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Photography Equipment & Software Thread

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20 hours ago, Ste_S said:

If you want interchangeable lenses, shallow depth of field and low light performance then you'll probably want a full frame sensor. The Sony A7 mk1 is quite cheap (relatively) second hand now, you should be able to pick one up with a lens for about £500. 

 

I wouldn't recommend full-frame in this case. APS-C or m43 sensors will still be a huge step up from a phone in terms of DOF control and low light performance, and will be cheaper, lighter and easier to cope with if you're also having to oversee kids.

 

I like the Sony cameras, but at the end of the day you can only shrink the body by removing the mirror and reducing the flange-focal distance. A full frame lens is still going to be a big old bit of kit, especially to meet modern expectations in terms of AF speed.

 

I find the DOF control I get from fast m43 lenses (f/1.8) is more than enough, and it's rare that I want a DOF so shallow that I shoot them wide open. Plus I can carry a small bag (Think Tank Retrospective 5) with my Pen F body, 9-18mm UWA, 25mm f/1.8 normal, 45mm f/1.8 portrait, 40-150mm telephoto (plastic fantastic), giottos rocket blower, spare battery, lens pen set, plus hoods for all the lenses, and still be able to chase after kids all day.

 

I'd recommend picking up a second hand Panasonic m43 body and the good old 20mm II f/1.7 pancake lens. Small, cheap, and fairly straightforward step up from a phone, and it'll be a world of difference in terms of performance. The plastic-mount 12-32 is also far better than it has any right to be from what I've seen, and can be had very cheaply. Avoid powered zooms though, IMO.

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4 hours ago, PopeSmokesDope said:

What is it you actually want to take photos of?

Objects in nature, mostly - see my original post a few posts back.

 

4 hours ago, Alexlotl said:

 

I wouldn't recommend full-frame in this case. APS-C or m43 sensors will still be a huge step up from a phone in terms of DOF control and low light performance, and will be cheaper, lighter and easier to cope with if you're also having to oversee kids.

 

I like the Sony cameras, but at the end of the day you can only shrink the body by removing the mirror and reducing the flange-focal distance. A full frame lens is still going to be a big old bit of kit, especially to meet modern expectations in terms of AF speed.

 

I find the DOF control I get from fast m43 lenses (f/1.8) is more than enough, and it's rare that I want a DOF so shallow that I shoot them wide open. Plus I can carry a small bag (Think Tank Retrospective 5) with my Pen F body, 9-18mm UWA, 25mm f/1.8 normal, 45mm f/1.8 portrait, 40-150mm telephoto (plastic fantastic), giottos rocket blower, spare battery, lens pen set, plus hoods for all the lenses, and still be able to chase after kids all day.

 

I'd recommend picking up a second hand Panasonic m43 body and the good old 20mm II f/1.7 pancake lens. Small, cheap, and fairly straightforward step up from a phone, and it'll be a world of difference in terms of performance. The plastic-mount 12-32 is also far better than it has any right to be from what I've seen, and can be had very cheaply. Avoid powered zooms though, IMO.

I only partially understand that, but I'm sure it's valuable advice :). Once my work quietens down in the next couple of weeks I'll start doing some more research and try and get more familiar with the jargon.

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Get a cheap crop sensor with an 18-55mm kit lens and go from there.

 

Something like this 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-250D-EF-s-18-55mm-4-5-6/dp/B07QHPBZNX/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=canon+250d&qid=1566497000&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExQzA1NEcxVExVTEowJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwOTk5MjkwMjQyRzZUQklUWE5FOCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMDkzNjQ0Q1dIRzlONlZRV0dRJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

 

 

With regards to size, to be honest, once you start looking at cameras with interchangeable lenses the actual size of the camera is immaterial (unless you're looking at a canon 1dx or Nikon equivalent monster) as the bulkieness tends to come from the lenses, and the better the lens the larger and heavier it is due to the amount of glass in it etc... so the size of the actual camera tends to not be that much of an issue.

