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Thread: Nikon film user DSLR queries

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    Nikon film user DSLR queries

    Amber**, Hi, I'm a new member and haven't posted any photos yet.
    They're at www.EarthScapePhoto.com.

    I have questions about going digital. I see in this discussion** people saying $650 isn't much money but it is for me.

    I use a Nikon FM2 and scan my film. It might sound crazy but I'm not sure why, if I switch to a digital camera, I should get an SLR. I've done a lot of photography but have never absorbed the technical stuff well. The reason for going SLR that jumps out at me is that I do a lot of landscapes and use a circular polarizing filter a lot and want to do more B&W and would use yellow and maybe red filters. But can all that be done in Photoshop instead of with filters?

    If not, then I'd need an SLR. The Nikon D200 sounds great but, frankly, I have a bad back and asthma and it's too heavy of a camera for me.

    Otherwise, if I could make the adjustments in Photoshop, I'd just buy the best non-SLR digital camera I could find (in order to keep price down). I'm not sure what that would be. Not sure the Fujifilm S9000 would do the trick although I've seen some great images from one and the 30-300 zoom is very attractive. I know the quality of zoom lenses has come a long way but I'm hesitant.

    I've crammed a lot into this one post. But if I could just get some clear guidance and suggestions on this bundle of questions in my way, I'd sure appreciate it.

    ** Moderator Comment: Because this is a lot of questions, I have moved from where originally posted (in the D40 vs D3000 thread) to raise its profile and deal with the different queries more efficiently.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 25th December 2009 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Moved post to new thread

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    Re: Nikon film user DSLR queries

    Quote Originally Posted by Humboldt Guy View Post
    Amber**, Hi, I'm a new member and haven't posted any photos yet.
    They're at www.EarthScapePhoto.com.
    Hi Steve,

    Firstly, welcome to the CiC forums, I'm sure we can help

    Secondly, I had a look at your website, you have some very nice images there.

    I hope you don't mind me moving the post into its own thread and "paragraphing" it for easier readability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Humboldt Guy View Post
    I use a Nikon FM2 and scan my film. It might sound crazy but I'm not sure why, if I switch to a digital camera, I should get an SLR. I've done a lot of photography but have never absorbed the technical stuff well.

    The reason for going SLR that jumps out at me is that I do a lot of landscapes and use a circular polarizing filter a lot and want to do more B&W and would use yellow and maybe red filters.

    But can all that be done in Photoshop instead of with filters?
    In a word Yes, reading a bit on your website, you already have Photoshop, there are members that know heaps more than I about mono conversions from digital images, I'm sure they'll join this thread later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Humboldt Guy View Post
    If not, then I'd need an SLR. The Nikon D200 sounds great but, frankly, I have a bad back and asthma and it's too heavy of a camera for me.

    Otherwise, if I could make the adjustments in Photoshop, I'd just buy the best non-SLR digital camera I could find (in order to keep price down). I'm not sure what that would be. Not sure the Fujifilm S9000 would do the trick although I've seen some great images from one and the 30-300 zoom is very attractive. I know the quality of zoom lenses has come a long way but I'm hesitant.
    The DSLR vs Bridge camera debate is never clear cut. Having seen you film output, I think it essential you get a camera that does have RAW though, or I fear you'll find a big quality drop if you have jpg only compared to scanned Tiffs.

    Have a look here for something discussing this quite recently. It considers a lot of points that may be helpful to you, BUT, in your case, I would not recommend the P90 due to the lack of RAW support. I'm not familiar with the Fuji S9000, although I have owned Fuji, so I may look it up later and come back with something more relevant to you.

    Cheers for now,

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    Re: Nikon film user DSLR queries

    Just to put in my $.02, I'm not a true fan of either digital nor film.

    I carry a Canon SD750 in my pocket all the time. I always have the Nikon D40 in hand when I walk out the door.

