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#1201 Bloggsworth

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 07:21

You could always hire one for a day or so in order to try it out, T4 Cameras (01993 702687) rent out Canons, there are others.

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#1202 kayemod

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:37

If you're spending the sort of money associated with the cameras you mention, I don't think you're going to get an answer from the likes of me :| (40D & 5d Mk1 user) I would expect what you have already got to be as good as it gets, and the operator to be the limiting factor.


Yes, I'd agree with that, and here's one operator who'd appreciate some advice along similar lines. My problem concerns taking photos of planes at airshows, it's not something I've done a lot of, but my results have been disappointing, some in-air shots are good, but an awful lot rather soft focus, and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Currently I'm using a Nikon D300, which will probably be swapped for a D800 at some time, mostly used with an 18-200 Nikkor at shows, though I also have an 80-200 f2.8, but I don't use that much due to the weight. I've tried every setting combination I can think of, single/continuous autofocus, manual focus, VR on, VR off etc, and still don't get the results I think I should do. I don't go for the 'scattergun' approach, unlike most of the people around me at these events, it's all single-shot, but with the air show season approaching, anyone here got any helpful suggestions?


#1203 David Beard

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:42

I've tried every setting combination I can think of, single/continuous autofocus, manual focus, VR on, VR off etc, and still don't get the results I think I should do. I don't go for the 'scattergun' approach, unlike most of the people around me at these events, it's all single-shot, but with the air show season approaching, anyone here got any helpful suggestions?


Turn up the ISO so you can use a smaller aperture and make focus less critical?

#1204 Odseybod

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:01

Anyone here got any helpful suggestions?


Biggest progress I discovered for in-air shots was to meter on the grass (equivalent of a mid-grey), then lock the settings to avoid silhouettes. I also tend to switch off autofocus (and VR if applic) and just set the lens on infinity, to avoid it 'hunting' at the wrong time. For aircraft with props, I reckon 1/250 is about the fastest shutter speed possible without freezing the prop(s), and a 300mm lens is about the minimum length (equivalent to 450mm on my D300).

[Sits back and prepared to be shot down in flames ...]

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#1205 Tony Matthews

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:38

Biggest progress I discovered for in-air shots was to meter on the grass (equivalent of a mid-grey), then lock the settings to avoid silhouettes. I also tend to switch off autofocus (and VR if applic) and just set the lens on infinity, to avoid it 'hunting' at the wrong time. For aircraft with props, I reckon 1/250 is about the fastest shutter speed possible without freezing the prop(s), and a 300mm lens is about the minimum length (equivalent to 450mm on my D300).



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I would agree with all that, Tony. It is what I used to do when photographing aircraft in pre-digital times but with autofocus lenses. There are times when manual and basic works best. I would like to know what the professional aircraft peeps do, but then a lot of their stuff is air-to-air, when auto-everything probably works extremely well. I also think that 300mm is probably best, unless you have a close fly-past.

Nice DC3s!

#1206 Speedy27

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:13

Thanks for all the replies. None of them have responded to my specific question, but I appreciate you taking your time anyway.

David Beard, if you do your research you will quickly discover that there is - as yet - no such thing as the perfect autofocus camera. And that is not what I was asking. My clearly stated question - asked of people who have used both the 5D3 and 1DX in the motorsport field - is whether there is any notable difference between the two in terms of in-focus results. Obviously the operator is always a variable, but a skilled operator will be able to notice a difference between them, IF there is one. And this is the only issue I'm interested in i.e. is there a compelling reason to spend substantially more on a camera which appears to be substantially the same as it's cheaper sibling? None of the respected review sites I've yet found have tested either camera shooting racing cars and it is perhaps the most taxing environment for auto focus I know of, especially if one pushes the limits as I do, for example, a lot of 3/4 panning work on corner exit (and entry) using slow shutter speeds. There are all sorts of considerations which come into play in this regard - efficiency of the camera's auto focus system is the easiest to control, IF one knows what one is buying in the first place.

