NikonsAndVStroms Photography Thread

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by NikonsAndVStroms, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    If you're looking at the 5D just keep your current set up. It has lower resolution than the D3100, plus an annoying noise at low ISO which made me :baldy when I had to clean up pics from another photographer for a client. The only place the 5D beats the D3100 is high ISO but the 3100 has more MP (though I'm not sure which one has the higher visible resolution which comes down to how strong each AA filter is....but if anything the D3100 likely still comes out ahead). You probably get a little more noise in the shadows with your current camera even though you have slightly more dynamic range, though I'm not sure since I don't have much experience with the D3100 or 5D so these are mostly general observations from that brief 5D experience and doing a few min research.

    Also they make GREAT crop ultra wide angle lenses, just they're not from Nikon/Canon, Tokina is known for this and used copies are right in your price range. The used crop market is also good right now since a lot of people are moving up to FF so more supply/less demand.

    I'll ask you about how you shoot in a second but my advice would be to keep your current camera with a new lens, and if you hit limitations there the D3200, 5200, and 7100 all have a sensor with better dynamic range (2+ stops), each step you move up gets you a few features (and slight image quality increase with the D7100) but with landscapes you don't really need much in the way of....well anything, basic AF is fine, FPS doesn't matter, really just a good sensor and that's it.

    And if you're using a kit lens now you'll get a huge image quality increase with the new lens, so right now what are you shooting with? And when you use it do you find yourself wishing it went wider? Went higher on the telephoto end? Or the range is about right?
  2. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    It looks like you pushed it a little too far from all the noise in the sky which I'm guessing is from processing and not JPEG compression.

    I do like what it does to the clouds but it goes a bit extreme with the cliffs on the left where they lose a lot of tonality and it looks a lil posterized AKA black or white.

    There are 2 things you can do in an image like this (I'll be explaining this for photoshop if you have something else like GIMP it should still be able to do this) are to dodge the shadows on that mountain to bring them up a lil bit and hopefully bring out some of the tonality. And if that doesn't work to make 2 layers and basically process the photo twice, once for the land, the other for the sky, and basically just cut it out. With complex shapes like this it will get a lil tedious BUT if you find an image you really like but just can't get right due to this happening it can be worth it.
  3. MrBob

    MrBob Out there

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    I'm using the Nikon 18-55mm that came with the camera and it's okay for just messing around. I'm constantly wishing I could get a wider bite of the landscape with minimal distortion. If I needed more telephoto capability, my understanding is that the cropped cameras are fine for that.
    If I can improve that aspect with a better DX lens, say, a 14mm, I'll go shopping. Otherwise, I have to wonder if the best move might be to sell what I have, before investing more money in it, and move up as much as much as finances will allow.
  4. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    How about a Tokina 12-24 for 325 dollars? Edit: IMPORTANT if you go for this lens contact the site first to make sure it's the model with the focus motor built in so it'll AF on your D3100. If not just write in here again, even the other options while not as sharp are still worlds better than the 18-55.

    http://www.keh.com/camera/Nikon-Digital-Non-Mfg-Zoom-Lenses/1/sku-DN09999080087N?r=FE

    You can read about it here:

    http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/tokina_12-24_4_n15/4

    Using that lens will be night and day VS your 18-55. FF ultra wides in my experience are more expensive (that Tokina 12-24 is a crazy deal for such a sharp lens!) so for a decent kit with that 5D I'd expect to pay 1,000-1,500 total. And for used gear in general KEH has great reviews, Adorama's customer support is amazing, ask them a question or for pics and you'll get them quickly. B&H is my goto and I have a few used lenses from them and none have had an issue.

    You're in the right place for landscapes....I miss NM all the time. Never made it to SF but hopefully I'll be able to spend a lot more time in that state.
  5. MrBob

    MrBob Out there

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    That does appear to be a sweet lens. Thanks for looking it up.
    New Mexico makes you want to reach for a camera. I take the Suzuki out for evening rides just to watch the colors in the sky change.
  6. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    Looked into it a bit, that 325 one is the model that wont AF on your camera, but the new one is 450 so still under your budget:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/594649-REG/Tokina_ATX124DXIIN_12_24mm_f_4_AT_X_124.html

    Used with what's up right now only saves you 50 bucks:

    http://www.keh.com/camera/Nikon-Digital-Non-Mfg-Zoom-Lenses/1/sku-DN09999106612J?r=FE
  7. MrBob

    MrBob Out there

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    I'm going to belabor a point here and try to get something clear in my mind.
    For the moment, set aside cost considerations. If my goal is to try to do justice to the magnificent scenery surrounding me, is a full frame camera clearly the best choice. Or, would a lens like the Tokina reduce the disparity between a cropped and full frame camera to the point of insignificance.
    What I'm trying to avoid is getting caught up in atom-splitting comparisons and just being too anal.
  8. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    FF will help with the shadow noise, and possibly a bit in detail but there it's all in the quality of lens in front of it, and you likely wont need that extra detail unless you madereally large prints.

