So, Where do I start.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jsf8x, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. jsf8x macrumors 6502

    jsf8x

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #1
    Hey guys.

    I'm looking to get a little more out of my current photography 'hobby'.. Right now my equipment consists of:

    Cameras
    Canon EOS 500D
    Panasonic DMC-FZ30

    Lenses
    18-55mm (came with my dad's RebelT1i that he doesn't use)
    and the default one on the 500D.


    Right now my 500D isn't working but will be repaired very soon.

    I'd just like a good starters speech about on where I should start, and definitely the differences in lenses. I think a pair of lenses I'm looking into are wide angle lenses but I'm not quite sure. (I want a lens that I can have a wide target in the middle with plenty of background space.. As well as ones that I can make nice landscape pictures)..

    Thanks!
     
  2. OrangeCuse44 macrumors 65816

    OrangeCuse44

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #2
    If you are just starting out, I'd probably first learn the relationship between ISO, aperture, & shutter speed (exposure triangle) and how each one affects the other. Here's an explanation on DPS - http://digital-photography-school.com/learning-exposure-in-digital-photography

    This next answer you won't like hearing because I know I didn't, but its the best piece of advice you can get. Forget thinking about stockpiling lenses right now, because it appears that you don't have a grasp on the difference between say a 35mm f/1.8 and a 12-16 f/2.8 (not meant to be insulting), but go out and shoot. A lot. It is the only true way to learn about your camera, what you like shooting, and how other lenses can help you achieve those results. The kit lens you have now is perfectly fine for learning because it offers a variety of focal lengths.

    Go out and shoot once you get that D5000 back in your hands.
     
  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #3
    Your current lenses will be fine for landscapes. Getting up early to catch the good light and using a good, steady tripod will help immensely. I'm not talking about the silly $45 chain store tripods, but something that will keep your camera steady in the wind. For landscapes, you'll probably want to be shooting around f/11, so there is no reason to spend money on new lenses.

    Look at Doylm's work in the POTD threads to see what sort of light and scenery you'll want to be looking for to take your shots.

    Paul
     
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #4
    For landscapes, your current 18-55 mm will be fine. 18 mm corresponds to ~30 mm on full frame, a classic focal length for landscapes.

    In any case, I suggest you get something like a Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 lens: the focal length (30~35 mm) is important. The focal length corresponds to a standard focal length in photography that roughly corresponds to the viewing angle of humans. It gives very natural and pleasing results. This particular lens is very fast which allows you to shoot indoors without a flash and to separate foreground from background by blurring out the latter.

    At this stage, I would wait with a second lens, except perhaps an external flash. Then go out and take a lot of pictures. The modes you want to shoot in are labelled Tv, Av and M. Avoid the picture modes! :)
     
  5. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #5
    Good stuff.

    Welcome to your new (expensive) hobby!

    Orangecuse is spot on. Figure out the relationships between aperture width, shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity. I spent too much time "snapping" pictures before I truly figured out the triangular relationship between the three factors. Pretty much everything hinges on them.

    Spend some time shooting in Av mode, Tv mode, and then in M mode. Shooting in Av mode will let you change the aperture to get the desired DOF (Depth of field, how much of the focal plane is in focus) while automatically adjusting the shutter speed to compensate. Tv will do the same, but it will let you select the Shutter speed you want while automatically adjusting the Aperture for you.

    That being said, get out and shoot. Try out different styles of composition/framing, experiment at the different focal lengths (Zoom) of your lens, and mess around. Digital photos are pretty much free, so carry that sucker with you everywhere!

    Worry about a new lens after you know your current 18-55 inside out, including how it works, what it can/cant do, etc.

    Have fun!
     
  6. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #6
    As others have said, just go out and shoot. Mess with the settings, read the manual, re-read the manual, read some books (understanding exposure by Bryan Peterson) and you will learn and get better. That is what i did, and continue to do.
     
  7. jsf8x thread starter macrumors 6502

    jsf8x

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #7
    Thanks so much guys you guys are helping out a lot!!
     
  8. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #8
    Are you thinking about a supper-wide lens like the Canon EF-S 10-20mm? If that's the case, I would recommend one with a now very competitive price, the Tokina 12-24mm f/4. For landscapes one would seldom use f/4 since going to f/11 or higher would allow for deeper DOF than f/4 (the foreground and the background in focus).

    The Canon 10-20 is quite expensive (~$700.00+), and does not come with a lens hood. It's quite a nice lens, but the Tokina costing around $250.00 less than the Canon is quite a good deal (around $499.00 at B&H).

    If you prefer a faster super-wide, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is supposed to be an outstanding lens, although its focal length (11-16mm) is quite limited. The 12-24 gives you more leeway, but the 11-16 is faster (f/2.8). It's also more expensive than the 12-24 at around $599.00 at B&H. However, B&H is out of stock on this lens at the moment. It's more expensive at other places, including Amazon.

