New Nikon F (!) User/"Leaf Chaser"

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Jules Vide, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Jules Vide

    Jules Vide Guest

    Hello. I haven't posted to this newsgroup before. I'd like to see how
    much better/worse my Dad's old Nikon F SLR is than a low-end point and
    shoot digital (Canon PowerShot A620) I bought this past summer.

    I bought an F user's manual (circa 1962), two rolls of 400 speed film,
    and would like to do the following with this camera...in late September
    and throughout the "red maple" part of Northeast U.S. autumn:

    1) Take photographs at relatively close range of individual, peak or
    "past-peak" red maples. By relatively close range I mean no more than
    50 feet away.

    2) Take photographs in early morning--which, in the Northeast U.S.
    autumn, often ensures fog. I would actually desire more rather than
    less fog, because--

    3) I would like individual maples, which will be the subject of my
    photographs, to be in as sharp a focus as possible, with the background
    forest's clarity or lack thereof of negligeable importance.

    4) Under no circumstances do I want *any* sunshine in these
    photographs.

    5) If it needs stating, then-- I do not want to use any source of
    artificial light.

    Because I am an absolute novice, I'd like suggestions of aperture and
    shutter settings, and any other germane thing peculiar to Nikon F 35
    mm.

    Part of my dislike of my digital camera is what *I* call "indifferent"
    depth of field. In fact, I got into a very unpleasant and ad hominem
    argument on another photography group because (in my opinion--I stress
    "opinion"), what is called "perspective" and what is called "depth of
    field" in analog photography are both uniformly unnatural in digital.
    Let me stress once more that this is my layperson's, acolyte's,
    opinion...which prompted several of the posters on the other newsgroup
    to recommend film photography to me.

    Rather than get into another brouhaha with hobbyists, learned amateurs,
    and/or professionals on this or another group, I decided I could easily
    avoid the entire issue by choosing to photograph my red maples on a day
    where depth of field and perspective are both moot--i.e., in
    mild-to-moderate fog.

    Thank you for reading this post and for any suggestions.
     
    Jules Vide, Aug 7, 2006
    #1
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  2. Depends on what lens you use, and what film.
    WTF are you talking about? Depth of field depends entirely on the
    aperture, focal length, and distance.
    WTF are you talking about?
     
    uraniumcommittee, Aug 8, 2006
    #2
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  3. Jules Vide

    Scott W Guest

    Well I don't often agree with UC but in this case he sums it up well,
    WTF are you talking about?

    For what it is worth you might want to pick up a basic book on
    photography.

    Scott
     
    Scott W, Aug 8, 2006
    #3
  4. Jules Vide

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : wrote:
    : > Jules Vide wrote:
    : > > Hello. I haven't posted to this newsgroup before. I'd like to see how
    : > > much better/worse my Dad's old Nikon F SLR is than a low-end point and
    : > > shoot digital (Canon PowerShot A620) I bought this past summer.
    : >
    : > Depends on what lens you use, and what film.
    : >
    : > > I bought an F user's manual (circa 1962), two rolls of 400 speed film,
    : > > and would like to do the following with this camera...in late September
    : > > and throughout the "red maple" part of Northeast U.S. autumn:
    : > >
    : > > 1) Take photographs at relatively close range of individual, peak or
    : > > "past-peak" red maples. By relatively close range I mean no more than
    : > > 50 feet away.
    : > >
    : > > 2) Take photographs in early morning--which, in the Northeast U.S.
    : > > autumn, often ensures fog. I would actually desire more rather than
    : > > less fog, because--
    : > >
    : > > 3) I would like individual maples, which will be the subject of my
    : > > photographs, to be in as sharp a focus as possible, with the background
    : > > forest's clarity or lack thereof of negligeable importance.
    : > >
    : > > 4) Under no circumstances do I want *any* sunshine in these
    : > > photographs.
    : >
    : > Why?
    : > >
    : > > 5) If it needs stating, then-- I do not want to use any source of
    : > > artificial light.
    : > >
    : > > Because I am an absolute novice, I'd like suggestions of aperture and
    : > > shutter settings, and any other germane thing peculiar to Nikon F 35
    : > > mm.
    : > >
    : > > Part of my dislike of my digital camera is what *I* call "indifferent"
    : > > depth of field.
    : >
    : > WTF are you talking about? Depth of field depends entirely on the
    : > aperture, focal length, and distance.
    : >
    : > > In fact, I got into a very unpleasant and ad hominem
    : > > argument on another photography group because (in my opinion--I stress
    : > > "opinion"), what is called "perspective" and what is called "depth of
    : > > field" in analog photography are both uniformly unnatural in digital.
    : >
    : > WTF are you talking about?
    : >
    : > > Let me stress once more that this is my layperson's, acolyte's,
    : > > opinion...which prompted several of the posters on the other newsgroup
    : > > to recommend film photography to me.
    : > >
    : > > Rather than get into another brouhaha with hobbyists, learned amateurs,
    : > > and/or professionals on this or another group, I decided I could easily
    : > > avoid the entire issue by choosing to photograph my red maples on a day
    : > > where depth of field and perspective are both moot--i.e., in
    : > > mild-to-moderate fog.
    : >
    : > ????
    : >
    : > WTF?
    : > >
    : > > Thank you for reading this post and for any suggestions.

