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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted -  21/05/2010  :  10:06
I had a question about cameras and looked in the OGFB Photography forum for a suitable thread to ask it. There wasn't an obvious general thread for advice so I started this one for anyone like me who needs help. After all, there are some photo phanatics on OGFB who should be able to answer the odd question!

I know that SLR applied to conventional film cameras means single lens reflex and that what you see through the viewfinder is exactly what the lens sees. But in the case of an SLR digital camera does it mean the same? I've never used a digital SLR. For digital SLR the picture in the viewfinder might be the same as the picture through the lens but would I be seeing a simple image in the viewfinder created by light passing via lenses and mirrors only, or is the image in the viewfinder now electronic.

I'm prompted to ask this because I want to know more about digital camera viewfinders. I have a Canon compact digital which does a wonderful job and I use it a lot but the bubear for me with any of these cameras is not being able to see the screen in strong sunlight. I chose my Canon model partly becasue it has a conventional viewfinder as well as the screen. Experience shows me this viewfinder is a useful alternative for general scenic shots but no good for macro or zoom shots because the view and the picture don't coincide exactly. So I'm wondering what else there might be out there that would get over the sunlight problem. I have considered a digital SLR but I really like having asmall, light camera that I can put in my pocket (the Canon does this and yet has 6x optical zoom, anti-vibration, viewfinder).


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Big Kev
Big


2650 Posts
Posted - 17/09/2010 : 13:28
Sounds like a good do. Shooting in raw,and bypassing all the in camera processing, is the best way to get as much information into your images. It gives a lot more scope in photo manipulation programs (Pshop etc). I tend to shoot, in raw, using aperture priority most of the time. The results seem to be OK...


Big Kev

It doesn't matter who you vote for, you always end up with the government. Go to Top of Page
marilyn
VIP Member


5007 Posts
Posted - 21/09/2010 : 06:58
I've had the camera out again today....had fun taking extreme close ups of flowers and blossom. I noticed one button that was a mystery to me and I shall have to go back to the manual and see what it is....
I'm still getting to know everything at this stage.
Just holding the camera and carrying it about still feels strange at this point. It feels huge.


get your people to phone my people and we will do lunch...MAZ Go to Top of Page
electricalphil
Regular Member


63 Posts
Posted - 21/09/2010 : 17:46
Hi, Tizer,
I use a very cheap Fujifilm A170, 10.2 MP Digital camera ( £64 in a sale at Curry's), It has all the "bells and whistles" (to qoute Stanley) asscociated with modern digital cameras but it is simple enough to point and shoot,with one or two exceptions. I never use the flash in daylight ,I always use the natural light setting and the Macro ffeature for close ups. This camera has a 3 x optical zoom and a facillity to trimshots on camera, it also has a feature that allows you to brighten the Lcd Screen. I have the same problem that you described with my PC moniter at home, thats a flat screen LCD type, and if someone else has been on the PC and altered the angle of the screen , I can't see a dam thing when I go on it. You could use screens but they are bulky and awkward ,most folk just want to point and shoot. The beauty of a good photo editor on your PC is that even if you can't get in for that close up you want, provided you get a reasonably well focused general shot of your subject you can bring it out with the Editing Software and crop, edit and reduce the file size before submitting.
I'm not the best photographer about and I'm certainly not 'Proffessional' by any means, but you can see my submissions on OGFB. I've done a couple of demo' on selective focus (or Depth of Field, for the Anoraks), see Fungi in Lettcliffe. Be patient with the shutter button, press it half way gently, and holdit there for a couple of seconds to give the range finder and exposure meter a chance to register then press it all the way and click! you've got your shot. its all ready been said in this thread that it really does'nt need to be nany more complicated than that.
Phil.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 21/09/2010 : 20:17
Hi Phil,  Thanks for posting photos and explaining what you are doing. It would be even better if you posted them into a thread like this one then you could write more and they would be easier for people to access! Since I started this thread only a few months have passed but I've been reading lots about cameras and photography and I understand much more than I did then. It helps a lot to know how cameras work and also to read about composition and be inspired by other people's photos. One thing I learned that amazed me was how small the sensor is in a compact digital camera - it's only about a quarter of an inch square. So it's like photographing on film a quarter of an inch wide!


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 22/09/2010 : 06:21
Haven't things changed! I can remember my mentors making me print full frame and bleeding the edge of the frame in so they could be sure that what was on the print was what I had composed in the viewfinder. You could do this with cameras like to old Nikon F or the Leica because what you saw was what you got. I keep toying with the idea of getting a digital Nikon that takes the old lens, I'm told that there is one. Of course I would really love to get a digital back for the F, now that would be heaven!


