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Old 01-28-2012, 06:41 AM   #31
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The Nikkor 60mm Macro is a fine lens. If you want a little more reach, the Tamron 90mm Macro is hard to beat. All three shots above are from the Tamron 90mm Macro. Sigma makes a really nice one that is over 100mm...can't remember exactly what it is...150mm maybe.

And do yourself a favor and grab a 50mm f/1.8 aka the Thrifty Fifty. IMO that is one lens that should be in every Nikon DSLR shooter's bag. You can find them for $100 or less and they are fantastic.

Editing, look at Gimp...it is comparable to PS but it's free. You can also get Photoshop Elements for not much money. Commonly for less than $50. It's just a watered down PS but has all the main things you need to do processing. I personally like Light Room but it's costly. You might be able to grab an old version of Nikon Capture for cheap or even a newer version from someone that doesn't need it. Capture NX2 is an excellent program that is included with some Nikon cameras and much of the time, people that buy them are using PS and sell off the Capture program cheap.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:50 AM   #32
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Ohh yeah, forgot about the pics! These are all shot in AUTO mode with no flash or tripod.











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Old 01-28-2012, 07:04 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
The Nikkor 60mm Macro is a fine lens. If you want a little more reach, the Tamron 90mm Macro is hard to beat. All three shots above are from the Tamron 90mm Macro. Sigma makes a really nice one that is over 100mm...can't remember exactly what it is...150mm maybe.

And do yourself a favor and grab a 50mm f/1.8 aka the Thrifty Fifty. IMO that is one lens that should be in every Nikon DSLR shooter's bag. You can find them for $100 or less and they are fantastic.

Editing, look at Gimp...it is comparable to PS but it's free. You can also get Photoshop Elements for not much money. Commonly for less than $50. It's just a watered down PS but has all the main things you need to do processing. I personally like Light Room but it's costly. You might be able to grab an old version of Nikon Capture for cheap or even a newer version from someone that doesn't need it. Capture NX2 is an excellent program that is included with some Nikon cameras and much of the time, people that buy them are using PS and sell off the Capture program cheap.
I'm just use to the 18-55 lens I have which I think is the mm of it. When you say 60mm or 90mm are those set and you can't zoom or am I completely missing it?

My manager snagged the same camera/lens I got in my kit but his also included a 55-200 (I believe) lens too with his kit (from Costco for only $200 more than what I paid I think). That would be a good macro lens right?

I haven't even dl any of the free software that you recommended in other threads. I guess I'll just check out that gimp tomorrow at work and see what it's like.

Do you have any input on taking HDR shots or could tell me how to do it? Some of the HDR shots I have seen look unbelievable.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:04 AM   #34
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Good to see you here Nubster!

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Ohh yeah, forgot about the pics! These are all shot in AUTO mode with no flash or tripod.
Nice pics! And yeah, it can be quite the revelation when people start using DSLRs instead of point and shoots. Sure, the DSLR may be more expensive, but you only have to buy it once, and you'll have great image quality for years to come and the flexibility of new lenses, instead of buying $200 point and shoots year after year searching for good image quality or when they break. Might as well spend the money once and get the real thing instead of going from point and shoot to point and shoot until you've spent enough money to where you could have had a DSLR...

Also, if you're a student or know one, Adobe offers 80% off all their products to all students, no matter their major or full time/part time status. This means you can get Adobe Lightroom 3, the gold standard of efficient image editing, for $90, which isn't bad at all...
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:10 AM   #35
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I'm just use to the 18-55 lens I have which I think is the mm of it. When you say 60mm or 90mm are those set and you can't zoom or am I completely missing it?

My manager snagged the same camera/lens I got in my kit but his also included a 55-200 (I believe) lens too with his kit (from Costco for only $200 more than what I paid I think). That would be a good macro lens right?

I haven't even dl any of the free software that you recommended in other threads. I guess I'll just check out that gimp tomorrow at work and see what it's like.

Do you have any input on taking HDR shots or could tell me how to do it? Some of the HDR shots I have seen look unbelievable.
The macro lenses are almost all fixed focal lengths, meaning the 60 is only a 60 and the 90 is only a 90mm lens. Reason being primes offer better image quality and with macro its a very high precision instrument to get you to 1:1 magnification, and a zoom can impede that.

The 55-200mm is a telephoto lens, but it is not a macro lens. A macro lens is not based off how far it zooms in (high mm) but instead is based on its ability to focus closely. The 55-200mm lens zooms out to 200mm, but it can not focus close enough to be a macro lens. Macro lenses come in all different lengths, from 60mm to 105mm to 200mm, but the high mm rating and macro magnification of 1:1(where objects the size of a cm become life size, or fill the frame of the picture) are not related.....its really confusing, but try to wrap your head around that one lol....Nikons word for Macro is Micro by the way, so any Micro lens is a macro lens. Anything without micro in the name, is not a macro lens...
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:21 PM   #36
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HDR requires HDR software. There are ways you can mimic it in PS but true HDR needs the HDR program. HDR is really cool looking though. I had a program but I lost it when my last computer went down. I never really got the chance to play around with it.

And yeah, like TickleMyElmo said, when the lens is just a 60mm or 90mm or whatever, it is a prime lens which means it's a fixed focal length. Generally they are sharper lenses but they are also more expensive. I really like shooting primes but sometimes I like to have the ability to zoom. Right now I have 30mm, 50mm, and 90mm primes in my kit and one zoom that goes from 70-300mm. If I had the money though, I'd probably replace them with a couple nice zooms and keep the 50mm and 90mm Macro.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:16 AM   #37
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Quote:
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HDR requires HDR software. There are ways you can mimic it in PS but true HDR needs the HDR program. HDR is really cool looking though. I had a program but I lost it when my last computer went down. I never really got the chance to play around with it.

