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Old Dec 14, 2006, 5:14 PM   #1
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Hello,
I am starting to investigate various options as far as lenses, cameras, and other misc. equipment for photographing projects that my company builds. I have been thinking that the Nikon D80 would be sufficient, but really lack the knowledge to make an informed decision.
I would like to keep the price around $1000 to $1500.
I do realize that it's not just the camera and equipment that make or break the photos, but the photographer as well. Any advice along these lines would also be much appreciated.
Thanks
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 9:18 PM   #2
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As JohnG has mentioned ( at least i think it was him ) buying a DSLR is buying a system.

I shouldthink, that any entry level DSLR body would be able to take the pictures you want.
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 10:11 PM   #3
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I would assume that you already own Photoshop? You'll either need it and/or a shift lens. I use CS2 and think about a shift lens every time I use the skew tool to straighten the "falling" buildings. I don't do enougharchitecture to make it worth the extra cost. Other than that, any of the dSLRs will be fine.
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 11:53 PM   #4
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I'll recommend the Pentax K100D or K10D since they have shake reduction built into the body. That will help make sure your shots are sharp, and allow you to take slower (low light) shots handheld. Of course, if you plan to use a tripod all the time,then the shake reduction isn't that important. Shake reduction isn't a substitute for a tripod, but for those times you don't have your tripod, shake reduction certainly helps.

For the price of the D80 you can get the K10D, which seems to have better features. However, you really should handle the different cameras and see which one feels right to you. They all take nice pictures, so it comes down to any specific feature you're looking for, or for ergonomics.

One interesting lens that I'd like to try for architecture is the 10-17mm fisheye zoom. Pentax has had one for the last 6 months or so, and Tokina just released their version for Canon and Nikon. According to PopPhoto, they're the same lens even though they look different. It looks like a fun lens.

Russ
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Old Dec 15, 2006, 6:19 AM   #5
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Tilt-shift lenses can be used to correct for the problem of converging verticals, which is a major problem for architectural photography.

Typically serious work is shot with large-format cameras with a range of movements.
Many of the large format cameras can accept digital backs. This is all very expensive and technically quite complicated however.

In the smaller formats only Canon makes tilt-shift lenses.

So the ideal DSLR setup would be a Canon 5D with a 24mm TS lens, and perhaps the 45mmTS and 90mm TS lenses too. Not cheap, but a lot cheaper than large-format work.

If you are willing to do lots of photoshop work, then converging verticals can be corrected in post-processing too and any DSLR would be fine, take your pick from any of the major manufacturers. As long as your chosen camera has sufficient resolution for the size of print you are interested in you will be fine. You don't need fast lenses, just ones that give good performance at f8-f16.

Image Stabilization or anti-shake is a complete red-herring IMO. In architectural photography, you will generally be shooting on a tripod with a shutter release cable and mirror lock-up, using small apertures to maximise your depth-of-field and have your IS switched off.






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Old Dec 15, 2006, 6:53 AM   #6
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peripatetic - good stuff. Any links to what the TS lenses do? Never really shoot architecture but it's always good to be learning
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Old Dec 15, 2006, 8:26 AM   #7
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Try http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...ovements.shtml for a quick explanation of camera movements.
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Old Dec 15, 2006, 5:22 PM   #8
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peripatetic wrote:
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Image Stabilization or anti-shake is a complete red-herring IMO. In architectural photography, you will generally be shooting on a tripod with a shutter release cable and mirror lock-up, using small apertures to maximise your depth-of-field and have your IS switched off.
Yeah, I guess I wasn't thinking of a full-blown architectural (pro) setup with tilt/shift lenses. As I said above, shake reduction isn't a replacement for a tripod.

I was thinking of architectural photography more along the lines of "I like to take pictures of cool buildings", from the enthusiast's standpoint.

Russ
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