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Messages - agierke

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Lighting / Re: Specular Highlights... Feed Back Please
« on: February 04, 2013, 08:51:25 AM »
The black card idea is interesting, but a studio still-life like this seems a perfect candidate to bracket exposures for a composite image.  I don't (necessarily) mean feeding it to an HDR program, but more "old school" style, combining the parts of each image that are properly exposed.  This would give you maximum flexibility to expose each part exactly as you like.

this would not work as you would see still see the reflection of the card/box (whatever it is) on each side of the bottle and glass. the black card use is to eliminate that reflection all together in order to reveal the bottle itself more.

Do not really understand what you asking, but I so do not like the bounce boards being visible...

this is what i'm talking about. this is a problem of Angle of Incidence = Angle of Reflectance compounded by the curved reflective surface of the bottle and glass. to minimize the effect (or size) of the "highlight" on the bottle you have to use a dark object to block that area that is being reflected.

Lighting / Re: Paul Buff Cybersync advice
« on: February 03, 2013, 07:05:22 PM »
the PCB triggers do not assist in any way syncing at higher speeds. i have noticed banding at 1/200th of a sec using PW+Dynas as well as PCB+Einstiens/AB800 on the Canon 5D mrk 2.

Buff himself has grumbled about camera makers insistence on limited sync speed shutters and doesn't seem overly motivated to tackle this problem.

a few of us were talking about this in another thread recently and it seems that the Odin's may provide the best option out there. its a crapshoot though as its highly dependent upon what strobe you use and the flash duration of that strobe.

it does indeed seem to require longer flash durations. unfortunately, the trend seems to be faster and faster flash durations in modern strobes.

a few of us are dying to get some real world reportage on canon+odins+einstien combo if anyone is up to the task. i would do it myself but work is keeping my priorities away from buying new gear and testing right now. i may have an opportunity to test PW TT5/TT1 combo but probably not for a few weeks. i have heard that those units are notoriously unreliable and i'm not holding out much hope. 

Site Information / Re: Moderators: You are Too Sensitive
« on: February 03, 2013, 01:47:13 AM »
that was a horribly useless thread and if it ended the way that was described then should have been deleted. the OP should get a very stern warning if not a ban.

take that garbage to another forum. its not appropriate to a gear forum such as this.

Lenses / Re: A Hands on Review of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens
« on: February 02, 2013, 01:48:14 PM »
For reverse macro to produce ok results a wider ~24mm lens lens is needed *and* it has to be sharp at the aperture you shoot with - and since the aperture cannot be manually set on the 50mm, that's the very unsharp 1.8 setting.

this is actually not true. you can use any aperture you would like with reverse macro so long as you engage the DOF preview button before you unmount the lens. the aperture will close down to whatever you set it at and then will hold after you unmount the lens. i have used the 50mm at 5.6 to get a bit more DOF as at 1.8 reversed it is ridiculously narrow.

Lenses / Re: A Hands on Review of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens
« on: February 02, 2013, 09:30:47 AM »
i used to recommend to my students the 50mm 1.8 as the number 1 purchase a beginning photographer could make simply for the value it provided. i know i was enthralled with it for a time when i first got it.

now, i avoid using it for anything other than reverse macro shots. for me its too mushy, has terrible color rendition, and it's slow chunky AF just cant perform under critical conditions the way i would need it to. i would definitely be very interested if they updated the 1.4 version and eventually i will probably get the 1.2L but for now i find that other lenses in the canon lineup jump above the offerings of their 50mms in terms of my priorities.

i do wonder about the 1.4 though. is it really as mushy as the 1.8? i really would be shocked if it were. can the color rendering of the 1.4 be as awkward as the 1.8? i understand the misgivings of the 50 1.2L but i also understand that the design of the lens offers more of a "look" than offering crispy focus.

when i get to the point of feeling the need of getting the "look" of the 50L i'll get it...just not there yet. i do feel my 35L is a bit wide in certain circumstances and my 85 1.8 is a bit tight in some circumstances so i do feel the desire to have a 50mm but i just can't bring myself to use the 1.8. i'm over just doesnt cut it for me.

