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Author Topic: Advice on lenses  (Read 12828 times)

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« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2014, 10:49 »
0
i think it is poor advice to give to a guy with an old DLSR, to begin to invest in lenses, he should rather get a camara, a kitlens, and spend his time on photoshop.

I've just spent the afternoon processing pics from 2005 when I was shooting with a Canon 300D and a 24-70 2.8L lens and - guess what - there's absolutely nothing wrong with the image quality (and if I missed the exposure a but then PS is able to bring the RAW files up nicely). It's true that the 6MP 300D won't make the larger sizes on several sites, but since the large sizes generally only sell as subs these days (or sometimes for peanuts on iStock) it doesn't matter that much.  Images that I shot around that time with the kit lens are still usable but are clearly inferior in quality. So the lens DOES matter.
As you are advising on the business side of microstock, I would have thought that the cheapest body that delivers acceptable IQ would be the optimum set-up. And if the 300D from 2003 can produce stock quality at today's level then any DSLR can.


ACS

« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2014, 12:21 »
0
If iso setting, exposure, lighting and composition are all fine, a 6 mp 10 years old D70 can deliver very good stock photos even with its kit lens 18-70. But this optimum conditions can usually be set in studios or for still life shots interiors.

But for editorials, landscapes, cityscapes, a 24 mp D5300 would be superior because of the flexibility of downsizing and cropping.

As for the lenses, I think almost all lenses produced by Nikon, Canon, Sigma, Tokina, Tamron etc. since 2003 can deliver enough quality for microstock under optimum conditons. CA, vignetting and color casts can mostly be corrected during post processing.

But of course a pricey good glass with VR system will give you more opportunities and save your time when post processing.

« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2014, 12:45 »
+1
There I disagree to a degree, first I have a 50mm 1.8, and I never use it, because it cannot zoom, it is inconvenient to work with.

The agencies, and the customers dont like shallow dof. Shallow dof is a technology based artefact that we try to avoid with: Stacking, aperture, light, and sensors so big that you can crop.
If you are not convinced then google model railway images and tilt shift lenses and compare.

It is only sometimes that shallow DOF is expressive  There are many examples, that a blurred background adds to the subject. They are standard in Yuris lifestyle pictures. A blurred light background fading into white. It is subjec and style specific and has a lot to do with the kind of the picture language we are used to.

I'm not sure if your reply was just to wind me up or not, but in case it's not, I disagree with a few of your points -

According to the Shutterstock 2014 trend report that Ron posted, customers do want shallow DOF shots.   I agree with you that some agencies are spotty about accepting them (a frustration for me), but it has been getting better.

My own experience tells me larger sensors (Full Frame, for example) produce inherently less DOF than small sensors (try to get a blurred background on a consumer level P&S). 

Cropping a large resolution image after the fact does not produce deeper DOF.

Shallow DOF is not a technology based artifact.  Among other things (dare I say primarily) it's a result of distance, focal length, and aperture.  Not entirely dissimilar to our own eyes.

I'm confused by your other points, they seem to be arguing for the artist merits of a Shallow DOF and not against them.

All in all, my point was simple.  If you have a fast lens it opens up shooting options in addition to low light performance, that don't exist if you don't have one.  $80USD on the used marked market buys you those options, with good optical quality, and a very low investment risk.  This why this lens is called a "nifty-fifty".       

I stand by my recommendation.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 19:04 by SHSPhotography »

« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2014, 14:03 »
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As I said earlier, I love my 50mm f/1.8 - though I have an old one without AF, getting the inexpensive one with AF is a great buy.

Some people here seem obsessed with whether any expense is worthwhile if you're only shooting for the micros, but as someone who obviously loves photography, or he wouldn't be doing it in addition to his day job to begin with, I don't imagine the only time the OP picks up his camera is to shoot microstock.  IMHO it's better to build up your equipment by purchasing the best you can afford so you have more options as time goes on, and starting with an inexpensive but excellent prime like the 50mm is sound advice.

I agree that a 6MP camera with a kit lens is more than adequate for microstock and even some traditional stock - I've sold many photos taken in 2006-2009 with my old 6 MP D70 & 18-70 kit lens on both the micros and on Alamy - and they passed Alamy QC back when you had to uprez them to 48MB (as opposed to the current 24MB) - but I don't think that's a reason to go for the cheapest equipment.

In my experience, once I bought the D700 and the Nikon 24-70mm, I found most kit/inexpensive lenses to be less than satisfying to use. For example, though I usually opt for the Nikon 70-300mm VR zoom as a lightweight alternative to my Sigma 50-500mm when traveling, I always feel a bit disappointed in those photos and constantly have to remind myself that I don't want to push it beyond 200mm. That's why the more expensive Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm is far more satisfying to use. It's a fantastic lens. It is incredibly sharp throughout nearly its entire range & even quite sharp at 500mm. I've licensed photos taken at 500mm to calendar companies and magazines such as Coastal Living - nice high end RM work. Having good equipment gives you lots of options. And the Sigma cost me $900 (I got it refurbished in 2009) - I think the regular price was around $1,000. It has paid for itself. Personally, having equipment that delivers throughout its range is preferable to me over equipment, such as the 70-300 VR that was really a compromise - There are many times I've used it where I wish I'd brought along the Sigma instead, and only opted for the 70-300 to save my back. That's the kind of decision the OP needs to make when considering equipment - and his desire to move beyond the kit lens tells me that he's looking for lenses that are reasonably priced but that even someone not on such a tight budget would buy. Thus, the 50mm is a good choice for him because he won't feel like it's a compromise every time he uses it. And on a DX camera the 50mm is long enough for portraits and leaves you with great bokeh.

