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Author Topic: Moving from 35mm to Medium Format. Need guidance (Sorry for yet another thread!)  (Read 12841 times)
synn
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« Reply #80 on: November 12, 2013, 08:49:33 PM »
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To summarize,

I predominantly used to use LR 5 with a custom profile created with a Spyder Checkr. The samples int he first page are all processed this way.

I have used Capture NX2 and while it does get some decent results out of the D800 files, the user experience makes me want to throw heavy objects at a wall.

In the later posts, I have posted some samples I have processed using C1pro, where I created a custom preset using a sample shot of my Spyder Checkr.

In the past, I have also tried RAW Therapee, Photo Ninja and DxO and have rejected using them for various usability issues.

My files are always finished in Photoshop.

None of the above can cure the plastickyness that comes with the D800 files (Or the 5D3 files for that matter. I often shoot alongside another guy who uses a 5D3).

I can try to do new things in processing, sure, but the files from my very old D70s have much better skin tonality using the same workflow, so it's not down to my (Lack of) technique alone.

The Leaf files, in comparison look splendid right out of the box.

Here's an image from my last gig processed using my C1pro workflow (Shot with the D800 and an Elinchrom Quadra through Maxilite reflector and an SB 900):





I still am not completely happy with the tonality of the skin.
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eronald
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« Reply #81 on: November 12, 2013, 08:56:04 PM »
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To summarize,

I predominantly used to use LR 5 with a custom profile created with a Spyder Checkr. The samples int he first page are all processed this way.

I have used Capture NX2 and while it does get some decent results out of the D800 files, the user experience makes me want to throw heavy objects at a wall.

In the later posts, I have posted some samples I have processed using C1pro, where I created a custom preset using a sample shot of my Spyder Checkr.

In the past, I have also tried RAW Therapee, Photo Ninja and DxO and have rejected using them for various usability issues.

My files are always finished in Photoshop.

None of the above can cure the plastickyness that comes with the D800 files (Or the 5D3 files for that matter. I often shoot alongside another guy who uses a 5D3).

I can try to do new things in processing, sure, but the files from my very old D70s have much better skin tonality using the same workflow, so it's not down to my (Lack of) technique alone.

The Leaf files, in comparison look splendid right out of the box.

Here's an image from my last gig processed using my C1pro workflow (Shot with the D800 and an Elinchrom Quadra through Maxilite reflector and an SB 900):





I still am not completely happy with the tonality of the skin.

Synn,

 Try underexposing by at least 1.5 stops.
 I'm one of the more geeky guys here. The reasons are too long to explain. But I too have been having this discussion about plastic skin for years.
 I think what you then really need is a profile made for 1.5 stops under, but just try going under and seeing if you can then hand-tune the files is a good start. Maybe the guy with the strange name -Cooter- will divulge his secret sauce for getting rid of this issue.
 Iliah says that one can deal with this in software, I'm not convinced, although he's smarter than me most days of the week. You can try his solution if 1.5 stops under doesn't give you usable files at least.

Edmund
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 09:03:04 PM by eronald » Logged

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synn
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« Reply #82 on: November 12, 2013, 09:01:11 PM »
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Hi eronald,

I know the reason. The D800 has more DR in the shadows than in the highlights. That's an option while landscaping (And I do that), but it simply isn't when you're doing high pressure shooting with strobes in the field and depending on a lightmeter and also calculating the ratio of ambient: strobe on the go. Especially when I have to underexpose the ambient by 2 stops compared to the strobe. This is already at 1/320s, which is where the D800 tops out in terms of sync.

Again, this really isn't about DR either. There are subtle variations in how skin turns from mids to highlights that I can see in a Leaf file that simply doesn't exist in the D800 files.

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eronald
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« Reply #83 on: November 12, 2013, 09:05:24 PM »
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Synn,

 No that is not the reason. The reason is too geeky for you probably, but essentially highlight color gets destroyed in a subtle way. Your complaint about plastic skin is justified. Just do as I say, and if it doesn't work try one of the other guys recipes. With a D800@ISO 200 you have so much DR that it doesn't matter if you shoot under by a couple of stops.

