View Full Version : another dslr noob...

Mar 22, 2010, 10:15 AM
alright, i'm a complete photography/DSLR noob and would like some opinions on what my first camera should be. i'm looking at the Nikon D3000 since it's in my price range (around $500-$600) and also looks like a good beginner camera. i'd like to know which DSLR/lenses i should consider for taking shots such as these since this is what it'd mostly be used for:

just every-day normal life (http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h279/n4t0n/DSC_0274.jpg)

nature macros (http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs49/i/2009/182/f/a/The_Traveller_by_Healzo.jpg)

tilt shift lens technique (http://pingmag.jp/2006/03/07/10-tiny-tokyo-photos/)

i appreciate it, thanks!

El Cabong
Mar 22, 2010, 12:07 PM
Lenses are the key to taking macro and tilt-shift shots. Unfortunately, macro lenses are around $500+, and tilt-shift lenses are $1500-2000+ (although apparently the same effect can be achieved with Photoshop, as per your link).

"Everyday" shots can be taken just fine with the kit lens.

The camera doesn't matter.

Mar 22, 2010, 12:16 PM
Lenses are the key to taking macro and tilt-shift shots. Unfortunately, macro lenses are around $500+, and tilt-shift lenses are $1500-2000+ (although apparently the same effect can be achieved with Photoshop, as per your link).

This is very true. I tried the tilt-shift effect in Photoshop once, but failed epically :rolleyes:. Will give it another try though once I get time again to take pictures (school...).
As for the macro, dedicated lenses are quite expensive, but you can also look into extension tubes which are around $100 and can be used on any lens.

Mar 22, 2010, 12:51 PM
thanks guys. i also forgot to add that my favorite type of shots are shallow depth of field so it will mostly be used for that.

Mar 22, 2010, 01:18 PM
You need to either edit your budget or expectations. The closest you will come will be a used body and kit lens and a 50mm f/1.8 for your shallow depth of field stuff. Personally, if I was buying canon, I would buy a used 20D (~250), 18-55 IS (~100) and 50 1.8 (~100). If nikons feel better in your hand, you are probably good with a d40 and appropriate lenses.

Forget tilt-shift for now, as others have said, you need triple the money to start down that road.

That snail shot is not really a macro shot, you could probably shoot that with a normal lens (possibly with some cropping in a computer afterwards).

Bodies depreciate like crazy, buy used and free up more money for other parts of your kit (like flash, tripod, bag, lenses, etc.).

Buy a basic kit now, determine what works for you and what shots you want, but can't get with the gear you own. Try taking 1000 shots with whatever you buy initially. Then as budget allows, buy things that will help you get the shots you want and cannot get.

Mar 22, 2010, 01:50 PM
jampat, thanks. i was thinking about getting the Nikon D3000 kit (http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-D3000-Digital-18-55mm-3-5-5-6G/dp/B002JCSV5I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=photo&qid=1269283815&sr=1-1) to start out with (or the used D40 like you suggested) and then getting this (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001S2PPT0/ref=s9_simh_gw_p23_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=01CSHZC7ZZHAJ0K9C2JE&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846) 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX lens for the shallow depth of field shots. what do you think?

Mar 22, 2010, 02:17 PM
D40's three AF points might pose some problems for shallow depth of field. Furthermore, while 35mm is a great lens, it is also known for barrel distortion. D3000 ($465) with AF-S 50mm ($440) is a better Nikon-based solution .

Alternative would be Canon XSi ($560) or XS ($500) with 50mm f/1.8 II ($110).

Mar 22, 2010, 02:30 PM
thanks nutmac - i had to google "barrel distortion" and that's very interesting. however, i honestly can't spend $400+ on a lens at the moment. for a beginner photographer would you say the 35mm would be okay for shallow depth of field stuff? i've read some great reviews on it and a little barrel distortion wouldn't be terrible since i will only be using this camera for fun, personal use.

El Cabong
Mar 24, 2010, 07:46 AM
The 35mm should be just fine for shallow DOF.

Mar 24, 2010, 08:59 AM
i ordered the D3000 after all. thanks for all your help.

i will go for the 35mm after i learn the basics.

Mar 25, 2010, 02:15 PM
A macro lens will be a little over your budget but if you really like the shallow depth of field check out a 50mm 1.4 lens. These will give you a great depth of field and be pretty reasonable. Not sure on the exact pricing for Nikon but my canon 50mm ran about $300.

Mar 25, 2010, 03:42 PM
stagi, many people have recommended this for shallow DOF. looks good?