Lens Filters, Tripod, Flash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by WhyNotMe, May 3, 2010.

  1. WhyNotMe

    WhyNotMe TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone,
    Sorry if this is repetitive, i know its probably a common subject, but I have a few questions regarding my specific budget. I am going out to work in yellowstone national park this summer, and want to add to my arsenal. I have total about $75-100 to spend on equipment right now, and will have about another $100 after the first couple weeks of working there. I am very interested in landscapes, animal life, and other outdoor photography.

    Now here's the things I am looking at getting.
    1.A tripod, as mine has broken. As nice a quality one as my budget allows. Im looking for it to be something I can use with a 300mm lens on my nikon d60
    2. Lens filters: I want a UV filter for protection, and probable a polarizing filter for landscapes, and a neutral density filter for waterfalls etc. Does this sound like a smart investment?

    What brands/models should I be looking at, where I could afford these things. I was thinking hoya multicoated filters.

    Anything else that might be useful given where I'm going to be all summer?

    Thanks for any help!!! It is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A tripod is a good idea, you don't need to spend megabucks to get a 'decent' one just go into a camera shop and look at a few and choose one that you like. It needs to be sturdy, but other things to look out for are weight (are you going to be carrying it around all day?) ease of setting up and build quality. You can often improve the sturdiness of a lighter tripod by hanging a bag from the middle of it and then when you set it up you can fill the bag with rocks or sand to add weight, but you don't have to carry the weight around with you.

    You probably don't have enough money to get all the filters you want. My advice would be to get a good CPL and don't worry about the others just yet. You don't need a UV filter, even as far as protection goes their value is dubious and at best they will only degrade image quality very slightly, at worst they can completely ruin it. A CPL filter on the otehr hand is invaluable for landscape photography, and as an added bonus it also doubles as a 1-2 stop neutral density filter. For waterfalls, unless youw are shooting in really bright sun then you shouldn't need an ND filter, using the CPL and stopping down to f/22 or so can usually get you a low enough shutter speed. You don't need to go crazy with the slow speeds, as low as 1/10s gives a nice effect of running water (depending how fast it is flowing). A better option is to shoot early or late in the day, the lighting is not only less bright (negating the ened for a ND filter) but it's usually a lot nicer and more interesting on landscapes.

    If you don't already have one, get a lens hood, they are good for stopping lens flare and also protect your lens a bit. You may want a remote shutter release to use with the tripod, but it's often jsut as easy to use the self timer instead.

    If funds allow, look at a split ND filter (or graduated ND filter, same thing). They darken the sky in a landscape image allowing a mkore even exposure when there is a bright sky and dark foreground. Another useful filter for landscapes that you may want to consider.
     
  3. WhyNotMe

    WhyNotMe TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! I was actually interested in a graduated ND filter, so that sounds like a good idea. And I do already have a lens hood and a remote shutter release. Thank you for the help, I didn't think that a CPL could act as a ND filter.

    Also, I found this tripod on ebay. It is a no name brand, but looks decent to me, assuming the specifications are legit. What do you think?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/62-INCH-PROFESS...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a040e7859
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  4. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To be honest I would shy away from buying a no-name tripod online. Some of them are probably not bad, and some will be rubbish. You can only really tell by looking at one in the flesh. Specifications will tell you nothing about the build quality and sturdiness. I've used a tripod that wasn't very good and it was nothing but a pain in the ass.
     

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