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Digital SLR w/ standard & macro lens for £500

Discussion in 'photo' started by Blzebub, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. Interzone

    Interzone pfm Member

    Smaller sensor. A 'full size' sensor is about the same size as the area of 35mm film. A 'c' or 'dx' sensor is smaller giving a different field of view (basically a magnification factor in lay man's terms)
  2. cliffpatte

    cliffpatte Speed camera anarchist

    What Interzone said plus:

    1) Full frame sensor based cameras such as the Nikon D700 are big and heavy and the lenses designed for these cameras are big and heavy

    2) Nikon do DX sized sensors which are roughly the same size as APS film. This allows the lenses to be about two thirds the size and weight of those required for 35mm film or full frame sensors

    3) Using a DX sensor body, all your lenses will appear to be 1.5 times as long - for instance a 35mm lens will be roughly 52mm in terms of field of view. So a standard lens on a DX body is usually deemed to be the 35mm lens.

    4) Cropping a sensor down from 35mm film size to APS sized also causes the apparent Depth of field for a given aperture to be increases by about 50% as well. So an F2.8 lens will appear more like an F3 and a bit lens from the point of view of isolating the subject from the background.

    5) 4/3rds system sensors are roughly half the size of 35mm film, so the lenses are all doubled in effective length and the ability to separate subject from background is severely limited. For this reason, Olympus make a telephoto zoom with an astonishingly wide F2 constant aperture whilst Nikon and Canon only manage F2.8 on the same focal length.

  3. AlexG

    AlexG ...


    Are you interested in a s-h D200?

    Others can comment on how it compares to a D90.
  4. Blzebub

    Blzebub Banned

    Hi again.

    Sorry, even after those replies, I still have no idea whether the sensor on the D90 is going to be an issue!
  5. Blzebub

    Blzebub Banned

    Oo, er, maybe!
  6. Tantris

    Tantris pfm Member

    If you want to take the occasional ‘macro’ photograph of a watch and its mechanism, which can double as a general purpose camera, you might be better off with a digital compact camera, particularly if you want to stay within or close to your budget. Some of these can produce a very good result, with relatively little hassle.

    If you want something more than that, I’d suggest thinking about it in this order;

    1. Light - can you find a location where you can diffuse good natural light, so that you can produce an image with enough detail, depth of field, and shadows? I’d avoid flashes or artificial light as they tend to produce horrible flat images with poor shadows (or a sterile result with no shadow, such as with a ring flash), and speculae which ruin the image.

    2. Stability - can you set up a tripod, or a copy stand, where the light is good, which can allow you to take a photograph for several seconds or longer, so that you can use a small aperture to get sufficient depth of field?

    3. Composition – what sort of images are you looking for, and can you use light & shadow, or textured material, or other items to make the image something other than a document of record? If you have time, look at some of Edward Steichen’s commercial work, where images of fabric, or cutlery, or matches, have a strong element of transforming imagination which makes them extraordinarily beautiful.

    4. Magnification – again, what sort of image do you want? A standard 50mm lense with extension tubes can produce a great result, without going to the expense of a dedicated ‘macro’ lense. At the other end of the spectrum, the Canon MP-E 65mm lens is a great and highly specialised tool, if you want to produce high quality magnifications of a watch’s interior mechanism. I don’t think there is a Nikon equivalent. Renting one over a weekend is worth considering – the extension on the lens, necessary to get the magnification, is worth seeing, and it’ll be quickly obvious why light and stability need to be thought of first.

    5. Finally, camera. You could pick up a decent s/h full frame Canon (1d, or 5d, which could use the MP-E lens) or similar Nikon for a few hundred pounds, which can help keep the costs down compared to new equipment.

    I do a little still life work; it's tricky, and quite rewarding when it comes right. This one was taken with a view camera, with bellows extended about twice the lens focal length, and using diffused natural light from a window;

  7. Blzebub

    Blzebub Banned

    I'd like to do a bit better than this:

  8. cliffpatte

    cliffpatte Speed camera anarchist

    Just a comment on the D200 versus the D90 - the D90 lacks the aperture feeler ring making it incompatible with AIS manual focus lenses. If you ever want to mount one of these on the camera, then the D200 is a good bet. Also the D200 is better built than the D90 (yes I have used both ;-) - may fave D200 derivative is the Fuji S5 Pro - but they go for even more than the D200 on ebay these days)
  9. cliffpatte

    cliffpatte Speed camera anarchist

    PS - I'm staying with friends this weekend so I had a chance to try a new Nikon D3100 with my old AF-D Micro Nikkor - the combination does work but you have to manually focus.

  10. Tantris

    Tantris pfm Member

    Ah, ok. You need a Breitling.
  11. Blzebub

    Blzebub Banned

  12. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    This was taken with a Pentax D-FA 100/2.8 Macro lens ...

  13. Interzone

    Interzone pfm Member

    I still think my suggestion in post 6 is valid. Get a bridge that will go much closer than a regular dslr and macro lens.........
  14. Blzebub

    Blzebub Banned


    Nice pic. Exactly the kind of shot I am hoping to be able to take.

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