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01-01-2011, 09:07 PM - 1 Like   #1
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First studio shoot with the 645D

So, I finally got the 645D into the studio for a shoot and had a few hours with the lovely Latasha and an assortment of clothing from my latex collection and some clothes she bought along.

Some things I noticed worth mentioning (maybe).

In the past I'd always put the camera in manual WB and shoot a grey card - either I botched how to do this or there's some issues with the 645D in this area ..... I'll bet it's operator error and will go back to the manual. What ever I did I could not for the life of me set a WB I was happy with, then I did what was previously unthinkable on any other DSLR I've used in the studio, I put WB to auto and it was spot on perfect!

EDIT - Yep, user error on the WB side of things - resorted to reading the manual and have it sorted now.

Now I know when shooting raw you can adjust WB in post easily enough, but as you'd know in just about any raw converter/processor you've got things like daylight, shade, flash ......etc as well as Auto and "as shot". I like to have "as shot" spot on and couldn't achieve that with a manual setting on the day, but the 645Ds Auto setting came to the rescue. I'm using Adobe Camera Raw and ACR's "Auto" disagreed with the 645D's "as shot" which was the auto setting - so ACR and the 645D Auto settings have a difference of opinion.

Focusing took a bit to wrap my head around. I like shooting in the studio around the F8 or lower mark and the DOF on the new 2.8/55mm lens at F8 means focusing and recomposing made it very easy to lose that perfect, pin sharp detail where I wanted it to be. Using the select focus mode helped in some cases, but the options aren't far enough from the centre to help in most cases. Full auto was great for me shooting a model out doors, but in the studio it went to the centre or very close to the centre every time (which isn't where I wanted it to focus).

Those were just niggles though and nothing I'm concerned about and I still absoloutely LOVE this camera! The colours, the contrast, the resolution/sharpness/clarity is miles better than anything else I've used and I've tried a lot of different cameras.

Image size and compression was a surprise. The raw files are still around the 40 Mb mark, still convert to an 8 bit Tif around the 100 Mb range, but with all that white and other solid colours in the studio a quality 12 setting in Photoshop produced a 5 to 10 Mb jpg, making the images more than managable for uploading to my site.

Size and weight wasn't an issue and after a 3 hour session in the studio I hadn't noticed any difference other than when picking up another photographers D3 and it feeling a bit small and toy-like.

If I've got a style it has to be What You See is What You Get with preference for bright, vibrant and contrasting colours and in the past I used to do a fair bit of post to make the image look like what I was seeing in real life - not so with the 645D, it's making me go back to the basics and all I'm doing now is minor dodging and burning and basic healing/cloning of stray hairs or fluff/dust/marks on clothing or the background.

I have been bemoaning the lack of tethering, but really didn't miss or want it during this shoot. The screen on the 645D is good enough to give you a good idea of what the images are looking like, it's easy to zoom in/out to pixel peep and I reckon tethering would just slow me down. After each change of lighting I'd chimp/check the first 2 or 3 shots and then go from there only checking the camera every now and then to ensure I hadn't bumped a switch/dial and inadvertantly changed settings.

Setting sdid vary, but in general they were:
Auto WB
Manual and set to between F5.6 and F9 and around 1/125th
Centre focus or selective focus
Shot in the .dng raw format

Pics attached were opened in ACR, lens correction selected and set to auto using the default for the 2.8/55mm lens - then into CS5 for minor dodging/burning and spot removal. Saved as 60 x 45 cm tifs on my pc, saved as the highest quality jpg and uploaded to my site, my site re-sizes automatically to various sizes and the images below are the re-sized jpg versions. The full sized tifs are incredible (if I do say so myself) and I can't wait to print a few out.

All in all - I loved it and I'm very happy with the images we got from the day. I know I've got a way to go learning the camera and re-adjusting my style to get the most from it and am looking forward to that immensely.

Attached Images
         

Last edited by Warped; 01-02-2011 at 07:45 AM.
01-02-2011, 02:12 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing the experience and the gorgeous photos.
Do you feel limited by the x-sync?
01-02-2011, 02:19 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
Thanks for sharing the experience and the gorgeous photos.
Do you feel limited by the x-sync?
I just used the normal flash setting and since I was at 1/125th or slower, the sync speed made no difference to the way I shoot.
01-02-2011, 02:26 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Warped Quote
The screen on the 645D is good enough to give you a good idea of what the images are looking like, it's easy to zoom in/out to pixel peep and I reckon tethering would just slow me down.
Any serious MF cam has tethering. And sorry you can't serious check the sharpness of a picture with the screen only... picture in this size shown here looks always sharp and good... not only from an MF cam... but maybe not if you want to make larger prints...
Look serious a the fourth picture here... where exactly is the sharpness....?!

