Nikon D750 vs Fuji X-E2 with Sigma 120-300mm

Nikon D750, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, Nikon SB-900, Nikon SB-800, PocketWizard Transceiver TT5, PocketWizard Mini TT1, AC-3, ISO 10000, ƒ/8, 1/320

The last time I shot this I did it from shooting inside the house looking through a window. This time I am outside shooting.

The other reason I did this again is the weather was incredible at my home today. We woke up to 50º F and it got to about 69º F at the hottest today. Wonderful time to just sit and watch a bird feeder.

Fuji X-E2, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 6400 ƒ/-not sure, 1/180–off-camera flash using the Neewer TT850 flash & Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel Flash Remote Trigger with flash at 1/32 Power

First I must say I can only manual focus and I never really got the focus perfect with the Fuji. I would approximate where the hummingbird would be whereas with the Nikon I was able to auto focus.

This is the actual setup with the Fuji. The only difference is the flashes were switched out with the Nikon system.

Nikon D750, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, Nikon SB-900, Nikon SB-800, PocketWizard Transceiver TT5, PocketWizard Mini TT1, AC-3, ISO 10000, ƒ/8, 1/320

I believe the wings are more frozen with the Neewer flash than with the Nikon due to flash duration.

Fuji X-E2, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 6400 ƒ/-not sure, 1/180–off-camera flash using the Neewer TT850 flash & Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel Flash Remote Trigger with flash at 1/32 Power

Now to make up for the ability to lock in on focus I used a high aperture with the Fuji. To do this I just rotated the Nikon to Fuji converter. I can only guess as the aperture, but most likely around ƒ/16 or higher.

Nikon D4 @ ISO 12,800 still not enough

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ƒ/5.6, ISO 12,800, 1/60

When Available Light Isn’t Enough

My daughter has a favorite band called Late Night Reading. This is a link to their MySpace page where you can listen to their music.  They are a pop-punk band started in 2009 when they were all just sophomores in high school.

I was fascinated at how the bands build their fan base using social media and then going to small venues like Swayze’s Venue in Marietta. This is where they played Thursday night when I went along to help chaperon my daughter and her friend going to the concert.

My wife reached out to see if they mind me shooting some photos. We were doing this as much to make my daughter happy with photos of her with the band as to just have some fun ourselves.

You can see more of my photos here on my PhotoShelter account.

My daughter is in the middle with her friend she brought from school on the right.

The good thing about shooting the headliner is that they always have a few opening acts. Well this meant I could do some test shots and tweak everything so when the Late Night Reading band took the stage I was ready.

As you can see in the first photo I was only getting to shoot at about 1/60 for a shutter speed.  While I had my 85mm ƒ/1.4 to shoot with the problem then became a depth-of-field issue.

Why was 1/60 and ƒ/1.4 not good? This is a pop-punk band. They and their fans move like crazy. I am not sure with all their head banging that they are not moving faster than many of the athletes I photograph.

While the shutter speed was better at ƒ/1.4 I was having a terrible time getting many usable shots unless they paused for a moment.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/5.6, 1/60

I went back to the car and pulled out my hot shoe flashes, PocketWizard and Light Stands.  I used the same lighting gear used in this photo here of my daughter playing her viola.

I put the two lights stands all the way up as high as they go. Pointed the strobes to the stage zoomed all the way out for most of the photos and changed the zoom to a little wider if I moved them close to the stage. The SB800 was zoomed to 105mm and the Nikon SB900 was zoomed in to 200mm.

The strobes are on the PocketWizard Transceiver TT5 and They are on Manfrotto 5001B Nano Black Light Stands and the Manfrotto 175F Justin Spring Clamp with Flash Shoe to hold the flashes. I am triggering the TT5 using the PocketWizard Mini TT1 and PocketWizard AC3.

I turned the ISO up to about ISO 5,000 because I didn’t want the background to go totally dark.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/5.6, 1/60

One of my favorite photos is of the bass player. I liked working from the side of the stage because I put the strobes in front like typical stage lights would be placed.  This meant I was getting more cross light from the side and shadows were helping give more depth to the photos than from the front of the stage.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 4000, ƒ/5.6, 1/60

TIPS

  • Shoot test shots of available light before adding lights
  • Always have strobes with you
  • Use off camera strobes 
  • Use higher ISO to open up the background when shooting with strobes

If you are a parent, taking photos of your kids favorite activities and sharing them with them and their friends is a good thing to build long lasting relationships.

Hot Shoe Flash Lighting

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 200, f/5.0, Nikon SB900, Nikon SB800 fired using PocketWizard Mini TT1 , PocketWizard AC3 and PocketWizard Transceiver TT5.

I enjoying using our backyard as a background. First of all I don’t have to light everything and we love the trees.

For this photo I wanted to tie our daughter playing her viola to the outdoors.

This is a wide shot to show the flashes.  They are on Manfrotto 5001B Nano Black Light Stands and the Manfrotto 175F Justin Spring Clamp with Flash Shoe to hold the flashes.

I am shooting in TTL mode and after I take a shot I am using the compensation dials on the camera and the PocketWizard AC3 to adjust my exposure.

In this photo of the PocketWizard AC3 A is set to a +1, B is set to +2 and C is set to a +3 compensation.
The PocketWizard AC3 sits on top of the PocketWizard Mini TT1 in it’s hot shoe.  You can also use the Nikon SU-800 to do the same thing.

In the first photo I have the camera at -1 compensation and the flash on her face at 0 Compensation and the hair light at +2 compensation.

You really just have to play with this to get the results you want.

Here we are shooting more in the woods than in the first photo. Here the camera is -1 1/3 EV.  The flashes are at +1 EV.
She is getting some sunshine from the left and the flashes are lighting the shadow side of her face.

We moved again around the backyard to a different background.  Also changed the lighting a little here as well. The camera is set at -3 EV and the flashes are on the right set at +2 EV and the one on her left at +1 EV.
This is the actual lighting setup for the photo just above it.

I am using an -1 EV so as to not loose the background but just tone it down a bit. The flash to the right is +1 EV and the hair light flash is +2 to help separate her from the background.

The lighting setup for the above photo.

The idea with the two hot shoe flashes was to use them to compliment the lighting outside.  I used one light to help separate the viola player from the background by putting the flash up high and using it as a hair light would be used in the studio.  I am using the other flash as the main light and using the natural light to control the background.

Because I am outside I am using the PocketWizard radio remote system to be sure the signal is reaching the flashes. 

Once you master the use of the one off camera hot shoe flash and you are ready to expand try this exercise yourself. See what results you come up with using your camera and flashes.