*Official* Digital Photography Advice Thread Page 8

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  • Deleted user 28 January 2010 18:44:43
    mal wrote:
    Yeah, I was tempted by one of those a little while ago but I went for 35mm f/2 in the end. Still hasn't stopped me ogling the tokina 12-24 crop mind you.

    I have the 35mm F/2, lovely lens that really do like it. Just want something a little wider, I think the 24mm will be sufficient to my needs. If I do wider I have a 18-55mm zoom.


    I also had the 10-20mm Sigma, and couldn't get on with it, in the end traded it for 85mm F/1.8.

  • StixxUK 5 Apr 2010 14:08:32 7,238 posts
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    This seems as good a place as any to ask the question...

    Can anyone recommend a free bit of software for basic image editing? I can't be doing with splashing out on Photoshop but there must be some other practical alternatives. Webapps, freeware, anything like that..?
  • Nth 5 Apr 2010 15:01:49 3,119 posts
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    Gimp?
  • monkman76 16 Apr 2010 16:58:11 4,125 posts
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    Where can I get SDHC cards cheap online? For quick delivery to the UK. Cheers.
  • PhoenixFlames 26 Apr 2010 18:49:37 8,942 posts
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    monkman76 wrote:
    Where can I get SDHC cards cheap online? For quick delivery to the UK. Cheers.

    Bit late with a reply but 7dayshop.com are pretty good and cheap.

    PSN - phoenix1flames

  • PhoenixFlames 30 Apr 2010 22:43:49 8,942 posts
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    A noob question here, please bear with me. (I have written this twice now as I accidentally pressed the back button D'oh!!!)

    I always use manual settings on my DSLR because I want to get into that habit right from the off and learn how settings affect eachother. Anyway, when I take a picture I go through this process:

    1. Set aperture depending on what I am shooting or what level of detail I want e.g. f1.8-f2.8 for portraits with a blurred background; f5.6-f22 for landscapes and everything else.
    2. I then press the shutter button half way to focus on the most important thing e.g. the face (eyes) for portraits or perhaps infinity for landscapes using wide angle.

    The camera then gives me a meter reading and I adjust the shutter speed so that it reads 0.0 or perfect exposure (not sure about this though).

    Tonight I tried to take a long exposure over a field during sunset, now in order to set a long exposure e.g. 8 seconds or more I could not get the meter to read 0.0 it was always +2.0EV or more. I was focussing on the sky more than the ground at f22 ISO 100.

    Now I know that if I feel my shot is going to be overexposed by a bright sky for example I can use exposure compensation (or ND grad filter) but my question is am I supposed to always make the meter read 0.0 to get the perfect shot or is this not always necessary.

    As you can see I have got myself a little confused here, and probably you too!

    Appreciate your advice.

    PSN - phoenix1flames

  • monkman76 1 May 2010 07:12:28 4,125 posts
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    No expert myself, but I would think that 9 times out of 10, in normally-lit situations, getting the meter to read 0.0 will give you the correct exposure.

    As for your 8 second shot, I assume the scene was simply too bright to allow you to expose for that long - you don't have an aperture small enough. In the same way that some scenes are just too dark to shoot at 1/4000, no matter the aperture, it makes sense that other scenes may be too light to expose for 8 seconds (without the use of a neutral density filter anyway as you say).

    If it were me, in manual mode, I guess I would have selected the smallest aperture I had then adjusted the shutter speed upwards (faster) until the meter eventually read 0.0.

    Why did you want such a long exposure of a field anyway, out of interest? Crops wafting in the breeze or summat? :-)
  • PhoenixFlames 1 May 2010 08:23:46 8,942 posts
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    It was kind of an experiment really :)

    I'll post the result later in the gallery thread when I've had a fiddle with it (ooo err).

    PSN - phoenix1flames

  • mal 1 May 2010 09:49:35 22,404 posts
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    f22 is the smallest aperture. It's possible it really was overexposing shots since sunlight is usually massively brighter than artificial light (our eyes compensate for it) so even dusk light might be too much for such a long shot.

    On the other hand, it's not unknown for cameras to fuck up the exposure in various odd situations, and I'd count an 8s exposure as a bit odd. With those sort of shots you pretty much need to rely on the post-shot review. You can't (or at least I can't) get that sort of shot set up perfectly first time.

    But yeah, if the camera wasn't lying you could use an ND grad filter or shorten the exposure. Exposure compensation doesn't really make sense in manual mode - dialing the exposure comp up a stop just means the automatic metering in A or S modes aims for +1.0 on the exposure meter. I'm not sure what the exp. comp. button does in M mode, if you've got one.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • otto Moderator 1 May 2010 10:55:49 49,290 posts
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    http://luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/understandexposure.shtml

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • Tonka 5 May 2010 13:40:09 20,143 posts
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    What is the point of taking pictures in jpg AND raw? Why not just raw?