Kayemod - I can't comment on the equipment you are using, as I've never used Nikon. My instinct is that what you are seeing as 'soft focus' - especially if it's consistent, is perhaps not a focus issue, but rather that you are expecting too much from your 200mm lens with this kind of photography. I don't know of any zoom which works best at either extremity and, to me, 200mm is just too short for the camera sensor to be able to capture the detail of this sort of action. Another factor which may be coming into play is that your auto-focus may be 'hunting' to find - and keep in focus - the subject, against the low contrast sky. Almost every camera/lens combo would find this a challenge. What I would do with your existing gear is as follows (and please excuse me if you are already doing some of this!) :
1 - make sure that you have a good quality UV filter on the lens,
2 - make sure that your camera is set to continuous auto focus and not 1-shot,
3 - IF the camera has a setting where you can change the autofocus reaction speed, slow it down to around 1/2 to 2/3 of it's maximum capability, rather than just bang it onto the maximum as some do,
4 - if your camera settings have a sharpness adjustment, it is likely to be set around mid way of the range. Turn it slightly sharper (Canon has a 7 click adjustment - for motorsport, I use setting 5 of 7 and have found this to be about optimum since I 'went digital' in 2005 with the 20D,)
5- shoot with image stabilization OFF unless you are in lighting conditions which are forcing lower shutter speeds than you would like to use,
6 - shoot prop-engined planes at 1/200 to 1/250 so that you capture some movement of the props; shoot everything else at 1/400 to 1/800 of a second ... or faster,
7 - use the centre focus point ONLY for darker planes and the smallest selection of available centrally located focus points for lightly coloured and/or silver/grey planes,
8 - and one of the most important factors imo, don't leave your shutter button part-depressed while you casually track the subject. Follow it until you sense that you are getting in the zone, THEN part press the shutter to get a focus lock and then pretty much in the same second, take the pic. I have found this approach - with each of the 6 digital auto focus SLR's I have used over time - to give a consistently better hit rate.
9 - if possible, try and get hold of a 400 mm zoom lens. You will likely find that you are shooting around the 300 to 350 mm mark and be able to fill the frame with enough subject detail, so as not to expect the camera to capture detail which it is just not capable of seeing. If you can't do this, use a 1.4x converter BUT you may experience a hit in image quality and auto focussing speed. How much depends on the camera/lens/converter combination you are using.

Thanks again for all the feedback.

Edited by Speedy27, 23 May 2013 - 11:17.


#1207 David Beard

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:20

8 - and one of the most important factors imo, don't leave your shutter button part-depressed while you casually track the subject. Follow it until you sense that you are getting in the zone, THEN part press the shutter to get a focus lock and then pretty much in the same second, take the pic. I have found this approach - with each of the 6 digital auto focus SLR's I have used over time - to give a consistently better hit rate.


Don't you use back button focussing?


#1208 Speedy27

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:24

Don't you use back button focussing?


No David - I tried it on one of the earlier 1D's and found that it has the same result as keeping the shutter button part depressed. I definitely did not get any better results than without it. My instinct is that the less work I give the auto focus system, the more likely I am to nail the pic in focus. Well, this has been my experience anyway.

I'm keen to know why are you in favour of using it?


#1209 Speedy27

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:27

Just having a look at your online gallery - some absolutely sensational pics in there. Classics, imo :clap:

#1210 Tony Matthews

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:28

Thanks for all the replies. None of them have responded to my specific question, but I appreciate you taking your time anyway.

Only 104 people including you have ever contributed to this thread, 37 of them only once and only 25, ten times or more. It's not that likely that anyone has the exact experience - Canon 1D 4 versus 1DX and 5D Mk3 - that you are looking for. There are no doubt forums that would give you the answers you are looking for. Good luck.

#1211 David Beard

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:29

No David - I tried it on one of the earlier 1D's and found that it has the same result as keeping the shutter button part depressed. I definitely did not get any better results than without it. My instinct is that the less work I give the auto focus system, the more likely I am to nail the pic in focus. Well, this has been my experience anyway.

