A little new to photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by StreetShark, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. StreetShark

    StreetShark TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    I am 15 and have been shooting for almost a year. I own a Kodak Z650 semi-SLR (high zoom camera) and a old Canon FTb film SLR (given to me). I plan on buying a digital SLR this summer. I know a bit about aprature, ISO, and shutter speed but I know very little about lenses and there quality. If any one can give me some tips on how to get better shots or where to go to learn more about photography that would be great.

    Thanks
     
  2. Azuth

    Azuth TPF Noob!

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    Welcome.

    -Buy a general book on photography (or go to the library). Read it. Twice. Even a 35mm handbook from the second hand book store would be fine.

    -Take lots of pictures.

    -Accept the honest constructive critique of others and be critical of yourself.

    -Tale lots of pictures.

    -Post specific questions in places like this. The better the quality of your questions, the better your answers will be.

    -Tale lots of pictures.

    -Go out with a goal in mind. Explore the different types of photography and find out what you like to do.

    -Don't spend money on gadgets, unless you have money to burn.

    -Many great photos were taken with equipment that a lot of people here would say are not great quality. Resolving more detail in a bad picture because you have a better lens or better camera will not stop it from being a bad picture.

    -Tale lots of pictures.
     
  3. StreetShark

    StreetShark TPF Noob!

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    Ok. I'm doing most of those things such as reading I book (The digital photography Book by Scott Kelby) and I take as many pictures as I can. Thanks and I'll make my questions more direct next time.
     
  4. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The more specific the question, the more useful the answers,
     
  5. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Lens quality is a thing that I know little enough about myself, too, for whenever I go to get myself a lens, I have to do so on a tight budget, which is why I cannot, simply CAN NOT go for the best. Only for what I can afford.

    Usually those lenses are considered best which are fast, i.e. which allow for a very wide open aperture at their widest point.
    Then I have learned right here on TPF that prime lenses are better than zoom lenses ... and I have been drooling over a 50mm f1.8 or even f1.4 lens ever since ... but still cannot afford to buy me one.

    There is a lot of mention of name extensions like IS and such ... which is all Greek to me, I'm afraid.
    So no big help here.
    Sorry... must learn all that myself, too.
     
  6. Azuth

    Azuth TPF Noob!

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    In terms of lens quality. 99 times out of 100 you get what you pay for. The 50mm 1.8 may be the 1.

    Some abbreviations.
    IS stands for Image Stabilising, this means the lens actively compensates for subtle movements of the camera (camera shake) and helps you to get a clear shot at a lower shutter speed. Generally up to 2 steps below what you could comfortably shoot at hand held otherwise. So if you say on a 50mm lens you could keep a still image sharp at 1/125s then you might conceivably shoot at 1/30s. IS will not stop motion blur, if the subject is moving, it will still blur. For Sigma's this may be called OS (Optical Stabaliser)

    L - Is a Canon suffix used to denote their professional lenses. These generally have better optical elements, are manufactured to more exact tolerances and are better seals against the elements (dust / moisture).

    Most manufacturers have some sort of code to tell you what the letters mean, you can read about them on their web sites. Like Sigma will use EX to denote build quality and APO to denote low dispersion glass.

    The fact is, even the cheap canon kit lens that comes with their entry level DSLR's is likely to be tons better optically than a standard lens from 20 years ago, and many fantastic images were taken 20 years ago.

    A good camera can't make a great picture with a poor photographer, but swap those two variables around....
     

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