    : Well I don't often agree with UC but in this case he sums it up well,
    : WTF are you talking about?

    I don't ever remember agreeing with Scarpitti about anything. Like you I
    agree that he's dead on.

    : For what it is worth you might want to pick up a basic book on
    : photography.

    A great suggestion. The OP clearly lacks a basic understanding of photography.
    Until the OP learns a lot more about photography any testing will be meaningless.

    --
     
    Frank Pittel, Aug 8, 2006
    #4
  5. Jules Vide

    Tim Guest

    Toss the 400 and get Velvia 100. Put the camera on a tripod and use a
    cable release. Beg or borrow a polarizer.
    Tripod and slow film again.
    Um, why not?

    That said, fall foliage often appears more vibrant on cloudy days with
    the sunlight diffused. Same for flowers.
    You don't want flash with foliage.
    The more depth-of-field the better with landscapes. If shooting closer
    objects, you'll need to understand depth-of-field to set it properly to
    capture subjects which are apart from each other.
     
    Tim, Aug 8, 2006
    #5
  6. 4) Under no circumstances do I want *any* sunshine in these
    If you want neither sunshine, nor artificial light, then the only thing left
    is starlight. So, do you want to take night pictures of your trees on a
    moonless night? Or, do you mean that you want an overcast day, so you'll not
    have any direct sunlight?
    In any case, the time and f stop opening will still depend on how bright
    a day it is....Sometimes overcast days are very bright, so you really need a
    light meter, or a camera with a built in light meter.....
     
