Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kelia Moniz @ North Shore

Have not shot surf in a very long time.  So, when the opportunity to go out with the Eyes of Hawaii Photography Club, to shoot and hang with (PRO Surf Photographer, Surfer mag) Tom Servais.  Well, I had to wake up early to make the drive to Pipeline (the meet up spot).

Early morning the surf report was basically 1-2  ... was not expecting much  ... so, my plan was to shoot something on the beach or close to shore with my  Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 , and just have fun.
Knowing full well the last time I was at Pipeline I had a 600mm f2.8 and a 1.4 TC (imho, what you need)

So, here we are not expecting much in the low surf  ...  and then, Tom recognizes Kelia Moniz out right in front of us.  Well ....    that changed things LOL   (as I kicked myself for not having something longer, lens wise)

My go to sports lens , the 70-200 f2.8 VRII  "Rocked it"  as usual (normally, I am pretty close to the action ... did I say "All Access Pass?" lol) ... So today, anything out in the Surf had to be heavily croped.   Or I had to shoot something up close to shore.   Which Kelia came thru for me. She was always natural, beautiful and genuinely happy to be out there in the surf (you could feel it).

She made everyone's day (with a camera), at that location.  :)

Normally I shoot f5.6  @600mm  (and maybe 900 with a TC)  ... today I was at f4 , because of Kelia (girl).   And unfortunately, only 200mm ... So, I had to make the most of it.  (that means a lot of standing at the shoreline lol.

More images in a gallery here:
(I also think the images look better in this gallery, in Slide Show mode= more res)
http://www.rdhphoto.net/Other/Kelia-Moniz-plus-North-Shore/15160159_FKMxC#1133819528_osvbi


a few of the Eyes of Hawaii Photography Club , Kelia Moniz and Tom Servias on the board in front.

Hope you enjoy this ...
Ross Hamamura / Tourist of Light
http://www.rdhphoto.net/

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sato's Okazuya Saimin Stand ... Best Fried Saimin :) ... and a Big Kahuna bonus shot
















Sato's Okazuya Saimin Stand
94-235 Hanawai Circle
Waipahu, HI 96797-3029
(808) 677-5503

This is my favoite Fried Saimin.
 
I have been shooting more and more Resturant AD's lately  ...
So, I need to say this first   ... I will not be blog-ing on any of those paid shoots.
Just so you know.  This was "not" paid.
 
Will post some Resturant AD  images on my site  (RDHphoto.net) at some point.
 
Was in Sato's the other day  .. a hole in the wall place.
Had to wait in line for way too long. 
It's one of those places with old posters on the wall ... and stuffed animals in there glass case.
Don't ask me why they do that! :)
 
But, their Fried Saimin  ...  WoW!
I told another photog  that when he is on Oahu ... I will take him here.
So,  here is my blog on them ...  in case you need to find your way back  LOL.
 
Just so you know  ... normally I order the  Large Fried Saimin    $7.00
 
But, the two pics on this page   are of there  $6 - $7 plate lunches with Fried Saimin (instead of Rice)
The Fish  is pretty good too. 
 
Shot this natural light  ...  right at my table   ...  "Why Not"  :)
If you know me  ... you know  I am not a natural light shooter, for this kind of stuff 
 
The shots was "not bad"  ... it is, what it is ....  and kinda fit to the  Mom & Pop place, it is.
No Food Stylist  here  ...
 
Ross Hamamura  / http://www.rdhphoto.net/
"Tourist of Light"
 


Here's a little bonus pic  ...  just because I was also there recently ...
When at the  Airport  ... Flying out or in.  

I always pick up a  Panaolo Beef Briskit Sandwitch (think that's the name) with extra sause, and/or the Garlic Balls .. and the Pizza is good too. :)

Da’ Big Kahuna’s Pizza ‘N Stuffs

550 Paiea Street in the Airport Trade Center
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

Tel. (808) 833-5588
 
Well, what might be interesting to some is the exif of this shot:
f8, 70mm,  iso6400  ... and I still only got  1/40  ... and this was during the day.
This is straight out of LRv3  ... I should mention also ... there is a one stop improvment on LRv3 vs LRv2 on noise, on the D700  RAW file processing.
imho,  a  good iso6400 matters :)   ... a year ago (pre-D700)  I would have never even entertained the "thought" of bumping to iso6400.
It has saved me on many "handhold's".  
(I am not a tripod guy ... even on a comercial Food shoot .. I try  sometimes ... but, I always end up not using it lol)
 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lighting Class Set up ... what I like

Ok, so I have not blogged in a while :)  ... it's been busy ... and I am backed up on my shoots (it's a RAW thing lol)
and ...  I learned a few things on the Kona IronMan World Championship shoot ... but, that's another blog lol.

Just organized a recomendation for a Lighting Class Set Up
So,  as I tweak it  ... thought to Post it ... so I can just  LINK to it  ... when someone asks.

Here it is:

Style Number / Description /  Qty /  Cost / Total COST /  Web Link     (it was on a excel file)


MPEX.com

SX3 Lighting Kit Strobist Starving Student SX3 Lighting Kit
 1    $489.99      
http://www.mpex.com/browse.cfm/4,12841.html

(this includes two LP160 Flashes .. and pretty much has everyting you need to start)

LP160 LumoPro LP160 Manual Flash
2     $159.95           = $319.90
http://www.mpex.com/browse.cfm/4,14648.html


(If you don't have two flashes already … you will need four total)

LP633 LumoPro LP633 Umbrella Swivel w/ Flash Shoe Adapter
2       $17.99      = $35.98
http://www.mpex.com/browse.cfm/4,11776.html

This is my favorite Umbrella swivel ... because it packs small and is strong. (both important when traveling)


B&H

PHPDBDSK Photoflex Pro-Duty Backdrop Support Kit
2       $199.99     =$399.98
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/556182-REG/Photoflex_DP_SHDBGSPKT.html


This is a PRO Backdrop Stand set at 12'6" Tall , very useful ... and has a bag, AND is not any more for the bag and cross bar ... a relative value. :)

UM-RUT45 Photoflex Convertible Umbrella - White Satin with Removable Black Backing - 45"
2         $29.95        =$59.90
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/42505-REG/Photoflex_UM_RUT45.html

Look at the Reviews on this Umbrella  ...  5 stars  ... and you will know why I love these.
You can take off  "just" a  section of the Black Backing  ... and shoot thru the open section.  Nice!
* Photoflex has also changed the "ribs" on this Umbrella ... to a  Nylon/plastic looking materia (=flexable, yet firm enough)  .. THIS little new feature, will save you when your stands fall over in the wind.  And they "WILL"  lol.  It's just a matter of time.

It's a  "Love It"  new feature.



RadioPopper

JRX-KS RadioPopper JrX STUDIO KIT
1        $159.95
http://shop.radiopopper.com/radiopopperjrxstudiokitusca.aspx

JRX-RS RadioPopper JrX Receiver STUDIO
3         $99.95     =$299.85
http://shop.radiopopper.com/radiopopperjrxreceiverstudiousca.aspx


* What is great about this JrX Radio triggers is that they are ROCK solid and work with anything with a Hot Shoe.

* AND can control the Power level of AB studio strobes

Have done a blog on these already  ... I own BOTH the  PX and JrX studio versions of these Radio Triggers    ...  So, you know that I  LOVE these!  and they work  ALL the time, Period.
No Way are you going to find something more reliable than these.   (and more so , for this price)
I have owned the JrX Studio on the first shipment from RP ... and the PX triggers a month after that (because I was sooo impressed)  ... both of these radio triggers have "never" dissapointed.



