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Messages - Skirball

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Hey all,

    Ok, I might be over simplifying this in my head, so please correct me if my line of thinking is off here....

    Since the flash head zoom correlates to the focal length of the lens, at least in TTL, to find the appropriate flash zoom to fill a modifier, place your lens where the flash head would be in the modifier, if possible i.e. umbrella or mounted on the back of a softbox, and use the FL needed to just see the outer edges of the modifier. Then, the ISO and flash power settings would be adjusted for achieving the desired exposure. That way, the flash zoom for a particular modifier would be a consistent value. Again, let me know if this line of thinking is off the mark.

Gary W.

I don't know what zoom has to do with exposure.  But yes, that is how I determined how wide I could go on my umbrellas.  If it spills outside the umbrella, then it's too wide; go as wide as you can without spill.  I never bothered to look at the highlight pattern within the umbrella, I just figured wider is better.  With a brolly or a softbox it doesn't matter, there is no spill; I just set it to 24mm.  For reference, I set my flash to 28mm with umbrellas.  A couple of mine could go to 24 and a couple leaked at that setting so I just set them all to 28 so I don't have to worry about which is which.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Fun Arias rant on APS-C vs. FF
« on: August 05, 2014, 05:54:31 PM »
And the fact that scientifically reproducible tests say you're wrong do not impact your opinion one bit, eh?
Finally, please don't go mentioning "scientifically reproducible tests" without citing them. As it is, comparing high ISO images from single copies of two cameras side by side don't comprise scientific tests as far as I am concerned. Show me something like what Roger Cicala does, and I will hear you.

EOS Bodies / Re: here we come, 6d AF problems
« on: August 05, 2014, 01:53:50 PM »
The problem with mine is that it sometimes can't focus (I use 99,9% the central cross point).

I never thought about it like as if it was a problem until last weekend when I mounted my 35mm 1.4L on my friend's 5dm3  Okay, it can focus perfectly, but hell why it's 10000 times sharper?

The 5d3's advantage over the 6D is the other 60 focus points.  If you're using the center point 99.9% of the time then there's little difference between the cameras.  If the results from the 5d3 are truly markedly sharper for a static subject, then something is either wrong with your technique or your camera, but it's not the 6D in general.

Lighting / Re: Speedlite zoom setting in flash modifiers and camera ISO
« on: August 05, 2014, 11:16:26 AM »
Only way to beat that is to use lower power and put the lights very close

Exactly, as they were intended.   If your light source is a foot or two from your subject then the light that goes across the room and bounces back is going to be relatively insignificant.  For the average guy working out of his livingroom it's not going to be an issue.

Lighting / Re: Speedlite zoom setting in flash modifiers and camera ISO
« on: August 04, 2014, 06:02:20 PM »
The whole point of a diffuser is soften the light; use the widest setting you can (don't use the pulldown wide angle option) that doesn't shoot outside the umbrella.  With the brollys it doesn't matter.  And I don't know if your previous question was answered: a single speedlight can do just fine in a 43" umbrella.

But something is wrong, ISO 100, f/2.6 and flash at full power should be nuking your subject, even at a meter.  What are you using to trigger?  You don't happen to have any filters on your lens do you?  Do you just have the one flash?  I suggest trying another.

Lighting / Re: Speedlite zoom setting in flash modifiers and camera ISO
« on: August 04, 2014, 04:24:14 PM »
I shoot ISO 100 with speedlights in modifiers all the time.  They're plenty powerful enough.  The only time I come anywhere close not having enough power is if I'm painting a background a color and/or I'm shooting at really small apertures (f/18+).

As to the question 'why not use higher ISO', because I usually don't want any ambient 'noise' and I prefer to work with the lights on.  If I'm doing small aperture stuff then I'll bump it up a bit, but normally I'm below 1/4 power on my speedlights anyway so I figure why not minimize noise and ambient light.

OP:  Something is wrong with your setup.  At f/2.8 and ISO 100 I have had to put ND filters on my flashes because the minimum setting is sometimes still too powerful even through a modifier.

Lighting / Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« on: August 04, 2014, 03:17:23 PM »

Read.  Learn.  Then buy, and read some more.

I've been using the RF-602s for some time now, and I also have a full set of 622s, a 6D, and do the majority of my photography using off-camera flash with remote triggers and shutter.  My comments/observations:
I still mostly use my 602s over the 622s.  I don't use off-camera eTTL very much, and I prefer the small size of the 602s.  Mostly though, I like that the 602s have a 1/4" thread for mounting on stands.  They pretty much live on my stands actually - when I use 622s I just put them into the 602s (they're off, just acting as cold shoes).

