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post #531 of 29541
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Ok, critique my HDR please. The first is the original image converted from RAW. Only the sharpness and saturation have been adjusted. There wasn't much difference between the sky and ground in the original image, so the effect of the HDR is less pronounced. I did this with 5 different images all from a single RAW image.



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post #532 of 29541

sdsd


Edited by ecoyd1 - 3/24/14 at 10:11am
post #533 of 29541
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneTomorrow View Post
Nice snail! I hope the weather is nice this weekend so I can get back out to the nature reserve.

Most zooms with focal lengths that wide have very small ranges, like 10-20mm or 14-24. I think that Nikon and Sigma's 18-200mm lens has the widest angle with the greatest zoom that I'm aware of.

I would just get a dedicated wide angle lens if I were you. Start with the 18-200m and see how it fits. Sigma makes a reasonably priced 10 -20mm lens. You're likely to get better performance out of a dedicated wide angle lens, particularly in the f-stop. Personally, I've rarely been in a situation where I needed a super wide angle. More zoom, of course.

Trying to find an "all around" SLR lens is impossible, but that's half the fun of SLR!
I was thinking about getting three main lenses, all Sigma, all with good reviews from multiple sources:

1. Wide-angle. 10-20mm. ~ £290 ($570 USD)
2. General Purpose. 18-200mm. ~ £290 ($570 USD)
3. Macro. 105mm. ~ £270 ($530 USD)

...add to that, either:

a D300 ~ £1000 ($1970 USD)
or a K20D ~ £700 ($1380 USD)

...for a total of either ~ £1850 ($3650 USD) for the D300 set-up (plus the cost of in-lens VR/IS),
...or ~ £1550 ($3050 USD) for the K20D set-up.

This way, I could cover everything I'm likely to need for shooting in the foreseeable future, without having to swap lenses too often, or have any major purchases to make after the initial buying spree. The 18-200mm isn't super (supposedly) at 18mm, or 200mm, but it's not bad either (in fact, it's relatively good for the range it offers) and in-between the extremes, where I'm going to be using it most, it's supposed to be very good.

Of course, all these plans depend on cash and if things don't go as well I might like, I could see myself just getting a D300 with one lens (possibly the Nikkor 18-200mm as it's a tiny bit better than it's Sigma counterpart), or the K20D with two lenses, the 18-200mm and the 105mm Macro.

What do you think? Do these options seem like good set-ups to start with? Or are there better alternatives?

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post #534 of 29541
Well, I can now add the Canon 10-22mm to my list, and a Canon 580EX II Flash.

Totaling $920 shipped, new.

New from B&H, even after the rebate on the flash, would have cost me $200 more for the exact same parts (not imports, btw).
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post #535 of 29541
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highly-Annoyed View Post
I was thinking about getting three main lenses, all Sigma, all with good reviews from multiple sources:

1. Wide-angle. 10-20mm. ~ £290 ($570 USD)
2. General Purpose. 18-200mm. ~ £290 ($570 USD)
3. Macro. 105mm. ~ £270 ($530 USD)

...add to that, either:

a D300 ~ £1000 ($1970 USD)
or a K20D ~ £700 ($1380 USD)

...for a total of either ~ £1850 ($3650 USD) for the D300 set-up (plus the cost of in-lens VR/IS),
...or ~ £1550 ($3050 USD) for the K20D set-up.

This way, I could cover everything I'm likely to need for shooting in the foreseeable future, without having to swap lenses too often, or have any major purchases to make after the initial buying spree. The 18-200mm isn't super (supposedly) at 18mm, or 200mm, but it's not bad either (in fact, it's relatively good for the range it offers) and in-between the extremes, where I'm going to be using it most, it's supposed to be very good.

Of course, all these plans depend on cash and if things don't go as well I might like, I could see myself just getting a D300 with one lens (possibly the Nikkor 18-200mm as it's a tiny bit better than it's Sigma counterpart), or the K20D with two lenses, the 18-200mm and the 105mm Macro.

What do you think? Do these options seem like good set-ups to start with? Or are there better alternatives?

Highly-Annoyed
Well if you go for the D300 you will get a better performing camera, but will need to spend the extra money on Nikon VR lenses. I say try the Pentax with the Sigma lenses, I bet it will be a nice setup for a lot less money.

And the 105mm macro is a popular focal length because of how close it gets, but you should know that it is very shaky and hard to keep still hand held or even with a monopod. I tried out 60mm, 85mm and 105mm in my camera shop and went for a 60mm because I could keep it the steadiest and it still gets plenty close up. Just a thought.
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post #536 of 29541
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoyd1 View Post
I think you should have shot WAY overexposed for one of the images to get the shadows in the trees brighter.

