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Thread: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

  1. #1
    Shelby Lewis
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    The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Hey All... thought I'd share some thoughts and insights gleaned from my first outing with the a900 at a wedding.

    To set the scene know that I was the second shooter... and due to the fact that I'm in the middle of a system change, I shot the whole day with the a900/sigma 50/f1.4. The main shooter, a good friend, agreed to let me use one of his backups as needed for wider/longer shots.

    RE: The sigma.
    Focus at distance with the 50/1.4 is difficult, to say the least. Inside about 10 feet it is very accurate and consistent. Outside (roughly) 10 feet, focus shifts pretty noticeably to the rear... so... long distance shots at large apertures are dicey. I'm keeping it, as it is sssoooooo nice and very accurate in tight, intimate situations (and the sharpness/bokeh are also fantastic), but might pick up the sony as well to see how it behaves at distance. BTW, choice of aperture seems to have little effect on focus shift on my copy.

    RE: the a900.
    Firstly... the color, resolution, DR (and viewfinder) all lends themselves to wedding work. The second cam I was using was a 40D and I had not realized just how bad the vf was until buying the a900. The camera is amazingly responsive IMO for such a high res camera... easily outperforming my older 5D in "snappiness". I'm quite happy with the files at iso800 and below. 1600 is fine as well, especially downsized to reasonable dimensions... but still quite noisy. I think as I get the courage to really push the histogram to the right, this will get better. But, man, I hate to take that chance with wedding dresses. DR seems to drop at higher ISO, but detail is still pretty strong. Chroma noise at iso 1000 and above is a bit too intrusive for my tastes, but again becomes less noticeable at smaller reproduction. The AF was accurate, for the most part... but I stayed in one-shot mode. Continuous AF (servo AF) seems useless on this cam ... but I'm hoping is better with the zeiss lenses. I'm not expecting it to be. I made the mistake of setting the AF to shutter-priority instead of AF-priority and found myself outrunning the AF in action sequences. In essence, I'd trip the shutter before AF lock and end up with OoF shots. Battery usage was actually pretty miserly. I have the grip installed and at the end of the day I exhausted one battery and had about 20% remaining in the second. This was after about 9 hours of shooting and roughly 2000 exposures... many using flash. Not bad at all. The explicit battery level readings are nice!

    RE: the HVL-58AM flash.
    In general, I really like the 58. Took a bit to figure out the swivel mechanism, lol... but it's growing on me. It's pretty powerful and recycles fairly quickly. TTL worked quite well and bounce flash tended to be fairly well exposed. It might just be me, but the pre-flash seems a bit more noticeable to me than on the canon flashes. Strangely, I did overheat the flash at one point... and it wasn't even a very active moment. I can only surmise that because I was at a lower ISO, that the flash was working harder than I realized... and being that it is silent as the capacitor recharges, I must have been overdoing it a bit without the requisite "whine" to remind me how it was working. After a brief cool-down (a minute or so)... it functioned perfectly the rest of the night (about 4 more hours) with no more overheating.

    So... in the end i found the camera very capable if one is willing to shoot smartly once things got dark (ie lower iso with supplementary bounce flash). AF is accurate if not a tad bit slow (could be the sigma though). The camera is very responsive and the resolution, dr, color response, and general handling are well suited to most wedding work.

    In all, a tough but rewarding day.

    Enough talk... a few images:

    ISO 400


    ISO 400


    ISO 400


    ISO 400


    ISO 200


    ISO 640


    ISO 200
    Last edited by Shelby Lewis; 18th May 2009 at 21:04.

  2. #2
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    A few more:
    iso 400


    iso 800


    iso 800


    iso 1250 (fairly underexposed... i'd bet it was closer to iso 2000 or so once i pushed the exposure)


    iso 800
    Last edited by Shelby Lewis; 18th May 2009 at 21:01.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Looks good.
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  4. #4
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    BTW... NO noise reduction on these... at 100% the noise is DEFINITELY there... but at print sizes below 16x20, it would mostly be negligible.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Really nice, Shelby. I particularly like the shot of the groomsmen Wonderful.

