March 05, 2015, 01:52:06 PM

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Messages - drmikeinpdx

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1
Lenses / Re: Why no firmware update for Sig 50mm Art?
« on: Today at 10:41:47 AM »
Excellent question!  I'm sure a lot of people would like to know including me.

2
Lenses / Got tired of waiting
« on: March 04, 2015, 09:13:14 PM »
I use a 50mm prime a lot and was getting pretty frustrated by the quirks each one currently on the market seems to have.   I got tired of waiting for the new Canon 50 and bought a used 50L.  After calibration by Canon the autofocus now works brilliantly.   I have a choice of shooting wide open for the dreamy look or stopping down and getting things tack sharp.  Often I choose an in-between aperture like F/2 or 2.8 and get the best of both styles.  So you won't hear me bitching about the awful Canon autofocus system as much.  I know some of you will miss that.   ::)

I just put my old Sigma Classic 50 on Craigslist yesterday, since it doesn't get used any more.

3
Theater, Concert and Event / Re: My First Concert Shoot
« on: February 28, 2015, 12:41:28 PM »
I've noticed my 5D3 seems overly sensitive to the red color band.  Often times when I take a picture of someone wearing bright red, I need to scale the red luminosity in Lightroom down several notches to make it look more realistic. 

I don't have enough concert experience to confirm that, but one of my local buddies who has been giving me concert tips has mentioned the same thing.  One of his solutions is to simply wait for the yellow spotlights to come on.  Apparently oversaturated yellow is easier to fix than red or blue.

He has been shooting concerts for a few decades and prefers to be very selective when shooting.  As newbie to this genre, I go with the spray and pray style!  LOL

4
Theater, Concert and Event / Re: My First Concert Shoot
« on: February 26, 2015, 10:51:03 PM »
I find that AI Servo is more reliable when the musicians are moving around, as long as you use the center point. 

Thanks, I should experiment with AI Servo, since I have barely tried it.   Do you prefer to activate it with a half press of the shutter button or do you use the back button?

5
Theater, Concert and Event / Re: My First Concert Shoot
« on: February 26, 2015, 10:47:07 PM »
Beautiful black and white work, yorgasor!  I've noticed that quite a few concert photographers favor black and white.

I was talking to a photo buddy today and he showed me a concert shot that he had processed in an interesting way after becoming frustrated at the oversaturated colors from the stage lights.   Apparently, just reducing the saturation didn't look good, so he created a second black and white version in photoshop and combined the two, moving the fade slider to taste.  It was a very interesting look.

And thanks for the tips!  You have been very helpful.  :)


6
Theater, Concert and Event / Re: My First Concert Shoot
« on: February 26, 2015, 01:46:35 PM »

That keeper rate is pretty low, so maybe we can help you sort out what might have gone wrong.  First of all, what AF mode & point or set of AF points were you using?


Hi mackguyver!

I was using one shot autofocus, usually the center point, but sometimes tried various outer points. 

As this was my first concert type event shoot, I deliberately used a lot of different settings and three different lenses.  That made it hard to come to any quick conclusions.

I have now had a chance to go back through most of the photos and analyze them for the source of the blur.  I have to say that it looks like there is no single cause.  Some of them are blurry due to camera motion, some are blurry due to subject motion and some are blurry due to the focus being off.  Some blur is due to shooting wide open or at very high ISO.  Most shots actually show some blur from a combination of the above causes.

I've decided that the stabilization on the 35mm F/2 actually works quite well.  Also, that lens doesn't lose much sharpness wide open.  Now if I could just make it focus more accurately!

Virtually all of the out of focus shots with all three lenses were front-focused by a couple of feet.  This corresponds to where the microphone stands tend to be, so I'm thinking that maybe the focus sensor I'm using at the time is locking on to the bright chrome mic stand.  They do say that the sensor covers an area larger than the rectangle in the viewfinder.  Maybe I just need to be more careful with focus spot placement, or pre-focus or use the spot focus option.  More fun things to try!

One positive thing about my 5D3... i tried auto-iSO for a few dozen shots and it worked great with the metering set to "evaluative" - I was surprised at that.

Fortunately, I was just shooting for my own practice.  I do enjoy a tough photography challenge, plus it was good to see what some of the other photographers were using.

The most interesting thing I saw was a rig that consisted of a 70-200 zoom and a speedlight on some kind of 5D class body.  The interesting part was that the speedlight was rotated to the left.  So when the photographer held his rig vertically, the light pointed down at the floor of the stage about halfway between the floor and the performer.  I assume he was using floor bounce, which is a pretty clever way to illuminate the shadows under chins and on faces when the performers are wearing hats.   The color balance might be odd, but with all the colored stage lights, it doesn't make any difference.

7
Lenses / Re: Sigma 85mm vs. 70-200 II
« on: February 24, 2015, 11:36:49 AM »
chrysoberyl,  You might get more and better advice if you would tell us what kind of photography you are doing.     :)

8
Theater, Concert and Event / Re: My First Concert Shoot
« on: February 22, 2015, 01:57:53 PM »
Thanks for the pointers, Marsu!

