Gear Tuesday: Ask Your Questions for this Week and Read for Last Week's Answers

Welcome to the this week's installment of Fstoppers’ Gear Tuesday! Below, you will find the answers to last week’s questions, including great topics such as film scanners and the Nikon D750.

Last Week's Questions

1. Jon: I need a new film scanner that's an upgrade from my flatbed scanner. I shoot mostly 35mm, but sometimes dust off the old twin lens medium format and shoot 220.

Desired features:
- affordable
- great latitude (does anything rival a drum scanner?)
- comes with or is compatible with decent software that allows me to save preferences based on the film stock I’m scanning
- ideally, OS agnostic

Hi, Jon, check out this Epson line of scanners; they have a great quality-to-cost ratio, a good track record and strong software! 

2. Dennis: I would like a way to see images on a tablet without delay. Are there any tablets with HDMI in or should I buy a camranger?

I bought a Canon 6D partly because of wifi tether; I was very disappointed with Canon's "free" app and that they have never improved it in any way. I would rather pay for it and have some support and upgrades, or at least make it open source.

I shoot RAW and find waiting 4+ seconds for every shot and then having to click the tablet really disrupts my workflow and shooting a number of shots quickly jams it up. I've tested shooting low jpg only vs Raw and it takes the same time to transfer to my laptop.

Hi, Dennis. I have the Canon 6D and have never had an issue with the app lagging when using it for live view. If you're having issues, you might want to give Canon a call before buying a CamRanger. That being said, I don't know of any tablets with an HDMI input. On the other hand, if you're talking about tethered shooting, yes, the WiFi transfer isn't a speed demon. If you can, do it wired. You can always buy a USB extension cable if you find the one that comes with the camera isn't long enough. If you're set on the wireless option, though, the CamRanger is your best bet, though you might want to check out Eyefi cards as well.

3. Lars: I want to upgrade as well and have two questions:

1.) Body

Right now, I am still on a D300s. I want to finally go FX. Originally, I figured I would get the D750. But now, I see some "great" offers for the D800 (sometimes even D800E). So, I am now wondering what will be the better choice.
Take the new image processor from the D750 and with it better ISO performance. Or do I go for the higher resolution?

My main focus is landscape and street/architecture photography (hence Nikon for the better dynamic range), though portrait work is growing lately (e.g. weddings, or single portraits).

(But I have to say: I would have to get used to being able to use higher ISO anyway.... Right now, I admit I am still very cautious with high ISO.... even if it means carrying a tripod.)

2.) Lens

Especially for street/travel photography, I want to be able to go out with just one body and lens, at least ideally (not too heavy). Now, the only lens I found is the Nikon 28-300, but this lens does not have the very best optical performance and it's a f/3.5-5.6. And I do like playing with bokeh. (There is a Tamron as well, but from what I have read, it's even worse).
Is there an alternative? Is this lens really as "bad" as  DxOMark suggests?

Alternatively, I think I need at least 2 lenses:
1.)  16-35 + 70-300 or 70-200
2.) 24-70 (old version, not the one that was just announced) + 70-300 or 70-200

But those are 1.) A lot heavier and 2.) a lot more expensive (probably too expensive to get both right away). So, I am a little unsure what to get.

Hi, Lars. Ok, first, the body: I'm a fan of the D750; you seem to have rather diverse interests and while the D800 is certainly an excellent camera, the D750 is the better all-around camera. Unless you truly need 36 MP, I think you'll find the 24 MP on the D750 more than sufficient (including for normal landscape work), while its next generation (and more balanced) feature set will help you out in the varied range of shooting situations you mention. In particular, the better high ISO performance, (though the D800 is no slouch), continuous frame rate, much quieter shutter (weddings), better AF performance and articulating screen (some people love these, especially for low landscape shots) all round out the D750 a bit more completely. 

As far as a lens, you're not going to find a super-zoom with great optical performance and wide maximum aperture for silky bokeh; they simply cover too much of a range to be optically superior. I would definitely suggest picking up two separate lenses, especially because the slow maximum aperture on such lenses simply won't be up to par for things like wedding work. For landscape work, you might find that you want to go wider than 24mm, but you'll have to ask yourself if you're comfortable having a gap between 35mm and 70mm. Landscape work can definitely be done at 24mm and you might find that having the quintessential events lens, the 24-70mm, along with its equally quintessential cousin, the 70-200mm, gives you the most versatility, which would tend to be the route I suggest. They will easily cover all five genres you mentioned. Yes, they will be heavier to carry around, but the quantum leap in optical quality from a single super-zoom is well worth it; in addition, weddings will be the only genre of those you mentioned where you'll really need to have both at the ready. Many, many photographers make a living off of those two lenses alone. Given what you mentioned you like to shoot, I don't think you necessarily need anything longer than 200mm, so it's better to take the gain in maximum aperture for portraits and events. 

The Nikon D750.


Get Your Questions in for Next Week!

Now, it's time to get in your questions for next week's Gear Tuesday!

Are you shopping for a new lens? Wondering what the difference between a CMOS and CCD sensor is? You've come to the right place.

The camera world is filled to the brim with equipment, science, and technology and we know that navigating all the options and mastering all the technicalities can be quite an undertaking. To help you on your journey, each week you can submit any question you have, from which we will select 10 questions to be answered in the following week's article.

This is a great opportunity to receive gear recommendations and gain technical knowledge that can better your photography! Please leave a comment with your question by Saturday at 12 p.m. EST.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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1 Comment

Emmet Kowler's picture

Hey Alex,

I'm in the market for a tripod and ball head. My budget is somewhere around the $300 mark, but it'd be nice to keep it closer to $200. I'm looking for something that'll be well suited to a studio environment but isn't so unwieldy I can't take it on a road trip. Bonus points if it can max out at taller than 60", but that's not a deal breaker.