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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddym View Post
    Steve, no offense intended,
    Yep, that is what people usually say when they are about to be offensive!

    Quote Originally Posted by eddym View Post
    but I don't think the problem is with your camera. If you're not willing to take the time to learn whether "is that more or less exposure than F7.1 at 1/80? Or F5 at 1/50?", then you're not going to be happy using any camera on a manual setting. And a film camera -much as I love 'em- is not going to solve your problem.
    Please read what I wrote again. I said:
    "It's a struggle for me to deal with these unfamiliar numbers in my head".
    I didn't say I didn't understand them.

    Most of us who are familiar with using a traditional, none electronic, camera tend to think in stops. A typical f number range would be f2.8, f4, f5.6, f8 and so on.

    Shutter speeds might typically be 1/100, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125 etc.

    Most traditional manual cameras may well have half of a stop markings on the aperture ring, but will rarely be marked with the actual value. Shutter speeds, for mechanical reasons are obviously almost never available in between the discrete stop values.

    Those of us who use manual cameras all the time can pretty much automatically change f number and shutter speeds around in our heads for a given EV value and / or film speed.

    My point was, that for f numbers calibrated in 1/3 of a stop and for shutter speeds that seems to be almost arbitary after the 1/3 stops increments have been 'rounded' - that translation in the head is not automatic.

    Be honest, how many people know straight away the difference in exposure between F10 at 1/60 second and F7.1 at 1/80?
    How many people know, without giving it at least a little bit of thought, that F7.1 and F10 are one stop apart?
    To be honest I had to guess F7.1 was 1/3 below f8 and count on my fingers to work the f numbers out - not hard, but not exactly instinctive, either.
    But what about 1/80 rather than 1/60? Is that half a stop? Or a third of a stop slower? Without resorting to a calculator I'm not sure. How many people on this forum carry shutter speed sequences in their head in 1/3 stop values? I'll guess at a third of a stop, since that seems to be what the camera likes to work in, so F7.1 at 1/80th sec is maybe 2/3 stop more exposure than F10 at 1/60th sec?

    I think quite a few other people on this forum might have had to think about that for a few seconds, too. :rolleyes:
    I suspect before digital cameras only the most critical slide film photographers would ever consider working in 1/3 stop increments.

    If I had picked f11 at 1/60 of a second and f8 at 1/125 then pretty much the entire board (I should hope) would have said "There the same!" instantaneously.

    My point was: not that I don't understand f stops and shutter speeds, but that the sequence of numbers that appear in the viewfinder when twiddling the knobs doesn't make the use of a digital camera in fully manual mode very comfortable or intuitive for those of us who grew up with a manual Practica or Zenith E or anything else pre electronic for that matter.

    I started this thread to ask for advice on Nikon lenses and I've received several helpful replies, thanks very much for those, guys.

    But somehow I now find myself having to defend why I personally don't enjoy using digital cameras...

    On APUG?!!!
    Steve

  2. #22

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    Of course if budget permits you could opt for a 300mm/F2.0 http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Nikkor-300...lenotsupported

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbonamo View Post
    Of course if budget permits you could opt for a 300mm/F2.0 http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Nikkor-300...lenotsupported
    One also needs to budget for a very brawny security guard to both carry and protect that lens. Rumor has it that less than 20 of those lenses were ever made. And just think - If I sold one of my cars, I could own one.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven_e007 View Post
    But somehow I now find myself having to defend why I personally don't enjoy using digital cameras...

    On APUG?!!!
    If it's any comfort to you, I do totally agree with what you said.

    "Analogue" settings usually involve well-recognisable f-stops and shutter speeds; the user can decide (according to brands, ect..) whether and how to set intermediate speeds and diaphragms.

    ...An analogue way of thinking!