    William Graham, Aug 8, 2006
    #6
  7. Jules Vide

    Ken Hart Guest

    Fifty feet is really very "close range", unless "relatively" is relative to
    astronomy!
    I'm not sure where you're headed here-- If you want as little
    foreground/background to be in focus as possible, then you want an f/stop
    close to wide open, and possibly film slower than 400 speed.
    Obviously you need some source of light! But early morning sunshine
    filtering thru pea-soup fog might look good. Morning light is usually more
    blue-ish in color and could tend to mute the brilliant red-yellow-orange of
    the foliage. Might be a good effect...
    Artificial light with landscape is difficult to do good-- I've seen pictures
    of big buildings where the camera was set on a tripod and time exposure, and
    the exposure was done by multiple "pops" of electronic flash around the
    building... nice pictures, but difficult to do...
    A meter is a good idea... but there is always the "Sunny-16" rule: Set the
    shutter speed equal to the film speed, that is for 100 speed film set the
    shutter at 1/100 second (or 1/125 second, doesn't really matter). The
    f/stop is set at : Bright sunshine on beach or snow=f/22, Bright
    sunshine=f/16, Hazy sun=f/11, Open shade=f/8, full shade=f/5.6.
    Your scenerio of morning fog, I'd guess f/4 or f/2.8
    Depth of field is how much of the picure (near to far) is in focus. A
    smaller f/stop (higher number) yields more depth of field. Additionally, a
    particular f/stop will give more dept of field at a further distance than a
    near distance. For example, if the subject is in focus at 6 feet, f/8 may
    give a depth of field from 4' to 10'. If the subject is in focus at 50'
    (such as your maple trees), f/8 may give a depth of field from 20' to
    infinity.
    Perspective is how near or far an object "looks" in a picture. For example,
    if you have a picture of a person standing in front of a car, the relative
    sizes of the person and the car give you a clue to how far the person is in
    front of the car. But suppose the car is one of those little clown cars in
    the circus and the person is a basketball player: it may look like the car
    is miles behind the person, when actually the person is about to get run
    over. Perspective can be affected by the focal length of the lens. Telephoto
    lens tend to compress near and far, wide angle lenses tend to spread out
    near and far. ( In the days of big cars, advertising photos were often taken
    with wide angle lens from low angle-- the car would look huge!)

    Ken Hart
     
    Ken Hart, Aug 8, 2006
    #7
  8. Jules Vide

    default Guest

    Repeating this myth will not make it true.

    --------------------------------------------
    PERSPECTIVE IS NOT RELATED TO FOCAL LENGTH!
    --------------------------------------------

    Only camera position and subject position affects perspective. Perspective
    is purely the result of the relative distances of the objects in the
    picture. Turning the zoom ring on your lens won't affect the perspective.
    Moving the camera closer or further will.

    If you take the picture from the same location with different focal length
    lenses and then crop the shorter focal length ones to match the field of
    view of the longer focal length lenses you will see that the perspective is
    identical.

    Optimal viewing distance for the print is related to focal length (the
    perspective will appear natural if the viewing distance = focal length x
    print size / negative size), but perspective is always correct with any
    rectilinear lens regardless of focal length. This is to keep the viewer's
    field of view similar to the lens's field of view.

    Perspective is entirely determined by trigonometry and focal length doesn't
    enter into it.

    The powerful car image is a result of the close, low camera position, not
    the lens choice. He may have chosen a wide angle to fit the whole car in,
    but the perspective was chosen first by the position and did not change with
    the lens choice.
     
    default, Aug 8, 2006
    #8
  9. Jules Vide

    Jules Vide Guest

    Toss it why? (Yoda here.) Also, the F came only with a 50mm f1.4 lens
    and no accessories. Does it use a special cable release (or
    polarizer)? The manual doesn't specify.
    Yeah, got the tripod. But is the 100 you recommended good here? And
    how slow is slow, under these circumstances?
    For a variety of reasons, the most significant being I don't want
    "cheerful" foliage pictures. I hate cheerful foliage pictures. :)
    Absolutely not. That's why I'm posting, because I want *early
    morning,* *overcast* light.
    I suppose I'll never differentiate depth of field from perspective. It
    may just be some brain disorder. But if the day is foggy--which I
    particularly desire--depth of field (as I understand it) would be
    inconsequential in regard to the background. Heck, maybe all amateur
    nature photographers should start learning the ropes in the fog.
     
    Jules Vide, Aug 8, 2006
    #9
  10. Jules Vide

    Jules Vide Guest

    Well, thanks for letting me know. (Seriously. If there's a different
    connotation to "close range" for nature photography than for, say,
    portraits, I wasn't aware.)
    Okay, this was why I posted. I *don't* want the background to be in
    focus, and as to the foreground...I don't intend on lying down in the
    grass, so I could care less about the foreground.
    Oh, man, now I'm glad I posted. I couldn't articulate what you just
    articulated here. I want bluish light. When bluish light mutes very
    bright red maples, they look more "Oxford" red, burgundy, maroon, etc.
    They also look more opaque, and this is exactly what I want. Thank
    you.
    Great. If I set it at 1.4, would that make things better or worse
    (remember, I don't care about depth of field).
    Much thanks for this detailed explanation. So far it's the only
    explanation that has really helped me begin (emphasis on "begin") to
    differentiate between the two concepts. I'm going to print it out and
    use it as a photographic equivalent to (pardon the politically
    incorrect term) idiot mittens.
     
