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Macro experience with the Nikon D5000 and/or D5100
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JLP



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 5
Location: South Eastern Spain

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 3:43 am    Post subject: Macro experience with the Nikon D5000 and/or D5100 Reply with quote

Hello everyone.

This is my first post in this forum and would like to ask if any of the member have working experience with the above mentioned cameras.

The point is that I like to take macro pictures of minerals, currently I use a compact camera to which I have adapted some Raynox close up lenses and a reversed old Canon FD lense.
Since I want to migrate up to a DSLR I have been reading through many camera manuals and reviews. The D5000 and D5100 have a series of characteristics and performance that seems to make them good all around cameras. However, neither of them have a mirror lock up function, although they do have a shutting delay (1 second) option. My question is if this 1 second delay is enough to attenuate the trepidations of the mirror, have anybody has experience with this?.
In one of the reviews of the D5100 it is mentioned that by using the LV mode, the mirror is locked up while shutting, but I have not find any report on this feature by actual camera owners, is this the case?.

Any help is appreciated, regards.

José Luis.
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 4463
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you aren't invested in Nikon gear and don't have a particular brand preference, I would recommend to look at Canon EOS. Most current EOS cameras, even the cheapest 1000D have a live view implementation with a feature we call Electronic First Shutter Courtain EFSC that allows absolute vibration free shot and are capable of acurately meter the light without a dedicated lens mounted.

If you enter EFSC in the forum searching tool you will find excellent info and links about this subject
All dSLRs are capable of excellent macro work but I think it's easier with Canons due to this features.
Also Canon provides for free the adequate software to shot tethered to the computer for studio work and to convert the RAW files. Nikon solds the equivalent software and it's expensive.
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ChrisLilley



Joined: 01 May 2010
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 6:40 am    Post subject: Re: Macro experience with the Nikon D5000 and/or D5100 Reply with quote

JLP wrote:

Since I want to migrate up to a DSLR I have been reading through many camera manuals and reviews. The D5000 and D5100 have a series of characteristics and performance that seems to make them good all around cameras. However, neither of them have a mirror lock up function, although they do have a shutting delay (1 second) option. My question is if this 1 second delay is enough to attenuate the trepidations of the mirror, have anybody has experience with this?.


1 second is not enough, no. My previous camera, the Nikon D90, did not have mirror-up and the 1 sec delay was not sufficient. Instead, i found that I needed to use flash to freeze the motion and a long exposure (2-3 seconds) with second-curtain flash (flash fires just before the shutter closes and the mirror comes down).

One reason I upgraded to D7000 was the mirror-up function.

JLP wrote:
In one of the reviews of the D5100 it is mentioned that by using the LV mode, the mirror is locked up while shutting, but I have not find any report on this feature by actual camera owners, is this the case?.


I don't know for the D5100.

Earlier Nikon DSLR had a bug (or mis-designed feature) where in live view mode, when the shutter was pressed the mirror would swing down so that autofocus and exposure metering could take place, then swing up again, then the picture was taken. Nikon apparently did not understand that lack of vibration was the most important thing,and instead gave priority to exposure (light might have changed) and autofocus (subject might have moved).

This was corrected in the Nikon D7000; in LV mode the mirror stays up.

The D5100 was released after the D7000 so may well incorporate the same fix, but I don't know and have not seen this addressed in a review.
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JLP



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 5
Location: South Eastern Spain

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pau, Chris, thanks for your answers.

I was aware of the EFSC feature of the Canon cameras and indeed this is a very helpful option, I do have a couple of Canon cameras included into my short list. The fact that Canon includes additional (and useful) software is of not much use to me, since I am currently using Linux and there are no versions for this operating system. I tried to run them under Wine but thus far there have been not success, I can do it by means of a windows virtual machine but this adds another layer of complexity to the workflow. There are a couple of Linux programs that supposedly allow tethering (Digikam and Darktable), but I would need to get a supported camera to test such feature.

I was particularly interested in the Nikon D5100 for the amount of scenes modes plus the in-camera photo manipulation options. Furthermore, DxOMark labs rate the 5100 sensor way ahead the sensor of the Canon 600D, although I have no experience on what that could mean on actually using the camera.

I had posted these same questions in a Spanish Nikon forum and, as here, I got very few replies (none from macro photography users), this fact in itself is a good indication of the kind of camera that people use for a specific task as the one I am pretending to use the camera for.

Again, thanks for your advice.

José Luis.
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nucleobyte



Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Posts: 51
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

José,

Your comments above inspired me to do a quick test. You can indeed capture tethered images from Linux. I tested Fedora Core 13 with my Canon 5D Mark II. I was able to capture images through the USB tether using digikam, darktable, and ghoto2. With darktable I was able to set up a timed sequence (1 shot every 10 seconds). This form of tethering does not control any mechanism for focus stacking obviously. You may want to search for information on Stack-Shot here and on the web for a device that can drive the camera shutter and a camera/subject stage at the same time.

