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Posted 7/18/08

chinky_sonny wrote:

i have other questions but let me take it one at a time. (i am sure many will learn from the Q&A)
Related to the previously answered question, how about indoor portrait photo using film and digital camera with available light and controlled light (flash or studio light)?



Again, it's not really a question of comparing portraiture quality between film and digital camera for indoor studio photography. Each have their own benefits, and it really just boils down to what media you're more comfortable with using.

I'd also be more keen to answer that question by comparing, instead, different lenses that you might opt to use in indoor studio photography, as well as the arrangement and number of stroboscopic units you'll be using for the shoot. If we're talking about a typical bust-up portrait, then I recommend a 50mm f/1.8, simply because it's cheap, sharp, and does an excellent job at portraiture. If you have the money, using a 70-200 f/2.8 is also an excellent choice, especially if the portrait is to be taken with a background. The creamy bokeh that is produced from this lens will give the portrait impact, as well as definition.

As for lighting, you might want to consider at least 2 strobes ~ one for fill, and another for background lighting. There are other complicated set-ups you can do with more lights, but if you're stuck to one, then, at the very least, make it an off-camera flash. This is what makes the D70s a better candidate, as it can utilize a built-in slave command for activating an SB-800 off-camera. In addition, the D70s can achieve a higher flash-sync speed at 1/500, making it more flexible for photoshoots with indoor stroboscopic lighting. The FM2 is a little limited, as it is slightly antiquated, and requires a "pocket wizard" or similar device to trigger off-camera flashes. Despite this, the TTL system is pretty much at par, but only the D70s can take advantage of the advanced iTTL system of Nikon's CLS (creative lighting system).

So if you REALLY want me to put a line between the D70s and the FM2 in terms of use in indoor flash photography, then I'd have to go with the D70s for it's flexibility and diversity in flash photography.
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Posted 7/22/08 , edited 9/26/08
I have read and used this for quite some time (is this the right forum? or should i open one that will focus on this concern?)

Learn Photography
Equipment: camera, meter, flash, tripod
This article is directed at new photographers out there who want to know where to start.
If you really want to learn photography the first thing you need is a good affordable and reliable camera. It must, and I repeat must, be able to shoot in fully manual and fully auto focus modes. (This leaves out any digital cameras on the market right now, sorry.) To really learn photography you must understand the equipment. You’ll need to learn how manipulating the shutter speed, aperture, and focus will have a dramatic effect on your photos. Meters, if you have a camera that can work in a fully manual mode it should have an internal meter suitable for what you will be doing. Tripod, you’re going to need one whether it’s portrait work or landscapes you’ll need one eventually. Luckily you don’t have to spend a lot here, just something lightweight and durable. Flash, you can buy a separate camera mounted flash, which is great if you can afford it. Consider what kind of photography that you will be doing though. If you’re going to do mostly nature and landscape, you may only need the fill flash that comes with most cameras today. If you plan on doing portraiture alone you will want to consider a camera mounted flash that has an adjustable angle. Film, film speed to be exact. Slower speeds (25 to 400) are intended for portraiture and landscape photography. Faster speeds (600 and above) are intended for actions shots and photojournalism. So first you need to know what you going out to photograph and make sure that you have the appropriate film for the job. Now that you have the camera loaded with film consider shutter speed. Do you want to blur motion, or freeze it? If there is no motion at all what shutter speed do you need to expose the scene with natural light. From 1/60th and down to the bulb setting will blur most motion. For example if you want to blur the water in a waterfall, a setting of 1/30th should work. (You’ll need a tripod though.) 1/125th is a normal setting for most shots. On many cameras the 125th setting is marked in a different color to make it obvious. If you want to freeze action you’ll need to start with 1/500th and work up from there. The faster the motion the faster the shutter speed needed to stop motion. Many cameras go up to 1/2000th of a second. If you’re trying to use natural light alone in a scene you will want to determine the aperture first and then see what shutter speed you need to properly expose the scene for available light. (Keep in mind sometimes there isn’t enough light.)

