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Messages - jonathan7007

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Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: PocketWizard, Yongnuo, or Phottix?
« on: November 03, 2013, 03:08:25 PM »
Couldn't find a Mitros+ "sale" on eBay in or outside the Adorama [virtual]store. Too bad to miss that unless someone knows a link that gets right to the relevant page(?) I would have probably bought at least one. I use several Phottix Odins and one StratoII and having one that can act as controller is appealing.

Please let us know -- anyone that again sees the Mitros+ units on sale.

Yeah, Paul, looking at that more closely (had glanced before) I see the overlaps. I am also surprised he says he uses the 5D2 more than the others. I read a thread here some time back in which a photographer said he was happy with his 1Dx shooting headshots (actors, models) and I believe that, because these files/images with a new 18Meg sensor are well within the quality range for 8x10 prints.

My joy with the two 1Ds bodies I found at about $2250 (each, averaged) is based on:
1. Cost for the quality (way lower than the 1Dx)
2. Ability to have two for consistent control layout shooting in a fast-moving situation
3. Reasonable cost for the durability, water sealing
4. (OK, this isn't that important) The sound of the shutter <bid wide mad grin>
5. The invested $$ won't go down to fast
6. The cost fits my market (follow on to #5)
7. Client knows I'm serious (here most don't know the gear so less a factor.)

Like most here, I find the 1DsMk3 sensor likes to be 2/3 stop over exposed. ETTL baked in.

The 1Ds family not a street unit. I wish I never sold my Leica and Leicavit <sigh> film limitations  aside.

I like the 5DMk3 OK, and love the flexibility with the ISO and "better" focusing. (my copy not so good, unfortunately) so I *do* plan to get a second one of these for to have a consistent control layout aspect appropriate shoots. I sold my 5DMk2 and crop body to help with these moves and to step up in quality. (You called it "magic"? Agreed.)


I always agree with the advice "get more clients" because how else do we pay for all this gear and our studio leases? Paul is always spot on with photo advice, too, but here I do believe the 1DsMk3 adds something to studio work or anything else with lots of light.

I have two 1DsMk3 bodies and one 5DMk3 (had the Mk2 before). At 100, 200 ISO the 1Ds files are GREAT. The highlights have lots of room and the details are sharp and clean. There is some kind of pop that I see that I love. Great skin tones. As the ISO goes up the advantage is lost. But where I have strobes or lots of ambient light the bodies are super.

There are some other advantages. Perhaps the wall-power substitute for the battery is nice for a long day's shoot. The solid body absorbs vibration. Shutter count will never be an issue. Dual cards for backup (but the 5DMk3 has that, too.) Robust shutter should mean less strain from lots of LiveView. (I wonder if the cameras differ in sensor heat effects?) I do shoot the 1Ds tethered a lot.

I now work on location but had a studio for some years.

Cost of ownership? Don't know your marketplace. Here in the US I expect to pay about $2000-2400 for one of these used 1DsMk3 bodies and sell it for about the same. I did not look closely at your other bodies in your signature, so perhaps there is an overlap I am not taking into account, but I love my 1Ds bodies.


Software & Accessories / Re: What's the best shoulder strap, currently?
« on: October 19, 2013, 09:37:56 PM »
One other name to add to the discussion: UpStrap

Lower tech and more usual configuration over the neck: look at Upstrap, too. The pad at the top just will *not* slip off ANY clothing I have ever worn while shooting. So it feels steadier on my shoulder. There is a range of widths and materials based on what you are hanging from the strap. Founder of this little company was a working photojournalist for a good number of years.

I look forward to looking at Paul's suggestion because I recently switched over to all Arca-Swiss head attachments. I think the 70-200 could be suspended in a much more accessible way so perhps this is it. 

I got a great deal from a friend on a couple of ThinkTank holsters, gear belt, and suspender-style straps. I bring this up to point out that we all have a bunch of different scenarios and carry-gear to go with them!

Software & Accessories / Re: software for designing wedding albums
« on: October 19, 2013, 09:27:00 PM »
Do you *know* what your customers "need" or "want"? How much extra income rides on climbing this hill? How much will customers in your area pay for this form of output? Do you find that lack of a book option will lose the entire client $$? I can't answer the questions I pose but you may have figured this out already. InDesign will alow more flexibility so if your competitors are making simple books now then 1. some of them will graduate to InDesign, and 2. you have to have a better product to compete right out of the box.