    That said, I have several Nikon film cameras for what I consider "serious" work. They are what I consider "real RAW" capable. I shoot prints, slides and B&W with them. I have the developed film scanned to CD at the shop, instead of getting prints. Then, when I find one, or more, which needs and justifies it, I have that piece of film rescanned at high density.

    That is what works for me and suits my history (over 60 years since taking my first photograph.)

    Pops

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    Re: Nikon film user DSLR queries

    Hi Steve,

    There is nothing wrong with using film. I still use standard and medium format film on occasion, and have them developed by a lab. If you want to go with traditional film, try getting a second hand Nikon F5 (which fits into your budget) and is still capable of using your old Nikon lenses. The Nikon F5 was the preferred camera of choice for many professional photographers before they hoped onto the digital band wagon of the D1 series. I know some people who still use it as a back up to their digital slrs.

    Since you do mostly landscape work, higher ISOs performance is not what you're really after. The biggest difference in performance between film and digital are: film does much better at lower ISOs while digital does better at higher. A Nikon D40 or any of the entry level bodies is more then adequate for your needs; along with a tripod and working with basis daylight exposure rules. The only down side to using any of the entry level bodies is that older Nikon lenses will not AF on them, you will to focus them manually.

    The D200 is a semipro body and will AF/accept older lenses. All the most commonly used controls are on the outside of the camera for easy access, unlke the entry levels where you have to menu surf. (Remember to setup your my menu to add controls that you most commonly refer to). This camera also has better weather sealing against moisture and dust. With just the body alone without a vertical battery grip, it's not that heavy of a camera.

    It all depends on how far you want to take your photography and your budget. Bridge cameras are handy but they are "not slrs" and will not work as fast or perform as well as one. That is why you will always here people say that they're "close and a good alternative" if you don't want to lug a full size body around.

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    Re: Nikon film user DSLR queries

    I still use standard and medium format film on occasion
    Interesting comment. I am assuming you mean 35mm when you say "standard." In my day, "standard would have meant what we now call "large format" as in 4x5 or, even, 8x10. (Yes, I am an "old phart. )

    Pops

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    Re: Nikon film user DSLR queries

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    Interesting comment. I am assuming you mean 35mm when you say "standard." In my day, "standard would have meant what we now call "large format" as in 4x5 or, even, 8x10. (Yes, I am an "old phart. )

    Pops
    Yes 35 mm and 6x6 (love squares) 220 for medium format when I did my time as a wedding photographer.

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    Re: Nikon film user DSLR queries

    Hi,

    If you have an FM2, then you have AI lenses. In which case a Nikon D200 sounds an admiral choice. Re your questions about filters I hope to add some answers for you.

    1. Try to shoot in RAW.
    2. To convert digital colour shots enjoy using the colour mixing channels in your software (Photoshop, Aperture and Nikon NX all have it). No need for colour filters as this will give you limitless colours to play with.
    3. Grads are trickier to do electronicly, but can be done.
    4. Hang on to your polariser, it cannot be replicated electronicly.

    If you are already scanning, then publishing your work, then you are 90% digital anyway. Finally hang on to your film camera. I still use Medium Format as well as digitlal as it makes me plan my imgaes. Having only 12 shots make you think and plan ahead. I think it also makes you a better photographer rather tahn just a happy snapshooter.

    Good luck.

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    Re: Nikon film user DSLR queries

    Having only 12 shots make you think and plan ahead. I think it also makes you a better photographer rather tahn just a happy snapshooter.
    I really agree with this. However, there are times when having 1000 shots available without stopping to change film canisters is great. I had that driven home when I had an assignment to shoot a Sweet 16 party at the park. I shot 450+ shots while trying to keep up with those girls.

    Having film available does allow me that extra bit of latitude when out and about. It also keeps me in touch with the basics of photography as in shutter speed, aperture, focus and all that. The automatics tend to lead us away from those basics.

    Pops

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