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  #1  
08-06-2012, 05:29 AM
Krisem Krisem is offline
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Hi, I have a Micro-Nikkor 55mm 1:2.8 about 20 years old. I would liketo buy a new Nikon body for this lens, assuming it will fit, and I would like advice on which model to buy. My photography currently is exclusively in very low light conditions where flash and tripod use are unacceptable, ie photgraphing textiles in museums often through glass. Budget would be under 1000. Many thanks
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  #2  
08-06-2012, 01:33 PM
manthing manthing is offline
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i'm not an expert so take this with a pinch of salt.

your budget of under 1000 straight away puts you in DX territory - assuming you do not want to buy 2nd hand dslr FX bodies.
are you ok with that?

now, i'll assume your 55mm lens is a AI or AI-s version.

AFAIK your lens should work with D200, D300, D7000 models.
of those, i suppose D200 is too much of an older model to bother with - leaving the D300 and D7000.

D300 has native ISO of 200 - 3200. you can push it to 6400.
D7000 has native ISO of 100 - 6400. you can push it to 8000, 9000, 10000, 12800 and 25600.

so, possibly the D7000 will suit your needs for low light photography?

if your lens is a AI or AI-s, it will work with all the following bodies, but without metering and only in manual focus: D5100, D5000, D3200, D3100, D3000, D60, D40, D40x.

if you are comfortable using the lens and camera like this, then possibly the D5100 is your best option as the ISO can be pushed to 12800 and 25600.

ok, i hope i've given you correct information and you find it helpful.

admin + others with more knowledge may well counter what i've written and please go with their answers as i'm still newish to photography.
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  #3  
08-06-2012, 02:15 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Hi Krisem, welcome to the site.

Best Body:

715 would buy a new Nikon D7000, which is an excellent camera body for low-light photography in that budget range. I wish I could own one, as a backup body, and for its video features, to be completely honest with you. Right now I shoot with a full-frame Nikon D3s, and my backup/secondary is a D200.

Amazon.co.uk has the D7000: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...&tag=thdifa-21

Another great option would be a used Nikon D700, which is a bit like a miniature D3. It's a full-frame body.

There's a "like new" body available for 720 on Amazon.co.uk right now: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-lis...=digitalfaq-21
Also several just above 1000. When new, this body was double that price, 2000. The D800 is now the new body in that price range. However, the D800 and D700 are not that different.

Best Stores:

One of the most important aspects on camera buying is to shop from a trust vendor -- not just any random website. The two that I can personally recommend as excellent are Amazon.co.uk and Microglobe.co.uk. My first preference is for Amazon, because they don't really stock gray-market items. Microglobe is excellent for buying gray market lenses.

(In USA, I'd suggest Amazon.com, B&H, Adorama for new/used gear. Or KEH.com for just used gear.)

The older Nikkor Lens:

Older lenses like that don't always mount on consumer end digital SLR bodies, so D7000 is probably a minimum requirement.

I confirmed that this lens does work on the D700 and D7000 bodies for you.

Note the differences on the bodies:
- If you mount this lens on the D7000, you'll get "zoomed in" 1.5x, because it's a crop sensor. Note that DOF is different on a crop.
- If you mount this lens on the D700, it will appear the same as it always has on film bodies, being a full-frame sensor.

Also ...

Don't forget to buy a good tripod for the museum shoots. I've done that quite a bit myself.

If you have any other questions, just reply.

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  #4  
08-06-2012, 03:01 PM
manthing manthing is offline
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tripods may or may not be allowed in museums. there is no general rule. ring and find out.

also ask the museums if they allow monopods instead of tripods. you might get away with monopods in busy places (even railway stations) as there are no legs that stick out - hence less chance of causing accidents.
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  #5  
08-06-2012, 03:08 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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What always gets to me is how museum employees do not yet understand that cameras can take photos without flashes. It's 2012, not 1912.

Them: "You can't use cameras because we don't allow flashes."

Me: "I don't need a flash. I could take clear photos in a cave. The light in the museum is already plenty fine for me."
Them: "But you can't use a flash! So no cameras!"

Ridiculous. I've had to argue this more than once.

