Steve

Have you seen this NEX-5 firmware update Rel. 5  information?
I am not sure what it would do for me or if it is even worth downloading.  Any comments?


I continue to search for the elusive "Critical Focus" with all the pictures taken.  Having some success with the D5100 but somewhat disappointed with the Sony in this area.  Read most if not all your articles on the subject numerous times and still not fully able to take the next step up the ladder to nirvana.  Been trying the Lightroom 4 beta and see some nice improvements.  Not sure I will really master it until one on one instruction becomes available.  Hope all is well and you are planning your summer return to BKK.

Rickster

 

Hi Rick  -

No, I hadn’t seen it but I looked it up after you gave me the heads up and it appears to be significant in that it provides compatibility with the new LA-EA2 adapter for using Alpha lenses which includes phase detection AF (like a DSLR), some menu updates and functions related to phase detection autofocus, with MICRO ADJUST.. which just might be what you’re looking for to get that last bit of critical focus.   Assuming you’re doing everything else right micro-adjusting your lens would be the icing on the cake.

 

No, I hadn’t seen it but I looked it up after you gave me the heads up and it appears to be significant in that it provides compatibility with the new LA-EA2 adapter for using Alpha lenses which includes phase detection AF (like a DSLR), some menu updates and functions related to phase detection autofocus, with MICRO ADJUST.. which just might be what you’re looking for to get that last bit of critical focus.   Assuming you’re doing everything else right micro-adjusting your lens would be the icing on the cake.

 

The color peaking I’m not sure about.. I’ll have to use both and see.. see how far off if any my lenses are, and if color peaking provides more balance across the color channels.

 

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/NEX3-5_V5_manual_EN.pdf

 

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/NEX3-5_V5_manual_EN.pdf

Yes, as of this moment I’m planning on being in Bangkok from 6/20-7/20 roughly. 

Let me know if you’re interested in a workshop.. we could probably clear up all your remaining issues and get you that critical focus and a higher level of competency in LR4 if you’re interested.   I would recommend adding a DSLR (I’ll provide it if you’re not carrying one) to the mix so you can see the differences in real time. 

 

Let me know if you’re interested in a workshop.. we could probably clear up all your remaining issues and get you that critical focus and a higher level of competency in LR4 if you’re interested.   I would recommend adding a DSLR (I’ll provide it if you’re not carrying one) to the mix so you can see the differences in real time

 

Can you believe it has the nerve to snow here?   Unbelievable!  It’s 4pm and 15f and snowing. 

Steve

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Hello Steve,

I'd like to know if you could tell me why the clouds in image "Samsonvale_Public_Hall_Set_01_HDR Efex Pro" are so distorted. I've added the original files (reduced to jpg's) and also included a copy of the finished result from 2 other HDR programs.


I am trying Photomatix Pro at the moment, but it doesn't seem to produce the HDR effects that I am after!
What I find hard to understand is that sometimes HDR Efex Pro will give me perfect results and other times like the above, it fails miserably.  I have looked at a few VDO tutorials on both programs from the internet to try and see if it was me that wasn't using the setting properly, but even floowing them I still fail. The second set titled "Shorncliffe_HDR_Set_01" have worked very well for me in HDR Efex Pro.  I have realised that night time HDR's are not working for me, so will leave them alone for now!


Charles

(Charles posted the image on a web gallery and it's now gone so only the text part of my answer is available.  Please attach images to your email so I can keep them for record.  Thank you)

Hi Charles –

Yes, the reason your clouds are distorted is because they’re probably moving about 100-200mph and during the time it takes you to capture multiple exposures they move just enough to give this effect.  You’ll see this in water if there is any movement on the surface, and in the branches of trees if there’s wind.  A very common problem.  HDR is for ‘static’ subjects because anything that moves blows the picture.. and clouds, tree branches, water, and the more obvious move..

About the mixed results.  Each image is different and sometimes a plugin will be set right on, but most of the time it will need to be adjusted.  This is one of the reasons I like Photomatix, it’s “tone-mapping” requires your input with each image so you get used to making this adjustments.

Good luck with your practicing.
Take care

Steve

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Steve -

Wife and I spent most of the weekend in the local hills learning about and taking lots of pictures. She has made great progress learning how to use the Nikon D5100 with all the settings that are available. During our first session last week she was running about 25/75 good to bad. This week’s results were at least 80/20 good to bad. This is the result of her spending a lot of time with the Instruction book and trying the various options that are built into the camera.   (This is a rick we take when we buy our wives cameras.. :))

She has always had a good eye for taking interesting and unusual pictures and the Nikon will really show what she can produce.
My improvement is another matter that has been hampered by various situations involving the NEX-5.