Lighting / Re: Specular Highlights... Feed Back Please
« on: February 01, 2013, 09:10:24 AM »
i would try to control them a bit more by introducing some black cards to flag of the softboxes to the sides of camera position. the highlights on the bottle are huge and distract from the label somewhat. pushing a card in front of the boxes (on camera side) will narrow the edge light towards the edge of the bottle.

Lenses / Re: Have you one of the new 24-70 f4 canon lenses, Is it good
« on: February 01, 2013, 09:03:28 AM »
I'm confused by how much some people lean on IS for low-light photography. Stabilizing only accounts for one problem of low-light photography. It compensates for camera movement. It's great at doing that, but it can never compensate for subject movement. For me, shooting slower than 1/60th is not an option for available light event shooting. (Of course, with flashes, who needs IS anyways?)

i feel the same way for still photography. IS generally is the wrong solution for so many problems...very rarely is it the right solution. but the video guys i think find it much more useful. not sure how often they are using zooms. i have seen the the 70-200mm 2.8 being employed by videographers but usually it is primes when they go wide. dunno about this lens.

Lenses / Re: Have you one of the new 24-70 f4 canon lenses, Is it good
« on: February 01, 2013, 12:39:42 AM »
Not the worst review here: weren't kidding. that was about the most entertaining review i've ever seen. my new favorite people...asian guys with irreverent and dry humor done in british accent!

i could watch that guy review paper plates.

i've no interest in the 24-70mm F4 however.

it really depends greatly on what kind of shots you want to do. studio photography can be much worse than available light photography in terms of acquiring gear because once you start there are a million different gadgets out there for specific looks or effects.

are you looking to do multiple light setups against muslin backgrounds or more stylized lighting against seemless or use the natural space of your home for more of an environmental look? many different directions you can take that would make you want to adjust your gear package.

without knowing any of that...i can simply suggest that you look at getting 2 Alien Bee Heads, a Softbox or two of different sizes (highly dependent upon what you want to shoot), and 2 quality convertible umbrellas (dont cheap out on umbrellas...they are already inexpensive compared to other photo gear so just get the best...they'll still be cheap relatively).

work with that stuff and then you should quickly start to realize where your holes are and what purchases you will need to make next. i definitely wouldn't go all in on a bunch of stuff if you don't know what you are doing or what you need yet.

Lenses / Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« on: January 30, 2013, 11:39:00 PM »
i primarily shoot weddings (on the 5D2 and 5DC) and the reason i went with the 2.8 zooms was primarily that i found slower glass hunted for focus in low light far too often. i am still on version 1 for both the 24-70 and 70-200. the newer lenses coupled with the 5D3 might change the circumstances but i still wouldn't ever favor an F4 glass over an F2.8 or faster glass.

i rarely ever (probably never) shoot the 24-70mm at 2.8 because when i am using that lens i am typically trying to get more than one individual in the shot. 2.8 is too shallow a depth of field to get more than a couple people in focus so i am usually at an F5.6 or F4 (if i am desperate for light) on that lens. where i have seen the 24-105 hunt for focus at times in low light on the 5D series cameras, the 24-70 never hunts for focus for me. that is why i got it.

on the other hand, i will use the 70-200 at an f2.8 because with that focal length range i am typically trying to isolate a single individual. i prefer to use it an F4 because the results tend to be a bit sharper but i will push it to a 2.8 without much concern sometimes.

both those lenses are the foundation for the days shooting at a wedding for me....but, i would hesitate to call them my bread and butter. this past year i have added a 15mm fisheye, 35mm 1.4L, and 85mm 1.8 to the lenses that i bring on weddings. the fisheye i got just to get the occasional wacky overall shot (though i have found that lens to be extremely useful to me in my architectural shots...who knew!).