    Crop actually is better in that you have a bigger depth of field for the equivalent focal length and F stop.

    The Tokina will get you a lot better images, I can't stress enough how big of an improvement it will be from your 18-55.

    Dynamic range is still something you'll be lacking in comparison to the best cameras out there but both the Nikon crop and FF cameras are similar in this (and better than Canon IIRC).

    And all full frame is not the same, the 5D wouldn't be the step to take from your position because a D5200 can in many respects take better landscapes. I own a D700 (better than the 5D) and a D7100 (crop camera) and the 7100 is my hands down choice for landscapes based on my experience with it so far.

    I could go on and into the "atom splitting" but there isn't a night and day difference anymore so your camera will do well, and you have an upgrade path with crop cameras. The biggest improvements right now will come from taking thousands of photos not FF VS crop to be honest.
  9. MrBob

    MrBob Out there

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    I've shot steadily since 1971, so this isn't my first rodeo, but thanks for your input. The government issued us pretty good film cameras to take into the field when I worked as an archaeologist and I've followed along a few steps behind the technology since then. My favorite camera of all time was the Nikkormat with a Nikon 28-80mm lens that my ex-brother in law brought back from Korea and sold to me. My last DSLR was a first generation Rebel, which sucked in so many ways. My current point and shoot is a S 90, which can surprise me from time to time.
    The 3100 is another level of sophistication and I enjoy becoming familiar with it. Eventually, I settle down and just use the stuff.
    Thanks again for the tip on the Tokina.
  10. XpressCS

    XpressCS Must. Have. Lumens..

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    Okay this one isn't my very best, but I thought it might be worth sharing.

    [​IMG]

    I know I know, I need to get my camera cleaned...
  11. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    Cleaning up that image wont be too bad, if you don't have PS I can do it for you, just send/link me to a full res version.

    It's a nice seen, and one of my favorite types to shoot actually. The 2 things I would do are zoom in and make the sky a greater part of the frame. And move the camera around slightly to try and get the flare in a better position....you wont be able to get rid of it, but if that circle of it that's right above the mountain was instead just below it then that would be a lot easier to remove.

    Also the image looks a little desaturated right now, I'd try increasing the color, and going B&W then using curves to increase the contrast and see how those compare to the current version.
  12. XpressCS

    XpressCS Must. Have. Lumens..

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    Something about like this?

    [​IMG]

    I don't do the whole B&W thing, the lack of color hurts my eyes.
  13. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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  14. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    That's a bit too much, it's bringing out a lot of digital noise and is a a little over saturated. I played with it in PS and if you have that something like +15-20 on saturation works well. Also for a crop point a little bit past the end of that big white cloud which goes across most of the frame would be good. You'd be taking 10-15% off the right and bottom which would make it more even between the mountain and sky.
  15. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    The big thing I'd try to do for these (1, 3, 4 specifically) is give everything more room when you shoot since a lot of the time you have part of the main subject cropped or just a sliver between them and the end of the frame. Detail isn't a big issue anymore with even cheap cameras having at least 10-12 MP so go a lil extra wide and then crop in post.

    For #2 if you went close to the water and had it more level you might be able to get more of a mirror effect which could be cool.
  16. MaineScoot

    MaineScoot Been here awhile

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    I put this in the "pic a day" thread but thought I might get some help here:

    This picture was texted to me. It was taken by a friend in a 19' open boat. I was on the boat in the picture. Before the storm hit both boats took all sail down, we took his boat under tow and he came aboard our boat. A half hour later it was all over.

    [​IMG]

    So what do you think? Can this image be cleaned up by you expert types? Maybe I can get hold of a better resolution version.
  17. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    The full resolution version will be needed, that one either has JPEG artifacts or tons of noise, if it's the former than it'll be a lot easier. If you sent that to me I'm not sure what can be done, but I'll definitely take a look.
  18. XpressCS

    XpressCS Must. Have. Lumens..

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    Ready?

    Aaaaand GO:

    http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/7494/6vhj.jpg
  19. Bappo

    Bappo Been here awhile

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    D5200 or 7100 or ?
    Been using a D40 for ever and am looking upgrade to something that will do bulb astrophotography (widefield stuff mostly) on a GEM mount, specifically, and all around in general.

    Prolly a Tokina 11-16 to go with my 35mm 1.8 and eventually replace my existing kit lenses.

    Is the 7100 worth the premium over the 5200? I would just get a body as another kit lens is kinda silly.

    I do like the feature of setting timed long exposures in these cameras.

    Eventually I'll get a used Canon 450 or something and get it modded for nebula/galaxies, etc. when I decide to extend in that direction and get an astrograph scope.

    Thanks!
  20. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    So just the 11-16 for astro and no telescopes?