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04-17-2013, 08:20 AM   #1
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Shoot the monks.

Well the title is maybe a bit macabre. On this island of mine there is a monastery, where two monks live. I have permission to take some photos of them. It is in the middle of a forest and one of them is a bookbinder.

For the task I will bring my K5 and my contax 28/2,8 50/1,4 and 85/2,8. I really want to keep it very simple, like the reporter with his Leica M. Also because I am not that technical. But I am in need of some tips.

The converted contax lenses can be used in M and Av, sometimes I even use them in Av-mode with ISO auto.

-Recommended settings for portrait.
-Is it a good idea to use bracketing +/- 0,7 EV maybe.
-And all the tips you can think of.

Thank you

Last edited by Pontax; 04-17-2013 at 08:21 AM. Reason: misspelling
04-17-2013, 08:49 AM   #2
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Try TvAv mode if you want iso on auto
85mm maybe little bit to much IMHO
04-17-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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Will they be posing for you? Or are you shooting them while they do their daily activities?
How much time do you have at the location? How many locations are you shooting?
Have you been to the locations yet? Do you have images of the location to share?
04-17-2013, 09:06 AM   #4

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Sounds like you will be working in poor light. Perhaps bring a small light monopod. Less clumsy, formal and imposing for portraits than using a tripod, but it may help you get sharper pictures without having to run higher ISO's. Also bring a flash with a diffuser and/or one that can do bounce for some extra (and soft) lighting when you need it?

Edit: also shoot RAW to give you the most post-processing leeway in terms of white balance, exposure and noise reduction when you need it to deal with complicated lighting, or RAW + JPEG.

Last edited by rawr; 04-17-2013 at 09:40 AM.
04-17-2013, 09:31 AM   #5
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Wow, sounds like a really interesting project!
For the portraits it would be a shame if you didn't use the 85mm. But these portraits will be very personal because on APS-C that is a pretty tele lens. If you want some of the background and objects that they use to be in the frame, you will probably want a wide angle. You can probably find a used DA 35mm f2.4 for a very low cost and even if you sell it right after you won't be losing much. Though, I guess the 28mm can also do that for you.
Bracketing is a good idea. You can merge them for a little HDR or you can just use the best one. With digital you can take as many photos as you want anyway.

Oh, and for classical portraits here are the general tips: Use a lens between 85mm and 135mm (on APSC that turns to 55mm to 85mm), wide aperture (depending on how well the lens performs, go wide open if possible). White balance slightly warm. Frame the shot so you cut out a little part of the top of the head or even forehead. And mind the background. Keep in mind that the angle of the shot is very important. If you are taller and are shooting down, it will look like the subject is small. If you are shorter and shooting up, it will look more like a "victory pose". So best is if you keep the camera sort of level with the person and crouch to keep it at around chest height of the person. Its also great if you have an off-camera flash with a diffusor.
Of course, there are many other portrait techniques, just avoid using very wide angle lenses for portraits, because the distortion can make the person look disproportional. But some people are even using wide angles for very dramatic portraits. You just have to pick a style, research it, and then go for it
04-17-2013, 02:24 PM   #6
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Original Poster
Thanks for your respond.

My contax lens do not work in TAv-mode it will only let me use Av-mode with auto iso. But I mainly use M-mode.

@JinDeso Hopefully they will, yes, all day, one, no, no.

Always RAW, I think the 50mm/1,4 will come in handy.

@Na Horuk Thank you for your advice, The 85mm I definitely want to use for portraits, maybe with a tripod. HDR I would like to try out. And the framing tip thank you.

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