New To photography, Few Questions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Tumeg101, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. Tumeg101 macrumors 6502a

    Tumeg101

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, California
    #1
    I have recently gotten myself interested in photography, after getting a Sony cybershot digital camera. I am currently planning on purchasing a Digital SLR camera, to pursue my interest in photography. And I just had a few questions...

    1)What kinds of things should I know, before purchasing a Digital SLR Camera?
    2)What Digital SLR Camera should I purchase? I will be doing some macro photography, some travel and landscape photography, and also some portraits...
    3)What Lens' should I get? I am thinking about a 60mm Macro Lens, but I don't know what others would be good to buy for my photography interests...

    For the camera, I would like one around $500 (no more than $575) and for the lens, I don't want a lens that will be costing me over $400...
     
  2. JBat macrumors regular

    JBat

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Washington
    #2
    You might be better off starting with something like a good prosumer camera, like a Canon G9. It has a lot of beginner friendly features and enough headroom to allow you to grow as a photographer. Jumping right in with an SLR, with no prior experience, can be daunting.
     
  3. Mr. B macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    #3
    A good choice for a beginning dslr camera that won't break the bank is the rebel xt without the kit lens.

    I say the rebel xt, and not the rebel xti because I feel those extra dollars could probably be better put towards a good lens that can be carried onto whatever camera body you might later upgrade to.

    You can buy the rebel xt new (without kit lens) for around 450 dollars, and if you buy it from ebay or somewhere you could obviously get it for less.

    The canon 60mm macro lens is a very good lens, although you might want to get a bit more flexibility.

    A prime that many people say is unbeatable for value is the sub 100 dollar is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II.

    Very very sharp, light, and overall just an amazing deal for the money.

    However, like all primes, it cannot zoom.

    A very decent and inexpensive zoom lens would be the Canon EOS 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. It has a little view finder window on the body and it and is of metal construction.

    There is a newer one without the little window and of plastic construction, however this is of inferior quality.

    I believe you can get that lens for a bit over 200 dollars these days.

    And like the above poster said, the canon powershot g9 is a very good camera, however it has *MUCH* higher noise levels than the rebel xt does, and will never allow you the flexibility or quality that *any* dslr will.

    If you buy the rebel xt for around 450, the 50mm f/1.8 for 90, and the 28-105mm for 240 ish, plus a decent memory card, you will probably end up paying around 800 dollars.

    What I would suggest is to buy all of the above *used* from someone or someplace that has good quality control.

    In this way you could easily knock off a few hunded dollars. I have bought all of my equipment used so far, and have saved hundreds doing so, with no perceptible loss in quality.

    B&H photo video is a fantastic store with very good prices, and of course amazon.com is usually pretty decent as well.

    hope that helps!
     
  4. Tumeg101 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tumeg101

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, California
    #4
    First, Thanks for the help...
    What kind of Memory Cards do the following cameras need:

    Nikon D40
    Nikon D50
    Canon Rebel XT

    Previously, I have been looking at the Nikon D50 and D40... I hear these are great cameras, and all the ones listed are about the same price...
    For what I am doing, is there any reasons to, or not to buy the listed cameras??
     
  5. Mr. B macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    #5
    For the rebel xt I know that the sandisk ultra 2 works very well, very fast and very reliable. Can't speak for other memory cards or for the other cameras.

    Both have their pros and cons, and you really aren't going to go too wrong with either nikon or canon.

    Of course, do remember that the one you buy will probably be the one you stay with, as after you've bought two or three lenses you really will want to keep upgrading the body to match.
     
  6. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #6
    The D40/x and D50 use SD cards, with the D40/x being able to take advantage of high speed SD, as far as I know.

    You're not going to go wrong with either of these three cameras. The main disadvantage that the D40 has (and I do own one) is the lack of an in-body AF motor. This essentially means that a few older lenses won't autofocus on the D40/x. This isn't a huge deal, but it does mean that the wonderful 50mm 1.8 won't autofocus, whereas it will on the D50. However, I feel that the D40 in general makes up in other ways for this shortcoming.

