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Camera Equipment

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by CornishConnect, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. CornishConnect

    CornishConnect

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    I use

    Nikon D5000 with 18-70mm DX2 Lense (2x Converter)
    Canon EOS1000D with 18-55mm Lense, 75-300mm Lense (2x Converter)
    Canon Speedlight 360AFD, Nikon Speedlight, Wireless Slave Units etc..

    Canon are really good dslr's but nikons feel so much better, got any questions fire away.
     
  2. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    I only had a FujifilmA920 but it got smashed up at Qbar ::4:
    So right now I'm using Pokerboy's Olympus 410::1: with 14mm - 42mm (until I can afford some new lenses)
    Treeve's got some wicked kit ;)
     
  3. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Ok, update time!
    Sparky has just purchased a Fujifilm AX245w. It's ideal for snapping those pavement pirates, has panoramic and is 12 MP.
    Just tried out the panoramic function. It creates the scene using the camera's internal software. Not bad is the first impression.
    I'm a little disappointed with the ability to deal with low light situation (with the flash off) but then again I haven't worked out how to maually set ISO and so on.
     
  4. BayOfPlenty

    BayOfPlenty Member

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    For what it's worth, I've got a bog standard, common-or-garden Fuji Finepix S1000fd. It takes photos :)
     
  5. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Now that is a nice camera. I've had a lot of cameras in my time enough to know that in our digital world it's about quality of build and lens.
    I had a Dimage Z1 and although it only has 3.2mega pixels the lens is second to non. With a world class lens from Konica slapped on a Sony CCD the image depth was stunning.
    Problem was with the camera is that it didn't deal with low light too well, looked very odd and only had a short optical lens (x4) after that it's cropped through digital zoom and then, yes it pixelised too death and noise was a real problem.
    I've had quite a few Fuji Finepix and have to say that they do exactly what they said on the tin. They also have their own lens the Fujinon which is why the quality of the pictures from this camera will be so good.
    All of the Fuji Finepix that I have owned have all had the best macro I've every seen and I like the option for semi manual settings (handy for me as I like to experiment but aren't knowledgeable enough to use the camera on manual).
    What I've noticed out there in digital camera land is an increase in OEM cameras from Thailand and China that are packed with features and have 14 mega pixel and 10 gigabyte memory and 100x zoom and so on. But that amounts to nothing if the lens isn't any good, and let's face it most aren't.
     
  6. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Let's put it this way. For years I had a Nikon F2 Photomic (a gift from my wife), ended up with various lens and about 6 tons of metal and optics. By the time I fitted up the catadioptric the scene had gone, and my wrists were suffering the weight and stress on arthritis. I was missing the beauty of nature in fiddling with readings and fitting attachments. Life was getting better; then my wife died. There was a refusal to accept the insurance payout, but a friend advised I should put it to something my wife might give to me. Considering my situation with arthritis, I sought a new camera. I looked for something that did the job. Digital is not so much only a sensor battle over pixels. All in all, the Fuji Finepix S9500 did everything that I wanted. No fiddling about. Then along came the Fuji Finepix S100fs, which did a better job. I now have both, I look at others with this that and the other lens attachment, and realise that my Fuji twins cover their range and more. Unless one day I have £7,000 to spare I am keeping that Swedish Hasselblad on hold, for me that is the next step up from what I have. :)
     
  7. BayOfPlenty

    BayOfPlenty Member

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    Oddly enough, I thought the Z1, etc, looked attractively futuristic - I don't usually go for that sort of thing. Funny old world...
     
  8. Planet Penwith

    Planet Penwith Super User

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    I had a Fuji Finepix S6500. I thought it was a rather good camera, it took photos and it made me think i may one day be called a photographer. I gave that to a friend of mine when I got myself a Nikon D60. Lovely camera, takes nice pics. One day when I win the lottery ;), I'll get a Nikon D3 with all the bits and bobs.......until then...DREAM :)
     
  9. Planet Penwith

    Planet Penwith Super User

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    If you have a DSLR camera it's worth noting that it's always best to upgrade the LENS rather than the camera itself. Yes of course it's nice to have a decent camera body, but the general consensus with many serious photographers and worthwhile camera magazines, is to upgrade the lens.
     