    Dealing with values such as f/7.0 and 1/70 shutter speeds requires some (or a great deal of) mental recalculation, not something easily doable on the spur of the moment.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  5. #25

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    I also agree with you Steven_e007. I think that there's a very significant untapped market out there for an electro-mechanically operating DSLR that would conceptually be like a Nikon FM-class or Olympus OM-class body with a digital sensor. I'd expect that nearly everyone on this forum would love to buy such a thing, if it cost anything close to what a current mid-upper level DSLR cost (i.e. between $1-2K for the body).

  6. #26
    eddym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven_e007 View Post
    But somehow I now find myself having to defend why I personally don't enjoy using digital cameras...

    On APUG?!!!
    I personally don't enjoy using digital cameras either, but when my clients want digital images, I give them what they want, using a digital camera to do it because it's the easiest, quickest way. I never asked you to defend your taste in cameras.

    However, fractional f-stops and shutter speeds have nothing to do with the digital/analog dichotomy. When I first got my Nikon F100, which also gives those "digital" readouts that you dislike, I disabled the aperture wheel so I could use the aperture ring on the lens instead. However, from time to time I find that I like having the option of setting both aperture and shutter speeds in 1/3 stop increments, so I changed it back. We all have our own shooting preferences, and we are free to change them as we wish.

    By the way, I was serious when I said that I meant no offense, but since you took it anyway, all I can say is,
    Oh well... can't please everybody.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  7. #27

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    I met a real "twitcher" in Brandon Woods near Coventry the other week. He was photographing a pair of woodpeckers with what I think was a zoom(Canon) with a constant f4 aperture and it was I think about 500mm but felt he needed a 1.4 converter as well and in fact he was right. My 300mm on my Pentax was OK for a shot of sorts but just couldn't get close enough to isolate the nest.

    The difference was that my Tamron has cost about £120 a few years ago and his Canon with the teleconverter had cost him about the equivalent of a new Ford Ka! It looked like a bazooka! So if you're happy with secondbest as I am when it comes to birds then there are cheap but OK lenses but if you really want to take bird shots that make twitchers say "Wow" then I am afraid we are taking several thousand pounds. My meeting with the twitcher occurred during the French Tennis Open fortnight and his lens would have put some I saw on TV at Roland Garros to shame but for his hobby he needed it.

    I concluded that bird photography is expensive.

    pentaxuser

  8. #28
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    My suggestion is that if you can, purchase any Nikkor lens with ED glass. The ED glass Nikkors all have no stopped infinity focus point, they in fact focus past infinity.

    This may not sound important, but in extreme heat the expansion factor may make it impossible to focus dead accurately.

    If you can, get a lens with IF-ED, which is Internal Focusing with ED glass. ED is Nikon talk for an apochromatic corrected bit of glass. The colours you obtain with ED glass really are at the top of the tree especially with regards to colour fringing, they just don't do it.

    Colour fringing is where one colour starts to bleed or merge with another or others, something you will find is reasonably common in the lower range of lenses by aftermarket manufacturers in the lenses that were being manufactured at the same time as your F3 was manufactured. Lenses manufactured more recently should be better, I don't know for sure though.

    Possibly the best lens that is a budget lens, although that is of course subjective and dependent upon the size of you pocket, is the f/5.6 600. This is a very good lens for bird photography, but it really needs a tripod and that tripod should be equipped with a fluid head. In my years of fiddling around with lenses and tripods, this combination was the very best I have ever used.

    One other addition, equip your F3 with the MD4 drive, if you don't have one. If you wish to photograph fast moving objects and in quick succession sometimes, then a drive is brilliant.

    Another possible addition in your aid to records, is to add the MF18 data back. This is the best data back Nikon made for manual cameras. Data is recorded vertically in-between the frames, you can have a sequential numbering set-up or the date, your choice. I myself use the sequential numbering set-up, makes knowing in which sequence any roll of film has been shot easy to figure out. You will be told that the MF18 Data back can only be used with the MD4 attached, not quite correct. The reason this is stipulated is because there is a bottom prong which sits below the camera and sits over the outside contacts of the MD4. You can safely operate the camera with the MF18 data back without an MD4 attached, just take care with the protuberance.

