Cost of setting up

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Joanne4, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. Joanne4

    Joanne4 TPF Noob!

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    I was just wondering is it really expensive to buy the equipment for photography? What is the best way to get started in photography? I have always been interested in photography, but I am worried about the cost invloved. Is there a good photography course someone could recommend by correspondance? Is it a good idea to do a course? Could someone please help me I have no idea.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    This is a matter of some debate!

    Personally I'd say the following:

    No, it isn't prohibitively expensive to start (unless you are on the poverty line!). Set yourself a budget - say £20 per month and stick to it. £20 will get you a few films developed and printed (and put onto CD for sharing with the internet).

    Buy one cheap book on the principals of a manual SLR. Get an idea of how focussing, aperture and exposure work and how they affect an image. There's a good FAQ at the top which covers all of these. Children's photography books are often very good as you don't really need to know about complicated things, just vaguely how it works!

    Buy a good value, good marque, fully manual 35mm SLR such as a Canon AE-1, Nikon FE, Pentax K1000 etc. Get it with one standard (50mm) lens. Check it for mould, rust and major damage, smoothness of operation - if it feels right it usually is. You should be able to get a great SLR like this for under £100 including the lens and some accessories like a bag for it. Don't get a zoom lens to start with as you've got enough new things to worry about. Also, don't buy an automatic camera as it won't teach you to think as well. If you've got time on your hands, look at car boot sales - don't pay more than £10 for anything though.

    Take pictures, recording the exposure, aperture and conditions (v. tedious). Compare these criteria to the quality of images you get back.

    Here's a blatant bit of opinion: Don't bother with courses - they are all rubbish. Spend the money on film development instead and you'll learn much more. If they are any good, then they'll probably cost you a fortune.

    Don't buy expensive books, go to a charity / second-hand shop and get them there for £1. Buy some traditional magazines such as B&W photographer and look at the settings people have used to take great photos. Copy them, recreate them etc.

    Good luck - if you need any help with second-hand cameras, just ask as there are lots of collectors and experts here.

    Rob
     
  3. Mike Bonsall

    Mike Bonsall TPF Noob!

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    well put Rob!

    I think it's a real shame that people are led to believe that they need the latest all-singing, all-dancing SLR to take great pictures.

    I'd say it's actually a fantastic time to get into photography, as there are so many people out there who have been persuaded to part with a small fortune for the latest gear that the second-hand market is full of exellent manual cameras (the ideal tool for learning the basic skills).
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I have one more thing to add as well!

    It's reasonably likely that the brand of camera you first buy will be the foundation for all your future purchases and the beginning of your photography life. Therefore if you start with say a Nikon, it's very likely you'll still have your first fully-manual body even after you upgrade with more lenses and more bodies! Choose fairly carefully as this will probably be the brand you stay with.
     
  5. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    To add to rob's excellent reply:

    As you get into photography, you usually discover that you need/want flashes, lenses, second body, accessories... etc etc... So you need to consider your SLR purchase as "buying into a system" of those lenses, accessories and bodies of different levels.

    Ask yourself if you want to go digital sometime in the future.
    Ask yourself what lenses and flashes you'd want... but that's a very hard question though...

    So it's random at this stage...

    Maybe you shouldn't worry about that yet, and just get a body + lens which are positively won't work on a autofocus body. Then you'll be able to make a more intelligent decision about what AF system you want, cause you have more experience.
     

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