Any Suggestions ...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Yemme, May 8, 2008.

  1. Yemme

    Yemme No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi everyone ...

    New to the forum and wanted to get some feed back. I have a Nikon FM-10 and I've only been shooting for 4 months, still learning. I have finally found my niche and I enjoy photographing architecture. The problem I’m realizing is the lens. I need to zoom in and also get a wider angle at times. I’m not sure which type of lens I should invest in. Any suggestions. Thanks in advance for your help. :D
     
  2. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know that some companies produced 28-200mm zooms for MD Minolta mounts. I'm sure that you could find something similar on eBay. That's where I got mine.
     
  3. Yemme

    Yemme No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks Christopher. I don't know anything about lenses, well photography period:lol:. Would you know if a zoom and a wide angle lens are two separate purchases I'd have to make? Or are they together? I just need some info before I walk into B&H. I like to be prepared.
     
  4. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For outside shots, you definitely want a solid zoom. Something up to 200 will work pretty well, but I find I use a 300 fairly often to get some of the neater details in the higher-up areas of buildings. Understand that while fast lenses ROCK, you can give up some of this (to save money) in most circumstances since you will be outside and will generally have better light than you will have indoors.

    Just keep in mind!!! The longer the focal length, the faster your exposures will need to be to avoid camera shake. I've seen a few guides but you have to figure at least some percentage over the focal length of the lens... if you're at 300, figure at least 1/400th of a second. That means you're going to need good light to get that shot.

    Note that you are likely going to occasionally want a wide angle lens for the exteriors, but if you are doing more artistic shots you're going to want the close-ups more frequently than the wide angle.

    For interior shots you're going to want the speedier lens whenever possible, because no matter how good the light may seem to the human eye, I can almost assure you that interior light is going to be too dim for a good/easy shot. :)

    For most interiors you will find you want a wide angle lens... generally this depends on what you are shooting... you can probably get away with a 30mm ish size in a cathedral or church, but my general advice here is the wider the better. 18mm or less is really the way to go here. Understand that if you are taking pictures of smaller spaces (like even 20' by 20' rooms) that wide angle gets critical. Again, if you are taking more artistic pictures, my guess is you will be zooming in more and the wide angle may become a bit less of a concern. Keep in mind that there are wide angle zoom lenses, but getting a FAST zoom lense (f2.8 or less) can get really expensive quickly (and that's if there is one that meets your needs).

    Last point on the wide angle lenses... the full/partial frame debate is one that rages on constantly, but there is one undeniable problem with the partial frame, and that is that it severely limits how wide your wide angle lenses are. The 18mm I use all the time really winds up being more of a 27mm. In tight spaces this hurts a LOT. Be aware of what your camera does before choosing a lens as it may make a big difference in your choices. (If you're not using digital, this is a non-issue, obviously)

    I would strongly recommend making sure you have a tripod with you as much as possible. Sometimes this can be a huge pain but it significantly reduces problems with light and long focal length. It is not a panacea, but it helps enormously. Keep in mind that not everyplace is going to relish you taking pictures, not to mention setting up big tripods! :) My latest experiment is going to be using some mini-tripods just to see how this works out. Quick setup/breakdown and not nearly as obvious as some big thing. We'll see.

    I hope this helps! Good luck!
     
  5. Yemme

    Yemme No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :cry:What have I gotten myself into….:lol:

    Thank you so much Manaheim. You gave me a lot of info. So much that your making me scared:lol:. I do have a tripod so that’s out the way and I bought it only because I used tungsten once. I know I have to figure out the lens thing eventually and I’ll take heed to all of your suggestions. I do love architecture and it’s a pain to shoot sometimes but so worth it in the end. I think I’ll consider starting with a zoom lens. I might have to hold off on that for a while. I just dread the price…why the hell is photography so expensive??????
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  7. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    :lol: Sorry, don't mean to scare you away.

    Yeah it's a wicked money pit. I basically turned my photography hobby into a side-profession to justify the expenditure and get some cash for it. I've dumped every damned dime I've made into it and still find myself needing something else... :lol:

    Really, if you want to simplify things, try to find a lens that is as wide as possible, with some decent zoom to it that is within your budget. In the Nikon space, the 18-135mm is a decent starting point. I think it's a 3.5/5.6 and runs ~$300. If you can swing a bit more cash, pickup the 18-200 VR. It runs ~$600. That would be -solid-.

    Once you've digested that idea, consider you can also pickup a teleconverter for pretty cheap (like less than $100) that will give you 1.5-2x the focal length (at the cost of light). That light cost can be painful, but you'll likely get away with it outside.

    God I should probably shaddup before you run screaming into the woods. :)
     
  8. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Those are neat, but in this digital era you can do perspective correction via software.

    http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/

    I cannot recommend this tool enough. Does an amazing job, very intuitive and cheap. Frankly, in even mentioning it I'm giving away one of my big trade secrets. :)
     
  9. Yemme

    Yemme No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you Kundalini for your input.

    I don't like those price quotes :lol: Especially the 600 .... This is just going to be a hobby for me so I might have to go to the used section in B&H...Is it bad practice to purchase used equipment?.. I can't bare the idea of something used though.

    That's ok keep on talkin' you owe me for trying to scare the hell out of me!:lol:
     
  10. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Most of the above recommendations seem to assume that you use a digital SLR, which is weird as you clearly stated that you use a Nikon FM-10 in your original post. Your camera will take Nikon AI and AI-s lenses and others. There are very good AI and AI-s prime lenses (fixed focal length, not zooms) around for not too much money (secondhand). I guess your camera came with a 50mm lens (?). If you want something wider, look for a 24 or 28mm. For a longer lens (to have more magnification) look for a 135 or 200mm. I would think that's all you would need to start taking architectural shots (but then again, it will depend on what you shoot exactly and on your shooting style).
     
  11. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    What lens or lenses do you have now? If you have the 50mm f/1.8 that a lot of old-school cameras have (or any lens that doesn't zoom in or out), you may find all of your needs of zooming in and getting wide angles are fit into an inexpensive 28-80mm Nikkor. The FM-10 does autofocus (doesn't it?), so make sure you get an autofocus lens if that's a big deal for you. But according to their website, they can take the older autofocus lenses that some of the modern digital cameras don't totally sync up with, so you SHOULD be able to get something you're looking for for cheap, if you don't mind using used lenses.

    Other than that, you're set! BTW, I can't tell you enough how cool it is that you picked that camera (or it picked you, as the case is sometimes) to start learning how to take photos. My dad had an FM-2 that I cut my teeth on, and using a camera that makes you control all of the shots will help you learn faster than those of us who don't. I like it!
     
  12. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No it does NOT. It is manual focus.
     

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