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The Dark Room -- Photo Editing and Picture Taking. Advice, tutorials, questions on all things photoshop, photo editing, and taking pictures of beads or glass.

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  #1  
Old 2010-05-01, 12:42pm
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delinquent beader delinquent beader is offline
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Default Nikon D-90

Okay Camera Experts - I used to use an old Nikon SLR. LOVED IT! Then we went digital and I changed to a Sony. I like it, but don't love it. I have a boat load of AF Nikkor lens which I hear will be compatible with a Nikon D-90.

Am I correct?

I'm sure this camera is probably overkill but if I'm going to spend the money I might as well shoot toward the top. Or at least the top of my price range.

I have a 35-70 lens and a Nikon Teleconverter 2X - plus some other loose lens I vaguely remember throwing in front to gt even closer. I also have others but am not looking for distance.

I really want to macro those beads and make them crystal clear. I really dislike using "sharpen" on Photoshop. I want to at least start better. I'm really not taking any Photoshop usage awards anyway.

So, who's got 'em? What lens are you using? What do you like -dislike? Any suggestions gratefully received before I go "Charge it!"

Sharon
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  #2  
Old 2010-05-01, 12:51pm
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yep the D90 will work with your current lenses

the 3000-5000 and the 40/60 will not
they dont have the lense motor built in.

Nikon has a really sweet 85mm macro lense out now that is very reasonably priced.
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  #3  
Old 2010-05-01, 1:22pm
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Thanks - I'll look up that macro lens on B&H.

Reasonably priced would certainly be a plus.

Takes a lot of beads to pay for one of these puppies - I don't even want to think about that.
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  #4  
Old 2010-05-10, 11:07am
Diane (clarus) Diane (clarus) is offline
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Hi Sharon, I know I'm a few days late on this but I went through this investigation in March and got the D90. Yes, all of your old lenses will work with it; however, you'll have to check and see if they'll work with the metering. There's a great site that has a full explanation of all the compatibility issues - www.kenrockwell.com. DH and I both had a bunch of lenses from our film days and wanted to put them to good use.

I just spent the weekend working on my bead photos. Only one of our lenses has a macro function, and even that doesn't work very well. I'm trying not to go with the add-on closeup lenses because I want really sharp photos. I got an adapter called a reversing ring that allows me to put the lenses on my camera backwards - it works quite well! So far the one that works best is a 35-70mm zoom (that's in film terms; it's closer to a 50-100mm for digital). You put the lens on backwards, frame and focus, and then you have to play with the exposure. You can kind of see what's going to work in Live View (my #1 reason for upgrading from my D40 to the D90), then you just bracket. I also got the wireless remote control that is indispensable for not having to touch the camera when you're using slow shutter speeds. Here's an example of what I did.



I also played with my 55mm and 28mm fixed lenses; they're a little sharper than the zoom. Only problem was they focus too close, but I wound up embracing that issue and got some really cool ultra-closeups of the reactions going on within the beads. I haven't gotten to those yet in post-processing in Photoshop, but I'll upload some later.

The one thing I miss doing it this way is autofocus, only because it's hard to get the focus exact when you're dealing with such a short depth of field. I'm saving up for a real macro lens; just need to figure out which one to get.

Have fun - it's an absolutely fabulous camera!

-Diane

**edited to add after re-reading your post** - is your 35-70 lens from an older film camera? It may be the same one I'm using! I haven't tried a teleconverter, but the reversing ring I got is a Nikon BR-2A. I got mine from the Amazon Marketplace, but have also seen them on eBay. They're about $30, so not a big investment. It will work on any 52mm filter ring lens.
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Last edited by Diane (clarus); 2010-05-10 at 11:12am. Reason: added info
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  #5  
Old 2010-05-10, 1:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delinquent beader View Post
I have a boat load of AF Nikkor lens which I hear will be compatible with a Nikon D-90.
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I have a 35-70 lens and a Nikon Teleconverter 2X - plus some other loose lens I vaguely remember throwing in front to gt even closer. I also have others but am not looking for distance.
Which is it? A boat load? Or one lens (and some bits that screw onto the front of the lens)? Which old SLR did you used to use? And, how old are these lenses?

Nikon has worked hard to make new products backwards compatible with old. Yes, just about any lens made in the last several decades "will work" on newer cameras. *But* ... many (most?) of the older lenses will only work *in manual mode*. This means: you won't get automatic exposure, auto focusing, or auto just-about-anything-else. If you are used to an old manual SLR, this won't be an issue. Just set your new digital to all manual, and pretend it's your old SLR.

As Diane mentioned, there are lot of ways of doing close-up photography: extension tubes, bellows, reversing the lens. These all work, but, (with only a few exceptions) all of these will mean that you're going to be working in manual mode. Your Teleconverter 2X will only work in manual mode on the D-90.