I'm keen to know why are you in favour of using it?


I'm not sure that I am. I thought some swore by it. I've tried it a bit but I don't think it has helped me so far.

Edited by David Beard, 23 May 2013 - 11:44.


#1212 David Beard

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:30

Just having a look at your online gallery - some absolutely sensational pics in there. Classics, imo :clap:


Do you mean me? If so, thanks :blush:


#1213 Speedy27

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:32

I'm not sure that I am. I thought some swore by it. I've tried it a bit I don't think it has helped me so far.


It becomes more of a challenge - well for me anyway - to 'get the ergonomics right' when doing this with a big bodied camera and lens attached. No doubt it works for some people in a multitude of situations, just not for me and motorsport :)


#1214 Speedy27

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:33

Do you mean me? If so, thanks :blush:


I very much meant you :)


#1215 David Beard

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:41

I very much meant you :)


Thanks again. I have to own up to a fairly high failure rate with track shots. I'm more into attempting to be arty farty in the paddock...

#1216 elansprint72

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:55

Unfortunately I cannot help with the Canon question, as that is not a manufacturer who's products I am familiar with.

With regard to shooting aircraft; pre-digital I used to meter the distant ground and use that setting and pre-focus using the DoF scale so that infinity was at the end of my range of focus.

Digital has made things so much easier; I modified my technique for aircraft just as I have for cars and racing cycles; use spot centre-focus combined with the continuous track-focus facility, centre-spot metering, image stabilisation off, ISO set to variable with an upper limit of 6k ISO. Shutter speed seems to be the determining factor for sharp images, so I'm afraid that the props showing only slight motion blur is something I'll have to live with (in any event, do blurred props look "real"? Not imho) 1/500th seems to work for me.
I use a Nikon D700 (which has incredible lack of noise, enabling the higher ISO to work without loss of quality) and either a Nikkor 300mm zoom or, more often, a Sigma 150-500 zoom.

http://www.flickr.co...60540/lightbox/

Cheers,
Pete.

#1217 D_M_J

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:02

No David - I tried it on one of the earlier 1D's and found that it has the same result as keeping the shutter button part depressed. I definitely did not get any better results than without it. My instinct is that the less work I give the auto focus system, the more likely I am to nail the pic in focus. Well, this has been my experience anyway.

I'm keen to know why are you in favour of using it?


I never got on with shutter button focus, only use back button focus now. I prefer to separate focusing from the metering (metering on shutter button), so that I can quickly pre-focus when needed and still meter as normal, handy though fences and panning at times. Good for focussing then recomposing too, for paddock shots anyway. Just find it gives me a bit more control. That, and I just prefer the layout. :)

Cheers,

#1218 Speedy27

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:10

Unfortunately I cannot help with the Canon question, as that is not a manufacturer who's products I am familiar with.

With regard to shooting aircraft; pre-digital I used to meter the distant ground and use that setting and pre-focus using the DoF scale so that infinity was at the end of my range of focus.

Digital has made things so much easier; I modified my technique for aircraft just as I have for cars and racing cycles; use spot centre-focus combined with the continuous track-focus facility, centre-spot metering, image stabilisation off, ISO set to variable with an upper limit of 6k ISO. Shutter speed seems to be the determining factor for sharp images, so I'm afraid that the props showing only slight motion blur is something I'll have to live with (in any event, do blurred props look "real"? Not imho) 1/500th seems to work for me.
I use a Nikon D700 (which has incredible lack of noise, enabling the higher ISO to work without loss of quality) and either a Nikkor 300mm zoom or, more often, a Sigma 150-500 zoom.

http://www.flickr.co...60540/lightbox/

Cheers,
Pete.


Great pic! I'm not sold on centre spot metering, as racing cars can have wildly differing colours (and light reflections,) so I stick to evaluative metering on the Canon D's, which works consistently well for me. I was using centre weighted metering with the 7D in yet another failed attempt to get decent results from it, before I gave up.

Do you notice notable differences in overall image quality between the Sigma and the Nikkor 300 ?


