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Topics - Marsu42

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EOS Bodies / POLL: aa, or not to aa (5ds vs. 5dsr) ?
« on: January 30, 2015, 12:50:31 PM »
5Ds and 5Ds-R ... given the choice and let's think both models have the same price tag: Which one would you buy?

Background: For years we enthusiasts have been bashing Nikon for their trollish removal of the aa filter on the d800e, conning innocent users out of their money for moiré-ridden stills and videos. And now Canon follows suit!  If you've missed the discussion, here's a link with some information on the effects of the low pass filter by an expert: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d800/vs-d800e.htm

EOS Bodies / POLL: How many mp do you want anyway?
« on: January 30, 2015, 12:40:13 PM »
Is Canon being driven into releasing a high-mp camera by Sonikon trolls, or is there an actual demand for more resolution even beyond what the competition delivers?

Vote here how much metapixies you require for your *general* shooting style - either for wall-sized prints, selling stock, zoooooooming in macro, cropping for reach, changing aspect ratio or just for showing off!

Note that the poll is not meant as "get it for free", but as in "pay more for money for it" and "trade-off resolution vs. noise" - so please consider for a moment or we we'd just get a "more is better" result.

Technical Support / Zoom ring on 17-40L becoming loose?
« on: January 20, 2015, 04:31:51 AM »
My trusty ol' 17-40L is developing a potential issue and I'd like some feedback if there is nothing to it or if it's a sign of impending doom(tm):

The zoom ring (the one towards the camera) has a bit of play, i.e. I have to turn it a bit before it grabs the actual focusing mechanism. I cannot remember anything special happening to the lens except my usual heavy duty outdoor usage.

Atm, this is not problem at all ... but if possible it would be nice to have experiences on how this will develop in the future - either stay this way, becoming a bit worse or completely breaking the lens requiring expensive servicing.

Thanks for any insight!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / POLL: Do you need 1/8000s shutter speed?
« on: January 06, 2015, 03:45:36 PM »
Some say a body with "just" 1/4ks is unusable and not a real man's camera. That made me set up this poll because I wonder how the general CR crowd feels about this.

My personal experience is that the missing 1/8ks hurts most for bracketing w/o a nd filter. Otherwise the stopping power isn't as significantly different unless shooting rockets in flight and it cannot be "fast enough". When in doubt I'd rather opt for one stop lower iso, esp. on crop.

What's your take? Exercise your right to vote now or forever hold your peace!

Business of Photography/Videography / (Why) do clients like high dr shots?
« on: December 19, 2014, 09:50:15 AM »
I just sold a couple of documentary shots, the client chose among a rather huge amount of my stock photos what the wild horsies I report on are up to round the year.

While tastes may vary and the client certainly didn't chose shots I like best (emotional content, uniqueness, whatever), I was surprised that nearly all choices were those of high-dr shots taken with Magic Lantern's dual iso, i.e. having 14+ stops of dynamic range.

Among the shots were these two below which were a pita to post-process, and I'm still not really happy. The scenes were noon and high dr, so I cannot really do anything about the "tonemapped" look, but it isn't - just plain Lightroom/ACR. It's only a choice how *how much* you raise shadows, not *if* ... sitting in indoors in winter it's hard to imagine summer can look that glaring and hard though.

Question:What's your experience - do clients like hdr-ish shots and why?

Currently, I'm not 100% happy with my 6d's metering, it seems to be a bit more dodgy than my old 60d... *but* that's because I don't use it properly as there's no metering mode I'd like. So please, no 6d vs. 5d3, dynamic range or Nikon vs. Canon discussion in this thread.

* What I *would* like is a dumb matrix metering, ignoring the af points and preventing clipping to an extent of my choice. Actually exactly what Magic Lantern's auto-ettr does, but that works only in live view

* What I *do* use is eval with center & recompose, but I am mostly too much in a wildlife-hurry or too lazy to use ae lock. The result is that in high contrast scenes (like with the sky in the picture) the exposure is kind of hit-and-miss, and my only way out is either press the ae lock on every metering or use full m.

So I'm really wondering about switching to another "bread and butter" metering mode, thus the question: How do you do it? What do you use?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Which mf split screen for 5d2/6d?
« on: December 10, 2014, 05:46:02 AM »
A friend of mine is about to buy a mf screen for his 5d2 and asked me which to get. Does anyone have any experiences with the actual products and knows if it's "worth it" getting the expensive ones? How is the performance, i.e. drop in light and dodgy metering?

This seems to be the "better" one(?): http://www.focusingscreen.com/product_info.php?cPath=21_98&products_id=761

This is the cheaper one (yes, .de site, but you get the picture): www.amazon.de/Delamax-Schnittbildmattscheibe-180°-für-Canon/dp/B003UUDL94/

Thanks for sharing any experiences!

Post Processing / Other postprocessing forums, anyone?
« on: December 10, 2014, 05:27:24 AM »
Yo all, currently I have a couple of questions regarding post-processing technique, but looking at the current participation over here (thanks for always replying, pdb :-)) I guess I should also ask on another site for this specific matter.

Question: What other photog sites are out there (English or German) that deal with post-processing and have users sharing their results, discuss them and give advice?

Reason for asking is that I am quite picky about forums, I hate over-moderation of smug mods and the participants should be considerate and have a wide range of points of view. Fortunately, at least among photogs it's less likely to run into total nerds with the social competence of a potted plant like with coders :-p

Thanks for any links/advice!

Photography Technique / What can old-school photogs do better (or not)?
« on: December 08, 2014, 04:16:41 PM »
Today I was out shooting horsies with a friend of mine, a cameraman with 20 years experience in the studio and film biz. Nowadays, he's doing mostly landscape stills. So I asked him to do some portaits of me with the animals for my website.

