You don't need a better camera!

Discuss cameras, settings, composition, or anything related to photography - cactus or other subjects.
Pereskiopsisdotcom
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by Pereskiopsisdotcom »

WayneByerly wrote: Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:33 am With the prevalence of "smart phones" these days, and the number of available "clip-on" lenses available (particularly macro lenses), I would think that you could get VERY reasonable photos if you have a smart phone AND buy a clip-on macro lens for about $10-$15 ...

If you are interested in photography, but don't want to spend a bunch of bucks, go to some place like Amazon, search for "clip-on phone camera lens", and look at some of the photographs taken by these lenses that are SO readily available. I think you will be quite surprised at the quality.
I'm glad you brought this up. I honestly didn't know such a clip-on existed. I was starting to save up for a digital camera that would be better than my smart phone, but if all I'm doing is taking macro photos of my cacti and plant experiments for my own personal record do I really need it?

I'm also in the market for something for my telescope. I have a Meade ETX that calls for some really fancy and expensive camera attachments. I'm going to start searching for a smart phone attachment.
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Interests include: Rhipsalis, Turbinicarpus, Gymnocalycium, and Lophophora.
DaveW
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by DaveW »

I presume by "crop" you mean DX sensors?

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-e ... rmats.html

My camera is a DX not an FX full frame one, but almost all my lenses used on it are FX full frame ones. In that case only the central area of the lens is used and as this is usually the best portion since resolution tends to fall off at lens edges therefore using the lens centre is often better. Also the lens then behaves like one 1.5 longer focal length on a Nikon than on full frame, a 60mm full frame macro lens behaving like a 90mm one on the smaller format therefore giving greater working distance. Those who used telephoto's loved this extra reach, but those who shot with wide-angle lenses found their full frame lenses were less wide angle on the smaller sensor size.

A smartphone however as far as I know cannot adjust the aperture with a diaphragm like a conventional camera. It adjusts the light reaching the sensor through adjusting the shutter speed and ISO, therefore you cannot adjust depth of field in the same way as conventional cameras.

Also optical zoom is not the same as mechanical zoom. In mechanical zoom the lens focal length itself alters but the number of pixels used on the sensor remains the same. With optical zoom the focal length of the lens does not alter, the camera or phone just crops a smaller part of the sensor image in the centre meaning less megapixels are covered. To get over this the newer phones are now having two or three different focal length lenses, or really cameras built in.

https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/buyi ... oid-phones

https://www.androidauthority.com/androi ... ns-874394/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjadunACIOE

The problem can be with some short focal length macro lenses as used on compact cameras or smartphones the working distance gets so close you often shield the subject from the light. Also with higher magnification macro work hand holding is never as good as the phone mounted on some form of tripod to steady it and you can get small tripods intended for smartphones.

In fact photography with a conventional viewfinder camera is usual steadier with it pressed to the forehead than using a rear screen viewed at arms length since your arms are not so steady when extended. Remember unlike normal photography where you have ample depth of field, in macro photography the depth of field may only be a couple of centimeters, or in some cases millimeters, therefore merely tapping the phone to take the picture could put it out of focus.

http://blokeonbike.com/bloke1/how-to-ho ... reloaded=1

https://justcreative.com/2019/09/30/bes ... e-tripods/

Remember, not only Amazon, you can often find these smartphone accessories cheaper on EBAY if you search for them, as well as secondhand DSLR cameras and lenses.
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WayneByerly
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by WayneByerly »

Pereskiopsisdotcom wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:32 pm I'm glad you brought this up. I honestly didn't know such a clip-on existed.
Good ... glad I could help out a little ...


Pereskiopsisdotcom wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:32 pm I'm also in the market for something for my telescope
Oooooohhhhhh ... astronomy is one of my fascinations. Do you think that i might request that you send me any pictures that might result from that through a PM? I'm reticent to take up any of your time, but maybe you might like to have someone else to talk to about your hobby. If this is a request is too much trouble, just ignore me.

cellphone attachments for your telescope can be obtained for somewhere between $15 and $80. You could probably even spend more money than that, but what I just said was the result of a real quick, real minor investigation.
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WayneByerly
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by WayneByerly »

