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On the road again - Robb's Leica Adventures


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20 hours ago, robb said:

New 3’ Profoto ocf Octa arrived.  Definitely small and easily packable for carry-on travel collapses with the new b10.

Inside shots - the b10 250 worked fine even at energy 5.0

outside, the new HSS didn’t work so well yet with my 6’ elinchrom Octa, so I will try again with the smaller softbox for more testing and see how it goes since it’s not putting out as much power with HSS.  I normally shoot strobe in Manual mode but the new Profoto connect pro is not reputed to be quite there with the Leica yet.  Some bugs reported in manual mode.  So I will try aperture priority as well… 

The testing continues.  I always have my acute 600’s to use if this takes a while…

Robb

 

with both Profoto and Godox the flash power goes down in HSS, from my tests you are left with 1/3 flash power. I would think the postbox kills 1 more stop. you may have to bring you flash up to 10 and have about 60ws in HSS. it is time to set camera to ISO 800 and no need for ND 😉

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Had more time to test the new profoto B10 with soft boxes outdoors and the new connect pro trigger in HSS.

Mixed results although it's on its way to being a very useful tool for Leica.  It still has bugs used with HSS in manual and auto modes - It's fine in x mode or in normal mode with 1/250th at f8 outdoors for example.  The main issue is the trigger will not always go into HSS mode when you up your shutter speed in manual mode.  The other issue that has been mentioned elsewhere is that the B10 flash will be set at 8.5... the trigger shows HSS with a camera setting of 1/2000th at f 2... As soon as you focus (with the back button set in MF mode) and hit the shutter, the B10 adjusts to 3.2 on the energy even though neither you nor the connect pro told it to do that.  So you basically get no flash showing up in the image because the power is reduced 5 stops.  It doesn't work very well in TTL auto mode either.  Although I have no desire to ever use it in the mode.  The shutter will never go higher and show HSS in auto mode.

I then reset the trigger to factory specs and it then sometimes worked properly with HSS and sometimes reverted back to this cutting power 5 stops mode...

The B10 and connect pro will not go into HSS in aperture priority modest at f2 and manual iso of 100 or 50.  So something is wrong between the camera and connect pro connection and link to the B10.  Hopefully they will get the bugs out in a next firmware issue.

This shot with the 75 apo was set to 1/2000th at f 2 with a 6' octa about 5' away.  Energy set to 8.5.  Image was underexposed by  almost two stops but the RAW worked out fine with adjustments.

The B10 in this shot was on a rolling heavy duty Mattews C-stand

Equipment Testing in Tucson, Arizona - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 75mm Asph, iso 100, 1/2000th at f 2.0

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We cut the first outdoor session short because the strobe and trigger were acting buggy and the weather was on the colder side even way down here near the border.

The rest of the shots were with the 35 APO on this second outing.  I tried to one-hand the B10 with the new 3' OCF octa soft box and right hand my SL2-s with the lower grip, 35, and trigger in my right hand.  All this from about 3' away.  The flash was a little on the heavier side so I could do it but would be a better situation to just bring a lightweight stand for these in the future.  The b10 is smaller in size and reasonable but not as light as a speed light.  

I also find the SL2-s with grip  and an apo prime with a strobe trigger a tad on the heavier side.  Not a major problem but using the back button to focus with this combo makes it much harder to hold one-handed with a stable grip and shoot.  So I learned my lesson and will just delegate the light to another party to go with me in the future to focus all my attention on the camera stability.  Ibis makes this a lot easier but one-handed is simply not ideal.  No issue with two hands on the camera and the light stand.  

I still had the same issues with the HSS and manual modes.  It worked correctly about half the time.  I was pleased with being able to shoot outdoors with strobe wide open so I will just wait for them to get the bugs fixed.

I have a Hasselblad X2D coming next week so I will likely put all the strobe duty on that camera with its leaf shutters moving forward.  I'm old school so look forward to simple settings and just shoot with these strobe situations.  I called up my dealer to explain the problems the profoto gear was having with the Leica and asked him to relay that info to his rep at Profoto.  As it is right now, I wouldn't trust the B10 and connect pro on a commercial shoot other than simple interior uses.  I just don't have issues with my Acute packs and old fashioned triggers. 

Equipment Testing in Tucson, Arizona - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 35mm Asph, iso 50, 1/1000th at f 2.0

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Tried to see any flare shooting into the sun through the tree branches but it seemed good to go.

Equipment Testing in Tucson, Arizona - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 35mm Asph, iso 50, 1/1000th at f 2.0

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Another into the sun.