 

When it comes to what make to go for, they're all pretty much identical these days, if you pixel peep you'll notice differences if you really really look, but most people don't. When people ask me what make to go for I always tell them the same answer, Get the same make that your friends might have so you can borrow their lenses!

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Get a second-hand recent but non-current one. You’ll be able to sell it for basically exactly the same as you bought it before, which is ideal because either you’re not bothered about it or you’ll want to upgrade pretty swiftly. In both situations you probably want to sell.

 

And when you get it, give yourself a project. It doesn’t matter what the project is really, but you need to have an aim in mind because that’s the only way you can judge whether you’re enjoying it and making progress. Without an aim you’ll take some good photos (amongst many crap ones) if you just wander with a camera, because luck. Doing a consistent project makes it much harder to rely on luck, and that’s where the learning kicks in.

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13 hours ago, PopeSmokesDope said:

Get a cheap crop sensor with an 18-55mm kit lens and go from there.

 

Something like this 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-250D-EF-s-18-55mm-4-5-6/dp/B07QHPBZNX/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=canon+250d&qid=1566497000&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExQzA1NEcxVExVTEowJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwOTk5MjkwMjQyRzZUQklUWE5FOCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMDkzNjQ0Q1dIRzlONlZRV0dRJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

 

 

With regards to size, to be honest, once you start looking at cameras with interchangeable lenses the actual size of the camera is immaterial (unless you're looking at a canon 1dx or Nikon equivalent monster) as the bulkieness tends to come from the lenses, and the better the lens the larger and heavier it is due to the amount of glass in it etc... so the size of the actual camera tends to not be that much of an issue.

 

When it comes to what make to go for, they're all pretty much identical these days, if you pixel peep you'll notice differences if you really really look, but most people don't. When people ask me what make to go for I always tell them the same answer, Get the same make that your friends might have so you can borrow their lenses!

Good point. Just realised I used to work with someone who started a part-time photography  degree. I should pick her brains and see if I could try out her kit.

 

11 hours ago, Rev said:

Get a second-hand recent but non-current one. You’ll be able to sell it for basically exactly the same as you bought it before, which is ideal because either you’re not bothered about it or you’ll want to upgrade pretty swiftly. In both situations you probably want to sell.

 

And when you get it, give yourself a project. It doesn’t matter what the project is really, but you need to have an aim in mind because that’s the only way you can judge whether you’re enjoying it and making progress. Without an aim you’ll take some good photos (amongst many crap ones) if you just wander with a camera, because luck. Doing a consistent project makes it much harder to rely on luck, and that’s where the learning kicks in.

Yes, that makes a lot of sense. I love woodworking so that could be the basis of one such project - photos of beautiful pieces of wood grain, woodworking joints, old hand tools, etc. Stuff I can easily do in my garden.

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I do like how the advice you've had so far is 

  • get a new phone
  • get a micro 4/3rds
  • get a crop sensor DSLR
  • get a full frame DSLR

I feel like I ought to urge you to get a compact, just to get the set closer to completion. I don't know why though, so discount this message.

 

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Canon announced two new cameras last night. I was holding out for an update to the canon M5 but they instead unveiled the M6 mk2 which is essentially the same camera but without an integrated EVF, it’s an add on costs £200 and looks messy, plus brings the price to £1000+

 

You can get a Canon RP On the grey market for £900, so might hold off for that instead, plus it’s full frame but the speed and resolution of the M6 are pretty good.... 30fps RAW!

 

Instead I treated myself to a 24-105 2nd for use with my M3 and viltrox speedbooster. It’s an amazing lens and I love the comedy size of it! 

 

 

0F80D3A1-9A6F-4731-B7D4-A9E07F50D96A.jpeg

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On 28/08/2019 at 17:30, milko said:

I do like how the advice you've had so far is 

  • get a new phone
  • get a micro 4/3rds
  • get a crop sensor DSLR
  • get a full frame DSLR

I feel like I ought to urge you to get a compact, just to get the set closer to completion. I don't know why though, so discount this message.

