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Looking for some advice with canon files

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  #1  
Old 06-12-2009, 12:14 AM
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garibaldi garibaldi is offline
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Looking for some advice with canon files

OK, I feel a littel silly asking this, and I will try to not get long winded about my question. Im a professional photographer going on 4 years. Ive always shot digital, I have a canon 5d, 1d mk3 and 1ds mk3, along with primarily l lenses most of which are either primes or l zooms along with soem tilt shifts. I shoot a variety of things, esp in this economy. 90% of the time I am shooting with the 1ds mk3. I pretyt much shoot RAW every once in a while ill shoot jpg just to use as a ref. I use adobe lightroom 2, and absolutley hate the rendering and color, but love the interface, im happier with the fidelity and color with DPP but hate the interface.

The problem I am having or think I am having is with the files coming out of the camera. THey just suck. I understand RAW and all that so theres no need to explain, I understand that the files need work, but I feel liek the amount of time I have to spend hammering away on these files is ridiculous, and even then , Im still not totally satisifed. Ive done custom wb, ive metered, iv eplayed, ive bracketed, ive lit, ive bounced, etc. first off the color, I feel its not relaistic at all, and even in post to try and get it accurate is very tough, theres always some cast mostly a magenta pinkish cast. (yes both my apple cinema displays are calibrated with an eye one) I also feel that they tend to be very red/orange heavy, skin tones look not natural, esp in lightroom, Ive played with the tones, and calibration, etc. also I feel that the contrast is jsut not right on the files, liek the blacks are heavy and get kind of clogged. and yes ive metered for the shadows. I feel that the dynamic range jsut isnt really there, the images lack punch and realism, they arent neutral and even. I feel I spend most of my post time trying to calm down and chase these nuclear and unrealistic colors to get it to look like I saw when there in person. theres no smoothness to the tonal transistions, and the highlights are washed, and the shadows are mud, and the middle ground is....eh.

I have colleagues who shoot with the same gear, even less, like mk2, 20 d, etc, and there files look much better right out of the camera. Ive also seen some unreal work shot with the same body, where colors and tones, and contrast etc are just really good. i feel if i shoot a mixed light situation, theres awful casts, like strobe where there an incandecent in the frame, the incandecent takes on a peach blah orange tint. Ive seen similar situations shot where the colors reamin accurate to what you eye would see.

Also the files dont sharpen well, I feel that I really need to apply heavy sharpening, and i sharpen in lab, on the l channel in a couple of diff ways, but I always feel that I am seeing the picel s start blocking up and giving a very grainy appearance, the files just dont stay smooth and crisp, not even like they are like that to begin with. I am also getting a lot of hot pixels in images esp when they are a slightly longer exp, by longer i mean if im dragging the shutter to lets say a number just to pick up a littel ambient if im shooting with strobe doing an interior lets say, i get these white green or red bursts all over hte image, not noise, hot pixels, like a littel checkersed cluster of 5 to 9 pixels that isnt noise, or dirt or the optics. Also I get a lot of abberation and shifts and halos around very bright areas. ugh the list goes on and on, i even showed some files to the store I bought it and the saleperson was liek wow, that looks like the stuff youd get out of a bad point and shoot camera for $100. The body was in to canon for the recall and I enclosed a letter explaining all this, the sent it back and said its fine. I really dont think it is. Ive compared with my ohter bodies, and there such diff cameras its tough to tell really. The raw files are way too big to post up here obv and Id really like to show you what I mean, if anyone has any suggestions im all ears, or any input, Im really getting more and more frustrated with this camera as im feeling that im limited with what it can do.

Maybe its me?
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:15 AM
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garibaldi garibaldi is offline
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Re: Looking for some advice with canon files

btw I hate spell check as you can see lol
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:45 AM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: Looking for some advice with canon files

Taking a wild guess

There are a number of custom functions built into these and some of them have to do with color temp, processing and color matrix among others.

Have you been through all of those and checked them out? Or is this a dumb question like I usually ask
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:51 AM
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garibaldi garibaldi is offline
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Re: Looking for some advice with canon files

Yes I am fully aware of those, regardless though, none of those remain when processing a raw in adobe, only in dpp. the only info the file will hold is exposure settings and white balance, picture styles get tossed. Only time that they remian is when applied to a jpg.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:43 PM
jadams007 jadams007 is offline
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Re: Looking for some advice with canon files

a shot in the dark, could any of the color cast have to do with strobe lights?
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:56 PM
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garibaldi garibaldi is offline
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Re: Looking for some advice with canon files

Well, I dont think so, if im shooting with strobe, Im using either Profotos or white lightnings, I will do a custom white balance sing a card, or worst case set my wb to daylight.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:06 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Looking for some advice with canon files

Do jpegs suffer the same problems as the raw files?
Do you apply camera profiles in Lightroom?

http://x-equals.com/blog/?p=2168
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:54 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: Looking for some advice with canon files

A few more ideas:

Color from flash is not only a function of the flash but of the modifier also. Have you checked the color with a color meter? Is there a difference in color tied to a difference in recycle time?

What ISO are you using? Is there a difference from one ISO value to another?

Have you ever invited one of your friends over so you could both shoot the same scene side by side and compare the results of both cameras?
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:03 AM
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Sweetlight Sweetlight is offline
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Re: Looking for some advice with canon files

Just a bit more ideas if I may.

How are your images appearing if you shoot in total automatic, allowing the camera to make the exposure entirely.
Now in your raw mode compare your ideal of correct exposure to the cameras and see if there is any obvious discrepancy in the settings.

Also, I have mentioned before that no matter what your camera or light meter set as a correct exposure it could totally be off because of your shooting style. I know it maybe does not make sense but our styles of shooting sometimes will need tweaks in the exposure. For example; I consistently find myself underexposing about 1 stop to achieve my "right on" exposure. I also experienced the same issues when film was still the desired output and as I moved into the digital world my exposure ideas carried on as well. May I suggest that you shoot a bracket of the same image. On film we would do 1-stop or 1/2 stop brackets and find our D-Max (true black) by running our film through a manual densitometer. In digital it's even easier because we can tighten our brackets down to 1/3 stops or whatever we want mostly because back then film was an expense, but no longer under that restraint we can expose at will. So maybe shoot a long sequence of bracketed images and see which exposure is actually what YOU would say is correct and that will give you an idea of where you "true" right on exposure may be.
I hope this rambling makes a little sense and it helps more that confuses. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Chris
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:43 AM
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TreesOfMyTime TreesOfMyTime is offline
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Re: Looking for some advice with canon files

Incandescent will always be yellow in spite if strobe. Try using more single light sources. Use more natural North light.

But this sounds very strange.

Try identifying a local photog with the same brand equipment and do a shoot together and compare, then switch equiment for a test.
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