July 24, 2014, 08:01:13 PM

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Topics - grahamclarkphoto

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1
Lenses / Canon FL 50mm 1.8 on Sony A7R Results (1964-1971)
« on: February 22, 2014, 03:42:16 AM »
One of the most exciting things about a camera that has a short focal flange distance is that nearly any 35mm lens ever made will work. I decided to start out by trying my Canon FL, Canon FD and Nikon Kogaku lenses first, and my first results with my Canon FL 50mm 1.8 was astounding at this medium format resolution range. Note all the images below are unsharpened RAW.

Take a look:



San Francisco Skyline from Treasure Island  |  97s  -  F11  -  ISO 80  |  Canon FL 50mm 1.8 (1964 – 1971)

Take a look at the 100% crop of the bridge detail:



Take a look for yourself and download the RAW file (.ARW), the original TIFF16BIT (200MB+) and the hi/low-res JPEGs directly by clicking here: https://app.box.com/s/03vu6r4c05d6q4v5550a

There's a bit of flare here on the originals that you may not find on modern lenses, however my real interest in these lenses will be black and white street photography, not landscape. Just wanted to test these on something of such extreme detail before my street photography photography meetup tomorrow in San Francisco's Chinatown.

Huge win on sharpness and corner detail, completely shocked me even on playback of image on the camera, but even more so on a 27" Thunderbolt. Will post back here with images from the Streets of Chinatown in B&W (http://www.meetup.com/Landscape-Photography-SF/events/167445242/) tomorrow sometime.

Graham

2
Lenses / Canon EF on Sony A7R field notes
« on: February 02, 2014, 05:54:49 PM »
Hey everyone,

I got the Sony A7R, and although I usually keep quite a few notes and the consolidate and organize them into a review. I thought I'd do something a bit different and just do a stream of consciousness field notes type thing.

Update! I have just completed a video review of the Sony A7R which can be found here: http://www.grahamclarkphoto.com/sony-a7r-review-canon-ef-lenses/

Click here for this updated field notes page on my site
Click here to view and download .TIFF + .ARW






Here's what I got so far:

-Smallness and lightness are very noticeable when compared to Canon 6D
- A7R body-only weighs 16.75 oz
- Canon 6D body-only weighs 27.75 oz
- Sony A7R with EF + Canon 17-40 weighs 38.05 oz
- Canon 40mm 2.8 weighs 4.40 oz
- Canon EF to Sony adapter weighs 5.25 oz
- The default settings on the A7R are pretty bad
- The Sony A7R manual wasn’t created for humans to understand
- With the Canon EF to Sony A7R E-Mount adapter it has a pretty good balance.
- When placed on a level surface its level on both sides with the Canon 17-40
- EVF is slightly distorted at edges of viewfinder with 20mm or wider
- EVF resolution is pretty low considering how close the eye is to the internal screen. I suppose I’m used to my retina iPhone, iPad and macbook pro, so the low-res is pretty darn -noticeable.
- Back LCD screen resolution is excellent
- Back LCD surface is delicate, much more delicate than the Canon 5D3 or 6D
- Back LCD responds with bruising if you press on it gently, it doesn’t have a hard plastic surface. Kind of like a calculator LCD display : (
- ISO 25k isn’t enough for composing in lowlight about 1/2 hour after sunset
- ISO 25k isn't enough for composing during sunset with lowlight + 6-stops ND (viewfinder is black)
- When at ISO 25k the back LCD lags down to about 10-15 fps. It may have to do with the funny named processor not being able to handle two tasks: ISO 25k and transferring data from sensor to LCD