01-02-2011, 02:29 AM   #5
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nice write up of your outing with the 645d

I doubt these Jpegs are a shadow of the originals...be great to see them in Raw
01-02-2011, 02:36 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by gigapix Quote
Any serious MF cam has tethering. And sorry you can't serious check the sharpness of a picture with the screen only...
So you're saying the 645D isn't a serious MF camera then?

If that's the case I STRONGLY disagree. I've shot with a Mamiya/Phase One combo and a H4D-40 and would take the 645D over either of those combos any day!

How many MF and large format film camera's are tethered????
Tethering does nothing for the image itself, it's purely a tool for after the image has been shot.

You get a very good idea from the rear screen whether you've missed the focus or not, not as good as a large screen, but good enough to know if there's an issue or not. I don't chimp/check every shot so it's only the first image or two that get checked anyway.
That said, the screen is VERY good, much better than the poor excuse of a screen that goes into the Hasselblad systems (good camera, amazing glass - why did they use such a crappy screen?). Full length body shots and zooming into to see if individual eyelashes are sharp is possible and more than enough to give me the initial confidence all is good when starting a shoot.
01-02-2011, 03:13 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Warped Quote
How many MF and large format film camera's are tethered????
All actual MF cam (Hasselblad, PhaseOne, Mamya, Leaf, Leica) have tehtering except Pentax 645D... strange isn't it?

QuoteOriginally posted by Warped Quote
Tethering does nothing for the image itself, it's purely a tool for after the image has been shot.
The screen doen't it either.. but if you tether you can much more precisely check the picture made...
01-02-2011, 03:50 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gigapix Quote
All actual MF cam (Hasselblad, PhaseOne, Mamya, Leaf, Leica) have tehtering except Pentax 645D... strange isn't it?



The screen doen't it either.. but if you tether you can much more precisely check the picture made...
LOL - I think you missed my point there, with the key word being the one in bold
"How many MF and large format film camera's are tethered???? "

We all got by just fine with every film based Large and Medium format film camera before tethered digital cameras came along. Every one is different in the way they shoot and in my case I was wanting tethering, but after a few shoots I now couldn't care less.

As for the screen -this is a 100% crop from a full length shot, plus background/setting. Zooming in too that kind of detail on the 645D screen is easy and quick and will do me just fine.

Flickr: Please wait...

If a photographer chimps/checks every single shot or has an assisstant that can do that for them then I can see how not having tethering is a draw back. But I'm a single person shooter, no assisstant and I only check the first few shots for exposure, colour, sharpness then hardly ever look at the back.

Hopefully it'll all be a null and void thing to discuss in the near future anyway with the rumoured software/firmware patch and people working on making things work with lightroom.

01-02-2011, 07:42 AM   #9
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The reduced size JPGs just don't do it justice. Maybe actual pixel crops? or DNGs? or... I know, how about Latasha's phone number?


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01-02-2011, 07:44 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tim Wilson Quote
The reduced size JPGs just don't do it justice. Maybe actual pixel crops? or DNGs? or... I know, how about Latasha's phone number?


Tim Wilson
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I'm pretty sure it starts with a 555 ......

What's the best/easiest way to show a full sized tif or dng on here?
01-02-2011, 08:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Warped Quote
What's the best/easiest way to show a full sized tif or dng on here?
Put it on dropbox.com in the Public folder and post the link...
01-02-2011, 09:50 AM   #12
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Pentax will bring tethering to 645D

QuoteOriginally posted by gigapix Quote
All actual MF cam (Hasselblad, PhaseOne, Mamya, Leaf, Leica) have tehtering except Pentax 645D... strange isn't it?
.
645D : Products : PENTAX

"A remote-access application will soon to be added to this software, allowing you to control your PC from a distance using the 645D."
01-02-2011, 10:12 AM   #13
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Great pictures. Having no tethered shooting isn't that big a problem. If you know your lenses you can know where it's sharp and where it's not. Then there is composition and that is also to see on the screen. It's some time on the japanese site that it's coming, so we will see in near future.
01-02-2011, 10:42 AM   #14
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Very nice! No, wait - they all look like crap. You should get rid of that p.o.s. camera. Can I have it????
01-02-2011, 10:49 AM   #15
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I agree with warped in regards to the tethering issue and the reference to film photography. With large format you use a loupe on the ground glass. As for where the "sharp point" is on image #4, for sure it is not on the eyes. But on the other hand, since when is missed focus a rare thing when using AF?

Regarding gigapix contribution...I think I smell a troll. Four posts total with three of them on this thread and all of them baiting the OP? I would suggest that gigapix post his "real" MF image so that we can pick it apart and tell him how his money was severely mis-spent. Better yet, perhaps he/she can post a photo holding of him/her his/her "real" MF too. Gigapix...you do own a MF camera, don't you?



Steve
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