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Old Mar 27, 2004, 6:28 PM   #1
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Default macro photography

what are some good cameras for macro photography?

are non slr's any good for macro stuff?

should i just get a film 35 mm camera, like a Nikon FM 10?

lets say i have $500, what should i do? a canon g3, a digital slr, a fm10, other ideas?

i also want to use the camera for concert and everyday photos. what are the best cameras, and is it a better idea to just get a $250 FM10 and buy a close up filter and just start out with that?

i have no previous serious camera experience but i really want to learn, and i know the basics of the different controls....but havent gotten around to learning how to use them yet...what should i do?

thanks alot for any kind of responses.
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 12:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: macro photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by uhhmike
what are some good cameras for macro photography?
The best, if you can find one, is the Coolpix 4500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uhhmike
are non slr's any good for macro stuff?
The Nikon Coolpix series cameras, especially the 4500, have a coverage better than a SLR/SLR with a 1:1 micro/macro lens, although the former is far from life-size. In terms of image quality, a DSLR with a 1:1 capable micro lens is still the king.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uhhmike
should i just get a film 35 mm camera, like a Nikon FM 10? lets say i have $500, what should i do? a canon g3, a digital slr, a fm10, other ideas?
If convenience is important to you, get a Coolpix 4500 or 5700. The cost for a good micro lens plus a SLR body will be higher than your $500 budget. A DSLR costs more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uhhmike
i also want to use the camera for concert and everyday photos. what are the best cameras, and is it a better idea to just get a $250 FM10 and buy a close up filter and just start out with that?
A mid- to high- end consumer digital camera will save you a lot. While the Nikon Coolpix cameras are all good at macro, they are not responsible enough in low light condition such as concert. Consider a Minolta A1 or Sony 717, or something else. A Panasonic FZ10 may also be a good choice for concert due to its long zoom and image stabilization feature.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500/5700 User Guide
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 11:13 AM   #3
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thanks, but the nikon is a bit out my range at $900. whats so good about the 4500 that gives it a 1:1 ratio?

what about the canon digital rebel? i dont have $1000, but i can save up - for a DSLR, it doesnt sound too bad. does the rebel have a good macro option or do you need a whole extra lens or can you get away with a filter?

also, with all of these cameras, would i need an extra flash for macro stuff?

i think as of now the FM10 sounds the best of all, considering im just a beginner messing around.

a FM10 with a Add on close up filter -- would i need an extra lite? would that be suitable for my beginner purposes.

i feel kind of weird spending over $500 or 600 on something i'm not even sure if i'll take to that much, i just want to try it out.

also, if i had a coolpix 4500, i wouldnt need any kind of add on filter or lens?

Anyone use a FM10 for macro or concert stuff? any other websites like this where they have forums for film cameras?

thanks
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 1:00 PM   #4
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I wouldn't say it's the best, but the Canon Powershot A80 is good too, Here's a picture of my eye (love the flip out lcd for taking pics of my eyes, hehe, can see if it's lined up or not :P)



white balance wasn't set right and flash kind of blew it out, but good detail in the eye here. linked for size
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 2:03 PM   #5
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Before you dive into macro photography, read about it. I don't do it, so I don't have any links saved... but I bet some searching would get you far. Here are some comments.

A good macro lens is expensive. It might sound like getting a film body would be cheaper, but the lens will be expensive. I was surprised when I looked into it for my 10D. You could consider a lens that gives you closer focusing ability. They are not bad.

Depth of Field (how much is in focus) is very small for macro work. So you need to use the largest aperture you can (which gives back some DOF) but that reduces light. So you need some good quality lights, very bright, to make up for the really small apertures (f/22 or f/32 is not uncommon.)

Eric
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 10:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uhhmike
thanks, but the nikon is a bit out my range at $900. whats so good about the 4500 that gives it a 1:1 ratio?
No, the 4500 does not do 1:1 life-size magnification. In fact, it is about 0.4X+ See http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam...ification.html for the details. In fact, the 4500 is only about $450 to $500. The problem is that it is very difficult to be found in the US unless you try eBay for used ones.


Quote:
Originally Posted by uhhmike
what about the canon digital rebel? i dont have $1000, but i can save up - for a DSLR, it doesnt sound too bad. does the rebel have a good macro option or do you need a whole extra lens or can you get away with a filter?
Buying a DSLR means buying a complete system, camera body, lenses, flashes, and a philosophy. There are two DSLR bodies, th DRebel and D70. However, added with a micro lens, the total cost would be well above $1000. Close-up lenses can only increase magnification slightly unless you use those high magnification ones. However, they are of lower image quality. It is all your choices: quality vs. cost. IMO, the Coolpix 4500 is the best of all options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uhhmike
also, with all of these cameras, would i need an extra flash for macro stuff?
Yes and No, because it all depends what you are shooting. If your subject is always small and you shooting indoor, a continuous light may be better and cheaper. See the Samigon FRL-1 page of my Coolpix 4500 user guide as an example. For outdoor, those continuous light is too weak and a moderate power external flash is needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uhhmike
i think as of now the FM10 sounds the best of all, considering im just a beginner messing around. a FM10 with a Add on close up filter -- would i need an extra lite? would that be suitable for my beginner purposes. i feel kind of weird spending over $500 or 600 on something i'm not even sure if i'll take to that much, i just want to try it out.
Because you are a beginner, digital maybe a more viable choice. Suppose you shoot negative film. Then, the cost for film and processing is perhaps $10+ per roll, and $500 can only get you 50 rolls each of which will have only a few good ones. If you have a computer, a digital camera can help you learn quickly and save you a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uhhmike
also, if i had a coolpix 4500, i wouldnt need any kind of add on filter or lens?
No, the 4500 lens has a coverage larger than a 1:1 life-size SLR lens on a DSLR. This is a big plus.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500/5700 User Guide
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 11:25 PM   #7
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wow, thanks alot.