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
electricalphil
Regular Member


63 Posts
Posted - 05/10/2010 : 03:42
I don't know about your early experiences Stanley, but I learned most of my photography from my dad at a very early age. We lived in a mill cottage with gas lamps and Bijou mantles, but it did not stop him experimenting with developing and printing.
As they had not invented a gas powered enlarger we were a bit limmited for choice of print size.but we managed with hand held printing frames under the gas lamp. Dad bought a Kodak developing Tank for a couple of Quid and some chemicals and off we went.
If I rememember correctly the 120 Roll film that we used produced a negative of something like two and three quarter by two inch (roughly) and this gave a reasonable size enlargement.
Obviously trial and error was a large part of it, but timing and clean water  for rinsing were also important . The chemicals did'nt have a long shel life either so dad would wait untill he ad a sufficient amount of roll film to develope and print and would try to get all his prints from the same batch of chemicals if he could.
I learned to take pictures first of all on a Box Brownie, well remembered by most folk in the forties and fifties, then progressed to my dad's Kodak Folding Pocket Camera. " Bells and Whistles Galore", compared to the Brownie. You could do some serious twiddling with this machine. It had a Focus Ring, aShutter Speed Ring, and an  Aperture Ring with F Stops from F2.8 To F 22,these were metal rings as this was built before the advent of modern plastics.
Although my dad was fairly good at explaining stuff he did lose his rag a time or two when I could not seem to grasp the relationship between shutter speed and aperture, how altering one affected the other, it took a while for the penny to drop on that one. I also learned about Depth of Field and how to use the Scale on the Focus ring, to judge what would be in focus or out of focus, and how this related to the size of the Aperture being used.
The Kodak had a Waist level Viefinder,which was on a swivel mount and could be turned through 90 degrees to make an Eye level View Finder, it was not an SLR so you had to frame shots carefully to avoid cutting peoples heads and feet off (Parralax Error I believe they called it).In later years the view finders had white lines in them (Parralax Lines) and anything withn the lines would be in the shot, anything outside the lines would be cut off, these were known as Parralax View Finders and worked Quite well.  
The Eye level Finder on the Kodak was good for hand held shots but more impotantly for Tripod mounted shots.
This then,brings me to the Shutter Release Button which had a screw thread in it to take a Shutter release Cable: which allowed the Shutter to be operated without touching the Camera Body,thus eliminating Camera shake,(picture stabilisation) they call it nowadays), and they've only just found out how to do it electronically!
It was this Cable Release feature that allowed dad to take photos indoors by gas light without flash. If he used the B setting on the Shutter Speed Ring this would keep the shutter open for however long the Cable Release was depressed, therefore ,with carefull timing on his Smith's Pocket Watch he could achieve a reasonable exposure without flash and no Camera Shake.
The Shutter on this model was mechanical and operated by a spring which was "cocked " by depressing a lever on the side of the Shutter speed Ring.
I really like the Digital Camera that I use now, but the old timers had mastered the art of Camera making long before the Transister and Microchip were even thought of. Those hours spent as a young lad with my brother and my dad learning how to take pictures in all kindsof situations and then developing and printing the finished article were magic,we had no telly and the radio would be on, ( BRS Piped Radio 1 shilling and six pence a week I think),and many a happy hour was passed learning.

Phil


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 21/10/2010 : 11:37
Panorama photo on cylindrical projection

 

Panorama photo on rectilinear projection

The two panorama images above were each created from six photos using Hugin software to `stitch' them together automatically. The difference betwen them is that the top one was created using a `cylindrical' projection and the bottom one with `rectilinear' projection. You can create with other projections depending on your needs.

I used a Canon G11 to take the photos but I can't use the Canon software or the G11 Stitch function because I use the Ubuntu Linux operating system on my computer instead of Windows. But I found Hugin was recommended and it is available for Linux, Windows and Mac. The automatic method using the `Assistant is very easy and the results are remarkably good for an auto method. It makes a large TIF file which I then rotated to get it truly horizontal and cropped and then saved as a JPG file. Hugin is FREE and can be downloaded from the web site shown below.

http://hugin.sourceforge.net

Edited by - Tizer on 21/10/2010 11:48:48


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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 21/10/2010 : 14:39
This is the first Thursday in 5 weeks that I won't be at the excellent photography course held at the Rainhall Centre by Mark Tattersall. I shall miss it very much.