Aperture, these are the set of numbers on your lens closest to the body of the camera. They can go from 1.8 to 22, and they are referred to as F-stops. These numbers determine how much light reaches the film inside of your camera. Most internal meters will blink on the appropriate aperture for the shutter speed that you’ve set, or the speed you’ve set will blink if your F-stop is correct for the speed. Both the F-stop and shutter speed can be changed to expose the scene correctly. Consider that the faster the shutter speed the more light will be needed to expose the scene correctly. This makes logical sense if you think about it. If the shutter isn’t open as long, fast shutter speed, then there is less light able to make it to the film and so the scene must be brighter to expose correctly. To learn, bracket your shots. Take the first shot at the aperture suggested by your meter, move one stop up, take a photo, one down, take another photo.

Flash, I personally like shooting with natural light whenever possible and at most I use a fill flash. But if you’re going to do portrait work then most of the time you may be indoors and you will need a flash sometimes. For the amateur the fill flash units that are on the top of most of today’s cameras are wonderful for basic work. You will have to read your manual on your particular flash unit to learn what it can and can’t do. This is where the camera that is fully manual and fully auto is great for the amateur. You can usually set it so that the camera will meter and set the flash output accordingly and then you still can control the shutter speed and aperture.

This week’s assignment: Have several rolls of 400 speed film, find a subject that you can work with preferably something that won’t move, and shoot one roll of film. Shoot some of the roll in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Bracket every shot, take notes on time of day and light conditions, and what your settings (aperture) were for each frame, keep the film speed the same for the entire roll. Have the film developed and examine the photos. You should be able to see a difference in each frame. You’ll need to repeat this procedure until you feel that you understand the relationship between shutter speed and aperture, and every camera and meter has it’s own quirks and differences, you’re camera will act differently than someone else’s. This way you will learn you own particular camera as well. Once you have a sense of how aperture works you won’t need to bracket every shot you take, you may only need to do it in cases where you want to be extra safe on exposing the subject correctly.
Part 2: Basic Composition
Now that you are beginning to understand how your camera works you can begin to understand basic composition. I know that many people that I’ve talked to think that photography is just pointing your camera and taking a photo but it’s more than that. After you understand how your equipment works you can begin to get into the real art of photography and that art is called composition.

Basic principles:
1. Use all of your available space. Fill the image with the image, if the reason that you are taking the photo is your daughter’s beautiful face then get closer. If you’re taking an image of the breathtaking valley before you, fill the frame with the valley. Keep distractions out of the frame. They’re called distractions for a reason.
2. Look at the forms in your image. You almost have to look at the people or the landscape before you in their simplistic geographic forms. A good way to learn form is to practice taking photos of still life objects that you can arrange into pleasing forms. A good photo is always a beautiful arrangement of form, whether it’s the beauty of a woman’s face, her features being forms, or a wonderful landscape, trees, rocks, and hills being forms.
3. Line or direction, motion. The direction of the forms in your photos is very important. Never have action or motion moving outside of your image. It will direct the eye away from your image. Diagonal motion lines are good, curves and “s” curves are better. The last two is probably way landscape photography is so popular nature is full of curves. Also never put a horizon line in the center of your frame.
4. Contrast, the difference between black and white. Now it is possible to have a beautiful photo with little contrast if that is your intention, this works best with color. But a lot of shots, some really beautiful shots have a nice balance of black, white, and grays. This can be manipulated for artistic purpose of course, but in the beginning you want to focus on trying to take shots with equal amounts of black, white, and shades of gray. (Shoot a roll of B&W film to really learn this principle.)
5. Color, you may have to familiarize yourself with the color wheel. (See my article Graphic Design Using Color for more information it’s for graphic design but the first couple of paragraphs talk about basic color theory) Whether you’re shooting nature or setting up your own shots in a studio you need to know what colors go together and why. Many of us have an instinct as to what looks good. When in doubt follow your instincts. Start out by taking shots of things that you think have pretty or beautiful colors. Show the photos to others and see if they agree. Photographers learn not only what they think is beautiful but what is universally beautiful as well.

Now the hard part, practice all these principles at the same time. It’s not easy! Now you really know why photographers take years to really learn their craft.

