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Old Apr 26, 2008, 6:48 PM   #21
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If you take these pics and put them in photoshop and drag your guides you will see there is very minimal distortion if any at all.
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Old Apr 26, 2008, 9:15 PM   #22
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edtech2020 wrote:
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... I should try to get the pics right the first time around, though.
...
I cannot think of a single example in photography where is isn't best to get the image in the camera so minimal or no further adjustment/cropping/... is needed. I also cannot think of more than a very few times that I have managed to pull it off.

Guess I will just have to keep on trying.
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Old Apr 26, 2008, 9:33 PM   #23
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edtech2020 wrote:
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A local Craigslist [Nikkor AF 60mm Prime f/2.8] is asking $300. Prime is what I'm after, right? I could buy the Nikon body to go with it.

I'm not sure the close-up filters are what I'm after, because sometimes I'm wanting to archive 18" by 18" scrapbooks and the distortion from my little zoom lens is something fierce when it's zoomed all the way out.
The Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 has a minimum focus distance of 220mm (8 inches) and an angle of view of about 25° on an APS-C dSLR. That will fill the frame with something that is about 7.5 inches wide and 5 inches high.

If you want to shoot something 18 inches square, with that lens, you'd need to be 30 inches away, which is no longer 'macro'.

A common 50mm f/1.8 lens could do that at about 2 feet without breaking a sweat. And for about $100.

That was easy. What else do you need a camera to do?
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Old Apr 26, 2008, 9:55 PM   #24
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Tcav is right....a 50mm 1.8 lens should give you what you want. And the inexpensive filters can be used for work closer than the lens minimum distance.
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Old Apr 27, 2008, 1:17 AM   #25
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I'll try another recap (hopefully I'm getting closer to the mark):

50mm f/1.8 lenses sure are cheaper ($109 at B&H) than the Nikkor AF 60mm Prime f/2.8 that is local on Craigslist. 50mm f/1.8 AF lenses are very popular and actually have their own page on Wikipedia.

It's a prime lens, which means it doesn't zoom.

Not zooming is going to be a key part of reducing the barrel distortion for wide angle flat copywork.

Bynx (and my own experience matches this) has found that you can get awfully straight lines with even a p&s zoom camera when it's in the middle range, and
there is a filter that can be applied to go even closer than the minimum distance.

60mm lens would have to be held farther away from the scrapbook than a 50mm lens because of the angle of view differences.

I am unsure now whether to pursue the 50mm f/1.8 manual or AF. The AF is the one that has its own Wikipedia page, for all that that's worth. If I bought a Nikon D40x or a D60 body and put a 50mm lens on it to do copy work, would I be in trouble if I got the AF variety?




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Old Apr 27, 2008, 1:35 AM   #26
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Now we're getting into cameras, whether it's appropriate or not.

There are a number of different mounts for Nikon autofocus lenses, so selecting an appropriate used lensfor a Nikon dSLR can be confusing. But here's the real kicker. Nikon D40, D40X and D60 dSLRs don't have a built in autofocus motor, so they will only autofocus with lenses that have their own autofocus motors (AF-S). Nikon standard and medium telephoto prime lenses are AF lenses which don't have their own autofocus motors and so won't autofocus on the D40, D40X or the D60.

There are lots of reasons to select one camera brand over another, and one model over another. Besides 18" square scrapbooks, you haven't really given us any examples of the types of photos you want to shoot, and what your budget is, so it's difficult for us to recommend what camera would be right for you.

And I'm still not convinced that you really need a dSLR to do what you want.
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Old Apr 27, 2008, 7:22 AM   #27
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just thought id add that PTlens can get rid of distortion, i use it from time to time

http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/example.html

it can correct perspective distortion as well as barrel, maybe its worth a try, i have it as a plugin for photoshop but think its available as a stand alone



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Old Apr 27, 2008, 11:38 AM   #28
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That PTLens looks like a very useful tool. Unforunately my Mac is caught in a time warp and I cant go further than 10.3.9 OS.
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Old Apr 27, 2008, 12:22 PM   #29
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just thought id add that PTlens can get rid of distortion, i use it from time to time http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/example.html it can correct perspective distortion as well as barrel, maybe its worth a try, i have it as a plugin for photoshop but think its available as a stand alone
Yes, I could manipulate the photos afterwards to eliminate distortion. In this case I find that I'm taking 100s of photos of photos in photo albums or scrapbook pages.

My little Panasonic FZ7 really does a pretty good job with copywork of 3x5 or 4x6 photos in the albums. I've got the lighting off to enough of an angle that I'm not getting glare from the plastic page covering. I don't zoom in or out all the way, and the pics come over to the computer with mostly square edges. The camera is mounted about 18" above the photo albums.

But then when I try to go bigger, even as big as an 8x10, I zoom it all the way out and get a fisheye effect.
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Now we're getting into cameras, whether it's appropriate or not. There are a number of different mounts for Nikon autofocus lenses, so selecting an appropriate used lens for a Nikon dSLR can be confusing. But here's the real kicker. Nikon D40, D40X and D60 dSLRs don't have a built in autofocus motor, There are lots of reasons to select one camera brand over another, And I'm still not convinced that you really need a dSLR to do what you want.
Yes, if there were a way to move the discussion to the other forum I'd gladly do it. As it is, I've been delighted to learn from you all in this Q&A forum and I've done a TON of reading on topics that you've brought up. Even though it may not seem like it from my lame questions!

If the camera stays at a fixed position above the subject, then the ability to autofocus may not be critical. I spent a bit of time looking for non-AF prime lenses and discovered that they seem to be quite a bit more expensive. Can you simply manually focus a lens that doesn't have a built-in autofocus motor?

But then it sounds like TCav (faithful to walk me through my many blundering questions) is not convinced that a prime lens on a dSLR is what I need to be doing. Other forums I've read this weekend seem to rally around the idea that zoom lenses are not right for copywork, and I don't know how to get a prime lens on anything less than a dSLR.

Very open to opinions and observations at this point. I know very little about photography, although I use a camera in my start-up business of preserving photo albums. If I could get a copywork-appropriate camera/lens for under $1000, that would be best . . . until I've seen if the market will support such a business.
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Old Apr 27, 2008, 1:49 PM   #30
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Edtech says:
My little Panasonic FZ7 really does a pretty good job with copywork of 3x5 or 4x6 photos in the albums. I've got the lighting off to enough of an angle that I'm not getting glare from the plastic page covering. I don't zoom in or out all the way, and the pics come over to the computer with mostly square edges. The camera is mounted about 18" above the photo albums.

But then when I try to go bigger, even as big as an 8x10, I zoom it all the way out and get a fisheye effect.

Ok the solution to this is to move the camera NOT the lens. Dont use the zoom at all.
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