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Thread: Advice please?

  1. #1
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    Advice please?

    I'm a boarding school student, and my parents recently told me that if I wanted to start up photography they'd pay for a camera. I want to take pictures of nature; landscapes as well as close up (I'm in a particularly beautiful part of Maine). Portrait capability is good too. I also need the ability to take monochrome photos. I'm pretty good at figuring things out (A+ and working on my MCSE, if you're wondering), so usability isn't really an issue. What equipment would you recommend?

  2. #2
    Senior Member mn shutterbug's Avatar
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    Re: Advice please?

    The million dollar question is, how much are your parents willing to fork out for your camera?
    Mike
    www.specialtyphotoandprinting.com
    Canon 30D X 2, Canon 100-400L, Thrift Fifty, Canon 18-55 IS 3rd generation lens plus 430 EX II flash and Better Beamer. :thumbsup:

  3. #3
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    Re: Advice please?

    Not a million dollars unfortunately Probably anything $1000 or under, but a little higher is ok (I can chip in.)

  4. #4
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Advice please?

    For the camera alone or camera and lenses?
    Keep Shooting!

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  5. #5
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    Re: Advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    For the camera alone or camera and lenses?
    Camera and lenses. I know how to use eBay too.

  6. #6
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    Re: Advice please?

    thewordbumpistooshortbump

  7. #7
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Advice please?

    I'm not sure what cameras are going for right now. The 3 that seem to fill the niche are the canon xti, nikon d80, or pentax k10d I think. With lenses they are all going to go over a thou but I think the k10d is the least expensive and a fine camera.
    If you'll read reviews here and elsewhere you might be able to narrow your choices down and tell us what ones you are thinking about getting.
    Keep Shooting!

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  8. #8
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    Re: Advice please?

    Is the D40 ok? Cause then I could get a better lens.

  9. #9
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: Advice please?

    The D40 is a great camera especially if you're learning. Better lenses are always a great idea. The only minus about the D40 is lens compatibility, it doesn't have an internal focus motor so you have a more limited range of lenses you can use.
    Harrison
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  10. #10
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    Re: Advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by deckcadet
    The D40 is a great camera especially if you're learning. Better lenses are always a great idea. The only minus about the D40 is lens compatibility, it doesn't have an internal focus motor so you have a more limited range of lenses you can use.
    Can I use lenses without an internal focus motor manually, or will it give me an error?

  11. #11
    The Polariser fx101's Avatar
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    Re: Advice please?

    You definitely can use non IF leneses on any of these cameras. Don't use manual focus lenses on an AF body though, you will lose metering and that becomes a real bummer. I would recommend the D80. It is a good camera to fork off from, definitely more so than the D40. There are a couple of choices you can look at for a lense. A popular choice is the 50mm f/1.8. It is a fast lens that you can shoot indoors, only problem is it is a prime, so you'll have to look at that. I personally bought a Sigma 15-30mm and have found that a great walkaround lens of excellent quality (unlike some other sigmas) and got it for around $290.
    --The camera's role is not to interfere with the photographer's work--

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  12. #12
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Advice please?

    If you go Nikon, I won't hesitate to recommend the 18-135 lens which I got in a package deal with my d80. I'm guessing d80 and d200 prices will be dropping with intro of d300.
    Keep Shooting!

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  13. #13
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    Re: Advice please?

    What lens should I get for landscape photography (assuming I get a D40/x)?

  14. #14
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    Re: Advice please?

    honestly, if you're going to be getting into photography classes, I'd avoid the D40/x cameras for the simple reason that you can't use a LOT of lenses, both Nikon and 3rd party. I'd check with your teacher/professor to see what types of photography you're going to be focusing on, and get a good prime for that focal length (and any of the Nikon primes won't work with the D40/x).

    if you're set on the D40/x, Sigma just came out with an HSM version of its 18-50mm Macro, but it's supposed to be 5-600 when it finally comes out.

    hope this helps?
    Canon XTi
    Tamron 17-50mm
    Nifty Fifty 1.8

  15. #15
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Advice please?

    For landscapes most of what I hear is wider angle lenses which make sense for wide landscapes. I prefer zoom lenses for landscapes with something in the 18 to 200 mm range but that won't cover all situations either.
    Sometimes I don't want the wide view and want to select a small portion of the scene and then I will zoom in on the portion I want in the shot.
    Keep Shooting!

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  16. #16
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    Re: Advice please?

    How's the lens that comes with the Digital Rebel XTi?

  17. #17
    Powder River Imaging EOSThree's Avatar
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    Two Pennies

    Here's my $.02.
    Why not take a good look at the Rebel XT? It's selling for under $500 new right now, it's fully compatible with all of Canon's lenses, and it's a more than adequate photographic tool. Sure it's not the latest/greatest, but takes the same quality of photography as a 20/30D. That will leave you over $500 for lenses, which should get you a couple of good consumer grade lenses to start.

    As for your Monochrome requirement, that is done in post processing, SLRs usually don't have a B&W mode. A wide angle lens is generally considered the lens for landscape, although I have been very happy with 17mm(which is WA but a lot will recommend something even wider), portraiture is best done with a short telephoto, in the 80mm range. Remember most DSLRs have a sensor that's smaller than the frame on a piece of 35mm film, this results in a crop factor of 1.5 or 1.6x. This means the field of view of a given lens is multiplied by those factors. A 50mm lens will have the field of view of approximately 80mm lens so a 50mm lens isn't a bad portrait lens on a DSLR.

    Check the reviews on this site and sites like Photozone to help with your lens buying decisions.
    With your budget I would say get the XT kit with the maligned 18-55 lens(it's not that bad of a lens, just needs to be stopped down) and a 28-135 IS. That should cover you to start and then you'll start to see what you like and where your future needs lie.
    Rule books are paper they will not cushion a sudden meeting of stone and metal. --Ernie Gann--
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  18. #18
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    Re: Two Pennies

    Allright, Canon DR XT vs. Nikon D40. I'm torn, what should I do?

  19. #19
    Powder River Imaging EOSThree's Avatar
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    Torn

    Quote Originally Posted by angrygoatface
    Allright, Canon DR XT vs. Nikon D40. I'm torn, what should I do?
    Go somewhere you can handle the cameras, buy the one that feels the best to you. The XT/XTi have virtually the same body so they will feel the same in your hand. I currently have a 10D and an XT. I have not felt at all hampered by the small grip on the XT and I have average size hands.

    The Nikon is crippled a little by not having the mechanical focus drive pin, this means it will only auto focus with AF-I or AF-S lenses. This of course limits your lens selection, but if you are happy with the internal motor lenses the D40x looks like a great camera.
    Rule books are paper they will not cushion a sudden meeting of stone and metal. --Ernie Gann--
    What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. --Oscar Wilde--

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