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View Full Version : Expert Opinion Request: Camera Equipment



Black Razor
11-24-2004, 09:55 AM
Ok,
So I am looking into putting together a basic camera kit. I want to see what the pro's think about the equipment I am choosing.

My camera base is a Kodak DX-7630. It has a 3X optical zoom, 8-24 mm (35 mm equiv) 39-117 mm, Schneider-Kreuznach lens built in with 37mm thread. In addition to that built in lens, I am planning on buying the following lenses, all from the Phoenix Corp (http://www.phoenixcorp.com/Lenses/Digital_Lens/digital_lens.html). (<~~Website)

#1. Digital 0.5X Wide Angle Lens 37mm
#2. Digital 1.5x Telephoto 28mm via Step Down Ring
#3. Digital 2x Lens 52mm via Step Up Ring
#4. Digital 3x Telephoto Lens 28mm via Step Down Ring

I am aware I need this (http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=1937&pq-locale=en_US&cameraEkNumber=EKN028434&skuID=S15239&Visible=false&navCategory=EKN028434) adapter from Kodak to use these lenses.

Now for a flash I intend to use the Sunpak Digital Camera Flash Adapter Bracket (http://thezetaproject.tripod.com/images/cameraset.html), more to stablize the camera than a hot seat adapter, with a Metz 36-C2 Auto Slave/Manual Flash seated in a Hama Bounce Shoe, which is controlled by a Wein Digital Smart Slave Controller. I am not sure if the Wein Controller is neccessary, since the flash bracket has a built in controller, but I dont think it can ignore pre-flash, and I like the handle that it provides anyhow.

For a Tripod, I am looking at something sturdy and durable, not really heavy...collapsible, and easy to carry over the shoulder. Anyone have any ideas?

Ok, so please let me know if there will be any problems with my kit. Also, if you would suggest any other items. Thanks.

~J

Rhys
11-24-2004, 10:33 AM
Seems like an awful lot of messing about to me. Why not go for a DSLR instead?

D70FAN
11-24-2004, 10:56 AM
Ok,
So I am looking into putting together a basic camera kit. I want to see what the pro's think about the equipment I am choosing.

My camera base is a Kodak DX-7630. It has a 3X optical zoom, 8-24 mm (35 mm equiv) 39-117 mm, Schneider-Kreuznach lens built in with 37mm thread. In addition to that built in lens, I am planning on buying the following lenses, all from the Phoenix Corp (http://www.phoenixcorp.com/Lenses/Digital_Lens/digital_lens.html). (<~~Website)

#1. Digital 0.5X Wide Angle Lens 37mm
#2. Digital 1.5x Telephoto 28mm via Step Down Ring
#3. Digital 2x Lens 52mm via Step Up Ring
#4. Digital 3x Telephoto Lens 28mm via Step Down Ring

I am aware I need this (http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=1937&pq-locale=en_US&cameraEkNumber=EKN028434&skuID=S15239&Visible=false&navCategory=EKN028434) adapter from Kodak to use these lenses.

Now for a flash I intend to use the Sunpak Digital Camera Flash Adapter Bracket (http://thezetaproject.tripod.com/images/cameraset.html), more to stablize the camera than a hot seat adapter, with a Metz 36-C2 Auto Slave/Manual Flash seated in a Hama Bounce Shoe, which is controlled by a Wein Digital Smart Slave Controller. I am not sure if the Wein Controller is neccessary, since the flash bracket has a built in controller, but I dont think it can ignore pre-flash, and I like the handle that it provides anyhow.

For a Tripod, I am looking at something sturdy and durable, not really heavy...collapsible, and easy to carry over the shoulder. Anyone have any ideas?

Ok, so please let me know if there will be any problems with my kit. Also, if you would suggest any other items. Thanks.

~J

I agree with Rhys...

...By the time your done you will have spent the equivalent of a decent dSLR with a good lens, but without the advantages. At least a dSLR will have some resale value.

You might also want to consider a Panasonic FZ20 instead, just to get rid of the clutter.

Back to the drawing board...

John_Reed
11-24-2004, 12:14 PM
I agree with Rhys...

...By the time your done you will have spent the equivalent of a decent dSLR with a good lens, but without the advantages. At least a dSLR will have some resale value.

You might also want to consider a Panasonic FZ20 instead, just to get rid of the clutter.

Back to the drawing board...I agree with George. You're setting your Kodak up as you would a dSLR, with all the extra lenses and adapters. You'll need to carry a camera bag just slightly smaller than one you'd use for the dSLR, and in sum, have a kit capable of producing photos of inherently lesser quality. My experience with "extra lenses" for my Panasonic FZ10 is, you either have it on, or you don't. I like to "travel light" when I'm out shooting, and whatever I have on the camera when I leave the car is what will stay for the session, usually. George suggested an FZ20 as an "all-in-one" alternative; in fact it would out-reach your Kodak even with its longest telephoto attachment screwed on, and with a faster, stabilized lens. By itself, its wideangle ranges down to 36mm, so if that's too "narrow," you might still need an adapter for that. Me, I've been quite happy simulating wideangle effects by shooting and stitching panoramas. Or, if you just can't stand the thought of switching out of the Kodak line, I'll bet you'd enjoy using a Kodak DX7590 "all-in-one" camera more than you would the piecemeal "kit" you're envisioning, and not be out much more money.