 Take the whole exposure down by a couple of stops, if necessary just use an ND filter. Try it, it'll be cheaper than paying for MF Smiley

Edmund

Hi eronald,

I know the reason. The D800 has more DR in the shadows than in the highlights. That's an option while landscaping (And I do that), but it simply isn't when you're doing high pressure shooting with strobes in the field and depending on a lightmeter and also calculating the ratio of ambient: strobe on the go. Especially when I have to underexpose the ambient by 2 stops compared to the strobe. This is already at 1/320s, which is where the D800 tops out in terms of sync.

Again, this really isn't about DR either. There are subtle variations in how skin turns from mids to highlights that I can see in a Leaf file that simply doesn't exist in the D800 files.


« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 09:10:10 PM by eronald » Logged

Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
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« Reply #84 on: November 12, 2013, 09:08:35 PM »
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Synn,

 No that is not the reason. The reason is too geeky for you probably, but essentially highlight color gets destroyed in a subtle way. Just do as I say, and if it doesn't work try one of the other guys recipes. With a D800@ISO 200 you have so much DR that it doesn't matter if you shoot under by a couple of stops.

Edmund


Hi eronald,

Again, it's not possible while doing on-location strobe work without using clumsy workarounds like ND filters (Which, as I explained in my original post, I hate using while doing portraits).

To underexpose the shot for on location strobe work involves powering down the strobe (Doable) and raising the shutter speed (Not doable because I am already at max sync). The only way to underexpose the ambient any further would involve leaf shutters which takes me to MF-land again.
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« Reply #85 on: November 12, 2013, 09:12:02 PM »
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Hi eronald,

Again, it's not possible while doing on-location strobe work without using clumsy workarounds like ND filters (Which, as I explained in my original post, I hate using while doing portraits).

To underexpose the shot for on location strobe work involves powering down the strobe (Doable) and raising the shutter speed (Not doable because I am already at max sync). The only way to underexpose the ambient any further would involve leaf shutters which takes me to MF-land again.

Let's take the problem apart:

1. Try the ND/underex route in a test. If it improves the images then you have a cure and we can look for a different solution.

 Of course, MF can be a solution in your case (big budget, big lights), pancake makeup  is a solution which works as well, choosing your models etc etc. Cooter seems to have found a way around these issues, but I don't know how he does it.

 I really think that taking down the exposure a bit won't kill you.

Edmund
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 09:21:24 PM by eronald » Logged

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« Reply #86 on: November 12, 2013, 09:18:26 PM »
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I can't stress enough how much this is not an option for me. The ND filter dims what is already, a dim viewfinder, affects AF and overall, provides a sub par experience to me. My aim is to get great files out of my normal shooting routine, not to suffer through the most important part (The actual shoot) and then get better colors out in post.

I love using filters for landscape work. NDs, especially. Just not an option for me while doing portraiture.
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« Reply #87 on: November 12, 2013, 09:23:47 PM »
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Synn,

 I am not saying use ND in production. I am saying shoot two images, one with ND and one without, compare, and then we will know if the issue comes from the exposure. And make the raw files available to us. As techies we can only help you based on the data you give us.

Edmund

I can't stress enough how much this is not an option for me. The ND filter dims what is already, a dim viewfinder, affects AF and overall, provides a sub par experience to me. My aim is to get great files out of my normal shooting routine, not to suffer through the most important part (The actual shoot) and then get better colors out in post.

I love using filters for landscape work. NDs, especially. Just not an option for me while doing portraiture.
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« Reply #88 on: November 12, 2013, 09:33:26 PM »
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Tungsten helps.

Leica M9 helps more.

An Aptus is probably what you want, but the burden of legacy cameras , legacy AF, and the need for light May or may not be worth it in the end. A Leica S would work better, but then again, it's really expensive.
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« Reply #89 on: November 12, 2013, 10:34:00 PM »
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Hmm, I hear Doug -or is it Steve- at the door. Remember, you need to say "Come In" three times to let the devil come in and trade for your soul.
Edmund

An Aptus is probably what you want, but the burden of legacy cameras , legacy AF, and the need for light May or may not be worth it in the end. A Leica S would work better, but then again, it's really expensive.
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« Reply #90 on: November 12, 2013, 11:07:40 PM »
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Hi,

A few ideas.

