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Messages - IMG_0001

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Software & Accessories / Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« on: September 01, 2014, 01:27:06 PM »
I use a Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite for my screen color calibration. I am pretty happy with it and it is at lest 75$ less than the I-Rite. I know some pros find it does not provide as repeatable measurements as the I-Rite from Pentone, but to me it has done a wonderfull job. Just make sure you get the Pro or Elite as the software is much better.

Best of luck.

Australia / Re: Legal question on photography
« on: August 18, 2014, 09:38:05 PM »
Not in Australia, not a lawyer but I think you'd be bound to the terms. And about Facebook and such, the thing is that by posting images there, you cede all your rights on the image to the site hosting it and you don't own these in the first place. I think you could then be held responsible if the host decided they like the image enough and use it for advertisement or other commercial purpoise.

Lighting / Re: Godox V860C battery not fully charging?
« on: August 15, 2014, 02:50:35 PM »

I can't comment on the numbers of flashes for this model, but the point I'll bring might be of interest to you. Lithium batteries usually ship with about 50% charge. Some devices have meters that calibrate themselves on the power the battery has when inserted or while charging within the device. A long initial charge ensures that the meter is calibrated to the battery's max capacity and avoids mistakenly reading the battery as dead. Furthermore, if the device has a multi-cell battery, a long initial charge ensures that none of the cells get damaged by a too low discharge.
On a high drain device like a flash, I believe that it is good for battery life that this initial charge cycle is respected. The manual of the flash most likely has recommendations on charging before first use. Did you read and respect those instructions?

Canon General / Re: A Rundown of EOS 7D Mark II Information
« on: August 15, 2014, 02:30:39 PM »
I'll be waiting on this one, not because of specs, but because my finances dictate that I won't be replacing my 7D until early 2016. I should be up to 110K exposures by then, which seems like a good point to make it may backup body. Who knows, maybe by that time Canon will have come out with a 50MP camera with a built in coffeemaker and a unicorn for $500.  ;D
In any event, it looks like I will have to have plenty of napkins on hand to wipe away the drool for the next 18 months.

Built in coffeemaker AND a unicorn!  Bet it also makes rainbow flavoured popcorn!  Sign me up! LOL ::)

If it comes with a unicorn OR rainbow flavored popcorn, I would be ready to pay up to 3500$. Otherwise, I'll stick to my 60D.

Lighting / Re: HSS with Einsteins win!
« on: August 14, 2014, 04:58:51 PM »
Isn't that working just because the whole process of taking the picture occurs within the 1/540 s of the full power flash duration? If so, it is not really high speed sync isn't it?

Correct, but it does equate to faster sync, it isn't HSS, it is what Pocket Wizard call HyperSync, the trick is to get the flash to fire before the second curtain starts its travel, that is what causes the shadow, the second curtain, so if you can adjust your triggering time to sync not when the first curtain is fully open, as in normal sync, but before that, just before the second curtain starts to close and your flash duration will last the entire exposure at an evenish value then you get faster sync.

But what it should more accurately be called is second curtain sync above true sync speed, but SCSATSS is nowhere near as cool as HSS or HyperSync!

Thanks, it right that SCSATSS does not sound right. I guess its better to have this than nothing, but I just thought that having absolutely no control over the light source, as opposed to true HSS, was quite a bit of a sacrifice.

Edit: How about Hyper Speed Second Curtain Sync (HSSCS) though?

Lighting / Re: HSS with Einsteins win!
« on: August 14, 2014, 04:55:48 PM »
Isn't that working just because the whole process of taking the picture occurs within the 1/540 s of the full power flash duration? If so, it is not really high speed sync isn't it?

The resulting flash power must also be quite low as a 1/8000 s the exposure would only capture about 7% of the flash duration. Also, how constant is the flash exposure? As a flash output is far from linear, my feeling is that a small change in timing might result in quite a change in exposure.

I'm only starting of with flash photography and that's only me thinking out loud here. I was just wondering...
Longer flash duration during shutter travel is exactly what HSS is.  There is not other way to do it since there is no point in time during which the entire shutter is exposed.

No it isn't, HSS is many high speed pulses timed such that the entire shutter slot gets even illumination; not one long flash buts lots of very short flashes. These tiny fast short flashes effectively emulate one longer one, but at the cost of much power.

