Newbie needing DSLR advice please

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.

Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Monica on Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:35 pm

Hey guys,

I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed but excited at the prospect of buying a DSLR. I am a total newbie but am really eager to learn. I am looking at buying a beginner/ entry level DSLR camera. My main interest is travel photography. I have a two month trip to Europe coming up, so I will be mainly taking shots of landscapes and monuments but am interested in portraits as well. My budget is $1300 max for the body and lens. Another criteria is weight, as I'll be carrying the DSLR and lens everywhere I go. I am leaning towards just buying one lens, as it seems like less hassle for travel. Would a 18-105mm VR lens suffice? or would Tamron 18-250 mm lens be better for travel?


Some of my ideas are listed below, any suggestions/advice is greatly appreciated.


Canon 1000D with Tamron 18-250 mm lens: $1,199

Nikon D3000 with Tamron 18-250 mm lens: $1,279

Canon 500d Kiss* Digital SLR Camera With 18-135mm lens: $1,245.00

Canon 500d Kiss* Digital SLR Camera With Twin lens kit 18-55mm IS + 55-250mm IS lenses: $1,095.00

Nikon D3000 Compact Digital SLR Camera With 18-55mm VR + 55-200mm VR lens + 4gb SD card $930.00

Nikon D5000 Compact Digital SLR Camera With 18-105mm VR: $1,120.00



Thank you :)
Monica
Newbie
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:57 pm
Location: Golden Grove, South Australia

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Geoff on Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:15 pm

Hi Monica,

FIrstly - welcome to this wonderful world and forum. You are bound to find plenty of useful information and helpful tips and advice along the way. What you put in is what you get out as well.

Ford or Holden? Holden or Ford? It's an age old query really. My suggestion to you would be to go into your local camera shop and physically handle these camers, see how they feel to YOU and what YOU prefer. Canon and Nikon are the two leading DSLR cameras out there these days and realistically you won't/can't go 'wrong' with either. You will find that there are people here (and throughout the world) that prefer one brand over another.

As to your lens selections;

The 18-105VR is a very nice focal length and would be reasonably ideal for your purposes. The VR (particularly for landscapes will come in very handy). The same lens in the Canon range is the IS (image stabiliser) as opposed to the VR (Nikon - Vibration Reduction).

Sticking with one lens isn't a bad idea for now but I think the D5000 (Nikon) is available around the place for around $1300 with two lenses.

Happy hunting, hope this helps!!
Geoff
Special Moments Photography
Nikon D700, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 70-200 2.8VR, SB800 & some simple studio stuff.
User avatar
Geoff
Moderator
 
Posts: 7791
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2004 12:08 am
Location: Freshwater - Northern Beaches, Sydney.

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby biggerry on Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:55 pm

G'day Monica,

Geoff has summed up the important bits, with either nikon or canon you cant go wrong, just make sure you do get into a shop and feel them both and more importantly feel them both with your desired lens. I remember going into the shop when choosing between the Nikon D80, Canon 450? and the Sony A100? and walking away (not buying anything) knownign that the nikon was the one that felt right for my handsize and also the overall weight.

I started with the Nikon D80 and the nikkor 18-200mm lens, this really covered me for 90% of stuff for the first year or so, it was also a great combination for not having to change lens and being quite lightweight.

I am not up to speed on all those bodies, however I can recommend the 18-200mm lens, whether it be the Tamron or the Nikkor, just be aware that a lens (or anything in life really) that trys to to everything usually ends up doing nothing particularly well. Now with taht said I reckon the 18-200 is a great lens and produces really nice results, just make sure you are aware of its limitations. Like anything really, you dont buy a entry level car and expect it to perform like a sports car, but it will get you safely from A to B.

However I do digress...

whilst you will get plenty of people here to give you advice about the bodies etc..it also helps to know some good places to check prices out. here a few quick sites I use to track down ballpark figures when buying gear.

DD Photographics, reputable, but carries grey market items.
http://www.d-d-photographics.com.au/
Note: the have the D3000 with 18-200mm VR II + 4gb SD lens for 1,399.00 not bad...http://www.d-d-photographics.com.au/nikond3000.htm

Digital Camera Warehouse
http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/
Carries Aus stock items, no grey items that I know of..

and of course...

