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Author Topic: Canon 5D MkIII difficult assignment. REALLY low light show coverage issues.  (Read 9631 times)

drjlo

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I just covered T.H.E. Show (The Home Entertainment Show) in Newport Beach with 5D MkIII and 35L.  Many rooms were almost pitch dark with small spotlights on products, many with dimmed flourescent/tungsten, and it was extremely difficult to have high enough shutter speed to prevent hand shake even with 35L.  Could not use really wide aperture because system shots required better DOF.  I shot with and without on-camera flash 580EX II (with ColorRight FlashRight Pro diffusor), and flash's default iso of 400 would not cut it and had to be increased.  Even then I had a fair number of shots with hand-shake effects, especially when shutter reached into 1/8 or so. 

For next time, what would be some other strategies to prevent camera shake, preserve good DOF when you have no control over room lights.  Is one flash simply not going to do it?  I'd rather not carry a tripod, as there were dozens of rooms.  To make matters worse, many rooms had the bright window uncovered, so I was shooting into the window light.

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« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 12:20:00 PM by drjlo »

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drjlo

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The above were better because of the close-up and better light control, and I had time to process my RAW's.  But when whole systems were shot, the issues were much worse.  For the following report, mostly in-camera JPEGS were used because I needed to post them asap.  In-camera NR was "off."
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The lovely McIntosh electronics powering the CLX.

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Angel City Audio and Melody Valve Hifi

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Melody amps on the floor

DZ3C3590 by drjlo3, on Flickr

MSB room with YG Acoustic speakers. 

DZ3C3592 by drjlo3, on Flickr

MSB Platinum IV DAC

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drjlo

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Affordable Audio room featuring the gorgeous Sonist speakers

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drjlo3, on Flickr

awinphoto

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Not bad at all given the situation.  Light will always be the name of the game...  If your limited at iso 400, then a good tripod, assuming they will allow one, or more lighting will be key.  I think if you shoot in manual, you can change ISO to whatever you want and the flash power will be more powerful in relation to the increase in ISO...  I think it's only limited at 400 if you shoot auto ISO.  Also as far as lighting, you can also see if you can pick up a Q-flash...  I thought I read they were even making a shoemount q-flash but I dont know if it's out or not...  They tend to pack quite the punch light wise.  All else fails, pick up a metz 76mz handle mount flash...  GN is 76m at 100...  Compared to the 58 for the 580 or even 60 for the 600 Canons, it is just more powerful.  I shot with these guns and can testify they are that powerful... plus off camera axis so no worry about red eye, plus comes with rechargeable battery, ettl, modeling light, etc...  Hope this helps. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

K-amps

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Very nice pics, thanks for sharing!  :)

Did you get a chance to hear the YG acoustics?
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Just wondering what your 5D MIII ISO was set to?  If you need smaller apertures then flash is your only way to go, you get that mixed light though due to the tungsten so you could probably gel your flash head with CTO.  How much really depends on the color of the light but you can get close enough.  Since you are in rooms you can try bouncing the light off the walls to create a bigger soft box effect rather than direct flash (point the flash head mounted on your camera backwards or to the sides for instance).  It really depends on the look you are going after if you do it this way, this will create more even flash coverage and less of the specular highlights on the components you are photographing.

drjlo

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Very nice pics, thanks for sharing!  :)

Did you get a chance to hear the YG acoustics?

Yes, they had several rooms featuring various YG acoustics speakers, and as they are built from CNC-aluminum cabinet, they always sound very clean, clear, and smooth.  Only problem is the price.

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drjlo

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Just wondering what your 5D MIII ISO was set to?

The default iso of 400 with flash attached wasn't cutting it, so I was shooting with manual iso 800 to 1600 most of the time.  5DIII could do a pretty clean 3200, but I was still trying not to go there and was trying to stay with f/2.8 to f/5.6 range if possible.  I suppose I could have used even smaller aperture for more DOF and crank up the iso even more to compensate.

drjlo

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All else fails, pick up a metz 76mz handle mount flash...  GN is 76m at 100...  Compared to the 58 for the 580 or even 60 for the 600 Canons, it is just more powerful. 

That's some powerful flash.  Looks like it's going to run >$1100 with the Canon adapter and needed accessories though.  It might be cheaper, although more painful, to drag along one of my Alien Bees next time..

Mt Spokane Photography

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Why not post a link to your flickr page, or limit your post to 4 images?  It is really annoying to have my computer hang while it is downloaing dozens of images.  Not everyone has gigabit internet.
 