Pereskiopsisdotcom wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:32 pm ... but if all I'm doing is taking macro photos of my cacti and plant experiments for my own personal record do I really need it?
I bought a digital Fujifilm S4500 for $120, with a fixed lens (you couldn't put different lenses on it) that took the most incredible macro pictures ... a real cheap camera, but i bought it to take macro pix of my succulents/cacti for my own records. And it did such a remarkable job that I cannot help but recommend it to you as it was so cheap.
Make the moral choice & always do what's right. Be a good example. Be part of the solution & make a contribution to society, or be part of the problem & end your life with nothing but regrets. Live a life you can be proud of! Zone 7a
DaveW
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by DaveW »

Higher magnification macro photography is as much technique as equipment. You can be quite casual with normal photography, just hand holding and snapping away, but really close up every slight movement of the camera is magnified and focus is critical since depth of field can be at best a couple of centimeters and often millimetres.

Past a certain magnification, much greater than 1:1 or life size on the sensor, the usual limit of most so called macro lenses, hand holding the camera becomes less of an option because you need smaller apertures meaning longer shutter speeds and it needs to be on a tripod. Simply increasing the ISO in order to get shorter shutter speeds for hand holding actually reduces the quality of the image. How much that matters depends on whether the picture is to be printed out or just for Web posting.

https://www.exposureguide.com/macro-pho ... -tutorial/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfRSbK8O41g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCewrmSmzNA

Stigma lobes.

stigma.jpg
stigma.jpg (97.94 KiB) Viewed 5638 times

The plant, Turbinicarpus polaskii.

Turbinicarpus polaskii.jpg
Turbinicarpus polaskii.jpg (83.82 KiB) Viewed 5638 times

In most cases you always get a better picture removing and actually staging the plant, just as though you were taking a human portrait and taking your time doing so rather than just snapping away at a plant flowering in the staging amidst the clutter of the plants all around it. Also I still think diffused natural light, as in the shots above, produces a better picture than using flash in order to get shorter shutter speeds for hand holding. Up close you will get more unsuccessful shots but you continue to improve with practice, therefore have a try since with digital these days you do not have to worry about wasting expensive film and can just delete the failures.
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Edwindwianto
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by Edwindwianto »

7george wrote: Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:35 am 131101.jpg.
I dont get this pict
It's a car pict with a title "dont enslave yourself"

Please explaine, where is the joke?
Is it lied in how you read the lisence plate?

Thanks
DaveW
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by DaveW »

I think George was illustrating Edwin that a smartphone is an opportunistic camera in that most people always have it with them when needed, in that case a car with comic number plate. The same applies to plants in flower, many have a phone with them whereas they would not have a normal camera.

I used my DSLR camera in the field in Chile for plants, but left it in the hotel at night, usually charging the battery for the next day. When going out at night for dinner though I often wished I had had a smartphone with me to capture what was happening in town since I actually saw this couple going around dancing the Chilean National dance the Cueca in some of the towns we visited. So a few shots in town to go with the plants in my Travelogue would have been nice to add atmosphere. As you can see some in the crowd are using smartphones and tablets to record them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z0ld5E2FdA

Evidently this originally was courting dance, hence all the parading arm in arm. However the mans dancing part is said to copy a cockerel displaying to the hen and I remember when I kept poultry the cock performing similarly to the hens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1xy6O6WhWg
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7george
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by 7george »

Edwindwianto wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:33 am
7george wrote: Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:35 am 131101.jpg.
I dont get this pict
It's a car pict with a title "dont enslave yourself"
Please explaine, where is the joke?
Is it lied in how you read the lisence plate?
Thanks
You have to ask the owner of that plate what he meant. I read it like "slavery forever". maybe he(she) points at the business or the way of life he got.

Image
One camera is not good enough for all you see to shoot but often is good for pictures of small cacti to be posted in the forum. I hosted this at other site because the forum software usually reduces picture quality.
If your cacti mess in your job just forget about the job.
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Edwindwianto
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by Edwindwianto »

DaveW wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:53 pm I think George was illustrating Edwin that a smartphone is an opportunistic camera in that most people always have it with them when needed, in that case a car with comic number plate.
Yes Dave
I was just asking, how to read that comical number plate 😁
So that i understood the joke (i knew there was a joke in George's photo, he was not just illustrating)
7george wrote: Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:31 am You have to ask the owner of that plate what he meant. I read it like "slavery forever". maybe he(she) points at the business or the way of life he got.
Hi George

Oh now i can read it!
SLVRFVR = Slave (SLV) Are (R) Forever (FVR)

Hahaha...i was unable to read it becausr of the R in the middle

BTW...that is a beautiful M. carmenae (?) George 👍
bartab
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by bartab »

I think I would have gone with silver fever. But I really just wanted to say the Rebutia is beautiful.
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C And D
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by C And D »

DaveW.
What about photo editing software
Those photos of yours are not straight off the memory card, the sharpness is incredible

I need new photo software, what should I buy?
Last edited by C And D on Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Craig and Denise Fry
DaveW
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by DaveW »

Hi both Craig and Denise.

