Piccure – micro camera shake correction. Nikon D5300 has focus issues with some Sigma lenses, fix maybe. Nikon Df shipping. Nikon stock poor performer in 2013. Nikon to release Nikon 1 V3 in January. Google RAW coming to Android. Fujifilm announces digital magazine for X Series owners, updates X series firmware again. Canon C300 gets new firmware and wins Asia Silver Award. Canon to release new non-L primes in 2014 with IS. Adobe deal on PS/LR for $9.99 / mth ends Dec 2nd. Leica prices go up Jan 1, 2014. Leica takes over Sinar. Leica M240 deisgned by Jony Ive and Mark Newsome sells for $1.8M at auction. Olympus releases new firmware for the OM-D E-M1. Roger Cicala writes the Devil’s Photography Dictionary.
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I’ve actually known CJ since he was an infant, because I know his folks. He’s been into photography since his teens and as a young adult is starting to make his way as a professional photographer. He’s been published and is a very talented fellow. He recently asked me this question, after adding a beauty dish to his lighting kit. ”What’s the best lens for portraits? I’ll be doing head shots and half body shots. I’ve narrowed it down to 2 lenses, the Canon 85/1.2 L and the Canon 100/2.8 L Macro. What do you think?”
Well CJ, it’s a great question. My preferred portrait lens is actually the Canon 70-200/2.8. It’s awesome but I hold +Scott Kelby accountable since it was his articulate treatise on the subject that led me this way. That said, I own and like both the lenses you asked about and I will hold my answer to one of your selections, (which is what I actually did do).
CJ is using a Canon 7D. We tend to toss this off as “oh a crop sensor camera” as if that meant some kind of disease. The ONLY think that really matters with having a crop sensor is the effect it has on relative focal length. A crop sensor sees a smaller image circle, so if a lens that produces a full frame image circle is used (as in these two lenses), the sensor only sees part of the total image giving you the effect of shooting a longer focal length.
This is true for crop sensor built lenses too with the difference that they WON’T work on full frame cameras. If you think you’ll ever move from crop to full, or have both, only buy glass that will produce the image circle required by a full frame sensor.
The Canon sensor has a crop factor of approximately 1.6x. So simply this means to get what the effective focal length is, multiply the physical focal length by the crop factor. In the example of the 100mm lens, this means it gets the look of a 160mm lens.
This can be awesome and horrible. For sports and long distance it’s wonderful. For super wide it’s a nightmare. But CJ asks about portraits.
Back in the olden days, there was an ongoing bun fight over what lens was better for portraits, the 85mm which allowed you to get really tight, had a super large maximum aperture and had lovely focus falloff, or the 105mm which allowed you a bit more standoff distance and gave slightly more perspective compression. I know CJ asked about the 100mm, but when I was coming up, the portrait lens I yearned for was the Nikkor 105/2.5 AI. It was SO good. Well that bun fight still goes on.
The reality is that either of the 85mm or 100mm will do lovely portraits if you do your part. The 85mm that CJ asks about is the f/1.2 variant. Think sees in the dark. Also think very razor thin depth of field wide open. On a headshot with focus on the eye, the tip of the nose is definitely soft. It’s an incredible look if you use it properly. The lens also has wonderful bokeh (no rants on mispronunciation or vendor BS dumps about Bokeh – I Promise). Out of focus areas are really rendered beautifully. The downside is that the AF performance is slow. Like you can watch the lens turn slow. And this is the II iteration which is faster than the first series. It’s also surprisingly heavy. On a 7D, it acts like a 136mm/1.2 lens which is really wonderful for faces and still works for half-lengths if you stop down a bit, say f/5.6.
The 100mm f/2.8 is a different animal entirely. This is by design, first a macro lens. It delivers up to 1x life size on the sensor without additional kit. It’s tack sharp and focuses very quickly, given the sophistication that goes into macro lens design. It’s fast enough optically but doesn’t produce that razor thin depth of field as we find in the 85mm. It does produce beautiful bokeh, because that is a design criteria for top end macro lenses. This is not well known but may help explain why so many photographers love the bokeh in macro lenses.
There is a lot of noise about the number and style of the blades. Odd numbers of blades produce star effects with twice the number of points as blades, even numbers of blades produce star effects with the same number of points as blades. This has NOTHING to do with the choice of lens for portraits. More blades tend to produce rounder apertures as do curved blades and many people think that this produces more pleasing out of focus highlights. I’m one of those people.