    Jules Vide, Aug 8, 2006
    #10
  11. Because 400 ISO consumer color negative film will look like cr*p! If you
    want detail, finely nuanced color and lack of grain, that is.
    Alternatively, the grain could add to the misty/foggy effect, but I'd go
    that direction once you master the basic technique.
    Also, you might not be able to get shallow depth-of-field with it.

    There is (was) a special cable release for the F, but there is a small
    accessory which screws over the shutter button and has a small threaded
    hole which will take a standard release (this was used by several
    classic cameras, so should be easy to find).
    Alternatively, use the self-timer to substitute a cable release.
     
    Chris Loffredo, Aug 8, 2006
    #11
  12. Jules Vide

    Rob Novak Guest

    Velvia is known for its highly saturated colors. If you're looking to
    make prints, Velvia's a slide film, and might not be the best choice.

    However, the recommendation to go with a slower film is a good one.
    Slower film generally equals better saturation and less grain. Since
    you'll be shooting from a tripod (hopefully), fast film is not a
    priority.
    The cable release goes to the body, not the lens. It should screw
    into the threaded hole in the shutter release stud.

    The 50/1.4 lens will definitely give you selective focus using a
    narrow depth of field when shot wide open. That's also a pretty fast
    lens. You won't have any problem shooting ISO100 film.

    For a manual focus camera, you don't need a special polarizer. Just
    one that fits the threads on the front of the lens. The thread size
    should be printed on the lens barrel or the front element bezel. The
    1.4 50mm (if it's the AF-D) is 52mm.
    It's more an issue of terminology.

    Perspective is the perceived size of objects at different distances in
    relation to each other. A ten-foot pole from 25 feet away seems
    taller than a ten-foot pole at 100 feet. It's one of the visual cues
    we use to determine distances. Perspective has nothing to do with how
    the lens is focused.

    Depth of field is the amount of the scene projected by your camera's
    lens onto the film plane that appears in acceptable focus. At ten
    feet, your 50mm lens has a depth of field of just under a foot when
    used at its maximum aperture of f:1.4. That is, objects from about
    9.5 to 10.5 feet away from the lens will appear in acceptable focus to
    your eye. At f:22, that DOF expands to just under fifty feet -
    everything from about 5.5 to 54 feet will seem to be in focus.

    Depth of field is a way of separating objects from the background, or
    ensuring sharp focus throughout an image, depending on how you use it.
    Perspective is a compositional element used to express the distances
    between objects.

    See more on DOF here:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/dof.shtml
     
    Rob Novak, Aug 8, 2006
    #12
  13. No it won't. For some reason, Nikon used the OTHER standard for
    cable releases. At the time there were two. One was the more common
    threaded socket in which the release pin was inside a small threaded
    "screw". Hence the name "screw in".

    The other was a much larger ring that went over the release. Many things
    used this, adaptors were common, a few third party timers and stuff came
    with them. I think I had a TLR that used the same or a similar adaptor.

    So there is no place to screw in the cable release. He'll have to get one
    that "screws on", or an adaptor.

    For best results use it at f5.6 or f8. Wider open than that adds to the
    distortion, narrower (f11 and f16) show some pinhole distortion.
    At any F stop the pictures will be fine, but they will be better at
    f 5.6 or F8.


    If the lens is not multicoated, a lens hood will help. The screw thread is
    52mm, they should be common.

    IMHO do not use a filter over the lens just to protect it. If you do buy
    a "clear" aka sklight or UV, make sure it is opticaly a good one and ALWAYS
    use it with a lens hood.
    It's probably not the AF-D. If it has a metal focusing knob, it's not
    multicoated, (see above), but it's still a good lens. Actually any
    "normal" Nikon lens is excelent, with the f1.2 lenses being less so. The
    one exception is the F1.2 Noct-Nikor, which is IMHO the second best
    "normal lens" ever made, by anyone.

