Contax N Digital

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chrisrice

Can anyone help me as I have just taken an N Digital on trial and want to use in high key studio with studio lights. Has anyone got any tips on settings to bring out best in the camera i.e. is manual exposure best etc?
Thanks in anticipation
Chris Rice
 

irakly

Well-Known Member
What studio lights? If you are going to use strobes, there is a sync setting of 1/125. There are no special tips, just shoot away. This camera has 11 stops of latitude, so do not be shy
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Chris, set the Camera on manual & J-peg large to use the LCD, and once you have the camera set the way you want (exposure etc.), switch to RAW capture. RAW unfortunately doesn't have a review (which is one of the flaws of the ND). If you have PhotoShop CS, there is now a RAW converter 2.2 available m Adobe (
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), which now supports the ND camera.

The ND has a wonderful tonal range for a digital camera and is really at home in the studio. Set the ISO on 25 and you can use more open apertures with dialed down strobes. Big broad light sources help tame the tonal gradations. I use radio senders to trigger strobes (just in case to protect the camera's electronics).

You can also shoot to a computer with the ND and review as you shoot. See your Manual.
 

albert4321

Well-Known Member
Chris,

The ND is excellent with studio lighting, indoor or outdoor. Always shoot manual when you use artificial light. The TTL is very unreliable in my experience. But exposure is right on the dot (corresponding to the flash meter reading) with studio light in manual mode.

If you have to shoot TTL, set the ND in Av, Tv, program or manual mode. Set your flash, say the TLA360 in Auto (not TTL), let the flash to control the light. The older dSLRs (unlike the 1Ds mk 2) are doing a poor job in TTL flash due the reflectiveness of the sensor is different from films. So Quantum suggests to set the flash to Auto instead of TTL. I have not used this method enough to make a statement, but so far the auto mode works petty well for me. I have to say the ND is doing a pretty good job not to allow over-blown image in TTL mode with the TLA360. Much better than the 10D in my brief experience.

Finally, JPEG1 gives a pretty good quality already. It also provide preview and histogram. If you shoot JPEG, just save your image to TIFF before you do any editing. Shooting RAW is great but it requires extra time to develop it. It is a pain when you have hundred of RAW files to deal with in each session. But the CS has a great RAW developer with great speed. Shooting TIFF is too slow for practical situation. Imagine how long for any device to write a 18meg file. It also take too long to upload the huge images into your computer. An one Gig card can only hold 50+ TIFF images, it takes over 10 mins to transfer those images back to my laptop.

The ND give great images if you lighting and exposure is right. It goes true for all cameras I guess.

Albert.
 

coyot

Well-Known Member
I was curious about comments on the latitude of digital. If an image has a complicated lighting scene, I have noticed that the ND and other digital cameras have a significant drop off. If the brighter side of the image is well exposed, the shadow lacks detail. Color film seems to capture a much greater range of light.

Any comments?

Thanks,

Michael.
 
D

djg

I actually find the dynamic range of the ND raw when well exposed almost as good as I ever remember getting in Fuji Reala film. But I have not done any real comparisons, seeing as I don't currently have a film camera. I'm going by the fact I don't feel I'm missing anything when I look at my images.

DJ
Probably going blind
 

albert4321

Well-Known Member
When exposed well, the ND is great. But like most of the digital cameras, the ND tends to have a lot of noise in the shadow (or under exposed area.) The newer generation of Canon EOS image processing engine seems to handle shadow and hi ISO situation better.

With negative, you can play with push and pull to control a better tonal range. With digital, the latitude is much lesser.
 
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djg

I was never happy with much pulling or pushing of color film to control the dynamic range - I almost always would get color shifts I did not like, and grain would suffer. B&W film is another matter altogether. Of course I was never all that great in chemistry class to begin with
.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
As people learn more and more about the properties of digital capture, and the cameras advance both in meg count and in-camera processing, the issues of dynamic range are lessening.

In my experience, all three of the new Canons are much improved in these areas. In addition, I have become more sensitive as to where to place the toe of my histogram readout on the LCD. Where I tended to slightly underexpose to assure preservation of the highlights, I now strive to " expose to the right " while taking care not to clip the highlights. When shooting RAW, I've found that you have more dynamic range latitude than slide film and a bit less than neg film ... so with experience you get to a point where very few if any shots are lost to blown highlights, and fewer and fewer shots suffer from crushed blacks that produce noise when lifted via the RAW developer or Shadow/Highlight tool in PSCS.

In fact, Proper technique employed in the RAW developer of PSCS allows amazing control of the dynamic range. When faced with crushed blacks, I lower the Contrast and use the Brighten slider as opposed to the Exposure slider, which I never use anymore.

Here is one of the first shots I took with the Canon 1DsMKII upon taking it out of the box in my studio. It is of a worker up a ladder fixing my skylight. The light was direct on his face and the room behind him was darkened. I don't know if it will show here on the web, but the darks contain plenty of detail while the front of his face is far from being blown. Subsequently, I have found that more of the L lens properties are apparent due to 16 megs of full frame capture. The true test will come in harsher sunlight. And I wish I had an adapter and some older Contax primes to run a test.

This shot was with the 1DsMKII @ ISO 800 (no noise!) using a Canon 180/3.5 handheld @ 1/50th (available light / no fill flash

 
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djg

That's shocking for ISO 800, Marc. Is that an IS lens? If not, nice steady hands!
 

irakly

Well-Known Member
DJ, there is nothing shoking for ISO800. 1D Mark II delivers the same noise level (or should I say, lack of one) at ISO1250, and I would not expect anything less from a camera with the same brain, but larger eyes
 
D

djg

Irakly, shocking to the MK II illiterates
. Now if I could only get my 1Ds MK II!
 

coyot

Well-Known Member
> Irakly, I looked at your two shots and the one at ISO 800 was just great. But I thought the one at ISO 3200 of the woman was an effective shot but looked flat and noisy ... like it was underexposed and then brought up in Photoshop?

Still though, a nice shot.

Thanks,

Michael.
 

irakly

Well-Known Member
Michael, it was exposed correctly, but I forgot to mention that I had to add some noise in Photoshop to my liking, I swear
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Michael, the ISO 800 shot was mine using the 1DsMKII.

Here's what that camera does with ISO 3200 shooting the same worker at the same time as the 800 shot was done:

Canon 1DsMKII @ ISO 3200, 160th shutter, 180/3.5@ f/5.6



 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
It's mind boggling to think that a 1Ds with a 24 meg sensor is already being worked on and tested in an alpha version!
 

coyot

Well-Known Member
> Whoops. Sorry for the wrong credit Marc.

The ISO 3200 image is much flatter and has alot more noise than the ISO 800 image (at least on my monitor!). But hey, it is four times the sensitivity of the ISO 800 shot. We would expect some noise and a decrease in contrast!

Michael.
 
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