Equipment Testing in Tucson, Arizona - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 35mm Asph, iso 50, 1/1000th at f 2.0

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I feel like these 4 photos show the wide open bokeh with the 35 apo.  I like the background blur and look.  Since getting them, I never regret selling my fast 1.4's.  I do think that all the SL lenses have shifted the zone of focus to be front biassed so the lenses act like they are a stop faster with their look.  If you need more to be in focus behind your target, you will likely need to stop down 1-2 stops more than other lens designs you may be used to from Canon or Nikon.  I sold my Zeiss ZM 35 1.4 because I didn't see any real difference between it and the 35 apo.  Very similar background blur.  But I get lens communication, AF, and weather sealing with the apo.  

None of these images were retouched other than a pass in Lightroom for initial export.  I'll try to spend some time this year picking up portrait retouching skills.  I haven't had to deal with that the last 35 years but will likely be shooting tons more portrait features this year for commercial work.  

That being said, I am looking forward to the X2D arriving and seeing when I grab the Leica's vs Hassy. I'll keep the group updated.  The Hassy is my planned outdoor portrait choice when bringing strobes and maybe with indoor strobes sometimes.  The Leica's will be my go to for everything else in front of me for architecture, infrastructure, aviation, landscape, and indoor portraits lit and with natural light.   

Equipment Testing in Tucson, Arizona - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 35mm Asph, iso 50, 1/500th at f 2.0

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2 hours ago, Photoworks said:

Hi rob, the Profoto has a faction where you take a TTL test shot, and store the setting to manual. Have you tested it?

I was in a rental studio in NYC the other day and the issues are not limited to the B10, but also the bigger studio lights.

I appreciate the info.  My goal is to shoot simply.  I don’t plan on using TTL.  I’ll have to review any special functions again.  That feature wasn’t mentioned in profoto introductory video so I am not aware of it.  But I could see how it could have stored it from trying out different modes and reverted back to it.  I reset to factory original settings so hopefully can avoid having this occur again but will hopefully wait for them to address via firmware.

Robb

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37 minutes ago, robb said:

I appreciate the info.  My goal is to shoot simply.  I don’t plan on using TTL.  I’ll have to review any special functions again.  That feature wasn’t mentioned in profoto introductory video so I am not aware of it.  But I could see how it could have stored it from trying out different modes and reverted back to it.  I reset to factory original settings so hopefully can avoid having this occur again but will hopefully wait for them to address via firmware.

Robb

thanks.

if you are not using TTL or HSS you can always use it as a simple trigger by taping the contacts and have the center one exposed. then you can still us it in manual and change setting on the trigger 

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On 1/28/2023 at 6:13 PM, robb said:

.I have a Hasselblad X2D coming next week so I will likely put all the strobe duty on that camera with its leaf shutters moving forward.  I'm old school so look forward to simple settings and just shoot with these strobe situations.  I called up my dealer to explain the problems the profoto gear was having with the Leica and asked him to relay that info to his rep at Profoto.  As it is right now, I wouldn't trust the B10 and connect pro on a commercial shoot other than simple interior uses.  I just don't have issues with my Acute packs and old fashioned triggers. 

Equipment Testing in Tucson, Arizona - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 35mm Asph, iso 50, 1/1000th at f 2.0

Robb

 

It'll be pretty interesting to hear about your experience with the Hasselblad X2D compared to the SL2 and Leica primes. See Jim Kasson's test of Hasselblad's 38mm.

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4 minutes ago, John Smith said:

It'll be pretty interesting to hear about your experience with the Hasselblad X2D compared to the SL2 and Leica primes. See Jim Kasson's test of Hasselblad's 38mm.

Definitely not Leica apo quality based on his sample, but different uses I think for me where the leaf shutter is the primary need.  Will be for portraits so will see how the people look closer in.  Background will always be out of focus for these.  
Robb

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I came to the conclusion, for me, that the X2D was not the way to go. All of the disadvantages of medium format (size, speed and lens choices), with potential for lower quality images at times. 

If the XC 38mm focal length is of interest, I believe the Q2 would do a very nice job and also has leaf shutter. OTOH, I suspect you are looking at longer lenses for your work? 