  10. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Funny you mention that because Jason is taking nearly all of his nightclub shots with an Olympus 14-42mm. Tried other cheaper lenses and the quality is much lower. That said you can get good quality pictures from a point and click camera if you know what the modes are all about.
    Here a portrait picture Pokerboy took with his E410. It was taken in the Sound Night Club and therefore trying to use a light metre is hopeless.... far too many different light sources, temperatures and to make things worse they swirl all over the shop.
    View attachment 154 Now that a DSLR camera and the kind of quality one would expect. (Olympus E410)

    Now here a shot taken by me with Sparky's point and click in the same club with the same lighting nightmare.
    View attachment 155 (Panasonic DMC-FS12) As you can see in this picture with the point and click the flash has all but washed out the atmosphere and the photo could well be anywhere really... who would know that the picture was taken in a night club.
    So I guess that flash is almost as important as lenses.
    Oh forgot to say neither have been through Photo Shop they are exactly as they were shot.

    Incidentally would anyone recommend the use of a 200mm to take portraits.
    Has anyone had wedding or portrait photographic experiences.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  11. Planet Penwith

    Planet Penwith Super User

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    Hi Steff,

    Here a piece from a website I found regarding your question on portrait lenses:

    Introduction

    No one knows why, but everyone calls 105mm lenses "the perfect portrait lens." What's up with this?

    Perspective and Proportion

    Perspective depends only on your position. It has nothing to do with your lens.

    Shorter or longer lenses don't change perspective, they just make framing tighter or looser. Different lenses require you to move closer or farther way to get the framing you want, but it's the change in position that alters perspective, not the lens. If you want a tight head shot, you have to do it from too close for comfort with a 50mm lens, making a 50mm lens a poor choice for head shots. When you're only a foot or two away, noses grow and ears disappear.

    Fifteen Feet

    Our brains recall people's facial features as they appear to be from about 15 feet (5 meters) away.

    Ask a human visual system researcher for the details, but our eyes don't actually see anything by themselves. All our eyes do is send signals to our brains which are then interpreted in ways about which we're still learning. In the case of facial recognition, when our eyes see a familiar face, it triggers our brain to reconstruct an image of those features as they appear from about 15 feet. If we see someone from only inches away, we don't see them distorted as a camera would; our brain perceives and reconstructs their features in proportions similar to a distant view. Therefore we want to be at least about 15 feet away when photographing people in order to achieve realistic proportions. Here are the size of subjects that roughly fill the frame with different lenses from 15 feet away:

    Subject covered comfortably at fifteen feet (5m).


    DX and Canon 1.6x-------------------FX (Full Frame) and 35mm Film
    50mm 6' (2m)--------------------------------------9' (3m)
    70mm 4.5' (1.3m)---------------------------------6.5' (2m)
    85mm 3.5' (1m)-----------------------------------5' (1.5m)
    105mm 2.8' (90cm)---------------------------------4' (1.3m)
    135mm 2.2' (70cm)---------------------------------3' (1m)
    200mm 1.5' (45cm)---------------------------------2' (70cm)
    300mm 1' (30cm)-----------------------------------1.5' (50cm)
    400mm 9" (20cm)-----------------------------------13" (35cm)
    500mm 7" (18cm)-----------------------------------11'' (30cm)


    So what's the optimum portrait lens?

    It depends on how much of a person you're showing.

    If you want the whole person standing, you can use a 50-70mm lens. If they sit down, a 70 105mm works great. If you want just head and shoulders, you'll want a 200mm to 300mm lens, at least, since you want to stay at least fifteen feet away. Ever see a pro model shoot in the field? The photographer is usually using a big fat telephoto on a monopod like a 300mm f/2.8 or 400mm f/2.8 for head shots.

    So what's this about 105mm lenses?

    It's just an old wives' tale from the 1950s.

    As the 35mm format became popular in the 1960s, the most popular affordable lens from Nikon happened to be the 105mm lens, first as the f/4 for 1950s Nikon rangefinders, and then the 105mm f/2.5 for SLRs. Like most old wives' tales, people just put "105mm" and "portrait" together without asking why.

    What's the optimum distance?

    This is all art. Closer and farther away renders the facial features in different proportion.

    Not everyone looks best at the same distance. As you get closer the nose gets bigger and the ears get smaller. Get further away, and the face flattens out. People working in studios often have space limitations. I usually try to get as far away a possible.