If I do more of this kind of photography, which I'd like to, I will bring longer primes.  Probably my 100mm F/2 and my 135mm F/2, maybe my 200mm F/2.   Maybe a monopod too!

I was really interested to see how the 35mm stabilized lens would work, sharpness wise.  However, due to the less than perfect focus accuracy, I could not tell if the stabilization helped much.   

I have a feeling there is a good reason why so many event photographers use a stabilized 70-200.   Although I have to admit my arms were noticeably sore after holding my relatively lightweight rig for 2 1/2 hours.  I suspect a great white lens might be a problem for me in that respect.

9
Photography Technique / Re: What is your keeper rate?
« on: February 22, 2015, 12:32:17 PM »
I started to write a post about my keeper rate, but it evolved into a post about event photography.  You can find it here in the event category if you want to read more.

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=25244.0

I mostly shoot glamour/nude/naughty genres.  When I shoot in my studio under controlled conditions, the percentage of properly exposed and focused photos is very close to 100%.  Depending on the model or client I'm working with, the percentage of photos I send to them can vary from roughly 10% to roughly 70%.

Last week I tried something new.  A friend in the local live music community got me a stage pass to a blues benefit concert in Portland, Oregon at the Crystal Ballroom. 

10
Theater, Concert and Event / My First Concert Shoot
« on: February 22, 2015, 12:28:28 PM »
I mostly shoot glamour/nude/naughty genres.  When I shoot in my studio under controlled conditions, the percentage of properly exposed and focused photos is very close to 100%.  Depending on the model or client I'm working with, the percentage of photos I send to them can vary from roughly 10% to roughly 70%.

Last week I tried something new.  A friend in the local live music community got me a stage pass to a blues benefit concert in Portland, Oregon at the Crystal Ballroom.   My last event photography was as a high school yearbook photographer, back in the last century, so I was looking forward to the challenge and seeing how my fancy 21st century camera gear would handle the job.

Photographing this concert was quite a challenge, even with modern equipment.  My keeper rate was 20 out of 700.  I didn't have much problem with exposure.  I just used my 5D3 on manual and did not try to adjust for the quick changes in lighting.  Nearly all of my shots had acceptable exposure.  Mostly at ISO 6400.   Lightroom easily handled the noise reduction job on the RAW images.

Most images were rejected because the performers had a microphone or some other object covering part of their face!  How rude!  LOL

I did have a big problem getting sharp images.  I'm still evaluating the reasons, but here are some that I believe are factors.

1.  Some of my lenses had a problem locking focus on the performer's faces.   I only brought three lenses, the 35mm 2.0 IS, the 50mm 1.2L and the 85mm 1.8, since I knew I would be able stand at the edge of the stage.   The 35mm had the worst focus reliability.   I suspect this is due to the focus sensor covering a larger area and picking up other high contrast objects like microphone stands.   

2.  I almost always shot wide open.   However, I could tell via my LCD screen that I was having sharpness problems and did try a few shots at smaller apertures and higher ISO.  That did not seem to help.

3.  I did not try use any kind of camera support, although I saw another photog with a monopod, so perhaps I could have used one.   One funny thing about the Crystal Ballroom is that the ancient wood floor is mounted on springs to enhance the dancing experience for the folks who used the place 100 years ago.  I could definitely feel feel the up and down motion!  So I guess maybe a monopod would not have helped.  :)

Anyway, here is one of the keepers with the 35mm F2 wide open.  I applied a lot of sharpening in Lightroom, which is not something I'm used to doing.



Here is the link to the gallery if you wish to see the other 19 keepers.

http://mikeshane.zenfolio.com/f725079218

11
Pricewatch Deals / Re: Still Live: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body $1999
« on: February 19, 2015, 01:01:28 AM »
They are certainly nice cameras.  If I thought mine might fail, I would pick up a spare, but it has worked perfectly for over two years and I treat it very well.

You guys who have been thinking about going to full frame should get your cash ready for the next 5D3 sale!

13
Lenses / Have you negotiated your own "street price?"
« on: February 06, 2015, 09:48:02 PM »
I love the "street price" listed on Canon Price Watch.   But what if the lens you want is not included in the street price program?  Is it worth trying to negotiate a better deal with B&H or Adorama?  If you have done this, what worked for you?  Did you contact them by email or phone?  Did you offer a lower price first or ask for their best "street price?"

14
Portrait / Re: Low Key Portraits- share your low key photos here
« on: February 01, 2015, 12:01:09 PM »
I shot this with my old 5D classic.  Used a single big softbox with compact fluorescent bulbs for lighting.   Minimal post-processing, I would probably do more today.




15
EOS Bodies / Re: More About the EOS 5DS & EOS 5DS R
« on: January 30, 2015, 11:16:40 AM »
I can't see myself buying any of the new cameras, as I'm very happy with the 5D3 for my needs.  However, it is gratifying for this Canon fanboy to see Canon moving ahead.  I was starting to worry about their commitment to the DSLR market.

It will be interesting to see if the strong dollar helps hold the USA price down a bit.

If anyone is in need of a new full frame body, the prices we are seeing for 5D3 bodies are very attractive right now!  :)

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