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Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 1:55 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

I will try my monopod/G12 combo with Canon RS-60 wired remote soon. I am afraid the cable will be somewhat short. In that case I will look into Satechi for a longer cable or a radio alternative

Massimo
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 11:10 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

Last Saturday I shot a few hundreds pictures in Full with the new pole set-up. Vast majority were indoor, the Museum over there isn't especially dark, but it's still dark enough to require flash most of the times on a compact camera like Canon G12 (I can't push ISO above 200 on it without loosing quality too much).

I would split the kind of shots into two categories: "portraits" and "details".

1) PORTRAITS. A shot that try to frame the whole vehicle, with a perspective that just can't be achieved from ground level. The 60cm cable was fine for these. Still, I faced two problems:
a) It was hard for me to properly frame the subject looking at a small LCD screen a meter above my eyes, while zooming with my feet. The fact I am used to a DSLR's viewfinder doesn't help. I guess people used to compact camera and LCD screens may feel less pain.
b) The integrated flash sometimes isn't powerful enough. I should consider adding a small Canon 270 flash (it will also recharge faster, a positive side-effect). Hope its extra weight doesn't make too hard to balance the camera.

2) DETAILS
More close-up shots of details you don't clearly see from ground level. Turret roofs, top hatches and the like. Very cool on open-topped vehicles. Modellers will love these. Here the flash was okay (still slow recharging). Problems were:
a) Need a longer cable, 60cm is okay for a T-72, but in order to work on taller vehicles I have to raise the pole higher.
b) Using a flash at closer distances makes the images more "washed out". But I guess I can live with that.

I can easily see myself taking this equipment to Saumur and going crazy with all the german, open topped SPGs out there Laughing Laughing Laughing

In the meantime I should be able to try it out on Thun Panzermuseum later on, to see how it goes outdoor.

Massimo

PS Looking forward to hear from Trevor, since he is using different hardware
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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 4:26 pm
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

The Quikpod worked well for me. I'll try and get some high level pics from the Overloon trip online (which may take a week or so), and then give details on the method I used. I'm just a bit short of time at the moment.

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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:28 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

No need to hurry, I am short of time too. I wish I could share some of my recent pictures taken in Full, but I am not done with files from Bovington yet; and I even have cool material from Burgdorf and Forte Bramafan (dating back from last summer!) that still require post-processing.

On top of that my trusted old laptop broke down, I've got no data loss, but it's still a time-consuming task to move to the new PC.

Massimo
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 10:52 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

This one looks pretty good, even if I used the flash. Not all shots were this good, but I am still happy enough to keep going ahead.



Massimo


Last edited by Massimo_Foti on Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:24 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

This is an example of those "details" shot I was talking about

Massimo
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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 2:22 pm
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

Very nice!

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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:16 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

I've got a good deal on a Canon 270EX flash. The new version "II" is hitting the shelves, so I managed to get a version "I" for almost half the price. Latest version offers some additional features, but I have no needs for them. The version I've got will have less resale value, since there is a newer version now, but I am fine with that.

It's a small unit, that fits well on Canon G12 on top of my "pole". I also got the longer cable remote from Satechi.
Hope I will be able to test the combination next month.

Massimo
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:51 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

Some shots from last's month visit to Full. All taken with G12 and build-in flash. I had to increase exposure here and there during post-processing because, as I said, build-in flash isn't powerful enough. I am positive I can do better with the 270EX external flash, but I am quite pleased anyway:



Massimo
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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:56 pm
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

Looking good!

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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:44 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

Yesterday I have been in Kradolf, my best shot of the day:



Massimo
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vagabond
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:17 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

Massimo -

Regarding flash:

If the closer-in shots are "washed out" you may need to underexpose.

Another trick is to use a diffuser - it will help to spread the light out more evenly and soften it a bit when shooting closeup. The Stofen company makes a diffuser to fit your Canon 270 EX flash. Retails for around $20 USD. If you use a diffuser, you may need to increase the power setting of the flash via the Flash Exposure Compensation menu.

Sometimes using the flash in the automatic mode (letting the flash decide how much power to use) will lead to overexposed shots. You may get better results by putting the external flash unit into manual mode and reducing the power to 1/2 or 1/4.

If you need the flash to reach further, you can increase the power of your flash (both onboard and external) via the Flash exposure compensation menu and/or change the zoom setting of the flash (on the external) to a higher number. The higher the zoom numbers, the more tightly focused the beam will be (just like the lens aperture). Conversely, the lower the zoom numbers, the wider the flash coverage.

So summing it up:
If the shots are too washed out, try using the diffuser. If that doesn’t improve the shot enough, try reducing the flash power via the Flash Exposure Compensation menu. If that doesn’t solve the problem, try setting the external flash to manual mode and reduce the power to 1/2 or 1/4 or 1/8.

Another trick to try is bouncing the flash off of the ceiling or wall. Tilt the flash head upwards at around a 45 degree angle. The indirect light will often light the scene more effectively than a direct flash.

Mrs VB has a nice trick where in she will shoot with camera upside down, to get the flash to light the lower tread area. Sometimes she will use a graduated neutral density filter on the top half of the AFV (to reduce the ambient light) and the flash on the treads to balance the lighting. She’s very good with flash – I’ve been trying to catch up to her!!

It took me a while to learn how to use flash effectively and I'm still learning on every shoot.
It can be tricky to learn, especially if one is feeling the pressure to perform well – ie visiting a museum for the “only” time!

Hope this helps!
Have fun on your adventures – safe travels!

VB
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:27 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

Thanks for the tips, there is a lot to learn on using flash. In my specific case I am using a G12, not a DSLR, so not all the things I know, or all the things you suggested, apply to it.

I am still experimenting with this pole/G12 combo and I have yet to use it with an external flash. I'll keep you posting about it.

Massimo
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vagabond
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:52 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

Hi Massimo -

I do understand that you are using the G12.

All suggestions should apply to the G12 with & without the 270EX external flash.

A great diffuser for the built-in flash on the G12 (it fits in the hot shoe) is called "the Puffer" made by Gary Fong.

I found this post on the dpreview forums that might interest you regarding the G12 and flash exposure compensation:
forums.dpreview.com/fo...angemode=1

Cheers!
VB
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:51 am
Post subject: Re: Photography/Camera Discussions & Tips

Of course I had no need for flash in Thun's Panzermuseum last month, but thanks to the "pole" I finally managed to take a look at Nahkampfkanone II's upper hull and its hatches. I wasn't even aware of their layout!

Then I went to Full last Sunday. I took over 600 shots with Canon G12 plus 270X flash using the monopod/cable-remote as a "pole". It's definitely better than the build-in flash and allows me to use the combo properly indoor. Now that I've added the external flash I am fully satisfied.

Quality is not reflex-like, but okay. In order to improve it I should take something like a Panasonic G-3 or the like. But that would be heavier, bigger and more expensive...

Massimo
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