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Messages - Forceflow

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: My first wedding Help!
« on: May 08, 2012, 06:52:11 AM »
I've seen many examples of people who have hired beginner photographers (paid or not) and received such dreadful photos that they were really upset. They can't do their wedding again and all record of it is completely lost.

It's a risk - you may end up with something, and you may end up with nothing whatsoever. The couple need to understand that this is a *real* possibility.

Well, I did state exactly this, plus I think there is a lot between 'beginner photographer' and 'non pro wedding shooter' or even 'non professional' photographer. Of course you should be able to do proper photography. But the OP stated that this was his first wedding, not his first shoot ever. I absolutely agree that somebody who does not know his way around a camera should not ever do a wedding. I really doubt that this is the case here however.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: My first wedding Help!
« on: May 08, 2012, 04:08:13 AM »
I disagree that a non-pro should never shoot weddings. I've done 6 so far and every time the couple was really pleased with the result. (Even though they were far from professional grade photographs) I think there are 2 categories of weddings.
One were the couple spends thousands upon thousands of dollars and expects everything to be perfect. Those will most likely also hire a prof wedding photographer at insanely (but sure enough warranted) high prices. Now, if a couple like this will want to hire a non-pro to save some (or rather a lot) of money: Run like hell! Do not do it, it's not going to be worth the trouble and everybody will be miserable.
Two (and this one is most likely not known to all those pro-wedding shooters) were the couple just wants to have a nice wedding. Families and friends, simple as that. On one wedding the bride made is especially clear that she only wanted a few shots of the couple outside of the regular wedding ceremony. She knew we could do great couple pictures, but it would have been stressful for her and more importantly taken her away from the actual wedding. It was her day and she wanted it to spend it with her friends and family. We took about 20 minutes of time between the church ceremony and the wedding reception and that was it. There were some nice shots, but nothing stellar. And you know what, she was happy! If a couple like this asks me to shoot their wedding I will gladly accept.

Be sure to talk to the couple well before hand and know their expectations. If you are confident in your photography skills and they know your limits and both match up, then go do it. (But don't think that it's going to be an easy job! Read the journal I posted earlier, you'll be dead by the end of the day no matter how small the couples expectations are!)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: My first wedding Help!
« on: May 07, 2012, 04:58:22 PM »
I composed a small article about wedding photography for non-pros:
It's less gear and setting specific but goes into the topic more generally. Shooting weddings can be very tricky and stressful. Be prepared and absolutely have two bodies with you!!! If yours fails and you have no backup with you that'll be it. There might be another dSLR that you can borrow, but you really don't want to work out the deeper functions of a Nikon body while trying to shoot the vows.
From your lens setup I would say you'll be okay, especially the 50 1.4 will help you a lot since it's a fast lens. But don't just look at the gear, there are a million things to look after at a wedding. (Trust me, I speak from experience...)

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon 100-400 mm 4.5 - 5.6, May 5th Moon
« on: May 07, 2012, 11:37:55 AM »
@serendipidy: Thanks for the praise :) I am really glad how this one turned out myself, would not have thought I could get one that sharp. I do have to say that I really like your shot as well, especially considering it was your first attempt and even handheld! Great work!
Do keep in mind however that I have taken that shot using my 2x converter together with the 100-400. So my camera settings might not be too useful for you. (And of course you wont be able to achieve the same level magnification)

Turns out the image I used was actually one of the really slow ones. It was indeed taken at 1/15s with an aperture of f/18. The camera was set to ISO 100. Camera RAW settings (PS 6 demo version) were as followed:
Exposure -0.5
Clarity +30
Tone Curve
Lights -20
Darks -20
Shadows -30
Luminance 30
Lens Corrections
Set the right lens and checked Remove Chromatic Aberrations also set Defringe to All Edges

All other Values were the default ones. All I ended up doing in Photoshop itself was to crop and resize the image. The tripod I used is the MANFRETTO 550XPROB with a 804RC2 head. It's on the heavy side, but really sturdy and quite affordable. Hope this helps!

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon 100-400 mm 4.5 - 5.6, May 5th Moon
« on: May 07, 2012, 02:21:58 AM »
@forceflow: What shutter speed did you take it at? It is a beautiful shot.

I have to look that one up once I am back home. Due to some bad layering in PS exif data is not correct. I think it was taken somewhere between 1/100 and 1/200 I think. But I'll check it later tonight!