When I made some books I found the easier tools had limitations but that they would accept big PDFs or JPEGs (depended on the software) created from Photoshop to incorporate, say, type on an image, a feature not in the service provider's interface (at that time). So there are "in-between" solutions that might avoid a full InDesign training regimen.

I have decided that I have to learn InDesign for  a few reasons. I admit I have not tried Blurb's interface inside LR. I am not shoooting weddings right now. There are other clients that will want books, though, including commercial (still photo) companies. I'd better carve out some time. I hate that feeling of helplessness at the beginning: like running in quicksand.

Lighting / Re: Why was Godox first to think of this?
« on: October 19, 2013, 08:56:55 PM »
I use 580 and 550EX units with both a Godox belt pack and a Yongnuo knock-off 8-AA-tray. I like the choice to go with the compact form or the extra pack, based on the needs of the shoot. Of course I use rechargeables in the Yongnuo's tray, and that means taking care to do the charging in advance. The Godox pack holds a charge well and charges quickly. Like those that have commented, this isn't a big breakthrough but would be a consideration if someone had not already bought a kit for events.

I admit I didn't go to the product info site... reacting to these posts.

I like the Godox pack.


Software & Accessories / Re: DSLRs Remote for Android Smartphones
« on: September 18, 2013, 05:32:30 AM »
I use dSLRController as does the other poster. But I write to add that YouTube was -- at least a while back -- full of examples of people using this app one their Android phones for camera control. There is also a long thread on XDA Developers Android forum which is dedicated to questions to the developer (he answers the posts every few days) and details about making it work when it is not just easy out of the box.

I like your idea of the unit as a backup to wired shutter release. I think my DroidX is a little too far back in its OS to run the dSLRController software (on "Gingerbread" Android.). Which Samsung phone are you trying to implement?

But I have ordered a Samsung Note3 and anticipate running the camera on that sometimes. The programmer's site lists compatible phones. I hope the Note3 is on it! (Yeah, I should have looked first...)

I tether to either a Win7 laptop or my Android Transformer TF101 tablet.

Please keep us up to date on how you do this.

Lighting / Re: Phottix Odins, monolights, and HSS
« on: September 16, 2013, 07:06:33 PM »
V8, great to see you back!

I bought 4 Einstein heads and a single Vagabond, have shot one or two assignments that called for outdoor power. Looking for similar car challenges way out here on my Pacific rock -- just for fun... owners of great iron here have few commercial aspirations that require spending $$ for a car picture but it looks like so much FUN!

Einsteins put out a LOT of light. Having Balcar attachment standard opens some options past the Buff modifiers, but the Buff materials seem good. Your point about the second or third Vagabond sounds smart and might keep wires out of sight in a more complicated setups.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« on: September 16, 2013, 07:02:23 PM »
Forgive me if someone already kvetched on this point four pages ago...

At least a few more potential real estate clients will try to go it alone with each improvement" in always-with-me cameras. I console myself (and adjust my sales message) with the realization that they were not good client match in that case.

I have to aim at the need/client which has to be illustrated/served by skills that aren't coming from the camera itself.

So, not the *final* nail in the coffin.

Hey, thanks for opening up your project to show its guts... Cool mod. It would be a new level of McGyver-type project for me, but the end result is really appealing. Might try it on my 550EX first, as they are easier (cheaper) to replace.  I have to balance this work against the cost of the FlashZebra alternative. (I also have a blunderbuss soldering iron $0.50 from a garage sale so might have to up that toolset a bit <grin>.)

I am still scratching my head on the "why" and that I can't reproduce it.

Thanks, again.

Lighting / Re: 3rd Party Flashes vs. Canon's...
« on: August 19, 2013, 08:47:54 PM »
Canon 550EX units are pretty cheap and offer as much light as the 580EX and 580EX2. You get compatibility and the Master-Slave options as structured by Canon. I usually work in manual, but use ETTL at events/parties. Just a datapoint to consider. eBay sourced, obviously.

Good question and detail missing in my write-up. Thanks!

I set that 580EX for manual, dialing it down to barely show. I never use ETTL when placing speedlights in set scenes. So no preflash. Perhaps, since I could not reproduce the problem (although it happened twice ) it is a different unit from my four Einstein heads and isn't reproduced because that's not the head I tested with last night.

