Help with lenses!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by boclcown, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. boclcown

    boclcown TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm considering purchasing a Nikon D50 soon. I don't have much money right now (barely $100) and it will take me quite a bit of time to save up for the basic kit. I've heard the lense that comes with the D50 is fairly good compared to most kit's, but will it be enough? I want to be able to do general shooting, though I would like to shoot a bit close or a bit wide every now and then. Not too extreme, really, but It would be nice to have a bit of leeway.

    I'm not sure how to rate the 18mm - 55mm included lense. The zoom is about 3X, I think, which seems fine to me. How close to my subjects can I get, though?

    And what about the apeture. Does it have a range? I though the camera sets the ap.... I've only used point+shoots. Will I honestly need to spend another $300 on a lens, because that is very much out of my reach for the next year, at least. I would hate to spend $600+ just to find out that I can't do too much with the camera.

    Any help is very, very much appreciated. It would also be nice if someone could explain exactly how lenses work with SLR's, and why someone would buy a new one.
     
  2. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Dayton,Ohio
    A D50 will work with any Nikon mount AF lens. In a 35MM equivalent the 18-55 would equal a 27-83 lens. This will take you from slightly wide to very mild telescopic.

    The lens is quite capable of doing most scenic and portrait shots. As a 1 lens fits all it is IMHO quite good.
    I've never really measured how close I can get with mine, but it's quite close...I'd say less than 6 inches, probably less than 3 inches.
    You CAN set the aperture, or let the cam's brain do it.

    On buying a new lens, you won't HAVE to but will WANT to.
    A new lens gives you MORE capability. As an example the 18-55 will give you a range of approximately 1.8 times a wider view than the normal human eye up to not quite double the human eye. In a D50 the average human view is approximately at 33MM.

    As an example if you had an 80-200 lens you would have eagle vision.

    The setup kit you are buying is a very excellent starter digicam. IMHO it would actually be a mistake to run out and buy a bunch of expensive glass. Being more limited makes you more focused and intent on learning photography instead of equipment specs.

    Play with all the different settings.

    Shoot the same item up close and at a distance at various shutter speeds and apertures. Learn how they interact.

    A good photographer can take awesome photos with a completely manual Nikon F from 1959 and a 50MM standard lens. Many people make a good living with just that setup.

    Someone who throws money at the hobby attempting to be good without effort will be a poor photographer in both skill and wealth.

    LWW
     
  3. boclcown

    boclcown TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. That's exactly what I needed to hear. I can definately see myself buying a $300 (maybe more?) telephoto later on, but I wanted to make sure that initially, I would have the ability to take most of the photos I normally would. I own a Minolta Dimiage Z1, which has been great in allowing me to experiment just enough to know what I want to improve on. I'm realizing that normally, I rarely zoom past 5x. I'm not quite a nature photographer and I don't enjoy it. I definately can't see myself wanting to zoom in extreemly close to anything. Though I can certainly see myself wanting to get a close up of something. Maybe not extreemly, extreemly small (like a pea or insect), but certainly close enough to see the details of a coin, or watch....

    so would an 18 - 70mm lens be much better? I think Ritz is selling a D50 with that lens for 699 or so...


    Hm... some other quick questions... (thanks so much for the in-detail help).

    If you can get 6 inches close to something, why would someone buy a macro lense? Also, If the camera can set the apature, then why do some lenses have a specific apature labled on them....
     
  4. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Since you are so new i would reccomend a film camera you can find a new or used one anywhere from $50 to $300 and those take just as good pictures and are great learning tools. And if it turns out you dont want to do photography you didnt watse almost a grand.

    The kit lens will do you fine. It all depends on what you want to shoot. One lens might be better for one person while another lens is better for someone else.

    The aperature is labeled lets say 4.5 or somehthing it means that that is the biggest it can open, it can change.

    For example, the canon ef 70-200 lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and a minimum aperture of [FONT=Georgia,serif]f/[/FONT]32.

    check out this site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture wikipedia is a great tool it has information on almost anything.
     