Having shot both lenses a lot, I favour the 100mm most often. I love the look of the 85mm but since I shoot most often with a full frame now, in my opinion, the 85mm focal length pushes me too close to the subject for a headshot, particularly if the subject is not a model who may be more comfortable with big glass in her (or his) face. The 100mm give just a bit more standoff and I have not found that to be a problem in the areas where I shoot these types of portraits. I also love getting really close (eyes are awesome) and the macro is wonderful for that sort of thing. If I’m doing low natural light work, that’s really where that f/1.2 comes into play on the 85mm. Here are a couple of shots of my wonderful model Sondra shot today and attempting to get a similar perspective with the different lenses. For those all gear interested, lighting is a Bowens 500 Pro tripped by radio via Pocket Wizard at lowest power shooting through the Bowens Beauty Dish with the added diffusion sock. Camera is a Canon 1Dx in manual mode at 1/100 and f/9.0 ISO 50, no exposure compensation.
Yes, I should have brushed her hair. Bad me.
Again, although it wasn’t in the criteria that CJ asked about, I encourage you to take some time to think about a 70-200/2.8 Both the Canon and Nikon variants are really exceptional and they are extremely versatile lenses. Both are extremely sharp with excellent distortion control so great for head shots, plus the zoom gives you very quick compositional changes. The downside of this route is always going to be the physical size and intimidation factor. Please also note that I would never go with a lens optically slower than f/2.8 in such a zoom if portraiture was part of my expected outcome list.
I am always interested in hearing alternate perspectives. Recently I wrote a review of a plug-in called Piccure and indicated that it wasn’t right for me. Lui from Intelligent Imaging Solutions GmbH wrote with some suggestions on how I might improve my results.
His first suggestion was to read through the Handbook that they make available. I had scanned it, and did not read it word for word. I read it and there is a recommended workflow that I did not follow.
Lui suggested that Piccure be the first thing I do, before any other editing, stating that other filters are destructive. While Lightroom is non-destructive by design, a saved file like a TIFF as used by any plug-in has had filtration applied if editing has been done. Ok, while this is completely contrary to my normal workflow, just like Nik’s Pre-Sharpening, I will do start with Piccure before doing ANYTHING else.
The Handbook says Edit in Piccure using TIFF, 16 bit and sRGB. I would never have tried this as I prefer the proper and full colour gamut of ProPhoto RGB. Lui honestly states that in the current release Piccure doesn’t work very well with ProPhoto RGB or Full RGB. It works best with sRGB. This is sub-optimal in my view but in respect of his courtesy to write, I agreed to give it a shot.
He also suggested using a Smartspot. I had tried this but didn’t see a difference, but again, I will do so. He also coached that the Micro setting is a better place to start than the default of Medium because the design precepts behind Piccure are solely to the micro evidence of camera shake. Here’s a comparison screen grab with Piccure on the left and the original RAW on the right.
So here’s what I learned from following the Handbook and the guidance from Lui.
The sRGB choice, while I don’t like it, makes a significant difference in Piccure’s success. No longer are the colours skewed and the image is no longer made crunchy and as noisy.
Cautious placement of the Smartspot helps a lot. I tried placing the Smartspot where recommended and then also in a number of other places. This is time consuming because of the processing load to recalculate with each placement, but it definitely makes a difference in Piccure’s success.
Lui also suggested manually tweaking the defaults. I had already done this in my first review, and so I agree that this is always a good idea.
Ok I stand corrected. Piccure does a VERY GOOD job when you follow the instructions. If I did not already have a subscription to Creative Cloud (I do) and micro camera shake was something I was concerned about (it is – I shoot sports and wildlife with long lenses), Piccure is a very good solution. At $80 it may be all you need.
What I Liked
It’s a very focused offering. I can alter my workflow to put Piccure first when I use it. I’m still not completely clear about adjusting colour balance before or after using Piccure, although I believe that so long as I know the colour temperature, it shouldn’t make a big difference if I fix the WB after using Piccure. The number of variables are small and while the processing requirements are significant when set to highest quality, you get good and visible results. It does not correct out of focus shots, it corrects for camera micro shake – just as promised. In my test images the amount of shake was very small but Piccure did the corrections and so long as I followed the Handbook, I got consistently good results.
What I Would Like to See Improved
Number one for me would be to not have to drop the gamut to sRGB when going to Piccure. I’d much rather be able to have Piccure work properly with ProPhotoRGB gamuts. I am guessing that the architects understood that sports shooters might be candidate customers and pro shooters tend to shoot in JPEG regardless because they need to upload to their services on the breaks and a decent JPEG is fine for wire services and web broadcast. That would be a reasonable business decision but it’s not me. I never shoot in JPEG unless I have screwed up.
In the end, I have Photoshop CC and Adobe’s Camera Shake Reduction algorithm is very good and there are no restrictions on colour spaces when using it. If I did not have Photoshop CC, I’d be buying the Piccure plugin because it works, and because Lui advised that addressing the colour space limitation is on their roadmap. A big thank you to Lui and the rest of the team at Intelligent Imaging Solutions GmbH for building a good tool, and more importantly for caring what prospective customers think and for making a real effort at creating customer joy. Other software companies could learn from this attitude.
