What to do, what to do....

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by mdwozniak, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. mdwozniak

    mdwozniak TPF Noob!

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    So to start off, I have worked with film for years, tons of b&w, medium format, darkroom kinda old-school stuff. In the upcoming months I have a chance to head to Haiti to work with a missions organization down there. At this point they are working with the locals at a school they built down there. If I go I will be documenting the work they have done and the people they have worked with, as well as some of the future work they are hoping to do. So the photos I will be taking will all need to be print quality, and the equipment needs to be quick and easy to work with. So I need suggestions on a Digital SLR (brand model etc), and lens types that will be best for photos of people, buildings and landscapes. With the equipment being not tooo expensive, easily portable, and help me produce great images for print.

    Im interested in tips on good filters for some rich colors etc, to help with great shots for print. The pictures will be used on the web, in print for literature and info to help raise support etc.

    I guess Im asking alot, but bits and pieces of advise and suggestions from everyone are greatly appreciated

    Thanks
    -Woz
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You don't say what you mean by 'too' expensive, however I would suggest that the bare minimum would be a Nikon D200 with a 17-55mm zoom, a circular polarizer, and lots of batteries and memory. Altogether that should weigh in somewhere between $2000 - $3000 depending on whether you buy new or used.

    Yes, you could get into a D40 and kit lens for <$500 however, IMO, entry-level cameras are not going to be up to the task. The D200, and up are all whether-sealed and have metal bodies. A lot more durable, and a lot more forgiving of bumps and bangs. Likewise the 17-55mm lens is a good, fast, metal-barreled lens. If you can add a little more, I'd suggest going for a D2x.

    I'm sure a Canon person will chime in with the Canon equivalents...
     
  3. mdwozniak

    mdwozniak TPF Noob!

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    Yeah that helps starting to get things into perspective, sorry for not expressing what is "tooo" expensive or not. I dont think that range is bad, that may be the top end for what im looking for but thats good, I guess I can set the bar at that.

    I will probably be looking at a used camera, I have a bunch of 35 mm and medium format stuff that has been sitting mostly unused my last 2 years of hs, so i figure ill sell those or partial trade towards whatever I end up deciding on.

    In your opinion do you think using some filters(besides just polarizer or protective) is a smart way to go for some richer pics, or should I do most of that in PS?

    thanks
     
  4. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    just get a polar and boost them in ps afterwards. H
     
  5. mdwozniak

    mdwozniak TPF Noob!

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    Alright

    My next thought is, alot of my old gear is minolta stuff, just a few years old. Would it make since to get into a minolta dslr body and use the lenses and stuff I already have or would that be too much of a sacrifice in quality vs a cannon or nikon?
     
  6. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    How big will you be printing? You can push an 8mp image pretty far and still look outstanding in print.

    "entry-level" gear would work fine, but you'd have to be more cautious because their not as durable. The Canon Digital Rebel series would be fine, except the body is a heavy plastic. You'd do better stepping in on the 30D/40D model, which has magnesium alloy body. Realistically though, the body isn't going to be your major money chunk. You can get lenses for inexpensive, but they won't be fast and their build will not be one your can get rough with. You'd probably have to pick out a couple L-Series lenses, which are heavy construct and more durable... of course also significantly more expensive.

    But, if I had to suggest something, I would recommend you go with a Canon 40D. Plenty of MP to work with. I'd also get a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8, it's durable and fast. Also a Canon 28-70 f/2.8L is a great lens. Perfect for general purpose use, but not especially wide after the small sensor (1.6) conversion. That will cover most of your focal lenghts and allow you to so in a lot of lighting situations. That lineup of equipment there will cost you $2300 at Adorama. Definitely not too bad and offers plenty of room for extras you might need. If you really need your wider angles, you could add a 16-35mm, but that will take your total towards $3700. Personally, I think it's worth it.

    So, Canon is my advice.
     
  7. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Oh, or you could add a 15mm f/2.8 for the wide stuff. It's definitely a stylistic decision cause that lens produces that sweet fisheye look. But it's an extra $500, instead of $1500.
     
  8. mdwozniak

    mdwozniak TPF Noob!

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    thanks for that advice, getting more input on glass etx is helpful too. I just got off the phone with one of the owners of a photography shop that I used to buy all of my equipment at where I used to live and he recommended some nikon equipment, the D60 D70 or D80, because of their higher sensitivity to light, because of my shooting buildings and people, and he said they are lighter bodies. those choices would leave me whith alot extra to spend on glass, getting some a good set of lenses to take care of the needs I have.

    what do you think?

    Also I will be working closely with a guy from my church before I leave, he has been doing some awesome photography for the past year or so with a XTi and has really worked on nailing a good style etc that he is going to help me work on and get prepared before I leave.

    One recommendation I got was spend a little less on the body than I may be inclined to and then get some really good glass...make sense or no?


    thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  9. mdwozniak

    mdwozniak TPF Noob!

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    I actually ended up buying a Rebel XTi kit from someone I know who owns a Wedding Photography business. came with the original lens and accessories. I got it for $450 and its in mint condition. let you know how things go from there
     
  10. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sony cameras use the Minolta mount... but it seems you've already purchased a camera so oh well...
     
  11. mdwozniak

    mdwozniak TPF Noob!

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    Thats right, so now I will be starting all over with lenses and all, I do have 2 minolta bodies and 5 lenses I will probably putting up in the buy/sell area soon. But I figured since I have the support of a friend to work with and learn about the camera it was the best choice.
     

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