    As far as your fear of ETTR and white wedding dresses, try setting your camera to -1 ZONE, and set the AEL button to "spot meter toggle." Then, just spot meter the wedding dress with the AEL button with an exposure comp of +2.5 EV, and you should be golden.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Shelby, very very nice photos

    Douglas, I'm afraid I need some tutoring about the Zone setting. Could you explain to us what it does exactly. From the manual, I had the feeling that even Sony doesn't know
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  7. #7
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Douglas... thanks for the kind words and the suggestion about metering. I'll have to check it out. I already use your settings from the "Setting UniWB" Post, which I find really helpful for getting an accurate histogram with UniWB.

    Edward... thanks so much for the positive words as well. I am loving this cam... warts and all, lol.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Hi Shelby,

    Nice photographs and an interesting write up of your experiences with the camera/lens.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    I am loving this cam... warts and all, lol.
    HI Shelby
    Lots of great shots there - I'm really glad that you're liking it. I reckon that things can only get better from this point onwards.

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    wow!! the second one looks like the gentleman is right there in 3D, really nice shots..

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Shelby, very very nice photos

    Douglas, I'm afraid I need some tutoring about the Zone setting. Could you explain to us what it does exactly. From the manual, I had the feeling that even Sony doesn't know
    Sure thing, Edward, I'll do my best, but I should give the disclaimer that I'm far from a scientific tester of such things, so everyone should test this stuff on their own as well.

    ZONE is one of the more nebulous adjustments in the Sony line, and, up until the last year, I misunderstood what it did. Initially, I believed it to be a simple change in the contrast curve for jpegs, and I set it to -1 in order to get a more realistic in-camera histogram in relation to RAW. I've come to figure out that it is more than that, and is probably responsible for me not having as many underexposure issues as some do (happy accident!)

    To my surprise, the ZONE setting actually changes the way the camera meters in both jpeg and RAW! Essentially, using -1 ZONE meters the camera one "click" brighter than ZONE set to zero. I say "click," because it depends if you have your camera set to .5 or .3 exposure adjustment increments. ie, right now, I have my camera set to .5 exposure increments, so setting -1 ZONE effectively forces my camera to meter a half stop brighter. I'd love it if others would play around with this and report back, because there is little info on the web about it, and, like I said above, I'm far from a color-chart-resolution-target-tester kind of guy, so results could vary.

    There has been a lot of talk in various forums about amazing highlight DR in the A900, and, while the A900 does have nice highlight roll off, I think that most of the extra highlight DR is coming from the fact that the camera meters very conservatively, and setting -1 ZONE gives a bit more ETTR in the metering, like other camera brands. Also, this conservative metering causes a lot of underexposure, which I think is causing extra noisy results in the A900 reviews on the web (definitely the case with the Imagine Resources test.) All of this being said, not using ZONE at all is perfectly fine, as long as exposure comp is used to make up for it. Since I spot meter at +2.5 and +3 a lot, I use -1 ZONE, because there is no way to spot meter at +3.5 on the camera's meter.

    Does this rambling make sense at all??


    Shelby, as far as metering goes, I'd be curious how your camera reacts to spot metering +2.5EV vs. +3EV on the whites that you want detail in. Iliah Borg states that middle point to green channel saturation on the A900 is about 3.2 stops. So, metering the detailed highlights (white wedding dress) at +3 should work (leaving .2 for margin of error,) but I don't know if he is using ZONE +0 or -1, and he hasn't returned my email about it. For me, it seems +2.5 is the way to go, if you're using ZONE -1, which would equate to +3 if you're not using ZONE....I think!?!? Man, talk about confusion.

    Wow, this may be my most boring post ever. I can't wait to go on vacation next week and take some pics! Once again, cool pics Shelby.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Shelby nice user review, glad it is working out. I watch this forum pretty closely myself. That Sony does have my eye
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  13. #13
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Thanks Douglas!I just did a very quick test with your suggestions above...

    ... and with UniWB I spot-metered a white towel outside that was drying in the back... easily the brightest object in the viewfinder. In aperture priority, with zone -1... the in-camera histogram registered jjuuusstttttt shy of blowout in the whites.

    Perfect!

    One thing I did noticed. Using Douglas' in-camera settings for optimal UniWB histogram...

    - aRGB
    - neutral CS
    - contrast -3
    - saturation -1
    - brightness -3

    ... setting for zone -1 "grays out" the contrast setting in-camera. Not sure it means anything, but just something I noticed.

    Thanks.

