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Author Topic: moving from 5dm3/90tse to D800e/85pc-e  (Read 3531 times)
geesbert
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« on: November 11, 2012, 01:13:44 AM »
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I am a commercial food-shooter working with Canon since th 1Dsmk1 days. 95% of my income is made with the 90tse lens.

I am actually most of the time quite happy with the results I am getting with my 5dmk3, but I need more resolution. I had very bad experience with a MF setup, where I lost quite a bunch of money. And as I am relying 100% on tethering and live view, MF is out anyway.

I am quite unhappy with Canon's recent moves, it seems that they got less and less interested in dealing with professional studio photographers. For me it's not about switching brand, rather having one additional specialist body/lens. D800e/pce85 comes to mind.

I'll borrow a camera from my dealer this week. For those having either made the transition or using both cameras I have a few questions:

- As the 85pce is a micro (macro) lens, is it better at closer distances than the 90tse? the canon is good at medium distances, but at close range it's just ok.
- is tethering stable enough for professional work? DPP and EOS capture is a royal pain to use, but it is stable enough and does the trick. DPP crashes on me every 200th frame.

thanks

Stefan
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John Nollendorfs
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2012, 06:54:09 AM »
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Try "Control my Nikon" software. Good video tutorials and the price is very reasonable. PC only though.
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mitchino
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2012, 11:38:20 AM »
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Just been looking at your website, fantastic food shots, and very interesting behind the scenes shots. 95% of my work uses the 90TSE too.

I would LOVE to see a tutorial on that kind of shot, how you go about that complex and meticulous lighting. Are you actually firing the strobes, or do you expose with the modelling lights?

I see from some of the pics that you had a Hassy setup at one point, if you don't mind sharing, why did it turn into a bad experience and why did you lose money?

Not sure what you hope to gain from the Nikon - you make the Canon absolutely shine.
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2012, 01:06:48 PM »
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Hello Stefan,

I have a Nikon D800E and the Nikon 85mm PC-E lens which together is a fantastic combination.

But when it comes to my food and packaging photography I use a Horseman VCC unit.

This device is indispensable for me for this type of work and with the Rodenstock Rodagon and Apo Rodagon lenses are just incredible.

http://www.komamura.co.jp/e/VCCpro/index.html

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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geesbert
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 01:48:41 PM »
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I tried every medium format digital back available and then bought a Leaf AFI, which turned out to be a piece of junk.First I had a weird noise issue, which was fixed after the first round trip to Leaf. then it was impossible to shoot with critical focus at f2,8 to f4. my camera went back to leaf three times for calibration, but to no avail. once even a Leaf rep came from brussels to my studio to check my problems. we counter checked with his demo camera only to find out it had the same fault. Finally they acknowleged the problem and took back the camera. this was months after my initial purchase, but as I had leased the back i lost the leasing rates for nearly half a year without having earned anything with this camera. one project only could been saved because I had shot a dozen or so pictures handheld with my Canon. All the stuff I had bought for the camera was sold at a loss, lenses, a Linhof 679, accessories and so on. All in all it had cost me nearly 10.000 €.

I know I had bad luck, but it might seem understandable that I am a tad weary.

My biggest problem with any MF back is the crappy live view. not only is it horrible to look at, it is also badly implemented. With the Canon I start LV and have it on a dedicated 27" screen. The whole team can look at it an work with it and whenever I see a worthy step I hit the trigger and then I get on. Sometimes we have up to five people fumbling with the set, so having a nice big screen is absolutely necessary. No stupid in and out of live view, as it is with Capture 1 and Phocus, no silly T or B mode switch as it is with the MamiyaPhase 645, no daft Aperture closing as it is with any view camera.

When you're shooting food one has to be very quick, sometomes I have only a few minutes or less to get the picture, if I fumble with the camera to long it's back to the kitchen again. Herbs die quickly.

Imagewise I am fine with the Canon, but we're pushing the resolution. I just need more. Another problem is shadow noise. I am nearly always at base iso but I am using hard lights, so recovering shadows is often a bit tricky with the Canon.

Mitchino: I am using flash all the time, mostly only one head, I love fresnels or parabolic umbrellas. My recent acquisition are profoto strip light, magic light for food! then i use a boatload of mirrors to deal with the shadows. this way I have perfect controll over every light spot on my subject. it look very compicated, but is a rather intuitive way of working. Model lights are important, but I am always on fastest possible synch, so only the flashes show.

John: I already had  downloaded this, though I am on a mac, but I managed to open it whith Wine. they promise a mac version by the end of 2012.