As most of the light emitted during a flash is at the beginning of the burst of light and the IGBT just interrupt the flash at the desired duration, many short pulse result in a 'somewhat constant' light source as opposed to the long but quite 'uneven' lighting of a single long duration flash. Therefore, having multiple very short and likely less intense flashes during the exposure seems more efficient and must result in a more repeatable/consistent lighting than one long flash. The energy cost is from keeping the output almost constant for the duration of the illumination, at least that is my understanding.

Lighting / Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« on: August 14, 2014, 04:41:47 PM »
Have you tried putting a much longer shutter speed on to see if it is just a sync issue

This may also be worth a try, just for the sake of it.

Lighting / Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« on: August 14, 2014, 04:41:01 PM »
Ok thank you all. I think my flash is definitely dead.
I did some other tests.
I did all the settings Dekaner told.
I have no wireless settings (flash is not compatible). reset settings, ttl, first curtain, etc..

Here are my new tests:
1) pmode. No flash, then Flash.
2) manual settings, underexposed photo. Then flash with manual power adjusted to 1/1. And flash exposure compensation +3.  I saw a very little strobe. and the photos comes completely dark, like the one without flash. The only difference is the white balance (warmer with flash activated).


Things do not look good for your little flash... Three more questions:

1 - Does the ready light comes on between flashes?
2 - Do you hear a whine after the flash fires?
3 - Does the test button fire a strong pop or nothing?

If you do get a pop, but it is not powerful, my guess is that it might be a failing capacitor. If you have some practical electronic know-how (AND EXTREMELY CAREFUL), you might want to try and repair it yourself. Just be aware that there might be some serious juice in there even if the flash does not fire. If the test button fires a strong flash, it might be in the triggering circuit and that might be harder to solve by yourself.

If you are interested in how your flash works, I've found this web page to be very interesting.

Lighting / Re: HSS with Einsteins win!
« on: August 14, 2014, 11:06:56 AM »
Isn't that working just because the whole process of taking the picture occurs within the 1/540 s of the full power flash duration? If so, it is not really high speed sync isn't it?

The resulting flash power must also be quite low as a 1/8000 s the exposure would only capture about 7% of the flash duration. Also, how constant is the flash exposure? As a flash output is far from linear, my feeling is that a small change in timing might result in quite a change in exposure.

I'm only starting of with flash photography and that's only me thinking out loud here. I was just wondering...

Lighting / Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« on: August 14, 2014, 10:51:57 AM »
You might want to retry with a reference shot that is a bit underexposed in manual and then add the flash. I also would add something on the table as a foreground item to be illuminated.

Also, if that does not work, I'd check the menus to try the flash in manual mode and set it up at full power. If you can get more punch that way, it will isolate the problem to TTL and may be you can sort it out, or at least work around the problem by setting the flash manually until you figure it out.

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 14, 2014, 10:45:14 AM »
Earlier this year, I had my 2 years old dell xps 15 die on me. I liked the performances, but the FHD screen had a blue cast that was hard to get rid of, even when calibrated. As I wanted to have some opinions from the forum members I started this thread, which may still be usefull for you.

In the end, I went on for an Asus N550JV with IPS touchscreen and I quite like it. It was about 1300$, so not too bad. The performances of the computer are pretty good (I7-4500HQ and 8Gb RAM) and the screen was surprisingly good (a report from my Spyder 4 Elite is found in this other thread). Moving from (an admitedly quite good) TN to IPS was a revelation. It is much more pleasant to edit on that screen. Downside, I had to retouch a lot of older photos where color casts were revealed by the better display on my new machine.

The other options I considered were:

- Lenovo Thinkpad W530 and W540. I think these would be pretty nice and (at least the W530) have a micro sata port that allows the use of a micro ssd in addition to the HDD. A bit pricey for an amateur like me, but probably worth it for a pro.

- New generation Dell XPS 15, looks very good but at over 2200$ and knowing that my previous gen XPS 15 did not even live 2 years (for similar money) before the motherboard fried, I was not ready to buy dell again.

- Asus N750JV, a 17'' similar to the 15'' one I bought.

However, wonder why you want to change a laptop that appears to be working right and have adequate performance. May be you'd be better served by an external monitor?

Site Information / Re: Small or Large Thumbnails - Poll
« on: August 11, 2014, 03:48:54 PM »
I like big thumbs...

I beg every other users for pardon as I often did reply to post with images without removing them. Most of the times I reply while leaving images, it is because editing a quote from my not so smart phone is a bit of a pain in the ... well, you know.

