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Photography QnA: Accessories for Digital Photographers

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Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Digital Cameras and Accessories : Accessories for Digital Photographers

Looking for some information on digital accessories? Wondering if the canon powershot digital accessory kit is worth it? Check out this Q&A for some answers.

Page 1 : 1 -10 of 10 questions

   
     
 
Photography Question 
Laura J. Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2003
  1 .  Lens Hood vs Lens Filters
Bet you can't tell I'm a novice by this question!! Does a lens hood negate the need for a lens filter? All I know is that a hood cuts out some glare, yes? Is it useful to use it outside all the time? Use it everywhere all the time? Also, assuming that one would use filters all the time with the hood as well, would I use a polarizing filter all the time outdoors instead of the standard filter that prevents dust and protects the lens. I'm confused and I can't find it in the digital photo books I just got from the library. Thank you!

2/27/2004 10:52:37 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Lens hoods and the filters have different purposes - the only overlap is a secondary purpose of protection. A lens hood shields the front element from stray light and bright sources outside the field of view that can cause flare and ghosting. Filters are used for changing the nature of the light entering the lens (adjust color, block certain wavelengths, polarize the rays, etc.) Filters can often contribute to lens flare because they add more reflective surfaces, so it is common to use a lens hood and filter together. A lens hood can/should be used at all times, even indoors. However, depending on its size and the size/location of your flash, it can interfere with the light from a flash, causing shadows. A polarizer should not be used outdoors all the time, only when the situation calls for it - such as when desiring to eliminate reflections on water or in glass windows, or at certain times of the day it can deepen the blue of the sky and saturate colors. It has little or no effect when the light is diffuse on heavy overcast days.

2/27/2004 12:11:31 PM

  Jon is right about everything except the use of the polarizer on overcast days. When foliage is damp, the polarizer can eliminate reflections and increase color saturation. Just remember: Whenever you're using a polarizer, turn it slowly until you see the effect you want through the lens. It will also enhance the colors of a rainbow.

3/3/2004 6:33:11 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  D'oh! I forgot about using polarizer with rainbows. I stand corrected. Thanks, Shirley.

3/3/2004 6:40:05 PM

David Freed

member since: 1/19/2004
  I'd only add that many people use a lens adapter with a UV or haze filter, mainly for protecting the lens from dust, dirt, and damage. In this case, it's probably acting more like a hood than a lense.

3/3/2004 7:05:26 PM

Richard P. Crowe

member since: 4/16/2004
  I use a polarizer for many of my shots and use some type of filter (such as a UV) all the time to protect the glass in my lens. It's cheaper to replace a scratched filter than an entire lens. I also use a lens shade ALL the time to prevent any glare (and it also helps protect the lens). Two tips: First, buy a filter of quality commensurate with the quality of your lens. It is silly to put a two dollar piece of glass in front of an excellent lens and equally silly to pay $50 for a filter to put on a cheapo lens. Secondly, if you desire to use a polarizer and a lens shade, make sure that they are compatible. As an example, the factory Canon lens shade for the 28-135mm IS lens cannot be effectively used with a polarizing filter (this is right out of the lens manual and has to do with being unable to physically rotate the filter with the lens hood attached).

4/16/2004 11:33:09 AM

Laura J. Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2003
  Thank you all, this is great info - way more clear than what I've gathered in pieces from reading.

4/16/2004 10:35:26 PM

Scott Pedersen

member since: 11/18/2001
  I started using a circular polorizer this spring and have to remove my hood to turn it. Its a good idea if you can leave the hood on if you can to keep the end of the lens from being banged around. According to the instructions with my lens (Tamron) it can get in the way of some on camera flashes. It don't bother on my camereas but myabe a popup flash it would cause problems.

4/20/2004 4:41:34 AM

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Photography Question 
Glenn Wood

member since: 12/26/2003
  2 .  CF cards for Nikon D100
I just bought a new Nikon D100 from a local dealer. I need to get a CompactFlash card and wanted to make sure what is supported. I know the manual says up to 256MB CF or the 512/1G IBM MicroDrives. I suspect that is because that was all that was out at the time the camera was first produced. Do the 512MB and 1GB CF cards work in the D100? Also, the dealer says the D100 write speed is 22X so anything faster than that in a CF won't get you faster writing speeds. Can somone verify that also? I hope these weren't already covered somewhere but I couldn't find them if so. Thanks in advance for helping the "newbie".

