Total newbe needs your help to get started.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gusious, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. gusious macrumors 65816

    gusious

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Location:
    Greece
    #1
    Hello guys.

    I want to start photography as a hobby but i know nothing....:eek:

    So i'd like to ask you a few questions:

    a) I have a nikon N60 with a Tamron lens (actually my parents do but never use it-about the lens,how can i find the model to tell it to you?). Is it a nice camera to get started with? Or do you suggest a digital one? If it is a digital which one? I'm asking this because of the money i need to spend for films etc etc with a non digital camera. Also the fact that you can plug it in your mac and save all the photos you want etc etc.
    b) Can you suggest me a book about photography to get me started?

    Thanks a lot guys! :)
     
  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #2
    Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is a must read.

    You can pick up used digital bodies for dirt cheap, but there is also an argument for learning with film (it makes you think about each shot as opposed to blindly blasting away).

    Figure out what you want to accomplish with a camera (ie concert pics, portraits, candids, weddings, etc.) and people can better help you. Right now your question is equivalent to I need something to drive, what should I get. The right answer for one person may be a smart car, for another a lambo, neither answer is wrong, but if they switched cars they may both be miserable.
     
  3. gusious thread starter macrumors 65816

    gusious

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Location:
    Greece
    #3
    Well i was afraid that someone was going to say that....:eek: Well for starters i need a camera that will help me find out what i really want to capsure. Like buying a cheap guitar in order to find out what do you really want to play and then move on to a guitar better for that kind of style.:)
     
  4. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #4
    Anything...

    Just look for an entry price-point dSLR, one that is around $350 for the body. At this point, I personally think that any camera will do you, wait to split hairs until after you have determined photography is something you want to pursue seriously. Rather than focusing on one aspect, as kind of suggested, shoot everything and anything, then you will slowly learn what you enjoy.

    Good luck!
     
  5. ukuleleman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #5
    I used to sell cheap guitars and parents would talk to me about 'a cheap guitar for my son/daughter to learn on'.

    I may have been a salesman but I still had principles and I used to tell them 'Your child will only play as well as their instrument allows them to',

    In many ways the same applies to photography, of course you won't be able to afford the best, few of us can, but get the best you can afford even if you have to wait for a while till you cash builds up.

    I am a canon man and can't speak with any authority on Nikon or other makes, but I really started (seriously) with a 400D which are now 3/4 years old and not very expensive, but still an excellent beginners camera,
    look seriously at that or cameras of that quality of other makes, (i'm not pushing Canon here) and a decent beginners lens would be something in the 18-55mm bracket (A medium zoom) you will develop preferences for certain focal lengths of lenses but you have to start somewhere.

    So basically my advice is get a used camera and an average focal length lens if your budget is tight and learn to hone your skills with some quality used gear.

    Good luck.
     
  6. gusious thread starter macrumors 65816

    gusious

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Location:
    Greece
    #6
    Thanks a lot MattSepeta and ukuleleman.

    @ukulele man: I got a ukulele last month and i love it dude!

    On topic:
    @ukuleleman: If you sell guitars and also know how to play in order to teach children then you know as well as i that a child might give up the instrument and all those money will fly away just that. I happen to play the guitar too so....:p But,i've never tried taking photography a little bit more serious. I always liked that idea but never really thought about it but a few months now it has been bugging me so i decided to step into this. The thing is that i'm afraid that this might be just a idea stuck on my head and find out that i spend money for no reason. I totally agree with you about "Your child will only play as well as their instrument allows them to" but there are other factors in order to play. That's why i'm asking about something cheap (as cheap as it can get without loosing quality). First confirm and then go to something good,real good and then follow your philosophy.:) But really,thanks for answering!

    So one more question:If you say that a beginners camera can start at $350 how much an intermediates camera can go?:confused:
     
  7. NeGRit0 macrumors 6502a

    NeGRit0

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nv
    #7
    Some lenses cost thousands of dollars... Photography, errr Quality Photography isnt cheap.

    with that said i have been practicing for 6-9 months with the above mentioned Canon 400D and 18-35mm lens. mind you before i got this camera i was never ever serious about photography. After i took my first picture i was hooked. and now on my macbook i have thousands of images in my iPhoto.

    here's a link to my flickr if you would like to get an idea of what can be accomplished with the camera/lens combo
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27399479@N02/
     
  8. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #8
    Maybe...

