A few questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sbranam, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. sbranam

    sbranam TPF Noob!

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    ok, so I have a few questions and am hoping someone could please help me out. I just recently (about 2 months ago) bought a Rebel XTi and have the lens that came with it (18-55mm), also my husband bought me a lens for mothers day (70-300mm) so that's the equipment I have as of now.

    What lens is best for portraits? How important is it to get a flash kit? Also anything you can tell me about filters would be nice as well. I'm sorry I have all these questions, I've just never had a SLR before. My last camera was a Canon Powershot SD630 so this is all new to me. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!:D
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi, that can be a complicated question. What kind of portraits would you like to take? You don't have to have lights as there are several really good photogs using only natural light. (you will need reflectors and scrims though)

    What you need is a nice lens that is between 50mm and 100mm. The lower the f number the better for several reasons but mainly to get the background out of focus (in a pleasing manner) and to place full attention on your subject.

    First thing to do is to read this http://groups.msn.com/Asktheoleproaboutphotography/joezeltsman.msnw

    It's 16 chapters and the best money you will ever spend. (it's free but still!)

    Don't do anything until you have read this.

    TTYS

    mike
     
  3. sbranam

    sbranam TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike! Off to read now! :)
     
  4. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    I have a 70-300mm lens and at first I loved it for portraits. But it's slow to focus, often causing me to miss shots of my kids, who can't hold still for 2 seconds. Camera shake is an issue when I zoom (anyone know how hard it is to take pics of playing kids with a tripod? I can barely get a pic of them when I hold the camera :blushing:). My favorite portrait lens is now my 50mm 1.8. I adore the sharpness and it focuses very fast compared to the tele lens.

    The XTi is such an amazing camera that I've only used my flash about three times since I got it over 6 months ago. Of course, I don't take many pictures inside. I did use it over Christmas to take family pictures and at my daughter's preK graduation (it was in the gym). Normally, though, I can manage without the flash at all, which is great because I can hardly figure out how to use the 430EX flash I've got. Good thing I didn't get the 580EX.

    As for filters, I don't use any (except UV filters, used only to protect the lenses...I'm SOL if I screw up a lens). I do lots of PP though. One of my favorite things to do is to play with my pictures on the computer. :lovey:
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Most of the best portraits I have seen have been taken at 80-100mm on film. So 50-85mm or so for digital cameras with APS sensors like yours. You have basicallygot that range covered, except what is often important is a very low aperture, f/1.8 or f/2.8 is not uncommon for portraits as it blurs the background and causes focus only on the subject.

    As for flash I bought mine about 3 months ago and I take it with me everywhere. I use it for everything from a quick fill flash when the lighting is harsh, to bouncing it off a reflector for some nice portraits, dimming down the sun, or at weddings too. Ultimately the people who own them and don't use them often don't realise the power they have being able to physically control light, I am thinking of buying another one or two, but they are so damned expensive.

    As for filters a UV on each lens for protection is pretty much a must. Beyond that the only reason someone would use filters in a digital world is to make something which can't be faked in post processing. This pretty much means a polariser, either a straight circular polariser or a B-Y Polariser for landscape photography.
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A good portrait lens for someone like you who probably does not want to spend a ton of money would be http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/12142-USA/Canon_2514A002_Normal_EF_50mm_f_1_8.html it's the 50mm 1.8 a very fast lens for a great price. As far as another flash I would definately get one I am not familiar with Canon cameras so I cannot reccommend a specific model but you should definately get one the light from the pop-up is terrible and should only be used when you have nothing else. Filters are a little more tricky the only filter that I would persoanally recommend to everyone would be a circular polariser it is great for senic type pictures and cuts dow on reflection and glare in your images but as far as the rest go filters are pretty specialised and it is a personal choice wether you need certain ones or not depending on what you shoot.
     
  7. sbranam

    sbranam TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much everyone!
     

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