This week’s assignment: Let’s break this down into four assignments. You’ll need four rolls of film. Roll one, fill your available space. Shoot pictures of whatever you like, but get closer. Eliminate distractions from your image. Keep the focus of your image on whatever it was that made you want to take that photo. Roll two, forms. Here’s an old stand by that I did in college. Get out an assortment of vegetables and fruit from your kitchen. Put a sheet down on your table, no distractions, shoot an entire roll of the veggies and fruit making sure that your rearrange with each shot. Make sure you study your results and see which forms looked best. Roll three, Contrast, you can do this in B&W film if you want to. Take a shot of the flower in your garden in the early morning, afternoon, and sunset. Shoot some portraits at the same times, by candlelight too. When you see the results you will be surprised. Roll four, color. Use the vegetables again, this time paying attention to the colors. If you can tell me why a red tomato looks best on a green bed of lettuce or the orange sunset with the purple clouds is so captivating then you’ve figured out some of color theory.
Part 3: Content
Even if you feel that you already know what kind of photography you like to do, it’s always a good idea to try your talent at different aspects of photography.

Pictorial, this is a general term but it applies to any photographer whose goal is simply to create beautiful photos. This breaks down into smaller subsets but the most popular form is landscape and nature photography. This is what I do and it’s tempting to go on and on but I will just say that this form of photography, to me, is a real art. At least that is goal to create art in photographic form. It is the goal of the photographer to use their abilities to capture an image in its moment of beauty and simplicity.
Portrait, this can be people and even animals. It also includes wedding photography as well. This is an aspect of photography that can be a lot harder than it seems. Not only do you have to know your basic photo composition but you need to understand what makes each person look their best. You must know how to bring out their personality and character in the shot. If you love working with people this may be your field. It’s fun and challenging.

Photojournalism, now this isn’t just press photography, though that is one aspect of it. It is also documentary photography as well. The latter doesn’t always need an event to occur right in front of you. Either way the purpose is to tell a story. Really good photojournalism shouldn’t need the text below it to tell you what is going on. It should be compelling and storytelling. Composition still plays a part, you can’t tell a story if the story can’t be seen. And while these photos can be beautiful in their technical aspects they aren’t necessarily beautiful images. The story telling is as important.

Abstract, probably not as common of a form of photography but I’m seeing it more and more. This is usually characterized by extreme close ups of detail of something, so much so that you can’t identify the original subject. But in this case that doesn’t matter since the abstract detail or pattern is the subject of the photo. (Color can also be the subject as well.) Basic composition still plays a part, maybe a bigger part in this form of photography.

This week’s assignment: Four rolls of film again. Roll one, pictorial, get outside and try your best using all your abilities to capture moments of beauty and simplicity. Composition is the key here. Roll two, portrait, get somebody to volunteer for you. Remember composition but really focus on finding the shots that make that person look their best. Use different light, background, camera angles, or even clothes. Roll three, photojournalism, outside or inside anywhere you see stories. This can be as simple as a child playing with their toys. Find the appropriate moment to take a shot that tells the story. Roll four, abstract, details, details, and more details. Get in close, make sure that you can’t identify the subject but find beauty in the color or details of the item.
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Posted 7/23/08 , edited 7/23/08
Wow... this is a long entry, but I appreciate the effort. It's great to know that you're enthusiastic about teaching people the nitty-gritty techniques of photography. However, there are a couple things in your post I'd like to point out as points for clarification:


Putter wrote:

It must, and I repeat must, be able to shoot in fully manual and fully auto focus modes. (This leaves out any digital cameras on the market right now, sorry.)


Am I to assume that this statement is referring to single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras? In this day and age, you don't really NEED a camera that can shoot fully manual, but having one that can will most certainly help you take pictures in situations where automated settings might have difficulty. It also doesn't mean that Digital Cameras are out of the question. Far from it, digital cameras are indispensable, and quite a number of them have semi-SLR functions, giving them a semi-AUTO feel. They may not be as flexible as fully manual cameras, but they are still useful in many respects.

You also qualified that manual focus is necessary. Actually, this really depends on the situation, and I'd probably only use manual focus if I were shooting macro or still life. Again, it isn't really a must that you have one of the two, or even both ~ what matters is that whatever functionality the camera has can live up to the expectations (and demands) of the user. So I beg to disagree with you when you limit your scope to only a few cameras.



