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Photography Advice and Tips Thread.

Started by renfairephotog, July 06, 2008, 05:44:59 PM

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Quote from: majikboxman on July 10, 2008, 07:07:00 AM
Macros are great lenses, but I have to think that having a fixed length Macro might not be a good investment for the avg. hobbyist that's looking to take family fun type pics.  For someone that may be wanting to take a broad range of pics, a Macro might not really be the right choice for them.

Most kit DSLR's come with a lens already, usually in the APS size 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 range.  In my experience, most folks want to add something to that mix, and not necessarily duplicate what they already have. For instance, a 70mm or 105mm 2.8 gives an individual the option of a decent macro and the ability to shoot nice portraits will nicely blurred backgrounds. I often recommend this way to go, simply to diversify what they already have, and in most cases, a macro can be had fairly inexpensively.

Anyway, it's just another option out there, and it's really dependent on what the person wants to accomplish in the first place.


Quote from: Mythrin on July 10, 2008, 12:52:45 PM
Does anyone have any experience with one of these cameras or an opinion.  I am looking for a nice point and shoot type with enough capacity to be able to do some creative shots and enough pixel size to photoshop the images and am looking at these two. But am open to other suggestions in the $300-350 range.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18K Digital Camera

Thanks for any help

Get the Lumix.  The Kodak is only a 10x optical zoom, not 50x.  The Lumix has a larger 18x optical zoom, which is fairly significant.  Out of all the cameras we get in for repairs, Kodak is the number one we see the most.  I wouldn't take a Kodak digital camera even if it was free. 

The Lumix is a great camera, and uses Leica lenses on all their current models.  It has an 18x optical zoom, image stabilization, and a myriad of other features that put it on par with many digital SLRs.  You can't beat the price for what you're getting either.

R/ member since 2003

Capt Gabriela Fullpepper

So I just did a search on the DMC-FZ18k and what all it did. I was quite impressed with it and if I were looking for another camera that was not a high expence camera, I'd most likely go with the Panasonic DMC-FZ18.

This camera not only has the 18X optical zoom, but also offers a 4X digital zoom. You can combine the two to get some nice long distance shots. They can turn out a bit grainy, but they still produce a very nice high quility picture.

A good example of a long distance shot I took was of an owl in the top of a tree. I could hardly see it, and making out any detail was near impossible,

Last year at Cheyenne Frontier days I was all the way across the arena shooting these (About 100 yards)

So you get the idea. The DMC-FZ18 should take pictures at close to this distance, as the camera I was using was the Panasonic DMC-FZ30 which I picked up in 2005. It's a rocking camera and I love it. I agree with DB go with the Panasonic.

If your interested in other shots taken with my panasonic go to

I'm no pro, but I love what my Panasonic does
"The Metal Maiden"
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody e


FZ-18 review

Here is a listing of some Highly Recommended cameras

I didn't see the Kodak listed for review.


Thank you all, your comments were just what I was hoping to get - info about use, quality and durability.  I will be following your advise.
Founding member of the Living History Company

"go Secret Squirrels"


TIP #9
Before you start shooting, be sure to check your WIFE.

Always check your settings before beginning a new shooting session. 

White balance     If you shoot JPEGS, this can ruin your day.  Very tough to recover from tungsten WB in full Sun.
ISO    Shooting a band last night at ISO 1600?  Makes for a great way to ruin afternoon Rennie pics.
Focus (continuous, single servo)      Nothing is going to fix a mis-focusd shot.
Exposure compensation (+,- EV)      Blown whites? Too dark?  Remember to re-set your EV!


No real tips to provide, but I must say I love my Kodak Z650. I wanted a camera with 6 Megapixels, a large (10x optical, 5x digital) zoom, the ability to play with different apeture and shutter speeds, and change lenses, but I'm poor and much an amateur wannabee photographer, so I couldn't afford the $1,000+up cameras. The kodak allows me all of that, plus lets me point and shoot when I'm too lazy to do anything else! Still, I've found my kodak has withstood 2 years of camping, rain, and all sorts of weather, AND runs on AA batteries. For me that was the kicker, as running out of juice with a propriety battery halfway through the day is NOT an option for me!

So just wanted to pipe in my two sense, that yes, some kodak cams can be worthwhile, if your new and don't want a full SLR. The only thing I'm missing is manual focus. Somedays I wish I had it, but my kodak was $150 on sale a few years ago, and does everything my friends Sony cam does. I WOULD buy a big digiSLR if I had the funds tho.

