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Thread: New lens recommendations?

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    I do want to differ on one thing. I would stay away from f-stops over f/11. It becomes a dilemma as you want the DOF so your inclination is to stop it way down, but diffraction comes into play and affects sharpness.

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    Ok, well, I just spent $200 on track and track accessories for my DC micro-layout so the lens will have to wait :evil:

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    Consider an iPhone or good Android with something like the Olloclip, you may be surprised
    Indeed, although I don't have a service plan (can't justify the monthy cost for something I never use). And to buy one of those outright is close to or more expensive than a DSLR.

    A better point and shoot maybe an option later I presently have an Lumix FZ-150 but am not entirely satisfied with it's results.

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    So does this spec. mean it can get some good close-up to N-scale? 5.0mm - 25.0mm (equivalent to 28mm - 140mm in 35mm format)

    this camera
    Fujifilm - FinePix XP120 16.4-Megapixel Digital Camera

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    Quote Originally Posted by zosimas View Post
    So does this spec. mean it can get some good close-up to N-scale? 5.0mm - 25.0mm (equivalent to 28mm - 140mm in 35mm format)

    this camera
    Fujifilm - FinePix XP120 16.4-Megapixel Digital Camera
    No, it's just a "normal" point and shoot camera.

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    In looking at an earlier thread about "is it real or is it a model" I realized one of the biggest things that makes our shots look like models is the angle that we take photos from -- when taking a photo of a prototype it is almost always at an upwards angle while shots of n-scale layouts are usually a drones-eye-view downward shots (and even if they are taken at the level of the train the center of the lens is still like 20-40 scale feet off the ground).

    I wonder if anyone has had any luck figuring out how to get that upwards shot on an n-scale layout...? I guess taking it from a distance is one option but I feel like there might be a way with a lens for an iPhone or mirrors or something that lets you do this. Seems you would need to be at 6 or so scale feet off the layout surface (to see the same thing an adult male would see if taking a picture) or in other words center of lens would need to be about .5 inches above the 'ground'.

    Anyway, seems to be related to taking a good macro / close up shot so hope this is not far afield from the original post topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McNamee View Post
    mirrors
    I've tried mirrors, could never get it to work out just right. I've also used my android for similar POV shots, but I'm not happy with the phone camera quality, not enough control.

    Something else I've done, but works mostly with diorama's unless you plan your layout construction carefully.... is a foreground with a downward slope so you can angle the camera up from the edge...

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    Quote Originally Posted by McNamee View Post
    I wonder if anyone has had any luck figuring out how to get that upwards shot on an n-scale layout...? I guess taking it from a distance is one option but I feel like there might be a way with a lens for an iPhone or mirrors or something that lets you do this. Seems you would need to be at 6 or so scale feet off the layout surface (to see the same thing an adult male would see if taking a picture) or in other words center of lens would need to be about .5 inches above the 'ground'.
    I've gotten some like this with my iPhone. There's a distance sweet spot that works, and you basically have to be able to set it on the layout. I have a very old Canon Point and Shoot that has one of those mini-lenses that pops out, it's about the size in diameter of a quarter. Resting it on the edge of an NTRAK module can give a similar upward shot, at least for the front track or two.

    I don't see any way to do it with a DSLR without making a hole in the layout just for photos!
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    Leo Bicknell

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    Quote Originally Posted by zosimas View Post
    I have a Canon 20D and am considering a new lens for close-up photography, N-related as well as other stuff, thoughts on this lens? was recommended as a good close-up by my sister-in-law but the reviews say otherwise...
    @zosimas: That's not a macro lens—it's a "normal" 50mm lens. With a macro lens you can get true 1:1 magnification, where the image you're photographing is actual-size on your sensor. I'm all-Nikon, so I'm not as familiar with Canon glass, but the least-expensive macro lens from Canon is a new one they're about to ship for crop-frame bodies here, selling for $349. Canon's "standard" macro lens is their 60mm f/2.8 for $399 here.