Meters, if you have a camera that can work in a fully manual mode it should have an internal meter suitable for what you will be doing.


Be careful with your terms. The more accurate term (at least as far as what I THINK you're describing is) is metering, and not simply "meter". Metering refers to the complex internal calculation of the camera to account for exposure settings, and how it translates to adjusting aperture and shutter speed settings. It also refers to the mode of which the camera will account for exposure characteristics in a given composition. Again, metering characteristics can reflect the flexibility of certain exposure modes (i.e. Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority, Manual), but that doesn't mean to say that the scope can (or should) be limited to simply cameras with fully manual modes.



If you’re going to do mostly nature and landscape, you may only need the fill flash that comes with most cameras today.


Not really. Most photographers would like to avoid using fill-flash in nature and landscape photography, simply because it tends to distort the colors of the scene, and renders some of the colors inaccurately. In addition, fill-flash is only used when there is a subject in the foreground that needs to be lit up against a relatively bright background. It's also difficult to use fill-flash, or any form of stroboscopic lighting for that manner, in nature settings (i.e. shooting wildlife), because it tends to call attention to yourself, which can be dangerous in some situations.

Instead, photographers opt to "fast lenses" (i.e. having an aperture less than or equal to f/2.8 by most standards), or by utilizing GND (graduated neutral density) or ND (neutral density) filters. Other polarizing filters can be useful, as well, for most landscape purposes. In addition, wide-angle lenses are most preferred for landscape photography, while telephoto or telephoto-macro (telemacro) lenses are preferred for most nature photography subjects.



Slower speeds (25 to 400) are intended for portraiture and landscape photography.


Not necessarily. Though it is ideal to use lower ISOs for portraits (to reduce grain) and landscapes (to reduce overexposure), there are certain instances where high ISO speeds are favored simply for artistic effect (i.e. using high ISO grain on portraits to increase texture). In addition, ISO 400 is already considered "fast", but is typically a "gray ground" for ISO speeds.

In addition, ISO speeds can differ between film and digital bodies. Todays dSLRs can reproduce film grain rather well, but it's usually a rule of thumb to consider film ISOs as slightly slower than digital camera ISO speeds.



Faster speeds (600 and above) are intended for actions shots and photojournalism.


If you're referring to digital camera standards, then yes. For film standards, ISO 400 is usually the highest you can go (with consumer film), but ISO 800 is usually the next film available for use. Since it's rather difficult to procure, compared to ISO 400 film, photojournalists using film tend to us ISO 400 with "fast lenses".



For example if you want to blur the water in a waterfall, a setting of 1/30th should work. (You’ll need a tripod though).


Tripods are used when incidence of motion blur due to hand movement (handling of the camera) become apparent due to low shutter speeds. As a rule of thumb, use the rule of reciprocity to determine the minimum shutter speed needed to reduce the incidence of hand shake. The rule of reciprocity simply states that the minimum shutter speed needed to reduce hand shake is equal to the reciprocal of the focal length of the lens. So if say, for example, you're focal length at the time of shooting is 30mm, then you'll need at least 1/30 shutter speed to reduce hand shake.

The rule of reciprocity, though, can have a little wiggle room within the wide and normal focal length ranges (i.e. <10mm ~ 72mm). This means that if you have really steady hands, it's possible to take a shot at 1/20 at 50mm without having any noticeable hand shake. However, the rule of reciprocity holds true strictly when you reach the telephoto range (i.e. >72mm), so you might want to consider using a tripod when you use a telephoto lens with slow shutter speeds.



1/125th is a normal setting for most shots.


Not necessarily. There is no "normal" shot, per se, but as long as you follow the rule of reciprocity, then any shutter speed that doesn't fall below the minimum shutter speed required to reduce hand shake is fine.



Aperture, these are the set of numbers on your lens closest to the body of the camera.


Many lenses, today, use a G-type body; meaning they don't have any aperture numbers or aperture rings, as indicated. Aperture, strictly speaking, refers to the opening of the lens to light as limited by a retractable diaphragm, which controls the amount of light passing through the lens and entering the camera. The numbers don't refer to the aperture, but refer to the f-stop, which is a ratio of measurement between the aperture opening and the focal length of the lens.