Xanthenes The Unbalanced

Quote from: AbleArcher on July 09, 2008, 11:33:14 PM
I agree for the most part about using only manufacturer specific lenses, but there are a few sleepers that can be had from third parties.  In my own experience, as a Nikon shooter, I have had great success with some of Sigma's offerings. 

Of the big three third parties, Tamron, Tokina and Sigma, I have the most experience with Sigma.  They each have their own duds, but in some cases, they offer something that Canon and Nikon do not.  I can not say enough good things about Sigma's 150mm 2.8 macro.  It makes a great medium telephoto, and offers HSM for quick focus and tracking.  It is as sharp as some of my more expensive Nikkors.  The Sigma can be had for about $500, and it is worth every penny.  I have also used three of Sigma's other fixed focal length lenses, the 105mm 2.8 Macro, 30mm 1.4 and 70mm 2.8 macro. In a lot of cases, a fixed focal length prime lens offers better optical quality, at the expense of not having a zoom capability.

You sort of have to be a little more choosy, when looking at Sigma's zoom lenses.  Sometimes you can save a great deal of money, but you should really be up on the latest reviews before you purchase.  I have liked using the Sigma 24-60mm 2.8 and the 70-200mm 2.8.  Both are significantly less expensive than Nikon counterparts, and only suffer marginally when it comes to the optics.

For lens reviews, try the following websites: user lens reviews are usually terrific.  You're absolutely spot on about third party lenses.  While I have a number of expensive Canon lenses which I love dearly, I also have a Tamron wide angle which is a heck of a lens at half the price of a Canon.  One my favorite lenses is my Sigma 2.8 70-200, which I feel is every bit as good as Canon's 2.8 70-200 at half the price (though the Sigma does lack IS).  While you do have to be a little choosier with some of the third party stuff, Canon and Nikon also sport a few lenses that are of less-than-perfect quality.  Investigate the lens you want, investigate alternatives to that lens, and whenever you get the chance, shoot a few frames on other people's lenses (if they'll let you and if, of course, they're compatible). 
(This space for rent)


I hope this is the correct thread to ask this question. If not, I apologize.
We have some fantastic photographers on this forum and I've seen subtle copywrite credits on pictures posted by forumites. Can this feature be added to photos in photoshop? And can I get instructions on how to add this to my photos? Also, I assume once this is added it won't print when pictures are printed?
Thanks in advance!!
Wench Raised in the South/ Loki Musketeer


I found this link for instructions on my question above, but I'd love to hear other thoughts or suggestions on this.
Wench Raised in the South/ Loki Musketeer


Quote from: susannah on September 03, 2008, 10:08:54 AM
I Also, I assume once this is added it won't print when pictures are printed?
Thanks in advance!!

That depends on how the watermark is added. If you put a watermark on a photo and save it a a jpg, the water mark will print. But you don't want to but print quality images online where everyone has access to them. A print quality pic takes loner to load than a web pic. If you just want to post pic online us the SAVE FOR WEB option.
When I've finished adjusting I want to post I place a watermark on it, go File>save for Web and then save the file is another folder titled WEB.

Dot Photo, Smug Mug and other photo sharing place can put a water mark or Proof on the image people see but not on the printed copy they order. You upload a high resolution pic and they put a water mark on a low res version of the pic.
Twenty seasons of covering renaissance  festivals. Photos/calendar/blog.
Fairy photographer


Wench Raised in the South/ Loki Musketeer

Jon Foster

A couple of the tips already posted can be lifesavers. Fill flash on a sunny day can make or break a shot. Shutter speed is another one. Keeping your speed at least equal to the lens will cut down on the blurry shots a lot. For example, if I'm shooting with a 300mm lens I'll keep my shutter speed above 300. If I shoot at 50mm I'll keep the shutter speed no less than 50 etc. I've also found Image Stabilization a life saver for those times when I don't follow my own rules and shoot at speeds well below what I know is safe. Like at night or in poorly lit areas.



Quote from: Mythrin on July 10, 2008, 12:52:45 PM
But am open to other suggestions in the $300-350 range.

I'd recommend checking out the Canon S5 IS. I love mine. It's like a jack of all trades but master of none type camera. The image quality isn't like a DSLR but it's still great.

I used to have a DSLR but it mostly gathered dust while I took out my smaller cameras that have good quality video modes.

The S5 has a 12x optical zoom, 8 megapixels, and a stereo sound video mode. Plus you can add an external flash if you plan on using the flash a lot.

~$330 (about to be discontinued so you could probably get it for less soon)

& the 430EX external flash ~$225

Here's one of my favorite pictures that I've taken with the S5 recently.


Anyone shooting in Camera RAW? what software do you use?
Twenty seasons of covering renaissance  festivals. Photos/calendar/blog.
Fairy photographer