Thomas Distributing

MH-AAI240 MAHA IMEDION AA 2400MAH RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES 4-pk LOW DISCHARGE
4 packs @ $10.97    =$43.88
http://www.thomasdistributing.com/shop/maha-imedion-aa-2400mah-rechargeable-batteriesbrultra-low-dischargebr4-battery-pack-nimhbr1-free-four-cell-battery-case-p-2096.html?SP_id=&osCsid=u53ohoomk1is3j4dga59jufu46


K-MHC801D-BC MAHA MH-C801D AA - AAA 8 BATTERY PRO CHARGER
1        $68.67
http://www.thomasdistributing.com/shop/maha-mhc801d-aa-aaa-battery-chargerbrdeluxe-8-cell-professional-battery-charger-w-full-lcd-displaybrbrfree-accessory-bag-2-free-eight-cell-battery-holdersbrspecial-price-6897-p-437.html?SP_id=&osCsid=u53ohoomk1is3j4dga59jufu46

* I own the cheaper 800S version of this 8-battery PRO Charger  ... because of the smaller  plug for Travel (trust me, things add up) ... and the lower cost  ... and that it was the newer version  ... but,  Thomas Dist.  does not have it listed right now.  (11/10/10)
 
Have two(2)  4-battery 401FS  and a 800S 8-battery PRO Charger ... and they are plugged in all the time. :)
p.s.  I love the  Thomas Dist.  8-battery  case they give away free with the 801/800s chargers.  They are now my fav.
 
Oh,  just in case you need Roll paper for your Backdrop stands ... on Oahu, Hawaii
Attco Inc  ... a  staging supply company near Lagoon Dr at the Airport
Aprox.  $50  for a Roll  .. about 9 feet wide (forgot how long, but it's enough)  ... they have many colors
The roll box is not huge, so it's not that hard to carry with you (or your van).
I like it better for White, than fabric/muslin (which I have Black and Green/Blue)  particularly in white because you don't have to  steam before use , and when it gets dirty or ugly you can just tear it off  and when you roll out a new section it is sooooo  Smooth and White :).     nice!
http://www.attcoinc.com/


Sandbags (the bag part) from B&H ... so, my lightstands don’t fall over ... you could use other things.

also, note ... they are bright orange ... imho this is important ... so people can see it and don’t trip over it.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/421469-REG/Impact_SBE_18O_Empty_Saddle_Sandbag.html


Should also buy some large Plastic Clips from Lowes in Hawaii ,
Bessey XC-14pc  $ 12.98    ... to hold the Roll paper in place :).
This is a Big nylon bag of 14 Plastic Spring Clamps ... 2 - 3in. (which is huge), 2 - 2 in. , 4 - 1 in. , and 6 - 3/4 in. which are cute, small, and moderately useful (and you will not mind if you lose them)   they do help pin a green screen flat on backdrop stands. :)
At Amazon on the web:
http://www.amazon.com/Bessey-XC-14PC-Piece-Plastic-Spring/dp/B003XO0MLM



Hope this helps someone,
Ross Hamamura   ...   Tourist of Light
http://www.rdhphoto.net/

Thursday, August 26, 2010

SanDisk Extreme PRO ExpressCard Adapter install in Win7 PRO 64-bit

SanDisk Extreme PRO ExpressCard Adapter install in Win7 PRO 64-bit  ...

* Here's a Important tip you might miss ... even though it is right on the install CD:
You MUST have both the CF (Compact Flash Card) AND the SanDisk Extreme PRO Adapter in the ExpressCard Slot  BEFORE  you start the Installation CD !

It will not run the install without it.

But, if you do that ... it will install quickly and flawlessly  on a  i7 Quad Core Laptop running Win7 PRO 64-bit OS.    Zero issues.
And YES,  it's  FAST !   Period.

I already know it's FAST.    Have read others tests ( http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-10043-10255 )
But, there is nothing like doing a test yourself.   Even though you know it works well.  It's nice to stress it a little.

So, first thing  I do is format two of my SanDisk Extreme PRO 16gb CF cards in different D700's.
Both, format to 14.9 gb.
Then I upload  14.9gb aprox  to both CF cards   (which left 96kb open on both cards)
Interestingly it takes more than twice as long to upload to the CF (11:16 min) using the ExpressCard Adapter as it does Downloading to the Laptop 7,200rpm HardDrive , guess it should not be a surprise because the HD is fast, with a large cache.
Laptop is a 17" 1080p ASUS i7 quad core , two(2) 7,200rpm hard drives C: , and D:  ... with a ExpressCard slot 34. running Win7 PRO 64-bit.

* I should note  ... that I can see why others feel the CF slot guides are too short.  IF, you are not careful you "could" damage Pins on the Adapter/Reader.
Another small critique is the ExpressCard sticks out of the Laptop far enough away that it could easily get damaged imho.

My advice is to always:  Put the CF card into the SanDisk ExpressCard Adapter "FIRST" , then ...  put the ExpressCard Adapter into the ExpressCard 34 slot in the Laptop.
imho, it helps with two issues ...   the short card guide (that could damage your pins) ... and,  sometimes you might loose your ExpressCard Drive listing in Windows.
* but, it is easily solved by taking out and putting back in the ExpressCard Adapter.

Loading it this way , Kills two birds ... with a sensible technique of loading the CF.

One thing good about the design is , it does look like it will pack easy.   My only small concern is it's durability in a bag with other stuff.
The weak link seems to be the  metal to plastic connection , right where it sticks out of the Laptop.

Ok, now the Fun part ...   my TEST results.
fyi: after each  Copy from  Extreme PRO CF  to Laptop   ...  I did a  Delete >>>  Clean Recycle bin >>. then a full shut down and Start up.

Copy being done in Win7 Pro 64-bit and PowerDesk Pro (file Manager).

1)  SanDisk Extreme PRO 16gb CF  and SanDisk Extreme PRO ExpressCard Adapter  via Copy to Laptop  took  5:07 min and 5:00 min on the re-test

Anyone that has had to download this amount (14.8 gb) of  DNG, NEF, JPG  knows how long this could take.
* This is  FAST !    Real  FAST !

When you are downloading on location  ... this kind of Speed makes a differance.
You will notice this kind of speed  way before  the  in camera speed of this card on a Nikon D700/D3 ... shot to shot.  (even though the speed is there, even in camera)

Note: I mainly care about  CF to Laptop download speed.   
I already know the  Extreme PRO CF is way fast enough on a D700 for every day shooting.  measuring it does not matter to me.

2)  Now my old All in One USB Reader ... SanDisk ImageMate 12 in 1 USB and the same CF card  ...  it does all kinds of cards ...
It's time was a painful  17:40 mins.  and 17:29  on the re-test.

3)  Internal Multi Card reader on a i7 quad core Dell XPS with two fast 7,200 rpm Hard Drives  ... now this was a surprise because I normally do not watch the download.
31:47 mins !    ...  I only did   this once.   That was enough.

It's time to look for a ExpressCard Reader slot  add-on for my Desktop ... I think.


The combo of the SanDisk Extreme PRO CF and SanDisk Extreme PRO ExpressCard Adapter  was sooo Fast it was not even close.

When you have a Need for Speed.  
This combo is it ! ... 
SanDisk Extreme PRO CF and SanDisk Extreme PRO ExpressCard Adapter in a ExpressCard 34  slot.

And based on my prior experiance with SanDisk Extreme CF cards and the new SanDisk Extreme PRO CF 16gb  card  since Nov. 2009    ... these Cards are very reliable. With very good support.


Your in camera speed might be different depending on your Camera's support for UDMA 6.
So, watch for the  gotcha  there.

Hope this helps ...

Ross Hamamura      http://www.rdhphoto.net/
The Tourist of Light      :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

BackUP ... Off Site Stratagy ... a must do

Any working PRO knows BackUps are a way of life.
On the job (hopefully)  via a  dual write in your camera   (waiting for a new Nikon D800 that has this ... and better yet a  CF/SD combo dual slot)

Or using a Portable disk like Wolverine MVP that has a Reader built in ... so you can just plug in your card and download for a fast back up On-site (at job).  and it is relatively small for a HD and Reader.
and can fit in a beltbag.

But, back in the office ... I have been loving the "modern" way of Off Site Internet based BackUP!
I should not have to tell you the value of Off Site BackUP.   Just think Fire or Robbery. Yes, it could happen to you. (even if you have an Alarm)
IF, your data is important (money) ... Off site BackUP is not an option , it is a MUST.

I use Carbonite.    http://www.carbonite.com/
Started thinking about this blog when I was automatically notified that there was a update to do ... which was Fast and Easy.  Talking minuites easy.  Did not even need a Re-Boot (but I did anyway).
Other wise I forgot about Carbonite.

