September 16, 2014, 05:33:34 AM

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Messages - jonathan7007

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1
Software & Accessories / Re: 5D III connected to iPad 4 Retina
« on: September 14, 2014, 05:38:41 PM »
I tether on my Android (DSLRController software) or Windows laptop (Canon's two tether software packages) but offer a name I hear mentioned often for iOS: CamRanger. Several hundred $? There may be other solutions.

A Mac-focused (no pun intended) web site that sells hardware for tethering is www.tethertools.com

Were there no good sources found with Google for this? If so there may be others here who would like to know about tethering, which is great when appropriate!

2
Lighting / Re: How to Extend Flash Performance (Life on Site)
« on: September 11, 2014, 05:57:28 AM »
Paul, you're right: I have the 820 with the one connector. Painful shooting speedlights at an event without this or some other external solution. Impossible, really.

3
Datfish,
Good to exchange ideas with you again, yes I remember and have been following your pursuit of Nikon-system consistency for Odin implementation here and on FM forums. In fact, your test descriptions made me dig out my Odin for some "quality time", which I am embarrassed to admit I did not put in when I got the kit. I have a TCU, three Odin rcvrs, and one Strato2 (at the time I planned to use speedlights and a 2000WS Norman pack for interiors.) Now that I have the Einsteins and their dedicated receivers I haven't needed the Phottix triggers very often. The arrival of the Mitros+ got me thinking about adding one of those to my speedlight kit, so --- testing!

OK, back to my rant/questions.

All my testing occurred right after upgrading to the v1.24 firmware.

I had forgotten that "TTL" systems were based on in-body analysis. Duh! Years ago I did a lot of editorial work with those Vivitars and Sunpacks that watched the scene in front of them and STOPPED the flash when the head saw enough light for the chosen setting. I didn't "reset" my head (no pun intended) and realize that speedlights in modern TTL were just emitters -- smart emitters -- but their position in relation to the photo subject was not used directly for info input. Therefore the speedlight could be buried in a softbox and the camera would analyze the light shed -- from all emitters -- on the subject in the preflash.

I read more after my post and got good at pushing test on the TCU and resetting the Sekonic for the "real" flash 2.5 seconds later. I checked with Sekonic and they confirmed that my L558 will reset for the next strobe flash within about a second. THIS IS INTERESTING: the tech told me that even though the meter reads the light "seen" during the pre-flash it will ignore that reading after reset -- without clearing the meter info screen --and give me a clean reading of the full-strength pulse. He felt I did not have to push the Measurement button again.

OK, switch to manual light output settings on some(?) or all of the channels, and there is no longer a 2.5-second gap between preflash and "real" pulse. So the meter cannot be used. No way to get a reading without using the camera sensor, I guess.

Missing flash trigger on first shot... Clients/models get nervous when this happens and I don't like using anything that makes them worry. I don't remember these "wake-up-moments" from shoots a while back before upgrading the firmware. Maybe they happened. Missing frames doesn't square with everyone's eager praise foe  100% perfect Phottix Odins. I haven't heard this described by anybody.

I wrote Phottix some days ago and added to the thread on the Help interface. Nothing after a kind of boilerplate response to my first question: everything off, take out all batteries, replace, try again. Maybe helped but I was looking for 100% firing.

Your reply was helpful, thanks. I'm pretty experienced (had my TTL head screwed in wrong...) but wanted to dig in and really understand the system so everything you've been investigating has moved all of us further along. I see myself using the manual ratio control set for the most part. That way I lose the metering, though...Frustrating and bush compared to the way we took elaborate care to know exactly what light we had before we exposed film, especially view camera work. Even with Polaroids for testing...

BTW the ease of access to the HSS capabilities of the Phottix rig is truly neat.

Again, thanks for a detailed post to help out.

Jonathan

4
Behavior: I finally did a firmware update 9/6/2014 -- issued by Phottix a year ago for TCU and receivers. My Odin kit was 1.0 and those sold now are 1.5, but Phottix implies that the firmware update makes them functionally identical (they use the word "compatible".)

I set up a little test shoot to see the results of the firmware -- and practice some use cases I have not yet done with the Odin -- for clients. I just want to learn more about the Odin kit. Here's the problem: Since the update yesterday there are times I shoot a frame in which no flash occurs and then the second shot will fire as expected -- as will further frames as long as I keep going. This wake-up frame seems to occur when there is perhaps a minute or two of inactivity.

I first noticed this yesterday so I cleared the TCU, took out the batteries and let it sit without power for a day. This had helped some photographers last year at the time of the firmware update, which didn’t go smoothly for everyone. My flashes in this test are one each 580EX and 550EX. They are set to stay on, not to go to sleep. It is not battery power. But tonight I had that blank frame reoccur.

