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Thread: A strange journey

  1. #1

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    A strange journey

    G'day, I feel I have come nearly full circle with my photographic journey, I started out as many do with a couple of small cheap cameras as a teenager, met my wife, bought a film slr sold it, stopped for a while, then bought my first Digital camera, this I think is where the journey took off from.
    I would accompany my wife on her sea side walks with my small digital camera, (kodak 1.3mp) I loved to get photos of planes as they flew overhead, this lead to me getting better cameras with better zoom.
    After some time I eventually got the nikon p100 with 24x zoom, but starngelyy we stopped going for those walks, then I joined all these forums and was wowed by all the pics so I went for the DSLR nikon D3100, suddenly I lost mast of my zoom capabilites.
    Then we went overseas and took the D3100 with 18 - 55 and 55 to 300mm and took some wonderful shots, whilst away I sustained an arm injury that took the camera out of my hands and into my wife's hands, she loved it and when we got back to Australia she was reluctant to relinquish the D3100 so she incouraged me to buy myself another so along came the Nikon D7000, and eventually the sigma 500mm lens.
    Recently we have been going out doing stuff like quadbike riding and horse riding, the big cameras being unsuitable for such activites and I photographed the whole thing with my mobile phone camera.
    Now we find ourselves wanting a compact camera that takes a good shot and is small enough for a pocket.
    I look back now and wonder why I even got involved with DSLRs and huge lenses as the pics taken with the P100 are as good as any I have taken since.
    Any body want to buy a Nikon D7000, Nikon D3100, nikon 18-105, 55-300, 18-300, sigma 150-500, tamron 18-270, tamron 90mm macro several tripods and bags and batteries etc.
    Peter

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: A strange journey

    I know what you mean, and so do a few others here Peter,

    I started with a pocketable Nikon E2500 progressed to a bridge (Fuji S6500) in early 2007, then a D5000 in May 2009, added a few lenses.

    Then I bought a pocketable, RAW shooting Canon S100 as an "always with me" camera last December, but missed the zoom of my 70-300mm (450mm equivalent).

    So in June I got a Nikon P510 with a 42x zoom going to 1000mm equivalent as an alternative to a huge expensive lens for the DSLR.

    Now I use either of the Nikons (see avatar photo) depending upon the need;
    Long focal length or close up/'macro' = P510 (jpg only).
    Low light or RAW capture = D5000
    If I want wide angle, the Canon S100 is best, since it'll shoot a RAW at 24mm FFE.

    Cheers,

  3. #3
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: A strange journey

    Its all about choosing the appropriate tool for what you are doing. We have a range of cameras from the one built in to the cell phone all the way to the most expensive piece of gear that you own. I pretty well always carry my old (2006 vintage) Lumix P&S along with me. If I am planning to do serious shooting, the selection of gear goes up.

    The trick is choosing the right tool for the occasion. My brother-in-law and I went to a party with live music. He left his DSLR at home and took his relatively new high-end P&S while I dragged my Nikon D800 with the f/2.8 24-70 and f/2.8 70-200 along. Next day I was asked for my pictures, because his did not turn out....

  4. #4
    Scott Stephen's Avatar
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    Re: A strange journey

    A good P&S shot is likely one of something reasonably close-up. Those are easier.
    You list a LOT of LONG lenses (over 200mm). They have to be very very expensive ($6k to $14k) if they are to be very good. You tend to get a lot of bad shots with long lenses because it is so easy to fire off shots from a distance instead of walking up close. Also technique becomes more important at long range because camera shake is multiplied exponentially. At 500mm, you need to have a pretty fast shutter speed (1/500 minimum without a tripod) and much faster for moving targets. If you have a crop-frame (not full frame) Nikon, then it is actually 1/800 shutter minimum (or a tripod) for stationary targets, and perhaps 1/2000 or so for moving objects.
    Also, the aperature is a factor. All the lenses you list have a very wide focal range. Their aperatures get narrower as you zoom in. Not having access to wide aperatures forces you to use slower shutter speeds, causing blurr, especially, again, when multiplied at long range.
    Also, most of your lenses cover a REALLY broad focal range. The broader the focal range on a lens, the more fundamental compromises they had to make in IQ to achieve such a wide focal range.