* Just "Install it, Launch it, Forget about it"   ...   a quote from the Boston Globe, ...  Believe it! :)
Oh, you might want to click on a option:  " Display colored status dots on my files and folders "
This tells you in any Windows folder ... what files are Backed up ... which are going to be backed up ... and which will not be ... and just as important , YOU can choose which files are a PRIORITY to BackUP.
imho,   Last IN first OUT  on BackUps are the way to go.  
So, the Back up should go to the most recent unpaid jobs first.

You can easily do this in "any" file manager in windows  ... I have used it on WinXP, VISTA, Win7 Home, Win7 PRO.
Easy as Highlight the files you want ... Right mouse click  ...  go to Carbonite on the Menu ...  Click on " Back up this file as soon as possible "  ... Easy, DONE!

Things to note:  Carbonite by default does NOT back up  Video Files, and Program files.  You need to choose them.  (which for me is a smart default)   ...
You can do this with a Ctrl+A to highlight a whole folder and  do the Right Mouse click thing to bring up the Menu.  and Choose to have Carbonite BackUp anything you want.

Being that I have about  500gb of  image files that I feel are a priority  ...  * this is one thing about Carbonite I don't like. :)
When you first start Backing Up your files Off Site to the Carbonite Secure server  ... it trys to Download your files as fast as your Internet connection allows (more or less).
But, here's the wrinkle  ....   the First 30gb  goes fast  ... THEN,  Carbonite  throttles back your download speed  ... which is a tad slow for a  PRO photog shooting RAW  imho.

Have talked to Carbonite about this ... and they don't have a PRO  account ... yet. :)    Which would allow you to back up faster ... and keep up with your most recent shoots.

Right now I have 400gb on Carbonite and over 100gb still to go  ... and this is not even all my data files.   and I have been using Carbonite for a year.
fyi: Carbonite only Downloads when the computer is idle.
What I will say is ...  the files that are critical , are on Priority and are Downloaded.
* You just need to make sure to "choose" them as  " Back up this file as soon as possible ".
So, it's not as bad as it sounds.

I also have a 1tb  Network  Hard Drive   on a gig network ... that I  SYNC   after a job.    So, it only updates the changed files.
(this has saved me ,  when I did something "bad" other than a delete to a file ... and had to go back to the original file)

>>>>
So, there you go  ...    this is my new  BackUP workflow.  Old School "BackUp programs" are "Dead to me".   as is multiple Hard Drives and  Optical Drive (DVD, Blue-Ray) BackUps.

I have been buying larger and larger HardDrives each year ...  and even though they are getting cheaper ... they are not more reliable ... and they are a humbug to take them Off Site, on a regular basis.  So, the cost of Carbonite every year is worth it.

This is my workflow:
* Carbonite for the AUTOMATIC ,  Off Site BackUps  ... as my Main BackUP

* Network Drive for after shoot  back up  ... on a Fast, easy (Memorized settings, in PowerDesk a file manager I love)  SYNC  of my image Data folder.   (this is so, I have a copy ... before I work on the files ... fyi: I also keep the files on the CF cards ... till after the SYNC or after the EDIT)
* Once a week  (more like once a month lol)   SYNC to a USB 1tb Hard Drive ... so I have a older version back up too.  
But, note:  Carbonite ALSO has some versions of your Backups ... Off Site.  (but, I am not clear on what and how)

* I should also note that I TURN OFF  the two external Hard Drives when I am not using them. So, nothing can flow on to them  ... like a Virus ... when not in use.
This is handy on the USB SYNC  HD  ... where I will go a week to a month , on the SYNC (sometimes longer).

The two Hard Drive BackUp's are just paranoia ... because I never really use them ... I go to Carbonite First. It's way toooo easy to Resore.   I am talking about using Carbonite's File manager looking utility, find the file , right click, Restore.  Done.
And Carbonite does do a SCAN of the files.



Hope this helps someone,
Ross Hamamura     http://www.rdhphoto.net/
The Tourist of Light   :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

UV and Polarizing Filters Test ... read this before you Buy!

If, you plan to buy UV and Polarizing Filters  for your expensive Lens  ... you should "really" read this FIRST !

Seriously,  if I read this  last year   ... I would not have bought my Expensive Heliopan UV and POL filters.
Particularly on UV, basically you just want it to get out of the way and be thin ... and cheap enough that if anything happens to it , you don't think twice about "just" replacing it.
this UV, Hoya HMC UV-0 gets my vote over the Expensive Hiliopan I currently own. and at LESS than 1/3 the Cost !
http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?art=113&roz=15
But, honestly I would probably buy the more expensive PRO-1 version  ... no Silly, not because it has PRO in the name LOL ...  because it should be more water and dirt resistant , and is THINNER which is important on a  wide.
Hoya Pro1 Digital MC UV-0

9/1/2013 UPDATE  ...  thought I would do a small Update to this blog.
I did buy the Hoya PRO 1 , and the Multi coat "ONLY" lasted me about two months before it was COVERED in Dings.
note: I shoot at golf events that I use a Black Rapid Double Strap with both my cameras hanging Down.
The Dings could NOT be taken out with my FAV   LENS PEN.
imho, it the LENS PEN cannot take it out ... it's gone.

What I will say to Hoya USA credit ...  They let me mail it to them and replaced it with the Newer MORE Durable  Hoya HD UV Line.
And I have been using it for about a year now.
Would say it is about as durable as my Heliopan Multi coat  CIR POL SH-PMC and UV  ... and "that" is saying something.
>>>>>

http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?art=113&roz=17

It's a matter of  Performance/Price/Value
IF, it is sooo close as it almost cannot be measured , or if it is clearly "Better" (which is crazy) ... what would justify the higher cost?  
As you can see by my gear list , I am not afraid of price ... but, there needs to be a "Clear" Performance HIT.

That being said,  it's not that the Heliopan's  (which I own three, from B+H)  are poor performers  ... the question that is debate-able  is ,  Is it worth the Price?   I submit: it is NOT.    
I am not a believer of defending an expensive product, just because I own it. :)

* So, I am hoping these LINKS will help others, make "Better" decisions. *

UV Filters:
http://www.lenstip.com/113.1-article-UV_filters_test_Introduction.html

Polarizing Filters:
http://www.lenstip.com/115.1-article-Polarizing_filters_test_Introduction.html

4/27/2009 Reveiw Update:
http://www.lenstip.com/119.1-article-Polarizing_filters_test_-_supplement_Introduction.html

Bottom line is  ... there is Differances  ... and paying more does NOT mean you get more.
And know, Just like Lens ... there is some "hard" numbers  that  can be comparied between Filters.
It's not just the Coat, or how many. Or the Price.

My Heliopan filters  are great when something splashes on them   ... things just roll off them.
The CIR POL turns very smoothly, and goes on and off easily. and the one I have has numbers markings on it  1 thru 26, which helps you remember where you had it at.
But, the two things I think are most important is. 
1) Light Transmission
2) * Flare Control

On Polarizing filters  add scattering   ... of course there is other stuff :)

And the non-optical part is  ...  I do want "Stuff" not to stick to it.   
* Want Water to roll Off it   .. which the Heliopan "does" do well (talking water splash , and a shake of the lens drops the water off it), 
but ... these test (on the LINKS)  clearly show under performance for these expensive filters, Optically.

So, NO   ...  if I had to do it over again  ...  I would buy another brand, on the TOP of the list.

note: yes, I do realize you should take any test with a grain of salt.
But, there is two things ...  Transmission , which is a measured number, not much room for human error. 
And Flare you can clearly see.
imho, would be easy to compare  ...  Filter OFF vs Filter ON.  :)

So,  learn from my mistake  ... research some tests/reviews ... before you buy.
wow, even on a filter  ...  there are tests out there.

Buyer beware, and read some Tests ... 
* Don't make the mistake I did and just go with a person you "think" knows ... word for it. :)  ... it takes a peson with access to many filters to do a compaire.
Here's another write up on my choice of a  CIR POL  , the Marumi DHG Super Circular P.L.D
http://fritzimages.com/blog/2010/marumi-dhg-super-circular-pld/3541/
And LensTIP:
http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?art=115&roz=24
AND, the cost is no less than 50% cheaper than my Heliopan ES Pol circ. SH-PMC  or a B+W
What's interesting about a TEST that is public ... in writing, on the web ... is that it is up to debate and fact checks.
Not talking "Spell Check/Grammar Check" ... talking  FACT CHECK.   
and you can BET,  that someplace, on a forum somewhere  ... that TEST will be debated and Fact checked. :)      ...  got to love the web!



