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Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 03-26-2020, 03:23 PM  
GODOX AD300 PRO Announced
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 8
Views: 3,692

Official specs here
Lencarta have it on preorder here. £464.99. A bit expensive, isn't it ? I bought my nice AD400 for less than that.
But I recognise that it looks interesting.

Quarantined in Spain.
I hope you are all well.

Forum: Lens Clubs 11-20-2019, 10:38 AM  
*Macro* lens club
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 3,743
Views: 500,992
Ok, I want to play :). I took this pics time ago, experimenting with a poor man's macro lens (reversed lens). I never had a real macro lens.


2. Parking in front of a Mall ?

Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-15-2020, 03:33 PM  
Revisiting old photography books.
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 1
Views: 494
Hello, it's me, again :lol:.
I was bored so I liked to share some of my boring speech and a couple of pics. Thanks for your patience.

I'm lately following the Adorama OnSet series, as well as the LitUp series with Joel Grimes. There is a lot of information and ideas there. I confess that I bought some things after seeing several chapters, for example a strip light or an umbrella cover. I bought the last one for less than 20€, and it was a superb purchase. I have a semi-parabolic umbrella that bought maybe 9 years ago, but I didn't use a lot, it took me time to learch how to use it. I noticed that Joel used a lot of such big umbrellas with a diffusion cover, so I bought one for my 1m parabolic umbrella. It was amazing, I converted my umbrella into a medium softbox, it gives now a great and soft light, and it's very efficient, more efficient than any other softbox I have, really great guys.

So, about the 'revisiting' thing. I have a book of Monte Zucker, that's about doing portraits 'Monte style'. There is a chapter about lighting, but he barely explains how he does the setups exactly, you can see only some tiny BTS photos. But he talks about a two (and three) light system that he uses a lot and that gives a light he liked. When I bought the book several years ago I really didn't know a lot about lighting (well, it's not very different now :lol:), but I was re-reading the same chapter some days ago and tried to understand the two lights setup. As I understand, he uses a light from the side, another angled 45º on the same side, and a reflector on the other side. He doesn't explain why two lights on the same side and how to put it exactly or what relative power settings to use.

My interpretation is that the side light it's not just a hair light, he uses the two light to do some wrapping to the subjet, and the two lights are not too different in intensity, so they seem a single ligth source, with some variation in intensity. This connects with some concept I saw on the videos of Joel grimes, when he uses a big long source that is more intense near the subject and less intense away from the subject. It not only creates a soft light, with soft shadows, but also the light side have some kind of gradient.

So, this is what I finally made:

I set a light on the side illuminating the hair and part of the face; I used a strip light because... I had one. The second light was my new poor's man round softbox (well, maybe has more sense to not mix round and square lights). The first light is +0.5 EV stronger than the second. I measured the exposure on the middle of the face, so my idea was to create a light more intense on the right side of the face and then started to decrease, then you had the shadows, etc. You can see my black background and the Godox V1 giving a touch of color. No fill light.

The results with two very handsome babies :)

Regardless if this is Monte style or not, I liked the results, so I'm going to work with this lighting setup. The side light really added to the pic (I don't have any photo without the side light, sorry). I'm just imitating what others have done before, but I learn a lot and it's a good way to improve. Maybe in a few years, I will be able to create my own lighting.

I hope you like it, regards.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 03-04-2020, 03:03 PM  
Mostly using film era lenses: Which kind of flash would be better?
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 26
Views: 1,007
Out of curiosity, where do you get support? Obviously not directly from Godox. What kind of support are you getting?

---------- Post added 04-03-20 at 11:07 PM ----------

Giving good advice is difficult, but I'll try...

IMHO portrait photography needs some 'components' to make it work with some level of success:

* equipment knowledge. This means that you know perfectly how to manage your camera and flash, so you don't need to spend time thinking about what's the dial that changes apperture or white balance, flash power level, how to communicate with your remote flashes, and so.
* lighting. I'm talking about general knowledge about lighting. I mean, light have colour, intensity and direction, can be soft or hard, can be directional or not, can be polarized or not, etc. You need to have a good knowledge about this, so when you enter a place, you recognise the kind of light you have here, and you know if you can use it, improve it or avoid it.
* lighting for portraits. Good/bad portraits... many times are subjective. But there are some basic/classic lighting patterns for faces that is good to know, at least at the beggining. Not every light just work for portraits.
* posing. As with lighthing, you can start by learning some basic guidelines for posing. There is a lot of info about what are the classic posing for faces: profiles, 2/3 views, this kind of things. Again, this is subjetive and you can love or hate the classic poses, but I think it's good for starting.

So I think that, if you are serious about portrait lighting, you should draw a leaning plan, that included all the above points. It can take years, so be patient, study and practice, one thing at a time. When you push the shutter, think that you need to master your equipment, lighting and model posing.

Suprisingly I noticed that, when I know my equipment, master some light pattern and pose my model, the results usually are better compared to just blasting the on-camera flash to the subject face by surprise (irony mode ON).

