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DHill

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Everything posted by DHill

  1. Paul: I agree with others here that the 14-24 f2.8 is an excellent lens. I use it with the D800, not D810. The newer Nikon 20 and 28 f1.8Gs get excellent reviews also, and I expect to buy the 20 at some point. I considered the 16-35 f4 at one point as the focal length range suits what I do better than the 14-24. Here's a discussion about it: http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/2031-anyone-using-the-nikon-16-35mm-f4-with-d800/?hl=16-35mm#entry33011 In short, unlike the 14-24, care needs to be taken with the pretty bad smearing in the corners. Chuck: I'd love to hear how your experiences with the Tamron go!
  2. Geoff and MDM - thanks very much. I hear what you're saying, and it makes a lot of sense to me. However, your workflow is very different from mine. For example, I have no such thing as 'current' work, at least not in my photography ;-) So while I can, I think I'd prefer to keep my workflow simple and try to avoid some externals having backups and others having original working files. Perhaps in the future I'll upgrade to a NAS and keep my images on that but I can't really justify it yet. DDoug - really interesting link! I wonder how responsive it will be to work on multi-layered TIFFs or PSDs across the internet!! Chris - Gold! Real life experience with a Lenovo in AU ;-) Thanks. I'll probably go with a Lenovo P300 with: Xeon E3-1241 v3 (or possibly i7-4790) <-- any comments about this choice? 512GB SSD for Win 7 and software 128GB SSD for LR catalogue, PS scratch drive, etc 2 x 3TB 7200rpm 6GB/sec HDDs for storage 4 x 8GB PC3 1600 MHz ECC RAM (total 32GB) incremental backups to external HDDs (including LR catalogue) every few minutes using SyncBack Video cards are the area I know least about and which I've found hardest to research. The computer comes with either an NVS 315 or Quadro 410. It may be possible to have instead either Quadro K2000 or Quadro K600 (not certain, and I won't know until Monday). The K2000 is considerably more expensive than the other options. Now, I use Nik and Topaz but I'm by no means an advanced Photoshop user. The most intensive operations I can imagine myself using are stitching and HDR/tone mapping (hopefully tasteful!), and I don't think I've ever used more than about ten layers. I really can't imagine getting heavily into blurs, warps etc, and almost certainly not 3D or serious video editing. This comparison site http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php suggests that the K2000 is significantly better than the NVS 315 for 3D, but much of a muchness for 2D. Thus, my instinct is to go with the basic NVS 315 and if my use of Photoshop changes, or PS and/or LR starts to use high end graphic cards features for everyday functions, to upgrade at that point. Any comments about this? Many thanks, David.
  3. I'll go with 32GB RAM. Geoff: I'm intrigued by your comment about storage, and would love to know the rationale for only using externals. I'd have thought that keeping everything you might need to access inside the computer would allow faster access. The Lenovo chap I spoke with said that even an external drive connected through an eSATA port (which is about as fast as you can get, isn't it?) is slower than an internal. I can imagine assignment photographers having their current and recent assignments on the computer and the rest archived to a NAS or similar, but I tend to access my early photos nearly as often as my recent ones. I have around 1.6TB of images (growing rapidly as I use a D800) and around 1TB of other stuff that I access regularly. Currently I only use externals for backups as speed doesn't matter there. As for graphic cards, unfortunately Lenovo seem to be quite restricted in what they offer, which leads to some weird sounding dilemmas - eg choice between NVS 315 (1 GB) or slightly more expensive Quadro 410 (512MB), or Quadro K2200 (expensive but reviews well) but only available as a second card, not a first!) This is quite a can of worms (Open CL, CUDA etc - I guess not worth trying to predict how it will go in the future), but I use LR much more than PS and my most demanding use of PS is likely to be stitching. So I'm guessing a relatively standard graphics card (the 315 or 410) will do for now; I can always add one as a mid-life upgrade in a few years. Sound reasonable? As for SSD's, I understood they're relatively unreliable, especially for data that changes frequently, but that the situation is much better than a year or two ago. Currently I use SyncBack to do regular automated backups to an external drive, and for the other work I do (consulting/writing), Dropbox very effectively provides almost instant backups of Word docs etc to my laptop and the cloud. I figure if I use SyncBack to back up the LR catalogue from SSD to an external drive every few minutes, I shouldn't have to worry about data loss. And an on-site warranty would minimise downtime - while it lasts, at least. Thanks, David.
