Nikon D6

I really don’t understand the number of online reviews in which Nikon’s D6 camera is given the thumbs down. Is it a bad camera? No. So what is the problem these reviewers have with it?

The way I see it is that this camera was not designed with these reviewers in mind so they have to give it a one star. Saying that the D6 will be that last camera Nikon will make in this range you have to ask the question what camera will the photographers use who need a go any where, any environment, sand, snow, floods and with no repair centre in sight? A camera that the photographer knows will just work in the most extreme circumstances.

If 2020 was a normal year, this camera would have shown its true value during the Tokyo Olympics and not be judged by social media content creators who want you to view their channels.

This camera is all about moving the file as soon as the shutter is pressed to the front page of a newspaper. It is not the camera for attaching to a selfie stick to do your weekly video blog on. It is not the camera to show off to your friends. Each Nikon D6 expects to have a really hard life.

There will be a time in a few years when there will be plenty of second hand Nikon D6 bodies for sale. I’m pretty sure that most of them will be close to their maximum shutter life and if they could talk, have plenty of stories to tell.

Nikon Speedlights

One of the reasons why I moved away from using my Nikon Speedlights was that I was always getting inconsistent colours in the pictures. You would take one frame and without changing anything the colour would be off.

Now that I have a colour meter I can actually see that the flash gun was putting out very different temperatures each time it went off.

As you can see it is not just by a little bit but by a lot.

Doing the same test with the Profoto B10 the temperature was very close to each other. So it wasn’t something that I was doing wrong.

I do wonder if Nikon have now fixed the problem in the latest Speedlights. In reality I probably won’t find out for myself if they have as I don’t have the spare cash to get a unit to test.

Wish list – July 2020

It hasn’t been easy to think what equipment I would get in July 2020 if money was no object. This list isn’t about kit just for the sake of it but, in my opinion, what is the top of the range equipment that I would use every day.

I would love to have is an Zeiss Otus f1.4 55mm or an Zeiss Otus f1.4 85mm lens. How great would it be to have some fantastic glass in my camera bag.

If I have to be honest, the Nikon Z series cameras don’t really rock my boat. There isn’t anything in the Fuji line up either which I think wow I must have that.

I would probably spend the money on lighting equipment but I’m not sure what I would get. What looks good on paper sometimes just doesn’t feel right for me. So my quest continues.

21 July 2020 Just figured out how much it would cost to buy a set of three dedolight DLED Turbo Series 7 bi-colour lights with the D-Tap options. The three light mains kit is about £5,000 and the V lock batteries, charger and DC ballast for the lights is about another £5,000. This would definitely be on my list if money was no object.

Sekonic C-700R

You may have noticed that I’ve been learning about the theory of colour and to help me understand what colour the light is around me and how it effects the objects it falls on, I got myself a Sekonic C-700R.

This little box of tricks reads precisely what colour the light is. It is so precise that it is used in the film and photographic world to recreate the exact lighting on shoots if there is a need to re-shoot on a different day.

I have been learning how subtle variation in lighting can be. And lighting is one of the foundations of modern photography and cinematography. Some have even said this is more important than knowing what the latest camera or lens is.

How a camera sees colour and how we see colour is very different. Being able to use this difference for creative ends looks very simple at first glance. But the more you look into it, the more you realise what a powerful tool this can be.

Just watch how the light changes in this music video at 0:35. It goes from a cool blue to a warm yellow.

Right now my new toy is sitting in “quarantine” so I won’t be able to play with it for a few days. Once I do I will provide an update.

How times have changed

Today I migrated from Tumblr to a WordPress.com site. And during that process of weeding out the posts that I didn’t want over here I was reminded of one of my early ramblings.

It was about a website dedicated to image editing. And you can read it here.

I don’t know when Fiverr was created since I wrote the post about Repixl in 2013, but it does go to show how fast things change. I wonder if in another six years what services will be around if you want to outsource your image editing.

Colour theory

Found these YouTube videos that are worth watching if you want to understand the science of colour and those technical charts.

Profoto AirX

Yesterday Profoto announced AirX. I’m still not 100% sure what it is as the press release and launch videos talk about using your phone to take pictures but don’t explain if the technology is in the flash or in the app on the phone.

A week or so ago I got a survey from Profoto asking me how much I used my phone for shooting. I can’t say that I use my phone very much at all in combination with my lighting kit. It might just be me, but if I’m going to be taking a load of lighting gear then I’m damn sure going to pack a camera and not just rely on my phone.

The thing that worries me about Profoto’s path down the mobile route is that there are so many other options better suited for the phone. Take for example their C1 range. Why get a C1 Plus when you can do so much more with an Aputure MC RGBWW LED Light

As the Profoto app for iPhone and the firmware update are free, it isn’t any great loss for the photographer who decides to use it.

I haven’t downloaded the app, so can’t tell you if it gives you the freedom to do any post production work. I know some photographers love editing their images. Spending time in the “darkroom” is what they enjoy. Will this be any good for this type of workflow? I can’t say.

Is the future mobile? Maybe. Is it for me right now? No.  

Profoto OCF II

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Nice job for those of you who noticed that in my previous post I had got myself one of the new Profoto OCF II accessories.

When Profoto announced the new range of Off Camera Flash modifiers, I was interested in the barndoors because in this revised version there is the ability to rotate the doors.

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It was the thing that was missing from version one. Twisting the plastic collar to the position the angle of the doors how you wanted them was frustrating. Twisting the plastic collar was not what you could describe as buttery smooth.

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The new clip mount makes version two of the barndoors very simple to attach. At the moment it is quite difficult to rotate the doors but I’m hoping that it is just because it is straight out of the box. 

What they did leave out in this version of the barndoors are the cut outs in the square doors for attaching gels and diffusion.

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I do get the reasons for removing this. Light can leak out of them and obviously Profoto want to encourage you to buy the new magnetic coloured gels in their collection.

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But I will miss being able to do this without having to bring along some clips or taping it down.

Looks like I won’t be giving up on my version one of the barndoors just yet.

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Version two of the grids work really well with the new barndoors. The magnets snap to the doors and also now allow them to be stackable. I could never figure out a way to stack version one of the grids.

Getting these grids separate from the grid holder does mean that they don’t come in a bag. So, I will need to find some way of storing them. Hopefully Profoto will bring out a dedicated storage bag. Which I guess won’t be cheap. 

Tethering with Capture One

It has bugged me recently that when I open up Capture One I haven’t been using all the features. The tethering option stares back at me saying, “why don’t you use me”. So I decided to get myself a Tether Tools cable for my Nikon D850.

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How easy is it to use? It really is as simple as putting one end into the camera.

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And the other into the computer.

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Fire up Capture One and flick the on switch on the camera.

If you do want to try this yourself I highly recommend watching the tutorials on the Capture One YouTube channel to have a better idea of how to set up the software.

I really have no idea if I will ever need to use tethering in a day to day job. For me this is one of those things that is worth knowing how it works just in case I will need to use it for real.

Lee100 Filters – part 3

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Last weekend I was playing around with coloured gels in front of the lights and this weekend I was playing around with coloured filters in front of the lens.

The effect is much more subtle with the filters in front of the lens.

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Depending on the strength of the filter and the gradient there are plenty of options to work with.