Canon EOS 5D Mark II

white storm

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The Comic Con started today, time for the "White Storm" website to go online. A few weeks back we shot a trailer for the movie in a Studio in L.A. and lots of background plates and material in Death Valley. I had the pleasure to join the project as vfx supervisor and contribute additionally the vfx and set photography. The trailer is still in post production, but the website is worth a first look and the director Bruno Werneck is presenting the project at Comic Con in San Diego.

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Image from timelapse sequence shot with Canon EOS-5D Mark II and TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L

been shooting

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - photo by Andre Cantarel

Haven't posted here for a few weeks, but actually a lot has been going on. Went back to L.A. for three weeks for some business and shooting. I had the pleasure to supervise a VFX driven movie shoot there, including location photography and extensive work in the greenscreen studio. I will post detailed "making of" and "behing the scenes" once the project is released. Now back in Germany at the right time for some more car photography in beautiful spring, some consulting work and RND for the possible next big gig. Blog posts on those to follow as well as some "behind the scenes" and "how to" on texture photography.


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photo by the secret director

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photo by the secret director

The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-5D Mark II: 21 Megapixels resolution, fullframe sensor with gorgeous 1080p video, great high ISO noise performance.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

alien invasion : Mil Mi-24

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso160 - f/4.5 1/40 sec - Michael Grobe

Rocket launcher of a Mil Mi-24 shot during an extensive VFX photography session at Luftwaffenmuseum in Gatow, Berlin. More stuff to follow from that shooting soon.


The gear used to create this image:

Canon EOS-5D Mark II: 21 Megapixels resolution, fullframe sensor with gorgeous 1080p video, great high ISO noise performance.

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II: the image was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II to straighten perspective with shift and create that magical miniature look with it's tilt.

Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 3x / 2.5x: the Zacuto viewfinder is invaluable to properly focus a TS lens using the tilt feature. Through the viewfinder of the camera it is very hard to get the exact rotation and location of the plane of focus right, but judging it through a Z-Finder Pro 3x / 2.5x in live view (going to 5x or 10x magnification for absolute accurate focusing) gets it done quickly and precisely.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

delorean.de relaunch

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 1/250 sec - Michael Grobe

15 years online - and now a relaunch: www.delorean.de
All you need to know about the stainless steel gullwing beauty. Contributed a few images and a trailer to the redesigned website. Recommended for all DeLorean fans and classic sports car enthusiasts, still the leading website about the DeLorean in Europe.

delorean.de from Michael Grobe on Vimeo.




The gear used to create this image and the video:

Canon EOS-5D Mark II: 21 Megapixels resolution, fullframe sensor with gorgeous 1080p video, great high ISO noise performance.

Canon
EOS-1D Mark IV: one of the best low light and sports cameras today. Canon's best image quality as of 2011 makes this camera also highly desired for nature and landscape photography. Fantastic 1080p video shooting as well.

Canon
EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM: awesome image quality, as-good-as-it-gets, a lifetime investment.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM: the video was shot with the discontinued version I predecessor, get the newer EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. The 70-200 is my most used lens delivering great results.

Adobe
Lightroom 3: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

Apple
Final Cut Studio: all in one solution for editing, color grading, sound editing and dvd creation on Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

my home is my castle

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso640 - f/5.6
- blending of 3 hdr exposures - Michael Grobe

Not exactly my home, but the castle "Schloss Schwarzenberg" overlooking my small home town. Grew up here, so lots of memories, experiences and adventures. A small wooden cabin on a hill near the castle was and is a place as close as any place could get to "Aventurien"...

lighting the moon

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 15mm 1:2.8 Fisheye - iso100 - f/11
- manual combination of 3 hdr exposures - Michael Grobe

Ever wondered as a kid who lights the moon at night? Found the secret place where they do it. Had to be here in Hollywood for sure.
Urban light sculpture at the LACMA in Los Angeles. While I use the fisheye lens mainly for HDR panoramas for movie post production, here it works quite well as an artistic tool.

close encounter

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso1600 - f/3.5 2sec - Michael Grobe

A close encounter in the woods - or just some flood lights at a corner of Griffith Park. We were scouting for some spots for the next night time photography tour, while I spotted this shot, the tilt of the TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L added to the mystic mood here.

manhattan nights

Manhattan Nights from Michael Grobe on Vimeo.




Night impressions of Manhattan, New York. A few timelapses and shots taken during a few nights of still photography in New York. The Manhattan skyline is enjoyed best from the New Jersey side over the Hudson. You just have to love New York. Shot with the Canon 1D mk IV and 5D mk II at ISO 2500-6400. Obviously there is some noise present at 6400, but nothing that can't be cleaned with the help of Neat Video Noise Reduction in Final Cut. With the latest generation of dslrs it is a joy shooting at night, stills or video. I shot stills with the 1D mk IV at ISO 12800 without hesitation, as long as the are well exposed. Some cleanup in post and you get printable images. The timelapses are shot at ISO 800 to catch decent shutter speeds (less than 10sec) once night has fallen in, so that I could have a picture taken every 10 seconds.

goodby for good

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso100
- f/3.5 1/8000 sec - Michael Grobe

Last impressions from Germany before I leave for good this time.