12/31/2003 10:46:21 AM

Glenn Wood

member since: 12/26/2003
  After doing some additional searching on the web, I found this webpage, which appears to answer both questions. http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=6007-6020
It shows various CF cards tested in the D100 up to 1GB in size. It also shows that the speed appears to max out at about 12x to 14x no matter the speed of the CF card used.

1/2/2004 10:18:33 PM

Alison F. Carlino

member since: 3/6/2002
  Glenn,
I use my D100 as a professional and the only card I use is a SanDisk (compact flash) 1GB. I carry other sizes with me, but am still able to get 303 images on the card in the highest level of JPG mode (fine).

1/5/2004 8:00:03 AM

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Photography Question 
Byron L. Bebergal

member since: 10/26/2002
  3 .  Help with buying an external flash
I have the Toshiba M70 and need an external flash compatible with this camera.
Thanks

10/26/2002 11:06:28 AM

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Photography Question 
Megan 

member since: 10/12/2002
  4 .  f-stops and focal lengths
1) what will be the impact on your f-stop setting when you speed up your shutter setting for freeze action?

2) what impact does the focal length have on a slow shutter speed?

10/12/2002 5:43:32 PM

Raphael Chan

member since: 10/23/2002
  Your questions need more specific,I will try to answer them:
1. If it is manual camera,speed up shutter setting means use low number of f-stop(larger diaphragm), unless you switch to high speed film. If it is auto camera, it will adjust the f-stop by itself when you preset the shutter speed.
2.Slow shutter speed means allow you using high number of f-stop, hence increase the focal length(we call it Depth of field).

10/23/2002 4:01:52 AM

Raphael Chan

member since: 10/23/2002
  Your questions need more specific,I will try to answer them:
1. If it is manual camera,speed up shutter setting means use low number of f-stop(larger diaphragm), unless you switch to high speed film. If it is auto camera, it will adjust the f-stop by itself when you preset the shutter speed.
2.Slow shutter speed means allow you using high number of f-stop, hence increase the focal length(we call it Depth of field).

10/23/2002 4:01:54 AM

Michael Kaplan

member since: 5/27/2003
  1) For each increase in shutter speed you get 1 decrease in aperture (the F stop gets smaller in number which is larger in size or more open) i.e. If your exposure should be 1/250 sec @ F5.6 then 1/500 = F4 or 1/125 = F8. Each time you speed up the shutter you need to allow in more light to make up the difference so you can only speed up (or slow down) with any combination that will work for your particular lens/camera setup. If your lens in the above example has a maximum aperture (minimum F stop) of F4 then you could not shoot that picture at 1/1000 second or faster because that is the maximum your lens can open so your picture would be under-exposed.

2) What impact does the focal length have on a slow shutter speed? A couple of things. 1st, it affects your being able to handhold the camera. You should be hand holding a camera only if you are shooting at the reciprocal of the 35mm focal length or faster. If you are at 200mm then you should be at a minimum of 1/200th second or faster or chances are you will get a blurry picture just from camera movement. That is where a lens with IS (Image Stabilization) comes in if you can afford it. So if you were to want to shoot at 1/30 second you would need to be using a lens at 30mm or wider or use a tripod or flash.

3) 2nd, DOF or Depth Of Field. The longer your lens (greater number in mm, the less depth of field you have at any given distance. You will have more of the background out of focus using a 135mm lens in a portrait of someone 10 away than if you used a 50mm to shoot that same picture. That is why the 135mm lens is preferable for portrait work than the standard lens size of 50mm. Also you get a more compressed background m3eaning if 2 people are 10 distance from each other and you shoot the 2 of them, the longer lens will make them look closer together than if you used a 35mm lens.