Although I don't have my own DSLR yet, I found the knowledge I gained will come in very handy for when I eventually get one.

We learned the ins and outs of abandoning the Auto function, and how to use aperture or shutter priority, ISO and post production to best advantage.

One particularly interesting thing was how the higher ISO rating - used in lower light conditions - also has the nasty side effect of excess noise. In th'owd days this would be called 'grain' but nowadays it can produce ugly coloured pixels just where you don't want them. On the A or TV (S) settings the ISO is often still in Auto mode and may choose a high rating so that you have more options on aperture and shutter speed.

I can't wait to have a go at putting my newly learned skills into operation - mind you, at my age I'll probably have forgotten most of the info by the time I can afford a decent camera...Go to Top of Page
catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 21/10/2010 : 17:15
I have come across some old B&W negatives that I thought had been lost and am now interested in trying to scan them into the computer. Does anyone know what the output is from the negative scanners currently on sale.

I am led to believe that the software supplied with these scanners is not all that good, and it only M$ compatible any way, but if the output from the scanner is .mpg or .tiff etc. Ubuntu should be able to deal with it.


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 21/10/2010 : 20:14
Heather, like you I've gone through an intensive learning stage recently and I too wonder how much will be retained! Worst of all, I tend to forget at the very time when I want to take a photo. I get too involved in the basic, familiar aspects. I find exposure meter locking very useful when I remember it, for getting a better exposure setting on a different part of the scene then being able to move back to the desired composition. I sold the family silver and treated myself to a Canon G11 so that I would have the sort of manual functions and buttons available on a DSLR but can put it in my pocket.

Catty, Stanley should know a lot about scanning negs - it's his favourite pastime! What's a negative scanner? Can you not use a normal scanner and then reverse the image to a positive? (I've got the feeling I'm going to learn something here.)

Edited by - Tizer on 21/10/2010 20:15:17


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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 21/10/2010 : 22:43


quote:
Tizer wrote:


Catty, Stanley should know a lot about scanning negs - it's his favourite pastime! What's a negative scanner? Can you not use a normal scanner and then reverse the image to a positive? (I've got the feeling I'm going to learn something here.)

Edited by - Tizer on 21/10/2010 20:15:17

Not from me, kind sir.

I have just found a lot of "lost" B&W negatives and I believe a normal scanner is not really an ideal tool for getting the best out of them.....if there is any best left in them. I also read somewhere that the soft ware supplied with these thing is only M$ compatible and not so hot even then. So I was thinking that if their output was a common format maybe Gimp could handle them.

http://www.negativescanners.co.uk/

 

Edited by - catgate on 21/10/2010 10:45:39 PM


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 22/10/2010 : 06:32
Catty, what format are the old negs? Tiz is right in that I have in my time scanned more negs (up to 5x4" format) than you can poke a stick at. Having said that, I'm not an expert, have only used film scanning on Windows and can only give opinions based on my own experience.

I have a question. I still have my old Nikon bodies and some Tri-X in the fridge. However, I have a yen to try my old AI lens on a digital body. I have looked on the web and tip-toed through the technical minefield and it seems to me that I need a D300 or D700 to name but two. Despite having been a snapper for a long time I am not a techno wizard, all my best pics were taken just using composition, aperture and shutter speed so don't bury me with modern terms.

Has anyone got experience using AI lens on modern Nikon digital bodies?  The lens I am most interested in using are the 20mm and the 24mm, both AI. Any advice gratefully accepted!

My current Nikon is the E8400 but as far as I can see it won't adapt to the Nikkor lens.


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Big Kev
Big


2650 Posts
Posted - 22/10/2010 : 07:28
Can't help with the Nikon. I do use Olympus OM lenses on my Olympus E520. Because the 520 uses the 4/3 system the focal length of the OM lenses are effectively doubled (the f2.8 135mm OM lens works as a 270mm lens). Just Google the lens/camera combination, there'll be reams of info and opinions...


Big Kev

It doesn't matter who you vote for, you always end up with the government. Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 22/10/2010 : 08:05
That's the problem Kev, reams of info! I think from what I've seen the D300 does it but obviously I would be grateful for any experience.


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Big Kev
Big


2650 Posts
Posted - 22/10/2010 : 08:24
Tinternet points towards AI lenses working on the D300 without issue. £800 should get you a brand new D300 body on Ebay


Big Kev

It doesn't matter who you vote for, you always end up with the government. Go to Top of Page
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