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Camera Advice

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by foxyboy, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. foxyboy Member


    I'm going to buy a DSLR, probably a Nikon D3300. I'll only be using it to photograph figures. Can anyone tell me if I need a macro lens, or will the standard 18-55mm be good enough? For example, a couple of weeks ago Sang Eon Lee posted photos of his latest bust...


    Can anyone hazard a guess as to whether or not this quality of photo can be taken with a standard 18-55mm?

  2. foxyboy Member

    Cheeky wee bump. No opinions?
  3. Colin_Fraser A Fixture

    I have an Olympus DSlR. My experience us that you can take decent pix with the standard lens with suitable lighting, especially if you shoot at high resolution and crop. I invested in a good fast macro that I got used on eBay and it 's far better.....but not necessary. I am sure the same holds true for Nikon, Canon or whatever.
  4. Tutilo17 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I would also say that it is not so important what lense you use. If you take pics with a high resolution and of course good lighting etc. it's always possible to magnify the pics electronically to present details.
  5. foxyboy Member

    Thanks very much guys.

    I've never used anything other than a throw away camera (not for figures), so I didn't want to waste time messing around with a standard lens if it isn't even possible to get decent photos.

  6. Bailey A Fixture

    I'm using a Canon Rebel DSLR, but Nikon is a well respected company and I'm sure that will be a good camera too. As for the lens, no you don't need macro. The standard 18-55mm lens is fine. I treat taking photographs of my figures a lot like doing portaits. I zoom all the way in (using the 18-55mm lens) and step back until the figure is framed in the shot. Below are links to a two part article on photographing figures. You may find the information useful. It's also worth noting that their advice is to avoid using macro mode for the figures.

    Part 1 is a comparison of DSLR and regular point and shoot cameras
    Part 2 goes into the details of how to take the photo with a DSLR and all the settings
  7. foxyboy Member

    Thanks very much for those links, some great info there. The writer puts many of the technical terms into a context that figure painters can relate to.

  8. Eludia A Fixture

    I'm a relative newbie to photography, and DSLRs in particular. I've had my Nikon D3200 for about a year now and primarily use it for photographing my figures but also take it along to shows and club nights. I too used the advice given in the links above and I get good results so it is sound advice imho.

    Although I was getting good results with the standard kit lens when at home with good lighting, tripod and remote etc. it wasn't so great when shooting handheld at shows and club nights mainly because of poor lighting and and my unsteady grip. I upgraded the lens to a 50mm prime lens (35mm equivalent) and it generally stays on my camera permanently now. The photos I'm taking now are noticeably better than those I was taking with the standard lens especially in poor light so, for me, it was a worthwhile upgrade.

    I also like a dark background when photographing figures so I bought a pack of black foamboard and made myself a dark box as mentioned in the massive voodoo articles (I use the "long exposure" method when I'm at home and can control the environment).

    I suppose it depends how much you're willing to invest in taking decent photos, you can get by perfectly well with the standard lens. I was lucky that I received the camera as a gift, and the lens was relatively cheap at about £130 (I justified the purchase to myself by thinking that it was only equivalent to about 3 busts ;))
  9. garyhiggins A Fixture

    It could cost you a lot more than that Billy depending on who's bust it is. Dolly Parton's for instant could cost you THIIIIIIIS much :). My knowledge of photography is all back in the days of film cameras, but it was always known that you would get a better image with a fixed focal length lens if only for the fact that they have a wider maximum aperture.
    Regards Gary.
    Eludia likes this.
  10. chippy Well-Known Member

    I have a Nikon 3000 and it has a macro option on it on the image selector . As what you are looking is the upgrade on this I'm sure that option will be there . The one problem I find using the macro option is it often automatically uses the flash when lighting is poor but I have found if I wrap some bubble wrap around the flash this acts a diffuser and much cheaper than those funny things that you can get to fit on the front of the lens .
  11. Metal Extremo Well-Known Member

    I'm using a Nikon D5000, with the standard lens always that i can and my wife don't see me do it :rolleyes: . IMO macro as lens is not necessary for our hobby. I made photos of 54mm without problemas. After you have the option at the camero to trim the photo for details that you want to show. As the companions said, always the bigger resolution to made the photos.
    The macro as option with the normal lens don't like me, cause contrast of the painting desappears. If you put the camera in automatic, it always tries to use the flash, and for me the flash and figures aren't compatible. Better spend your money at a tripod (something very basic, but tripod. The smalls to put over the table are shitty. Can't control the distance to the miniature as you want, if you want an aereal picture is difficult to be done. The expensives are for exteriors, inside the water...) and more miniatures :happy:
  12. Mirofsoft A Fixture

    18 -55mm is good enough
    Normaly there is also a Macro Position on the selector ( automatic )
    you could buy also a set of macro ring ( also called extension ring ) you set behind the lens, 3 sizes in the set .
  13. MalcC A Fixture

    I've the Nikon D3200, the standard lens is fine.
    I did purchase the Macro lens, but very rarely use it.


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