Author Topic: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!  (Read 3179 times)

paullgj

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Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« on: November 27, 2017, 21:35:37 »
Been posting everywhere - and I'm really stumped as "what to take"?  Will be spending the months of July and August photographing traditional highland Mayan festivals in Guatemala - ethnographic photography.  Just received a 24-120 for my D700 - excellent IQ and the range I want.  Too big and obvious!  Lots of petty crime and best not to be too obvious - one camera, and maybe one or two lenses.  I've attached an image from the "old Days" (about 15 yrs. ago - film) - Nikon FE2 and 85 mm AI lens.  Can't do that today.  So I'm left with a number of options and really don't know where to go:

1.  D7500 and 18-140 lens and call it a day.  Still a little big and obvious.  How is the IQ on the 18-140 in terms of color and acuity?
2.  Fuji - an XT20 body and two primes, probably 28 mm and 56 mm.  Getting expensive.
3.  M 4/3 - already have an ancient Panasonic GX1 and a 20 mm prime.  Small, fiddly, and I'm always hitting the wrong button.  But it works - add a 45 mm prime?  Right now there's a sale - a new Panny G85 and a slow 12-60 kit lens.  Might not give me the subject isolation I want and don't know about the IQ.
4.  Quit worrying and get a Sony RX100 V camera and call it a day.

Right now I'm leaning towards options #1 and #4.  Would appreciate any suggestions.  My budget - about $1,000.

Roland Vink

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 23:22:20 »
On option #1 ... do you already have the D7500? A variation on this could be a D5xxx camera, which is smaller than the D7500 (and a more versatile swivelling screen). You could also consider the 18-105 instead of the 18-140 as it is slightly smaller (but not by much). Overall that would give you a more discrete package. Cover the camera and lens with strategically placed pieces of tape to make them look like they are nearly falling apart, might deter some thieves...? :)

If you are considering primes with the XT20, why not the Nikon AFS 28/1.8 and 50/1.8? Maybe add a compact 18-55 kit zoom to give you some flexibility, the aperture is slow but they are pretty sharp.

Before I go into the other options, it's probably best if you clarify what you want. For example, do you prefer shooting with zooms or primes?
Is subject isolation is important? If so, that leans towards the larger formats and faster lenses (primes).
Will you be shooting in poor light? Again, faster lenses will be useful.
Will there be a lot of subject motion? Mirrorless cameras are less good at tracking motion although they are much better than they used to be, but mirrorless are very accurate for static subjects.
If you prefer a more compact system, then m4/3 are a good option. I think the IQ here is perfectly good for most purposes, unless you need to shoot at higher ISO, which is where the larger formats are better.
And so on... I think all are capable systems. Look at your requirements and preferences, you should be able to answer most questions yourself, because everyone else will give you a different answer ... :)

paullgj

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 06:38:43 »
Hi Roland,

Thanks for responding.  OK, here's the details.  First, as far as the camera is concerned, I'm a technological illiterate.  I thought the FE2 was "high tech"!  Shoot A-priority, and adjust everything on-camera, minimum of menu-diving.  I do shoot RAW and adjust in ACR, especially shadows-highlights.

Output -  11 x 14 or 12 x 18 prints for local  galleries or shows relating to Mesoamerican art.  I don't need extreme creamy bokeh, but I do need some subject isolation to separate the subject from the background.

OK, have a lot of Nikon primes 24 to 200 mm, none are AFS, but either AFD or AI/AIS.  That's why I was thinking either D7200 or D7500 (won't meter with AIS).  The Fuji caught my attention, but it would be very expensive to go a new body and new primes.

Another idea is to rent a DF with a 24-85, try it on the street here in South Texas, as see how that works out.  One thing for sure about Central America, the less obvious the equipment, the better.  Last time I went I just took a diminutive  Panasonic LX7 p & s, went into isolated communities and was never even noticed.  The images, however, lacked the acuity for large print gallery display.

Bent Hjarbo

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 09:07:35 »
The Df with AiS primes is very compact. The old primes work well with the Df.
The Df price is high unless you can find it second hand.
/Bent

Frank Fremerey

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 10:36:13 »
I was immediately thinking: Df for him and his lens park. The camera is cheap now. New as well as used. You might want a replacement focussing screen for her to better manual focus
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Les Olson

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 12:39:00 »
If the 24-120 on the D700 is the right range and the right performance, the D7200 plus the 16-80 would be the smaller and lighter equivalent.  If the 16-80 is too expensive the older 16-85 is very close in performance, although you lose some speed and subject isolation.

David H. Hartman

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 13:24:36 »
If the 16-80 is too expensive the older 16-85 is very close in performance, although you lose some speed and subject isolation.

A friend owns the AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR and I can vouch for it. I've shot with it and I've done post processing for her. If the 16-80/2.8-4.0 wouldn't need to be better to please me. The extra speed especially at 80mm would be welcome.

The 16-85/3.5-5.6 ED VR DX isn't bad close up. The camera was her Nikon D300. My friend tried to brush the little green thing off the rose. She's in a wheelchair so she couldn't reach it. :) I did some burning in of the antenna by using the shadow setting in Photoshop. I did selective sharpening. It's a David Austin rose. I don't know the species of mantis.

Dave
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Fons Baerken

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 14:53:15 »
Df recommended but rare to find secondhand.

Frank Fremerey

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 14:56:57 »
Df recommended but rare to find secondhand.

lots of these on ebay
You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

Me: https://youpic.com/photographer/frankfremerey/

Frank Fremerey

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 14:59:32 »
You want to Zoom obviously and you want to exchange lenses. If you could reduce to one great prime with one great sensor you might instead get a X100 revision t or f

it offers superb image quality in a very small package. you only need replacement batteries on the road.
You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

Me: https://youpic.com/photographer/frankfremerey/

Erik Lund

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2017, 21:04:37 »
,,,,,,, Just received a 24-120 for my D700 - excellent IQ and the range I want. .........

My budget - about $1,000.

No need to get anything else!!! Be, act and dress discrete.

Have a party and enjoy instead of overthinking problems.
Erik Lund

golunvolo

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2017, 21:30:37 »
I´m with Erik. Use what you have. For 1000€ you can replace both if anything else -or throw a party, not bad either  ;D- and the d700 can go anywhere...

Bent Hjarbo

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2017, 22:23:07 »
With the D700 you will be able to defend yourself ;)
I will second Erik

Anirban Halder

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2017, 03:02:22 »
No need to get anything else!!! Be, act and dress discrete.

Have a party and enjoy instead of overthinking problems.
I second Erik. But if you are bit by shutterbug most likely you will end up buying another camera/lens anyway.  :D
You can also add Ricoh GR to option#4. You will be amazed what this little camera can do.
Anirban Halder

Matthew Currie

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Re: Help me choose a "fine art" travel camera!
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2017, 05:08:54 »
If the 24-120 on the D700 is the right range and the right performance, the D7200 plus the 16-80 would be the smaller and lighter equivalent.  If the 16-80 is too expensive the older 16-85 is very close in performance, although you lose some speed and subject isolation.
It may be a matter of sample variation, but although my 16-85 is decent (and I really like having the wide end) my wife's 18-140 is visibly sharper, and the size difference is not that great.