What I think I want is ...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by John Desmond, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. John Desmond

    John Desmond Guest

    Salutations, gentlefolk,

    Having researched various websites and magazines, I have concluded
    that what I really want in a digital camera is ...

    ( Well, it ain't actually what I really want, but it's the closest
    match between desire and budget ;-) )

    Anyway, what I intend to do with a new digital camera:
    1 - The standard 'friends, family, and tourist' stuff
    2 - Really close-up shots - filling the frame with a subject 3/4"
    high, and getting everything in sharp focus and full detail.
    (Toy soldiers - they'll 'pose at attention' as long as
    necessary ;-) )

    And what I _think_ I want is a Nikon 5200.

    Questions:

    1 - I assume the tripod socket is what the stores use to fasten
    the display models to the counter ?

    2 - Does this have an attachment for an auxiliary flash ?
    ( hotshoe ? )

    3 - I'm a big guy with big fingers. Would I have trouble
    manipulating the controls of a camera this size ?

    4 - Accessories ? What's 'needed but not included'?, what's 'nice
    to have'?, what's 'available and interesting'?
    Good sources to purchase them ?

    5 - Should I, instead, be looking for:
    something less powerful and cheaper ( the 3700 ? ) ?
    one of Nikon's new models ( I don't mind having an
    obsolescent model, as long as it does the job.) ?
    something more powerful and more expensive ?
    another manufacturer's products ?

    6 - Is there an online directory of camera clubs, etc ?


    Finally, to venture off topic here, I recently inherited a
    35mmSLR - an Argus/Cosina STL 1000, vintage 1975 or thereabouts.
    Any good sources - print or web - for advice for beginners. (I'd
    like, eventually, to be able to take pictures that could be
    enlarged to poster size.)

    Thanks, very much, for any advice you can give me.

    Yours, John Desmond
    John Desmond, Mar 17, 2005
    #1
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  2. John Desmond

    Eatmorepies Guest

    snip

    >
    > Finally, to venture off topic here, I recently inherited a
    > 35mmSLR - an Argus/Cosina STL 1000, vintage 1975 or thereabouts.
    > Any good sources - print or web - for advice for beginners. (I'd
    > like, eventually, to be able to take pictures that could be
    > enlarged to poster size.)
    >


    Don't even bother buying it a film (apart from a sentimental journey).

    Fantastic quality 1980/1990 SLR cameras are becoming unsaleable as digital
    quality is rapidly overtaking even the best 35mm film. I have an EOS 600 and
    lenses from 1988 - it is possibly worth £40 on a good day ($70) - with the
    three lenses.

    As for a 1975 Cosina; they were quite poor as new cameras. Look upon your
    inheritance as something to remember your loved one by - and run a 24 shot
    cheapo colour film through it if you really feel the need.

    If you want poster size - get a 5 to 7 Mpx digital camera.

    John
    Eatmorepies, Mar 17, 2005
    #2
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  3. John Desmond

    Peter Chant Guest

    Eatmorepies wrote:

    >
    > Don't even bother buying it a film (apart from a sentimental journey).
    >
    > Fantastic quality 1980/1990 SLR cameras are becoming unsaleable as digital
    > quality is rapidly overtaking even the best 35mm film. I have an EOS 600
    > and lenses from 1988 - it is possibly worth £40 on a good day ($70) - with
    > the three lenses.
    >
    > As for a 1975 Cosina; they were quite poor as new cameras. Look upon your
    > inheritance as something to remember your loved one by - and run a 24 shot
    > cheapo colour film through it if you really feel the need.
    >
    > If you want poster size - get a 5 to 7 Mpx digital camera.


    As much as I hate to contribute to what I think is the start of yet another
    pointless film v digital thread, of course there is no point in the OP
    thinking about getting poster size prints if he sticks any old cheapo film
    in it as you suggested.

    Unless the camera is a complete duffer is the lens any good?


    --
    http://www.petezilla.co.uk
    Peter Chant, Mar 17, 2005
    #3
  4. John Desmond

    Guest

    I agree with Pete. There were indeed some crap cameras back in the
    70's, but some of them had quite good lenses, especially if it is just
    a simple standard 50mm, or even a 28 or 135 - it actually might be
    quite good.. My first camera was a venerable, dirt cheap Zenit E
    camera, with a Helios 44 lens (that was clearly made on a Tuesday...!)
    That camera/lens, loaded with good fine-grained print film and shooting
    on a tripod, could do dam fine enlargements up to about 11x17, and if
    loaded with Kodachrome 25 and then projected (on a good projector), the
    size of your wall was the limit. Well, ok, maybe that's a slight
    exaggeration. But on a good day, on a tripod, with good film, such
    cameras and lenses were capable of results that would exceed a 5Mp
    digicam by a noticable margin.

