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Old Mar 1, 2012, 02:00 AM   #1
Machi.23
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About lenses

Hey guys
I am new in digital photography and I am kinda interested in getting expiriance from your side in here

I have Nikon D3100 .. for the recent time it works fine for me in taking shots and these stuff

I needs some help in learning photography and all its stuff ?

and I needs to get a lens and I don't know what lens to get and how to make the right choice

can any one help me ?

Thanks in advance
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Old Mar 1, 2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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It all depends on what you want the lens for. If it is simply to experiment and learn then a prime lens with a fixed focal length (ie no zoom) will help you to learn more and should improve your pictures. Choose a 35mm or 50mm and a low F number like 1.8 or 1.4. These will allow you to experiment with depth of field while the lack of zoom helps you to consider composition more carefully.
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Old Mar 1, 2012, 01:35 PM   #3
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If you are new to photography, the best advice is to take a lot of pictures and share them with others. Then you will learn what you like to shoot and what you need to do to improve yourself. I bought a zoom with my first DSLR, but I had been shooting film since the dawn of time.


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Old Mar 1, 2012, 02:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machi.23 View Post
Hey guys
I am new in digital photography and I am kinda interested in getting expiriance from your side in here

I have Nikon D3100 .. for the recent time it works fine for me in taking shots and these stuff

I needs some help in learning photography and all its stuff ?

and I needs to get a lens and I don't know what lens to get and how to make the right choice

can any one help me ?

Thanks in advance
My advice is simple: Read - a lot.

There are so much to photography, it's not an interest you will learn in one day, one month or even one year. It takes time and patience. If you're interested start reading tutorials about shooting proper photography. Then learn your camera very well.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 03:53 PM   #5
Machi.23
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thanks for replying all of you <3

If I am interested in portraits and these stuff photos ?
what is the perfect lens for that ?
and beside if I need a good zooming lens ?
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Old Mar 3, 2012, 03:59 AM   #6
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On a crop sensor camera like the Nikon D3100 a focal length between 50 and 85mm is generally regarded as the best for portraits. These mild telephoto lenses reduce perspective which is flattering to the face.
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Old Mar 3, 2012, 05:59 AM   #7
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I'd invest in some lessons at a local college, it'll help you understand what you need/dont need etc as well as giving your photography a real kickstart.
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Old Mar 3, 2012, 06:16 AM   #8
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Invest on the 50 mm f/1.8 D and you're good to go. The D3100 has received a lot of good reviews.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 05:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by LostSoul80 View Post
Invest on the 50 mm f/1.8 D and you're good to go. The D3100 has received a lot of good reviews.
You will not have autofocus on your D3100, since the 50mm 1.8D doesn't have an autofocus motor built in! The 35mm 1.8G might be a nice choice instead.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 06:02 AM   #10
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You will not have autofocus on your D3100, since the 50mm 1.8D doesn't have an autofocus motor built in! The 35mm 1.8G might be a nice choice instead.
Correct, I don't like autofocus most of the times.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 06:34 AM   #11
Machi.23
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thanks all for helping
in fact I don't know yet what lens to buy

I will start taking regular shots and share them for any feeds from you here and then you can help me with the lens
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 09:23 AM   #12
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www.photo.net

this is a good place to learn a lot about photography, dos and don'ts, etc...
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 01:12 AM   #13
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If this is your only lens, then try to get a good zoom lens. Any of the kit lenses will do. The ones that came with the D80/D90. Like the 18-70mm or 18-105mm. Then add a 30mm lens with that.

Learning photography? Just google or try dtowntv.com Most of your photography google searches will give you the top sites.
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 05:56 AM   #14
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I like that you bought a D3100. You don't need to spend tons of money on the body. The lenses should be your biggest investment.

If you're into portraits, the 50mm f/1.8G should be great, and shouldn't go for less than $150 USD online. You don't need to spend the extra money on a f/1.4. It's too much a price difference for such a little extra speed. 1.8's fast enough.

If you're into architecture, consider a basic wide angle. A 28mm fixed lens is probably cheaper than any wide angle zoom and the 28 is probably faster as well.

For sports, a telephoto or a telephoto zoom would be great, and the telephoto zooms are usually fairly inexpensive, like $200-300 USD, but they're not very fast. Aside from the 50mm, fast lenses come pretty expensive.

Basically, watch the aperture of the lenses. the smaller the number, the more wide open the lens is, letting in more light. But you shouldn't have to go more wide open than f/1.8 for anything. Also, read some magazines at a library or a bookstore. They may be more into the professional aspect of photography, but they have some pretty good tips on taking nice shots. Hope this helps!
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 07:54 AM   #15
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To the OP...read the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson - $16 at Amazon. This book was/is key to my learning digital photography. Another thing you could do is a 365 project (a photo a day for a year) - that way you really learn how to use your camera.
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 11:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by mofunk View Post
If this is your only lens, then try to get a good zoom lens. Any of the kit lenses will do. The ones that came with the D80/D90. Like the 18-70mm or 18-105mm.
My only advice would actually be the opposite -- never, ever buy a kit lens UNLESS you don't plan to shoot it normally. Kit lenses are "ok" but will start to really be a pain when you realize how high they're stopped up, or that their glass isn't nearly as flawless as you'd think.

