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My first dive into digital 1Ds a good start


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Hello all you Canon experts or experts in training. I've been reluctant to dive into the digital realm until the recent introduction of the 1Ds mark II. At that point the father, 1Ds, has dropped in price nearly in half. I figured this would be a good point to pick up a used 1Ds that hasn't been abused. I need the highest quality for my wedding shots that I'm accustom to with my MF equipent. Mind you, I usually don't sell prints larger than 16X20, only a few at that. Mostly 8x10's 11x14's and 5x7's. I'm curious as to the learning curve on getting familar with this piece of equipment and places I can go to find tricks, tips and technique's to get myself up to speed in a farely short time. Because I currently use Leica R equipment for my candids I'm going to be using a majority of those lenses however I'm probably going to by one or two Canon zooms to go with it later. I've heard a lot in regards to the need for superior glass when using this body. Any help from you would be greatly appreciated. I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew.
For one, you're going to be using stop-down metering and manual focusing, which changes a lot how you set up and handle the camera. Get ready to try various aspects of the camera and post-shooting production:

- ISO settings
- White balance
- Color space

Some web sites that have excellent information and discussions on these and other related subjects are http://luminous-landscape.com and http://outbackphoto.com

One thing you will want to do is shoot raw format and develop with Photoshop's Camera Raw plug-in or C-1, or you can also try the Canon DPP utility, but the first two will give better results and are much better to use.

If you're printing digitally you may consider 11x17 and 13x19 sizes.

Hi. I'm neither a Canon expert nor expert in training , just a pro photographer using 1Ds in reportage for the last two years. I switched to dig when the 1Ds came out and sold my MF. I think Keith you can confidently do all your wedding photography with the 1Ds - portraits and candids.

I think you suggest that you're going to use Leica lenses on the 1Ds - is that possible? If so you'll not benefit from Canon's exceptional autofocus as Djg says, which for candids is a real handicap.

As far as lenses goes I sold my zoom 28-70L after seeing what it produced on a 1Ds - with that number of pixels only the sharpest of lenses is acceptable. I bought the 24-70L which is 'fine' but nothing exceptionnel. I also bought primes for the first time - 50 f1.4, Macro 100 F2.8 - superb! You MUST however get a 70-200mm L possibly the best zoom lens in the world. In addition a prime 24 or 35.

Where digital will really change your life :- changing ISO on the fly, changing whte balance on the fly (in and out of church for ex) checking your exposures immediately in difficult light conditions, etc.

RAW format - Yes for the portraits, and definitely no for the candids. One of the advantages of going digital is job turn-around time. If you've got 400 candids in RAW you're going to spend days in post-prod. Only a very trained eye on a fully blown-up on-screen image will see the difference between a RAW file and the best JPEG setting file (I still can't see it !). RAW does give you greater colour control at image source level before bringing it into Photoshop.

Your last comment 'biting off more than I can chew'... you'll have no probs adapting to Canon...adapting to digital no problems at shoot stage. The potential difficulties arise in 'post-production' and that all depends on where you're at concerning your Photoshop skills.

If you're going digital for the simple reason that you don't have all the F&D cost forget it! Digital is far more expensive - camera, cards, computers, software (lots) etc. And then there' the post-prod time (try and tell your client that you won't be billing F&D - a tangible cost - but your 'time' instead - intangible to him/her).

I went digital because I wanted total control over what I supplied and providing the 'finished product' in a shorter turn-around time. I had worked with photoshop for several years. I had a good idea of what to do in post-prod.

And knowing what you can do in Photoshop CHANGES the way you shoot. Strange but true. On film (especially tranny) you have little latitude and you try to shoot a perfect exposure all the time. In digital I'm often shooting to get the 'raw materials'.

Whenever I hear someone say film is better than hi-end pro digital (comparable formats) that person probably has little knowledge of post-prod, or is not happy using computers or is justifying something special to him/her. The real world has changed.

If you're savvy with Photoshop or are prepared to learn fast (books and intuition) and have a fast computer (1Ds files are big) - taking the plung is a 'necessity'. Others are already there.

I'll place a bet with you ! Once you've tested the 1Ds you'll leave your MF at home.


The EOS system, which I really hated when it was first introduced because it meant switching from my FD system, turns out to be more versatile than many other systems in using adapted lenses from other manufacturers.

Except for FD lenses, strangely, many other brands, including R Leica lenses, can be mounted on an EOS camera without a multiplier factor. (FDs can be used, with a 1.26X factor.)

Assuming you have good eyesight and decent reflexes, you can focus manually and shoot in AV mode by closing down to the aperture you need. Or you can revert back to total manual shooting. Believe me, it's not that hard. For sports, it's not a good idea, but it shouldn't be a problem in a wedding situation. Most lenses perform best at about two stops down. With a fast Contax T or Leica R prime lens stopped to f5.6, you have enough light to focus without having to open and close the aperture and you have the well-known qualities of those optics. Best of two worlds.
Thanks for the links DJ, they look like very promising sources of information. Being use to Leica equipment to begin with, the need for manual focusing is not a major problem. I will have to get use to the step down method of getting enough light to focus properly, or just use the time tested method of prefocusing and staying that distance from my subject. I will be aquiring some Canon lens though, most likely the ones Peter suggested. I've heard a lot of great things about the 70-200mm L as well as the 85mm 1.2. I am very fond of my Leica 90mm, it give absolutely beautiful shots with perfect boken. By far my favorite to date. I do reserve the right to be proven wrong but that'll be a tough sell.
One of the main reasons I went the way of the 1Ds is the full frame sensor and the ability to use my Leica and Angenieux lenses as Charles indicated. I'll be doing a lot of testing over the next couple months, taking shots of the end of winter isn't much of a subject but spring is just around the corner. I'll be sure to post some soon. Thanks for the great advice.
Hi PA.

I own a Canon 70-200mm IS 2.8 , I most say that I love it. I also have the 2x extender. I did some photos down the shore. Very fast and clear photos. I started with a canon Rebel, and last week I upgraded to 20d.

> I forgot to mention that I've had quite good results from my 28-70L lens. It may be just the luck of the draw, but I remember once having an opportunity to pick up a 135mm Leica lens from among three. Circumstances allowed me to test each one and buy the one I liked. One was clearly superior to the others, optically in one case and cosmetically in the other.
I should ask, you do mean slr lenses, not rangefinder? Some rangefinder lenses will have elements projecting rearward too much for the mirror in an EOS camera to move without impact.
Yes, they are slr lenses. I don't think they make an adapter for the leica M lens to the EOS body but if someone knows of one, I'd be very interested in hearing about it. I also have a couple of great M lenses to as well as an M5 and M6 body. As you can tell, I've got a few pennies wraped up in Leica glass.