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso100
- f/2.8 1/640 sec - Michael Grobe

miniature germany

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso100 - f/3.5 1/160 - Michael Grobe

The great weather got us flying again. This time I took the 24mm shift+tilt. Tilting gives this miniature feel due to the tilted plane of focus and using that from high above can result in an unusual look at the usual. We were flying despite the volcanic ashcloud from Iceland, wasn´t really a problem at 300-700m flying altitude, only the range of vision was somewhat reduced, whether that was the volcanic stuff or just usual haze, who knows...

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso100 - f/3.5 1/500 - Michael Grobe

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso50 - f/3.5 1/800 - Michael Grobe

last struggle of winter

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 - 1/1600 sec
- Michael Grobe


The last bits of snow a few days back in the munich outskirts. But now the temperatures are going up again, spring is around.

mulholland night

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/2.8 - 1.6 sec
- Michael Grobe

Driving along Mulholland Drive at midnight. The million lights of L.A. shining through the bars of an electricity pylon. Btw... love David Lynch movies...

catch the wave

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/8 0.8 sec
- Michael Grobe

An earlybird dares to go into the cold water. The surfers still wear neoprene in this time of the year, but this guy likes to freshen up at 6am.

blue dawn

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100
- f/8 1.6 sec - Michael Grobe

Arrived in L.A. and headed out to the Beach early in the morning, jetlag woke me up at 4am.

the little sun

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso800
- f/2.8 1/320 sec - Michael Grobe

A tiny little sun goes down in Berlin. They should get a bigger one this year, this one passes almost unnoticed.

last thought of winter

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso400 - f/8 - 30 sec
- Michael Grobe

The last impression of winter before flying to L.A. for a few weeks.

winter night sun

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/3.2 - 30 sec
- Michael Grobe

What looks like a shot into the sun is really a 30 sec. night exposure, the “sun” light is sent from Munich´s olympic tower.

daisy and the snow

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso3200 - f/2.8 - 1/100 sec
- Michael Grobe


Daisy, Europe´s current low-pressure system brought lots of snow all over Germany and really cold temperatures. All that snow makes a lovely backdrop for some night shots. And at 1am, there aren´t too many guys plowing through the white scenery, it is quiet and one can enjoy the freshly fallen white stuff. If those cameras were just built with bigger buttons, so that you can easily operate with gloves on, it´s quite difficult to do that properly with modern DSLRs.

happy new year

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso3200 - f/8 - 0.8 sec
- Michael Grobe

I wish everyone a happy new year!
These shots have been taken on Munich´s Olympiaberg, the highest point of the city with views all around. A couple of thousand people gather there each year to celebrate and make the little mountain disappear peacefully in fire and smoke.

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM
- iso1600 - f/2.8 -1/5 sec - Michael Grobe

famous details

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso400 - f/2,8 - 1/50 sec

Architectural details to be found on one of Munich´s most famous roofs. Frei Otto´s roof tensile structures.
A tele-lens can be a great tool for capturing details, despite it´s bulkiness the 300/2,8 becomes my favorite lens.

the roofs of munich

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - 420mm (EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x) - iso800 - f/8 -
HDR exposure blending of 3 shots - Michael Grobe

A foggy winter night over Munich´s roof tops.

last sunset in berlin

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100
- f/2.8 1/400 sec - Michael Grobe

Enjoying the last sunset before Christmas reflected in the Nikolassee near Potsdam, Berlin.

distorted night

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/5,6 -
HDR exposure blending of 3 shots - Michael Grobe

The Olympiapark is becoming a favorite shooting ground... but then again, there is so much detail to be explored, each time I take my camera there, I find new opportunities. Spotted this one walking by the Olympic Stadium and chatting to a friend. First hesitated as I had to shoot through a fence. But then positioning the lens inches away from the fence got rid of any obtrusive lines in the out-of-focus area. Shot as a bracketed exposures to blend dynamic range detail together, I guess it was worth the freezing hands...

the last guest

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L - iso6400 - f/4.0 1/10 sec - Michael Grobe

The last guest in “Seehaus“ at the “Kleinhesseloher See” in Munich´s English Garden.

The lamps are indeed beer mugs...

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Canon EOS-7D - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4.5 -
HDR exposure blending of 3 shots - Michael Grobe

digging in mud

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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - 420mm (EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x)
- iso3200 - f/4.0 1/8 sec - Michael Grobe

And another night at the Oly-park in Munich again. The Olympia-lake has been drained partially, a great opportunity for some unusual low light mud photography.

the last adventure

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso400 - f/8 20 sec
- composite of 15 images - tree-lighting by Udo Smutny and Michael Grobe

Another night out in the woods to create some light paintings in darkness. The barbarians, knights and wizards where shot on a small wall lit by a campfire, the moon and a 580EX II flash a few days later during a medieval gathering of old friends. Even the photographer was wearing a chain mail that night, which added another 15 kg to the usual 20 kg of photographic equipment, that he is lugging around.
The guys gather once a year in battle gear, to celebrate the old times as fantasy-role-players. They started almost 25 years ago, spent uncounted nights in a small wooden hut guiding their characters through quests and fantastic adventures...
... and maybe, when they are all retired in years to come, they gather again, grab out those 50 year old documents and finally finish the last campaign fighting the return of Borbarad, the master of demons.

