What Camera?

Alan May 19, 2000

  1. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    10,793
    373
    124
    There has been a lot of discussion about digital cameras on the board.

    I expect a lot of you take photographs or video of trains, and wonder what type and format of cameras you use.

    I use 35mm SLR with interchangeable lenses, plus a 8 mm video camera to catch the action.
    My SLR is a Minolta, and my video is a Canon.

    I take colour prints with my 35mm, but believe that slides are still popular in the USA. Is this correct?

    Are digital cameras any good for rail photography? Can they equal a 300mm telephoto lens? Can they take trains travelling at speed?

    What a lot of questions [​IMG]



    ------------------
    Alan

    The perfect combination - BNSF and N Scale!

    www.ac-models.com
    Andersley Western Railroad
    Alan's American Gallery
    Alan's European Gallery
    Alan's British Steam Gallery
     
  2. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    4,122
    15
    59
    I'll go the digital camera side.

    Are there any equal to a 300mm lens? For the most part, no. I believe there are some but they are at the top end of the market. Also, if you are looking at that sort of zoom, you will want one with a real glass lens which, fortunately, is something quite a few digitals have now.

    There have been a few shots posted on the alt.binaries.pictures.rail newsgroup that have been taken with digitals. There has been discussion on and off over the last 6 months about these shots. Maybe dejanews will have the dscussions archived?

    For the zoom, another route is having a fixed monocular extension. A very good site specialising in digital cameras is http://www.steves-digicams.com/default.htm
    From here you can see the various models and reviews by people who have bought and used them. Loads of links to alternate picture sites plus some nifty homemade add-ons, particularly for the Nikon range. The pics of a Kenko 8x32 monocular adapted for use on a Nikon Coolpix 950 are awesome!

    Take the tiime to really look into this site and it's links. It may well be too much information but it did reinforce my own choice and gave me some insights to the camera's capabilities that are not in the operators manual.

    Gary.

    ------------------
    Gary A. Rose
    The Unofficial TC&W page
    N to the Nth degree!

    [This message has been edited by Gats (edited 18 May 2000).]
     
  3. BrianS

    BrianS E-Mail Bounces

    767
    0
    24
    I use just a simple Canon Z115 for my film photography, but I'm also using an older digital camera (Kodak DC25) for photos of the pets, family, etc. I hope this summer to get a "real" (i.e. SLR) camera. I've read alot of good stuff about the Nikon N80 and was thinking about getting that one. Any ideas/suggestions, guys?
     
  4. DakotaFan

    DakotaFan Guest

    0
    0
    0
    I use a Canon FTb with a Tamron 75-250 telephoto lens. I used to shoot Kodachrome exclusively but recently have been using Sensia II with pleasing results. Most US magazines prefer color slides or B&W prints for publication. The railfan conventions I have attended usually allow attendees to show slides. I do some videotaping with a Sony camcorder. Haven't ventured into digital yet.
     
  5. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    4,122
    15
    59
    I also use a Pentax MZ-10 with 28-70 and a 70-300 zoom. Film almost exclusively Fuji Superia. Does a great job for a light-weight.
    As for the Nikons, have to be the best lenses out there. You pay for it, but you get your money's worth in my opinion.

    Gary.

    ------------------
    Gary A. Rose
    The Unofficial TC&W page
    N to the Nth degree!
     
  6. Robin Matthysen

    Robin Matthysen Passed Away October 17, 2005 In Memoriam

    834
    0
    24
    The camera I use is a Minolta X-700. I use colour print film so I can scan the prints to use the pictures on my web site. I know I can do a better job but am usually in to much of a hurry to experiment with exposures and different lenses. I have thought about buying a digital camera and my choice for the moment is an Epson 650. My friend Vincent Mariner uses an Epson 700 and gets great results. The main reason why I like the Epson camera is that it can take pictures from just 6 inches. As much as I would like this camera, I can't justify the cost when I have this Minolta that I have had for 15 years. I know that I can get better pictures with it and will do better as the M.A.T. gets closer to realistic operation.

    Robin
    http://members.xoom.com/Matthyro/idex.html
     
  7. AKrrnut

    AKrrnut TrainBoard Member

    396
    0
    23
    I have a Sony Mavica FD5 digital camera. Although I haven't taken any train pictures with it (I live way too far away from the nearest railroad [​IMG] ), I have taken quite a few shots of other subjects. I like the Mavica because it saves the photos to a floppy disk, which makes it extremely easy to transfer them to our computer. It's also easy to upload the shots.

    I wouldn't want to take all my train pictures with a digital, but it sure is handy for a quick shot. Unless you spend a lot of money for a top-end model, you just don't get the resolution you can get with a good 35mm camera.

    Pat

    ------------------
    Wishin' I wasn't so far
    from the railroad...
     
  8. Kevin Stevens

    Kevin Stevens TrainBoard Supporter

    421
    0
    20
    My photo equipment consists of an early 1980's Canon AE1P. I use the auto exposure function of the camera, but I select my own shutter speed (usually between 1/125 and 1/500). I shoot mainly with a 70-210mm zoom lens for action shots, but I also have 50mm and 28mm lenses for close up or roster shots. Although I have threatened to use a tripod from time to time, I have shot every photo I've taken up to today hand-held style. [​IMG] I shot slides from about 1986 to the middle 1990's. Recently, I reverted back to print film to facilitate easy (and less costly) scanning to post to my website. I also find print film to be more forgiving than slide film, which helps for my rusty photography skills. I also have a Sony 8mm video camera, but I prefer still photography so I rarely use it. [​IMG]

    Kevin Stevens www.trainweb.org/KernJunction
     
  9. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    10,793
    373
    124
    When I shoot trains in the US, I take both video and stills. I set up the video on a tripod and track the approaching train, then leave the video to capture the passing train whilst I take the stills. After the train is past, I usually swing the video around to show the departing train.

