

http://twitpic.com/4yg6hs

I echo Commander Kelly's words regarding manned space travel just before launch - 'we must not stop'.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:11 pm 
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Hi again everyone, I've updated my 500mm review with a new video showing the 500mm in action - it's at the bottom of the first review page, here:

Canon 500mm lens review.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:05 am 
Gordon wrote:
It should be clear by now that I had a great time with the EF 500mm f4L IS USM


Image

Image

Image

Yep, seems pretty clear to me! :lol:


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