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Digital camera and macro photography
Hi,.

I need some advice, please. I'm looking for a new digital camera and macro lens. The purpose is to take detailed, close up photos of coins and wristwatches. I do have an older G3 now, however, it doesn't seem to give the detailing I'm looking for. No brand loyalty, however, I would like to max at $1000-$1200 for both camera and lens. Last consideration is that I would also use the camera for general photos (family, holidays, etc.).

Appreciate any insight..

Regars,PaulIf you aren't spending more than you make, you need to try harder!..

Comments (7)

Paul Mumford wrote:.

Hi,.

I need some advice, please. I'm looking for a new digital camera andmacro lens. The purpose is to take detailed, close up photos of coinsand wristwatches. I do have an older G3 now, however, it doesn't seemto give the detailing I'm looking for. No brand loyalty, however, Iwould like to max at $1000-$1200 for both camera and lens. Lastconsideration is that I would also use the camera for general photos(family, holidays, etc.).

Paul,.

Most good compacts (like yours) are capable of good close-up photos. There are many reasons however why your photos might not have the detail you want, most of which do not require $1000 to fix. For example:.

- maybe the depth of field is too shallow and much of the object is not in focus, in which case a narrower aperture will help..

- maybe the autofocus is not locking on the part of the picture you want, in which case the subject will be out of focus; the 'pre-focus and recompose' technique might help..

- maybe the shutter speed is too long and you are getting camera shake, in which case you need a small tripod..

- maybe the light is poor and the camera is reverting to a high ISO setting, so the pictures are noisy..

If you could post an example, with full details of exposure and ISO settings etc. that would help..

Sorry if you have already thought of these... if not, it's worth checking before you spend a lot of money on something unnecessarily..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #1

My choice, given your spending limits, would be the Nikon D80 and the Nikon 60mm Micro AF lens. You'd be looking at slightly under $1100 including tax..

The D80 is about the least expensive camera with a huge bright glass pentaprizm viiewfinder instead of the usual pentamirror on the beginner cameras. It has commander mode built in to control off-camera flash wirelessly if you want for macro work..

The 60mm Micro f2.8 AF is one of the sharpest macro or non-macro lenses made by anyone. It will focus down to 1:1 if need be, but work as a wonderful walkaround or portrait general purpose lens. You might have to slightly soften the portraits as this lens resolves everything, very sharp..

Some people say that a macro lens needs to be longer. They're right for biting insects and such, but this focal length is great for what you're doing. I own several macro lenses and can attest, the 60mm Micro Nikkor is a gem..

Another choice would be the Nikon D40 and the new 60mm AFS f2.8 Micro by Nikon. This new lens focuses faster and costs a lot more making the total package about the same as the D80 combo. Whether you pick the older or newer 60 Micro, they are both extremely sharp..

There are many other choices with other brands and 3rd party macro lenses, but I just don't think you can get better. The Tamron 90mm macro is very good, and will need the D80 to autofocus...

Comment #2

Thank you If you aren't spending more than you make, you need to try harder!..

Comment #3

Xti package with the additon of this lens, the Vivitar 100 f3.5 macro (it is made by Cosina). A review of the Cosina lens:.

Http://www.dyxum.com/...es/Cosina_100_35_macro/Cosina_100_35_macro_review.asp.

Another review of the lens under the Vivitar name, read the last reviewer on this page:.

Http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/327/cat/48.

This lens has been manufactured by Cosina but has carried the Vivitar brand, the Pentax brand, Tamron, and Phoenix (lenses sold by Adorama). Here is a link to this lens, the best $120 you'll spend on a lens:.

Http://www.adorama.com/Catalog.tpl?page=il_refine_searchRationally I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #4

The Adorama link didn't work that well. Go to the page I linked to at Adorama and chose lenses, and to the right will be a search colum, Choose Phoenix, film lens, Macro, Canon mount..

I think they are out of Canon EOS mount Phoenix 100's but email them and ask when they will become available.Rationally I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #5

The little Cosina isn't too bad for the money. It's not 1:1 without a closeup filter. I's slower than most at f3.5, and it's build quality is dismal. The good thing about it is that it's not miserable optically and it's really inexpensive. Now, it's not nearly as good a macro lens as most, but it's not nearly as expinsive as most..

I would not recommend the Cosina for anyone who wants to be serious about macro, but as an every now and then lens, it's ok...

Comment #6

A much cheaper option for a macro lens for Nikon is the 50mm f/1.8 with a BR-2A reversing ring. All up this will cost US$125 or less (as against about US$700 for the new 60mm macro). It is a time-consuming way to operate, because you need a tripod or other support to deal with the small aperture/slow shutter speed and you can only focus by moving the camera (or the object) back and forth, and you have to expose manually, but for coins and watches that should be OK...

Comment #7

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