A designer, looking for an outdoor lens...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ChicoWeb, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #1
    For my wedding website & save the date cards...

    To preface this topic.

    I have a Nikon D50 (Kit Lens, Nikkor 28-200mm, SB-600 flash) with little experience with photography. With that said, I have an eye for design and what is good and what is bad (graphically and photographically :))

    I'm looking for a lens that will really bring in depth, detail, and professionalism for my save the date and wedding website. I figure I can save the photo fee and buy a lens. I feel like I can do it well with my past experience. I don't want to break the bank, but at the same time I want something that will be quality and provide aesthetically to the website and for future projects.

    Any ideas??

    Thanks.
     
  2. mdwsta4 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #2
    why don't you feel you can get depth, detail, or professionalism out of your current lenses? just because you have the 'best and most expensive' gear doesn't mean your photographs are going to get any better. i'd suggest taking a class, reading some books, and practicing.
     
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #3
    It appears as a designer you are looking for the very best and I wouldn't put it past you to settle for anything else. That said, you should focus your attention to the Zeiss line of lenses. I do not refer to the re-badged Sony lenses, that would be sub-par to any designer. These lenses will offer you depth, detail, and professionalism to all of your photographs. Fortunately, Zeiss offers the ZF lenses for Nikons!!! Clearly, this professional glass coupled with your design eye will produce the images you desire for your save the date and wedding website...as well as future save the date and wedding websites.

    I hope that helps. Post back here once you've made a decision. And good luck!
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    Truly, the "real" Zeiss lenses are the apex of professional lenses, and if you need lenses to show how professional you are, nothing this side of a Schnieder-Kreuznach Super Angulon says "Professional" like a Carl Zeiss lens! I especially like the Macro Planar T* 2/100, but the Planar T* 1.4/85mm gets excellent reviews for its super-creamy bokeh, razor-sharp detail and it's probably a little better focal length if you don't need macro capability.

    They are known for their outstanding image quality and very precise, long-lasting mechanical parts. The particularly large rotary angle of the focusing ring enables particularly precise focusing.

    Zeiss says the following about the Planar T* 1.4/85mm:

    It impresses with its bright, clear viewfinder image and guarantees brilliant image quality even at full aperture, making it the ideal tool for both indoor and outdoor portraits.

    The narrow depth of field at wide aperture permits visual silhouetting of the subject via the targeted use of background blurring. The special optical design and a diaphragm with nine blades and an almost circular geometry ensure excellent “bokeh” (aesthetic rendition of image areas out of the focus plane).

    Distortion is practically non-existent. The lens is almost distortion-free, making it ideal for high-quality, analog and digital documentation photos.

    See, aesthetic, guaranteed brilliant image quality- this is the lens you're looking for! If you can't get the shot with these lenses, you simply can't get the shot! They're great outdoors too!

    Yes, for professional outdoor lenses, choose the lenses Hollywood chooses- shoot with only the best, since it's all about the equipment!
     
  5. AndrewMorrell macrumors newbie

    AndrewMorrell

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Location:
    Shaker Heights, OH, USA
    #5
    If you separate yourself from the background enough, and use your 28-200 at its longest, you can get a nice looking result.

    But, seriously, hire a photographer. It's money well spent. In addition to the gear, they know how to capture you at your most genuine.
     
  6. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #6
    Come on guys, the OP specifically said that he knew what he was doing, and that he didn't want to break the bank. Suggesting Zeiss Distagons, Leica's, or a gold-ring lens for a D50 is just silly. Not saying that they are not worth it, but definitely not necessary given the man's needs.

    I would suggest you invest in a 50mm prime. Either an ~$80 f/1.8 or a ~$300 f/1.4 will be plenty for your needs. Use every light fixture in the house available to you to get light from as many angles as you can (45-45-and 90 from above works pretty well, but you may want to experiment with that). Make yourself a diffuser from some photo paper (~$1), and use a constant color background so that you can extract it easier in PS later. Just experiment around- I did this about three months ago for my fiance and I, messed around with about 150 pictures I took tethered, and came up with something like this:
     

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  7. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #7
    'Professionalism' comes from the component on the opposite side of the camera. :)
     
  8. juanm macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    Fury 161
    #8
    +1

    The first thing to do would be to tell the OP that he's wrong. Why would a Zeiss look better than a Nikkor on a D50? :confused:
    In 35mm and the like, Zeiss optics are not better than a 100~150$ prime Nikkor.
    If you want to take a crisp, deep picture, work on the lighting, and ANY camera/lens will do the job. And for that you should take a course.
     
