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1
That makes no sense - all these cards are standard ATI/nVidia cards. Adobe should make their software work with the hardware shipped in modern machines - at the moment LR isn't GPU accelerated at all on any platform. The fact that it's dog slow on Windows further shows how behind the curve they are.

You are right. Even if Apple has secret access to some mysterious OS features (which isn't true), Adobe would still be able to take advantage of standard GPU acceleration.

Lightroom 5 takes advantage of only the CPU, is far from being fully optimized even for single-threaded tasks (not quite as important to performance in today's world), is even worse at taking advantage of multiple CPUs (very important in today's world), and is zero at taking advantage of GPU power (most important in today's world).

Lightroom 6 is being partially rewritten, but as for today, Lightroom 5 is like a horse facing backwards in a race.

2
EOS Bodies / Re: POLL: aa, or not to aa (5ds vs. 5dsr) ?
« on: February 01, 2015, 10:02:33 PM »
I selected the second option. Sharper is not always better, so that's not an accurate reason. But sharpness when needed is well worth the risk of moire, which is a risk that can be avoided by a knowledgeable photographer, and which technology causes to become smaller and smaller even in the cases when due to photographer error it wasn't avoided.

I have used both the D800E and D810 considerably, and I find that it boils down to this:

Main reason to go AA-free: Sharpness, and overall drastic image improvement at the level of tight crops. I totally disagree with the predominant opinion that it is an insignificant improvement (see below). I can crop so much smaller areas of the picture and still obtain a sharp result. That's the main factor for me. Even in the photo where Ken Rockwell is trying to show there is almost no difference, I see the opposite, at least a doubling of sharpness. Branches and twigs that look like fuzz in the D800 image suddenly jump out in the D800E image. If you need to crop out one small face from a huge 36 MP file, you'll depend on a D810 or D800E (or 5Ds R) to do the job. You can't post fuzz and keep your job.

Main reason to keep AA: Most of the time it never really matters. Extra sharpness is wasted in 90% or more of the applications of my images. Those who say it is an insignificant difference are talking about these 90% of applications where sharpness doesn't matter that much anyway, and I would agree with them in these cases.

Fake reason to keep AA: Fear of moire.

Moire is something that a photographer can learn to avoid the same as a photographer learns to focus. In fact, focusing itself can be used to control moire. In fact, focusing alone is a much, much bigger issue than moire ever could be.

I lose more photos due to missed focus than I ever will to moire showing up. But do I feel the need to use only f/11 wide angle focus free lenses? Of course not. And the exact same thing holds true about moire and AA filters.

I do not feel the need to blur every pixel in my picture with an AA filter because of a crippling fear of moire, anymore than I need to avoid f/1.4-2.8 lenses because of a crippling fear of being out of focus.

I will always buy the camera option that is AA-free, and with the current state of image processing, I don't even need to feel the slightest bit of anxiety about doing so.


3
Lenses / Re: TS-E Depth of Field newbie question
« on: January 13, 2015, 11:07:34 AM »
You are somewhat on the right track, but perhaps hoping for more than what a tilt-shift lens actually provides.

A tilt-shift lens tilts and shifts the plane of focus. But there is still a plane of focus.

A plane is simply a 2D cross-section (i.e. slice) through 3-dimensional space.

So you could set up your tilt-shift lens to capture everything in perfect focus that was in the plane exactly 6 feet above the basketball court. This would probably render everything from 10 feet down to the ground in acceptably sharp focus.

But the other equally important thing to remember is that a plane is, by definition, not curved.

So to continue this example, your plane of focus as described above, would only be able to capture the part of the crowd that is in the plane 6 feet off the ground in perfect focus, and only the part from 10 feet down to the ground in acceptable focus.

Of course, you could then change your TS-E lens so that the plane of focus was at a 45 degree angle and captured 3 feet above the slant of the bleachers in perfect focus. Therefore, the faces of everyone sitting down in the bleachers would be in perfect focus. But someone standing up would be sightly out of focus. You get the idea.

You still have a great idea, but just remember that a plane of focus is like a giant infinite piece of perfectly flat cardboard which can be slanted/tilted/shifted to any angle and placed at any position, except that the piece of cardboard is unable to be curved or bent. Any part of a scene which could be simultaneously in contact with one infinite piece of perfectly flat cardboard could also be brought into perfect focus in a single picture with a tilt-shift lens.