After so much theory, I can perhaps suggest something more practical.

About the flash/equipment. I think you can start spending the minimum. You asked for a flash less than 100$. I can repeat the same others have suggested:
* two basic flashes that can be controlled remotely, for main and fill light, plus a basic trigger. You can learn with just one flash and a basic reflector, but maybe it's better to have two. A good basic manual flash can be the Godox TT600, I think it costs just 60 bucks, you can put on your camera and it's also a flash that can be controlled remotely. There are a lot of options here, but if you plan to be professional, sooner or later you will need to get into a flash system, sure you'll need a more powerful flash. At this moment, Godox is maybe the most recommendable option (price/features). You can start with something cheap but grow later. Just my opinion. I can suggest also to buy a basic modifier, maybe a translucent umbrella or a cheap softbox.

Learning about light. The best book I have read about it, it's "Light, science and magic". It's a book about light, not just natural or flash or portrait or tabletop light, just solid knowledge about light in photography.

Portrait lighting. There is a lot of info here, but I can recommend what I found useful for me when I started to learn, 10 years ago:
* Jay Zuga’s Lighting Guide, you can find it easily on internet. It's basic but it covers the basic patterns for portrait. I can't tell you if it's the better guide about this, but I remember this guide with love. It was one of the first articles I read about light patterns for portraits.
* strobist lighting 101. Guide extracted from strobist site. Finding the strobist site encouraged me to learn how to handle off-camera flashes, mix ambient light and flash, etc. A lot of knowledge and ideas there, great for learning. Great guy, David Hobby.
* Neil Tangens site. A very popular site where you can learn a lot about portrait lighting with just on camera flash and the famous BTF (Black Foamy Thing). There is a book just for on-camera flash, but you can find all the articles for free on the site. Of course, there is also a lot of articles for off-camera flash.
* Joe Brady. This guy have several videos about mixing ambient and flash light using Sekonic meters. It helped me a lot.

Posing. I'm still learnig, reading, practicing, visiting a lot of different sites... I'm afraid I'm too newbie to give some advice here. I love classics, so I learn from guys like Monte Zucker, Tim Kelly or Joe Zeltsman. Some can consider this outdated, but hey... I live in a country of free man (for the moment...)

You can watch Adorama OnSet series and learn a lot about how to put everything to work: equipment, lighting and posing. But, learn one thing at a time, practice, improve then look for something more advanced. Seriously, the problem is that sometimes there is too much info that you are overwhelmed.

Good luck!
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 03-04-2020, 09:04 AM  
Mostly using film era lenses: Which kind of flash would be better?
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 26
Views: 1,007
I can see that you are a fervent Godox convert now :D
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 01-08-2020, 10:03 AM  
Switching from Lightroom... but where to? (CaptureOne or DxO Photolab?)
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 77
Views: 4,455
Affinity Photo is a really good piece of editing software. It's so good that I usually follow PS tutorials with it. It has limited PSD support. I have Photo, Designer and Publisher, all the pack :D.

I use C1 with Photo similar as you use LR + PS, and it integrates quite good in this way:

* When I want to finish a pic, choose 'Edit with' from C1, select Photo and use TIFF as the export format (plus color space, 8/16 bit, etc.).
* I make my edits in Photo.
* Save the TIFF and choose 'export with layers', this way all the layers, setting, etc, I made with Photo are preserved.
* On C1 I see the edited and flattened TIFF, and I can add more editing if I want, for example some film style or so.
* If later I want to continue editing the original TIFF, I choose 'Open with' from C1, the TIFF is opened in Photo and everything I created previously with Photo is there.

I bought the Lutify LUT package that are compatible with C1 but also with any editor that supports LUTs (as Affinity Photo), so I can choose to apply a style in Photo or in C1. Lutify doesn't support C1 layers, but I can use layers in Photo to apply Lutify LUTs selectively, if needed.

Great combination, IMHO ;)
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-03-2020, 10:13 AM  
Unexpected assignment. Testing my last adquisitions.
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 4
Views: 657

Last weekend I had the opportunity to try the latest photography accessories I bought.
My wife is a beauty consultant of a line of cosmetics for women (you know, parfums, makeup, creams... such kind of things that I never use :p). Sometimes she organize meetings with small groups of women, she teaches how to self makeup, shows the products, etc. Ok, you get the idea.
So this weekend she had to give a class for just one customer. I made her a proposal: why not give a picture to your customer after the makeup, but a 'studio class' picture, not just the quick mobile phone one, just to show the before and after makeup. Sure she likes the idea, you can offer a plus on your class, and I can get experience with lighting setups, etc. Everybody wins.

She liked the idea ;)

My plan was a clamshell lighting setup (I think it's a good setup for middle aged women). I recently acquired some accessories so I decided to use for the ocassion:
* Collapsible white/black backdrop. I'm loving this backdrop, It's very easy to setup. You can light it with gels easily. I use almost always the black part, you get super rich colours, and you don't need a lot of power.
* Godox V1. Yes, I finally got the V1, so I used this flash just to project a circle of light on the backdrop. I used a green gel.
* 1m umbrella diffuser. I have a couple of parabolic umbrellas (1 & 1.5m) that I really don't use a lot, but a week ago I bought a cheap umbrella diffuser and wow, I converted my parabolic umbrella on a big round softbox, super cheap and portable. Great light.