Simon: what is the fastest flash synch with studio strobes you can use the Nikon with? any Canon I had worked with didn't do more the 1/160 with studio lights.
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 02:00:24 PM »
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Hello Stefan,

The fastest flash synch is 250th of a sec but I have tried a new technical described below and have been able to shot up to 1000th sec with my Bowens flash.

http://www.prophotonut.com/2010/05/23/18000th-flash-sync-with-broncolor-mobil-and-canon-5d-mk2/

For high speed flash I use my Nikon SB900’s combined with the Pocket Wizard TTL control system and some times my Bowens Explorer pack for shooting liquids for stop motion.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
Harper Photographics Ltd
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geesbert
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2012, 02:07:20 PM »
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that sounds cool!

The only problem I see now is the live view darkness as described in another thread here.
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hugowolf
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2012, 02:19:42 PM »
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If you are going to consider the Horseman VCC Pro, then you should also look at the Horseman LD, Arca Swiss F-Metric, and Arca Swiss Arca Swiss M-Line 2.

Brian A
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Clyde RF
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2012, 05:31:45 AM »
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What about the Schneider 90mm f4 PC T/S, which is a macro that is purported to have incredible resolution, and is geared toward studio work? Check out Lloyd Chambers(Diglloyd) reviews. This lens is supposed to way out resolve the Canon 90 T/S, although the Schneider functions entirely mechanically.

Additionally, while no help now, the extremely high MP Canon full frame which many believe is in the works may eventually show up to solve a lot of problems. 

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geesbert
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 06:53:02 AM »
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I read too much about the high pixel Canon. I need it now. Now my clients request higher resolution and not in half a year. I just collected a demo d800e. I go and check it out.
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Clyde RF
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 08:29:13 AM »
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Correction folks - The Schneider lens referred to above is f4.5 not f4. It's the PC T/S Macro-Symmar 90MM F4.5 HM. Since it is really a medium format lens in a 35mm mount, it can be shifted +- 12 mm with almost no loss of IQ, even at the extreme edges, and it's mechanical versatility and precision in a t/s lens is on a level far beyond anything either Nikon or Canon have ever produced.

Geesbert...It is easy to tune in to your frustration regarding Canon's apparent procrastination in coming up with sufficiently high IQ sensors for some of the (to me) most vital photo functions, and undoubtedly those more familiar with present day Nikon and MF can help you with the info you need. I hope you make a selection that works well for you. However, it may be a good idea to hang on to some of your Canon equipment for future application. One thing which hangs in my mind is the fact that there is a certain advantage to the larger Canon lens mount - one which possibly applies more to T/S lenses, and it may also be relevant that the Canon mount provides the widest choice in selecting other lens brands for use. You probably already know most (or all) of this. Good luck.       
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2012, 11:54:20 AM »
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I read too much about the high pixel Canon. I need it now. Now my clients request higher resolution and not in half a year.

Hi,

I've been wondering about that client request. Do they really need more resolution, e.g. for billboard sized output viewed from up close, or is it something else? I'm not questioning your requirements, but their need.

I know it is not a solution for your kind of work, but I use stitching and focus stacking for added resolution, so I can understand why higher resolution could be helpful. I also invest time in improving the sharpening of our images, which already makes a difference, and the use of better output resampling techniques also adds punch (and edge resolution).

Cheers,
Bart
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 01:25:59 PM »
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I've been wondering about that client request. Do they really need more resolution, e.g. for billboard sized output viewed from up close, or is it something else? I'm not questioning your requirements, but their need.

I can think of two reasons:

- One or more of his clients want to keep working with Stefan but are being approached by photographers shooting with greater resolution than what the 5D Mark III can deliver. Whether or not the perceived need  makes rational sense is a different question.

- Smoother results when the ad agencies are retouching his ad work.
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Ellis Vener
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geesbert
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 03:35:12 PM »
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The need for higher resolution is due to a change in our work process. up to now we shot single products and the 5dmk3's resolution was fine for anything including billboards, city lights and in store displays. when they wanted to show a composing of more than one product they just photoshopped it together (sounds easier than it is).

We changed our approach, now we do the composing on set shooting two or three products together. the pictures are much nicer now, we don't want to go back to the old approach, but the single products lack resolution for single presentation. As food is dying quickly on set and we sometimes prepare our stuff for hours to days, it is not feasable to shoot two setups, singles and comps.

