This is just a short post to talk about how well the SL2 works as a portrait camera. I photographed two business people in the studio today. I set up on Godox SL150ii in a 48 inch octagonal soft box and used it as close in toward my subject as I could manage. The second light was also a Godox SL150ii (LED light) aimed at the background and delivered through a small soft box. I used a 50 inch bounce reflector opposite the main light.
I set up the camera on a tripod and set it do shoot in the 1:1 or square format. I also set the camera to shoot DNG+Medium Jpeg. With the camera set to preview and also deliver squares I could use it in the horizontal configuration which is most comfortable. The camera shows the square with the edges masked off.
Here's what I liked about shooting that way: The sensor resolution is high enough that I can easily crop either horizontal or vertical. With many cameras when you shoot in a different format and choose to shoot in raw you end up seeing the whole frame in most post production software but with a white set of lines (a box?) showing you what the crop to format looks like. But with the Leica SL2 when I imported the files into Lightroom they resolve exactly as the squares I shot in camera. No extra work required.
When I selected frames to upload to Smugmug from this morning's shoot I was able to convert all the selected raw files to Jpegs and all of them matched the square crop I saw from the raw files. No extra steps had to be taken.
People have critiqued the AF of the SL2 for lack of speed or hesitant lock-on but I had zero AF performance issues. I selected face detect AF and the camera and lens did a great job at locking in on the faces. The eyes in every shot were perfectly focused and wildly sharp. Well...not too sharp but as sharp as they were supposed to be. (sorry for the nudge toward hyperbole...).
Since I used a custom white balance the flesh tones in the resulting files were absolutely perfect. The dynamic range also assisted in providing good highlight and shadow detail on the people. That makes for easy file correction down the road.
I used two lenses today. The primary lens was the Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art lens (version 2). It's wonderful. Just the right thing for portraits cropped to square in this set up. The second lens was one I used to get a little wider frame so I'd have room to cut out the person in the frame if the client decides they want to composite an exterior landscape as a background (like the ones I shot yesterday...); it's the Sigma i series 65mm f2.0. It keeps up with the 85mm ART very well. Both are crispy and laden with details. I stuck to just a third stop further open than f5.6 as my working aperture and it was a good combination for getting enough depth of field but also giving me a good blur on the background.
I shot from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and the files were globally color corrected and online in a gallery by 1pm.
No hiccups from the camera or lenses. And I'd forgotten just how nice big bright LEDs look in voluminous soft box modifiers. It was nice.
We're about 90 posts away from having produced 5,000. That's the goal I set for myself when I started this blogging adventure oh so long ago. I'm betting that we will end up getting there in less than 3 months. I'm not sure what will happen then. I might choose a place in the center of the country and invite all the vaccinated VSL readers to join me for some sort of event. Or I may just ignore the goal and keep on slamming out posts.
Maybe I'll quit writing and try V-logging instead. It's all unknown. Just advising you that life might or might not change for me when I reach 5,000. Advice? Or not.