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  #1  
Old 21st March 2010
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The Day After The Fair

I have hired the 50-200 SWD this week to see how it compares with my 70-300 for photographing theatre in usually low light conditions. The following were all taken in a school classroom with fluorescent lighting, plus a large window facing on to the actors (although it was late afternoon and pretty dull outside).

In camera I used the Fluorescent 3 WB, mainly ISO 800 rather than higher to minimise noise, matrix metering, S-AF, Face Detect off, single centre point AF, IS1 and sRGB and all shots were taken wide open and usually without any exposure bias (to increase shutter speed).

PP was all done in Lightroom 2.6 and consisted of clarity, sharpening, noise reduction and the Huelight E-30 profile for all then individual exposure and recovery adjustments as necessary.

Here are 4 of the best from today:


The Day After the Fair 4


The Day After the Fair 6


The Day After the Fair 8


The Day After the Fair 10

The gallery with the rest of the images can be found here:
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/939

Initial thoughts are that it is a much heavier combination than the 70-300 but it is wonderfully quiet and much faster to focus. No issues with hunting in this lighting, though typical shutter speeds were ~1/60 so problems with keeping actors in focus - camera shake was not an obvious issue.

Comments on my camera settings would be particularly welcome.

Roll on Tuesday when I'll be shooting in the theatre itself.
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Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
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Old 21st March 2010
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Re: The Day After The Fair

Hi David, nice set of images and sharp where they need to be and the backgrounds nicely out of focus. I cannot comment on the settings as these seem to have worked out perfectly for you..well done. I also like the huelight profile for the e-30 though sadly I lost mine when I changed computers and his site is no longer there.

I will just comment that on my monitor they seem overly orange, so pehaps a little colour balence adjustment while in LR2.

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Old 21st March 2010
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Re: The Day After The Fair

Yes, a nice set of shots. Whilst I agree with Paul that the colour balance is not as "technical" as it should be, I actually like the warm tones given the context.
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Old 21st March 2010
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Re: The Day After The Fair

They are good shots, with well judged dof.

As to white balance, well I prefer the original shots. They are more in keeping with the 'period' when lighting would be by oil lamp or gas mantle (or oil flare for the stage). Quite different lighting from that we now use.

I think, at times, we get over 'hung up' about white balance. Just because we can 'map' an image to reflect what would have been seen if it was under perfect white light shouldn't mean we have to, as long as we make conscious choices about the light and how we wish to use it (photography - art of light)

Nick
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Old 21st March 2010
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Re: The Day After The Fair

Glad your hire is proving fruitful

All three of our 50-200s (apart from one non-SWD example) are out on hire this weekend.

The sharpness is very impressive. I would probably settle for a WB inbetween the two shown here.

Ian
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Old 21st March 2010
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Re: The Day After The Fair

Thanks for the comments. WB is a very subjective choice, and possibly here where it was a rehearsal without theatre lighting I could have chosen to balance more in the direction of 'proper white'. Even so, I tried to pick a temperature on location that matched what I was seeing in the room at the time.

When shooting in theatres themselves I certainly dispense with shooting a grey card first as:
a) the colour temp will change throughout the show, and
b) I want to capture the production lighting as much as the actors and set.

Of course, add into the mix colour profiles, printer profiles and monitor calibration and it does become a bit of pot luck.

Any thoughts on the other settings I have chosen to go with? Having compared with other shots I have taken in the same location using the E-30 coupled with a 70-300mm I can probably afford to push the ISO to 1250.

What about the choice of metering? Matrix or centre-weighted?

As for the DOF comments they are somewhat kind, as the aperture is primarily governed by trying to get enough light in given I don't shoot with flash unlike some who have photographed productions I have been in. Though I do think the two-person-one-in-focus/one-out-of-focus does help draw you towards the focussed actor nicely.
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Old 28th March 2010
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Re: The Day After The Fair

The lens has gone back but is now firmly on my wish list. Here are my favourites taken from the dress rehearsal itself:







Cheers
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Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
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