Back here after 2 years.. starting fresh.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by arcooke, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. arcooke

    arcooke TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone. I used to visit this forum a couple years ago when I bought my Panasonic DMC-FZ18 "slr-like" camera. I was hoping it would be a good way to get my feet wet in photography, but it turned out to be extremely cumbersome to work with in manual mode and I ended up just giving up and using it as a larger-than-average point-and-shoot camera.

    That said..

    I'm renewing my interest in photography. I've been looking around, and I'm leaning towards a Nikon D90 based on reviews I've read. First of all, is that something you guys would recommend as a good starter camera? Also, if you were just starting out in photography knowing what you know now, what would be the absolute must-have lenses/filters/accessories/etc that you'd run out and buy right away?

    I'm interested in just general photography for now, no special niche.


    I actually have a camping trip coming up soon in a remote area in the mountains of Alaska, so I'll have LOTS of photo ops.. and my boss happens to be a somewhat well-known light painter, and I can get some guidance from him.

    Anyway, ANY input you can offer would be very appreciated. Thanks! :D
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The D90 is an excellent camera, however the rumours are rampant about a successor soon to be released. This will probably be a slightly more expensive camera with slightly better features. You may want to wait until that happens, just a thought. As far as 'must' have accessories, my preference would be these in this order:

    -Polarizing filter

    -Speedlight

    -Telephoto zoom
     
  3. sobolik

    sobolik TPF Noob!

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    My 2 cents:

    I have the D90 and love it. I am waiting for the rumored replacement the D95 but fear it will be metal body and expensive. The D50 and D40 are good alternatives. Get the best used deal you can considering the lens/camera combo. Ask the seller what is the number of the photo taken? They are roughly good for 100,000 photos. So if the photo number is DSC 3476 you have a rather unused camera.

    Here are the lenses I have after 30 years of SLR use.

    Tokina 12-24. Absolute must have item for indoors and out. With the needed Nikon SB-400 flash to avoid lens shadow. The lens sees it's own shadow if using the on board camera flash.. Sb-400 is small, simple and effective. And only cost about $120.00 new.
    See: Digital Wide Zooms

    I have the D90 kit lens at 18-105 VR. A great lens. Ken Rockwell is not impressed but then he is not perfect and misses some. This is my everyday walk around lens.
    The expensive and praised 18-200 VR would be a good substitute and might do it some day to replace the 18-105 and the 70-300. But then if I break the 18-200 all I have left is the 12-24. I'm still mentally pondering this move. I love 18mm and cry if it is not on my camera, see next lens.

    I could live without but have the 70-300 at a cost of about $100.00 used. I am no longer a big fan of this range as I do not have wide available at the same time on a quality lens. That is why I do not spend big $ on a lens reaching out to 300mm range. (I used to use cheaper lenses that were 28-300 etc that included the wide end)
    Remember 70mm on digital is not 70mm like in film days it is more like 105mm these days. And 18mm is more like the 28mm of old. That is a huge difference HUGE difference. 28 or 105 35mm film equivalent.
    The Tamron 18-270 is tempting but I know of some one who had one for a brief while but took it back for a refund unimpressed. I like to stay with Nikon glass unless positive it is not worse. Like the Tokina 12-24. I would like to test drive the 18-270 personally but it is costly. I mainly avoid having this lens on unless I know that I will be using it a lot for the 300mm end. I don't like the 70mm tightness of view. (105 film equiv.)

    Also UV filters, polarizers and Neutral density filters can not be duplicated with software.

    Buy at a very cheap cost on eBay the Photoshop Elements 5.0 and you are set for software.

    Get a collapsible travel tripod and you are fully loaded except for a bag of your choice. I love this tripod and it supports heavy gear. Again look on eBay. I got mine for about $20.00 total with shipping. Biloret Tripod, Made in Germany - The GetDPI Photography Forums
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  4. DanFinePhotography

    DanFinePhotography TPF Noob!