#1219 Speedy27

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:13

Thanks again. I have to own up to a fairly high failure rate with track shots. I'm more into attempting to be arty farty in the paddock...


No need - whatever you are doing is working well by the looks of what's in your gallery. Those 70's pics in particular do it for me - I was a young and highly impressionable pre-10 year old when I first saw pics like this and I've been hooked ever since!


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#1220 Bloggsworth

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 13:18

Weston Euromaster (you can get them for £5 and upwards - Mine's a Euromaster I bought in the early 70's) or metering off a grey card if the weather is settled, an incident light reading at ground level and auto-bracket in manual mode might be an option. Spot-metering off a moving plane can be problematical.

#1221 Speedy27

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 13:58

Not trying to nitpick, but why would one still be using light meters from the 70's when the technology behind in-camera light meters has advanced so much from a few decades ago? Do you not also miss out on being able to have constantly corrected exposure settings when dealing with different degrees of light reflectivity from both the subjects and the background sky, compared to your static reading taken from a spot on the ground?

I understand the merits of using a good light meter for setting up static subject exposure, but that's a different game altogether - or am I missing something?

#1222 Bloggsworth

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 14:57

Not trying to nitpick, but why would one still be using light meters from the 70's when the technology behind in-camera light meters has advanced so much from a few decades ago? Do you not also miss out on being able to have constantly corrected exposure settings when dealing with different degrees of light reflectivity from both the subjects and the background sky, compared to your static reading taken from a spot on the ground?

I understand the merits of using a good light meter for setting up static subject exposure, but that's a different game altogether - or am I missing something?


It was only a suggestion. If the day is clear and there is barely a cloud in sight and incident light meter would be just the ticket, if the sky and the light remains steady +/- a stop, then bracketing covers it. Spot metering works perfectly if you point your camera at an area the exact equivalent of 18% grey, always assuming you can retain in your mind what 18% grey looks like (I have a card in my camera bag). If you watch Hollywood, Pinewood, BBC or ITV cameramen at work they will be using incident light readings, because whatever you are filming/photographing, whatever the reflective index, whatever the actual colour of the surface you are pointing the camera at, the light falling on it will be the same for all colours and materials. If I point my Nikon at a car and move it from one panel to the to another of a different hue, the auto system changes the exposure, but the light falling on the subject hasn't changed. The last aircraft shots I did were from the deck of a yacht anchored off Lowestoft beach in a truculent sea, so I was trying to compensate for two different sets of movement, and the possibility of dropping my Canon 10D into the North Sea - I overdid it and got too many stopped propellers.

Posted Image

Help! My engines have stopped...


Edited by Bloggsworth, 23 May 2013 - 16:27.


#1223 Speedy27

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 16:05

Thanks - yes, I'm so happy relying on my camera's light meter that I'm ignoring and forgetting some of the basics :)

#1224 kayemod

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 16:39

I also tend to switch off autofocus (and VR if applic) and just set the lens on infinity, to avoid it 'hunting' at the wrong time. url]


I've already tried that, it's when I got the worst results of all, and I noticed afterwards that the focusing ring on my 18-200 goes slightly past the infinity squiggle, though only by a small amount. I find that planes fill the viewfinder well enough, the lens is of course a 27-300 when used in DX mode. I do of course realise that the lens is a little way from being Nikon's ultimate piece of glassware, but it's still pretty good, and I can't believe that any soft focus pics are a result of limitations of the lens, and it's so much easier to transport than others that might theoretically be very slightly better. I've used it a lot for landscape and architectural work, and although I always try to avoid working at the far end of its range, I've never noticed any lack of sharpness, which would be easy to see with subjects like leaves and brickwork etc. I suppose that some further experimentation is called for.


#1225 Bloggsworth

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 17:26

I've been toying with reminding myself of the basics by purchasing a second-hand Mamiya C330 TLR and a few rolls of Ilford's finest!


Edited by Bloggsworth, 23 May 2013 - 17:27.