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso3200 - f/6.3 1/2 sec - Michael Grobe

just a shoe

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso6400 - f/2.8 1/25 sec - Michael Grobe

Shoes taken off as a guest reads in the comfy chair in the library...
Shot through a glass table at the wrap party for “2012”. Iso 6400 on the Canon EOS 5D Mk II is great for those low light events.

l.a. gun club

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso3200 - f/2.8 1/160 sec - Michael Grobe

Should we go to the movies or... to the gun club?
Completely impossible back home in Germany: you go to a gun club shooting on a friday night with your friends, choose the weapon and with a short instruction you get it handed over together with the ammunition. In a basket over the counter. Then you walk to the shooting range and shoot as long as your supply lasts.
If you asked yourself, what would happen, if anyone goes crazy with the guns there, a quick look at the personnel assures you, that they would use their loaded guns.


scheimpflug in alcatraz

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - TS-E 24mm 1:3.5L - iso100 - f/3.5 1/1600 sec - Michael Grobe

Tilting Canon´s TS-E 24mm Tilt + Shift lens rotated the focal plane for an unusual depth of field. Called the bird in focus “Scheimpflug”, but it wouldn´t listen...
And I like crushing the blacks in this one, something that we always avoid in the world of feature films. Guess that´s why I like it once in a while...

california moon

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/4 1/1000 sec - Michael Grobe

Dark of the Moon: Poems of Fantasy and the Macabre, Arkham House, 1947



More 600mm f/4

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso250 - f/8 1/2500 sec - Michael Grobe

Need to get one of these amazing Canon Tele lenses one day... love the 600mm, but the 500mm f/4 is substantially lighter and a bit smaller, so you can even hand hold it for a while. The 600mm is simply too heavy.

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/800 sec - Michael Grobe

100% crop (actual pixels): the 600mm with the 5D Mark II reveal the heat distortion around the engines of a jet. Sometimes reality looks like a crazy bump map....

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/800 sec - Michael Grobe

Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM

Update:
Here is the short movie edited from the material we shot back then with the Canon EF 600 f/4 L IS USM on the 5D Mk II.

600mm from Greg Strasz on Vimeo.



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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4.5 1/25 sec - Michael Grobe

Due to some late hours and pressing deadlines I have neglected this blog for a while. But I have been shooting...
In this case I had the opportunity to shoot my new Canon EOS 5D Mark II with the amazing Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM, one of the worlds finest super-tele lenses. Since the 5DM2 arrived right before Christmas, I have been using it extensively and comparing it to my Canon EOS 1DS Mark III. My conclusion: the Canon EOS 5D Mark II delivers image quality on par with the Canon EOS 1DS Mark III and adds the long awaited low light capabilities up to usable ISO 6400 (12800 and 25600 are for emergencies only, when you need to get a photo at all). So both cameras make up a great team for all occasions, I still will grab the 1DS Mark III first for a shoot, as it has all the additional features of Canon`s Pro series bodies: weather sealing, superior autofocus (a real difference to the autofocus of the 5D Mark II), 7 brackets for HDR shooting (only 3 with the 5D Mark II, which is a deal breaker for professional use on a movie set), faster frame rate and a lot of other advantages.
But... when the last sun-rays hit the lens, the 5D Mark II starts to shine. While it can´t beat the Nikon D3 and D700 with its low light sensitivity, it comes close.
I was shooting the EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM at one of the photo shootings for a soon to come Hollywood movie together with colleagues (equipped with two Nikon D3´s). That lens is simply amazing. While you hate the weight and bulkiness (5.36 kg), you fall in love with the image quality it delivers. The shot below shows the beautiful bokeh and the incredible detail you can capture, when the lens is connected to a 21 MP 5D Mark II. The crop is at 50% magnification (1200x800 pixels at 100% scaled down to 600x400). Obviously a lens of that focal length requires a sturdy tripod and careful shooting technique: mirror lock up, remote release and either spot on autofocus or manually adjusted focus via live-view.

And what about the video capture....
of course we shot some video footage with the EF 600mm f/4 L and the 5D Mark II in HD video mode. More to come here, once I had the chance to edit the material. First impressions: I have a laughing and a crying eye (we say that in German, I guess it doesn´t translate properly to English). Why? Stay tuned...

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/500 sec
Photo by Greg Strasz

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/500 sec
50% magnification (1200x800 pixels at 100% scaled down to 600x400)

Photo by Greg Strasz