Field Test - Canon 5DmkII+WFT-E4+iPad

In order to do a quick field test of the 5D mkII to iPad wifi setup I mentioned previously, I met up with my friend TJ who lucky for me happened to be in Tokyo last month.

We headed up to a park near the NHK building.  Being from Hawaii, I don't normally get to see trees with colors other than green.  We came across some red trees lining the back of one of the NHK buildings which I thought would make a good background.

I had TJ stand up on the wall and I fired up the 5D/WFT-E4/iPad combo.  I used a 70-200 f2.8L lens on the 5D to throw the background out of focus.

Canon 5D mkII iso200 70-200 f2.8L IS 1/80 @ f2.8

It was pretty overcast that day, so I setup an SB26 and a shoot thru umbrella on a stand to get some directional light.  This let me use a faster shutter speed which darkened the background and made the red leaves pop a bit more.

Canon 5D mkII iso200 70-200 f2.8L IS 1/125 @ f2.8

We got a couple of shots in before building security came by and said we could only continue shooting if we took down the lightstand.  Doh!  Time to change locations.

Canon 5D mkII iso200 85mm f1.2L II 1/200 @ f2

We next setup on the steps of a nearby bridge.  Here I tried out the 85mm f1.2L II lens that I had just picked up that morning.  A bit of a mistake to buy this lens, because ever since I put it on my 5D mkII, I haven't wanted to take it off. ;-)  It takes a bit of getting used to the extreme shallow depth of field you can get with this lens - you really have to be careful where you focus.  I've found I get the most success rate from using the center focus point, locking it on the eye closest to me, then recomposing.
Once you get the hang of this lens though, it's amazing what it does to backgrounds.

 Canon 5D mkII iso200 85mm f1.2L II 1/200 @ f2.8

Keeping an eye out for security, I decided just to use an on-camera flash this time- a 580EX dialed down about 1-1/3 stop.  Just enough to lighten the shadows a skosh and put a little sparkle into TJ's eyes.

We moved to a spot under the bridge where there was a lot of colorful grafitti art.  First tried using the 85mm, but because the wall was not wide enough I ended up using the 70-200 to compress the frame and make the wall fill the background completely.  Since we couldn't see security anywhere and figured that under  the bridge was far enough away from the NHK property, I took a chance and setup the SB26 again, this time without the umbrella.

Canon 5D mkII iso200 70-200 f2.8L IS 1/125 @ f2.8

Lucky for me, TJ is the kind of model that looks great no matter what kind of light you throw at her, and she was able to take the direct flash pretty well.  This gave us some much needed directionality of light.

We had hoped to shoot some Christmas lights in Shinjuku, but we finished too early in the day and they had not turned on the decorations yet.  We decided to just grab some Starbucks and chat while looking through the images on the iPad.

Canon 5D mkII iso200 70-200 f2.8L IS 1/400 @ f2.8

Field results from this session:

Setup was relatively quick.  It was much easier to get the 5DmkII/WDT-E4 to transmit to the Shuttersnitch app on the iPad via the wireless router than it was with my 1DmkII/WFT-E1 setup.  The extreme portability of the iPad made it simple to show the model the images as we were shooting.

During this shoot I was using version 1.1.9 of the Shuttersnitch app and 4.2 iOS on the iPad.  Unfortunately the Shuttersnitch app crashed several times while transfers were taking place, so several images only half-downloaded to the iPad.  When the app crashed and I restarted it, it was very unstable so I had to shut down the iPad and restart it.  In between crashes, about 50% of the images made it to the iPad successfuly during the shoot.  The rest of the images I ended up having to transfer to the iPad while we sat at Starbucks after the shoot. I've heard that 2.0 is much more stable, and I hope that the app is updated on the iTunes store soon.

For reviewing images, it's pretty good.  You can set star ratings for each image and zoom in to check focus. I wish they listed the filenumber in the header (right now it only shows exposure info).  Right now in version 1.1.9 the only way to see the filenumber is to press and hold the tiny thumbnail images on the bottom of the interface.

I think once the app developer gets Shuttersnitch to a more stable version, I'll be using this setup more often.  As it stands right now, I can't recommend it for serious work yet.

***Edit - the developer of Shuttersnitch has released version 2.0 of the app which seems to be a LOT more stable.  You can now see the filenumber in the header and while testing it out on a later photoshoot, it did not crash.  Reviewing the images was still a bit wonky - sometimes when swiping through the images, it would jump back to the first image.  But it's way better than the previous version.