Fun at f/1.2 on a budget

Fun at f/1.2 on a budget

Seems like everyone wants to shoot images with a very shallow depth of field (Dof). Depth of field is defined as: “In optics, particularly as it relates to film and photography, depth of field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image. Although a lens can precisely focus at only one distance at a time, the decrease in sharpness is gradual on each side of the focused distance, so that within the DOF, the unsharpness is imperceptible under normal viewing conditions. In some cases, it may be desirable to have the entire image sharp, and a large DOF is appropriate. In other cases, a small DOF may be more effective, emphasizing the subject while de-emphasizing the foreground and background. ”  –Wikipedia There are a few ways to get that look. The closer your subject is to the camera, the shallower the depth of field.  You can also achieve a shallow depth of field by changing the aperture. DoF will be less at 1.4 than at 2.8 and so on, and if you combine a very large aperture with a very close subject, you can achieve a very shallow depth of field. Sounds simple, right? There is one catch. Large aperture lenses are expensive. Canon’s 85/1.2 retails for around $2000.00, the 50/1.2 sells for $1300.00. Used copies of these lenses are not much cheaper, either. So, game over, right? Maybe not. If you are a canon user or use a mirror-less camera system there are some very interesting options to get fast glass at an affordable rate. Canon has been making really fast glass for quite some time. There are several 50/1.2 and 85/1.2 lenses for the older FD mount. There...

Cold Afternoon in Arkansas

I got to go out for a bit over the weekend to try out the new Canon 6D that I just got. This was the first chance that I have to really put the camera through real world shooting. It performed a little better than I thought it would. I did have a little difficultly understanding exactly how to set up the Wi-Fi and connect, and it was a little difficult (mostly because of the meaningless instructions  and i was thinking that with the Wi-Fi so difficult to set up, I would not be using it much. When I arrived on site, it connected just as it should (it remembered my ipad, and connected automatically) and worked great. I have wanted to use an iPod/iPhone as a remote trigger with access to the live view for quite some time. Each of these shots below is very low perspective (I would have actually had to lay down on the ground to view through the viewfinder or the live view. The IPod connected by wife made this much easier. The image quality was (as expected) amazing. There is virtually no noise in the ISO 100 setting. The files are considerably sharper than the original 5d. I think they look better than the 7d as well....

Canon’s New 6D

  The first of the year I broke down and purchased the new 6D from Canon. I have been shooting a Canon 5D and 7D for quite sometime. The 7D is about 2 years old and the 5D is a little more than 7 years old. It was probably about time for an upgrade for the 5D, but that camera has served me so well over the years, and I had a tough time finding a camera that I thought warranted an upgrade. I had originally set out to buy a 5dmkiii, and i actually tried to buy one, but they were out of stock, etc. I borrowed an evaluation 5dmkiii, and tried it out for 2 weeks, and that made me decide to wait till I could find one to buy. Shortly afterwards, Canon announced that the 6D would be released and I decided from the specs, that it might be worth waiting for. Long story short, after seeing some images from the 6D, and after MUCH deliberation, I picked one up. At the list price of $2099.99, it is a great camera. It is very similar to the original 5D auto-focus. Auto-focus speed seems just a tad quicker, but the accuracy is much improved. It more accurately lock focus than any other Canon i have used (other than the 5dmkiii). The real difference for this camera is the image quality. It has very similar image performance to the 5dmkiii. High ISO noise is very well controlled. Here are some sample shots The first one is at 3600 ISO, the second one is at ISO 100.   Here are the same images with a little noise reduction/sharpening :...

Film is not dead.

This is not a debate in the Digital vs. Film argument.  For the most part, Digital Technology has effectively killed traditional film work in the consumer market and in the commercial market. That is not really up for debate. Digital workflow is cheaper and faster and more convenient and the consuming public cannot see a significant difference between the finished film print and the digital print (in many cases a finished digital print can look better, because of modern post editing). It almost seems like a no-brainer, why would I use film, when digital allows me to work faster, cheaper, and deliver a better product? Here is why. I work at a photography studio for my day-job. I spend 40+ a week, shooting portraits, commercial, fine art…. what ever we can sell. We tend to shoot “fast and loose”, because when you are working, time spent on a project is always limited by budget. Honestly, when you work as a photographer, being profitable is just as important (maybe the most important) as the images produced… if you are not profitable, you will not be able to stay working… It is always a battle to capture the images that we need, in the time allotted to be profitable. Photography is my day-job, but it is also my hobby. I use it as the place I can find….Zen(?)…. I shoot a 4×5 studio film camera and a 4.5×6 cm medium format for much of my hobby. There is something special about distilling photography down to its simplest form. The 4×5 camera is essentially just a film holder, with a lens on one end. The camera does nothing. There is...

Adobe Photoshop for Free?

Yep, Adobe has released Photoshop CS2 for free. Pick up your download and serials here. You do have to sign up for an Adobe account, but it is easy to do, and also free. And, as if that is not enough, it is not just Photoshop, but the entire Creative Suite. It seems that Adobe is trying to counter the wide spread use of pirated software with this release. I hope it works. I have a subscription to Creative Cloud, and that works really well for me…. I believe that will be a post for another day. Thanks for...