- When playing back images on the LCD there's a significant amount of banding happening. I would imagine it's either due to the gamut of the LCD can't handle the range of colors, or the JPEG that's being processed for playback is of low quality, or both
- I'm still seeing a consistent drop in FPS when ISO 25k is used in low light
- Industrial design of the A7R is incredible. I was shooting the SF skyline last night from Treasure Island and a South Korean tourist had a 35mm rangefinder from the 70's, and it was striking the resemblance of the two
- The button placements are excellent
- The index and thumb dials are metal, very good quality and have excellent dampening
- I shoot in Aperture priority mode about 80% of the time when not in bulb, so the exposure compensation dial is fantastic. I love the feel of it, and it's very sturdy and not easy to inadvertently change. Sony intentionally dampened that one more than the others
- The power on sequence takes 3-4 seconds, not the 2 1/2 I've been reading
- The tiny little Sony batteries don't last that long. I shot for about 4 1/2 hours on the pacific ocean for sunset and the battery was nearly exhausted
- When exposing the LCD turns black, but it's still powered on and the pixels are therefore using power:





- I find the autofocus speed of the A7R to be the same as the 5D3/6D
- Canon Image stabilization with the A7R EF adapter works perfectly, I’m not noticing any issues or reduction of stops
- On the A7R the autofocus switch must be set to ‘M’ manual for the camera to engage manual focus mode. If it’s in AF it won’t do both like a Canon behaves
- The EF adapter writes focal range and F-stop into the EXIF data of the image but lacks the model information (easy fix in Aperture/Lightroom):



- Auto white balance does a great job at determining natural light, it’s a bit orangish in indoor artificial light I’ve found
- Using the EVF for achieving critical sharpness could be a game changer. The precision of manual focus is magnitudes better than looking at the viewfinder, perhaps because your eye adjusts to the dark - EVF and is able to see the screen much closer. With lenses where the threshold of focus is very small this becomes a big advantage
- For me, the Sony A7R has proven that you can drastically simplify the controls and dials and still have an effective tool for getting the job done, primarily through excellent function and custom button customizations
- Having ISO 50, 64 and 80 are great, I love the flexibility in this range. These are of course pulled from ISO 100 and the highlight headroom may *be less, but I’m going to test that soon
- The Menu button is justified in the top left, it would have been nice to have it justified to the right. If it was on the right all the controls would be accessible from the shooting hand
- The vertical swivel of the A7R is useful in certain applications, however it means it’s a more delicate camera. Getting that thing snagged on something and broken off wouldn’t be fun
- I like the record button on the right side of the grip. In the settings you can specify it to do nothing unless movie mode is selected, thereby removing the possibility of accidentally switching in to movie mode, but I don’t see that happening as it’s out of the way in its current position
- The SD card slot door is built very well and has rubberized contacts on the interior to prevent play or flex
- Audio inputs on the A7R like microphones is very easy to setup. It auto-detects and the audio level display is better than the Canon one – easier to view and a bit more polished. Downstream tech from Sony’s camcorders most likely
- The shutter button has a very gratifying quality to it, very circular and 50′s rangefinderish, but it’s also very responsive to half and full shutter clicks
- A7R magnesium alloy body is incredibly sturdy and feels well crafted
- A7R menu system is decent. I think it’s probably the best i’ve seen but then again it doesn’t really have much competition as nearly no one out there is making decent menu systems (or at least I haven’t seen one yet)
- Trash button doubles as a C3 customizable button when not selected in image playback – nice
- You can tell a user experience team thought about how the buttons should be laid out and placed, which is nice
- Achieving critical sharpness on the A7R 7x and 14.4x modes is great, although I wish the photographer could select the default magnification level instead of cycling through 0x – 7x – 14x
- A7R battery charger does not include a wall charger, you must plug the camera physically into the charger
- On the upside, the A7R charging system is done through micro-USB, so if you lose the cable / charger you can re-use another that you have
- You can charge your A7R in the car USB outlet
- A7R battery charging times are between 4-6 hours, pretty darn long considering how fast the batteries deplete
- You can’t charge the battery while you’re out shooting (unless you buy the standalone battery charger), but you can charge it in the car etc., so it’s a bit of a convenience tradeoff

3
Landscape / Yosemite Winter Sunset (.CR2 + TIFF)
« on: January 22, 2014, 02:30:25 AM »
I just got back from Yosemite weekend during a landscape photography community meetup thing in SF. Last winter I was there and there was quite a bit of snow on the ground, this year... not so much! In fact days were t-shirt and sandal weather, nights were just about freezing but not quite.

