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wpla Jul 19, 2003 3:45 PM

Portraits and buildings
 
I am interested in a digital camera that will render superior images primarily for portraits and architectural pictures (houses, buildings, etc.)

I am particularly interested in a camera with a lens that is wide enough to shoot the exterior of a church or other large building or monument and at the same time can allow me to zoom in on a subject and take a high quality portrait.

Suggestions?

Wildman Jul 19, 2003 4:33 PM

Good news and bad news...

Most digital cameras don't have very wide angle lenses as they come out of the box. Most have the equivalent of 38mm lenses (when not zoomed). There are add-ons to bring that down to around 28mm. The "zoom factor" is based on the minimum and maximum equivalent that your lens will provide. eg, my 10 X zoom acts like a 38-380mm lens. Another option is to go for a DSLR camera which is a very expensive way to go. Problem is that almost all digicams are equipped with a sensor that's smaller than a 35mm frame. Th get the whole image onto the chip, the camera needs to crop the picture by a factor of 1.5 or 1.6. For example, if you use a 100mm lens on most DSLR cameras, the results will appear to have been shot with a 150 or 160mm lens.

Now the good news. Digital camera software will let you automatically digitally "stitch" pictures together to give you a nice panoramic picture. This is easy to do, but, moving objects and people may show up a couple of places in the finished photo. It takes practice to avoid this by shooting individual exposures you want to stitch in the optimal order.

Without having to mortgage the farm, photostitch makes a practical way to make nice landscape or building pictures, while still retaining good close-in capability.

voxmagna Jul 20, 2003 4:25 PM

And now for more bad news, I don't rate my Fuji 602 on wide angle for lens distortion. I get annoying barrel distortion so I don't use it on max wide for buildings. I tried the Fuji WCON adaptor, to get reasonable pics I had to move the zoom away from wide angle so much, I didn't need the adaptor! My 602 hates door frames on wide - that's architecture isn't it? I also took some wide shots of a cathedral, they didn't do so well either.

There are options in software packages to do some post lens distortion correction. But it's a shame it can be so bad at the time of capture. VOX

wpla Jul 21, 2003 4:12 PM

Ouch!

It sounds like digital photography of this nature is not really affordable to the non-professional consumer. My old analog Canon EOS ElanII came witha 28mm to 80mm lens right out of the box. Although not ideal, it's a reasonable lens for the price.

When I travel, I enjoy taking pictures of buildings. I find them interesting and often a very special way to record the feel of a city or town.

I am tired of scanning prints from my film camera and would grow weary very quickly of a "software solution" offered in the replies above. Although I would prefer to get away from scanning prints, it would be easier to simply scan a good analog photo than to try to "stitch" together a poor digital rendering of a building.

voxmagna Jul 21, 2003 5:41 PM

I'm not a pro photographer, but I seem to remember you could get those big wooden plate cameras with bellows and a black cover and big tripod where the lens or film plate could be moved up or down and tilted to compensate for parallax errors. Not exactly pocket cam sized.

I'm sure there are software packages which once set up to post correct a lens, could be run in a batch mode if your shooting pattern - zoom angle etc, remained fairly consistent. Special effects in these packages can be amazing, just look at some of the warp effects and think opposite correction needed.

gardengirl Jul 21, 2003 10:51 PM

I don't know, I am new to digitally photgraphy myself...but...maybe you should look into the Nikon Coolpix 4500. It has built in Perspective Control. A feature usually found on higher priced cameras. The camera is out of stock everywhere right now, but it should be back in stock by the end of the month.

Check out the review of the 4500 at megapixel.net. It gives an okay explanation and some photo examples of perspective control.

I asked some people about it here, and I think the consensus was it was something you should do in software. Still, I think it's a nifty feature to have in camera. Especially for people who take a lot of architecture pictures.

Again, I am a total newbie. I am waiting to buy the 4500 myself. So, take my opinion with a grain of salt. :)

Alan T Jul 21, 2003 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gardengirl
I think the consensus was it was something you should do in software. Still, I think it's a nifty feature to have in camera.

If you have perspective control in camera, you can, of course, do *both*, provided you remember to take a vanilla-flavoured, uncorrected frame as well as the corrected one(s). This is the beauty of digicams - provided you carry enough cards & batteries, you can take loads of shots, and ditch the garbage later at no cost.

At least with architecture, the subject probably won't run away between shots (unless it's a giraffe, or demolition in progress). If doing it in camera, you'll have to make sure you get it right, unless you take the plain shot as well.

Alfisti Jul 21, 2003 11:11 PM

pROBLEMS WITH DIGICAMS ....

1) VERY poor wide angle
2) shutter lag
3) 4x6 printing is a hassle

In that order of frustration.

BillDrew Jul 22, 2003 6:34 AM

IMHO, it would be just plain silly to use the kind of in-camera perspective control that Nikon uses. It is the same adjustment that can be done later except:
*- it is done while squinting at a little LCD insead of looking at a good monitor on your desk.
*- it is done with the little computer in your camera insead of the powerfull one on your desk.

KCan Jul 22, 2003 8:13 AM

Re: Portraits and buildings
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wpla
I am interested in a digital camera that will render superior images primarily for portraits and architectural pictures (houses, buildings, etc.)

I am particularly interested in a camera with a lens that is wide enough to shoot the exterior of a church or other large building or monument and at the same time can allow me to zoom in on a subject and take a high quality portrait.

Suggestions?

How about a D7i/D7Hi ?
28-200 mm , F 2.8 @28 mm

Judge by yourself, some building’s shots here :

http://www.pbase.com/kcan/chicago_2002

http://www.pbase.com/kcan/valleyfield_cathedral


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