March 06, 2015, 07:32:01 PM

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Messages - LDS

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Lighting / Re: Diffuser for Canon 600ex for event
« on: March 05, 2015, 11:39:44 AM »
Light is not magic, it is entirely dependent on the apparent size to the subject.

Correct - to achieve a soft light you need a light source that seen from the subject is large enough to light it from several directions at the same time. That's why bouncing works well - you get a huge reflector, the wall/ceiling themselves. You can increase the effect using "diffuser" that spread more flash light in different directions to have more light reflected by walls and ceilings. Just remember to throw enough directly to the subject to avoid unnnatural and unpleasant shadows. Some portable softboxes may be mounted on a portable handheld boom to be kept nearby the subject, but you then need a wireless trigger and an assistant.

Outdoor, you need to take advantage of natural reflectors (sky, walls, whatever), or artificial ones - there are some collapsible reflectors (i.e. Photoflex LitePanels, Lastolite Trigrip) that can be used effectively bouncing natural light, but they may need an assistant, especially the larger ones. Even a 600EX may be too dim outdoor but for some fii-in of near subjects. Using more than one unit on support designed for that may help to increase available light, but it can be expensive (although cheaper clones may be used as well).

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Canon Pro-1 Question
« on: March 02, 2015, 06:36:14 AM »
I understand your suggestion here, about sticking to a brand or model when somebody asks a question about using a particular device.

What I meant is trying to understand first if there is something wrong in the use of a given device, and help to achieve the best results. Then, and only then, if those results are not yet up to someone expectations, suggest which other devices could lead to better ones.

Because if there are some mistakes in the process, no amount of money you can throw at the problem usually solve it - if not maybe by pure chance. But without the right understanding, it can surface again with any little change in the process, and again if the solution is unknown, it can't be solved.

First, the OP has been having problems for a year with his printer.  I know the frustration of spending on ink and getting no better results, and then spending more on ink.

Yeah, I know too. I believe your suggestion about "Jeff Schewe's THE DIGITAL PRINT" was very important, because you lead to something that can tell a lot about the printing process regardless of the printer you're using.

Sure, following that book won't turn a consumer printer into an high-end one, yet you'll understand why, and you'll be able to exploit fully whatever your budget permits, and not just waste money on a more expensive model and still get subpar results because you really didn't grap the required technique to obtain good results.

Otherwise, if someone says "my camera always give too dark images", do you tell him to check exposure, or you suggest to change camera? :D

I shouldn't have to point out that the OP is not the only person reading a thread.  Others have the same questions, including many who are trying to decide on a printer.  So, I'm being helpful to those who are searching for info on various printers.

Yes, but this way it could be a little misleading. If we were to perform a comparison between the Pro-1 and the 3880 we should ensure that both are properly used and deliver the best results. I'm sure that whatever printer I use, and whatever printer Keith Cooper use, his prints will be far better than mine :) Would you suggest someone else what printer to use using such kind of comparisons? Does the 3880 always prints better than the Pro-1? Maybe, but it needs to be a fair comparison.

When it comes to printers, we aren't "trapped" in a brand by a bag full of lenses and flashes.  It is MUCH easier to finish up a set of inks and move on, either to another of the same brand or a different brand.  Sticking with a printer that isn't performing becomes very expensive because it consumes ink.

Sure, but like cameras, the best device is not the latest and more expensive, but the one you know better and can exploit fully. As I said, it could be true you got the wrong device for the expected result, and just need another. But unless you are sure you're using it the correct way to achieve the best results, and still it's not what you wish, you just risk an endless chase of "the best one" wasting money and money because none will give you what you want, if there is some basic failure in the process. Good for sellers, not so good for your pocket and very frustrating - while maybe buying a $35 book  - as you suggested -  and/or reading Cooper's site could be the real solution. Then feel free to jump from printer to printer until you're fully satisifed with the results - you'll know how to get there.

I'm not trying to defend the Pro-1 - I was just pointing out it's after all a good printer, and maybe the reported issues were not in the printer itself, but maybe in some other steps. Everybody had its issues with one brand or another, and his own preferred ones. Yet, I learnt there's more value in discussing issues regardless of a given brand, than simply saying "oh yes, I used X too, but it was crap and now I'm very happy with Y" - unless you can give a factual proof that X was really crap.

EOS Bodies / Re: Smartphones Already Won -- Laforet
« on: February 27, 2015, 09:07:28 AM »
His claims can be summed up as "amateurs value connectivity more than image quality"

And that's why he's wrong. We should also "amateurs" - what it really means.