    For samples of these lenses, go to this forum:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=141406
     
  9. Xander562 macrumors 68000

    Xander562

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #9
    Start a project 365. I know it might sound cliché, but it will definitely help you improve. And I mean to do a legit project 365 where you shoot edit and upload one photo per day. Don't wait a week or two and then upload 14 photos at once. That defeats the point.

    Make some photography friends. The only way to learn the difference in lenses is to actually use them. So borrow!
     
  10. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #10
    T1i is the 500D...
     
  11. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Location:
    melbourne.au
    #11
    Needless to say, the above comments are right: go out and shoot. But there is an equally good piece of advice, too: look at a lot of pictures. Lots and lots. It's free, just like shooting digital :))), except all you have to do is look, observe, absorb.

    The web is full of photos, of course. Stock catalogues are great (e.g. old Image Bank ones) because the standards there are the highest you can get (more or less). Vogue, Bazaar, National Geographic etc. All good. Even food magazines (you can tell the really classy ones in a second).

    Any questions? Feel free to ask!
     
  12. OrangeCuse44 macrumors 65816

    OrangeCuse44

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #12
    This is a great point. I spend time every single day browsing other people's photos on Flickr. It's easy to see what you like, what you don't like, why something works, why it doesn't. What makes Flickr even better for learning is you can easily see what camera settings someone used on a shot that made you say "how'd they do that?!" If you like a shot or a way a shot was composed, go out and try to replicate it. There's no shame in that and it will only help you learn.

    I also second the motion of doing a 365. I'm in the middle of mine and I cannot express in words how far I've come in understanding photography. Forcing yourself to do something, whatever it may be, every single day, can only make you better.
     
  13. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Location:
    Halifax, Canada
    #13
    Also checkout dailyshoot.com.

    I would second the recommendation of sticking with the kit lens and getting a fast prime, either a 30mm to 35mm standard or the 'nifty-fifty' 50mm f/1.8, which on your camera is a short tele and great for portraits.

    After you get some experience with these, you'll have some idea of what you may want to get next, like a macro or a telephoto.
     
  14. jsf8x thread starter macrumors 6502

    jsf8x

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #14
    The body's are different, one says EOS and 500D and then one says EOS and Rebel T1i I think they might be the same not quite sure :confused:
     
  15. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #15
    Canon call the same camera different things in different markets. 500D is European naming, Rebel T1i is US naming (I've not checked that these are actually the same, they could be).
     
  16. jsf8x thread starter macrumors 6502

    jsf8x

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #16
    The buttons are also slightly different if thats important.
     
  17. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #17
    Seems unusual. The are the same camera...
     
  18. viggen61 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #18
    Definitely the same.

    Canon EOS 500D/EOS Rebel T1i

    :apple::apple:
     
  19. jabbott macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #19
    I agree that getting out there and shooting is a great way to learn more. I try to go on a road trip every couple years just to get out and photograph the country.

    If you find that your current lens is limiting, you can consider the huge array of lenses available -- here is a list that is compatible with your camera. One great photography website I visit often is The Digital Picture. The webmaster there purchases all kinds of lenses and reviews each in great detail. He also takes pictures of test patterns with each lens so you can compare the sharpness at varying apertures and focal lengths. There are a few sample shots shown for each lens so you can have a better idea of what results they produce and what is possible.
     
  20. jsf8x thread starter macrumors 6502

    jsf8x

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #20
  21. bubulindo macrumors member

    bubulindo

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    Neither here, nor there...
    #21
    Been where you are now...

    Hello,

    I've been at this exact same point when I started on photography. The fact is that we look at the pictures in forums, flickr, etc, etc and think that the way to achieve such results is by getting better lenses...
    Not completely true!

    Although a good lens will let you take better pictures, what makes it a great picture is the exposure. And for that you do need to understand how ISO, aperture and time work together.

    Also, you should experiment the zoom on your lens and see what it actually does.
    Two great exercises you should do are:

    Set your lens to 18 mm, take a picture of someone's face so that you fill the frame. Then set it to 55 and repeat the picture.... notice a difference?

    Next, go to a street where you can take a picture of a subject with a clear background. It helps if there's buildings in it.
    Then repeat the same exercise... put the focal length in 18, take the picture of the street lamp going from top to bottom of the picture. Set the focal length to 55 and repeat the picture by keeping the street lamp "filling" the frame.

    After looking at the results you'll hopefully notice that there's so much about the lens that you currently own that you don't know that will get the idea of a new lens out of your head and focus on the important principles of photography.

    Just to finish, the 18 is pretty good for landscapes... you must also understand that sometimes less is more. The more you put into a picture, the less detail it'll have and therefore can become quite bland.
     
  22. jsf8x thread starter macrumors 6502

    jsf8x

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
  23. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #23
    Would you mind taking pictures of the two, showing the different buttons?
     

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