Totally new to Canon T1i, need loads of advice!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by terriblyuncreative, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. terriblyuncreative

    terriblyuncreative TPF Noob!

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    Warning, these questions might seem really dumb.

    I've never had any sort of photography class or anything, but I've always had an avid interest in photography and thought I'd learn by myself. But it is a hard endeavor. I got a Canon T1i (first dslr ever) around Christmas and have learned a lot but still am not satisfied with my photos.

    The only equipment I have is my kit lens (18-55mm IS). And a tripod.


    Oh and the type of photography I am most interested in is scenic, and portrait. Like these photos below, I aspire to take some of the sort! :


    [​IMG]
    photo credit: S.Saad

    [​IMG]
    photo credit: S.Saad

    [​IMG]
    photo credit: Alan LeBlanc

    [​IMG]
    photo credit: Alan LeBlanc


    Are there any lens that could help me achieve this? Any equipment I should buy (filters, lens hoods, etc)? Open to any advice, seriously! Thanks. Oh yeah and the budget is around $200-500.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  2. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc TPF Noob!

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    If you want to shoot both landscapes and portraits, you'll most likely need a zoom lens. Wide angle for land and medium telephoto for closeups.

    considering your budget, I'd recommend something like Canon 15-85 or 17-85 zooms. They're not the best, but considering your budget, you can't exactly afford L glass or anything with zoom and f/2.8.

    Of course, another alternative would be getting a wide angle zoom and a cheap prime (like 50mm f/1.8) but I think you'd be better off with single lens that can do everything.

    I am not exactly sure how much different the stock lens is compared to 15-85 or 17-85, considering how the kit is "free" and these ones aren't. Your absolute best investment would probably be if you could afford something like EF 24-105 f/4 L, but that's a thousand bucks. It probably is worth it because of the constant f/4 aperture across the entire zoom range, plus it's L glass, meaning it's probably pretty sharp and colorful.

    First thing I'd do, is find if these are great differences in quality (and how great price per performance-wise) between your kit lens and these 3.

    Considering how almost everyone on this forum thinks lens don't need a filter to protect it, you probably won't need one, but will need a hood to control that flare when you're shooting outside.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  3. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    You can get some pretty good results with the kit lens, you just need to learn how to exploit its strengths and where its not so good. Better glass is not going to help unless you understand how to get the best out of it.

    I have shot some pretty decent landscapes with it. I am ready to go to a 10-22mm though for landscape work, when the budget allows.

    For portrait work (and other) though I would recommend the 50mm 1.8, cheap fast and really sharp.

    You probably should also look at a polarising filter for landscape work and a lens hood and a cokin P type filter holder + 58mm adapter (cheap chinese rip offs work well) and a graduated ND filter and a 52mm-58mm step up ring so you can use the CPL on the 50mm

    Thats my shoestring budget advice.

    Remember if you are using a tripod, turn IS off!!!

    With the kit lens, its fairly soft wide open and stopped right down, in the lower/middle range its mint.

    Personally, I dont see anything all that special about those shots you posted, kit lens could do all of them far better than that. They all have some post vintagey/sepia processing as well.
     
  4. Morpheuss

    Morpheuss TPF Noob!

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    they look like some decent photo's I would play with lighting a little bit more and for those with pp i would play with the contrast just slightly
     
  5. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You can take good photos with kit lens! You just wont get as good of shots in low light condition especially when your subject is not still. I remember RobNZ got some really nice ones with kit lens.. Show him what you got Rob. (i think it was the waterfall if i am not mistaken).
     
  6. Neil S.

    Neil S. TPF Noob!

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    I understand what you are saying, but better glass is always better. Better resoultion/color/contrast are always good things.

    The T1i is 15 megapixels isnt it? Thats enought to make the camera pretty hungry for good glass in my opinion.

    My 7D really shows the limits of lower-end Canon glass with its 18 megapixels. It has caused me to start investing in L glass.

    Of course not everyone can afford to do this.

    I am just saying that if you can get better glass, theres no reason to wait. Its not really "harder to use" or anything like that.

    The one exception to this is maybe ultra fast primes, you need to know what you are doing with them to get good shots. Practicing with them helps you understand DOF though, so I recommend everyone buy a 1.4 or 1.8 lens at least.

    Just do it!
     
  7. Neil S.

    Neil S. TPF Noob!

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    The above being said.

    I wouldnt recommend someone very new buy top end glass.

    The reason for this is because you may find in the future that you aren't really that interested in photograph.

    Its best to be sure that you really want to be serious about it, before investing tens of thousands of dollars in camera gear.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    All the photo examples he has shown can be taken with kit lens no problem.
     
  9. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    Read this book:
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-Photographs-Digital-Updated/dp/0817463003]Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition)…[/ame]
     
  10. Neil S.

    Neil S. TPF Noob!

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    Of course they can lol.

    I was referring to RobNZ's post about quality glass.

    I have never used the 18-55 IS kit lens, but from what I hear its a good little lens. Its clearly a great value, and a great starter lens.
     
  11. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    With a budget of $200 to $500 he is not going to get L series glass. My point was that being a new user invest in learning to use what you have before making a large purchase.

    My best shot to date with the kit lens.

    [​IMG]

    I have a a heap more that I sell in large format that were produced with the kit lens.
     
  12. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    Just to clarify the above comment about cheap chinese rips offs, that was aimed at the cokin type holder only, optics you want the best you can afford ie: the polarising filter and graduated ND filter.
     

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