A real beginner's questions. Zero knowledge on DSLR

Newer members often state that they think their question is too basic, or stupid, or whatever, to be posted. Nothing could be further further from the truth in any section at DSLRUsers.com, but especially here. Don't feel intimidated. The only stupid question is the one that remains unasked. We were all beginners at one stage, and even the most experienced amongst us will admit to learning new stuff on a daily basis. Ask away! Please also refer to the forum rules and the portal page

Moderators: Greg B, Nnnnsic, Geoff, Glen, gstark, Moderators

Forum rules
Please ensure that you have a meaningful location included in your profile. Please refer to the FAQ for details of what "meaningful" is. Please also check the portal page for more information on this.

A real beginner's questions. Zero knowledge on DSLR

Postby cmeiw on Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:48 pm

Hi guys,

I am a real beginner in DSLRs.

I wonder if there's any websites that allows people like me to gain some knowledge regarding the really basics of a Nikon DSLR cameras?

I know totally nothing about DSLR's camera accept the name DSLR.. I have no idea what is the differences between lens.. I cant even understand the specifications on the cameras.

Any help will be very much appreciated! thanks!
cmeiw
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:16 pm
Location: Bibra Lake, Western Australia

Re: A real beginner's questions. Zero knowledge on DSLR

Postby Mj on Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:09 pm

Hey there... welcome aboard... just before getting too far I might suggest that you read through the FAQ in here and add some location information about yourself what equipment you have (if any) etc etc. This makes it easier to provide useful and relevant pointers and help us know who we are talking to !!!

That said... you'll find quite a bit of basic information in here, but the volume and spread of it can be a challenge. The Nikon sites have some useful information to get you started, including short videos on specific topics.

I'll stop here for now and let other pip in ...

cheers,

Michael.
Photography is not a crime, but perhaps my abuse of artistic license is?
User avatar
Mj
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:37 pm
Location: Breakfast Point, Sydney {Australia}

Re: A real beginner's questions. Zero knowledge on DSLR

Postby cmeiw on Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:40 pm

Hi there,

Thank you very much for the prompt reply. I have tried to edit my location. It just seems not happy with what I've entered. I live in a suburb called bibra lake in perth. Is that not 'meaningful' means in the FAQ? I've tried Western Australia.. Perth.. but it doesn't seems recognizable. Or is it because of the suburb is not recognizable?

Sorry for the pain.

C.M
cmeiw
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:16 pm
Location: Bibra Lake, Western Australia

Re: A real beginner's questions. Zero knowledge on DSLR

Postby Mr Darcy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:46 pm

Hi and welcome
DSLR = Digital Single Lens Reflex
Digital means that the image is recorded electronically.
Single Lens means that when you compose the photo, you look through the same lens that is used to take the photo,
Reflex means that a mirror is used to achieve the bit above. Then mirror is used for viewing, and is flipped out of the way when the "film" is exposed.
Other types of camera include
Rangefinder, Twin Lens Reflex etc.

Lenses. This is an enormous topic. Most important thing to remember is you get what you pay for.
They can be grouped several ways. Here is one: length.
Wide angle - up to about 35mm in length. These present a wider angle of view than the human eye will see when looking at the same scene. But remember when you are looking at a scene, your eye will bonce around & take in more than you think.
Normal 35mm..about 60mm These give roughly the same view as the human eye.
70mm and up are telephoto. These work like a telescope or pair of binoculars & show a "close up" image of part of the scene the eye sees. The bigger the number, the closer you get. Do not confuse this with macro which are lenses designed to get real close to nearby objects.
A zoom lens combines several of these lengths in one body. These are convenient,but usually compromise quality. Most people, myself included are happy to take the sacrifice.

The next way to look at lenses is speed.
This is where the f number comes in. The smaller the number, the bigger across the lens is, and the more light it allows in. This means you can cake a photo at a faster shutter speed than otherwise, hence "fast lens" Alternatiuvely, it allows you to take a photo at the same shutter speed in a darker environment.
f11 is a very slow lens
f5 is a medium lens
f2.8 is a fast lens
f1.4 is a very fast lens.
Remember though that any lens can be made slower by changing the aperture. Thus an f1.4 lens can be made to work at f5 or even f16 Thus a fast lens can work the same as a slow lens, but not the other way around. Of course Fast lenses are more expensive. If you don't need it, why pay for it?

