Archive for April, 2008

Hunger

Model: Lucifix

Gear: a300, Dt 11-18 (11mm, f4.5, 1/40, ISO 400)

A nice Sony alpha 300 kit

I got a very nice alpha 300 kit today. I was given the choice to handpick the lenses that interested me. Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85 1.4 was, of course, my first choice. From the rest of the lenses, flasguns etc I decided to take DT 11-18, since UWA lenses are always fun to use. I also got the battery grip, which is amazing. I’ve never seen such awesome ergonomics, my hand becomes one with it.

When I came home with the kit I opened up the 85 1.4 box. Damn, the lens already feels crazy. Such a solid built and you can just feel the cold though metal housing. I feels even tougher than Canon 85 1.2L aka Canonball. I guess it just because Canon is bigger and heavier, so you expect the toughness and massiveness. Besides that I think Canon was a plastic finish…I’m not sure and it doesn’t really matter. What I’m sure about is that it’s top class merchandise. But there is one thing I noticed and find a bit weird. It (CZ 85) changes length during focusing and quite a lot, around 2 cm when you move it from min focus distance to infinity. I wonder how’s this affecting durability, does it get loose in the long run etc. Even my cheap Canon 85 1.8 has internal focusing. But it’s plastic on the other hand.

Here are a couple of the kit’s pics:

Canon Group buy

Here we go again, yet another six months have passed. I’ve pasted a complete Canon price list at the end of this post. Brand new entry level DSLR Canon 450D that just hit the stores, is of course available, as well as limited amount of 400D’s (so if you don’t have to have the newest&the latest and want to save a nice amount of Euros, hurry up).

Since I’m lazy I’m going to c/p the last part of the post from my slo-foto post (it’s in Slovene, but it doesn’t really matter since this group buy is organised for Slovenian customers only):

Nakup in prevzem je v Ljubljani, plačilo je gotovina ali predračun, izvor blaga je Slovenija, prav tako garancija pri nas ter seveda navodila v slovenščini. Preko kontaktnega obrazca mi pošljite naročila, ki naj poleg izbranih artiklov vsebujejo še vaše podatke (ime, priimek in GSM oz vse podatke potrebne za izdajo predračuna, če boste kupovali na “firmo”).

CANON’S PRICE LIST:mpc_skupinski_pom_2008

EDIT: I forgot to write down that Canon Cashback is still alive and kickin’ (until 30.6.), so some items really do come cheap (400D 464,40 EUR for example). Here’s the complete list:
EOS 5D body €200 Cashback
EOS 40D body €150 Cashback
EOS 400D body €60 Cashback
EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM €50 Cashback
EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM €50 Cashback
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM €100 Cashback
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM €50 Cashback
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM €70 Cashback
EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM €60 Cashback
EF 50mm f/1.2L USM €70 Cashback
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM €100 Cashback
EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM €60 Cashback
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM €70 Cashback
EF 70-200mm f/4L USM €50 Cashback
EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM €50 Cashback
EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM €50 Cashback
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM €100 Cashback
Speedlite 580EX II €50 Cashback
Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX €30 Cashback

Tunyo&Lana: wedding

Last saturday a couple of my friends Tunyo and Lana got married. I already wrote a post about preparing for this wedding. Well, the weather turned out the way I didn’t wanted. But everything else was running smooth. And you know what they say; bad weather on the wedding day brings luck. And I wish them all the luck in the world. And after all it’s batter having a “sunny” marriage and a “rainy” wedding day then the other way around.

As I said, the weather was awful, it was pouring rain. So we really had to cut short the “romantic” or better said posed part of the shots. I wrote down 15-20 ideas on a piece of paper, but I could only take a few. We took a few photos under the castle’s arches, a couple on the hallway (the ambient sucked) and we ran outside to take a few shots. Below you can see one of the shots that I took outside. Please view the ENLARGED photos (click on them) for better viewing experience (better quality as well).

We got a bit wet. I’m glad I had 1Ds mkII that can handle all weather situations.

After that we moved to the hotel. We started with some cocktails, then took a lot of group shots. The food that was served at the dinner was delicious and the games between the meals interesting. I really enjoyed taking shots of all the events that occurred, it’s a really if you shoot people that you know. And that are cool, are willing to pose and get into some stupid shit as well. Take a look at the photos and you’ll know what I mean. There were quite a few rappers among us, I’ll name them next to the photos they’re on.

I forgot to mention that the ambient and setting was nice, romantic etc.

Let’s get to the people shots:

Pimpin’

Tunyo’s crew

First dance

Another rapper, Flamie on the right

The shot above was taken during a very interesting and fun game. Men had to protect their girlfriends which had a balloon tied to their ankle, from other men’s women which were trying to punch the balloon with their high heels

Did I mentioned the food was great? He couldn’t get enough of it 😀

Even I ended up on a few shots. Just before that we were freestylin’, the one on the left is a real freestyler and rapper – Palijo. The rest of us were just improvising. I’m not sure who’s the author of this photo, I think it’s the girl on the right on the photo below

Girls…

Karaoke 😀

1Ds mkIII aka pure gold

The beast is mine. Yeah! Ok, it’s mine for an unknown period of time. Besides being a FF 21 mpix monster it has a few very cool new bells and whistles. The one that became useful almost the same instant that I got it, was the AF microadjustment function. I used it to compensate for the (just a few days ago discovered) backfocus of my 85 1.8. User can adjust it in 40 steps (from -20 to +20). The others are…Well ask google 😉 . Below you can see the before/after difference:

Before calibration

After Calibration

I just have to get me a RAW converter (I’ll probably try Lightroom 2 Beta), so I can finally shoot in RAW. I’ll use it with prime lenses exclusively. I was making arrangements to rent a 70-200 2.8 tomorrow, but I’ll probably just take 50 1.4 instead, which is also available. Along with my 85 1.8, it’ll be a pretty nice combo. It’s just a shame there’s no way to get a 135L. Now that would be a killer combo.

And here’s the pure gold diptych 🙂 :

Pure gold

Canon 450D preview

I got it today, along with the new 18-55 IS lens (kit). I haven’t done any testing yet since it’s cloudy and windy outside and it could start raining any minute as well. The first things that I noticed were the larger display, slightly bigger grip (it does feel a bit better in your hand) and a bit larger viewfinder. But basically it still looks like 400D. Most of the improvements are however beyond what your eyes can see. The new 12.2 Mpix sensor, DIGIC III with 14 bit processing, highlight priority, higher capacity battery and you can now continuously shoot at 3.5 fps. There’s also live view and it takes SD memory cards. I’m not sure about the latter, it sure is fine for those who are swapping their compact cameras for 450D, because they most likely already have SD memory cards. And SD cards can also be used for other purposes, as a storage device in MP3 players etc. On the other hand it’s yet another expense for those who have used CF based cameras. I have to test it with a 256 MB SD card 😮 . I have to get me a larger capacity memory card. If someone can spare one for a week, it would be great 😉 . Menu system has been redesigned as well and it enables features such as direct control of Speedlite flash units from the camera LCD.

The things that I can see as a con are; buffer that can store only 6 RAW images and the reduced number of buttons on the camera. Canon could have also incorporated sRAW. After all, 3 mpix would be more than enough for web publishing and 13×18 cm prints. That would be enough for media coverages and it would save users a lot of space on their memory cards and hard drives. While the user would still enjoy all the benefits that RAW can offer: better DR, more postprocessing options etc.

Here are a couple of Canon press release photos:

I’ll write a review on slo-foto.net and probably post some samples on this blog as well (surely if I’ll get a nicer lens to use along with 450D). Stay tuned 😉 .

Sigma DP1

I just got my hands on Sigma DP1. I have to get me a SD memory card, that I forgot to ask for. And fill the battery. Then I’m all set to get busy. It seems like it’s going to be a busy tech testing week, I’ll probably get Canon 1Ds mkIII tomorrow, Canon 450D 18-55 IS kit on thursday and hopefully another nice lens to complement both bodies. This is what the kit with a couple of optional accessories looks like (I got a viewfinder and hood adapter as well):

Stay tuned, I’ll get more stuff to test next week.

EDIT 22h: Photos can be enlarged when clicked and the compression is not optimal, because my photo upload interface messed up, when WP was upgraded and I had to use the lousy original WP interface. The error will be corrected when Lucifix will find the time to fix it 🙂 .

EDIT2: Problem has been resolved. You can now click on the thumbs to check it in LARGER version. Luc ur tha man!

Getting ready for tomorrow’s wedding

And these were the longest preps for a wedding that I can recall. I tried to get my hands on a 1Ds mkIII and try it out on a real assignment. I was especially curious about how effective highlight priority really was ( I saw an amazing comparison a few weeks ago), but it wasn’t available. So I got me a 1Ds mkII instead. I also bought a new (flash) battery charger with a set of batteries. I had a hunch that the old one didn’t fill the batteries completely and I was right – I checked it at a local photo store and the batteries were only filled 40-60%. I also bought a memory card, Sandisk 4 GB extreme III and I got it for a really nice price – 33 EUR. And most importantly, I solved the back focus problem on my 30D that I found out about just yesterday. I had it serviced today and it focuses spot on with my Sigma 18-50 2.8 which I’ll use on 30D (I’ll use 85 on the 1 Ds mkII). I have to thank the guys from 3A service, they’ve done a great job in a matter of hours and saved me a lot of problems (I’d have to rent another crop body if they didn’t fix it). 30D works perfectly with my Sigma now.

It looks like everything is set on my part, I just hope the weather will “fix” itself. The forecast sure looks bad:

hitraphp.png

Dolores

Here are a couple of samples from yesterday’s short session (I think it lasted less then half an hour) with Dolores. We had to cut it short, because it got pretty cold (12C), cloudy and windy and she was wearing only a top. Nevertheless I shot quite a few photos next to that blooming tree. I wish we had more time, to really work out the facial expressions (and I know it’s not easy if you’re freezing) and by that, get better photos. But it is what it is, comments appreciated.

‘sup?

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Springtime happiness

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Cuba, day 1

My plane landed just a few hours ago, so I haven’t taken many photos yet. But I did come across one of the open air boxing clubs, which is of course a part of the famous Cuban school of boxing. After a few minutes of watching the boxers practise, I laid eyes on this thing of beauty that you can see in the photo below. Juanita! After the practise was over I invited her out for a drink. Stay tuned for part 2, Juanita beach session.

Please view LARGER (or else the photo will appear soft)

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