I'd also recommend the 35mm f/1.8 - inexpensive but incredibly sharp and focuses really close. As someone whose camera/lens of choice is the D700/Nikon Nikor 24-70mm, I'm never disappointed with the shots I get using my D5100/35mm f/1.8 Though this photo was obviously post processed, it was not cropped nor was the composition changed - nearly a macro taken with the 35mm: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/butterfly-fantasy-marianne-campolongo.html

« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2014, 21:21 »
0
There I disagree to a degree, first I have a 50mm 1.8, and I never use it, because it cannot zoom, it is inconvenient to work with.

The agencies, and the customers dont like shallow dof. Shallow dof is a technology based artefact that we try to avoid with: Stacking, aperture, light, and sensors so big that you can crop.
If you are not convinced then google model railway images and tilt shift lenses and compare.

It is only sometimes that shallow DOF is expressive  There are many examples, that a blurred background adds to the subject. They are standard in Yuris lifestyle pictures. A blurred light background fading into white. It is subjec and style specific and has a lot to do with the kind of the picture language we are used to.

I'm not sure if your reply was just to wind me up or not, but in case it's not, I disagree with a few of your points -
It was not

According to the Shutterstock 2014 trend report that Ron posted, customers do want shallow DOF shots.   I agree with you that some agencies are spotty about accepting them (a frustration for me), but it has been getting better.

Blurred backgrounds can support the subject. That we agree on. But not always, it depends on the keywords and the intent of the image. A tomato on white has no advantage of being half blurred, a bowl of tomato soup in a kitchen could benifit from blurred towels and chefs in the background

My own experience tells me larger sensors (Full Frame, for example) produce inherently less DOF than small sensors (try to get a blurred background on a consumer level P&S).

 If you photograph a microprocessor with a macro lens, you will only get a bit of it in focus, if you step back and take it from a  distance, you can get it all inside dof, thats where large sensors have an advantage. Because you have pixels to crop away

Cropping a large resolution image after the fact does not produce deeper DOF.

Shallow DOF is not a technology based artifact.  Among other things (dare I say primarily) it's a result of distance, focal length, and aperture.  Not entirely dissimilar to our own eyes.
Thats exactly what I mean by artifact, the human eye works the same way, mechanically, but the perception does not, because the brain "stacks" the information into a "Dof- free" image.

I'm confused by your other points, they seem to be arguing for the artist merits of a Shallow DOF and not against them.
Yes I got a little confused there, its not all black and white, sometimes good sometimes bad. 

All in all, my point was simple.  If you have a fast lens it opens up shooting options in addition to low light performance, that don't exist if you don't have one.  $80USD on the used marked market buys you those options, with good optical quality, and a very low investment risk.  This why this lens is called a "nifty-fifty". 

True enough, and cheap enough, so its not bad advice. Personally I would miss the zoom     

I stand by my recommendation.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #55 on: January 28, 2014, 22:22 »
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Here are some places that sell used and refurbished lens. Sometimes they are as good as new. They rate them so you know the condition of the lens.
http://www.keh.com/ I've used them and haven't been disappointed yet

Also http://www.adorama.com sells used lens also as well as http://www.bhphotovideo.com

I prefer KEH over the other two. Take a look and you can see the prices and compare them. I've bought some lens off of e-bay and was never satisfied.

« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2014, 15:40 »
0
I have to give an enthusiastic +1 for KEH. I've purchased several things from them and have never had a problem. On the other hand, I've always read the listings carefully on eBay and have never had a problem with camera gear purchased there, either.

Also, I recommend the Tamron/Sigma/Tokina 3rd party lenses as a way to get the most bang for your buck. I have very little Canon glass and have never had trouble with rejections for anything other than my composition, LCV, etc.

« Reply #57 on: March 31, 2014, 10:38 »
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I've seen somebody advices buying 18-200 VR. Don't do that, that's the worst glass I've ever seen. Even my kit lens 18-105 is way better than that one.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #58 on: April 01, 2014, 11:34 »
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I think you could assume the same for any 10X zoom lens.  :) I had two of the Canon 35-350 and loved them. But really 10X superzoom? 18-200 is in the same realm, just asking too much, which gives up the quality.

Shorter zoom range, proportionally = better quality for the entire range of the lens.

If it's cost, the Nifty 50 is a wonderful lens.

Used is good advise.

Bottom line is pick the best lens you can afford, that matches what you shoot the most. That's the answer.

I've seen somebody advices buying 18-200 VR. Don't do that, that's the worst glass I've ever seen. Even my kit lens 18-105 is way better than that one.

« Reply #59 on: April 01, 2014, 12:44 »
+1
Quote from: Henri Cartier-Bresson
Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.
because the Lefts and revolutionaries could never build good cameras and lenses?

« Reply #60 on: April 03, 2014, 09:45 »
0
Quote from: Henri Cartier-Bresson
Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.
because the Lefts and revolutionaries could never build good cameras and lenses?
Flektogon, Sonnar, Practika, Biometar, Zenit ... cheap but good.

« Reply #61 on: April 04, 2014, 05:35 »
0
Many of us were weaned on Praktica cameras built like tanks!

« Reply #62 on: July 25, 2014, 04:27 »
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See what a slow and cheap lens can produce. interesting, isnt it?:



no, is not interesting sorry :)


 

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