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06-04-2011, 11:37 AM   #1
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Another closeup

Here's another closeup, this one of a Barbados Anole photographed hiding out from a late morning shower near the town of Oistins. It was shot with available light under heavy overcast, aided only by a small pocket LED flash; so the light level was quite low. I used the full set of auto extension tubes with the FA* 300mm to fill the frame as much as possible from what felt like a comfortable working distance that wouldn't spook the lizard. This is a crop of about half the original frame, mostly trimming off the top & bottom.

Manual focus placed on the eye as good as I could get it. Tripod, of course, since the shutter speed was only 1/100s even at f/4 and ISO 1600. Noise and detail cleaned up using the Topaz Labs tools. I probably could have gotten somewhat crisper results with fill flash and a better shutter speed but I didn't bring the flash on the trip so available light was my only option. I'm happy enough how it turned out.

I was shooting from under the overhang of a building, but the rain was coming in on a bit of an angle. And I was close to the broad leaves of the plants, which were splashing water as they got hit with raindrops. That meant the camera was getting a bit wet, though the lens hood kept drops off the front element. The camera had no trouble at all with the moisture.

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06-04-2011, 11:41 AM   #2
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Awesome.
06-05-2011, 08:00 AM   #3
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Royce:

Very nice and the focus appears to be spot on. I like the shallow DOF combined with the very sharp eye/mouth. I've found the 2x magnifer helpful for MF, especially in low light; clearly you didn't need it here.
Did you acquire a 600mm for the 645D? I seem to remember a post. If so, how has the lens performed?I

Tom
06-05-2011, 08:40 AM   #4
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Thanks guys!

Tom, I haven't gotten anything longer than 300mm yet. Keeping my eyes open, but it hasn't been as big a priority for me yet as rounding out the wide angle to mid-telephoto range. I wasn't really planning on even 300mm originally, but I got a chance at a pristine FA* 300mm and couldn't resist it. And it does come in handy for tighter landscape compositions...

06-05-2011, 10:15 AM   #5
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Royce: You really nailed the focus. I really like the limited depth of field. Very Nice, Indeed. I just aquired the 300mm f4 A* EDIF lens and a brand new (new old stock with papers & box) 1.4X Extender. According to the paper work, this extender will work for a few lenses, but was built especially for the 300mm. I have not used it yet, as I have been travelling for 2 weeks, and just returned home.
Good luck
Dave in NJ
06-05-2011, 11:29 AM   #6
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Dave: Where did you find a new 1.4x? Let us know how it does with the 300mm.

Royce: I think I confused you with another Alberta photographer who claimed he had little money for food after buying the 600mm.

Tom
06-06-2011, 08:59 AM   #7
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Thanks Dave. I'm on the lookout for the 1.4X as well, and would be interested in hearing how yours works out.

Tom, even though I didn't acquire the 600mm, I already know that feeling...
06-08-2011, 06:16 AM   #8
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More close-ups: 120mm, allium after rain, focus stack, which I'm discovering does a less than perfect job (PS version).

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06-08-2011, 06:30 AM   #9
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Amazing explosion of detail! Very cool...

I've done some focus stacking, though typically not with subjects that visually complex. In my evaluation, Zerene Stacker Pro consistently produced the best results with the least manual effort...
06-08-2011, 06:48 AM   #10
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Thanks Royce. Since I switched from mostly film to mostly digital with the 645D, I'm behind in some of the techniques in which digital excels. I'll try your suggestion. I was a bit surprised that PS masked perfectly sharp portions to replace with OOF ones.
06-08-2011, 08:33 AM   #11
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For the most part, I've not been impressed with PS for these kinds of multi-frame blending techniques. I do a lot of HDR, stitching and DOF stacking, sometimes combining multiple techniques for a single finished image. I don't use PS for any of these 3 cases. Specialized apps are better in my experience... though PS remains my workhorse for general processing and finishing work.
06-09-2011, 08:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
Dave: Where did you find a new 1.4x? Let us know how it does with the 300mm.

Royce: I think I confused you with another Alberta photographer who claimed he had little money for food after buying the 600mm.

Tom
I did a Google search for Pentax 645 1.4X rear converter. Of all places, it took me to Amazon.com, that had it listed for $399.95 free shipping. It did not come directly from Amazon, but came from Idaho Camera. Amazon now does that (team with vendors). It is truly brand new.
I have not used it yet with the 300mm f4. The box and papers specifally call it "1.4X Rear Converter for 300mm f4 EDIF". Since it is a "dedicated" converter, I would guess the performance should be very good.
Good luck
Dave
06-09-2011, 10:32 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by gurtch Quote
I did a Google search for Pentax 645 1.4X rear converter. Of all places, it took me to Amazon.com, .....................................Dave
I never would have thought of Amazon!

QuoteOriginally posted by Royce Howland Quote
For the most part, I've not been impressed with PS for these kinds of multi-frame blending techniques. I do a lot of HDR, stitching and DOF stacking, sometimes combining multiple techniques for a single finished image. I don't use PS for any of these 3 cases. Specialized apps are better in my experience... though PS remains my workhorse for general processing and finishing work.
Royce, what programs do you prefer for stitching and HDR? I've tried Photomatix, which does a much better job than PS; however, I have had good results with stitching in PS.
06-09-2011, 08:03 PM   #14
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My go-to software for stitching is Autopano Pro.

For HDR, Photomatix has long been a workhorse for me too. But HDR is such a key part of my workflow that I experiment with most of the HDR tools I come across. I've been having fun with Oloneo PhotoEngine the past few months, as a fast & easy tool that offers some good toning controls. Going in the totally opposite direction, I also use Magic Bullet Photolooks from Red Giant for situations where I need a lot of manual control. I use it as a plugin within Photoshop with the whole range of 32-bit layers, masks, smart objects, etc.
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