  14. #14
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Shelby nice user review, glad it is working out. I watch this forum pretty closely myself. That Sony does have my eye
    Thanks Ray... it's a great camera. You'd really enjoy it. I'm still in the market for MF as the sony is kind of "MF Lite" in my eyes as far as image quality... but the color separation, sharpness, and overall image quality continue to impress me... ESPECIALLY coming from the canon 5D.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post

    ... setting for zone -1 "grays out" the contrast setting in-camera. Not sure it means anything, but just something I noticed.

    Thanks.
    Tha manual says "if you adjust zone you cannot adjust contrast" for some obscure reason that only Sony knows
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Thank you very much Douglas. What you say makes sense, and even Sony's manual starts to make sense now

    The manual says:

    "Preventing an image from becoming overexposed or underexposed, a rich tone is reproduced. When a higher value is selected, it prevents an image from becoming overexposed when shooting a bright area subject; and when a lower value is selected, it prevents an image from becoming underexposed when shooting a dark area subject."

    Now since you can't change contrast when you change zone settings, my guess is that zone changes the camera metering as you say, together with the tone curve.

    I wonder why zone has not been included in IDC settings.

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Sure thing, Edward, I'll do my best, but I should give the disclaimer that I'm far from a scientific tester of such things, so everyone should test this stuff on their own as well.

    ZONE is one of the more nebulous adjustments in the Sony line, and, up until the last year, I misunderstood what it did. Initially, I believed it to be a simple change in the contrast curve for jpegs, and I set it to -1 in order to get a more realistic in-camera histogram in relation to RAW. I've come to figure out that it is more than that, and is probably responsible for me not having as many underexposure issues as some do (happy accident!)

    To my surprise, the ZONE setting actually changes the way the camera meters in both jpeg and RAW! Essentially, using -1 ZONE meters the camera one "click" brighter than ZONE set to zero. I say "click," because it depends if you have your camera set to .5 or .3 exposure adjustment increments. ie, right now, I have my camera set to .5 exposure increments, so setting -1 ZONE effectively forces my camera to meter a half stop brighter. I'd love it if others would play around with this and report back, because there is little info on the web about it, and, like I said above, I'm far from a color-chart-resolution-target-tester kind of guy, so results could vary.

    There has been a lot of talk in various forums about amazing highlight DR in the A900, and, while the A900 does have nice highlight roll off, I think that most of the extra highlight DR is coming from the fact that the camera meters very conservatively, and setting -1 ZONE gives a bit more ETTR in the metering, like other camera brands. Also, this conservative metering causes a lot of underexposure, which I think is causing extra noisy results in the A900 reviews on the web (definitely the case with the Imagine Resources test.) All of this being said, not using ZONE at all is perfectly fine, as long as exposure comp is used to make up for it. Since I spot meter at +2.5 and +3 a lot, I use -1 ZONE, because there is no way to spot meter at +3.5 on the camera's meter.

    Does this rambling make sense at all??


    Shelby, as far as metering goes, I'd be curious how your camera reacts to spot metering +2.5EV vs. +3EV on the whites that you want detail in. Iliah Borg states that middle point to green channel saturation on the A900 is about 3.2 stops. So, metering the detailed highlights (white wedding dress) at +3 should work (leaving .2 for margin of error,) but I don't know if he is using ZONE +0 or -1, and he hasn't returned my email about it. For me, it seems +2.5 is the way to go, if you're using ZONE -1, which would equate to +3 if you're not using ZONE....I think!?!? Man, talk about confusion.

    Wow, this may be my most boring post ever. I can't wait to go on vacation next week and take some pics! Once again, cool pics Shelby.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  17. #17
    hardloaf
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    I wonder why zone has not been included in IDC settings.
    This is actually a good sign - could mean that Zone affects only metering and cannot be implemented in IDC since it's not a post-processing option, but one of camera meter controlling parameters. Why contrast is disabled with it is an interesting question though.
    Surprisingly I never paid attention to this option.
    Need to research it.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    ...One thing I did noticed. Using Douglas' in-camera settings for optimal UniWB histogram...

    - aRGB
    - neutral CS
    - contrast -3
    - saturation -1
    - brightness -3

    ... setting for zone -1 "grays out" the contrast setting in-camera. Not sure it means anything, but just something I noticed.

