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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello...

Okay, I have this small dilemma. I'm saving up for new photography equipment (I love photography, but I have to borrow most of the good cameras I use as I'm hopelessly poor...) and I'm trying to decide what to get next. Here's the choices I've set up for myself in no particular oder:

1) Darkroom equipment: I have a spare bathroom I'm going to turn into a darkroom. Some of the equipment I can get free, but I'd only have a b&w enlarger (I love b&w, so that's okay, but I'd like a color one, too) & I'd have to get the chemicals & such. Not to mention I'd have to do a bit of remodeling in the bathroom (luckily I have a pretty spiffy landlord).

2) A new (well, probably used) canon and some fab micro/macro lenses. I like F-1s, but anything that's fully manual will do. Actually, that's not true -- I'm *really* picky about cameras, but I'll leave that for the actual shopping time. Right now I can borrow these types of cameras without too much trouble, so I'm not sure how urgent it is. But I want one of my own...


3) A new 5MP digital camera. I think I saw the one I want when I was out eyeing them yesterday. I know nothing about digital photography, but I figure it would be easier to spread my pics around via the computer, I might save money in the long run on film for snapshot-type photography, and do the serious photography on the canon & develop it myself when I get that all set up.

4) A slide viewer or projector of some sort. Most of my best scenery shots were taken on slides -- it'd sure be nice to be able to see them again.


I've got a while to decide -- but I thought it might help me make a decision if I heard other's ideas. So... if you were me, what would you get first? Making a choice doesn't exclude anything -- eventually I'll get all the photography equipment I want (which is a heck of a lot more than what I listed), but that'll take *several* years, so I can only get a little at a time.

Thanks,

Mskedi
 

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Cool, I'll be keeping a close eye and focus
on this thread, I truly think photography is the beez neez for instant expression of what

one sees thru their own eyes! ...including ''minds eye!''
 

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A new 5MP digital camera. I think I saw the one I want when I was out eyeing them yesterday.

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Last sumnmer I decided I wanted to get back into photography and wanted a digital that felt like using an SLR. I also wanted a 5 megapixel in case I ever got around to doing some prints of my paintings and needed that amount of detail. I got the Minolta d'image 7i . Here's a good review;

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_.../dimage7i.html

One thing I love about this camera is the extreme zoom range. Also I love the manual rubberized zoom ring around the lens. It just feels so great to use and zoom "at will" manually by twisting the ring instead of electronic buttons on some cameras.

Anyway, the review says it all ... I love this camera, you may want other specifications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
dk_art,

wow.. that camera looks much better than the one I was looking at (an Olympus C-5050) -- and also $100 more
. A manual zoom lens is rare in the digital cams -- honestly, I don't think I've ever seen one available.

A lot of the rest looks similar. I'm still not *entirely* sure what I want in a digital cam. How do the prints made from that compare with film? (My friends' digital cams don't go beyond 3 MP, so I haven't seen an actual print from a 5MP yet).

Thanks for the link!


Mskedi
 

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How do the prints made from that compare with film?

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Well I personally haven't printed as I haven't bought the colour and photo ink cartridges for my current lexmark (which is an ink hog ...I did 16 8x10's a long time ago and the 2 needed cartridges cost me $145 Canadian! ). I'm pretty sure this summer I'll be planning to aquire a good printing setup including an epson 1280 printer (can do 13" wide paper" and an archival continous inkflow system. I really want to get into doing archival prints of some of my acrylic paintings and also my digital art.

Theoretically, at the d'image 7i's maximum image size of 2560 x 1920 pixels you could get a 12.6inch x 9.6 inch photo at 200 dpi which would be pretty good.

Some software that can 'up-sample' or increase an image's size while trying to preserve detail sharpness is S-SPline

http://www.shortcut.nl/index.php?sid...0c70a115d26609

I haven't bought that software as I have no use at present but the demo really shows that it can increse an image's size and retain sharpness and detail better than normal bi-cubic or b-linear methods in most graphics programs. Of course small increases in image size will give better results as it's only working with the information in the image and it can't invent detail that's not there


Anyway, that review I gave the link to has 4 pages and also a page of sample pics. SOme of these pics are full-sized images and are huge in a browser (requiring much scrolling down and over). They might give you an idea of the kindof image size you'd get

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_...i_samples.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
dk_art,

Okay, the more I read of your post the more I realized how little I know about digital photography.
I *have* heard of the enlarging software tha preserves details, but I appreciate the link -- it actually looks fairly affordable. Still, I figure the better quality the original image, the better any enlargements will be with or without the extra software, right?

