a newbie camera question
Display Avatars Sort By:
Nathan W
(werne1nm) - M

Locale: Michigan
a newbie camera question on 06/02/2014 19:50:11 MDT Print View

I just picked up a Sony NEX 6! traded in the NEX 5. Really like the upgrade. BUT

I'm looking of a UV filter for protection of my lens and of course.. a UV filter.


Any recommendations.

I'm not looking for the cheapest alternative, just a solid. GOOD/GREAT UV filter.


Thanks! i'll add more questions as I explore the camera features and experiment more!

I am looking at this one

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=900274&gclid=CLH00JTL3L4CFVQFMgodMHcAbw&Q=&is=REG&A=details

Edited by werne1nm on 06/02/2014 19:50:45 MDT.

David White
(davidw) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
B+W's are always good choices... on 06/02/2014 20:54:36 MDT Print View

If you really want a GREAT UV/clear filter, consider one of these instead:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=xs-pro+40.5mm&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ma&Top+Nav-Search=

The Hoya's are generally considered good ones; but the B+W XS-Pro's are considered to have a better coating (less lens flare, more hydrophobic) and a more solid brass body.

With most sensors, you don't really need UV protection any more; so I'd lean to the 007 version. Get the 010 version is you really need UV protection though.

This is the filter (in 62mm) that I trust to my Olympus 12-40mm Pro lens.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: a newbie camera question on 06/02/2014 21:24:35 MDT Print View

For a normal lens, you can probably get by with a filter with a normal ring on it. However, if you are trying to go very wide angle, you might decide to get a filter with a thin ring so that you can avoid vignetting.

--B.G.--

Nathan W
(werne1nm) - M

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: a newbie camera question on 06/02/2014 21:28:23 MDT Print View

dave and Bob, just what I was looking for. awesome, thank you!


I am also looking for a lens hood for this 16-50mm power zoom lens. anyone have experience with that?


ALSO!

What kind of cleaning supplies should I get, microfiber cloth? solutions? Real newb here.


also, backpacking i'm going to be using this for a variety of shots but a lot of it is going to be landscape. I've read here and on other forums where the sky can get washed out or the land can be under developed.

I was looking at this.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Skylight/ci/3180/N/4294247061

would this solve my problems?

Edited by werne1nm on 06/03/2014 09:43:26 MDT.

David White
(davidw) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Follow Up Answers on 06/03/2014 16:03:36 MDT Print View

Lens Hood: Sorry, can't help much there as I'm a micro 4/3's user.

Cleaning supplies: I carry a cut up piece of microfiber stored in a VERY small ziplock plus one of these:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Carson+CS-20%2C+C6+Compact+Lens+Cleaner&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=pi&usedSearch=1
It's essentially a very compact version of the venerable LensPen and does a great job of cleaning lenses and filters.

Skylight Filter: Don't bother with this filter. It was designed for film cameras and has little, if any, impact on modern digital sensors. After you get more experience, you might want to get a graduated neutral density filter to address your concern. But they are a bit cumbersome to use. I'd suggest waiting until you have more experience before investing in one. To use them properly, they have to be held by hand in front of the lens -- they can't be screwed on like most other filters.

One filter you might consider is a good polarizing filter. In the right conditions they can increase contrast in forest conditions, drastically reduce glare in in water, and significantly darken the blue in the sky. I always carry one with me and I've found the B+W and Marumi brands to be especially good. A polarizer is the only filter I regularly carry with me.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Follow Up Answers on 06/03/2014 16:17:41 MDT Print View

I agree. A Skylight filter was good back about twenty or thirty years ago, but they are unnessary now. A circular polarizing filter can be very useful, but you have to fool with it a bit before you develop the knack of knowing when and how to use one. "How" is tricky. Sometimes if you crank the polarizer to the max, it will make things look a bit too artificial, so using it halfway can often get more realistic results. When you get to very high elevation, there is no haze in the sky. So, if you shoot anything with a major portion of sky at the right angle to the sun, it will make the sky look almost black. Yes, a polarizer is the only filter that I carry these days. A bit of microfiber cloth is about all you need for cleaning the front of the lens. Even then, you have to learn to do it right. You don't want to polish the glass, because that is likely to grind dirt bits into the glass. Instead, you just barely flick any dirt off or poke at a fingerprint.

