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Old 30th May 2012, 09:58   #9811
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Default Re: The DSLR Thread

Friends,

I own a Canon EOS 1100d and was thinking of accessorizing a bit. Its recently that the photography bug bit me. The idea of buying an entry level DSLR apart from the budget issue was to learn photography and gradually once the budget allows upgrade to a higher end one.

Now I have just the basic kit with me. That includes a Kit lens 18-55 mm, a UV filter, a Tamron 70-300 mm zoom lens, a lens hood and a bag that can hold all these items. I know the lenses are basic ones, but that must be sufficient I guess to learn for the time being.

What more accessories should I be looking to get on priority basis? My both lenses are non IS ones, so I guess a tripod must be high on the list. Anything particular to look out for while shopping for a tripod? What must be the most affordable decent quality tripod available in the Indian market? I know I can just google and get the prices, but I really dont know what i should be looking at in a tripod. Moreover dont have any idea whatsoever about the quality too.

I plan to go for a Macro conversion lens. Mostly Raynox DCR 250 after seeing the recommendation on the non auto images thread.

What about a teleconverter. I know they dont put up much quality specially with the basic lens that I have, but a bigger zoom would be handy at times and a strong zoom lens to the tune of 500mm will put my wallet back by what I am not very comfortable right now.

So under the circumstances is it advisable to go for a teleconvertor, or would it be just money down the drain and I m better off clicking with my 70-300mm and cropping the image?

Suggestions
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Old 30th May 2012, 13:01   #9812
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I have heard that the Sony EVF are really good though never had a chance to see through one. But is it better than the huge VF seen on pro DSLR like D3s etc..
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Old 30th May 2012, 13:42   #9813
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I have heard that the Sony EVF are really good though never had a chance to see through one. But is it better than the huge VF seen on pro DSLR like D3s etc..
I have made few clicks with a D3S once... It has got a big optical VF! It is very easy to see lot of details through it compared to smaller OVFs! The EVF isn't that big but you can always redirect the display to the bigger LCD panel at the back... There is no mechanical switching of any parts required to switch between the VF and the LCD panel unlike how live view is implemented in DSLRs. There is no time lag for this change. In EVF, you can zoom in to a 100% crop view or even a smaller part of the frame and see the details, which is not possible through OVFs. This is very useful for manual focusing.

Last edited by clevermax : 30th May 2012 at 13:46.
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Old 30th May 2012, 14:20   #9814
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A question here: In a month or two I plan to get myself a telephoto (zoom or not zoom) lens primarily for bird photography. I have the Nikon D5000 with a 18-55 kit lens and a 55-200 zoom (which is not really useful for serious bird photography).

I had planned to get the Sigma 150-500mm telephoto zoom. But my friend told me not to go for it; saying Sigma's quality control is not really upto the mark and I may end up with a bad piece Is this true?

Instead he suggested that I get the Nikon 300 F4 with a 1.4x or 1.7x teleconverter; saying that this combination would be a much better.

What would be the best option for me here?
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Old 30th May 2012, 14:31   #9815
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Originally Posted by SPARKled View Post
I have heard that the Sony EVF are really good though never had a chance to see through one. But is it better than the huge VF seen on pro DSLR like D3s etc..
Call me old school but I love the OVF though I realise that EVFs are the way to go. They will probably evolve and get better over time. The main reasons I haven't liked them are color rendition and immediacy/lag especially in low light (also present on LCD screens). I tried the EVF on a mid range Sony bridge camera the (HVF100?) and it was not something I wanted to look at a second time. I preferred using the back LCD display to compose the frame. This is not a fair comparison and I am really keen to try out a 'high end' EVF on the Oly/Sony/Pentax cameras.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
I have made few clicks with a D3S once... It has got a big optical VF! This is very useful for manual focusing.
One of the main reasons why modern DSLRs, especially the mid to higher end models are not 'manual focus friendly' is because their AF systems are so good, the current generation even in very low light, and >90% of the times you will use AF or the electronic rangefinder that assists in manual focus. See 10 reasons to turn off your AF -

10 Reasons to Turn off Your Autofocus

To assist users of modern SLRs in manual focussing you need to use manual focus friendly screens primarily split prism; the kind that were prevalent in old film SLRs right up to the mid 90s. Now that Nikon has more or less stopped offering specialised screens as accessories as they did earlier, aftermarket manufacturers have jumped in and filled the gap. Katzeye and Brightscreen screens come to mind.