#1226 David Beard

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 17:56

I've been toying with reminding myself of the basics by purchasing a second-hand Mamiya C330 TLR and a few rolls of Ilford's finest!


Do it! I trust you have a dark room?



#1227 elansprint72

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 18:17

Do it! I trust you have a dark room?



Yes do it, although a darkroom is no longer required! I use a Nikon F and get under the duvet to load the films into the tank. then I just scan the negs and use Photoshop.
I do still have a couple of enlargers, sets of trays, plus all the other antiques up in the loft but there is no motivation to go down that road again!

With regard to Sigma vs Nikkor image quality, my Nikkors are not top-end, so I'm satisfied with the results, given the expenditure involved..
Cheers,
Pete.

Edited by elansprint72, 24 May 2013 - 08:03.


#1228 Bloggsworth

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 18:59

Do it! I trust you have a dark room?


No - But I'm sure I can find a student from CityLit who could handle it. I have a Fujifilm X20 for a (large) pocket camera and a Nikon D3200 for more "thoughtful" stuff, mainly people picture taken while out walking in London - For instance, this cracker in Covent Garden with the X20.

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#1229 E1pix

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 23:30

Do you not also miss out on being able to have constantly corrected exposure settings when dealing with different degrees of light reflectivity from both the subjects and the background sky, compared to your static reading taken from a spot on the ground?

I understand the merits of using a good light meter for setting up static subject exposure, but that's a different game altogether - or am I missing something?

You are missing something, light is light regardless of subject movement and improvements in meters.

I also do not know why you'd want the camera changing exposure on the fly based on light reflectivity from the subject. Not a good idea if you want to be in charge of your photographs.

Edited by E1pix, 23 May 2013 - 23:32.


#1230 Bloggsworth

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 07:47

Yes do it, although a darkroom is no longer required! I use a Nikon F and get under the duvet to load the films into the tank. then I just scan the negs and use Photoshop.
I do still have a couple of enlargers, sets of trays, plus all the other antiques up in the loft but there is no motivation to go down that road again!

With regard to Sigma vs Nikkor image quality, my Nikkors are not top-end, so I'm satisfied with the results.
Cheers,
Pete.


A half decent scanner for 120 film is seriously expensive.

#1231 Tony Matthews

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:47

http://www.ephotozin...er-review-21622

This new Plustek scanner looks quite good - under £1,700 from Amazon. Quite a bit less than RRP but still a lot of money. It's very depressing, especially as B&W wet printing is so good and cheap. My film drying cabinet and print dryer have gone to the Great Darkroom in the Sky, but I've got everything else, just in case...

#1232 Odseybod

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:54

You are missing something, light is light regardless of subject movement and improvements in meters.

I also do not know why you'd want the camera changing exposure on the fly based on light reflectivity from the subject. Not a good idea if you want to be in charge of your photographs.


Just to enlarge on that, one of the things I learnt at a suitably early age was that exposure meters (even those built into cameras) are half-wits and see everything they 'look' at as a mid-grey. So they'll try to turn a bright white subject into a mid-grey one by reducing exposure, and a black one into a mid-grey by increasing exposure. Had some very gloomy sailing boats and some very anemic steam locos till I got the hang of that ...

Of course, shooting RAW gives you more scope for balancing subject and background afterwards, but it's a great help to have the right overall exposure to work with.




#1233 David Beard

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:37

Of course, shooting RAW gives you more scope for balancing subject and background afterwards, but it's a great help to have the right overall exposure to work with.


I nearly mentioned earlier...RAW is useful when you want to bring out detail in shadow such as the underside of a plane. ( I always take a RAW and small jpg together)

#1234 Bloggsworth

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 15:30

Amateur Photographer is doing a film/transparency scanner review in next week's issue, tho' I ha me doots aboot flatbeds for 35mm, I have a Minolta Dimage for that, picked it up from Morgan Computer for £100 several years ago.

I might ring around and see if anyone does 120/220 roll film developing combined with scanning as a single service.

Edited by Bloggsworth, 24 May 2013 - 15:34.


