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Author Topic: Projection question  (Read 1466 times)

miah

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Projection question
« on: October 24, 2012, 11:25:19 PM »
I'll soon be giving a number of presentations using various digital projectors (those owned by the hosts: typically libraries, schools and businesses). The ambient lighting and age/quality of the projectors will vary.

Sadly, the projectors I've seen typically lack adequate contrast and sharpness--especially in rooms without good window blinds--resulting in washed out photography that diminishes the quality of the show.

My question is this: I currently shoot RAW with a T3i, 10-22 EFs, 15-85 EFs, and 70-300 EF DO. I need a compact/lightweight kit, since I travel solo and internationally via motorcycle. The results I achieve with this body and these lenses is acceptable when zoomed out to maybe 50%. But when I'm editing at 100%, I'm more often than not dissatisfied with the sharpness, color fidelity and detail (on a Dell 24" Ultra-Sharp, color-calibrated monitor). This leads me to spend too much time in post trying to right the wrongs.

So, being a perfectionist, I'm considering biting the bullet and purchasing bigger/heavier/more expensive gear, in spite of my serious space/weight limitations, in the hopes that IQ will dramatically improve when I peer at it at 100%. But then I think, "you're only posting to the web in small sizes that already look fine. You rarely print anything (although I'd like to start printing more). And you just don't know enough about projection technology to say whether a 5D3 image is going to look one iota better than a T3i image, regardless of lenses employed, when thrown across the room onto a screen or wall."

Any advice from those of you with projection experience would be greatly appreciated.
T3i • 10-22 • 15-85 • 70-300DO *** 5D3 • 35 f/2 • 50 f/1.8 • 24-105L • 100L • 70-300L • 35-350L • 400L f/5.6

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Projection question
« on: October 24, 2012, 11:25:19 PM »

Brand B

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Re: Projection question
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 07:08:39 AM »
Sadly, The type of projectors you're referring to are incapable of throwing a good image as far as photography is concerned.  Even if focused properly, you're talking about one or two megapixel images with a contrast ratio, bad to begin with, that is absolutely destroyed by any ambient light.

In addition, any "presentation" projector is almost certainly going to have horrible color rendition, typically sacrificed in the name of brightness.  So, in my opinion, switching to the best camera in the world will likely not improve the image over your existing Rebel at all, once these projectors have had their way with it.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Projection question
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 08:32:39 AM »
+1.

I don't project my dSLR images, but I do a lot of photomicroscopy (with cameras and optics costing far more than dSLRs and lenses).  When those images are projected (usually on large, high-end projectors bought with corporate $$), they almost always look like an over-contrasty, color-shifted mess. 
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tron

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Re: Projection question
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 09:34:10 AM »
Do you have complains from all 3 lenses you mentioned? If I were to guess I would say that the 70-300 DO is the worst of the three.  The other 2 lenses have a reputation of being very good (I used to have 10-22 until it was stolen). Do you use them at optimum apertures?

Hillsilly

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Re: Projection question
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 09:59:28 AM »
Brand B is spot on.  At best, you'll have HD resolution (2mp).  With older facilities, resolution will likely be less.  And then you have to deal with lighting and focus issues.  You won't notice the minimal differences in sharpness, colour accuracy, tonality, noise between cameras.  A new camera won't give you any noticeable improvements for most photos.  Differences in background blur will still be noticeable (well...as much as any APS-C vs FF comparison).  Also, photos at very high ISOs from the 5Diii will probably look better projected, assuming you are in a completely dark room.  Therefore, for nearly everything, any differences will be negligible.  At the very extremes, under ideal projection conditions, the 5Diii should give better results.

Given that used slide projectors are very cheap, have you considered shooting slide film and bringing your own?  Projected film looks good, plus, there is no such thing as "Post Production".  Once the slide is developed, that's it.  It's either a good shot or its not.  No more time spent in front of computers.  (Although I note your EF-S lenses....) 
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miah

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Re: Projection question
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 11:05:21 AM »
Your thoughtful answers align with my suspicions. Thanks for the news I didn't want to hear, guys...

Hillsilly, I still own two, rack-mounted film slide projectors that I used to wow people back in the day with one image "dissolving" into the next. The quality of the projected images was stunning, as you say. But with digital, people have since grown accustomed to fancy transitions and too, demand a level of photo quality that's at least equal to what they're used to seeing on their various LCD screens. This is where digital projection falls to pieces, as Brand B pointed out.

I guess I was just hoping that I had missed something. That there was some secret sauce, in addition to insuring the presentation room is pitch black, to getting the projected images to maintain good color, sharpness, contrast, etc. But it sounds like a new body and/or lenses won't materially improve on what the projector destroys.

Regarding my choice of lenses, Tron, I've actually been quite happy with my 70-300 DO lens. I think it gets a bad rap, although it took me a while to figure out how to improve its results: don't ever use a UV filter; always attach the hood; use a tripod when possible; never shoot wide open. All 3 of these lenses are small and relatively lightweight with decent build quality. In fact, when I'm on my smaller bike, I leave the 10-22 at home and go with only the 15-85 and 70-300 to shave off even more weight/bulk.

Anyway, it's too late and not practical to start shooting slide film, again. I have thousands upon thousands of digital shots from all around the world that I need to sift through and prepare for my presentations, even as I continue to shoot more. As I do so, I'm often disappointed by my Rebel's rudimentary focus system (it's inability to lock on a subject fast enough before the moment passes) and an abundance of noise above ISO 400. If I could fix these two issues, and keep my kit just as small and light, I'd be a happy camper.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 11:12:17 AM by miah »
T3i • 10-22 • 15-85 • 70-300DO *** 5D3 • 35 f/2 • 50 f/1.8 • 24-105L • 100L • 70-300L • 35-350L • 400L f/5.6

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Re: Projection question
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 11:05:21 AM »