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Thread: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

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    My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Had the chance to photograph two Geishas (Maiko/Geiko) last week in Kyoto (one very expensive evening). Loved the fact that I could take ISO 16000 pictures and the silent shutter but hated the banding that resulted with the mixed lighting.

    Camera White Balance set to Tungsten for all, only difference was that an additional overhead fluorescent light was turned on for the two pictures with the banding so am wondering if others have noticed something similar in their shots.


    Thank you for looking,
    Arif

    www.arifiqball.com

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Are you sure that what you are seeing is not the pulse of the florescent lights? I wouldn't blame the camera without more testing.
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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    That's pretty clearly interference between the frequency of the fluorescent lights and the electronic shutter. Using a different shutter speed would probably resolve it.
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    Are you sure that what you are seeing is not the pulse of the florescent lights? I wouldn't blame the camera without more testing.
    Thank you, was not sure if the pulse would be visible in both Horizontal and Vertical format.

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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEvangelist View Post
    That's pretty clearly interference between the frequency of the fluorescent lights and the electronic shutter. Using a different shutter speed would probably resolve it.
    Thank you, this was also present at 1/200 so am confused.

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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by Arif View Post
    Thank you, this was also present at 1/200 so am confused.
    Needs to be a slower speed (so the exposure captures at least one complete 'cycle' of the lights.) If you're in the 50 Hertz part of Japan, that might mean using 1/30th second.

    If you ever tried photographing an old CRT television, it's a similar thing.
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    A related problem is that some discharge lamps appear to change color throughout their 100 or 120Hz brightness cycle. This is because the light output of individual components in a mix of phosphors have different decay rates, red/orange being the longest and blue/violet the shortest. So not only do you have light and dark bands but the band color varies across its width. Luminaries with solid state high frequency ballasts don't suffer from these effects nearly as much.

    Bob.
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by Arif View Post
    Had the chance to photograph two Geishas (Maiko/Geiko) last week in Kyoto (one very expensive evening). Loved the fact that I could take ISO 16000 pictures and the silent shutter but hated the banding that resulted with the mixed lighting.

    Camera White Balance set to Tungsten for all, only difference was that an additional overhead fluorescent light was turned on for the two pictures with the banding so am wondering if others have noticed something similar in their shots.


    Thank you for looking,
    Arif

    www.arifiqball.com
    Arif:


    I read about a similar problem here:

    Field Test: Sony A7S for Still Photographers - Part 5

    I may be reading this wrong but it seems to be a combination of the speed of the fully electronic shutter and the fluorescent light characteristics. Can you try it without the silent shutter to see if that allows you to change the exposure length outside of the fluorescent light cycle time?

    Regards,
    John
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Arif

    I just ask. Are these JPEGs?

    I can repeat situations of banding i both fluorescent and tungsten light using silent mode. But it doesn't show in RAW.

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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEvangelist View Post
    Needs to be a slower speed (so the exposure captures at least one complete 'cycle' of the lights.) If you're in the 50 Hertz part of Japan, that might mean using 1/30th second.

    If you ever tried photographing an old CRT television, it's a similar thing.
    Thank you Mike. Makes sense as to why I am only getting with the A7s and not the D4. I photograph this subject a lot so 1/30 will not work for me since they are dancing.

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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by jfirneno View Post
    Arif:


    I read about a similar problem here:

    Field Test: Sony A7S for Still Photographers - Part 5

    I may be reading this wrong but it seems to be a combination of the speed of the fully electronic shutter and the fluorescent light characteristics. Can you try it without the silent shutter to see if that allows you to change the exposure length outside of the fluorescent light cycle time?

    Regards,
    John
    Thank you very much John for the link. Will try as suggested although it will take away the perfect use of this camera for this subject or for stage photography.

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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by G43 View Post
    Arif

    I just ask. Are these JPEGs?

    I can repeat situations of banding i both fluorescent and tungsten light using silent mode. But it doesn't show in RAW.
    Thank you! I do see these in Raw as well.