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • Shivoa 5 May 2010 14:06:57 5,677 posts
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    Lots of cameras couldn't quickly render them to screen if it was RAW only so the jpeg is an on-camera preview. Even on the computer I use jpegs as a quick preview tool in Windows while copying RAWs off the memory card to be imported and processed for proper RAW thumbnails in my developing program (which can take a while at 15MB per image). Adding a 500k jpeg to the end of the 15MB save isn't a massive slowdown and the processing chip that makes the jpeg would otherwise be sitting round not doing much.
  • kalel 5 May 2010 14:08:30 86,743 posts
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    Or, more usually, sometimes you want the quick and easy processing of a jpeg, but would also like the option of a RAW to keep in case one day you want to go back and do it "properly".
  • Tonka 5 May 2010 14:19:42 20,143 posts
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    A bit like a negative and a print then. I see.
    I stillhaven't made the jump to RAWs as I know I would get stuck in post processing. Plus I haven't got any software for it anyway.

    Or do I? I got some CDs with my cameras and I havent had a look what's on them. And my work laptop has Photoshop on it. Is Photoshop a good alternative to Lightroom/Aperture?

    Even iPhoto is a bit much for me.

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • monkman76 5 May 2010 14:41:43 4,125 posts
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    Photoshop has Camera RAW which seems to be a decent tool for processing RAW files.

    Further to this, I have Adobe Bridge which I understand is a decent cataloguing tool. But what does it give me over plain old Windows Explorer? I mean clearly plenty, but I'm just using it to import photos and delete the chaff, which I could do in Explorer :-/
  • otto Moderator 5 May 2010 15:00:00 49,290 posts
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    Windows Explorer won't let you catalogue your photos, it's simply a means of placing them somewhere physically on your drive. Cataloguing software lets you organise, tag, arrange into albums, cross-reference, search, etc etc.

    Tonka, you really need to start using RAW files. Of course you have software for it. For years I used ACR (in Photoshop) as my RAW converter; iPhoto will also do. You should also look at using an all-in-one cataloguing and processing application like Lightroom or Aperture. Would speed things up considerably.

    People shooting JPEGs and throwing away their RAWs makes me want to cry. It would be like Leonardo painting the Mona Lisa, photocopying it, then throwing away the painting.

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • monkman76 5 May 2010 15:11:11 4,125 posts
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    Thanks otto - maybe I don't have enough photos to need to do that yet. In Explorer / Bridge I just import them to \photos\YYYYMM or maybe YYYYMMDD if there are lots that month.
  • Jackface 5 May 2010 15:14:03 3,736 posts
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    otto wrote:

    People shooting JPEGs and throwing away their RAWs makes me want to cry. It would be like Leonardo painting the Mona Lisa, photocopying it, then throwing away the painting.
    Sorry, I think that's a massive over-exaggeration. The vast majority of people simply cannot tell the difference between a JPG and the RAW that bore it. RAW is great when you need a safety net for whatever reason or when you know you're going to be post-processing the shit out of something, but otherwise it's just a waste of space on most people's hard drives.

    Sorry, but I think it is. I know others disagree and that's fine.

    EDIT: Have toned down 'nonsense' to something less easily prone to misinterpretation. I don't mean to sound snarky.
  • Jackface 5 May 2010 15:16:35 3,736 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    What is the point of taking pictures in jpg AND raw? Why not just raw?
    Only time I've tried that mode was when I was taking some photos on holiday using the D700's B&W mode, and I wasn't sure that I was going to want to keep them B&W (usually I'd never touch an in-camera B&W mode, doing it later at home from the colour original, but the D700 does a cracking B&W) so I shot RAW+JPG (using the best quality JPG) so that if I didn't like the B&W I could get the colour version out of the RAW.

    That's one application of the function - I think the main one is like Shiv says, for ease of previewing later rather than have each and every RAW render onto your screen full size. Make the cut based on a quick scan of the JPGs, then work on the RAW versions of the keepers.
  • monkman76 15 May 2010 07:52:17 4,125 posts
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    Random question: why is the shutter on a D90 so much louder than on a D40? I assume that's typical as you go up models.
  • danathjo 25 Aug 2010 09:16:58 7,306 posts
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    My Konica Minolta Dynax 5D has been acting up and after lending it to my technically challenged wife it just won't take photos at all :(

    Anyone know of any good photography stores that would either fix (if a simple and cheap fix) or have the option to sell it to them...don't really use it very often and could probably use the money.

