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Topic # 127332 6-Aug-2013 20:50 Send private message

I've been with a camera club for 6yrs now I think, while I have an interest in landscape and cityscapes it allows me to use more cheap stuff and a tripod.  When I am on travel many people like myself have a fast prime lens for walkabout when it gets darker or to shoot inside.  While optics are getting better and better and price tags are getting higher and higher, do you guys think it is still sensible?


For many people they get a modest print made say A4 or A3 and let's say this is portraiture so not some slow coach tripod stuff.  35mm SLR stuff are getting quite large now and expensive, the bodies have gone down thou but kit lenses in the film era used to cost $100US now they are like 2x or 3x and this 2x or 3x is crop sensor lenses.  The current primes like a 35mm 1.4 now goes for almost the same price as a pro zoom.  Maybe apart from the 50mm lens, the filter threads of 52mm might now be uncommon.  What happened to the 35mm compact lens. 

While I have a full frame camera, I am questioning that now.  There are decent crop wide angle and mid lenses and tele's just get longer with the 1.5x or the 1.6x factor so that's a good thing, good thing for macro as well.  Slam on a Telecomverter on the tele's and you can get even longer, jammed up on that 24 or 36MP file.  Most full frame users I gather don't do really low light work ie night sports or rock concerts or city events. 

Might have been a waffle, what do you guys think of this?  Thru my club, the 24-70mm 2.8 is not a cheap lens but it isn't uncommon some people tag it with a FF or crop body but at the same time some people have won awards or been shortlisted using pretty much entry level SLRs and kit lenses.  Prob easy for me as I do scapes, so I just tripod it up f/11 and stand there until it stops.

And with this mind how bad is it to grab an old lens like a manual or autofocus Nikon 35mm f/2.0 AFD (or AI or AIS manual focus) and likewise the 50mm and the 85mm's.  They might not be as good as the current G lenses / nano stuff.  What's your opinion on this?  Let's say run it on full frame to use all its corners too.  A print made etc.  Let's also say wide open aperture or close to it, that's what a fast prime is designed for.

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  Reply # 872890 6-Aug-2013 20:54 Send private message

For landscapes sure, F8/11 and process it. You may get more detail and clarity from better lenses, but the current fashion is to blur and distort everything anyway.

For travel I use an RX-100. I sometimes take a full frame camera with a 16-35 lens just because I like wide angles, but I don't think I will again - it's not worth it for the few images I take, and the RX100 really is quite awesome. I can stitch at home.




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  Reply # 872900 6-Aug-2013 21:08 Send private message

Thanks Tim, what's your view on say portraiture that might push the boundary a bit more? Out of interest, not me, but if someone took a older 2.8 zoom or one of the older AF primes and shoot a series of portrait aperture near wide open for that bokeh and I guess clients's want A3 prints made generally speaking. While lenses may get updated every 6 or so years is that essential.

I was reading a book re: Joe Cornish a UK landscape photographer some of his photographs was taken with a Lumix as well as his 4x5 stuff.

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  Reply # 872902 6-Aug-2013 21:13 Send private message

For portraits you want good lenses. Sharpness is more apparent and important, flare control, contrast, nice color, and low depth of field as well. A3 prints well it depends how close people want to stand to the print, that's 34MP is you want it at 300ppi. You can generally get away with a lot less for larger prints, I have a 50" print from a 12MP 5D that looks awesome.

Bokeh describes the quality of the out of focus areas, it's a weird Japanese concept that's hard to define, and is subjective. Depth of field is usually more talked about.




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  Reply # 875795 12-Aug-2013 12:22 Send private message

rayonline: I've been with a camera club for 6yrs now I think, while I have an interest in landscape and cityscapes it allows me to use more cheap stuff and a tripod.  When I am on travel many people like myself have a fast prime lens for walkabout when it gets darker or to shoot inside.  While optics are getting better and better and price tags are getting higher and higher, do you guys think it is still sensible?


