$150 budget to expand equipment

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jteknet, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. jteknet

    jteknet TPF Noob!

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    I have a D80 with kit lenses (18-55mm and 55-200mm).

    I have saved up $150 in my "expand my photography equipment" fund. I think it's time to get something. I've been looking at the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF lens for $129, shipped, at Amazon.

    I already have a decent (at best) tripod. I lost my lens cap for my 18-55 and got a UV Filter to keep on it instead. I may invest in another cap but they aren't very much out of my savings.

    I have NO lighting. I'm thinking about doing some portraiture so I may need to work on that and backgrounds? I'm actually doing a photo shoot next Saturday at a nearby river. It has some great rocks to shoot on and use as backdrops and I may have a few couples going so that will be fun with swimsuits / trunks posing them against each other in some sexy poses. (I could actually use suggestions for river posing ideas or links to threads)

    Anyway, here's a quick recap of what I have currently:

    Nikon D80
    Kit 18-55 and 55-200mm lenses
    Tripod (that sucks)
    and a carrying case that is adequate for my needs

    Thanks for suggestions in advance :)
     
  2. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    get the 50, lens cap and make a reflector
     
  3. jteknet

    jteknet TPF Noob!

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    So just don't worry about lighting right now?
     
  4. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    you dont have enough to really get anything useful. The reflector will help with lighting, filling when you are out doing model shoots. Save up for a speedlite next
     
  5. jteknet

    jteknet TPF Noob!

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    Isn't speedlite for Cannon?

    At any rate, what should I be looking for in an on-camera flash?

    How about an SB-600 for $180 at Amazon instead of the other stuff? I can splurge $30 to have a good flash if you think it's important enough.

    I just want to buy things in the right order, ya know? Nothing worse that to get into something and go the wrong direction with it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get a lens cap, make the reflector and take a trip to a good museum and look at the paintings to see how they could be done with your camera.

    It's ok to copy other people's work as long as you don't present as all your own. Everybody does it one way or another when they are trying to get better.

    I did look at your flicker and it seems to me that the question you should be asking is "what is really interesting about this scene" and then try and capture that. A photo is much different than just looking at something. There is no actual emotional value that can be conveyed. You can through representation evoke some but that is entirely done through metaphor.

    The photo is smaller than life so the impact is much smaller as well. Not only do you have to show the scene in the best light you must also show some perspective to show the actual size of the scene.

    I don't know if you have ever heard about the legend of the Thunderbird but I actually saw one once and got a photo. You could tell the thing was huge by the way it moved and that it was unlike any other bird the same way.

    Problem was there was nothing to show perspective in the shots I took. Once I got my jaw back onto my head and looked at the shot, it looked like a little tiny bird against the clouds so I deleted them in disgust and went on with my day.

    Here is a trick, try cutting a rectangle out of some heavy black construction paper in the same ratio as you photos the then one of a 5X7 and an 8X10. Walk around looking at things through the holes to get an idea how it will look on a print.

    Any way, keep it up and good luck.

    mike
     
  7. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    If you have an 18-55 and a 55-200 why would you want a 50? Especially the 1.8...

    Anyway I never know what to say in these threads. You should get whatever you want. The real reason I decided to post something here was to say that lighting can be anything that produces, reflects, or refracts light. Seriously. None of it has to be "photography" specific equipment. Of the guys I know who own studios, shoot with mega expensive gear, and have a steady flow of high-dollar jobs - they all say the same thing. It can be anything.

    • Bed sheets.
    • Material from a sewing supply shop.
    • Those rubber magnifiers people put in the rear windows of their vans and campers,
    • Flood lights from the hardware store,
    • Dimmer switches,
    • Mirrors,
    • Tin Foil,
    • Colored cellophane wrapping paper,
    • Mirror balls (Christmas balls),
    • Flashlights,
    • Those Million Candle power automobile spotlights that wanna-be cops buy,
    • Old slide projectors,
    • Cardboard for gobos and etc.
    • And etc. etc.

    Buying dedicated pro or semi-pro lighting equipment like panels and frames should be the last thing you go for till you have steady clientele - is what I keep hearing. A flash unit sounds good though - I bet you could pick up something fairly useful for $150.

    <shrug>
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  8. jteknet

    jteknet TPF Noob!

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    I haven't finished reading your reply but I already have to thank you for going into depth and helping me out. :)

    So thanks.
     
  9. jteknet

    jteknet TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. Good advice, perhaps I will stop worrying so much about buying "proprietary equipment" and worry more about getting better at the art. I'm only about 8 months into my "professional photographer" adventure, so maybe I need to slow down and just learn more like Mike said. :)

    (and I'm going to get that construction paper, I don't care if I look dumb doing it)
     
  10. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    cause the 50 is kick butt. I couldnt live without mine. Although maybe the canon 50 1.8 is better?

    And yes, speedlite is canon, but what ever. I cant keep track of who has what :confused:

    I would get the flash first if you can get a decent one for the price. I wouldnt buy a bunch or crappy gear you will feel the need to replace in a couple months though. You can make bounce cards, reflectors, etc. But I dont think there is really a wrong order to get basic things
     
  11. jteknet

    jteknet TPF Noob!

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    Okie doke. :) Cool.

    I'm still debating whether or not to get the 1.8 since I'm going to do a shoot out at a river. I think I might be able to do some nice things with the river by stopping down and using a high shutter speed on some action shots while at the same time the "flowing water" at a higher f/stop and lower shutter speed looks "nicer". I don't know. Hard decision. I think I'm going to be doing a lot of outside stuff at least until winter so the f/1.8 seems reasonable for my $150.
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I would recommend spending some $$ on good photography books. Start learning more about exposure, lighting, etc.
     

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