Introduction

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Richard, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    This is my first post at "The Photo Forum" and I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Rich and I just purchased a Nikon D40. This is a step up from my Canon Powershot A75. I was planning to go to another point and shoot camera, the Canon IS3 but once I explained that my number 1 concern was the speed of taking shots the salesperson said you might as well put in 200 more dollars and go to a digital SLR. The salesperson was very informative and I went home and did research. I believe I got a great camera going from point and shoot to DSLR, especially because I am on a tight budget (basically had to con the wife into letting me spend that kind of money on a camera).

    To my question…
    I am mostly going to be using this camera for snapshots. Mainly taking pictures of my daughter and soon to be second daughter. What suggestion do you have for this purpose. I will be getting a lens hood in the next couple of days but what are some other important tools or accessories. I’ve been reading about filters, I’m just not sure if I really need them. I am on a tight budget and what to know the necessities or biggest difference for the buck. Thanks.

    Rich
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Welcome to the forum.

    Congrats on the new camera. I agree with the salesman, by spending that extra $200...you got a camera that is much more capable than a non-DSLR would be.

    I wouldn't worry about filters for now. The first accessories I would recommend would be a tripod, a hot-shoe flash and better lens.
     
  3. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,171
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Chicago burbs
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi Richard & welcome to TPF.

    Good call, spending the extra dough for the SLR. "Buy once, cry once." as they say.

    The first thing you should get is a tripod. You can get a nice one for $50. (Slik U8000, for example) A wise man once said that a $30 tripod will improve your pictures more than a $1000 lens.

    The next thing you should get is the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens. This way, you can take pictures of your daughters without blasting them with flash. Dial up the ISO in your camera to 800 or so, open the lens to f/2.8 or f/2, and fire away. No flash, no flat lighting, sharp pictures.

    This lens turns out to be the equivalent of 75mm, which is a good portrait length.

    With kids running around, I would recommend a multicoated UV filter for each lens. ($15 ea.)

    Later on, think about a dedicated flash and a 50-200 zoom lens.
     
  4. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Turners Hill, West Sussex, UK.
    To be honest if you are just after taking "Family Snaps" then what you have there will more than suffice. You have a good camera, a good lens and a good built in flash. An off camera flash will enable you to get softer lighting when indoors, but in the main you should get pretty good family pics with that set up. The lens will be fine for pictures up to about A4 ish. And with 6.1 mega pixels the camera will deliver about the same.So they will be in balance.
    If you identify a short coming, or you want to expand into other areas then fine... go for whatever you will need. A tripod is a good idea, but to be honest if you are not taking studio type portraits then it might not be that great an investment. Take pictures with what you have for a month or two, and if you find that you are getting blurry pictures because your shutter speed is very slow, the first thing I would recommend is a tripod. But you will find it difficult to follow a bunch of kids running up and down a beach throwing a ball around while you have to keep re-siting and re-leveling your tripod.
    Enjoy your camera and your daughters. If you need to expand the kit, it will soon become obvious. If it doesn't become obvious then you probably have kit which is good enough for what you want. Don't fall into the trap of buying everything you DON'T need just because someone who wants to win international competitions says that he /she would buy it..
    you will definately find a huge improvement over the compact, which was not at all bad to start with.
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,019
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    Just a couple of points. Whatever you do, unless you are shooting in a very dark situation DO NOT set your ISO at 800, I understand this may make some things simple but it is rare that I have ever found a situation where I thought it was necesarry to go over 400 if not 200 800 will add too much noise to your pictures and if you do as Jeremyz says, and I think it is a good idea, and buy a 50mm 1.8 you will not need a high ISO to get a reasonable shutter speed. On another note you mentioned you wanted to buy a lens hood if you do this for the lens that would have come with the camera I guess it is a 18-55 or some such make sure you purchase the correct hood for your lens as any wide angle lens may get some vignetting if you do not use a hood made for a wide angle lens. As far as the rest I don't think any filters are necesarry right now a tripod might be a good idea but as was earlier stated if you are chasing kids around it might be a burden rather than a help. One thing I might suggest as has also been stated is a hot shoe flash like the SB600 you will quickly see how crappy a light the pop-up throws off and also the extreme red-eye you will get with it. By the way congrats in advance on the new baby girl.
     