He used a 5d2, a light meter, a good 50mm mf/m lens and shot in full M mode apparently mostly f2.8 (there's no exif on that). And a mf film camera, claiming that a good scan of the negative beats any 135 digital out there in resolution. So far, so impressive. Except for the 5d2, I was shocked by its pattern noise after raising shadows +2ev. So if I ever said anything negative about my 6d except for its still crappy af system I take it back :-o

The bad: after looking at his digital shots I have to say I'm kind of surprised: only 1/10th are barely in focus, maybe 1/20th are just ok-ish for websize, and even less rally nailed. And he screwed up the horizon level and framing even worse than I usually do, and I feel I'm pretty bad at it.

The good: He has a very good eye for composition and lighting, he didn't pray & spray but waited for the right light to show up and got nice rim lighting. For using full M, the exposure was also mostly ok +-1ev from nailing it.

The Question: Are we too focused on pixel peeping these days and forget about the good traditional values of the great photogs of the olden days? Or do some long-time legacy photogs simply need a kick in the proverbial to use af like the rest of us?

I'm asking because this is not the first time I feel very ambivalent about working with or talking to old-school photogs. It's like there's a curious mixture of very solid knowledge, but coupled with a seemingly lack of understanding of modern camera's capabilities or usage. Or is it they simply have completely other priorities than us digital kids, and wildlife shooting isn't really what the legacy is back from the days?

Thanks for sharing any insights about the film photog generation in the digital age!

Post Processing / Best practice for post brightness/gamma!?
« on: December 05, 2014, 05:20:28 PM »
I'm just through processing through a batch of my horsies photos, and send the preview link to a friend of mine. One feedback is that he feels that the exposure from post is too bright for his monitors.

I have absolutely no clue how to get around this issue. On my calibrated monitors the global brightness looks just fine. However, I admit I work in strongly varying ambient light. My simplistic approach so far is to put the main bump of the histogram near the center at least on low-contrast scenes when I've got the choice.

My specific shooting style, however you like it, makes it worse: I like to have back-lit subjects, so the internal brightness distribution (gamma) matters a lot as the subjects either look over-brightened or too dark and details are lost.

Question: Are there any guidelines (links?) on how to process digitial images for optimal brightness with general display? Or is this more a matter of personal, subjective perception? Do you know this problem, how do you handle it?

Photography Technique / Share 3x your own advice to yourself!
« on: November 26, 2014, 06:36:23 PM »
Here's good ol' Marsu's latest scheme to help each other out by sharing some knowledge :-)

If you could time-travel 3 short pieces of advice back to yourself when you started of with photography, what would it be?

I'll go ahead!
  • shoot loose
  • calibrate your monitor
  • tell a story

Now, don't be shy! What did you miss back then you've learned by now?

Post Processing / POLL: Do you need to fill the histogram in post?
« on: November 21, 2014, 01:44:58 PM »
I'm currently post-processing a bunch of wildlife shots (horses, my favorite subject) and would like to know how you feel a histogram should look like after postprocessing. I'm using ACR (Lightroom).

Personally, I try to adjust sliders and tone curve until I get whites and blacks somewhere, i.e. the shot fills the histogram with the main data neither to the very left or right. If I cannot manage that straight away, I usually resort to some local editing with ACR's tools like the brush.

At times, this can be a bit awkward if the scene was low-contrast in reality. The other problem is that if for example an animal's eye is the darkest part, it tends to cave in if I adjust black clipping accordingly and I need to do local editing (contrast) to make it look "alive" again.

Question: Am I painting myself into a corner with that approach, i.e. should I simply leave some part of the histogram empty? What's your take on "histogram after postprocessing"?

Note: I'm talking about natural scenes like wildlife or landscape, not about shots that are meant to be "artistic" from the start.

"Light-field photography is the future" - or is it?

Here are two reviews on the new Lytro Illum, still seem to be work in progress, but an interesting concept. And you can emulate a f1.0 lens :-)

German: http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/gadgets/kameras-lichtfeldkamera-lytro-illum-im-test-a-1000246.html
Foreign: http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/30/5949913/lytro-illum-review

What do you think: Is old-school single-dof photography doomed?

Post Processing / POLL: What picture styles do you use?
« on: November 11, 2014, 01:11:19 PM »
Even when shooting raw, the picstyle determines the preview result. Even if postprocessing from raw you have to set some camera calibration which includes camera emulation styles (at least with Adobe - though "Adobe Standard" is the default).

What picture style(s) do you use?
Anyone out there actually using Landscape for landscape and Portrait for Portrait?

Fyi: You can download several custom styles from http://www.canon.co.jp/imaging/picturestyle/

Business of Photography/Videography / Online rating/comment app/site?
« on: November 06, 2014, 02:33:44 PM »
I'm currently sorting through my heaps of wildlife shots and am writíng captions for them. As there are so many opinions as there are potential viewers, I have a couple of friends who are willing to give their personal rating for the shots, write comments or even text captions for them.

The problem: My current approach "create a web slideshow with numbered shots, then let the people write back via e-mail" has a lot of overhead and creates a lot of hassle for the volunteers.

The question: Is there some pic site where I can upload my shots that includes the option to rate the pictures online and write captions/comments for them? It doesn't need to have multi-user security, I can simply share my login.

I have my own website, so if there's some ready-made (sql/php) web app I can also simply use this - but writing my own interface with a cms like drupal is currently too time-consuming for me. A free or at least inexpensive solution is definitely preferred. If it has a nice interface, I could also use it to let clients chose the shots they like from pre-processed proofs.

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