Check it out gang, the newest release of OnOne’s Perfect Photo Suite, v8 is available for purchase and download today. Here’s the Press Release
onOne Software Announces Availability of Perfect Photo Suite 8
New Perfect Eraser for Content-Aware Fill, Enhance and Browse Modules, Perfect Batch Processor, and Re-imagined Effects Module Evolve Popular Plug-In Into a Complete Photo Editing Solution for Every Workflow
Portland, OR – November 26, 2013 – onOne Software, Inc., a leading developer of innovative digital photography solutions, today announced the availability of Perfect Photo Suite 8—the Photographer’s Choice for Photo Editing. Perfect Photo Suite 8 is a full-featured, standalone photo editor that also integrates seamlessly with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, and Apple Aperture. It includes all the best tools a photographer needs to create stunning images.
Key new features include the Perfect Eraser, with content-aware fill technology; the Perfect Enhance module for essential photo adjustments; a new Browser that streamlines direct access to images wherever they are located; the Perfect Batch engine that applies presets to multiple images with a single click; and a re-engineered Perfect Effects module, with twice as many adjustable filters, customizable presets, and integrated FocalPoint technology. These new tools and capabilities alongside Perfect Photo Suite 8’s eight modules, one-click presets, tools for automated enhancements, and powerful controls allow photographers to enhance, retouch, and stylize images in a layered workflow, replace backgrounds, create high-quality enlargements, and prepare images for output—giving them the ability to express their creativity and transform their photos quickly and easily.
“We are extremely excited about Perfect Photo Suite 8,” said Craig Keudell, president of onOne Software. “This version is the result of what photographers have been asking for, not only from us but from the industry as a whole. We’re grateful for the contributions and feedback the photography community has invested in our effort and we believe that we’ve created an extraordinarily powerful image editing tool that meets their specific needs in return.”
After a successful public beta program for Perfect Photo Suite 8, many photographers had a chance to try out the new version and give their feedback. “The attention to your user’s needs is unmatched,” said Rebecca Lyyski, owner of Lyyski’s Designs. “As a graphic designer and photographer with an elevated workload, your product has made editing my professional photography a pleasure instead of a chore,” she adds. Greg Lambert, public beta user and onOne Software photo contest winner shared, “Perfect Photo Suite 8 continues to evolve by refining its existing capability, streamlining the interface and providing some new and exciting tools and presets to enable photographers to produce the images they visualize when they press the shutter button.”
The New Perfect Photo Suite 8 Features:
• Eight integrated modules – Effects, Enhance, B&W, Portrait, Mask, Layers, Resize, and Browse. Each module is designed to target a specific image-processing task. Together, they help photographers enhance, retouch, and stylize images in a layered workflow, replace backgrounds, create high-quality enlargements, and prepare images for use in various capacities.
• New Module! Perfect Enhance provides essential tools for basic enhancements, such as brightness and contrast adjustments; colorcast, dust spot, and power line removal; and the addition of vignettes. It is an ideal module to start with when using Perfect Photo Suite 8 as a standalone application or when quick corrections are needed.
• New Module! Browse provides convenient and direct access to image files wherever they are stored—whether they are on a computer, an external drive, a connected network, or on a cloud-based storage service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Apple’s Photo Stream.
• Reimagined! Perfect Effects – As a cornerstone of Perfect Photo Suite 8, the Effects module has been redesigned by adding adjustable filters and customizable presets, making it the most powerful and versatile image stylization tool available on the market today.
• Twice as Many Adjustable Filters to create the most sought-after looks, including:
• Dynamic Contrast – Adds stunning clarity to images and makes them pop by exaggerating the levels of contrast, without sacrificing highlight and shadow detail, creating halos, or affecting saturation.
• Lens Blur – Includes the best parts of FocalPoint technology to create bokeh, tilt-shift, and selective focus effects after the shot.
• HDR – Gives images the edgy look of high dynamic range. Settings are adjustable and create effects that range from subtle to surreal.
• Vintage – Turns photos into a nostalgic memory with retro-style filters.
• Powerful brushes provide the right results for specific editing tasks:
• Perfect Eraser removes objects with content-aware fill technology
• Retouch Brush uses spot healing to remove small distractions
• Clone Brush removes unwanted items by replicating and covering specified areas of an image
• Masking Brush reveals underlying layers or selectively applies effects
• Perfect Brush delivers precise edge-detection masking
• Hundreds of Customizable Presets are available throughout Perfect Photo Suite 8 that make it easy for any photographer to instantly create an image they love. Presets can also be used as starting points for creativity and efficiency. Presets are included in the Enhance, Effects, B&W, Portrait, and Resize modules.
• Improved Masking Bug in the Effects and Layers modules make mask creation easier and more intuitive.