Shopbot, search various websites for the cheapest deal..
http://www.shopbot.com.au/

Staticice, another search site, very handy for more than just cameras
http://www.staticice.com.au/

hth and ask lotsa questions...
gerry's photography journey
No amount of processing will fix bad composition - trust me i have tried.
User avatar
biggerry
Senior Member
 
Posts: 5901
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:40 am
Location: Under the flight path, Newtown, Sydney

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby aim54x on Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:15 pm

Welcome,

There isnt too much more that I can add that Gerry and Geoff have not already covered. But I can say...that you should realise that the Tamron 18-250, whilst sounding great on paper, is not quite as good in life. Nothing really wrong with it optically, but it lacks image staibilisation which means it will be difficult to use at the longer end in anything but bright sunlight.

That said....do get into a shop and play...and dont depend on the assistant to be able to answer all your questions. I work in camera stores and am constantly amazed what customers are told.

Good Luck, I am sure you will end up with a camera that you will enjoy.

Cheers
Cameron
Cameron
Nikon F/Nikon 1 | Hasselblad V/XPAN| Leica M/LTM |Sony α/FE/E/Maxxum/M42
Wishlist Nikkor 24/85 f/1.4| Fuji Natura Black
Scout-Images | Flickr | 365Project
User avatar
aim54x
Senior Member
 
Posts: 7305
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: Penshurst, Sydney

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby biggerry on Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:33 pm

Tamron 18-250, whilst sounding great on paper, is not quite as good in life


good point Cam, I have only read it on paper, I should really clarify my position to the nikkor 18-200mm either the early version or the later one since I have not used the Tamron.
gerry's photography journey
No amount of processing will fix bad composition - trust me i have tried.
User avatar
biggerry
Senior Member
 
Posts: 5901
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:40 am
Location: Under the flight path, Newtown, Sydney

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Monica on Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:10 pm

Firstly, I just wanted to say what a wonderful forum.

Thank you for all the useful and thoughtful replies, I will be definitely thinking about everything that has been said.

I have organised to have a photo day with a friend who owns a Nikon D3000 dslr so I can have a good play around and see how I feel. I am really eager and looking forward to it.

I will be also visiting some photo stores as soon as possible and mean while continue reading everything I can.

I have been reading lots of review about the camera bodies and lenses. A weakness listed of two of the cheaper bodies, is the maximum ISO 1600. I have read...

“Some general tips to remember as a beginner would include:
-Use an ISO of 100 or 200 when taking photographs outside in sunny conditions.
-If the sky is overcast or it is evening time, then use an ISO within the range of 400 to 800.
-Night time or in cases of low light you might need to set your digital camera ISO to 1600.
The lower the ISO number, the slower the speed, the higher the ISO number, the faster the speed. A lower ISO will provide better image quality, however a higher ISO will capture the image you desire in low-light conditions.”

Do you think as a newbie, a maximum ISO of 1600 will be fine? Or do you think I will be disappointed? I know it is a bit of a subjective question to answer.

Once again, a huge thank you for all the help.

ETA: http://www.d-d-photographics.com.au/canon500d.htm

^ Would the new kit special 18-135 mm have IS or not necessarily? :oops:
Monica
Newbie
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:57 pm
Location: Golden Grove, South Australia

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Mr Darcy on Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:41 pm

Hi Monica & Welcome.
You have really opened a can of worms here. I won't dive into the Canon Vs Nikon debate. Both are excellent as are several other brands. Try them all out & buy the body (Brand) that best suits YOU. For me the answer was Nikon. Ofr you the answer may well be different While still on brands (sort of) I will second Gerry's high opinion of the Nikon 18-200.
I have it as well as a number of "better" lenses, but if I am travelling where weight & volume are at issue, i.e. whenever I get on a plane, it is the one lens I will take. The others stay home. Under these circumstances its versatility far outweighs any quality issues it has.

As for the ISO issue, only you can be the judge of what is acceptable. As ISO goes up, you get more and more "noise" Think grain if you are familiar with film. It takes the appearance of tiny flecks , especially in the darker areas of the image. Sometimes it actually improves the feel of a photo.