Non professional photographers take images for very different reasons. And not all of them - and probably just a small part of them, although very visible due to the hype sorrounding "social media" today - require "instant connectivity". While there amateurs who value image quality a lot. We all agree that P&S market is already doomed - but even here you can find people needing a small, light camera yet versatile and delivering high image quality. A niche market, probably, but not a so small niche. But people approaching DSLR and their systems? Sure, there is the "gear collector" for whom the "feature set" printed on the box is of paramount importance. But those really interested in photographic art and technique, and looking for quality and versatility? Why their cameras shoud be turned into smartphones wannabe, when what you need while shooting is less distractions? Do you really need in-camera notifications of how many likes and retweets your last photo got? Do you shoot just to please your ego, or do you have other reasons?

Even among professional there could be some who could value today connectivity much more then image quality i.e. paparazzi and sport/photojpurnalists, while others don't.

If that was his thought, well, he's using "amateurs" in the negative meaning many "pros" use. But is this really the target market, or maybe some camera maker has a better understanding of their market and what user really want? While user feedback is important to design a product, following only user feedback is not really the way to design a good product. Apple has been successful in the past years exaclty because was able to find good designs most users would have never thought about. When Canon asked Colani a new design for camera bodies, he delivered a new ergonomic design that became the de-facto industry standard, still in use today. Would users have ever asked for that? I really doubt it. Probably, they would have asked for some bells and whistles, thinking "out of the box" is something much more difficult, and it's not usually achieved just chasing fashions.

And sometimes fashion is wrong. On my previous smartphones (I got my first one in 2002... - said it was the future, people wandered how could I use such a large phone...) I could answer a call pressing a single button, while not even looking at the device. Now most buttons went way, and answering a call requires - a swipe, and a "touch" - and of course you have to look at the phone. Of course, calling/answering is now out of fashion. You should just take images and upload them.

PS: I know I can answer with a single button press on a bluetooth device - just I don't wear one all the time...

EOS Bodies / Re: Smartphones Already Won -- Laforet
« on: February 27, 2015, 06:24:02 AM »
You are obviously too young to remember the previous 40 years or so. I have never seen a time when competition was not exploding. The supply of photographers has always far exceeded the demand for my entire life.

The difference is today reach of *each* photographer. In the old days, how large was a market for a photographer? Unless you were able to sell your images to some large and well known agencies, your work had good chances to be limited to a restricted area, and competition was also restricted to photographer working in that area and the large agencies covering that area. The entry barrier, both financial and technical, was much higher.

Also, archives were much difficult to search. Today you can sell your image worlwide easily, and that means that each photographer has any other photographer as a competitor. Sure, those working on "events" mostly, which are local in nature, still have some "natural protection", but if you create different type of images, you get a far, far larger competition today. And even for "local events" the chances a non professional photographer able to get a good shot and publish it, are far higher than years ago.

EOS Bodies / Re: Smartphones Already Won -- Laforet
« on: February 27, 2015, 06:14:33 AM »
The fact that you may not be good at shooting doesn't mean that "[you] are good at forecasting the market, nor that [you] are right.  He is a professional photographer and cinematographer.  His livelihood comes from this market that he is prognosticating about.  Others have made the same general argument, so he's not alone in his thinking.  I'm going out on a limb here, but I think he knows more than you about the state of the industry, and where the industry is heading, than you do.

Well, I have a degree in Physics and lead an R&D department in the hardware and software market. My office hall is full of lens blanks - a nice collection -, because in this very space a lot of high-end industrial and scientific optics have been designed and developed.

Sure, my photos are far crappier than his, but I have a far better knowledge in hardware and software (and their future) than he has - because I actually design and implement it - not just use it. My income comes from such a job. And surely, I would write a much more professional bio in Wikipedia, his is written in a very amateurish way.

Do you believe everybody sustaining an argument does it just because he or she truly believes it? How naive... There are often big commercial interests in pushing one or another. And exactly because his future depends on this market, he has a big interest to try to push those arguments that ensure his advantages, not somebody's else. An increasing number of photographers able to produce images with a quality once the realm of very expensive professional products and workflows is a threat. As some media already demostrated, could be cheaper to buy images from a local photographer than sending your own expensive ones.
Convincing people they not need a versatile system like a DSLR, but a selfie-oriented device is enough for them, may ensure less competition in the future.

Also, as many people working in the media industry, he has the "strange" idea that actual fashions will last forever, just to tell you tomorrow that there's a new fashion - which of course will last "forever" too.

