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Old May 20, 2008, 12:33 PM   #1
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So, I never really expected I would get into photography to the extent that I am now, and more so how quickly it happened. I only purchased my E-510 about 4 months ago now.

Anyway.... My goal when I started getting in to this was to test the waters with various aspects of photography to find out which ones I enjoy the most. Where as I'm a very outdoors type person I was naturally drawn to landscape style pictures in the beginning. Recently I decided to try my hand at photographing people and figured the best way to do this was offer my services for TFP shoots for any girls interested in starting or expanding a modeling portfolio.

Long story short, there's been a huge demand for it. I've had some of my pictures shown at various modeling agencies and am pretty excited for some of the oppertunities that may be coming my way (hopefully!).

I need to invest in a few upgrades for sure. Where as I'm still fairly new to this, I'm hoping for some suggestions on getting an "adequate" studio setup. I say adequate because I am on a budget of sorts, tho I have some leeway financially.

All of the shoots I've done so far have been outdoors, so the need for flash photography has been minimal except for some fill flash every now and then. So the whole idea of lighting is fairly new. What I was thinking was putting a curtain rod up on a wall, and just use curtains for a backdrop to save money for now. I understand alien bees is popular and a good bang for your buck for actual light and their package deals seem to offer a fairly significant savings. So I'm looking at the beginner bee package or the digibee package really. The way I see it is the beginner bee offer's the most upgradability (1 800w light) where as the digi bee will get me started off better with two lower powered light. So I guess a couple questions here, a) will a curtain on a wall be an adaquate backdrop b) can I get away with the beginner bee package for now (with a decent camera flash aswell) and upgrade later adding another 800w light and c) how much better would the digibee package be vs the beginner bee d) any other lighting solutions that might work?

Which brings me to the last thing which is lenses. I mentioned in another thread here about the sigma f1.8 30mm, well that idea kinda went out the window I think more or less. I still really want a prime lens, but I think probably a zoom would be better. I'm looking at the ZD 12-60mm perhaps? I also would still really like a prime lens as well, but it really depends on how much I have to spend elsewhere.

And finally I can't write a huge long post like this without posting a picture. So here you go.... From a shoot I did over the weekend. Would love to hear any comments and suggestions on the photo, which I think is the best of the lot, but I haven't had too much time to go over all of them yet.
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Old May 20, 2008, 1:12 PM   #2
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Hi,

Nice shot! Good luck on your new career!!

Since there are other forum members who have a great deal of experience in studio photography and I most certainly do not, I'll let them respond to your request for info on how best to set up a studio.

As regards to lenses, I do have a suggestion that may be of some benefit to you.... Whenever I'm interested in buying another lens, I visit PBase.com and run a search on their site for photos taken with the specific lens I'm interested.

Currently I'm looking at getting the 12-60mm lens so your post caught my eye. I did have the 50mm F2 macro but sold it to get a 70-300mm. I'm happy I did that because I use the 70-300mm lens a lot more than I did the 50macro. But I can attest to the fact that the 50mm F2 is a seriusly sharp lens and would make a great prime portrait lens IMHO.

I certainly do read all the reviews and read this forum for member opinions' but I also find by looking at sample images submitted by a large cross section of people, you get a good sense of what the lens can actually do. I let my eyes be the final judge of the IQ of a lens.

Here are 3 links topeople three lenses that you've mentioned:

http://www.pbase.com/emmelafoto/image/91553463

http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/30_14_ex_dc_hsm

http://www.pbase.com/image/67511665



good luck again,

regards,

Zig


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Old May 20, 2008, 1:27 PM   #3
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Hello again,

One thought I forgot to mention is simply this: You may want to consider getting a couple of OM Legacy lenses and an OM to 4/3 adapter to start off with. The reason I suggest tihis is that since you are looking at doing some studio work, you could easily use a 50mmF1.7 and a 135mm f3.5 with the E-510 using manual focus and live view. I have both and find them both to give really good results when using them with the E-510.

Both lenses are readily available on EBay for short money as does the OM adapters.

The reality of budget constraints dictate what we can really buy vs what we'd like to own.

Just my two cents

Zig
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Old May 20, 2008, 2:55 PM   #4
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After reading your post about the legacy lenses I did a little research and I guess finding the correct ones isn't as difficult or complicated as I thought it would be. And for studio work you are 100% correct that manual focus would be fairly easy. So I think I will definitely get a couple legacy primes and the adapter once I have that setup.

