October 25, 2014, 03:27:33 PM

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Messages - ahsanford

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3. Limit the number of shots you take -- I'd say don't take more than 200 all day. If they are well thought out and well executed, you'll save yourself a lot of time in post process. You do not have to shoot pictures of everyone there or of everything that happens. They seemed to have asked for a representational sample that will show what the event looked like. No one will look at more than a couple dozen pictures of the event, no matter how invested or interested. I wouldn't give them more than 50 finished pictures, at most.

I tend to shoot more and be selective before PP.

This is to one's taste, but I agree with Dylan.  I shoot JPG+RAW, I shoot more than I need, I use the JPGs to rate shots and only PP the keepers in RAW.  Speed on the front end and power on the back end -- that combination has served me well.

I agree with distant.star's take on limiting the number of finished pictures.  Hell, I'm doing this for free!  :P

- A

A few thoughts. Advice, for what it's worth...


Again, enjoy yourself. Relax. They didn't expect to have a photographer to begin with!

I continue to be amazed at the thoughtfulness folks put into their posts.  That is stellar guidance.   Deeply appreciated.

- A

All good advice, especially having 2 bodies, but I fear f/4 won't be enough indoors, at least without flash.  Even f/2.8 is nearly useless indoors if there's low light.  I'm assuming you don't have any fast primes, so be sure to bring several sets of spare batteries for the flash (at least 3-4, but maybe more).  You'll burn through them in no time (especially with the Stofen) and don't want to be without them.  Be sure to set your flash sync to "1/60-1/200s" or you'll get nothing but blurry shots in Av mode as it will expose for the ambient.  Switch to P mode (no shame in doing so) if you get rushed and shots are looking blurry.   Also, try to use ISO 400 or 800 with the flash to extend battery life and get better coverage of the ambient.  Take multiple photos (at least 3) for group shots.  Someone ALWAYS has their eyes closed or is looking at another camera.

Leave the 70-200 F/2.8L IS II in the car.  It will still be close enough for you or someone else to retrieve if you really need it, but I doubt you'll use it and it's a bear to carry all day.  The only exception is if you'll be doing any kind of head shots or individual portraits. 

And YES, definitely take a gray card or white card.  You'll have awful mixed lighting and will have a tough time with white balance if you don't have at least a handful of reference shots with the cards in them.  Better yet, set a custom WB, but you may not have time to do that, and if you forget to switch it back, it'll tick you off badly.

Also, and trust me on this one, make sure both of your camera clocks are synchronized.  Use EOS Utility and sync to the computer time, ideally.  I have made that mistake before and unless you have PhotoMechanic or other tools, it's a major PITA to fix.

Finally, wear comfortable shoes and bring a comfortable backpack, bag, or vest, if you have one.  Nothing says I'm a pro like a vest, too :)  Good luck and have fun!

Excellent guidance, thank you.  I have amassed phone and SLR shots from vacations only to find a time shift that is a huge PITA to manage after the fact.

- A


be aware of using CPL with people dude...

it also removes reflections on people's eyes and you end up with dead fish looking eyes.

would be very usefull recreating some sort of zombie costume shot

Agreed.  I also hate how CPLs make the shadows on faces much harsher.  I'd only use a CPL in a shot with people in it if I had a glaring sky/reflection in the background that I couldn't frame out.  But knowing how much is going on indoors at this event, I'll probably be shooting with the UV on all day.

- A

Sounds to me like you just got suckered into working for free. Sry if you think this sounds harsh....

Not harsh at all, but I really don't mind giving my services away in this capacity -- I was volunteering my time already. 

But I will not risk my gear and I won't abide by an angry parent without the event host having an iron-clad 'here's what we'll use these pictures for' statement in my hand.  I shot a friend's daughter's soccer game and a number of parents gave me the stink-eye.  Though none of them confronted me, it was clear they were very uncomfortable with anyone other than a parent taking pictures.

- A

Having 2 bodies for event is huge plus.

All I can think of 2 bodies with 24-70 and 70-200. Maybe 1.4x tc attachs to 70-200 for extra reach when you out door.

Best wishes and be safe


I have an old T1i.  I could leave the 16-35 on the FF rig and put the 24-70 on the T1i for an equivalent 38-112.  But I don't have two flashes (the T1i pop-up is wretched) and the T1i would be 100% relegated to outdoor work.

Knowing all that it, should I bring it or leave it? 

