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Elisha
04-21-2009, 06:46 PM
all shots were with lens wide open.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01040.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01108.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01039.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01096.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01043.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01064.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01086.jpg

dr4gon
04-21-2009, 07:09 PM
Nice smooth bokeh on the lens. It seems though that the most of the pictures have too much contrast and saturation. Like in the last one, the neck has a black outline.

What do you use to edit your photos, lightroom? What percent quality are you uploading? Any pictures of the lens? I love hardware shots!

Elisha
04-21-2009, 07:18 PM
i use LR 2.3.
i jacked up the Contrast slider to +20 and the Green saturation to +50, Shadow to -50
Regular Saturation is only +10.
I boosted the Green saturation cause the grass was a dull green. we're still in winter mode here. i had to wear my winter jacket and it was windy.
my left hand also seems super shaky for some reason. might need to get fit soon.

the geese shots have no contrast and saturation adjustments.

the swan was super tricky. they were slow moving but it was hard to get a sharp shot of their eyes for some reason. must have something to do with the metering.

i'll post a pic of the lens tomorrow for you!

DonSchap
04-21-2009, 07:45 PM
I suspect this lens will give you "error-free" shots within its limitations. It is definitely an "investment" in better photography and a solid choice.

Enjoy the coming season, knowing your images will be fully capable of being sharp, well-focused and well-colored.

Elisha
04-21-2009, 07:52 PM
thanks Don. the lens is solid.
i like the polycarbonate body. the barrel is thick like a little cannon. too bad you can't use the zoom ring with the hood mounted in reverse.

my left arm was trembling a little today not sure why. i took some squirrel shots at the long end just blurred a little!
must have been the excitement of owning a G finally.
too bad the G is not actually in gold on the side of the lens.

DonSchap
04-21-2009, 09:26 PM
my left arm was trembling a little today not sure why. i took some squirrel shots at the long end just blurred a little!
must have been the excitement of owning a G finally.
too bad the G is not actually in gold on the side of the lens.

Yeah ... perhaps it should be "stamped" on each image, also! LOL You know, may be it is, when you think about it.

Don't get carried away ... and just enjoy finding out what the value of the glass actually is. It is four times more expensive than just about any other lens in that class. Milk that quality as best you can. ;)

SONYNUT
04-21-2009, 11:25 PM
polycarbonate body

WHAT!!!..NO METAL?

Rooz
04-22-2009, 05:20 AM
Elisha, i'll be honest....they look way over processed to me. this has introduced alot of noise, a severe loss of dynamic range, the subjects do not appear to be in sharp enough, (OOF???) and the bokeh has gone to hell. if you;re paying for that sort of quality glass, you need to expect to get a far better result out of it.

Elisha
04-22-2009, 05:40 AM
thanks Rooz....i took the lens straight from the shop to the park.
i'll back off on those LR sliders and leave more details intact on my next go.

Rooz
04-22-2009, 06:04 AM
thanks Rooz....i took the lens straight from the shop to the park.
i'll back off on those LR sliders and leave more details intact on my next go.

sorry to say that elisha, i didnt mean to sound like an asshole. once you;ve used the lens some more and improved your technique and dropped the PP, i think you'll look back at these shots and say the same thing i did !

my suggestion would be to try and stop down a little. it looks very soft wide open to me. also try and avoid any iso rating over 500ish, the a700 doesnt seem to like it much. if you;re gonna use 800 bump up your EV to try and mask the noise in the shadows.

this shot is preciesly where auto-iso would work a treat, the exif for it is...
# 1/1000 second = 0.001 second
# Lens F-Number/F-Stop = 56/10 = F5.6
# ISO Speed Ratings = 1000

with auto iso, you could set your minimum shutter speed to be 1/400s, which gives you 1.3 stops back in shutter speed. that was the iso rating could have bee pulled back to iso400.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01064.jpg

also not sure if you;re aware that this species is VERY difficult to photograph cos they are blakc and white. its very hard indeed to try and expose this right cos the dynamic range in the bird alone is like 12 stops. tough assignment for a brand new lens ! :)

Elisha
04-22-2009, 06:14 AM
also not sure if you;re aware that this species is VERY difficult to photograph cos they are blakc and white. its very hard indeed to try and expose this right cos the dynamic range in the bird alone is like 12 stops. tough assignment for a brand new lens ! :)


dude i was just so excited i got the lens that i was barely dressed for the occasion LOL!
i was shivering my ass off at that 6 degrees windy cold park!
too bad there is nothing colourful to take pics of yet.

