Author Topic: Photography  (Read 10832 times)

Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Photography
« on: June 08, 2012, 07:57:17 AM »
The best camera in the world is the one you have on you. I chose my current cell phone specifically for its camera; so Iíd always have a good point-and-shoot on me. Anyone who says you need the greatest gear to take fantastic photos simply hasnít looked around. Some of the best photos Iíve taken were on a (now) decade old 3MP point-and-shoot.

Ken Rockwell has some well written articles on this idea (even with photographic examples)
Itís not about your camera (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/not-about-your-camera.htm )
Your camera doesnít matter (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm )
A $150 versus a $5000 camera (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/150-vs-5000-dollar-camera.htm )
Assembling a System ( http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/assembling-a-system.htm )

All photos in this post are from my tumblr feed ( http://mattkrull.tumblr.com/ ). In the post for each photo I say which camera (or phone) I used, and with which lens. I donít pretend to be skilled or experienced photographer, but I do have fun, and thatís good enough for me.

So, with the Ďyou need the newest bestest coolest gearí BS out of the way. Letís talk about choosing to have better gear for your own personal *enjoyment*.

I donít need a DSLR. But I enjoy the sensation of using one. I enjoy focusing manually, having all sorts of manual controls, and that wonderful tactile click of the shutter release. Simply put I find the act of using a DSLR fun, where I donít find the same thing with a point-and-shoot camera.

When I chose my DSLR (back in 2008), I chose an Olympus E-510 because it was affordable, took fantastic shots, was much smaller than the Nikon and Canon equivalents, and most importantly, felt really good in my hand.

It had two big draw backs compared to the more mainstream options: It didnít perform as well in low light, and it didnít do high-speed action/sports photography very well (due to a slow auto-focus, and previously mentioned poor low light). Since my plans for the camera were landscape and travel photography this was fine.
The week after I bought the camera I started photographing my wifeís evening football games; High speed low light action Ė oh well, such is life.

Prime lenses
When I was growing up, my dad *always* used zoom lenses on his SLR. I didnít even know fixed length (prime) lenses existed. I certainly didnít know they cost less, weighed less, took (generally) sharper images, and worked better in low light (lower aperture numbers). These days, when you buy a DSLR, it usually comes with a standard kit lens giving you a wide-to-standard zoom range (18mm Ė 55mm is pretty normal) with an okay low light performance (F3.5 Ė low enough to shoot in the evening, but indoors you still want a flash). Donít get me wrong, this is a good lens. It serves most people perfectly well. If you bought it separately it would cost somewhere around $150.
A 50mm prime (non-zoom-able) with F1.8 (much better low light, enough to shoot parties without a flash) costs about $125 new.

My particular camera doesnít have those same inexpensive lenses. The closest my camera has is a Ďpancakeí prime (less than an inch long, making the whole DSLR barely bigger than a point-and-shoot) costing $250 - which is what led me to part 2.

Old lenses
Since I didnít have affordable new lenses to look at (even when buying used), I had to look back to old lenses. In my case, Olympusís DSLRs use what is called the Four Thirds (4/3) mount. This is a digital specific lens format. Their old (and very good) film lenses used the OM mount. This is where things work out really well. The OM mount is dead.  Canon still uses the EF system introduced in í86. Nikons have mish-mash of compatibility, but when properly researched, you could mount a 50s lens on a modern body. That means a Canon lens from the late 80s is still useable by everyone with a Canon camera, and used prices reflect this. Since OM is dead, used prices are very low. The other half of the puzzle is that the 4/3 mount is smaller than the OM, which means a simple brass ring adapter is all that is needed to connect the old lens to the new body. A quick search on ebay got me a 50mm F1.8 prime lens for $50 and adapter for $20. (Iíve since purchased a full set of quality lenses for every occasion (including my wifeís evening football games) for $100)


Shot on a 50mm manual focus lens from the mid 80s

Full manual
And this is where things get awesome. The old lens I purchased is full manual, no auto focus, no auto aperture, nothing. Now, if you worked with film SLRs in the past, youíll remember that getting the right exposure (mixture of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) wasnít easy. But a modern camera has Aperture Priority mode, which means that it takes care of setting the right ISO and shutter speed for you. So the only real difference between using the full manual lens and using a modern lens is that you have to set it to a roughly close enough aperture and focus manually. To me, this is part of the fun of photography. It is the time taken to compose and focus your shots that distinguishes *photography* as an art form from simply taking snap-shots of your friends.