So this was the setup:

AD400 with the parabolic umbrella, in from up and pointing down 45º or so
White/silver collapsible reflector to fill shadows.
Black background.
V1 with a gel, behind her, lighting the background.

While my wife were teaching I prepared the setup. I asked Karina to sit down and made the first series of pics. In general, it was a very positive experience. It's the first time I made this kind of portraits (headshots)... but I watched a lot of videos before :D. Seriously, I was studying the Daniel Norton Adorama onset series, a great source of information about lighting and posing for free. I had my idea about how to pose Karina, but It's not easy to give indications like "keep your spine straight, turn a bit to the right, tilt your head, smile a bit, etc". Maybe it's more important to build trust with the model than to set a precise lighting.

Ok, this is the pic I chose from the 1st series:

The green color is just the V1 with a cheap gel lighting a black background. Yes, there can be better choices for background color...

After the first series, I decided to change the look a bit, so I changed the backgroung for a lighter one.

Maybe you are thinking "ok, so you turned your backdrop and used the white side". No, I just removed the gel from the V1 and increased the power 3 stops or so, and I got a near white backdrop... using a black one. Super fast, it's not easy to move a 2 x 1.5m backdrop.
I used the reflector's silver side.

I made a very very light edition on PP. I wanted her to look good, but the idea was to show the real effects of creams and makeup.

I used my K3-II & 50-135mm, that I think it's perfect for headshots. I used the X2T-P as a controller, but after this experience, I prefer the XProP. It has more direct buttons, for example zoom and modeling light. I'll keep the X2T to experiment with Power Sync delay, and in case I need the upper hotshoe.

About the V1, my experience is great, it have some bugs (that Godox is not going to fix) but, as a remote controller, is the quickest and most comfortable that I have. I can say goodbye to my flash bracket for now.

Did she like the pics ? Yes, she liked. But she also was delighted with the idea of been photographed at home, and it was a nice experience for me.
Just wanted to share my experience. I have another 'assignment' soon.

Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-24-2020, 12:36 PM  
Help needed with dark background portraits using multiple Pentax wireless flash units
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 36
Views: 1,250
Agree here, wireless & manual is recommended. Radio triggers are better than optical triggering, long-term, IMHO. I remember that when I started using OCF I used optical triggering and faced similar problems with the main flash that I used to trigger remote flashes. When I finally started to use radio triggers everything improved.

Although the inverse square law can help to darken your background, you can need up to 5 stops of background underexposure to get something really black, and you'll need to put your flashes maybe too close to your subject, taking care of spilling, etc. So it's easier if you start with a black or grey background. I've using a heavy black velvet fabric as a backdrop, but I recently bought a collapsible black/white background from Lencarta. Not perfect but not too expensive. I'm not sure about the fabric material, but it has a feature that I love: you can light it easily with gels, without needing too much power. Adding a patch of color adds depth in my opinion. With a backdrop, you have the option to add it or not, easily.

I'm still learnig but I'm loving using color gels. A sample with black backdrop+color gel here ;).

Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 01-02-2020, 04:01 PM  
Switching from Lightroom... but where to? (CaptureOne or DxO Photolab?)
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 77
Views: 4,455
I'm not a pro, in the sense that I don't live from photography, but I attend some events during the year, and in such events I have to process 400+ pics, so I need to import, do basic cataloging or organization, basic editing, final editing, and exporting. I need good results in a week, but I can spend only 2-3 hours a day (maybe more if I decide not to sleep a lot). So I need a software that helps me to get good results spending as few time as possible.

I've been a LR user maybe... 8... 10 years? I never upgraded to LR5 or LR6, LR5 was slow for me, I just tested it to see the better clone/heal feature, but it was too slow. I bought LR6 but had to claim my money back, same problem, slower than my LR4.5 version. Maybe my PC is not up to the task (I have a quad core, not too old), but I didn't want to buy a new PC just to get a couple of extra features.
I tested several editors before finding the LR susbtitute.

On1: I bought the v9 (Perfect Picture Suite). I just used the Browser and the Effects module, also the export/resize feature 'linked' from LR, that crashed a lot of times and was slow, but got better exported pics compared to LR. I also tested ON1 Photo 10 (I have a free version), PhotoRaw 2018 & 2019. I really wanted this software to work for me but It was slow, RAW rendering were subpar, and other basic features were really too primitive for me, for example a good WB picker, histogram or level/curves editor. I know that several Pentax users are happy with this software, but this is just my experience. I use the browser and the effects module, that are free. RAW module doesn't work for me. I need a lot of time to get sub-par results.

DxO. I like the quality I get with this sw, but it's way slower that LR. I didn't tested a lot, I don't remember exactly how many versions I tested, I found few or no cataloging features and difficult/slower to work/edit in batches like LR. Maybe it's just not for me.