They can go from 1.8 to 22, and they are referred to as F-stops.


There is no fixed range for f-stop ratings, and they can fall within any theoretical value of 1 to infinity, simply because the f-stop is the ratio between the focal length of a lens over the diameter of the aperture opening. Practical ranges include f/1.8 to f/32, but some can go as low as f/1.4, or as high as f/45.



For the amateur the fill flash units that are on the top of most of today’s cameras are wonderful for basic work.


If you can avoid using the built-in speedlight of your camera, then do so. Built-in speedlights (or flashes) provide poor lighting, and tend to overexpose the subject relative to their background. In addition, using the built-in flash increases the chances of inducing red eye in your subjects. Avoid using built-in flash whenever you can.





I'll leave my comments at that. These type of posts are good for groups, but so long as we're in this thread, I suggest you limit the content in your posts, so that you don't end up overwhelming other users.
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Posted 7/23/08 , edited 7/24/08
for quality prints the MP counts also one can increase size with minimal loss using genuine fractals.. ( it is the photographer not the camera sensor/gear that makes great photos) a regular snap shot normally ends up printed in less than the size of a half bond paper so a 4MP camera can do most of the job unless one goes for sports and other low light conditions where speed and high iso capability is needed.

paper size in inches = 4 x the sqrt of MP

example at 4MP

4 x sqrt of 4 = 8 inches

at 9 MP

4 x sqrt of 9 = 12 inches

at 16 MP

4 x sqrt of 16 = 16 inches

at 25 MP

4 x sqrt of 25 = 20 inches


edsamac wrote:

Wow... this is a long entry, but I appreciate the effort. It's great to know that you're enthusiastic about teaching people the nitty-gritty techniques of photography. However, there are a couple things in your post I'd like to point out as points for clarification:


nice inputs specially on the digital field as it will bridge the gap. generally all we need is a 4 MP camera with manual setting for point and shoot . sensors of low end d cameras are hard to tame on light (situational) . should that happen adjustments after the shots are needed like bracketing and combining two images in photo edit such as making an overlay and removing unwanted exposure.
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Posted 7/24/08

Putter wrote:

nice inputs specially on the digital field as it will bridge the gap. generally all we need is a 4 MP camera with manual setting for point and shoot . sensors of low end d cameras are hard to tame on light (situational) . should that happen adjustments after the shots are needed like bracketing and combining two images in photo edit such as making an overlay and removing unwanted exposure.


Are you referring to HDR when you speak about combining images? Bracketing functions in digital point and shoot cameras might not be all that useful, so for what it's worth, point and shoot cameras work best for exactly what they were made for ~ pointing and shooting.

It wouldn't be fair to pit up advanced techniques on digital point and shoot bodies, but for what it's worth, they have limited flexibility in some models, allowing slight adjustments of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO speed. Still, an SLR is ideal in taking full control of any situation.
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Posted 7/24/08 , edited 7/25/08

edsamac wrote:


Putter wrote:

nice inputs specially on the digital field as it will bridge the gap. generally all we need is a 4 MP camera with manual setting for point and shoot . sensors of low end d cameras are hard to tame on light (situational) . should that happen adjustments after the shots are needed like bracketing and combining two images in photo edit such as making an overlay and removing unwanted exposure.


Are you referring to HDR when you speak about combining images? Bracketing functions in digital point and shoot cameras might not be all that useful, so for what it's worth, point and shoot cameras work best for exactly what they were made for ~ pointing and shooting.

It wouldn't be fair to pit up advanced techniques on digital point and shoot bodies, but for what it's worth, they have limited flexibility in some models, allowing slight adjustments of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO speed. Still, an SLR is ideal in taking full control of any situation.


I agree with you since i am a sucker of slr . The message is for those who are low on budget and for those who are caught out there with a simple camera and they have to make the shot. The low cost point and shoot with manual settings and even without ( that is to include disposables) will do the trick because the camera does not matter however one must be able to see and take the photo.

I am posting this photo to support my point . Photo taken by using a lomo.