By the time my computer came back to life, I was too disgusted to enjoy the ton of images.

helpful

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Why not post a link to your flickr page, or limit your post to 4 images?  It is really annoying to have my computer hang while it is downloaing dozens of images.  Not everyone has gigabit internet.
 
By the time my computer came back to life, I was too disgusted to enjoy the ton of images.

Be nicer! I'm sure it took a long time for the poster to post all those images, and it's not your computer that's hanging, just the time it takes for the photos to download. The CPU load is almost nothing for viewing images on a website, at least with any computer more recent than 1995 or so. (I remember a 1980s computer that was still being used, and it took about two seconds of processing time just for the cursor to hover over a "rollover" image and show the "highlighted" version.)

Believe me, your computer has no ill effects as a result. I know you know this, but I just wanted to remark that our inconvenience (I have slow internet at the moment as well) is more than made up for by the huge amount of time that the poster had to invest in producing such a huge post.

5DIII, 5DII, 7D x5, 6D, T2i, T3, 1D X, 10-22mm, 16-35mm II, 18-55mm II, 18-135mm IS x2, 70-200mm f/2.8L II, 24mm f/1.4L II, 50mm f/1.4, 50mm 1/1.8 II x2, 85mm f/1.8 x2, 100mm f/2 x2, 135mm f/2L x2, 200mm f/2.8L II x2, 1.4X III, 2.0X II, 60mm f/2.8 Macro, etc. only had room to list a few Canon items

Orion

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Goodness! Some of those systems go for 10s of thousands of $$$$ . . . . mmmmmmm

Thanks for sharing!

anyhoot,

Why not post a link to your flickr page, or limit your post to 4 images?  It is really annoying to have my computer hang while it is downloaing dozens of images.  Not everyone has gigabit internet.
 
By the time my computer came back to life, I was too disgusted to enjoy the ton of images.

Be nicer! I'm sure it took a long time for the poster to post all those images, and it's not your computer that's hanging, just the time it takes for the photos to download. The CPU load is almost nothing for viewing images on a website, at least with any computer more recent than 1995 or so. (I remember a 1980s computer that was still being used, and it took about two seconds of processing time just for the cursor to hover over a "rollover" image and show the "highlighted" version.)

Believe me, your computer has no ill effects as a result. I know you know this, but I just wanted to remark that our inconvenience (I have slow internet at the moment as well) is more than made up for by the huge amount of time that the poster had to invest in producing such a huge post.

At the risk of going OT, what is the point of saying that the poster took a lot of time and effort to post, when all that needed to be done is link to flickr, etc . . . . ., or post a FEW examples HERE, with a link to flickr?

The use of time and effort to post so many images, and having to scroll down so many, is no casue for appreciation or some sort of acknowledgement. . .  different way of looking at things, I guess.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 12:29:44 AM by Orion »

V8Beast

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Personally, I'd just suck it up and bring a tripod. Your arms will hurt, but it will alleviate all your headaches :) I also find myself shooting static subjects in low-light all the time while trying to maintain a relatively deep DOF. Unfortunately, these situations often coincide with shooting in tight quarters where it's physically impossible to use a tripod. That's why I love my 24-105. Having IS on the wide end is awesome.

Considering that you nabbed these shots with a 35mm prime, I'd venture to say you'd get a very decent hit rate with the 24-105 at that focal length with 1/8- to 1/4 second shutter speeds.

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V8Beast

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One more thing. In the first series of images, where there is only one subject in each frame, you can get some surprisingly good results with a couple of off-camera flashes even without any light modifiers to diffuse the light. It just takes some practice to balance the ambient vs. the flash output, and to get the angles right, but it's hardly rocket science.

This technique isn't practical in the images with multiple items per frame, but as others suggested, balancing the ambient with bounce flash off the ceiling might work quite well.

What will your client be using these images for? Print, web? I know it takes a while to build trust in new equipment, but I wouldn't hesitate cranking the ISO up to 6400 or even 12,800. I've been pleasantly surprised by how well the 5D3's files clean up in post.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 02:02:26 AM by V8Beast »

drjlo

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You know, maybe I should have brought my Monopod.  I did buy a carbon monopod a while back, and it's probably portable enough to drag into dozens of show rooms quickly unlike a tripod.  Also, I've been frowning upon Canon's new 24 and 28mm IS, mostly due to price, but maybe they would have been useful in situations like this, i.e. needing IS for hand-holdability in dark while needing higher f/stop for more DOF. 

As far as the photos, well I've seen people complain on different forums when somebody just posts a link to another website, so I thought I would just directly post them here to save people the extra step.  I'm running a regular Time Warner internet, wireless to my computer, and the photos loaded pretty instantly, but I guess people have different internet speeds. 

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