I had two occurrences where I needed Sigma service. Both were on my 70-200. The first one was some sort of dirt which had accumulated behind the front element. I would say it was some sort of fungi since it was a prefect ring forming at about . Sigma cleaned the lens for free but added the disclaimer that this was not a warranty issue and that the free service was voluntary from their side. This time it was send through the store and I had my lens back in about 5 working days.
Second occurrence was a broken AF at the outer edge of my warranty (Three weeks later or so and I would have had to find out just how flexible they really are). I thought to be clever and actually brought it in myself since their German service station is rather close to my work. turns out that this was maybe not such a good idea. The lens was repaired for free, but this time it took them something like 3-4 weeks. Though to be fair their service station is not really equipped to receive equipment for repair, so it might have gotten lost in the shuffle a bit there.
Both repairs were flawless and both times the lens was very clean and free of any visible dust inside. (Which was not the case before the repair, though it never affected image quality as far I as could tell) The lens held up after that, at least until it was stolen :(

This was Sigma Germany btw...

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon 100-400 mm 4.5 - 5.6, May 5th Moon
« on: May 07, 2012, 01:13:04 AM »
Thank you :)

I used my 7D in combination with the Canon 100-400 L and my Sigma 2x extender. Originally I did not even want to buy that extender again, but since I saw a used one in a store for a real bargain I thought what the heck. (Especially since it was the same price as the cash back I'll get from Canon for my 100-400)
I would not have thought it would be possible to get this much detail out of the two, but apparently you can. It is pretty difficult to work with however. At 800mm the moon moves very fast through the VF and AF is of course not functional at f/11. Even though I have a pretty sturdy tripod was I really glad to have IS in the 100-400 else MF would have been next to impossible as well. I had to resort to using Live View with maximum magnification to get the best focus, but at that setting the image will really shake immensely even from just touching the lens. It was quite a pain, but from the result I would say it was also worth it.

The Image has been cropped to 2778x1852 and then resized to 1920x1280, so be sure to enjoy the full view of it.

Lenses / Re: Canon 85 1.8 vs. Sigma 85 1.4
« on: May 06, 2012, 12:11:37 PM »
Love my Sigma 85mm 1.4 I would say it's the one lens with the highest IQ and I ven never get enough of it. That said I have not tried the Canon 1.8 in comparison, but from the reviews I read I was confident that the Sigma was simply the better option. So far I have certainly not regretted it.

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon 100-400 mm 4.5 - 5.6, May 5th Moon
« on: May 06, 2012, 03:39:50 AM »
Great shot, I am curious about the stars however. Did you really manage to capture them like that on the photo or did you add them in post?

This is my attempt at a moon shot two days earlier:

Lenses / Re: Good yet affordable telephoto lens?
« on: May 05, 2012, 04:38:02 PM »
Sorry to necromance this thread but since the decision on which to buy has been made I thought I'd check back in here again and thank everybody for their input.
I did decide to go with the 100-400 L from Canon and am very pleased with it. I just had it with me on a three day convention and was able to take some really great shots with it. IQ really is impressive and the 100-400 range is great to work with. It is damn heavy though and the push-pull does take quite some getting used to. (Still not fully comfortable with it) But I would say in this range this is the bes deal I could have gotten.
What really blew me away though was a moon shot that I took a couple of nights ago using the 100-400 with a 2x Sigma converter which I picked up used:

Would not have thought that this combination would end up with that much detail. Image has been cropped to 2778x1852 and then resized to 1920x1280.

Lenses / Re: Macro Lense-If money were no object.
« on: March 20, 2012, 09:45:52 AM »
Well, since you already have the 100 I would also suggest the MP-E65, though I hear it's really difficult to photograph with it. (No idea though, never worked with one myself)
Personally I really like my Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro OS. It offers quite a bit more reach than Canon's 100 and is faster than Canon's 180. The image stabilization is nice, though I find it not that necessary for macros. (Which I almost always use a tripod for) The IQ is also really nice and all in all it's still fairly affordable. Not cheap, but sitting nicely between Canon's 100 and 180.

EOS Bodies / Re: Anyone else want a cropped sensor?
« on: February 09, 2012, 11:31:24 AM »
Used 40D or 7D is the way to go for me. Have both and love both, if you've got the cash get a 7D, else try to get your hands on a used 40D. I don't much care for the 50D or 60D since those lack some features that I really liked on my 40D.

You just have to love xkcd most intelligent comic out there if you ask me!

Lighting / Re: I Need a Flash
« on: February 09, 2012, 03:31:46 AM »
I use the Sigma EF-610 DG SUPER. Nice price, great performance and plenty of functions to work with. I am really happy with it, and from what you write what you would do with it, it should be more than enough for you.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Why canon?
« on: January 23, 2012, 04:08:49 AM »
Simple: Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel in the US I think)
Before that one there simply was no affordable digital SLR out there. (Well, affordable for me of course) The 300D changed that. After that I was simply too invested in glass and accessories to switch to Nikon. (And let's face it, those two are so close together I see no point in switching brands just because Nikon might have the edge for a little while here and there) If Nikon would have come out with an equivalent of the 300D at that time instead of Canon I am pretty sure I would be a Nikonian.
Though with the 300D, 40D, and now my second 7D I gotta have to say I never regretted my choice.

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