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GREAT PICS!

Your using the D70 right? How do you like it? I have never really been a Nikon fan, but the D70 is looking very good. I've been waiting to see what Canon has coming next, but I can get the D70 with the kit lens local for $1200 or so. What lenes are you using? I think I read you use a 100mm macro, but that may be a bit much for the frogs in some cases right?

Post your setup if you could, and again great pics,


skinnybonedog said:
Hi All,

If anyone wants to look at frogs

http://www.frognet.org/gallery/The-Newest-Stuff

Tammy
 
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Tammy,

You have again out done yourself!
May I suggest that you print those out and send me some ;)
Like poster size! How did the 1 turn out?

Some of the best frog pics I have seen,
 
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I have to agree with Ben.They are excellent pics.I may have to get on a list for some of those Lamasi.It may take a few years but they would be worth the wait.Thanks for sharing the pics with us.
Mark W.
 
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Great shots Tammy! I'm considering picking up a D70 as well and am very curious what kind of macro lens you use, size and brand. Please let me know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the nice comments. I am using a Nikon D70 (which I LOVE) with a 105mm 2.8 AF-D (using it manually)...Nikon 4T close up lens and mostly onboard flash. I have an SB-29s macro/ring flash but find that the onboard does such a great job that is not worth the extra effort to set up the SB-29s. I am getting an extension tube this week so I can get closer.

Kyle, I do not find the 105mm too much...I assume you mean too close? There have only been a few times I had to back off a little to get the shot if the frog was right up by the glass. Most of the time I can not get close enough which is why I am going to try a 25mm extension tube to get closer. I have the 3t lens as well but when I stack it with the 4T, the DOF is just so short and I don't like the results. The sad thing is alot of the macro accessories render the D70 into a manual mode with no metering and no TTL....and while it is great to be able to preview the image to make sure I got what I wanted, it can also means I miss some great shots by having to mess around with the settings to much.

Tammy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tim,

Sorry forgot...the lens is a Nikon. For the most part I always get Nikon glass as it really is the glass that makes the photo, not the body...which is proven by the fact that the D70 is Nikon's cheapest DSLR but is producing superb results rivaling their top of the line cameras. The lens is more expensive initially but resale value is much much higher should you want to go a different route with lenses at a later date.

Tammy
 
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Thanks for the reply Tammy. I agree with you that buying a Nikon macro lens is definitely worth it. I'm just debating the issue of a 60mm versus a 100mm lens. Apparently you like the 100mm very much and want to be able to get even closer while still outside the glass. My vivarium is front opening and large enough that I may not have issues with getting close so long as I'm taking photos in just that tank. Once I get more tanks it'll be a different issue though.

Do all the macro accessories make the camera manual-only or can you purchase certain accessories that will avoid that issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tim,

Actually if I could afford it I would get the 200mm Nikon micro. I would not think the 60mm would get you good results very often because you would have to get so close to the frogs to get 1:1 and most of them do not like anything that close to them...the 105 is good and I like it because for most shots I can balance the lens on the glass to help with stability. At one time I had a macro focusing rail and it just did not work to get the thing set up...by the time I had it right the frog would move...so handholding works best for me.

The only extension tubes that will work with AF, metering and TTL are the Kenko tubes...they are poorly made and feel cheap but cost $149. The Nikon tubes are well made but no AF (which is fine) but no nothin else...ie, you get maual everything and Nikon even told me that NOTHING will work on the D70 that is out now. I have since found out that is not true and the Kenko will work...will see when I get the tube. Bellows as far as I know do not offer anything but manual and are harder to hand hold so I have not looked seriously at those. The close up diopters all retain full camera functions and are good with one diopter...if I stack two diopters the DOF is super shallow and the images lose sharpness. So I just use the 4T on the 105mm...when the tube gets here I will try both with and without the 4T.

Tammy
 

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Well the issue I have is DOF. The macro lenses cut it too short for my taste. Most only focus up to 2 feet away also. I have been getting some lens info, and am still making up my mind on what camera I want.

Right now I am thinking a 28-130 with a close-up set on it would be enough, but until I can try it. I plan to test out a friends 10D soon, and have been posting in the canon and nikon forums on dpreview.com. I hope to make up my mind soon.

So nice that the sony can focus up to 2cms from the lens with no filters... DSLRs have a very tough time doing that.

Also, how close are you to the tank? On the glass? How close to the end of the lens with the 100mm macro can you fucus?

skinnybonedog said:
Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the nice comments. I am using a Nikon D70 (which I LOVE) with a 105mm 2.8 AF-D (using it manually)...Nikon 4T close up lens and mostly onboard flash. I have an SB-29s macro/ring flash but find that the onboard does such a great job that is not worth the extra effort to set up the SB-29s. I am getting an extension tube this week so I can get closer.

