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Several questions to be answered:

A.) What camera(s) do you use? (Please specify if it's a film camera)

B.) What lenses do you use? (when applicable)

C.) On a scale of 10, how would you rate your camera / lens?

D.) Do you have a wish list of photography equipments that you would like to have? (if applicable)

I have a Nikon D50 digital SLR camera that I purchased in December 2005. This was a step-up from an older Konica Minolta Dimage Z3, which had worn out after a year of aggressive picture-taking.

I have four lenses for the D50:

1) the kit lens (Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6), which I no longer have use for.

2) a telephoto zoom lens (Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6) which I purchased in January 2006 and use occasionally.

3) a wide/telephoto zoom lens (Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6) which I purchased in September 2006 and is currently the lens that I use most often.

4) a wide-angle low-light lens (Sigma 30mm f/1.4) which I purchased in December 2006 and use for low-light situations.

I'd give my setup an 8.5 or a 9 out of 10 -- it's great. The only issues that I'm having are the limitations of the D50 itself (only 6 megapixels, compared with 10 or above for most modern digital SLRs; the lowest ISO is 200; and there are only 5 focus points) -- not to mention that the camera body is getting a bit old and it sometimes doesn't recognize lenses when I attach them.

As for a wish list, I'd like to purchase a mini-tripod -- preferably one with flexible legs that can wrap around certain surfaces. I'd also like to purchase some filters. In the long term, I'd like to upgrade to the D80 or D200 body, and perhaps purchase a fisheye or other ultra-wide lens at some point.

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You know we're in the digital age when no one asks 'What's you favorite type of film?' - just a few years ago, that would have been the second question being asked (or maybe the first) and would've sparked the biggest debate.

A.) What camera(s) do you use? (Please specify if it's a film camera)

I'm still a film dinosaur - my workhorse camera is a Nikon N6006 and my backup is the very first SLR I bought, a 1982 Nikon EM. I'm also in the process of buying a used Nikon N90s.

Favorite film? Well, just a short while ago my answer would've been Kodachrome 64, but I recently tried a roll of Fuji Provia 100 and was thrilled with the results. Kodachrome is still very good but is probably going to be discontinued in the next few years. I've also used Kodak's Elite Chrome 100 a lot but have found that it tends to render amber LED destinations signs as yellow.

B.) What lenses do you use? (when applicable)

The standard lens I use for transit photography is the 50mm f/1.8 - you can't beat it for all-around sharp pictures and it's a huge boon for low-light photography. I also have a 35-70 kit zoom for the 6006 and an 80-200 manual zoom for the EM.

C.) On a scale of 10, how would you rate your camera / lens?

The EM I'd have to rate as a 9 - it's just such a great feeling to have a camera that you pretty much know what it will do in any situation. Considering the EM was marketed as a budget camera and overlooked by many Nikon snobs, it has become something of a cult favorite.

I've been generally pleased with the N6006, but I'd have to rate it as a 7.5 - the autofocus occasionally 'hunts' when focusing on a moving vehicle, and the matrix metering can be tricky - if I'm not careful the meter will see too much black in bus windows and overexpose the picture.

D.) Do you have a wish list of photography equipments that you would like to have? (if applicable)

A digital SLR camera, once they come down further in price.

Jim

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Favorite film? Well, just a short while ago my answer would've been Kodachrome 64, but I recently tried a roll of Fuji Provia 100 and was thrilled with the results. Kodachrome is still very good but is probably going to be discontinued in the next few years. I've also used Kodak's Elite Chrome 100 a lot but have found that it tends to render amber LED destinations signs as yellow.

I still prefer K-64, although, when I was in a pinch recently, I went with Provia 100. Provia 100 is usually my second choice, unless I'm feeling cheap, in which case I'll use Sensia 100. I'll also use a 100 speed slide film on crappy days. Occasionally, I might consider a 400, but not likely.

I wish I could have tried K-25.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I do try to shoot moving vehicles from 1/500 - 1/1000. Typically on an overcast day, shooting in shadows etc. I will set exposure comp (EV) to +1 regardless of which mode I'm using.

Is it better to overexpose? I'm not sure I understand why.

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Is it better to overexpose? I'm not sure I understand why.

The metering on a camera is programmed into the camera. Which means that it was what some person or computer figured might be the right expsoure for an average scene. What I have found is that when I take photos on overcast days, they come out looking darker than I would like. So, I just tell the camera to overexpose. Dark photos is easily corrected when being printed, as most consumer colour print films have a wide exposure latitude. Slide film, however, doesn't have a wide exposure latitude and needs good expsoure to get a good slide. Just from shooting I've learned when it need to overexpose and when not to and for me it works.

Digital, I find does a better job overall of exposure. And of course, there's alway Photoshop.

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I just shoot with a Canon A550 P&S. It's very good for what it is, and does the job fairly well however I must say I'd rather be shooting with a DSLR. I just can't afford it right now. I'm still looking out for a Rebel XT body, probably picking up an 18-200mm Sigma for it after.

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A new addition to my collection............freebie camera from my workplace! Apparently, a gentleman came in one day and donated a boxload of old cameras.........most other ones are crap, but I managed to secure one of the best ones among all other junk!