    Background Rendition

    Backgrounds are important in portraits.

    You usually want them to go out of focus and disappear. Large apertures like f/2.8 and f/2 help. This is why photographers use things like 300mm f/2.8 lenses for head shots in the field. A weird characteristic of lenses called bokeh (Blurred Backgrounds) can make backgrounds have more detail or texture than you'd think, even if they are out of focus. A lens with bad bokeh can have distracting backgrounds even if they are completely out of focus!

    The Best Lenses Today

    For field use, I love the Nikon 135mm f/2 DC. DC stands for Defocus Control, which means Bokeh Optimization. The 135mm DC is one of Nikon's sharpest lenses. The DC feature allows you to tailor the bokeh for a perfect background that simply disappears into smooth washes of color. Nikon also makes a slightly smaller and less expensive 105mm f/2 DC. The 105mm f/1.8 AIS and 105mm f/2.5 are nice, but went obsolete back in the early 1990s when they were replaced for portraiture by the DC lenses. Since few people outside of Japan understand what the DC lenses do, I don't know that any other than the most savvy pros know about them. Less informed people misunderstand them to be soft focus lenses, which they most assuredly are not.

    These shorter lenses were never perfect for head shots.

    For head shots, a longer lens like a 300mm or 400mm is best. If I'm in a studio with a controlled background, I use my 80-400mm VR since I can use one lens for all views. If I'm in the field, I'd consider lugging a huge f/2.8 tele. On a more practical budget, the 300mm f/4 lenses do almost as good a job of losing the backgrounds as the f/2.8s, and cost a tiny fraction of the f/2.8 lenses. For people with rational budgets, don't worry. Use whatever you have and have fun, like the 18-55mm lens that came with your camera - just zoom to 55mm. The 70-300mm zooms also work fine.

    Extract from: KenRockwell.com
     
  12. Planet Penwith

    Planet Penwith Super User

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  13. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    That's very interesting reading indeed. I'm no expert but I'm loving the learning curve
     
  14. Planet Penwith

    Planet Penwith Super User

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    Hi Steff,

    Well I'm not an expert either...hence the raiding of the website for info :)
     
  15. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Perhaps we can compare notes over a pint or two sometime?
     
  16. BayOfPlenty

    BayOfPlenty Member

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    Where do I sign? :D
     
  17. Planet Penwith

    Planet Penwith Super User

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    @ Mal - Hahahaha

    Yeah, seems like a good idea Steff...wanna join us for that pint or 5 Mal? Let me know when where
     
  18. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Thought I would update this old thread. Because sparky and I intend to go out over Christmas and New Year's Eve taking pictures, it was decided to get another camera as well. I decided to give the Fujifilm Finepix S1000fd a go. This model is discontinued but if you can find one in good condition you'll not be dissatisfied. This is not a full DSLR but has a powerful lens and almost total control over the setting. This makes the S1000fd a very good camera for those who wish to dip their toe in to the professional camera market.
    I was quite surprised how light and compact the camera was, but don't let that fool you. With 10 mega pixel and 12x optical zoom it makes a very versatile tool. The camera arrived on Friday but I haven't had much time to play with it. What I have seen is impressive enough. I was taking photos at a party last night in virtual candle light without flash. The pictures were good quality and without any noise.
    I'll post some images up and explain the settings when I have a spare minute.
     
  19. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    It was a matter of getting a Bridge camera with an amazing range and an incredible lens. Mine is marked 14.7 zoom. The only step up for me was the HS10, I still have three Fuji Bridge cameras and can take anything that presents itself. :)
     
  20. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    I took the camera out for a test run on Friday and Saturday night. Sparky took her trusty Panasonic just incase my pictures didn't come back as good as they looked in the preview on the back of the camera. Well that idea paid off!
    I know it must be, but I'm having problems with the flash. I find that it is either too strong or too weak. I prefer to use the camera in manual mode but by design I'm finding that you don't have full control over the flash in that mode. An example would be slow sync. I can choose this in automatic mode but it is not available in manual mode... how very odd.
    Anyway I need to understand the camera better to work out the best settings for different kinds of environments... that will take a little time I guess.
    What I am pleased with is the quickness of the camera. The flash is ready to go almost instantly, the pictures are written to the card very quickly indeed and the batteries seem to last forever (even with flash).
     

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