digital cams used on manual

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ivan, May 16, 2004.

  1. Ivan

    Ivan Guest

    As a long time user of 35 mm Nikon film cameras I much preferred to use them
    in manual mode. I always had excellent results especially when exposing the
    film for moods and effects and exposing specific areas of the scene to
    saturation. Of the people here who were the same with manual cameras, are
    you finding that digital cameras are as easy to use in manual? By easy I
    suppose I mean "consistent predictable results".
    I guess the main reason I'm asking this question is because I still plan on
    purchasing good Nikon glass for my film cameras now that I'm older and have
    more disposable income. But at the same time I will be buying a digital
    Nikon soon. I know that you loose most of the auto features the digital
    bodies have by using lenses of older generations. Auto focus I hope is not
    one of them, but exposure metering I might prefer to forego if results are
    similar to film cameras.
    Also, on the subject of lenses for digital, I'm noticing a big emphasis on
    zoom lenses. I never was a fan of zooms. Are zooms becoming more of the
    norm for professionals in the scenic or portrait fields? I do a lot of
    still life and (my own) family portraits using studio strobes, so the
    wandering f-stop of zooms often places a speed bump in my creative process.

    aahhh, enough babbling for now....anyone care to comment?
    Ivan
     
    Ivan, May 16, 2004
    #1
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  2. So much depends on the camera. But, you plan on entering the digital game at
    the pro level...and you should find you can do most anything you want. There
    will be some differences. Those dramatic black and white images? Even more
    dramatic! The darks can be too dark and the lights blown out completely. If
    necessary you can shoot two pics, one for the lights and one for the darks
    and put them together in Photoshop (Photoshop will now be your darkroom...at
    the pro level...don't waste time learning anything lesser...let the flamers
    begin!)

    I have come to hate autofocusing...it messes up too many shots. I just got
    some photos of a really sharp brick wall...though the girls in front of it
    were a bit blurry.

    Zooms became important with 35mm because of the need to crop in the camera.
    The resolution of digitals being limited makes it even more important to get
    in as close as possible. Nobody says you have to use them...and in the
    studio...where you can move things around as much and as long as you
    like...use a prime. Who's to say you can't.

    "Ivan" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > As a long time user of 35 mm Nikon film cameras I much preferred to use

    them
    > in manual mode. I always had excellent results especially when exposing

    the
    > film for moods and effects and exposing specific areas of the scene to
    > saturation. Of the people here who were the same with manual cameras, are
    > you finding that digital cameras are as easy to use in manual? By easy I
    > suppose I mean "consistent predictable results".
    > I guess the main reason I'm asking this question is because I still plan

    on
    > purchasing good Nikon glass for my film cameras now that I'm older and

    have
    > more disposable income. But at the same time I will be buying a digital
    > Nikon soon. I know that you loose most of the auto features the digital
    > bodies have by using lenses of older generations. Auto focus I hope is

    not
    > one of them, but exposure metering I might prefer to forego if results are
    > similar to film cameras.
    > Also, on the subject of lenses for digital, I'm noticing a big emphasis on
    > zoom lenses. I never was a fan of zooms. Are zooms becoming more of the
    > norm for professionals in the scenic or portrait fields? I do a lot of
    > still life and (my own) family portraits using studio strobes, so the
    > wandering f-stop of zooms often places a speed bump in my creative

    process.
    >
    > aahhh, enough babbling for now....anyone care to comment?
    > Ivan
    >
    >
     
    Gene Palmiter, May 16, 2004
    #2
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  3. "Ivan" <> writes:

    > As a long time user of 35 mm Nikon film cameras I much preferred to use them
    > in manual mode. I always had excellent results especially when exposing the
    > film for moods and effects and exposing specific areas of the scene to
    > saturation. Of the people here who were the same with manual cameras, are
    > you finding that digital cameras are as easy to use in manual? By easy I
    > suppose I mean "consistent predictable results".
    > I guess the main reason I'm asking this question is because I still plan on
    > purchasing good Nikon glass for my film cameras now that I'm older and have
    > more disposable income. But at the same time I will be buying a digital
    > Nikon soon. I know that you loose most of the auto features the digital
    > bodies have by using lenses of older generations. Auto focus I hope is not
    > one of them, but exposure metering I might prefer to forego if results are
    > similar to film cameras.


    Um, "older generations" of lenses in the Nikon line don't have
    autofocus. AIS, AI, and pre-AI lenses, to be specific.

    The question of metering with the older lenses is a design choice in
    the body. The D1 and variants meter with older lenses. I believe the
    D2 does as well. Don't know about the Kodak-made Nikon-mount cameras.

