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Messages - Daneel

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Microstock Monitor / Re: Microstock Monitor on Linux under Wine
« on: October 14, 2007, 14:25 »
Hi Klaas,

Just download the microstock monitor xpi file. Then open it with Winzip (or any other zip decompression program). There you will find a components folder which includes the dll which is needed.

Good luck,

Microstock Monitor / Re: Announcing Microstock Monitor 1.8
« on: October 14, 2007, 14:22 »
Hi Vipgrafx,

I'm not using Vista. I hope that one of the other Microstock Monitor users may be able to help you. Anyone?

All the best,

Lighting / Speedlite 430EX or 580EX?
« on: August 30, 2007, 15:13 »
Hi all,

I'm going to buy my first external flash for my 400D (long overdue, but I haven't really realized the possibilities of a good flash until now).

The choices are either the speedlite 430EX or the 580EX. I know all the differences from reading reviews, i.e., mainly the 580 is more powerful and can act as a master while the 430 is smaller, lighter and cheaper.

Among "traditional" flash uses I want to use the flash for macro photography with my Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro using a flash diffusor. I don't want to invest into a specialized macro flash, i.e., ring flash or twin lite yet.

I wonder if the the 580EX has that small (but essential) advantage with regards to macro photography. Other than the 430EX, the 580EX can tilt down by 7 degrees (the 430EX can't tilt down). Does that give a significant advantage for macro photography with the 100mm Canon or is the tilt irrelevant because the objects are far enough away?

I would love to get your inputs w.r.t. the question above and generally about macro photography with the 100mm Canon and one of the both speedlite flashes mentioned above.

Many thanks and all the best,

Hi all,

I think ebay is a good alternative. I'll definitely investigate this, since I'm currently in the market for a prime (Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro). There are also many Asian Power Sellers which sell this equipment as new at very good prices and which have a positive rating of over 99% with more than 5000 customers. Those can't be so bad :-).

I once ordered a point and shoot camera with and was very satisfied.

Some of those power sellers seem to also go out of their way to avoid unnecessary taxes for you. I have never shopped with one of these, but it looks interesting.

I think the best alternative is to have a friend who either travels to the USA or lives there and can buy the equipment from B&H at their cheap prices for you.

All the best,

LoL ;-)

The interesting thing is that you can go to NY for 5 days (including Hotel) for arond 500,- Euros...

...  Yes i pay taxes on it when it comes into the country, but if i was living in the states i would be paying taxes on the purchase at B&H as well.
You only pay sales tax in the USA if you live in the same state as the company you are purchasing the item(s) from. Unless you live in NY, B&H purchases are tax free.

...exactly, which is why I envy them so much. I've compared prices for a Canon 100 mm Macro lens and a 430EX flash. In Europe (more exactly: Austria) I would pay 757,- Euros for this combination. At B&H I would pay 511,- Euros for it.

It's depressing :-/.

All the best,

Hi all,

I'm in the market for some medium to advanced Canon EOS equipment (flashes, lenses). Buying this stuff directly in Europe is out of the question, since you often pay more than the same price which you would pay in Dollars, but just in Euro (1/3 to 1/4 more expensive than in the USA).

Last time I bought something I was lucky, since I've been on a trip in the USA and could buy my equipment there.

Mail order from the USA (e.g., B&H) is quite risky because of potential taxes to be paid.

I heard of some Asian / Hong Kong online stores which are supposed to be even more reasonably priced than buying from the USA.

So all you european buyers: Where do you get your advanced Canon equipment? It would be great if you could share your insights / experiences. If you would like to contact me directly with your advices, please simply e-mail me at: [email protected]

Many thanks and all the best,


Many thanks. I have the same concerns (I'm just investigating to start with true macro photography). I'm wondering if there are better channels than microstock for such photos. Looking forward to hear further experiences on this.

All the best,

Hi all,

what's your experience with true macro (i.e., life size and above) photography in stock? Is microstock the right place for it and if yes, which objects (insects, ...) are selling well?

I'd love to get your experience with true macro photography and stock.

Thanks and all the best,

Cameras / Lenses / Re: Help me with my birthday wishlist :-)
« on: August 17, 2007, 04:38 »
the reason being, you are using the built in flash :)
If you were using a flash gun you would have a higher chance of getting them accepted.  When you use a flash gun you can bounce the flash and in essence be using a giant softbox (off the wall or ceiling) or buy a remote sender and point the flash at your subject from a totally different angle (great for outdoors).  Direct flash can also be nice outdoors when the sun is behind your subject.

Hi leaf,

you are definitely right. I'm currently investigating macro photography and encountered the MT-24EX flash. This looks like a perfect solution for macro photography in the wild. Together with a slave flash from behind, it might even replace my light tent, but wouldn't then the light from the three flashes would be too harsh - what's your experience?

In any case, if I want to truely dive into macro photography, then a flash will definitely be a necessity!

All the best,

Cameras / Lenses / Re: Help me with my birthday wishlist :-)
« on: August 17, 2007, 04:32 »
Hi Francisco,

your remark is well taken, I'd just like to point out that there is a huge quality difference between the old 75-300 and the current 70-300. There are comparison between the 70-300 and the 70-200 at 200mm on the web and the 70-300 does perform quite well compared to the 70-200.

