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Messages - Hillsilly

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Software & Accessories / Re: Other photography websites...
« on: August 14, 2012, 10:23:28 PM »
Several years ago when I first went looking for a photosharing site I considered flickr.  But, although free, it seemed to have many restrictions relating to uploads and file sizes (I can't remember if it had any "pro" options then).  I ended up signing up with smugmug instead.  Since then, I don't know if Flickr has innovated or changed much.  Flickr pages look the same as they always have.  Being the first big kid in the market certainly helped them become popular.  But I'm just wondering if some of the initial users have moved onto other sites that give them more options and flair with how they present things?

Lenses / Re: If you can have ONLY 3 lenses, what would they...???
« on: August 14, 2012, 09:57:13 PM »
Initial though is: -

16-35mm f/2.8L
135mm f/2.0L
400mm f/2.8L IS II (Have never used one, but I think I'd have a lot of fun with it).

I've got a Mamiya 6 which only has three lenses - 50 / 75 /150mm.  Sometimes I wish the 50mm was a bit wider, but in theory I don't mind being restricted in lens choice.

Technical Support / Re: General Client Advise Sought
« on: August 10, 2012, 10:26:00 PM »
FWIW, in Brisbane, Australia, most photographers seem to be around $2000 - $3000 (but of course, some are quoting $15k+).  Generally the price includes a few planning meetings, pictures of the bride and bridesmaids before the event, arriving early to get some pictures of the groom and groomsmen, the ceremony, after ceremony photos at a nice location, and early parts of the reception.  Then, I guess, there is all of the post production work.  When you think about the work involved, the price seems very reasonable.

How do I know about local pricing?  Well, my sister in law has just got engaged.  And she's a bit short of money.  She's asked if I'll DIFF.  Having never done anything like this before, I just know it will be a FWIGTEW! But, with about a year to plan, maybe I can do something that won't disappoint her too much and she'll still speak with me.  But I'm hoping to meet someone local who will do it for $399 as part of building a portfolio and that can be their wedding present!  Any volunteers?

Ok, back on topic.  Pricing anything is difficult.  If you don't "need" the extra income, I'd be tempted to put your pricing at the higher end of the average range.  What's the point of doing it if you're not getting a reasonable return on your time and investment in equipment?  Surely, you're not putting yourself through all of the stress just for fun?  Charging a higher amounts means that you can spend the time to plan things properly.  Rather than running around to two jobs every weekend, you could do one per fortnight and do it well.  You're clients will think you are awesome.

Competing with lower cost providers is never easy.  You just have to become good at sowing the seeds of doubt and uncertainty in people's mind.  Where are the cheaper people skimping?  What steps aren't they doing?  Are they using professional equipment?  Do they have assistants, backup cameras etc etc.  Are they just people looking for extra cash, or do they really care about wedding photography and take their role in the bride's most important day seriously?  Ultimately, you want people to conclude that if you are charging more than other people, you must be better.  And everyone knows that you get what you pay for.

Agree totally about not wanting to do printing.  But, I'd at least consider an "extra optional services" guide for your customers.  On this, you would offer prints and enlargements, canvas mounts, albums, labelled DVDs with slideshows for guests etc etc.  Because you don't want to do it, these would be priced with a significant profit margin.  And you'll make it clear that you'll be providing all of the photos for them to do it themselves anyway.  But done properly, you can get a reasonable return on your time.  If clients ask why they should pay more for you to do it, you just mention things like retouching for colour matching, consistency, supervised print quality, artistic flair, professional printing equipment etc etc.  If they're happy to pay for it, great!  If they choose to do it themselves, you're not really losing anything.     

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to announce medium format dslr?
« on: August 08, 2012, 02:58:07 AM »
Wouldn't they go for a big MP 6x6 or 6x7 system?

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to announce medium format dslr?
« on: August 06, 2012, 08:19:55 PM »
all i can say is -

you will be AMAZED how many medium format cameras got sold to "Non Photography Professionals"

You're right.  I'm one of them.  I've been playing around with Mamiya medium format cameras since the mid 90's.  Yet I've never sold a photo or made any money professionally.  I just like taking photos and until recently medium format film has been the optimal choice for me (I lack the interest and patience of 8x10 or bigger.)  But I think there's a difference between spending a few thousand on a camera versus tens of thousands. 