Just a bit of snow on the east side of the park (shadow side), while the west side of the park was pretty dry and sunny all day (waterfall side). This viewpoint is the most widely photographed location in the park as many of the great photographers would benchmark their work against this classic composition.

I've had my 6-stop B+W filter stuck on the end of my 77mm adapter ring for GNDs, so all my exposures are pretty far out on exposure times, which I've found to blend twilight and sunset colors together for a truly impressive color gradient. ISO 50 F22 at 3:30 is usually where I start at the beginning of sundown, and add 30 second intervals thereafter, up to 4 minutes at around minute 10 after sundown. Then it's time to move to a 3-stop... unless you have a stuck 6-stop.

The download files include the RAW .CR2 file as well as the TIFF16BIT file of the slight adjustments.if you open both and move between them you can see the before and after of very slight adjustment in exposure values - color was pretty well saturated by low ISO number, maybe a little bit too much even on native saturation.



> > > The .CR2 + TIFF can be downloaded here < < <

It was about 3 days and some photographers got some really awesome shots! (if you're in SF, check out landscapephotographysf.com)

If you have any questions let me know!

Graham

4
Hey everyone,

Quite a few people were asking me to send them hi-res TIFFs and video files straight from the 6D shot on L and Zeiss lenses so they could see what the quality was really like.

Here's 5.6GB of TIFFs + Video, or 3.4GB of video-only. Download it all and check it out for yourself what the quality is like.

view & download here  >>  https://app.box.com/s/jmtxb6mvkmqfqo357z4q

Shot in Death Valley National Park, Grand Canyon, Big Sur, Yosemite and a few others.

Shot with the 6D and all L + Zeiss lenses.

5
Reviews / Canon 6D Review: 1+ Year Hands-On [video review]
« on: January 14, 2014, 06:45:43 PM »
Just about a year ago I posted a review of the Canon 6D Review here: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13504.msg242772#msg242772

After a year later of consistent use I decided it might be a good time to do something a little more comprehensive. I recently got back from a 3+ month trip to 30+ National Parks in North America, and lots of hands-on experience with the 6D.

Small | Large


I uploaded 5.6GB of hi-res TIFFs (no watermarks) and quite a few H.264 low-comp videos (unedited). Click here to view: http://www.6dreview.com/

Just over a year ago the Canon 6D was announced as the smallest and lightest full-frame SLR in the world, and naturally as a landscape and travel photographer I was quite intrigued by the ultralight factor so I got one of the first copies to ship. I had my doubts as the marketing and photography community had words like budget and economy wherever the Canon 6D was mentioned. Price wasn't part of my decision making as I own all the 5D-family bodies and the Nikon D800e, I just wanted it for the lightness and smallness factors.

A super high level overview of my Canon 6D Review:

- I've printed up to 40x60 and the quality is indistinguishable between the 5D original all the way up to the 6D - that is to say, excellent
- It's rated for 150,000 shutter actuations, since recording the video I've now put on 250,000. Awesome! But why so many? Star trail and time-lapse, and  I'm also writing an article on battery performance and needed to let one of my cameras run until the batteries died
- Autofocus is the Canon 6D's worst and best feature. 11 AF points may not be enough if you shoot 80% or more fast action images. But the -3EV is currently the king of lowlight AF performance. I rely on this for accurate low-light AF with ND filters and long exposures. Great for travel & landscape photography.
- WiFi is essentially useless for photographers who rely on intervalometers. Canon user experience team was fired or something...
- GPS is a game changer for certain photographers, but again, Canon user experience team completely messed this one up by not including an idle shutoff time option = GPS remains on even when camera is turned off = camera dies.
- Of all the different cameras I own this one is with me nearly 90% of the time. I do quite a bit of printing, and at large print sizes I'm seeing the same quality as the other cameras and this one is lighter. I actually prefer the simple AF system on the original 5D, 5D2 and 6D, and the -3EV for AF lock is great and incredibly practical for those who shoot in low-light.
- GPS setting the date and time in and of itself is hugely valuable for me as I travel quite a bit. Remember when you had to manually adjust date and time in Aperture or Lightroom? Well you never have to do that again, and that's a huge timesaver for me.

