Re: [OM] (OT, kinda) Helping a nephew

Subject: Re: [OM] (OT, kinda) Helping a nephew
From: Chuck Norcutt <chucknorcutt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 14:27:39 -0400
I said the camera was OK but this camera will need to be used in manual 
mode.  I know it does manual but it should be checked out to see how 
frustrating it is to use it that way.  I certainly doesn't have dual 
control dials.  Not necessary but just a clue that manual use *might* be 

Chuck Norcutt

On 6/16/2011 12:44 PM, Chuck Norcutt wrote:
> The camera is OK but can the lens and the flash.
> In place of the flash put a 2-way level in the hot shoe instead.  To
> avoid perspective distortion it's critical that the camera be level
> front to back and side to side.  To take in the room and avoid the need
> to tilt up and down use a 24mm equivalent lens. Set the camera height at
> the midpoint between floor and ceiling.  Typically a high rise tripod is
> not required unless you're doing a place with cathedral ceilings.
> <http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/715140-REG/Sunpak_SP_2W_LV_2_Way_Bubble_Level.html>
> Trying to use flash will be frought with problems due to the good old
> inverse square law.  To do it requires multiple studio lights, huge
> diffusers and, unless you have powerful modeling lights on the flash
> units lots of trial and error setting up the lights.
> With digital it's easier to use the tripod for long exposures as
> required and handle the inevitable dynamic range problems (dark indoors,
> bright sun outdoors) with multiple exposures and HDR techniques.  The
> following is a 2 or 3 exposure HDR image just done on PS by manually
> masking different layers.  Note the properly exposed sunlit outdoors and
> the non-blown sunlit areas on the closet doors.  The sun was nowhere
> near as weak as the photo implies.
> <http://www.chucknorcutt.com/realestate.php>
> Color balance can be very problematic with mixed sunlight, fluorescent
> and incandescent sources.  Avoid turning on the fluorescents... if
> possible.  However, proper presentation of an interior architectural
> shot is normally done with lights on... another source of blown areas
> and possible need for multiple exposures and HDR techniques.
> This Tokina 12-24/4 (ver II) is a highly rated lens as was its ver I
> predecessor.  This lens is $549 at B&H but the ver I can probably be had
> for $400 if you can find one in Canon mount.  You could probably also
> find one on the bay either new or used.
> The tripod doesn't need to be huge or fancy but it does need controls
> that allow accurate positioning, leveling and locking without disturbing
> the intended setting... sometimes a tough order.
> I'll probably be incommunicado the rest of the day but may get a chance
> to look for additional questions tomorrow.
> ps:  Also have him go buy a basic book on architectural photography.
> But avoid loaning him the 4x5.  :-)
> Chuck Norcutt
> On 6/16/2011 11:17 AM, Bob Whitmire wrote:
>> My nephew e-mailed me the other day with a camera question. He works
>> up listings for real estate agents, and wants to start offering
>> interior photos as part of the service. He said most of his clients
>> use little p&s cameras and really hate doing the work.
>> He's not a shooter, and he hasn't bought anything yet, so what
>> follows is his first stab at a list of gear:
>> Camera: Canon Rebel XS 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm
>> f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
>> http://www.amazon.com/Canon-XS-Digital-18-55mm-Black/dp/B001CBKJGG/ref=pd_ybh_2?pf_rd_p=280800601&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_i=ybh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=010CHJ3EDC40R3CNZTEJ
>>   Flash:  Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash for Canon Digital SLR
>> Cameras
>> http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Speedlite-II-Digital-Cameras/dp/B001CCAISE/ref=pd_ybh_1?pf_rd_p=280800601&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_i=ybh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=010CHJ3EDC40R3CNZTEJ
>>   I've told him I don't do this kind of work, but that I'm pretty sure
>> he'll need a wider lens than the 18mm kit, and he'll also need a
>> tripod, as well as something to diffuse the flash, assuming he goes
>> for a wider lens. As you can see, he's smart enough not to generate
>> any lust for top-of-the-line stuff. (He was also smart enough to
>> realize before I told him that a tripod might be necessary.) So I'm
>> wondering that the recommendation would be for a decent wide angle
>> that will get the job done. Canon's offerings seem to be pretty
>> expensive, and I have no knowledge of third-party lenses other than
>> Zeiss, and I don't think that's gonna help him either.<g>
>> Any suggestions welcome! You can send 'em off list if you don't want
>> to take up the bandwidth, though I think periodic discussions of
>> who's been doing what with which wide angles is always interesting.
>> --Bob
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