Loading 120 Film into the Rolleiflex 3.5F Camera (podcast 689)

Loading 120 Film into the Rolleiflex 3.5F Camera (podcast 689)

This is just a short video to show you the process of loading a roll of 120 medium format film into the Rolleiflex 3.5F TLR camera. Moving forward I will be releasing short videos like this as individual episodes like this, just as quickly consumed snippets of information. These will usually be in addition to a full weekly episode, so I hope you find this bite-sized information useful.

You can see all film-related episodes using this grid.

[ess_grid alias=”film-posts-grid”]


Show Notes

Follow us on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/martinbailey

Music by Martin Bailey


Video

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Autofocus with Extenders on Mirrorless Cameras (Podcast 674)

Autofocus with Extenders on Mirrorless Cameras (Podcast 674)

This week I answer a question from listener Derek Bezuidenhout, who recently asked what happens with mirrorless cameras when we add an Extender or Teleconverter, so I’m dedicating this week’s episode to answering that Derek’s excellent question, which I’ll read out to you now.

As we know, when using an extender we typically lose 1 stop of light for a 1.4X extender or 2 stops of light through the lens for a 2X extender.  And when using an extender on a DSLR, because of the way the focusing mechanism works, either the camera won’t be able to focus at all, or it will only be able to use the centre focus point.
With mirrorless cameras, the focusing mechanism is completely different – it uses the main sensor instead of dedicated focus points. So does that mean that with an extender on a mirrorless body we would be able to reliably use all (or most of) the available AF points, rather than just the middle one?

Derek Bezuidenhout

I can’t believe I didn’t think to mention this in my EOS R reviews, but I didn’t, so I really appreciate this question. Thanks, Derek! I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear that you surmised exactly what happens as you posed your question.

DSLRs Today

The camera manufacturers have made strides in their recent years, enabling most modern DSLR cameras to focus with extenders down to an aperture of f/8. What this means, is if you are using an f/4 lens, and put on a 2X Extender, which reduces your aperture by two stops, your camera’s widest aperture changes from f/4 to f/8, and you maintain autofocus on at least the center focus point, sometimes more, depending on the camera.

If however, the minimum aperture of your lens is smaller than f/4, for example like my 100-400mm lens, with its widest aperture of f/4.5 at 100mm or f/5.6 when zoomed in to 400mm, on a DSLR that only focusses down to f/8, because I would be forced down to f/11 at 400mm when adding two stops, the autofocus stops working.

The Mirrorless Advantage

Because Mirrorless cameras focus differently, as Derek pointed out, at least as far as my Canon EOS R goes, it will continue to focus down to f/11 and what’s more, according to Canon’s website, you can continue to use autofocus across the full range of 88% x 100% on the image frame if you are using Mark III Extenders, which I am. This is the same as when you are using no extenders. Apparently with Mark I or Mark II Extenders that is reduced slightly to 80% x 80% of the total image frame, which is still very good in my opinion.

When we consider that many DSLR cameras bunch the autofocus points up towards the center of the frame, it becomes quite limiting to where you can place your subject in the frame, especially when photographing something like birds in flight, when you actually might want to place the subject much closer to the edges sometimes.

Demo Video

I tried to think of a way to show you the speed of the autofocusing system and how wide an area the camera will focus across, and figured it was probably best to just show you in a video, so I hooked my EOS R up to a video capture box and recorded my screen as I switched between my 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 Mark II Lens with no Extender fitted, to using it with the 1.4X Extender, and then the 2X Extender. I also show the 200-400mm with its built-in 1.4X Extender engaged, and a 2X Extender fitted, so both are focussing at f/11 with the 200-400mm lens at a focal length of 1120mm.

Extender Demo Setup
Using LED video lighting to demonstrate the EOS R autofocusing with Extenders fitted

Finally, I disengage the built-in 1.4X Extender to show you the effects of just having the external 2X Extender fitted. For all of these demonstrations, I was using the Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter to fit these EF lenses to the RF Mount of the EOS R.

