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Question For Nikon Dslr Users

 
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 Posted 12/10/2019  4:41 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add MontCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I have been looking for a new DSLR for a while now. I have always been a big fan of Canon DSLRs due to their ease of use and the Live view mode they have.

Most Canon DSLR cameras allow you to hook your camera to your computer and use the computer screen in Live view. This is a must for me. So my question is do any Nikon DSLR Cameras have the same feature?

Thanks...Mont
Edited by MontCollector
12/10/2019 4:42 pm
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 Posted 12/10/2019  5:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pepactonius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The full-frame Nikon mirrorless Z7 camera can be attached to the PC using USB and Capture One. You can the focus it using magnified live view on the PC screen, just like the Canon DSLRs. There is also focus peaking, visible in the viewfinder (but not on the PC screen), which actually comes in handy for focus stacking.
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 Posted 12/10/2019  6:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Many Nikon cameras which are capable of doing Live View to the rear screen are also capable of transmitting the Live View over USB. I have used Camera Control Pro 2, which is pretty expensive, and also Control My Nikon, which is cheaper and IMO better, to control my Nikon DSLRs. Unfortunately, most Nikon cameras do not have EFSC. I'm not sure about the Z7, but for sure all the lower cost models do not have EFSC. For full-coin photography, when pixel-level detail is not critical, not having EFSC is OK. You can also minimize the effects of shutter shake with proper use of flash. But if you do higher magnifications, you need to either use flash, or stick with Canon.
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 Posted 12/10/2019  7:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MontCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the replies.

I looked up the Nikon Z7. I love the features but the price tag made me gasp. I consider myself a novice at photography and can not justify spending that much on a camera at this time.


Quote:
But if you do higher magnifications, you need to either use flash, or stick with Canon.


I not only take some extreme closeups but I also use it for viewing like a microscope when examining some smaller coins. Might not be as clear as a microscope but it does the job.



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 Posted 12/10/2019  7:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pepactonius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Unfortunately, most Nikon cameras do not have EFSC. I'm not sure about the Z7, but for sure all the lower cost models do not have EFSC


The Z7 has a full electronic shutter (not global, though), called "silent shooting" or something like that. It seems to work well for coins, without causing too much lack of sharpness.

Here's a 100% crop from a US 3-cent piece:



and the 3-cent piece itself:


(Images stacked using Zerene stacker.)
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 Posted 12/11/2019  07:56 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I not only take some extreme closeups but I also use it for viewing like a microscope when examining some smaller coins. Might not be as clear as a microscope but it does the job.


Using the camera as a microscope doesn't invoke the EFSC requirement since the shutter is fixed open. Only time you get some unsharpness from the shutter is when you snap the shot.

pepactonius, that's a nice image of the Trime. Looks like the Z7 is working very well for coins. What lens did you use for that shot? And did you really need to stack?
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 Posted 12/11/2019  5:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pepactonius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
What lens did you use for that shot? And did you really need to stack?


The lens was the APO Rodagon 75mm f/4 D1X, at indicated f/4.8. Magnification was about 1.5x, meaning the effective aperture seen by the sensor was about f/12.

I usually like to stack when the magnification is above 1x, meaning the effective aperture is about f/16 when the lens is set at the usual f/8. Here is the same coin shot without stacking, at f/8:

100% crop at f/8 (f/20 effective):


The whole coin:


Note: these aren't really test comparison shots, so the lighting, etc. is different. Also, the unstacked whole coin shot is 600x600 and the stacked version is 800x800.
Edited by pepactonius
12/11/2019 5:42 pm
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 Posted 12/12/2019  9:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Can you tell me more about the workflow you used for these? And software/hardware connections? I have a thread going on PM forum specifically due to the good results I'm seeing here with the Z7, and that others have shown with the D850, making me want to reconsider Nikon cameras.

What OS are you using with Capture One?
What program do you use for doing the stacks?
What hardware do you use for doing the stacks?
Does the camera get hardwire triggered for stacking? What type of cable?
Is there any special signals sent over trigger, or just a single trigger per shot?