    But like others have said, you'll stick with this system for a long time, and your lenses will outlive any body you buy, so choose your brand wisely. That being said, there is little difference between Nikon and Canon, you'll do well with either one!
     
  7. liveexpo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    #7
    Film....

    Could i suggest something? Why go for digital? I 100% guarantee that if you buy a cheap 35mm fully manual film camera, you'll learn the principles far quicker, and will become a better photographer because of the learning curve. It will give you a far more solid understanding, mainly because you can't get away with much.

    I started off using an 1980's Olympus OM-1 about 3 years ago. Cost me £50, and got shots which, quality wise, I could never match with my D70. I've now turned professional this year, and use a D2x...
     
  8. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

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    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    I wouldn't advise diving in right away and buying every single lens you want. Just buy a nice entry level DSLR like the D40 or XT/XTi and get the kit lens. Play around with that and gradually purchase lenses as you feel you are improving.
     
  9. Mr. B macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    #9

    however, don't forget the cost of buying film and processing it.

    Shooting thousands of shots digitally costs nothing. The cost of shooting thousands of shots on film (especially good film) can be *staggering*.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    For macro photography you need a good lens. The 60 works well on "crop body" cameras. It works very much like a 100mm on a full frame body. Also the 60mm both the Canon and the Nikon are lower priced and good deals.

    You also realy need a good tripod and some kind of remote release. Next it's lighting that makes the shot so a collection of things like white ripstop nylon, white foam core board, black contraction paper, white plastic milk jugs, Quartz work lamps from Home Depot and so on. Macro photography is very much like studio photography but inside an 8 inch square studio. You can have perfect control of lighting and background

    You don't need any special camera features for macro. In fact just a plain manual camera is fine. I use a 1970's vintage Nikon macro lens that is manual focus with my D50. The 30 year old lens makes an image sharper then the D50's CCD sensor can resolve.

    You need to choose a brand of camera. Look at the entire line up of gear each makes and plan what you might want to buy over the next 5 years. Don't just look at the DSLR body. That's the small part and you upgrade bodies maybe ones in that 5 year period. Think about "system" not "camera". Used lenses are OK. In fact the availability of good used lenses could influence your choice of camera brand.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    Really? When I was a kid I shot a lot of 35mm film and spent overall a lot less on photography than I do now.

    I can still buy 35mm film in 100ft bulk rolls from Freestyle in Hollywood, CA and re-spool it into my re-loadable 35mm cartridges. I can process the film in a daylight tank. Over all it runs about $1.50 a roll. Or 100 frames for $4.50 or 1,000 frames for $45. I can buy a good Nikon film camera now for $100.

    Then you scan the film and the digital scans from 35mm film are better quality than current DSLR images.

    OK, I was buying house brand black and white film. But the stuff they sell is good t-grain modern film. If you must have color you can buy transparency film and e6 chemicals. but for 2x to 3x the total price. Processing only takes about 30 minutes and you can do up to four rolls at a time. The lab equipment is cheap.

    That said. If you are going to do film and you have a middle class income (you are not a student) go for medium format or even a view camera. I shot 6x7cm format for years and the quality is outstanding. AND the prices of good pro quality used medium format film gear is cheap, way cheap. You can buy a good system for $1,000 now.

    I'm seriously looking at large format now. I have some plans for making 4 foot wide prints and DSLR just will not cut it. But first I need a computer upgrade. My current Mac just does not like my current 100 megapixel scans for 6x7cm and would up and die if I fed it 250MP scams from 4x5 inch sheet film
     
  12. liveexpo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    #12
    Man, thats annoying my response to that poster didn't show.....was basically saying exactly what you just did...so I wont repost!

    And yeah, I use a Hassie 500c/m....so I know exactly where you're coming from ;)
     
  13. redrabbit macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    #13
    If he is a college student, he might be able to use his campus's darkroom for free. I got started in film before dSLR, and was able to devolop as many photos that I wanted at no cost.
     
