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Elise

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A Nikon D7100. Do I need it? No. I already have a nice DSLR. Do I want it? Absolutely! And since Nikon has put out its new D7200 the D7100 is selling cheap. There's relly no difference between the two which makes the D7100 an excellent deal.

nikon-d7100.jpg

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A Nikon D7100. Do I need it? No. I already have a nice DSLR. Do I want it? Absolutely! And since Nikon has put out its new D7200 the D7100 is selling cheap. There's relly no difference between the two which makes the D7100 an excellent deal.

That always happens with the new models making the old ones dirt cheap! I remember when the Canon 5D mark III came out, my 5D mark II took a massive hit on the secondary market. No problem for me - I'm still in love with my camera and wasn't planning on selling anyway! I'm glad that at least lenses seem to hold their value, as those I'm much more fickle about.

Which DSLR do you have right now?

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Which DSLR do you have right now?

I still have my old Nikon 35mm film cameras. But haven't used them in quite some time. All the good films are gone. However, a few years ago I made the transition to digital and purchased a Nikon D5100. I was going to get the D90. Thankfully I didn't. I wanted the easier transition into digital and the D3100 didn't cut it for me. But I still had to learn the ins and outs of digital photography and the D5100 seemed to be a good starting point. But it didn't take me long to grow out of that camera.
But it sure does process some nice photos.

Edited by PappyHiker
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I still have my old Nikon 35mm film cameras. But haven't used them in quite some time. All the good films are gone. However, a few years ago I made the transition to digital and purchased a Nikon D5100. I was going to get the D90. Thankfully I didn't. I wanted the easier transition into digital and the D3100 didn't cut it for me. But I still had to learn the ins and outs of digital photography and the D5100 seemed to be a good starting point. But it didn't take me long to grow out of that camera.But it sure does process some nice photos.

Going from film to digital must have been a breeze for you, though. It's so much more difficult to go the other way around. I love the way film looks but I can't help thinking if I get an SLR, my first roll of film will probably be an utter disaster, lol.

The first DSLR I owned was the Canon Digital Rebel XT - terrible DSLR but it did the trick of teaching me exactly what I wanted (and didn't want!) in a camera.

What are your go-to lenses? Do you prefer primes or zoom lenses?

Brad Southard Tolk.  gotta get one of these sometime

0501150242b_zpsjvfsruiq.jpg

Gorgeous knife. :)

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What are your go-to lenses? Do you prefer primes or zoom lenses? :)

I have a selection of both.
The lenses I always carry with me are as follows:
35mm f1.8. I usually have this one on my camera. Love this lens for its low light capabilities and sharpness.
16-85mm f3.5. This is my second most used lens and fits my style of shooting well.
10-24mm f3.5 wide angle lens. Most people don't understand how to use wide angle lenses. But once you learn you'd be surprised on how it opens up your creativity.
Those are my top three used lenses.

 

I do have a 70-300mm f4 telephoto. I seldom use it.
I also have an 18-55mm f3.5 kit lens. It is a pretty good lens and occasionally I do use it.
But these are the only lenses I have for my DSLR. I know there is some overlap, but...............
I have more prime lenses for my old camera. A 24mm, a 35mm, a 50mm, a 80mm, and a 100mm. They won't work with my D5200. But they will work with the D7100 if I'd get it.

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I have a selection of both.The lenses I always carry with me are as follows:
35mm f1.8. I usually have this one on my camera. Love this lens for its low light capabilities and sharpness.
16-85mm f3.5. This is my second most used lens and fits my style of shooting well.
10-24mm f3.5 wide angle lens. Most people don't understand how to use wide angle lenses. But once you learn you'd be surprised on how it opens up your creativity.
Those are my top three used lenses.

 

I do have a 70-300mm f4 telephoto. I seldom use it.
I also have an 18-55mm f3.5 kit lens. It is a pretty good lens and occasionally I do use it.
But these are the only lenses I have for my DSLR. I know there is some overlap, but...............
I have more prime lenses for my old camera. A 24mm, a 35mm, a 50mm, a 80mm, and a 100mm. They won't work with my D5200. But they will work with the D7100 if I'd get it.

I'm not a huge fan of telephoto lenses because of the fact that I don't think I'd get much use out of them either.

I have even fewer lenses than you lol, and I really only use one - my 50 mm 1.8. I've been dying for a wide angle lens for years but the issue is I'm never certain which range to get and I personally prefer primes over zoom lenses. Do you use your wide angle lens on 10mm or 24 mm most often? I really should test this kind of stuff in-store but never really got around to it!

It's great that you'd be able to use all those other lenses with a D7100 if you get one. I hate when you have lenses and just can't use 'em because they just won't fit on your new camera. Not that I've had all that many cameras anyway - just makes me more hesitant to switch bodies and buy lenses.

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I'm not a huge fan of telephoto lenses because of the fact that I don't think I'd get much use out of them either.

I have even fewer lenses than you lol, and I really only use one - my 50 mm 1.8. I've been dying for a wide angle lens for years but the issue is I'm never certain which range to get and I personally prefer primes over zoom lenses. Do you use your wide angle lens on 10mm or 24 mm most often? I really should test this kind of stuff in-store but never really got around to it!

It's great that you'd be able to use all those other lenses with a D7100 if you get one. I hate when you have lenses and just can't use 'em because they just won't fit on your new camera. Not that I've had all that many cameras anyway - just makes me more hesitant to switch bodies and buy lenses.

I do use it at its widest setting the most. Perhaps the biggest reason for that is I shoot in the city allot and shooting with anything else is like having tunnel vision. There's only so much you can get out of a 35, or even a 16 on city streets. I like to get the entire picture on street scenes, and using a 35, well there may not be a place to back up to. At 10 mm I can be close and still get the whole scene. I don't remember going up to 24mm, but have shot up to 16mm.
And indoors! Its nice to get a photo of an entire room. That 10-24mm opens up allot of possibilities you just can't get with any other lens. Wide angle is all about getting close.