4
This is right. 24mm as a normal lens would be my pick if restricted to ordinary lenses, but even better the TS-E 24mm. Like they say below, nothing comes close.

24mm TS-E, on FF. Nothing comes close to camera movements for dof and prespective control and they are key landscape elements. The 24 can be shift stitched to make a super high quality double sized sensor with a 16mm fov, it can take regular filters and the 1.4 and 2 x TC's making it incredibly versatile.


+ 100 For me too, Sir, Dear Teacher, Mr.privatebydesign.
If I have only one lens and one FF. Camera, I will have Canon 24mm. TS-E MK II with B+W  KSM C-POL MRC. PL FILTER, ON MY  Gitzo G1326 Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripods , On Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head, On Gitzo 1321 Leveling Head = Heavenly equipment in my hand, FOR SUPER SHARP DETAILS FROM CORNER TO CORNER, PLUS CAN SHIFT  AND STICHES TO MAKE 3 TIMES OR MORE OF BIGGER MP..
Happy New Year 2015 to all of our friends.
Surapon

5
Technical Support / Re: Optimal processing platform of still images
« on: December 04, 2014, 01:19:50 PM »
I am about to get a new platform for my image processing. I only do stills and I almost exclusively use Photoshop CC, primarily Lightroom. But I also do some stiching and focus stacking, with the help of various other software. My main platform today is 3 year old iMac 27”, with a 27” Eizo self-calibrating monitor added. In addition I use a 2 year old 15” MacBook pro, with Retina screen, when I travel. Both platforms are a bit short on RAM and I do not like the shiny iMac screen.

I know many of you know a lot more than me on the latest and greatest, so my question to you is:

If you could choose freely, what processing platform for still images would you choose?

I'm at the same place you are right now, planning a new platform.

My current platform is my starting point, so I will describe it. I have a Late 2013 Mac Pro 6-core with an 8-bay Synology DS1813+ connected to it. The ethernet is bonded together on the Mac Pro and on the Synology. (The Synology has four ports total, and the Mac has two.) There are eight 7200 rpm enterprise hard drives (10 times the reliability of regular consumers drives from Western Digital, Seagate, etc.) in the Synology.

I keep my originals on the Synology and all other data used when working in Lightroom, Photoshop, etc., is stored on and accessed from the Mac's built-i PCI-Express flash disk.

However, Mac OS X, even with Yosemite, is terrible when using network drives. It continues polling the drive even when nothing is accessing the drive. And several times each hour, the Mac OS X NAS driver reaches a state where it just crunches and crunches all the hard drives on the NAS, while getting no data out of them. The drives are doing zillions of IOPS, and a folder of files is just sitting there with a beach small cursor spinning and spinning. This never happens on Widows, even when I am accessing the same folder at the same time.

When this behavior is happening, it doesn't matter whether I do "ls" from the command line or whether I am using Finder. Either way, Mac OS X just causes the NAS to perform massive crunching of its hard drives, without actually producing any data. Something is terribly, terribly wrong with either the Synology support for Mac, or with Mac OS X. I suspect it is with Mac OS X, because this same problem happens regardless of whether I connect to the Synology with CIFS, AFP, or SMB protocols.

Another thing that really irritates me is that the bonded ethernet still transfers at a max of 125 MB/sec (usually closer to 110 MB). Mac OS X is still in the dark ages of not doing parallel transfer of data. What is even worse is Lightroom. Lightroom does not understand that it needs to load data ahead of time. No matter what, Lightroom never uses more than 10 MB/sec of bandwidth, and does not cache images in advance. I cannot use Lightroom whenever I have doing a crucial shoot when time is of essence. It takes about 15 minutes to do a job of quickly selecting images and checking sharpness that I need to do in 3 minutes. Lightroom is still in the dark ages as well of being limited by single-threaded real-time processor speed, rather than taking advantage of caching in advance or even just using graphics cards to process images. My dual D500 graphics cards are being absolutely ignored by Lightroom.

In theory, the above set up should be ideal, but it was just a waste of money due to Lightroom and Mac both being just plain stupid in their technical aspects (but good in their user interface, shortcuts, and overall convenience from efficiency).