I was shooting tethered to an Android tablet and thought something wonky in its shutter button but the same issue happened with out tether. A pause takes the camera into some form of standby. I will ask Phottix. Any thoughts here?

NEXT,
Nowhere can I find a detailed discussion about when it's best to leave the flash units as TTL using "TTL Compensation" on the TCU to affect a ratio. Non-TTL is called Manual but the flash is STILL set for "ETTL". I have been asking myself how TTL on controller *and* flash head (speedlight) can work when the shoot calls for the flash unit to be facing the inside of a umbrella of softbox. Using TTL in the test setup I did see some change in the flash output when I put a white card behind the mannequin head (my "model"). In TTL with changed aperture the whole rig was "OK" at producing similar histograms. But one of my strobes, the 580, was flashing into a silvery umbrella on every shot, The other light was a 550EX directly at the model.

Changing mode on the TCU to "manual" would seem to avoid  confusion from TTL decisions, I guess, so I set full power from the umbrella and 1/8 power from the direct 550. Shoot. This strong ratio does show on the back-of-camera screen  as soon as I hit the shutter. Changes in ratio show right away.

I have very little experience with TTL  and trust manual (admittedly limiting). I expect to meter the flash as I own a Sekonic L558. Even though there appears to be no preflash in this Phottix version of "manual" my meter is confused. It reads f3.2 for a flash level that is f10 when I get the histogram right. (I know in-camera histograms aren't perfect…)  (In preflash for TTL operation my meter successfully waited for and displayed pretty accurate results of a "second" flash stronger than the first.     

Why is there a wake-up shot required?
Why doesn't the speedlight inside something or facing an umbrella mess up the Odin TTL system?

5
Lighting / Re: How to Extend Flash Performance (Life on Site)
« on: September 08, 2014, 04:16:14 AM »
I had Quantums a long time ago and they were great.

I do have a Godox 960 I purchased for use with Canon 580 and 550 and this pack has been excellent. My unit has only one outlet used for both output and charging when you need to recharge. I didn't know the 960 grew another outlet.  I will buy another 960 and place the Yongnuo pack as backup kit.

6
Software & Accessories / Re: Shuttercount Now Available for Windows
« on: September 03, 2014, 03:23:27 PM »
Keep this thread, use one of the tools when selling a body, and give the buyer your count AND the thread to show that there might be differences or that it's understood that there has been a variation noticed. Then if Canon Repair later gives a "more official" (and different) count for that body you are covered.

7
Lenses / Re: Your favorite older EF lens
« on: September 03, 2014, 03:14:04 PM »
"Oldies but goodies":

1. Lens I have now - the 300mm non-IS. I live where there are few used lenses so when it showed upon CraigsList I bought it. $700. It's the longest I have, not counting the 2x extender(II) I never seem to fit onto anything. I know the 2x and the 300 are not a good pair...

2. Lens I wish I still had - 35mm TSE FD mount - the lens that made me switch from Nikon to Canon in 1974 (I think I have the year right... 1975?) I currently use the 17, 24, 45, and 90 TSE's. For some years I had the 17 and the 45 and wanted something in between for interiors. 45 just not right most of the time, at least for my clients. Good food lens, though. Yes, I once put the 17mm on the 2x extender on a shoot and just the sight of it gave me the willies. Results not good enough to get over it. Client happy but not me.

Fun thread. Hearing about lenses I never knew about.


8
Lighting / Re: Mitros+ Owners: are you satisfied?
« on: August 20, 2014, 07:34:45 PM »
As the OP, I never got very excited by the Canon system because it seemed inflexible for me: events, sure, maybe, but then add commercial work on location: flexibility between systems is needed and I don't have clients here paying the margins for discrete kits all packed separately for different purposes. So mix-and-match to be able to do anything is my motto.

Scotty, thanks for the input. I might buy one.

The price struck me during this discussion as close to that of an Einstein head. That gave me pause. I usually don't run out of Einstein heads on location, but as an alternative for my next head: a Godoc 360 and a strato? Alternatively, because I usually use all this stuff on manual, a fifth Einstein head can be turned up and down with my Cyber Commander. (I fire the Einsteins with their dedicated trigger which is handier, holding the Cyber Commander in my hand for adjustment and sometimes flash metering.) That's very useful.

I have some thinking and comparing to do.

9
Lighting / Re: Mitros+ Owners: are you satisfied?
« on: August 20, 2014, 05:15:18 PM »
Conversation linked above (now in two threads) offers a lot of hands-on experience both from earlier this year and recent firmware affects. Jury's still out, I believe. See why I'd only buy ONE. (at least now): controller function OK once you understand ho it "thinks", response as a "receiving unit" for some of these commentators: not-so-consistent. But jury's still out (repeating myself.)