Hope this helps someone   ...  it should save you a few dollars spent unnecessarily ,   I hope.

Ross Hamamura    
http://www.rdhphoto.net/
" The Tourist of Light "

Friday, August 13, 2010

SanDisk Extreme PRO CF issues I had , are all solved

Just wanted to blog this in case someone missed it in my updates.

1)  My issue with my Extreme PRO 16gb CF card  not formating with my D700 ...
within 10 days SanDisk sent me (UPS 2nd Day air)  a New CF  ... YES, right out of the box it formatted on both my D700's  ... and it went thru that weekends shoot with no problems ... over 1,000 16-bit RAW shots in 2 days.  
and by the way has been humming along since.   fyi: I always format before a paid gig.

* I am impressed with SanDisk Customer Support  ... there  24/7  WEB Chat Support  ... and  the way (speed) they handeled my  problem.

It's going to be "real" hard for me to change to anything else.

2)  On the shipping version of Lightroom v3  ... while the Extreme PRO CF is in a D700 it ... can now Tether shoot  ...  
it could not with the Lighroom v3 BETA 2 
So, I guess it was a Lightroom issue that was fixed by Adobe ... and not a  D700 or Extreme PRO CF issue.
Or at the very least  Adobe found a work around.


So, YES  ... I am again Very  happy with this  FAST, FAST  ... Super FAST  CF card!

Now it's on to the SanDisk    Extreme PRO  "ExpressCard" Reader     ...   arguably the fastest Reader you can buy when combined with a Extreme PRO CF.


Need to mention that I have been using Sandisk CF's  since  Sandisk Extreme II. 
and still have them. (although they are in retirement ... or should I say BackUp)




Just thought I should UPDATE


Hope this helps someone,
Ross Hamamura            http://www.rdhphoto.net/
The Tourist of Light    :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hawaii Wedding ... Lehua and Sonny ... Haleiwa, Hawaii


Did a really COOL wedding this weekend!     (can I still use Cool and Hip to describe?)


Lehua and Sonny

They have soooo much LIFE and FUN.      Tried to shoot it that way.

Probably one of the most FUN and casual weddings I have done to date.

It really did not feel like a job.
It was like I was taking images of a celebration.

a Crazy afternoon SUN ... either Bright backlight , or heavy overcast.
Had to fight the open sun all afternoon.

There ceremony was on a open / gated lot (large) overlooking Pipeline

... which is owned by surfer Kelly Slater (who was there, I think).
and was just below where they live.   (if you know anything about surfing and/or Pipeline, you know who he is lol)

They set up a huge tent , right in front of there home. complete with

a shuttle to a separate parking lot.  Nice touch.

They also had, an "old school" North Shore Ice cream truck doing dessert.

Really, thought I was shooting a young surf wedding movie. lol    ... all I can say is WOW  ...  glad I was a small part of it.
It was so much fun ...  hope my images reflect that.



with Music playing in the background, they "Rocked" the poses!







Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tourist of Light


The other day I was playing with my flashes ... just trying to formulate in my mind what I wanted to say during the Strobist section of Tracy Wright Corvo's Portrait and Lighting workshop. And as usual it was the night before the workshop ... late :).
So, as I was running thru all the classic lighting scenarios of basic lighting ... a light bulb goes off , maybe if they know the names and can see it ... they will recognize them when they see the shot on a mag or an image ... and start thinking about how it was created (strobe or manual flash, it's all the same). Bingo! I got a single point I can hammer home ... and try "not" to go all over the place on tangents and end up with someone that does not actually get to shoot, with my set up, LOL. ( it's hard for me to stay on point ... that's why I love blogs ... It helps me "try" to convey one point on a blog ... and I can see when I start to go off the rails ... and I can see when it is getting toooo long , when I start obsessing on just one point ... as much as I share my journey ... I always get back ... funny how that works ... but, it's never in a direct relationship ) ..... .... ..... ..... .....

Anyway ... I digress :) ... It was getting late ... and just as I was going to pack it in ... I do what I normally try to do , once the money shot is on the CF.
Shoot something I would not, normally. Light it differently. Break some rules (guidelines really). :)
So, there I went ... moving the lights ... just doing some crazy stuff that an old PRO (with years of lighting experience) would totally trash me for.
And then BANG! something COOL!
(OMG! it's 5am ... workshop is 9am ... and I have not packed up, or gone to sleep yet)
WOW! I am a f-ing Explorer! an "EXPLORER ... of ....... LIGHT" !

Hmmmm ... where did I hear that before? Must have been on some Nikon forum :)
But, nooo ... I am not a Explorer of Light ... I have "just" begun my Journey. I am not Columbus, I did not discover America ... I am not going where no Man has gone before?
All I am at this point, "is" a Tourist ... a "Tourist" of Light. :)

What I do is ... research my Trip plan ... get advice from others that have "been" there, "done" that ... Maybe join up with a good Tour group, where both the Tour guide and Tourist share information ... I have been to places and gone on Tours before , so I know a few things that I can apply to my Journey. I read books, and look at pics of the destinations. I plan my schedule.
But, in fact ... I am a Tourist. Not an Explorer ... I discover nothing NEW. (just new for me).
And as I go on my journey or Tour ... my Journey with Light ... sometimes I accidently, or on purpose ... roam down a side street ... get lost ... and find something New! on my own. And that can make the trip even more worthwhile.

Because if you can find your way back ... and also remember how you got there. That, becomes another tool (another compass, another GPS app) ... that gives you confidence to take a few more "side streets".

Hope this helps someone,
Ross Hamamura http://www.rdhphoto.net/

"The Tourist of LIGHT" :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Flashes vs Strobes ?

from last week, at f2.8 with flash :)



A conversation came up with another PRO photog ... a subject that I have discussed with others before ... and battled with a decision for my own purchases.

Flashes or Strobes???


For me it comes down to this:

Price, Portability, Power ... (Flexibility and easy of use , as in TTL / HSS)

Price:
If you go with Nikon CLS or Canon TTL top of the line Flashes that give you Power/Recycle and Features ... the price difference is not that much "if at all" between a Einstein / AB system with Battery ... and a Four Flash solution , which you would need (at least) in order to have the Power.

But, if you go manual Flashes ... like the New LumoPro LP160 ... just blogged about.
http://eyesofhawaii.blogspot.com/2010/07/lumopro-lp160-great-value-strobist.html


Price advantage goes to Flashes.
But, it needs to be said .. you can cover the Power of four flashes with "just" one strobe. and AB's are cheap. and Einstines are fast and with action stopping power.

Portability:
Flashes WIN ! period ... more so if you have to fly with them.

But, the AB solution is not bad ... because all you need is one(1) strobe and battery. and again , you have power.

Power: (Power actualy should be the most important)
Strobes WIN ! no question

When you have a need for power ... there is no substitute :)
and you have the option to plug into a wall ... so you can shoot long jobs. with a faster recycle. (and with little overheat worries)


Power allows you to light up large groups ... and Power gives you a lot of Modifying options to soften the light.

If you don't have enough power, any modifier will reduce your power even further.



Below shot today Day 7/25/10 : 1/500 HSS, f4, iso200 .. did I have to shoot/flash HSS maybe not ... but I have that option ... so I take it :).


(Flexibility and ease of use , as in TTL / HSS)
A TTL multi Flash system WINS ! ... but, it is also the Most Expensive choice.
Just the triggers alone is $250 each ... and the Flashes at almost $500 for the best one's.
But, you have a TTL solution ... that is a fast event set up. and you have full remote control.
and a HSS solution that allows you to fast shutter in the bright sun (but, you MUST have more flashes and power)

AB strobes with the PX trigger and JrX studio REC allows you to HSS on AB's older strobes with phone jack. But, the Einstein's does NOT have a HSS solution yet.

