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02-21-2009, 04:47 PM   #1
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lone Pentaxian at a Canon meetup

Thought I'd write up a few comments on my experience at a local photography meetup/workshop with mostly Canon folks. I wrote some of it up in my previous post about the 77Ltd's flare:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/51286-better-7...ens-flare.html

Most of the folks didn't bring expensive setups...instead running XTi or XSi bodies with their "nifty fifty" (50/1.8) or a Tamron 28-75/2.8 or even the kit lens. Some brought along 70-200/2.8 lenses on a 40D body (that has the lousiest LCD screen I've ever seen, but that's expected w/ the age) and a few had 50D's with one 5D. One guy brought a blazing fast 1DmkIII (and it truly is blazing machine gun fast and bloody heavy). There were also a few Nikon users there running a D80 and D700 (24-70 on the D700 and amusingly it looked like the biggest camera there unless you compared it w/ a Canon 70-200). Amusingly, they ragged on the Nikon guys a bit, but were curious about the K20D since they had never seen one The Nikon D700 owner mentioned he thought about the K20D but wanted a bigger selection of lenses. The Canon folks liked the build quality of the K20D. I really wish Pentax would get the K200D/K20D into stores so people can feel it The instructor told everyone just about any DSLR nowadays takes great pictures so brand doesn't matter and we should just focus on getting good photos.

This was my first real run w/ the K20D and it acquitted itself well except for one low light focus situaton (low light = modeling light turned down so maybe a 15watt bulb with a similar hair light) w/ the Sigma 17-70 where the Sigma hunted too much; this was in the setup w/ the ladder image below. A Canon user w/ their kit lens didn't have any issues (though I haven't seen their photos to see whether theirs were in focus or not) nor did a 5D user (tried it for a little while and the focus is blazing fast w/ their 24-70L lens). I had run half the session w/ the Sigma 17-70 (didn't see a point in switching since most setups w/ the big strobes were exposed at f/8 ISO100), but after the hunting, I switched to the 77Ltd for the rest of the day.

The 77Ltd is a bit too long for full body shots unfortunately. I ended up halfway across the room trying to get everyone in the image, so I probably should have switched back to the 50/1.4. There weren't enough wireless triggers to go around so I shot quite a few at 1/15s at ISO800 which is something I wouldn't have been able to do w/ the K10D because it's too grainy at ISO800...photos came out roughly 1:3 sharp enough, so I was pushing it a bit too hard. A few favorites were shot at 1/15s using only the modeling lights and late day sunlight. The 77Ltd only hunted once when I aimed it at one of the models' black shirt, so a fast lens makes a huge difference.

No hint of hot pixels, though a few pics showed a reflection off a necklace bead that looked like one. The battery didn't even come close to running down and the K20D feels as familiar as my K10D.
I made lots of mistakes but learned a lot from this first studio lights experience...didn't get close enough, forgot to use my whibal, forgot to shut the body off before switching lenses, didn't look at enough example poses before the shoot, etc. I think I have to look for a good mid zoom (Tamron 28-75 roulette or hope the Sigma 24-70 HSM comes down in price) before the next meetup.

I've attached a few PP'd (skin cleanup, cloned out parts of the background, etc) images below.

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02-21-2009, 05:39 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're learning a lot and having a good time... super! And getting some decent practice images as well.

QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
The instructor told everyone just about any DSLR nowadays takes great pictures so brand doesn't matter and we should just focus on getting good photos.
Good on him/her!

QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
The 77Ltd is a bit too long for full body shots unfortunately. I ended up halfway across the room trying to get everyone in the image, so I probably should have switched back to the 50/1.4.
Yeah.

QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
I think I have to look for a good mid zoom (Tamron 28-75 roulette or hope the Sigma 24-70 HSM comes down in price) before the next meetup.
Or work more with the 50mm you have? Unless you think that is still too long.
02-21-2009, 06:34 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Or work more with the 50mm you have? Unless you think that is still too long.
That probably is a good idea as well. A few of the Canon folks used their 50/1.8 so it probably would have been fine...
02-21-2009, 09:06 PM   #4
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what about manual focus w/ a split prism focus screen? not like your models are moving around a lot anyway...

nice that they got some pretty models too

02-21-2009, 09:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
what about manual focus w/ a split prism focus screen? not like your models are moving around a lot anyway...
yes they move around quite a bit and change poses...enough so running 1/15s was slow enough to see motion blur from their movements, especially running shallow DOF...
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