Shot on a 28mm manual focus lens from the late 70s

Learning my own lesson
Yesterday, I had to drop my wife off at the airport for 4:45am. I figured that since I was going to be up and about anyways, Iíd try to capture some sunrise photos. So after leaving the airport I headed downtown with everything I would need: My camera, my 50mm prime lens, my 40-150mm zoom lens, a tripod, a camera bag, and my dog.
What did I learn? That half that stuff was a total waste. I never used the camera bag, the telephoto lens, or the tripod. If Iíd left them at home (or even just in the car) Iíd have had an ever better time.




Shot on a 50mm manual focus lens from the mid 80s. Shots aren't as sharp as they could be because I had my image stabalization incorrectly set.

My point
If you want to do more than just take snap-shots, getting a camera that allows full manual control is fun and awesome. Getting a camera that will let you use old glass from the time when full manual was the only way to do things is both inexpensive and bad ass.


Shot on a 50mm manual focus lens from the mid 80s

Systems
Olympus film cameras used the OM mount. There are adapters for that will take OM lenses and mount them on either the Four Thirds or Micro-Four Thirds format cameras (E-xxx, Pen-x).

Pentax has never changed their mount, so any Pentax lens will work on a modern Pentax camera. changed their mount in the mid 70s. Any Pentax lens from the late 70s or after will work on any of their DSLRs. They made adapters to use the older lenses on the new mount, so as long as you also get the adapter, you can use any of their lenses.

Sony DSLRs use the old Minolta mount, so you can buy 70s and 80s lenses that fit the current Sony cameras.

Canon DSLRs use the EF mount introduced in Ď86. They cannot use FD mount lenses from before that.

Nikon is kinda messy http://kenrockwell.com/nikon/compatibility-lens.htm

And of course, you can search ebay to see if anyone makes an adapter for the lens and body combination you want.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 02:21:11 PM by Matt K »

erwannabe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Location: Australia
Re: Photography
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 01:54:48 AM »
You are a great photographer, and this is super badass!

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1421
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: Photography
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 04:44:11 AM »
Nikon is kinda messy http://kenrockwell.com/nikon/compatibility-lens.htm

I was happy to upgrade from a D100 to a D7000 to get the metering on old lenses, but I haven't taken advantage of it yet. Thanks for the reminder.

MsLogica

  • Guest
Re: Photography
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 05:53:14 AM »
Excellent post, and I love your photos (and your dog!).

I use my iPhone for everyday photography needs, and I have a DSLR for when I want to play.  It's a Nikon D60. I only own a couple of lenses, but I bought them new on Amazon (when on offer).  I found secondhand ones selling on eBay for more than Amazon was charging new! I have 3 lenses in total, but as I favour two of them I don't see the need to get any more (for now!).

Jake D

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Australia
    • JD is Crazy
Re: Photography
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 08:58:19 PM »
I'm all about Pentax. They're current range of DSLRs are small, light and very capable. The lenses are cheap and generally of good quality. The old lenses can make some awesome shots for the price. My 28mm f1.2 manual focus lens is beautiful and cost me $15.
I'm probably wrong...

Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: Photography
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 09:03:24 AM »
Thanks for the kind words.

I'm all about Pentax. They're current range of DSLRs are small, light and very capable. The lenses are cheap and generally of good quality. The old lenses can make some awesome shots for the price. My 28mm f1.2 manual focus lens is beautiful and cost me $15.