Rooz
04-22-2009, 06:21 AM
6 degrees !!!! omg
screw that man. i would been taking pictures inside ! lmao cold is not my thing.

Elisha
04-22-2009, 06:25 AM
but hey we did have 1 day last week with 18 degrees! but i spent it at the dog park.

dr4gon
04-22-2009, 06:30 AM
lol wow couldn't tell it was so cold!

Yeah, next time set the ISO to 100 or 200 especially for broad daylight, no reason to other wise be in the 1000 range.

Elisha
04-22-2009, 07:11 AM
the lighting was sporadic as well cause the grey clouds were moving quite fast!
wish i was some place warmer.

DonSchap
04-22-2009, 07:37 AM
Elisha,

Let the lens do more of the work for you. It can!

Try to avoid making the camera overwork to save the shot. Limit yourself to nothing more than 400, especially outside. It'll help with your spectrum and reduce noise. In fact, for the next week or two, try to avoid post processing any of the subjects you take, so you are FORCED to take a better original image. You are way ahead of the curve with the α700 backing up the lens, as it is.

SInce you are basically "experimenting" with the lens, at this point ... work the shutter speed and see what delivers a better shot. You should be able to shoot the park stuff at 1/30th, during a cloudy day, with 'SSS' doing its job, unless your subject is moving. I suspect the swans/geese are not moving exceptionally fast. Let Nature give you the latitude you can tolerate with these shots and not worry about getting a super fast snap. Faster birds require cranking the speed up, but usually NOT the bigger ones.

In the fiilm days, ASA (ISO) adjustment was not available.. Photographers had to struggle with shutter and aperture to get these shots. You can learn a lot about using your camera if you mentally limit yourself with your three basic variables. You might also throw the α700 into D-R+ Lvl5 just for fun to see if you can pull out different contrast levels. That is another control that gets ignored ... but save that for later, when you have exercised the basic settings a bit.

Just in case I didn't mention this before: You need to let the lens work. It can! ;)

Elisha
04-22-2009, 08:39 AM
i only started PPing since i decided to use cRAW. but i will do it sparingly from now on to improve my technique.

is there much of a quality difference between cRaw and Raw that you have noticed Don?

DonSchap
04-22-2009, 09:34 AM
RAW takes a lot more time to manipulate ... and I've been letting my camera do JPEGs ... for speed and efficiency, with my recent remote birding shots. If all you are doing is posting to the web, RAW seems to be an unnecessary "overkill."

For your experimental shots, you might flip over to "Extra Fine" JPEG and shoot the same image ... adjusting for WB, of course, and see what you get. You just might be surprised. It should speed up your results and you can concentrate on your composition and imaging, rather than post processing for a little bit. Let the α700 do some of the "heavy-lifting" while you are educating yourself.

In other words, I suggest you reduce your workload until you are comfortable with what the lens is giving you ... then switch back and resume PP adjustment.

If you decide to shoot RAW+ JPEG or CRAW + JPEG, your JPEG image will only be "Fine" ... not "X. Fine"

Elisha
04-22-2009, 09:38 AM
i'll try the xFine when i'm outdoors in daylight so i don't have to worry to much about WB.
i suck at WB adjustments so i'm gonna use cRaw for what i'm gonna shoot indoors later tonight.

but between cRaw and RAW, is there a difference in quality?

DonSchap
04-22-2009, 09:43 AM
but between cRaw and RAW, is there a difference in quality?

Nothing noticeable.

Some of the older RAW processors cannot do cRAW, so that's probably the deal-breaker. cRAW, like RAW, is supposed to be a non-destructive capture, unlike JPEG ... just better compression. I suggest that if you are memory strapped, buy a bigger CF/Memory Stick. Personally, I use both a 32GB CF card and a 8GB Memory Stick Pro module and it has never been a problem.

Elisha
04-22-2009, 09:59 AM
i have 1x8GB CF 1x8GB MS and 1x4GB CF.
my issue if hard drive space. i have almost filled up all 3 drives.