Greg
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AndrewC



Joined: 14 Feb 2008
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Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I switched from using a D200 to a D5000 for my main macro "image sensor".

Reasoning is perhaps a bit complicated - my D100IR is dying and I want to convert another camera to IR so my D200 was my natural choice. for macro I wanted a small body with a high quality sensor with Live View at a good price. I picked the D5000 because they are now "outdated" and prices had dropped a lot. I only use it for studio macro work.

I'm not sure how valid it is to compare vibration die-out times between different of cameras. For sure, if I had the money I would probably go for a camera with a specific M-up mode but I don't find the 1 sec delay to be too short, but then I typically use flash for my main illumination at high mag ! It would be interesting to know how Nikon arrived at "1sec" for the delay, I suspect it falls into the "NRN" (Nice Round Number) school of engineering but there are numerous tradeoffs they were probably thinking off - one of which is power consumption, the mirror has to be held up which would drain the battery fast if you were relying on battery power. . It would be nice if they included the delay time in as an option to adjust in the setup menus, in which case I would go with a longer time.

I did consider going to an EVIL camera to completely eliminate the mirror, but the path I went down came out a different exit ! I now have a walk around Panasonic GF1 which is a lovely body. Didn't work out for macro because I couldn't shoot tethered - as soon as you connect a USB cable it goes into mass storage mode.
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JLP



Joined: 20 May 2011
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Location: South Eastern Spain

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Greg, is good that you run a test on tethering using the Linux software, now I am convinced that they do work. The Stack-Shot is a nice tool, but you know, budgeting is always a big factor, once I add the cost of the gadget itself, shipping, customer agent and taxes I would probably be far over the price of any of the cameras that I am considering. So in any case a Stack-Shot remains in a far far future.

As Andrew mentioned the D5000 price has dropped dramatically and I have seen a very compelling offer. I can follow his path and always shoot with a flash, I have to think on that.

I have also considered the Sony SLT cameras to avoid the mirror induced trepidations, but I have found no information on their performance under tethering.

Regards.

José Luis.
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AndrewC



Joined: 14 Feb 2008
Posts: 1436
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JLP wrote:
Hi Greg, is good that you run a test on tethering using the Linux software, now I am convinced that they do work. The Stack-Shot is a nice tool, but you know, budgeting is always a big factor, once I add the cost of the gadget itself, shipping, customer agent and taxes I would probably be far over the price of any of the cameras that I am considering. So in any case a Stack-Shot remains in a far far future.

As Andrew mentioned the D5000 price has dropped dramatically and I have seen a very compelling offer. I can follow his path and always shoot with a flash, I have to think on that.

I have also considered the Sony SLT cameras to avoid the mirror induced trepidations, but I have found no information on their performance under tethering.

Regards.

José Luis.


If you do go the Nikon route, ControlMyNikon is tremendous value for money for tethering a Nikon for remote shutter, LiveView and Image Transfer.

http://www.controlmynikon.com/
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been looking at bodies, as I only have one digital (Nikon D700) and want a spare.
The D5100 is attractive, for the sensor, and I think I'd use the flip-out LCD quite a lot if it were there. Against that, not in order but for me, no Mirror lock, and you can't use the exposure meter on manual lenses, or tubes, at all. I believe there's a "chipped" adaptor to enable use with eg tubes (?) but there's still a limitation.
The opening of the shutter, let alone bouncing mirror, is enough to disturb macro photos, even with flash in the extreme, so of course the Canons appeal. An additional advantage is the expensive but good and unique Canon MPE-65 macro lens.
So, if considering a Canon as a dedicated macro, with occasional "spare" use on vacations, on an APS format, where does the quality curve flatten out? 450D??

My Nikon is a 24x36 sensor. It made some sense for me at the time and still does, but starting from scratch I don't think the price premium is worth it for many.
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JLP



Joined: 20 May 2011
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Location: South Eastern Spain

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew, I have been looking at some of the tutorials of ControlMyNikon and it seems to be a very powerful tool, furthermore, given its price it is impossible to get a better deal. I wonder if it will run under Wine in Linux?

Does any of you have read the dpreview.com analysis of the D5100?. They mention that this camera, as well as the D7000, hold the mirror up all the time while on live view, as a kind of proxy for a mirror lock up function. Is this something similar to the EFSC feature of the Canon cameras?

Chris, do you know the name/model of the "chipped" adaptor that you mentioned?. I would like to gather some more information about it.

Regards.

José Luis.
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

José Luis,

Much will depend on the stability of your set-up and the magnifications used.

With very high magnifications (particularly on a microscope) you will be troubled not only by the mirror mechanism but also the mechanical shutter curtain movements. (See http://krebsmicro.com/Canon_EFSC/index.html )

I think a one second delay is cutting it "close", but helps a great deal. With some set-ups it is likely not long enough.