$15 for a 1.2? Wow, that's a steal!
If I ever change systems, right now Pentax would be my choice. I like the K series of cameras.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: Photography
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 02:54:55 PM »
Nikon is kinda messy http://kenrockwell.com/nikon/compatibility-lens.htm

I was happy to upgrade from a D100 to a D7000 to get the metering on old lenses, but I haven't taken advantage of it yet. Thanks for the reminder.

I have the D7000 also, really like it a lot.  Shooting with my 50mm 1.4 is a real joy, I don't anticipate upgrading for quite a few years.  I shoot a lot of family portraits, seniors, etc, even shot a wedding once.  It's a great hobby and I've never felt bad spending money on it.

Having said that, the iphone is getting better and better, I've made 8X10 prints from it that look great. (iphone 4, not new one with camera upgrade) 
Badassity is a journey, not a guided tour.

Jake D

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Australia
    • JD is Crazy
Re: Photography
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 08:09:41 PM »
Thanks for the kind words.

I'm all about Pentax. They're current range of DSLRs are small, light and very capable. The lenses are cheap and generally of good quality. The old lenses can make some awesome shots for the price. My 28mm f1.2 manual focus lens is beautiful and cost me $15.

$15 for a 1.2? Wow, that's a steal!
If I ever change systems, right now Pentax would be my choice. I like the K series of cameras.

Free postage, too.
(Although I did have to get it posted to my American Cousin and have my sister bring it back from her overseas trip.)
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 05:43:38 PM by Jake D »
I'm probably wrong...

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Photography
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 01:05:26 AM »
Well, now I know that my dog has a Canadian twin :-)

Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: Photography
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 06:19:52 AM »
Well, now I know that my dog has a Canadian twin :-)

He's actually only adopted Canadian. He's a rescue, and was found as a stray in Georgia. It's amazing how different so many of the Catahoulas look, and yet there are a number of them that look almost identical to him. I think the universe just has a thing for handsome dogs ;)

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Photography
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 01:26:27 PM »
Well, now I know that my dog has a Canadian twin :-)

He's actually only adopted Canadian. He's a rescue, and was found as a stray in Georgia. It's amazing how different so many of the Catahoulas look, and yet there are a number of them that look almost identical to him. I think the universe just has a thing for handsome dogs ;)

Interesting.  I had never thought of Buddy as maybe being a Catahoula.  Got him from someone who does Pit Bull rescue (one of those "can you just foster him for a week or two?" deals), so figured he was a pittie mix.  But he does fit the Wikipedia description pretty well.

frugalman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 176
Re: Photography
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2012, 04:31:02 PM »
If you need to add a mustache to the subject of your photo, here is a FREE (at least for now) iPhone/iPad app that will do the trick, if you have an iPad Or iPhone.

http://appadvice.com/appnn/2012/06/quirky-app-of-the-day-mustachify

« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 05:21:38 PM by frugalman »

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1045
Re: Photography
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2016, 09:26:12 AM »
Curious to know what everyone is shooting with these days?
Ever shop online? Use my referral link below for Ebates and get FREE CASH BACK on purchases!

https://www.ebates.com/r/ZZIRVI?eeid=28187

purephase

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Glasgow Scotland
Re: Photography
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2016, 12:54:14 PM »
I shoot with a Pentax K500. Bought it for a real bargain second hand with 2 lenses about 18 months ago, it was and still is in perfect condition as well. I have used a few different systems over the years but will now always stick with Pentax, brilliant cameras with fantastic colour capture and even with the cheaper lenses really sharp images.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3354
  • Age: 27
Re: Photography
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2016, 04:09:18 PM »
My girlfriend is a self-employed professional photographer shooting with a Canon EOS 1D X (Canon 5D Mark II backup) and Canon EOS 3 (35mm).  Lens-wise she almost exclusively uses her 70-200 f/2.8.  Also has a 50 f/1.4 and previously had a beautiful 135mm f/2.