Hope this helps.
Michael Kaplan
Montreal, Canada
Canon EOS-10D
http://www.pbase.com/mkaplan

7/17/2003 8:12:30 AM

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Photography Question 
Nish Pieczonka

member since: 9/12/2002
  5 .  Lighting for Digital Camera Studio
I need to set up a studio in my office for a digital camera, and I don't even know where to start as far as lighting is concerned. I use a Canon EOS D30, and mainly shoot products that are used on product pages and ads in a trade publication. Until now I have been doing a lot of color correction in Photoshop, but I finally have a budget, and I just don't know where to start. Any Advise?
Thank You!!
Nish

9/12/2002 5:07:04 PM

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Photography Question 
Bill E. Dell

member since: 8/19/2002
  6 .  External Flash
I am looking for a reasonably cost external flash for a nikon 950. Any alternatives to the sb28 out there?

8/19/2002 11:18:34 AM

Don Goldsmith

member since: 10/21/2003
  Your 950 has a flash on it you can use it to trigger slave flashes. Not knowing the 950 but I assume your unit multi flashes to help with red eye? Yes? There slave flashes by quantaray that have selectable triggering... counts and flashes on the main flash... the stright no count unit is only 19.95 and for short distances works well. Bouncing in the light to fill shadows there are all kinds and sizes of reflectors and holders available this is something you need to look at to soffen the effects of flash. Here is a tip for you in order to eliminate the direct flash of your camera affecting the picture. Get the processed end of a roll of 35mm SLIDE film should look BLACK! but slide film is transparent to infrared to dissapate the heat of that hot projector bulb. use some tape to put a piece over the flash tube on your camera and now its an infrared trigger for your slave flashes neat huh?

10/22/2003 12:20:21 AM

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Photography Question 
Jean Simkin

member since: 7/21/2002
  7 .  Smartmedia cards
How long does a smart media card last? When it has been used for quite a while does it affect the quality of the photographs?.....Thanks...Jean

7/23/2002 4:07:18 PM

Michael Kaplan

member since: 5/27/2003
  What I am telling you is not guaranteed. Anything can happen (or not) but they are well made and should last for may years. No, after time the photos do not change in quality. That is the thing about digital. When you have anything down to the 0's and 1's of digital they never change as long as you can still read those numbers. That is the thing. If a card goes bad they can develop a bad sector just like a hard drive or floppy disk so that picture may become unreadable. They can also have a problem where you can no longer read or write to them as they can fail completely. This is a rare occurrence but that is why some people like to shoot on a few smaller cards rather than 1 large one. Me, I have a 1 GB Microdrive and if it goes I'll have to live with it. In the meanwhile, you would be surprised how many people worry about this yet don't backup their pictures to CD right away. I know a lot more people that have hard drive crashes on their PC and have lost stuff. I don't personally know anyone that had a media card fail on them, yet.
Michael Kaplan
Montreal, Canada
Canon EOS-10D
http://www.pbase.com/mkaplan

7/17/2003 8:35:20 AM

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Photography Question 
LAURIE G

member since: 6/27/2002
  8 .  WHAT IS THE BEST UMBRELLA FOR DIGITAL?
I AM LOOKING TO BUY AN UMBRELLA TO MAYBE TWO FOR MY HOME STUDIO. WHAT AM I LOOKING FOR AND IS THERE A BRAND OR MAKE (POSSIBLY SIZE) THAT I SHOULD BE BUYING? WHAT I S THE DIFFERENCE IN THE COLOR OF THE UMBRELLAS? WOULD A SOFTBOX BE BETTER? HELP!!!!!!! LG

6/28/2002 7:36:40 PM

Tom Darmody

member since: 6/3/2002
  Depends...

What are you photographing?

6/28/2002 7:45:41 PM

LAURIE G

member since: 6/27/2002
  I am photographing people and animals custom portraits.

6/29/2002 8:05:17 PM

Tom Darmody

member since: 6/3/2002
  Get 50 Protrait Lighting Techniques for Pictures That Sell, by John Hart before you buy anything.


I would suggest using 1 hotlight setup with a softbox and a reflector. The advantages of using a hotlight are, It's alot cheaper than a flash and what you see is what you get. The dissadvantages are that they are hot, very hot, and for people it can get somewhat uncomfortable, but if your going to photographing animals (I'm assuming pets-dogs, cats, ect..) a flash is going to freak them out.
You can add an in-line switch and turn the light off as you set up poses to give your model (human and animal) a break (and risk burning your house down).

