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Messages - jonathan7007

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61
Lighting / Re: Softbox Size question
« on: July 12, 2013, 05:43:21 PM »
Jon,
Are these Octa units able to use a grid/limiter? I would not want at least some softboxes in my kit that didn't have some way of controlling how wide their light is cast. I have no experience with an octabox but saw one a friend had in use and it would have been hard to card it off and I saw no attachment for a honeycomb. Rectangular units of any size mean easy scrim with a black card. I have cut sawtooth cards to taper the effect. Rectangular softboxes, if not too deep, are a bit easier to hide in the corner of a room, but I haven't looked at an Octa up close.

Think long term and wait for what will work. Or order from another source. Post a "Want to Buy" ad.

jonathan7007

62
Software & Accessories / Re: Looking for Product photography tripod
« on: July 07, 2013, 03:13:18 PM »
Amazon's search sort of woke up. This is the column stand I used:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001E9660E   ...it was wonderful and was a productivity booster

Yes, did need 4x5 then -- looking at it through the lens of day-to-day experience I realize that a lighter version would be OK for today's work! (MF or 1DsMk3, the Nikon?) Note the flexibility of movement (arm goes back and forth with wheel handle) and the height flexibility. Bring your own head.

63
Lighting / Re: Softbox Size question
« on: July 07, 2013, 02:35:41 PM »
David's answer is excellent and thoughtful so hesitated to try to add to it. You buy stuff and try it. One important warning he offered is: consider the torque placed on the front of the strobe head by the weight of the boxes you choose.

On a practical note: in my kit I always take strip lights like 1x5 or such. I do end up using these horizontally. Sometimes I want the light from the long horizontal source to fall off as the angle of light to subject changes so I will set the front of the striplight  so that the distance to, say, the subject's face changes enough to cause the light to fall off.

I bring this up to give a hint as to the flexibility of strip light units in a kit. (Striplights can also be "ganged to make a more traditional softbox shape, which was originally designed to mimic the effect of a bright window. Hence the 30x40" ratio of most of these [rectangular]units.)

64
Software & Accessories / Re: Fast CF+SD reader for Mac?
« on: July 06, 2013, 02:15:56 PM »
Sure. From the FAQs:
http://www.lexar.com/content/does-reader-work-mac-system

I was looking for confirmation that my own unit would work, which is slightly different: it just allows use of CF and SD.

I searched the Lexar site for the string "Mac" and among the documents were a lot of FAQs. Another one that might be interesting to you is this:
http://www.lexar.com/downloads/lexar-professional-usb30-dual-slot-reader-udma7-firmware-upgrade-mac-os-x

I just want her to have a fast and OSX-reliable SD/CF but I knew that Apple has no interest in strongly supporting USB3. So, no hiccups for this on the iMac? And an iMac ordered this week with what I assume is still the Ivy Bridge chipset. I just don't keep close track on Apple I/O connector issues.

65
Thank you for providing the real-world targets -- just what I was hoping for. I had forgotten about the self-imposed restriction of staying under 30 min capture which I believe avoided placing the camera in a different regulatory category of video device in certain areas of world marketing.

This means she can probably stay with 32, not 64Gig, as she defines her need.

66
A client for whom I teach still photography will use her new 5DMk3 for occasional video at events. She will be buying a Lexar 32Gig 1000x UDMA7 CF card. In 99.99% of the usage scenarios there will be stills shot and some video but for starting point, can someone tell me the empty-card capacity for 5DMk3 video on that card?

She will want the easiest and most common playback file format to give to friends by way of copying to optical media (not posted to the cloud. She does not plan lots of (any?) video editing.

Just not my area.

Thanks, in advance, for suggestions.

67
Software & Accessories / Re: Bogen 3040 Tripod
« on: July 06, 2013, 04:54:20 AM »
Re: growing collections of tripods: I suspected that the tripods in my studio storage room were procreating. Every few months there were more of them!

(I think I had one of that very same combination.)
 
My amazing find:
Favorite current tripod, but truly old-school in design, is my Gitzo 309 Tele-Studex. Gotta be 20+ pounds. 36" with a head, five sections, Cremelaire (sp?) geared column. Came with the giant R#4 head for 4x5. Fantastic luck seeing it on out-of-state CraigsList late one night the minute the shooter in SanFran put it on CL way after midnight. (Believe it or not I was looking for a good tripod and where I live nothing interesting ever shows up...) The photographer told me he got hundreds of e-mails after mine. Thankfully he held to his word and shipped it to me.

68
Software & Accessories / Fast CF+SD reader for Mac?
« on: July 06, 2013, 04:04:30 AM »
A client of mine needs a reader for CF and SD cards that will connect to a new iMac 27". I use a Lexar pop-up unit on USB3 on my Lenovo w520 laptop and Win7 production desktop machine, but there is a warning on the Lexar site about *some* Mac users' difficulties (which are not described.)

So what's the equivalent good reader for Mac users?

69
Software & Accessories / Re: Looking for Product photography tripod
« on: July 06, 2013, 04:00:47 AM »
Adam,
In my studio I always used a single column wheeled stand with a horizontal arm that was counterbalanced with a weight that travels in the column. This works where there is a smooth floor, of course, but it offers a lot of advantages for product work (often done with a 4x5 in those days but with smaller cameras, too.) We worked at table height for ease of camera control while still able to swap out products and props on the table. Adjustments are super easy and quick. The arm configuration means that you can extend the arm toward the table a little and repositioning is *much* easier than any tripod. The arm should be designed to allow sliding in its collar horizontally and that collar goes up and down the vertical shaft. A column stand allows you to go from very low to very high in seconds and that high position isn't taking up studio floor space with a wide tripod stance. A column stand makes it way easier to fit lightstands near the set. 