Alien exposure
. Currentversion is X5. This is a serious software for me, that have all the features LR has, and more; you get good results with Pentax cameras, it has layer support (superior to CO in my opinion), and it comes with a lot of 'styles' (that gives you film looks, B/W and so...). A good piece of software. Didn't get it finally, still a bit slow, and didn't get used to it, still not to comformable for me, but I keep an eye at it from time to time.

Capture One. I was testing this software from version 9. I finally bought version 12, used it on an event last year and I was really happy with it. CO gives me really good results just after importing a pic, I just add a few touches and I have a decent edition, ready to export and sell. I spent less time importing, organizing, editing and exporting (way faster compared to LR). Yes, it's not really similar to LR and you need time to learn it, but I got better resuls in less time compared to LR, I can't go back now. I still have LR4 for my family catalog (more than 10k pics) but I have now two CO catalogs for events and other 'pro' pics. Important advantages compared to LR (for me):

* RAW rendering: I have K5 and K3-II pics, K5 rendering is not so superior, but K3-II is really better (I use K3-II Huelight profiles in LR, default Adobe rendering for my K3-II in LR is really bad). My feeling is that in CO I have a good result just after importing, usually I just need to touch exposure a bit or touch the shadows and that's all. CO12 have some HDR controls with highlight & shadow recovery that are really great, but CO20 added white and black control and now are superb.
* faster batch operations: I find that importing and exporting are faster compared to LR. Exported files have better quality, also export is super easy with CO, and you can make different exports with the same pic, for example a TIFF exporting + JPEG 1400px side + ... This means that, if you need to work with a high volume of photographs, CO saves you time; at least, it saves me time.
* levels, curves and tone control: CO have a really great level and curves editor. Also it can read LAB values. For me it's very important to know the tones in a pic. For example, 'correct' light side of a face is in the range 65-75 in LAB, similar in %luminosity. With CO you can see visually where are your tones on the histogram, you just move the mouse over your pic and immediately see a line on the graph; also you can see the LAB values. Quickly you can see if shadows, lights, medium tones are correct. It helps me with final print. I know that tones under 5 will be just black on paper or tones above 96 will be pure white. LR have a tone tool that gives you %luminosity and can help you too, but CO is way superior and easier. This is a critical point for me.
* catalog/session/browser: CO can work in catalog mode, so you need to import pics similar to LR. Also you can work in session mode, just to develop a small set of pics from a session or event, but you can just use the browser and forget about importing anything; just put your pics in your disk and just navigate with the CO browser, you can do your editing, and CO creates a folder where editing values are stored. I miss this feature in LR, I have a folder on my disk that I call 'PendingEdit' that have dozens of subfolders with hundreds of pics waiting to import on a LR catalog. What I do now is to use the CO browser and edit my pics. When I have edited a good amount, I move the pics to a special folder called 'selecteds folder' (you can do it with a keystroke) and later I can import such folder on a catalog. Really you have several ways to handle with your pics in CO, with LR you always need to import first before editing.

I use CO with Affinity Photo if I need more sophisticated editing. I export a TIFF file from CO, edit in AfPhoto and export the TIFF with layers from Affinity. This way I can use all the features of Affinity, all the layers and settings are kept, and I can catalog and see final rendering of the TIFF file from CO.

As many other have said, it's difficult to say if a software is better or worse, it can fit your needs better or worse. Also, you need your time to learn how the new software works. At the beggining it was hard for me to use CO trying to emulate LR, they are different products, different ways of doing things. Now that I'm used to work with CO, I don't miss LR.

Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-12-2020, 02:17 AM  
AF Assist/Modelling Light Strategy
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 42
Views: 1,592
Where is that option? I know that the AD400 can do it, that is, disable the modeling light when you shoot, but it's a more advanced flash, etc. Didn't know about this option on the V1.

---------- Post added 12-02-20 at 10:21 AM ----------

I found it!, It was a bit hidden... great.
Forum: Lens Clubs 10-24-2019, 02:54 PM  
85mm f2 or faster Lens Club
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 187
Views: 25,863
Samyang 85mm f/2
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-19-2020, 12:07 PM  
Godox system with Manual Focus Only Glass
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 20
Views: 1,132
I saw this transceiver time ago, and I found it interesting, but Adorama have very expensive shipping costs (50$ to Spain), by the moment.
Anyway, if Bruce find that a new single pin trigger is a more suitable solution, the XT16 can be an alternative. It's super cheap and sure you can find one without expensive shipping costs. Compared to the Adorama one, you get a very basic control group, but it will fire your AD200 regardless the lens. Another option is the XT32C (canon version), again maybe cheaper and more accesible than the Adorama's transceiver. The XT32C have a good group control, I still keep it as a backup trigger, and is quite nice.