    It wouldn't hurt to get a nice point and shoot either. MUCH cheaper and easier....

    I shot with this bad boy for YEARS, http://www.amazon.com/Fujifilm-Finepix-E550-Digital-Optical/dp/B0002AHQL4, taking many photos I STILL use in my portfolio! And you can grab it for about $100 these days...

    Since you are a complete beginner, I would actually advise you to get a point and shoot that offers a fully manual mode. That way you can focus more on learning proper composition, light, framing, all the good stuff, before you have to worry about switching lenses or all of that.

    But either way, DO NOT spend much money before you know you want to stay with it.
     
  9. gusious thread starter macrumors 65816

    gusious

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Location:
    Greece
    #9
    So as a conclusion you mean i should stay with my nikon right?

    Thanks a lot guys for your help. I don't know anyone who is so interested in quality photography as mentioned by NeGRit0 so your answers are really helpful.:D
     
  10. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #10
    Since you already have a good film camera, my suggestion is that you use it for a few months and get the hang of photography before you move to digital. It would be sick to buy a D40 with a kit lens and find out what you really want is a D90 with a macro. Or put money into Canon or Nikon gear and find out you can do what you want with a Pentax for much less.

    The link below my sig is invaluable.

    Dale
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    Yes a digital camera can save you the cost of film. But film is MUCH cheaper then a new DSLR.

    If you are into "photography" as a serious hoby then concider black and white film. This film in a Nikon N60 can still capture better images then any DSLR on the market.
    You can buy film in 100 foot rolls and re-spool it onto 35mm cartridges. It comes to about a buck per roll and you can process it by hand with simple and inexpensive equipment. Figure $2 per 35 exposure roll. I did exactly this back when I was in middle school (a few decades ago) The cost was afordable even for a 13 year old.

    I still have some of those old negitives and some of them, when I paid attention to technique, are better quality then I can get today with my Nikon DSLR.

    But today "everyone" (except for a few Fine Art photographers) is using digital. The real reason is NOT to save money but to get faster results and quick turn around.

    For learning I don't like digital. People tend to just shoot 200 frames in the hope one will turn out OK. This teaches you nothing. Better to stop and think, Move the tripod over one foot to the right and look again and then look at the light an wait, maybe for a cloud to move to a better spot. Then take just one frame. That said, if I shoot film again it will be 4x5 sheet film. It cost about $1 per frame but I'd shoot 10 frames a week, still cheaper than digital and I'd liley get 4 good shoots, about as many as I'd get with my DSLR. My definition of "good shoot" is one that a person un-connected with the subject would find interesting. This is a harsh definition as it eliminated 99.99% of all snap shots people take.

    One other thing: If your goal is to learn photography, th first step is to find books with photos inside. The library is the best place. Look at those over sized coffee table books with photos from famous photographers inside. Find the ones you like, find the photographers you like. Then set out to emulate that style.

    Make yourself an asignment to make "four images inthe style of X". You mught have to shoot 100 frames to get four keepers. Run this all the way through your workflow and make four good prints. Then make a new asignment.

    All that said was really just to get you thinking differently then simply following the crowd. Seriously I'd think you'd want to get a used, entry level DSLR for no more then $250. Then start shooting some self-asinments and attempt to learn the styles of photos you've found in books wit the DSLR. You could get started with film for under $100 but you'd have to learn a LOT more before you could make the first image. Digital is technically far simpler and you can start with near zero study.
     
  12. Acsom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #12
    I agree 100%, and with ChrisA as well. The very first thing you should do is buy $25 worth of film. It's a hell of a lot cheaper than an entry DSLR or a decent compact digital. It will give you control over the creative aspects of photography, moreso that the compact digitals. And film has the advantage of making you think about every shot. There will be no casually pointing it at the lamp in the corner and firing off the shutter, no 12 frame bursts of the dog asleep on the porch.

    Understanding Exposure is one place to start, but it is also important to learn classic composition. Take some time to poke around the web for explanations of leading lines, the rule of thirds, diagonals, framing, patterns, contrasts, all the things that make good photographs interesting.

    Have fun. Take lots of pictures. Oh, and that is one heck of a nice film camera.
     
  13. gusious thread starter macrumors 65816

    gusious

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Location:
    Greece
    #13
    Haha i've read some reviews about the camera and many people say nice things about it! Thanks for your reply and thank you everyone! I'm probably gonna move on with what i have right now! :D
     

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