• Perfect Batch engine simultaneously applies presets from multiple modules and a watermark to a selected group of images.
Availability and Pricing
The new Perfect Photo Suite 8 is now available at www.ononesoftware.com/store. Perfect Photo Suite 8 is available in three editions: Premium, Standard, and for Adobe Lightroom & Apple Aperture.
The Premium Edition works with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, Apple Aperture, and as a standalone application. It is priced at $179.95. Owners of previous versions of Perfect Photo Suite Premium Edition can upgrade for $99.95. For a limited time, orders of Perfect Photo Suite 8 Premium Edition will include a special collection of Professional Presets and The Essential Video Guide to Perfect Photo Suite 8, which provides a comprehensive collection of getting started training videos for Perfect Photo Suite 8—for free ($80 value). This offer ends on December 3, 2013.
Perfect Photo Suite 8 for Adobe Lightroom & Apple Aperture works with Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop Elements, and as a standalone application. It is available for $129.95; upgrades are $79.95. The Standard Edition works as a complete standalone photo editor and is available for $79.95. For more information on Perfect Photo Suite 8, please visit http://www.ononesoftware.com. A 30-day Money Back Guarantee backs all onOne Software products.
About onOne Software
onOne Software, Inc., is a leading developer of innovative software tools and apps for digital photography and offers time-saving software solutions for photographers of all levels, from enthusiasts to professionals. Leveraging its extensive history as successful plug-in developer for Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Lightroom, and Apple Aperture, and continued development of cutting-edge technology, onOne publishes unified solutions that offer both full-featured photo editing capabilities and the flexibility of traditional plug-ins. Founded in 2005, onOne Software is a privately held company located in Portland, Oregon. For additional information, visit www.ononesoftware.com.
I was listening to a recent This Week in Photo episode #TWIP and heard about this plugin called Piccure. It was described as a tool to help correct camera shake. There’s a 14 day free trial so I thought I would download it and give it a shot.
Most folks know that Photoshop CC has a camera shake correction and it’s quite good. Not everyone has Photoshop CC and sometimes a dedicated plugin can be the answer, particularly for people who do all their work in Lightroom. Piccure comes as a plugin for both Lightroom and Photoshop. At time of writing there was no support for Aperture.
Initially I feared that the tool would simply do some fairly aggressive sharpening, using a high pass filter style algorithm and punch the contrast up to make it look like it was correcting for camera shake. So for my tests, I used images that were already corrected in these ways and where extra sharpening and contrast would really make the shot look crispy.
I’ve netted this down to a single image for the sample pics in the article to make it clearer what is happening. Please know that I am not making my valuation based solely on a single image test. What is shown here is consistent with what I saw on all tests.
Piccure really does seem to do some significant math to determine where movement has taken place in the frame. The default settings of Medium for shake and middle ground for sharpening produced really horrible results with the test image. They were already pretty sharp. It’s definitely doing something. I got a warning that because the image was large, it could take a while. While processing, all eight cores in the Mac Pro were quite busy.
For point of interest, the test shot shown has the following EXIF.
- Canon 1D Mark IV
- Canon 70-200/2.8L IS II
- 175mm, IS mode 2
- ISO 2500
- EV +1 2/3
- Shot handheld, unsupported
When you launch Piccure from Lightroom, you do so as with most all other plugins. Right click, choose Edit In and select Piccure. The defaults are sRGB and 240 dpi. I reset those to ProPhoto RGB and 300 dpi as those are my common defaults. The Piccure window looks like this;
You can see that it gives you a look at what it’s going to do, a processing indicator and three sliders. The first controls the balance of speed of work vs quality. Default is full quality. Second defines the amount of camera shake to correct for. Default is medium. Since there was near negligible camera shake, the results were ghastly. I’ve moved it all the way to micro correction. The third slider is called Sharpness varying between Smooth and Sharp. In every experiment I end up with this all the way over to Smooth to prevent edges you could cut yourself on, along with a lot of duplication.
In the second image, I’ve zoomed in to 1:1 and you can see the Piccure proposed fixes on the right side. The Canadian flag is nearly unrecognizable the goaltender’s face cage is blown out and has black halos.
It’s pretty brutal so I backed off the Sharpening completely. In the next two images, I’ve shifted the display to show first the goaltender’s face “corrected”. Look at how shattered the OJHL logo becomes in the processed side. Then I shifted the image to show the goaltender’s face without the processing. The difference, even with the sliders for shake and sharpness backed full off is substantial. I admit I don’t like what I am seeing.
I didn’t give up at this point, but let Piccure do its thing. To my disappointment, the image is very edgy, the colour saturation is compressed, the contrast is way up and adjustments made in Lightroom have been crushed. You can see this in the next sequence. The first image is the export direct from Lightroom without using the Piccure plugin at all. The second is what came back to Lightroom directly from Piccure and the third is after re-adjusting the Piccure image.