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I want a big 'ol solar generator what about the gear zero stuff, any good?

I bought a Goal Zero kit that included a speaker, a small take along charging unit, and of course the solar panels themselves ( it was like a book ). It didn't work for charging my iPhone. Kept on telling me that the device wasn't recognized. The speaker didn't want to work all the time either, my phone occasionally delivered that same message. I spent time on the phone with Goal Zero, and they tried to help. But nothing was resolved thru them. I tried calling Apple, but there was a lack of interest in developing an app for that system to work. So I returned it. Fortunately I got it from REI and they'll take anything back.
But one of the main reasons I got it was to keep my iPhone charged up on the trail. So.........

Anyway, I did have some additional thoughts on portable solar panels and hiking:
It takes quite a while for the panel to charge your phone or battery pack. If you plan on charging these by hanging the solar panel on you backpack as you are hiking, you may not be able to get much of a charge on your phone or battery pack. Here's why. Most likely you aren't going to be hiking in the sun all day long. Chances are you'll be walking thru trails in the forests. The panel depends on direct sunlight reaching it constantly to give the battery pack a full charge, or to put out a useable current of any kind.  You'll most likely not get enough sun on it to give anything a full charge. Secondly, you need the panels at the right angle to the sun for optimal charging. That may be awefully hard to do when it is pinned on your backpack. Your only alternative is to stop hiking and place the panel in a place at an angle that you can get the optimal charge. That's several hours you have to stop hiking. The bottom line is that these are made to be stationary to get the optimal performance in charging. So for camping, they may be okay if your device is compatible. For hiking, better think of something else.
One more thing is that they are pretty worthless if you run into several days of overcast weather.........

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I do use it at its widest setting the most. Perhaps the biggest reason for that is I shoot in the city allot and shooting with anything else is like having tunnel vision. There's only so much you can get out of a 35, or even a 16 on city streets. I like to get the entire picture on street scenes, and using a 35, well there may not be a place to back up to. At 10 mm I can be close and still get the whole scene. I don't remember going up to 24mm, but have shot up to 16mm.And indoors! Its nice to get a photo of an entire room. That 10-24mm opens up allot of possibilities you just can't get with any other lens. Wide angle is all about getting close.

Thanks for the advice! 10-16 mm then! With a focus on 10 mm. Perfect - that will really help me narrow my search :):)

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Thanks for the advice! 10-16 mm then! With a focus on 10 mm. Perfect - that will really help me narrow my search :):)

One caveat I didn't mention. Wide angle lenses aren't that good for shooting portraits, or people up close. They have a tendency to somewhat distort perspective up close that leaves people in pictures look shorter and fatter than they really are. For instance, I shoot pictures of my grandchildren to make them laugh. I get real close with my camera with the wide angle lens and take a picture of their face. It looks like they have really big noses.
Portraits can be done nicely, but you have to be really careful on how you shoot them. And it most likely won't be at 10mm.

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Anyway, I did have some additional thoughts on portable solar panels and hiking:
.......

Thanks for the info I guess it's back to the drawing board, where I live we have sun pretty much 24/7, the solar generator I was wanting is a big one say something that produces like this http://www.goalzero.com/p/138/goal-zero-yeti-1250-solar-generator-kit or even bigger.

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Thanks for the info I guess it's back to the drawing board, where I live we have sun pretty much 24/7, the solar generator I was wanting is a big one say something that produces like this http://www.goalzero.com/p/138/goal-zero-yeti-1250-solar-generator-kit or even bigger.

That looks like a decent unit. Don't know much about it but looks good for camping or emergency power generation at home.

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One caveat I didn't mention. Wide angle lenses aren't that good for shooting portraits, or people up close. They have a tendency to somewhat distort perspective up close that leaves people in pictures look shorter and fatter than they really are. For instance, I shoot pictures of my grandchildren to make them laugh. I get real close with my camera with the wide angle lens and take a picture of their face. It looks like they have really big noses.Portraits can be done nicely, but you have to be really careful on how you shoot them. And it most likely won't be at 10mm.

Oh yeah, I'm well aware. But basically I'd be using it for rooms + landscapes anyway. What do you think the widest angle you'd use for a person might be?

 

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Oh yeah, I'm well aware. But basically I'd be using it for rooms + landscapes anyway. What do you think the widest angle you'd use for a person might be?

 

You can use the widest if you want. There's allot of factors involved. How close or far away the subject is? Your angle to the subject? Where you are going to place the subject within the frame of the photo? Where the light is coming from? So much can be done, only limited by your creativity. That's what makes wide angle so interesting. But it takes a special kind of talent to get good portraits with a wide angle.........
I posted this picture for one reason. To show that a portrait can be done at 10mm. Sure its a statue. But this is the human form. Notice that I captured it with no distortion of the body, yet there was a ton of distortion in the photo. Look at the bat for instance. How big it looks. It looks like it would go up to his shoulder if he was standing by it. And the platform he is standing on, well it is a foot and a half off the ground and ROUND not oblong. Yet the body of the player looks totally normal. I was standing on the platform while taking the picture, right outside the white lines of the box outlined on the platform. So portraits can be done at 10mm. You, the photographer, must move yourself, and your angle, and your camera to find that sweet spot in which you can rid your subject of distortion.

DSC_0825.JPG

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Very good points! :) Love the picture by the way, and thanks for the tip! Maybe I will just get my hands on a 10 mm lens and be done. I do love that super-wide angle.

Edited by Elise

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