But that's cheating.  I no longer have my own camera gear, but when I did:

Micro Four Thirds was my format of choice.  I had a Panasonic GH2 ($300-400ish these days I think).  Micro Four Thirds is special because you can adapt almost any lens to fit it.  Old full manual lenses were fantastic.  Canon FD-mount lenses (pre-autofocus) are perfect because they are optically excellent but useless on modern Canon digital bodies so dirt cheap.

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2152
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Photography
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2016, 07:27:36 AM »
At work:
2 x Canon 6D
2 x Canon C100
1 x Canon C300
17-40mm f/4L
24-105mm f/4L IS
24mm f/1.4L
35mm f/1.4L
50mm f/1.2L
85mm f/1.2L
100mm f/2.8L Macro
135mm f/2L

At home:
Nikon D300 (on loan to a friend)
Nikon D700
Zeiss ZF.2 25mm f/2
Zeiss ZF.2 50mm f/1.4
Zeiss ZF.2 85mm f/1.4
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (on loan to a friend)
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/digging-out-of-a-hole/

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1703
  • Location: Florida
Re: Photography
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2016, 08:08:34 AM »
My first camera -
Olympus SP 565UZ - not an SLR, but great camera nonetheless. Still use it sometimes.

Now -
Nikon D-90 with two lenses.
I didn't think I'd have much use for the zoom up to 300, but I've used it more than the one that goes up to 125.
It came in a kit and is all I need.

My phone, well, let's just say I'm always fighting with it - it a decent 8MP or so, but has no stabilization built in.

gliderpilot567

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
  • Location: US
Re: Photography
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2016, 06:35:26 PM »
Ah, I love photography. Alas, I sold nearly all of my expensive DSLR camera gear in order to crush debt over the past two years. Only a small, pocket point n shoot remains, plus the crappy camera in my phone. No regrets. I'll get back into the hobby someday!

Great pics OP. Dont'cha just love the performance of prime lenses!


livingthedream

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 70
    • Becoming Financially Independent
Re: Photography
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2016, 10:56:21 AM »
I've got a Canon 6D with 24-105 L lens and it's kind of a beast to lug around. Also still have a Canon t1i with 50mm, zoom, and the crappy kit lens.

One of my favorite shots I took with 8mp Nikon point and shoot:

Becoming Financially Independent http://www.becomingfi.com/

MrsDinero

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
Re: Photography
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2016, 11:04:38 AM »
Right now I only use my smartphone or my Canon S95 Powershot.  I have been thinking about upgrading my old DSLR (6.3mp) to something newer. 
~~Mrs. D.

MrSal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 711
Re: Photography
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2016, 07:55:24 PM »
neat!

I disagree a bit with Ken Rockwell ... of course what makes a good camera is the person behind it. Just look at what pro photographer can accomplish with a mere iphone.

Good cameras just make your work much easier.

Here's a couple pictures of mine I took during last year on my eurorail trip:








fuzzhead1506

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: Photography
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2016, 01:38:03 PM »
panasonic gf3 and a pancake 14 mm 2.5...

pocketable and takes 95% of the shots you can get with modern dslr + 28 mm 1.8 for prolly 1/5 of the weight and size and 1/8 of the cost.

Stasher

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1693
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island
  • Power through Positivity
    • Mindful Explorer
Re: Photography
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2016, 01:46:07 PM »
Doesn't matter what camera you have at all in my books, two things
#1 - have an eye or understanding what is appealing to your audience
#2 - learn how to and shoot exclusively in manual mode

Then later start shooting RAW , this has been my biggest change.

Because I hike and climb so much I went with the new Sony mirrorless line for weight and compact size
My go to setup is the Sony a6000 with a 10-18mm F4 wide angle (Im outdoors so great for landscape.
Many of my friends have done what you have, they have gotten adapters for their Sony's to run decades old manual glass.

Shot On my Sony

« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 01:48:50 PM by Stasher »
The Mindful Explorer : Explore-Adventure-Photograph https://www.ChrisIstace.com


MMM Forums Journal - Beyond The Usual

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27055
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Photography
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2016, 03:26:00 PM »
Thanks for bumping this old thread, it's a great one.