I’m sorry to say that even while the Piccure plugin has done some camera shake adjustment, I feel like I’ve lost more than I’ve gained.
By now, you’ve figured out that I’m not really blown away by the plugin. You’re right. For $80, I’d like less crispy and less overall image loss. I need to be fair, there was very minimal camera shake involved in the original image, but these are the ones I would want to tighten up. If the shot is blur city, it goes to the trash.
As a final point of comparison, here’s the LR edit passed through Photoshop CC invoking the Camera Shake Reduction filter and returned to Lightroom before export. Consider that Adobe now has Lightroom and Photoshop CC for $10 a month. You can have both programs for half again what the plugin costs on its own. I hope the folks who make Piccure continue to enhance their product. I won’t be buying a license at this stage. I can get better results using the tools that I have. Fortunately software is an evolutionary business and they can continue to improve. And perhaps Piccure is exactly the right thing for people who may not care to spend as much time in post-processing as I do, or who have more shake evident in their images.
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Janet writes; “I am getting into sports photography because I spend so much time in arenas since my son and daughter both play hockey. I have a Nikon D5200. It came as a kit with two lenses. One is the regular lens and the other is a telephoto zoom lens. The zoom says Nikon DX Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm1:4-5.6 G ED. The person at Best Buy said it was perfect for hockey but my shots are all blurry. I use the camera in the fully automatic mode. I want to get nice pictures of my kids but don’t have a lot of time to learn all about photography. Is this a good lens? Is this a good lens for hockey?”
Well Janet, hockey is pretty challenging. Most amateur arenas have horrible lighting, the sport is pretty fast, and you have somewhat limited shooting positions. When I was doing the TV show with Bryan Weiss we had OJHL Director of Photography Brian Watts on the show and he talked about the gear he uses. Brian is a professional, but his advice is, I think, very good. I also agree with him.
To make good pictures in the arena, you are going to have to do a few things. It will be easiest if you come off auto mode and set your camera to aperture priority (it’s the A on the top dial). Then set your ISO to 3200. You have a great camera with a very new sensor and it will do a good job at ISO 3200. This high number tells the sensor to be more sensitive to light. You will get a bit more digital noise at higher ISOs but if you are sharing on the web or making prints up to 8×10 this is going to be just fine. You will also want to set your camera to continuous auto focus that Nikon calls AF-C. I don’t have a D5200 handy but this is usually a switch on the body, often on the front near the lens.
There are two more setting that you will want to make. First put the camera in continuous shooting mode. CL will give you up to 3 frames (pictures) per second, and CLH will give you up to 5 frames per second. Second, find the control for Exposure Compensation and set it to +1.5 or +1 ⅔ depending on how your camera is setup. You want to overexpose a bit because of all the white ice.
I suppose I should also mention to have a large fast SD card in the camera, so you don’t have to wait while the buffer empties or you don’t run out of shots before the game is over. When I shoot hockey, I average about 200 shots per period. Most of them aren’t keepers, I expect a very high discard rate. Better to shoot and throw away than not shoot and miss the shot you want.
Now to your last question, about the lens. It’s a good lens particularly for outdoor work. But without trying to upset you, it’s really not the right lens for hockey. The focal length (biggest amount of zoom) in this case is 200mm. On a crop sensor body such as you have this is like shooting with a 300mm lens on a professional grade camera like the Nikon D4. This is good because it reduces size and weight. Unfortunately the lens you own is optically very slow, too slow in my experience for success inside arenas.
If you still have return privileges, I would pack the lens up neatly and get your money back. I don’t mean to disrespect Best Buy, I’m sure that there are nice people there, but they likely don’t know photography. Head in to a photography specialty store and look at the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 lens. It’s physically bigger than what you have and weighs a bit more, but at 200mm it lets in two more stops of light than the lens you have. Without a bunch of techno-babble that means FOUR TIMES as much light. That will make a huge difference for you. The lens is often on sale, and as this is being written in November, holiday and Black Friday sales are going on already.
In Canada, where I live, Sigma offers a 7 year warranty, no need for extended warranties on this stuff. Do get a quality protective filter for the lens. A Tiffen UV is a great filter and much less expensive than some of the other brands. I won’t kid you, expect to pay about 5x for the Sigma what you got the Nikon kit lens for. If you cannot afford this you can use the lens you have but I am concerned about having enough lens speed for good hockey images.
Once you have the lens on the camera, you’ve made the other settings I mentioned and you are heading into the arena, use the camera’s controls to set the LOWEST aperture number the lens can deliver. On the Sigma, this is f/2.8 at all zoom levels. On the Nikon it will be f/5.6 at 200mm, dropping to f/4 at 55mm. This is called opening up the lens or shooting wide open. You want as much light as you can get.