For many people they get a modest print made say A4 or A3 and let's say this is portraiture so not some slow coach tripod stuff.  35mm SLR stuff are getting quite large now and expensive, the bodies have gone down thou but kit lenses in the film era used to cost $100US now they are like 2x or 3x and this 2x or 3x is crop sensor lenses.  The current primes like a 35mm 1.4 now goes for almost the same price as a pro zoom.  Maybe apart from the 50mm lens, the filter threads of 52mm might now be uncommon.  What happened to the 35mm compact lens. 

While I have a full frame camera, I am questioning that now.  There are decent crop wide angle and mid lenses and tele's just get longer with the 1.5x or the 1.6x factor so that's a good thing, good thing for macro as well.  Slam on a Telecomverter on the tele's and you can get even longer, jammed up on that 24 or 36MP file.  Most full frame users I gather don't do really low light work ie night sports or rock concerts or city events. 

Might have been a waffle, what do you guys think of this?  Thru my club, the 24-70mm 2.8 is not a cheap lens but it isn't uncommon some people tag it with a FF or crop body but at the same time some people have won awards or been shortlisted using pretty much entry level SLRs and kit lenses.  Prob easy for me as I do scapes, so I just tripod it up f/11 and stand there until it stops.

And with this mind how bad is it to grab an old lens like a manual or autofocus Nikon 35mm f/2.0 AFD (or AI or AIS manual focus) and likewise the 50mm and the 85mm's.  They might not be as good as the current G lenses / nano stuff.  What's your opinion on this?  Let's say run it on full frame to use all its corners too.  A print made etc.  Let's also say wide open aperture or close to it, that's what a fast prime is designed for.


I do not own anything slower than f2.8. Admittedly I am a professional photographer but it really is about 2 things for me. The first is that I grew up shooting film, so merely jacking my ISO to 6400 was never a realistic option when I was learning my craft and (b) you simply cannot beat those apertures for DOF control as part of the creative process.

However, two Nikon D3s bodies and a full suite of f2.8 zooms covering 14 - 200 at 2.8 is a very heavy bag to carry!

To that end, I also use a Panasonic Lumix GH3 kit with the new 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 lenses. These are the 35mm equivalent of 24-70 and 70-200 because the GH3 is M43 and so the crop factor is 2x.

I just spent 10 weeks in SE Asia and I can say that the Lumix got more work on that trip than the Nikons simply because it weighs a fraction of the amount the FX Nikon setup does. The Nikons are much better in low light and much faster in general for quick subjects, so they won out when those two issues were important. Otherwise the Lumix was just dandy and is built to professional standards (mostly!) with a weatherproof die cast magnesium alloy body etc. and the two f2.8 zooms weigh a fraction of their Nikon equivalents.

If I could work out how to upload images to this forum I would post an example! However I have tried several times and short of making the image file so small as to be worthless, I cannot make it happen.











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  Reply # 875965 12-Aug-2013 16:04 Send private message

Thanks. Over time I went for the cheap as setup. A Nikon 18-35 for tripod work, f/3.5-4.5 and a used 35-70 2.8 for home portraiture to blur the back which may not see much travel work given its size while it is more compact than the more modern 28-70 or 24-70. I think I will just use my 18-35 and 2 handy dandy primes. I am into travel landscapes so I have to lug a tripod btu got a light one althou you could argue I've spent more on my tripods than my lenses LOL it's a Gitzo Traveler. Folds down to 30cm.

But then again all these stuff even the lenses gets updated/replaced every 8 or so years .... so it's very expensive hobby for those hobbyists (not me). I still shoot film intead of a 24-70 I could get a used medium format with 3 or 4 lenses and 2 film backs and still have up to $1,500 left over or equally some studio lights for a garage set up.

