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12-15-2015, 12:13 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by quant2325 Quote
Kurt,

Assuming: 1) You want to learn; 2) You want to photograph for 3-D printing; and 3) You want the most bang for the buck: Consider some older but sharp manual lenses!

For 3-D printing, you will be photographing objects using a tripod, preferably with some lighting to eliminate shadows (you don't want to print shadows), and manually focusing. You can find the 50mm M or A version 1.7 for under $50 and the 100mm M Macro at a fraction of the cost of modern auto-focus lenses. I am not suggesting you don't get a zoom, just that you will learn a lot and receive satisfactory results from some of the older and less expensive manual lenses.
I had one of those M 100s for a while, I loved it. Manual operation in macro is probably as easy as manual focus gets.

12-15-2015, 01:58 PM   #17
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Get the 55-300. It's a very good value for a long zoom. The lens is reasonably sharp, very compact for traveling, and inexpensive relative to similar lenses.

Note that your 18-55 isn't a "macro" lens but it has a pretty good close focus. It might be sufficient for your 3D printing. Tip: put the camera on a tripod or table for stability, use the 2-second timer (or a remote), set the aperture to f/8 for good sharpness with that lens, ISO 100, then let the shutter go as slow as it needs to go for a proper exposure. You can upgrade to the macro D-FA 100 or 50 later.
12-15-2015, 02:15 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by kurt_ek Quote
The main reason I bought the camera (or so I told myself) is to take pictures of my 3d printer and my 3d printed parts (I own a little 3d print shop in Guatemala =] ). However I really like to take far away photos and I've noticed that I mostly use my lens at the 55mm focal length mark.
How small are the parts you want to photograph and do you have a tripod? Also, what is the end purpose of these photos (for record, advertising on web or print, etc)?
12-15-2015, 04:20 PM   #19
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55-300 probably the best choice as it does a good job past your kit lens.
50-200 if you want a much lighter lens for all day use than the one above.
50 1.8 will only buy you a better low light performer and is a great lens but not weather sealed, avoid in wet areas.

12-15-2015, 09:41 PM   #20
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I'll jump in with my recommendation of the HD 55-300mm WR as your next lens.

First on my reasons is that the lens is WR (weather-resistant) which I know from Yucatan (not that far from Guatemala) is a huge help in the humid and downpour-prone tropical environment. It is sharper than the 50-200mm lens and has more reach for only a little more money. At the current price it is a bargain around $260 from US sellers.

If you find yourself spending lots of time photographing your 3D printer and creations, a macro lens would be a good next move. Since this photography will always be indoors, you might not need to worry about WR, but the DFA 100mm WR macro lens is a great lens for many reasons. You may decide you want to use this lens outside for insect photos or detailed photos of other interesting things outdoors.

For low-light, yes, the 50mm 1.8 would be great, but for versatility and overall potential for frequent use, I think you'll really like the 55-300mm.
12-26-2015, 07:11 PM   #21
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Welcome,

I have the smc DA 50 1.8 simple and cheap. Some of my better images have been taken with this lens.You can crop and be ok, sharp lens for the money!

Brian
04-07-2016, 04:49 PM   #22
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Original Poster
I am sorry for taking so long to reply and I am extremely thankfull to all of you for giving me advice.

My sister gave me some money and I manage to save up for an M 50 F1.7 and an HD 55-300. I am EXTREMELY happy with both of them! I have taken some pictures of a course I was teaching with the M 50 and the results are amazing; even for an untrained eye that cannot manually focus properly. You can see some pictures here: www.flickr.com/kurt_ek

Haven't had the chance to use the 55-300 properly yet, but I love how it handles and feels =]

I still owe you guys some 3d printing pictures. There are some in my Flickr page, but not nearly enough. I'll post about them in due time =]

Again, thank you all very much =]

P.S. I also wanted to let you know I started a photography course in Coursera (link here). You can take the courses for free (which is what I'm doing) or pay for them and have a verified certificate.
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