THere are essentially four things that affect how a camera responds to light
1. ISO. This is the sensitivity of the sensor. It can be altered, but at the expense of noise. Newer cameras deal with noise better than older ones. So do more expensive ones. The current crop of entry level DSLRs handle ISO at least as well as my older mid range camera, but the new pro level cameras are far, far better.

2. Aperture. This is the EFFECTIVE diameter of the lens. It is measured in f stops. Just to confuse you, the smaller the number, the bigger the lens. And the bigger the lens, the better it deals with low light. Nearly all lenses have a range of apertures they can use. The aperture quoted on the box (e.g f1.4, f5.6) is the MAXIMUM aperture of the lens. This is commonly called the speed of the lens. Thus an f1.4 lens is considered a fast lens, while an f5.6 one would be a fairly slow one. The aperture also affects a thing called "Depth of Field" (DOF), but I won't go into that here. For now, just remember that fast lenses are better in poor light, but are more expensive to buy. Also remember that an f1.4 lens can be stopped down to f16, but an f5.6 lens can't be opened up to f1.4

3. Shutter speed. This is how long the sensor is exposed to light. If the shutter is only open a short time, not much light gets through (duh!). If it is open longer, more light gets through, but the image is more subject to vibration. You can always take steps to minimise that vibration though. Put the camera on a table, or a fence, or a tripod, or learn fire the shutter between breaths, or hold the camera in a different way or...

4. Light. Remember that the amount of light is a variable too. You can change it. Turn on (or off!) a light. Wait for the sun to come out. Use a flash... Quality of light is also an issue, but again, I won't go into this here.

Back to your decision. Remember it is yours. Buy a camera card. take some photos in the shop at various ISO ratings. If the shop is well lit, remember that the shutter speed can be increased, or the aperture stepped down to get a correct exposure. Take the card home and look at the photos you took. If YOU are happy with the high ISO pictures. And remember that it may be the difference between a crappy picture and NO picture of a once in a lifetime event!

Also remember that the camera body you buy now is probably not the one you will have in 10 years time. The lens may well be the same though.

Also, consider the shop. If they are helpful, be prepared to buy there, even at a premium. That way, they may still be there the next time you want some help. If they are not helpful, go elsewhere. And remember pressuring you into a purchase is not the same as helpful.
Greg
It's easy to be good... when there is nothing else to do
User avatar
Mr Darcy
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3413
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:35 pm
Location: The somewhat singed and blackened Blue Mountains

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby gstark on Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:03 pm

Hi Monica, and welcome.

Your kind words are appreciated.


Monica wrote:I have been reading lots of review about the camera bodies and lenses. A weakness listed of two of the cheaper bodies, is the maximum ISO 1600.


Is this a weakness? I'm not convinced. :)

The ultra-high ISO ranges that we are able to shoot with using today's cameras are a technological marvel, really. It was not even ten years ago that we were mostly shooting with film, and any film bearing an ISO rating greater than about 800 was really considered to be breath-taking.

3200 was (and is) available on film, but working beyond about 800 was really considered to be more of a specialty need, and more for advanced users.

So, in cameras that are targeted towards the beginenr end of the spectrum, I;m not sure that I view this as an important feature. In saying that, I readily acknowledge that many users might like to benefit from high ISO ratings, but I also always argue that the use of proper technique is vital, nd this is especially true with high ISO usage, where it's easy to get crap images because one is expecting the camera to do too much of the work for you.

[/quote]I have read...

“Some general tips to remember as a beginner would include:
-Use an ISO of 100 or 200 when taking photographs outside in sunny conditions.
-If the sky is overcast or it is evening time, then use an ISO within the range of 400 to 800.
[/quote]

As generalisations, these are very good .... generalisations. :)

Basically, these are good starting points, but don't get too excited about any of these as "rules". The best guide for you will be your own use of the camera: as you start to shoot, you will begin to gain an understanding of what's happening, and hopefully why.

You will screw up, and that's good: it's from the screw-ups that you will learn most. Shoot, post your images for critique, get together with others from the forum, and they will be more than happy to help you to learn more about what you're doing.


The lower the ISO number, the slower the speed, the higher the ISO number, the faster the speed. A lower ISO will provide better image quality, however a higher ISO will capture the image you desire in low-light conditions.”