- A
Since this is unpaid gig...I would bring it for outdoor. I shoot with 2470 and 70200mm a lot. If I'm you, I'll put 70200 on crop for outdoor. Although I do not own t1i...I'm assuming the iq shouldn't be a problem for outdoor. Especially with 70200.

It's absolutely fine in daylight.  And it's small to pack.  I'll bring it.

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: A Rundown of Canon at Photokina
« on: September 03, 2014, 02:14:59 PM »
I'm wondering if Canon took a long hard look at the Tokina 150-600 and decided that they had to go back to the drawing board to come up with something competitive.
I would love for that to be the reason for the delay in the 100-400mm update. Despite the Tamron's obvious flaws I would think they've carved quite a little corner in the not-insanely expensive supertelezoom market.
Do I think that is the actual reason? Unfortunately no. I think Canon is just content with the offering they have so far and have yet to feel the pinch/need to respond yet.

Canon's lens development cycles (except for maybe their 18-55 crop kit lenses) are long and carefully planned out.  I'd be stunned if they'd go back to the drawing board on a lens that was pretty far along just based on one competitive offering.

I suppose it might happen if Nikon really hit it out of the park on a pro staple lens like a 24-70 or 70-200, but redirecting / setting new goals on a lens is a massive disruption to many people, materials and dollars that already have momentum in one direction.  I really doubt Canon does this very often unless it's very early in the development effort.

- A

Having 2 bodies for event is huge plus.

All I can think of 2 bodies with 24-70 and 70-200. Maybe 1.4x tc attachs to 70-200 for extra reach when you out door.

Best wishes and be safe
As far as cavelike darkness concerned, bounce the flash off ceiling if not colored, grey is ok, ETTL and  dial flash exposure comp when needed.

Crap -- great call.  This aquarium's walls are dark blue inside if memory serves.  I'll try to get there early and take some shots in each area with a gray card.

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: A Rundown of Canon at Photokina
« on: September 03, 2014, 02:06:45 PM »
Others may think the 7D announcement is underwhelming, but no other manufacturer appears poised to make a big splash. The 7D might actually end up owning Photokina.

Agree 100%.  Folks on this forum are likely not to be pleased unless the sensor is some SkyNet-powered darkness explorer that spits out noise free frames at ISO 12,800, but that isn't going to stop Canon from making a very loud racket about the launch of their new flagship crop body.  Remember the 5D3 launch?  That was a red-carpet over-the-top affair and everyone heard about it.  Expect a similar-level Richter-scale event for the 7D2 regardless of what's under the hood.

So this very well may be the loudest splash at Photokina despite it possibly not wowing everyone.

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: A Rundown of Canon at Photokina
« on: September 03, 2014, 01:57:11 PM »
...the 24-105 has high risk of flex cable breaking after about 2 years,...

I've had mine, and used it like crazy, since it was first released in 2005.  It's never failed to work, and it's always produced solid, reliable results.

And my 24-70 F/4L IS is terrific as well.  Light, compact, nearly as sharp as the 24-70 2.8 II, IS, fast focusing and a decent hand-held macro option as well.  It's a terrific tool.

I generally tweak aperture before I focus, so I haven't noticed any focus-shift.  In Tomri's hands, though, that might be a big deal.

- A

Having 2 bodies for event is huge plus.

All I can think of 2 bodies with 24-70 and 70-200. Maybe 1.4x tc attachs to 70-200 for extra reach when you out door.

Best wishes and be safe


I have an old T1i.  I could leave the 16-35 on the FF rig and put the 24-70 on the T1i for an equivalent 38-112.  But I don't have two flashes (the T1i pop-up is wretched) and the T1i would be 100% relegated to outdoor work.

Knowing all that it, should I bring it or leave it? 

- A


I think you...

Awesome tips.

1) The Sto-Fen bounce has been fine in my limited use of it, but the ceilings are of wildly different heights inside the Aquarium.  So a straight vertical bounce may be a mess to dial-in.  So I may just go with Sto-Fen's suggested 45 degree upward tilt and call it good.  And outdoors in bright light, I may pull it off entirely as I'll need to squeeze all the power out of the flash for HSS use.

2) I've been told that these will be for aquarium promotional use and used by the educational groups that set up this event.  This is not for profit whatsoever, so I'm inclined to just hand the photos over sans paperwork.  There really aren't any evil forces at play here.  I have asked them for specifically how I am to handle concerned parents asking me who I am and where those pictures are going.  That's on the event hosts and if they don't give me a canned statement / printout / card to give parents, this shoot isn't happening.  That's drama I do not need.