A maybe ignored advantage of a no-Pentax dedicated Godox trigger is the 'support' for high-speed shooting. With the XproP, you get a slow firing rate (maybe 2 frames/sec ?). With a single pin (or Canon version) Godox trigger you'll get full firing rate, 8 frames/sec or whatever your camera had.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-17-2020, 06:28 AM  
Stacking CactusV6 and a Godox Trigger
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 8
Views: 534

I don't have Cactus flashes but this is what I have tested.

* Cactus V6 on camera, TTL-pass mode
* XproP Godox stacket on top
* AD200 as a remote Godox flash
* no Cactus remote flash

Just after switching on everything I can see a camera symbol on the Godox trigger, that is a good signal, so it recognizes a Pentax Camera connected.
I set the remote Godox flash in M mode. Triggering works, so the Godox flash is fired. I can see the Cactus trigger's led with a green light, so it seems that is able to trigger something.
I set the Godox flash in TTL mode. Surprisingly the Godox flash fires in TTL mode and exposes correctly. Also the Cactus trigger's flash led is green.

I can't confirm 100%, but I think that this combination will allow you to control Godox and Cactus flashes, plus TTL for Godox flashes. I can't check more cases.
I said 'surprisingly' that TTL worked stacking Cactus+Godox, because I remember to try similar sets using the Cactus V6II and TTL didn't work using TTL-pass.

V6 firmware is V2.1.001.

Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-16-2020, 02:39 AM  
Godox system with Manual Focus Only Glass
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 20
Views: 1,132
Hello Bruce.

I think your case was discussed maybe a couple of months ago. When you have a Pentax compatible Godox trigger and no-A lens, you have no way to trigger your remote flash.
I can suggest some solutions (but forget on most cases about HSS, and of course PTTL):

1. Use a manual Godox trigger, like the XT32
2. Use a Canon (or other no-Pentax) trigger like XT32C, XProC etc. I have a bunch of Godox triggers, so it's easy in my case :D. This is similiar to 1.
3. Cut a piece of paper or plastic, so you can put it on the camera's shoe and try to isolate all but the central pin. A bit cumbersome, but will work, your trigger will fire.
4. Use a cold hotshoe and a sync cable. Put the cold hotshoe on your camera, Godox trigger on cold hotshoe, and sync cable from camera's sync port to Godox trigger sync port. Your trigger will be fired using you camera's sync port signal.
5. Use the old stacking method, stack your Godox trigger on top of your Cactus trigger. You Cactus trigger works with no-A lenses, just put you Godox trigger on the upper hot shoe. This solution depends on your Cactus firmware, but I think most of Cactus firmware pass the trigger signal to the upper hotshoe. In some cases, you can get HSS too.

On some Godox triggers, like the X1T (I think, not sure) you can set a mode to just use the central pin, so other pins are disabled. With this mode you can 'downgrade' your trigger to be a manual one. But the XT2 or XPro doesn't have such mode.

Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-16-2020, 01:29 PM  
Godox system with Manual Focus Only Glass
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 20
Views: 1,132
hot-shoe pass.through should work too. I have checked the five methods so I can confirm that all work.

When I attend an event, I usually have my PTTL flash on camera's hot shoe, so to use the main flash AND control other remote Godox flashes, I put my Godox trigger on a small bracket and use a cable to connect the trigger to my camera's sync port. I have two similar cables to connect my trigger to my camera: PC Sync to 2.5mm and PC Sync to 3.5mm. This is because I have different Godox triggers with different input ports.
But I can confirm that using the PC sync signal works perfectly. I have been using this aproach for years. Of course no HSS or PTTL using the sync port.

This year, I plan to buy the Godox V1, that is also a flash controller, so I'll not need the trigger, bracket and cable (I hope).

EDIT: this is a pic of how the thing looks like (two approaches).

Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-11-2020, 10:56 AM  
Neewer Ad200 and P-TTL?
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 26
Views: 923
So the bulb was defective? What annoyance! It's good that you ordered a new one and everything is working now.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-11-2020, 01:20 PM  
Sekonic L478D have I got it right?
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 12
Views: 571
Hello Mike.

I have the Sekonik L-358, that is the previous generation, so I don't know if what I'm going to tell you will help you or not.
I have the option to calibrate my photometer, if needed. I've using my photometer during years so I have a bit of experience, but it doesn't mean that I am any expert.

The calibration of my photometer is way simpler compared to the DTS system. I just can set a kind of exposure compensation. At present I have my photometer set at -0.3EV, so this value have to fit all the cameras I have.
But why do you need to calibrate a photometer? As I understand, a photometer is factory calibrated. The problem is that your camera sure is not telling all the truth when you set the ISO. As far as I know, the K3-II's ISO is around 0.3EV below real ISO, but really not sure 100%. This is why my photometer is set to -0.3EV, to match my camera real ISO. I don't know in deep the DTS, but I think this is a kind of profile to make adjustements on your photometer's measures to match your camera.
As an example, let's suppose I have my K3-II and I make a measure with my photometer at ISO 100, let's suppose I get 1/100 & f4.0 on my photometer. But, as my camera ISO is fake, when I set ISO 100 on my camera, the real sensor ISO is 80, so I should set my camera at 1/100 & f3.5 instead of 1/100 and f4.0.
But this is more complicated than that, maybe my camera's ISO 200 is accurate, ISO 400 is not, etc. So this is what I understand DTS profiles correct. Every camera have some inaccuracies regarding ISO, that are fixed with a profile, but I think they should be small.
In my case, I don't have profiles, just a global adjustment. By experience I have found that setting -0.3EV adjustment on my photometer gives me accurate exposures, notice that this is not a really huge deviation.