DonSchap
04-22-2009, 10:18 AM
Can you say TeraByte (http://www.goharddrive.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=G03-0206&Click=46318)? I know you can ... :D

Also, you need to learn how to sort the shots ... lose the dupes you will never use. It is a hard choice, I know ... but, it is simply space management.

laydros
04-22-2009, 10:29 AM
I have a 320GB drive in the laptop, and it is <15GB away from full.

I remember triple booting three operating systems with all of my stuff on a 500MB drive.

32GB CF! Woah. I use 4's, and I've never filled one up. Guess I'm not shooting enough. I carry 3 4GB cards with me.

Part of the reason I was happy to have an A300 and a 40D vs an A350 and a 50D is because those 15MP images take up close to 50% more space. That makes a big difference in a hurry.

Drives are getting cheap, but it is hard to spend $150 on a drive when it is halfway to a decent lens.

DonSchap
04-22-2009, 10:38 AM
Drives are getting cheap, but it is hard to spend $150 on a drive when it is halfway to a decent lens.

Consider it the cost of the film you no longer use to capture your images on.

seanhoxx
04-22-2009, 02:11 PM
Hey guys our friends at Best Buy have a pretty good sale going this week at least in the U.S. on 320GB 400GB and 500GB external usb powered hard drives, and also on 1TB stand alone hard drive but it is from seagate and I have not heard the best things about them. the others are western digital I have a 320 and 80GB one and have no problems I use the 320 for 'storage'. Also keep in mind when Elisha was talking about how cold it was he is in the great white north those temps are in celsius, but don't get me wrong thats still way to cold for me to be standing in the park! Now I am going to have to go and start looking at that 400G lens weather is getting good got the 70-200 mounted and the Tokina 80-400 in the bag also!

SONYNUT
04-22-2009, 02:42 PM
Target has been dumping some real cheap also..

DonSchap
04-22-2009, 02:54 PM
A "roll" of 36-shot 35mm-film ASA 400 = $6
Developing/Printing costs 36-shot roll = $13

$19 for 36 images ... and remember, that is whether they are GOOD or BAD images (you do not know UNTIL they are processed) -> The cost is identical and you will pay for it.

How many of those would it take to pay for a $150 Hard Drive? Yeah, about 7 rolls. Amazing, ain't it?

Now, how many 12.2MP (9.8MB) shots can a 1 TB drive hold?

~ 102,000 images or the "shutter-life" of most digital cameras. I'd say that the cost is worth a lens, eh? :D

Ok ... let's see just how much you would have paid for 102,000 images shot on 35mm-film, eh?

102,000 / 36 x $19 = $54,000

Good lord ... that's one heck of a hobby you got there. Thank goodness it is all virtual! Can you just imagine how much equipment you could ring up with a budget like that? Now you can go to the "SO" and say:

YOU ::: "Look Honey, at how much I am saving (<- key word, here), by not using a standard film SLR ... Don went and figured it out ..."

YOU, again ::: "Uh, Honey ... what's with the golf club? Honey?"

HONEY ::: "I'll show you savings ..."

YOU ::: "Aw, c'mon ..." :eek:

dr4gon
04-22-2009, 11:45 PM
Can you say 4+TB?

2 x 640GB in Raid 0
1 x 1TB
2 x 1 TB in Raid 1

Total of 3.28 TB of actual space. :D

Only problem is my Raid 0 seems to be crapping out all of a sudden. I think it's the motherboard, everything is backed up though, but it's really annoying. Will probably have to RMA it.

Elisha
04-23-2009, 07:44 AM
so last night was a bust.....lens did ok but nothing great considering the lighting.
you'd think that the catwalk would have some bright lights so you can see the models in all their glory.....alas the lighting was no better than that of a restaurant!
nothing super sharp but decent enough for a 4x6 print or 5x7.
will post some shot later!

dr4gon
04-23-2009, 08:07 AM
yeah an f/4-5.6 is not suitable for indoor use lol.

Elisha
04-23-2009, 08:38 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01176.jpg

WB a little off....

Focal Length: 300.0mm
Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125)
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO Equiv.: 1600
Whitebalance: Auto
Metering Mode: spot

DonSchap
04-23-2009, 08:49 AM
There is a lot to be said for that 70-200 f/2.8 lens. It may be a bit heavier, but it can "carry the day", indoors.