* IF the Einstein could shoot HSS, "that" would be the ultimate HSS solution at a very good price. (and this might happen in time, once RadioPopper figures it out)

If you have a Multi TTL flash system, or a Manual flash system ... what you have is Flexibility.
You can take One(1) flash with you (really, really portable) ... or you can take Ten(10) flashes ... you can bring as much gear as the job requires.
The nice thing about multi flashes is you can place them where you need them and control them individually. Of course it also adds a bit of complexity to the set up. But, it also has more possibilities for some dramatic light and creativity. More flashes , more options. :)

Simple might be the best solution ... but, we are talking about what is more Flexible and has more options. (more flashes = more options)

Also need to concider .. a Huge Octibox with grid with a powerful strobe is actually the easiest to use in a studio for a portrait. A bunch of flashes for a portrait will almost always be more difficult. Because of the options and choices that can be made.

Shot today 7/25/10 handheld with flash ... f3.2, 1/50, iso1600 , 86mm


Conclusion:
IF, you have time on the set up ... Strobes are the ultimate solution ... more so if you have a Radio Trigger set up (RadioPoppers PX/JrX studio combo) that also allow you to HSS in the sun. AND control the power level of AB stobes via Radio remotely (not Einstiens , yet)

IF, you are an event shooter ... that portability and speed of the "first" shot and set up is more important than Power and Cost. TTL flashes are the ultimate solution.

IF, Cost and Flexibility is the priority , and Power not as much ... a Multi Manual Flash solution is the Best. which is what most Strobist do.
They use Multi Manual Flashes ... Key word is Multi.

For me, the immediate answer was easier ... when I discovered that RadioPopper has not figured out how to HSS on the new Einstein's ... "yet".

HSS is important to me ... because I shoot a ton of f2.8 during the day LOL
That might be out of the norm.

Hope this helps the conversation,
Ross Hamamura http://www.rdhphoto.net/

Friday, July 23, 2010

LumoPro LP160 ... great value strobist flash

LumoPro LP160 Manual strobist type flash
Great price, Powerful, budget flash , with a lot of built in inputs.
Most strobist use there flashes in manual , so not having TTL is not a issue.

I have been using two(2) older LumoPro LP120 (discontinued now) flashes for a long while now. They are my most used flash on the road/location because of its ease of use and it’s built in sync ability. In fact even if I am using my sb900’s for the Main and fill … I always use the LP120 for the kicker or background. In fact the LP120 is my favorite, most used , "go to" Kicker flash. And it’s a real plus that it’s lightweight too. And low priced (you don’t worry about them all the time, on a location shoot)

Just got the new LumoPro LP160 in prep for this weekends “sold out” Portrait and Lighting Workshop. And I wanted a more powerful, faster recycle flash that will match up better with my four sb900’s that I use.
First thing I noticed about the new LP160 besides the fact that it is slightly larger than the LP120, is that it comes with a 1/8 to PC sync cord and a Pop-on (sb900 style, kinda) wide diffuser, and a cold-shoe stand … all of which the LP 120 did not have. Another thing different from the LP120 is that the battery cover slides completely off (not sure if this is a good thing) I personally like the battery cover of the sb900 better
Below pictured is what is in the box of the LP160 (diffuser and sync cord, manual) ... and, my LP120 carry everywhere Kicker flash set up with the RadioPopper JrX studio attached.
On the box you can see “quad sync” flash .. that’s because it can sync via the Metal Hot Shoe (the LP120 had plastic feet) Built-in slave, PC jack, and 1/8” sync jack (which the 1/8” is my favorite way to sync my RadioPopper Receivers to the LP160.
Motorized zoom head from 24mm to 105mm (LP120 you just zoomed it manual). And it does 1/1 thru 1/64 power … also has front and back red Ready lights. Comes with a 2 year warrentee.
A cool feature is you change both power and zoom via it’s own buttons, that are within thumbs distance for easy adjustment of both, at the same time … and the level is shown via lights (nice on night shoots) ..
Also has a digital slave mode that ignores preflashes. Handy when you are shooting in TTL on your main flash.
The Power level of the LP160 vs sb900 is close when I shot it to a background , but I think the sb900 has an edge imho (but, this is great performance for a flash much less than half the cost … note no TTL or CLS on the LP160) …
It also has a wine after the pop ... that I have not heard in modern flashes. Not even the LP120 does this.
Did a 40 shot test, triggering the LP160, LP120, sb900 and Metz 48 … CH continuous shoot at 5 fps with a Niikon D700 16gb Extreme PRO CF, Delkin Low Discharge 2300mAh batteries (which are great by the way, bought at Thomas Distributing) … after the 18th shot when the shot speed slowed down to an even pace but slower (probably 1 fps) … The LP160 fired on every Fourth shot , the sb900 fired on every second shot, Metz 48 every Sixth shot , LP120 every Tenth shot aprox.
Pretty good performance for a $160 flash
http://www.mpex.com/browse.cfm/2,754.html

fyi, the sb900 light pattern looked rounder and slightly larger when both are set to 24mm and the sb900 set to “Even” (Nikon sb900 guys know what I mean) … the sb900 light pattern choices and features needs another blog.
The light pattern on the LP160 is improved vs the LP120 … the LP120 had a hot band of light in the middle of the light pattern … like you can see the light tube. This actually made the LP120 my favorite Kicker / rim light flash. And if I wanted softer more even light I ran a diffuser.
* The LP160 does not have this issue and the pattern is clearly more even.

Bottom line:
"I love this flash!" ..
and it is a Big improvment over the older cheaper LP120 … it will be in my bag along with my sb900’s …
Normally I will shoot TTL on the sb900’s and use the LP160/LP120 in manual for Kicker or background light … the nice thing is I can trigger both using my RadioPopper PX and JrX system together, and am able to mix both TTL and manual … or go strait manual on all my flashes (in studio).

Here is three small things that could have been improved.
1) build in the ability for this flash to be controled by RadioPoppers JrX studio system ... so, we can control the power level via Radio trigger.
2) Whenever I turn on the flash the default is 35mm, 1/1 power ... imho, it should be the "last" settings. or at the very least 24mm, 1/1
3) the Power level should go down to 1/128 ... because this flash is more powerful. :)


Ross Hamamura http://www.rdhphoto.net/




Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Low Light shooting Tips :) ... Handheld

image shot handheld Manual 1/15, f2.8, 110mm iso500 Nikon D700
Shot just last week :)


A question was asked about Low Light Shooting Tips ... on the EOH google groups ... private email group for EOH members.

Have a feeling this will be asked again ... so, since I had already typed it up ... it was easy to copy and paste here ... so, I can point to it when that questions comes up again. LOL

Things that work for me in Low Light :

1) Tripod is your best friend ... and cheapest way to get great Low Light images. (yes, I know you asked about handheld)

2) Brace yourself on something. Shake is the killer in Low light ... as well as subject movement. ... brace your camera on your Face, as well as keeping your elbows "IN" to brace elbows on your chest. ... everything tight, breathe out (hold breath) , Relax a little (I know this is the opposite of "everything tight") squeeze shutter like a trigger of a gun. (it's amazing how much a shutter "push" can mess up a low light, slow shutter shot)

* here's an exercise to do , that will improve your low light shooting :
Make a Target ... with a small line of TEXT , Laser print on a 8x10
Tape it to a wall
Make sure the light is enough that you can lock focus easy ... and a 1/100 shutter on a 70mm lens (on FF) , is very sharp. Wide Open ... f2.8 or faster if you have the lens. (longer lens, will make it more challenging, if you like)
Now, start dropping the shutter speed down , one stop at a time. (remember to keep the lens Wide Open, do not change the A, you can float the ISO to keep the exposure the same , if you want ... that would mean a start value of iso400 to iso800 probably ... and as you drop the shutter , lower the iso)
My guess you will start to have problems at 1/15, f2.8, iso200 at 70mm (with NO IS/VR on) ... and will start to see at what shutter speed you can consistently keep the TEXT Sharp.
Knowing this , and at what shutter, on what lens is "power". Knowledge is Power. :)

Shot this today 7/25/10 Handheld: 1/20, f2.8, iso3200, 100mm


3) Now for the Expensive solution to Handheld Low Light . lol

* a High iso ability camera ... D700 , and more so D3s (the High ISO King at the moment) ... so, you can hand hold at the reciprocal of the Focal length , or fast enough to stop any action or movement. normally 1/100, or 1/500 on sports/action.
note: a cameras ability to shoot High ISO is not only Low Noise ... it's Detail and Color , both just as important as the amount of noise in the shadows. "I think" every PRO will tell you it's the Detail and Color that kills a high iso image from being a paid shot , even before noise (on high end pro bodys) ... noise if even (not blotchy) , might be a nice grain ... that can add to a shots look and feel. might give it a gritty realism ... that a smooth low light shot might not have.

