View of the Drew | Andrew Halpern Photography

Posts Tagged ‘photoplus expo’

Part of a shutter-happy family

1/50 - f/4 - ISO 800 - 300 mm

Despite the very strange October snow, I went back to the Photo Expo on Saturday in order to have more fun with equipment that is far too expensive for me to own. I did a little better this time with the controls.

The lens used to shoot the first two was that $6,300 Sony 300mm f/2.8 (the middle lens in the last photograph). It’s a massive beast of a lens because it’s a very long telephoto, and most importantly it has a very wide aperture of f/2.8. The very wide aperture allows for only the subjects to be isolated. It also allows a ton of light into the camera. A paparazzi photographer’s dream. But it comes at a massive price.

Another thing to notice is how pleasing the out-of-focus portions of the two image are. The term for this is ‘bokeh’ and it’s a hallmark of professional-looking photography. “Good” bokeh will be soft and smooth (like you see here), while “bad” bokeh is often course and not as pleasing to the eye. Since it costs so much to get the “good” kind, I’ll settle for anything actually.

1/200 - f/2.8 - ISO 1600 - 300 mm

Cradling his baby.

Notice on this shot how razor-thin the depth of field is here. The focus is sharp on the guy’s face but his camera is starting to get blurry.

1/80 - f/4 - ISO 500 - 50 mm

The middle lens was used to shoot the top two photos.

The PhotoPlus Expo

1/8 - f/5.6 - ISO 200 - 250 mm (Shot using a 70-400mm f4-f.6 Sony Lens. Lens Cost $1800. Camera cost??)

Thursday, I went to the PhotoPlus Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. This is a trade show where you can play with all the latest (and very expensive) camera equipment. But this year I did something different. Instead of using my own camera, I put my memory card into the cameras on display and snapped away.

Most of these cameras I didn’t know how to use. The controls are very different to my Canon, and I *really* didn’t know what I was doing.  Most importantly, I didn’t know how to change most of the settings to what I wanted. But with equipment costing thousands and thousands of dollars, it’s actually not that hard to shoot something somewhat decent.

You’d have to know a little bit about what you are doing, but not as much as you’d think.  The lenses and camera systems are just too good to let you down.

Remember, you don’t need expensive equipment like this to make decent photos, but it’s truly amazing what this stuff can do even in the ‘wrong hands’.

1/20 - f/2 - ISO 200 - 23 mm (Fuji X-100, $1,300)

Notice this shot if I took it again, I’d probably increase the shutter speed to control for movement.

The camera I’m using is called the Fuji X-100 (you can see the man in yellow holding one).  It’s a nifty little camera that has a sensor as large as a DSLR but can fit in a coat pocket. It’s unobtrusive and good for street photography.  The problem is the attached lens is a fixed lens, and it has but one focal length.  In other words you cannot zoom in nor can you buy a different lens for it.  For some folks, that’s absolutely fine for them.

1/60 - f/2.2 - ISO 400 - 7.1 mm (Fuji X-10, advanced compact @ $600 not so expensive)

I stumped this guy here with lots of nerd questions.  One of the few cameras I used that’s not so expensive.

1/200 - f/4 - ISO 1600 - 70 mm (Shot using a 70-400mm f4-f.6 Sony Lens. Lens Cost $1800. Camera cost??)

The expo set up a Samurai sword session with some of the very expensive lens set ups so we could test them out.  Since I was fumbling so much with the controls, I managed to put the camera into “sports mode” and let it and the lens do the thinking.

1/800s . f/3.5 . ISO 8000 . 300 mm (300mm f2.8 Sony $6,300)

ISO set far too high here as you can see from the grain.  There’s really no need for the shutter speed to be so fast on this shot.  This kind of thing is the major downside to letting the camera make decisions for you (Sports Mode).  But then again this is ISO8000 we are talking about.  The camera actually does a pretty good job at handling the noise especially on her face.  A paparazzi style shot if I ever saw one.

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