I do shoot RAW rather than in camera JPEG's, but most people fail to sharpen their images for Web use. I believe you should also sharpen differently for print use, but I don't print out so do not know.

If you use in camera JPEG's you can adjust the amount of sharpening by going into the menu on many cameras. It is usually set for general photography, but you can increase it both in camera or in post processing later. However see your camera manual how to do it and also note the original camera settings in case you need to return them. Generally there is more sharpening applied out of the box on entry level cameras than prosumer and professional ones since they presume people who buy these will either sharpen in post processing or be able to adjust in camera sharpening.

I have read of people who had an entry level camera being disappointed when stepping up to a more professional one since the pictures did not look as good to them as with the entry level one, merely because on the lower end ones the makers had pre-set image sharpening and colour to a greater degree. The functions they expected those buying higher level ones to be able to tweak themselves by going into the menu's.

http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototip ... -cons.html

I am just using Elements or Photoshop Elements as it's often called. The functions in it I use have been there since the early versions so I did not really need to upgrade. For most amateurs Photoshop is overkill and it has now gone on the Cloud as a subscription based service, whereas Elements is intended for amateurs and can be purchased outright, therefore reside on your computer. Image sharpening is the same as in Photoshop and even the freebie image manipulating software on the web work similarly. I sharpen as the last function after resizing and manipulating exposure etc.

https://photography.tutsplus.com/tutori ... ...%20More

Just looked to see my settings for sharpening, though these may need altering to suit an image.

Unsharp Mask. (these were the settings a close up photographer gave me as a starting point years ago when I first went digital)

Amount 80%
Radius 2.0 pixels
Threshold 5

If using Adjust Sharpness instead (I then see what looks best Unsharp Mask or Adjust Sharpness since you can just cancel until you get which looks best)

Preset Custom
Amount 100%
Radius 1.0 px
Remove Gaussian Blur.

As said you may need to alter them to suit the image. Beware of over sharpening as it can make the image look "plasticky" and if you go too far you can get what are often called "sharpening haloes", or more correctly "over sharpening haloes", which are white or coloured lines around the image. If you are getting these back off the sharpening. With most processing software until you save the image you can go to Edit and remove what you have just done and start again. Always work on a copy of your image or never save the alterations to the original since if you muck things up you can then start again.

https://www.dpchallenge.com/tutorial.php?TUTORIAL_ID=80

As I shoot Raw I use Adobe's Camera Raw Converter. However Adobe has the dubious business practice of encrypting the new Camera RAW version for the latest cameras to only work with its latest version of Elements therefore you need to buy the new version of Elements to use it if you do a camera upgrade. However there are other Raw Converters on the Web for free I believe which you can convert RAW images in to a form older Elements can then process.

I should also have added I do usually shoot on a tripod for plants rather than hand held so I can use smaller apertures and the lowest ISO setting for better quality images to start with.
DaveW
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by DaveW »

Should have added this link as it explains why digital pictures from most cameras need to be sharpened either by the camera or in post processing, unlike film where the actual unmodified image is used..

https://www.howtogeek.com/215920/htg-ex ... -doing-it/
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Steve-0
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by Steve-0 »

bartab wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:35 am I think I would have gone with silver fever. But I really just wanted to say the Rebutia is beautiful.
Yes, this is off course the correct interpretation of the license plate. SILVER FEVER - it's a silver beamer ( BMW = Bayerische Motoren Werke, not anything else ). Pride and vanity of a BMW owner...hence in the US they're called vanity plates.

And the plate is nothing about slavery.
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7george
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by 7george »

Image

Image
Grand Canyon from the air. Do you see some hikers down there?

Image
Even this size camera looks too big for me when hiking slopes like this. Feeling the touch of Ageve utahensis kaibabensis.
If your cacti mess in your job just forget about the job.
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