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Thread: The Photography Extravaganza Thread

  1. #1
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    The Photography Extravaganza Thread

    So I have noticed a lot of scattered talk throughout the forum about photography, whether it be gear or shooting tips etc. I searched around for a dedicated thread and could not find one, and since as you will see below I recently have taken up an interest, I thought I would go ahead and start a thread to discuss anything related to taking photos. I know there are a lot of experienced people on the forum, pros like Coolhand come immediately to mind, I was hoping to gain from any tips/suggestions anyone may have.

    For myself, before about 2 days ago, my sum total of experience with photography was using HDR mode on my iPhone. (I should say I work for an CMOS image sensor company in engineering so I do have tons of experience with sensor specs and such, which i suppose gives me a leg up, but we work mostly for the mobile device market).

    I have always thought it to be a pain in the ass to carry around a separate device for taking pictures. Yes, I basically gave up all ability to take any useable shot in low light, but I guess I just got used to putting the phone away as soon as the sun went down and it didn't really bother me. That is until we went on a camping trip with some friends of ours last week and they sent us some pictures from around the campfire of Tawan taken with their low end dslr.

    Couple that with one of my employees bringing in his Nikon D600 with top notch glass into the office the day after we got back and it dawned on me that along with my family sedan with stuffed animals in the back window that I now shamelessly drive around in, I should probably have something better than an iPhone to take pictures with.

    So I started looking at what camera to get, as you do, and of course was at first a little overwhelmed at the options. After a obsessive few days of research into dslrs, and the help of my employee. I basically decided that I wanted to get one of the higher end aps-c bodies from either Nikon or Canon. So that left me with the Nikon D7100 or the Canon 70D. Thinking I liked the Canon lens "ecosystem" a little bit better I basically decided on the 70D. That is until I found out it was not actually released yet and would not ship until september. Then I found out they were running a deal on a D7100 kit at Costco (think supercheap but 1000X better). So down to Costco to check it out, and of course it was sold out, but wouldn't ya know, they also had a kit deal on the Canon 6D, which is Canon's entry level full frame. I should say in my defense that the box looked super shiny and everything, and it turns out they did have this one in stock.

    The kit deal actually was pretty good:

    6D Body
    EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
    EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
    2 16Gb cards
    Bag
    Extra Battery

    for about $3K out the door.

    So having no will power and even less patience, I picked it up the next morning. (Hey, I slept on it)

    So I upgraded from an iPhone 4 with a power button that does not work, to the package I described above
    .
    My Previous "gear"








    My New Gear (photo taken with my old gear)








    So basically I now have an actual camera, using it on the other hand......

    I am slowly learning the lingo and such, but being someone who likes to jump right in, I took it out with me this weekend to a flea market and on some hiking we did up in the redwoods. I shot almost everything with the 28-105mm lens and I used aperture priority because really that is all I knew how to do.

    Here are some sample pics from the weekend:





































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    a few more...











































    All in all, for never having touched an actual camera before I think I did ok. Maybe I am just used to seeing iPhone photos and my perspective is skewed. At the flea market, I definitely benefited from having tons of light. I could quickly see that in the woods, the auto was setting the ISO to the maximum I had set (6400) sometimes even with the lens wide open (f4) and allowing 1/30.

    I think that right away I pretty much need at least one or maybe two lenses that will be better in low light. I am thinking of the 50mm f1.4 and maybe the 100mm f/2. Trying to keep a reasonable cost. Would love some criticism and suggestions.


    Last edited by kuhio; 8th July 2013 at 13:35.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Really good choice.. Am tempted by 6d full frame (low light ability) myself.. The ISO on the 6D can really step up and pairing it with a mid range f1.4 50mm prime or the spendy but super nice f1.2 50mm it really would be the next level up in kit, at a cost of size to carry it for me.

    Currently using a GX1 with EVF and 25mm (50 equiv) f1.4 Summilux.





    Its taking good shots and its very much easier to carry for street stuff then a full dslr, but it is a step down for the uber low light stuff I am trying to do. Also the size of the DSLR would in my case be less of an issue as it can live in the bar as thats its sole task that the GX1 cant do good enough for me, add just a little light and its great, sharp fast focus, shallow DOF, enough res for me etc.

    Just hard to spend the 3 - 4k I would need to, for the possibly marginal improvement in that one aspect.



    The bar has just 4x 5w red candle bulbs and some rope lights.. Its not an easy place to shot without flash.

    Still its pulled out some good ones.







    Without wanting to stress it again, its hard to appreciate just how tough it is to get shots out of that near dark.. I have been playing with an LED keyring, and trying to use a biz card as a diffuser.. stuff like that.. Even just the glow of the PC monitor makes shots like the one above fine.. Next trip I am going to try playing with https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...=search_result and see how that works for me.







    And once you have light, its got all the technical ability I could need.



    Just missed the girls face for focal point and hit the flowers.. and she smiled for a split second then shyly ran off.. Missed it !!!





    Just last night we had Jim from Hotel Cali2 in Phnom Penh sign up.. He does the nite sniper photo stuff around the city and has some superb shots. i guess he might see this thread
    Last edited by LivinLOS; 8th July 2013 at 14:19.
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    Good thread, was thinking about photography myself this week. I've gone the other way and just ditched all my DSLR gear. I found that last time I went away I left the camera bag at home for the first time in years. My camera bag was weighing in at 12kg and was a real committment carrying it around, if I wasn't prepared to do that then it was time for a change so it all went on ebay. One thing I did learn was that good glass holds its value, my nice Nikon lenses brought almost as much as I had paid for them. Good lenses seem to hold their value.
    Looking around, this seemed to fit the bill for my current needs so I'm giving the Leica a shot. It has a very nice lens and good low light ability so my favourite street/portrait stuff it might be ideal for. Fits in my pocket too.

  5. #5
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    Is that the LX5 clone ?? All I read was it was the same as the Panny / Lumix but more expensive to have the red dot ??

    The LX7 has an insanely fast (f1.4) lens for a compact.. I myself am very taken by the fuji stuff in the mid size, APSC sensor, some good lenses.. But I cant shake the feeling that from what I am using, anything less than full frame just will always leave me thinking it could be more..

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    LX5 Clone? Ouch! ( actually it is )

    Same lens and sensor, different body and firmware but made by Panasonic so a fairly expensive red dot yes. I bought it for the dot and the lens, lens is super fast and stops down a long way as you say; F1.4.

    I don't know how I will go with it until I have a trip under my belt. It's a lot less nimble than the slr for sure; almost everything is via a menu. The stuff I like though, low light and street photography, seems to be what this excels at and what my Nikon was not so good at. Anything over ISO 400 was crap out of the Nikon, the Leica lens seems to be able to gather light esceptionally well and the sensor seems to be able to handle higher ISOs reasonably well.

    I have the same reservations, anything else is less, but time will tell. I can always go back to SLRs at a later stage but I want to give this a go.

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    Nice purchase on the 6d. I got one myself and the low light capabilities is fantastic. I shoot shutter priority as I shoot a lot in low light. Unlike the Mark 2, if you set it on auto iso it will go to the extremes ie 12000 vs the Mark 2 stopping at 3200. It also handles noise so much better and has become my go to over the Mark 2 when out at night. Save a little cash and get some 2.8 or better lenses. The 16-35mm would be my first choice as it handles tight spaces and the clarity is superb. Also great for patch clouded sunsets. The 6d handles 2.8 lenses in situations that were difficult for the Mark 2. I find it was great value for a full frame. 1400 dollars for the N version (no wifi or GPPS) in Phnom Penh. I hope to get a little versed on uploading pics here and looking forward to posting them.

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    I'm no photographer, but my brother uses this. I don't know what it is. The EOS 40D on the side is the only thing I can see on it. But he takes some spectacular images with it.

    He's away right now and I'm not sure where he keeps his photos. I'll try and upload some when he gets back. The only photo I have is the one below which he took in Tibet with this camera. I think that might be Everest in the background.



    ןooʇsɹɐq ʎɯ uo ʞɔɐq eɯ ʇnd esɐeןd sıɥʇ pɐeɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

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    Quote Originally Posted by ub2yoo View Post

    Personally, I've learned a lot from criticism, especially when posting on the photography forums and asking for it.