  14. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    #14
    My opinion is to jump straight into a dSLR and not get an intermediate level 'prosumer' camera beforehand, if your intention is to go to dSLR anyway. It's not THAT daunting - you can very easily use many entry-level dSLRs as point and shoots if you must anyway. Getting a non SLR will mean you will need to buy a new camera very shortly soon after - I guess this means you COULD possibly get whatever body is latest and greatest when you are ready, but it sounds very much like you are ready now. It all depends on how much disposable income you have :p

    The single point of advice I will offer is that an SLR choice is a choice of system -not just body, but lenses and accessories as well. Likely, if you get an SLR, you will stick with that brand of lens and system for many years. You will likely amass a collection of lenses (and certainly have your favourites), which means you are likely to stick with the same brand body in years to come, should you choose to upgrade, so the decision now has an impact on how you shoot for many years later - I'm not saying you can't change from say Nikon to Canon, but it does get less likely once you have many lenses.

    Based on this, I would choose a body which has a wide selection of quality lenses - and at the moment it's difficult to fault either of the big two: Canon and Nikon. Their bodies tend to not directly compete, but kind of insert in between each other. Lense-wise, I have no idea about Nikon, but Canon offers a wide range of lenses at both cheap and expensive (and accordingly, low and high quality) options.

    In regards to printing large - digital does offer a few options unavailable to film - you could always photostitch many files to make one big large one (dpending on the type of shot, of course - not so useful for portraits :D). There're some examples of Gigapixel images out there :p Actually, you could do it with film by scanning, but I digress.
     
  15. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #15
    The biggest thing you should know is that once you get to the 6MP and up digital cameras, it really doesn't make a whole lot of difference which one you pick.

    Get a good set of extension tubes (or bellows like the PB6 if you choose a Nikon,) a sturdy tripod and focusing rails. Then pick a body you like (cheapest one that does it for you) and a good lens or two.



    60mm won't give you much working distance. The Tamron 90mm Di lens is a really good lens with more working distance. It's also available in pretty-much any mount you'll need.

    For that price, you might want to look at a used body- but lens-wise all the good macro lenses cost more than that. You can get a +5 diopter for about $40 to play with, or a lens that doesn't go to 1:1. You might also consider a reversing ring and a 50mm- since you're using a reversing ring, AF won't matter, so you could go with something like the D40.
     
  16. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

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    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #16
    If you do look at the prosumer route, I recommend you check out the Fuji S6000, handles and looks like a dSLR, and ives you flexibility with ISO 1600.
     
  17. liveexpo macrumors member

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    #17
     
  18. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #18
    I think the point was that when you compare the D40/D50/D70/XT for someone new to DSLR photography there's not a huge amount of significant variation. Obviously a newbie won't jump into buying a D2x...
     
  19. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #19
     
  20. Merser macrumors member

    Merser

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    Location:
    NJ
    #20
    I dont whole heartedly agree with this statement.

    I was in the SAME position as you 2 years ago. I decided to do just what this poster recommends and I bought a Fuji S5200. After 6 months I realized that it wasnt THAT much different from the canon point and shoot I had. A year ago I sold it and put the money toward a D50 and I could not be happier.

    Seriously, I though I would just save a few dollars and get a prosumer... bad call... just save up and get something nice.

    You'll find a variety of suggestions, but here is what I find that it meets 90% of my needs.

    Nikon D50 Kit Lens 18-55
    55-200 VR
    50 f1.8
    sb400 Flash
     
  21. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #21
    Seconded. i got into photography and bought myself a Sony DSC-H1. Great prosumer "SLR-like" camera... but I quickly realised I wanted more. Year and a half later, I got my wish. If you're really interested, go the dSLR route asap. The D40 is a great price, and you can find great deals on the XT as well, so cost shouldn't be too much of an issue
     
  22. liveexpo macrumors member

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    #22
     
  23. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #23
     

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