- A

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Shooting an event soon -- could use some advice
« on: September 03, 2014, 01:20:52 PM »
Hey gang,

I wasn't sure where to put this, sorry.

I am volunteering at a kids event this weekend and when they heard I was a photographer (full disclosure: natural light enthusiast only), they asked me to bring my rig and shoot the event.  I only have sketchy details, but here's what I know:

  • It will be a mixture of indoor and outdoor shooting.  Outdoors will be violently bright and indoors will be cavelike darkness (it's actually an aquarium).
  • There will be thousands of people there over the course of the event, so it will be some form of organized chaos in a walkaround 'capture what I can' sort of scenario.
  • The event will last 4-6 hours and I need to carry all my gear over that time -- no 100% safe bases of operations are available, and my car will be too far away.

So here's what I was planning on bringing:

  • 5D3
  • 600EX-RT with a Sto-Fen Omni Bounce
  • 16-35 F/4L IS
  • 24-70 F/4L IS
  • 70-200 F/2.8L IS II
  • Filters: CPL for outdoor shooting and UV for indoor shooting and handsy kid fingerprint insurance  :P.  The CPL might also be useful to shoot the exhibits through the glass if need be.
  • I may also bring some rain covers in case they need me to shoot near an open water habitat -- I'm waiting to hear back on that.


1) Did I miss anything obvious?  (Note that I lack any (even basic) off-camera lighting tools like a bracket or ETTL cable.  So I'm hotshoe-ing the 600EX-RT or bust.)

2) I need to be able to carry everything around with me, so I don't want to go too heavy.  The 70-200 is heavy and likely will be overkill given how many people will be packed into this place.  Should I leave it out altogether to save weight, or would you bring it?

3) Should I even bother with a gray card to back out the interior lighting?  I think I'll be moving around to so many different spots that I won't have the time to use it.

Any advice is appreciated.

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: A Rundown of Canon at Photokina
« on: September 03, 2014, 12:22:42 PM »
A bit confused by the 24mm f/2.8 EF-S pancake prime. I use the 24mm f/2.8 IS on my SL1 and it is tiny.

I guess if you're really interested in saving a minute amount of weight & size, a little bit of money, and trade IS for STM it might be worth it. But I can't see it myself.

I've read (and participated) in all the discussions before on this lens. I'm with you. I still don't see it. 24mm EF-S means effective focal length of 38mm -- barely wide angle. It won't perform better than the 24 f2.8 IS and it will be the difference between small and really small.  Seems like the only advantage would be price, but I simply wouldn't want a 38mm equivalent lens even if it were free.

That's just me, though.

EF-M has a 22mm pancake = 35mm FF equiv
EF-S would get a 24mm pancake = 38mm FF equiv
EF has a 40mm pancake = 40mm FF equiv

I see two sides of this:

On the it's going to happen side:  It's not consistent at all, which is nutty, but each mount would now have a roughly 35mm walkaround easy-breezy pancake.

On the it's not going to happen side:  24mm is a FF focal length and not a crop length.  24mm is the standard for 'wide' in FF shooting.  To my knowledge, with the exception of the EF-S 60mm macro, every single EF-S lens is from 10mm-18mm on the wide end until they jump to the tele 55- zooms.  So making a pancake prime just for EF-S doesn't make much sense.  One might think this pancake is actually EF and not EF-S.  Then FF users would have two pancakes for walkaround and crop users would just use the 24 pancake as their choice.

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: A Rundown of Canon at Photokina
« on: September 03, 2014, 12:14:08 PM »
EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
I'm guessing this means the 24-105L is at the end of the line? Or will they have 3 lenses, this (replacing the 28-135), the 24-105L, and the 24-70f/4L?

That's my thinking.

Although I don't really like that we have to lose the 106-135mm, especially as the only zoom lenses that reach beyond 105mm (besides the 70-xxx series) is the monster 28-300. BTW, a non-L version of that would be nice

Agree.  If that new variable max aperture 24-105 lens is offered, I doubt it will have a red ring. Such a lens should replace the 28-135 as the budget zoom for FF rigs. 

But I find it really surprising that Canon would offer a new "FF only" lens (i.e. a [24mm - anything] lens works fine on crop but folks will feel handcuffed on the wide end) at the launch of the 7D2.  So I put a ton more faith in the 15-85 and 18-135 rumors than the 24-105 rumors.

- A

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