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Archive 2012 · mastering the 5dII
  
 
Phillip Reeve
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p.1 #1 · mastering the 5dII


Most of you will know me as a passionate Nex-shooter. Now a friend who is on a trip around the world borrowed me his 5dII + 24-70L for the next 6 months and i would like to learn how to get good images out of it which at least reach the quality of what i get out of my Nex-5n.

For now i am not really happy with colors and graduation of my pictures. I have seen images from the 5dII with great colors and graduation, so it should somehow be possible for me to get better results.


Some images from the Nex-5n to get an impression of my usual style:





















My first pictures with the 5dII:

the raw file


the raw file


the raw file


the raw file

Here are some samples of images taken with the 5dII i like:


IMG_1139 1280 by Wilhelm Frank - Stockholm, on Flickr


IMG_6217 1024 by Wilhelm Frank - Stockholm, on Flickr

or the images in this post:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/860134/785#11095723

or the work of Andreas Resch:
http://www.andreasresch.at/

or most images taken by samuli:
http://www.vahonen.com/


When using my Nex i see that the Zeiss-lenses give somewhat better colors and contrast but i can get good colors and graduation with the lowly kit lens or a Canon nFD 50/1.4.

So do i really need other lenses or can i get better images than now with better processing?

Any input is welcome!
Phillip





Nov 22, 2012 at 05:03 PM
mortyb
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p.1 #2 · mastering the 5dII


I know Samuli Vahonen uses Aperture as raw converter. Two years ago I found Aperture to give much nicer results over ACR, but I believe the difference today is minimal. I tried hard over 18 months to get to grips with the 5D2 colors (using C/Y and ZFs), but was never really happy. But I've seen plenty of nice 5D2 shots, so it's of course possible. I'd be interested in what Wilhelm has to say.


Nov 22, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Phillip Reeve
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p.1 #3 · mastering the 5dII


is anything know about what happened to samuli? his posts and updates to his website stopped quite abruptly.

some stuff from this evening:










Nov 22, 2012 at 06:51 PM
wfrank
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p.1 #4 · mastering the 5dII


Well thanks for examplifying with some stunning work from me :-)

Both of those are Samyang incidently, first one with the 14/2.8.

Colorwise the majority of your 5D2 shots áre taken into the sun which of course does not help. The Nex have some really resiliant files, but coming from the Canon 7D that was exactly what I thought about the 5D files. The Nex is amazing, as good as the FF and even better for shadows. Thats at least the major difference I get. A sneak way of creating some more headroom in images with demanding light situations is to export in 16bits/channel rather than the std 8. I do this both for Nex and 5D2 sometimes, but perhaps the 5D2 benefits the most. I use ACR -> PS and I know your main tool is LR but there should be a mechanism in there too.

I am not a big fan of the 24-70L, never tried a good copy. Some L's have surpised me for colors, the 17-40L is one of them, so Canon stuff can of course do good outside the TSE world. But the Zeiss' are better, but overall lighting situations count too. This time of year we dont get much color or even light here, Germany is for sure better off in that sense but perhaps that has an impact in your short 5D2 journey so far. Regardless I look forward to your further evaluation, the sensor is great - just different



Nov 22, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Phillip Reeve
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p.1 #5 · mastering the 5dII


Prior to my first Nex I used a 550d, never managed to get good colors out of it.

how does your workflow work? I import to LR, develop in LR and then send a 16bit 6MP .psd-file to PS for resizing and framing, so I think I already use 16bit all the time.

So you would say that apart from worse shadows the nex-5n sensor and 5dII are equally capable?
I would like to see your developing-settings for some shots, would you mind sharing them?

thanks,
phillip



Nov 22, 2012 at 07:17 PM
parsons
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p.1 #6 · mastering the 5dII


i have recently aquired a 5dmk2, coming from a 1dskm2. the only reason was for a weight issue whilst on a recent trip to usa.
i cannot stand the conversions from adobe, and have for a long time been using C1 pro. its great, perhaps try the free version.
three shots blended: nikon 14-24






two horizontal shots stitched, zeiss cy 28mm






i always export as 16bit files, and pull back on the black point as well.

simon



Nov 22, 2012 at 08:05 PM
cogitech
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p.1 #7 · mastering the 5dII


I will play with a couple of the RAWs and see what I come up with, but I don't think you are going to like my solution (even if you like my results).




Nov 22, 2012 at 09:18 PM
wfrank
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p.1 #8 · mastering the 5dII


Phillip Reeve wrote:
Prior to my first Nex I used a 550d, never managed to get good colors out of it.

how does your workflow work? I import to LR, develop in LR and then send a 16bit 6MP .psd-file to PS for resizing and framing, so I think I already use 16bit all the time.

So you would say that apart from worse shadows the nex-5n sensor and 5dII are equally capable?
I would like to see your developing-settings for some shots, would you mind sharing them?

thanks,
phillip


Uhh. I dont have a consistent workflow, it changes. In ACR I do pretty crude things like fill light and recovery dependent on image. I can try contrast and blacks and sometimes vibrance because I know I am gonna dampen later on in PS. I prefer to do curves/levels in PS as I can do it in selected/masked parts of the image - but for the majority I do not do this selectively anyway.