    Thanks.
    Yeah, the contrast curve was the original reason that I started using -1 ZONE, but little did I know at the time that if was also affecting my exposure.

    It'd be interesting for someone to shoot a scene with -1 ZONE, and then shoot the same scene with no ZONE, but with all seven different contrast options, and then look at the differences in IDC.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Just to lunch off this thread and provide more user experiences to date:

    Been shooting weddings with a pair of A900s for a few months now.

    Best wedding set up is a A900, D700 and a M8.

    IMO, Sony needs a "fat pixel model" ... full frame, 12 meg or so ... which, with the A900, would be the perfect wedding combo to use with the fast Zeiss primes. An A800 anyone?

    Last week's wedding was a ton of shots in a very wide range of situations: ranging from formals in fat light to some really dark conditions ... but I'm going to try some of the higher ISO shots in C1 to see if the noise is better controlled like is seems to be with the M8 files ... so I had to upgrade C1 to v4.8. I'll let you know how it goes. I need to master the really low tungsten ambient light situations better than I'm doing now.

    The HVL 58 flash is okay ... and the swivel innovation is actually better on camera than conventional swivel flash if you are using a Lumiquest type bounce ... because it keeps the bounce oriented correctly ... if a bit lower than I'd like in portrait mode. But I don't use a ton flash as the main source so it's okay for my applications. The Minolta/Sony flash system is excellent in back-lit conditions.

    I had the Sigma 50/1.4 for my Nikon which does have a nice feel to the images, but it isn't that Zeiss look. The Sony 50/1.4 is actually a little closer in feel, is lighter, and focuses better at all ranges. But I don't use it much.

    IMO, Nik Define 2 is the Sony A900's best friend. That software seems to really work well with the Sony higher ISO files for some reason .... better than on the M8 files. Maybe it has to do with the higher resolution (???).

    A few from this weekend's wedding:

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Looking good Marc, that first one should sell like hotcakes
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  21. #21
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Great stuff Marc... really nice indeed.

    I agree about the d700 being a good companion camera. I'm already seeing that in "cave" venues that the a900 will suffice but not delight.

    ... and I agree with Guy... that first shot is FANTASTIC.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    Great stuff Marc... really nice indeed.

    I agree about the d700 being a good companion camera. I'm already seeing that in "cave" venues that the a900 will suffice but not delight.

    ... and I agree with Guy... that first shot is FANTASTIC.
    Your stuff is pretty darned good to Shelby, especially like the B&W shots ... wish we lived near each other, it'd be great to shoot a wedding together.

    Frankly, if Sony would do an A800, 12-15 meg, full frame with fat pixels, I'd opt out of Nikon altogether. That would fund the Sony 300/2.8G and Leica M Noctilux I'm lusting after

    We need a Zeiss 35/1.4 in this line up ... that would help a lot.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Shelby
    Thanks for sharing...
    I have been using 5D for years. D700 would have been a better replacement. A900 is just outstanding

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Marc, I dont think it's the fat pixels that are the problem. That's a bit of a low noise misnomer. If Sony got rid of Exmor , and used weaker CFAs, they could release another 24 mp camera that competed with D700 for high ISO. The Exmor is optimized for low read noise at low ISO, but begins falling apart when amplified to higher ISO. The D700 sensor has higher low ISO read noise, but is much better at higher ISO. It's just a different sensor design philosophy, and I don't expect Sony to change anytime soon, so I think your dual setup will be ideal for a while.

    Great wedding shots. You and Shelby would be welcome to shoot my wedding any day!
    Last edited by douglasf13; 20th May 2009 at 06:18.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post

    Great wedding shots. You and Shelby would be welcome to shoot my wedding any day!
    Well Douglas - Marc said he'd like to shoot a wedding with Shelby, and you're getting married.

    After all the input you've had around here I think it'd be churlish for them not to shoot it for you

    Nashville, Franklin, LA - just around the corner from each other . . . aren't you?
    Last edited by jonoslack; 20th May 2009 at 07:12.

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Marc, I dont think it's the fat pixels that are the problem. That's a bit of a low noise misnomer. If Sony got rid of Exmor , and used weaker CFAs, they could release another 24 mp camera that competed with D700 for high ISO. The Exmor is optimized for low read noise at low ISO, but begins falling apart when amplified to higher ISO. The D700 sensor has higher low ISO read noise, but is much better at higher ISO. It's just a different sensor design philosophy, and I don't expect Sony to change anytime soon, so I think your dual setup will be ideal for a while.

