Monday, May 30, 2011

Prom shoot in the studio with the full frame A900 and Zeiss lenses

My daughter had her High School Prom this week. In this area, it's a big deal, with new dresses, first dates and giant limo rides to the party with all your friends.

She's been talking about it for months, and asked if I could do "Official Prom Photos" of everyone at the party.

How can you refuse your youngest daughter. LOL.

She decided her and a couple best friends would do a shoot at the studio before heading to the party, which is the theme of this blog. I'll blog about the Official photos later this week.
I've been shooting with the A33 the past couple weeks but it has issues in the studio and doesn't play nice with my White Lightning Flashes. I didn't want to shoot the whole thing on the M9 so decided to sign out an A900 and A850 from Sony to use for the shoot. These cameras are very similar, both have the 24mg sensor, are full frame and have a PC plug. For those who don't know, this is a plug for a studio flash to work with.... not a plug for a notebook.

I used the A900 a fair bit when it first came out but I'm always testing new cameras and hadn't used one for over a year. I've been using cameras with more current sensors and the latest cutting edge technology from Sony and had forgot just how nice the A900 is to use.

These first shots were done with the 135mm F1.8 Zeiss lens. This lens is too long for my studio for full length shots. Even in these images my back was against the wall and the subject is too close to the background. I think a better choice would have been the 100mm macro that Sony makes, but I had lent it to a friend the day before. The Zeiss 85mm would work as well but I don't have one.

The A900 produces a file with fantastic colour rendition, great resolution, wonderful detail and a natural skin tone. Compared to a more current camera/sensor like the A33, the A900 produces a file that looks natural while the A33 looks a big plastic... which is a weird description for a photograph, but you might know what I mean.

One one camera I had the 135mm Zeiss lens. On the second I had the 24-70 F2.8 Zeiss lens. In the studio I was using two flashes and one hot light on the hair. The flash allowed me to shoot between F5.6 and F8. The sweet spot for both these lenses. I love the great detail in the white dress as well as the subtle contrast. These photos might be cropped but I don't have photoshop so nothing else was done. They were all shot as jpegs only and I set the sensor down to 12mg since the full 24mg is just too much.

The Zeiss lenses are always impressive and wonderful to own and overall I was very happy with the A900 and how it worked. Going back to a bright viewfinder on a full frame camera was a nice change from the EVF of the A33.

Rob Skeoch

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