And yeah, like TickleMyElmo said, when the lens is just a 60mm or 90mm or whatever, it is a prime lens which means it's a fixed focal length. Generally they are sharper lenses but they are also more expensive. I really like shooting primes but sometimes I like to have the ability to zoom. Right now I have 30mm, 50mm, and 90mm primes in my kit and one zoom that goes from 70-300mm. If I had the money though, I'd probably replace them with a couple nice zooms and keep the 50mm and 90mm Macro.
Photoshop CS4 had HDR in it but it stunk. CS5 has it and they've really improved the algorithms for HDR. No need any more to go to Photomatix now.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:46 AM   #38
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So how do you get a close macro shot with a fixed lens, in an aquarium at least?
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:58 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsmith View Post
I'm just use to the 18-55 lens I have which I think is the mm of it. When you say 60mm or 90mm are those set and you can't zoom or am I completely missing it?

My manager snagged the same camera/lens I got in my kit but his also included a 55-200 (I believe) lens too with his kit (from Costco for only $200 more than what I paid I think). That would be a good macro lens right?

I haven't even dl any of the free software that you recommended in other threads. I guess I'll just check out that gimp tomorrow at work and see what it's like.

Do you have any input on taking HDR shots or could tell me how to do it? Some of the HDR shots I have seen look unbelievable.
bsmith
If you are on a budget look into getting a good 50mm prime (f1.2 or f1.4 if the budget wont strech to the 1.2) and some macro extender tubes (that way you will have the best of both worlds without too much of the cost of buying two lenses)
gimp is very good seeing as its free!
Just some frendly advise from the canon camp
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:30 AM   #40
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bsmith
If you are on a budget look into getting a good 50mm prime (f1.2 or f1.4 if the budget wont strech to the 1.2) and some macro extender tubes (that way you will have the best of both worlds without too much of the cost of buying two lenses)
gimp is very good seeing as its free!
Just some frendly advise from the canon camp
I'm all about friendly advice. I just don't like the brand bashing from fanboys!

Is prime the brand of the lens? And I'm guessing that the f1.2 is just a higher quality model over the f1.4?
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:37 AM   #41
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Prime means it's a fixed lens not a zoom.

1.2 is a faster lens than 1.4
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:06 AM   #42
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I'm all about friendly advice. I just don't like the brand bashing from fanboys!

Is prime the brand of the lens? And I'm guessing that the f1.2 is just a higher quality model over the f1.4?
Like Graph said its a fixed focal lenght (they are most often referred to as prime lenses) the F number refers to the apature,the lower the F number the larger the apature and hense the faster the lense(can capture light) F1.2 can be quite expensive in primes and anything lower that F1.2 goes into stratispheric costs (not that the average person would need it). 50mm f1.4 is a good compromise as it can perform very well for most of the situations you will be likely to use it in, you will also get some exercise from it due the "manual" (walk closer or further away) focus element to using one.

no bashing from me as its all about the image produced and not about the equipment that produced it.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:19 AM   #43
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Nothing but Nikon here also.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:28 AM   #44
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If money is an issue, the 50mm f/1.8 is an excellent lens and can be had for about $100. Very sharp, great walk around lens. The other suggestions are good though. If you can swing it, the Tamron 90mm Macro, Nikkor 60mm Micro, and Sigma 150mm Macro are all great lenses but will set you back $300-400.

For macro, I personally suggest a tripod and shutter release. Of course with some practice you can certainly do it free handed.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:56 AM   #45
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Great info guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Prime means it's a fixed lens not a zoom.

1.2 is a faster lens than 1.4
So when your saying faster you mean it is able to capture enough light more quickly in order to produce a decent photo?

After doing a quick google search for 'prime f1.2 or .4 it was apparent to me very quickly that a 1.2 was much more than a 1.4, about 3x as much or ~$1000.

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Originally Posted by robbowal View Post
Like Graph said its a fixed focal lenght (they are most often referred to as prime lenses) the F number refers to the apature,the lower the F number the larger the apature and hense the faster the lense(can capture light) F1.2 can be quite expensive in primes and anything lower that F1.2 goes into stratispheric costs (not that the average person would need it). 50mm f1.4 is a good compromise as it can perform very well for most of the situations you will be likely to use it in, you will also get some exercise from it due the "manual" (walk closer or further away) focus element to using one.

no bashing from me as its all about the image produced and not about the equipment that produced it.

I like setting my camera to manual and doing the tuning (not sure what the proper term is but this seems like it will get my point across).

So to put it in lay terms. A 50mm prime lens would be like taking pics with the lens my camera came with (18-55), all the way zoomed in or all the way zoomed out? I'm thinking zoomed out.

I would just have to put the lense right up to the glass to get a good close shot of say a bristle nose plecos face where the nostrils, eyes and bristles were in the shot?

Quote:
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If money is an issue, the 50mm f/1.8 is an excellent lens and can be had for about $100. Very sharp, great walk around lens. The other suggestions are good though. If you can swing it, the Tamron 90mm Macro, Nikkor 60mm Micro, and Sigma 150mm Macro are all great lenses but will set you back $300-400.

For macro, I personally suggest a tripod and shutter release. Of course with some practice you can certainly do it free handed.

Okay so with a 90mm prime lens it would be like taking pics with the lens I have (again, 15-55) roughly at about twice the distance? Pretty sure the nikor lens that I have is f1.8.

Right now I took a break from taking all the hardscape out of my L183 starlight tank to see how the plecs are doing and to snap some pics. I'm allowing the mulm/pieces of DW to settle so the water clears and I can get better shots.

But I think after that I'm going to hot up Craigslist and see what's doing on there lens wise...
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