    If you *really* want poster size, then you are talking medium format or
    8-16 Mp DSLR. I use one of the better 8Mp prosumers, and once it gets
    to 13x19 you can see the resolution is coming to an end.. after all,
    8Mp works out to less than 180 pixels per inch at that size. And 13x19
    is just a bit bigger than A3, and is not what I would call poster size.
    It all depends on your perception of quality, though - my clients LOVE
    the big portraits I can do. However if I wanted to make my living
    from sharp poster-sized landscapes, I would have to step up a few
    notches...
    , Mar 18, 2005
    #4
  5. John Desmond

    Guest

    And to answer your other questions..

    >1 - tripod socket


    Why, are you planning to unscrew it quickly and run? (O;


    >2 - auxiliary flash ? ( hotshoe ? )


    Visit www.dpreview.com and find out.


    >3 - I'm a big guy with big fingers.


    Most compacts are OK for big guys. I'm one too and I can handle a tiny
    Benq 1500 that barely puts a bulge in my pocket..


    >4 - Accessories ?


    Extra battery/s (try Ebay if they are proprietary batteries)
    A good carry case.
    A filter holder (if one is required/available), and then..
    A polariser for reducing contrast and improving colors in outdoor
    shooting, maybe an ND grad for contrasty landscapes
    Photoshop, PS Elements, PSPro or similar if it doesn't come with the
    camera
    Maybe a wide angle or tele converter lens, but wait until you get a
    feel for the camera and what you want to do with it. Don't go cheap
    here.

    >5 - something less powerful and cheaper ( the 3700 ? ) ?


    Spend some hours at dpreview, watch the forums and places like this,
    don't be blinded by one manufacturer. Most of the big brands make some
    good, some very good, and some mediocre cameras. I am not familiar
    with the 5200 and what category it falls into...


    >6 - online directory of camera clubs, etc ?


    Pass. Google search 'camera club', plus your location.
    , Mar 18, 2005
    #5
  6. John Desmond

    Jim Guest

    "John Desmond" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Salutations, gentlefolk,
    >
    > Having researched various websites and magazines, I have concluded
    > that what I really want in a digital camera is ...
    >
    > ( Well, it ain't actually what I really want, but it's the closest
    > match between desire and budget ;-) )
    >
    > Anyway, what I intend to do with a new digital camera:
    > 1 - The standard 'friends, family, and tourist' stuff
    > 2 - Really close-up shots - filling the frame with a subject 3/4"
    > high, and getting everything in sharp focus and full detail.
    > (Toy soldiers - they'll 'pose at attention' as long as
    > necessary ;-) )
    >
    > And what I _think_ I want is a Nikon 5200.
    >
    > Questions:
    >
    > 1 - I assume the tripod socket is what the stores use to fasten
    > the display models to the counter ?

    No, it is what the photographer to fasten the camera to the tripod (don't
    leave home without one).
    >
    > 2 - Does this have an attachment for an auxiliary flash ?
    > ( hotshoe ? )

    Don't know, but probably not.
    >
    > 3 - I'm a big guy with big fingers. Would I have trouble
    > manipulating the controls of a camera this size ?

    Go look at one and decide for yourself.
    >
    > 4 - Accessories ? What's 'needed but not included'?, what's 'nice
    > to have'?, what's 'available and interesting'?
    > Good sources to purchase them ?

    You might need a case (aka Neveready case).
    You might need a polarizer filter.
    You might need a UV filter.
    >
    > 5 - Should I, instead, be looking for:
    > something less powerful and cheaper ( the 3700 ? ) ?
    > one of Nikon's new models ( I don't mind having an
    > obsolescent model, as long as it does the job.) ?
    > something more powerful and more expensive ?
    > another manufacturer's products ?

    Everybody owns obsolete cameras.
    >
    > 6 - Is there an online directory of camera clubs, etc ?

    Don't think so.-
    >
    >
    > Finally, to venture off topic here, I recently inherited a
    > 35mmSLR - an Argus/Cosina STL 1000, vintage 1975 or thereabouts.
    > Any good sources - print or web - for advice for beginners. (I'd
    > like, eventually, to be able to take pictures that could be
    > enlarged to poster size.)