Now put your AF focus point on your player of choice and hold the shutter button part way down. In Continuous AF, the focus will adjust as you and the player move. It’s very effective. When you think you have a shot, press through gently and let the camera take 3-5 frames. Hockey is tough because sticks, hands and other players can get in the way. In a great hockey shot, you can see the player, the stick, the puck and the player’s eyes. As I tell my students, repetition is the mother of skill. Shoot a lot, throw away the ones that didn’t work out at home and keep refining.
I tend to recommend shooting in RAW instead of JPEG, but you indicated that you don’t want to spend a lot of time learning photography. In this case, it’s probably easiest to set your camera to large JPEG and the Picture Control to Standard. If you have a program that can convert your RAW images and you are happy doing some editing, shoot in RAW.
As a final tip, since you are shooting your own kids, don’t miss a great play because you are scanning through the pictures or deleting bad shots on the camera LCD. The time between periods is your best time to review, not while the game is ongoing. Every game I hear a photographer moan when he or she misses a goal because he or she was looking at the back of the camera.
It is absolutely possible to get great pictures of amateur hockey in your hometown arena. Here’s an example from a couple of weeks ago that I shot in my town.
Thanks for writing in, I hope that this article helps!
Yes, this is directed to Canon, but if you are a Pro or using Pro level gear from other manufacturers, feel free to change the name and model numbers because it applies to you too.
Why do you insist on treating those people who spend the money on your Professional or near-Professional equipment with such disgusting disrespect?
I am a Canon Professional Services member. I own a 1D Mk IV (expensive), a 1Dx (expensive) and a C300 EF (even more expensive). If I want wireless connectivity, I can spend $849 retail for a chip in a hunk of plastic to do slow WiFi for file transfer. If I had gone to a 5D Mark III, I would get the privilege of paying over $1,100 for WiFi connectivity.
Considering that your entry line of point and shoot cameras as well as multiple of your non-Professional grade cameras have built-in WiFi, how can you even consider justifying the Highway Robbery of the prices charged for WiFi for your Professional level gear. Don’t tell me it’s about the quality. Your expensive products perform no more better than the Bob’s Wifi I can buy for $24.99 for the laptop at the local computer store. In fact they have lower performance and poorer user interface.
It’s thievery pure and simple. You charge Pros more for less because some turd in Marketing decided that the market would bear it. Find that idiot and fire him or her or the entire committee that made this stupid decision. Immediately drop the price of wireless to under $100 and do your highest paying clients a service instead of a disservice.
We use your pro level gear. We spend more on a single lens than your average customer spends on three cameras. We upgrade more often and your reputation gets enhanced because of the quality and commitment we put into our work. Please stop screwing us on the accessory front.
You don’t need to prove you can treat pro level users as badly as Nikon does. They charge $899 for the WiFi adapter for the D4. They also charge $70 for the same capability adapter for their consumer lineup. Just because one major Japanese manufacturer screws their customers doesn’t mean you have to as well.
I challenge Canon to DO THE RIGHT THING. I have no optimism that you will, but I’m throwing the challenge in front of you regardless. I DARE YOU TO RESPOND.
The Photo Video Guy
Nikon announces the DF, lots of noise, preorders not as strong as expected. Nikon revenues are down, company drops full year forecast. Nikon releases new firmware for the D3100, D3200, D5100, D5200 and P7700. D610 is oil spot free. Nikon updartes NEF to 1.20.0 Canon to release the SL-1 in white. Canon releases and then pulls firmware for the C300. Gordon Laing reviews the Sony A7/A7r. Fuji releases E lenses firmware updates. Ricoh announces ultra wide for Q. Adobe has release candidates for ACR 8.3 and LR 5.3. Blackmagic updates firmware for Pocket Cinema Camera. Apple updates RAW converter and patches Aperture.
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Another query from Darren;
“On a full frame camera the image circle has to be large enough to encompass
the full size of the image sensor. My question is: On a full frame mirrorless camera can the size of the lens be smaller? On a DSLR camera the lens has allow for the mirror. On a mirror less camera the lens does not have to allow for the mirror. Does this mean a lens like the 70-200 f2.8 can be made smaller for a mirrorless camera??”
The answer to this question is a qualified “yes”.
The size of the image circle is an exercise in optical physics. The arrangement of lens elements in a lens is designed to accomplish the goals of the lens designer, one of which is to define the placement of the image circle to the focal plane. It’s a common understanding that the size of the lens dictates the size of the image circle.
This is not necessarily so. The size of the lens is also impacted by the distance the lens to the focal plane. For example. the lenses on my Hasselblad have to create a larger image circle than the lens for the Canon full frame. The Lenses are physically larger. Back when I was shooting medium format film, the lenses for my Mamiya RX67 were much larger than for the Hasselblad 500CM. Both arrangements had to deal with allocating enough space for a mirror.