For e.g.

Brightscreen styles of screens

Nikon D700 Focusing Screen - KatzEye Optics

Mind you Nikon also makes a magnifying eyepiece that could assist in manual focussing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
saying Sigma's quality control is not really upto the mark and I may end up with a bad piece Is this true?

Instead he suggested that I get the Nikon 300 F4 with a 1.4x or 1.7x teleconverter; saying that this combination would be a much better.

What would be the best option for me here?
If you have the budget the superb 300mm F4 with a 1.4x teleconverter is the one you need to go for - eyes closed. My Uncle uses this setup.

Your friend is right. It is not that 3rd parties don't make good lenses - Sigma and Tokina do (stay away from Tamron). But getting a good copy is a hit and miss. QC is not as stringent as it should be. If you have the option of returning the lens to the dealer then consider 3rd party.

Last edited by Samurai : 30th May 2012 at 14:43. Reason: back-to-back post
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Old 30th May 2012, 16:29   #9816
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
One of the main reasons why modern DSLRs, especially the mid to higher end models are not 'manual focus friendly' is because their AF systems are so good, the current generation even in very low light, and >90% of the times you will use AF or the electronic rangefinder that assists in manual focus. See 10 reasons to turn off your AF -

10 Reasons to Turn off Your Autofocus

To assist users of modern SLRs in manual focussing you need to use manual focus friendly screens primarily split prism; the kind that were prevalent in old film SLRs right up to the mid 90s. Now that Nikon has more or less stopped offering specialised screens as accessories as they did earlier, aftermarket manufacturers have jumped in and filled the gap. Katzeye and Brightscreen screens come to mind.

For e.g.
Brightscreen styles of screens
Nikon D700 Focusing Screen - KatzEye Optics

Mind you Nikon also makes a magnifying eyepiece that could assist in manual focussing.
Thanks for sharing the links. I had read about people replacing their original focusing screen in their Alphas with the old focusing screens from Minolta SLRs, I am not sure what was their purpose of doing so. I had once dismantled and re assembled the focus screen of my old Alpha, just for the heck of it.

In EVF, there is one more thing to assist you with MF - as you rotate the focus dial, if any of the focus points comes to focus on something in the frame, it will highlight the point, just like highlighting the focus point(s) in AF mode!

How does these focusing screens mentioned above assist in Manual Focusing?

Last edited by clevermax : 30th May 2012 at 16:34.
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Old 30th May 2012, 18:46   #9817
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
Thanks for sharing the links. I had read about people replacing their original focusing screen in their Alphas with the old focusing screens from Minolta SLRs, I am not sure what was their purpose of doing so. I had once dismantled and re assembled the focus screen of my old Alpha, just for the heck of it.

In EVF, there is one more thing to assist you with MF - as you rotate the focus dial, if any of the focus points comes to focus on something in the frame, it will highlight the point, just like highlighting the focus point(s) in AF mode!

How does these focusing screens mentioned above assist in Manual Focusing?
The best part of using an old manual focus SLR camera is the bright viewfinder. If you ever get a chance, check out the OVFs of the old Nikon F3/F4. Gorgeous! Better than the new generation pro digital bodies IMHO.

In theory, aftermarket focussing screens assist in composition and focussing with MF lenses. The come in various configurations including marks for e.g. grid lines, crop marks etc. All this is done electronically in newer DSLR bodies.

As you correctly mentioned below it is to see more details in the frame that will help in composition and secondly in focussing. Take for e.g. the newer DSLRs there will be a big difference in VF brightness and layout in the D3/4 series and the prosumer and consumer series. I can think of brightness, coverage (always 100% in pro bodies, and ~97% or less in prosumer). As for the brighter VFs, I liken it to looking thru a clear window v/s one with a slight tint, and coverage is analogous to peering thru a smaller/larger window.