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    Senior Member CharlesK's Avatar
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    I have the same problems shooting with the A7r and M240 under certain types fluorescent lighting. As suggested it is a sync issue with the type of fluorescent lighting and shutter speed. I just re adjust the shutter speed to a slower speed such as 1/30 sec. Even then there may be a gradient of across the image, that is marginally noticeable.

    When I first received my M240, I took a series of test shots in the office under daylight fluorescent lights 60 Hz in Australia, I was very concerned with this banding, thinking that there was an issue!! I thought about it for a while and just reduced the shutter speed, and the issue was reduced dramatically.
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    It's a well known problem with flourescent lighting. You need to be under the cycle time of the lights. Either 1/50 or 1/60 depending on the frequency. Happened all the time with my Canons when I was shooting weddings. Converting to B&W is pretty much the only cure.
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    And I have to ask: why did you turn on the fluoros? In this situation, I would use one of those tiny LED daylight balanced on-camera lights, gelled to match the tungsten. For me the whole point of the A7s is to render supplemental lighting unnecessary, but if the tungsten in your setup was an overhead light, the ion-camera light will help eye socket and nose shadows to an extent.

    Or were the fluoros added by a helpful on-looker? In any case the colour balance of fluoros, heavily biased to green-blue, do not help a tungsten-lit scene, in my experience. Using tungsten-only lighting and pushing the ISO for a SS fast enough to stop the dancing would seem to be the better approach.
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by kit laughlin View Post
    And I have to ask: why did you turn on the fluoros? In this situation, I would use one of those tiny LED daylight balanced on-camera lights, gelled to match the tungsten. For me the whole point of the A7s is to render supplemental lighting unnecessary, but if the tungsten in your setup was an overhead light, the ion-camera light will help eye socket and nose shadows to an extent.

    Or were the fluoros added by a helpful on-looker? In any case the colour balance of fluoros, heavily biased to green-blue, do not help a tungsten-lit scene, in my experience. Using tungsten-only lighting and pushing the ISO for a SS fast enough to stop the dancing would seem to be the better approach.
    Thank you, I had no choice since the tea house owner turned the fluoro lights on. I will try the gelled on camera lights next time. Having used the D4 for a long time, I did not think about the issues with the Fluoro.

    Thank you for all the help!

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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by Arif View Post
    Thank you, I had no choice since the tea house owner turned the fluoro lights on. I will try the gelled on camera lights next time. Having used the D4 for a long time, I did not think about the issues with the Fluoro.

    Thank you for all the help!
    Most of street shots late at night in Asia will be heavily influenced by different types of fluorescent lights. This is adds a layer of complexity, but I have in the past just kept to 1/25 to 1/45 sec with a 50mm lens, as any lighting is a bonus. The difficulty is maintaining still hands/body when you are rushed to get the shot!
    Charles Kalnins
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    http://kalnins.zenfolio.com
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesK View Post
    Most of street shots late at night in Asia will be heavily influenced by different types of fluorescent lights. This is adds a layer of complexity, but I have in the past just kept to 1/25 to 1/45 sec with a 50mm lens, as any lighting is a bonus. The difficulty is maintaining still hands/body when you are rushed to get the shot!
    Thank you! It is amazing that now one can shoot all these high ISO and still get very usable images. Opens a whole different world of creativity.
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    I get less noise with the S at 6400 than my Oly EM1 at 200! Fantastic.

    I shoot solely in manual mode due to the camera will always set the shutter speed at 1/60 using auto iso in Aperture mode.
    I prefer to secure unshaken shots with the different focals by setting the shutter speed on the safe side.
    I've set the auto ISO at 100/12800. Can't accept the noise above 12800.

    Silent mode is fantastic, but useless at moving objects.
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    Re: My love/hate relationship with the A7s

    This image were shot at ISO 6400 and were underexposed 2,5 stops.
    I cranked the exposure up IN acr/ps by the same, reduced highlights 90% to save the red lamps. Blew up shadows by 50%. Added 3 gradients in ACR. Curves, hue and color correction, dodge and burn. Smart sharpening 100% at 0,2 pix.
    All in all a brutal PP.

    Still the noise is acceptable even at actual pixels.

    (Forgot to convert RGB to sRGB, sorry. The colors are a bit off)

    BRAVO SONY!

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