advise re: getting started with dslr

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by jedson, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. jedson

    jedson TPF Noob!

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    Not new to photography, but am new to digital. Have a point and shoot digital. Want a DSLR that lets me decide on all the settings just like I did when I used film. My ideal would be a camera body that was inexpensive and sturdy, and had NO automatic features. Then I would want to have a set of lenses to go with it – probably a 28mm, a 75 or 100 mm, a 100 mm macro, and a 300 mm. Would be happy with used or re-furbished equipment. I want reasonable quality – sharp photos, enough pixels to work with, etc. But expense is definitely a factor. Realize that there is usually a trade—off between expense and quality. Want the cheapest way to get the job done. Any advise? Do I need to stay with Nikon or Cannon for quality? What about 3rd party lenses?



    Jedson
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Go used if you want to save money, though you assume more risk of equipment failure and it takes much more time to track down what you want, at the price you want.

    Inexpensive and sturdy are contradictions in terms. With digital, sharp photo's are a function of post processing images with image editing software.

    You don't have to stay with Nikon nor Canon but the vast majority of used gear out there is those brands. 3rd party lens quality will vary depending on the lens, and if used, how they were treated.

    Particularly with the used market, it's "Buyer Beware".
     
  3. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Similar story here. 30+ years of photography but only a few months with digital.

    Used to shoot Minolta and since there is no way to use my old non-AF lenses on a digital body it didn't matter. I went with a Canon D30 because the store I walked into that day was selling them for half the price of the next model up since it was discontinued.

    But if you have Nikon lenses, from what I understand, they can be used on digital bodies so that is something to keep in mind. And I'm sure someone else will tell you more about that.

    Digital bodies seem to be like computers. New models all the time so you can get yesterday's body at a good price. But that is definitely not the case with lenses. They seem to hold their value. And good glass is very expensive.

    So, I would say, figure out whose glass you want to use and get whatever body of that brand fits your budget. Then just get a decent but affordable lens to start with (I just got a 50mm myself) and start playing with that until you decide whether you like digital or not. It is very different.

    Although I will keep my DSLR for effect driven photos, I am most probably going to put some sort of darkroom together again for most of my work.
     
  4. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Unlike the old film days you are not going to find beginner/student bodies like the venerable Pentax K1000 in digital. All manual no feature bodies just don't sell and aren't made.

    Take a look at the systems out there Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus, Fuji, and see which ones fit you needs the best in the price range you have set, then go to a good photography shop and do a little hands on to see what you like. While you are doing that check out the lens lines as well to see what fits your price range, not just the bodies.

    You will be much more likely to be satisfied with what you end up with if you have a some knowledge and feel for the systems that only hands on can provide, than if you just take our recommendations.

    Good site to compare bodies and features.
    Buying Guide: Side-by-side: Digital Photography Review

    Good luck.
     
  5. jedson

    jedson TPF Noob!

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    Skywlaker -- you wrote:
    It never occurred to me that a digital camera could use the old non-digital lenses. I also use Minolta. I think Minolta makes digital cameras. If I could put my old lenses on them, all my problems would be solved. Do you know anything about this?

    jedson
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Minolta is out of the camera business. Sony bought them out but I believe that old Minolta glass is compatible with the Sony Bodies.
     
  7. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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    Minolta auto-focus lenses from the Maxxum days are compatible with current Sony α-series DSLRs.
     
  8. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    The only Minolta lenses that are compatible with digital bodies from whatever brand took over Minolta (Sony? really? sorry guys I'm getting older and some things just don't stick to my brain anymore) are the AF (Auto Focus) ones. Minolta doesn't exist anymore. At least in photography.

    I have read a few things about adapters or conversions of Minolta lenses to fit Canon digital bodies. Since I have some very nice lenses I loved that idea but I haven't found anything 100% sure yet and when I asked my local camera repair shop about it, they just laughed at me...

    On the positive side, Minolta made some amazing lenses (including some for Leica) and I've just seen my 250mm mirror go for a little over $800. on ebay. If you have good Minolta lenses it is worth doing a little research on their value before selling them.

    But if you figure out the Minolta lens on Canon DSLR body thing, let me know. I would love to keep some of my lenses.
     
  9. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ai"nt that a fact. All of the new cameras give you some control in the Manual mode but, it isnt manual truly. Also the lower line bodies are all plastic you need to go Prosumer for the better built bodies. The Nikon D200/300 have magnesium bodies and, Im not sure which Canon bodies are metal. I kind of miss manual cameras but, if I miss it enough I can always break out my Pextax MX to get my fix.
     
  10. jedson

    jedson TPF Noob!

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    Looked around and found a Minolta to Canon EOS adapter at Amazon, so they make them, or at least did make them. They were out. List price was about $80. See here: < Amazon.com: Minolta MD lens to Canon EOS EF body mount adapter: Camera & Photo > Reports about using this kind of thing are mixed. I ran into lots of reservations about whether it is worth it. As far as I could tell the main draw backs were that you could not set the lens to infinity, and could not use auto-focus. Some did feel it did work OK for Macro. If one were wanting to hand focus anyhow, this might be useful in some situations. I don't know. Also I don't know how hard it might be to actually get such an adapter. Also I ran into lots of desptions about making your own 35mm to canon adapters, but they looked like more than I could get into at this point.
     
  11. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Well, $80 is not bad if you have a few lenses to use with it and having to manually focus doesn't really bother me. I'm so not used to have auto-focus that I still manually focus most of what I shoot with my D30 :lol:

    The problem is finding one you can actually buy. I have basically given up on this idea and my 35mm bodies and lenses will soon be on e-bay.
     
  12. HeY iTs ScOTtY

    HeY iTs ScOTtY TPF Noob!

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    careful some adapters can really screw up the lens quality. - in my experience (which is not much haha)
     

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