Only time will tell if social media will last, and if their business model is sustainable in the long run (how long some can keep on losing money is yet to see). Are they too a bubble doomed to deflate?

Anyway, having cameras software strongly tied to very proprietary services which may go out of business looks a bit silly to me. I understand some users may have a *real* need of instant or near instant publication, others look to me just pushed to that model for commercial reason, not real needs.

Anwyway, it's a bit ironic to see his blog is sponsored by Canon...

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Canon Pro-1 Question
« on: February 27, 2015, 02:58:49 AM »
The problem is that if Photoshop Manages Color plugins are duplicated.

If you let Photoshop (or Lightroom or whatever) manage colors, you have to disable color management in the printer driver. Then is a matter of preference if you prefer Adobe ACE (or any other application internal color management engine) or Windows ICM/OSX ColorSync.

EOS Bodies / Re: Smartphones Already Won -- Laforet
« on: February 26, 2015, 06:08:57 PM »

The fact is good at shooting doesn't mean is also good at forecasting the market, nor that he's right.

But after all, if I were a professional photographer today, I'll do whatever I can to ensure less and less people try a DSLR. Cameras became too powerful and easy to use, and images easier to sell worldwide. Better to get rid of the competition as soon as possible, tell them phones are enough...

Quote from: link=topic=25294.msg499555#msg499555 date=1424990145
Show me your Wikipedia entry.

It wouldn't take much to create one... Another lie of the 'social society' is Wikipedia is an authoritative source  :)

EOS Bodies / Re: Smartphones Already Won -- Laforet
« on: February 26, 2015, 05:00:34 PM »
And yet, we get new iPhones every year or so.  And, despite the fact that my iphone is now several generations outdated, Apple has continuously updated its operating system to add features that its hardware will support. 

Phones employ a generic processor, which makes them easier to reprogram. Often, the software is a generation or two behind the hardware, that's why sometimes some features are added later, when the software catches up.

Cameras use processor(s) designed for image taking, but less flexible. But wow many phones are as fast as a camera in processing images? It's like having a powerful, dedicated GPUs, or not...

In Laforet's article, he talked about using digital cameras as stands to hold up smartphones taking timelapses.  Why aren't cameramakers putting something as simple as a software intervalometer into high end digital cameras?

Because of the lucrative accessories market  :) If they can sell you a $10 accessory at $130, they are very happy. Now the new 5Ds have such a software AFAIK (and Magic Lantern as well, AFAIK), after all, cheap Chinese clones are actively killing that market. Same for connectivity, wifi adapters have been available for years, but at crazy prices. Just beware, an always connected camera with a vulnerable OS running on it is at risk too...

I'm not talking about just dropping Android into the firmware.

This would be a very silly move. The last thing you want, is a generic OS designed to handle different tasks, and not a "real time" one also (a "real time" OS is one designed to handle time sensitive tasks). It would just take more memory, more CPU, more battery power with littler or no advantages. And the last thing I want, is a camera which could become riddled with malware as well...

EOS Bodies / Re: Smartphones Already Won -- Laforet
« on: February 26, 2015, 04:31:51 PM »
I'll agree with his premise

"The key is that the software on those smartphones, and the social media platforms and instant connection to the web – ARE BETTER and cannot be overcome by camera companies that fail to integrate software within their camera bodies going forward."

First, nobody ever wonder if the "social media platforms" will be still here and so strong, say, ten years from now? Or they will get out of fashion and some new toy will take their place? Nobody worried about how much standalone cameras will be replaced by drone-mounted ones??

Software is better? A dedicated device will always perform better - it will have the proper ergonomics designed for a given task, and its processor will be dedicated to the task, without having to fulfill the needs of other applications running concurrently.

Also, beware of the PR of those said platforms. To stay afloat, they are in a desperate needs that their users products keep on feeding contents to them for free. The day users products get tired of feeding such platforms for free, those platforms have a big problem. Thereby they need to ensure you believe you have to feed such platforms as much as you can, even if you have very little reasons to do so.

Frankly, I feel no need to have a camera connected with such platforms. Just because I need to review my photos on a decent monitor much bigger than 5"-6", properly calibrated, adjust then if needed, and only then publish them. After all my CF cards store much more GB than those allowed monthly by my phone contract.
Also I prefer to save battery charge to use it to actually take photos, instead of wasting it keeping a wifi/mobile connection alive.

EOS Bodies / Re: Smartphones Already Won -- Laforet
« on: February 26, 2015, 04:18:04 PM »
Like say the personal computer, it appears people are going beyond the 3 year upgrade cycle and those buying are first time owners. Those who already have a personal computer are buying a tablet/smartphone instead.