You still have to buy a head that works well with your camera and the nature of your necessary adjustments.

This inexpensive because it does not counterbalance the crossarm:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/118400-REG/Delta_00902_CS6_Jr_Camera_Stand.html
or
http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-806-Salon-Camera-Counter-Balanced/dp/B001E96604/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
read the comments on the one negative review. This, too, is lighter than the one I used, but looks better than the above...

where are the good columns!? I was surprised that these searches turned up only a couple of light-middleweights...

Consider that better productivity is so valuable that I feel it paid for itself very soon.



There's a Korean cube head that looks interesting. Can't remember the name. I like my Manfrotto 410 geared head but shoot all on location now with a super heavy Gitzo Tele-Studex that starts at a 31" leg length.

70
Interesting and timely thread for me as I am debating which body is next. I have 1DsMk3 and 5DMk3 bodies. My work has a mix of needs, but no sports or birds, wildlife. Events, yes, architecture, real estate, hospitalty, portraits. I like to use lights. So I have a vision of two of each, so when I go to anything I can put two of the same bodies on me so the control features are the same during that session. I pick the kind of body the assignment calls for. I know Canon might throw a monkey wrench into the works by tempting me later this year with some new body, but that's the working plan.

Good to hear others' ideas/suggestions about the contribution and capabilities of older tech.

Yes, I am always aware of 1DsMk3's ISO limits but the other stuff is sweet. Got the 1Ds in late February so feel I am still getting to know what it can and can't do. I love the solidity and its shutter sound. It just feels like a real camera. But to be sober about the realities of "gear" this 1d may have a slightly flaky USB circuit board. So multiple bodies are a must. Best to have two of each in case one fails.

71
Lighting / Re: YN-622C multiple on camera flashes
« on: June 21, 2013, 09:29:00 PM »
PM sent.

72
The Doc's comments are spot-on (couldn't resist, sorry) and well-described. Especially that last part about getting to know your sensor and its relationship with the in-camera meter. My 1DsMk3 sensor really likes 2/3 stop "overexposure" according to all meters. The 5DMk3 not so much. (Yes, I practice some ETTR, too.)

One last vote for the L558. Keep an eye on eBay and pick a number never bidding above that "just to get this one..." This worked for me. I picked $180-200 and missed - I think - three. They keep on coming!

The L558 has the display inside the viewfinder for use while spot metering. It lacks the USB connection. The 558 does have some cine settings or maybe more exactly: readouts to appeal to cine-people. Really, the 558 will do ya and maybe leave a lens in there somewhere. The Doc's right about the seeing part: tonal relationships.

Good luck and have fun. Your meter will solve some wonderment and always be sellable if it ends up staying in your bag every time you shoot.

73
Lighting / Re: On Camera Flash: Direct or Bounce, candid.
« on: June 20, 2013, 09:20:48 PM »
Look at the products offered by Joe Demb from the Boston area.
info@dembflashproducts.com
www.dembflashproducts.com

He has developed these as a working pro. Explanations and guides about use, plus good testimonials. I like the gear and the care, thought, behind them. Reasonable cost. Durable.

jonathan7007

74
Cayenne,
My Sekonic L558 has both incident and reflected capabilities. You choose at the time you take a reading, then take the reading by pushing a button. Within the incident capabilities are a dome (the meter is aware of a half-sphere) or that same dome retracted into its round mount creating a wall (like a snoot - therefore only aware of the light from a particular direction.) This direction specific reading style helps you set ratios when woking with strobe or seeing the ratio already there with ambient light. You are standing where the light is combining but you point the incident receptor (retracted) toward first one light source, read it, then another, read it, and so on. You see the relative contribution of each light source to the "mix" as seen from camera position. In my L558 there is a memory function to help with this but I feel the visual of seeing and remembering each reading is enough to know how I will approach the exposure I set on the camera.

A separate meter really helps if you are going to have the camera on a tripod and want to leave it there while you check the light. This is common. So having a camera-based spot meter is not useful in this situation.

The only downside to my L558 is making sure I have a back-up battery on a shoot, and it's a harder-to-get size, especially where I live.

Sekonic: Make an Odin insert! ...or Odin, you make it! Yes I know I can walk around with the Odin controller/transmitter off the top of the camera and attached to the L558 for that time I do readings but.... once shooting starts I don't want to drag the controller off the body. Too much to go wrong.

75
Bought a L558 for about $200 on eBay from a photographer who had had to buy it for a photo class and did not want to keep it. This unit has the PW radio module but I wish I could purchase an Odin sender. I bid on several until one auction ended at a reasonable price, and IIRC that took a couple of months.

I had always used the Pentax 1-degree spot for film out on location and the Minolta III for flash measurement on location and in-studio. The L558 combines and expands these capabilities, allowing reflected flash readings even in spot mode. This unit WAY more rugged than the Pentax.

BTW, that Minolta (one of the few items I still had from my earlier stint as an independent commercial photographer) still works and agrees pretty closely with the Sekonic. If the Minolta IV or beyond are as well made that would certainly be an alternate.

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