From my experience with both the 5D3 and the 6D, the only major differences I usually notice are:

- Lower AF points on 6D
- No GPS on 5D3
- No WB displayed in 6D LCD... Canon used the precious real estate for WiFi OFF... they pulled another print button on us :|
- 6D is lighter and has better balance. Once you use 6D for a while, 5D3 seems heavy and bulky, less comfortable in the hands

In addition I also created a Canon 6D PDF review that has tons of information and quite a few hi-res images, which can be downloaded here: http://www.6dreview.com

If you have any questions don't hesitate to leave them below. Alright, to close out I'll post some 6D captured images I've taken in the last 8 weeks or so. Thanks for reading everyone, and if you have questions let me know below! : )


























6
Landscape / California Sunsets 2013
« on: December 30, 2013, 04:01:16 AM »
The light in 2013 was quite unique, and weather conditions in California contributed to some interesting lighting conditions, to say the least! Freezing in SF to rain and snow in Death Valley.

Captured these while at a workshop with PhotoTourSF.com recently. If you have any questions let me know! : )

Graham















7
Video & Movie / The Narrows in Zion National Park HD (6D)
« on: October 23, 2013, 04:53:14 PM »
I just finished hiking The Narrows! For the avid trekkers, hikers and photographers, this is a wonderland of beautiful soft light, textures, colors and above all, solitude and simplicity.
The Narrows “top-down” hike is 16-miles in total, and consists of 50-60% of walking through the Virgin River. I hiked The Narrows recently and as a first-timer, I was a bit surprised at how tricky it can be. I created this site to help you – the potential hiker – get out there hiking the narrows.

Hiking The Narrows in Zion National Park HD Small | Large


In additional to hundreds of landscape photographs, I captured some HD video and I just finished cutting it all in Final Cut. Let me know what you think!


8
Landscape / Grand Teton NP Closure and Star Trail Photography (6D)
« on: October 23, 2013, 04:26:16 PM »
I recently finished a trip traveling to 20+ national parks in search of fall colors. It was unfortunate to say the least to hear of the park closures in the midst of beautiful fall colors.

When I got to Grand Teton National Park having just driven a few hours from Banff National Park, Canada, I was hopeful that the parks would open in time. Sadly they did not.  Mormon Row, however, was a short 1-mile hike in from the barricade, so I decided to do the early morning hike in. This location is often called the most photographed location in North America, and I'm not sure if it's Mormon Row or Maroon Bells, but in any seeing tons of photographers yelling out to each other about being in their shots is quite the standard sight. It was quite nice having the entire place to myself. The quietness and solitude of that morning is sure not to repeat itself until the next park closure.

All of the below images were shot on the Canon EOS 6D. Kind of a side note, but I recently reviewed this camera with 10+ months of hands-on experience, check it out here and let me know what you think: 6dreview.com


Grand Teton Mountain Range Star Trails @ 933 seconds, F/5.0, ISO 320 at 17mm with in-camera white balance. I captured the above single frame photograph with the Canon 17-40mm L on the Canon EOS 6D with a Canon intervalometer.


184 frames (12GB) captured at 32 seconds, F/5.0, ISO 320 at 17mm. The above star trail photograph is was captured with the same camera setup as mentioned before.


Grand Teton Mormon Row Sunrise Long Exposure 6:22AM @ 180 seconds, f/22, ISO 125, 30mm.


Grand Teton Mormon Row Sunrise Long Exposure 6:42AM @ 180 seconds, f/22, ISO 50, 30mm.

For the post on my site plus an image of the same frame but in August visit: http://www.grahamclarkphoto.com/grand-teton-closure-star-trails/

If you have any questions on any of the images let me know!