    Geoff.
     
    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Aug 8, 2006
    #13
  14. Toss the Velvia and get Kodachrome 64.
    Because it is lousy film. In general
    the slower the film the better the picture.

    Even digital follows this rule: your DP&S should
    have an 'ASA' setting, notice that the lower
    you set it the cleaner the picture.
    Seconded, thirded even.
    Yes, you need a cable release for older Nikons and Leica's.
    Nikon AR2
    or
    Nikon AR8 adapter & any 'ordinary' cable release

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ is the standard source of all things
    photographic.
    Or B&H above. 52mm. They are all the same despite much
    ballyhoo on the subject. Don't waste money...

    The polarizer has most effect in sunshine where it takes
    the glare off the leaves and darkens the sky.

    f1.4.

    You may be dissapointed that the background is still in somewhat
    sharp focus when taking pics ~50 feet away. There is no
    practical way to avoid this. If you take a picture 5 feet away the
    background will be nice and blurry. There is a 'depth of field
    preview' button on the Nikon, use it."
    They no longer make the sharpest and slowest films: Kodachrome 25,
    Technical Pan and Ektar 25.
    1) Hang an offensive object from a tree limb. A bottle of urine
    containing a religious object has been shown to work well.
    2) Put a model in front of the tree, have her assume the expresion
    she would have during a colonoscopy.

    http://img.getactivehub.com/act2/custom_images/Choice_Art/artist_pic_Dijkstra_live.jpg

    Careful, you may turn into an 'artiste'.
    Get thee to the local library or amazon and get a good basic book on
    film photography.

    http://photoinf.com/General/Klaus_Schroiff/Perspective.htm

    Pretty good site in general:

    http://photoinf.com/
     
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Aug 8, 2006
    #14
  15. The claim made by Kodak was that Ektar 25 and Kodachrome 25 were replaced
    by ISO 100 films that were more commonly available and in the case of
    Kodachrome more "environmently friendly". It's a shame that was never
    proven experimentaly.

    Kodachrome 25 was a high contrast, very sharp slide film which was sold
    for many years. The original Kodachrome was ASA 10, the 25 replaced it I
    think in the 1960's, but I'm not sure. From 1935 when it was first
    available until a few years ago was an awfully long run for any product.

    Ektar 25 was much shorter lived, it was the closest thing in negative
    film to Kodachrome.

    Tech Pan was a microfilm that if you exposed and processed it incorrectly,
    you ended up with useable negatives of normal subjects. Since it was a
    microfilm it had extremely fine grain and was not very sensative to light.
    Properly exposed for development as a pictorial film it was around ISO 10.
    It was far more sensitive to red than regular film, or the human eye, so
    it was often used with a filter that required increased exposure.

    If it was "cared for and fed" properly, it could produce wonderful results.
    My guess is that the microfilm business subsidized them pictorial business,
    and microfilm has long since been replaced with scanners.

    Personaly, I prefered Kodak Panatomic-X (ASA 32) or Adox KB-14 (ASA 25),
    both developed in Edwal FG-7. Pan-X is gone, Adox is gone, but the film
    remains as KB-25 (same speed, 14 was DIN speed, 25 is ISO). It's now made
    somewhere else by a company that recently renamed itself Adox. I
    am unable to get any of the film, but I understand it's the same except
    the base (the plastic part) is now "improved".

    FG-7 is also unavailable to me, post 9/11 air travel restrictions have
    labeled it a hazordous substance so I can't get any here.

    I'm trying to make do with Pan-F plus and HC-110.

    I suggest that if you really want to learn photography, take up
    black and white, but others will dispute that.

    Geoff.
     
    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Aug 8, 2006
    #15
  16. Jules Vide

    Andrew Price Guest

    [---]
    Did the combination KB-14/FG-7 produce results much different than
    developing it in D-76/ID-11?
     