I'm attaching the shot, and it was one of the two on which I saw the behavior.

Neuro, looked again at my Zebra and the base is green, innards orange, so "green" is the FlashZebra unit that I have....knew I had to specify.

I understand the usual use of an Odin receiver. I just wanted whatever triggering I had in my kit. I had bought a FlashZebra "Canon Hotshoe" a couple of months ago to provide this function but loaned it to my daughter on the mainland for a wedding she was shooting. As I said, in these assignments I just need triggering as I use the speedlights as small size manual-setting output heads to mix with the Einsteins, so yeah, I could have gone back to the place we stashed all the cases, dug around for the Odin sender unit, loaded it with batteries.... you see what I mean. Everything has to move quickly because there's always more to shoot than fits into anything like a typical work day, so I avoid changing the set up after I get going to one approach. Many of you here will know what I mean.

The Einstein was next to me so I put the (hardwire) PC cord in the side of the body.

risc32, I'd love to know more about jamming a 1/8-inch fitting into a 580 or 550. I have one of each (not EXvII) and have been thinking of getting another 550 to replace one more Vivitar. The 550 puts out almost every bit as much light as the 580EX. ...and they're cheaper. That gives me the Canon IR solution of master/slave to fall back on. If I find the link I will post it back in here.

As I also said, I couldn't reproduce the problem.

Please read this account of a minor odd moment in strobe lighting and tell me if you know what went wrong.

I was photographing interiors and my kit includes both Einsteins and speedlights, Canon and Vivitars. In a small bathroom I planned to shoot from the door and snuck an Einstein head up next to me such that the head pointed straight up at the ceiling over my head. Satin 7.5 inch reflector. Dialed down to something like 100, 200WS, because it was a small bathroom and light in overall color (white ceiling). Attached directly to the 1DsMk3 by its own Buff-supplied PC cord. 17TSE on the body.

This body had been used on other rooms with just Einsteins (multiple heads) all good so far.

I had placed a Canon 580EX in the bathtub to brighten up the shower curtain and the matte-finished tile. It was mounted on a small stand up on top of a Phottix  Odin  receiver into which I had plugged a FlashZebra orange optical slave made for Canon triggering (FlashZebra has different models.) Odin "on" and set for Group A, Channel One. The speedlite was behind the white translucent cloth curtain pointed away from the lens. The Odin was underneath it and the slave stuck out the "back" of the Odin toward the camera position and therefore toward the strong pulse from the Einstein.

What went "wrong"? This: On first curtain setting only the Canon's light showed up in the exposure. Everything fired, though, and apparently at the same time. Tried it about five times.  Get this - I was dragging the shutter to let a ceiling light show in the image, so I wasn't anywhere near 250th. No banding showing on the screen. Change to second curtain and it works fine.

The same combination did it in another room a bit later. Again, second-curtain "fixed" the problem.

Nothing strange about those second-curtain images in post.

Tonight I pulled what may or may not be the same Einstein head and tested the setup. I should have marked the head! Works fine on both first- and second-curtain.  WTF? Presumably the Canon is going off milliseconds after the Einstein, as it's the Canon speedlite on a slave.

OK, anyone, any ideas?

(As an aside: One of the things that bothers me about my 580 and 550 is their lack of a PC connector, because when not at an event I think of them as small manual strobes to be hidden here or there or lighting a corner that just fades due to required placement of the bigger units. Before the purchase of the Einsteins this motley crew of Canon and Vivitar units was my only kit for interiors.  In most cases optical slaves are fine for that kind of work. The Vivitars have a connector, albeit a proprietary one.)


Lighting / Re: Light Meter Help
« on: August 08, 2013, 04:06:18 AM »
I needed a strobe meter and bid on several Sekonic L558 on eBay until one stayed at or below a figure I had chosen, about $180-200. I discovered that I liked having the ambient capabilities, too, although I like so many use a meter so much less now than film days.

If you do need flash metering, especially metering that report the mix of flash and ambient (even through the spot meter field of view) then pick your budget and bid on all the good L558 eBay units until one stays in your range. The 758 seems like more than we need these days (unless really careful in the studio product work?) I don't know much about the Sekonic L3xx units.

I love having this even if only using it in the most difficult setups.

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