Things to note are that autofocus does slow down very slightly, especially when using the 1.4X and 2X Extenders together. Also note that I did these demonstrations in my studio with bird ornaments, so in reality, when the autofocus has further to physically travel, it can be a little bit slower than you’ll see in the video as well. Anyway, here is the video, so please take a look.

I hope you found that interesting or at least useful to see. I find it amazing that we can now use autofocus at this level, down to f/11 apertures.

Upcoming Autofocus Improvements via Firmware Update

I noticed too that Canon have just announced a firmware update to improve autofocus further. On the US website it just says coming soon, but in Japan it is slated for the end of September. Here is what Canon are saying:

AF function improvement for EOS R and EOS RP Cameras

A new firmware update for Autofocus (AF) with the EOS R and EOS RP cameras will soon be available. This exciting new update will offer enhanced AF functions to help you better view, track and capture subjects. The three main components are:

  • Eye Detection AF will be improved so you can better focus on a moving subject’s eye even if it is far away or when the face appears small in the viewfinder. 
  • AF frame tracking is improved so there is virtually no delay between the actual focusing and when it’s displayed in the AF frame, helping you continuously track the subject and shoot comfortably.
  • The AF function works faster overall so even at a distance, you can capture the subject quickly.

This firmware will be available via a free download in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

I look forward to seeing how these changes affect autofocusing, and I can’t wait to see where the autofocus on mirrorless cameras leads us next. I honestly did not expect autofocus on these cameras to be anywhere near as good as it’s proven to be. Being able to focus on a sea eagle a split-second before it snatches a fish from the sea, as in this photograph from this years Japan Wildlife Tours, I had no complaints, but improvements are always welcome.

Steller's Sea Eagle Snatches Fish from Sea
Steller’s Sea Eagle Snatches Fish from Sea

Anyway, we’ll wrap it up there for this week. Thanks once again to Derek for the great question! Also, note that I’m running behind on the development of my new Mentorship system. Various things and other commitments have kept me a little too busy lately, but I am working on it and hope to release something very soon.


Show Notes

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

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Capture One Pro 12 New Features Video (Podcast 658)

Capture One Pro 12 New Features Video (Podcast 658)

I recently released a video that I created for the Phase One team, covering all of the new features in my raw image conversion and management software of choice, Capture One Pro.

I actually created the video around four months ago, when Capture One Pro 12 launched, but I have been pushed to find a week when I didn’t have something else that I wanted to share with you, so it’s been on the back-burner for a while.

The video is exactly 10 minutes because that’s all the time I was allowed, so some features are only touched on briefly, but we do take a deeper dive into some of my favorite new features such as Luma Range Masks, so I hope you find this useful. If you aren’t a Capture One Pro user, please take a look anyway, to see how we live on the dark side, and if you would like to see more, visit my Capture One Pro Tutorials page for a list of all videos I’ve released on Capture One to since I jumped ship from Lightroom in the summer of 2016.

As a reference, here is a Before/After of the main image that I processed in the video so that you can compare the sky after I worked on it with the new and incredibly powerful Luma Range Mask Tool. Grab the vertical bar in the middle of the image, th en you can move that left and right to see the difference between the two images. Especially notice how we are able to keep the lightest parts of the sky light as we darken down the rest.

Anyway, here is the video. Do hit that full screen button and I hope you enjoy it. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or suggestions for future videos.

New Features at a Glance

Also, for your reference, here is a breakdown of the key new features that I cover.

  1. Completely updated Look and Feel
  2. Now supports plugins!
  3. Better Masking Tools!
  • The UI has been overhauled with new icons and a better but familiar layout, and Capture One Pro now uses a larger font for better viewing. It’s also now possible to search for Keyboard Shortcuts – Yes!
  • We walk through Luminosity Masking with the Luma Range Tool. Improved Linear Gradient Masks that can now be moved with COMMAND key, or made asymmetric by dragging with the ALT or Option key pressed. And we can now create Radial Gradient masks!
  • Copying of Adjustments is now more intelligent, as image specific adjustments like Spot Removal are now ignored by default, but can be turned on when necessary.
  • Capture One Pro now supports Plugins! JPEGmini are among the first, and this opens up all sorts of doors. I can’t wait to see what other developers create!
  • Fujifilm Film Simulation – if you are a Fujifilm camera user that’s probably useful for you.
  • Capture One Pro just goes from strength to strength, and I hope this walk-through helps you to understand the new features in version 12!

