I attended Anime World Chicago on Saturday August 4th.
This time I was partly collaborating with a friend on content for our new site cvfta.blogspot.com. I was juggling various things, so I didn’t put in as much time into photography as I normally would.
For this convention my equipment was:
Pentax K-01 with the 10-17mm Fisheye lens for video and a few stills.
Pentax K-5 with the 24mm f2 lens and flash.
Sigma EF-530 DG Super flash with a mini soft box diffuser and 1/2 CTO gel.
While I had intended to use a standard lens with the K-01, I switched things up at the last minute and focused on using it for video. The K-5 was all for photos with the flash attached to it the entire time. The flash setup was the first time I had tried using the little soft box I had as well as a color correcting gel. The gel was a “color temperature orange” at 1/2 stop light loss. The main intention here was to try and equalize the flash’s light and the majority of ambient hotel light together (thanks to Ben of fotaku.com for some gel usage suggestions). I think that even with the mixed lighting scenarios, the gel did help me avoid strong orange backgrounds to my photos, which is great. It looks like I’ll be using the gels more in the future. However, I am not too fond of the results with this little soft box, so I will try to use one of my other diffusers with gels in the future.
Almost a given for every convention it seems, I had some issues with focus accuracy (K-5 and 24mm setup). It looks like I had a reasonable number of photos with front focusing, but the errors were not usually enough to completely junk the photos, especially at web resolutions. I’ll have to look into that combination to see if I can improve my technique or apply a micro focus adjustment. It’s possible I was just a bit too quick at the draw and caused some of the issues myself.
Along with the focus problem, my flash unit seemed to stop functioning a few times. It seemed to be active, but the flash just wouldn’t fire. Cycling the power on the flash was usually enough to get things functioning again. It’s possible that flash might be on its way out, but I hope not… TTL capable flash with HHS are not cheap.