My 2c, if they make an excellent camera and keep the cost of a reasonable system (body and a couple of lenses) under $10k, there will be a lot of interest.  Over that price, they'll quickly lose a lot of enthusiasm.  Those that are left are probably already looking at Hasselblads.  Probably the Ferrari edition to match their car.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to announce medium format dslr?
« on: August 06, 2012, 05:55:49 AM »
An EF mount?  Unlikely - Unless current EF lenses work in a "crop mode".  But this wouldn't be that bad.  Its an extra functionality.

EF Compatability?  Not a problem at all.  As long as the flange distance is significantly longer than 44mm, then you'd just need an adapter when using the medium format lenses with a DSLR or mirrorless camera. 

I've just read a few reviews of the Nex-7.  Am I the only one wondering why Canon didn't use it as the template for designing the EOS-M? 

Just a thought - Do you have a flash or other accessory attached?  If so, see if everything works fine without it.  One of my cameras does a similar thing when I have a third party flash or trigger attached and the shutter speed is faster than the synch speed.

Portrait / Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« on: August 02, 2012, 06:34:54 AM »
Looks good.  What's going on with that house?  I reckon you could probably take a few cool photos of it on its own.

I'm getting a vibe that your model is only partially enthusiastic?  Perhaps get her to smile a bit more?  Maybe tell some jokes?  Maybe convince her there's no spiders or snakes living in there?  She does have a nice facial expression in the third photo - hopefully its not because you've said its the last photo and its time to go home!  Also, I'd consider removing the palm tree antenna from the car in the third photo.  Personally, I like the second photo as your model plays more of a prominent role.

You've chosen an interesting location for a photo shoot.  That's always a good start.

Portrait / Re: Depth of Field, composition and thinking it through...
« on: July 30, 2012, 07:33:38 AM »
Yes, but isn't f/16 in medium format the same as f/2 in "full frame"?  (and the same as f/64 in a proper camera).

But, seriously, I think you're on the right track.  I recently compiled a short list of favourites.  They were all, "this is the time we went to....", "this is the time we did.....", "this is ......'s birthday party".  No offence to great portraits with non-distracting backgrounds, but I think people do relate more to a picture with context.

This is also becoming more evident with photo judging, too.  Ten years ago, winning wildlife photos tended to be in-your-face close ups from long lenses.  Now, photos with a "wildlife in its natural environment" focus are getting more attention.  Its funny how tastes change.   

Lighting / Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« on: July 29, 2012, 03:40:45 AM »
I picked up a Nissin Di866Mkii recently.  If you search online, you'll find it in the low to mid $200's.  Compared with the Yongnuo's, it offers high speed synch which might be an advantage if shooting portraits outside. And, although it is only marginally cheaper than a 430exii, it is a bit more powerful.  On the down side, it feels a little flimsy and emits a crackling sound (but no worse than the high pitched noise of other flashes).  So far, it has done the job well.

My other flashes are non-EX Canon flashes (old Canon, Minolta, Sunpak).  I use these in auto mode (via thyristor) or manual mode when they're on the hotshoe.  When I go wireless, I use an el-cheapo Cactus V5 wireless transmitter.  With a set-up like this, it doesn't really matter what type of flash you use as long as you have the ability to manually adjust the flash power.  Some older Canon flashes (eg those ending in "EZ") aren't  compatible with exposure modes on modern DSLRs.  But as mentioned above, work perfectly in "Auto" mode or off camera.  And they aren't that expensive on ebay.  But the downside with going cheap is that you need to spend more time setting things up to make sure the lighting is perfect.  You can never be sure that an improptu shot will work out.  Not a problem for an amateur like me, but would be really annoying if doing things profesionally.

My new Nissin flash was my first ever Canon DSLR compatible flash.  OMG!  You just put it on the hotshoe and take photos.  No more mucking around with power settings and taking half a dozen shots to get things dialled in correctly.  Who'd have thought flash photography could be so easy.  Therefore, my suggestion would be to buy a flash that's compatible with Canon's E-TTL and E-TTLii metering modes.  Then work out if you need high speed synch (a lot of people say it is unnecessary).  Then look at the power of the flash (bearing in mind that manufacturers are creative about how this is measured - although  the Canon 430EXii is regarded as more powerful than advertised).  Other considerations include speed to refresh, AF assist light, master / slave mode, strobe mode and the amount of manual control you want. Then you have to worry about long term compatability of third party flashes with the Canon system.  (Although many now have the ability to update firmware via USB). 