--B.G.--

Will Webster
(WillWeb) - M
Shoot RAW on 06/03/2014 16:52:17 MDT Print View

Washed out skies / dark foregrounds can usually be addressed thus:

- Shoot RAW so you capture all the information your sensor is capable of (Sony sensors have great dynamic range, but if you shoot jpeg most of that is thrown away)

- Use your histogram. It will tell you if you captured the entire range of light. If necessary, use exposure bracketing and blend images back home.

- Learn to post process, then work on getting better.

I agree with the comments above about filters: The only filter worth carrying is a polarizer, and it has to be used carefully. Graduated neutral density filters have their place, but usually you can accomplish the same thing with less fuss by exposure stacking - and it's in keeping with the UL philosophy of using skills instead of more gear.

Nathan W
(werne1nm) - M

Locale: Michigan
Re: Shoot RAW on 06/03/2014 20:27:38 MDT Print View

Yes when i first got the camera the first thing i did was switch it to raw+jpeg, thinking now of just shooting in RAW, Although i do not own any post process software, have something to suggest?

I've already notice a difference between the two pictures. The RAW seems to have deeper colors than the jpeg files. i can't upload them but you all know what i mean.

Which program would you suggest?

Photoshop?

I have a pretty good computer that can handle anything of the sort

Late 2013 Macbook pro 2ghz processor, 8gb ram.

should handle it!

Edited by werne1nm on 06/03/2014 20:33:07 MDT.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Shoot RAW on 06/03/2014 20:38:53 MDT Print View

Post Processing is almost deserving of its own thread. Right now I don't have anything on my Mac that can process or download RAW files so will need to figure this out soon.

I really don't like Adobe's new business model of renting software. I think I'm going to buy Photoshop CSC and skip the cloud either way but I'm torn as a Mac user if I should buy Aperture for half the cost and more efficient on my Mac or shelve my inner Apple fanboy and buy Lightroom outright.

Too many dang rumors right now but it seems that Aperture 3.5.1 is lagging slightly behind Lightroom. My luck, if I were to buy Lightroom, Apple would release Aperture 4 the following day.

Nathan W
(werne1nm) - M

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: Shoot RAW on 06/03/2014 20:43:31 MDT Print View

i just looked into it, yea 30 dollars a month... i hate that I had to do that with microsoft office too....

I've only ever heard of Lightroom, and nothing of aperture, and have only considered it as of a few hours ago. lol

I guess i found a new hobby!!

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Shoot RAW on 06/03/2014 20:46:27 MDT Print View

So far Gimp has been fine for me so there's really no good reason that Aperture won't knock my socks off. From watching a few demos on YouTube, it checks all of the boxes for me. Quite honestly, I'm not sure that I'll ever need Photoshop but I do like to tinker with stuff so who knows.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Shoot RAW on 06/03/2014 20:53:36 MDT Print View

"I really don't like Adobe's new business model of renting software. I think I'm going to buy Photoshop CSC and skip the cloud either way but I'm torn as a Mac user if I should buy Aperture for half the cost and more efficient on my Mac or shelve my inner Apple fanboy and buy Lightroom outright. "

Neither. Buy Pixelmator from the App Store. $29.99. Will probably do everything you need it to do, and a whole lot more. You just don't need the so-called big boy software.

Edited to add: or buy Acorn for $49.99. Again, will do anything you need it to do.

Edited by idester on 06/03/2014 20:57:23 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: a newbie camera question on 06/03/2014 21:01:56 MDT Print View

For almost every new camera that I have purchased in the last 12 years, it came with utilities that will do RAW conversion and the most basic tasks. For my most recent new camera, it will save RAW+JPEG, so I started using it that way. Then after a week or two, I realized that RAW alone is sufficient, and I don't need to save the JPEG on the memory card. Later, when those files reach the computer, I will save as TIF and/or JPEG.