10
Lighting / Re: Mitros+ Owners: are you satisfied?
« on: August 20, 2014, 05:05:43 AM »
good test on output level consistency from a Mitros+ compared to Canon 580EXII models -- posted just now (!-read our minds...) at Fred Miranda
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1313343/0#12530946

Very detailed.

11
Lighting / Mitros+ Owners: are you satisfied?
« on: August 19, 2014, 04:36:46 AM »
Comments on Amazon from the first months after release refer to overheat throttling and the success of the firmware upgrade in avoiding shutdown was 50-50 in the small number of comments offered. It occurs to me I should see if B&H have sold more... therefore might have more comments.

I have a Phottix three-Odin set and one Strato2 rcvr to round out the kit. I have used these for several different setups. I am considering buying one Mitros+ flash to stay on my camera during events at which I have placed flashes (maybe my Einsteins) at one or more remote perches. It is a biggish commitment ($400) but you could say the transceiver is valued at $150 alone.

Private by Design once made the point that this price rises to the same range as good deals on Canon 600 pieces. I agree but have the investment in the Odin kit and a 580EX and a 550EX. I also do interiors where there are needs for a less-bright light in a small room off the main area we are lighting. Optical slaves can be finicky. I like having a LOT of flexibility when working in unpredictable locations.

So, are these delivering the benefits Odin installed features should allow?

jonathan7007

12
Lighting / Re: HSS with Einsteins win!
« on: August 16, 2014, 06:52:13 AM »
Paul,
Do you find that the HSS solution for Einsteins works the same out in the field with the Buff Vagabond? I shoot with Einsteins and have a set of Phottix Odins. Now I have to find out my firmware state -- but I know I have seen no mention of an ODS adjustment framework.

Extremely cool that I can do this.

I do have 5DMark3's, what are the "difficulties"? More variation? Lower shutter limit?

13
The discussion got a little away from the w540 comparison requested.

I use and really appreciate a w520 bought in late 2011 IIRC and I have upgraded components all along as my needs increased. I was tethering with this on a shoot today. I look into the Lenovo forums occasionally to stay up with what the new "W" (workstation) models offer. Anyone considering a w540 needs to read a lot of angry, disappointed forum messages. Some do refute the large numbers of complaints, but some people who evaluate ThinkPad laptops as their job suggest that people buy a w520 instead!

I like my "FD" 1920 x whatever (16:9) screen, although I was sorry to see the old 4:3 screens disappear. Have not tried to calibrate it but keep meaning to get around to it. (I own a Color Munki Photo.)

I am writing just to ask KCC and anyone else reading this to read the "w" machine Lenovo user forum carefully. Sorry not to be able to put the link in this post. I am responding on a tablet.

14
Software & Accessories / Re: DxO upgrade question.
« on: July 25, 2014, 04:00:48 AM »
In my experience the company answers questions quickly although the last time I asked something the answer came from Europe so factor in the time zone issues. I don't remember if 9.5 was a free upgrade, although the pattern would dictate that it is.
Jonathan

15
Software & Accessories / Re: laptop for tethered shooting?
« on: July 25, 2014, 03:57:30 AM »
Hi, jumping back in. Jrista, loved knowing more about Longhorn, which I remember sounded really interesting.

I noted another reference to dslrController, which I do use on shoots. I think I mentioned it way earlier in this thread, too. With images that require careful scrutiny I still stick with my Lenovo w520 running now either EOS Utility 2 or 3. Maybe my ASUS Transformer can't hold the detail because it's a year 2011 resolution 1280 x 800(?) screen. I can't zoom it clearly enough to know for sure the big interiors I do with a tilt and shift are sharp enough way in the back or to check subtle stuff in the foreground. Clients like it. Easier to work with as it's smaller and handholdable. Nice to have the ability to bracket the HDR stuff right from the screen, although dslrController is less able to control the 1DsMk3's I like to use on the tripod for those shoots. (older machine language internal software on that era of 1D body.)

I avidly read about the Surface units and I'd like to try to tether to one. The w520 has been GREAT, though. Still chugging along as it offers lots of customization and access inside the body. Plenty of RAM and a couple of SSDs.

Note that a bright spot for dslrController is the developer's support of wireless without requiring the expensive Canon device. Photographers have used it for some interesting benefits. I think I read that a shooter making an elaborate scene with multiple models walked out around the set firing shots so he could show every model the scene as shot and adjust pose, props, etc.

Know that there isn't any documentation. So you can't bring a binder to the shoot (as I do for EOS Utility) for the assistant to bone up on the software.  It's quirky and if you switch bodies you get different features available. One good thing about it: seems less fussy about which cord you use than EOS Utility! 

This Lenovo does have LR and Photoshop. I have at times tethered into Lightroom. But they are there for work away from the office. This machine has a Quadro (right name?) nVidia board for discrete Graphics processing.

Jonathan

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