    Before I chukked my DSLR I would buy a prime lens (or for more money a bright f/2.8 constant aperature moderate length zoom) and see if it made a difference. A 50mm f/1.4 prime or a 35mm or something. Or even use your 90mm macro for more than just close-up shots. You get much better image quality with a prime to begin with. You also get brighter (bigger) aperatures, so with all that extra light coming in, you can avoid slow shutters (and blurry shots).
    Last edited by Scott Stephen; 3rd September 2012 at 05:00 AM.

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: A strange journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Poider View Post
    I look back now and wonder why I even got involved with DSLRs and huge lenses as the pics taken with the P100 are as good as any I have taken since.
    Any body want to buy a Nikon D7000, Nikon D3100, nikon 18-105, 55-300, 18-300, sigma 150-500, tamron 18-270, tamron 90mm macro several tripods and bags and batteries etc.
    Peter
    Peter...

    Lenses are the key to geting to quality imagery using DSLR cameras. Normally, IMO, lenses with extra wide focal ranges do not provide optimum quality; although their ease of use might make up for the lesser quality for some photographers... Your collection of lenses are either of the kit variety or extended range zooms like the Tamron 18-270.

    I suggest that you may not be getting the expected optimum quality from your Nikon DSLR cameras because of the glass you are using. I tested my 70-200mm f/4L IS and 17-55mm f/2.8 is lenses against a friend's 18-270mm Tamron. For fun... The results were hands down that my two lenses provided better image quality and faster, more accurate auto focus as well as a wider f/stop in most focal lengths. His decision was that he would rather take the hit in IQ, and AF in order to have that focal range at his finger tips on a single camera. My decision is that I prefer to carry two cameras and that I can live with the 17-200mm range and extra weight to achieve the better imagery... BTW I don't miss the 55-70mm gap.

    The Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro lens is a very sharp lens but, my copy doesn't have the fast auto focus I need for my daily shooting.

    IMO, renting a top-line lens of a moderate focal range Should provide you with excellent imagery, However, you may just be happier with the weight and image quality of a smaller format Point and Shoot or bridge camera. Some camera selections result in the photographer being "over-gunned" for his or her needs.

  6. #6

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    Re: A strange journey

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    The trick is choosing the right tool for the occasion. My brother-in-law and I went to a party with live music. He left his DSLR at home and took his relatively new high-end P&S while I dragged my Nikon D800 with the f/2.8 24-70 and f/2.8 70-200 along. Next day I was asked for my pictures, because his did not turn out....
    My reading of this is less the right tool for the job but know your gear better when heading for a difficult situation.
    The BiL needs to up his knowledge of editing I would also suggest. It would help if we knew BiL's camera.
    I took the camera on my Avatar to a live music gig for a first time ever and some worked some didn't ... I treated it as an experiment.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 3rd September 2012 at 05:18 PM.

  7. #7
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: A strange journey

    JCUKNZ...

    I agree with you. The time to experiment with diffucult lighting situations and/or new equipment is when the images are not important and when missing the mark is of no consequence.

    However, this requires an interest in photography in which you will shoot on occasions when the images are not really important. Many people only break out the camera when the shots are important like family occasions and/or vacations...

  8. #8

    Re: A strange journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Poider View Post
    Now we find ourselves wanting a compact camera that takes a good shot and is small enough for a pocket.
    I look back now and wonder why I even got involved with DSLRs and huge lenses as the pics taken with the P100 are as good as any I have taken since.
    This seems far too common. You really don't need a DSLR unless you are going to take the sort of images that only a DSLR can take. Far too many people get hypnotised by the evil marketing geniuses and convinced that they need a DSLR when a smaller camera will do exactly what they want.