It's amazing what a Full frame camera can give you (and as the Nikon D3s has shown , it can also get Better! with future models) ... as far as Hand Held opportunities in Low Light. imho, there is just no substitute. (speaking of High ISO performance)

* FAST Lens ... f2.8 or Faster. (on a Full Frame body) ... High Iso body + Fast lens = more opportunities to hand hold in low light. This is the most useful and the most expensive solution. Talking Sharp, great color and FAST.

Normally, we are talking big lens here. :)

and most of the time you are talking slightly longer Focal length ... because if you are that close , you can do a lot of things to light them up (softly) ... and still make it look natural.

If, you are talking Landscape ... you can Tripod, or bean bag , or rest it on something. (I have used a trash can as a tripod . or tree ... or rail ... just crop , strait latter)

But, I will admit ... hand holding a fast wide lens ... even in very low light ... is the easiest to do.

Nikon 24mm f1.4 comes to mind ... but, I don't have that :)

* Shoot RAW , and post process Noise Reduction on the Raw file (DNG is also RAW) ... before it is output to another file type ... a D700 RAW file , noise reduction in Lightroom v3 can give you as much as a 1 Stop advantage at high ISO ... by the way, that's just the benefit from LR v2.3 to a v3 upgrade in software . Same RAW file.
RAW can give you a cleaner file ... but, can "also" give you the ability to take advantage of Future Software improvements .. or improvements on your "own" future ability to Post Process better.

note: files, I RAW processed 3 years ago ... I can go back and improve them now ... just because of LR v3 and my Post Processing skills are better.
and, a 16 bit RAW really, really helps you Color Correct (via more latitude) ... Color is the second largest issue with low light shots. (the easy way is to convert to B&W)

Here's a link on RAW and the Low light advantage ... the link is also posted on the Smugmug site: * It's all about the Details.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/187938/using_your_cameras_raw_mode.html?tk=nl_dfx_h_cbintro

* "IS" / "VR" ... in lens or in body ... notice I listed this last ... because if there is any subject movement IS/VR will not be your solution. I am even talking "wind" ...
What IS/VR will totally help you with is your body and handhold/shooting technique movements.

* Shoot Sequential ... 5-8 frames per second ... this might yield a few good sharp shots. (yes, you will have a lot of throw away's ... but, you really only need one sharp one!) ... and yes, a faster shooting body does help. hmmm, and you thought a Fast shooting body only helps sports shooters. :)


Ross Hamamura / http://www.rdhphoto.net/

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jianisi Remote Shutter - Nikon screw 10-pin, Best $4.57 Nikon gear purchase you will ever make :)



Seriously, this is the Best $4.57 you will spend on any Nikon gear!

It's a Remote Shutter Release for the Nikon screw 10-pin.

Made by Jianisi China , shipped thru Kow Loon Hong Kong ... sold on the web thru Deal Extreme LINK here:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.8217

This also shipped FREE anywhere in the world ... even to Hawaii. * AND it arrived in 10 days!

So, we are talking about a Nikon 10-pin screw remote release cable for $4.57 Total with shipping to Hawaii. Holly $hit!

I almost paid that much in shipping alone, for just for two cables (and that shipping was a deal) ... here is link to the June blog about those cables : http://eyesofhawaii.blogspot.com/2010/06/nikon-screw-type-sync-cords-to-35mm.html

Below is a pic of what I recieved in a padded envolope (no box).

The 10-pin screw tip and cord is about a good as anything I have seen.

The Button and release feels ... well ... plastic-y and cheap ... Did I mention it is $4.57?

The half press on the button feels unsure ... but it works ... Did I mention it is $4.57?

The Full press feels spongy ... but hold it down and you are at High speed shutter on a D700 at CH. Click it forward and it locks.

Also, good for Long exposures (did not test this).

imho, if the Shutter release part breaks ... you could still use the 10-pin screw and cord and put something else on it ... or attach a better release.

Yes, the release part is a little Toy in feeling ... does not have that D700/D3 Nikon PRO Accessory feel to it ... But, did I mention it is $4.57 total cost??? LOL

If, it breaks ... I'll just buy a New one ! Seriously.

I know this will help someone :)

Ross Hamamura http://www.rdhphoto.net/

Saturday, July 17, 2010

SanDisk Extreme PRO 16gb CF and issue with Nikon D700 on format

* While on the subject of "issues" ... here's is a small one I ran into just this week:

First, I want to note that I have been running Extreme PRO 16gb SanDisk CF since Nov. 2009 on my two(2) D700's without issue ... and they are FAST! reealy Fast!
IF, you have a need for speed ... THIS is it!

I have "still" about 8 old SanDisk CF going back to ExtremeII to 8gb IV ... but, they are now all backup to my 16gb Extreme PRO CF's. ZERO problems! all working, still. (but, in retirement lol)

Back on 6/28/10 there was a price drop on the SanDisk Extreme PRO 16gb CF at B&H so I bought another one.

Right out of the BOX something was strange ... in my D700 it would not format.
So, I loaded it on my SanDisk reader to a Win7 PC and formatted it (no problem).
Then, Formatted it on my D700 (no problem)
Shot a few test ... did a few small shoots , No problems

note: before any Paid shoot I always Format all my CF's in the D700 it will be used on.

Well, on this past weekend Wedding shoot ... after about 3-6 test shots I could not write to my Newest SanDisk Extreme PRO 16gb CF anymore. AND, I could not "just" Format it on my D700. So, it was basically dead!

Being that I have a lot of Backup CFs I just flipped to another one ... I was just reeealy, realy lucky that the "Black Pearl" from Pirates of the Carribian movie was off the coast and I took a few test shots of it. (when the CF failed). (just lost a few cool shots , guns blazing) ... because, it seems I cannot read from the CF now too ... and can only re-format on a PC. (which I don't care about, because I have lost confidence in this particular CF at this point)

The scary part was this card formated before the shoot ... and I was able to shoot to it ... for a while.
* BUT, it gave me "Signs" something was wrong. and Different from the other Extreme PRO CF cards.

Just was off a chat with SanDisk ... compatability with Extreme PRO 16gb and Nikon D700 with FW ver. 1.02 confirmed ... as well as this CF being BAD ... and this is an important point:

a New Extreme PRO CF "should" be able to FORMAT right out of the BOX on a D700. *

Which my other CF's was able to do ...

SO , "when" you cannot format on a D700, a Extreme PRO CF ... that is NOT a good sign! Be Afraid, very Afraid.
On a paid shoot this could be a killer! far more costly than the CF cost.

and don't think you are safe just because it formats via CF reader on PC and then on a D700. imho, if one of your CF's starts acting differently than the rest you need to watch it and have it identified.




7/17/2010 update: First I want to say I am impressed with Sandisk Support. Full stop.


The other day I went on the Sandisk site to Tech support. Did a Chat (this seems like it is 24/7)
http://kb.sandisk.com/app/utils/chat/session/L3NpZC9RNHpsSWI1aw%3D%3D/sno/0
... chatted on-line with Mark Sadsad (from PI) ... who was very nice and calm (because at that point I was not, lol ... have some specific long shoots at the end of the month I wanted this card for).
Well, long story short he told me to "try" to Return to B&H first (and if not , they would do it) ...
Tried at B&H via email , but they would not because I had "marked the back of it with my information and date bought" (always do this after , I think the CF works ... never had a CF issue before). And I thru alway ALL the packaging and other stuff. :)

Meanwhile Sandisk Support (Mark) emailed me a copy of the full text of the chat ... with his contact information.
So, it was easy to just "reply to the email" ... and tell him I could not do the return with B&H.

Within hours , he both emailed me AND called me! wow

Mark made the transaction of returning the CF for a new one ... very, very easy.
He emailed me instructions AND a UPS label to stick on my package. FREE shipping UPS. All I need to do is have them pick up or drop off at a UPS store.
It was kinda nice to only have to deal with one person at SanDisk, that already knew my story (from the start, on there web chat) ... so, I did not have to repeat the same story over and over again ... now how many times do you have to do that when going thru multi levels of tech support?
This was a welcome change.

