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Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:03 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Since we're here - I have some interesting photography needs with my glass work... Basically, aside from needing to build a good photo tent, I think it may be time to upgrade my camera(s).

I'm currently using a Cannon SD450 p&s for everyday stuff, but I also have an Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom which is really long in the tooth (2mp) but takes nice macro shots...

You have any input Gren? I'm looking for something relatively inexpensive, maybe used or an older model, but a really nice solid camera that will take excellent macro photos? I'm not a student of photography (I admit it, I only recently (while struggling with taking photos of glass) learned what's up with shutter speed and f-stop settings (and boy have I been kicking myself)) but I think it's time to graduate from toy cameras...

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Grendel
Ninja Admin




PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:06 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

I can only speak from the Canon side of things, once you start buying lenses you're pretty much locked in (unless you won in the lottery that is..)

Your best combo would be a 40D DSLR body w/ a 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens. An alternative (and cheaper) body would be the XS. All of these should be available used for reasonable prices. Older bodies are missing the ultrasonic sensor cleaning, makes them a PITA to use (even tho the lower pixel count would be better. See below.)

In the macro range you have a very shallow DOF, so you need high f values (small aperatures) to get your subjects into good focus. A serious problem w/ digital photography is diffraction (ref), if you want tack sharp pictures you need not only pay attention to the aperature but also the pixel size (a function of the sensor size and pixel count).

Both cams mentioned have 10MP APS-C sensors w/ a diffraction limit of f/9.3, allowing you to use f/16 when planning to do small prints or scale the pictures down for web use.

(Side note: I still have the 40D as a fallback camera, keeping it because of its sensor. The 100mm macro its one of the best price/performance lenses from Canon, works great on that body. I took the moss flower w/ that combo. And this one, more the framing you are looking for (scaled down to about 1/4 size))

As for P&S cameras, pretty much every P&S has a diffraction limit that's below its max. aperature (P&S cameras usally limit the minimum aperature to f/8 for that reason, they get REALLY soft above that..) Ie. you will never get a picture that resolves to its sensors native resolution. Hence most P&S will not allow you to get raw or tiff images -- the cameras jpeg processor will apply heavy sharpening to get usable images (w/ raw/tiff you'd have to do it in post, too much for most users.)

(Side note: the smaller the sensor, the greater the DOF. Usually f/8 is small enough to get good DOF w/ a small P&S sensor.)

If you want to stick w/ P&S, here are the things to look for: possibility to drive an external flash, sensor size (you want to maximize that), pixel count (you want to minimize that), and lens: All P&S offer macro mode. As a rule of thumb: the shorter the zoom range, the better the picture quallity across the range. Look for barrel distortion on the short end (usually particulary bad in macro mode) and pin cushion distortions on the long end. I get some decent results from a G11, but I use it mainly "in the field", not for studio shots (example, unscaled, crop from the middle of the frame). The S90 has the same sensor, but a shorter lens, no flash shoe, and is cheaper.

As for a light box, one important thing is the background (where you place the object on), I would try a 18% grey card and see how well that seperates the object (least distracting, plus almost all cameras exposure system is based on 18% grey. Should do a great job w/ the auto white balance too). If you use anything else for a background, get a small grey card and set the cameras custom white balance w/ it just before the shoot. Two halogen lights w/ diffusors left & right should do it, you probably will have to play w/ that a bit to get the reflections right. Amazon has quite a few light tents listed, a cheap one will do as a diffusor.

Any questions ? Smile
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:04 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Wow thanks for the very detailed response. I'm planning to built a light tent similar to this, and photographing glass against different backgrounds, but starting with a gray paper sweep.

I had a couple questions for you -

1. Is there a good online camera marketplace for used cams? Or should I try ebay/craigslist?

2. The macro issue: I'm wondering if I would be better off getting a good compact instead, like your G11 ("prosumer" type anyhow). I need to be able to manipulate shutter and aperture enough to get decent shots with only my subject in focus, with a fairly modern sensor size and a raw format option. I don't necessarily need true macro capability, and I already have enough expensive hobbies. Is the price difference justified for a camera that might end up permanently on a tripod in front of a photo tent?

Speaking of expensive hobbies, looks like aviation is next on the list...