Electronic flash coupled with the 1 second delay would be able to solve any vibration issues. But if you are using continuous light, magnifications of about 10X and higher, and frequently end up with shutter speeds in the 1/2 to 1/60 second range; you will probably see sharper results if you can avoid both mirror and mechanical shutter movements (with Canon EFSC).
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Last edited by Charles Krebs on Tue May 24, 2011 10:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Pau
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JLP wrote:
Does any of you have read the dpreview.com analysis of the D5100?. They mention that this camera, as well as the D7000, hold the mirror up all the time while on live view, as a kind of proxy for a mirror lock up function. Is this something similar to the EFSC feature of the Canon cameras?

No, it's equivalent to the mirror lock up traditionally implemented in good SLRs and DSLRs. It's better than just 1s delay but the shutter still closes and reopens to start the exposure, so you still have the vibration due to the mechanical shutter. Canon EFSC starts the exposure electronically and there isn't shutter courtain movement, only when it closes to end the exposure. (but be aware, Canon 60D has some internal vibration and 1D series don't have EFSC)

About the sensor quality and DXO tests, there is a lot of debate in the web, someones argue that it's the best scientifial method, some others argue that it's flawed... Traditionally Nikon cameras did score higher than Canon ones but the real life tests didn't agree with it (it seems that Nikon does some noise reduction before writing the RAW file). I'm not qualified to do a serious statement, and perhaps this is not the best place start this debate (sometimes camera owners seem football hooligans about its favourite brands)
Last generation Sony sensors inside D7000 and D5100 seem very good, perhaps a bit better than Canon counterparts in extreme tests like red objets at high ISO. I think that in real life photography the differences are very small, both are very good.
If you finally decide for a Canon 1000D ....600D series, a chipped adapter is to be recommended for best live view and metering without a Canon lens.
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JLP



Joined: 20 May 2011
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I apologize if I am being somewhat bothersome with all my questions, and for sure I don't want to start a sequel of the Nikon vs Canon battles. I simply found that the models I am interested in work in different ways, thus I want to understand those differences and what would they mean in the use I will put the camera through.

I do appreciate all the time that you have dedicated to this issue, now I will carefully read Mr. Krebs' article.

Regards.

José Luis.
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

José Luis -
Nikon Chipped Adapters - I haven't used one, but they are appearing on Ebay, such as this M42 female to Nikon F male http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Nikon-matrix-chip-M42-adapter-D200-D300-D3000-D700-/200471429009?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ead073f91
You can also buy the "chip" alone, which it appears could be fixed to a Nikon extension tube, but I don't know.
Do a search on " Nikon chip* -Canon "
Some "Older" Nikkors which I have such as the 55mm Micro and a few others, are good and cheap. It would be annoying, I think, to have a camera body which they'd fit, but without the meter working.

You'll see "chipped" Nikon to Canon EOS adapters too. I'm not sure if Nikkors would focus to infinity - they might, because of the favourable body depth. (Has anyone here tried ??***)
Used Canon 450Ds (12MP)have been selling for under 300 Euros, and 500Ds (15MP) for under 400 Euros. My knowledge of the Canon dynasty is very limited, but those might represent a good performance for the price.
I suppose it would be useful to have a Canon AF "kit" lens of some sort for normal use with it, as well!
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ChrisLilley



Joined: 01 May 2010
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:

Nikon Chipped Adapters - I haven't used one, but they are appearing on Ebay, such as this M42 female to Nikon F male http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Nikon-matrix-chip-M42-adapter-D200-D300-D3000-D700-/200471429009?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ead073f91

That is the 'dandelion' chip, an aftermarket chip made in Russia. Here jinfinance is selling it, glued to a cheap adapter.

The wording in the jinfinance ad is misleading - it says 'focus confirm', which I understand is what Canon chipped adapters get called. On a Nikon body you don't need a chip to get focus confirm.

What that chip will do, however, is to give metering on bodies that are CPU-only (D5100 and below). It also allows AF fine tuning of the focus position, and EXIF data that shows focal length and aperture.

ChrisR wrote:
You can also buy the "chip" alone, which it appears could be fixed to a Nikon extension tube, but I don't know.


Yes. When you buy it standalone, it comes with a plastic jig to help you glue it to the right place.

ChrisR wrote:
Some "Older" Nikkors which I have such as the 55mm Micro and a few others, are good and cheap. It would be annoying, I think, to have a camera body which they'd fit, but without the meter working.


Spent the past few years doing that (using manual focus Nikkor lenses on a Nikon body, without metering. Its workable, especially if the lighting is stable.

ChrisR wrote:
You'll see "chipped" Nikon to Canon EOS adapters too. I'm not sure if Nikkors would focus to infinity - they might, because of the favourable body depth.


They do, yes. Canon bodies can use a range of other lenses, with adapters, retaining infinity focus due to their short register.
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