Graham

9
Landscape / Grand Canyon Sunset
« on: September 07, 2013, 01:09:08 PM »
Hello all!

I just got back from Grand Canyon National Park where I was shooting for about a week. Just now getting images processed and wanted to share a few with you. Images were captured on a Canon EOS 6D and a sensor modified Canon EOS 5D IR.

Any comments, questions or critiques please don't hesitate to leave a response. More feedback the better! : )

"With practice we become proficient in handling the image-management & value-control procedures; the interval between our first perception of the subject & the completion of visualization & the requried technical procedures becomes suprisingly short." Ansel Adams

Follow me on Facebook for a chance to win a free print! facebook.grahamclarkphoto.com




10
Reviews / Canon 6D 1080p Video Test
« on: May 28, 2013, 02:01:06 AM »
Hello all,

I have just uploaded an uncompressed 1080p video test of the Canon EOS 6D. It's actually the first video I've ever shot on any camera ever, so the quality of editing is definitely not the purpose here, but rather simply present examples of 6D video.



Video on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/67106188

If you have any questions let me know! Original review article: http://www.grahamclarkphoto.com/review-canon-eos-6d/

--
Graham Clark | grahamclarkphoto.com

11
Landscape / San Francisco Sunrise to Yosemite Sunset in a Day
« on: April 07, 2013, 09:58:14 PM »
Hello all!

I recently shot the Golden Gate Bridge during sunrise, and then drove 160 miles to Yosemite for the sunset. One of the amazing things about living in San Francisco is that you're so close to such awesome places!

No photoshop, ND grad filters used for both, Canon 17-40mm L, Canon EOS 6D, B+W Circular Polarizer 77mm

If you have any questions or comments please let me know!

Graham




12
Software & Accessories / REVIEW: SANDISK EXTREME 128GB
« on: March 30, 2013, 03:22:40 PM »
Does it hit the marketed throughput? No. What’s the actual formatted capacity? 128.83GB. More details below. Also, you can find more information on this review here: http://www.grahamclarkphoto.com/review-sandisk-extreme-128gb/

Use Cases
The SanDisk Extreme product line is second fastest in the lineup, with the Extreme Pro clocking in nearly twice that or perhaps more at 90-95MB of advertised I/O. That's nearly twice the speed! However, the Extreme Pro does not have a 128GB capacity, so this is the only option for hitting that capacity range at the moment. For 95% of all use cases involving shooting images from camera to card, the Extreme is above spec, including 30-minute HD1080p footage. Shooters who might have this card are:

    Casual Shooters
    Wildlife Photographers
    Wedding Photographers
    Landscape Photographers
    Action Sports Photographers
    Commercial Photographers
    Astrophotographers (and time-lapse photographers)
    Anyone doesn't to have more than one card

Speed
All speed tests were on run on a 2013 MacBook Air internal SD card slot (450/450mb SDD 6gb/s), which is an interface on the main logic board so it doesn't adversely affect the tests results. Here is a disk whack speedtest run on Blackmagic Disk Speed Test: https://vimeo.com/60428348

35.5MB write, and 37.8MB read speeds are a bit below the advertised 45MB/sec, but still good for nearly all types of shooters. The average SD card speed is roughly half this, where normal falls somewhere between 16-20MB/sec. A finder block copy transfer of 500MB had approximately +3 MB on read/write.

Formatted Capcity - 127.85GB

The actual camera formatted capacity of the SanDisk Extreme 128GB SDXC card is 127.85GB. Awesome!

Overall Impressions
For still shooters, the SanDisk Extreme 128GB SD card is now the last card you'll probably need for the next 3-5 years. If you shoot 30MB RAW files, you can shoot 4,369 RAW images until this card becomes full. If your RAW images are 50MB each, you'll max this one at 2,621 images. 80% of cameras fall under 30MB per RAW file. For video shooters, multiple 30-minute clips can be shot in sequence with just a short break in-between.