Since Extreme II CF's and my first digital DSLRs I have been using SanDisk .. "this" will make me a Lifetime Customer.
imho, this is how companies can take a "problem or issue" with there product, and turn it into a opportunity to create something positive from it. and generate free advertising thru customer loyalty and word of mouth.


I am Using two(2) Extreme PRO 16gb CF's ... and SanDisk USB reader ... and will soon buy a SanDisk Express Card Reader. (the Express Card Reader they have been selling out at B&H, and there seems to be a small issue with a short guide track.
LINK to a reveiw (by Rob Galbraith) on the Speed and the New Extreme PRO Express Card Readers.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-10043-10255

Just in case you are wondering what is that CF case that I am using ... It's the
Gepe Card Safe Extreme Watertight Case -
for Four Compact Flash (CF), Smart Media (SM), Memory Stick (MS), Multi Media (MMC) or Secure Digital Cards (Neon Green)
The Gepe Card Safe Extreme (Neon Green) is a watertight case made to store memory cards such as Compact Flash, Smart Media, Memory Stick, MMC or SD cards. Inside, the memory cards are protected against humidity and dust, as well as electrostatic charge. Four compartments offer space for several different memory cards, and grip each of them tightly.


The Card Safe Extreme uses insert material to protect the memory cards from being erased or damaged due to electrostatic effects. The card holder also has special viewing windows so you are able to see which space is taken by which card, even if the box is closed. This makes the organization of your cards easier. In addition, it is weatherproofed and it floats in water, and the design of the lock makes using the Card Safe a snap, even when wearing gloves.

The Card Safe Extreme has been tested and certified as European IPX-7, which means it is protected against immersion in water (immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter).

• Polycarbonate, anti-static inner material is used to manufacture this media case.
• Four multi-card compartments
• Shock resistant
• Dustproof
• Watertight rated as IPX-7, which means it is protected against immersion in water (immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter).
• Floats in water *** How cool is that!
• Clear viewing windows 1 close Please Note:Helpful hint: Put the unused memory cards face up and the used cards face down
• Eyelet connector for an accessory strap

$19.00

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/332251-REG/Gepe_3862E.html#features





Hope this helps someone,

Ross Hamamura http://www.rdhphoto.net/

Basic Elements of Photography Workshop


Just thought I would mention this workshop being put on by friends Tracy Wright Corvo and Michael Torrres on August 7, 2010

Tracy has had a string of sold out workshops lately ... I have been helping her with the Portrait and Lighting one , doing the strobist section of it (off camera flash) ... she is an experianced photography teacher, and I love her style. :)


This is a Begining / Basic Photography Workshop

Saturday, August 7th 10-am to 4pm

To Register: email Tracy at twc@tracywrightcorvo.com



Flyer has Details

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nikon 24-70 f2.8 lens "leak" issue ... No not all

Nikon 24-70 f2.8 lens "leak" issue ... No not all

There is a Light "leak" issue going around on "Some" 24-70 f2.8 lens.
Happens at 50-55mm, iso4000 at 10 sec ... but, on lens with the issue it can also happen at iso400, 1/125 too.
The "leak" is thru the Distance Window!

The test is to CAP your lens ... shoot at 50-55mm , iso4000 at 10sec ... and look at the shot and see if there is light at the top left of the image (should be all black)

* Of course I tested mine ... bought at B&H ... US version with 5 year warrentee.
NO ISSUE on mine. whew .... (love B&H , sales volume helps them sell thru stock)
But, I "feel" there pain ... and is an issue that "needs" to be known and fixed ... and NOT with TAPE. :)


But, this is something good to know if you own one ... good to know if you plan to buy one.

Here is a Video of the issue and the TEST:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhEZssWmAsM&feature=player_embedded




fyi: moved this to it's own blog :)
* While on the subject of "issues" ... here's is a small one I ran into just this week:

First, I want to note that I have been running Extreme PRO 16gb SanDisk CF since Nov. 2009 on my two(2) D700's without issue ... and they are FAST! reealy Fast!
IF, you have a need for speed ... THIS is it!

I have "still" about 8 old SanDisk CF going back to ExtremeII to 8gb IV ... but, they are now all backup to my 16gb Extreme PRO CF's. ZERO problems! all working, still. (but, in retirement lol)

Back on 6/28/10 there was a price drop on the SanDisk Extreme PRO 16gb CF at B&H so I bought another one.

Right out of the BOX something was strange ... in my D700 it would not format.
So, I loaded it on my SanDisk reader to a Win7 PC and formatted it (no problem).
Then, Formatted it on my D700 (no problem)
Shot a few test ... did a few small shoots , No problems

note: before any Paid shoot I always Format all my CF's in the D700 it will be used on.

Well, on this past weekend Wedding shoot ... after about 3-6 test shots I could not write to my Newest SanDisk Extreme PRO 16gb CF anymore. AND, I could not "just" Format it on my D700. So, it was basically dead!

Being that I have a lot of Backup CFs I just flipped to another one ... I was just reeealy, realy lucky that the "Black Pearl" from Pirates of the Carribian movie was off the coast and I took a few test shots of it. (when the CF failed). (just lost a few cool shots , guns blazing) ... because, it seems I cannot read from the CF now too ... and can only re-format on a PC. (which I don't care about, because I have lost confidence in this particular CF at this point)

The scary part was this card formated before the shoot ... and I was able to shoot to it ... for a while.
* BUT, it gave me "Signs" something was wrong. and Different from the other Extreme PRO CF cards.

Just was off a chat with SanDisk ... compatability with Extreme PRO 16gb and D700 confirmed ... as well as this CF being BAD ... and this is an important point:

a New Extreme PRO CF "should" be able to FORMAT right out of the BOX on a D700. *

Which my other CF's was able to do ...

SO , "when" you cannot format on a D700, a Extreme PRO CF ... that is NOT a good sign! Be Afraid, very Afraid.
On a paid shoot this could be a killer! far more costly than the CF cost.

and don't think you are safe just because it formats via CF reader on PC and then on a D700.

7/17/2010 update: First I want to say I am impressed with Sandisk Support. Full stop.
The other day I went on the Sandisk site to Tech support. Did a Chat (this seems like it is 24/7)
http://kb.sandisk.com/app/utils/chat/session/L3NpZC9RNHpsSWI1aw%3D%3D/sno/0

... chatted on-line with Mark Sadsad (from PI) ... who was very nice and calm (because at that point I was not, lol ... have some specific long shoots at the end of the month I wanted this card for).
Well, long story short he told me to "try" to Return to B&H first (and if not , they would do it) ... Tried at B&H via email , but they would not because I had "marked the back of it with my information and date bought" (always do after , I think the CF is a works ... never had a CF issue before). And I thru alway ALL the packaging and other stuff. :)

Meanwhile Sandisk Support (Mark) emailed me a copy of the chat ... with his contact information.
So, it was easy to just "reply to the email" ... and tell him I could not do the return with B&H.

Within hours , he both emailed me AND called me! wow

Mark made the transaction of returning the CF for a new one ... very, very easy.
He emailed me instructions AND a UPS label to stick on my package. FREE shipping UPS. All I need to do is have them pick up or drop off at a UPS store.

Since Extreme II CF's and my first digital DSLRs I have been using SanDisk .. this will make me a Lifetime Customer.

Using Extreme PRO 16gb CF's and Extreme PRO Express Card Reader and SanDisk USB reader.