However, on the Sinar which is a large format camera where the lens board is connected to the focal plane by a bellows, the lenses are actually quite small.
Thus one can conclude that lens size is only partially related to image circle size but also must take into account the distance from the rear element of the lens to the focal plan.
In looking at mirror less camera / lens combinations, we find that most mirror less lenses are physically smaller than their counterparts for APS-C and Full Frame. This can be attributed to the lack of requiring space for a mirror, a considerably narrower camera body and the requirement for a much smaller image circle.
Creating a larger image circle where the lens mount distance doesn’t change and the amount the rear element can enter the camera body is not limited by the presence of a mirror requires that the work must be done optically. While this could mean elements larger in diameter, it could also mean elements with more radical curvature, the use of more dispersion managing elements and the use of more aspherical correction in the elements. Lens speed in terms of maximum aperture is also going to be a big factor in physical lens size. Building that 70-200/2.8 for the full frame mirror less could result in a physically smaller lens, but it may not. That decision is going to be up to the lens designer.
My guess is that they will work towards smaller and lighter at the cost of maximum aperture. In the case of full frame mirror less the aperture is a direct comparator when it comes to depth of field whereas f/2.8 on a full frame has less depth of field than f/2.8 on a micro four-thirds built lens when images are compared.
So the answer is a qualified “yes” but only the lens designer will have the final word.
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“Does anyone have an answer for the Rendering Intent to use? I researched found Relative Colorimetric is more accurate but may produce some Banding. Perceptual will not result in banding but the color may not be as saturated or accurate. In a Henry’s printing class, using A Canon 9000 and Canon paper, I was told to have everybody use Relative Colorimetric. Everyone’s prints looked like monkey poop. When I had them switch to Perceptual their prints looked much better. Most of their prints had greens and green foliage.”
I think this is a great question because it confuses many photographers printing at home and because the explanations are often not very useful as I have seen. I’ll take a shot at this.
Let’s agree that different mediums display colour differently. The old CRT produced colours that look different from the IPS LED LCD displays of today. Images that are backlit look different from those that are projected. Prints look different based on the surface texture and finish of the paper.
I’ve written lots about the importance of profiling your display before you edit, and recently answered a question from Denis on printer profiling. Darren’s question comes out of that answer.
When we edit on our computers and have calibrated the display, we are working with an image that is as close to “real” as we can get. When we go to print the image, even when the printer and paper are profiled or we are using an ICC profile, occasionally an image looks, to use Darren’s words, like monkey poo. This typically results from the rendering intent being selected. I did a quick direct survey of folks I know who print on which of relative colorimetric and perceptual that they choose and got a resounding “Yes, if the first one looks good I stop, If it looks bad, I try the other one.” Effective but hardly scientific.
It’s All About the Gamut
What is gamut? Gamut means the complete range or scope of something. In an image, we typically think gamut when we think of the complete range of colours. Printing paper has less colour gamut than a backlit LED powered LCD display. This is why an image that screams at you on screen can have less power when printed. Glossy papers typically have a wider gamut than matte papers, hot pressed papers typically have a wider gamut than woven papers. I use the word typical because it means true most of the time but not always.
In this example, we see the gamut for the different colour spaces we could use in editing. This image comes from a great document on Adobe’s site called Color Managed RAW Workflow. It was written by the inestimable Jeff Schewe. You can download the document here. The document was written to help people make better prints using a much older version of Photoshop so it is a bit dated. The concepts contained therein remain absolutely viable.
We can see the horseshoe shape of visible colour and we can also see the gamut limits of the three main editing colour spaces along with an overlay of the gamut response of 2200 Matte Paper. Plainly, working in the sRGB colour space is going to produce severe out of gamut situations and the image is going to look crappy. If we were to use the Adobe RGB colour space, there’s only a tiny bit of out of gamut area, in the yellow/orange area. If our image doesn’t have much in those colours we might be ok, but if it does, a little tuning can adjust it to fit the capability of the paper.
We work very hard editing our images using Curves, Tonal Mapping, HDR and push pull tools to maximize the dynamic range (number of stops rendered) and colour space. Most serious editors know not to edit in sRGB or even Adobe RGB but to instead use ProPhoto RGB. These are all good steps but it could start to fall apart when we go to print.
Inks and papers will sometimes not have the gamut of the final image. This translates to mean that the colour range of the image extends beyond the capabilities of the media to represent it. While there are four rendering intents in general, only two are worked with when making photographic prints. They are Relative Colorimetric and Perceptual.