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  Reply # 875996 12-Aug-2013 16:58 Send private message

I think you can't have both and I think before one even contemplates both you have so quantify quality. optical quality in the high end is beyond the reach of most people for a start so ... maybe there is no such thing as top optical quality for the normal citizen.

then you must decide what you want to pay and what you need to do and what you can compromise and go from there.

for me

1) the most important is to have the ability to shoot wide-ish and telescopic ish and have video capabilities. unfortunately when I was starting out I got the sigma 18-250 ... it fits the line above but average optics and lousy autofocus. so what did I do - I applied the famous hack on my canon 600d and use manual focus and manual exposure. pretty good results

2) I also needed something with amazing optics. for NZD89 I got the 50mm f/1.8 delivered ... sharpest thing I've even touched. for next to nothing. obviously my shots are limited but oh well

3) I'm after a cheap sigma 8-12mm but they don't come cheap so i'll keep waiting. I don't need one, just think it's great to do some amazing shots here and there

of course I could have bought a canon 5dmk3 and the canon 16-35mm f/2.8, the 50mm f/1.2, and the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS and I could have bought a car with just amazing optics but nowhere near as practical/telescopic as my current set up!




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  Reply # 876000 12-Aug-2013 17:00 Send private message

actually for what it's worth - your shots are only going to be limited by your composition ... mine's hit and miss ... so if you haven't got composition sorted don't think about buying too much stuff ;p




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  Reply # 876001 12-Aug-2013 17:02 Send private message

joker97: actually for what it's worth - your shots are only going to be limited by your composition ... mine's hit and miss ... so if you haven't got composition sorted don't think about buying too much stuff ;p


First rule: 9 times out of 10, leave the tripod at home!








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  Reply # 876004 12-Aug-2013 17:11 Send private message

that's a pretty poor rule ... i'd say the opposite ... if you want to shoot at low ISO you will need your tripod. guaranteed. unless you have super steady hands and a super good IS and don't shoot telescopic the 9 times out of the 10. (there are some shots you cannot compensate for with the aperture even if you have a very wide lens because tweaking aperture to compensate for shutter speed will alter your shots)

I have shot things in high ISO and always regret it when it comes to print ... looks ok on the iphone but not much else




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  Reply # 876091 12-Aug-2013 20:40 Send private message

I happily put ISO3200 images in wedding albums. Once I put an ISO 16,000 image in an album, 14" wide. Customers very very rarely mention noise, they see the moment and remember what was happening. If they do I explain the trade off I considered when taking the image. Mostly I use lighting so I don't have to shoot high ISO, but it's all tools.

I haven't used a tripod in years. The only use they have for me is to mark out my ground so people don't get in my way.




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  Reply # 876093 12-Aug-2013 20:45 Send private message

that's one way of doing it ... but not the purists' advise ... once you've become a pro like yourself you can break all the rules :D

a bit like a playmaker in soccer has free roaming on the field while the other 10 are given strict instructions




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  Reply # 876094 12-Aug-2013 20:48 Send private message

let me expand - you shoot moving objects in poorly lit places ... yes go for whatever you need to make your living ...

for all your know some people reading this forum are not necessarily shooting moving objects or want to create the "lady in the night standing in the middle of the thai market with everyone else walking around them blurred out" shot - you really need a tripod to get pro quality but then again, you can always hold your hand as still as possible and travel light and accept that, but shutter speeds ain't gonna get you that shot

every man's meat :D




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  Reply # 876102 12-Aug-2013 21:05 Send private message

The only time I can see a tripod being useful these days is for landscapes, especially in low light. For most things IS and high ISO is a good solution. There are places a tripod could be handy I guess, like holding light stands, or to hit someone with when they try to steal your image stabilised lens ;)




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  Reply # 876161 12-Aug-2013 22:43 Send private message





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  Reply # 876163 12-Aug-2013 22:48 Send private message

I don't use a tripod myself because i'm lazy ... but i'm the type that decides what's best for me ... it's like your doctor saying don't eat kfc




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