The D-90 is a great camera. It's the one I'd want if I were to upgrade today (something better will no doubt be out *when* I can justify getting a new camera). If you have a bunch of Nikon lenses, *and* you don't mind working in full manual mode, go for it. You can always get a newer lens too.

On the other hand, if all you want to do is to take pictures of your beads, there are probably less expensive routes you can take.

99% of the time, it's not the camera ... it's the photographer

Malcolm
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  #6  
Old 2010-05-10, 3:44pm
Diane (clarus) Diane (clarus) is offline
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Malcolm brings up some good points. Doing this works for me because I was a photography major in a previous lifetime and knew all the particulars about doing photography with a manual lens.

With your old lenses do the research and confirm what will and won't work with the D90. Unfortunately, to get auto metering with many of the older lenses you have to go up to a D200, and you can get a really nice macro lens for the price difference.

Yes, your teleconverter probably needs to be used in manual mode; I did find one set of extension tubes that works with automatic lenses, but it costs $165 for a set of three.

Reversing the lens does seem to work well for me, but I can only use a couple of my lenses for that. My 300mm lens has a 72mm filter thread, so I'd need a different reversing ring for that. DH's 70-210 zoom I think is a 62mm thread. My 135mm lens doesn't work at all due to the placement of the lens elements (it's a very old lens). Here's what I get with my two fixed reversed lenses:

55mm lens (actual size is about 25mm wide):


28mm lens (actual size is about 10 mm wide):


It is more about the photographer than the camera, but you've got to be comfortable with what you're using. If you're comfortable with the older pro film cameras, you'll do well with the D90. I went from a Nikon F2 to a Coolpix 880 point and shoot, to a D40. I thought I'd adapt just fine, but I didn't realize how dependent I'd become on the Live View feature of the Coolpix, and the D40 doesn't have that. With my awful closeup vision it gave me headaches trying to frame closeup photos in the viewfinder. So I sold the D40 and was going to side-grade to the P100, but DH convinced me to do the upgrade to the D90 body and use the old lenses, and eventually I'll get a regular DX lens and a real macro lens (so buy my beads once I get my website up!). In the meantime, I am loving all the upgraded features of the D90 and have no regrets.

Then you have to work on lighting, but that's another whole topic!

-Diane
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  #7  
Old 2010-05-10, 4:39pm
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I used a Nikon CoolPix 995 for many years (got it when it first came out) and just recently decided it was time for something new.

I got (I think) a D40... tried it for a week... hated it. I want live view!

So I bought a Canon PowerShot SX20 IS (and got back a couple hundred bucks).

I don't have the time to be a photographer... right now, I only need a camera that will take great bead and jewelry photos.

Here are some examples...

Taken one minute ago under horrendous conditions (no tripod, no lighting etc).



That is a close up of this...




Taken last night...

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  #8  
Old 2010-05-10, 5:19pm
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Originally Posted by ArtcoInc View Post



On the other hand, if all you want to do is to take pictures of your beads, there are probably less expensive routes you can take.

99% of the time, it's not the camera ... it's the photographer

Malcolm
True. You give Annie Liebowitz a 2 mg pixel pocket camera and she's going to take great photos with it.

I love my D90.

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  #9  
Old 2010-05-10, 5:25pm
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I'm pretty sure if I had the time to take photos other than of my jewelry, I'd totally want a D90. I hear nothing but good things about it (and I've seen Kevan's photos!).

Too funny about A. Liebowitz, but totally dead on.
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  #10  
Old 2010-06-06, 12:19pm
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Thanks for all of the guidance - I just got the camera a couple of days ago. No Ann Liebowitz here folks!

I do okay with my Sony tiny one, did great with the Nikon SLR, working hard at this D-90. I relied on the Sony F-818 and automatic for so long now I'm back in the learning curved. We've got a Sigma Macro for it.

Yes, I purchased just the body because the other lens fit from the old SLR. I used to like manual adjustments so we'll see if I can gt this groove back. But, lots more bells and whistles on this digital thing, working on setting the aperature, speed, blah - blah. I want to be able to take shots like Laura B, that bracelet shot is wonderful.

Attached is a photo of the table top I have. Lit with 2 K5000 and two house lights...can we say light a football field. My depth of field is all off on this right now too. In a 1 1/2" area with piece not more than 4mm difference in thickness I am blurred in one spot and spot on perfect in another....grrrrrr.

Any suggestions on what you see?



Sharon
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  #11  
Old 2010-06-06, 2:59pm
Diane (clarus) Diane (clarus) is offline
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I agree - Laura's bracelet photo is fantastic. It's the wide depth of field she got that makes it that way. Laura, any tips you can share?