 

I think I'm going to print out some samples showing the kind of photos I like to take, show them to a shop like London Camera Exchange, talk about how I'd like to develop my skills then hear what they suggest based on that.

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After a long dry spell, I'm considering moving back into photography as a hobby and I'm on the lookout for a camera.

 

I previously owned a second hand Sony A100 and 5 years later got a brand new Nikon D3200 and loved them both. However, as time moved on, I didn't much care for the bulk of the kit I owned and came to the realisation that I shoot street photography and landscapes almost exclusively.

 

I sold my gear and ran with just my iPhone for years till recently falling for some of the mirrorless small body cameras and alsmot went for a Leica Q before my senses came to me. However, I've recently taken a look at the Sony A6000 and really liked it. The price is reasonable and after seeing a friend take some great astro photography with it, I'm fairly convinced it could be a great camera for me.

 

Does anyone here have a Sony A6000 and have some long term impressions of it? Also, what are the Sigma lenses like?

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1 hour ago, Wools said:

After a long dry spell, I'm considering moving back into photography as a hobby and I'm on the lookout for a camera.

 

I previously owned a second hand Sony A100 and 5 years later got a brand new Nikon D3200 and loved them both. However, as time moved on, I didn't much care for the bulk of the kit I owned and came to the realisation that I shoot street photography and landscapes almost exclusively.

 

I sold my gear and ran with just my iPhone for years till recently falling for some of the mirrorless small body cameras and alsmot went for a Leica Q before my senses came to me. However, I've recently taken a look at the Sony A6000 and really liked it. The price is reasonable and after seeing a friend take some great astro photography with it, I'm fairly convinced it could be a great camera for me.

 

Does anyone here have a Sony A6000 and have some long term impressions of it? Also, what are the Sigma lenses like?

 

I haven't tried them but I'm quite fancying a Sony A6500 or the new A6600 with the Sigma 16mm F1.4, looks a great combo.

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I imagine this may have been covered, but what's the go-to photography software for iPhone now? I feel like my Xr is a nice piece of kit, but the lack of functionality within the camera app is a bit limiting. It'd be great to have some more control when shooting video too if there's a catch-all solution.

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5 hours ago, Wools said:

After a long dry spell, I'm considering moving back into photography as a hobby and I'm on the lookout for a camera.

 

I previously owned a second hand Sony A100 and 5 years later got a brand new Nikon D3200 and loved them both. However, as time moved on, I didn't much care for the bulk of the kit I owned and came to the realisation that I shoot street photography and landscapes almost exclusively.

 

I sold my gear and ran with just my iPhone for years till recently falling for some of the mirrorless small body cameras and alsmot went for a Leica Q before my senses came to me. However, I've recently taken a look at the Sony A6000 and really liked it. The price is reasonable and after seeing a friend take some great astro photography with it, I'm fairly convinced it could be a great camera for me.

 

Does anyone here have a Sony A6000 and have some long term impressions of it? Also, what are the Sigma lenses like?

 

Have you considered Micro Four Thirds? You have a full range of lenses at your disposal and the kit is generally smaller and lighter than crop or full-frame sensor cameras.

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20 minutes ago, FishyFish said:

 

Have you considered Micro Four Thirds? You have a full range of lenses at your disposal and the kit is generally smaller and lighter than crop or full-frame sensor cameras.

 

I’ll be honest & admit I’ve not heard of that range of cameras before. Are their many pros & cons of using them over a Sony A6000 or a more traditional DSLR?

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1 hour ago, Wools said:

 

I’ll be honest & admit I’ve not heard of that range of cameras before. Are their many pros & cons of using them over a Sony A6000 or a more traditional DSLR?

 

Pros:

- Much, much smaller and lighter bodies and lenses. You can carry more, have more options, and be less obvious/intimidating. 

- You can get fast, sharp prime lenses very cheaply, particularly second hand. 

- The only Mount with multiple body manufacturers in it. Panasonic and Olympus are the big two, and you can use lenses by either (or other third parties) on any m43 body.

- Generally Super-fast autofocus for static subjects (smaller, lighter lenses can move into focus more quickly)

- Panasonic cameras are generally excellent for video. Olympus less so, but their JPG colours are excellent. 