Kyle, I do not find the 105mm too much...I assume you mean too close? There have only been a few times I had to back off a little to get the shot if the frog was right up by the glass. Most of the time I can not get close enough which is why I am going to try a 25mm extension tube to get closer. I have the 3t lens as well but when I stack it with the 4T, the DOF is just so short and I don't like the results. The sad thing is alot of the macro accessories render the D70 into a manual mode with no metering and no TTL....and while it is great to be able to preview the image to make sure I got what I wanted, it can also means I miss some great shots by having to mess around with the settings to much.

Tammy
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Kyle,

With the right flash set up you can stop the macro lens down more and gain more DOF....you start to lose quality when you add glass/closeup filters onto the end of any lens...and you also lose more DOF. How many frogs do you have that will let you get within 2cms from them....mine won't, so focusing that close would be of little value imho...my 105mm will focus on its own about 11 inches and with the 4T I think it is about 4-5 inchs but neither of those are exact. On most of my shots I have the lens right on the glass....helps a ton with stability.

You might see if you can try out some macro lenses also as I doubt the zoom you are thinking of would not give you results as sharp as a dedicated macro and unsharp mask in PS can only do so much without degrading the image...just some thoughts.

Tammy
 

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Well I have taken some pics from 2 inches away. For example my imitators are in a 15gal high and are often on a brom right at the glass, so it is very close. One thing I don't want to lose is zoom. I want to fill the frame with the frog, which can be tough with a DSLR, since some of the frogs are smaller than the sensor. Now granted the crops are better out of a DSLR.

Have you tried taking any pics of the frogs with other lenses? Maybe with an extension tube?

I'm going to try out my firends 10D to get some ideas, and he has a 100mm macro lens.

skinnybonedog said:
Hey Kyle,

With the right flash set up you can stop the macro lens down more and gain more DOF....you start to lose quality when you add glass/closeup filters onto the end of any lens...and you also lose more DOF. How many frogs do you have that will let you get within 2cms from them....mine won't, so focusing that close would be of little value imho...my 105mm will focus on its own about 11 inches and with the 4T I think it is about 4-5 inchs but neither of those are exact. On most of my shots I have the lens right on the glass....helps a ton with stability.

You might see if you can try out some macro lenses also as I doubt the zoom you are thinking of would not give you results as sharp as a dedicated macro and unsharp mask in PS can only do so much without degrading the image...just some thoughts.

Tammy
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Kyle,

Most of the shots on my gallery are full frame or very minimally cropped!!! So I am not sure why you feel "it is tough" to fill the frame with a DSLR? I fill the frame on a regular/daily basis unless the frog is at the back of the tank...I am just speaking as someone who is doing this every day :)

http://www.frognet.org/gallery/The-Newest-Stuff/lamasi4
as an example of full frame, no cropping

I have used a 70-180mm Nikon Mirco and while I did like it for the zoom I am not sure I liked it better than my 105mm...keep in mind though that the 70-180 is a specialized zoom that is optimized for micro work. I may be buying the very lens I tried in a few months when where I work sells it. I have used a standard/macro zoom, the 28-105 which has a pseudo macro that is about 1:2. something and the results did in no way compare to the 105mm....but have not tried a regular standard zoom. The problem with a standard zoom is there is no optimization for close up work...they were not designed to do that so they just do not do it as well as a lens made to do the job...the right tool for the job applies here. I am not saying you will not/can not get good or great results...I just doubt the results will be consistently good or great....again my opinion only but based somewhat on fact by the lens design.

....I am just trying to help you make a good decision from someone who is doing it now, as you seem to have an idea about DSLR that I do not find to be true (.ie the filling the frame idea) :wink: ....all just my experience of course from someone who has been shooting for over 25 years.

Tammy
 

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First thanks! I am asking for a reason. :)

I want a bit more DOF than you are getting, do you have your aperature maxed out? Are you against the glass?

My comment about the sensor was this. With a smaller sensor it is easier to fill the frame with small close objects rather than a larger sensor where it may be greater than 1:1.

I am hoping to try a 10D soon, and I would like to find out if I could rent a d70 with a macro lens top test. Every heard of a place doing that? I know some places rent cameras. I'll have to call around.

Also do you happen to have the kit lens for the d70, the 18-70mm. It can focus close.

skinnybonedog said:
Kyle,

Most of the shots on my gallery are full frame or very minimally cropped!!! So I am not sure why you feel "it is tough" to fill the frame with a DSLR? I fill the frame on a regular/daily basis unless the frog is at the back of the tank...I am just speaking as someone who is doing this every day :)

http://www.frognet.org/gallery/The-Newest-Stuff/lamasi4
as an example of full frame, no cropping

I have used a 70-180mm Nikon Mirco and while I did like it for the zoom I am not sure I liked it better than my 105mm...keep in mind though that the 70-180 is a specialized zoom that is optimized for micro work. I may be buying the very lens I tried in a few months when where I work sells it. I have used a standard/macro zoom, the 28-105 which has a pseudo macro that is about 1:2. something and the results did in no way compare to the 105mm....but have not tried a regular standard zoom. The problem with a standard zoom is there is no optimization for close up work...they were not designed to do that so they just do not do it as well as a lens made to do the job...the right tool for the job applies here. I am not saying you will not/can not get good or great results...I just doubt the results will be consistently good or great....again my opinion only but based somewhat on fact by the lens design.