  6. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    First I wanted to thank you all for your advice. I am excited to be a part of a forum that will help me in photography. Also thank you for all the congratulations on my 2ND daughter.

    I am very grateful that I posted my question here, before I bought filters. So now I think I have an idea of what I should buy next. I failed to mention that I already own a tripod, which I purchased for my previous camera. I know I will be taking plenty of indoor pictures and I have been doing some research on the internet. I am deciding between a new flash or a new lens. If I buy a new flash I'm trying to decide if I should get the Nikon SB400 or Nikon SB600. I have read some good reviews on both but I'm not sure if the extra 60 dollars would be worth it to step it up to the SB600. Again my first priority is taking fast pictures, so recycle time is important. I also want to end the red-eye problem. My 1 st daughter has very light blue colored eyes and my wife has light green, so I can say I have done a lot of red eye corrections and I'm tired of it. The worst is when correcting the red eye makes it worse.

    Or I could buy a new lens like Jeremy Z stated (Nikon 50mm f/1.8) for about a hundred dollars. It will have to be a new flash or a new lens until Christmas comes along. Opinions?
     
  7. theusher

    theusher TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nowhere
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Go with the SB600 over the lens if you cannot afford both. Pictures look 100 times better when you bounce a flash off the ceiling or wall then blasting someone in the face with it. I don't think the SB400 has the ability to rotate in all directions. If you get a few extra dollars during the year (birthday maybe?) then drop that cash on the 50mm lens.

    It should help your red eye situation too.
     
  8. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,171
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Chicago burbs
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    50mm lens or flash? That is a tough one. I'd vote lens. However, if it will only be one until Christmas, make it the flash. The flash is several hundred dollars, right? The lens is < $100.

    If you buy the flash, the major expense will be out of the way. (you can probably scrape up $80-100 before Christmas, right?) Just $15 here and there? With the flash, it would be harder.

    There are two different schools of thought with regards to low light shooting:

    1) Flash always works, at least within the flash range. It will work with any lens that isn't too wide for the flash coverage.

    2) A fast lens usually works, doesn't blind people, doesn't EVER cause red-eye, is unobtrusive, and can be used outdoors at objects more than 200 ft. away too.

    Personally, I go for #2 every time, even if I have to bump up the ISO and get a little noise. If you irritate people with flash all the time, you won't be getting good candids for very long. Maybe just the first shot or two. Even your own kids will start to resent the camera and not cooperate or behave naturally. Also, on-camera flash ruins the depth & atmosphere of many indoor scenes. Bouncing it helps with this, but can lead to shadow problems and if you don't have a low, white ceiling, it's not really a viable option either. Getting really good flash pix takes a lot of practice. Otherwise, the subject is well-lit, and everything else is a black hole.
     
  9. theusher

    theusher TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nowhere
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I've done ok thus far with using my low, white ceiling with bounce flash. None of the problems you described. *shrug* I actually had a situation where I was snapping some pictures of my family playing with their dog. I used the 50mm at 1.8 and the pictures were underexposed and in some cases not very sharp in a living room lit only by 2 floor standing lamps with lower wattage bulbs. The only thing that saved the day was the SB600 bounced off the ceiling. I had no bad shadows, save 1 or 2 photos in which it was my fault.

    I'm no pro though, so take my advice for what it is, my own experience.
     
  10. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree with you about the flash, after I got my D40 I shot about 4 shots at my wife with the on board flash, she started complaining about the flash being too bright and how it was really annoying after 4 shots. So I really see your point on that issue.
    I am actually leaning toward the lens, I realized that the SB600 cost more like 200 dollars than 160 dollars I thought it was. Which is a little out of my price range for right now. I don’t think I want to settle for the SB400 flash. So I am thinking of getting the lens first then saving and trying to get the SB600 flash by Christmas.
     
  11. ericande

    ericande TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'd get the flash. The sb 400 does have bounce, but only in landscape orientation. If you hold the camera vertically, you can only bounce with the sb 600 or 800.

    Also, I wouldn't worry too much about using 800 ISO if you need it with the D40 unless you are going to print at 8x12.
     
  12. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have to admit the largest I will develop a photo right now will most likely be a 5X7 range. I put most of my images in emails and online.
     

Share This Page