- Crop factor from 35mm is 2X, which if you’re used to thinking in 35mm makes conversion very easy compared to APS-C. 

 

Negatives

- Smaller sensor than Full Frame or APS-C means they don’t have the same resolution or high iso performance. Again, cheap fast primes helps with the latter. 

- The crop factor applies to DOF too, so you always have 2x the DOF of a FF lens. This could make getting shallow DOF with a kit lens tricky, but in practice there are so many fast primes (f/1.8 usually, as low as f/1.4 sometimes) that it’s kind of a non-issue for the platform. Note that 2x can be handy when you want some depth of field but don’t want to lose light by stopping down.

- Lower diffraction limits. It’s rare you’ll want to stop down past f/5.6, as diffraction comes into play. But when you consider that’s actually f/11 equivalent, you’re not losing much.

- Smaller lenses are not necessarily cheaper lenses. 

- Most m43 cameras only have Contrast Detect autofocus. As mentioned above, this is fast and accurate for static subjects, but can struggle with moving things - birds in flight is the classic example, but kids running towards the camera (ie right down your lens) is where I notice it. Top end ones have hybrid sensors with Phase Detect too, solving this problem, but those are the larger, more expensive bodies.

 

I use m43, the rangefinder style Olympus Pen-F. I like it a lot - it’s a trade off of size vs performance, but for me it’s the sweet-spot. I’m no kind of pro though, just taking photos on family trips mostly these days. 

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Just as a counter point

12 hours ago, Wools said:

Thank you so much for the excellent impressions @Alexlotl having a look on Amazon now to get my bearings. :)

 

 

I'd go and have a look in your local Jessops, John Lewis etc. Half the thing for me with cameras is the ergonomics.

 

Sony A6000 is a solid choice. At the cheaper end there's the Panasonic GX80, at the more expensive end there's Fuji's like the X-E and X-T series.

Going second hand from somewhere like MPB, CEX, Ffordes, LCE (where you get a guarantee) opens up more options.

 

Edit - Given that you mention street photography, I'd recommend a second hand Fuji (X-E1, X-E2. X-T1, X-T10, X-T20) as they offer minimum shutter speed on Auto-ISO. It's invaluable for street, and is something Panasonic, Olympus or Sony don't offer in that price range.

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I had not given Fuji a look at but the X-T20 looks excellent @Ste_S but it's double the price of the A6000 with a 18-55 lens included, brand new. Looks beautiful though and an excellent spec.

 

Also noticed the X-T100 which is closer to the Sony A6000 in price, that could be a solid contender!

 

Eitherway, some excellent options, thanks everyone, it's really appreciated. :)

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On 03/09/2019 at 12:23, Wools said:

brand new

 

I'd definitely go down the second hand route if you were considering Fuji on a budget.

I buy all my cameras second hand, with MPB and CEX both been good on returns when the cameras have turned out to be duds.

 

Ffordes (I've bought a lot of film camera gear from them, recommended) have a X-T20 with 16-50 for £500

https://www.ffordes.com/p/SOR-18-021278/mirrorless-fuji-x/x-t20-16-50mm-xc-silver

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Olympus have a £200 off Pro or £100 off normal m43 lens offer on at the moment. I'm quite tempted to pick up the 30mm Macro for £129 - I've never had a Macro before, and I think this is probably my cheapest chance to try one out (particularly with probable post-Brexit currency collapse).

 

By all accounts, it's a great lens, even if it lacks the reach of the 60mm, and it sounds small/light enough that it could travel in my bag as a Just-In-Case, probably in place of the 45mm Portrait.

 

EDIT: Bought it :omg:

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A question to all film and medium format shooters: Apologies if that has been answered a million times, but I want to start getting into long exposure photography using my Mamiya 645 Pro TL. I have a shutter release cable and a few decent tripods, I'm just short of a light meter, which in truth I probably should've bought a while back. Since it's mostly going to be used for taking shots of the city and landscapes, any recommendations for an an affordable meter? Cheers!