the 35mm F1.4 has really become my star performer for pre ceremony shots and couple shots. at F2.0 i find i can shoot a couple, keep them in the depth of field, and maintain really nice fall off to the background that i just dont get with the 24-70. a colleague of mine that i shoot with alot has quipped on several occasions that the 24-70mm is by far the most boring lens in her bag...and i tend to agree with her. but it covers alot of ground so for me it stays in the bag.

never been a fan of the F4 lenses. i always want the maximum versatility and to me not having the 2.8 is something i cant get past.

here is some stuff i shot (mostly as a 2nd) where the 24-70 and 70-200 is primarily featured:

and here is some more recent stuff where i have started to incorporate the 35mm a bit more:

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 6D flash sync
« on: January 29, 2013, 12:54:32 AM »
i have seen the black stripe appear at 1/200th of a sec on the 5D mrk 2 when its supposed to be rated for a 1/200th sync. that is in studio with strobes, not speedlights.

i would say you have to stick to 1/160th or below in some circumstances unless you acquire radio slaves that can circumvent the flash sync and have strobes with a slow enough flash duration.

Canon General / Re: Why did you choose Canon?
« on: January 27, 2013, 08:40:18 PM »
i started out shooting a K1000 in highschool (still love that camera) but got a canon Elan upon graduation.

didnt make a huge impact on me as i went to art school i was much more enamored with medium and large formats. i was able to acquire a Hassi 501CM and Toyo 45C while in college to help prepare me for the professional world but while i assisted a pro photographer my junior and senior year i was very much impressed with his Nikon F5 system. i probably would have gone Nikon had it not been for the digital explosion.

i graduated in the spring of 02 and though i was impressed with the F5 system i was more familiar with Canon. add to that the fact that Nikon took forever to enter the FF digital world i saw no chance at me going with anything other than canon.

my first digital camera was the 20D....which i hesitantly bought because i could not stand the crop factor. 2 months later the 5Dc was announced and i scrambled to sell the 20D (took a $500 loss on it) so that i could pick one up. got it with the 28-135mm but soon after picked up the 70-200mm 2.8L.

canon dominated the full frame digital market so thoroughly back then there was never really a choice for me. been mostly happy ever since! 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: January 27, 2013, 01:00:29 AM »
promise nothing.

shooting weddings well is just about the most difficult photo scenario i have experienced and that includes architecture, commercial, fashion, environmental portraits, sports, and aerial photography.

you have to be prepared to think quick on your feet and turn downright unfavorable conditions into great photo opportunities. i used to dread weddings because i didn't really know how to use my gear (and i was severely undergeared) but now i really relish the challenge they provide. you gotta know your gear really well, and you should understand lighting very well too.

unless the bride and groom AND their parents just don't care that much about the photos. then just go have some fun.

otherwise....there are sooo many potential pitfalls that can be very uncomfortable. i can't tell you how many couples i meet with horror stories and regrets they have about not investing more in their photography from their wedding day.

Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 27, 2013, 12:45:55 AM »
if you are not a professional then the standard 27" iMac with 8gb Ram out of box should be more than fine. unless you are crunching 1000's of images on a weekly basis the specs you quoted are overkill.

i'm running a i5 2.66 GHz with 8GB Ram, 1TB drive, and 512mb vidcard and its just fine at crunching through 3000+ image weddings while running multiple programs at the same time.

if you got extra money to burn i'd put it towards lenses.

Lighting / Re: Selling off my old strobes, What to get next?
« on: January 25, 2013, 05:20:23 PM »
here is a link to a thread on PCB's Tech forum including a post right at the end by Buff himself:

doesn't look promising though it seems like their is some capability gained using the FlexTT5 and Einstein combo. i dont see why the Odin's would be better/different than this set up. still curious as to what hi speed sync could be gained on an PCB strobe/Canon combo though as no one on the forum stated any achieved settings.

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