One of my friends is a longtime Hassy user and loves the X2D for studio portraiture, but was a bit disappointed for field work. We've both been traveling, so I haven't seen him for a few weeks, but will catch up with him later this month. He did take it for work on a trip to Japan, so I will be interested to see his opinion now that he has used the system more. (and I don't know if he has any of the new lenses, because one of his other systems is the 907x)

Brad 

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On 1/29/2023 at 1:44 AM, robb said:

I feel like these 4 photos show the wide open bokeh with the 35 apo.

These are excellent portraits! Love the choice of wardrobe that goes well with the pink strand and the environmental interaction. Skin tone at its best. One of the best 35mm SL showcases and a portrait of its own. Well done!

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2 hours ago, kobra said:

I came to the conclusion, for me, that the X2D was not the way to go. All of the disadvantages of medium format (size, speed and lens choices), with potential for lower quality images at times. 

If the XC 38mm focal length is of interest, I believe the Q2 would do a very nice job and also has leaf shutter. OTOH, I suspect you are looking at longer lenses for your work? 

One of my friends is a longtime Hassy user and loves the X2D for studio portraiture, but was a bit disappointed for field work. We've both been traveling, so I haven't seen him for a few weeks, but will catch up with him later this month. He did take it for work on a trip to Japan, so I will be interested to see his opinion now that he has used the system more. (and I don't know if he has any of the new lenses, because one of his other systems is the 907x)

Brad 

The APO lenses really set the bar.  So after using them, it’s hard to use other lenses, m included.  
 

will see how the Hasselblad does.  My goal is to keep it limited to lit portraits.  The rest of the heavy lifting with be Leica APO all the way…

I still would like to add a Q2 (Q3 especially with longer focal length) but we’ll see how the hassy lenses do and if the SL apo lenses have put all other older Leica lens designs to the bookshelf permanently.

Robb

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Getting packed up for a week of projects in West Texas next week.  
 

The x2d arrived finally.  I got to spend two days doing some testing with the profoto b10 and the camera with a loaner 45 f 3.5

I’m also waiting on a new m2max MacBook Pro so processing the test shots formally will have to wait another week.

quick note, the profoto connect pro air trigger for the Leica sl2 does not work on the x2d even as a basic strobe trigger.  So for those of you who like one trigger and like the sl2 / x2d combo, you like me will need a dif trigger for each.  No biggie.

camera feels well executed like the sl2.

lenses not as well built as Leica SL but I will see how image quality finished when my 3 new v lenses finally ship.  Colors out of the can in the rear screen look great.  I’ll have to adjust a bit to phocus software.  User interface also seems excellent.  The x2d and SL2 def seem easy to relate back and forth.  Both also are not ideal for shooting strobe outdoors because of PAS and PASM viewfinder inability to show any details except dark outlines when in manual modes and matching brighter backgrounds.  Focus has been good on the x2d though… A Leica S3 would likely be best fit for strobes.  X2d though brings IBIS to the party, lighter weight and more mp for larger printing.  It was a hard choice.  S3 may still be added.  We’ll see how the x2d does with my environmental portraits… it’s def my Mamiya 7 digital or Texas sized q2.

will keep the group updated.

special thanks to Shannon T for some q&a on the hassy… and Steve H at Capture Integration 

I do think the SL2 will still be my everything cameras and will be even more versatile when the hss is fixed on the profoto connect pro…

x2d really just in my bag for the portraits at 100mp with leaf shutters.  I really look forward to the longer lenses on the hassy.

One from the back viewfinder on the x2d

Robb

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One more.

Robb

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Am 29.1.2023 um 01:44 schrieb robb:

[…]

None of these images were retouched other than a pass in Lightroom for initial export. I'll try to spend some time this year picking up portrait retouching skills.  I haven't had to deal with that the last 35 years but will likely be shooting tons more portrait features this year for commercial work.  

[…]

Equipment Testing in Tucson, Arizona - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 35mm Asph, iso 50, 1/500th at f 2.0

Robb

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With the S3 you wouldn’t need any portrait retouching skills for colors and skin tones. WB, reds and skin tones are off with SL2, SL2-S in Auto WB in untouched DNGs. The S3 files look amazing. An interesting comparison would be X2D with S3 and eventually SL3 with the M11 sensor. They fixed the reds and skin tones in the M11. The SL2 and SL2-S will be no match for the X2D for portraits but the XCD lenses will be no match for the SL primes. I sold the X1D II, kept the XCD 80/1.9, just in case.

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I pre-ordered my really right stuff L-bracket for the hasselblad x2d today.  $255

So for those of you who are like me and shooting that camera along with the SL2, grab those plates now.  
I’d order an Sl3 plate but… you know, gotta see what develops.
Robb

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