Then in PS I change taste and scheme all the time. Right now I am stuck and dont take images. But when I did I cannot say PP going from 5D2 to NEX 5N and then back to 5D2 changed in any significant way. At least not because of what origin the image had. I never liked the Sony 18-55, it was when I got the Contax G lenses I really started to appreciate the NEX, not before.

I suddenly saw images (still lifes) on par with the FF, something the Canon 7D never could achieve. But the 5N is not an FF so it fails in other aspects such as DOF, impact of low pixelpitch, things like that. And additionally handling, speed, OVF, feel. Not just subjectively, although part may be.

Mastering the 5D2 for me is as much to come to grip with superior handling as a pro or semi-pro camera compared to the - in comparison - gimmicky 5N. I know the 7 is better in that respect, at least on the hardware side.

Sensorwise the 5N has more advantages on the fringe over the 5D2 I am sure. Not just shadows. DR and probably just about anything that DXO measures. I am not a color guy, but what I like about Zeiss are the muted, yet strong colors I see. I see the same character coming through in both G lenses for the NEX as CY (or ZE) lenses for the 5D2. And the micro contrast of course.

For both systems I've played with dampening colors and then revoke them to my liking. The ship image is an example of that, whereas the guy with the dog is SOOC in comparison. Here's a more recent example of such color thinking. I would stand no chance doing an image like this with the NEX. On the other hand I dont think this is your kind of picture at all.

Not much help I guess, but a small essay about being unstructured and maybe you'll find a tid bit somewhere :-)




Nov 22, 2012 at 09:23 PM
wfrank
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p.1 #9 · mastering the 5dII


EDIT ADDENDUM: BTW, I find your last images very pleasing. The stitch doesn't really count in this discussion, but that is very nice too.


Nov 22, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Paul Yi
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p.1 #10 · mastering the 5dII


I have to say.... That picture is just so good....
Not only the IQ, but the content..... Very nice....



Nov 22, 2012 at 09:36 PM
 

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carstenw
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p.1 #11 · mastering the 5dII


"That picture"?

Phillip, these last photos are already better, but there is still a definite hierarchy in my mind. The NEX with the good lenses is fantastic, the FD lens already is a half-step down, and the 5DII photos another half-step down, both with the Canon lenses and the Nikkor. There is a muddiness in the mid tones, a failure to differentiate similar tones much. There is a kinda of smearing between dull oranges, browns and dull greens, that the NEX photos don't suffer from.

If you want to get a 5DII, definitely look into getting some better glass.



Nov 22, 2012 at 09:51 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #12 · mastering the 5dII


No one doubts that Zeiss have done very well out of Canon users...sensors are vital but lenses make the difference to the well-accustomed eye. Good luck with your quest, Phillip.

I occasionally wonder aloud if the company actually designs for the flat atonal look of their lenses' colour, as you see it in even the high end product. They seem to cater primarily for pros who need great bodies and sharp enough lenses for reportage, minus the gradation.

In your situation, I'd take a wander around the Canon forum and see what you like there, and maybe ask (subtly as people get touchy) what works best.



Nov 22, 2012 at 10:26 PM
mortyb
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p.1 #13 · mastering the 5dII


Some sick Contax 100/2 separation there, Wilhelm.


Nov 22, 2012 at 10:37 PM
mortyb
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p.1 #14 · mastering the 5dII


carstenw wrote:
Phillip, these last photos are already better, but there is still a definite hierarchy in my mind. The NEX with the good lenses is fantastic, the FD lens already is a half-step down, and the 5DII photos another half-step down, both with the Canon lenses and the Nikkor. There is a muddiness in the mid tones, a failure to differentiate similar tones much. There is a kinda of smearing between dull oranges, browns and dull greens, that the NEX photos don't suffer from.


I agree with this. I think it's a matter of getting results that are good enough, that you're happy with, without trying to match the Nex 100 %.



Nov 22, 2012 at 10:41 PM
cogitech
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p.1 #15 · mastering the 5dII


Phillip, I have spent a few minutes with each of the original ones which were called into question initially.

I have to say that I much prefer working with 5D files than 5DII files. Talk about "digital" feeling images. I'll be sticking with my 5D classics.

Anyway, this is what I came up with. About 5 minutes per image, all in one application (tried to match your cropping, rotation, etc. tweaks, and removed some of the sensor bunnies along the way too).

























Perhaps not what you had in mind. Perhaps "the way I thought the scenes might have really looked", but something to look at, anyway. A different perspective and certainly a much different processing method/tool.



Nov 23, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #16 · mastering the 5dII


Ok, first I apologize for butchering your pic. Second, I might be bit of saturation junkie.

Anyway, dont shoot me please.







Capture One 7, bit of structure boost in PS. Btw. why you cropped it? It works nicely in center composition..

Bit of personal input now.


You try to make one camera look like another. In theory its possible, in practice I guess custom made ICC is needed (or in case of Adobe, DNG color profile). Another "problem" is that you are probably used to high quality of Zeiss (Contax G) or Voigtlaender lens on NEX, which are near impossible to mimic. And even tho 24-70mm f2.8 isnt bad lens, its not somewhat spectacular either (just my opinion). Plus theres thing called color transfer, which is pretty much how much of each wavelength goes trough lens and how much is saturation lowered in each of that wavelength.