1) Include a color checker or WB card in your image for accurate WB. In the image you show it should be illuminated by the flash

2) Try to use a Color Checker Passport , on the back size it has grey fields for different CC filtering. You can use those fields to warmen/cool skin colors

3) If you have a Color Checker you can use Adobe DNG Profile Editor to create a profile for your camera and it allows you to tweak those profiles

When I started using P45+ the colors coming out of Lightroom were plainly wrong. After that I created a color profile which had oversaturated yellows.



The image above shows the effect of that profile but without the oversatureted yellows.

The series on this links show Capture 1, LR5 with Adobe Standard Profile, Color Checker Passport profile, DNG Profile Editor and DNG Profile Editor adjusted.

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Articles/MFDJourney/Color/ColorTuning/Samples/3750_FULL/

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Articles/MFDJourney/Color/ColorTuning/Samples/3750_Persons/

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Articles/MFDJourney/Color/ColorTuning/Samples/3756_FULL/

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Articles/MFDJourney/Color/ColorTuning/Samples/3756_flower/

WB was based on grey card in the last series.

Hopefully, some help...

If you use Capture One try to use linear curve instead of "film curve". Trying underexposure may be a good thing.

Just for the sake of it, I include some images with very accurate rendition of skin (My hand front and back, underarm), measure with a spectro and converted with PatchTool.

I also plots of the measured spectra on the samples, note that there is a steep gradient around 570-600 nm. The CGA response curves have a very sharp gradient on red in precisely the same area, and I would think the may differ a bit.

Best regards
Erik



To summarize,

I predominantly used to use LR 5 with a custom profile created with a Spyder Checkr. The samples int he first page are all processed this way.

I have used Capture NX2 and while it does get some decent results out of the D800 files, the user experience makes me want to throw heavy objects at a wall.

In the later posts, I have posted some samples I have processed using C1pro, where I created a custom preset using a sample shot of my Spyder Checkr.

In the past, I have also tried RAW Therapee, Photo Ninja and DxO and have rejected using them for various usability issues.

My files are always finished in Photoshop.

None of the above can cure the plastickyness that comes with the D800 files (Or the 5D3 files for that matter. I often shoot alongside another guy who uses a 5D3).

I can try to do new things in processing, sure, but the files from my very old D70s have much better skin tonality using the same workflow, so it's not down to my (Lack of) technique alone.

The Leaf files, in comparison look splendid right out of the box.

Here's an image from my last gig processed using my C1pro workflow (Shot with the D800 and an Elinchrom Quadra through Maxilite reflector and an SB 900):





I still am not completely happy with the tonality of the skin.
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #91 on: November 13, 2013, 01:29:29 AM »
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Before Edmund said it, I thought to myself the shoulder and check expo maybe pushing the difference in undertone color(slightly pushing to yellow in areas), and I too thought to pull back the light source a stop or so around that. This may bring it in the gradient ballpark. Another option is to use some Gobo between the subject and light source. This would require tinkering a bit I suppose, since it sounds like you want to be as effecient and formulated as possible. 

If that doesn't work, due to the work limitations you give yourself, I think arenting a Sigma SD1 would be a first test before you do MF.
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jerome_m
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« Reply #92 on: November 13, 2013, 04:19:42 AM »
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I too agree that the D800 tends to expose too hot and there is a simpler method to cure that: use custom setting b6 (page 290 of the English manual). You can only go to -1eV, but I believe that 1.5 is too much anyway.

In other words: you change the setting and keep everything (including the SB900) in auto. It cannot be simpler than that.
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synn
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« Reply #93 on: November 13, 2013, 04:59:29 AM »
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Synn,

 I am not saying use ND in production. I am saying shoot two images, one with ND and one without, compare, and then we will know if the issue comes from the exposure. And make the raw files available to us. As techies we can only help you based on the data you give us.