Now lets look at some specific lenses from my collection
18-200mm f3.5-5.6 Incredibly versatile zoom range, but doesn't work well in low light. Image quality not the best, but it is the lens I reach for if I am travelling & want to travel light.
24-70mm f2.8 Covers the "normal range" well & good in low light. Excellent image quality.
85mm f1.4 Short telephoto. Excellent in low light. Possibly the best portrait lens on the market.
105 f2.8 This is a specialised macro lens. Reasonably fast, and does a good job of photographing anything from stamps to landscapes.
10-20mm f4-5.6 A very wide lens. For me a fun lens, but makes some very good landscape images
70-200mm f2.8. I wish I had this lens. A great medium telephoto. Will bring distant objects closer. Good for detailed landscapes, and some wildlife
You would want longer lenses for skittish wildlife, or things like motor sports, where you just cannot get close.
Greg
It's easy to be good... when there is nothing else to do
User avatar
Mr Darcy
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3411
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:35 pm
Location: The somewhat singed and blackened Blue Mountains

Re: A real beginner's questions. Zero knowledge on DSLR

Postby Mr Darcy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:47 pm

cmeiw wrote:Hi there,

Thank you very much for the prompt reply. I have tried to edit my location. It just seems not happy with what I've entered. I live in a suburb called bibra lake in perth. Is that not 'meaningful' means in the FAQ? I've tried Western Australia.. Perth.. but it doesn't seems recognizable. Or is it because of the suburb is not recognizable?

Sorry for the pain.

C.M

THat's fine. Whatever went wrong doesn't matter. Its showing up OK.
Greg
It's easy to be good... when there is nothing else to do
User avatar
Mr Darcy
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3411
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:35 pm
Location: The somewhat singed and blackened Blue Mountains

Re: A real beginner's questions. Zero knowledge on DSLR

Postby rflower on Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:44 pm

Mr Darcy wrote:The next way to look at lenses is speed.
This is where the f number comes in. The smaller the number, the bigger across the lens is, and the more light it allows in. This means you can cake a photo at a faster shutter speed than otherwise, hence "fast lens" Alternatiuvely, it allows you to take a photo at the same shutter speed in a darker environment.


Just to clarify this bit ... (from my knowledge)
Mr Darcy wrote:The smaller the number, the bigger across the lens is

The smaller the number the bigger the opening in the lens will go, hence the more light that can be let in (which is why it is better in darker situations). This is known as the maximum aperture that a lens will operate at (maximum opening). This number is actually a formula showing the ratio (I believe) of the opening.
Russell
Nikon D700 // 50 1.4 // 70-200 2.8 VRII // 24-120 f4// Tamron 90 // SB-800 // 70-300G
I'm on Redbubble too ... http://www.redbubble.com/people/rflower
If you can make one of my photos look better and you have the inclination ... please do so.
User avatar
rflower
Member
 
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:01 am
Location: Hoppers Crossing, Melbourne

Re: A real beginner's questions. Zero knowledge on DSLR

Postby Mr Darcy on Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:09 am

rflower wrote:This number is actually a formula showing the ratio (I believe) of the opening.

Yes. It's the ratio of the effective focal length of the lens to the effective aperture. Thus a lens 50mm focal length with a width of 50mm will be f1, but a 100mm lens with a width of 50mm will be f2. That's why long fast lenses are enormous. And for that matter why large optical telescopes are all reflectors. Much easier & cheaper to build. Also why cheaper zoom lenses have variable maximum apertures. I didn't go into this before as it was intended as an introduction. I missed out a lot of other stuff too. :wink:

The diaphragm of a lens controls the effective width of the opening, so within the overall size of the lens, the effective aperture can be controlled. The same technique doesn't work with reflectors which is why cameras still use lenses, not mirrors, though there was a move to these back in the seventies. Very cost effective, but only able to be controlled by shutter speed (no variable ISO in those days) & they all had awful bokeh - largely a product of the diaphragm design.
Greg
It's easy to be good... when there is nothing else to do
User avatar
Mr Darcy
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3411
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:35 pm
Location: The somewhat singed and blackened Blue Mountains

Re: A real beginner's questions. Zero knowledge on DSLR

Postby zafra52 on Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:39 am

And in addition to the help you get (like Mr Darcy's) and looking at the pictures we publish in this forum. I recommend you to become a member of your city's public library, if you are not already, and borrow books on photography. I did this and soon I gain a better understanding of the technology and other associated aspects of photography that are just as if not more important than the technology itself of a modern digital camera. By the way, welcome!
User avatar
zafra52
Senior Member
 
Posts: 4067
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:22 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: A real beginner's questions. Zero knowledge on DSLR

Postby surenj on Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:34 pm

zafra52 wrote:I recommend you to become a member of your city's public library,


This is very very good advice. When I started out, I finished reading ALL the books on photography in my local library. [in fact, I haven't used the library card since!! :mrgreen: ]

Just be careful not to be hurried into buying too much equipment at the beginning.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
User avatar
surenj
Senior Member
 
Posts: 7197
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:21 pm
Location: Artarmon NSW


Return to Absolute Beginners Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron