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Messages - agierke

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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.

Software & Accessories / Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« on: January 24, 2013, 09:25:13 PM »
i would suggest just picking up Lightroom. its a fairly inexpensive program and is really pretty easy to learn. never was all that impressed with Aperture....and i love most of what Apple does. had high hopes for it....but no one is gonna outdo what Adobe does in the realm of photography.


 your comparison of apertures between the g12 and the 6D will be problematic. you are dealing with a lot less depth of field on your 6D.

 for max apertures i will only go to 2.8 or wider if i am dealing with a single subject and it depends greatly on the lens. on the 35L i am comfortable with the IQ down to F2.0...on my 70-200 2.8L i feel better at F4 but will go to F2.8 with the understanding that i will probably be getting soft results on a percentage of shots.

 for group small shots (2 to 3 people) i dont feel comfortable going wider than F5.6 but i will sometimes fudge it at F4 if i am desperate for light. for corporate head shots i try not to go wider than F8. for creative head shots i'll go to an F2 if i can.

 for sports i tried to stay at 5.6 or smaller as i wanted greater depth of field to compensate for the players movement throughout the frame. if i tried to shoot at F2.8 often times the players had moved out of my depth of field in the fraction of a second that it took the camera to focus and release the shutter. this was on the 5D series cameras which of course were less than ideal for action in terms of that focusing system.

 its all highly dependent upon then lens (focal length) that i am using and what the situation calls for. the full frame format is an entirely different animal in terms of Depth of Field and you should not reference your experiences on your G12 as to what apertures will work in certain situations. 

Lighting / Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« on: January 22, 2013, 04:47:17 PM »
im another Einstein guy. i use their radio transmitters as well.

as far as modifiers go, i have been less than impressed with PCB modifiers. i do own the PCB Beauty Dish and it is great. the PCB grids are a good deal as well as all other brands are way overpriced. the parabolic umbrellas are ok. the softboxes i would not recommend at all...terrible design.

for softboxes i like Westcott. they are made of good materials, are designed well, and are affordable compared to other brands. get the ones that have the inner diffusion panel as well as the removable front diffusion panel. they are very versatile. silver or white per your preference.

i have used Photoflex boxes but i wasn't a fan of the material they used...too plasticey. used Chimera alot as well but they are too pricey if you are on a budget. Plume was always my favorite but they are very expensive.

for umbrellas i have a couple from Photoflex (get the optical white as the plain white are again plasticey) but my favorites are the Photek Softlighters. good reflective material for use as an umbrella and they come with a front diffusion panel that turns it into a round soft source. the smaller sizes also come with inserts that will warm the light or create more specularity. they are a really great deal for cost vs function.

Photek also makes a great octobox called the Illuminata. its a really soft source and though i don't own one a few of my photographer buddies do and it is their favorite modifier for portraits.

avoid the Impact brand at all cost. despite their name sounding like they could take a beating...they can't. cheaply made and fall apart.

Lighting / Re: Selling off my old strobes, What to get next?
« on: January 22, 2013, 11:07:24 AM »
the einstein's are engineered to maintain color consistency in their normal mode throughout the power range. switching to the high speed mode and PCB says you will lose color consistency as you vary power.

gotta say TY to this thread! brought a new bit of information to me and now i have a project to look into to see if i can add capability to my bag of tricks. hope this works with the einsteins or i may feel the urge to add a couple more heads to the kit!

Lenses / Re: 24mm 35mm 70mm FoV
« on: January 22, 2013, 10:59:26 AM »
i have both the 35L and the 24-70 2.8L and i use both often. it really depends on the type of shoot i am doing which dictates which lens gets used.

if i am working in tight spaces or have to react fast i use the 24-70. if i am trying to get the look that only shooting wide open gives you i use the 35. sometimes i will have both mounted to two separate cameras. they are not superfluous to each other.

if you are a hobby shooter then i would say you probably don't need it. if you have professional needs, then i would say yes definitely get it.

Lighting / Re: Selling off my old strobes, What to get next?
« on: January 21, 2013, 06:50:53 PM »
well, the einsteins appear to have a flash duration anywhere from 1/588th to 1/13500th of a sec so i guess it would depend on the mode and the power settings as well as getting a radio transmitter that could control the timing of the flash pop.

hmm....im interested.


sry for the spam posting but i am very intrigued by this notion.

found this link as well directly pertaining to canon cameras and speedlights. still unsure of how to incorporate different brand monoheads though.


Lighting / Re: Selling off my old strobes, What to get next?
« on: January 21, 2013, 06:43:57 PM »
did some quick internet digging and found this:

This is your answer. With focal plane shutters and dedicated speedlights using HSS/FP sync up to 1/8000 sync isnt an issue. But if you are talking about studio lights (monolights and packs) things get really tricky. With leaf shutter cameras you can shoot past 1/1000 sec sync with studio strobes. What you need is a slow or delayed sync similiar to what was used with old school 1970s m-series camera syncs and class m-series flash bulbs for a slow sync delay (because it took about 20-25 milliseconds to reach illumination with these old flash bulbs). Today we use Pocketwizards with Hypersync for an advanced time sync.

You need these things to sync above 1/250 sec with focal plane shutter cameras and studio strobes:

Pocketwizards (camera must have a Pocketwizard MiniTT1 or FlexTT5) using Hypersync with the peak or tail method
The correct camera AND studio strobe combo.
A studio strobe light with a SLOW flash duration

According to Pocketwizard, sensor size and flash duration are the two biggest factors in how well Hypersync will work. You can get a very clean sync without clipping well past the 1/250 sync mark. How much more? Depends on your strobe and camera combo. You can get anywhere from 1/320 -1/8000. It is not easy to get the 1/8000 sync and factors depend with certain camera, strobe combo and ambient light. Good studio strobes to use with Pocketwizard Hypersync are: Profoto, Dynalite and Elinchrom with slower "S" head flash duration. I shoot with the Bowens Explorer 1500 strobe pack which has extremely high flash durations but doesnt have any slow flash durations for Hypersync to work well:1500w/s = 1/4,170s, 1000w/s = 1/5,700s 32w/s = 1/3,380s. The slowest flash duration I have on my pack is 1/3,380s.

A lot of posts on the topic so you can read more here:

comes from this site....scroll down:


also found this mod for Nikon users:


interesting stuff. i will have to look into it further (when i have the time) because i have long wished for the capabilities of a leaf shutter in terms of flash sync for my digital shots.

Lighting / Re: Selling off my old strobes, What to get next?
« on: January 21, 2013, 06:31:32 PM »
the Einsteins are not capable of exceeding the sync of whatever canon camera you have. tested it and they failed. but that was using AB triggers.

i have never heard of a radio trigger being able exceed flash sync of a camera. i have only used canon speedlights to do that. and i highly doubt that you could shoot at 1/8000th of a sec with strobe and not be using a leaf shutter. even at 1/500th on a Hassi that was pushing it. everything i have ever experienced says that is not possible with a curtain type shutter.

i also don't believe 400w/s heads are enough power to beat direct sunlight. the einsteins are 640w/s and they struggle to beat direct sunlight with direct unmodified strobe.

i'm not buying it....but please, i would be thrilled to be proven wrong.

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