Whats the equipment that "Picture People" use?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by from_iowa, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The only problem with a rebel is its marketed heavily to the amateur market. As a result there's a good chance the person your taking a photo of might well be aware that a rebel is entry level and heck they might even own one. Whilst its the photographer not the equipment part of running a business is the presentation of the business itself. Looking professional is as much a part as being professional.

    With good lighting and a good lens (the 50mm f1.4 is a good lens) the Rebel t5i will certainly deliver some great shots provided you operate the equipment and post the subject and compose correctly. Company image is the only concern


     
  2. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would get a Canon T2i before the T5i, canon hasnt really improved the rebel cameras, the image quality and noise are about the same. The T3i added a tilt shift lcd screen which is good for live preview but thats not good for taking pictures because there is a huge delay between pushing the button and taking the picture. the viewfinder is still best. the t4i added more video options, and the t5i has added video effects. None of which is that important for studio use. So you can save half the money there.

    Ive been using the T2i in studio and outside for years and love it. But my new fav is the 6D which I got last fall. Its on sale for $1400 now and the high iso performance is awesome for outside towards sunset. :)

    Dont forget a backup camera, it will save you one day.

    I also got the 50mm F1.4 last fall, with my stobes I never go below F4.5 in studio unless I switch over to the ring light, and then I try to stick around F3.5 or higher unless I am going for a certain effect. the 1.4 and so is great outside though. I had problems with the 50mm 1.8 with focusing, but the 50mm 1.4 fixed that, plus I love how images look at 1.4 when the kid/subject is closer to the camera. But for closeups of girls you may want something longer in the 85 or 130 range. Some people can do great beuaty work with a 35 or 50 but its tricky, you have to use the distortion in your favor.

    You had a budget of $6k, if you are only going to get one lens I would recommend the 24-70 F2.8 for studio use. You will find the range great for kids as they move around. If its to much money you can get a sigma one, they have really stepped up their quality.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  3. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Regardless of what camera you have, there may always be someone with a better camera than you around or in the pictures. Its not uncommon for uncle bob to have a 5D or 1D camera :) Slapping on a battery grip and a 24-70 or 70-200 does help make the rebel look more impressive. :)

    But I've been using a T2i in studio for 3 years and its never been a problem.
     
  4. from_iowa

    from_iowa TPF Noob!

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    Thanks alot for the information guys, I'm really learning alot! Well the thing is, I'm marketing towards the same people that would go to Picture People, and they use 20D and 40D cameras, so I was thinking that the t5i would be better than the 40D already anyways. If the t5i really isn't a step up in quality from the previous rebels, what about a Nikon 5200, would this be a better choice than the rebel for quality? Also, I'm doing alot of reading and people are saying that the best quality of picture comes from prime lenses and I should avoid zoom lens if I want studio work.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Anybody who would tell you that you want, let alone "need" prime lenses for a high-volume studio, has utterly no idea what he's talking about. You most definitely want a ZOOM lens. Modern zoom lenses are fine, and since you'd be standardized on ONE, single f/stop where zooms and primes are basically equal in performance, the idea of needing a prime lens or three is stupid. I have shot studio family portraiture at multiple studios, and with a small-format camera, you WANT to have a zoom lens. At f/8 or f/9 or f/10 or f/11, which is where you'll be shooting, almost ANY modern zoom lens (made since 1990) is perfectly fine. You need the ability to ZOOM IN to a telephoto setting and move the camera back about 20 feet, so you can shoot your largest groups on a 12 foot-wide background. If you're closer than that, with a shorter focal length lens, the angle of view BEHIND the subjects will be too wide, and you will shoot wider than the background!! This is utter, BASIC studio photography knowledge. You do not want to be changing lenses multiple times during each set, because by the end of the day, the camera sensor would be filthy, not to mention the risk of dropped, misplaced, and stolen lenses.
     
  6. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

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    For still image quality? Yes, the D5200 would be better in that regard. As to prime vrs zoom, just depends really. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
     
  7. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You dont want the picture people/walmart/sears portrait studio crowd. They want cheap prices so you have to work in volume, and its hard to get that many customers. Plus you will want to process the pictures and it takes longer to process them than it did to shoot them. So 8 hours infront of the camera means more than 8 hours behind the computer. Plus dont forget you will be on the phone/computer arranging appointments, and then marketing, planning, creating materials, etc.

    Here are a few question for you:

    A - How many clients in a year do you think you can handle? How many portraits can you do in a day assuming each one is half an hour long, sales is half an hour, and processing will be an hour.
    B - What is the cost of living in your area and what is your goal income to cover your cost of living - rent/morgage - insurance - food - etc
    C - What is your cost of running a business each year/month? - liability insurance, equipment insurance, camera every 2 or 3 years, new lens every year, software, computer every 2 years, studio rent, car payment, studio equipment every year, marketing/advertising, website hosting, etc
    D - What is the session expenses? - gas to and from the studio or location, package content expenses, etc Figuring out what to include in your packages is challenging. You have to keep them interested, keep your expenses down and keep track of how long it takes you to process/design everything. If it takes you 8 hours but your only charging enough to cover 2 hours, your in trouble.

    average needed per portrait = [ ( B + C ) / A ] + D

    Doing the math for me it comes out to $450 a portrait for 120 a year. thats 3 per week for 40 weeks, and that is considered high. So I need to average $450 to meet that goal.

    I wish I had that formula 8 years ago when I was starting out, it took me ages to figure out my "cost of doing business", which is what that forumula gives you. Every studio has different costs of living and expenses so dont base your prices on someone else.
     
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  8. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    Read more.
    There are different quality zoom lenses.

    For instance .. this beginner Nikon zoom lens
    Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR Lens - Nikon USA Warranty 2166

    to this professional Nikon zoom lens
    Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S VR II Nikkor ED-IF Lens - Nikon USA Warranty 2185

    of course there a price difference too .. from $250 to $2400

    is there a quality difference between the two .. YES
     
  9. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you go canon *not promoting canon over nikon, I just know canon stuff* you can buy a used canon 24-70 F2.8L mI for about $1200 or so. The difference between the mI and mII is the mI can focus closer *good for baby details like hands, feet, etc* and the mII seems to have better color and slightly sharper, but you can adjust the color in post to get the same thing, and the mII costs a fair bit more especially new.

    Ive had luck buying a lens used off of amazon used, I got my 135mm F2L for $850 instead of the $1100 new. but you do risk getting a lemon. I think amazon has some buyer protection but not 100% sure on that.
     
  10. orljustin

    orljustin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I find this infatuation with duplicating the Picture People business very bizarre. Why don't you just buy a franchise or something, since you seem so intent in duplicating what they do. Or go work for them for a few months - then you can walk out with at least a modicum of knowledge about how to do it. It's like asking what frying pans they use at The French Laundry, or what brand if wrenches they use at a mechanic, and, btw, how does the rest of that business stuff work?
     
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