Rhys
11-24-2004, 03:49 PM
Yes. That's why I have my all-in-one Canon S1. I didn't want to mess about with huge bags, loads of lenses, filters, second bodies, filters etc. Plus it does excellent videos.

If I was going to get extra lenses then I'd get a D300.

Black Razor
11-25-2004, 08:44 PM
Ok,
Maybe I wasnt clear about the fact that I already have the camera. I wont it as a prize in a raffle. I am not really gonna do much except nature work and light modeling with my gf. I'm a hobbyist, not an aspiring amateur.

Now, as far as carrying a bag around with lots of stuff, I DO like that, I like to be prepared, because I live in Chicago where its dull and grey one hour and the next extremely sunny. Not to mention that when I go out to shoot, I just kinda take what suits my attention.

I have done video work for a skater buddy of mine for 3 years now and found that carrying around a bag doesnt bother me, I actually prefer it.

So, that being said...further input please. Thank you.

John_Reed
11-25-2004, 10:30 PM
Ok,
Maybe I wasnt clear about the fact that I already have the camera. I wont it as a prize in a raffle. I am not really gonna do much except nature work and light modeling with my gf. I'm a hobbyist, not an aspiring amateur.

Now, as far as carrying a bag around with lots of stuff, I DO like that, I like to be prepared, because I live in Chicago where its dull and grey one hour and the next extremely sunny. Not to mention that when I go out to shoot, I just kinda take what suits my attention.

I have done video work for a skater buddy of mine for 3 years now and found that carrying around a bag doesnt bother me, I actually prefer it.

So, that being said...further input please. Thank you.If the rest of us wince when you describe your kit, that's our problem, right? It just seems to me that your setup makes for such an awkward response to a photo opportunity compared to an "all-in-one" camera. For example, you have listed a 1.5X, a 2X, and a 3X telephoto extender. These extenders generally aren't bayonet-mounted, they're screwed on. And some of them take different adapters. So, when you encounter that magical photo op, how long will it take you to respond? I guess it depends on how many adapters you have to unscrew and then screw on, but when compared to being able to simply zoom to the right focal length with an all-in-one, there's just no comparison. Several posters I've seen who have multi-lens dSLR kits and an FZ20, find themselves drawn to using the latter for the overwhelming convenience of not having to fiddle with the mechanicals. That's the fun of using one of these cameras. Moreover, your telephoto adapters will inevitably slow down your basic lens's light gathering ability, forcing you to use slower shutter speeds than you'd need with an all-in-one. And if you had selected a camera, like the FZ20 with its image stabilization system, you might not need the tripod for most of your shots. I never carry one with me.

But, if you want to go with what you've chosen, far be it from me to criticize your choices. If you think you'll get enough telephoto extension, enough wideangle, fast enough optics, and you're happy with the kit and its price and bulk, go for it. That's why we live in a democracy. :)

Jake Conner
11-26-2004, 12:07 PM
If you must go with the conversion lenses, don't buy them from Phoenix, everything I've heard about their lenses suggests that you will be disappointed. Doesn Kodak make some moderately-priced conversion lenses of thier own? If so, these will work the best with your camera. If you must go with a third party, go with Raynox, their converters are the only third-party ones that I've seen good results from.

Jake

Black Razor
12-02-2004, 01:35 AM
Ok,
So all in all some very good points about missing a photo-op...i guess I am lucky, because I really tend to take photos of stuff like buildings and flowers and my gf...stuff that isnt going to usually give me one of those miss it and its gone moments. I am not disagreeing with anyone, its just that I don't forsee that happening to me. I am kinda weird with what I take pics of. I go out, walk around...look for stuff that I can always get later. My two major interests right now are Archictecture and fooling with modeling. My camera will work for that. I just need a little more zoom for the good building shots. Not to mention, I am a hobbyist, and I dont have the money for a nice camera...I was lucky to win the one I have now. I really don't need much more than a Point-and-Shoot, except a little more power and control. So, that said, and Raynox/Kodak comment noted....what do I need to be aware of?

D70FAN
12-02-2004, 05:43 AM
Ok,
So all in all some very good points about missing a photo-op...i guess I am lucky, because I really tend to take photos of stuff like buildings and flowers and my gf...stuff that isnt going to usually give me one of those miss it and its gone moments. I am not disagreeing with anyone, its just that I don't forsee that happening to me. I am kinda weird with what I take pics of. I go out, walk around...look for stuff that I can always get later. My two major interests right now are Archictecture and fooling with modeling. My camera will work for that. I just need a little more zoom for the good building shots. Not to mention, I am a hobbyist, and I dont have the money for a nice camera...I was lucky to win the one I have now. I really don't need much more than a Point-and-Shoot, except a little more power and control. So, that said, and Raynox/Kodak comment noted....what do I need to be aware of?

Just the obvious...

Adding glass subtracts from the available light gathering, lowering shutter speed, and raising ISO (and noise). Specifically, it's difficult to say exactly how much effect. Part of the fun will be seeing what works and what doesn't. You might want to start out with the WA and 2X just to see.

I often just walk down Chandler Blvd. just shooting whatever peaks my interest. A great way to spend a lunch hour. In Chicago this would be a blast! Winter shoould give you some great shots looking up the river or tooling down Lakeshore. I may try this the next time I'm up that way.

Hey, just have fun.