View Full Version : Can I use Contax G in a Studio ?
Hi, I have been using my G1 & 2 with all the lenses (except the B16 and the zoom) for quite a while and they deliver wonderful pictures.
Recently, I used it in a studio for portraits with lightings setup, triggering them with a sync cable.
The resulting pictures were disappointing in that they were all under-exposed. The only reason I can think of is because Contax G does not support rear sync.
Am I right or is there any other reason to it ?
Kindly share your experience on using the Contax G in a studio. I really like to try it out with the 45mm and the 90mm.
Oh, for information, I tested out the reading with a meter, and tried sample shots to confirm with a DSLR. They all matched and pictures looked fine. I then tuned the settings of the G2 accordingly and ended up having dim pictures :bang: .
A buddy of mine uses a G2 with strobes and he has some great pics.
Rear sync. has nothing to do with exposure. The flash is simply synced to the second curtain rather than the first.
Did you have the ISO on the meter the same as the film?
How much underexposed? Is this slide film? Can you show the DSLR and film results. What flash system are you using?
Thank you guys for the prompt replies.
I do not have the pictures with me and I have to go home and dig out the settings, etc.
Will get back to you for further advice.
Sure, you can do studio shooting with a Contax G! Here are some studio pictures I shot in a workshop a few years ago, all using a G2 and a 90mm Sonnar:
http://homepage.mac.com/jlw/temp/santafe/00-03-02_10.jpg http://homepage.mac.com/jlw/temp/santafe/00-03-02_07.jpg http://homepage.mac.com/jlw/temp/santafe/00-03-02_02.jpg http://homepage.mac.com/jlw/temp/santafe/00-03-02_11.jpg http://homepage.mac.com/jlw/temp/santafe/00-03-02_01.jpg
As you may be able to see even at this small size, the 90 Sonnar resists flare really well, and the non-SLR finder makes it easier to shoot action because you can see the flashes fire as you watch through the finder. The G2's 1/200 sync speed is a plus as well.
As to why you might have gotten underexposed results, it's hard to say -- lack of second-curtain sync certainly has nothing to do with it. (Second-curtain sync is more of a trick effect that only works with on-camera dedicated flashes; the vast majority of studio pictures are shot with ordinary first-curtain sync.)
You might want to double-check that you had the camera set to the X sync speed, or possibly one speed below it -- some large studio flash systems discharge slowly enough that a high X-sync speed may not pick up all the light.
There's also at least a modest chance that your camera's PC connector or sync circuit isn't working properly. One crude way to test this is to put a sheet of white paper out where it will be lit by the strobes, then remove the lens, open the camera back (no film, of course!) and watch through the back as you fire the shutter with the lens mount facing toward the paper. Hold still and concentrate; it's surprising how much your eye can see even during the very brief flash duration. If the sync circuit is working properly, you'll see the paper as brilliant white; if it's off, you'll see a dingey-looking afterimage of the paper. If in doubt, repeat the test with another camera with known-good flash sync, so you'll know what you're looking for.
Whatever you do, don't let anyone give you any guff about a G being unsuited for studio work! You should be able to get excellent shots with it.
Thanks for the excellent advice. I love my G very much and I always want to shoot with it whenever I can. Last time it was a very disappointing experience, most probably due to my ignorance of how to optimize the settings. Can't blame me, I have never used it in a studio and I am not actually familiar with studio photography. :D
But you're right, my "friends" obviously discriminated me as a rangefinder user and told me it's my camera's fault. Coming to think of it, I should have more confidence in my G. For what it is worth, it's a G !
JLWs post got me thinking. I have an old Metz 45CT5 with X-Sync only and I got underexposure when I first tried it in auto with my DSLR set to 1/200 in aperture priority.
I then figured out that the flashes autoexposure is computed for 1/60th since I never had any problems with Metz autoflashes on my old SLRs with 1/60th flash sync and adjusted aperture acordingly which worked quite well most of the time.
Since then I shoot full manual with any flash, even the dedicated ones.
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