    Great wedding shots. You and Shelby would be welcome to shoot my wedding any day!
    That's cool, since I already have the Nikon stuff

    Where and when is your wedding?

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    I will tell you one thing and it's a pretty rare day when I say this because I simply don't see it in Nikon and Canon very often BUT I am seeing a lot of 3d looking images coming from you guy's . The last ones with Shelby and Marc there are a couple in there that are making me drool and i don't say that very often.
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  28. #28
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I will tell you one thing and it's a pretty rare day when I say this because I simply don't see it in Nikon and Canon very often BUT I am seeing a lot of 3d looking images coming from you guy's . The last ones with Shelby and Marc there are a couple in there that are making me drool and i don't say that very often.
    You know... what I'm enjoying is the number of images I'm finding that have that look at the end of a shoot. Like MF, it's hindered a bit in action scenes by an AF system that's a tad bit slow (although accurate)... but when you hit it... BAM... 3D-ness all over the place.

  29. #29
    hardloaf
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    I'm very interested in this topic of A900 low light shooting abilities. We actually did a lot of testing in this area with my friend Iliah Borg and so far we came to some conclusions. After all - who could possibly care more about blacks and shadows than a wedding photog? I actually often see clipped blacks in examples posted here from A900 and would really like to figure if better processing can help with this issue.
    One key point - A900 optimal ISO range is 320-800. This means that at ISO below 320 red and blue channels getting highly non-linear in shadows. To add insult to injury they also getting clipped and we have those large and bad looking black voids in dark areas. Green channel looks fine at any ISO below 320 (possible hint: BW produced by cutting R and B channels off). Above 800 is also not recommended, because noise is getting ugly and looks like it's better to push in Raw converter. This means that you just don't go up and underexpose instead.
    Regarding pushing - only precise processing can help here and if some of you happened to be Mac users you may try my converter for such difficult shots. Also please try to print processed shots as you'd do this for a client - RPP doesn't do any noise filtering, instead I'm trying to not amplify it and make it look more like a fine film grain. This means that what you see on screen and what you have on print is going to be very different.
    The converter is free for as long as you want to keep it free, no risk and no hidden strings I'll answer to all your questions in email or here.
    http://www.raw-photo-processor.com/
    Pushing in other converters usually is rather disappointing exercise, but if you have some info to share this would be very interesting too.
    I'd also happily process such shots as proof of concept if you send me link for problematic Raws. I can also post 100% crops here if owner permits.

    Andrey

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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Andrey you should put that link to your software in your signature so folks can find it. I'm sure some folks would like to try it out. We always like the support of vendors products here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  31. #31
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Hey Andrey... thanks for the reply.

    I own (well, donated to) RPP and love the results... but as a wedding photographer in the US, RPP seems essentially unusable in a high-volume workflow. Again... i LOVE RPP as a converter and if I could get faster previews of settings changes and a better sense of it's batching capabilities, I'd love to use it more. Same with Raw Developer.

    As it stands, C1 seems to be the best "in-between" product between ACR/Lightroom and RPP. I like michael richmann's C1/LR workflow... and might give it a shot myself.

    Care to give those of us in high-volume workflows some thoughts as to how to integrate RPP more efficiently into our studios?

    Thanks!

    BTW... Clipped blacks aren't really a huge deal to me, actually. I'd rather not have them, that's for sure... but clipped whites are much more problematic to deal with IMO. As a matter of fact, with noise being what it is on the a900, clipping the blacks slightly can (in certain instances) actually improve the overall look of the image IMO.

  32. #32
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Very true if your seeing noise in the shadow area's which obviously I get a lot of doing event work with folks on podiums and such with Black drops in the background I will clip the blacks to eliminate noise sometimes . Obviously the highlights are the biggest issue with any camera and raw converter the better the highlight control on the raw converters certainly brings a more useful converter to the user. Weddings are tough but I run into the same issues a lot myself with my type of work as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  33. #33
    hardloaf
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Andrey you should put that link to your software in your signature so folks can find it. I'm sure some folks would like to try it out. We always like the support of vendors products here.
    Done. Thanks for advice

  34. #34
    hardloaf
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Shelby,
    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    Hey Andrey... thanks for the reply.