So this brings me to the design considerations I am now taking into account for my new system:

* I have purchased dual Intel 730 480 GB SSDs that I am going to use in RAID 0. I would never consider the risk of RAID 0 with anything less than these enterprise-grade MLC SSDs.
* Overclocked Intel CPU to try to maximize Lightroom's speed until they eventually reach the 20th and 21st centuries and start using graphics cards, caching, and doing more than just the token use of multicore processing which is currently all that it does.
* The NAS works perfectly with Windows, so sadly, I'm going to be using a Windows system temporarily. Probably the beta version of Windows 10.
* Since all the photos will still be on the NAS, I will still be able to use the Unix command line to upload and manage images, a reason why I could absolutely never fully rely on Windows.

I hope this helps! If it wasn't for personal experience, I would never have realized that an amazing system like a Mac Pro would actually be so frustrating and slow to use with Lightroom. (And it's all Lightroom's fault, except for the poor NAS support of Mac OS X.)

Update:
For my dual monitor setup, I'm going with the
27" Dell P2715Q 4K UltraHD 3840x2160 IPS Monitor
and this one
 http://www.lg.com/us/monitors/lg-31MU97-B-4k-ips-led-monitor
http://9to5mac.com/2014/10/28/lg-31-inch-digital-cinema-4k-monitor/




6
Photography Technique / Re: Would electrical tape damage the red ring?
« on: November 24, 2014, 01:38:58 AM »
I echo the advice to be careful about the tape you put on your lens.

My 24mm f/1.4L lens has a lot of sticky residue from countless times that its focusing ring has been taped, and I wish I had been able to avoiding using electrical tape, duct tape, etc., on those occasions when I had no other choice. It is probably going to lower resale value by a few hundred dollars, on a lens that would otherwise look like an 8 or a 9 out of 10.

Suggestion: Use only gaffer tape: "While related to duct tape, it differs in that it can be removed cleanly because it uses a synthetic petroleum-based adhesive."

Rubbing alcohol will get the stickiness off without a trace. Just soak a cotton wool bud and wipe away, it will probably take a few goes but isn't difficult. Alternatively you can buy just the rubber grip from Canon for not much and fitting is easy.

Thanks! This is very helpful. I would have to apply some pressure about right on top of the cracks above and below the focusing ring, and some alcohol would definitely be released into the crack as a result.  Any chance that the alcohol could harm anything within the lens?

Thanks again for at least giving me more courage to try what I've been too afraid to do yet.

7
Photography Technique / Re: Would electrical tape damage the red ring?
« on: November 24, 2014, 12:34:26 AM »
I echo the advice to be careful about the tape you put on your lens.

My 24mm f/1.4L lens has a lot of sticky residue from countless times that its focusing ring has been taped, and I wish I had been able to avoiding using electrical tape, duct tape, etc., on those occasions when I had no other choice. It is probably going to lower resale value by a few hundred dollars, on a lens that would otherwise look like an 8 or a 9 out of 10.

Suggestion: Use only gaffer tape: "While related to duct tape, it differs in that it can be removed cleanly because it uses a synthetic petroleum-based adhesive."

8
Post Processing / Re: Image size for web site
« on: November 18, 2014, 03:52:26 PM »
One of the most common frustrations in bad website design is extremely "high quality" images that actually provide an extremely low quality user experience.

I agree with the suggestion earlier to use 1080px (or 1200px) as the longest dimension for images. A larger image size could/should be available as a download individually, but not as part of the content loaded into the regular web page.

Also, it is useless to save images used within a web page at the highest JPEG quality setting. JPEG exports are mostly based on two technologies. First, libjpeg, for which 85% quality is excellent for high quality web use like photo galleries, while 95% would be good for individual high quality downloads, and 75% is sufficient for general web use. Secondly, Adobe products use a different compression scale, and 50 is good for general use, 60-70 good for high quality use, and 80 or more for individual high quality downloads.

Here is an analysis:

http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/jpeg-quality



9
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Is IQ better with smaller files?
« on: November 17, 2014, 10:23:51 PM »
This is both true and not true.

Literally, it is true. Shooting a JPEG at a lower resolution (but not at a lower quality), and leaving all of the other settings the same produces a cleaner file. The ratio of how much more clean is in theory approximately equal the square root of the ratio between resolutions. Even that rule of thumb fails to take into account a host of factors that are equally important in determining "cleanness" as a function of pixel density.

But also, this is not true. Imagine that you scaled down the entire picture to a single pixel. This pixel would be a wonderful clean pixel, with almost no noise whatsoever. But no matter how clean and noise-free that pixel might be, a pixel is not a picture.

You never gain more picture information by scaling down in order to make a cleaner file. The signal to noise ratio (the meaning of "cleanness" in this context) is not a measurement of total image quality.