Dave

IMG_4045.jpg

IMG_4046.jpg

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The metering on a camera is programmed into the camera. Which means that it was what some person or computer figured might be the right expsoure for an average scene. What I have found is that when I take photos on overcast days, they come out looking darker than I would like. So, I just tell the camera to overexpose. Dark photos is easily corrected when being printed, as most consumer colour print films have a wide exposure latitude. Slide film, however, doesn't have a wide exposure latitude and needs good expsoure to get a good slide. Just from shooting I've learned when it need to overexpose and when not to and for me it works.

Digital, I find does a better job overall of exposure. And of course, there's alway Photoshop.

It's important to keep in mind that these tendencies usually vary from camera to camera. I've found that my Nikon autofocus SLR's tend to produce better results in sunlit conditions when they are set to underexpose by 1/3 of a stop. This is one of those cases when practice does indeed make perfect.

Jim D.

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  • 2 months later...

My updated list

A) Canon Powershot SD1000 and Canon S3 IS

;) Built In on both

C) -SD1000- Works great for family shots and sutff but not great with buses 8/10

-S3 IS- A little bulky making it a pain for family shots (unless portraits) but is SUPERB with buses and night shots 9/10

D) I would like a small case for the SD1000 and a spare battery. And for the S3 a lens adapter with a lens hood.

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My updated list...........

Canon Rebel XTi + 28-135 F3.5-5.6 IS / 50mm f1.8

Canon Powershot G9..........wouldn't call it "pocket size", but rather, it's a "compact advanced-level-camera"

Canon S2 IS (back-up camera)

Future plans.............

Nikon D40x + 18-200VR...........possibly for my birthday in February

Dave

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The term your looking for is jacket pocket camera.

Why what's wrong with your Canon setup? You pretty much have the equivalent with your Canons.

No real reasons in particular.........just want to take advantage of my employee-discount of Nikon products which is base price minus 17%, and try something new for the sake of it. I actually like Nikon products quite alot after working at Black's

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

And I've now added a nice flash to my setup, my dad got a Rebel XT for boxing day so we dug out his old T70 (which still works great) and he had two flashes for it, one with a bendable head and the other the original canon 155a from his SLR before the T70 (may have been an A-1). He kept the larger one, and the 155a I took. Works great on the D40 with the exception of the D40's own flash still pops up, but it doesn't actually fire.

We've also ordered an adapter so he can use some of his FD lenses on the XT, since he figures he's not likely to use the autofocus much since he's always had to manual focus in the past so the older lens can be put to use.

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And I've now added a nice flash to my setup, my dad got a Rebel XT for boxing day so we dug out his old T70 (which still works great) and he had two flashes for it, one with a bendable head and the other the original canon 155a from his SLR before the T70 (may have been an A-1). He kept the larger one, and the 155a I took. Works great on the D40 with the exception of the D40's own flash still pops up, but it doesn't actually fire.

We've also ordered an adapter so he can use some of his FD lenses on the XT, since he figures he's not likely to use the autofocus much since he's always had to manual focus in the past so the older lens can be put to use.

After reading that I was like WTF!!!! You can use a an Old Canon 155a with a NIKON????

So I went through my dad's camera bag to find his Canon T50 and the Speedlight 244T. And it turns out that the flash actually works!!! But I do have to underexpose my shots so they look good & or shoot manual!!!!

THANKS SO MUCH lol!!!, I knew knew that Canon flashes were compatible with Nikons because I never come across this on any photography forum.

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I think you can use any lens on any camera (provided it has the same thread size or something) and that you have an adapter. Don't expect pictures to be perfect though, and your autofocus/any electronic communication probably won't work.

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After reading that I was like WTF!!!! You can use a an Old Canon 155a with a NIKON????

So I went through my dad's camera bag to find his Canon T50 and the Speedlight 244T. And it turns out that the flash actually works!!! But I do have to underexpose my shots so they look good & or shoot manual!!!!

THANKS SO MUCH lol!!!, I knew knew that Canon flashes were compatible with Nikons because I never come across this on any photography forum.

A lot of flashes will work with different cameras, although, some are programmed for a specific camera/ camera system. It's not much that it's compatible, but, you can make it work.

There are also cheaper flashes (I guess probably expensive ones as well) that are not meant for specific camera systems which are compatible with virtually any camera with the right hotshoe.

Having used both... I love the flashes programmed for a specific camera system and probably won't use anything else now. Lazy, maybe.

Sony (or Minolta) has been a dick and gone and used a proprietary hotshoe on their DSLR's, so if you don't have a specific flash with that type of hotshoe, your out of luck. Not sure if adapters are avalible or not.

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A lot of flashes will work with different cameras, although, some are programmed for a specific camera/ camera system. It's not much that it's compatible, but, you can make it work.

I'm going all around the house trying to figure out how to work it as it fires the full flash only. I'm playing around with the aperture and shutter to get a good pic, but it's not that easy. I guess this will have to work until I get a Nikon flash.

