newbie here! got some questions


TPF Noob!
May 23, 2003
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Andrews AFB, MD
i'm sort of new at photography, from what i've heard from people, i've got a pretty good camera for a newbie (Pentax K1000) but i need some other stuff as well, i have a table-top tri-pod which i can usually get to work for my needs most of the time, but sometimes i get a bad result, and i can usually crop it so that the pic is level, but it really ruins a great picture
i know that most tripods should be the same, but are there any i should stay away from for any reason? cheaply made? bad materials? anything? going to need something half-way portable that i can wander around with and don't get tired of carrying
i'm also looking at buying a digital camera in the near future, not looking for top of the line, just something good that i can use regularly (i'm also into mechanics, and i like to snag pics of what i'm currently working on so that if i have a problem with it, i can post it on a forum and get some insight into it) anyone got any suggestions?

anyone got any info on what else i should get to help me get better pics? i know i need a zoom lens, that'll be coming up soon, anything else?


PS - check here for some pics i've done recently,
You couldn't have a better camera. That was my first camera and guess what: 15 years later, it is still my workhorse. I have other cameras but for serious stuff: That's the only one I trust.
As for a tripod, I bought a Vanguard tripod at K-mart a few years ago. Nothing special, just an economical ( around $30) lightwight to throw around. It's very good for its price. I have a Canon tripod which is a bit bulkier. Try to get one with swivel and tilt head, so you can have more freedom to compose the frame.
As for a digital camera, I do a lot of documentation at work and I also have a web site for my scale models. For both I use a Sony Mavica FD83. The resolution is fine for web and good enough for printing up to 8x10 on a color printer. I got it used for about $200. It uses floppy diskettes. Some say it is a convenience others say it is not. That is up to you.
Other than a good zoom lens (I recommend the Pentax Takumar 28-80) get a good flash unit and if you do scenery pictures, a polarized filter. A Skylight 1A filter is always good.
Hope this helps.

First off I have to say that the Pentax K1000 is an awesome camera. It's what I learned on and what I used for years. Althought I recently purchased and MZ-6 theres no way I will be getting rid of the k1000.
Anyway I bought a cheap Minolta tripod a while back for about $40. It was good sometimes, but I had problems a few times with camera shake. It's really lightwieght and any small wind will sometimes shake the tripod on me. I picked up a Quantum tripod at a yardsale for about $20 and it works much better. It's far sturdier. I sugest that you go into a store and set up a few tripods and see how they feel as far as sturdiness goes.
You may have to spend a bit more for a solid tripod, but if it's not going to be solid then what's the point of having one anyway. Mind you like I said, I paid $20 for mine at a yardsale.
I'd also recomend a cable release for your camera. I think I paid about $15 for a cable release for my K1000. Basically the cable release allows you to manually control the shutter speed without touching the camera. If you're going to be using a tripod a lot this may be a something to look into.
Oh, also. The Minolta tripod I have has a camera base that can tilt vertically for portrait shots. I still use the Minolta for shots that call for a vertical orientation, but for the most part I just use my Quantum tripod. The option to shoot both vertical and horizontal with the tripod may be something else for you to consider.
I have used a Bogen 3001 (I think) tripod and 3030 (three way) head for several years. When I get out shooting I do a lot...but I get out way too infrequently these days. I have been very happy with this tripod. The head is pretty easy to use and the tripod is steady. The quick release feature of this head is great.

I have recently been looking to add a ball head to this tripod but I enjoy it so much that I may just try to get a whole new setup and keep the old one also. I will definitely go Bogen/Manfrotto again.
Have to agree with the previous post. Manfrotto is the way to go as far as I am concerned. I bought a model 190 & a model 056 3 way head some years ago & it suits my needs completely, it is rigid, reasonably light, has been in all sorts of environments & bulletproof. Manfrotto has a range of accessories that can be attached if required.
A good tripod is the first & best accessory that should be purchased.

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