How do I do such adjustments/calibration ? I have a SpyderCube, that I found very useful to get correct WB but also to get medium tones, shadow, highlights, etc. So I prepare a lighting, take a measure and take a pic of my spidercube, and see if the grey part of the spider cube is about in the half of the histogram, just that.

Notice that also your lens is not telling you the truth, photo lenses lose a bit of light. A 2.8 lens can be actually f3.2 or so. I think only cinema lenses gives you the real f. In my case, I have a K5 + DA 50-135 and K3-II + sigma 17-50 combinations. If I get a picture at the same ISO, speed and F settings, pictures are slightly differents in exposure/tone. Also, you shoud consider your RAW converter, that can be using a curse when it sets the tone of your picture.

Can I use the photometer without any calibration? I think you can, sure you get a small deviation, but this deviation will be always constant, that is, you'll notice always a bit of underexposure or overexposure. If it's the case, then you can think about calibrating it... or just forget about it and correct it in post. I made a calibration maybe once a year or once every two years, just to be sure everything is OK.

Maybe some other users can share it's experience with photometer's use and calibration.


---------- Post added 11-01-20 at 09:26 PM ----------

I learned a lot with this guy about measuring with photometers, mixing ambient and flash light, etc.
He also looks like a nice person.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-07-2020, 03:33 PM  
Neewer Ad200 and P-TTL?
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 26
Views: 923
You could still fill a softbox with the fresnel head, but you'd need to put a (translucent) cup or similar on the fresnel head to spread light inside the softbox, avoiding a hot stop. The fresnel is just 35mm wide (fixed), not too usable 'nude', in my opinion, but it's better than nothing.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 01-09-2020, 06:42 PM  
Switching from Lightroom... but where to? (CaptureOne or DxO Photolab?)
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 77
Views: 4,455
I'm a loyal Pentax user :D. I have a K5 and K3-II (I still keep my dear K10D and my faulty *ist Ds).
K3-II is my most used camera. I don't see a great difference with K5 pictures, but I saw a noticeable diffence regarding the K3-II. An added problem is that my LR4.4 doesn't support K3-II PEF files, so I have to convert to DNG and use the embedded camera profile. I bought Huelight profiles for K3-II and things improved, but still I prefer to develop RAW files with C1. I can't explain exactly why I like more images developed in C1, I can say that they look more 'film like' or 'more natural' or just 'more pleasing', but maybe the it's more correct to say that they seem 'less digital' to me.

Regarding DNG files, C1 handles it correctly and I found no differences when I've been comparing a PEF file against the same file converted to DNG. Just the WB scale is different (maybe a bug?). CO 2020 has improved DNG support, but I don't know exactly what has been improved.

LR has a better support by far regarding lenses, you have profiles to fix distorsion & vigneting with one click. In C1 you have just a small bunch of Pentax lenses supported, but you can fix chromatic aberration and fringing with good results for any lens. Of course you can correct vigneting or distorsion manually or using the profile of a similar lens. In my case, I use lenses with marginal distorsion and I really don't worry about correcting it. I understand that it's important when you use maybe wide lenses but this point is less important for me now than three/four years ago.

C1 doens't support LUTs, but you have really great styles coming from or 1styles. After applied, you have plenty of freedom to adjust tone, apply in layers or event add more color grading. I have started to use/play with styles and LUTs this year, and I'm loving it.

What is more valuable in C1 for me, is that I get pleasing results with less work, I just browse or import a RAW picture and it just looks good to me, before starting to touch anything. For some reason, In LR I need to make more adjustments to get a picture to my taste. This means I need less time to develop in C1 compared to LR. Multiply this time x 100, that is the average of pics that I finally edit in my events (well, it's less than that, as you can edit similar pics at the same time). Also I find exporting faster and easier in C1; this is a part that tooks me hours in LR. If I have several Albums in LR, and I want to export every Album in a different folder, in LR I need to export Album by Album and select a destination folder (maybe this have improved in modern verions). In C1, I can make such export task with just one action, and go to sleep. Again, C1 saves me time.

Other feature that I love, are the live histograms (main, levels and curves). When the cursor is above any part of the image, you can see a vertical bar that shows the luminosity value on the histogram (all the histograms at the same time), so you can evaluate quickly if the tone in an area is too high, too low or correct. LR have a tone tool that can show you luminosity values (HSL) but it's not as good as C1.