Download Capture One Pro

You can download Capture One Pro and try it without any limitations for a full 30 days. Be careful though, it only took me an afternoon to realize that I was about to change my photography forever!


Show Notes

You can view all of the Capture One Pro tutorials that I’ve created here: https://mbp.ac/c1tutorials

Download a 30 Day Trial of Capture One Pro here: https://www.captureone.com/

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

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Download this Podcast as an MP3 with Chapters.

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Photographer’s Friend Depth of Field Calculator Tutorial (Podcast 634)

Photographer’s Friend Depth of Field Calculator Tutorial (Podcast 634)

For this week’s episode, I’m releasing a new tutorial for our Photographer’s Friend Depth of Field calculator, and I’ve included some practical examples from the field so this may be useful as a general tutorial, even if you don’t own Photographer’s Friend.

I was actually going to just release this video in the background, but with a bunch of stuff that came up and the fact that it’s supposed to be a holiday in Japan today, I decided to make this it for this week. If you are completely uninterested in our iOS app and have no interest in Depth of Field, I have a nice meaty episode lined up for you next week, so please stay tuned.

If you are interested in the new tutorial though, I’ve embedded it below, and you can also find it on our Photographer’s Friend Tutorials page. Also, a quick shout out to listener Ron Paynter in Australia, with a thank you for pointing out that I had a typo in the Startup Help for the Exposure Shift calculator. I can’t believe I missed out the “f” in Shift, but thanks for bringing some laughter to our breakfast table yesterday morning Ron.

I was actually working on a minor update to the app anyway, so the typo has been fixed in version 3.0.4 which is already on the App Store ready for people to upgrade. Anyway, here is the video, which I hope you enjoy, and I’ll be back with another episode next week.

You can see more details on the Photographer’s Friend product page.


Show Notes

Find out more about our Photographer’s Friend app for iOS on the product page here: https://mbp.ac/app.

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

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Creating Capture One Pro Camera Profiles with Lumariver (Podcast 618)

Creating Capture One Pro Camera Profiles with Lumariver (Podcast 618)

Note that in September 2020 I updated this tutorial as a new post here. The process has become much easier and less error-prone following some updates, so please follow the later tutorial.

Following on from the previous episode, this week we look at creating camera profiles for Capture One Pro using a product called Lumariver Profile Designer. This is a video again, so the audio player is basically redundant, but I’ll include it anyway.

I’ll leave my notes below, for those that prefer to read, but this really is an episode that requires you to watch the video to not only understand how to create these camera profiles but also to be able to see the benefits when applying the profiles to images in Capture One Pro. Here’s the video.

My Procedure Notes

Here are the notes I made as I prepared for this episode.

The Lumariver manual states that exposure should be around 220 on the white patches, and I have a photo of the Digital ColorChecker SG from last year that is around 221 on the white patches, so that’s perfect! This image was exposed so that the white patches were not blinking, but 1/3 of a stop brighter would have made them blink on the camera’s LCD.

We first use the White Balance picker to set the white balance using one of the mid-gray patches and note that the image is pretty much a perfect 5000K white balance. Nice!

Then we need to go to the Base Characteristics panel, and under ICC Profile select Effects > No color correction, and also set the Curve to Linear Response. We then export the file as a 16 bit TIFF with the ICC Profile set to Embed camera profile, then export a second TIFF with the Curve set to the setting we usually use, so I’ll go with Auto.

