joegambler0

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Hi everyone,
I would like to get my wife setup with some good equipment gor her passion to strickly take sunset shots. Because of budget and reviews I was thinking a Nikon D3300, a good 10-20 or 12-24mm wide angle lense, a graduated color lense filter, a good tripod, digital landscape and nature for Dummies, Nikon D3300 for Dummies, Photo Zoom Pro 6 for enlargements and Photoshop Elements. The shots will be printed on alum. sublimation panels. Any thoughts or advise. THANKS.
 

tirediron

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Sounds like a pretty decent sunset kit; I would suggest a couple of different graduated neutral density filters, a 1, 2, and 3 stop set is usually a good starting point, and perhaps rather than the software, consider Adobe's Photographer's Bundle of Lightroom and Photoshop for $10/month. I would skip the books altogether; all of the information, and likely more and better is freely available on line. The only thing that's potentially missing ('though it's more a matter of preference than necessity) is a remote shutter release.
 

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Welcome! You can get an inexpensive shutter release cable for just a few dollars. My "expensive" one cost maybe $15, and then I bought a second cheaper one for $3.
 

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joegambler0

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Thanks Tirediron for the quick response.
I did mean to say neutral filter, not sure we're color came from. Having a hard time time finding 1,2,3 in 52mm individual or kit. Found 2,3,4 as kit on Amazon. Will that work? Little scared of big learning curve software. Is Lightroom and Photoshop easy? Thanks for the advise and filter sizes to look for.
 

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Thanks Tirediron for the quick response.
I did mean to say neutral filter, not sure we're color came from. Having a hard time time finding 1,2,3 in 52mm individual or kit. Found 2,3,4 as kit on Amazon. Will that work? Little scared of big learning curve software. Is Lightroom and Photoshop easy? Thanks for the advise and filter sizes to look for.
The common term "neutral density" apparently refers to neutral color, as in; gray that is neither "warm" nor "cool".

I don't own any ND filters, but I should think the 2,3,4 kit would work. The main thing is that the individual pieces of glass need to be optically neutral, meaning that when you put them on your lens that they don't introduce extra light-bending. Like trying to read the fine print with a cheap pair of glasses. So make sure they are good quality. Probably the way to tell is by purchasing a brand of filter that is known for its high standards of quality and excellent performance.
 

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D3300 is the best idea for a "cheaper" body at the moment.
Lens I'd look into (and the one I recently bought) would be the Tokina 11-20 F/2.8
My 2nd choice was Sigma 10-20 F/3.5
 

SquarePeg

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If she's new to photography, a copy of Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure is a great book to start with.
 

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My thoughts:

Nikon D3300: good idea. Whatever the equivalent version is for canon would be just as good, but whatever brand you start with- you are committing to that lens mount, of course.

Wide angle lens: technically the correct choice for landscapes but I suspect that the "18" part of the 18-55 kit lens would suffice and give her a world of more photographic options. Once she has the camera, it will tempt her to do more than simply sunsets, in my opinion. I've also used Photoshop Elements (and other software) to panorama some nice landscape images that took me well beyond the field-of-view of my mounted lens. Wide-angle lenses can be kinda spendy, so you could always add that later after she determines precisely what she needs.

Tokina lens: If you do need to start wide-angle right away, I see that a Tokina has been recommended in this thread. I own the Tokina 11-16 lens and I love it BUT it is extremely prone to flare. Even household lightbulbs can cause green flare spots to crop up. I would want to be sure that any future wide-angle Tokina I bought did not do that before I purchased one expressly for the purpose of aiming at the sunset.

In closing: You are a good husband! She should love it.
 
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Hi everyone,
I would like to get my wife setup with some good equipment gor her passion to strickly take sunset shots. Because of budget and reviews I was thinking a Nikon D3300, a good 10-20 or 12-24mm wide angle lense, a graduated color lense filter, a good tripod, digital landscape and nature for Dummies, Nikon D3300 for Dummies, Photo Zoom Pro 6 for enlargements and Photoshop Elements. The shots will be printed on alum. sublimation panels. Any thoughts or advise. THANKS.

