Absolute noobie to DSLR photography, just a few Q's

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ungibbed, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Ungibbed macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2010
    For the longest time I have been using a point & shoot Fuji (which isn't a bad camera for it's compact size) and my phone (HTC Sensation)

    I always wanted to get into a Digital SLR but budget has always held me back. Having had a birthday last Thursday, a long time friend of mine gave me one of the best things I've ever wanted. It was just sitting in his attic as he bought a 50D.

    It's a original Canon Digital Rebel (300D) with the Canon kit lens and also a Tamron zoom lens 50-300mm and after getting some new batteries for it, this camera works like a charm. Using my iPad as the instruction manual (PDF file), I'm slowly getting a grip on the advantages of this old camera.

    I just had a question about lenses and by all practical means I know there is no "ideal" lens for all situations (learned that quickly between the kit lens and the Tamron)

    I am still looking for what might be a good compromise for everyday photos when not heading out onto the trail looking for a good photo, but a lens that is just fine for a road trip with friends etc., along with the occasional scenic shot. :confused:

    Thinking about this, I'd like to stick to around $500 or so if I could. I am insanely thankful that I got a head start with a great camera and decent glass to go with it but here's the hard part.

    My last SLR camera was a completely manual Canon AE-1 35mm. It helped with exposures and that was it, sadly, I have been using my quick Point & Shoot for so long, I've nearly forgotten almost everything (mainly the acronyms and such) Still, I've gotten some good photos with practice, but in the end, I don't know what kind of lens to look for.

    Should I rough it with the Canon kit lens? Or should I spend some coin on getting into something I once loved doing so much.

    Attached is an example of one photo I took the other day. I really wanted a nice wallpaper and love playing Chess (Yeah I know the board is set up wrong, but being a quadriplegic, I really couldn't move the table around... :eek:

    I had to shrink the image size down, forgot I was shooting in RAW which brought the original to over 3MB.

    Attached Files:

  2. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    It depends what you want to shoot.
    Landscape / Scenic photography as you describe is the least demanding of all in terms of gear, you can get great results with most kit lenses stopping down to around f/11.
  3. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    OP I would first suggest a flash diffuser. Your pic had some harsh lighting to it (although its a really nice photo) and a flash diffuser would help more than any lens. I know you said you are quadriplegic so I'm not sure how practical that may be for you but I thought I would suggest it since controlling your light will give you better results much faster than switching lenses (and its much less expensive ;) )

    If your camera has an off camera flash, take a look at the "Demb Flip-it". Its a great flash diffuser.
  4. Ungibbed thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2010

    Going to have to look into that, the flash used here was the standard "pop up" style mounted to the camera body. I have a much older Albinar flash with extension that connects to the hot shoe but sadly doesn't work with this camera.

    As for what I'm looking for in lens would be mostly indoor shots, family photos and such. I wanted a DSLR for some more freedom taking photos (such as the telemacro lens which I must correct, it's a Tamron 70-300mm 5.6 1:4 and it's rather slow) My zoomed in photos already had a huge difference as my old P&S Fuji was always getting way too high in the aperture range which looks like a dithered blotchy mess.

    This is my third week using this camera and hoping to get the best out of it tomorrow heading to Monterrey Bay.

    I just don't want to keep using Auto as a crutch as I've found it can make things worse than you would expect such as the harsh light.

    I have a feeling if I had a small tripod and a long exposure would have gotten a softer image of the chessboard. I'm still learning the Time value mode :eek:
  5. des63 macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2011
    I got by for quite a while with the kit 18-55 and a 75-300 IS when I got into Digital with my 300D. For indoor shots the "Nifty Fifty" f1.8 works real well, a little long for group/family shots, but for around $100-$125 a pretty good deal. I don't know if Canon has anything like Nikons 35 f1.8, but it is pretty nice for indoor use.
    You might be able to get a Tamron 17-55 f2.8 for less than $500.
  6. tinman0 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2008
    I'd stick with the kit lens if I was you. They tend to be perfectly good for normal use regardless of what some people say.

    I'd save the $500 for now, and put it towards a future lens that you like. For instance, I went from the Canon kit lens to a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 lens as I wanted more on the top end and f2.8 (I like fast lenses).

    Couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to push my photography wider, so ended up buying a Tokina 11-16 f2.8 (I like fast lenses ;) ).

    My point is to buy a lens where your photography is leading you, rather than just slapping on another piece of glass under the impression that the kit lens is rubbish.


    If you want to play around though, and have a bit of cash to spare, then I would recommend a Graduated ND filter (think it's the ND8). This allows you to step the sky down a bit, which allows the camera to expose ground/subject better, plus it puts tone into the sky.
  7. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I use an "elder" camera as well, the Canon Rebel XSi. I bought the Tamron 28-300 for a daily lens and later got the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. The second lens is almost always on my camera. Sharp and fast without being too expensive. It has a great range for everyday use.


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