What equipment should I get with 400-500 dollars?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Calvin, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. Calvin

    Calvin TPF Noob!

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    Hey,
    I've been practicing photography for nearly a year, and I need some help with deciding what I should get first.

    Right now, I only have a D60 with the 18-55 lens it comes with and a tripod. I'm developing an interest in people photography.

    Advice from experienced photographers will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

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    Get a good flash and make a diffuser. I use an old rubbing-alcohol container. Cut it in half and it fits perfectly over the flash.

    You'll still have $200ish left for something else.
     
  3. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Well, you typically have a few options, if you're somewhat happy with the 18-55 and want a different range I would probably go with a sigma 70-200. Otherwise, maybe a 50mm prime. or perhaps an 85mm prime (not sure if Nikon has a 1.8 like Canon does in your price range.)
     
  4. Calvin

    Calvin TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help! I'm definitely getting a flash. I'm not sure which one is good, though. Can you give me some ideas?

    I'm also considering getting a 50mm lens. I'll look into that, as well.
     
  5. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

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    I have one for my camera, but other other than just knowing I need it I can't tell you much about what kind to get. I just know that a lot of times I am incredibly thankful that I have more than just the pop-up flash built onto the camera.

    The one thing I know is that I wish my camera head swiveled left & right rather than just tilting up & down...so make sure whatever flash you have can also swivel.

    You'll very soon wish you had some better, faster glass too. The kit lens will have you cussing under your breath eventually because you'll need a wider aperture than it offers.. I have a Tamron 17-50/2.8 that is fast enough for 95% of my photography - which is also mostly people photography.
     
  6. gardy90

    gardy90 TPF Noob!

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    i have been looking at the sb-600, but wallet still wont let me, and i know they make a 50mm in 1.8 for about 130$ and a 1.4 for around 300$? cant remember exactley on the prices
     
  7. Rosshole

    Rosshole TPF Noob!

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    I have the sb-600 and I really like it, and it is fairly vesitile and solidly built. You may want to think about getting some cactus triggers and an umbrella/stand setup too. For people/portait swtuff, off camera light can be some pretty neat stuff.
     
  8. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    I would invest it in a CANON.......:lol: Just kidding

    I would get an f/1.4 50mm if you want to do portraits.

    I've found that my Tokina 16-50mm f/2.8 is much more versatile as a walk around lens and fairly decent for shooting people. If I could only buy one of my lenses, that would be it. You could sell your kit lense for $75 bucks and put that towards the purchase as well.

    Just my opinion.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would buy a starving student Strobist kit, with two light stands, two low-cost flashes, two umbrellas, and a remote triggering kit. Skip the high-tech, expensive SB 600 or SB 900 Nikon flash units, and get what will really elevate your game, which is off-camera flash units. Vivitar 285 HV flashes cost only $89 from big NYC web stores. Remote triggering systems are pretty afordable today. The Strobist blogspot run by David Hobby would be a great place to start doing some research into options. Do not rush out and spend your money without knowing what you can get for your money. For example--I just said Vivitar 285HV flashes--but did you realize you could go to Adorama.com and buy a FlashPoint monolight, with replaceable flashtube, for $129, with an umbrella and a lightstand, with free shipping???

    People photography done within reach of AC current is one thing, and shots done far away from AC Current is another. $400 to $500 could up your game quite a bit if you got some off-camera lighting stuff and a few light modifier tools. Making the exact,right choice is something people could help you with if they knew exactly your plan. Location work? 4-5 times a year, or weekly shoots?
     
  10. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    +1 ^^

    2 vivs, a set of cactus V4s with an extra receiver, and a 50mm 1.8.
    then have a nice dinner. :D
     
  11. Calvin

    Calvin TPF Noob!

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    So it seems that I should prioritize on lighting equipment before lens, right?

    I'm not very experienced with lighting, so I'll need lots of help with it. I'm interested in outdoor and studio photography, but I don't think I have enough space to set up an indoor photography shoot. And can you please explain remote triggering systems and AC currents? Thanks a bunch!
     
  12. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    I just bought a transmitter and 2 receivers from Cowboy Studio. They have yet to arrive though ( my only gripe so far is their lack of tracking info/slow shipping ) It was $55 for those. And I have two Sunpak flashes. Have adapters to let them be placed on tripods. I may order some light stands. I have mini soft boxes for the flash heads, would umbrellas be better??
     

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