My next camera, stabilization and speed prime considerations

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Excellent! My comments here have been addressing the OPs stated subjects and environment.....wildlife in very low light, rainy, harsh conditions. I don't use Auto ISO for landscapes, architecture,table top photos, etc...... but I often shoot in conditions similar to the OPs. My Alaskan bear gallery was shot with heavy clouds and light rain.
Not bad for a junky old D300 at ISO 800 :D.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
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Very informative thread.
I started photography 50 years ago and manual was not a choice, it is all I had to work with.
I personally now use full manual, manual with auto iso, and A for shooting, depending on conditions.
BUT I strongly recommend those I am teaching learn to use full manual for a while, months. I want them to go through the thinking process all the time. How much light is there, is it changing, where is it coming from, how fast is my subject moving, what depth of field do I need. I want them to think on their feet while they are moving. The automated modes let them shoot without thinking. At least the people I have been associated with learned faster and became better photographers when they took complete control. Take control, do not just shoot what the camera's meter thinks you want. Should you underexpose a stop, is there a reason to overexpose here? That is our decision, the camera doesn't help. Once this is second nature, then let the camera help. I find the dumber I think the camera is, the better my images are- because I am responsible for everything. Many of my images use light in very specific ways, and exposure is vital- camera meter is simply not good enough at reading my mind.
But there are many different ways to get to the same place. Just getting a different camera rarely helps.
If someone has money they want to spend on their art, I strongly recommend spending it on learning. Reading alone gets them partway, but taking a workshop really really moves them along quickly. Did anyone learn to be a pilot by reading alone? Did anyone learn to shoot a rifle by reading about it? Find a great instructor and spend a week at a workshop. You can learn from the instructor, but you will also learn from the other participants. I was lucky. I had great instructors- like Jay Maisel. I took dozens of week long workshops over the years, and still try to take at least one a year. I always come back with some new understanding. New techniques, new ways to handle tough situations. A week with a good instructor can change your pictures a lot more than a new camera.
Gary
 
Joined
May 3, 2007
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6,840
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Very informative thread.
I started photography 50 years ago and manual was not a choice, it is all I had to work with.
I personally now use full manual, manual with auto iso, and A for shooting, depending on conditions.
BUT I strongly recommend those I am teaching learn to use full manual for a while, months. I want them to go through the thinking process all the time. How much light is there, is it changing, where is it coming from, how fast is my subject moving, what depth of field do I need. I want them to think on their feet while they are moving. The automated modes let them shoot without thinking. At least the people I have been associated with learned faster and became better photographers when they took complete control. Take control, do not just shoot what the camera's meter thinks you want. Should you underexpose a stop, is there a reason to overexpose here? That is our decision, the camera doesn't help. Once this is second nature, then let the camera help. I find the dumber I think the camera is, the better my images are- because I am responsible for everything. Many of my images use light in very specific ways, and exposure is vital- camera meter is simply not good enough at reading my mind.
But there are many different ways to get to the same place. Just getting a different camera rarely helps.
If someone has money they want to spend on their art, I strongly recommend spending it on learning. Reading alone gets them partway, but taking a workshop really really moves them along quickly. Did anyone learn to be a pilot by reading alone? Did anyone learn to shoot a rifle by reading about it? Find a great instructor and spend a week at a workshop. You can learn from the instructor, but you will also learn from the other participants. I was lucky. I had great instructors- like Jay Maisel. I took dozens of week long workshops over the years, and still try to take at least one a year. I always come back with some new understanding. New techniques, new ways to handle tough situations. A week with a good instructor can change your pictures a lot more than a new camera.
Gary
To this I would add, buy, read and employ the exercises in Bryan Petersen's classic book, Exposure.
 
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
BUT I strongly recommend those I am teaching learn to use full manual for a while, months. I want them to go through the thinking process all the time.

That's fine. Just be aware that using partly automated modes doesn't prevent anyone from going through the thinking process all the time. It never stopped me.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
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Wanted to apologise for going silent, was in the bush and then catching up at home. Decided to keep playing with the D3400 until I can recognise I’m finding its limits in any way- that will be a long time.

Playing with manual and started trying different formats, like shooting in RAW. Stopped in on an old plane crash to play and then grabbed some pics of the kids at home. Unfortunately don’t have the plane crash playing on hand as they’re RAW and realised on getting home I can’t transfer those to an iPhone over SnapBridge. Newb mistake but learning. The wreck was fun as it was a long snowy trudge in, and the light was tough in the trees with a low sun and lots of dark / shaded interior spaces surrounded by white snow. Had everything from dark to washed out images but learning aperture, exposure a bit.

Here’s one jpeg of my daughter I liked, she didn’t want to take part and just pulled her toque down having just woken up in the stroller. Turned out better than a smiling posed shot in my eyes. Will keep playing, loving this new form of shooting.

3627F5BC-17E1-4EAC-A250-7C7A74524853.jpeg
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Joined
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Here’s one jpeg of my daughter I liked

I should say so! What's not to like about that photo? Great skin tones (not always easy to achieve), the important parts of the image are very sharp, the parts that are beyond the depth of field add interest and help create a three-dimensional feel, plain background that nicely sets off your model, and an ideal exposure (otherwise the skin tones would be off). Well done!
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
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909
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
Wanted to apologise for going silent, was in the bush and then catching up at home. Decided to keep playing with the D3400 until I can recognise I’m finding its limits in any way- that will be a long time.