    In the beginning, mostly critics were around composition. Reading up on what good compositions are, getting an eye for the 'rule of thirds', this is what improves your pictures massively.
    (i.e. 10 Top Photography Composition Rules | Photography Mad)

    - Cutting off the head, arms, legs etc. of the subjects at the edge of the frame
    - Having the subject smack bang in the middle of the frame is considered less eye catching (some say even boring)

    If you scroll through, you're guilty on these a few times in a row. Cutting off the poor kids head, or just about, and having the subject in the middle a lot.

    Then this one below comes and it's just so perfect! ;-)


    Anyways, just pointers, guidelines etc. If you like it the way it is, you like it ... no rules ;-)

    And then again, with a cute kid like this ... a picture can't go wrong.
    This one is framed really very nicely, lighting is a little bit of a problem and a touch of flash might have helped lift the shadows off the face. Lovely shot though and the kid is as cute as a button; which helps very much as you say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ub2yoo View Post
    Over the past 2 years, for the good or the bad, I really got the gear bug. The Canon 60D which I started with is now more or less used by the boy. He's doing good camera work with it now actually.

    Got a "too good to resist" deal on a second hand 5D MIII last year (from a spoiled Emirati kid), and love it to bits. The lenses I've built up so far are (here comes your 12 Kg list Steve@Thaib;-):

    16-35mm f2.8L for landscapes
    24-70mm f2.8L to walk around
    70-200mm f4L telephoto zoom

    and just have the 135mm f2.0L in order at Amazon which I get next week!

    High ISO is really good. This one is shot handheld at night on a shaky boat on the creek, ISO5000, still sharp.
    That was the achilles heel of my Nikon, high ISO / Low light stuff. I needed to go full frame to sort that out and was not sure I had the commitment to be dragging 12kg camera bags around Asia with me ( that and the cost ).

    There is really no substitute for an SLR when you are looking for shots like those you posted, really nice and very sharp / clean for such high ISO.

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    Just trying the little Leica and I like what it does. This is blistering direct sunlight with not a cloud in the sky, no whites washed out and the histogram looks excellent; I'm going to like this camera.

    I know it's a crappy snap, BTW, I just grabbed it without really looking. There is some damn makeover show cluttering up my street and that Peter Andre is poncing about putting wallpaper up somewhere. I wish they would all fuck off so I can park my car in peace

  12. #12
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve@thaib View Post
    There is really no substitute for an SLR when you are looking for shots like those you posted
    For extreme low light.. Like I am attempting to learn, and like JimCA2 specializes in.. Then I agree..

    But as soon as theres a little light.. Then I think the whole size v cost v is it with you debate is quite valid.. A M43 system with a f1.7 pancake prime (or the fuji X-M1 or X-E1 as I like a viewfinder) is only a bit more size than a pocket consumer cam, but can take some really special images.. easily good enough for a amateur like me.. My sorta problem is, using the chunky f1.4 prime on the GX1, its still not a pocket camera, and if its not a pocket cam, then maybe I should just lug a real boat anchor around ??

    Its all about need, low light, holiday snaps, something you can or will carry ?? In fact for all the money spent, I have found tiny things like having a really comfy sling strap, or a good handgrip, make so much difference to how much you end up with it on you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    For extreme low light.. Like I am attempting to learn, and like JimCA2 specializes in.. Then I agree..

    But as soon as theres a little light.. Then I think the whole size v cost v is it with you debate is quite valid.. A M43 system with a f1.7 pancake prime (or the fuji X-M1 or X-E1 as I like a viewfinder) is only a bit more size than a pocket consumer cam, but can take some really special images.. easily good enough for a amateur like me.. My sorta problem is, using the chunky f1.4 prime on the GX1, its still not a pocket camera, and if its not a pocket cam, then maybe I should just lug a real boat anchor around ??

    Its all about need, low light, holiday snaps, something you can or will carry ?? In fact for all the money spent, I have found tiny things like having a really comfy sling strap, or a good handgrip, make so much difference to how much you end up with it on you.
    That was always my problem, the stuff I wanted at night needed the SLR and that was always in the room. I'm looking forward to seeing what the Leica can do with not much light. I know it will fall down on the temples and musuems stuff, but the street / low light situations it should excel at and it does fit in my pocket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post

    Currently using a GX1 with EVF and 25mm (50 equiv) f1.4 Summilux.