@ Dr4gon ... considering the TAMRON SP AF 70-200 f/2.8 Di LD and the SONY 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 G -> which would be your FIRST choice? The cost is about the same.

Elisha
04-23-2009, 08:51 AM
Don i looked at the Sony 70-200mm F2.8 and i was very tempted. the lens looks so sweet. but i would rather the Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8 first!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01195.jpg

Flash Used: Yes (manual)
Focal Length: 140.0mm
Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125)
Aperture: f/6.3
ISO Equiv.: 1600
Whitebalance: Auto
Metering Mode: spot

Elisha
04-23-2009, 09:02 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01211.jpg

Flash Used: Yes (manual)
Focal Length: 70.0mm
Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200)
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO Equiv.: 1600

DonSchap
04-23-2009, 09:04 AM
Eventually you will fill in all the brushes ... as it is growth effort. Like you, I find myself using the 28-75 a lot more than the 70-200. That would be the proper advancement, I am sure. Just be careful of using that 70-300 indoors. A flash assist would be a good choice, if possible. You will note that the ladies all seem to be coming out of a tunnel, because of the lack of background lighting. That tends to blend the shadows in their hair with the background.

I took a stab at it ... just to get a little more definition of the young lady from the batcave ...

45704

It offers a little more separation ... a tough push, for sure.

Here is an attempt at a LightRoom2 adjustment

45705

Lightroom 2 allows for a better control of tonal separations ... and the color does the separation, instead of the brightness and contrast. It also tends to looks smoother.

Elisha
04-23-2009, 09:13 AM
thanks. and i suppose that black curtain on that stage does not help much either.
the ceiling was way too high for me to bounce too.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01217.jpg

Flash Used: Yes (manual)
Focal Length: 135.0mm
Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125)
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO Equiv.: 800

DonSchap
04-23-2009, 09:18 AM
Well, I know this may sound a bit bizarre, but a "hair light" would have done wonders. Direct lighting is a little too limited, here, but a longer exposure might have made a difference ... if they would just hold still, eh?

seanhoxx
04-23-2009, 09:35 AM
Good stuff takes awhile to 'develop' as they say, I think that many of us who have been here fro around a year or so now have made some pretty good steps forward in both equipment and technique. of course there is always a learning curve when you try something new, so you have to shake your head laugh at yourself and try that one again!
And Elisha the last shot would love to see a photo of her looking up, she is a very pretty lady IMO.

Elisha
04-23-2009, 09:40 AM
they all walked in and out really quick. no 3 second poses :-(
i'll post one with her looking up in a sec Sean...

Elisha
04-23-2009, 09:48 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01220.jpg

Flash Used: Yes (manual)
Focal Length: 70.0mm
Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125)
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO Equiv.: 800

i didn't mess with saturation so if you see the same girl with different skin tones....it is cause my flash did not recycle to full charge when it was shot cause different amounts of light to be thrown forward!

Elisha
04-23-2009, 09:55 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01224.jpg

Elisha
04-23-2009, 10:01 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/elishajesudason/DSC01228.jpg

DonSchap
04-23-2009, 10:53 AM
Well, you can easily clearly see the issue with the hair. The head just blends into the shadows and disappears. It just is a killer problem. I am kind of a novice with these kinds of corrections, as I rarely shoot under these conditions. You know the old saw ... use it or lose it. Work with figuring out a minor halo effect, see it it helps a little. I tried using some sharpening techniques, with a really large radius, to get some separation, but it is really difficult without messing up the rest of the image.

Wearing dark colors in this environment says one thing ... "They do not want to be seen." The guy in the last image is nearly invisible.

Elisha
04-23-2009, 11:04 AM
have you messed with the Exposure wand in LR where you can increase the exposure in certain areas only?
i'll try a few things later to see if i can find a way to separate the heads from the background too!

dr4gon
04-23-2009, 04:59 PM
Some decent shots and a great first effort! The flash definitely helps with the lighting!

SONYNUT
04-24-2009, 01:29 PM
If someone doesn't hit ya first..lol

seanhoxx
04-24-2009, 05:04 PM
I would have to guess that this kind of shooting is really tough even with all kinds of 'pro' gear and runway access, black on black with soft lights and subjects in motion. tough stuff!