Next select New Project from the Edit menu in Lumariver Profile Designer and select “General-purpose ICC profile”. You can use Lumariver to create DNG profiles for use in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw, but our objective is to create a camera profile for Capture One Pro, my raw processing software of choice, so we need to select ICC profile. 

We then click the Load Image button and load our linear curve TIFF file, and then select the Illuminant that is closest to the light source that we photographed the target in. My custom white balance showed me a reading around 5000K so D50 is smack on. Then select the type of target used, which in this case is the X-Rite ColorChecker SG. 

Press the Show Target Grid button and align the corners of the grid that is displayed with the registration marks on the ColorChecker target, then turn on the Grid is in place checkbox. Click on the Tone Curve label towards the bottom of the right sidebar in Lumariver, press the Load Base Curve button and select the second TIFF that we exported with the Auto Curve applied.

The next option, Curve Mode is actually key to making Camera Profiles for Capture One Pro that work without having to brighten your images up again after applying the profile. You need to set the Curve Mode to Add to Base Curve. The default setting of Replace Base Curve gives you a dark profile. On this screen let’s also load the curve from the Capture One Pro load the ICC profile from Capture One.

Under the Look section, I changed the Tone Reproduction Operator to Neutral, as opposed to Skin&Sky, as I don’t really want anything changing. I also changed the Gamut Compression to None. Gamut Compression basically compresses the colors into a smaller working color space, like sRGB or AdobeRGB, but as I keep my images in ProPhotoRGB for as long as possible, and because I know that the camera is working in a much wider color space, I don’t want to limit them falsely with the profiles I’m creating. It’s great to have these options!

Finally, under the ICC Export section, I turned on High-Resolution LUT, because I can, and we’re now ready to press the Render button. Wow! Right there I like what I see very much. We can now export the ICC profile. The default Profile folder that was selected was for me only. So that I can access this profile from other users, should I create any, I changed this to the /Library/ColorSync/Profiles folder, and called my new profile “CanonEOS5DSR-MBP Generic”. I used this naming convention so that Capture One Pro would list my profile alongside the other CanonEOS5DSR profiles.

I also created a second profile with a 3D LUT (Look Up Table) selected under the Optimization section. The manual says that this is really for Reproduction profiles, but being me, I always want to try to use the best possible options, and 3D LUT profiles apply the corrections differently according to the brightness of the color. Although the manual warns that 3D LUT profiles should only be used on images shot under the same conditions, my tests have shown that these work great as a Generic ICC profile for my Canon 5Ds R. 

Note that I needed to leave Scale to Match off when creating a 3D LUT profile, as turning this on made my images too bright, unless I used the Linear Response Curve, and then actually the images looked OK, although a little flat.

Then if it was open we need to restart Capture One Pro so that it can find the new ICC profiles, and all we need to do is select the new profile under ICC Profile in the Base Characteristics section, and WOW! Just watch those colors pop! If you want to really bring out the most from your camera, I think we’ve just found the way to do it!

I honestly didn’t think it was possible to improve the image quality of Capture One Pro, so this is a pleasant surprise. I am going to be applying this new profile from now on, and will also go on to create some other profiles for my studio lighting etc. I think a couple of profiles will probably be enough to cover most of the work I do.

Lumariver Profile Designer Cost

Although the process to create a profile is a little more complex with more steps, once you have saved a project, creating future profiles is a piece of cake, and the look of the images with these profiles is great!

All importantly, the price is very reasonable. The Pro version is said to be enough for photographers, at €100, but for a little extra control and options, the Repro version will set you back €200. 

This product now has a place in my Capture One Pro workflow. It’s not that I was unhappy with the color of my images, but I do often tweak it, and these profiles get me closer to where I want to be, and that will be a huge time saver. I just wish I’d found this software sooner!

You can download Lumariver Profile Designer here: http://www.lumariver.com

You can try Lumariver without a license, but you can’t save the project or profiles without a license. That’s still useful, as you can see your photographs after rendering them, to ensure at least that you have the process down before you buy.


Show Notes

Download Lumariver Profile Designer here: http://www.lumariver.com

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

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Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

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