The site you linked is fantastic, thanks for that! I'm killing a lot of time here at work looking at pictures from various lenses. It's also helping me confirm that the 12-60mm might be the one for me (ouch the price tag tho!). One thing that I've noticed however in my research so far is that I see the E3 selling with the 12-60mm lens fairly often. In fact, the same place I got my e-510 (cameta Camera) has the E3 + 12-60mm lens for 2250$ usd. Buying them separate would be an extra 150-200$. I'm fairly sure I'll be purchasing an E3 (or whatever iteration of the model is out at the time) in the next year or so, so perhaps it might be better for me to wait on the lens and get it with the camera body later and get another lens now-ish?
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Old May 20, 2008, 3:42 PM   #5
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Rileigh wrote:
Quote:
After reading your post about the legacy lenses I did a little research and I guess finding the correct ones isn't as difficult or complicated as I thought it would be. And for studio work you are 100% correct that manual focus would be fairly easy. So I think I will definitely get a couple legacy primes and the adapter once I have that setup.

I don't personally do model portaits but Harj has been doing it a lot, and my impression from his posts is that a good zoom is preferable to fixed focal length lenses. I'm guessing that's because it allows anyparticular photo setup to be faster.

Ted

PS: Nice photo!

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Old May 20, 2008, 4:07 PM   #6
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tkurkowski wrote:
Quote:
Rileigh wrote:
Quote:
After reading your post about the legacy lenses I did a little research and I guess finding the correct ones isn't as difficult or complicated as I thought it would be. And for studio work you are 100% correct that manual focus would be fairly easy. So I think I will definitely get a couple legacy primes and the adapter once I have that setup.

I don't personally do model portaits but Harj has been doing it a lot, and my impression from his posts is that a good zoom is preferable to fixed focal length lenses. I'm guessing that's because it allows anyparticular photo setup to be faster.

Ted

PS: Nice photo!
It's true, which is why I'm buying a decent zoom lens upgrade first (right now it's up in the air between the 12-22mm, 14-54mm or 12-60mm). Then studio stuff, then a prime of some sort. Mainly the use for the prime would be for shots in a studio setup where distance and location is more or less fixed.
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Old May 20, 2008, 5:05 PM   #7
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Rileigh wrote:
Quote:
The site you linked is fantastic, thanks for that! I'm killing a lot of time here at work looking at pictures from various lenses. It's also helping me confirm that the 12-60mm might be the one for me (ouch the price tag tho!). One thing that I've noticed however in my research so far is that I see the E3 selling with the 12-60mm lens fairly often. In fact, the same place I got my e-510 (cameta Camera) has the E3 + 12-60mm lens for 2250$ usd. Buying them separate would be an extra 150-200$. I'm fairly sure I'll be purchasing an E3 (or whatever iteration of the model is out at the time) in the next year or so, so perhaps it might be better for me to wait on the lens and get it with the camera body later and get another lens now-ish?
Hi,

Yes, PBase is good site(one of many) to look at other people's work. And yes, That's a big ouch as far as the price for the 12-60mm goes. Paying about twice as much for the lens alone as whatI paid for the E-510 bodyis an attention getter.

As for getting a possible interim zoom as a stop gap measure, Based on what I've read and seen, IMHO, even though the 14-54mm lens is a great lens, the incremental difference between that and the 14-45mm zoom is not worth (MY OPINION ONLY) it. I'd hold out for the 12-60mmwhen budget allows.

Here is a link to a few photos I've taken of my grandkids using various lenses. Mostly the 40-150mm new kit lens and the 14-45mm lens older kit as well as a couple of 50mm f2. some have them have been soft focused in PP. I think they are okay as far as IQ goes. Although, I'd love to have taken some of them with the 12-60mm

http://www.pbase.com/zig123/image/91725155

In the final analysis, only you can decide what's best for you. In the interim, have fun!

Zig








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Old May 20, 2008, 5:31 PM   #8
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very nice pic. from what i have here, i'd use the zeiss zf 50 & 851.4's & leica 25 for those type of shots.

notonly for dof, but for sharpness & rendering qualities.

wish i had some beautiful girls to post some samples, but all i have are goats.



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Old May 20, 2008, 6:26 PM   #9
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Well done on finding your niche in photography and finding attactive models to work with. Looks like you've found all kinds of excellent help with lens choices.

I have one suggestion, if I may. Olympus schools are always sending adverts for a 2 sided folding reflector. White one side to deminish facial shadows and gold the other for warm ambient light. They show professional examples and they do look so much better. If I find an example I'll add it to this.

Anyway, keep it up.

Ken


Gwillys:- Maybe too much information, about you and goats.....:-)
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Old May 21, 2008, 10:03 AM   #10
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Looking like what I'm going to do as far as lenses goes is pick up the 14-54mm now (looks like I can get a used one off ebay for fairly cheap). Then 6 - 12 months down the road I'll pick up the e-3 (or whatever the newest model that is released at the time) along with the 12-60mm and resell the 14-54mm.

This'll allow me to purchase a good two light studio setup which will be a better long term investment then a mid-range lens which'll eventually get upgraded to a 14-35mm.
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