Samyang lens are excellent in this, Canon much less. Plus 5DMK2 does have quite a bit of green in red channel, while NEX doesnt have so it has (in theory) better color separation. My opinion is that one does need to have great colors at start, to work with them later, but you cant "make" those colors, if they are not there. From my experience, right color profiles do wonders sometimes, but nothing is almighty.

Obviously I dont know how much you know about this stuff, if you already know this, then Im sorry. Plus there are guys on FM, which are most likely much better in this then me.

And as I said, its personal input.


My main point is, that your pics are pretty much fine as they are. 5DMK2 is simply different, not much problem in different look, when its still good picture. If you really dont like it, then you know.. A99 might be good solution.







Kinda like this one.



Nov 23, 2012 at 03:02 AM
sebboh
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p.1 #17 · mastering the 5dII


holy color blotches batman! it's been a while since i played with 5dII files.

i'm always happy to play with other people's raws, but as i played with these more i started to lose sight of the target:















i believe this is the point where i just gave up.










not sure what happened with that last one...



Nov 23, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Phillip Reeve
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p.1 #18 · mastering the 5dII


thanks for all the pictures, it seems sebboh and i have a quite similar taste, I like those best. @sebboh: do you mind sharing a screenshot out of LR? I am especially interested in how you made the skies that much livelier than I.


Mescalamba wrote:
You try to make one camera look like another. In theory its possible, in practice I guess custom made ICC is needed (or in case of Adobe, DNG color profile). Another "problem" is that you are probably used to high quality of Zeiss (Contax G) or Voigtlaender lens on NEX, which are near impossible to mimic. And even tho 24-70mm f2.8 isnt bad lens, its not somewhat spectacular either (just my opinion). Plus theres thing called color transfer, which is pretty much how much of each wavelength goes trough lens and how much is saturation lowered in each of that
...Show more
I nerver totally believed in what i read here regarding colors, especially as i have never seen any scientific test of such parameters only people talking about it with statements often contradicting each other. But it seems to be more legit than i tought.

have to catch a bus, more later!
Phillip



Nov 23, 2012 at 08:39 AM
sebboh
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p.1 #19 · mastering the 5dII


Phillip Reeve wrote:
thanks for all the pictures, it seems sebboh and i have a quite similar taste, I like those best. @sebboh: do you mind sharing a screenshot out of LR? I am especially interested in how you made the skies that much livelier than I.

I nerver totally believed in what i read here regarding colors, especially as i have never seen any scientific test of such parameters only people talking about it with statements often contradicting each other. But it seems to be more legit than i tought.

have to catch a bus, more later!
Phillip


i think i remember lenstip doing some kind of spectral test of samyangs coatings?

anyway, here's the three where i didn't do anything really crazy.

the screenshot here shows everything i did:



for this one i also jacked the saturation up to +20 on the greens:



same with this one plus i added vignetting (amount -25, midpoint 0):



your greens seem much more saturated than mine and i seem to have pushed things more towards red.

just noticed the first 2 i used the camera standard profile and the last one i used the camera neutral profile.



Nov 23, 2012 at 09:27 AM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #20 · mastering the 5dII


Phillip Reeve wrote:
thanks for all the pictures, it seems sebboh and i have a quite similar taste, I like those best. @sebboh: do you mind sharing a screenshot out of LR? I am especially interested in how you made the skies that much livelier than I.

I nerver totally believed in what i read here regarding colors, especially as i have never seen any scientific test of such parameters only people talking about it with statements often contradicting each other. But it seems to be more legit than i tought.

have to catch a bus, more later!
Phillip


CP7, without color tweaks.







Scientific test. Well, there are tests of coating and wavelength transfers.

http://www.lenstip.com/166.9-Lens_review-Samyang_85_mm_f_1.4_Aspherical_IF__Ghosting__flares_and_transmission.html

Scroll down there.


Otherwise, theres famous metamerism index on DxOmark (not particulary useful) and in same place is shown how are color channels clean (eg. colors separated from each other). Which actually is useful. Well, sorta.. if you want to use it, good color profiles are pretty much must.

I guess not that many ppl do that so easier way would be probably to use either CP7 as RAW developer, or simply switch to manufacturer ICCs in LR (Camera Calibration and choose between manufacturers profile). ACR default is sometimes good, most times not.

And for look of pics, I guess trying at least old 50mm f1.7 C/Y might bet good idea. Canon lens are not bad, but if you are demanding as you are, probably not best for you.

Plus another thing is that NEX has 16 mpix APS-C with not so strong AA, while 5DMK2 is 21 mpix FF, with quite strong AA. Which means NEX has probably quite a bit more detail (I think paired with 45/2 Contax G it has A LOT of detail). And it seems to me it has better usable DR aswell. To match it, I guess more PP and very good lens on 5DMK2 are needed (C/Y 35-70mm for example .



Nov 23, 2012 at 04:25 PM
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