Its always good to use self timer with a good tripos when you using slow shutter speed. If their is heave wind then you can hand sand bag with your tripod to stabilise it.
 

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I agree with the instruction books because beginners in almost every field do not know what it is that they don't know. While there is some good instruction on the web, and on YouTube, there is also a lot of utter rubbish, filled with partial truths, inaccuracies, or personal biases being put out there as if they are factual and true.

The reason the books "for dummies" have been so wildly successful is that they are one-stop, contained sources of a broad amount of knowledge, knowledge presented in a logical framework, and the material has been edited, and organized, then edited again, and some actual significant effort has gone into the creation of every book.

The beginner cannot possibly "know what it is that she needs to hunt down on YouTube," and she likely would not be able to gauge whether a particular content creator is an intermediate shooter, or a seasoned master-level worker. Burt again--it boils down to learning within a carefully thought ought framework, versus hunting through tutorials done by the guy who says, "I just learned how to do this last week, so I'm making this video for ya'll."
 

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I'll second that suggestion for the 18-55mm lens rather than going for a ultrawide straight off the bat. I really like my ultrawide, but it's really a bit of specialist kit made for when you have lots of foreground and lots of sky and as such it will compress the middle of the frame making things smaller than they can appear to our eyes. the kit lenses are ok, but not as sharp as others so you could always go for a good, sharp 18-55mm (I'm sure other members would be able to reccommend one for nikon, I'm not familiar with their lens range)

For the filters I'd seriously consider getting a square filter system rather than the round ones as they are much more useful as the gradient can be positioned anywhere in the frame rather than just in the middle, meaning you have more options for compositions. Cheap filters are not great, and good filters can be expensive but they are worth the investment. Top pick for these is the Lee 100mm filter system, great filters but costly. Cokin X-Pro (another 100mm system), Cokin P (87mm filters for cropped sensor cameras as long as you lens is not wider than 18mm) are used a lot by photograpers too and have a decent reputation. In the UK we also have Hi-Tech and Kood (which are the ones I use) which are cheaper again but still good quality, any of these filters I've mentioned are a very good choice. If budget will constrain you I would say she'll be better off with one good quality filter and filter holder than a range of cheap ones, a 2 stop Soft GND is probably the most useful, and the one I'd pick if I only had a single GND filter. Because of my budget I got a filter holder from thefilterdude.com (I think $50 for the adapter ring and a filter holder) again the cheaper option but still good quality products and I cant reccomend highly enough.

A shutter release is a valuable addition and a sturdy tripod is a must. There are various reccomendation threads on here so have a browse of them.
 

DB_Cro

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My thoughts:

Tokina lens: If you do need to start wide-angle right away, I see that a Tokina has been recommended in this thread. I own the Tokina 11-16 lens and I love it BUT it is extremely prone to flare. Even household lightbulbs can cause green flare spots to crop up. I would want to be sure that any future wide-angle Tokina I bought did not do that before I purchased one expressly for the purpose of aiming at the sunset.

In closing: You are a good husband! She should love it.

Haven't noticed the flare issue on my 11-20, maybe it's better or I just don't care, I'll try it again,
but I have been shooting into direct light with it.
 

Peeb

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My thoughts:

Tokina lens: If you do need to start wide-angle right away, I see that a Tokina has been recommended in this thread. I own the Tokina 11-16 lens and I love it BUT it is extremely prone to flare. Even household lightbulbs can cause green flare spots to crop up. I would want to be sure that any future wide-angle Tokina I bought did not do that before I purchased one expressly for the purpose of aiming at the sunset.

In closing: You are a good husband! She should love it.

Haven't noticed the flare issue on my 11-20, maybe it's better or I just don't care, I'll try it again,
but I have been shooting into direct light with it.
The 11-20 is the successor to the 11-16. Maybe they figured it out!
 

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