A few photography questions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Kamera RAWr, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    I'm where I need to be
    #1
    Hello all, once again I'm back with some questions.
    Thinking about taking a trip later this year and wanted some tips from my fellow MR photographers (many quite experienced, it seems). I want to take some waterfall pictures, but probably will mostly be in the day time. I was thinking of getting Singh-Ray's Variable ND filter. Would this suffice? Can I and should I use a circular polarizer on top of that filter?

    I currently own a D80 and am considering either purchasing a second D80 or even perhaps a D200, but not so sure there about the D200. Although, I have also considered selling my D80 to upgrade to the D300. Any advice? What I like about the D-00 series of cameras is the dedicated controls, weather sealing, sturdy frame.

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated

    Your fellow photog,
    Martin Di Bergi :p
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    My opinion is a D200 would be a great 2nd body to that d80. I find the D80 to be a highly capable camera but the problem is then you're having to use SD and CF cards if you move to a 2nd body like the D200. However you asked if the D300 would be a better choice. Having moved from a D70 to a D300 I say yes, but then again the jump from the D80 to the D300 for the common user may not seem as big. If you really understand everything the D300 has to offer (I am barely there) then you may find the jump worth your while. If you can afford a D300 and keep that D80 then I think that it is a nice little setup you will have. However, back to that SD/CF issue.

    As for the ND filters. Anytime you want to take landscape shots with water you'll ultimately get a better feel if you can delay the shutter so the ND filter is the obvious choice. Adding a polarizer onto that is only going to put more glass between the subject and the actual lens. I don't like that myself but if you spend the cash on some great filters then you may find it doesn't make a difference, except allows you to use longer shutter speeds. I like the idea of one ND filter with variable strengths. It is well worth the cash to me to not carry around 3 filters and constantly switch them up. I think that is great but not knowing your exact location I can't speak to whether or not a ND+8 is going to work well enough. I think if you stop down your lens and use the lowest ISO you may be fine even if the waterfalls aren't in complete shade.
     
  3. Chrispy88 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #3
    I've got a D80 and I'm also thinking about upgrading to the D300. As long as you've invested 2-3x more of your money into lenses than your bodies, than an upgrade might be a good idea.

    I'm not a fan of the D200 - if you need a backup camera, I'd probably recommend just getting another D80 :eek:
     
  4. Kamera RAWr thread starter macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    I'm where I need to be
    #4
    Indeed I have invested in some good glass. After the D80, most of my purchases were lenses. 12-24 f/4 DX, 17-55 f/2.8 DX, and 70-200mm f/2.8 VR... all Nikkors.

    I am quite proud of my lenses :D
     
  5. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    Those are some nice lenses, I'd choose between a CP filter or a ND filter CP for glare management (and probably what I'd choose). Are you trying to take care of glare or provide a method for getting a slower shutterspeed?
     
  6. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #6
    Singh Ray make some of the better filters out there (probably at B&W's level). I have a set of graduated ND filters from them, and they are fantastic. From what I have read and have been told, the Vari-ND filters are great, and worth the money. You can stick a circular polarizer on top of the Vari-ND, but given that you will be shooting long exposures, there is really little point to it (any glare should average out on a moving body of water).

    In terms of your other question- stick with the D80. The D80 is about a year newer than the D200, and there is little that you will be gaining in terms of IQ. Handling may be better, but there is about 9 months of advances in the camera that you're holding. That being said, the D300 will definitely be a step up to what you're shooting, and will benefit from the fine glass that you have. I guess the way I have thought of it in the past is that if I have to ask whether I need something, or some upgrade, I probably don't.

    You also never said where you were going to be shooting waterfalls at. If you ever get the chance to go to Yosemite in April, it is a majestic place. The giant's staircase and the mist trail that goes along it is awesome.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    That's well put. Buy the lenses first. That will give you the most for your money.

    You did not say where you are going. So I'll guess Yosemite. I've been there a "Billion" times.

    Seriuly if you want the best results use film. Buy a film body aas your "backup". You can get a very nice one for under $200. In general I would not sugget using film but in this one case or landscape photography in makes sense becasue (1) You don't need speed. Landscapes can wait while you set up a tripod. (2) There is a lot of dynamic range in waterfals and film has better range then digital by at least three stops. (3) HDR will not work if the subject is moving and waterfalls move. (4) Film costs less. A D80 runs roughtly $1000. A film body and 100 rolls of film is a LOT less then $1000 and I doubt you'd shoot 100 rolls. A 35mm frame scanned at 4000 DPI is the same as a 24MP digital image. Not many people can afford a full frame 24MP DSLR. but you can buy the same quality for $100 and some film.

    OK you do not want to buy a film body. Then rent one. Rent a Hasselblad for a week. This is a completly different call of camera then a DSLR or 35mm SLR and produces a completely different class of image quality. I've done a fair amount of medium format photography in Yosemite. All I can say is "night and day difference" between that and small format cameras. So rent a "blad. One thing you will notice is you will not be the only one shooting with one.

    Back to the ND grad filter. They would be very hard to use on this subject. If you are shooting negative film, just expose for the shadows and don't worry you _can't_ blow highlights, not easly at least, on negative film. A DSLRis just not the tool for this subject.

    I'd go with 160 ISO portrant film. It scans well and in MF (120) size it is grainless and will give you 100MP files
     
  8. Kamera RAWr thread starter macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    I'm where I need to be
    #8
    ND for getting the slow shutter speed and the CP for glare reduction

    Also I'm curious to know what you all think of the Gitzo GT3530. I considered the step down from it, but this one seems more adequate for upgrades later. By that I mean for 300mm+ lenses. Throw my RRS ball head on it and go!
     
  9. Kamera RAWr thread starter macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    I'm where I need to be
    #9
    Thanks for the tip, I never really thought about the fact that since I'd try to be doing longer exposures that much of the glare from the water would dissipate.

    As for where I'm going, sorry I left that out. I'll be going to Iceland, again. I've been there quite a few times and am familiar with the country (There's a reason I call it my second home :p). There are still some things though that I haven't seen and also missed photograph opportunities. Will be doing another road trip to see Látrabjarg, Vestmannaeyjar, Seyðisfjörður, Snæfellsnes Penninsula, Drangey, etc. As well as other areas.
     
  10. Macerture macrumors member

    Macerture

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Dirty Jersey
    #10
    You can buy the ND's or, if your camera is capable, use the multi-exposure feature. NOT bracketing! What I'm talking about is a function that allows you to take up to a pre set number of shots and they will all combine into one image. If you use a tripod you can get very nice surreal water shots.. Read all about it to your hearts content here.. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=24542712

    Or, like you're intending to do, spend money on the filters and set some long exposures. Usually something longer than 1.5sec at ISO-100, with or without some fill-flash.
     
  11. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #11
    Maybe keep the D80 and get a new lens? D80 is a great camera.
     

Share This Page