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Messages - jonathan7007

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Lighting / Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« on: June 03, 2013, 09:42:20 PM »
Good to have a warning about color variance, although I won't have to worry about it (in small increments) on common location assignments that I do which aren't required to be color accurate at that small margin. For tabletop or other more controlled requirements I will test carefully first. I did read that the Einstein was better color-controlled and consistent than earlier Buff-stuff. Not in your experience, Doc.

A close friend is all BronColor in his Rhode Island studio and I am jealous of the modifiers available. Nice system. Way more expensive, but you just charge the client what they must pay to get the quality they ask for.

Lighting / Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« on: June 03, 2013, 01:48:36 PM »
Single excellent kit for both video and stills i believe is rare, but would your video needs be served by lights as dim as modeling lights? Probably not...

I just took delivery of Buff Einstein heads. They are flexible and accept widely-sold adapters or accessories of Balcar configuration, which matters for studio flexibility. I have started using them for location work but I used to have a studio and I know these would have been good in that environment. Especially in location work I  wish I had dug  a little deeper in my pocket to buy the radio commander which allows control of ratios and levels from the camera position. No walking out, climbing up to, the head to change the power. This is the only downside seen so far for going to the monoblock configuration compared to having the power pack on the floor near your tripod.

Good engineering and customer service, too. Check them out.

I, too, just made the switch from a few Manfrotto system components to the Arca-Swiss system. The benefit of my geared head (#410) was not reproducible at anything under about $1000, and while not perfect, I found useful the Manfrotto 322 side-handle ball head. I gave up on the Manfrotto L-Bracket as it was too cumbersome, although this particular version of the L-Bracket model did use the strong RC4 plate which never had any play in my uses. I never shot anything with this Manfrotto "L", but it was "the last straw" that caused me to just do the make-over: too big. It's for sale. The RSS L-unit for my 1DsMk3 is so trim I leave it on when taking the camera off the tripod for some of the shots on an assignment.

Because I was adapting Manfrotto equipment I found Chris Hejnar in Illinois who has a machine shop operation that serves photographers who need Arca-Swiss fittings of many kinds. (He takes pictures so got interested in this through his photography needs.) I kind of wish he had more Canon-specific plates, L's etc., but there are Manfrotto-to-Arca-Swiss products he makes to change out just the top of the head -- replacing the plate adapter that accepted the RC2 or RC4 under-camera plate.

There lots of other pieces he makes, too. I also bought a rail, a 90-degree two-fer, some plates for under-camera use. Stuff well packaged, labeled.

My RSS L-braket tight and perfect in his clamp. I had not heard -- as referenced above -- that there are some incompatible A-S pieces. That's really good to know.

He returns phone calls, gives advice.

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Scanner software
« on: May 21, 2013, 02:56:45 AM »
VueScan also continuously updated, well supported by author of the software. Good interface. Better than the manufacturer's file quality by all reviews. I use it with a Canon all-in-one MG8220, Canonscan 9000, and Epson V700. I am told it will run a Nikon CoolScan4000 slide scanner I have sitting on my shelf....

So, +1 for VueScan

Lighting / Re: Buff Einsteins can use any Balcar accessory?
« on: May 17, 2013, 02:37:15 PM »
I have to add that being able to run a head way down to that lowest setting with just a rocker switch is a powerful capability for location or even product photography. Food photos come to mind, real estate. With the big Normans (admittedly the old series 2000d packs) we were adding heads just to split power, or madly swapping connectors to move ratios around. Sometimes if an assistant moved too fast through that process there would be a loud bang and we'd have to pick the guy off the floor <grin>.

Ah, the good old days...

Lighting / Re: Buff Einsteins can use any Balcar accessory?
« on: May 17, 2013, 02:26:45 PM »
Paul, thanks, I will start reading that forum and join if I need further help. The Buff modifiers seem OK. The honeycombs are good... I unpacked the heads and agree. What an advance from the Normans I used for so long. I am looking forward to lighting event rooms with one or two of these and Odin triggers, although the Buff commander might be worth buying to control ratios on the fly during the event.

I have a Kacey beauty dish and some of that company's attachment goodies on order. Also bought one Buff battery pack so I'd have a higher output available for appropriate outdoor situations.

Wish only that Buff's shipping costs to Hawaii weren't higher than the products when ordering some smaler goods.
I do like the customer support a lot.

Yes, I am willing -- and now equipped -- to give up my 2000WS packs!   

Lighting / Re: Buff Einsteins can use any Balcar accessory?
« on: May 15, 2013, 03:42:42 PM »
Balcar-branded strobes have been around for a long time. Are there interesting Balcar accessories that Einstein users reading this forum have used? Are there any fit/usage issues due to Einstein peculiarities? For instance, are the Einstein head clips able to hold accessories that have some weight? Holding a softbox horizontal without sag is one issue.

An east coast friend once showed me a small (8x5-inch?) hard case softbox from Balcar (will call him...) and I remember lots of interesting modifiers at his studio.