    You won't with that camera.
    >
    > Thanks, very much, for any advice you can give me.
    >
    > Yours, John Desmond

    John, I would never buy a device that I have not seen with my own eyes and
    handled with my own hands.
    Jim
    >
    >
    >
    Jim, Mar 18, 2005
    #6
  7. John Desmond

    Guest

    Here ya go:

    http://homepage.mac.com/mattdenton/photo/cameras/argus_cosina_1000.html

    from which he says:

    ".. the 1.8/50mm 6-element, 4-group coated Cosinon is nothing to sneeze
    at, it's an excellent performer."

    "..having taken it apart allows me to say that this camera is solidly
    engineered on a par with Konica Autoreflex or K1000. "

    That is only one person's opinion, of course, but this guy has seen a
    few cameras, I'll wager..
    , Mar 18, 2005
    #7
  8. John Desmond

    Eatmorepies Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I agree with Pete. There were indeed some crap cameras back in the
    > 70's, but some of them had quite good lenses, especially if it is just
    > a simple standard 50mm, or even a 28 or 135 - it actually might be
    > quite good.. My first camera was a venerable, dirt cheap Zenit E
    > camera, with a Helios 44 lens (that was clearly made on a Tuesday...!)
    > That camera/lens, loaded with good fine-grained print film and shooting
    > on a tripod, could do dam fine enlargements up to about 11x17, and if
    > loaded with Kodachrome 25 and then projected (on a good projector), the
    > size of your wall was the limit. Well, ok, maybe that's a slight
    > exaggeration. But on a good day, on a tripod, with good film, such
    > cameras and lenses were capable of results that would exceed a 5Mp
    > digicam by a noticable margin.


    No. I have used a variety of 35mm cameras; including Zenit/Yashica/Pentax. I
    also used a Yashy D which used 120 film and produced very good pictures up
    to almost any size I could project onto my darkroom wall. My EOS 600 with
    expensive Canon lenses does a decent 20 x 16 print if you use a fine grain
    B&W film. My 5MPx Canon G5 beats it - when used on ISO 50, pictures 90cm
    wide are very reasonable in quality. If your 5MPx digicam doesn't produce
    very crisp 10 x 8 pictures replace it.
    >
    > If you *really* want poster size, then you are talking medium format or
    > 8-16 Mp DSLR. I use one of the better 8Mp prosumers, and once it gets
    > to 13x19 you can see the resolution is coming to an end.. after all,
    > 8Mp works out to less than 180 pixels per inch at that size. And 13x19
    > is just a bit bigger than A3, and is not what I would call poster size.
    > It all depends on your perception of quality, though - my clients LOVE
    > the big portraits I can do. However if I wanted to make my living
    > from sharp poster-sized landscapes, I would have to step up a few
    > notches...
    >

    Today I bought a 350D - so far it seems to be grain free up to a picture
    some 1.2m wide. I've only had an hour on it so I will have to reserve
    judgement until I have had opportunity to give it a good thrashing at the
    extremes of resolution. Sorry, but digital does sem to be the way.

    John
    Eatmorepies, Mar 18, 2005
    #8
  9. John Desmond

    Guest

    I'm afraid I disagree, and yes, I use 5 and 8Mp digitals and routinely
    print to 13"x19".

    At that size, even an 8Mp is down to 180 ppi. A 5Mp is down to about
    130 dpi - that isn't very good. If you shoot a detailed landscape and
    print it to that size, no matter how good the 5Mp is, you can't get any
    more detail, and it will look decidedly unsharp on close inspection.
    However, a good print from black and white film or a Cibachrome from
    Kodachrome 25 on a 35mm with decent lens will give you a very nice
    print at that size.

    If you are simply comparing portrait photography, then yes, the digital
    images are much cleaner and `look` sharper and cleaner. But they do
    not show quite as much detail, until you get up to at least 8Mp, .
    Refer to sites like www.normankoren.com, and www.clarkvision.com for
    more detailed comparisons.

    A lot depends on the subject matter, and in general terms I guess we
    aren't that far apart!
    , Mar 19, 2005
    #9
  10. John Desmond

    John Desmond Guest

    Salutations, gentlefolk,

    Thanks to everyone who replied, thanks especially to Chrlz for the
    info on the Argus-Cosina.

    Thing is, given an unlimited budget, I'd get a 15-megapixel digital
    SLR. That not being the case, must figure out how to do the things I
    want to do with the tools I have, or find out which are the best I can
    afford.

    Anyone wanting to disrecommend the Nikon 5200, 'speak now or forever
    hold your peace ;-)'

    Yours, John
    John Desmond, Mar 23, 2005
    #10
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