....I am just trying to help you make a good decision from someone who is doing it now, as you seem to have an idea about DSLR that I do not find to be true (.ie the filling the frame idea) :wink: ....all just my experience of course from someone who has been shooting for over 25 years.

Tammy
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Kyle,

No, I do not have the aperture maxed...far from it...with the onboard flash the smallest I can get is about f20....I start getting underexposure stopped down more (and if I use compensation I end up with blown highlights...I have not had the D70 for long so am still learning how to set it up so I get the best results). So my plan is to test the macro flash and see how far I can stop down. While I would love to have the whole frog in focus I often do not like the results due to the snapshot look you get when more things are in focus...it looks very amaturish to my eyes. The blured background is something, that to me, makes photos stand out from everyday shots....and a good balance between the two is something to strive for. I was playing around over the weekend and took some shots in the f8 range and while the DOF was terrible, I managed to get one really weird shot...the frogs face was pretty sharp and further out in the frame is a fruit fly also sharp...makes no sense as they are not on the same plane so I don't know how the shot happened. I showed it to a photographer at work and he could not explain it either....so sometimes shallow DOF ends up being really cool

For most of the shots I am up on the glass with the lens. I have tried using a monopod (with the 70-180 micro) but it was too cumbersome and I lost shots....no way a tripod would be of use to me. I use the glass as a stabalizer....when you get that close ANY shaking or breathing will ruin the shot.

Not sure where you live Kyle but here in Calif. there are places that rent all kinds of gear....so check into it where you live.

I did not get the kit lens. I have read both good and bad reviews. I already had a bunch of Nikon glass so did not need that lens. I did just get the 12-24mm and am excited about that. While I know everyone wants the most for their money....skimping on the glass is not the way to go...get a cheaper body and better glass, never the other way around. I "love" seing people with the Nikon D1x or D2h who stick consumer grade lenses on Nikon's pro bodies. Just plain silly logic....

Anyway...let me know what you end up with.
Tammy
 

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Ya I know the glass makes all the difference. One of the reasons I bought my sony it has a very nice lens.

I don't plan to skimp, but want to start with something like the kit and then buy more. We will see...

I will call and see if there are places that rent. Worth a shot.

skinnybonedog said:
Kyle,

No, I do not have the aperture maxed...far from it...with the onboard flash the smallest I can get is about f20....I start getting underexposure stopped down more (and if I use compensation I end up with blown highlights...I have not had the D70 for long so am still learning how to set it up so I get the best results). So my plan is to test the macro flash and see how far I can stop down. While I would love to have the whole frog in focus I often do not like the results due to the snapshot look you get when more things are in focus...it looks very amaturish to my eyes. The blured background is something, that to me, makes photos stand out from everyday shots....and a good balance between the two is something to strive for. I was playing around over the weekend and took some shots in the f8 range and while the DOF was terrible, I managed to get one really weird shot...the frogs face was pretty sharp and further out in the frame is a fruit fly also sharp...makes no sense as they are not on the same plane so I don't know how the shot happened. I showed it to a photographer at work and he could not explain it either....so sometimes shallow DOF ends up being really cool

For most of the shots I am up on the glass with the lens. I have tried using a monopod (with the 70-180 micro) but it was too cumbersome and I lost shots....no way a tripod would be of use to me. I use the glass as a stabalizer....when you get that close ANY shaking or breathing will ruin the shot.

Not sure where you live Kyle but here in Calif. there are places that rent all kinds of gear....so check into it where you live.

I did not get the kit lens. I have read both good and bad reviews. I already had a bunch of Nikon glass so did not need that lens. I did just get the 12-24mm and am excited about that. While I know everyone wants the most for their money....skimping on the glass is not the way to go...get a cheaper body and better glass, never the other way around. I "love" seing people with the Nikon D1x or D2h who stick consumer grade lenses on Nikon's pro bodies. Just plain silly logic....

Anyway...let me know what you end up with.
Tammy
 

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Thanks I will check it out. I tried out a 10D today and WOW. Friend brought it to work, and it was just amazing. THought I did not care for the 100mm macro at all. Just no DOF at all. Now the 28-135 he had was very very nice. I want to try to rent a D70 for a weekend or something. Have to call a few palces.

xplodee said:
Apparently this place has a one week rental program:

adorama
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Kyle,

While I do not claim to know Canon gear...if you were talking about Nikon gear and said you could get, "no DOF" I would tell you you were doing something incorrectly. It all depends on how you use the camera....what f stop were you using, what flash...were you in aperture priority? Many factors that affect DOF...not trying to insult you in anyway. But since you were totally new to the camera this is what came to mind. Do you have SLR experience?

Tammy
 
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