    The f/2 300 surely has more than 40 odd units out there, I have seen two myself and used one for a ½ a day whilst my 600 was used by the photographer who owned the 300. One thing I can tell you, is that the f/2 300 and the f/5.6 600 weigh about the same. The cost of the f/2 300 at the time of the purchase for that photographer, was literally ½ the price for a standard house in Melbourne, it was a lot of money in anyone's language.

    The cheapest good glass for your purposes may be the f/5.6 400 Nikkor, it uses 72mm filter size, which is a Nikon standard for many of their lenses. This lens can be used hand held wide open with, but you really need the F3 equipped with the MD4 drive so your right hand can really take a fair whack of the weight, otherwise you will find yourself shaking after only a short period of time. The 400 is not a sought after lens as it isn't considered fast and it's length is considered too short compared to the longer lenses.

    Regarding accuracy of apertures and/or stops, when shooting transparencies for critical work in the past, 1/10 of a stop aperture settings was what we used on both Mamiya and Hasselblad lenses. These were calibrated and marked lenses with a sheet telling you at what actual position to put the aperture ring, to obtain a very accurate f stop.

    Regarding the ultimate set-up in Nikon land for bird photography. A person I knew spent the wet season in the top end of Australia with a Nikkor f/5.6 800 and a very good tripod, these were possibly the very best bird pictures I have ever seen. One of these came up for sale recently, it was offered to me for around $10,000 AUD it would have been brilliant, but I couldn't justify spending that amount of money.

    As a matter of interest, the 400 f/5.6 is a brilliant lens for portraits with a difference, but a very helpful addition is a two way radio system, with the talk button at the photographer's end taped down and the radio at the other end within earshot of the sitter. This facilitates position changes without shouting, yelling out loud means you have to take your concentration away from the viewfinder, not conducive to great portrait taking.

    Mick.
    Last edited by Mick Fagan; 06-17-2009 at 06:08 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Punctuation

  9. #29
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    If I were you, I would look into (and probably eventually purchase) a 400mm f/5.6, or possibly a 300mm f/4.5, and a quality 1.4x TC. With the current quality of 400 and 800 films, and being on a budget, this is a good setup, IMO. Get the ED and IF models if you can afford it. If not, any model will be just fine (even if they are based on the lowly first-generation Nikon F glass).
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 06-17-2009 at 08:05 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  10. #30

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    All of these lenses are " ED ", " L " sharp !

    Quote Originally Posted by dougjgreen View Post
    I wish you luck. But I have bad news. There is no such thing as inexpensive lenses that will do the job shooting birds. Any inexpensive lens you get will frustrate you and make you yearn for something longer and faster and sharper when it is long and fast.

    In the manual focus domain, you might be able to pick up a 300mm f4 AIS lens for a couple hundred dollars. Another choice, if you can find one, is the Tokina AT-X 100-300mm f4 zoom. You might find one of those for $100-125 and it's quite good. But it won't do as well with a teleconverter as the Nikkor 300mm f4 will. And you will want a teleconverter, because 300mm is nowhere near long enough with the full 35mm frame. You'll want to get to 600mm at least, which means a 2x TC on a 300mm lens.

    But your frustration will really begin when you realize that manual focus gear is very limiting when shooting birds. And the current autofocus lenses that are long enough and fast enough all have an extra digit in the price. And it gets worse from there.
    On the contrary; the Tokina AT-X 100-300mm f4 zoom will work quite well, with either Nikon's or
    Canon's 1.4 Tele-converter, it's the 2.0 that it doesn't work well with. In this way it's similar to most zooms.
    When I used the 100 - 300 with a 1.4 converter, it was the equal to Tokina's 400 mm f 5.6.
    I owned them both & stopped using the 400 mm prime all together.

    You could also look for Tamron's 200 - 400 mm f 5.6. NOT the newer 200 - 500 f 5.6 - 6.3.

    All 3 of these lenses are " ED ", " L " sharp !

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