You can use a reflector to bounce light back at your model to fill or highlight. White foamcore works great for this, or even a piece of cardboard with aluminum foil over it. You can also buy one for about $25. Reflecting the light is also alot cooler than using a couple of softboxes.

If you use the softbox without the diffuser and are shooting color film make sure to use a photo corrected bulb (GE makes them) or the apropriate filter, or make the color correction in processing/post prosessing.

As for make, stay away from "no-name" brands, they fall apart or catch on fire. As for size a 24x30 is fine (32x32 is great).

Your umbrella questions:

White is to diffuse (shoot light through). Silver is to reflect or bounce the light and so is gold (gold gives the subject a "golden" cast).

6/29/2002 9:41:50 PM

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Photography Question 
Bob D. Hall
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Bob
Bob's Gallery

member since: 4/15/2002
  9 .  Accessories for a Sony DSC-F707
Just got a new Sony DSC-F707. Would you recommend a 2x lens extender or wide angle lens adapter? Close-up filter? Any other accessories?

Thanks

Bob Hall

5/2/2002 4:28:00 PM

Joseph A. Scavo, Jr.

member since: 5/8/2002
  Bob,

I am also in the process of looking for Teleconverter. Here is what I've found so far on the Forums.

Oly B-300 (1.7x, 9.8oz. - discontinued but you can still find them on EBAY) - Good at maximum zoom but vignetting begins as soon as you back off of the zoom. I don't have 1st hand experience with this one. (step down ring required)

Oly TCON-14B (1.45x, 16.8 oz.{heavy} - available) - I've taken test pictures with my F707 and this teleconverter. More zoom range without vignetting and good quality pictures. Very little loss of light. (step up ring required)

There are 2x converters out there but I haven't found one that has been praised on the forums.

I'm using the wide angle converter from Sony (0.7x) with no complaints.

Thanks,

Joe

5/8/2002 3:20:12 PM

Balazs 

member since: 9/18/2002
  I'm in the process of looking for a good teleconverter (2.0x at least) for the f707, but no luck yet. However, I tried the Sony Wide Angle Converter and I compared it to Canon's WD-58 Wide Angle Converter (designed for the GL-1 or XL1-s Vid Cams).

I'm sorry for anyone that ever purchased Sony's wide angle lens. Canon's lens is smaller, better built, is 58mm (no step down ring required) and you can zoom through your entire range (Including Digital Zoom). The dimensions are: 58mm thread (back) 79mm (Front End) and 43mm long. It is rated at 0.7x as well, but I personally found the Canon lens to be slightly wider.

Last but not least, I can use my HVL-F1000 flash to shoot over the lens as it is only 79mm at it's widest diameter.

I paid $299 CDN vs $249 CDN for Sony's dinner plate lens.

9/18/2002 2:51:08 AM

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Photography Question 
Johnathan R. Peal

member since: 3/11/2002
  10 .  MICRODRIVES
I'm looking into buying a IBM microdrive for my Canon G2 camera.

I've read that some people have problems with the microdrive heating up the camera and becoming hot to the point of needing an Oven mit lol. I was wondering if anyone else has similar problems with them?

I was also wondering how they effect the battery life of the camera is there any noticable difference between compact flash and Microdrive as far as running down the batteries fast?

I've heard the write time is better for microdrive vs. Compact flash is that true?

Is there much difference in download times between the 1GB, 340mb microdrives and compact flash? I dont want to wait forever to download or preview my photo's.

Is there a better solution? or is this a good choice?

4/11/2002 5:06:00 PM

Alan E. Saldinger

member since: 1/13/2002
  The performance of any particular memory card in a camera is a function not only of the memory card design, but also the camera. You can find some info on performance of various flash-based cards and microdrives at
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/mediacompare/default.asp
but since Phil didn't test with the G2 your mileage may vary. There are flash-based cards that are faster than microdrives (at least with the cameras tested). The difference in write/download times between the well-performing flash-based cards and microdrives shouldn't be too much.

