camera q

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, May 26, 2007.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Anyone recently acquire a digital camera that works well with outdoor lighting? I'd like to pick up something with a nice tonal range so everything is not all bright or dark.


    Include some pic's if you can ??

  2. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    Nikon D70, it paid for itself the first night out and it is super easy to use. I also think my Bogen Manfrotto 3175GN3 tripod helped just as much as anything. I heard the 3175 is no longer being made, I really questioned the need for such a tank, but I wouldn't take nothing for it now. I have attached my first D70 pic that I took with very little knowledge of the Camera.

    Eden Lights 114.jpg
  3. eskerlite

    eskerlite LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    I have a Nikon D70s and it has done very well for me. It has become the D80 now. Also look into the new D40 with 10 mp. $729.00 retail. Make sure it has a night landscape feature on it. Get the warranty in case you drop it. This will not be a small investment. Look at my website. All pics of lighting shot with my D70s.
    Sean C.
  4. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Very nice, guys. I need to find a retailer.

    It would be nice to have both a photo-based website and a physical album to bring with me.


  5. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    What's the "night landscape" feature?

    The D40 is much less expensive. I'd rather put my money in nice lenses, if possible. My main concern is tonal range more than anything, so the gray range shows up and not everything is white or black.

    The pic's from those cameras are awesome.

  6. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    Along with a good camera, you will also want to pick up Photoshop CS. This software is incredible. You can probably pick it up on ebay for around $450. I use the "shadows/highlight" function more than anything (because I haven't taken the time to learn how to use this software).
  7. High Performance Lighting

    High Performance Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    from So Cal
    Messages: 326

    Nice shot Eden, No hot spots , great exposure, excellent color rendition. Was this taken in "Night shot" mode or using manual or automatic settings?
  8. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    I used that pic for my desktop background.

    Paul, I'm still trying to decide if I should buy the software I need for ads and web designs now, or if I should wait a while and let the graphics guys do it for now.

    I might get the Nikon 40, so I can at least started taking some usable pic's for me or for the graphics designers. I'd kill for the higher end stuff, but not yet. So far I put together a demo set with a 300 watt transformer, plus I did my own install with two transformers and lots of lights.

    I also bought all the basic materials, tools, etc. (I just added that fancy spade from Gemplers with the footpads and a new pair of gloves, instead of a trencher/wire installer, lol).

    I will pay for a separate logo design just for lighting, and probably just add the line in my body text "reliable full-service lawn care", etc.

    It's tricky, I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I want to start off as professional as possible, with the right basic tools and materials.

    Good news, my developer likes my full-service lawn care business and wants my name and service to appear for free in the community newsletter. This is when I need my camera ("here's some photo content for your newsletter," etc.).


  9. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    Pic was only sharpened with the Nikon Capture software. The wind was blowing that night, this was about the only decent shot. I still use Aperture Priority for all may shots and let the camera control the exposure time. I bracket from F3.5 up to about the mid to upper teens. The shots that I always like are the low Fstops with the shorter exposures due to movement. I usually compromise a little depth of field for the clarity. Here are the settings from that shot. By the way, I always shoot Jpegs now because I don't have a powerful enough computer to play with the raw images, if I did I would still shoot in raw images.

    Nikon D70
    2004/11/29 18:05:44
    RAW (12-bit)
    Image Size: 1024 x 681
    Lens: 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5 G
    Focal Length: 18mm
    Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
    Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
    10 sec - F/9
    Exposure Comp.: 0 EV
    Sensitivity: ISO 200
    Optimize Image: Normal
    White Balance: Incandescent
    AF Mode: AF-C
    Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
    Color Mode: Mode Ia (sRGB)
    Tone Comp.: Auto
    Hue Adjustment: 0°
    Saturation: Normal
    Sharpening: Auto
    Image Comment:
    Long Exposure NR: On
  10. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    Eden, perfect shot! Bravo!

    If you're looking to get more tonal range, try longer exposures at higher f-stops. I usually shoot 20 to 30 secs. at f11 or f16.

    To determine the proper exposure, I use manual setting and bracket from 1 1/2 stops below to 1 1/2 stops above the camera's indicator.

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