I think that here we may have an issue with terminology. ISO does not really relate to any sort of "speed" as such. It's merely a way of expressing a level of sensitivity that a photographic medium, be that film or a digital sensor, may possess.

ISO 100 is like a male: not very sensitive. :)

ISO 200 is more sensitive, which means that to make an image at ISO 200, you may proceed with less light. ISO 400 is more sensitive again, and it follows that you may proceed with even less light.

And so it goes, as you move up the scale with different ISO ratings.

But that's only a small part of the picture, pun intended. To make an image you need light, and you need to understand how much light there is, and you you need a means of controlling how that light reaches your photographic medium. That's where the camera comes in, and that's you, the photographer, also comes in.

With a known level of light, and a given ISO rating, you can now determine some parameters that can be used for making an image I'm not going to bore you with all of the details (not yet, anyway) of this, but suffice to say that when you have a camera and a lens, you have more than enough ways to to vary the relationships of all of these factors to take the one photo probably a hundred different ways.

And all of them will probably be correct!

Do you think as a newbie, a maximum ISO of 1600 will be fine? Or do you think I will be disappointed? I know it is a bit of a subjective question to answer.


The answer to both questions is undoubtedly yes. :)

But the answer is also don't worry about it. Just start shooting, and see where that takes you.
g.
Gary Stark
Nikon, Canon, Bronica .... stuff
The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it - US Pres. Bartlet
User avatar
gstark
Site Admin
 
Posts: 22599
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:41 pm
Location: Bondi, NSW

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby aim54x on Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:59 pm

Monica wrote:I have been reading lots of review about the camera bodies and lenses. A weakness listed of two of the cheaper bodies, is the maximum ISO 1600. I have read...

“Some general tips to remember as a beginner would include:
-Use an ISO of 100 or 200 when taking photographs outside in sunny conditions.
-If the sky is overcast or it is evening time, then use an ISO within the range of 400 to 800.
-Night time or in cases of low light you might need to set your digital camera ISO to 1600.
The lower the ISO number, the slower the speed, the higher the ISO number, the faster the speed. A lower ISO will provide better image quality, however a higher ISO will capture the image you desire in low-light conditions.”

Do you think as a newbie, a maximum ISO of 1600 will be fine? Or do you think I will be disappointed? I know it is a bit of a subjective question to answer.
....
ETA: http://www.d-d-photographics.com.au/canon500d.htm

^ Would the new kit special 18-135 mm have IS or not necessarily? :oops:


Firstly, the Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS does have image stabilisation, and in a lens like this it is debatable whether you need it, but if it is there I would not complain.

On ISO...Gary and Greg have already given you some great advice. Personally I never really move out of base (100 or 200 depending on the camera I am using) unless I have to. A maximum of 1600 ISO? If it is usable (ie you can live with the results) then it is fine, always nice to have more, but would you miss it if you have never had it? On most entry level cameras (and a lot of mid-range cameras) 1600 ISO is already at the limits of what is acceptable in my opinion.

Do have a good play wiht your friends D3000, having sold so many of these cameras i will vouch that it is a very good value for money machine and provides great image quality. As Gary mentioned, if you get a chance take a memory card into store and test ISO and take sample pictures with the different cameras your considering.
Cameron
Nikon F/Nikon 1 | Hasselblad V/XPAN| Leica M/LTM |Sony α/FE/E/Maxxum/M42
Wishlist Nikkor 24/85 f/1.4| Fuji Natura Black
Scout-Images | Flickr | 365Project
User avatar
aim54x
Senior Member
 
Posts: 7305
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: Penshurst, Sydney

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Mr Darcy on Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:51 am

Cameron actually raises a good point which addresses your question directly.
I too am almost always on ISO200 - I use a good quality tripod if I am in low light conditions. I NEVER go above ISO800. My camera goes to ISO3200, but I don't. But then I have an older camera which has poorer high ISO performance than the newer cameras. And in my film days, I never went above ISO400.
Greg
It's easy to be good... when there is nothing else to do
User avatar
Mr Darcy
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3413
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:35 pm
Location: The somewhat singed and blackened Blue Mountains

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby gstark on Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:20 am

Monica,

Mr Darcy wrote:2. Aperture. This is the EFFECTIVE diameter of the lens. It is measured in f stops. Just to confuse you, the smaller the number, the bigger the lens.