Also C1 can show such exacts values in LAB, not just RGB values, so I know the exact luminosity value of any area in an image. For me this is really valuable, because it helps me to check that my skin tones are 'safe', that I don't have important areas in shadow with too dark values, or that white areas have a good white value. This is important because I print my images for selling, and I know if important areas have correct values when I need to send a picture to my lab. For example, L=65 is a correct general value for a 'white' skin on the light side of the face, but I can raise the value to L=75 if I want the skin to be brighter, and still get a good print, L>80 is maybe too bright. L<5 means that this area will be black in print, without detail. L>96 means near pure white without detail. L=92 for a white dress means that it will look a bit grayish, etc. Yes I could look at my monitor but you can set incorrect tones just depending on the monitor bright level, if you edit during the day or with artifical light, etc. C1 helps me to check quickly the real luminosity values and be confident that they are correct, regarless if they look bright or dark on my monitor, is day or night, or my eyes are tired or not.

Finally, the 'normalize' feature is really useful. It's a kind of advanced white balance: you take a measure on an area of a person's skin on a picture, then you select a destination picture, click on the same skin area and 'voilà', the destination picture changes it's WB, so the skin have the same colour and tone than the origin. It does not work in 100% of the situations, but most of the time it can help me to get a correct WB in difficult pictures, and also I get a uniform look along a set of pictures that they were taken in different lighting conditions (indoors, outdoors, etc).
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 01-09-2020, 05:47 AM  
Switching from Lightroom... but where to? (CaptureOne or DxO Photolab?)
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 77
Views: 4,455
I didn't upgrate to LR6 and I still have LR4.4, so maybe I'm not doing a fair comparison (LR4.4 vs C1 2019), but I think that LR6 is still using the same process version (2012) than LR4.

I don't use brushes intensively. I use Photo when I need to:
* make a lot of clonning / healing
* remove a lot of unwanted or complicated objects
* fix burned areas
* fix shinny skin
* soften skin and remove imperfections
* work with layers
* etc

C1 or LR can do some of the above but they have its limits. Photo brush engine is still a bit slow compared to other software, but this problem is more related to complex brushes that have bitmaps and so. If I compare Photo brush engine against Krita or ClipStudioPaint, well, I think Krita and CSP are way better. But the most common brushes I use in Photo are the classic round ones, that work more or less fine.

Photo can't edit a bunch of files at a time, but it's not designed to do that, this is what LR or C1 are supposed to do, isn't it ;) ? About editing events, with hundreds of pics, my experience with C1 is better compared to LR: I spend less time editing and my results are more pleasing to me. I don't miss the LR auto-sync feature, C1 have similar tools to edit several pics at a time and sync settings.

I tried LR5 when it came out, I planed to get it just to have a better clone brush (and avoid using a external program just for cloning), but it was too slow on my PC, found no other advantages so I discarded it. Some time later I bought LR6. Yes LR6 have panorama stitching capabilities and HDR tools but still the same problems for me: slower than LR4, no good profiles for my cameras, slow cloning brush (on my PC). I returned LR after 30 days, and they accepted my claims about the slowness of the new version. I didn't want to buy a new PC just to make LR6 work.

Affinity Photo is a recent software so we can't expect to have all the features of PS, but it has all the features I need and more. I think that Affinity team is doing a great effort upgrading the software and improving performance. I started in version 1.4 and they have released 1.5, 1.6 & 1.7 releases, that are 'minor' releases but that added a lot of new features and improvements. I have seen other software companies releasing 'major' versions with way less new features, and asking for more money for the new version. Let's wait for version 2, to make a new comparison against PS.

I have been just a casual PS user. When I needed to edit outside LR, I mostly used some freeware editors like GIMP, or software like On1 Effects. Then I discovered Photo. But I think that when I was using LR I did what most users did, do cataloging and most of the editing in LR, and then switch to a external editor to make more sophisticated editing. I do the same after I switched to C1, but maybe I'm missing something related to LR-PS integration.

To look for specific features can be of course a factor to decide what software is more suitable for you. LR have HDR and panorama stitching, which can be very convenient. But a user that makes just casual HDR or panorama stitching can live using other solutions. Affinity Photo have HDR and panorama sititching too, but I don't know if it's better or worse than LR or Photomerge options. C1 2020 have a really great HDR module, but again, can or can't be good enough for other users. It seems very good to me.

I mostly make portraits, and the main reason to stop using LR and use C1 instead was the rendering. I found C1 skin tone rendering more pleasant to my eyes. I was comparing a lot of pictures that I edited in LR against C1, and I found that I liked C1 version most of the time. Also I needed less work to get a finished picture. C1 work better with the cameras I use, or maybe with my photographing style, or the marketing is better, or maybe I just like it without having any logical reason :D.

I have nothing against LR, in fact, after C1 I consider LR the best non-destructive photo editor. EDIT: RAW photo editor.

At the end of the day, you use the software that best fits your needs and with which you feel comfortable.

Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-07-2020, 02:25 PM  
Neewer Ad200 and P-TTL?
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 26
Views: 923
It's strange, the bulb should work from 1/128 up to 1/1 power. I think It's not possible to mount the bulb incorrectly, because it has pins with different thickness, but maybe you didn't push the bulb enough into the bulb head. I think you need to apply a little force first time, but not a lot really. I suppose you checked yet, but verify that the red dot on the base of the bulb match with the dot on the bulb head. I don't know what can be the cause that prevents the bulb from working.

