Starting out..

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by tc_cat333, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. tc_cat333

    tc_cat333 TPF Noob!

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    I've been wanting to get into photography since high school but never had time or money to do so. I recently got some money and have some time so I decided it's time. I am taking a part-time class in Jan. on how to use your camera and photo shop and I will be buying my camera tomorrow probably. I have done some research and have decided to get Canon EOS D40. Now my problem is that I don't know what kind of lens(es) I should get. I will be taking portraits, landscape and action shots, and from what I have read there are only 6 million different lenses and I have no idea which ones are good for what... which is why I am taking the class. I would like to get a lens for long distance but they are like $2000 + and I don't think I need that right now. Anyway my question is this... What do you guys suggest for lens? And what are some things I will need right off the bat?

    Thanks in advance for you help.
     
  2. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    hum .. I believe you mean EOS 40D, not D40 ......


    As for the lens, it is hard to recommend if we do not know your budget. It is like what do you recommend for car? I will use it for going to school/work, race on the tracks and the woods.


    So let us know how much you are planning to spend on the lenses and I am sure someone will be more than happy to give you his/her opinion. :)
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    the only lens that is recomended for nearly all photographers (especially when starting out) is the nify fifty - that is a a 50mm f1.8 Prime lens. No zoom, but its a very fast and sharp lens that is very cheap - so a good bargin to get.

    From there get some practice and start to find out what you need - do you need more range, more speed - and how much? there are a few do all lenses (sigma APO 70-300mm macro for example) which are cheap, but offer a wide range of features - though they are masters of none and tend to be softer at the long end, it does offer a good range and a simple macro (not full macro - but enough to get a flowerhead into a full shot).
    Beyond that get yourself a tripod for those landscapes
     
  4. tc_cat333

    tc_cat333 TPF Noob!

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    I got $13,000 so I didn't really mention budget because I didn't think I could spend more then that on a camera and a lens or 2, but yea.. We'll say my budget is $10,000...
     
  5. tc_cat333

    tc_cat333 TPF Noob!

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    That is very helpful, thank you. I think I might take your advice and just get a simple good lens first and then see what I need.

    I was looking at some of your photos with the bugs and I was wondering what kind of lens you need for something like that?
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A newbie and a smartass.

    I believe Dao was only trying to narrow in on your target. If you have 10K to splurge, let's talk, otherwise let those that respond help you and STFU with your wise cracks. The answer to your initial question can be answered by focusing in on your needs and your budget.
     
  7. tc_cat333

    tc_cat333 TPF Noob!

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    I was neither trying to be a smart ass nor being sarcastic. I really didn't think that mentioning budget was an issue if I didn't really have a budget... I figured I would spend $3000-$4000 on a camera, lens(es), and accessories.

    I would like to try to stay in the $3000-$4000 range but if I have to spend a little more that is ok. I don't know much about SLR cameras so I don't know what kinda of lenses are good for what. I would assume that you need a faster shutter speed for action shots, but other then that I don't know. I would like to get lens(es) for taking portraits, action shots, landscape, and possibly closeups on different things like plants.
     
  8. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry if I offend so how. I apologies. All I want to say is budget is a very important factor on purchasing lens. Sharp, fast lens can be used by experience users as well as beginners.

    Just a 50mm lens can cost you $90, $320, or $1400 new from Canon. Since your budget is $10000, so you may want to choose the $1400 version.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you really not too sure now. Just get a camera body and get a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM with EF 50mm f/1.4 to get started. After use them and learn more for a while. You may know what you going get next.
     
  10. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If he is getting into this seriously and has an interest in macro with your budget I would not get the Manfrotto tripod - not saying its a bad tripod, because its not, but after using one for a good while its not the best for macro. I tend to find that the centre column when set to the horizontal has little grip when held away from the middle - which is rather a waste of a feature and a pain when you come to really want to use it.
    I would suggest looking at the Gitzo range of tripods which seem to have a better thought out holding mechanism (though this is by visual assessment not actual practice on my part).

    As for the macro I use a Sigma 150mm macro - often with a sigma 1.4* teleconverter. However you can also use the following:

    Sigma 70mm macro, Sigma 180mm macro, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 180mm macro, Tamron 90mm macro.
    If you go Nikon then there is the 105mm macro with VR (that is handshake reduction) - a great boon to have with a lens though I don't know how it works in practice with macro, I have heard some say that it does not work well or as well as when used for normal uses, but don't hold me to that. I belive there is also another 200mm nikon macro lens as well

    All of them are sharp lenses and will deliver good results so it comes down to other things

    1) budget

    2) Focal range - a longer focal range gives you greater background blurring (often a desired aspect with a photo) and a longer working distance (that is distance from the camera to the insect). This helps to reduce the chances of spooking the insect when shooting.

    3) handholdability - all of them are handholdable, though many say that the 180mm lenses (sigma and canon) are too heavy for prolonged handheld use. I tend to take a lot of my macro handheld (since I don't get up early enough to get the insects in the morning when they are sleepy).

    As an aside if you are keen on macro then Canon are the only camera manufactures who make a macro lens capable of achiveing 5 times life size (most true macro lenses only go to life size). Its not an easy lens to use, infact its one of the hardest to master the use of, but its results can be stunning - if macro is your interest.

    As for Kundalini's suggestion I do like it though with the amount you have to hand I would say the best thing you can do is get into a camera shop and try out some cameras - in particular try out the difference between full frame cameras and cropped sensor cameras - many people start out with cropped as they have budget lines (ie beginner lines) whilst full frame were once only top range - though now there are several in the midrange camera lines. I suggest testing them out and see how you feel with them - typically people prefer cropped sensor for sports and wildlife as they give an artificial increase in focal length since they crop out only the view from the middle area of a lens (because their sensor is smaller) which gives the impression that you were using a longer lens. However sometimes there is a great advantage in having the whole area of the lens to hand - landscape shots really benefit from the wider angle of view of a full frame camera and macro to helps (you can get more bug into the shot). Its a personal taste thing really since there are both top quality cropped and fullframe cameras, so try them out.
     

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