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #9
    I could not disagree with your statement more. Forget the whole Zeiss thing for a moment. You're saying a **** lens at $150 is going to perform as any professional lens? I'm sorry, what course did you take that told you the glass didn't matter? Tongue in cheek about the Zeiss lens and all, but really, I can take my 6 mp d70 and produce better photographs than anyone can with a d300 if I have enough skill and good glass. In other words, it is the glass that matters.

    I could be wrong, I mean what do I know really, but I'm pretty confident in my thought process that a $150 lens will have less sweet spots than a professional line lens. If this isn't the case then are we all a bunch of tools for buying the L series lenses from Canon or the Nikon pro lenses? I'm curious, maybe you know something that I don't (probably) and you're about to save me a ton of cash!
     
  10. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #10
    Actually, it is true that it is possible for some cheap lens to perform as good as pro lens under specific conditions. One of these conditions is to be used on a cropped frame camera! The difference between a pro lens and a budget is mostly noticable around the edges of the picture. This is where you are going to see the aberation, distorsion, etc... On a cropped frame body, you dont use that area, only the center of the lens is used, hence the good result. But when you take the same lens and put if on a 5D, the difference is obvious.

    Other difference between pro and cheap lens that can be noticed (at same aperture) is the color contrast (if enough light) and shape of the bokeh (circular aperture always better). There are other factors, but these are the most relevant.

    Of course not all budget lens can compete with pro ones, with Canon these are: 50 1.8, 85 1.8, 70-300IS (the new one) and that is about it as far as I know / have experienced. Nikon probably has some good deals like these too.

    Also, get a PC cable and unplug the flash from your hot shoe, this is probably going to be the biggest improvement you can do to your pictures...

    Gear make a huge difference in the quality of what is capture, but for everything else, it is done behind a camera. So my suggestion to the OP is to use a 50mm1.8 and shoot at f2-f2.8 for maximum sharpness and use off camera flash for creative lightning. All of this should not cost more than 120$.
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #11
    I'm going to give you the language benefit of the doubt for missing the tongue in cheek. However, Even in APS-C, let alone 35mm the only prime in Canon or Nikon's line-up that's $100-150 and provides professional-quality images are the "thrifty fifties." The D50 is a 6MP camera capable of high quality large prints. The 85mm f/1.4 lenses from either Nikon or Zeiss will outperform any Nikkor in the under $500 price range, including older AI lenses in perfect condition- opinions vary on the difference in bokeh and contrast between the Nikkor and the ZF, but neither lens is in the under $500 category.

    The optics have gotten better, lens coatings have gotten better, a focus on aperture design to produce good bokeh comes in the up-market lenses.

    However, anyone who admits to "little experience in photography" who thinks a lens is going to bring "professionalism" probably doesn't want to hear the long answer about gaining "lots of experience in photography" and more importantly spending time and money on lighting if they want professional results. The number of people who think that equipment is a valid substitute for experience, craftsmanship and skill is increasing- and they all want the cheap, quick fix.
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #12
    Sure, but most of those conditions aren't the ones that result in professional looking pictures outside of a controlled-lighting setting.

     
  13. juanm macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    Fury 161
    #13
    Concerning my background, the Zeiss Lenses I've used more are these. So yes, I've a deep respect for what Zeiss can do. But for what I've seen, I also know that the use their name a lot when it comes to sell "small" lenses. Sorry about your cash, but I've got no secret.
    I -almost (who doesn't like a small lens to take snapshots?)- have only good pro glass for my Nikons, but for a beginner, it would be insane to get this kind of lens, so I prefer the short version: "Get a Nikkor 50/1,8 or a second hand 85/1,8 learn with it, and be happy."

    Unless the OP has got extraordinary skills, I doubt he'll get better results with a 500$ lens than with those I'm recommending. And outperform is a strong word, when you compare them. The difference is, in my opinion, found when comparing a tele zoom and a fixed pro tele. In this case, I'm the first to admit that if you've got the cash, by all means, get one. Thanks for the language benefit, by the way. I'm working on it. :D
     

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