Sharon, one thing I've found that really helps is getting the wireless remote control for the D90. Very easy to set up and makes taking the shot a lot easier than pressing the shutter release. I got mine at Amazon for about $15.

I'd like to hear how you like the Sigma micro. I've read great reviews of it. My next lens is going to be the Nikon 18-200 zoom, then I'll get a macro. Right now I'm happier with my older lenses reversed even though the limitation is that they're ultra-closeups than I am with the telephoto zoom we have.

Please share some photos of your beads when you have them!

-Diane
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Old 2010-06-06, 3:02pm
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99% of the time, it's not the camera ... it's the photographer

Malcolm

I'm so proud of you Malcom!


And to the OP... FWIW, I use a D90 for all of my studio business. You should be able to use it with any lens Nikkor has ever made (mostly). There are a select few that are manual only.

I'll also add, that if you're only wanting to shoot bead pics, the D90 is OVERKILL. The D5000 will work just fine with a newere macro lens that has a built in motor.
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Old 2010-06-06, 5:58pm
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Attached is a photo of the table top I have. Lit with 2 K5000 and two house lights...can we say light a football field. My depth of field is all off on this right now too. In a 1 1/2" area with piece not more than 4mm difference in thickness I am blurred in one spot and spot on perfect in another....grrrrrr.

Any suggestions on what you see?
A couple of thoughts:

* Make sure that your "house lights" and your K5000 lights are the same 'temperature' ... ie: all are tungsten, daylight, florescent, etc. If they aren't, you're going to have a hard time getting your white balance (and hence, colors) correct.

* Depth of Field is always a problem with close-up photography. Two things you can try are:

1) Stop down your aperture more. This will mean a longer exposure, which makes the use of a tripod and a remote shutter release really important.

2) Use a longer lens (ex: a 105mm macro instead of a 60mm macro), and shoot from further away.

Post the picture of what you're getting, along with the camera settings: lens, iso, aperture, shutter speed, white balance, manual or auto focus, etc.

Malcolm
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Old 2010-06-06, 6:26pm
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Just wanted to add - if you don't have a remote for the shutter - you can use the automatic timer if your camera has one. Works - focus - set timer - stand back!
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Old 2010-06-06, 7:13pm
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Diane/ Malcolm:

I will post some photos tomorrow - Good or bad.

I never thought of a possible light problem. Although I should of - I used to use tungsten exclusively with the old SLR for product shots. When things were dark on the beads I just threw more light at it. A quick solution isn't necessarily the best one.

I have stopped down the aperature in some experiments tonight. I will remove some lights tomorrow as things are washed out. I will check what the settings say tomorrow on each one I shoot and post.

The lens I am using is a Sigma 105 Macro. It is not the camera - it is definitely the user. I used to use a shutter trigger (?) on the SLR and didn't even know they made remotes these days. I will go to Amazon and purchase one - for now I will use Poet's suggestion and set the timer.

Malcolm, thank you for your patience. Did you attend the Gathering in Miami last year? Booth maybe? If so, we have met and if memory serves me I have a nice ArtCo bag from last year's purchases. You, or someone, was very nice then too.

Chris, overkill for beads - ABSOLUTELY! But, I tend to outgrow things quickly. No doubt it will be utilized in other ways. DH and I used to do 27 art shows a year on juried photographs/slides of his work - that I took. Although I can assure you I will never have the talents of an artistic studio photographer like yourself, or others. May I also add, lest you think I am some rich ditz throwing money around - I worked hard and saved a long time for this puppy and I'm just trying to figure it out with a little help from those "who know". But, ANY help you offer will be greatfully accepted.

Thanks POET!

Absolutely - will post tomorrow.

Sharon
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Old 2010-06-06, 7:14pm
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the remote is super cheap though
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Old 2010-06-06, 7:26pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura B View Post
So I bought a Canon PowerShot SX20 IS (and got back a couple hundred bucks).

I don't have the time to be a photographer... right now, I only need a camera that will take great bead and jewelry photos.

Here are some examples...

Taken one minute ago under horrendous conditions (no tripod, no lighting etc).



That is a close up of this...




Taken last night...

Laura, you just cost me a few hundred bucks. LOL That last pic did it for me. Now I need to figure out how to use it right. I took a few pics real quick with it and the close ups were not blurry at all. Thanks so much for posting this about the Powershot.

I think. LOL
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Old 2010-06-06, 7:40pm
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You don't have to spend money on the remote, though. You can just use the timer.
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Old 2010-06-06, 8:09pm
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Thanks Kevan!
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Old 2010-06-06, 8:51pm
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Laura, you just cost me a few hundred bucks. LOL That last pic did it for me. Now I need to figure out how to use it right. I took a few pics real quick with it and the close ups were not blurry at all. Thanks so much for posting this about the Powershot.