But overall, the sky looks pretty good.
I tried that, but I couldn't keep the sky from getting blown out. However I didn't tweak the image much, just added the layers and the mask and hit Ctrl + S. But you're right about the shadows, they need to be brighter, I will give it another shot.

I'm suprised though how well and HDR can be done with a single RAW image. I've tried bracketing and RAW method with equal results.
Edited by GoneTomorrow - 5/22/08 at 9:25am
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post #537 of 29541
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrinNutz View Post
Well, I can now add the Canon 10-22mm to my list, and a Canon 580EX II Flash.

Totaling $920 shipped, new.

New from B&H, even after the rebate on the flash, would have cost me $200 more for the exact same parts (not imports, btw).
Dropping some serious dough on the camera setup! Post some shots from the WA lens when you can.
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post #538 of 29541
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Highy-Annoyed, I came across a Swedish site with a good review of the K20D. They have some good ISO shots, click on "Testbilder":

http://www.cyberphoto.se/?http://www...icle=K20D18200
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post #539 of 29541
Don't worry, I will!! I don't know when it will get here though. So, we'll have to see!!!
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post #540 of 29541
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneTomorrow View Post
Well if you go for the D300 you will get a better performing camera, but will need to spend the extra money on Nikon VR lenses. I say try the Pentax with the Sigma lenses, I bet it will be a nice setup for a lot less money.

And the 105mm macro is a popular focal length because of how close it gets, but you should know that it is very shaky and hard to keep still hand held or even with a monopod. I tried out 60mm, 85mm and 105mm in my camera shop and went for a 60mm because I could keep it the steadiest and it still gets plenty close up. Just a thought.
Yeah, I've revised my list again and for the D300, will go with the Nikkor 105mm Micro, VR. The Sigma version doesn't have OS afaik, so it's only good on a camera with in-body IS, like the K20D.

Nikon D300 body - £1,000 / $1,978
General Purpose - Sigma 18-200mm f3.5/6.3 OS HSM [Nikon Fit] - £340 / $673
Macro & Portrait - Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR Micro - £420 / $831
Landscape & Big Group - Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 EX DC HSM [Nikon fit] - £340 / $673
Total: £2,100 / $4,154

Pentax K20D body - £700 / $1,385
General Purpose-Sigma 18-200mm f3.5/6.3 [Pentax Fit] -£270 / $534
Macro & Portrait-Sigma 105mm Macro f2.8 [Penax Fit]-£320 / $633
Landscape & Big Group -Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 HSM [Pentax Fit] -£290 / $574
Total: £1,580 / $3,125

These lists are still not definitive though. I'm still open to suggestions as the more I learn the more possibilities I see. As always, cash will be the ultimate decider though. I'm hoping to have somewhere around 2K to spend, but it could be a lot less. Obviously, I'd rather get the best I can afford, but I need to consider all the extras that increase costs, like filters, memory cards, batteries, high quality MC Protectors, etc, etc... I need to cost it all out thoroughly really. Handy I have about eight weeks until I'm able to actually make the purchase, if all goes well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneTomorrow View Post
Highy-Annoyed, I came across a Swedish site with a good review of the K20D. They have some good ISO shots, click on "Testbilder":

http://www.cyberphoto.se/?http://www...icle=K20D18200
Yeah, I've read about 10 or so reviews on the K20D and seen lots of ISO shots with full size and 100% crops. Thanks for the “heads-up” though . I'm fairly satisfied that the K20D is a good camera for the money. The only thing I don't like really, is the live view implementation. It's not very good and I'd probably use that to compose macro shots more than the viewfinder.

It's not just the composition, its the manual focusing, or refinement of the auto-focus when taking macros that the live view is also useful for. You just can't do it with the K20Ds implementation (at least in the reviews I've seen), so you're stuck with the viewfinder. No matter how good the viewfinder may be (and it is a good) I'm not sure I'd find using it for macro very practical. Still, I guess I should give it a try with my FZ50 and see if I could get used to macro shooting through the viewfinder.

The K20D has some advantages over the D300, not least, I was surprised to learn, it's continuous shooting speed... The D300 is a lot faster when shooting JPEG, but when you shoot RAW, it's FPS drops below that of the K20D's 3FPS when shooting RAW. As I always shoot RAW+JPEG, I'd actually get faster continuous shooting with the K20D, over the (43% more expensive) D300.

If I can get past the macro shooting with the viewfinder, I still think the K20D is a good choice and would be a massive step up from the super zoom I have now. Still, despite the K20Ds faster continuous RAW shooting and higher mega-pixels, the D300 is still the better camera, with a very well implemented live view system and I'd like to make a sound investment for the future.

I don't know. It's a tough decision, but I have a feeling that finances will make it for me .

Highly-Annoyed
Edited by Highly-Annoyed - 5/22/08 at 1:27pm
    
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