Total Photography Newb!!!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by wmc1117, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. wmc1117

    wmc1117 TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I am totally new to Photography...but have always had a love for photos and the magic that can be captured in a single picture. I have finally decided that I want to give photography a try of my own. Therefore, I have come to you guys for help. I have a few questions....
    1) I want a decent camera to work with...willing to spend around 300-400 (I mainly want to take nature shots but thats subject to change.)
    2) Lens???? No idea
    3) Digital or Film? differences, Of these two, pros and cons; suggestions?
    4) How do you recommend I go about learning the basics and such?
    I have a lot of patience and a lot of passion for photography and am really looking forward to joining the TPF community and taking shots of my own. Any help would be greatly appreciated guys! Thanks
     
  2. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    I'd suggest that you go for a digital SLR camera if you can, as these will give you the foundation for a complete camera system and is more easily upgradable than a compact camera. Both Canon and Nikon make good entry level dSLR cameras, and many other brands such as olympus and Pentax do as well.

    Most dSLR cameras come with a "kit" lens. This lens isn't the highest quality, but it will serve you well as you develop the skills.

    I'd recommend digital. It not only offers instant feedback (invaluable when you are learning), but you'll never pay for film. You can also adjust your white balance and ISO rating easily, and you'll have the histogram to act as a guide to exposure.

    For learning the basics, there are lots of tutorials. You can also pick up some books (I recoomend anything by Scott kelby about Photography, but there are also lots of other books) and I also recommend looking through the tutorials in my signature. And this website is a tremendous resource as well, the people are friendly and more than happy to help you learn.
     
  3. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    ^^^^ I agree

    Further, I would say that for your price range, you could definitely get an older DSLR (for example a used 20D) or 350D instead of a compact point and shoot. Also, the kit lens will work for you with nature as you don't necessariliy need a lot of a zoom.
     
  4. wmc1117

    wmc1117 TPF Noob!

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    thank you for the advice...also in addition to nature I also am thinking of doing some landscape so I think I might need some zoom???
     
  5. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Zoom lens usually referring a lens that has the ability to vary its focal length.

    So in general, you do not have to have a zoom lens to take landscape photos. And shorter focal length is more popular for landscape photography.

    Wide / Ultra Wide Angle Zoom lenses:
    10-20mm
    10-22mm
    11-16mm
    12-24mm
    many others....

    Wide / Ulta Wide Angle Prime lenses: (fix focal length)
    14mm
    20mm
    many others ...



    For Nature shots, telephoto lenses maybe better if you want to have a closer look shot of a animal.

    Telephoto Zoom Lenses:
    70-200mm
    70-300mm
    100-300mm
    100-400mm

    Telephoto Prime Lenses:
    200mm
    300mm
    400mm

    Or a telephoto lens combine with a Teleconverter (1.4x or 2.0x)
     
  6. Beastt

    Beastt TPF Noob!

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    I can only agree with what has been said so far. Go digital, partially for the instant feed-back but also for the fact that shooting is almost free. With film you're far less likely to experiment or take risks because you pay for every shot twice; once when you buy the film and again when you have it developed. Then if you want your images to be in digital format so you can post them or e-mail them, you have to have them scanned or invest in a scanner. And even if you already have a scanner, the process for more than just a few photos can be mind-numbing.

    I also recommend that you go for an SLR. The reward can be many fold what you get with a point and shoot and even though you can use it much like a point and shoot by sticking to Auto and/or Program modes, there is so much more you can learn and do. Among the biggest differences for me has just been the immense increase in satisfaction. Even though my point and shoot cameras took pretty good photos, it was rare to see a breath-taking image and be able to capture anything but the technical aspects of the scene. You could tell what it was, see the colors and understand the concept, but the dynamic range of the image just wasn't there. With my digital SLRs, the result is quite often just the opposite. Sometimes a mundane looking scene is captured in such minute detail, with such accuracy, that the resulting image is far more stunning than the original.

    Buy a point and shoot if you just want to study concepts like lighting (which will be limited), or composition. If you want photographs you'll want to share and view time and again, then do whatever is necessary (including stretching your budget), to get a nice entry-level Digital SLR.

    Get one with a reasonable kit lens if you can, then as you can afford it, add to your lens collection. Each new lens will change the personality and expand the capabilities of your equipment. Then you can get a flash, macro, filters and all of the other accessories that let you put your own creativity into every scene you choose to shoot.

    As for landscapes, you'll probably want a decent wide-angle lens. But don't get the idea that wide-angle is the only way to shoot landscapes. I've seen some brilliant work done through creative use of telephoto zooms. My personal favorite is macro. As much as I love the idea of photographing wildlife, I wouldn't be happy coming home with one decent photo every month or two and wild animals just aren't that easy to find and photograph. With my macro lenses, I can always find a bug, a tiny flower blossom or just some diminutive tiny corner of the world somewhere that most of us over-look every day, and turn it into a macroscape of wonder.

    With a good D-SLR, the possibilities are nearly endless and you'll learn much more quickly because you don't have to check your wallet before depressing the shutter release.
     
  7. wmc1117

    wmc1117 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much for your input guys....looks like I will be going digital and hopefully getting a SLR...most likely a Canon from my research. Do you recommend I get the Rebel XT?
     
  8. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    well, truthfully it probably doesn't matter too much. I will say though that I think the xt is a steal for the price right now. (if you are willing to get it used from photography forums you can often get it for 300)

    there are other choices that are probably equally as good, for example a nikon d40 (or a used say d50 or d70 I don't know price ranges for nikons real well)

    you could even go with olympus or pentax.

    I have an xt right now, and while I am currently saving up to improve the body, I think it is excellent especially for the price. The most important part of the camera is going to be the lenses so that is where one should spend their money (in my opinion).
     
  9. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    A 350D (Rebel XT) is a very good entry level camera. I cut my dSLR teeth on one, and I still keep it as a back up body.
     
  10. wmc1117

    wmc1117 TPF Noob!

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    do u guys recommend I get any lenses if I am to get a Rebel XT? or is the kit that comes with the body good for now? and when is a good time to upgrade lenses? (newb question i know)
     
  11. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    I'd say get the 50mm 1.8 with it. Use the 1.8 for low light shots, the kit for the rest.
     

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