    Andrew Price, Aug 8, 2006
    #16
  17. Jules Vide

    AAvK Guest

    You're welcome.

    Very simple stuff that you want to know.

    Medium weight and tall aluminum tripod with a Bogen 3047 head, possibly
    weighted in the middle by hanging something weighty from the bottom of the
    center post. Nothing TOO heavy for those aluminum legs.

    Have the camera's shutter speeds tested for accuracy.

    20 (or so) inch cable release that is made for the F shutter release.

    Use mirror lock-up to avoid vibrations.

    Use a seperate light meter that is (SPD) silicon photo diode, or silicon photo
    blue (Gossen). Or find a battery that will work in your camera and use it's
    meter, murcury batteries are illegal, so replacements are made by Wein in the
    form of zinc air, to the same voltages required. The old CDS meters are
    inaccurate in lower light and anyone can prove that with the CDS meter in a
    70's Canon F1, which was TOP of the line. Even then, basic Pentax was
    more advanced with their SPD meters.

    There are electronic battery adapters available, that change or reduce the
    voltage of currently made silver based button cells, such as the 76.

    I am no kind of Nikon expert.

    Learn how to use a spot meter and the zone system, which was invented by
    Ansel Adams (the GREAT photographer).

    Follow what the light meter says:

    The smaller the aperture, the sharper the image will be because of the fineness
    of the light rays, as well, the smaller the aperture the deeper the depth of field.
    You know that. As well, the longer the exposure will take. So?

    Concentrate on your composition, how you frame the image in the finder
    and how much depth of field you want, in relation to the aperture setting.

    Any lens made by Nikon or Tamron manual (SP) should be great, and very
    sharp. Nikon lenses are generally two CC's yellower in glass color, which
    creates perfect contrast. I am not an expert on that, but I was told that by an
    expert.

    Use Fuji Provia 100 slide film, which is not over saturating of colors and
    extremely fine grained. Fuji Velvia is over saturating. You may wish to use
    a warming filter on your lens such as an 81a, or a polarizer. A UV haze filter
    will reduce the "fuzz" cause by UV rays from bright sun light. A Sky 1a or 1b
    filter will correct the blue hue that shows up on film, from the atmosphere.

    Where you point your camera is your business. If you don't want the sun's
    light rays going straight into your lens, then don't point it that way.

    Learn how to over expose and under expose in relation to push-pull processing.
    Personally, I still need to learn that area myself, but I "know about it".

    It is all that simple, no mystery whatsoever. Unless it's how to gain the money
    for such a hobby of course.

    And there are better things to know, such as understanding yourself. No one
    owes you anything here. You're not talking to an obligated computer, but
    REAL people when you ask for advice in public online forums or these news
    groups. You have to care about how you relate to those things called "people",
    and I have had some major problems in that area with myself.

    Anyway good luck,
     
    AAvK, Aug 8, 2006
    #17
  18. I have no idea. From the late 1960's until I left the U.S. in 1996, not taking
    my cameras with me, I never used any black and white developer other
    than FG-7.

    I did not take the cameras because the import duty was 140% of their
    value. So if the customs offical processing my belongings opened a copy
    of Pop Photo and found someone selling a used F2 body for $400, I would
    have had to pay $560 in import duty.

    Geoff.
     
    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Aug 8, 2006
    #18
  19. Jules Vide

    AAvK Guest

    Personaly, I prefered Kodak Panatomic-X (ASA 32) or Adox KB-14 (ASA 25),

    Have you asked http://www.jandcphoto.com/index.asp if they will ship
    the Adox film to you?

    JandC Photo
    11936 W. 119th Street #263
    Overland Park, KS 66213



    919-783-4133
    Mon-Fri 8:30-8:30, Sat 9:00-5:00 Eastern
     
    AAvK, Aug 9, 2006
    #19
  20. The problem is getting them through customs, One roll is for personal
    use, two are for personal use, three are for resale......

    They now have 100 foot rolls. Maybe I'll go for that. :)

    Thanks, Geoff.
     
    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Aug 9, 2006
    #20
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