April 19, 2014, 04:18:03 PM

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Topics - RLPhoto

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Reviews / Lomography's Petzval Lens - RLPhoto's First Impressions
« on: April 07, 2014, 06:09:03 PM »
*Double Facepalm's Face.

Once I took the petzval outside for 30 minutes, I knew this was going to be a love-hate relationship.

Kickstarter funded a New Lomo Petzval Lens designed for 35mm Cam's last year and I signed up for the limited run from serial # 50-200. I paid 500$ for the lens and some neat other accessories that come's with the lens. I also have my name engraved on it so that means re-selling is out of the picture. (which I won't ever sell it because its also a personal lens for keepsakes.)

Sooooooooooooooo... With delays from the project, I got mine today and here my first impressions of this Petzval lens.

Build Quality - 3/5

-This lens has some heft when you pick it up and it feels like a tank being solid brass parts. The lens hood is also solid brass and screws off the front with precision threading from the fine machining. The thumb screw is very fine with no grit and the waterhouse plates slide in with a nice click. The machining is elegant and all the part fit together like a finely crafted classic Victrola.

-However, This lens has openings and gaps all over it asking for dust to enter it's innards. The waterhouse plate gap, the gap around the moving front element, the large gap between the rear element and the mount. Don't expect this lens to remain dust-free for long and definitely avoid water. The plate can slide out accidentally if you turn to a portrait shot too quickly.

Image Quality - ?/5

-It sucks everywhere but the center. Sharp this lens is not but it's passable IF you get focus IF you frame Center or IF you stop down.

-IF you hit focus... This was one of the hardest lenses to get focused because even with liveview, if you frame off-center, it will look OOF because of the field curvature. The knob is smooth but IF you can get lucky to move the tiny nuance you need. (A bigger knob would have helped alot.) I threw away 90% of my frames due to OOF and this lens can be a handful if you subject is moving the slightest.

-IF you stop down, Its much easier but this is not the lens for stopping down.

-IF you can hit all these check boxes, wow you can get some really stunning bokeh. It's not a prevalent as the LF petzval but with a brenzer menthod, I believe this lens can be stunning. I have some very nice shoots coming up soon, and I will report back with more images once I get this lens into the field.

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Photography Technique / Direct Image Competition - pixoto.com
« on: January 14, 2014, 12:43:48 PM »
Pixoto.com is a neat site when it opened two years ago. It's a site where normal people pick photos over another photo and rank photos through votes. I left a handful of photos there about a year ago and completely forgot about it. I checked back in and was quite surprised some of my photos were awarded in the top 20% of the year in 2012.

Sometimes we forget that its the general public who view photos and we can be overly analytic on ourselves. My profile is here - http://www.pixoto.com/rlphoto/recent.

3
I've been getting emails from CR users about the look I achieve in my photos. This combined with the Endless DR/Camera debate made me combine some before/after shots of my LR+CS6 Processing. I'll add some thoughts and I welcome the input of fellow CR users who take the time for Post. :)

1. Image 1 - Wasn't intended to be my first frame of choice but I saw the potential of this frame doing better in post than others in my sequence. Due to some difficulties in the field, I couldn't scrim the main light to get the strip of light where I wanted it. Some cleaver LR work got my end vision close enough and I quite liked the end product.

2. Image 2 - Some will consider this a DR limited shot but what really happened is due to the particular location of this shot, I had only two frames to get it correct. One had shake and this one was an ok exposure. With some post work I was able to get the desired effect I was looking for and I like this frame.

3. Image 3 - This frame has gotten me a few emails about how it was accomplished. The nature of the photo means that I would have bad frames for the keeper. It turns out none were particularly perfect with the smoke but this frame had potential but due to the 600RT's recycle, It was underexposed. I was able to save it in LR4 and print a 13X19 for the couple. I seemed to have broke the DR rule again by pumping Dark frames and print medium sized prints with very good IQ.

So how do I feel about DR? It's useful but it has limitations. The only way to overcome those limitations is smart shooting and clever post work. More DR isn't better if you have to sacrifice other things needed for a frame you want. The question is. how often does the gear limit you and when it does, do you shoot for post?

4
Software & Accessories / RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« on: November 17, 2013, 09:20:40 PM »
Hello fellow CR users,

I tend to lapse in upgrading my equipment. I use my stuff until it cannot function or it frustrates me into improvising a alternate way of doing things. When that fails, I consider upgrading my stuff and my PC was one of those long neglected pieces of kit.