#1235 E1pix

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 21:33

Just to enlarge on that, one of the things I learnt at a suitably early age was that exposure meters (even those built into cameras) are half-wits and see everything they 'look' at as a mid-grey. So they'll try to turn a bright white subject into a mid-grey one by reducing exposure, and a black one into a mid-grey by increasing exposure. Had some very gloomy sailing boats and some very anemic steam locos till I got the hang of that ...

Of course, shooting RAW gives you more scope for balancing subject and background afterwards, but it's a great help to have the right overall exposure to work with.

Exactly, Odseybod. :up:

Spot on on RAW and correct exposure also... for any image one wants at its best, RAW is the only way to go for post-processing options and excellence. Anything else reduces file quality and does unnecessary conversions and compromises. Once done in anything but RAW, it's too late.

#1236 elansprint72

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 23:11

Unfortunately this current discussion seems to be being conducted by folks living in the past (photo-tech speaking) myself included.
Only to be expected, as this is the NOSTALGIA FORUM after all; however, new stuff works and is a zillion times better, in terms of tech quality and is far easier to operate. :smoking:


#1237 E1pix

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 07:13

Trying process we've seen, Hey Pete? :drunk:

In the end, sure glad for it though.


Odsey, meant to add a :lol: for 'half wit.' Dead right, double entendre.

#1238 E1pix

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 07:36

http://www.ephotozin...er-review-21622

This new Plustek scanner looks quite good - under £1,700 from Amazon. Quite a bit less than RRP but still a lot of money. It's very depressing, especially as B&W wet printing is so good and cheap. My film drying cabinet and print dryer have gone to the Great Darkroom in the Sky, but I've got everything else, just in case...

T, I gotta say, for that kind of dough I can't say enough about Epson's V750M... at least for larger films ($800 US when I bought, cheaper now?). There's a feature in SilverFast that scans twice and merges sans measurably clarity loss (even in a 4x5 at 48x60). Amazing stuff, sounds complicated but isn't, it lightens detail in shadow in a HDR fashion that's otherwise only visible if film's louped against a bare bulb (seriously). You can do IT8 targeting of your films so the scanner sees it right — solving maybe the single biggest issue with desktop scanning, the scanner scans a "color chart" of accurate film color and auto-generates a profile per film type.

The best IT8s I use are done by Wolf Faust in Germany, for Ekta, Koda, Fuji, and I think Agfachromes, and neg films. Their "individually-measured" charts are worth it. Silverfast uses "canned" profiles for BW negs but they're pretty good. For 35mm Fujichrome (Velvia 50) scans, my clarity comparisons to my Nikon 5000ED at 12x18 and 16x24 were really close, less grain on the Epson by far vs. some areas appearing sharper on the Nikon. I only use the Nikon for Velvia and Fuji(s) for auto-scanning of 60 images and auto-dusting with Digital ICE (a gift). Silverfast still can't match that feature for me.

Sorry for geeking out. :)

#1239 Bloggsworth

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 13:37

Unfortunately this current discussion seems to be being conducted by folks living in the past (photo-tech speaking) myself included.
Only to be expected, as this is the NOSTALGIA FORUM after all; however, new stuff works and is a zillion times better, in terms of tech quality and is far easier to operate. :smoking:



Expletive deleted! Living in the past indeed! If I lived in the past I wouldn't have found a program which allows me to do with a Nikon D3200 what Nikon says can't be done with their £149 offering, run the camera from my laptop using Live View and adjusting camera settings via USB - And the program was free at http://digicamcontrol.com/ I "donated" as he has put a lot of work into what is a very useable product.

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#1240 Tony Matthews

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 16:13

T, I gotta say, for that kind of dough I can't say enough about Epson's V750M... at least for larger films ($800 US when I bought, cheaper now?).

This is on my shopping list - my current scanner, which is not too good on 35mm for some reason, but OK with 120 and 5x4 (a carrier for 5x4 is supplied), and I can trick it into scanning 10x8 to a very good quality, has just started to fail. I've been trying to scan a 10x8 of a March 83C cutaway, but everytime after scanning, the scan just disappears. There's probably a convoy of them rapidly catching up on the Voyager spacecraft...