I think. LOL
Ha! Well, now I know three of us that use this camera then. Let me know how things go for you. Today I used the Aperture Priority setting for the first time.

And I concur with Kevan on the remote thing... no need for it, IMO.
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Old 2010-06-07, 4:25pm
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Okay, experiments today but still no where near the clarity on that bracelet of Laura's. I used manual all the way. Here are the settings of each photo but I'm not sure there is much difference between the photos - and please ignore the set up -yeech! Killed all lights but the K5000. Kevan/Poet - used the timer.

F11 - 40 - ISO 200
F16 - 30 - ISO 200
F20 - 13 - ISO 200

Getting there - but still seem to be depth of field issues, focus (maybe I ought to put that on auto), maybe add lighting too since they look dark. Didn't do the white balance yet. Color is pretty true to the bead though on first one. Maybe I should have sent the images in a smaller size but I wanted you to see the problems - not hide them.





Sharon
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Old 2010-06-07, 5:32pm
Diane (clarus) Diane (clarus) is offline
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Sharon - nice bead! I'd stick with the smallest aperture you can, and even with the current lighting setup there's some Photoshop magic that can be done. I downloaded the third picture and played with the levels; you can look at Scott Tanner's tutorial here in the Darkroom. I'm sure other photo editing programs have a similar function. Anyway, here's what I did:



-Diane

p.s. Here's the link to Scott's tutorial:

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...ghlight=levels
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  #23  
Old 2010-06-07, 5:37pm
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You have to use a photo editing program no matter what kind of camera or set up you use. No one uses photos right off the camera.

I remember having to take slide pictures of my paintings to enter them in shows. The color was never right and the photo lab had to use a filter to change the color and that still wasn't perfect.

We don't have to do that now. We can just use Photoshop.

Make the picture look like your bead.
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Old 2010-06-07, 5:57pm
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Sharon - nice bead! I'd stick with the smallest aperture you can, and even with the current lighting setup there's some Photoshop magic that can be done...
Ditto on the nice bead, and ditto on the smallest aperture. I use 2.8. And double ditto on photo-editing. I pretty much only do two things in editing (other than watermark). I color correct and I crop. Oh, I resize, too... so that's three.

Are you familiar with color correcting? I find having a stark white item near the object (that can be edited out when you crop) is invaluable. Something to tell the photo-editing software what in the photo is supposed to be white so it can adjust all the other colors accordingly.
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Old 2010-06-08, 1:41pm
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I will try the 2.8 - and I'm hoping to get it focused enough, and depth of field enough to do the color correct, crop, and re-size. And clone out dog hairs which seem to float everywhere from retrievers.

Leaving for Bead and Button today but I'll post more when I get back and try it again.

I've never color corrected before but I'll try the stark white item Laura and read up on what the book says about white balance (is that what we are talking about?).

The photoshop - I'm using PS Elements so I can clean it up but I sure am trying to avoid that part as much as possible. Which I'm sure we are all trying to do being it can be so time consuming for a single focal bead.

Thanks for compliments on the bead. I figured I might as well try the photo on something that contained everything but the kitchen sink to see what the camera would pick up.

Back in a couple of days.
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  #26  
Old 2010-06-08, 1:48pm
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Laura B Laura B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delinquent beader View Post
I will try the 2.8 - and I'm hoping to get it focused enough, and depth of field enough to do the color correct, crop, and re-size. And clone out dog hairs which seem to float everywhere from retrievers.

Leaving for Bead and Button today but I'll post more when I get back and try it again.

I've never color corrected before but I'll try the stark white item Laura and read up on what the book says about white balance (is that what we are talking about?).

The photoshop - I'm using PS Elements so I can clean it up but I sure am trying to avoid that part as much as possible. Which I'm sure we are all trying to do being it can be so time consuming for a single focal bead.

Thanks for compliments on the bead. I figured I might as well try the photo on something that contained everything but the kitchen sink to see what the camera would pick up.

Back in a couple of days.
Well, I've got a few tutorial things that may help with some of this... let me see if I can find them... BRB
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Old 2010-06-08, 1:49pm
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Okay, here's one for removing pet hair:

http://laurabrackenblog.blogspot.com...hair-from.html
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Old 2010-06-08, 2:02pm
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The one I have for color correcting is out of date. I'll whip up a new one tonight. I like to have these tutorials handy on the SRAJD site anyway, so no biggie.
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Old 2010-06-08, 6:23pm
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Okay, got home... got one whipped out.

http://www.artisimportant.com/refere...Correcting.htm
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Old 2010-06-10, 7:22pm
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Laura, thanks for doing this. You rock! =)

Now I need my headache to go away so I can take some pics.
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