is the 4300 basically the same in terms of its macro quality?

just how bad are these for low light stuff? any way around that? i mean, i can get a 4300 for $320, which sounds really great...but how bad is low light conditions?

also, i just like the feel of a SLR so much more than a point and shoot!!!!! and im not sure but i dont believe the 4300 has a flash mount.

i think, what is going to happen is that ill get a FM10 or similar entry level camera, play around for a few months, save up, and buy something close to a DSLR.

i just love the feel of taking photos with a SLR camera man, i cant even describe it, i just love moving the lenses around to get everything just right. fuck.

thanks for any advice.
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Old May 22, 2004, 1:54 PM   #8
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, Here is FZ10 macro, just cropped and resized to make it easy to compare
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Old May 23, 2004, 3:31 PM   #9
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Just a couple more points about macro and fixed lens digicams versus dSLR's. If you are planning close-up shots - not true macros (the strict definition is 1:1 or better) then either the fixed lens digicam or dSLR will work fine. Even digicams not specifically known as "macro" champs such as the Panasonic FZ10 can be used with diopter lenses to "become" incredible macro cameras. Several of the older Sony models are very good.

As Shene has noted, the Nikon CP series (CP800, 900, 950, 990, 995, 4500, etc.) are excellent macro cameras. One of the reasons they excel is that Nikon decided to make the macro mode most effective at a point on the zoom which has the least distortion. For that reason the little CP series Nikons have nearly perfect, distortion free, images at very close ranges up to about 3/4 inches. Another great feature is that one can leave the camera in the "macro" mode and instantly switch to a much longer focal length shot with no apparent penalty.

In many cases, the fixed lens Nikons will actually out perform a dSLR with even a great macro lens simply because depth of field is much greater. To get adequate depth of field with an excellent, fast macro lens (something like a Canon 100mm F2. )one must have great light available and shoot near diffraction limits. Even then it's sometimes not possible to get adequate depth of field with a single frame, especially on three dimensional subjects. There are ways (I'll get into this later) of effectively increasing depth of field in some cases, but because the fixed lens digicams have tiny sensors and true tiny focal lengths, the depth of field is much greater with the same aperture than with any dSLR. Most dSLR macro lenses begin at around 50mm. The longer the focal length, the greater the working distance which is necessary to properly light some subjects.One of the moredifficult things about being super close to the subject is that the lens shades ambient light. The larger the lens "snout" the more difficult it is to get the subjet properly lit.

With the tiny Nikon, it's simple to use a little ring light or 3rd party ring flash to light the subject. With a dSLR, it takes some fairly specialized lighting to get similar results. This translates into expense. With either dSLR's or fixed lens digicams, one can use reversed external lenses to get extreme macros of over 5:1 magnification. But this is very specialized territory and often requires extension tubes, bellows, rails, dual adjustable flash andmost absolutely requires a specialized tripod. In fact, it's nearly impossible to do super close-up macro work with a dSLR without a tripod. On the other hand it's relatively easy to do the same with the little fixed lens digicams without a tripod.

This brings up the problem of "subject cooperation". To get insects to stand still long enough for the photographer to adjust a tripod, flash angle, reflectors, rails, etc., and actually "find" the subject (not always an easy task), macro photographers resort to lots of "tricks" such as using bait (sugar water on leaves, etc.) to capture and hold the interest of the insect long enough to set up. Bottom line - though macro extremes can be done with a dSLR, it's sometimes easier with a little fixed lens digicam and some "home brew" accessories. Truthfully, much of the incredible macro work I'm seeing in the past few years has come from those using fixed lens digicams rather than dSLR's.

I use both myself, and when I'm shooting in the studio under controlled conditions I prefer my dSLR's and macro attachments. On the other hand when I'm shooting nature in the field I find that I get better results much "easier" and quickly using my Nikons, Sony's, Canons, Fujiand Panasonic digicams.

See my next post in the macro forum on ways of enhancing DOF with your digital camera....

Best regards,



Lin
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Old May 23, 2004, 3:59 PM   #10
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well, the nikon cameras are known for good macros, but cameras with super macro (ex: olympus and minolta) can get you 3cm.
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