Sorry about the verbose response, you probably know all of this, but it is for the benefit of those new to cameras.

However all is not hunky dory with replacement screens - some are prone to affecting the metering and AF, and can be pretty expensive. So only replace a screen IF you are into manual focusing due to personal preference or have a collection of MF lenses.
Mods - About the B2B post last time. I saw WAG7's post after I had posted my reply to CM and Sparkled.
CM - about the query you had with MF on the D800 - you can select the focus point and the manually focus until the green dot lights up to confirm focus. Focus point itself doesnt light up. You are required to use the clear screen to focus or the rear LCD monitor in LV mode. It is the same for the D4. The Nikons will shift to 'release priority' mode when using MF i.e. they will release the shutter even if the subject is not in focus

Last edited by R2D2 : 30th May 2012 at 19:13. Reason: added comment on MF and focus points lighting up
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Old 30th May 2012, 19:25   #9818
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
In theory, aftermarket focussing screens assist in composition and focussing with MF lenses. The come in various configurations including marks for e.g. grid lines, crop marks etc. All this is done electronically in newer DSLR bodies.

As you correctly mentioned below it is to see more details in the frame that will help in composition and secondly in focussing. Take for e.g. the newer DSLRs there will be a big difference in VF brightness and layout in the D3/4 series and the prosumer and consumer series. I can think of brightness, coverage (always 100% in pro bodies, and ~97% or less in prosumer). As for the brighter VFs, I liken it to looking thru a clear window v/s one with a slight tint, and coverage is analogous to peering thru a smaller/larger window.
Got it, thanks.. So in simple terms, the focusing screen can be the vital element in VF brightness and thus, a bright view through VF will be always good to see the details better and focus better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
CM - about the query you had with MF on the D800 - you can select the focus point and the manually focus until the green dot lights up to confirm focus. Focus point itself doesnt light up. You are required to use the clear screen to focus or the rear LCD monitor in LV mode. It is the same for the D4. The Nikons will shift to 'release priority' mode when using MF i.e. they will release the shutter even if the subject is not in focus
Understood how focus is confirmed in MF mode. Release priority - I wish I had that in mine with MF even while the flash is ON... it seems it still is in flash priority.

Last edited by clevermax : 30th May 2012 at 19:29.
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Old 30th May 2012, 20:49   #9819
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Default Re: The DSLR Thread

Clevermax,
Just to add to what R2D2 has already said, I think one of the biggest drawbacks of installing of focusing screen (Katzeye for eg) is that you're forced to use the centre of the image to focus. That's one reason to stay away from focusing screen as it's quite limiting IMHO.

Also, while we are on the topic of EVFs, I realized an awesome thing last weekend and another reason as to why I love the EVF on my camera. I got a Hoya NDx400 on saturday and wanted to give it a shot on Sunday (have posted the photo on the other thread, the last one was made with it). The Hoya NDx400 is a 9 stop filter and when you use it with cameras with OVF, the process is a bit tedious. You'd have to compose your image, do a meter reading, put the black glass (ND filter) on and then adjust the exposure to compensate for the loss in 9 stops. We have to do this because the OVF is almost black when you use a black glass. With EVF, you don't have to worry about all of this. Just put the filter on and use it. Yep, as simple as that.
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Old 30th May 2012, 21:35   #9820
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Clevermax,
Just to add to what R2D2 has already said, I think one of the biggest drawbacks of installing of focusing screen (Katzeye for eg) is that you're forced to use the centre of the image to focus. That's one reason to stay away from focusing screen as it's quite limiting IMHO.