Maybe the new S-type mount? Well done!
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-07-2020, 02:04 PM  
Neewer Ad200 and P-TTL?
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 26
Views: 923
Hello Gareth. This trigger willl work with your Pentax camera and your AD200. You will have HSS & PTTL too, if needed. I have exactly the same trigger (and many others :D ).
In my experience, with PTTL, I need to add +0.3EV. If I use HSS, then the adjustment is -0.7EV.

As you need to control only one flash, you can set the display in zoom mode, pressing the button with the +/TCM symbol. In this mode, you can control just one flash at a time but you'll see bigger characters and will control your flash quicker, needing less pressing of buttons, etc.

Don't hesitate to ask if you have problems with initial configuration, you still have some days before your booking.

Regards and good luck!

Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-03-2020, 07:13 PM  
Neewer Ad200 and P-TTL?
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 26
Views: 923
Ok, I did it. I compared AD-B2 vs S17 dish. In both cases I used my round softbox, I put the softbox on the same position on both tests and took several measurements with a photometer, that I put on the same place also on both tests. I have only one AD200 so I first prepared the AD200 with S-type bracket & S17 plate, took some measures and then mounted the same softbox on the AD-B2. Softbox position & angle could be marginaly different between tests, but I tried to put everything on the exact position between tests. My results showed that the S17 dish was 0.1-0.2 EV more efficient compared to the AD-B2, when you fill a round softbox.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-03-2020, 12:08 PM  
Neewer Ad200 and P-TTL?
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 26
Views: 923
AD400Pro vs 2 x AD200 + AD-B2. This is a really interesting topic, that have been discused some times on the forums. Some time ago, when I had only the AD200, I was dediding a new upgrade route: what to do ? buy another AD200 + AD-B2 or the AD400Pro, maybe selling some of my older flashes, like the AD360 to finance the purchase? Usual AD400Pro price is more than double the AD200. I decided to go the 2 x AD200 route, so I bought first the AD-B2 and was happy with it, having just one AD200. AD-B2 is a more or less a good Bowens mount, and also had a led light, which was new for me. To buy another AD200 seems a logic upgrade if you own a AD200 yet, isn't it? Add another AD200 to your set and you'll have all the advantages.

But then I saw a great deal for an AD400Pro, and decided to buy it. The AD200 costs 313€ new here, and the AD400Pro costs 680€, but the neewer 'flavour' was only 413€, 'just' 100€ more that the AD200, and near the same price than the AD200Pro.

Now that I have the AD-B2 (with just one AD200) and the AD400Pro, I can (partially) compare both solutions, and IMHO, if you mostly need power, I think that the AD400Pro is a better idea compared to 2 x AD200 + AD-B2. Why?

1. AD400Pro is more compact, easy and quicker to setup compared to 2 x AD200 + AD-B2. This can or can't be a deciding factor for you.
2. Led light. AD400 have a single 30W led light, with some advanced functions. AD-B2 offers 2 x 20W led lights. Yes you have more power but some disadvantages. For example the led light eats AD200 batteries quickly, you have only 3 power positions for the AD200, and you need to control two different lights. It's quicker to setup andn control the modeling light with the AD400Pro, and you can use led light for more much time on the AD400Pro.
3. You have two mounts on the AD400: Godox and Bowens.

Of course if you plan mainly to have two lights, and ocassionally need more power on a single light, there is an advantage on the side of the AD-B2.
About price, now that the Neewer is so cheap, the advantage is on the side of the AD400Pro.
About power. I made some tests comparing AD400Pro vs AD200 + AD-B2 using the same scene, subject and diffuser, and my conclusion is that the AD200 is a bit less powerful than 'half AD400Pro'. You can see my results here. It was not an in depth comparison, but just a hint that AD400Pro is a bit more powerfull than 2 AD200's (comparing bulbs). You can find another comparison with similar results in this youtube video

(it's in Spanish, but I think you can understand what are the guy doing), look at minute 8:59.

This is just my experience, can or can't be valid for you, as always ;).

EDIT: on the test I'm referring to, I was comparing ONE AD200+AD-B2 vs ONE AD400, I expected to find half the power coming from the AD200, but got less than that.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-29-2019, 03:25 PM  
X2T-P received: first tests and first disappointment
Posted By morenjavi
Replies: 19
Views: 1,973
Hello. I own several Godox triggers, some are faulty, some have occasional misfires, others never had a single misfire. In summary:

FT16: never got a misfire
XT16: never
XT32C: never

XproC (unit 1): around 3% misfire rate. Also fails changing power in a similar rate.

XProC (unit 2): never

XProP: occasional/rare. Not always sure if the trigger was the problem
X2TP: same as above

My advice is to change your trigger. It seems you have a high misfire rate (50% ?).
I assume you have fresh bateries in trigger/flash, tried several channels, etc.

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