10
Portrait / Re: Engagement Session from Saturday 11/8/14
« on: November 10, 2014, 06:03:55 PM »
You have a hit in the third photo, which is striking in its simplicity and effective from a variety of other artistic principles and elements as well: emphasis, balance, pattern, line, shape, color, texture, etc.

In the first picture it seems like balance is missing (the picture seems to be holding up an enormous weight) and the lines don't strengthen the composition. The second picture contains space/perspective, but is not using it well to to effectively to achieve the related goal of either harmony and unity or contrast.

11
The wedding photographer you hire needs to be knowledgeable and experienced with photography in the same environment where the wedding will be held.

For example, consider two completely distinct situations, calling for different photographic skills--
Is it in a dark church with no ability to set up flashes and lighting?
Or is it going to be outdoors during daylight hours?

I suggest that you look at the photographer's portfolio, especially their recent work, and see if there is any evidence of producing good photographs under the conditions and location where the wedding is planned.

Ask to see one or two complete wedding photography books from weddings in situations similar to yours. The photographer may not be able to display them to you publicly at their website, but they should at least be able show you them in a face-to-face meeting. Compare the results of three or four photographers and pick your favorite.

One other important note is that $2,000 is not enough to even pay for the equipment depreciation and business expenses of a good photographer, let alone their need to pay for the expenses of staying alive. 5-6 hours of on the scene photography translates to at least 50-60 hours of work directly related to your wedding, and much more work that is indirectly related but equally important. Set your expectations quite low if $2,000 is all that you can afford.

If I worked 80 hours a week for 52 weeks out of the year, and spent $150,000 annually on running my business, I might be able to reach a level of productivity of 100 weddings per year, absolute maximum.

But even in this ideal scenario of the highest possible profitability and efficiency for the photographer, a price of $2000 for the wedding values the photographer's expert time, usually based on 30+ years of dedicated commitment to the trade, at only $10 an hour.

So just ask yourself if you want to entrust your wedding memories to someone whom you are paying an hourly rate of just 75 cents more than the "Fry Cook" position at McDonald's.




12
Post Processing / Re: Fast editing of RAWs to "camera like" Jpegs
« on: October 04, 2014, 12:22:31 PM »
Despite having options to mimic camera settings, Lightroom so far does not have this capability, nor do other non-OEM RAW processors that I have tried (all the ones that usually come up in a Google search).

Digital Photo Professional is the only RAW processor I know of that truly has the ability to instantly match the standard out of camera JPEGs of the Canon DSLRs. In fact, when you shoot RAW and JPEG together, DPP will by default process the RAW output to be the equivalent of the JPEG output, with the exact same settings applied and using the same algorithms.

And then, starting with a result that looks as great as the SOOC JPEGs, you can then do so much more for the photos that need it.

This works so much better than spending all your effort struggling just to get the RAW files to look as good as the JPEG images that you barely have any energy left over to make them even better.

The only problem is that DPP is really slow. For example, exporting is a 30-second process for one RAW image, so I can't use it for the purpose that you desire, of quickly allowing all of your RAW photos to see the light of day.

Yet herein lies the other benefit of shooting RAW + JPEG. For the photos that don't need to be taken beyond standard processing, you will already have the time-consuming conversion process done by the camera.

Of course, if your original JPEG images are shot with awful settings, like the wrong white balance, etc., then you are back to square one. So in a sense, learning how to make the SOOC JPEG images look good by your shooting technique is just as much of a part of this method of RAW processing as doing all the tweaking afterwards, and it saves so much more time.


13
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Why haven't you left canon?
« on: October 01, 2014, 01:55:30 PM »
What an utterly dumb question to ask.

I am asking myself the exact opposite question, and seriously I am honestly about to completely leave Nikon, despite being with Nikon for even longer than I have been with Canon.

Why?

Nikon has horrific customer service in every possible area, from website and phone ordering to forgetting to screw in all the screws into the back of a lens after repairing it, to NPS, to putting their loyal, long-time authorized dealers and service centers out of business by charging them $107,000 for renewal, etc. The list could go on forever.

Canon has incredible customer service.

End of story.

If you are an actual photographer who actually relies on your equipment to the point that you need service, you need Canon. That's it.

14
Thank you! A very useful post!

15
It is not Canon's fault.

Chuck Norris passed by a major sporting event two years ago, affecting hundreds of the super telephoto lenses present, which have been nervous about focusing on anything ever since.

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