Also, while we are on the topic of EVFs, I realized an awesome thing last weekend and another reason as to why I love the EVF on my camera. I got a Hoya NDx400 on saturday and wanted to give it a shot on Sunday (have posted the photo on the other thread, the last one was made with it). The Hoya NDx400 is a 9 stop filter and when you use it with cameras with OVF, the process is a bit tedious. You'd have to compose your image, do a meter reading, put the black glass (ND filter) on and then adjust the exposure to compensate for the loss in 9 stops. We have to do this because the OVF is almost black when you use a black glass. With EVF, you don't have to worry about all of this. Just put the filter on and use it. Yep, as simple as that.
HW, you got me scratching my head on this one. Filter noob warning - I have never purchased or used an ND or CPL filter before . So here is the noob question.

Doesn't the image in the EVF come thru the lens and via the sensor? So in effect aren't you seeing exactly what the sensor sees? If that be the case, if a black filter affects a SLR (mounted on the lens, image reflected by the mirror into the VF prism) it should also affect the image seen by the EVIL camera sensor as the filter is mounted on the lens. Isn't that so? Or have I got something terribly wrong about EVILs?

PS - Just wanted to add one more thing related to the discussion with CM on OVFs and replacement screens - higher VF magnification leads to easier MF operations. For e.g. the Nikon D4 and D800 have 0.7x magnification while the Canon 1D X and IIRC the 5D Mk3 have 0.76. That's another factor to consider

Last edited by R2D2 : 30th May 2012 at 21:41. Reason: added PS
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Old 30th May 2012, 22:08   #9821
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Quote:
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H
Doesn't the image in the EVF come thru the lens and via the sensor? So in effect aren't you seeing exactly what the sensor sees? If that be the case, if a black filter affects a SLR (mounted on the lens, image reflected by the mirror into the VF prism) it should also affect the image seen by the EVIL camera sensor as the filter is mounted on the lens. Isn't that so? Or have I got something terribly wrong about EVILs?
yes that's right it does come via the lens and the sensor. But the good thing about EVF is that it 'simulates' what you'll get as a result of the settings you have chosen. This means, you still get a visible frame if you are trying to shoot under very low light in ISO12500. It will just be grainy as the EVF may be using ISO25600 to simulate your frame with lower motion blur.

As an example, suppose HW puts the ND filter and lowers the shutter speed to few seconds keeping ISO at 100 (assuming which would give a properly exposed picture as the result). Now the job of the EVF is to show you a live vision of how the picture would look, if you shoot at ISO100 with few seconds of exposure. The only way for EVF to show a visible simulated view is to temporarily increase the sensitivity to a much higher value like 12500 or more in order to show the frame in the same exposure as that would have resulted from an ISO100 exposure of few seconds. When you release the shutter, the settings you've made take effect and a picture is made.

Last edited by clevermax : 30th May 2012 at 22:22.
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Old 30th May 2012, 22:21   #9822
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With EVF, you don't have to worry about all of this. Just put the filter on and use it. Yep, as simple as that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
yes that's right it does come via the lens and the sensor. But the good thing about EVF is that it 'simulates' what you see according to the settings you have chosen. This means, you still get a visible frame if you are trying to shoot under very low light in ISO12500. It will just be grainy as the EVF may be using ISO25600 to simulate your frame with lower motion blur.
Aha! Gotcha. Thanks mate. Must say that's a neat feature of EVFs. Obviously OVFs can't manage this trick.

I must get my hands on a good EVF camera someday and check all the tricks up its sleeve.

Cheers!
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Old 30th May 2012, 23:10   #9823
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Aha! Gotcha. Thanks mate. Must say that's a neat feature of EVFs. Obviously OVFs can't manage this trick.
I extensively used this trick in my Sony Cybershot F-717, which had the night-framing feature in the EVF. That was 8-9 years back.

Sony DSC-F717 Review: Digital Photography Review
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Old 1st June 2012, 13:53   #9824
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Nikon has raised prices of the D4 & D800E by Rs 15K, the D800 by 10K from today. Prices of accessories (lenses, flashes) seem to be unchanged so far.
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Old 1st June 2012, 15:28   #9825
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And Canon has reduced the price of 5D Mark II (not III). It's available for 1.08L with warranty compared to 1.23L few days back. Yippee..
But actually everything else have gone up by few thousands of rupees, all thanks to the rupee fall. I was planning to upgrade my gears and this seems to be a very time for that :(
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