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  #6  
08-06-2012, 03:23 PM
manthing manthing is offline
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ha ha. yes, you're quite right.

unfortunately, i think photography, especially at the dslr end, has become a specialist or a minority hobby. so the general public probably only have vague notions of such devices? probably from old movies? so they don't know the capability of modern day cameras.

ah well, we'll just have to educate the staff each time, right?

also, do ring ahead and get confirmation about the usage of cameras & tripods/monpods. perhaps flash as well!
plus the managers/administrators name which you can give to the staff who confront you.

oh, in these security conscious days, be prepared for staff to rifle through your gear - leaving dirty, greasy fingerprints all over the place. so take some cleaning kit along - you'll probably need it.
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08-06-2012, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manthing View Post
oh, in these security conscious days, be prepared for staff to rifle through your gear - leaving dirty, greasy fingerprints all over the place. so take some cleaning kit along - you'll probably need it.
"If you touch the glass on that expensive lens with your filthy oily fingers, I'm going to hurt you."

Yes, I've said this.

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  #8  
08-07-2012, 06:35 AM
Krisem Krisem is offline
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Many thanks kpmedia and manthing, just what I wanted to know. Also I really appreciate the purchase options and recommendations from kpmedia.
Tripods are not usually an option in museums but I will look into monopods. For most museums I will previously have made an appointment and enquired about their photography rules.
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  #9  
08-07-2012, 07:20 AM
Krisem Krisem is offline
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Hi kpmedia,
I've no problem using only manual focus but will I have a problem with no metering help? I've got very lazy recently using a point and shoot camera although still on manual! Am I going back to the days when I carried a lightmeter around?
The D7000 looks excellent. I've a bit dubious about buying a used D700 though that particuar offer does seem a bargain.
Thanks for your advice.
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  #10  
08-07-2012, 08:33 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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krisem, just a suggestion... do you have one of those new fangled whizzy mobile phones? the ones that have inbuilt camera? and can it download apps? somewhere out there, there are apps to do metering for you. now, i do not have a clue how they work - ie does the app use your mobile camera to do metering? if it does so, then that could work for you - use the app + mobile phone camera purely for the metering, then dial that into the camera - bingo, job done.

one more thing, please use the link(s) kpmedia provided to buy your camera (or anything else). he will get a small % of the sale which will help him maintain the site and in turn help you and others in the future.

If monopods are not allowed, here is a crazy idea for you to try out: people are allowed to carry books into museums, correct? so, take with you several volumes of big/thick books like encyclopedia britannica. then pile them all up to the desired height for the particular photo. then rest your camera on the pile of books and take the photo! sure, lugging all those books is no fun but look at it this way, if you survive it, you'll have muscles to enter the next mr. universe contest!!!!!
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  #11  
08-07-2012, 09:42 AM
Krisem Krisem is offline
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Sorry don't have whizzy phone though I might use this an excuse to get one.
Will certainly use kpmedia links to buy anything.
The books idea is probably too crazy though I've often used nearby pillars, display cases etc to keep a steady hand.
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  #12  
08-07-2012, 12:21 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krisem View Post
will I have a problem with no metering help? I've got very lazy recently using a point and shoot camera although still on manual! Am I going back to the days when I carried a lightmeter around?
I have a very nice (and moderately expensive) Sekonic L-358 light meter, but I tend to be lazy too.

DLSRs cater to the lazy, because you can use the LCD for metering. It's easy to rely on the histograms, or to simply eyeball it on the LCD preview image. While you may not get quite as perfect of a meter this way, it's generally very correctable if you shoot in raw NEF format (or CR2 on Canon). If you're shooting JPEG, the metering is a bit more important, though you can still be lazy and just hope for the best. Unlike film, you're not entirely gambling now.

Just be aware that the LCD is not 100% accurate, though the Nikon LCDs are better than the Canon ones for accuracy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manthing View Post
If monopods are not allowed, here is a crazy idea for you to try out:
I once carried a walking cane that had a fairly wide girth, and a nice flat top. It doubled as my monopod. And because I feigned a bit of a limp when entering, nobody said a thing. Even when a museum worker saw me using it as a monopod, nobody said a single word to me. Sure, it may not be very politically correct, but it was either that or handhold everything -- or not get the photos I required. (This was long ago, and I was pushing Fuji 800 film to 3200. With a clean ISO 12800 available, I could probably handhold on the D3s.)

I have a lot of fun stories about how I sneaked cameras into various places through the years. Maybe I should write an editorial on it.

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