    My other half has a P&S and loves it. She gets some really nice shots with it (and I have taken some great portraits of her while on holiday). Then there are the shots she can't get and I step in with my DSLR.

  9. #9

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    Re: A strange journey

    So far, from my newbie perspective, my Sony Cybershot is a good learning tool. The only thing I think I'd like a better camera for is for long distance shots. Especially of the dogs. By the time I get close enough, they have moved --usually because they notice me and see what is in my hand. The "zoom" function on my "point and shoot" just doesn't do a good job, IMHO.

    I'm still figuring-out the camera, so I may find it can do what I want eventually.

  10. #10

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    Re: A strange journey

    I was saved from the DSLR path by a reluctance to borrow so instead of paying $3T for a DSLR I went for a $2.5T bridge camera ... digital was EXPENSIVE back then ... It gave me everything my heavy bag of SLR and lenses in a light compact unit. Further on I bought a DSLR simply to use my extention tubes and bellows ... apart from a very brief enthusiasm for the new toy that camera has remained un used since ...it is so easy and satisfactory to use the bridge with CU lens. I know there are things the bridge cannot do but they were not in my field of interest and I suspect most non-pros. I have widened my capabilities these days with M4/3 and have no interest whatsoever now in a DSLR. I am highly amused as I travel at all the DSLRs without lenshoods being toted like fashion accessories by obvious snap shooters without any proper respect for the wonderful tools they have spent up on.

  11. #11

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    Re: A strange journey

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I am highly amused as I travel at all the DSLRs without lenshoods being toted like fashion accessories by obvious snap shooters without any proper respect for the wonderful tools they have spent up on.
    As a snapshooter, may I inquire why you seem to consider snapshooters below you. How high is your pedestal. How do you know they do not have proper respect for their wonderful tools?

  12. #12

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    Re: A strange journey

    Quote Originally Posted by ggt View Post
    So far, from my newbie perspective, my Sony Cybershot is a good learning tool. The only thing I think I'd like a better camera for is for long distance shots.


    I'm still figuring-out the camera, so I may find it can do what I want eventually.
    Gretchen
    Well if you are not affluent the answer is to get a super-zoom from Canon or Nikon with their x35 and x40 reach. There is the possibility of adding a telephoto adaptor to your existing Cybershot but be aware that anything cheap is likely to be rubbish.... I have the Raynox 2020 now superseded by the 2025 and Olympus TCON x1.7. The advantage I have is working with a Panasonic FZ50 in the first place with its f/3.8 at full zoom which after loosing about a third of a stop with the adaptors I end up with a 730mm or 950mm reach at around f/4.5.
    But as you can see from my earlier post I am now shooting with M4/3 where I have the 14-140 lens giving me 280mm reach and with the larger sensor the ability to crop more for those things in the distance, without the weight or expense of a DSLR and its heavy glass. There is also the ability to shoot at higher ISO which opens up possibilities.

  13. #13
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: A strange journey

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    My reading of this is less the right tool for the job but know your gear better when heading for a difficult situation.
    The BiL needs to up his knowledge of editing I would also suggest. It would help if we knew BiL's camera.
    I took the camera on my Avatar to a live music gig for a first time ever and some worked some didn't ... I treated it as an experiment.
    The reason for my comments is that the brother-in-law seems to have gone through a similar experience as Peter did. He was into DLSRs while my serious work was being done with a film SLR and the digital fun was with P&S cameras. He is fairly good at Photoshop as well, and does have the equipment and glass to get the quality that I do. He has just decided carrying all that gear around is too much of a bother, and is going back to something small and handy,

    In this case, it was a deliberate choice, using his very pocket-able Panny. It (regardless of what the sales guys say) was not at all suitable for the type of shooting. In this case, $6000 worth of gear worked (D800 with f/2.8 70-200 with a SB900 flash) worked just fine, where $400 worth of gear did not.

    Every tool has advantages and disadvantages. What is right in one situation, will not work at all in another. I do like the saying that "when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail". I think this can be applied to photography too.

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