The tablet market already stalled as people turned towards PCs again (see for example Anyway, expect most of new "tablets" to be much more alike laptops (keyboards, pen input) than the previous generation.

Smartphones sales are still strong, partly due to bigger screen sizes available (one of the reason of the declining tablet sales), and partly because contracts ensure more upgrades compared to tablets. Also the "status symbol" factor works better with phones than everything else.

It is true upgrade cycles for PCs are now longer, after all right now they are enough powerful for most use for  more years than before. But more capable SSDs and 4K+ monitors may have an impact in creating demands for upgrades. Also, as long as some applications kill the 32 bit versions, and Windows 10 becomes available, some older PCs may need to get upgraded.

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Canon Pro-1 Question
« on: February 26, 2015, 09:26:14 AM »
At least that is the case with the Epson 3880.  I had a Pixma Pro 9000II

Well, you switched from a $400 printer to a $1000+ one, I really hope you got something tangible in exchange - although it is true not always higher price means better quality.

Anyway an A2 printer may be too large and heavy unless you really need it - the Pixma Pro are already expensive, large and heavy enough for most  (and maybe less demanding) "non professional" users.

The Pixma Pro reviews, including those on Northlight Images, are positive... anyway when someone asks something just telling him he bough the wrong product and switch is not that helpful, especially if what he bought is not that bad. It's like writing "got bad images with you Canon camera? Get a Nikon or a Sony! It works for me".

You can still buy the wrong product for your needs or expectations - but you really need to assess it is - and not just there's something wrong in the workflow leading to results below what could be really achieved.

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Canon Pro-1 Question
« on: February 25, 2015, 09:05:02 AM »
So I'm wondering if the Spyder 3/ColorEyes software combination is actually capable of making an adjustment to the iMac display brightness level or is only shifting color and contrast.

It looks it depends on software integration with the underlying OS, when monitor settings can't be easily controlled. This may help you:

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Canon Pro-1 Question
« on: February 25, 2015, 07:27:30 AM »
I edit and soft proof an image in Lightroom using the target Canon Pro Luster ICC profile.

Did you turn on also "Simulate ink and paper"? Try also to print from Canon own plug-in for Lightroom - just to check where the issue can be. That plug-in offers also the option to print several "proofs" on the same sheet with different settings, from which you can understand which ones works better.

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Canon Pro-1 Question
« on: February 25, 2015, 06:04:19 AM »
There is a page on the Northlight Images site where I've collected all my colour management related articles/reviews that might be of some interest.

Thank you, very interesting stuff, I'll try to avoid the tar pit risk also ;) Just links to the late Bruce Fraser's material no longer work, unluckily. It looks removed them.

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Canon Pro-1 Question
« on: February 24, 2015, 01:26:24 PM »
I had a few questions. Firstly the prints I make look nothing like those taken on my camera. The colours are far too dark and I have to manually change brightness and saturations on every image prior to printing. This is taking a lot of trial and error and will be costly inks wise. Any ideas or recommendations to fix this?

Printing is a process exactly like capturing an image. You can't just press the button :)

Basically you'll need:

  • Calibrate the monitor - and set brightness to a level good to evaluate prints. Anyway, most monitor gamut could be smaller than printers like the PRO-1
  • Profile the printer for the given paper - many papers now come with good starting ICC profiles. To profile the printer, you need a spectrophotometer, the Canon utility AFAIK supports only some X-Rite models
  • ICC profiles alone are not enough to "translate" automatically a screen image to a printed one, there are other variables which needs to be handle manually
  • Select the "proper" paper for a given image. Not all images look good on every paper
  • Good printing applications (what do you use to print?)  will let you proof (preview) how the final image will look, taking into account several parameters like inks and paper white poin. Some can also save them for later use.
  • Create/display a proof (print preview) (depends on what application you use to print), and then change parameters as you need to get close the image you want. Brightness and saturation are only two, you may want to change rendering intent, adjust contrast, sharpening, white balance, etc. etc., for example matter paper will have  far less contrast than glossy ones
  • Print from this proof, and assess it after it dried under a proper light source, or the light source it will be displayed in

Hahnemühle, Canson, Innova, Moab, Awagami  makes excellent papers, even Canon ones are good enough, the PM-101, for example. You should look for the sample packs, and then select the one that fits your taste (and budget)

For drawings you may also consider using "canvas" ones, that look more like those used by artists - your printer can use this kind of support as well.

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