SD14 at night clubs..

I’ve started to take photos at night clubs here in Göteborg for a online magazine called – my first night has come to an end and first images are up. I have never done something like this before and I must say I was a bit nervous. Not because of meeting people but because of equipment. I heard I needed at least ISO400 and some wide fast angle lens to do the job.

Vimmel / Lounges

I wanted to do this my way and equipped myself like this: SD14 + 30mm + 500DG flash + a paper bounce card on top of the flash (home made) – the flash pointed straight up and only reflecting light would hit the subject.

ISO at 100 and M mode with an aperture of F1.6 and shutter speed of 1/4th of a second. I tried ISO50 but highlights was too much clipped. I will try ISO200 and 400 next time. Just to see what difference it makes.

Developed all using Raw Developer 1.72 and lucky me the new version just came out with great reds and wonderful dynamics. It was pure joy to adjust colors.

The 30mm was set at F1.6 and I was really relying on AF as it was way to dark to really see anything useful in the view finder. I took a quick look and more than 90% was perfect focus and by that I mean perfect. NO shot was trashed because of out of focus problems. This is a huge different from my 30mm before calibration. Even my Flash worked like magic. Bam Bam Bam.. :D Before this first night I wasn’t sure this would a good time for the SD14 – but clearly I was wrong. All images could probably be printed at A1 and look amazing.

Vimmel / ExcetVimmel / ExcetVimmel / LoungesVimmel / LoungesVimmel / Excet

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
This entry was posted in 30mm 1.4, Flash, Portraits, Raw Developer, Sigma SD14. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to SD14 at night clubs..

  1. Scott Greiff says:

    Very nice results. Nice work. Nice kit.

    My kit is with Sigma now. The 30mm, the 17-70 and flash. I hope they tweak my kit as well as Sigma has done with yours! :)

  2. I’m sure they can. Where do you live? Maybe you could get to the local Sigma service center and do it yourself? The calibration process isn’t very fast..

    Anyways. Thanks for your comment. :) Happy Christmas and a Merry new year!

  3. spalbird says:

    Aveny didn’t make a mistake when hiring your :) The “but Sigma can’t do that” game is going on which comes for a surprise, even for the owners. I like #4 best, also because of its harmonious (stimmig) colors. #1 next because of the colored back ground but the boys exposure is pretty close daylight, maybe experiment with gels some time? #2 is a good one, too…

  4. I’m still thinking about buying that 30mm, but all this talk about it needing calibration makes me wonder… Can you elaborate a bit? What was wrong with it, why do I always hear about THIS particular lens needing calibration? Is it something I need to discuss with the seller whether or not they should give me an RMA number in order to have it done under warranty or how does it work???

    PS: Why did you choose that arbitrary 1.6 aperture instead of just 1.4 or 1.8 or 2.0?

  5. Spalbird, not sure what a Gel would do. Never used that. Do you have any good examples of this Gel effect? :D

  6. Oliver, Well. I have tried two and both had focus issues on my SD14. It might actually be my body that is a bit faulty but after careful calibration which I did myself then it was spot on and after having it for such a long time as I have, then you’re pretty happy when it’s finally working without you working too. :D

    Most lenses aren’t this sensitive. A little back focusing isn’t noticeable on a F2.8 lens as it is on a F1.4 lens. And I mostly shot wide open. or close to.

    So try the lens on your body in the store – it’s very easy to check if it’s ok. Af focus on something with a contrasty text on – maybe with timer to be on the safe side. Then zoom in on LCD to 100%. It should look very sharp in center even wide open. Don’t forget that this ain’t no macro. I think it’s 30cm or some.

  7. spalbird says:

    Unfortunately with Sigma flashes, contrary to Nikon flashes, no gel to correct flash light temperature for flourescent and tungsten light is delivered. Light temperature correction is only one application. In your case you probably don’t want do this but maybe increase color differences. You can read about the zen of gel here:
    and order a free Rosco swatch book which contains a single, shoe-mount-flash-sized sample of just about every gel Rosco makes for free following “link” from here:
    which contains a single, shoe-mount-flash-sized sample of just about every gel Rosco makes.
    I can imaging experimenting with geling could be fun for you. Unfortunately I don’t have any experience with them (just ordered my set) but professionals use them on flash for pictures with an professional look.

  8. spalbird says:

    BTW you can find David Hobby, the operator of strobist on flickr here:
    and you could post some of your strobe pictures here, too
    Many other strobist groups on flickr, what a surprise:

  9. Carl, how did you calibrate that lens yourself? Is is a big, scary job? I think I can do it, after all, I have split a lot of stuff including lenses and hi-fi equipment due to my nature as a curious ADD person! Of course putting stuff back together takes a lot longer than splitting it…

    Also, I don’t think I can find any photodealer here in Copenhagen that stocks the 30mm… So will probably buy from Germany online. Cheaper too. But less sure to get a good lens, instead of a lemon.

    Oh, btw, gels are cool, look here:

  10. Oliver! I looove those shots! Tell me more or I’ll come down and assist! :D GREAT colors, nice feeling and nice folks too!

  11. Oliver again.. I calibrated the 30 at Sigma Service center here near Göteborg. You can’t do it yourself and you don’t open the lens to do this. You test shot on a special shooting range and enter values in a computer that communicates with the lens – then you test again and again and again until it’s perfect!

    :) – If you have time you could come up and we do it together here.

  12. Oh, calibration sounds quite interesting. Sounds almost like fun! Gotta get that 30mm 1.4 then… I would also like a real wideangle though… The 10-20mm looks spiffy. Maybe I should buy both;-)

    What’s the price of those two lenses in Sweden?

    I had only had the SD14 for 2 days when I shot those images. Shows how easy to use the camera is. They were shot with a Ø105cm Hensel Softstar (softbox/umbrella hybrid) positioned slightly on my right, 4 meters from the models, and a normal Sigma flash on the left side, fitted with various Rosco gels, and fired via a HAMA wireless-thingy.
    And a 1x2m silver reflector on the right side.

    I’ll consider coming to GTB sometime, could be fun!

  13. Carl at what distance you calibrate the lenses? For my 70mm they use double of focal length in meters… (1,4m)
    what about zooms? the use the same formula for long end?


  14. Jan Dubrovsky says:

    Hi! I like your flash photos…I would like to ask you what sort of white paper you have used for bounce card?

  15. Jan, I used a paper very similar to “archive matt” from Epson.

  16. Kostas, for zoom you calibrate twice. One for the wide and one for the narrow. The computer wants too settings and then the rest will be calculated in between.

  17. Pingback: Sd14 flash | Morbidwear

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