I do have a couple of issues with the 602s.  The off switch is poorly located.  They fixed this on the 603 II (but it doesn't have the 1/4" thread).  I have to take the flash off to turn access it on the 602 (622s are fine).  They also put locks on the hotshoe, something the 602 lacks.  Doesn't matter on my receivers since I use the thread, but the transmitter does come loose on occasion.  The transmitter also uses a specialized battery (CR2) and the receivers AAA.  AAA isn't a big deal, but I like that the 622 uses AA, same as my flashes.  The CR2 is a shame, but I shoot a lot of off-camera flash, and the battery last forever.  I replace it annually just to be safe.  Of, and there's no off-switch on the 602 transmitter, so I have to keep it in a little case that I made (out of a toilet paper roll 8)

I mostly use my little RC1 optical trigger.  It's small, easy to use, and doesn't require any additional wires.  But it requires line of sight, which can be a little annoying with wide angle lenses with lens hoods.  I have an additional RF-602 transmitter that I use with a receiver (and provided wire to connect to shutter release) when I don't want to worry about line of sight, or want to be more than 30 feet away or so.  It'll also rapidly trigger the shutter if I want a burst, which the RC1 doesn't do; but that "feature" is as much a hassle as it is a help.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Fun Arias rant on APS-C vs. FF
« on: August 04, 2014, 12:51:14 PM »

OMG that's great. Not even 4 years ago. Funny how a sponsorship will change your "opinion."  Arias has ZERO credibility to me now.

I think the only option is for Arias to duke it out in a cage match with Ken Rockwell.  Winner earns the title Most Hated Man in Camera Chat Forums.

Software & Accessories / Re: Rastering of image in CC PS
« on: July 31, 2014, 12:03:38 PM »
You may need to start over with this photo.

You can definately fix it using the method I mention above.  But if you're haven't put much time into post processing you might as well start over and do it right instead of fixing it.  In the future, shoot in RAW, edit in 16 bit.

Software & Accessories / Re: Rastering of image in CC PS
« on: July 31, 2014, 12:01:38 PM »
It just dawned on me that Field Blur is probably one of those filters that only works in 8-bit mode. 

Software & Accessories / Re: Rastering of image in CC PS
« on: July 31, 2014, 11:36:52 AM »
What do you mean "bring it back into PS"?  You mean, just from the field blur filter?

Banding and posterization can be caused by several issues, sometimes it's even just an optical illusion because you're monitor can't display the amount of colors in the actual image - though this is easily checked by zooming in to 100% and seeing if it's still there.

Are you editing in 16 bit or 8 bit?  I recommend 16 bit, though you can still get banding there (and a common fix is to downsample to 8 and come back).

I don't use field blur, but I often get banding in dark tonal areas when using a Gaussian blur.  The fix is to simply add noise, which I do anyway so that it matches the rest of the picture.  Very little, like 1% or less is usually sufficient.  As I mentioned above, I know people that downsample to 8 bit and come back, but I prefer to not downsample until I'm done with my edits.

Edit: I should add that for sky's like this (which is usually where I encounter banding as well) I will usually use a soft brush at low fill (on a new layer) to even out and add some randomness.  I just sample colors from various points in the banding.  Then I run a noise filter on this layer.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: HUMIDITY ALERT!
« on: July 23, 2014, 03:53:00 PM »
Here is how I make them:

1 bag of cat litter (must contain silica)*
1 roll of thick paper towels (not the cheap stuff, you don't want it to tear and spill cat litter everywhere)
1 roll of gaffers tape (duct tape will work too)

I would imagine that cat urine is actually worse for your gear than humidity.  Not to mention the smell...

Canon General / Re: New Speedlite Coming? [CR2]
« on: July 17, 2014, 04:32:24 PM »
Yep, battery charge indicator would be useful. I suspect if Canon were truthful, they'd tell you that recycle time is the de facto battery indicator.

I have absolutely no clue why there is no battery meter - probably a technical problem because the power flux is so dynamic it's hard to get a good reading on the charge (and because all batteries have different discharge curves)?

A simply voltmeter test wouldn't work with anything other than alkaline.   Eneloops would start showing half full and stay there right up until it died.  Of course, Canon already "fixed" this problem by stating that you should only use alkaline in their flashes.  So they could just go that route.

Canon General / Re: New Speedlite Coming? [CR2]
« on: July 17, 2014, 04:29:40 PM »
Let me rephrase that- how much cheaper will Canon be willing to price the 4X0RT anyway? (considering Canon's general inclination towards R&D roi and profit)

You don't want to hear my answer, I'm Mr. "Canon is too greedy" around here. Though I have to admit the 600rt is a very good piece of equipment, they have to get back their r&d investment and Yongnuo just showed us how not to do it with the terrible st-e3 transmitter clone.

It is a rhetorical question anyway.
I think Canon will NOT price the 4X0RT low enough that too many will be inclined to settle for that instead of another 600 (especially if refurbished).

Which is why I think it won't be a 4X0RT.  Canon will keep the 600exRT as the entry fee if you want to play the integrated RT eTTL game.

I'm going to put my money on a thoroughly uninteresting new flash.  Color me a skeptic.

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