My Old Computer specs (built 2006 - Retired 2013)

Intel E6600 OC'ed to 3.4ghz.
Western Digital 500GB HDD + 2TB RAID 5 w/ 4 Drives
Nvidia 8800 GTS 640mb Card
16GB DDR2 800 MHZ RAM
Gigabyte Motherboard
Win 7 Pro

This machine was finally defeated when handling my 5D3 files with heavy layers in CS6, Exporting and Editing 5D3 files in LR4 and Rendering video in Premiere pro CS6. It simply couldn't keep up with my catalog.

My Newest Machine

ASUS Sabertooth X79 Mobo
Intel i7 4930K OC'ed to 4.2 GHz w/ H100i cooler
64GB of 1866Mhz DDR3
Nvidia GTX 770 4GB card
240GB SSD + 180GB Intel SSD
10TB RAID 5 of storage.
Win 7 Pro

This rig simply flys through my huge LR catalog and my PSD's. Editing in Premiere is a breeze and I thought I'd post a geekbench score if anyones interested. :)

Total Cost - 3000$ for everything.
 

5
Third Party Manufacturers / I jumped ship...
« on: August 29, 2013, 04:43:04 PM »
O_o

6
Third Party Manufacturers / Autographer? Practical Applications?
« on: August 05, 2013, 11:08:01 AM »
I saw this on DPreview.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/omglife-autographer

While its ridiculously overpriced, I think it would be cool if I shot a wedding with this on to capture whats going on around me as I'm shooting. Not for client purposes but to see how I tend to shoot and maybe catch things I may have missed for next time.

What are some practical applications you could see for this?

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Software & Accessories / Who Adopted Adobe CC?
« on: July 22, 2013, 04:46:46 PM »
Did you move to CC? Why or why not?

8
Canon General / POLL: Satisfaction Level With Canon products.
« on: July 18, 2013, 04:27:20 PM »
How is the current satisfaction level for canon products on CR?

9
Lenses / Euro Trip Lens selection.
« on: June 05, 2013, 12:42:23 PM »
Paris & London for a week. I will shoot alittle of everything and want to travel light with f/4 zooms and a fast 50mm.

- 5D3
- 17-40L
- 50L

but I don't know to rent the 70-200 F/4L IS or the 70-300L. Which should I take?

10
Software & Accessories / Adobe Creative Cloud - Adobe Owns you!
« on: May 10, 2013, 02:01:54 PM »
Check this info out. Quite shocking what's in that new license agreement.

http://macperformanceguide.com/blog/2013/20130508_1a-Adobe-legal-agreement.html

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Lenses / Poll: Most Wanted New Lenses of 2013.
« on: May 06, 2013, 05:02:21 PM »
Since this will be a year for lenses, What lens do you desire the most to be released by canon? If your lens is not on here, Post and I will add.

Most should know my vote.  ::)

12
http://photo.net/learn/digital-photography-workflow/advanced-photoshop-tutorials/sharpening-in-lab-color/

Fantastic Sharpening Technique! It doesn't ruin colors when sharpening! My new technique for extensive sharpening. I just had to share this.

13
PowerShot / G15 Sync-speed. What is the limit?
« on: February 12, 2013, 04:15:26 PM »
I've been wanting a HSS with strobes and found a cheap solution. Get a Electronic shutter.

How fast will the G15 sync and can I use my El-cheapo cowboy triggers (It only uses the center-point on the hotshoe) to trigger my strobes? Has anyone used their G series camera like this?

Edit: Found it. 1/2000th but still, any issues with running strobes? Triggering? Pit-falls?


14
Lighting / Selling off my old strobes, What to get next?
« on: January 16, 2013, 08:15:54 PM »
I'll be auctioning off my hard-working novatron strobes until they sell. I love the power but the flash duration is too slow for me to do any splash stuff.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=181064006334#ht_710wt_1244

I've got about a 5 Grand budget and I've been looking into 4x PCB Einsteins but I ask, Is there any other options I should know about?

15
Camera Body Gallery / Canon EOS 5D classic photos
« on: December 18, 2012, 11:11:20 PM »
This was one of my favorite canon bodies and is still a good choice for budget FF users.

Please post some recent or even legacy photos with the 5D classic.

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