#1241 Speedy27

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 09:02

You are missing something, light is light regardless of subject movement and improvements in meters.

I also do not know why you'd want the camera changing exposure on the fly based on light reflectivity from the subject. Not a good idea if you want to be in charge of your photographs.


Not quite. The light meter in the camera and a handheld light meter perform exactly the same function. The reason why I use my camera metering system is that in just on 30 years of doing the same, I've found that it works well for this sort of photography where one is shooting different subjects from different angles, often in constantly differing light conditions. By measuring the scene with a light meter and then filling that scene with a whole range of subjects of differing light reflectivity, the ONLY ones which are going to expose properly are those which measure 18% grey according to your original reading.

Anyway, thanks again to those who replied for the feedback regarding the two camera's in question. I rented a 5D3 last weekend for a historic race meeting and, while not perfect in the autofocus department (and it is unlikely that the camera manufactuers would ever release a perfect one) it performed admirably - and even more so for the price. The standard camera settings also provided exceptional (in comparison to anything I've used to date) photo integrity in terms of colour rendition, sharpness (turned up to setting 5 of 7) and dynamic range. To me, it's the camera which the 7D should have been, but cannot hold a candle to in any of these areas, so ... one on the way.

#1242 Tony Matthews

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 14:59

Not quite. The light meter in the camera and a handheld light meter perform exactly the same function. The reason why I use my camera metering system is that in just on 30 years of doing the same, I've found that it works well for this sort of photography where one is shooting different subjects from different angles, often in constantly differing light conditions. By measuring the scene with a light meter and then filling that scene with a whole range of subjects of differing light reflectivity, the ONLY ones which are going to expose properly are those which measure 18% grey according to your original reading.

That depends. If you are using an incident meter you are reading the opposite to a camera meter. However, the camera manufacturers have spent so much effort on fine-tuning in-camera metering, with thousands of algorithms with which to compare the scene, that modern cameras almost always get it right. An incident meter will give an even higher hit rate, used properly. Glad you found the right camera for you!

#1243 elansprint72

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 22:36

.......................................... An incident meter will give an even higher hit rate, used properly.............

I am the living proof that this is not necessarily the case (although a Weston Master V has been in my bag for some little while) and I always use it "properly". :smoking:

Some point in the last ten years I stopped believing every word written in my Ilford Manual of Photography 1947 edition.

#1244 E1pix

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:30

The light meter in the camera and a handheld light meter perform exactly the same function.

Sorry, but that's not even close to being accurate.

A typical handheld reads ambient light, unless used as a spot meter. A typical camera meter uses reflected light.

Say you're shooting a passing race car with a static lens on Auto (rarely a recommended metering technique), as the car approaches and goes by. Often a wider scene like this will average everything out and meter okay on Auto. When approaching and still somewhat wide-angle, a center-weighted meter will read the car and everything around it. A spot will read whatever's dead center. A matrix will average out everything. When the car's filling the frame, if say in shadow and/or a dark color, the image will be overexposed. If a white or light car, it'll turn medium gray.

Overall, all a SLR camera meter is for is averaging a scene to medium gray, so recognizing that and shooting on Manual is almost always the way to success.

#1245 Speedy27

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:44

Sorry, but that's not even close to being accurate.

A typical handheld reads ambient light, unless used as a spot meter. A typical camera meter uses reflected light.

Say you're shooting a passing race car with a static lens on Auto (rarely a recommended metering technique), as the car approaches and goes by. Often a wider scene like this will average everything out and meter okay on Auto. When approaching and still somewhat wide-angle, a center-weighted meter will read the car and everything around it. A spot will read whatever's dead center. A matrix will average out everything. When the car's filling the frame, if say in shadow and/or a dark color, the image will be overexposed. If a white or light car, it'll turn medium gray.

Overall, all a SLR camera meter is for is averaging a scene to medium gray, so recognizing that and shooting on Manual is almost always the way to success.