I've used microdrives in my Nikon D1x since I got it last summer, and was a happy camper until last week when I dropped one a few feet onto the floor. Although I was able to retrieve all but 3 images on the disk, I was told by IBM that I could expect problems if it dropped more than a couple of feet. And they have *no* diagnostic test I can run to see if it's even operational. After reformating and running scandisk/chkdsk, it seemed to work and I've been using it as my "CF of last resort" - but it just points out how touchy these microdrives are. If you can get by with 512MB per card or less, I'd go with the flash-based cards for their durability.

4/19/2002 6:34:58 PM

Johnathan R. Peal

member since: 3/11/2002
  Hi Alan,

Thanks for the information on Microdrives. I did see the article on dpreview, it has a lot of good information and its a real neat site. I been reading on my own about the microdrives but I wanted opinions from people like you who have 1st hand experience with the microdrives. I have read that they were not that durable and from your experience it sounds like the Compact Flash is a better choice in that regard. I've also read that they are not a good choice in high altitudes over 10,000 feet. I guess the disk will crash if it doesn't have enough air for the heads to float. I like to visit the mountains so it may not be a good choice for me.

I was also looking into purchasing a HP Photosmart 100 portable printer for traveling. It will only read up to 128mb Compact flash cards and there is no type II slot for a microdrive. So I am leaning more towards the Compact Flash for my needs. I think a 128mb card would be more than enough. I have a 32mb card now and between the two it should be more than enough memory.

Thanks again...
From: Johnathan

4/20/2002 11:48:44 AM

Johnathan R. Peal

member since: 3/11/2002
  Just to let the readers know I did purchase the 1GB microdrive since I found a good deal on one and it came with the USB CameraMate Reader $299.00 after $50 rebate. It does heat up the camera significantly but is really not an issue. I have a Canon Powershot G2 that is rated for microdrives. I can get 359 RAW photo's or 512 Large JPG's on superfine compression settings. I'm gonna wait on purchasing a traveling printer until they support the microdrive. I was tired of going to shoot photo's and having to turn back after 10-15 minutes because I had run out of space on my 32mb compact flash. With the microdrive I could easily go for a trip and not worry about running out of space. From what I can tell the battery life is not significantly effected by the drive. I'm careful in the handling of the drive. I leave it in the camera and only take it out when I get home to put it into the reader. I would highly recommend purchasing the cameramate reader since it's more reliable. My camera looses connectivity with the computer too easily making it difficult to download directly from the camera. I also felt it was easier on the camera unit to download pictures from a seperate reader. It comes with a plastic carrying case and the unit I got also came with a PCI adapter for laptops. As long as your careful not to drop the Drive it should be very reliable. I haven't tried it in High Altitude's yet over 10,000 feet since it needs air for the head's to float and could result in the head's crashing.

7/5/2002 12:22:57 PM

Carol A. Locke

member since: 8/13/2003
  I realize I am quite late in responding to this but I have some empirical experience in dealing with IBM Microdrive and high altitude that might be of interest to your members.

I just returned from a John Fielder Workshop in Vail, CO. We hiked to 12,000 feet each of three days. I thought I had no trouble with the reading or writing of my IBM 1g Microdrive. In retrospect, there were a few times when the AEB should have taken 3 pictures and only took two. If that was the only problem I would take it to altitude again.

I only looked on the web for information because other workshop members mentioned that they had read the caveat above 9,000 feet for the microdrive.

8/13/2003 9:40:21 AM

Alan E. Saldinger

member since: 1/13/2002
  This is a pretty ancient thread (except for the last post) but these days microdrives are not a good choice for new purchases. 1 GB fast CF cards are below $300, and 2 GB & 4 GB CF cards are also shipping. Meanwhile, Microdrives are still stuck at 1GB maximum size, and are still $200+. Considering they are much more fragile, slower, altitude-sensitive, and use more power than CF cards, I don't think they make sense to purchase anymore. I bought two 1 GB Lexar WA 32x CF cards last spring and only drag out my microdrives when I need more than 2 GB for a day's shoot.

8/13/2003 9:51:39 AM

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