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Grendel
Ninja Admin




PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:18 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

That box looks good, I should build one myself..

I haven't come across a good online used market yet, some camera specific forums have a market place tho. I would prefer craigslist over ebay (to check stuff out in person). Another place to check would be your local photo store, they usually have used stuff as well.

The G11 and S90 have big sensors for their class and both feature full control and raw capabillity. Canon's raw processing software (DPP) is pretty good, you get full control over noise reduction, sharpening, and tone curve. At least for the G11 you get chromatic aberration and distortion correction as well (should be in there for the S90 as well, I'll see if I can find a S90 raw image online somewhere.) It exports to JPG & TIFF, saves you the cost to get Lightroom or such. I would suggest to go to Best Buy (or any store that may carry them) and check them out, see how you like them. I would think that for your needs a S90 works well.

Advantages of the S90 over the G11:
- f/2 min. aperature
- small
- cheaper
- novel control ring on the lens
- bigger LCD
- good walk-around camera in case you take it off that tripod

Advantages of the G11 over the S90:
- more sturdy
- higher battery capacity
- more direct control (dials vs. menues)
- longer lens
- swivel LCD
- flash shoe

On a side note: The G10 is almost the same as the G11, except that Canon went from a 14.7MP sensor to a 10MP sensor in the G11 (at the same sensor size..) First time that ever happened and there are good reasons. Don't get a G10, you'll have to deal w/ more noise and soft pictures.

Edit: Yes, DPP has the aberration corrections for the S90 as well.
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:33 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

See, the flash shoe is a nice feature. It's a tough call. Thanks Gren!

I'm glad I came up with something that interested you in return. Currently I'm using a pop-up photo cube and it's woefully inadequate. The nice thing about the tent I linked is that you can get a lot of great lighting effects. Some of the glass guys that use it recommended using gray 18 paper, which I assume is what you were talking about as well.

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Grendel
Ninja Admin




PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:20 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

JIC you haven't decided yet -- DPR just released their G11 review.
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:08 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Yeah, I'm waiting until after the holidays - thanks Gren Smile

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Grendel
Ninja Admin




PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:27 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Smart man Smile Keep an eye on the Olympus E-P1 (currently ~$700 @ Amazon).

Quote:
Macro - 56 x 42 mm coverage
Distortion: essentially none
Corner softness: Low
Focal length: 42mm (84 mm equiv)

Macro performance is actually rather good, as tends to be the case with front-cell focusing kit zoom designs. Our measured magnification is 0.31x, and this is is achieved at a focus distance of about 22cm (distinctly shorter than Olympus's specified 0.25m), giving a working distance of about 11 cm between the subject and the front of the lens.

Image quality is good too; much of the frame is soft at F5.6, but stop down to F8 or F11 and our test chart shot becomes sharp across the frame. There's very little CA, and distortion (being corrected in software) is essentially nonexistent.
Hemp
Descent3 God




PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:47 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

The 7d just dropped is price. Id still go 7d or 5d mark II.


Mod edit: linkified

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Hemp
Descent3 God




PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:50 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras


; ) Down 700.00

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Grendel
Ninja Admin




PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:46 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

That's fishy as hell, you'll have a hard time finding the 7D for less than $1550 from a serious shop... You should buy one and sell it on ebay Razz

[edit] Here ya go -- click [/edit]

Reason for the $100 price drop (!) is the imminent release of a new body (probably the 60D.) Anybody eyeballing a new camera should wait a bit. 60D, G12, S95 should be out soon.

_________________
Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people. -- Thor Heyerdahl
Durch einen Stich bereits geschafft, erschlafft und ohne Saft und Kraft! -- Donald, examining a Deflator Dextrospirillus
Hemp
Descent3 God




PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:32 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Yea I just posted that site to look @. Id always buy direct from canon.

I liked how they had the cams laid out.

_________________
Injection is nice, but I'd rather be blown
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Grendel
Ninja Admin




PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:57 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

TWIMC -- I just bought an E-P1 w/ 17mm & VF ($545) for the GF. W/ the 14-42 lens it's even cheaper ($469, no VF) and w/o lens it's only $389 (not recommended tho, go for the 14-42.) It's a damn good deal that won't last very long since the P1 is discontinued !