  5. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    As a learning tool, Digital would have to be considered far superior to film. Not only can you shoot as much as you want (which is key) without paying a cent, you can see results instantly instead of writing down settings and waiting a few days to see what you did.
    Usually only Macro lenses can focus that close. The 18-55 focuses down to 11", which is not quite the 1:1 necessary for true "Macro" shots, but it can certainly get reasonably close. Example here. The 18-70 focuses to 15". In terms of comparing the two, the 18-70 is the superior lens, but for the price I'd be tempted to stick with the 18-55mm unless you use Manual Focus a lot. The 18-55 is a surprisingly good lens - less distortion at the wide end than the 18-70, decent AF speed, and very light. The 18-70 has a faster aperture at the tele end, focuses faster and quieter, can have the Autofocus manually overridden at any time, and is built better, but it also costs more than twice as much.
    The lens is labeled with the largest aperture it is capable.
     
  6. boclcown

    boclcown TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I wouldn't consider myself completely new to photography itself - I've just been using point and shoot cameras up until now. I already know that I am interested in photography from using my Minolta Z1. Also, I can't see how shooting film would make things easier...
     
  7. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Dayton,Ohio
    I looked at the specs and Nikon states 11" as the minimum focus so I stand corrected.

    I do have a close up filter attachment and forgot to mention that. Available for under $30.00 also.

    LWW
     
  8. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Dayton,Ohio
    I assume they were referring to initial cost AND getting a completely manual camera.

    Trust me...learn to use the camera in manual mode.

    The camera automation can be very useful, but each photo can have several "correct" exposures while only 1 is shutter/aperture combo that makes people go "WOW".

    Once you understand the relationship between shutter speed and aperture the info in the viewfinder will tell you whether the cam has made the decision for the effect you desire. Until then it's just numbers.

    Also "improper" exposure can often be used for dramatic/artistic effect.

    People relying on PhotoChop to "fix" photos is a crutch. The more that is done in camera the better the final result. Not that digital darkrooms don't have a very valuable place, but they can't replace getting it right at first.

    LWW
     
  9. dsp921

    dsp921 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    3
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The 18-70mm lens is much better than the 18-55, both in build quality and optically. If you can afford the extra money it is well worth it.
     
  10. SleepingWolf

    SleepingWolf No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    none
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    80mm is excellent for portraits.
    not sure why you call 27mm "slightly wide" - in 35mm terms, the 50mm is the "normal" - anything smaller can be considered a wide angle.

    The classic wideangles are the 28mm and the 35mm - with the 35mm being the most common. The 21mm, less common should be considered ultrawide. Below that we fall rapidly into the fisheyes.

    I have all these focals, and for landscapes and buildings the 28 is a far as I would normally go with a wideangle - even then it is hard to control the perspective shift.

    As for macros - these are great if you can afford a good one, and a good one will often cost more than your camera. A telephoto lens (or zoom) will generally act as a great macro lens...you won't be able to get as close to your subject (and you should use a tripod) but you will get great detail. The telephoto usually blurs out background distractions because being slower (in general) it forces you to open up and reduce the DOF.

    I agree that digital for beginners is a much better choice. Nothing like spending hours shooting film to find out you didn't do as good a job as you thought you did - and that's providing you loaded the film in the first place.
    :)
     
  11. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I couldn't agree with this more. I see a lot of people recommend film as the first SLR and I'm assuming that's largly due to the cost a dSLR but you should be able to tell if your interest is worth the investment... if it is... I'd definitely recommend going digital.

    I have a Nikon D50 with the 18-55. I'm somewhat new to the dSLRs too but for me the wide end of that lens is what makes it valuable. For me.... I figured going with the 18 might make due for wide-angle shots for a little while and delay my desire to get a new wide-angled lens.

    That said... while I value the 18... I find myself shooting around 50 - 55mm most frequently.

    This is probably something that could be argued all day... my suggestion would be to go to a camera store and try out both lenses. That should help you make your decision.
     
  12. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Dayton,Ohio
    No offense at "slightly wide", the proper verbiage might have been "standard wide" angle lens.

    I find the most useful wide angle to be 24 on film but I don't have one for digital. I also wish there was an affordable rectilnear fisheye for digital like the Zenit 16 for film.

    LWW
     

Share This Page