  4. Some great info here - thanks very much, everyone! I'm thinking, like David M and MDM, it's probably better to err on the side of over specifying rather than under. Buy right, buy once ;-) I won't be building my own after having to lug my most recent purchase to the shop several times to have parts swapped out to try to determine what was causing frequent crashes. If I'd built it myself, I wouldn't have been able to do this without buying new parts, and even with the shop having built it, it cost me several days of lost productivity in the end. Like MDM suggests, I'm looking for a consistent, reliable build and on-site service if things go wrong. That same computer still has the occasional random crash (momentary static across the screen which then goes blank, fan and motherboard lights stay on but computer doesn't respond to anything, disappears off the network etc). Thus I'm now considering lower-end workstations with Xeon CPU and ECC memory for the additional stability over i7 etc. Perhaps a bit obscure, but does anyone have any thoughts on this? Doesn't seem to cost a lot extra. The computer tends to be on 24/7. I'm currently looking at possibly a Lenovo P300 or even S30 with 2 x 256GB SSD, 2 x 2TB or 3TB HDD. From some reading I've done, I understand that it's best to have the system page file and Adobe scratch discs/catalogues on different drives because if they're on the same one, they tend to clash - and 2 x 256GB seem to be about the same price as 1 x 512GB. These computers come with Nvidia Quadro NVS 315 graphics card; this isn't mentioned on the Adobe graphics card page, and it's not clear whether it meets the criteria that Adobe give there of any card released after May 2013 being OK. Anyone any ideas? Lenovo didn't know when I spoke to them. Further learning from today: Dell and HP increase their prices dramatically when specifying extra storage and memory, at least here in Aus, whereas Lenovo seem much more reasonable in this regard. Dusty Dingo: Lenovo say they only allow users to fit parts they've tested, otherwise the warranty is 'invalidated'. Any pointers as to haw Australian consumer law can override this? Thanks again, all! David.
  5. Thanks, Cribb - I like the idea of building my own, but one factor is a matter of time and another is that I want someone other than me to be accountable if something goes wrong ;-) My last PC was hand built in a shop, and had problems with intermittent crashes and had to be completely rebuilt - fortunately at their expense - and even then still hasn't been perfect. That was probably just a very unlucky experience, but I do know that things can go wrong.
  6. Thanks, Mike. Interesting what you say about memory. My current computer has 10GB, and with an early i7 processor is sluggish when I'm running Lightroom with a few browser tabs, email and word docs open. Even when I shut down everything but imaging software, D800 images take minute or two to open in Photoshop from LR, and then another minute or two to open in Nik. It really doesn't take much before the computer starts messing around with the page file, which really bogs things down. Perhaps an SSD by itself would solve that problem. I thinking of specifying a couple of 2TB or 3TB HDDs in addition to the SDD - that should be enough to put my images on. As I tend to go back into archives a lot, I don't want a slow connections to a NAS. I'd rather have everything on the computer. My archive is less than 2TB but I want room for expansion.
  7. I'm looking to buy a new desktop PC (definitely PC - although I like Macs as much as PCs, for a number of pragmatic reasons this one has to be a PC, and also not an all-in-one). What is current thinking on specs? My photo workflow mainly involves Lightroom, but I also use Photoshop and various plugins. While working on images, I usually have a considerable number of browser tabs, word docs, etc open at the same time. I already have a screen. In the past, I've always had machines custom-built in local shops. However, due to early problems with my current machine which the shop didn't resolve well, and the fact that such shops seem to be going out of business at a fast rate, I'll probably go with one of the mainstream brands (eg Lenovo, HP, Dell) this time to get a good solid warranty, despite them being more expensive than local builds. I'll spend whatever it takes to get a decent machine and am aiming for something reasonably future-proof without going over the top. I'd love to hear any helpful suggestions, recommendations and/or experiences, but I have some specific questions as well: Are there any pitfalls in buying mainstream brands? For example, do non-standard cases mean that future expansion is more difficult? And would adding an extra HDD or more memory (things I'm used to doing myself) invalidate the warranty anyway? I get the impression that it's a good idea to put the OS, programs and Lightroom catalogue plus previews on an SDD. But do people find 256GB enough, or is it better to go to the (considerable) expense of 512GB? More RAM is better, I know, and I'm thinking of getting at least 24GB, but does the law of diminishing returns kick in beyond that? Is there a noticeable difference between, say 24GB and 32GB? Many thanks in advance!! David.