    Preferably in the South/Central London area.

    Thanks!
  • smoothpete 25 Aug 2010 09:32:38 31,447 posts
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    Try Sean Dean Cameras, they're in Soho
  • danathjo 25 Aug 2010 09:46:38 7,306 posts
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    perfect, cheers SP!
  • quadfather 27 Sep 2010 14:26:08 11,961 posts
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    StixxUK wrote:
    This seems as good a place as any to ask the question...

    Can anyone recommend a free bit of software for basic image editing? I can't be doing with splashing out on Photoshop but there must be some other practical alternatives. Webapps, freeware, anything like that..?

    Google's Picasa is good for free

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • Tonka 27 Sep 2010 14:36:43 20,143 posts
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    How do N-grad filters work?
    I know how they wor work but how do I put it on my camera?
    The only one I've found was a big old square.

    Are there round ones that i can screw on my lens? And if so, how do I know what size to buy?

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • henro_ben 27 Sep 2010 14:49:11 2,215 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    How do N-grad filters work?
    I know how they wor work but how do I put it on my camera?
    The only one I've found was a big old square.

    You will need to buy a filter holder for your lens to use the square filters - comprised of a holder that clips onto an adapter ring that screws onto the lens. You'll need to measure the size of your filter to work out what sized holder you need to get - also have a look and see if anything is printed on the filter. You can then move the grad up and down to where the horizon is in your shot, you can also stack several filters if needed.


    Are there round ones that i can screw on my lens? And if so, how do I know what size to buy?

    Do not ever buy a round screw in ND grad! They're effectivly useless as you can't move them up or down - so you'll always end up with the horizon in the middle of the shot. The square filter system is far better, plus you can then use them on different lenses - you just need to get another inexpensive adapter if the thread size is different on your other lenses.

    The filter size of a lens, should you need to know, is the diameter of it, which is usually printed on the end of the lens in mm, eg: 57mm.
  • coda 27 Sep 2010 19:56:46 1,868 posts
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    I'm going to buy my first DSLR and need some advice, I've been looking at the Canon 500D and the Nikon D5000, both are within my price range (400-460) but I can't choose between them.

    Which of those two would people recommend? Or would you prefer to recommend me a different DSLR?

    And also would people recommend shopping on eBay to save money? This deal looks too good to be true.
  • mal 27 Sep 2010 22:16:05 22,404 posts
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    Personally I wouldn't trust ebay for camera kit - but that doesn't look outrageously cheap to me. What makes you say so?

    Re the 500D vs the D5000 there's not a huge difference between them as you'd expect. The Canon has a higher resolution sensor, which lets it do 1080p video rather than 720p, but if your focus is on still pictures the D5000 might be better with its lower pixel density, but in practice I'd not expect there to be much in it. The Canon has the better LCD screen, but on the Nikon it has tilt and swivel. The Nikon doesn't have a built in AF motor which means it can't use the cheap old 50mm f1.8 (the Canon doesn't need one for its cheapie 50mm) while the Canon can't do spot AF as far as I can tell.

    There's really nothing in it unless you care about any of those features. As is standard, I'd suggest going to a camera shop and holding each camera and trying out the buttons. Canon and Nikon make cameras for different hand shapes IMO, so different people will have different preferences.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • coda 27 Sep 2010 22:41:57 1,868 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Personally I wouldn't trust ebay for camera kit - but that doesn't look outrageously cheap to me. What makes you say so?

    Re the 500D vs the D5000 there's not a huge difference between them as you'd expect. The Canon has a higher resolution sensor, which lets it do 1080p video rather than 720p, but if your focus is on still pictures the D5000 might be better with its lower pixel density, but in practice I'd not expect there to be much in it. The Canon has the better LCD screen, but on the Nikon it has tilt and swivel. The Nikon doesn't have a built in AF motor which means it can't use the cheap old 50mm f1.8 (the Canon doesn't need one for its cheapie 50mm) while the Canon can't do spot AF as far as I can tell.

    There's really nothing in it unless you care about any of those features. As is standard, I'd suggest going to a camera shop and holding each camera and trying out the buttons. Canon and Nikon make cameras for different hand shapes IMO, so different people will have different preferences.

    It's almost 100 more at Jessops, if you know a reputable retailer where I can get it for under 500 then I'm all ears. :)

    I'm confused because I prefer using Nikon SLR's (I prefer the UI, ect.) but the Cannon as you said has slightly better features, hmmm, I think you're right and I'm gonna need to try them both out in a shop to see which "feels" right.
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