And yeah, those images *are* huge. The one I clicked is still loading -- it looks pretty sharp, though.

I've got a decent printer, but the ink does eat up a lot of money. But at least with a digital cam, I'd only have to print out what I *really* wanted to instead of having entire rolls developed. Hmm.. choices.

Okay, the pic finished loading and it is SO SHARP!! Jeez... I didn't expect that, honestly.

Thanks again!

Mskedi
 

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Still, I figure the better quality the original image, the better any enlargements will be with or without the extra software, right?

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Yeah but a digital cam larger than 5 megapixels is gonna be extremely costly (then again I pay with Canadian funds and have 16% tax to boot). You'd probably be into the realm of true digital SLR's with interchangebla lenses at that point which would be nice but costly


You could go for the costly 11.1 megapixel Canon EOS-1Ds ( roughly $8000 US
)

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_reviews/eos1ds.html

For normal sized prints most people have developed, the 5 megapixel would be more than enough

That steve's site is a great site for information on digital cameras. Here's some even higher class SLR digitals

http://www.steves-digicams.com/cameras_digpro.html

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I've got a decent printer, but the ink does eat up a lot of money.

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I'm thinking of using a continuous inkflow system instead of cartridges if I ever get that epson 1280. After getting that, the cos per print would be quite lower (less than $1 for the ink) Check this out (please forgive the poor web design which includes a huge 80kB useless gif of niagara falls
on a page around 500kB in size ... very annoying)

http://www.mediastreet.com/cgi-bin/t...astreet/n2.tam

Really, with various papers (including archival thick photographic quality papers) and various inks (archival inks rated at 25, 50 or even approaching 80 years with marginal fading to prints) , printing in this manner would absolutely be awesome IMHO.

With a digital setup, you'd have control over the colours of the photo too (tweak them in software to your exact liking). The thing that bothered me about film was how much control the lab would have over your prints.

I once got prints back from a good photo lab and two different photos had the same ladybug in them but one had the bug a yellowish tinge and the other more towards the red.

Anyway, I'm not a full expert as I haven't gotten a real printing setup yet but I've investigated online a lot and think I know roughly what I would like personally
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by dk_art



Yeah but a digital cam larger than 5 megapixels is gonna be extremely costly (then again I pay with Canadian funds and have 16% tax to boot). You'd probably be into the realm of true digital SLR's with interchangebla lenses at that point which would be nice but costly

You could go for the costly 11.1 megapixel Canon EOS-1Ds ( roughly $8000 US )


Or I could put a downpayment on a house!!


Okay, the 5MP is looking pretty nice about now. With 16% sales tax, it sounds like it would be worth a trip to Oregon to buy your equipment -- no sales tax there at all!
It makes my 8.75% sound palatable.


Quote:

I'm thinking of using a continuous inkflow system instead of cartridges if I ever get that epson 1280. After getting that, the cos per print would be quite lower (less than $1 for the ink)


That looks soooo cool!
And, in the long run, cheaper.


Quote:

With a digital setup, you'd have control over the colours of the photo too (tweak them in software to your exact liking). The thing that bothered me about film was how much control the lab would have over your prints.


Of course, if when I get my darkroom set up, I'll have control over this as well for film. Of course, it'll be a while before I'll be able to do color -- pricey things.


Quote:
Anyway, I'm not a full expert as I haven't gotten a real printing setup yet but I've investigated online a lot and think I know roughly what I would like personally



You've done quite a bit more research than me!! I'm a dope when it comes to digital, so I appreciate your expertise, marginal though you may think it is.


Mskedi
 

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"With 16% sales tax,"

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Where are you. That's about what I pay in tax (Nova Scotia, Canada).

Glad I could be of some help
 

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I think the best thing to do first is not worry about darkrooms and fancy digital SLR's, but buy yourself a decent 35mm SLR camera, a couple of good lenses, a cheap filter pack and go discover what you can do with that.

If you're starting out, it's better to learn about lighting and how to operate your camera before you start to spend megabucks on other equipment you may well never use.

You'll need the nathroom for washing anyhow.
 