I am using the 18-200 mm lens and having problems getting it to focus each time I try for a shot. About 25%+ of the time it will not focus and I am forced to turn off the camera and then back on to start the focusing process. This is on a bright, sunny day where a quick focus should be easy.

So the question is, why the focus issue with the camera? Is it something I am doing or could there be a situation with the camera/lens. What drives the lens focus mechanism, where does the power come from?  I am shooting using the Program Auto and Aperture Priority settings on the camera.

An area which seems to be working well is with the Aperture Priority setting on the camera. I have set the F-stop to F9 and let the ISO and shutter speeds adjust as needed. Results have been good with this setup as I switch between PA and AP on the camera.

There are a few questions that I would like your help with: (NEX-5)      

I am using the 18-200 mm lens for most of the macro pictures. Would a better option be to use the 18-50 mm lens for macro pictures? What would you recommend?

When using the AF assistant (red light) it only stays on for appox. 1 sec. Is this normal? It seems that in the past it stayed lit for much long period.

My shots of flowers of all types are really good with one exception. The reds of roses and other flowers are always very vivid, mushy and not “clear”. Any suggestions?

The ease of turning on the video camera function when not wanted is a real pain. Just brush by it and it’s on. A real pain, oh well.

The inability to turn off the shutter sound when not wanted is also a real pain. Sony says that’s the way it is. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Rickster

 

Rick -

Good to hear from you again!  That's a lot of questions so let's take them in order.

Most serious macro shooters prefer a longer focal length so they can be further from their subject and still fill the frame with subject.  This allows them to not get in the light in some cases, not get stun by bees or scare away subjects in other cases, and more I’m sure you can imagine.  Either lens technically will do fine, it depends on your subject to camera distance desired.

I’m not familiar with this one on the NEX-5.. but normally they stay on as long as you’re “in focus”, up to a max amount of time.. then they go off.

“Really good” and “very vivid, mushy, not clear” are not compatible.. are you saying they’re focused but the petals/body seems soft regardless?  It sounds like the exposure is off, and white balance.  White balance you can adjust in post processing with zero image degradation penalties.. but exposure you pay for.. so get it as correct as you can.  Experiment with exposures and see if you can find one where you get the nice detail you’re after.

Place a piece of gaffers tape over any control you don’t need to move easily.  You should see my cameras as I prepare for a wedding, they look like disasters with all the gaffers tape all over them to ensure I don’t move controls without realizing it.

I can tell you how to turn off the sound permanently.. I’ve done this.. a dremel tool meets piezoelectric speaker works wonders.. otherwise hope Sony listens and makes a firmware mod.  Gaffers tape will muffle the shutter sound quite a bit.. try 2-3 pieces until you get the level you’re after.

I hope this helped.

Steve

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Steve -

I recently wrote to Nikon asking about using AF Illuminator on the D5100.

Below find their response to my question. Is this standard on all cameras that have both a view finder and a LCD/live view capability?

The only other feature on the D5100 that causes problems is when using the camera indoors on "AUTO" setting. When taking pictures with flash the wife's shots all come out with a lot of noise.

I am finding that all these pictures are 1/60 sec(or less), F4, and ISO 3200. This is the cause of the noise as I see it.

Using my NEX-5 and other pocket cameras in the same environment, with flash, the results are very different. Most of them come out at ISO 1600 or less with little if any noise.

What do you think is causing the high ISO setting on the D5100?

We are working her towards using the "P" settings on all photos.

Thanks as always.
Rickster

 

Rick -

Good questions. Below are my answers.

Yes.  When using the viewfinder you’re using a different type of AF system than when using liveview.  I’m not sure why they couldn’t tell you that in the response.. but it sucks that they didn’t.

I’m not sure about the D5100, but many DSLR’s allow you to set limits on certain auto functions like “Auto ISO” and “Auto” exposure.   In that you can set the min/max ISO and shutter speeds.  They usually ‘default’ to a high ISO because then your flash works at longer distances and uses less power and recycles faster at shorter distances.  Or in other words, it makes your camera more “capable’ in certain situations.   (but suck in others)..

Look for these limits and see  change the ISO to 1600 and the shutter speed to 1/60th.  If the pictures then have acceptable noise but are a bit blurry, set the limit of the shutter speed to a faster speed like 1/90th or /1200th.   Your built-in flash will have enough power for these settings in a regular sized room, but not in an open outdoor environment where more reach is needed.

Take care Rick..

Steve