 

EDIT - And while I'm here... the little plastic thing has somehow come off my shutter speed dial on my Mamiya. Anyone know what kind of glue I'd be safe to use to put it back on? Looks like I need plastic to metal. Tiny amount should do it.

 

Just to make it clear what I'm talking about. It's the bit that goes in the middle of the dial.

 

Without:

IMG_9479.thumb.jpg.d4d51e44b5eaefedfce2642f91791942.jpg

 

With:

IMG_9480.jpg.9d5c669de2ab9366943bd2c926a57641.jpg

 

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Does anyone have any experience with specialist software for sorting through lots of photos? (in the 10-50,000 range, mainly RAW formats). Ideally something to do it as fast and efficiently as possible, without a huge price tag.

 

Using something like Faststone doesn't really cut it with RAW images.

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@Scratchy Bollock

 

It depends I guess ? I've never really progressed beyond phone apps when needing to meter for long(er) exposures, and that was long before I learnt about reciprocity failure charts.

This was phone metered

 

000103990010-3.jpg

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2 hours ago, Ste_S said:

@Scratchy Bollock

 

It depends I guess ? I've never really progressed beyond phone apps when needing to meter for long(er) exposures, and that was long before I learnt about reciprocity failure charts.

This was phone metered

 

000103990010-3.jpg

 

Oh that is lovely! Very useful to know, thanks Ste. What app are you using? I'll give it a go!

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@Scratchy Bollock I've not done much long exposure / night photography on film, but when I did, I took a digital camera with me too (it's micro-four-thirds, so not too much extra to carry!). I then took a shot on the digital using the aperture and ISO settings to match the film camera. This allowed me to see the shutter speed the camera had chosen (and whether I wanted to alter it) and then use the same setting on film. It works well, but is a bit of a faff. A suitable light meter (either an App like Ste_S used, or a dedicated meter that will work in low light) might be an easier option.

Some films have better reciprocity than others and can get longer exposures before you have to start extending the time to avoid reciprocity failure (RF). I used Kodak Ektar, which I think allows up to about 14 seconds before RF kicks in, which was more than enough for what I needed. I think Fuji Acros is very good for long exposures too, and (although check this) Fuji Provia slide film.

 

This one is on Ektar and was, I think, about 2 or 3 seconds.

 

46823325465_84b8d785ac_b.jpg

FILM - Chubbys by fishyfish_arcade, on Flickr

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1 hour ago, FishyFish said:

@Scratchy Bollock I've not done much long exposure / night photography on film, but when I did, I took a digital camera with me too (it's micro-four-thirds, so not too much extra to carry!). I then took a shot on the digital using the aperture and ISO settings to match the film camera. This allowed me to see the shutter speed the camera had chosen (and whether I wanted to alter it) and then use the same setting on film. It works well, but is a bit of a faff. A suitable light meter (either an App like Ste_S used, or a dedicated meter that will work in low light might be an easier option).

Some films have better reciprocity than others and can get longer exposures before you have to start extending the time to avoid reciprocity failure (RF). I used Kodak Ektar, which I think allows up to about 14 seconds before RF kicks in, which was more than enough for what I needed. I think Fuji Across is very good for long exposures too, and (although check this) Fuji Provia slide film.

 

This one is on Ektar and was, I think, about 2 or 3 seconds.

 

46823325465_84b8d785ac_b.jpg

FILM - Chubbys by fishyfish_arcade, on Flickr

 

That's also a really stunning shot! Thanks for the advice, super useful. I bought a Reciprocity app which gives recommended timings for just about every film type, so hopefully that should help too. I was going to do exactly what you've suggested actually and bring along my A7SII to take care of exposure readings, but the Mamiya 645 is pretty chunky as is, so I've just picked up a Minolta Auto Finder IV light meter with the viewfinder II 10 degree attachment which coverts it into a spot meter, all for around £45! Still a bit of a faff but definitely lighter than carrying around a DSL with a lens and gives me the added benefit of also having a nice, vintage light meter for skin tones etc. 

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