    As we cannot see or hear your railroads very often, every sight (and sound) captured on film and tape is precious!!

    ------------------
    Alan

    The perfect combination - BNSF and N Scale!

    www.ac-models.com
    Andersley Western Railroad
    Alan's American Gallery
    Alan's European Gallery
    Alan's British Steam Gallery
     
  10. BC Rail King

    BC Rail King E-Mail Bounces

    904
    0
    24
    I just got "FUNDING" from my parents for a new camera. Since all I do with it is shoot trains, what kind would you recomend?

    Happy Railroading!

    Dane N.

    AKA "The ONE"

    ------------------
    TAMR2860-AKA BC Rail King
    TAMR2860@Canada.com for TAMR info.
    To send a general TRAIN! E-Mail send to
    BCRailKing@Canada.com
     
  11. hirailer

    hirailer New Member

    3
    0
    17
    The camera I use for all my pictures including trains is Nikon F70 (N70 in U.S.) and use a 300mm lens. For many years I used a Pentax ME which gave me excellent service and which I still have. There is 70-210 mm lens with a doubler.
    As far as digitals, I wonder if they have capacity for creativity the a SLR has.

    Mel
     
  12. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    4,122
    15
    59
    Hi Mel, and welcome!

    The digitals are getting there. There still is a problem with lack of lens availability which is being address through creatively adding non-standard lenses with adaptors. Some video style lenses can be used as well.
    The big break-through will be a true SLR style digital body, that takes standard SLR lenses, being readily available at reasonable prices.

    Gary.

    ------------------
    Gary A. Rose
    The Unofficial TC&W page
    N to the Nth degree!
     
  13. espee2

    espee2 TrainBoard Member

    144
    0
    23
    I have an Olympus OM-1n (yes a real camera..LOL) that takes awesome pictures, I use a Sony 8mm video , and recently purchased an Olympus D-450 digital.

    It has 1.3 megapixels, and a pretty good zoom. now they are coming out with 2.8 and 3 megapixel cameras that you can blow up to 16x24 and see no dots, even in a reflection in someones eye-blown up 10x at 16x24 (printed photo)

    Sony has the best lenses, they have 10x zoom, 2.3 megapix. smart stick or floppy disc, under 999.00 [​IMG]

    My main problem is: I am on webtv, I can only upload via "video capture" I've heard from a few people in the know that webtv has one of the best video captures they've seen.. except, when I hook my digital camera to it, the combination of digital "dot's" and the capture's-horizontal lines makes my images blurry. But I've seen digital images on websites that are incredible.

    Digital is meant for uploading onto the internet... ie. it's best use. Printing digital still looks bad without spending thosands, scanning prints for the internet if possible is great.
    I would love to be able to scan my images to put onto the internet, but can't until someday I get a computer... right now my website is hand written code, with little file back-up. God I need a PC...
    www.tunnel13.com

    [This message has been edited by espee2 (edited 07 June 2000).]
     
  14. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    10,793
    373
    124
  15. rray

    rray Staff Member

    6,893
    2,541
    113
    Hey espee2, I use the D450Z too. You got to get a PC, because your camera takes excellent web photos.

    ------------------
    Robert Ray
    The NP & UP N-Scale Railroad
     
  16. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    4,122
    15
    59
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by espee2:
    I have an Olympus OM-1n (yes a real camera..LOL)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I have an OM-10 as well [​IMG]

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Digital is meant for uploading onto the internet... ie. it's best use. Printing digital still looks bad without spending thosands, scanning prints for the internet if possible is great.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I have to partially disagree here. I have had 7x5 prints done from digital shots and you are hard pressed to tell the difference. They could have been enlarged to 10x8 with excellent results - it was enough to prompt the lab to comment on the image quality. Mind you, these were 1600x1200 pixel images in fine (4:1) compression taken with a Nikon Coolpix 950 - one of the 2.1 megapixel cameras.
    The internet advantage is not having to process film and then scan the resulting image.
    The true advantage is in graphics manipulation. Digital images are a graphic artist's dream come true.

    Gary.

    ------------------
    Gary A. Rose
    The Unofficial TC&W page
    N to the Nth degree!
     
  17. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    0
    0
    0
    If you do not have a digital camera but are scanning your pictures what scanners are you using? Has anyone been using the HPS20 film scanner and if so what do you think of it? I know that Nikon has a couple of good scanners but they are getting into the higher price range.

    ------------------
    Residing in BNSF's St. Croix Subdivision near Trempealeau, WI

    [This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 12 June 2000).]
     
  18. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    10,793
    373
    124
  19. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    0
    0
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Alan:
    Plustek OpticPro 9636P. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks Alan. I found their site and have been checking the specs. I see that last year it received PC WORLD'S best buy award. The price sure looks right. It would leave extra money for purchasing some of those classy British Spline Cars [​IMG]. Thanks again for the info Alan.


    ------------------
    Residing in BNSF's St. Croix Subdivision near Trempealeau, WI
     
  20. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    10,793
    373
    124

Share This Page