Ross Hamamura http://www.rdhphoto.net/

Monday, June 28, 2010

Nikon Screw Type Sync Cords to 3.5mm Mono (Mini phone) for RadioPoppers, PocketWizard, CyberSync


You would think these cords would be easy to find at a cheap price, with the growing number of Strobist out there … But, Noooooo
This is “why” I am blogging about this … to help the next guy looking for these.
To make a long story short …. I found them at http://www.flashzebra.com/

I bought both for $ 42.50 + $ 3.50 ship = $ 46.00 total … which is the Best price I could find. And it arrived within a week. (not bad)

So, if you want to bother reading the rest of the story … here it is
There was two types I was looking for:
1) Nikon ScrewLock PC to 3.5mm Mono … FlashZebra $ 15.00 … did not like the regular one’s that came free with my RadioPoppers JrX studio Radio Receivers … when I used them on my D700 PC to RP JrX trigger … the PC connection would always Fall Off at some point in the shoot. So, these Nikon ScrewLock type sync cords really works wonders.
http://www.flashzebra.com/products/0030/index.shtml

2) Nikon ScrewLock 10-pin to 3.5mm Mono … Pre-Trigger w/switch … what this allows you to do is use your RP JrX studio Trigger / REC and Fire your D700/D3 at a distance , or just use as a remote.
I need to mention … on the 10-pin to 3.5mm Mono Pre-Trigger … Not sure if I have all the settings right yet … (will update when I do)
But, this is what I know from the limited use so far.
I works! Weather I fire from the RP JrX studio Receiver attached to it … OR use the RP JrX Transmitter to fire it from far away … it works.
But, It does NOT allow consecutive shooting … say 8 fps with grip on the D700 … it’s a limitation of the RP Trigger … because if you hold down the Trigger button, the RP trigger is programmed to shut off.
There is something strange happening as well … I can fire three in a row quickly … but, it seems to stop and pause for some reason. If I am slow and steady , it’s not a issue. This might be a config issue I need to work out. (fyi: I have it set to CH, but it seems all the same on any setting)
So, this is probably not the best set up for sports … and this is probably "just" an easy way to use RP triggers you already have, as a Remote trigger for your camera. And with the RP JrX , you are talking really , really far away.
A few other things … you have to Pre-Focus … I like to set it up in Manual Focus .. and AF using the AF-ON button.
The other thing is when the switch is on the “Dot” … you can Review your shots and look at the LCD. But, you have to flip the switch to actually SHOOT.
Hope this helps others … and I will update this page if I Learn more. 

Ross Hamamura / www.RDHphoto.net

D700 Camera Settings

Thought I would post this on a seperate blog ... because it is popular, and to make it easy to find.

1) "My" Nikon D700 camera settings (which I have posted before, fyi)
This is "evolving" but here you go:

* First: and most importantly I put ALL my favorite D700 camera "Menu" items on the ... "My menu" , menu (did I say that correct?) ...
this stops me from having to dig deep into the confusing list of menu items (so, now I have no clue where they are in the real menus lol)
* I LIST them in my must used order ... currently

* Second: and very important for me ... I tweak/customize some of the wheels and buttons to work better for "me". I will START with that, because it is the most used tweak on a shoot.

1) f9 reverse rotation = ON: so the comp wheels work in the right direction, * Change main/sub = ON ... both these changes helps me in my most used mode "A" Aperture priority ... allows me to change the Aperture with the BACK wheel ( I like changing the Aperture while my finger is on the shutter ) , and EV comp with a press of the EV button and BACK wheel. OR I can EV comp with the Front wheel (with no EV button press ... needs a b4 change)
* Menus and playback = ON
2) f2 Multi selector center Button : one of my most used feature ... * Shooting Mode = Reset to bring back my AF point to the Center quickly , * Playback Mode = Zoom so on a "automatic" Review on the LCD after each shot , I can quickly / easily Zoom in to 100 % aprox on the shot , this also keeps it in Review mode , and not shut off. (of course you need to Turn ON "Image Review" in the Playback Menu as well)
* another Big Trick in this menu is to set Playback mode>Zoom on/off>MEDIOUM MAGNIFICATION (which is about 100%) ... you can also in playback with this center button zoom trick , roll thru your shots at this zoom , cool when you want to compare two seq. shots.
3) f4 Photo info/playback ... Info at Up/Down , and Playback Left/Right ... in Photo Playback this allows me to quickly scroll thru my Fav Info OR go back and forth on my images.
4) Relates to above : in the Playback Menu ... "Display mode" ... I have Focus point, Highlights checked ... "my" most used playback modes. note: I can still scroll thru and see a histogram, but because the Histogram is generated from the imbeded JPG (in the RAW file) , and that I ONLY shoot RAW ... the Histogram is only slightly useable ... Highlight Blinkys more useful imho in the RAW digital age, where you can push to the Right.
5) Have the Focus mode selector switch to S (single shot) , and the top left dial to CL (set at 5fps) ... caution: whenever you take the D700/D3 out of your bag , check this Focus mode selector - You will thank me latter. This switch moves sometimes.
6) Metering Selector to "3D color Matrix II" ... fancy for Matrix ... and adjust all my comps with that in mind. The D700 Matrix Metering is very consistent and predictable ... and that is the most you can ask for. I will put myself down as Loving it, so I use it all (most ) of the time. Well, whenever I can. :)
7) AF area mode selector : Dynamic Area AF ... Very Fast AF/Accurate, and great in Low Light. I am super happy with the AF on the D700 and the new f2.8 lens.
8) d4 CL mode shooting speed 5fps (CL is my default setting) (CH is 8fps) ... If, you are the Focus and recompose type ... this will create problems for you, because after each shot in CL the D700 does re-focus , so your AF point needs to be above your subject.
9) e1 Flash sync speed 1/320s (Auto FP) ... so anything above 1/250 is auto HSS Flash
10) f1 switch : both , so on a right move of the light switch BOTH the back LCD and the top lights up , so I can do a quick check on the settings via a large 3" LCD
11) f11 No memory card = Lock ... no memory card , no shooting ... note: default is unlock (not a good thing)
12) f12 Reverse indicators to - 0 + ... logical for me
13) a1 AF-C priority selection : Release + Focus
14) b4 Easy exposure compensation = ON ... this let's me comp the EV in A using the front wheel (this in combo with my other settings)
15) in the Set Up Menu , LCD Brightness set to -2 ... this will give you a more True Brightness of your shot on the LCD ... listed this last , but is very important imho ... you might have to play with this for your own Monitor and PP (Post Processing) style.

Now, on to my Favorite "MY MENU" choices: (IF, you leave it on My Menu ... the Menu button quickly goes back to it. "My Menu" on the D700 has eliminated my need to ever go into the regular menus :)

1) e3 Flash ctrl for built-in Flash ... Which actually has the controls for Flash Commander Mode CLS , Love it, Use it. I am a strobist CLS kind of guy :)
2) ISO sensitivity settings ... auto ISO is a great feature , but you just have to be careful with it. I probably change this the most ... with my default at ... base iso200 top end iso6400 (being that on a D700 the "Unity Gain ISO" is iso6400 the hint is the dial setting, even though "in camera" it can go higher ... anything else can be pushed processed from a RAW file in Post, with the same results) ...
* and the shutter at what I can handhold "specific" for the Shoot/Lens. This is best when the conditions are changing fast. Shadow and Bright as you turn.
I also must note: "whenever" Lighting conditions are tricky ... say, almost anytime after the Sun actually sets ... I Turn Auto ISO OFF , and set the iso manually (most of the time, anywhy)
3) e2 Flash shutter speed ... my default is 1/30 but that changes.
4) a8 AF point selection ... when speed in selection is important I use 11 point
5) a3 Dynamic AF area ... 9 pr 21 depending on things around target
6) a5 AF activation .. I need this then I want to lock a AF in MF ... then I turn AF-ON only. Something I do often.
7) a9 Built-in AF assist illuminator ... so I can quickly turn off and ON
8) c3 Self-Timer delay ... let's me set the sec ... can use this instead of a remote shutter
9) Active D-Lighting ... allows me to turn Off an ON ... because it does affect how you expose in A mode , and therefore underexposes the RAW file (and can create a slightly more noisy file). (I shoot RAW) ... but, even in RAW D-Lighting ON shows you better (via the imbedded JPG) what can be done with the RAW file, and fyi LR v2.6 at default DNG LR import is very close to the D-Lighting JPG but less noisy imho.
10) Focus tracking with lock-on ... this is for AF-C shooting if you need to change
11) Long exp. NR
12) Multiple exposure
* I also have Shooting Menu and Custom setting BANK listed ... but, have not really used this much yet.

*** So, there it is ... IF, you have any improvements, to MY Nikon settings ... or something I left out , that would be important to use ... let me know. email: rdhinc@hawaii.rr.com
and I will update this blog.

Hope this helps,
Ross Hamamura / www.RDHphoto.net