--B.G.--

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: a newbie camera question on 06/03/2014 21:22:05 MDT Print View

Thanks Bob. Sony does indeed have a converter available for download.

Doug,

Checking out a tutorial on Pixelmator right now. Looks like a step up from Gimp and, as you said, is more than enough for me.

Nathan,

Looks like Aperture isn't supporting the A6000 as of right now but Lightroom does.

http://www.apple.com/aperture/specs/raw.html

http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-suite/kb/camera-raw-plug-supported-cameras.html

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: a newbie camera question on 06/03/2014 21:27:19 MDT Print View

"Sony does indeed have a converter available for download."

I've never used Sony, but I would wager that it does a respectable job of converting the Sony RAW format. Go for it.

--B.G.--

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: a newbie camera question on 06/03/2014 21:33:50 MDT Print View

Will do Bob.

Anyone,

I just sent Apple an email asking them when the A6000 will be supported by Aperture.

Nathan,

The NEX 6 is definitely on the list so you should be good to go if you decide to go that route.

Nathan W
(werne1nm) - M

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: a newbie camera question on 06/03/2014 21:36:02 MDT Print View

Ian, thanks for the info on that, it does however support the NEX 6. WHEW!!!!


any program will be more than enough for me right now. I'll check them all out tomorrow

Thanks for all this information. I truly found a new hobby.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: a newbie camera question on 06/03/2014 21:51:11 MDT Print View

By the way, learning how to use a high-end image editor like Photoshop can be a daunting task. However, once you learn it, it can really pay off. I had used a different image editor program for years, and then I got some deal to switch over to Adobe Photoshop. The price was right, so I did. The trick is, of course, that when the price of a high-end product like that suddenly gets discounted, it is typically a sign that there is a newer version coming out soon, and they are just trying to get you to buy in early, and then upgrade versions almost immediately. [sigh]

I switched to Photoshop, and sure enough the new version came out just a month or two later. It had enough neat features that I was after it. But, I sure did not want to pay the full Adobe price or the full Adobe upgrade price. I was shopping around online, and I found a retailer who was offering the new version for cheap (I don't remember, maybe $150 or something). Without checking up on the retailer, I ordered it and paid by Paypal. Then I didn't hear anything from the retailer. I sent emails to the retailer asking for a ship date, and I got the weirdest replies. It turned out that the retailer was in China, and they had no clue what Adobe Photoshop version XYZ was. They didn't stock such a product, yet they advertised it on the web. In fact, their plan was to wait until they had eight or ten paying customers lined up, and then they would send somebody out on the street to purchase one legal or illegal copy. They would clone that (somehow, they didn't know) and ship eight or ten bootleg copies to the customers. Once I figured out what they were up to, I had the transaction canceled and Paypal informed. Even then, the stupid retailer was trying to ship _something_ to me to prove something, but that didn't work.

My point is, if you are laying down some honest cash to get a high-end product, do some homework and find out who you are dealing with.

--B.G.--

David White
(davidw) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Post Processing on 06/04/2014 00:56:36 MDT Print View

Adobe Lightroom handles 90% of my post-processing needs. For the other 10% I start in Lightroom and then do the rest in either Photoshop or one of the many fine Lightroom add-ons. The nice thing is that you can launch all of these from within Lightroom so you still retain the great cataloging and organizing capabilities of Lightroom.

You can buy the programs outright, or you can get a monthly subscription that includes both Lightroom and Photoshop CC for $9.99/month. The link to that program is here:
https://creative.adobe.com/plans/offer/photoshop+lightroom?promoid=KIPKZ

I own a sign company so we deal with these graphic programs every day. While I philosophically do have a problem with the subscription model, it's really hard to argue with the financials. $9.99 per month is a whole lot cheaper in the long run if you update versions (or even if you skip every other update to save money).

Nathan W
(werne1nm) - M

Locale: Michigan
Re: Post Processing on 06/04/2014 05:57:04 MDT Print View

Is post processing absolutely necessary at this point in the game for me?