    The D100, D70, and Fuji S1 and S2 do not meter with AIS and
    older lenses. I use AIS lenses frequently on my Fuji S2 -- there's no
    need to meter each shot, examining the histogram from a test shot
    tells me a lot *more* than a meter reading does, and I've shot (still
    shoot, very occasionally -- 4x5) with meterless cameras before (I used
    a Leica M3 as my main camera from about 1973 to 1977) and trained my
    eye well enough to know when the light changes on me.

    Oh, you probably meant to sensibly ask about whether the focus
    indicator in the viewfinder functions with older lenses, when you said
    "autofocus". It does on my Fuji S2, and I understand that it does on
    all of them.

    > Also, on the subject of lenses for digital, I'm noticing a big emphasis on
    > zoom lenses. I never was a fan of zooms. Are zooms becoming more of the
    > norm for professionals in the scenic or portrait fields? I do a lot of
    > still life and (my own) family portraits using studio strobes, so the
    > wandering f-stop of zooms often places a speed bump in my creative process.


    The more expensive zooms tend to be fixed-aperture, and it's those
    that are more likely to be used by professionals. The Nikon 80-200
    f2.8 has been considered a pro-grade lens since at least 1994 (when I
    first used one; never have owned one). And is cheaper than buying the
    Nikon 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, and 180mm all f2.8 or faster, at least last
    I checked. (Of course you can get the 85, 105, and 135 faster than
    f2.8 in primes if you want, too.)

    Zooms have gotten better (I got my first zoom in about 1975, when I'd
    been photographing "seriously" and doing my own developing and
    printing for about 7 years). Good zooms are still big and heavy.
    Come to think of it, I've still got that first zoom. It's a Tamron
    Adaptall, and I had it in Pentax screw mount originally, and then
    switched to Nikon mount. I think I've still got the Nikon mount on
    it, so I could actually mount it on my S2 (or my F). It was a slow
    85-210, something like f4-5.6, but it was very nice and sharp
    otherwise. I should try it again some day.

    Prime lenses are lighter, and often better than a zoom especially for
    flare resistance. And often faster, which can be important for
    viewfinder brightness as well as for actual exposure.

    And variable-aperture zooms are, as you say, a problem for non-TTL
    exposure determination. (Digital solves the studio strobe problem, at
    least; I hardly touch my flash meter any more, I just shoot test shots
    and examine the preview and histogram.)
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/>,<http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 16, 2004
    #3
  4. "Gene Palmiter" <> writes:

    > So much depends on the camera. But, you plan on entering the digital game at
    > the pro level...and you should find you can do most anything you want. There
    > will be some differences. Those dramatic black and white images? Even more
    > dramatic! The darks can be too dark and the lights blown out completely. If
    > necessary you can shoot two pics, one for the lights and one for the darks
    > and put them together in Photoshop (Photoshop will now be your darkroom...at
    > the pro level...don't waste time learning anything lesser...let the flamers
    > begin!)


    I agree, gotta have it. It's layering tools aren't touched in the
    only other program worth considering (Picture Window Pro; which has
    many excellent features and is less than $100, but which is certainly
    not a professional replacement for Photoshop).

    > I have come to hate autofocusing...it messes up too many shots. I just got
    > some photos of a really sharp brick wall...though the girls in front of it
    > were a bit blurry.


    Not that I ever did that when focusing manually, heavens no!

    I switched to autofocus in 1994 when a weekend rental and a lot of
    test shooting showed me it would definitely help me for the kind of
    shooting I did.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/>,<http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 16, 2004
    #4
  5. Ivan

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Ivan wrote:

    > As a long time user of 35 mm Nikon film cameras I much preferred to use them
    > in manual mode. I always had excellent results especially when exposing the
    > film for moods and effects and exposing specific areas of the scene to
    > saturation. Of the people here who were the same with manual cameras, are
    > you finding that digital cameras are as easy to use in manual? By easy I
    > suppose I mean "consistent predictable results".
    > I guess the main reason I'm asking this question is because I still plan on
    > purchasing good Nikon glass for my film cameras now that I'm older and have
    > more disposable income. But at the same time I will be buying a digital
    > Nikon soon. I know that you loose most of the auto features the digital
    > bodies have by using lenses of older generations. Auto focus I hope is not
    > one of them, but exposure metering I might prefer to forego if results are
    > similar to film cameras.
    > Also, on the subject of lenses for digital, I'm noticing a big emphasis on
    > zoom lenses. I never was a fan of zooms. Are zooms becoming more of the
    > norm for professionals in the scenic or portrait fields? I do a lot of
    > still life and (my own) family portraits using studio strobes, so the
    > wandering f-stop of zooms often places a speed bump in my creative process.
    >
    > aahhh, enough babbling for now....anyone care to comment?
    > Ivan
    >
    >

    Optical laws are the same, and light still has to get to the sensor,
    just as it did for film, so most of the mechanics are the same. For the
    uses you named, zoom is irrelevant, you can just adjust the distance to
    the subject. In your world of controllable light, shadow, and distance,
    manual adjustments to a digital camera should be the same as for film.
    For those of us who capture the moment in a dynamic and unpredictable
    world, autofocus, and exposure are more important.
     