    Personally, I use my AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 macro (on a full-frame body) a lot for my train photography, below:



    When I want a wider-angle, I use my AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4.0 VR wide-zoom (and, also because it's stabilized), below:



    Once in a while I'll use my Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro if I want more compression, and want (or need) to shoot from further away:



    The telephoto focal length of the 150mm macro produces virtually no barrel-distortion (as is produced by shorter lenses). It also renders a "compressed" look to the scene which is sometimes desirable, aesthetically. It's also a terrific focal-length for portraiture (also, due to its compression effect).

    You can also use diopters which are far less expensive than lenses. Here's a cheap-o Vivitar set for under $10 here (you need a set which matches the filter-size diameter of your lens). These screw-on, filter-like optics reduce your lens' minimum focus-distance, allowing you to get closer to your subject and achieve more magnification. Optical quality will be inferior to a true macro lens, but often it's not too bad (but perhaps with only the higher-priced diopters like this Hoya +10 diopter). The good thing about diopters (as opposed to teleconverters), is that they incur zero light-loss.
    Last edited by Metrolink; 18th Apr 2017 at 01:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zosimas View Post
    Ok, well, I just spent $200 on track and track accessories for my DC micro-layout so the lens will have to wait
    Great choice of priorities!

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    In my experience a Macro lens is not the optimum tool for N Scale.
    Agreed, without the zoom you are a slave to how close/far you can set up a tripod.

    I have the Canon EF 100mm F2.8 macro on an EOS Rebel (not full frame). The depth of field is abysmal at f2.8. At f32 here is a hand-held braced shot (about 1 second) taken at my kitchen table from about 10 inches. I had to reduce the size to 1/2 (quarter the file size) to get it below 1mb so I could post it.
    halfsized.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    In my experience a Macro lens is not the optimum tool for N Scale. Yes, you can get some shots with it, but it is useful only for vary particular shots.
    I agree. I use image/focus stacking software called Zerene Stacker (https://www.zerenesystems.com/). It's like Helicon Focus, but cheaper. A personal licence costs USD $89.00. There's also a 30 day free trial offer.

    Personally, I think it's quicker and easier to produce images with Zerene Stacker and existing lighting, than it is to dick around with lens settings and lighting. I made this one to use as my PC desktop background. From memory, I used about 15 images to produce it.

    Davis.jpg

    Regards,
    Ron

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron McF View Post
    I agree. I use image/focus stacking software called Zerene Stacker (https://www.zerenesystems.com/). It's like Helicon Focus, but cheaper. A personal licence costs USD $89.00. There's also a 30 day free trial offer.

    Personally, I think it's quicker and easier to produce images with Zerene Stacker and existing lighting, than it is to dick around with lens settings and lighting. I made this one to use as my PC desktop background. From memory, I used about 15 images to produce it.

    Davis.jpg

    Regards,
    Ron
    except I'm using LINUX and hanvt been able to get zerene to work. I'll just continue with a tripod and long exposures.

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    This an interesting thread for me. I'm a point and shoot guy. I do have way less than adequate knowledge of photography and my Camera (Bryan RIP) recommended a Fujifilm Finepic S2500HD. For me it is a great camera It takes great pictures in spite of the the terrible photographer .

    I don't want to be a "Sponge Bob" (definition; always asks for, never gives back) but if you guys can tell what study guides or book if any, would you recommend for me to read. to understand some of the terms and how to use some of the closeup, lens, focal, F stop stuff.
    Hey did I just ask for a complete course in photography? never mind

    How bout this how do you get good pictures when shooting through cellophane on unopened boxes with cellophane windows.

    Any advise or suggestions (oh no that would hurt ) I might use to improve these shots.
    Thanks
    Ron
    "Men go and come,
    but earth abides." Ecclesiastes 1:4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 69Z28 View Post
    book if any, would you recommend for me to read. to understand some of the terms and how to use some of the closeup, lens, focal, F stop stuff.
    I learned a lot from this site: https://digital-photography-school.com/

    including money saving tips on making your own accessories.

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  27. #38
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    Thanks Charles
    I bookmarked it. I'll get into it tonight.
    See ya
    Ron
    "Men go and come,
    but earth abides." Ecclesiastes 1:4

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