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Messages - jonathan7007

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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.

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

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

Lighting / Re: YN-622C multiple on camera flashes
« on: June 15, 2013, 03:07:45 PM »
I imagined this was for events like weddings, gatherings, one-room meetings. I -- personally -- would have wanted a manual flash lighting the room attached high (best) or on a light stand placed inconspicuously. (I keep a weird set of clamps and hardware for this.) I would not want that level to change, although of course throughout the space its level will be different.  Then I would try to have my on-camera strobe act as fill to a light that appeared to be ambient but was actually from that "room-bounce" or "room-direct" unit. Having two people able to use that wrap-around light in a neat idea and I hope you can make it work.

I have been avoiding ETTL. Pure fear, lack of experience, I admit! So I cannot tell you if ETTL is retained with one of these splitters.

So this setup is two senders and two receivers. I use Odin, still learning all its capabilities. I think if I were to do this it would require a separate Odin controller, and I never asked what just a controller costs.

Hope you can find a good solution for your particular needs.

Lighting / Re: YN-622C multiple on camera flashes
« on: June 14, 2013, 10:31:08 PM »
Will Yongnuo receivers support this idea:
Your "room bounce" speedlight has a y-splitter cable allowing two receivers to fire it. Each receiver so attached is set to a different channel. You and your second shooter must be set for these different channels.

Check for the necessary cable. (or I *think* it would be the same cable I bought for the opposite need: One receiver fires two speedlights from one signal. This allows shorter recycle.

I recommend a battery pack to speed the return to full power for your room-bounce. Sounds interesting. I like the idea. Will you post a shot that shows how you took advantage of the rig? Or tell us that this idea will not work for some reason?

I use Odin so will follow your thinking to see what I can learn from the investigation...

Lighting / Re: YN-622C multiple on camera flashes
« on: June 14, 2013, 02:23:08 PM »
So we understand exactly what you need:
Two photographers with flash on their cameras are depending on a third flash that lights up the area. The issue is the shared channel that will fire the second photographer's flash, and shared status of this third light (not ready/recycled in time to be available when needed.)

Would one more flash -- so background is illuminated by a dedicated speedlight -- fix this problem? Assuming two channels available on Yongnuo... Seems like a reasonable-cost solution as you can go with a simple even manual only unit if bouncing. Yes, you have to find two attachment spots or have two stands. Not OK in some event venues. But way more flexible.

Don't know the Yongnuo triggers' capabilities, sorry.

Software & Accessories / Re: Best software/app to log photo ideas?
« on: June 07, 2013, 02:13:09 AM »
On Windows it's OneNote, although Evernote has a better tablet/phone interface than OneNote. Weaker on the desktop. I don't know how well Microsoft (author of OneNote) integrated the SW with the Windows phones. I use OneNote on Android and desktop Win7.

I know the OP is in the Mac environment but others will open the thread.

Lighting / Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« on: June 04, 2013, 01:41:41 PM »
You decide about buying based on web search and purchase issues local to you. In this forum the valuable info comes from other photographers' past and current photographic experience or perspective. And the debates! 

Click back through the older forum posts about "studio" lighting gear. If you are in good enough shape financially to invest all at once in one setup, that makes life easier but you still have the learning time which you must invest and is hard to acquire skills without using the gear to make photographs again and again and again. 

Get some lights, get some assignments, start shooting. You will probably change the lights after a while. Hope all goes smoothly, but it's usually at least a slightly bumpy road. Hope it will be fun for you as it has been for me.

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

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