    Its taking good shots and its very much easier to carry for street stuff then a full dslr, but it is a step down for the uber low light stuff I am trying to do. Also the size of the DSLR would in my case be less of an issue as it can live in the bar as thats its sole task that the GX1 cant do good enough for me, add just a little light and its great, sharp fast focus, shallow DOF, enough res for me etc.

    Just hard to spend the 3 - 4k I would need to, for the possibly marginal improvement in that one aspect.
    Totally understand, if I were still over there and going out a lot at night and on the street I would not want to be walking around with a full dSLR both from a pain in the ass factor (weight/size) and worrying that I was going to get it stolen etc.

    Can you use your EOS lenses with your lumix? It looks like they have different mounts etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post

    The bar has just 4x 5w red candle bulbs and some rope lights.. Its not an easy place to shot without flash.

    Still its pulled out some good ones.
    Very Nice!


    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post




    Without wanting to stress it again, its hard to appreciate just how tough it is to get shots out of that near dark.. I have been playing with an LED keyring, and trying to use a biz card as a diffuser.. stuff like that.. Even just the glow of the PC monitor makes shots like the one above fine.. Next trip I am going to try playing with https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...=search_result and see how that works for me.



    And once you have light, its got all the technical ability I could need.

    Yes, the low light situation is really the problem isnt it, and it totally comes up all the time doing night street and indoor bar club stuff. I noticed right away that I am going to need a couple more lenses in addition to the two that came with the kit because I need faster than f4. I think I am going to get the 50mm f1.4 straight away. I don't think I can justify getting the 1.2L at 3x the cost. At f4 I needed ISO6400 with the shutter at 1/60 (which is too high an ISO on the 6D even with the great sensor) when I was shooting in the deep woods shadows.

    Really impressed with your lumix in the lighting situation you described tho.

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    I own a Eos 1000D 10mp camera, 1st DSLR i've ever owned !
    i have a 18-135 i.s. canon and a 50mm 1.8 lens also from canon
    So no thousands of dollars , euros, or whatever currency you pay in
    2013_04262012okt0020.jpg2013_04262012okt0052.jpg2013_04262012okt0076.jpg2013_04262012okt0151.jpg2013_04262012okt0137.jpg
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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Wrote this last night but my net went down for a bit, its still in my cache this morning..

    ====================
    Quote Originally Posted by ub2yoo View Post
    Also it has a very cool vintage/retro look ;-)
    I kinda dig the rangefinder size / vibe of these new mid size ILC systems.

    I am still way too much of a learner to be offering any advice, but enjoy the process.. I said in another thread, I would love to find a book or course that had a progressive set of exercises, combining camera and photoshop / lightroom, and building on each skill of the last project to the next chapter by chapter.. If anyone knows of something like this, please post away. I saw something really close a few years ago in the UK, a magazine but not being there I only got one or two and the series as a package would be just what I mean.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuhio View Post
    Totally understand, if I were still over there and going out a lot at night and on the street I would not want to be walking around with a full dSLR both from a pain in the ass factor (weight/size) and worrying that I was going to get it stolen etc.
    Yeah its all about use.. I think for the average enthusiast, right up to near pro level.. These new M43 and Fuji sized systems have enough quality in every way except the uber low light.. And even then the next gen on from my rig, to like the Oly OMD which has in body IS might have another jump.

    Its just annoying that 95% of what I want to do is that 5% where the real money needs to be spent !!

    Can you use your EOS lenses with your lumix? It looks like they have different mounts etc.
    You can get an adapter, but you lose AF etc... But a good way to use lots of cheap vintage glass.. The EOS M system has an adapter for all the canon glass but when it launched it had horrible autofocus issues, maybe they fixed that in firmware later ?? Would be very handy to have both full frame and dinky systems all compatible.

    Also because the lenses are for a larger sensor, on a M43 system you can use a speedboost adapter which makes lenses faster by gathering more light onto the smaller sensor !!

    Yes, the low light situation is really the problem isnt it, and it totally comes up all the time doing night street and indoor bar club stuff. I noticed right away that I am going to need a couple more lenses in addition to the two that came with the kit because I need faster than f4. I think I am going to get the 50mm f1.4 straight away. I don't think I can justify getting the 1.2L at 3x the cost.
    I really like 50mm as a prime.. 85 isnt bad also but not so easy in the tight spaces of the bar. If it was me that would be the next lens in your kit... In fact I havent used my longer tele in years, I dont tend to shoot much long range stuff. Theres a f1.8 75mm (so 150 equivalent on a M43 body) that street shooting guys love, but I am worried its a bit too much distance for me.