  8. Sure, I remember you well, Mister Hill. How are things going at the forum and downunder? ... ... All good, thanks. SIF is well though missing your presence, and downunder is looking forward to a dose of summer ('twas nice and cool but rather overcast in Sydney today though). Good to hear about your good health, and long may it continue. David.
  9. If they do that then multi-step undo is a must. I agree - but would go further and say that multi-step undo (with a shortcut key, ctrl-z or apple key + z) is a must anyway. Regards, David.
  10. Happy birthday, Edo, from your friend from the old SIF forum. I will add a 誕生日おめでとう (tanjobi omedeto, happy birthday - or more literally, birthday congratulations) to what Mike said. I hope you enjoy the day, nuclear testing aside. At the risk of pre-empting Mike, 江戸 (Edo) is the old name for Tokyo, and the 江戸時代 (Edo period) is an important part of Japanese history, when the country was mostly closed to the outside world, and the samurai were prominent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo_period Considering that the samurai were known for their focus and skill, I've long thought it an appropriate name for you, Edo ;-)
  11. Yes, thanks, Alamy, for consulting with us. For me, the biggest productivity improvement would come from being able to use keyboard shortcuts that are common in just about every piece of software I use: ctrl-z for undo (most important!), ctrl-c for copy, ctrl-v for paste, ctrl-s for save, etc. I've lost count of the number of times I've accidentally deleted keywords and not been able to easily retrieve them. It would also speed things up to be able to double-click a keyword (or drag across a few key words) and then drag them from one field to another.
  12. One more thing to be careful about is that if the same image is available on more than one site, buyers could simply choose the cheapest. Will the buyer check more than one site? In many cases, yes. Textbook publishers tend to employ a single picture researcher for each book, and if you check a few textbooks in a book shop, you'll find that Alamy and two or three of the microstocks are major suppliers. Of those, I know which agency I'd prefer my images to have been sold through! I mention textbook publishing because it's in industry I know something about through working in it.
  13. Ed - have you considered setting up an import preset, so that the Velvia profile is automatically applied on import? That would save you a step in your process - you wouldn't have to sync all images.
  14. So where does that leave photographers who set up cameras to be triggered by movement, eg of an animal? Hmmm ....
  15. I had the same problem - submission waiting nearly a week. I asked Member Services yesterday about the policy (I have had no fails in well over three years, so didn't expect to go straight into the 28 day queue), and within a few minutes had an email to say they had passed and a reply from MS. It seems that some submissions are getting stuck in the pipeline somewhere. Hope that helps!
  16. I second Crashplan. Very good value. But I'd highly recommend that your main backups remain as hard drives, because uploading and downloading any more than a few photos from cloud storage will take a very, very long time. Possibly months, depending on how much you have and how fast your broadband connection is. And check what the limits are on your broadband service as well.
  17. Another vote here for the graph to show net rather than gross. Being able to see what we actually receive is far more useful and meaningful. Nice that everything's visible at a glance though.
  18. The Tamron 24-70 f2.8 is a great lens. My copy performs excellently on a D800 - sharp into the corners wide open. The VR works very well also. Not sure of the price in the UK, but it's around the equivalent of GBP600 here in Australia, so you may well have some change left over for something else.
  19. Mine used to tell us it was a musical dustbin truck (garbage truck for you Americans).
  20. Good stuff - well done, Phil! Maybe we should start a thread to report higher value sales, to keep everyone's optimism up ;-)
  21. In case anyone finds this while searching the archives: I've deactivated the example photos, but if anyone wants to see them in the future, just send me a direct message.
  22. Interesting. I'm told by people who do/have regularly use manual focusing cameras for street photography that they get really good at estimating distance and setting focus in anticipation of that decisive moment. And even I remember in the film days only thinking to attempt one shot of what we would take as a sequence today; wind-on speed wasn't a consideration. Well-practised zone focusing helps. Can you zone focus an iphone to reduce shutter lag? All this is firmly tongue in cheek of course ;-)
  23. Probably not. Hard to capture the decisive moment with the kind of shutter lag you get on phones - never mind the slowness in focusing ;-)
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