I know nikon's kit lenses aren't as bad as canon's (in my opinion having used a variety of both), but the 18-105 suffers quite a bit of distortion if my memory serves me correctly.

Also, zoom lenses will cost more overall, and will not be as sharp as primes. Prime lenses tend (tend) to be a lower cost for a sharper lens with a lower f.stop. It's not always true, but it's often the case.

Personally, I recommend running with a Nikkor 50mm 1.4 as your only lens to start (if you're willing to pay for it), otherwise the Nikkor 50mm 1.8 is a better lens than canon's 50 1.8) since that's a very friendly focal length to start with for portraits and can be used to composite scenes as well. It's about a 75mm equivalent for your crop sensor (nikon is 1.5, not 1.6 I believe..? could be wrong.)

Last comment, I personally shoot with a Canon 50 1.4, and a Canon 135mm F/2 L-- aka. a very sharp and fast telephoto for indoor sports which I've shot in the past, as well as being an incredible portrait lens. The final purchase for what I see as a useful and "complete" range would be a 24 or 28mm lens, preferably at f/2 or 2.8.

Hope something here is useful to you


EDIT: I should also mention---- EVERY NIKON F MOUNT LENS WILL WORK. You can find lower cost older Nikkor lenses that are amazing, like a Nikkor 100mm F2 I picked up about a year ago for $20. Crazy sharp, crazy fast. No autofocus, but that's ok. People don't always realize the old Nikon lenses still have very high values. Most lenses will retain value generally, so when you pay out an arm and a leg, you can likely get nearly all of it back, if not all of it (assuming you don't buy retail)!

Lenses ho
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Last edited by motorazr; Mar 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM. Reason: More.
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 04:58 PM   #17
Machi.23
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great

then what about 70-300 ??
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 06:08 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Machi.23 View Post
great

then what about 70-300 ??
you get the reach but its a pretty cheap lens quality wise, the glass isn't bad for a beginner but very plasticky. i think getting a prime would be the best way to go, and get one that autofocuses. the d3100 doesn't have full view finder so MF (manual focus) is rather difficult. you can get a focus prism/sheet for the viewfinder but thats money+effort better spent elsewhere.

also, your d3100 is a cropped camera with 1.6x reach, so a 50mm is actually 80mm on your camera, this also affect aperture as well.
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Old Mar 6, 2012, 03:00 AM   #19
Machi.23
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hmm
if I am up to get 70-300
it doesn't have auto focus ?
beside what is better ?
tokina or Tamron ?
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Old Mar 6, 2012, 04:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upbraid View Post
you get the reach but its a pretty cheap lens quality wise, the glass isn't bad for a beginner but very plasticky. i think getting a prime would be the best way to go, and get one that autofocuses. the d3100 doesn't have full view finder so MF (manual focus) is rather difficult. you can get a focus prism/sheet for the viewfinder but thats money+effort better spent elsewhere.

also, your d3100 is a cropped camera with 1.6x reach, so a 50mm is actually 80mm on your camera, this also affect aperture as well.
First off, its a 1.5x not a 1.6x and the 70-300 is an awesome lens. Its cheap(ish) but has very good optics. I know professionals who use this lens because it gives reach and if it takes a hit or a fall its easily replaced while the images are sharp and good... That's why it sells so well...
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Old Mar 6, 2012, 10:54 AM   #21
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The D3100 has a DX sensor so go with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 prime lens. This will give you a view of 52.5mm which is considered normal view. Although the 50mm f/1.8 is a great lens for the money, it's too long on a DX sensor since it's 75mm view. Fine for portraits, but it's better on a FX sensor.

So why a prime lens? It's less expensive and it's fast for action and low-light. It also forces you to zoom with your feet which helps you learn how to frame a picture better. I have recommended this to many people and those who bought the lens thanked me later for it.

Zooms are fine, but I prefer the f/2.8 ones and those are expensive. But it's better to invest in quality glass upfront then buying and selling cheaper lenses which will cost you more in the long run. The only lens I ever regretted buying was the 70-300mm f/4-5.6. I thought 300mm and only around $300 is a great deal. The lens was soft and ended selling it after I got my 70-200mm f/2.8.