    I have a 30mm Sigma 1.4 for APSC and its taken some great shots. Very pleased with that.

    This thread is going to inspire me to get out and take more shots !!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimCA2 View Post
    Nice purchase on the 6d. I got one myself and the low light capabilities is fantastic. I shoot shutter priority as I shoot a lot in low light. Unlike the Mark 2, if you set it on auto iso it will go to the extremes ie 12000 vs the Mark 2 stopping at 3200. It also handles noise so much better and has become my go to over the Mark 2 when out at night. Save a little cash and get some 2.8 or better lenses. The 16-35mm would be my first choice as it handles tight spaces and the clarity is superb. Also great for patch clouded sunsets. The 6d handles 2.8 lenses in situations that were difficult for the Mark 2. I find it was great value for a full frame. 1400 dollars for the N version (no wifi or GPPS) in Phnom Penh. I hope to get a little versed on uploading pics here and looking forward to posting them.
    Thanks Jim, looking forward to the pics.

    I hear you on the auto ISO, it will definitely go to extremes (I think the max is like 26K or something) in auto, but I usually set the range the auto will use to max out at 3200 or 6400. Although 6400 is really pushing it I am finding. I for sure need to invest in some faster glass, right now I don't have a good option for low light. Thanks for the recommendations. I've pretty much decided to get a couple of fast primes. I think for sure the 50mm f1.4, and am debating whether to go wide with something like a 24mm or perhaps something in the 85-100mm range instead for the second one. I think I need to just get some more experience shooting to see what I generally use most often on my zoom lens.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ub2yoo View Post

    Personally, I've learned a lot from criticism, especially when posting on the photography forums and asking for it.

    In the beginning, mostly critics were around composition. Reading up on what good compositions are, getting an eye for the 'rule of thirds', this is what improves your pictures massively.
    (i.e. 10 Top Photography Composition Rules | Photography Mad; Learn Composition)

    - Cutting off the head, arms, legs etc. of the subjects at the edge of the frame (unless done on purpose ;-)
    - Having the subject smack bang in the middle of the frame is considered less eye catching (some say even boring)

    If you scroll through, you have some of these a few times in a row. Cutting off the poor kids head, or just about, and having the subject in the middle a lot.

    Then this one below comes and it's just so perfect! ;-)


    Anyways, just pointers, guidelines etc. If you like it the way it is, you like it ... no rules ;-)

    And then again, with a cute kid like this ... a picture can't go wrong.
    Thanks, I will for sure be reading going forward trying to learn some of this stuff. Truth be told, the pic she was in the middle of the original of that photo and I cropped it. Gotta remember to focus and recompose.

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    Kuhio, I have quite the kit. Idiot compulsive buying and have gone thru a few lenses. The only one that I probably wouldnt have bought is the 100mm macro. It sits in the bag all the time. It is a fabulous lens in the day time but I have trouble locking a focus at night. It is tack sharp and daytime images require little or no editing. One day I will use it for the macro feature.

    I had the 50mm 1.4. Great lens for a great price. I was shooting a 50d at the time and found at times at night, I had trouble locking in a focus. When I had enough light, good results and good bokeh. I needed to lock a focus in darker places. I purchased the 50 1.2 and yes it was more than 3x the price, but I was able to lock in a focus under poor light conditions. I have no regrets purchasing this lens. It would have been interesting to have the 1.4 with the 6d to see how that body handled it. Phnom Penh is darker in more ways than Thailand and I have found my 1.2 50mm and my 24mm 1.4 very handy in dark bar settings as well as on the street.

    I picked up the 6d so I could carry a body with the 50 and the 24 and not have to swap lenses. Also in the daytime I keep the 16-35 on one and body and the longer focal lens on the other. Not much heavier to have the other body and like not having to swap.

    I found in better lit areas and on a recent trip to Thailand the 2.8s have been quite satisfactory. On that trip I took my 16-35, 50, 24-70, and 200. The 50 ironically spent more time in the bag.

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