Playing with manual and started trying different formats, like shooting in RAW. Stopped in on an old plane crash to play and then grabbed some pics of the kids at home. Unfortunately don’t have the plane crash playing on hand as they’re RAW and realised on getting home I can’t transfer those to an iPhone over SnapBridge. Newb mistake but learning. The wreck was fun as it was a long snowy trudge in, and the light was tough in the trees with a low sun and lots of dark / shaded interior spaces surrounded by white snow. Had everything from dark to washed out images but learning aperture, exposure a bit.

Here’s one jpeg of my daughter I liked, she didn’t want to take part and just pulled her toque down having just woken up in the stroller. Turned out better than a smiling posed shot in my eyes. Will keep playing, loving this new form of shooting.

Good for you.
Pushing your gear will show where you want something different to fix a shortfall in your current gear.
Example, Having to lay down on the floor to shoot a low angle shot, told me that I should get a tilting rear screen on my next camera, which I did. I was not keen on laying down in the mud.​

One thing to remember, is the problem that I am dealing with, weight.
The D3400 is a light dSLR, the D850 is a heavy one. And fullframe lenses are heavy.
A heavy camera on a short shoot is not a problem. But lugging it around all day is a different picture, especially in your case, with the bulk and weight of camping and hunting gear.
As a senior citizen, I don't have the muscle endurance that I had when I was younger.​
Example1 - When I am shooting for 6 hours, after about 3 hours the kit starts to feel heavier and heavier. So if I start off heavy, I'm in trouble at the end.​
Example2 - I shoot with a 70-200/4, because it is HALF the weight of the f/2.8 lens. The f/2.8 lens is OK for the first hour or so, but after 4 hours, my arms would be too tired to shoot.​

Lot of people here shoot RAW. But that does not mean you have to.
I shoot RAW for myself, but I shoot JPG for the school and my vacation (simply due to the HUGE volume).
I shoot RAW to give me a buffer to adjust the image, if I need to. So even with school pics, I will selectively shoot RAW, for example when the lighting is really difficult to deal with.
The cost is extra processing time, which adds up when we talk THOUSANDS of photos.

BTW, I like your daughters pic.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
29,086
Location
Moscow, Idaho
Wanted to apologise for going silent, was in the bush and then catching up at home. Decided to keep playing with the D3400 until I can recognise I’m finding its limits in any way- that will be a long time.

Playing with manual and started trying different formats, like shooting in RAW. Stopped in on an old plane crash to play and then grabbed some pics of the kids at home. Unfortunately don’t have the plane crash playing on hand as they’re RAW and realised on getting home I can’t transfer those to an iPhone over SnapBridge. Newb mistake but learning. The wreck was fun as it was a long snowy trudge in, and the light was tough in the trees with a low sun and lots of dark / shaded interior spaces surrounded by white snow. Had everything from dark to washed out images but learning aperture, exposure a bit.

Here’s one jpeg of my daughter I liked, she didn’t want to take part and just pulled her toque down having just woken up in the stroller. Turned out better than a smiling posed shot in my eyes. Will keep playing, loving this new form of shooting.

View attachment 1652862
A winner in so many ways, sharp, well exposed, great natural color!
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
43
Thank you Butlerkid, Mike Buckley, ac12, and Palouse will keep shooting. ;) Fun getting away from wildlife in some ways a bit as subjects are pretty endless. Tons to learn.
 
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Dec 29, 2019
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Well, checking in I bought the Z7, prices have taken quite a dive recently with the Z7 II coming out, and I found a lightly used one at a very good price. Going to run the FTZ adapter for now with my F mount lenses.

Look forward to doing these shots but with the Z7 and seeing the difference, hoping the stabilization is evident for the sweeping off hand shots.
66E266C5-EBAE-4FFC-BCCC-6EE63685B413.jpeg
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May 5, 2005
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SW Virginia
Well, checking in I bought the Z7, prices have taken quite a dive recently with the Z7 II coming out, and I found a lightly used one at a very good price. Going to run the FTZ adapter for now with my F mount lenses.

Look forward to doing these shots but with the Z7 and seeing the difference, hoping the stabilization is evident for the sweeping off hand shots. View attachment 1675116

That's really sharp, and I like the vapor trail created by the propeller.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
43
Thank you both, those prop tip vortices are always present on every turning propeller, but seldom seen. High humidity helps them present visually.
 
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May 11, 2006
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CHARLOTTE
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Randy
Keep the lens, dump the camera for a used D500 (because you probably will sell it after you learn to get off auto). Read, look and practice. We all start at the same place.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
43
Ended up with a Z7 body for $1700 with 10,000 shutter cycles. Prices really dropped on used Z7s after the Z7II was released, was good for me to wait a year as I was tempted to buy one new.

At the price I couldn’t resist, I like the stabilization being “added” to my existing lenses with the FTX adapter. I also do some extreme cropping with the photos I want to continue taking, like the wolves which are never close. Excited about the light weight and small dimensions of the mirrorless as I often have to carry it up mountains to get work. Looking forward to putting it to work, will be sure to report back.
 

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