The question you as the artist has to determine is what you want to happen when the gamut of the original exceeds the capability of the media. There are two options provided. In the first option, called Relative Colorimetric, we accept that there are out of gamut colours and are comfortable with losing them. Just has excessive overexposure causes highlight clipping, we can say that in this model we have colour clipping. The colours that are in gamut for the media are rendered accurately but colours outside the gamut are lost entirely. This can produce images that don’t look complete, or overly flat. The colour is right, but there is stuff missing.
The alternative is Perceptual. This is the equivalent of compression. We take the image gamut and compress it to fit into the gamut space of the media. We don’t lose any of the colours, but we concede colour accuracy as all the colours get shifted subtly to make space for the entire image gamut in the more limited gamut of the media. This is the generic default when your printing application doesn’t ask you which one you want. The colours are not bang on right but as much of the colour gamut as possible is preserved through the compression. Colours towards the middle of the gamut, (see the illustrations) shift less than colours towards the edges. If your image is composed of a lot of colours toward the gamut edges you aren’t going to like it much.
In the image at left you can see the clipping that occurs with out of gamut colours when using Relative Colorimetric. You can also see the compression of colours that occur with Perceptual. The graphic is from a longer article by the great people at Photozone.de. Click here to read it. Selecting the rendering intent is often done first. I propose doing it last. Let me tell you why .
Getting to the Print
In Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5, Adobe added Soft Proofing. It’s in the Develop module and users sometimes get very confused why it isn’t in the Print module since you are using it for printing. The rationale to put it in Develop, according to Adobe folks I spoke to at Photoshop World, is that making a proof is like making a unique edit. They’re right, because I have printed the same image on vastly different papers and ended up with different edits for different papers.
Basically you do your edits and when you are ready to print, and have set up the Print module, you jump back to the Develop module and click the button to turn on proofing. Then you MUST select the ICC profile for the printer / paper you intend to use. If you don’t do this, don’t even bother going through proofing. What Adobe has done, is to attempt to show you what the printed image is going to look like and how it will be different on different papers using the printer you selected.
What this function will do is show you where your image and rendering intent will work and where they will start to fall apart. You can now start moving your edit sliders and curves around to pull the proof image back into a pleasing output. It’s really very powerful. Where it frustrates people is when they have punched clarity, saturation, blacks, whites, hues and sharpness very hard to get a screen image they like only to discover it will look like turtle puke when printed. This is a great tool as well to help decide what paper you will print on.
Let’s start with a RAW image right out of the camera. No processing done to it at all. It’s not a particularly interesting image but it does have areas of high colour saturation, one of the first places where gamut boundaries get exceeded.
Note the red berries. Even with no editing done, we could have a gamut problem as we will see when we switch to a Soft Proof view of the same image.
Even in a low quality web image you can see that the soft proof will not look the same as the RAW image. The colours are flatter, and I’ve turned on the gamut output device warning so those red berries have a marker on them to show that with the current image settings, this print will be out of gamut.
In this smaller image you can see the out of gamut warning indicators on the berries themselves. This means that if we were to print this as is, the berry colours would be out of gamut. They’re out regardless of which intent we use, but the flattening will be greater if we choose Relative Colorimetric. If we were to choose Perceptual the entire image colour palette will be compressed.
Take a look next at the Soft Proof panel that appears when Soft Proofing is selected. Here we can see the paper ICC profile being used, in this example Red River Paper’s wonderful Polar Pearl Metallic using the driver for the Epson 4900. We see that the intent being displayed is Relative Colorimetric and that we have set Lightroom to simulate the paper and ink. That last setting is critical to be able to do the next step in making a great print that doesn’t cross an out of gamut threshold. And it is incredibly easy.
Next we see a capture of the full Lightroom screen.
I’ve made a Proof Copy to start. This allows me to start with my edited version and makes a new Virtual Copy specifically to be adjusted using Soft Proofing to correct for out of gamut conditions. In addition to the basic development settings, I draw your attention to the use of the Targeted Adjustment Tool (TAT) in both the Tone Curve and HSL panels. By placing the TAT on the areas being flagged as out of gamut, I can make specific adjustments to correct these areas without changing the entire image. Here even thought the out of gamut warnings are still active, they are not showing up because I have been able to leverage the point selection power of the TAT to subtly manipulate the Tone Curve and the Saturation by colour. I always try to manipulate the image to achieve an intent of Relative Colorimetric first because it holds all the colours and keeps them accurate. If I cannot get there entirely, that’s when a flip to Perceptual will typically bring everything in line. It’s subjective at this point of course.
The really good news is that now when I print this image on the Red River Polar Pearl Metallic, it will look like it does on the display. I find the paper and ink simulation to be very good, as close as one can come when the edit is backlit and the final print is reflective. It’s still a boring shot, but now at least it has good colours with no colour out of gamut.
I want to thank the great people who came before me and shared their knowledge such that I could teach myself and eventually share my learning with others. And if you have questions, don’t forget to send them in to email@example.com