Getting back to DSLR after a break

Discussion in 'Cameras and Photography' started by Markoneswift, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock Subscriber

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    Hey all

    Audio has kind of taken over my photography recently but in an attempt to get back into it, I decided to pick up a relatively cheap Nikon D40x to play around with.

    I picked up the Nikon off the bay for $60 as a body only. I'm going to use some of my M42 manual lenses with it I think. I really just want to experiment, like I used to, with different techniques so I don't care about ultimate image quality.

    I still have my Fuji X-S1 that I got for a stupid low price and that will be my everyday camera. The Nikon will be my backup and playtime device :)
     
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  2. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock Subscriber

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    Excited ! I picked up a Tokina 12-24mm F/4 II DX-Pro off our auction site today for $80 !! The AF is broken but I rarely use AF (especially when using ultrawide for landscape etc) and I figured for $80 I cuold have a go at fixing it myself. I've watched a couple of vids, looks easy to get the front assembly off.....

    This will be my first ultra wide, can't wait to test drive it.
     
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  3. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    And remember you can use pretty much any AIs, AI and pre-AI lens in the D40x. Just be sure to remember you shouldn't use the pre-AI lenses on the higher end digital bodies.

    If you have any remote interest in macro-ish work, the 55mm lenses are pretty great bargains and you can use the extender to get to 1:1 though lighting can be a pretty serious issue. I have quite a few nicer lenses, but my 55mm (mine is the f3.5 version) gets a lot of use both for around the house and impromptu people shots.

    For longer lenses, the 100mm f2.8 E-series is a budget gem. Not as mechanically nice as the 85mm f.2 or 1.8, but WAY lighter in weight and about one third as expensive on the used market.
     
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  4. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock Subscriber

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    Thanks for the info on lenses. I did get a bit carried away when I bought the D40x to be honest - I forgot that DSLRs are different to mirrorless in terms of their ability to accept different manufacturers lenses. I was planning on using some Pentax PK lenses that I have left over from my last DSLR but that's not going to be as easy as I thought. One of them is a nice macro lens, but I'll probably sell them on now to finance a Nikon mount macro instead.

    I used to do quite a bit of what I call 'DIY macro' - using reverse mount, stacking, bellows, all that good stuff. I had some quite good success too, all with modded lenses mostly on Canon bodies.

    This is one I did with a Fuji X-E1, a Pentax DA 35mm and a DIY close up dioptre -

    [​IMG]Home made close up lens testing by Justin Robert Bailey, on Flickr
     
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  5. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    To be clear, on the 40x, those lenses will only work in Manual mode with zero metering... sorr of an educated guessing game and it's been a while, but I'm not sure the built-in flash will work though and I dont think you can use a Nikon flash in TTL mode though I think you CAN use an aftermarket flash such as something from Yongnuo in manual mode.

    For the price they sell for, those 55mm 3.5 or 2.8 lenses are pretty incredible in my opinion if you don't mind shooting in Manual mode and using manual focus.
     
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  6. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock Subscriber

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    I have used classic manual lenses on digital bodies for years so I'm fine with manual focus and stop down metering.

    I remember about ten years ago, people were shedding their 'manual' lenses in favour of 'digital' ones and the pawn shop shelves were full of incredible bargains. Sadly at that time, I wasn't doing much photography but I wish I had the foresight to grab a few.
     
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  7. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock Subscriber

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    Here it is, all assembled. Nikon D40x, Sandisk Extreme 16Gb class 10 SDHC, Tokina 12-24mm F/4 DX ii

    IMG_20170921_111124.jpg
     
  8. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    Nice!

    I had a Tokina 11-16 for a while that I bought used while on vacation. It works perfectly on the DX bodies of course, but also works at 15 and 16mm on a full frame body which is really wide. I just don't get a lot of use out of an ultra wide. Eventually I'll get out west or do some closeup barn shots.
     
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  9. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    I’m in the same boat. I think I will go with the Nikon D5600 since I have some Nikon AF lenses I would like to be able to use. Anyone have any experience with it or its predecessor the 5500?
     
