Extreme Beginner

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ncstater1919, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. ncstater1919

    ncstater1919 TPF Noob!

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    Hi Everyone,
    I'm new to this site and also to photography. I started to google forums such as this one to start and look up information on photography. Next year in highschool I will be taking a photography class, so I wanted to try and get a step ahead of everyone, by purchasing a camera and getting out to start taking pictures, while also learning the technicalities of cameras. I don't really have a budget, I guess under 700$ but I have been looking at the Nikon D40, as I have read it is an excellent camera for beginners and even those who are more experienced. I guess the advice I am needing is I am confused on the type of lens i need to buy. I have the option of getting the body and the standard 18-55mm, or should I get the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm? I don't really know the difference in the lenses, if you could also tell me what "55-200mm" means.

    Thanks a lot guys, and I look forward to becoming a valued member of this forum!
     
  2. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I dont know much about the Nikon but I do have a Canon entry level (Canon Rebel XTi) and its great! I am 19 and im very happy with it. Very Awesome...

    55-200mm means its a zoom lens, and the numbers mean the focal length range. So you could have two zooms,
    one near the wide angle end which is 18-55 and the other is 55-200 which is the 2nd half, notice how the first lens ends in 55 and the second lens starts with 55, anyways the larger the number the more of a zoom you get, for far away objects, the larger the number, the farther you can see
     
  3. ncstater1919

    ncstater1919 TPF Noob!

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    oh ok, so the 18-55 is like a standard lens, where you can get some zoom but nothing too impressive, and then the 55-200 is like a zoom lens, that is used for far away stuff. and how far are we talking?
     
  4. dmatsui

    dmatsui TPF Noob!

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    18-55mm Is a lens i personally use allot, it's a good lens for portraits(closer to 55mm) as well as landscapes (closer to 18mm)
    The 55-200mm lens is good for, for example sport photography where your not going to be able to be to close to the subject. Of course it all depends on what you want to shoot. If you want to shoot wildlife in the forest or birds in trees your likely to need a lens of at least 300mm 400mm would be better. Its hard to say exactly how far you can zoom in on a subject, it's not really measured like that in photography.
    It's up to you whether or not you want the 55-200mm lens and what you want to photograph.
     
  5. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ill brb, uploading shots for you

    18mm [​IMG]

    55mm[​IMG]

    75mm[​IMG]

    ~200mm[​IMG]

    300mm[​IMG]

    This was on my Canon Rebel XTi

    First two shots were with my 18-55mm the reset were with my 75-300mm
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  6. ncstater1919

    ncstater1919 TPF Noob!

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    thank you for taking those shots, it really did help me to understand the differences. i think it will be important for me to get both of the lenses, just in case. especially since they are combined and it would be cheaper to pay for it upfront then buy it later on. thanks for the help on that guys.

    what are some beginner tips that you can provide to an aspiring photographer? just some helpful hints, that may seem very common, but very important.
     
  7. hourglass

    hourglass TPF Noob!

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  8. dmatsui

    dmatsui TPF Noob!

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  9. ryan7783

    ryan7783 TPF Noob!

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    I have a Nikon D300 with a 50mm lens, a 28-75mm, a 55-200mm, and an 18-55mm that came as a kit lens on another camera I have and I use the 18-55mm much much more than I use my 55-200mm. Of course, I do portraiture photography more than landscape and nature photography so I find that I don't NEED the 55-200 very much.

    It's all personal preference and what type of photography you'll be doing. If you will be shooting a lot of nature - like birds and other animals, you will need a lens that can zoom (either the 55-200, or the 18-200, or even the 70-300).

    First ask yourself what you will be primarily photographing. Then make your lens decisions based on that.

    As far as which camera you should get...That is also personal preference. Go to the store, hold the cameras, take pictures with the cameras, ASK QUESTIONS about the cameras. Narrow it down to the one you want, then go to a REPUTABLE website like BHphoto.com or US1photo.com or Adorama.com and buy it online. You will save a bundle by buying it online rather than in the store.

    Just for reference though, the cameras in the $700 price range include the Nikon D40 kit and the Canon XTi kit. There are other brands out there that are very nice but I think those two are the higher of the bunch.
     
  10. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    WTF?

    You *should* be finding more use in the 55-200 for portraits. The 18-55 is better for landscapes, although at 55 it is a short telephoto.

    Nikon D40 bodies are out there for as low as $340 new.
     
  11. ncstater1919

    ncstater1919 TPF Noob!

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    Yea i've already gone to wolf camera, and have decided that the nikon d40 is the way to go. if i really decide to make this a serious hobby after taking the class, and of course shooting a lot, then I may upgrade.

    thanks for the advice guys, and hopefully i can start taking some pictures to post up here for critique.
     
  12. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    D40 is a fine camera. If you can spend a bit more money go with the D80.

    Look at this thread... I kind of go over a lot of the Nikons in one spot here.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that tha 18-135mm is one of my favorite lenses to recommend to folks just starting out. It's a VERY flexible lens with reasonable quality and will allow you to avoid switching lenses a lot (which will reduce dust and such that will distract you from learning about other elements of the camera). However, it's important to note that the 18-55 VR that you usually see in kits is also a macro lens, which may be useful for you. I don't think the 18-135 is. You'd have to check.
     

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