A couple of questions:
1) are you using ETTL?
2) how are you calculating the correct aperture to use? Are you using a light meter?
I find that ETTL never works properly when I use speedlites with light modifiers and it often results in a shot that is under exposed. The camera's meter is easily fooled, for example if your model moves slightly or if you change the composition.
Using a light meter will allow you to set the exposure accurately and then, once set, you don't need to change it. Just leave the speedlites on manual and they will produce the same amount of light for every shot. You only need to meter again if you move the speedlites or if you increase or decrease the power.
It will also let you see the ratio of flash to ambient light and it will allow you to alter the balance between your speedlites, for example if you want the key light to be more powerful than the fill light.
The zoom setting really only changes the character of the light - so use a telephoto setting if you want to create a highlight on your subject, or a wide angle setting of you want a more even spread of light.
When using a softbox or umbrella I leave my speedlites set to 35mm and I find that works quite well.
With regard to the placement of your speedlites - you do need to put them quite close to your model, but this is because it will give the light a much softer, shadowless character. Placing the speedlites a long way from your model will create harsh shadows, which is usually not the effect you want to achieve. I put my speedlites as close as  possible to the model, so they are only just out of shot.
Of course a speedlite is usually less powerful than a studio strobe, but that should not be an issue unless you are placing them a long way from your subject

Thanks Ian,

1) I shoot in manual flash control and manual mode on the camera so that I have full control of how the exposure.

2) As I don't own a light/flash meter, I just judge the exposure from a few test shots and their histograms. I would like to have a light meter and shopped around a bit for one, but I can't really afford one at the time being so I'll stick to the trial and error method for now.

I understand the relationship between source size/distance and the quality of the light, but I was initially shocked that on full power using a 33'' reflective brolly box, I had to place the flash at less than one meter to obtain a decent exposure. I felt that there was not much room for composing the shot. However, It appears that a fresh set of batteries and being rigorous on testing solved the problem.  It appears that for a head shot, I have a decent exposure at 1/4 power and the light at 2m from the subject.

As for the effect of the zoom setting on the light harshness, that is precisely what was the concern of my initial post. Now that I've looked at how light is diffused inside the brolly box, I think it would be worth exploring how this affect the light falling on a subject. Nevertheless, in the immediate, I'll set the flash zoom to 24-35mm in order to make the light as soft as possible.

Lighting / Re: Speedlite zoom setting in flash modifiers and camera ISO
« on: August 05, 2014, 02:43:36 PM »
For everyone enjoyment, I did a chart of the lighting evenness in my 33'' brolly results for different zoom setting and flash power. Basically, 24 mm and 35 mm appear to be best for light evenness and appear to provide about the same intensity as 105 mm. Therefore, not much loss inside the reflectors it appears and no reasons to zoom out.

Note that the flash head was pointed at -7o in order to light the center of the brolly as best as possible. The second image is posterized to 10 levels and the greyscale indicate the relative exposure values from the diffuser area. EDIT: The greyscale should be read the other way around with black as 0 and +3.5 for white. I'll try to update the chart with a corrected scale.Edit 2: Figure 2 greyscale corrected. Edit 3: Aperture was F32, not F2.8, another update will follow. Sorry for the inconvenience. Edit 4: Updated aperture.

Lighting / Re: Speedlite zoom setting in flash modifiers and camera ISO
« on: August 05, 2014, 07:37:48 AM »
So I did a series of more systematic test on a new set of batteries. First conclusion, the new batteries solved the power issue. As I don't use my flashes that often, I did not realize how slow the recycling was until I put the new battery set. My bad there...

Second conclusion, the walls of the room I inteded to use for occasional shoots are too light and the flash light just bounces everywhere. I knew it would, I just did not expect it would be that bad. The room is about 3m x 4m (9'x12') so its also a bit cramped.

Finally, the wide angle coverage does even out the light significantly and the general output loss is not that bad I think. However, up to 50mm, it does not look too bad. I'll try to post the resulting images and a more thorough analysis tomorrow evening.

Thanks everyone.

Only way to beat that is to use lower power and put the lights very close and baffle them, either grids, flags, snoots etc.

I was planning on using the room we're setting up for our upcoming 2nd son as an occasional studio, but after trying it out, I think I will stick to the larger living room. It is about 4m x 6m and thinking of it, it also has a NorthX North East facing patio door that could be used as key sometimes. Itappeared to be more of a hassle to setup, but if I can reduce the baffling/flagging work and have more room for composing, it is probably worth it.

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