    I own (well, donated to) RPP and love the results... but as a wedding photographer in the US, RPP seems essentially unusable in a high-volume workflow. Again... i LOVE RPP as a converter and if I could get faster previews of settings changes and a better sense of it's batching capabilities, I'd love to use it more. Same with Raw Developer.

    As it stands, C1 seems to be the best "in-between" product between ACR/Lightroom and RPP. I like michael richmann's C1/LR workflow... and might give it a shot myself.

    Care to give those of us in high-volume workflows some thoughts as to how to integrate RPP more efficiently into our studios?
    It's definitely possible. Simplest way is to use that LR plugin to call RPP directly for a specific shot or a batch. Batch itself is a serous topic and if you figure it out you may do a lot and rather fast on a good computer. In any case if you or anybody else have specific questions please don't hesitate to ask here (probably in a separate thread) or in email - I always answer to all emails. I can describe my workflow which I used personally on up to 500 shots and I know that some of my users go to thousands with it and find it efficient and 'low maintainance' as long as it's set properly from the beginning.

    BTW... Clipped blacks aren't really a huge deal to me, actually. I'd rather not have them, that's for sure... but clipped whites are much more problematic to deal with IMO. As a matter of fact, with noise being what it is on the a900, clipping the blacks slightly can (in certain instances) actually improve the overall look of the image IMO.
    I understand that - controlled clipping of blacks is very important part of processing and pretty much required if you want to get deep good colors. Problem usually is in how they clipped - they should have smooth roll off and shouldn't have sharp edges or blotchy structure.
    What I meant is that nobody wants camera to clip shadows - in this case it's a much bigger trouble because information is lost and ugly shadows may ruin a good shot forever.

    Regarding highlights - I totally agree and I'm trying to handle them as gentle as possible. In fact I have special Compressed Exposure control just to process highlight properly, i.e. when exposure correction doesn't clip them, but compresses instead with all thin details intact.

  35. #35
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Quote Originally Posted by hardloaf View Post
    Done. Thanks for advice
    Hi Andrey,

    Any plans to make RPP available for windows?
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  36. #36
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Marc and Shelby, I'm doing a simple elopement next week in Hawaii, as my fiance and I are trying to spend the money on a long honeymoon, rather than a big wedding. We probably couldn't afford you guys! lol. Seriously though, I'm from Indiana originally, so I know people in your general vicinity, and I'll be sure to recommend you.

    Andrey, I've moved back to PC this past year, and not being able to try RPP is probably my biggest regret of the switch! Any plans on an evil PC version ? I've been getting good results with Raw Therapee (Iliah recommended it, since I don't run Macs,) and, like Shelby, have come to find that C1 PRO is a nice compromise. However, build a PC version RPP, and I'm all over it .....with donations.

    p.s. Andrey, it would be great if you could get together with Iliah and give clearly laid out shooting recommendations (like the above) for the A900. The tests that the two of you have done would be invaluable for us to get the most out of this camera. I've been giving advice here and there on this forum in regards to what you guys have discovered, but it would be better (and more accurate) coming straight from the source. thanks
    Last edited by douglasf13; 20th May 2009 at 09:24.

  37. #37
    hardloaf
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Edward, Douglas,

    Another platform is out of my reach so far - there is too many dependencies in RPP on Mac OS X and I simply have no time to maintain two separate products.
    Sorry.

  38. #38
    hardloaf
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Douglas,
    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Andrey, it would be great if you could get together with Iliah and give clearly laid out shooting recommendations (like the above) for the A900. The tests that the two of you have done would be invaluable for us to get the most out of this camera. I've been giving advice here and there on this forum in regards to what you guys have discovered, but it would be better (and more accurate) coming straight from the source. thanks
    Will do for sure - we love A900, best thing in DSLR world since 2004 and we would be more than happy to share our findings

  39. #39
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: The Lowdown After 1st wedding with a900 (many img)

    Wonderful. I've been recommending some jpeg settings that I've found to give a somewhat more accurate histogram of RAW (in combination with uniWB,) and I'd love to see what you guys are doing in that regard...especially in relation to the ZONE setting. Thanks, and I look forward to your teachings.

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