Starter Kit help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Aritay, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Aritay

    Aritay TPF Noob!

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    After a long hiatus, I'm getting back into more serious photography. I used to shoot a fair amount in film, but then with kids went to full-time P&S.

    Not exactly sure what my focus will be (pun somewhat intended), but after a fair amount of research here's the starter kit I've identified for myself. If anything, I would like to try my hand at people photography - - both better snapshots and some formal portraiture. But I am looking for a generalist kit to get started, and will add equipment later as I find out more.

    Overall budget < $2,000:
    Nikon D90 (body)
    Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II (walk around lens)
    Nikon 50mm f/1.8D (fast, and also basic portraiture lens)
    Nikon 72mm Clear NC glass filter (to protect the 18-200)
    Nikon HR-2 Rubber Lens Hood (for 50mm, no filter)

    Understanding Exposure, Bryan Peterson (basic photo book)
    Light Science & Magic, Hunter/Biver/Fuqua (using light book)
    Nikon D90 for Dummies (using the camera body)

    Needed:
    Some kind of light bag
    Some kind of tripod
    So how does this look? Any suggestions? thanks in advance
     
  2. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Great starter kit. Lucky you. All of the mentioned are good. As for a bag, check out the lowepro slingshot and lowepro flipside series. They make a wade array of sized that hold quite alot. They will be something you can use now, as well as grow into. I dont know much about tripods, I dont use them. And when I do, I use a $30 one I got a kmart. Look into manfrotto. I hear theyre amazing.

    Good luck.
    Mark

    PS. The 85mm 1.8, 1.4, and 2.0 all make great portraiture lenses as well. (I only own the 50 1.8. Absolutely love it! Tack sharp and fast.)
     
  3. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't splurge on a Circular Polarizer if the only point is to protect the front lens element. Get a lens hood for that, or some cheap CP. Crazy to spend a ton of cash on something you WANT to take damage.

    On the 18-200, I would split that up, and perhaps get a sharper wider lens (18-50 F/2.8 that Sigma has out), and a dedicated telephoto lens for when you know you're going to be. . .telephoto'ing.

    To save pennis, and stretch your lens budget, I would get a refurbished (by Nikon) D90 so that you can transition those savings over to some better lenses - the 50MM F/1.4D perhaps instead of the 1.8.
     
  4. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sigma makes a great 70-200 F/2.8 if you cant afford the Nikon version at first. Nikon makes a 80-200 F/2.8 for a little more and better lens if youre looking for a quality telephoto zoom.

    Mark
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I agree with ANDS! on the 18-200. The lens is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none piece that has the worst distortion of any Nikon lens made today. The barrel distortion at the short end is a wave type that is very difficult to correct with image editing software.

    I also advocate against using thin clear or UV filters as lens 'protection'. They can not improve but only maintain or worsen image quality and I have seen instances, because they are so thin, of shattering and the shards severly damaging the much more robust objective glass at the front of the lens. Reasonably careful gear handeling and always using a lens hood suffice for 'protection'. Quality Circular Polarizing Filters (CPL) are very handy to have in your kit as they can help control reflections from smooth surfaces and/or help to saturate colors, particularly the sky in the mornings or evenings.

    I no longer have a light bag. It's not necessary for digital.

    Frankly, "some kind of tripod" doesn't give the level of importance this piece of gear requires. Getting a good tripod, and head, is as important as getting good glass. A good aluminum tripod will cost about $200 (50% more for carbon fiber) and a good head will be another $100 or so. I recommend Giottos tripods www.giottos.com Look at the 9000 series in the MT line.

    Welcome back to the fold!
     
  6. Aritay

    Aritay TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the feedback. I have done a lot of research (really). . . . . .and yet it seems I may have missed some basic points.

    I know there seems to be some issues here on the forum with beginners posting beginner questions, yet again, in the beginner section - - but with so many options/trade-offs it can be bewildering. And the equipment does change rapidly, so some of the older threads aren't so relevant any more. And isn't the whole point of a forum to be able to ask questions with your own particular needs in mind and get current feedback - - while blogs, wiki's and articles are where we can look stuff up.

    Anyway, if I can ask some follow-up questions:
    Does anyone have comments on either the 105mm or 135mm DC (defocus control) lenses being used on a DX camera? Does the cropped sensor render the DC feature any less usable?

    Will the 50mm 1.4G be that much better for my level of experience, using a crop body, and needs as posted above? The 1.8D gets such good reviews and is so much cheaper.

    If one is not using a jack-of-all-lenses, then isn't some type of light camera bag needed to carry multiple lenses.
    Thanks for the points on the filters, hoods, and tripod. I'll look into a wide-angle zoom - - and dividing up the range into more specialized ranges instead of the one monster lens.

    Again, thanks in advance.
     
  7. Wolverinepwnes

    Wolverinepwnes TPF Noob!

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    D90 for dummies is not the best idea, look for a better book. read up on amazon reviews from other authors!!! the rest looks good to me! cheers
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Good call. I was going to mention it but....

    David Busch writes good camera books. You'll get a 278 page D90 users manual that, while kind of dry, will be invaluable to read several times through.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The poster in that instance didn't take the time to do an effective search and asked for comparisons between 3 cameras that have been covered many times in recent weeks.

    Your questions were more specific in that you have it narrowed down to a specific camera.

    These questions are well beyond the beginners forums. Many of the more experienced people avoid the beginners forums so you may want to ask those questions in the:

    Photography Equipment & Products: News & Reviews
    Talk about the latest photographic headlines and read - or give - product reviews. Also get advice on what equipment to purchase and get opinions from others about various products.

    I don't have experience with those lenses so I can't help you out other than to say the lenses will give an apparent FOV of a focal length that is 1.5 times longer, because the image sensor in the D90 is not full size. Beyond that I doubt you will see a difference.
     
  10. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Haven't used either of these lenses. Do you have a particular interest in them beyond the wow factor?

    Put "crop factor" out of your mind. Don't worry about converting 50MM to fullframe usage, etc. It's really irrelevant. Most recommendations you are going to get are already going to take this into consideration. As for the difference between the 1.4 and the 1.8 - you have 2/3'ds more light to work with. And I suggested the 1.4D not the 1.4G which is the newer model. The 1.4D will get the job done and cheaper.

    I've never owned a camera bag. Too bulky and I can't slap it on me when riding a motorcycle. I use a messenger bag; and before that just tossed it into my backpack.
     
  11. Aritay

    Aritay TPF Noob!

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    My understanding is that DOF/bokeh quality are very much dependent on the sensor size/crop factor. That is, with the smaller sensor size it is more difficult to get narrower DOF's.

    Therefore, if one wants to take good portraits - - with nice DOF/bokeh - - then perhaps a DC lens can accomplish this on a DX body. <== that's the question.

    Not sure if above makes sense - - still trying to figure this out. A lot of technical stuff to digest in this digital world - - if nothing else, trying to determine what is important vs. what is just noise. Thanks.
     
  12. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No. Just, put all that out of your head. You're doing too much too soon. If you want "bokeh" - all you need is a lens with a fairly wide aperture, and some nice out of focus light. This defocus business is absolutely not needed to produce stunning photos with ridiculous bokeh action going on.
     

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