The Lomo



Photo using canon A530




The canon A530

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Posted 7/24/08
i'm using a nikon f-something
but i'm also going to be using an ISO 3200 film for one of my assignments, what is this film ideal too?
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Posted 7/25/08 , edited 7/25/08

FoWarD_it wrote:

i'm using a nikon f-something
but i'm also going to be using an ISO 3200 film for one of my assignments, what is this film ideal too?


ISO 3200 is for low-light situations, and isn't really recommended unless you really know what you're doing. This film is easily overexposed in high light, and produces considerable amount of grain when used to take photographs in low-light situations. Pick your subjects carefully.


Putter wrote:




I'm actually not too much of a fan of the lomo school of thought. Many people use it as an excuse to pass off awkward compositions as a work of "art". However, I do find it's haphazard style of capturing images rather interesting in a given context ~ but you probably won't catch me dead actually subscribing to lomo styles any time soon. As a photojournalist, I find lomo a little too random.
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Posted 7/25/08
i love my canon powershot sd750, but i just got a nikon [forgot the name of it] for photojournalism next year.
;D
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Oh thank you. May I ask for ideal usuage on a fiber base glossy paper?
I'm used to pearl rc, but there isn't that type in fiber, and there's no way that I want to use matte.
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FoWarD_it wrote:

Oh thank you. May I ask for ideal usuage on a fiber base glossy paper?
I'm used to pearl rc, but there isn't that type in fiber, and there's no way that I want to use matte.


Are you asking for what film would be ideal for that paper type? I'm actually one to believe that the subject being photographed has more weight on deciding what paper to process your shots on, rather than the film used, itself. Practically any film type can be processed for printing on any paper base, but the nature of your subject will determine whether or not it would be more appropriate to print on glossy, pearl, or matte.

Some people say that high-grain photographs (taken at high ISO) might look better on glossy, since the glossiness of the paper can obscure any unwanted noise from the high ISO, but that's a very minor thing. All things considered, it really depends on what you're taking, really.
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Posted 7/25/08

edsamac wrote:


FoWarD_it wrote:

Oh thank you. May I ask for ideal usuage on a fiber base glossy paper?
I'm used to pearl rc, but there isn't that type in fiber, and there's no way that I want to use matte.


Are you asking for what film would be ideal for that paper type? I'm actually one to believe that the subject being photographed has more weight on deciding what paper to process your shots on, rather than the film used, itself. Practically any film type can be processed for printing on any paper base, but the nature of your subject will determine whether or not it would be more appropriate to print on glossy, pearl, or matte.

Some people say that high-grain photographs (taken at high ISO) might look better on glossy, since the glossiness of the paper can obscure any unwanted noise from the high ISO, but that's a very minor thing. All things considered, it really depends on what you're taking, really.


oh no, i'm most likely using 125 ISO, i was referring to genre such as portraits, lifestyles, fashion, etc.
btw, it's going to be b&w

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Posted 7/26/08

edsamac wrote:


chinky_sonny wrote:

i have other questions but let me take it one at a time. (i am sure many will learn from the Q&A)
Related to the previously answered question, how about indoor portrait photo using film and digital camera with available light and controlled light (flash or studio light)?



Again, it's not really a question of comparing portraiture quality between film and digital camera for indoor studio photography. Each have their own benefits, and it really just boils down to what media you're more comfortable with using.

I'd also be more keen to answer that question by comparing, instead, different lenses that you might opt to use in indoor studio photography, as well as the arrangement and number of stroboscopic units you'll be using for the shoot. If we're talking about a typical bust-up portrait, then I recommend a 50mm f/1.8, simply because it's cheap, sharp, and does an excellent job at portraiture. If you have the money, using a 70-200 f/2.8 is also an excellent choice, especially if the portrait is to be taken with a background. The creamy bokeh that is produced from this lens will give the portrait impact, as well as definition.