Wether you're going to be shooting stills or video, get the SanDisk Extreme 128GB over the  Transcend 128GB SD TS128GS. It's only $30 more . For any capacities lower than 128GB, I recommend the Transcend as the price point as it's much less expensive and the speed/reliability is excellent.

If you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to leave a comment below!

Graham


13
The PhotoAlliance 'Our World' annual photography portfolio review was held this past weekend in San Francisco. It's a national juried portfolio review and some some 3,000-5,000 photographers apply to in hopes of getting their work seen by professionals, with around 50 accepted. I was lucky enough to be accepted and was pretty excited to attend.



The event took place on March 16th and 17th between 10:00AM - 5:50PM, with an opening talk on the Friday before. It was held at the San Francisco Art Institute, which overlooks the bay up near Pier 39. The cost of entry was $40, and around $700 if you're accepted. The way it works is an accepted photographer selects ten out of fifty reviewers. The photographer will meet with ten reviewers, but only five of the ten will be guaranteed.

Who were the photographers that were selected? What kind of work did they present and what were their impressions of the PhotoAlliance Portfolio Review? I took some time out of my Saturday and Sunday to connect with some of the photographers to get a sense for who I had the pleasure to show with, and what kind of work they were showing.

To see who some of the photographers were and what their work looked like, check this out: http//www.grahamclarkphoto.com/photoalliance-portfolio-review-2013/

Conclusions
For professional photographers looking to expand their horizons and network with other photographers and people in the art community, the PhotoAlliance 'Our World' Annual Portfolio Review held in San Francisco is a great event that could be really useful. It has a hyperlocal emphasis, so for those who live elsewhere in the country you might find the network effects a bit limiting.

Have questions about this event or want more information? Reply below!

14
Canon General / website concept: proSLRs.com
« on: March 19, 2013, 12:28:48 AM »
    Hello all!

    I have an idea for a new website that I wanted to get some of your thoughts on.

    There are tons of awesome websites out there for camera reviews, but the problem (in my opinion) with most of these is that they only really present one review per site, and often times the reviewers aren't working photographers, or if they are they're not professionals. What I'd like to do is build a community-based site whereby a curated selection of professional photographers review SLRs in a real-world context.

    What if (as a reader) you could select reviews of the Canon 1D C based on the work of a professional photographer in a niche that you identify with:

    • professional cinematographers
    • professional wedding photographers
    • professional landscape photographers
    • professional commericial photographers
    • professional street photographers
    • professional underwater photographers
    • professional wildlife photographers
    • professional model photographers
    • professional war photographers

    In addition to professional reviews, the site could focus on:

    • professional photographs of the cameras
    • professional photographs with the cameras
    • profile pages for photographers. links to the photographers site, social media etc.
    • reviews for photographers, by professional photographers
    • blog on all things photography. up-to-date news on pro SLRs only
    • featured: photographer of the month
    • forums for pro SLRs and photography in general

    The site could look like this:
http://organicthemes.com/demo/magazine/
The domain could look like this: proSLRs.com
The reviews could look something like this: http://grahamclarkphoto.com/review-canon-eos-6d/


The photographers could look like this:

Any thoughts, or people interested? I already have a number of professional photographers, designers and SEO pros who are interested in moving forward with it but I wanted to get a sense from everyone here! : )

Graham

15
Canon General / How to Pre-Visualize like Ansel Adams
« on: March 12, 2013, 10:19:01 PM »
The concept of previsualization in photography is where the photographer can see the final print before the image has been captured. Ansel Adams dedicates the beginning of his first book to previsualization, and is often quoted as saying "Visualization is the single most important factor in photography". Understanding then the significance of this approach is of high value for photographers of all kinds, as it has the potential to unlock greater creative vision, and give greater control (and predictability) over the print process.

Although I'm still just a beginner, I have consolidated some of my thoughts on this here: http://grahamclarkphoto.com/how-to-pre-visualize-a-photograph-like-ansel-adams/

Hopefully others can find it useful!

Graham


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