Said that, I still think your point is valid and as (I think) have remarked above I do see a quality difference between my Sigma 18-50 f2.8 and my Canon tele zoom. Some of this quality difference might be due to the Canon being a tele, but I do think that the 70-300's results could be better and in this sense I agree with your comment.

The alternative to the 70-300 would be a 70-200 f4 IS (the f2.8 is just too bulky for me) with an 1.4x extender. This increases the aperture by up to two stops and causes autofocus to not operate in some situations. This is just too much of a compromise for me, which is one of the reasons why I went with the 70-300. Another alternative would be to go with a prime 300mm f4 IS. This would be quite nice and would definitely result in a superior photo quality, however at the cost of flexibilitx. Given my current photographing habits I might however consider replacing the 70-300 by a 300 mm prime at some time - maybe then the 70-200 becomes a real option.

Again many thanks for your inputs. It's refreshing to discuss the different lenses with other enthusiasts.

All the best,

Cameras / Lenses / Re: Help me with my birthday wishlist :-)
« on: August 17, 2007, 03:10 »
Hi all,

many thanks for your inputs. Let me first heartly thank you for all your inputs.

The flash is a good idea, however I don't even use the camera flash currently. In fact I try to avoid using flash whenever possible and I also don't do much indoor shooting. My experience so far with (on camera) flashes is that using them usually means that your photos will not get accepted by the agency. Of course, this is most probably only due to my limited experience with flashes, but currently I don't see much use for a flash.

A faster telezoom such as the 70-200 f4 or the 70-200 f2.8 (even as I consider that one too bulky for my shooting habits) would be nice. However, I considered this (70-200 vs. the slower 70-300 with IS)  in-depth and I decided in favour for the 70-300 because of its longer reach. I usually find myself using it extensively in the 200-300 range and I think I made the right choice for my photographing habits.

I think I will try to go into macro photography. Again, there I have many options a) starting with the straight forward Canon f2.8 100mm macro (possibly with TCs to reach even more than 1:1) b) going towards a very specialized solution such as the Canon MP-E 65 and a MT-24EX flash.

I'll now go back to reading tutorials on macro photography ... and I'll be back with macro-centered questions in a few hours or days, as time permits.

Please feel free to further comment on this thread, I'm looking forward to your insights.

All the best,

Cameras / Lenses / Re: Help me with my birthday wishlist :-)
« on: August 16, 2007, 00:15 »

Many thanks for your replies.

I do have a small laptop, so a media storage device such as the Epson is a no-go for me :-). I don't know these bellows attachements, what are those?


The EF 100 f2.8 would truly add to your macro... with a minimum focusing distance of 29cm (i guess) and 100mm it gives you 1:1 and so you can get microscopic... being also a fast lens is a good addition to your "stash"...

Yes, it sounds nice. With my XTI crop factor the 100mm would become a 160mm ... is this a problem or is it actually an added benefit since you can stay further away from the insect which you are about to macro shoot? Would the tele be too long for light tent shots? My Sigma already goes "a bit" into macro with ~30 cm minimal focus distance and a magnification factor of 1:3. But 1:1 would probably open another dimension for me ... .

one other thing can be a grip... it does wonders for your camera, in terms of balance and power. It was one of my best buys...

As for the 70-200 f4, don't even think it can be slightly compared to your 70-300 IS... it's real glass... and you don't need IS for anything with that lens... i had one and it was by far the best lens i ever shot with...

A grip would be something to think about for the balance. I wouldn't need it for the battery power, according to my current photographing habits.

70-300 IS vs. 70-200 f4. There are many many discussions on that and I read them all before going for the 70-300. has some good comments on it ( but also dpreview. It's really not easy and specially on the wide end the IS helps a lot. But it's also true that I see a difference in color brillance and (maybe) sharpness to my 18-50mm. This might simply be due to the tele, but maybe really due to the glass? Don't know, maybe I'll try out a 70-200 at one time.

Many thanks and all the best,


Cameras / Lenses / Re: Help me with my birthday wishlist :-)
« on: August 14, 2007, 17:02 »

Many thanks for your reply.

The budget would be around 300-500 Euros (top).

You didn't give us a price range, but I'll throw out two. The Canon 70-200 f4L is less than $600us. You'll pay almost twice that for IS or an extra stop, so to me, this was a good entry level L lens. said above I already have the Canon 70-300 4-5.6 IS. Of course, it's no L glass but I'm very happy with it - in particular with the IS.

On the cheap end, the Canon 50 1.8 at less than $100 is no-brainer.  Very sharp, good in low light, and it has the new Bipodal zoom mechanism.

Again, I already have the Sigma 18-50 f2.8, which is already pretty good in low light.

Both of your recommendations would definitely enhance my current photography. However, they overlap with the abilities of my current equipment with which I'm currently rather satisfied (the fast f4 tele zoom would be quite nice, but as you say with the IS (which I love on the long end of my 70-300) it would be quite expensive).