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Oh, and I had a Minolta Dimage 2330 digital camera and it was the worst camera I've ever owned. I just don't think Minolta can cut it in the digital camera arena. If I was buying a digital SLR, I'd go for the Canon EOS range every time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by bennyonacid

I think the best thing to do first is not worry about darkrooms and fancy digital SLR's, but buy yourself a decent 35mm SLR camera, a couple of good lenses, a cheap filter pack and go discover what you can do with that.

If you're starting out, it's better to learn about lighting and how to operate your camera before you start to spend megabucks on other equipment you may well never use.

You'll need the nathroom for washing anyhow.
Good advice except that I already know what I'm doing with the 35 mm stuff (lighting et al...). I used to work as a photography assistant (which, granted, mostly involved schlepping around the equipment, but I also learned a LOT about actually taking pictures -- fun stuff). And I know I'll use it because I'm constantly borrowing cameras & lenses from friends & family. So it's really a matter of what I'll use most often, I guess.

And over here the darkroom is winning -- I've got a few friends already offering to *pay* to use it to offset the cost of equipment. Silly friends. The only public darkroom out here went private a few years ago, though, so I understand why they're really, really pushing for that one.


But I'm trying to decide what I'll get the most use out of... I don't know yet. The digital stuff sounds fun, but I know for a fact I like working with film. Decisions, decisions...

Mskedi
 

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"Oh, and I had a Minolta Dimage 2330 digital camera and it was the worst camera I've ever owned."

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That's another camera. And the reviews and opinions of the d'image 7 are excellent across the board ... but everyone has the right to an opinion (but basing it on another camera seems innacurate to me.

My first digital camera (got it only for putting auctions online) was a canon powershot from maybe 1999. It was a horrid camera. It had no viewfinder (just the LCD screen on the back) that made focusing (no auto focus) impossible due to the limited resolution of that screen. I always had to take like 2 or 3 pics of my paintings to hopefully get a perfectly focussed one
. That screen was almost impossible to see in the day even with sheltering by hand. It had very high jpg compression .... etc , etc. I won't label all Canon's as bad just due to that one. In fact I have a Canon FT-b from 1971 ... made just months before I was born from what I've learned
and it's a damn good all-manual SLR. I only do digital now though
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by dk_art



My first digital camera (got it only for putting auctions online) was a canon powershot from maybe 1999. It was a horrid camera. It had no viewfinder (just the LCD screen on the back) that made focusing (no auto focus) impossible due to the limited resolution of that screen. I always had to take like 2 or 3 pics of my paintings to hopefully get a perfectly focussed one
. That screen was almost impossible to see in the day even with sheltering by hand.
The first time I played with a digital camera it was just like that -- I was so sure they would never take off. It wasn't until recently that friends started getting nice digital cameras & I started thinking... hey, it might not be so bad.

Mskedi
 

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if you've a;ready got some experience the i'd jump straight into the biug bad world of digital....

i'm an artist studying fine arts and i use a lot of photography...

personally i hate the darkroom! i truly am a child of the lazy generation... i love capturing the image and then manipulating it asap... so i usually use labs and then incorporate my photos into mixed media work...

i don't have a digital camera but i would love one, because i've just had a few ideas which i'd love to take into that area.. i do think it is the way it's all going, so that is what i'd encourage you to go for first... BUT i can completely understand the attraction to the F1 for aesthetic reasons...

OK, so my advice is to write yourself a little list of your goals with photography, and then match whichever purchase will best meet those goals in the short term (as you've said you will get all eventually)...

hope this helps!

cheers!
 

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I have an Olympus c-720 Ultra Zoom, which is an oldish model with only 3mp resolution, but 8x optical zoom, which I like
. I'm not a serious photographer. You can see my pics in the albums section of http://www.lisa3d.org.

I don't have much advice for you on the digital camera front, other than to go to http://www.dpchallenge.com. I've been involved with that site for almost a year now, and it has taught me a lot. People in the forums there will answer every damn question you have, and not only can you use the site to research cameras, you can see examples of photos site users have taken with the camera and even buy prints of them
.

As an example, here is the page for the Minolta Dimage 7 (hopefully you can see that without having to sign up).

Have fun
. I hope you post some of your photos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Lisae -

Thanks for the links! I'm going to have a look at them after work.


Kat New -

A list of my goals, eh? Erm... fun. Fun. Recreation. Fun. Perhaps to have a nice bunch-o Mskedi originals nicely matted and framed about my house. Maybe even eventually around other people's houses.


I suppose that leans towards the film... but I'm really starting to get sold on the digital due to this thread. More research for me...

Mskedi
 
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