Anyway, I tried the d800e today, but its tethering ability lacks a lot to the canons. charging 150€ for that shitty nikon camera control pro is a bad joke. I couldn't get Capture 1 pro 7 recognize the camera, Lightroom worked, but of course no live view and I couldn't get controlmynikon recognize the camera, although it seem to run on my Mac with Winebottler.

The major deal breaker for me is the strange way of implementing live view with exposure simulation and working aperture only. As i am working with studio strobes in the f11-16 range at base iso at 1/160 most of the time and my model lights mustn't show up in my images as thes distroy the color balance. so currently the Nikon is out for me.

Tomorrow I will have a look at the hartblei zeiss and the schneider makro symmar and look, whether that will improve the apparent resolution.

Maybe one day Canon will release their huge pixel camera and meanwhile I will have to bite the bullet and rent a MF setup.

and Ellis: I've never experienced or even heard of a photographer being chucked out of a job, especially a specialised job like mine, because of pixel counts. My hesitance towards MF has nothing to do with cost, but only my own workflow. If the whole workflow down to the final images improves by going MF, I will.
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mitchino
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2012, 05:54:11 PM »
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Interesting Stefan, I've been wondering about ditching Canon and going over to Nikon too. I shoot tethered with live view a lot, and if you find the 800e lacking in this regard, then that's the deal breaker for me. I'll just have to wait for the Canon equivalent if it ever appears.

I'm still on the 5d Mk ii. In your opinion, and for your kind of work, is the upgrade to the mk iii worthwhile? I've heard the rear screen is much improved. What else is better for the studio shooter?

Also thanks for your brief explanation of your lighting. When you mention the Profoto strip light, do you mean the small black rectangular box they produce with the white perspex front? Always wanted one of those!
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2012, 06:14:36 PM »
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Hello,

Well it certainly shows how we all beat to a different drum.

I personally are perfectly happy with my Nikon D800E for my table top work and yes there are some problems with software but I wouldn’t write an entire camera system because of it as I am confident that software upgrades in the future will improve the situation.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2012, 06:16:31 PM »
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Quote
I tried the d800e today, but its tethering ability lacks a lot to the canons.

+1
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2012, 06:52:58 PM »
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We changed our approach, now we do the composing on set shooting two or three products together. the pictures are much nicer now, we don't want to go back to the old approach, but the single products lack resolution for single presentation. As food is dying quickly on set and we sometimes prepare our stuff for hours to days, it is not feasable to shoot two setups, singles and comps.

Hi,

Thanks for that bit of additional information. So I assume you shoot from a larger distance to get a wider setup, which reduces the magnification factor, and thus the resolution.

Besides switching to a different platform, which may introduce other workflow compromises, have you tried stitching? I don't know if you are already at the limits of the TS-E 90mm's shift range, it's more likely that you need more tilt than shift, even a 'flat shift' at the original distance seems to offer additional resolution (but, I understand, also an unwelcome additional step in post production). Just thinking along, until you figure out a larger sensor alternative which offers good Live View and thethering.

Cheers,
Bart
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K.C.
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« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2012, 10:28:21 PM »
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We changed our approach, now we do the composing on set shooting two or three products together. the pictures are much nicer now, we don't want to go back to the old approach, but the single products lack resolution for single presentation. As food is dying quickly on set and we sometimes prepare our stuff for hours to days, it is not feasable to shoot two setups, singles and comps.

But surely you must have anticipated that end result, even if the client didn't, when you moved the camera back and took a wider shot.

Your choices are working the D800 and it's current software foibles, MF back or stitching with the Canon.

And you need to change to this more appropriate Sisyphus animation.
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« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2012, 11:30:15 PM »
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Geesbert,
its OT, but sorry to read your tale of the AFi but its absolutely not a piece of junk.  Leaf had an issue with a calibration tool in the factory where they got the sensor spacing wrong on some AFi-ii 12's but it only affected the ability to focus to infinity.  The camera itself has a very easy to calibrate focus screen - 4 set screws.  I do it myself.  The camera also has a very precise focus confirmation that can be individually set for each lens.   I don't know who you went other than Leaf but the camera can be made to focus very precisely and the finder is if not the best then among the best in any camera.   

back OT I also have the canon 5d2 and the 90mm use.  It's one of canons best lenses.   I use the rodagon app 90 rodagon on a zork MFS adapter and its noticeably better so I'd go with something like that or what Simon mentioned or the Cambo X2-pro on the d800.  Mostly,  I use the Rollei Schneider 150mm apo macro lens on a Cambo X2-pro with my AFi-ii 12.  That's impressive!

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