I would rather get something which does not overlap with what I currently have. True macro microscopic photography would be cool I guess. Would the Canon 100 f2.8 macro provide a great enhancement for macro photography compared to my Sigma? Or maybe the Canon MP-E 65 mm? Do I need a ring flash with the 100 mm or is that only necessary for the MP-E 65 mm?

With the Sigma 18-50 mm I'm already quite well into the wide end, so I probably don't need a dedicated wide angle lens. Maybe a fish-eye? I'm no real fan of fish-eyes actually...but I've never extensively used them. Are they any good for (micro) stock photography?

Questions, questions, questions...but I think I'm tending towards a macro lens currently...maybe ;-)


Cameras / Lenses / Help me with my birthday wishlist :-)
« on: August 14, 2007, 12:37 »
Hi all,

I'm using (and immensly enjoying) a 400D (XTI) with a Sigma 18-50 mm f2.8 lens (excellent piece, also focus down to 20 cm giving it a maginification factor of 1:3) and a Canon 70-300 IS (again, very nice to work with although not as sharp as my Sigma). I'm also owning a good tripod.

I'm now pondering what I should put on my wishlist for my birthday and I really need your help on this. The Sigma already gives me some Macro abilities, but I think I would enjoy really getting into the microscopic world ... so maybe a good macro lens? I think that on the wide end the Sigma is already quite good with 18 mm, so I guess I don't really need a dedicated wide angel lens.

What do you think? What other lenses or photo gadgets would you recomment? I really enjoy all sorts of photography, animals with my 70-300, portraits with my Sigma, but also product and "almost" macro shots with my Sigma.

Some (very few) of my photos are on my website:

Most of the others are online at the diverse microstock agencies which I work with (more on this on my website).

Please give me your input. I'm desperate to get a nice new gadget for my camera hobby :-)

Thanks and all the best,

General - Top Sites / Re: Generic Model Release?
« on: July 31, 2007, 07:33 »
By using the istock release, obviously without logo etc, did anybody ever had problems with the reference to "law of Alberta, Canada"? SY

No. I'm using this release at 8-9 agencies without problems.

All the best,

17 / Re: (new stock site)
« on: July 21, 2007, 16:25 »
Hi again,

Generally I have to say that Albumo did everything right for a startup site. A very streamlined upload process including an easy way to assign model releases. Additionally a reward for uploading photos. They made me uploading a large part of my portfolio and I'm now part of their Albumo's 100 program. If they continue that way then I think they will become one of the more succesful stock agencies.

Definitely a nice start...I should probably add them to Microstock Monitor...hmmm ;-)

All the best,

Microstock News / Re: Big H*cking News
« on: July 21, 2007, 15:49 »
I only have 5 photos at iStockPhoto. I have ~1000 or more at other agencies. As long as they won't enable easy FTP uploads, they will not see my photos. I know that I'm just a small fish, but I'm sure that I'm not the only one who wants to spend a freakin huge amount of time (compared to other agencies) for uploading photos.

Just my two (euro) cents,

19 / Re: (new stock site)
« on: July 20, 2007, 00:50 »

Yes, their IPTC parsing algorithm seems to be a bit strict. Out of ~900 photos which I uploaded yesterday, 50-100 did not make it because this strict IPTC parsing algorithm. I will not spend the time to update the description manually and I will not change the IPTC data and re-upload, so that's simply 50-100 photos less from me which they will get.

If they see that the field is too long, simply cut it and add "..." at the end. Better than no photo at all.

Just my two (Euro) cent,

Hi all,

I'm doing all of the "Big 6" agencies, which already takes some time to upload, review and submit. I'm also with many of the "Up and Coming" agencies. I'm now considering to discontinue doing all the "Up and Coming" ones except those which have a "upload and forget mechanism" such as Lucky Oliver (there are other reasons why I will stay with them) and 123RF.  These smaller agencies which do not have a _very_ streamlined process eat up as much time as the big agencies but don't get me much cash. I'm not sure if they are worth the time.

What do you think? What is your feeling? What did you do?

All the best,

Microstock Monitor / Re: goes online!
« on: July 12, 2007, 00:55 »

Excellent idea, I will provide something over the weekend :-)

All the best,

Microstock Monitor / goes online!
« on: July 11, 2007, 09:48 »
Hi all!

I'm very happy to announce that Microstock Monitor now has a dedicated domain name. From now on you can access the website not only through but also

(Depending on your location it might not be available until tomorrow or so - but it's working already for me :-))!

I'm very happy about this and I do hope that this helps to further increase the popularity of Microstock Monitor. Remember, Microstock Monitor is and will always stay free software and all I get for implementing and maintaining it is a little something from referals. If you like Microstock Monitor and want me to be able to spend additional time enhancing it, please consider telling your photographer friends about it, write a blog message or put a link on your web site. The more popular Microstock Monitor becomes, the more time I will be able to spend enhancing it for you!

All the best,

23 / Re: (new stock site)
« on: July 06, 2007, 00:52 »
Did anyone get any sales from them yet?

No, sorry.

All the best,


Awesome, I will prepare a maintainance release.

Thanks again for catching that bug.

All the best,

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