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Old Sep 5, 2011, 8:11 PM   #1
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Default Camera For HD Close Up Photography

Hello,

I am looking for a GREAT camera for close up pictures. I want to be able to take many pictures quickly. So snap, snap snap, snap. Not Snap, wait two-three seconds then snap. I am sure there is a term for this, I just do not know what it is. I want the pictures to be VERY clear. I know some of that falls on the photographer, but I want to make sure the camera is capable of that as well. I also want the camera to be user friendly.

Price is not too much of a concern, but to help out you guys/gals, I would like to keep it under $1200 with body and lens. Please point me in the right direction, from there I am sure i will have more questions.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 5, 2011, 10:12 PM   #2
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In doing a little research it seems the Nikon D7000 would be a great choice? Would I be correct in assuming that? If so, what macro lens would be best for it without spending over $300-500?


Thanks
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Old Sep 6, 2011, 4:28 AM   #3
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It would seem a DSLR and macro lens would meet your requirements. Any current
DSLR can produce high quality images as a rate of several shots per second.

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In doing a little research it seems the Nikon D7000 would be a great choice? Would I be correct in assuming that? If so, what macro lens would be best for it without spending over $300-500?


Thanks
The D7000 is a very fine camera. The best choice of lens will depend on the
size of the subject and the distance between subject and camera.

There are several good macro lenses from Nikon (and Canon if you go that route).
Sigma, Tamron and Tokina also make excellent macro lenses.

You will find a few interesting threads about macro lenses in the
Nikon and Canon lens forums.
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/nikon-lenses-62/
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/canon-lenses-61/
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Old Sep 6, 2011, 10:06 PM   #4
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Thank you for the reply. The size of the subject(s) would be pretty small. Probably the size of a basketball down to the size of a dime. Distance would be close. All of the items would be on a table I would be taking pictures anywhere from an inch? to maybe a few feet away.
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 8:21 AM   #5
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ISTM that the D7000 just plain costs too much for your budget. I can't see anything that the D7000 would give you for your usage that the D5100 would not at a noticeably lower cost. Furthermore, it would be easier to use. But the main advantage is that you would have money left over for a decent lens or two. As a quick rule of thumb, you don't want to spend more than half your budget on the body, leaving the rest for the lens(es) and other necessities. The D5100 runs about $675 at Adorama, which is a bit more than you'd want to spend, but a lot less than the $1200 the D7000 body-only costs (kind of blows your budget, doesn't it?)

You'll want a bright lens -- a zoom if possible. If it were me, I would get the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, which is a wonderfully sharp general-purpose lens that can get close, but not do full-blown closeups. (Its maximum magnification is slightly better than 1:4 at a minimal focal distance of about a foot -- which is the distance from the object you are photographing to the focal plane of the camera, so you would have about 8 inches between the focal point and the front of the lens.) This lens runs about $475. For true macro work -- assuming you are photographing inanimate objects -- you might be interested in the new Nikkor 40mm f/2.8 1:1 macro lens for $275. Unfortunately, this combination blows your budget at $1425 total. You can bring it closer by: Getting a factory-refurb D5100 body if they are available yet. That usually knocks at least a couple hundred dollars off the price. Alternatively, you could consider different lens options for the camera. You might opt for the 40mm f/2.8 macro as your only lens to start with if macro is essential. This would bring you under $1000 and leave a small budget for third-party hot-shoe flash, camera bag, third-party spare battery, inexpensive tripod, remote shutter release, and a memory card. If you don't burn through the $250 or so on these items, I will be impressed...

[ETA: SlrGear just published their evaluation of the Nikon 40mm macro lens yesterday. It looks very impressive, indeed. You can read the review here: http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...ct/1448/cat/12 FWIW.]

Last edited by tclune; Sep 7, 2011 at 12:26 PM.
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Old Sep 8, 2011, 4:33 PM   #6
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G'day payj

Nice to hear about you & your photo needs
BTW- the snap-snap-snap stuff you refer to in camera terms is "burst"

Many cameras both fixed-lens & interchangeable lens can shoot from 2images/frames per second to 20fps "depending" on settings

Before I would be comfortable in suggesting -any- camera for you, I would need to know 2 basic things from you ...
1- what is the 'project' that you are up to &
2- are these images to be printed or viewed 'on-screen'

If it is a commercial project vs non-commercial, then certain standards/issues come into the equation, and
If the results are to be printed vs not printed, then the optics & camera resolution have lots to do with things

End result may be a difference of $1000-$2000 in the kit you need to buy

back to you ...
Regards, Phil
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Old Sep 9, 2011, 9:14 AM   #7
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Sounds like a DSLR and macro lens is what you need. I think you should focus the money on the lens as that will have the biggest impact on your very clear close up requirement. I think any basic entry level DSLR will give you the click-click speed you seek. Even older DSLR models are fast. Don't forget to budget in accessories that may be needed for close up work.
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Old Sep 9, 2011, 2:37 PM   #8
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I'd also agree that for macro work, it's less about fancy features the camera has as it is about the lens - often the difference between cameras has more to do with extra features than it does with picture quality. So getting a basic entry dSLR could work very well.

A good macro lens is important if that's your primary use for the camera. My recommendation would be to get one that is capable of doing 1:1 (the subject will throw an image on the sensor that's the same size as it is) if you are talking about dimes and smaller items. That means it won't be a zoom lens. If you are doing larger subjects, you might be able to get away with a zoom lens that does 1:2, which gives you the flexibility of the zoom over a prime lens.

If you buy a macro lens, look at Sigma and Tamron - they both make good macro lenses, and might be less than the manufacturer's macro lens. Also, auto focus is less important with macro (it can be a liability sometimes) so buying older manual focus macro lenses might be an option, if the camera you buy will allow you to use them (I shoot Pentax so there's no problem using any old K-mount lens. Not all manufacturers/cameras allow you to do that, you'd need to look into that closer if you are interested in going that route).

There are ways of getting close focus that are cheaper than a good macro lens (i.e., extension tubes, dioper filters, close-up add-on lenses, reversed lenses), but they depend on the quality of the lens used and make things more complicated. A cheap lens with mediocre optics will give you mediocre results, possibly less than mediocre if you add anything extra for more magnification.

It sounds like you are planning on shooting stationary items in a controlled environment (not like insects or flowers outside). That means you should definitely put the cost of a sturdy tripod somewhere into your budget - it makes a huge difference when it comes to macro photography. If you are not planning on carrying it around, you can save money by buying a heavier one than someone who's a hiker (light-weight + sturdy = expensive).

Anyway, that's just some things to think about for macro photography. I think any of the dSLR cameras out there could work well.
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Old Sep 11, 2011, 5:22 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. The budget is tentative. It can go up. Under 2k would be a must though. The images would be fine pens and watches for a website so they would be viewed on a screen. It would be in a controlled environment. I would prefer to spend a little more in the beginning rather than less and wish I had gotten something better down the road. Therefore I though the 7k and a good macro lens would be a great choice.
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by payj View Post
Thanks for the replies. The budget is tentative. It can go up. Under 2k would be a must though. The images would be fine pens and watches for a website so they would be viewed on a screen. It would be in a controlled environment.
Any of the current DSLRs will be more than capable of producing images
for the web. Web images tend to be quite small, nearly always less than
2MP.

Quote:
I would prefer to spend a little more in the beginning rather than less and wish I had gotten something better down the road. Therefore I though the 7k and a good macro lens would be a great choice.
Nothing wrong with having a good camera, even if it is far better than
required for this particular job.
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