Edmund


Hi Edmund,

I am traveling right now, but I will try to do this when I get back home.
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synn
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« Reply #94 on: November 13, 2013, 05:03:21 AM »
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Tungsten helps.

Leica M9 helps more.

An Aptus is probably what you want, but the burden of legacy cameras , legacy AF, and the need for light May or may not be worth it in the end. A Leica S would work better, but then again, it's really expensive.

Hi Tmark,

A Leica M9 is absolutely not an option given the absurd cost: performance ratio, no AF and my general dislike of rangefinders. Again, please consider my specific usage case. Strobe lit portraiture, which is not rangefinder territory.

Tungsten is also not an option as I don't work with continuous lights, but with strobes. Unless you're suggesting gelling the strobe, which brings with it the complexity of color matching that with the ambient again.

I am absolutely aware of the limitations of the DF+ camera body and I cam live with those. As for light, my lights would actually become more effective given the higher sync speeds leaf shutters are capable of.
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« Reply #95 on: November 13, 2013, 05:05:19 AM »
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Hmm, I hear Doug -or is it Steve- at the door. Remember, you need to say "Come In" three times to let the devil come in and trade for your soul.
Edmund


Hi Edmund,

I think you're doing a great disservice to both those gentlemen with that snide remark. Yes, they have been in touch with me, but because I initiated the conversation. They have given me a lot of useful information and at no point have pressurized me into buying anything from them. I consider them a great asset to this forum.
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synn
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« Reply #96 on: November 13, 2013, 05:08:01 AM »
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Hi,

A few ideas.

1) Include a color checker or WB card in your image for accurate WB. In the image you show it should be illuminated by the flash

2) Try to use a Color Checker Passport , on the back size it has grey fields for different CC filtering. You can use those fields to warmen/cool skin colors

3) If you have a Color Checker you can use Adobe DNG Profile Editor to create a profile for your camera and it allows you to tweak those profiles

When I started using P45+ the colors coming out of Lightroom were plainly wrong. After that I created a color profile which had oversaturated yellows.



Hi Erik,

Please read my previous posts in this thread again. I have covered all of those points already.
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synn
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« Reply #97 on: November 13, 2013, 05:10:36 AM »
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Before Edmund said it, I thought to myself the shoulder and check expo maybe pushing the difference in undertone color(slightly pushing to yellow in areas), and I too thought to pull back the light source a stop or so around that. This may bring it in the gradient ballpark. Another option is to use some Gobo between the subject and light source. This would require tinkering a bit I suppose, since it sounds like you want to be as effecient and formulated as possible.  

If that doesn't work, due to the work limitations you give yourself, I think arenting a Sigma SD1 would be a first test before you do MF.



Hi Phil,

The "Skintone issue" is not specific to one lighting condition. I shoot with a variety of lighting setups and it is consistent.

I thought of buying a Sigma DP3 in the past (My friend has an DP2 which is ace), but Sigma has zero dealer or service support here, not to mention resale value. That goes for the SD series and DP series. Simply not a good way to invest my money.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 05:15:07 AM by synn » Logged

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« Reply #98 on: November 13, 2013, 05:13:30 AM »
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I too agree that the D800 tends to expose too hot and there is a simpler method to cure that: use custom setting b6 (page 290 of the English manual). You can only go to -1eV, but I believe that 1.5 is too much anyway.

In other words: you change the setting and keep everything (including the SB900) in auto. It cannot be simpler than that.

Hi Jerome,

I don't have the D800 with me (Only took the V1 for the trip), but I will check this setting when I get home.

Your second sentence makes me concerned, though. I do not shoot or is there an option for me to shoot anything in "Auto" mode for my portrait shoots. My main lights are all manual and the SB 900 was only a supporting light (Hair light) that was triggered in SU4 optical slave mode. I prefer not to use any auto settings for portraits as the results are always inconsistent. My lightmeter and manual settings never fail to deliver the right results.
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« Reply #99 on: November 13, 2013, 05:39:03 AM »
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There are plenty of cheap triggering solutions on eBay to get you a faster sync speed to help underexpose like pocket wizard, pixel king and young nuo.
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