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    Welcome back, look forward to seeing your photos :D
     
  5. Raian-san

    Raian-san TPF Noob!

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    It would help to know your budget as well.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What lenses I need or anyone else needs is going to be different from what lenses and gear you need. We all have key different areas of interest and also differing budgets, shooting styles etc...

    To advise on what you should best go for we need to know what sort of budget are thinking of and also what sort of photography you want to be taking and how you want to take it. Otherwise all you'll get are various random lists that won't have any real effect on yourself
     
  7. arcooke

    arcooke TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone, looking into everything.

    There's really no specific key areas of interest, but if I had to pinpoint a few things... I'd like to be able to shoot some macro shots (flowers, bugs and such) if I can, I plan on doing some outdoor landscape shots, some portrait shots, and I hope to be able to take some long exposure sky shots at night.

    Basically what I'm after is just some general purpose equipment for now, until I decide what key areas interest me the most and where I want to go with this hobby. I'm not looking for outstanding quality shots in every possible scenario at a low budget, because I know that's not going to happen. Perhaps one lens that will do all of that moderately well.

    Zoom is also something important to me, but it seems anything that zooms beyond 4-5x is absurdly expensive. I guess I got kind of spoiled by the 18x optical zoom on my point-and-shoot camera.

    Again, I'm not hoping for the perfect setup for super cheap.. I just need something that will get me started.

    I'd like to get all the bare necessities (body, lens, battery, memory card, tripod, bag) for under $1500
     
  8. DirtyDFeckers

    DirtyDFeckers TPF Noob!

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    I think the D90 would be an excellent choice for you, or anyone for that matter. It's relatively user friendly, while still giving you the ability to grow. Also, it is a VERY comfortable camera in your hands. Overall, I love the camera, and would recommend it to anyone.
     
  9. er111a

    er111a TPF Noob!

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    Canon XSI Rebel :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
     
  10. DirtyDFeckers

    DirtyDFeckers TPF Noob!

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    hahahaha and so begins the Nikon vs Canon thread! hahahhaa. I'm not one of those Nikon guys who hates Canon. I totally acknowledge the fact that Canon makes amazing cameras!
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My suggestion based on that would be the following:

    1) camera body of choice plus its kit lens - canon/nikon it really won't matter which one you go for to be honest - both will serve you well

    2) sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 APO macro - a decent low budget zoom lens. There are of course better ones on the market, but this is a good introductary lens with a wide range of options and features whilst also having a low price.
    Make sure you get the newer APO version as it is noticably sharper over the older version of this lens
    The macro mode it sports is only half macro - but is perfect for flowers and similar sized subjects; plus its long focal length gives a great background blur effect - in fact its macro is about its strongest area when used correctly.

    3) 50mm f1.8 lens - canon and nikon make them and they are both priced very cheaply. However dispite being cheap they are also able to deliver very high grade optical results. The fast aperture also makes it good as a low light lens when you are in darker conditions - to say nothing of the creative options that wide apertures also offer.

    4) Kenko AF Extension tubes - made for both canon and nikon these are overall far better for your money that the canon or nikon (with are very expensive for far less). This full set of tubes when attached to the 50mm lens will give you over 1:1 macro (full macro) which is the kind of magnification that you'd get with a true macro lens. This you could put on hold and see how the 70-300mm takes your fancy - if you want more magnification you can go for the tubes then or decide to save for a proper macro lens.


    Add to that a speedlite flash, tripod and camera bag and I think you would have a pretty solid setup. Which flash you go for depends on your remaining budget and the brand you choose to go with.

    Remember each of these options is budget line - use it as a starting point and see how much of your budget you have left over (remember tripod/ memory cards and stuff as well) and then decide if you want to play with entry level and then work up or if you want ot upgrade any of the choices above. For example you might have enough to change the 70-300mm for a 70-200mm option (I only know the canon ones in this line but the f4 L and IS f4 L are popular choices and might suit you a little better if you don't really have a pressing desire for more range)
     
  12. tnvol

    tnvol TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup:
     

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