Following.

I don't want to waste the space in my bad (as a nomad, fitting everything I own in a backpack) for a DSLR, so I have a Sony RX-100 III.  It takes good photos, but is super compact, so not much space in my bag.   I have no idea how to use it beyond the auto settings though.  Definitely want to learn more about taking good photos.

I always mix up aperture, ISO, shutter speed.  I've read how they all interact a dozen times (so no need to try and explain it), I just always forget.  :D
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

RidinTheAsama

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 114
Re: Photography
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2016, 04:54:57 PM »

I always mix up aperture, ISO, shutter speed.  I've read how they all interact a dozen times (so no need to try and explain it), I just always forget.  :D

Back when I was first learning all of this, on analogy really stuck with me:

Aperture, ISO and shutter speed can be adjusted to choose how much light your film/sensor is going to collect - the exposure.

You can think of this like holding a sponge under a faucet, and adjusting how much water it's going to collect.

The size of the opening in the faucet is your aperture - the bigger the hole, the more water gets through
The amount of time you have the faucet open is your shutter speed - the longer it's open, the more water comes out
The absorbency of your sponge is the ISO - the more absorbent it is, the more water gets collected instead of sneaking past

Adjust your 3 variables to collect more or less water in your sponge.  Similarly, adjust your 3 variables to collect more or less of the available light on your film/sensor.

Back to photography and away from the sponge analogy... Each variable has it's own set of "side effects" beyond its effect on the level of exposure.  I could go into a little more detail on that if you wanted...

Oh and just to be clear, I'm no pro.  Just a guy with a hobby who has read a few books...

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27055
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Photography
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2016, 05:44:37 PM »
That's a good analogy, thanks.  Now to try and commit it to memory.  :P
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

expatartist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1284
  • Location: The Big Lychee
Re: Photography
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2016, 06:11:33 PM »
That's a good analogy, thanks.  Now to try and commit it to memory.  :P

I too have forgotten these variables more often than remembering them :) Embarrassing when I work with real photographers and have to nod as they talk about their work, later I and try to jog the memory with a quick refresher.

ptgearguy

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
Re: Photography
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2016, 06:47:33 PM »
I am big into photography and shoot a Canon 6d. I have invested some cash into it and have the 100mm macro as well as the 40mm prime. I also have the 24-70 F4. I got these before I really got into saving and such and love them too much to sell. Besides, the money I would get back would be a huge loss compared to what I spend. They bring me and my family a ton of joy so it it worth it in my eyes. I take some very beautiful pictures but prefer to keep them private as I don't do photography to get oohs and aws from others. I did this in the past and actually found it tainted my love for photography as well as my interests in shooting.

Piwakawaka

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Age: 32
  • Location: New Zealand
Re: Photography
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2016, 09:58:11 PM »

Some lovely shots here! I got the photography bug early, lost it, and rediscovered it a few years back. Since then, I spent far too much on gear (a pre mustachian fault), but did put it to good use at least. I created a little portfolio site for sharing the love if anyone wants a look.

http://mikewilnz.portfoliobox.io/momentsintime

(If posting the link is a big no no, I apologise, please remove!)

And the horrible topic of gear...
I have settled on a rather minimal set up now-
A Canon 60D  body
A 24mm 2.8 STM
A 50mm 1.8 STM
My father's old Slik tripod from the 1970s. Built like a tank!
...
and that is it. No crazy wide, no tele zoom. Gets the job done nice... And yet I yearn for my previous camera that I STUPIDLY got rid of - an Olympus EM-5. I switched to a D-SLR system on the grounds that I wasn't much up for travelling in the near future. And thus, the added bulk of a DSLR would be much less an issue, and the added capabilities it afforded... Face punch needed! I resolved not to buy ANY camera things this year and will honour that. But moving on eventually, I think I'll go back to the lovely little M43 format. Lesson learned.


Ambition is for the chronically discontent