If you see it as a long-term investment, the Canon 430EX ii represents good value.  There's also talk of a 440EX-RT coming out later this year.  This would be compatible with Canon's new radio trigger system and (hopefully) will be an awesome flash.  But you'd need an extra accessory (an even more expensive flash or an ST-E3 flash controller) to get this to work properly with the new wireless system.  I wouldn't wait for a hypothetical product that will be expensive to get working to its full capability.

Sorry about the long essay - slow day at work. 

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: 3rd Party ... Bodies??
« on: July 27, 2012, 04:09:30 AM »
Not that it matters much, but I also doubt that Sigma pays a fee to Canon.  That would suggest that Canon provides access to the intimate details of their AF system.  And if Sigma had these details, there wouldn't be any compatabilty problems.  I've also had the impression that Sigma reverse engineered the AF system and there was no commercial arrangement between Sigma and Canon.  Could be wrong.

Anyway...good concept.  It would be sensible for Sigma to make it EF compatible if they are already using EF signals.  Obviously they'd release a few new lenses of their own, too.
Sigma seems to be very ambitious right now. Who knows, maybe this is possible.  I agree that Sigma isn't the sort of brand capable of charging a premium on their products, but I (along with thousands / millions of others) have bought Sigma products in the past.  If they had a great camera at a realistic price, I'm sure many would consider it. 

EOS Bodies / Re: A New 100-400 & Coming Announcements [CR2]
« on: July 26, 2012, 01:09:52 AM »
I hope Canon realises that the top end of the 400mm market is already well catered for.  If they choose to discontinue the 400/5.6 then a new 100-400 really needs to be similarly priced to the current model.  Otherwise, they'll price themselves out of the market and will slowly start to lose their reputation as the "go to" brand for enthusiast sports and wildlife photographers.  There is precendence for new "affordable" 400mm lenses.  The Sony 70-400 comes to mind.

EOS Bodies / Re: could the new EF-M mount support FF sensors too?
« on: July 25, 2012, 08:16:44 AM »

Don't worry. All that will come, and more....

This is just the very first EOS-M camera.

I'd like to think so too.  But given that this type of cameras has evolved a lot over the last couple of years, it was a calculated decision by Canon not to include the things that many would like to have seen - in my case, an electronic viewfinder and in-body IS (oh...and decent camera strap lugs).

I see two possible reasons:

1.  They're just not on Canon's radar; or
2.  The second version will feature all of this.  And because the Mk ii model will correct the problems with Mk i, then Mk i buyers will buy a Mk ii.  They will effectively double sales.

Either way, I don't think the new model is so enticing that I'll rush out for one.  Instead, I'll wait to see what's next. 

Glad my comment helped a bit.  The Canon designers, in their ultimate wisdom, have dictated that AF assist cannot be used in AI Servo mode.  Unfortunately, this is my favourite mode and it always takes me a few seconds to figure out what's wrong. 

Sorry, I can't help with the C.fn and green light.  Does the flash go off and do the exposures seem ok?  If the flash is working properly, I wouldn't be too concerned about the C.fn thing.  I'd just assume the function relates to something your flash can't do.  Your flash probably lacks the ability to communicate with the camera.  But I'd still expect a green light to come on.  This should just be an indicator that the flash is ready to go and would be independent of camera settings.  Are you using fresh batteries?

With the AF assist, I've found a big difference in effectiveness between various flashes.  If it is working consistently on objects less than two to three meters away, I'd say it is probably working ok.  They generally don't have a long effective range.  Do you have more than one lens?  If so, try different lenses and see if they work better.  I assume you're doing all of this in the dark?  I'm just guessing at this, but its possible some zoom lenses might not letting enough light into the camera for it to work very effectively.  Your centre focus point is probably the best one to use, so make sure you're testing on this one.

If AF assist is a big thing for you, I've been eyeing the Yongnuo ST-E2 recently.  I've heard it has the best AF Assist distance.  (But its not a flash - just an infra-red flash trigger which may or may not work with your flash). 

EOS Bodies / Re: could the new EF-M mount support FF sensors too?
« on: July 24, 2012, 06:36:17 AM »
I'd agree.  It would have to be a very high MP sensor or medium format.  For a serious photographer looking at investing a lot of money into a system, why else would you give up the speed and autofocus advantages of a DSLR?  Outstanding image quality is the only answer I keep coming back to.

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