Wide angle : Nikon Coolpix 8400 ?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Andre Majorel, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. Hello. I need wide angle and macro, but not zoom as this is
    mainly to shoot smallish objects and the inside of buildings.

    I've seen some Nikon Coolpix 8400 for sale for 220 to 260 euros.
    Is it worth it ? New models that go down to 24 or 25 mm are
    available now, some in the same price range (E.G. Panasonic
    Lumix DMC-FX35).

    Thanks in advance.
    Andre Majorel, Jul 12, 2009
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  2. I have the 8400, but if you can get a new camera that satisfies your
    requirements for the same or almost the same price, get the new camera.
    The images they produce, even if they have the same resolution as the
    8400, are superior just due to progress.

    Also, be sure to check the macro reproduction ratio or field of view.
    Most point-n-shoots only do about 1/3 to 1/2 life size at best. If your
    smallish objects are quite small like small coins or jewelry, you
    probably won't be able to focus close enough to get the object big enough
    to be usable.

    Stefan Patric, Jul 12, 2009
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  3. Thank you. That's something I was wondering about. Electronics
    are becoming cheaper fast but optics ? Wouldn't the lens of a
    750-EUR digicam from 2005 be better than those of a 250-EUR
    digicam from 2009 ?
    Apparently, in macro mode, the 8400 can focus to 3 cm. At that
    distance, assuming a 60° FOV, a 1 cm object would be something
    like 2000 pixels across. Sounds good enough... Unless I'm
    missing something !
    Andre Majorel, Jul 12, 2009
  4. Andre Majorel

    Eric Stevens Guest

    What is the car? - a Talbot Lago?

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jul 12, 2009
  5. Andre Majorel

    Don Wiss Guest

    I had an 8400. It was terrible in low light, especially when you wanted to
    shoot at the 85 mm equivalent (its max). And you can't get very close.

    For inexpensive macro work you can pick up an almost never used Nikon
    950/990/995 for very little. They focus at 2 cm. But even with the wide
    angle adapter they aren't good for that.

    I'd get the most recently announced camera that gets you down to the 24-25
    mm angle. If you use dpreview.com he has the newest cameras on the Database
    pages first. Looking at Panasonic I see a couple starting at 25 mm that are
    one year newer than the DMC-FX35 you mention as an example.

    Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
    Don Wiss, Jul 13, 2009
  6. Andre Majorel

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Eric Stevens, Jul 13, 2009
  7. It really depends: That 2005 camera could be really expensive because
    for its day, it was "cutting edge," but by today's standards, it could
    have turned into a mediocre dog. To really know for sure, look for in-
    depth reviews of the cameras in question on sites like on
    You should check the field of view to be sure if it's macro enough for
    you. Most really close focusing, macro modes use the camera's shortest
    focal length, which because of wider coverage--it's wide angle after all--
    covers a wider field of view than a longer focal length setting even
    though you're getting closer. Just look at this link for the 8400.


    The mid-zoom macro gives you a better reproduction ratio, about 1/5 life
    size, than the wide macro mode.

    Stefan Patric, Jul 14, 2009
  8. No, it's not. Your concept of reproduction ratios is misunderstood.
    I never said they did.
    Check the field size: If it's bigger than the size of the image sensor
    the reproduction ratio is less than 1:1, life size; if it equals the
    sensor size, it's life size. As an example, the Canon Powershot SX1 IS,
    in "best" macro mode, focuses to 0 (zero) centimeters. The front element
    of the lens is actually touching the object being photographed. Yet, the
    field size is 24mm x 32mm, while the image sensor is 4.62mm x 6.16mm
    making the reproduction ratio about 1:5 (0.1925 to be exact), fifth life
    size or in other words, the 24mm x 32mm area being photographed is
    REDUCED about 1/5 linearly to 4.62mm x 6.16mm. Taking the resulting
    image and enlarging it on a computer monitor or in a print is no
    different than what is done with film and an enlarger: a 24mm diameter
    object is recorded on film at 24mm in diameter--1 to 1, life size--but is
    enlarged 8 times making it 192mm in diameter for an 8x10 print. The
    original repro ratio on film is still 1:1.

    Stefan Patric, Jul 14, 2009
  9. Andre Majorel

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Was it ever true?
    Whatever the 'normal viewing distance' may be. Please define it to
    suit yourself.
    Was there vere a hard definition of 'macro'? I doubt it.
    So called, by whom?
    .... or those who need precise definitions for subjective terminology.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jul 14, 2009
  10. Shades of "bokeh"!

    "Grossissant" is French for close-up lens, the resulting grossissement
    being the close-up image, sometimes used for magnifications which
    falls short of being true macro. I suspect "gross" is a mistake, since
    in French it means pretty much what it means in English.

    Presumably we can look forward to American photographers discovering
    this amazing new aspect of photography described by a foreign word
    nobody knows the meaning of. With any luck they'll describe their
    photographs as "gross" :)
    Chris Malcolm, Jul 14, 2009
  11. Andre Majorel

    Paul Furman Guest

    Bokeh means something like old & stupid in Japanese as I recall :)

    "ooh, look at the beautiful stupidity in my photo" <grin>.

    FWIW I agree with the troll about closeups in this case.
    It's all about CROP FACTOR :)

    Paul Furman

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Jul 14, 2009
  12. Andre Majorel

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Apart from the fact that I'm a New Zealander, I discovered this aspect
    of photography nearly 60 years ago. It's just that I never heard of it
    being called 'gross'.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jul 15, 2009
  13. Andre Majorel

    Eric Stevens Guest

    --- snip ----
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3049/2957214541_ba9a010c2e_b.jpg is a
    photograph of an object about 35mm high. It was taken with the
    intention of demonstrating to a very old lady that the monk on the
    right was holding a bowl. Probably both of us would agree that it is
    at the upper limit of macro-photography.

    Nikon D70 and Micro Nikor 105 mm

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jul 16, 2009
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