New to DSLR... Take a look

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by firstapple, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. firstapple macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2007
    Hey all,

    I just got my first DSLR yesterday (a Nikon D40) and I wanted to share a few things from my trip to the Toledo Zoo. First I will share my Flickr account link (please understand I just started my account a few days ago):

    I have attached an example of a macro I took of a bee sitting on a flower. This was one of my favorite shots. Please feel free to critique my photos and tell me what I should do to get better.

    Also, I am trying to figure out what lens I need next? All I have right now is the kit lens, so the 18-55mm. I was thinking of picking up the 55-200mm AF-S next. Would this be a good choice? I am mainly interested in macros and HDR's. I am working on a few HDR's right now, and will post them hopefully tomorrow when I am done with them for critique.

    Attached Files:

  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I'd get a macro lens of some sort. Could be a Nikon 105 mm or 60 mm. All macro lenses you can get (as far as I know) are outstanding, so either would be good for you. For bees, I'd get the longer lens, but if you're mostly interested in flowers, the 60 mm is good.

    You can also get a Sigma 70, 105, or 150 mm, or a Tamron 90 mm, but you don't have auto-focus with any of these lenses on your camera. Too bad, because they're all supposed to be superb lenses, as all macros on the market today tend to be.
  3. firstapple thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2007
    I don't exactly know what makes a good macro lens. I am just getting into the DSLR, and want to have a decent setup of lenses. Right now, I am trying to figure out if I should get the 55-200mm Nikon or the 70-300mm? How much difference can I expect to see between the two lenses? Is the 300mm worth the extra $300? I am searching Amazon, and the best price I found for the 200mm is $220 and for the 300mm about $490.

    To be honest, I am trying to figure out what the "mm" means (besides milimeters of course). What am I looking for in a decent macro lens? The macro lens does not have to be Auto-focus, as I plan on using manual focus for these shots.

    If someone knows a good site for beginners which explains "mm's" please let me know!

    Thanks for the help...
  4. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    The problem about macro photos with a kit-lens is that they don't offer much flexibility. Tho I would recommend waiting at least 6 months, if you feel interested in macro, o buy a dedicated macro lens. The difference you'll see in your photos is amazing.

    As for the photos, the one I like the most is that of the pond and the reflections, it has a very nice composition and the colors are great.

    Don't be afraid to crop the photos, it can help a lot. For example, in the shot of the elephant, the photo would be much better if you cut out the distracting tree at the right.

    One more thing, in the one of the bird, the use of the flash made the photo look harsh and cold. Make sure you are using the appropriate white color balance. Also, I tend to prefer using high ISO to prevent the use of flash. The Nikon D40 has very good results up to ISO 800, and you might get some good ones at ISO 1600. With the kit lens, try to get the closer you can (being careful you not distort the face of the bird too much) and take the photo at 18mm, at it's widest aperture and with a shutter speed of around 1/25.

    Keep shooting like crazy. During the first year of taking photos the quality of the these increases exponentially.
  5. firstapple thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2007
    Wow, great advice! Thanks a lot! I will be playing around more today... It is somewhat cloudy in MI today though, but I will see what I can do. Heading out to a park and then my little cousins birthday party.
  6. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    MM means the focal length of the lens. Which basically means the field of view of the lens. The wider you go (the smaller the focal length) the more field of view that you'll have.

    I know there is a technical definition of this, but I am not sure of it.

    Most macro lenses are good. What you need to consider is the focal length and the working distance. A 60mm macro lens won't be good for taking photos of insects, but it might be the perfect option for taking photos of coins.

    Having auto focus for macro shots isn't necessary, as you say, but you might use the macro lens for other things as well. The 105mm Micro-Nikkor is used by many (including myself) as a portrait lens. The same happens with the 60mm Micro-Nikkor.
  7. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Mar 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    I don't mean to hijack this thread in any way (apologies to the OP if it looks that way), but I am also fairly new to this kind of stuff, and also with the same camera..

    I'd like some comments/critique of this photoset if possible..

    Most are using the kit 18-55mm lens and the ones marked "zoom" are using the 55-200mm lens (at 200mm)..

  8. JKitterman macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    I have the Nikon 55-200 with VR. The VR version will help with some clarity when hand holding. It is a pretty good lens. You may want to go to a photo shop and try out the 200 and a 300 to see the difference on the camera. On your D40, you have to stay with AF-S lenses or you will have to manually focus. A good starter lens would be the Nikon 50mm 1.8 as it will only put you back about $120 dollars. You can use this for macro work and will be able to learn depth of field a lot easier with the wide range of aperture and be able to control the focus the same. I also have the Nikon 105mm macro but that will set you back quite a bit
  9. spencers macrumors 68020


    Sep 20, 2004
    Cant wait to get mine! Ordered it this weekend :)
  10. firstapple thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2007
    Where did you order it from and for how much?

    Also, I have uploaded a few more pictures to my Flickr account from the party I went to today. The pictures are of my Niece and nephew. Let me know wjat you think of those.

    One last thing... What is the best website to have an account with to upload pictures to? Free would be preferred if there is a good one with not such tight constraints as Flickr. However, if I have to pay a little bit of money per year, I don't mind as long as it is worth it.

  11. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    Flickr is worth every penny to buy a Pro account if you ask me - it's only $25 for a full year and you get unlimited storage (which means you can upload original size pics). I'm not sure what else you get with the Pro account but just having unlimited storage makes it worth it for me.

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