I apologize to the OP for continuing the discussion of this high-end Nikon camera in his thread, but the result is very good and I am curious about the Z7 from my own need to eventually upgrade. All my questions are related to how well the Z7 can replace the Canon I am now using, and if I would need to make any significant workflow or hardware changes. Based on my discussion on PM forum, it really seems the Z7 may be the only camera which can actually replace my Canon, assuming pepactonius' answers are aligned with that conclusion...
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 Posted 12/12/2019  10:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pepactonius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
- Connections: The Z7 is attached to a USB port (USB-3?) on the computer. There is an AC power adapter in place of the usual battery.

- The PC runs Windows 10 with "Capture One 12".

- I use an old copy of Zerene Stacker from 2009. I use "DMAP mode" when combining the stack.

- My "$400+" setup uses a focusing microscope stage from an old Zeiss Ultraphot. For stacking, I attach either a fine or coarse Mitutoyo depth guage so it can measure changes to the stage focus position. I turn the fine or coarse focus knobs (by hand) to space the stack subexposures (based on the Zerene Stacker DOF tables).

- Once I get the focus position set for a subexposure, I press a button on the Capture One window to take an exposure. (since I'm using silent mode, you have to watch carefully to see if you actually get an exposure (and not 2 or 3)). I would guess that Capture one sends commands to some sort of API in the camera through the USB cable -- maybe Nikon supplies drivers that run under windows?. This whole setup is very similar the Canon, and the workflow is similar.

---------------------------------

Overall workflow (non-stacking case):

1. Camera+Lens and computer are hooked up much like the Canon DSLR.

2. Coin is positioned and focused the same as with a Canon -- use magnified live view on the Capture One screen. 100% or 200% view replaces "5x" or "10x" on the Canon. With Capture One, you can set a "focus meter" on the magnified live view screen. This seems to do a good job of indicating where the best focus point is.

3. ISO and shutter speed are set by Capture One just like with the Canon. While balance seems a bit dfferent -- you have to set it not on the live view screen but after the image has been uploaded (I'm shooting in Raw mode.)

4) I have the Z7 set to "silent mode" (full electronic shutter), and press a button on the Capture One window to take a shot. The image file ends up on the PC HDD.

5) After a session, all the raw files (.NEF) get converted to TIFF using Capture One. They get renamed to something meaningful to describe the coin. Then Photoshop CC is used to crop the TIFF (almost always to square), and do any color/level adjustments, etc.

6) The TIFF files are then downsized and saved as jpg, using GIMP 2 (an old version, since I don't like the way resizing works on the latest version.)

This whole work flow is pretty much the same as with the Canon, except Capture One replaces Canon DPP.

Maybe I should look up my old Photomicrogaphy.net ID and continue the thread over there?
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 Posted 12/12/2019  11:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the detailed workflow. Seems this is basically a good replacement workflow vs EOS Utility and DPP. Thanks also for replying over on the PM forum. The replies regarding the other Nikon camera models, and the Panasonic S1R, etc, all indicate some sort of problem with workflow or connectivity. The Z7 seems to be the first camera in 7 years I've been looking that actually has all the tethering capabilities of budget model Canons but with FF, no AA filter, EFSC. Only open question is the hardwiring of triggering. I don't want to use Capture One for stacking, but instead use programs which utilize wired trigger cables (mjkz, WeMacro, StackShot). Will be interested to hear over on PM who has used the Z7 this way and if there are any issues.
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
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 Posted 12/13/2019  12:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MontCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I apologize to the OP for continuing the discussion of this high-end Nikon camera in his thread, but the result is very good and I am curious about the Z7 from my own need to eventually upgrade. All my questions are related to how well the Z7 can replace the Canon I am now using, and if I would need to make any significant workflow or hardware changes. Based on my discussion on PM forum, it really seems the Z7 may be the only camera which can actually replace my Canon, assuming pepactonius' answers are aligned with that conclusion...


Not a problem. Glad you may have found an upgrade. Let us know if you decide to get it.

I have been instructed not to buy a new camera before Xmas. Hopefully this is a hint at one of my gifts.
Edited by MontCollector
12/13/2019 12:22 am
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