  10. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    I had a 5200 for a while as my crop body. No complaints. Not sure what all has changed since the 5200 other than more megapixels, a higher resolution screen and hopefully better AF during video.

    I will say that if you use the viewfinder, the finder in a used 7100 or maybe 7200 will be much nicer than on the 5600. Not a big deal if you always use autofocus but when using manual focus lens, the better finder is a tremendous advantage. There are some great values in older manual focus lenses.
     
  11. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock Subscriber

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    I picked up a Canon 40d recently for $50 with a 'faulty' shutter button. I blasted it out with an air blower can and flushed it with IPA / contact cleaner and it works great now. The 40D has live view and it can zoom 10x for manual focusing so I think this body may become my macro rig with a reversed or stacked lens setup.
     
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  12. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock Subscriber

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    Also picked up a Fuji X100 the other day for $30. It was sold as not working but in actual fact, with a proper Fuji battery, it does power up and also takes photos with shutter speed and aperture in Auto. Rear screen doesn't work and some of the rear control buttons don't behave either so I think it may be either a loose connection on the board or maybe corrupt firmware. The most annoying thing is one of the buttons that doesn't work is the 'left' of the thumb wheel - this means I'm unable to access the system menus in camera, to try a firmware upgrade !
     
  13. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Can it still meter with manual focus lenses? I know my old N60 film camera couldn’t.
     
  14. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    Not the 3xxx or 5xxx series cameras.

    I think it needs to be D200/D300 or a D7000/7100/7300 or whatever they are up to. They will all meter AI or AIs lenses so you can shoot in manual or Aperture Priority modes and shoot with a flash.

    The D200/D300 also have a nice finder, much nicer than the D3000 or D5000 series.

    For stills in pretty much anything other than sports or light without flash, the D300 is still a solid camera. The 7000/7100/7200 are better at higher ISO settings and will do video.

    Of course, you can use any of those lenses in total, 100% manual mode, guessing and compensating for exposure and you can use a speedlight in manual mode. The Yongnou flashes are great for such uses.
     
  15. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    I don't shoot too much with Canon but I have access to some nice lenses. The 40D is a great value at this point. The 30D is too, but no Live View and a crappy screen.

    I have a 40D and a 50mm f2.5 macro lens which is a super great, super cheap Canon setup. Not quite as shallow of a depth of field as the 1.8s, but it's plenty sharp at 2.8 and super sharp by 5.6 or 8. $50 for the 40D and $50 for the 3.5 lens. Not a bad rig for the price.

    My Nikon macro rig is more expensive and not AF at all. Not that that's an issue, but sometimes it's nice to have AF for non-macro, general purpose uses.
     
  16. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Just went ahead and ordered the D5500. I honestly don't know that I will ever use non-AF lenses, and didn't want to give up features I know I will use (wifi, touchscreen, higher ISO) for something I may never use.
     
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  17. tube-a-lou

    tube-a-lou Super Member

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    This is a good thread, I've been thinking of getting a Canon 5D Classic or Nikon D2x, I know the Canon
    is full frame and Nikon is DX size but I'm used to it, to the original poster that's a nice combo!
     
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  18. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock Subscriber

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    Hey thanks - I keep look at the 5D or the 1D-x as a way into cheap full frame ownership but I just know I'll get on the lens acquisition band wagon again - been there, done that, couldn't afford the T-shirt ! I think I will stick to old, flawed bargains and use my decent knowledge of the technology to extract the best images I can on a budget :)
     
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  19. tube-a-lou

    tube-a-lou Super Member

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    I know how you feel, I really like my Fuji X-pro1 but I like the idea of a full frame again, I'm
    just waiting for a good deal.
     
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  20. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    I thought about full frame too, but the more research I do the more it really seems like it's not worth the extra $$. Unless you are doing things with very narrow DOF or need really top notch low light performance.

    The DX/cropped sensors give great results, and allow you to use the newest DX lenses. Even though they are "kit" lenses they really are very good, and the prices are phenomenal.
     

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