There's a crapload of u3/4 lens adapters available, so if you already have lenses this is a great oportunity. Also, older lenses usually can be picked up for cheap and allow manual aperature control. Smile I just ordered an EOS EF adapter, that shall be interesting..

_________________
Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people. -- Thor Heyerdahl
Durch einen Stich bereits geschafft, erschlafft und ohne Saft und Kraft! -- Donald, examining a Deflator Dextrospirillus
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:44 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Here we are 2 years later. It's been a bad two years and I'm broke as a joke with no new camera. Survival has been my priority but I recently spent a week with a friend who has a really nice camera... so the itch is back.

Grendel, have you any updated recommendations? If this hurricane Irene hits I'ma be rich for a few years =)

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Grendel
Ninja Admin




PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:33 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Minor updates -- Olympus just released the E-P3 so the E-P2 is cheap. Highly recommended for the price if you want exchangeable lenses w/ good picture quality. P&S Canons are updated to S95 and G12. DSLR -- 40D is still an excellent choice. If you have money to blow check out the 60D (the T3i is the cheap version.)

_________________
Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people. -- Thor Heyerdahl
Durch einen Stich bereits geschafft, erschlafft und ohne Saft und Kraft! -- Donald, examining a Deflator Dextrospirillus
Woodchip
Ace




PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:00 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

I have the Nikon D80 which I bought 2 years ago. Seems to be decent enough. Link for used and new D80's:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=nikon+d80+buy&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9485083687913014843&sa=X&ei=f-xXTovXGufi0QGK68nJDA&ved=0CG4Q8wIwAg
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:34 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

I just got this for free:



It's 5 or 6 years old, but it should do the trick, no? Olympus E-500, with the 14-45mm included zoom lens, plus bonus 40-150mm zoom. Now all I need is a macro lens...

So what do ya think, Gren?

and oh yeah, I need to learn how to actually do photography now. lol too many hobbies.

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
TheWhat
Insane!




PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:06 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

dang. nice gift.

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Grendel
Ninja Admin




PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:46 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Very nice, excellent price/performance there ! Should get you you going. As for getting a macro lens, don't invest too much into that mount -- see if you can find something like this or a macro lens for an old obsolete mount (and use an adapter.) In the long run you you probably want to switch to something a more mainstream body w/ MFT, EF, of F mount.

_________________
Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people. -- Thor Heyerdahl
Durch einen Stich bereits geschafft, erschlafft und ohne Saft und Kraft! -- Donald, examining a Deflator Dextrospirillus
AceCombat
SpongeBob




PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:41 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Bunyip wrote:
I just got this for free:



It's 5 or 6 years old, but it should do the trick, no? Olympus E-500, with the 14-45mm included zoom lens, plus bonus 40-150mm zoom. Now all I need is a macro lens...

So what do ya think, Gren?

and oh yeah, I need to learn how to actually do photography now. lol too many hobbies.



heh, thats the same camera i inherited from my late father! i took this:

http://postimage.org/image/1jzllfodg/

with that exact camera

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Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:03 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Yeah, it is a hand-me-down from my buddy - and you can't beat that price.

Grendel, rather than the extension, what about this? the price seems right, especially compared to the other macro lens I found...With the extension, I'll be stuck with the same f-stop # (3.5) as if I bought the first lens I linked, right? Another thought is that with the extension the lens I already have is gonna be nearly bumping into my subjects. Seems like I'm better off spending the $209 on the macro lens. Am I missing something? What are your thoughts?

Oh yeah, when and if I get a new, more mainstream camera, I would still probably keep this and set it up permanently on a tripod for my light tent so I want to do it right.

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Grendel
Ninja Admin




PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:37 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

200 bucks seems a good price. In general a dedicated macro is always preferable over tubes (better working distance, more light.) I wouldn't worry over slower f stops, the closer you get the higher an aperature you have to use for a decent DOF (pro product shooters use tilt lenses to place the focal plane.) Shouldn't be an issue since you're planning for studio work Smile Found a review, I would say go for it !

_________________
Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people. -- Thor Heyerdahl
Durch einen Stich bereits geschafft, erschlafft und ohne Saft und Kraft! -- Donald, examining a Deflator Dextrospirillus
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:32 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Thanks Gren, much appreciated.

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
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