And if you get into macro photography, I highly recommend the Nikon 60mm f/2.8 AF-S G macro lens. It's fast, sharp and great for table top or static work. I found the 105mm macro to be too long for table top and too short for insects.
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Old Mar 6, 2012, 06:58 PM   #22
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For me the 70-300 has been an excellent lens. My copy is very sharp and has produced some very nice images. Yes, it it not pro grade build quality, but the optics are outstanding for the price. I also have the 10-24. It has similar build quality to the 70-300, but also produces very good images. The 16-85 is my walk around lens for when I want to travel light. For fun stuff, I enjoy the 10.5 fisheye. I was told the 35 1.4 was a "must have", but for me it has turned out to be my least used lens. I shot a wide variety of subjects, so having things covered from super wide to telephoto is important to me. I have no regrets on any lens I have purchased. For DX I am covered, but considering making the move to FX (D800) soon.
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Old Mar 9, 2012, 11:30 PM   #23
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My only advice would actually be the opposite -- never, ever buy a kit lens UNLESS you don't plan to shoot it normally. Kit lenses are "ok" but will start to really be a pain when you realize how high they're stopped up, or that their glass isn't nearly as flawless as you'd think.

I know nikon's kit lenses aren't as bad as canon's (in my opinion having used a variety of both), but the 18-105 suffers quite a bit of distortion if my memory serves me correctly.

Also, zoom lenses will cost more overall, and will not be as sharp as primes. Prime lenses tend (tend) to be a lower cost for a sharper lens with a lower f.stop. It's not always true, but it's often the case.

You are right about buying a kit lens. I suggested it because he said that he was new to photography. Most of my friends who started shooting with a DSLR had better results with a zoom lens vs a prime. As a newb you should stick to a zoom lens, because they can focus on just getting a decent shot. I shoot a lot with the 50mm. My focus is getting the shot, framing the shot, using the natural light, blah blah blah. the 18-105 sits between the 18-70 and 18-200mm. Its a nice price especially if you can find a used one. I thought it was nice and sharper than the 18-55mm. It also gives you more zoom but costing less than the 18-200mm.

I wouldn't necessarily suggest any prime lens to a beginner because they would instinctively look for a zoom. If I did, I would pair it with a nice zoom lens. Tamron 17-55mm f/2.8 is sweet too but pricey.
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Old Mar 10, 2012, 02:35 AM   #24
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You are right about buying a kit lens. I suggested it because he said that he was new to photography.

I wouldn't necessarily suggest any prime lens to a beginner because they would instinctively look for a zoom.
Fair enough --- This reminds me of a time my father used my camera for an event and didn't realize it didn't have a zoom...and yeeeaaa...---

That aside, however, I'll stick to my prime-lens suggestion, seeing as I started on the Canon AE-1 with a 50mm... I feel that adjusting your frame and subject around the world is something that is important learn from the beginning... but that's just me. I also feel it's important to start with learning to develop film; an art and understanding that's been all but lost in time.... :roll eyes:

----

Perhaps he should consider what he feels he'll be shooting a lot of right off the bat --- indoor things? Sports events? Nature shots? Portraits?

If you feel you're going to be taking a lot of photos indoors, then a kit zoom might be very handy to fit everyone in the shot, but a prime like the 50 1.8 or 1.4 would be immensely useful for medium / closeups that aren't as plagued by blur or noise from the lower lighting one might expect, but at the cost you'll need to be able to physically move further back if you want to see more in a picture. Think you'll be taking outdoor scenery shots a lot? A kit lens will likely do you justice for most outdoor shots without worrying about hauling around a tripod. Portraits? I'd suggest a prime lens for the soft, dreamy feelings that give a lot of "professional" portraits their look... and as for sports, again, indoors you'll need a prime (otherwise expect difficulty stopping motion), and outdoors it won't be as big of a deal.

EDIT: And please try to remember! If you invest a moderate sum into a lens, you'll likely be able to resell it for the same amount! It'll be more difficult to get full price for a kit lens again than it is for a nicer lens!
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Last edited by motorazr; Mar 10, 2012 at 02:36 AM. Reason: Quick addition.
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Old Mar 10, 2012, 05:24 PM   #25
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I had found some of the photography books written by John Shaw to be useful.

He is also featured on Nikon's website and he has some good free advice listed there: here's the link and a few example excerpts:


"Not much of it is about equipment. "People think, oh, if only I had this particular lens, I'd be a better photographer. That's not it at all." The vision comes first, John suggests; then get the lens—or whatever piece of equipment—that will enable you to capture that vision."


The way to apply this here is to understand that no matter what lens you buy, there's going to be ways to use it to good effect. Of course, this might not necessarily be something you're particularly interested in, so it is better to have an idea of what you would like to do so as to better match a lens to that application.

"What John finds most interesting about photography is that it's two ways of looking at the world. 'On one hand, you have to be the craftsman, the technician and deal with f/2.8 and 5.6 and all those other weird things. On the other hand, you have to be the poet, the artist and deal with the emotional, the impressionistic. One side without the other is total failure. We've all seen technically superb photos with no soul and many intense, personal photos that just don't communicate because there's no craftsmanship. To succeed you need both sides.'"


With automatic cameras these days, it is pretty easy to get a technically 'good' exposure ... but to understand the creation of an image is that to realize that there's not one single 'correct' exposure: sure, there's that which is expected (a default), but different exposures can be purposefully employed to create different impressions in the composition. For a quick example, a common technique to make moving water look "silky" is to go to a long shutter speed ... and the automatic camera isn't know that to be able to do that automatically for you.


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