I'm not arguing with your explanation, just the practical application of it - for my purposes. Yes, that's exactly what I am trying to do i.e. average the scene with heavy emphasis on the subject and my camera's are set up accordingly. These days, minor (or even major) adjustments are taken care of in post processing and I would be doing this at least as often using manual exposure as I am for automatic. That's why I use the camera light meter and with almost 12,000 pics in my gallery ( http://www.flickr.co...eterellenbogen/ ,) if you can find one which illustrate that I'm not getting the optimum result by doing this, I'll be surprised. This is the most practical way ... for me.

Obviously, if I was shooting static subjects in widely contrasting light situations, then using a spot meter and exposing for specifically chosen areas would be the way to go, but that's not my game.


#1246 Speedy27

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:48

That depends. If you are using an incident meter you are reading the opposite to a camera meter. However, the camera manufacturers have spent so much effort on fine-tuning in-camera metering, with thousands of algorithms with which to compare the scene, that modern cameras almost always get it right. An incident meter will give an even higher hit rate, used properly. Glad you found the right camera for you!


Thanks Tony.


#1247 E1pix

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:27

I'm not arguing with your explanation, just the practical application of it - for my purposes.

These days, minor (or even major) adjustments are taken care of in post processing and I would be doing this at least as often using manual exposure as I am for automatic.

Thanks Speedy, definitely not trying to call you out here... but rather clarifying some blanket statements you're making for the benefit of readers low on experience. I realize on Forums we all wonder the sources of one's knowledge, FWIW photography has been 80-90% of my billings for over 20 years and that coming after over 15 more years figuring things out first.

Two cases in point... I did not read your metering comments as 'what works for you,' but rather "this is the way to meter and shoot." Big Diff to a Newbie reading here.

Also... spreading the idea that 'major adjustments are taken care of in post-processing' also spreads bad seeds. Getting it right upon capture, period, is a far better approach — and getting to that point takes a different mindset. Most every correction in post brings loss of quality and image integrity, even with the best gear, and this is extremely important to recognize.

Happy Shooting. :up:

#1248 backfire

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:12

Just to add a bit to the metering debate, I have to admit I stopped using a hand held meter with digital - not a purist approach I know. As with most things, equipment has to be used with intelligence, there is no point standing in the shade taking an incident reading for a subject in the distant sun - I have often seen "professional" motorsport snappers do this. Unless you are standing next to the subject and pointing the meter towards the camera position, you will probably get a false reading from incident and stand a better chance with through the lens metering. In the good old transparency days I would use a combination of readings and use experience to figure out the exposure from these often varying results. I do agree that it is best practice to limit the post adjustments to a minimum (with exposure we often do it - but it is bodging, let's be honest).

#1249 Tony Matthews

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:13

... but it is bodging, let's be honest).

:) I know what you mean - however, there are times when a 'perfectly' expose shot doesn't quite look the way you want it to, sometimes it's hard to even know what you DO want it to look like! The epitome of methodical, technical photographers was, I suppose, Ansel Adams. I wonder how many of his finished prints looked exactly like the scene as he photographed it. Did he make the sky a little darker, the foliage a little lighter? Add the fact that we probably all see things slightly differently. It's a minefield! My son is gradually (thankfully!) getting more and more work, and I doubt he has ever produced an image that was NOT heavily manipulated. But he is the product of a modern, digital photography College course - he doesn't take much notice of what I know about anything! Well, sometimes he needs help. A different field, admittedly, when a Ferrari has to be Ferrari red, and I find that nearly every shot I take needs a little something - very slight density change, tiny bit of sharpening...

#1250 elansprint72

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 10:59

I visited an exhibition of AA prints in Edinburgh a few years ago; these were prints which he actually produced himself, rather than modern repros. What I saw did nothing to alter my belief that he was one of the top five landscape snappers :rolleyes: ever to have drawn breath. Of course he did have a lot of time on his hands and a charming assistant to do the donkey-work.
https://www.google.c...a...52F;640;462