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Old Apr 30, 2006, 7:54 PM   #1
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Hi folks, just got asked to replace the photographer at a volunteer awards ceremony. Just a simple "shake hands and smile" kind of event but I have to mention my equipment, which worked flawlessly.

*istDL with Sigma 24-135mm f2.8-4.5 (set on manual exposure, 1/100s at f5.6, daylight WB and ISO 400), Stroboframe camera flip bracket, Vivitar 285 with remote sensor cable and wide angle diffuser. A bit unwieldy to handle but very effective. This is an ideal photojournalist rig but lousy for macro work (which will be obvious when you look at the picture).

The event started at 7PM and I had all the editing for 30 shots done and on disk before 9:30, gotta love small jobs.

Anyway here is what my rig looks like:

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Old Apr 30, 2006, 8:01 PM   #2
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Here is one picture from the event, resized but unedited. The flash was set for f8 but a little pre-event testing proved the camera setting of f5.6 gave a better result. A custom white balance would have been preferable but with the available time I went with the daylight setting which proved to be very close and easily fixed. I shot in jpeg because ultimate quality was second to speed in this case (someone is picking up the disk tomorrow).

The funniest thing was that the local paper had a reporter there as well, shooting with a Canon S2IS which is what they use for these events (their sports reporter has a Nikon D1x with a 70-200mm f2.8 Nikkor lens, overkill for this event).

Note that the shadow thrown by the high mount flash is far less distracting than direct on-camera flash would be.

Ira
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Old Apr 30, 2006, 8:31 PM   #3
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Monza76 wrote:
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Note that the shadow thrown by the high mount flash is far less distracting than direct on-camera flash would be.

Ira
I doubt. I tried in similar situation and it is almost the same. An omni bounce might improve but not that much as it may handicap the flash. Looks like your lens holds out quite well - that is for sure.

It is very difficult situation particularly when bounce flash is out of question with high ceiling.

Daniel
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Old Apr 30, 2006, 9:33 PM   #4
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Monza76 wrote:
Quote:
Here is one picture from the event, resized but unedited. The flash was set for f8 but a little pre-event testing proved the camera setting of f5.6 gave a better result. A custom white balance would have been preferable but with the available time I went with the daylight setting which proved to be very close and easily fixed. I shot in jpeg because ultimate quality was second to speed in this case (someone is picking up the disk tomorrow).

The funniest thing was that the local paper had a reporter there as well, shooting with a Canon S2IS which is what they use for these events (their sports reporter has a Nikon D1x with a 70-200mm f2.8 Nikkor lens, overkill for this event).

Note that the shadow thrown by the high mount flash is far less distracting than direct on-camera flash would be.

Ira
Ira,

Did you try out the lighting to see if your 50mm1.7 may work at around 3.5 or even 4? You may take raw at 1600 without problem at all. The negative is that the subject's face may be in sharp focus but the rest may not.

Daniel
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Old Apr 30, 2006, 9:48 PM   #5
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I have the Stroboframe camera flip bracket and I love it. It seems clunky at first but after a bit it becomes second nature and works great.

Tom
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Old May 1, 2006, 4:15 PM   #6
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Monza76 wrote:
Quote:
Here is one picture from the event, resized but unedited. The flash was set for f8 but a little pre-event testing proved the camera setting of f5.6 gave a better result. A custom white balance would have been preferable but with the available time I went with the daylight setting which proved to be very close and easily fixed. I shot in jpeg because ultimate quality was second to speed in this case (someone is picking up the disk tomorrow).


Note that the shadow thrown by the high mount flash is far less distracting than direct on-camera flash would be.

Ira
Ira,

Recently I went to similar occasion and was quite ok with no flash at fairly low light set-up with my FA100mm2.8 Macro at 1/60s. This one was made at 1600. This one is from straight jpg and if in extra low light area I would be shooting raw at 3200. Your dslr will tell you if you are underexposed.
Also a great advantage of 100mm is that you will be 15 ft away which is a lot less obstrusive and disturnbing with no flash at all.
This approach was impossible 2 yrs ago. Time has changed really.

Daniel
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Old May 1, 2006, 4:33 PM   #7
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Daniel, I was asked to do this event on Friday, very little time to prepare. I was using a new lens (always a risk) and I knew that they were expecting the usual "deer in the headlamps" direct flash shots. I could have risked no flash (and most certainly would have if the pictures were for me) but for this event I played it safe.

Here is a sample of a shot taken at our recent production of "The Shadow Box" with no flash (of course) and the oops, 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 DA lens:
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Old May 1, 2006, 4:40 PM   #8
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That image was shot from the light booth, this was the set: (oops again, 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 FA))
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Old May 1, 2006, 6:46 PM   #9
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Ira,

That is very nice, I always seem to get hot spots in my stage shots (wife is a HS Theatre Director) done without flash that I have to mess with to get the lighting even.

Tom
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Old May 1, 2006, 6:59 PM   #10
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Tom, I usually shoot at -0.7 to -2.0 in order to avoid that. Here is an example from our high school production, the curtain call.

The Breakfast Club was adapted for stage by one of our students to produce a 42 minute play.
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