I plan to use the Buff products to continue small product and advertising tabletop, real estate, architecture, portraiture - both usual and environmental, wedding/event use, location in general, etc.

The Einsteins arrive late today. I admit it feels like Christmas.

Lighting / Buff Einsteins can use any Balcar accessory?
« on: May 14, 2013, 03:23:50 PM »
I have a few Einstein heads and reflectors on the way to me. To my surprise a Buff employee told me during transit that these heads take Balcar accessories. I had not seen that on the Buff website.

Has anyone here tried out (successfully?) Balcar modifiers, reflectors, etc., on the Einsteins? Willing to share your experiences?

I have some modifiers here that require a 6-inch flange of thin metal as a connector/attachment. Now I am searching for source(s) of a Balcar-to-6 inch pieces. Buff doesn't have such a thing. Living way out in the boonies I hope to avoid too much shipping cost to try out possibilities. Looks like Kacey Enterprises has one excellent alternative sold specifically for Buff, and I ordered that. Page about this flange shows it on Alien Bees, not Einsteins.

Software & Accessories / Re: arca swiss help please.
« on: May 08, 2013, 04:06:40 AM »
I just switched from Manfrotto RC4 and RC2 quick release plates to Arca-Swiss (AS) clamps and rails/plates. I decided I needed to try panoramas with the lens shifted back to the nodal point so that was the impetus for the wholesale change. In my case I liked my Manfrotto 410 geared head and there were no obvious (better for about the same money) AS system alternatives. I also have and like OK a Manfrotto 322 side grip ball head.

So I ended up getting retrofit pieces machined and sold by Hejnar Photo: www.hejnarphotostore.com partly because he was available for advice on some of the bottom or foot  plate choices. The owner is a photographer, too.  Seemed to offer common-sense advice. Among his line are AS base clamp pieces machined to bolt right on the core castings of my two Manfrotto heads retaining the height and solidity.

I regret that I didn't start out in this system so have to sell my Manfrotto plates and the Manfrotto L-bracket (based on the better RC-4 plate) but I will benefit in future fast-moving shoots calling for the tripod to shift  constantly.

Lighting / Re: Stands made for assistant carry/point?
« on: May 03, 2013, 01:53:40 PM »
Great! Thank you Chris, Neuro, PbD, for reminding me about Kaycee. I stumbled on their site a long time ago and was impressed with the range of solutions they offer. But I always thought about their gear when not at a computer. There's other gear I need available there, too.

Lighting / Stands made for assistant carry/point?
« on: May 03, 2013, 01:00:59 PM »
I want a pole or stand that my assistant can hold to point a small softbox at an event or outdoor shoot that calls for a two-legged-lightstand. Yes, I can offer him or her a folded lightstand but I wonder if anyone has seen a pole with better handle, grip surfaces -- to make pointing, lifting, holding easier?

As I was typing I thought to check Lastolite. They offer this one:
which seems well thought out.

Alternatives? Experience to share with this kind of solution?

dslrController, in the Android market. Read either the info there or on his site about limitations concerning Android devices that work. It was just "updated"for some wireless capabilities.

It has been $8.50 for a long time and is in "Beta". When I got it, purchase guaranteed that you could have the final release for no extra $$. Completely worth $8.50 to first time you use it.
I have used it on a few little tethered product shoots to be simpler than attaching the full size laptop. The software allows easy bracketing and shows the view through the lens. Focus on the tablet screen is good. I did not buy it to use on my smartphone, though, as it requires a later version of Android than is found on my DroidX. I use the software on an ASUS Transformer 101 with keyboard dock, as it needs a USB connection. The Transformer tablet-only configuration does offer a USB adapter that will allow use of dslrController.

It does not yet offer an intervalometer or bramping. (I have not read closely the change notes for what I downloaded this morning.)

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D3 Pricing
« on: April 22, 2013, 02:28:00 PM »
Having seen the $23xx price in the refurb store (Canon USA) I am spoiled: will wait. Or just buy another 1DsMk3, which comes out at about the same $$. That is my current dilemma... Which body... but if 5DMk3 I will wait for refurb "sale" again.

I assume the various price watch services do NOT see the refurb data?

Last seen refurb offer is $27xx.

Lenses / Re: Lenses for carpets photography
« on: April 20, 2013, 04:56:31 PM »
"Distrosion" related to closeness to the 3D object like that image posted. For flat rugs laid out our hung (hanging down on platform which is lifted to be in the camera-lens axis which offers better workflow and product photo management) the wide angle less difficult to handle because distortion will be more subtle. But there will be some change in the pattern on the periphery of the [flat]rug if shoot close in with the 10-22. Nice lens, though. LR will correct the "barrel" or "pincushion" distortion. You might also look at DxO RAW processing product for other more sophisticated wide angle corrections.

I would guess that pattern distortion was a show-stopper (bad kind) in the rug business.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D3 Pricing
« on: April 20, 2013, 04:44:57 PM »
To: Dittoman

That "$2199" two messages ago is a typo, right? Canon Refurb page quotes $2799, has done so for a few weeks, with the bodies in and out of stock. If not, please share!

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