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The Darkroom (Photography and Cinematography Discussion Mega-thread)


Before we go into camera recommendations, there are a few questions. Are your skies dark enough for astro stuff? What animal situation are we talking? And do you have great landscapes around you?

Also this should probably be it’s own thread, I think.



also, if you already have a significant amount of $ in lenses it makes sense to stick to that platform



Well, since there is no camera to my knowledge called 6P, I guess he is talking about a Nexus.



aaah yeah, that makes more sense.

@WolfTech716 if you’re just looking for a strong all rounder, anything in the Sony E mount midrange is good. pair with fast primes for video, or a kit lens and a supplemental wide angle and telephoto for beginner stills



for example:



Ah yes I should’ve specified that the 6P was a phone, my bad! @noenken, I have no problems with making this into it’s own thread thanks for the heads up! @tkoham Also, for the mirrorless camera that seems pretty high in cost without a lens, but I will assume that it’s not really possible to get something cheaper overall.

Noenken, for my area I live up in the mountains a bit further away from a lot of lights despite being in the city. Landscapes would be mountain shots, forests, etc. and animals range from dogs and cats to mountain lions, bears, and wolves.

Thanks for the responses you two!



that’s the price with a 15-56 kit lens

also, no need to make another thread, this megathread is just as much for advice as it is for workflow and equipment discussion.

you can get a cheaper mirrorless system on MFT, but they usually come with color/focus adjustments that you can’t disable, etc, like the Xaomi Yi M1

$450 is pretty much the minimum you can expect to pay new for a full featured interchangeable lens system of any type new.



quick rundown on basic photography stuff so you know what people are saying when they recommend you a system

lens speed: how much light enters the lens overall, measured on a relative scale called “stops” denoted in F/ or T/ (T is usually more common in cinematography, and denotes the amount of light getting to the sensor rather than the light entering the lens.) T stops are more generally more precise a benchmark. Lower stops mean the lens gathers more light and can shoot in darker environments or at shorter exposures.

Focal length: The distance at which the lens converges light, indirectly affects field of view and percieved distance from the camera. Measured in mm, shorter focal lengths are “wider” because they tend to have a larger angle of view

Prime: a lens without a zoom, fixed focal length

Crop Factor: very important to choosing the right focal length lenses. All focal lengths for standard format cameras are measured under the assumption that your sensor is “full frame” but many systems use smaller sensors. You multiply the crop factor by the focal length to get a rough equivalent focal length for your system. For example, my BMPCC only has a 16mm sensor, with a little more than a third of the area of a full frame sensor, therefore all my lenses’ equivalent focal lengths on that system will be 3x what the lens actually says.

Generally, landscape photography favors wide, sharp lenses over fast ones because you can always just expose longer for a better picture (your subject isn’t moving) and wildlife photography favors fast, long lenses so you can get animals in motion without underexposing or blurring the image.

You can do landscape photography on pretty much any system with a modern sensor, but wildlife photography is a lot harder without good stabilization and features like burst mode

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Well… a new thread does have a higher visibility.

… which is why I would not recommend that at all.

@WolfTech716, when you are on a budget my recommendation is always to look for used stuff. And one thing I have to say: Wildlife photography on a budget like that is not happening. Sorry. You would need very long lenses for that, a camera that can handle higher ISOs and a solid tripod or at least a monopod.

I would try to find a used Sony A7 (first gen). those can be had for around 500,- Euro here in Germany. I don’t know how much those are in your area. Thing is, that is a full frame body with a pretty nice sensor and you can strap any lens in front of it … like basically any that was made … ever.
Which is a lot. :wink:

For the use case of astro and landscape I would start with a lens around 20mm focal length. That is a bit wider field of view than your typical smarphone and is gonna work very well for both. Voigtländer has some really nice ones that won’t completely rape your wallet. Search ebay for color skopar and take a look.

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This is very true, though you can get good shots with enough practice, you’re at a severe disadvantage

also with regards to astro/landcape the panasonic 20mm f/1.7 H-020 is an excellent starter lens, you can find it used on ebay and b&H for less than $200, and used MFT bodies tend to sell cheaper than canon or sony.

I’d recommend against getting into the A mount system because sony isn’t making new lenses or bodies for it, and in a few years the aftermartket will increase in price.



That is a 40mm equivalent. That is simply not wide enough for astro. Also it is focus by wire which is terrible for those types of shots.

The A7 is a mirrorless body with Sony FE mount. Not Minolta / Sony A mount.



Yeah I just meant in general, at least in my area the a mount bodies are really cheap at the moment

I’ll admit I don’t know much abt astro, should be fine for landscape and street shooting tho

yeah the lack of positive stops on the focus ring is a definite minus

Voightlander is nice but probably out of a sub 500 budget, I was just trying to give alts.



Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that. But the longer the lens is, the shorter you have to expose before you see movement in the stars. Also even a G7 is about 300,- used on a good day and lacks the option of cheap -ish wide lenses because of the crop factor.

I have seen Voigtländer lenses in that range for less than 300,- used. And like I said, you can mount anything in front of a full frame sensor. So if other stuff is cheaper, sure, look around. Flickr has all kinds of shots with pretty much every lens in existence. Old Canon FD, Olympus OM, Minolta MD … Tons of high quality low price options.



very true.

On another note, do you have any recs for medium format rental?

Need it for a particular effects shot, heavily composited, and I’ve heard good things about a few fuji X systems. I can rent pretty much anything for the shoot



See, this is why @WolfTech716 should make his own topic.

What is the shot?



it’s for a “bullet time” panning composite and I want the most real estate for the background I can get. It’ll be my first time doing something like this mostly in camera.



Bullet time means slow-mo action with regular speed camera movement. That doesn’t work with one camera.



Most shots you see that pan out of frame with frozen subjects are compositing the background from high resolution stills by texture projection, not actually filming it. I need something that I can blow up and stitch in as few shots as possible

by “bullet time” I didn’t mean a recreation of the shot in the matrix, I meant an impossibly slow moving environment for the pan shot.



I still don’t know what you need.



a camera that can take very sharp wide stills of the set, that I’ll have to fix in post as little as possible.

since it’s gonna be a rental, I can get medium format.

what do you think the best system for a film production environment is?