    Ron Hunter, May 16, 2004
    #5
  6. Ivan

    Mark Johnson Guest

    "Ivan" <> wrote:

    >As a long time user of 35 mm Nikon film cameras I much preferred to use them
    >in manual mode. I always had excellent results especially when exposing the
    >film for moods and effects and exposing specific areas of the scene to
    >saturation. Of the people here who were the same with manual cameras, are
    >you finding that digital cameras are as easy to use in manual? By easy I
    >suppose I mean "consistent predictable results".
    >I guess the main reason I'm asking this question is because I still plan on
    >purchasing good Nikon glass for my film cameras now that I'm older and have
    >more disposable income. But at the same time I will be buying a digital
    >Nikon soon. I know that you loose most of the auto features the digital
    >bodies have by using lenses of older generations. Auto focus I hope is not
    >one of them, but exposure metering I might prefer to forego if results are
    >similar to film cameras.
    >Also, on the subject of lenses for digital, I'm noticing a big emphasis on
    >zoom lenses. I never was a fan of zooms. Are zooms becoming more of the
    >norm for professionals in the scenic or portrait fields? I do a lot of
    >still life and (my own) family portraits using studio strobes, so the
    >wandering f-stop of zooms often places a speed bump in my creative process.


    Manual is generally what I prefer. But sometimes for action,
    especially close, an auto-focus beam can save a photo for you. It just
    depends.

    But, generally - manual, and RAW mode.

    As for digicam or dSLR and various lenses, you have to judge. There
    are different focus planes, different effects of 'flattening' and
    foreshortening. It just depends. But if look for it, you can see the
    differences.
     
    Mark Johnson, May 16, 2004
    #6
  7. Ivan

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Ivan wrote:

    > As a long time user of 35 mm Nikon film cameras I much preferred to use them
    > in manual mode. I always had excellent results especially when exposing the
    > film for moods and effects and exposing specific areas of the scene to
    > saturation. Of the people here who were the same with manual cameras, are
    > you finding that digital cameras are as easy to use in manual? By easy I
    > suppose I mean "consistent predictable results".


    If you're talking SLR's, I don't think there's much of a difference between
    film or digital.. They use the same lenses and shutter, the only difference
    is what the light is falling on.

    Digital camera makers have gone to great lengths to keep the sensor ISO
    settings the same as the equivalent film sensitivity.. Because of this you
    can apply all the same rules and formulas, (Flash guide number calculations,
    sunny 16 etc).

    Manual focus is still a bit of a bear.. In consumer digicams, you usually
    have an awkward rocker switch that drives a servo. It doesn't provide the
    same smooth and fine operation as a big ring on a lens. Another problem is
    that some cameras have LCD viewfinders. These are usually grainy and hard to
    interpret.

    Digital SLR's, (unless you buy a full frame model), have a small viewfinder.
    They do this because of the crop in field of view caused by the smaller
    sensor. As a result what you see isn't as big and bright. This makes
    autofocusing a little more difficult.. But it's quite possible..

    > Also, on the subject of lenses for digital, I'm noticing a big emphasis on
    > zoom lenses. I never was a fan of zooms. Are zooms becoming more of the
    > norm for professionals in the scenic or portrait fields? I do a lot of
    > still life and (my own) family portraits using studio strobes, so the
    > wandering f-stop of zooms often places a speed bump in my creative process.


    Zooms are versatile.. I shoot a lot of wildlife and aircraft.. I don't have
    time to quickly switch lenses or screw on a TC as my subject rapidly approaches
    or departs.. A long prime would really cramp my style.

    I guess having multiple bodies with a different prime lens mounted on each would
    be a good solution, but an expensive one :)

    Of course if I did studio work at a fixed distance, the LAST thing I'd use is a
    zoom.. Obviously it all depends.

    PS.. They do make constant aperture lenses nowadays.. The aperture stays
    the same no matter what focal length you choose.. (for example, Canon makes
    a 24-70 f/2.8 lens)..
     
    Jim Townsend, May 16, 2004
    #7
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