As for lighting, you might want to consider at least 2 strobes ~ one for fill, and another for background lighting. There are other complicated set-ups you can do with more lights, but if you're stuck to one, then, at the very least, make it an off-camera flash. This is what makes the D70s a better candidate, as it can utilize a built-in slave command for activating an SB-800 off-camera. In addition, the D70s can achieve a higher flash-sync speed at 1/500, making it more flexible for photoshoots with indoor stroboscopic lighting. The FM2 is a little limited, as it is slightly antiquated, and requires a "pocket wizard" or similar device to trigger off-camera flashes. Despite this, the TTL system is pretty much at par, but only the D70s can take advantage of the advanced iTTL system of Nikon's CLS (creative lighting system).

So if you REALLY want me to put a line between the D70s and the FM2 in terms of use in indoor flash photography, then I'd have to go with the D70s for it's flexibility and diversity in flash photography.


I always use available light and i would like to invest on studio lights and equipment for indoor and strobes for outdoor - do you have a specific recommendation?
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Posted 7/26/08 , edited 7/26/08

FoWarD_it wrote:

oh no, i'm most likely using 125 ISO, i was referring to genre such as portraits, lifestyles, fashion, etc.
btw, it's going to be b&w



I personally find matte better for B&W, simply because it emphasizes the texture of the high contrast of B&W film, and it also gives it an "old-school" photographic look.

Since you said you're going to be using B&W film, remember that B&W is best for defining contrasts, so they work best when taking pictures that have "texture" and "depth". For portraits, utilizing props, such as a veil with a design, or similar implements can help produce contrast between the subject and the background. It's for this reason that old people are also excellent subjects for B&W photography. Lifestyle photographs are hard to take using B&W, and are usually limited to urban photography due to the good use of building and cement textures. Keep that in mind when composing your shots. Fashion might be hard to pull off with B&W, since much of the expression is seen in the vibrant colors of the clothing. Fashion photography with B&W film might work best if the models are wearing clothing with patterned designs, or other implements that can help showcase contrast between dress and model.

Just some tips to help you with your work. I said that I personally prefer matte for B&W, but I guess it would be nice to recommend glossy prints for your fashion B&W shots, so that the glossiness can add an extra level of expression to the photo, since it lacks the color that would otherwise provide this.


chinky_sonny wrote:

I always use available light and i would like to invest on studio lights and equipment for indoor and strobes for outdoor - do you have a specific recommendation?


Using an SB-800 in slave mode is actually a very simple way of gaining a remote strobe light for basic studio lighting. You said you have a D70s, which is good since it has a built in commander mode, and can fire an SB-800 remotely without needing an SU-4 commander.

Besides having strobe lighting, it might also be good to invest in a lighting umbrella or a softbox, depending on your need. I personally use a lighting umbrella with an SB-800 used for stroboscopic lighting. This isn't a picture of my setup, but it looks something like this:



The only difference here is that this strobe light is connected via a PC wire through the flash hotshoe. You can make a setup like this, minus the PC wire, by using the commander mode of your D70s and setting the SB-800 to SU-4 slave mode (remote).

You might also be interested in purchasing a "pocket wizard", which can help you fire multiple strobe lights from much farther distances than usual. Pocket wizards look like this:



I currently use it with another strobe light I bought (Vivitar something... forgot the model), which effectively makes my flash setup a basic fill-flash + rear-lighting system. Basically, I use the pocket wizard to fire the Vivitar flash remotely, and the flash from the vivitar automatically triggers the SB-800 in slave mode, thus giving me two remote strobe lamps. This technique can be manipulated with many more SB-800 flashes, since they all use the same SU-4 slave mode.

In fact, the SB-800 is a very solid buy for basic stroboscopic lighting. I wouldn't recommend expanded studio lighting unless your really HAVE a studio to work in. If you're like me, who brings a setup to each photoshoot that he goes to, then having compact SB-800s and pocket wizards is the way to go.

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Posted 7/26/08 , edited 7/26/08
^ you are right i do not have a studio...it is more like making a quick set up from nothing and ... ta da ...a studio. I own a SB 15 and SB600 and a couple of generics taken from the junk (for back up use). The studio thing will be used for practice and control on light and see if i can come up with a masterpiece and maybe get some great photos from the family reunion. For the strobes? I will try to work after sundown using strobes and play with colors. Pocket wizard? Yeah I think it will be good for me. I will check it out. And I will choose the umbrella over the soft box but there are kinds? (reflecting light only, translucent type..)
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