heading down a new path. . .

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Chuck, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm looking to get into photography (much) more seriously, after years of point-and-shoot.

    I would like to focus on studio/portraiture work - - and in addition to the basics really learn: artificial lighting, capturing skin tones, posing, etc., etc.

    For equipment, here's what I'm thinking:

    Nikon D90
    Nikon 50mm f/1.8D
    Nikon SB-600

    Plus, of course, lot's of reading, classes, and practice, practice, practice :D.

    Any thoughts on this as a good starting kit?

    Any other recommendations for starting down this path??

    thanks,

    Chuck
     
  2. Chuck

    Chuck TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    bump - - any help here??

    thanks
     
  3. joemc

    joemc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Instead of the 50mm.... I would look at the 85 1.4...That is hands down the very best Nikon lens for portraits..... Fantastic lens!!! And...if you have not bought the D90 yet...The D300 is a great for the price.
    Cheers, Joe
     
  4. Chuck

    Chuck TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm just learning all this - - but doesn't the 85 get multiplied by 1.5 because of crop factor, leading to an effective Focal Length of ~130mm??

    I'm sure that's a good FL for some portraits, but to start I was thinking of a cheaper lens, and one that would let me work more close in to my subjects.

    What would the D300 give me for portraiture that I don't get on the D90?

    thanks
     
  5. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    For portraits you should use 85mm (75 - 100mm)
     
  6. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    United States of America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Yes, but you're going from a hundred dollars to twelve hundred dollars for the lens alone. It would make sense to stay closer to the OP's ballpark and perhaps suggest the 85mm f/1.8. He can get that for $450.
     
  7. Chuck

    Chuck TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    85mm on full-frame or crop frame??

    plus an 85mm 1.4 lens is quite expensive for a beginner like me, I think
     
  8. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    full frame tbh
    a 50mm is 75mm equiv. on a 1.5x crop sensor (nikon)
    or an 80mm equiv on a canon (1.6x)
     
  9. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Keep in mind that while the field of view on a crop sensor is smaller thereby giving you the "effective focal length" figure, the distortion to the image caused by shorter focal length lenses is still there. 50mm is 50mm no matter how you slice it.

    For proper portraits you want to shoot with a longer lens to reduce the distortion. This page will give you examples of what I'm talking about:

    Untitled Document

    Sometimes you don't have the space to use a 85mm lens on a crop body so you have to use something shorter like a 50mm. But for portraits, I like to shoot 85mm or better. My outdoor portrait lens of choice is my 70-200mm.

    As for the D90 vs. the D300, I see no reason for you to spend the extra money on a D300. Spend it on glass and get the D90. The D300 will give you better weather sealing, sports worthy AF and a few other amenities but nothing that will improve your portraits. The D90 is a stellar crop body camera.
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,216
    Likes Received:
    5,001
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Your equipment list is a good start. Start with the 50mm 1.8 but don't fill the frame with your subject to minimize distortion. Save up to get the longer 85mm lens later.

    Since your looking to concentrate on portraiture I would say skip the SB-600.

    You won't want a speedlight on the camera, you'll want to do "Off Camera Flash", or OCF. You can use the built-in flash (in manual mode) for some fill light when you need it.

    Instead, get a couple of Vivitar 485HV speedlights (about $90 ea.) or equivelent, and an eBay radio trigger set like this kit that has a transmitter and 2 receivers. That will be about as much $$$'s as an SB-600.

    You can get a couple of light stands, a couple of umbrella brackets and a couple of 45" or so convertable umbrellas for another $130 or so.

    You'll be much closer to having a useable portraiture set-up.
     
  11. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,228
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Isn't the ratio the other way around? A 300mm lens on a crop would be more like a 480mm on a full frame. Just throwing those numbers out there. So a 50mm on a FF would be more like a 31mm (approximately... 50mm/1.6=31.25mm) on a crop sensor. A FF camera always takes more mm's to equal a crop sensor. That's why I got a crop because I like telephotos and you get more out of your lens (focal length wise) for cheaper than having a FF body.
    These numbers are based on Canon crop bodies of 1.6...
     
  12. Chuck

    Chuck TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Very helpful, thanks.

    But one thing I'm trying to understand: if you took the same picture using different focal length lenses from the same place wouldn't the distortion be the same?? That is, isn't the distortion caused by trying to fill up the frame with the shorter focal length which necessitates moving closer to the subject - - and therefore causing distortion?

    Bottom line: It's not the focal length of the lens itself that causes distortion, but rather the distance from the front of the lens to the subject??
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

vivitar 485hv with nikon d300s and sb800