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Going back to hotshoes, don't forget that there are two standards: 1-pin and 5-pin, and from what I understand, they are not compatible with each other. I don't know who uses what, other than Canon has used 5-pin for the past 5 or 7 years.

My early Christmas gift to myself was a new dSLR: Canon 30D with 28-135 IS USM lens. I also have a Canon A540 digital point-and-shoot that I can throw into a pocket and take with me anywhere and a Panasonic PV-DV952 digital video camera. I thought about looking at getting a film body to go with the dSLR, but I now think that it's a waste. Unless you want to develop your own film/prints, film is obsolete - modern dSLR's are as good if not better than film, cheaper to operate, and without the headaches of waiting to see if your prints turned out or not. If you want slides, there are even places that will "develop" your digital shots to slides for you.

The camera/lens combo that I got is by far and away the best SLR package I have ever laid my hands on, and I have shot a lot of film through a lot of lenses and bodies. It is far easier to take "perfect" shots in all sorts of conditions - the fast zoom that came with this particular package goes a hell of a long way towards that.

About the only thing that I would still like to get is an assortment of lenses for the dSLR, and one more tripod (preferably carbon). Canon makes an incredible 70-200 IS USM lens (F2.8!) but at $1800 retail, it's going to be a long time before I could ever justify it. They also have a couple of short, fast prime lenses that are great for one of the types of shooting I frequently do - action in forested/partially shaded areas.

Dan

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A lot of flashes will work with different cameras, although, some are programmed for a specific camera/ camera system. It's not much that it's compatible, but, you can make it work.

There are also cheaper flashes (I guess probably expensive ones as well) that are not meant for specific camera systems which are compatible with virtually any camera with the right hotshoe.

Having used both... I love the flashes programmed for a specific camera system and probably won't use anything else now. Lazy, maybe.

Just a warning for anyone thinking of it - be very careful about mounting old flashes to new cameras without doing research. Some of the old flashes pass voltages through the flash shoe that can cause serious damage to the camera's electronics.

I agree - you're best off either getting the manufacturer's flash or a Sigma or other third party equivalent so that you can take advantage of the automation. Going cross brand will relegate you to manual flash only.

For Canon digital EOS and G-series owners who may be looking at buying used Canon flashes, another tip: you *need* a flash with a model number ending in EX (e.g. 430EX). Anything else will not support the ETTL mode used by all digital EOSes, and you'll end up with manual flash only.

About the only thing that I would still like to get is an assortment of lenses for the dSLR, and one more tripod (preferably carbon). Canon makes an incredible 70-200 IS USM lens (F2.8!) but at $1800 retail, it's going to be a long time before I could ever justify it. They also have a couple of short, fast prime lenses that are great for one of the types of shooting I frequently do - action in forested/partially shaded areas.

The 70-200 IS/2.8 is also a BIG lens... :-) I have the 70-300 IS, which is a lot less expensive at about $750. It's not the equal of the 70-200s to be sure, but it's still a near "L" (for non-Canon owners reading this, that means "pro") lens in quality. The autofocus isn't as fast, though, which makes it less useful for shooting sports, and it's definitely not F2.8. But for general outdoor photography it's a good relatively low budget option.

Another expensive option that might be good for the kind of shooting you do is the 17-55 IS/2.8, albeit not telephoto. It's also not cheap, but I treated myself to one last year and it's a wonderful lens. It's almost painfully sharp, with really nice fast AF, latest-generation IS system, and of course it's F2.8. It's become my walking-around lens and what I use probably 80% of the time. The only negative is that it's an EF-S mount, so it only works on the 20D/30D/40D and the Rebel XT/XTi.

On another note: my wife and I are thinking of getting a G9 as a more portable alternative to my 20D and her S2 IS (which is a lot smaller than the EOS, but still really doesn't fit into a pocket). Does anyone here have any thoughts on it from experience?

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The 70-200 IS/2.8 is also a BIG lens... :-) I have the 70-300 IS, which is a lot less expensive at about $750. It's not the equal of the 70-200s to be sure, but it's still a near "L" (for non-Canon owners reading this, that means "pro") lens in quality. The autofocus isn't as fast, though, which makes it less useful for shooting sports, and it's definitely not F2.8. But for general outdoor photography it's a good relatively low budget option.

See that's the thing....I do a lot of outdoor shooting in less-than-ideal conditions. I'll probably get the 70-200 for now just to tide me over since its so cheap, but eventually....

Another expensive option that might be good for the kind of shooting you do is the 17-55 IS/2.8, albeit not telephoto. It's also not cheap, but I treated myself to one last year and it's a wonderful lens. It's almost painfully sharp, with really nice fast AF, latest-generation IS system, and of course it's F2.8. It's become my walking-around lens and what I use probably 80% of the time. The only negative is that it's an EF-S mount, so it only works on the 20D/30D/40D and the Rebel XT/XTi.

Yeah, I've been looking at a wider-angle lens, and a friend pointed out the 17-55 to me. Unless I can find one that's a 15-something and about the same aperture, I'll probably invest in one.

One quick question: how bad is the distortion at the widest fields of view?

Dan

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