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Old January 17th, 2013, 06:57 AM   #1
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Focus Peaking Preferences???

Hi Guys

I assume that most of us are using focus peaking? Just for interest what colour do you find works best for you and also what level do you prefer?? I started with yellow and high but it sometimes almost covers the scene so I have now tried red and medium level.

What do you use and any special reason why???

Chris
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Old January 17th, 2013, 08:13 AM   #2
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Re: Focus Peaking Preferences???

I use Yellow. High. I used red until I came upon the scene in the attached. I haven't come upon a scene where Yellow didn't let me get good focus.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 09:29 AM   #3
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Re: Focus Peaking Preferences???

I've been using red, high, but based on the photo above I may try the yellow. What I've found though, at certain focal lengths, peaking does not display as well. So perhaps the most accurate adjustment would be with the Expanded Focus.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 06:53 PM   #4
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Re: Focus Peaking Preferences???

I must admit that I have also mainly stuck with yellow as it's bright and easy to see but with scenes where lots of items are in focus it tends to overwhelm the picture with the high setting and your LCD becomes a sea of yellow!! At weddings white is obviously not a good idea as the bride's dress will make it almost invisible and for some unknown reason, I'm doing a lot with bridemaids who are going for red as well.

Does anyone know the technical differences on the level settings?? What are the highlighted colour bits based on apart from actual parts of the scene in focus? I usually use expanded focus on a fixed tripod camera now and again to make sure the subject is staying in focus or if the setting needs a tiny tweak.

Chris
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Old January 27th, 2013, 11:03 AM   #5
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Re: Focus Peaking Preferences???

I'd love Sony to add cyan, blue, magenta and green peaking too. It's a brilliant feature and has got me out of a lot of trouble. I tend to set colour and levels to subject. Interestingly, sharper primes tend to give a much more pronounced peaking effect as the same focal length as zooms. I really notice this with macros.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 01:42 PM   #6
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Re: Focus Peaking Preferences???

When I use it...it is yellow medium. I use it selectively. I keep it turned on all the time.

I prefer focus expansion. I focus at 4 then go to 8 for a check. I find 4 better than 8 because 8 is not as sharp to me. Once I focus at 4 I rarely need make a further adjustment at 8.

Both features have there place. You can't run n gun covering people and trying to expand all the time. So for you Chris, peaking must be a life saver as it is for me.

Noa, I know your big on expansion too. Do you prefer 4 or 8?
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Old January 27th, 2013, 06:00 PM   #7
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Re: Focus Peaking Preferences???

Hi Steve

I actually used yellow high at the wedding on Saturday and I found it was a bit overwhelming with the screen being yellow all the time and often a lot of objects in the frame are yellow too!! You do tend to lose track of your framing and mission sometimes so I'm also leaning towards the medium setting rathet than the high purely so I can watch my subjects rather than sometimes watch what looks like cartoon characters.

Chris
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Old January 27th, 2013, 07:24 PM   #8
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Re: Focus Peaking Preferences???

Completely understood Chris. We have a lot more than just an image to focus on. If what we do for a living was easy then EVERYBODY would be doing it for them self. Even in this day and age of electronics that will do a lot for someone with little knowledge or effort there is still room for us professionals because we are here talking, learning, and sharing, trying to squeeze every drop of quality out of our pro gear.

Last week I got a call from someone I know to do a job for their boss. They are good guys and I knew it would not be a big budget job so I gave him the "very low GOOD GUY quote" to get it in the bag and do them a favor. When he checked with his boss they got back to me and said "never mind, he is going to shoot it with his I-Pad". Ouch! Of course I have heard things like that many times before. I am not a low budget shooter but I am reasonable (I think). So when someone is really trying to beat me up on price and I finally figure out that's all they care about I am not the guy for them. So I finally say to them "quality costs money, how good do you want it to be?" That is usually the end of the negotiation but I was not their guy in the first place. As bad as that sounds I am not too rude about it, it is just the truth. If I could not out shoot an I-Pad my children would need new shoes all the time!

So stay focused Chris and keep your head in the game!

PS correction from previous post - I did not mean to say "I keep it on all the time" I turn peaking on when it is appropriate.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 07:45 PM   #9
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Re: Focus Peaking Preferences???

Hi Steve

I used to fight for prices in the old days but now I definately don't do it!! I really cannot see any point in working your butt off and ending up with a job costing you money! I am truely amazed when I see ads in our local on-line classifieds offereing something like "Two photogs for 6 hours at a wedding and they include an album plus 2 16"x20" canvas block mounted prints..all for $299.00"

Are these guys kidding?? They would be lucky if they broke even, never mind make a profit and if I'm not going to make a fair amount of money for my efforts I'd rather take the day off and let some other sucker work the day for nothing.

We had someone doing a live Skype of a wedding a while back and all they did was get in the way...Just remember when this guy with the iPad comes back and says that he needs your services again cos the iPad footage was terrible, you make sure you lift your prices (or tell him you are busy!)

I think it's neat to have peaking available to turn on and off as you want to but I do like zebras on all the time and at the moment that is allocated to a button. On Saturday for some reason I was accidentally hitting the button so I ended up with no zebras now and again which is bad because it gives you a false impression that exposure is correct where it might be way over!

Chris
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Old January 27th, 2013, 08:33 PM   #10
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Re: Focus Peaking Preferences???

I love zebra stripes, always have always will. How else do you know your faces are properly exposed. At 80% a just few stripes on the face and striped whites and you have it. Correct me if I'm wrong but I have done that for years. 80% might be a bit much for weddings...do you run 90%?

As long as we are talking about focus and peaking. Have you ever used Adobe On Location? It is the best damn software ever made for in the field video. I have been using it since it was originally released by the company that wrote it. It was so good Adobe bought them up. Unfortunately it is firewire based, so like many good things it is going to the wayside, but I still use it for interviews and any time my tripod is not moving much. But now I can't trust many of it's features because to use it with HDMI HD cameras I have to use the composite output to a Canopus analog to digital converter so I am no longer monitoring and scoping my real signal. What a shame! It is software that truly has thousands of dollars worth of tools in it. At the least I love scoping my white balance until it is a perfect little dot on the vectorscope. I have not tested the calibration with this camera yet to see how close the manipulated signal is yet. But it will still serve as a field monitor.

Steve
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Old January 27th, 2013, 10:25 PM   #11
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Re: Focus Peaking Preferences???

Hey Steve

I actually run 90% so I need no zebras on the faces at all..I find that works the best for me...technically faces are supposed to just have zebras on highlight areas and cheekbones for good exposure but not at 80% but the "official" setting is right down at 67% ...I find that annoying as everything else is zebraed except the face so I rather expose for the general scene and skin tones look pretty good. If I have sky in the shot that is usually striped and not much else at 90% so that seems to give an overall nice setting.

In bright sun without ND's the camera tends to over-compensate in auto and under-exposes and zebras will confirm that fact too.... Even in bright sunshine the shutter in auto rarely goes over 1/120th so aperture is also overly high and never is more open that F16 ... contrary to image degradation I still find that the images at F5.6 to F8 and a lot sharper than images at F16 so far ... I think with my outdoor shoots now instead of a variable ND I'm going to go the halfway route and use just an ND4 filter on the camera which should pull me down to under F16 and still allow enough light if I have to swing into a shade area!!

Nope ...never used On Location at all ... pity you cannot get an upgrade for HDMI ..going thru a converter sounds like a bit of a pain?

Chris
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