And the higher the number appears to be (4 vs 11, for instance) then the smaller the hole through which the light must pass. Thus f/4 has a larger hole than f/5.6 which has a larger hole than f/8, which has a larger hole than f/11 ....

Actually, I'm going to try to un-confuse you here. :) When the aperture is referred to, and I'm talking universally, it is almost always in a shorthand form, such as f5.6, f4, f11, etc.

As I said, this is actually a shorthand notation, and my understanding is the more correct notation of this is that it should be as a reciprocal (of 1). Thus f/5.6, f/4. f/11 etc is a slightly more correct form of notation, and as such, it may be able to reduce or eliminate any confusion that might arise, as the fractional values are now being explicitly expressed, and in a more correct relationship to one another, as well as to what actually is occurring.

Now, you've mentioned that you have a friend with a D3000. I will also echo the statements that others have made, in that you need to play with a few different cameras, and see which ones feel most comfortable in your hands, because that is where your cameras will be doing their work. take a few moments to also compare the smaller cameras with the bigger ones too; I'm talking Nikon D3000 vs D90 vs D300 for instance, and Canon 500D/550D vs 40D/50D, as in some cases the ergonomics of the cameras are very different as you move across market sector boundaries.

With all of that said, in terms of the photographic learning processes and camera UI, there is nothing better than the low end Nikon (D3000/D5000/D40/D60) bodies, where the rear LCD can give you a graphic display of how the aperture works (as we've just discussed) but in direct relation to the images that you are currently taking.

I've been impressed with the D40/D60 UI since I first saw it, but the D3000 takes this a step further with a guide mode. Make sure that, when playing with your friend's camera, you have a look at this feature. It's pretty well guaranteed to help you learn some of the more technical aspects, but again, it's also doing that in way that is directly relating to the images that you are making.
g.
Gary Stark
Nikon, Canon, Bronica .... stuff
The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it - US Pres. Bartlet
User avatar
gstark
Site Admin
 
Posts: 22599
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:41 pm
Location: Bondi, NSW

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Mr Darcy on Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:19 am

gstark wrote:my understanding is the more correct notation of this is that it should be as a reciprocal (of 1)


Just to prove I'm a better (worse?) pedant than Gary, he is almost correct.
The f number is the ratio between the lens diameter and the focal length of the lens. In full:
Diameter = Focal Length divided by f-Number
Slightly shorter: d = f/n or even shorter, fn where n is any number
So for concrete examples, using a 50mm lens,
an f/1 lens has a diameter of 50mm.
an f/2 lens has a diameter of 25mm
an f/4 lens has a diameter of 12.5mm
and so on.
Thus you can quickly see that a 200mm f/2 lens must have a diameter of at least 100mm. In practice, it will be bigger as the edges of a lens usually create distortion, so they are blocked off. Then the body has to go around that
You can easily see why fast lenses are huge (and expensive - all that glass has to be defect free!), especially the telephotos.

Why do people worry about this peculiar ratio?
It just so happens that the f-number predicts how much light will get through the lens, so a 200mm f/2 lens will expose the sensor in EXACTLY the same way that a 50mm f/2 or a 10mm f/2 lens does. This makes it very easy to calculate exposures for either the camera or the person taking the photo.

Once you have made a big lens, it is very easy to make it smaller - just block off more of the edges, using gaffa tape or whatever. On camera lenses, this is done internally using a set of baffles called an iris.
Greg
It's easy to be good... when there is nothing else to do
User avatar
Mr Darcy
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3413
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:35 pm
Location: The somewhat singed and blackened Blue Mountains

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby kiwi on Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:36 am

Just with the iso, as a newbie I'd recommend you stay at a default of 400 during the day. You will be hard pressed to notice any noise, but it will help keep your shutter speed up - the main culprit in blurry photos that you will certainly notice
Last edited by kiwi on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Darren
Nikon D3 and Nikon Glass
User avatar
kiwi
Member
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Arana Hills, Brisbane

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby bigsarg7 on Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:44 pm

I agree with Kiwi -darren on this, When i began a few years back with my first dslr, I used to use my iso at around 400 and in low light 800, but i could notice noise at 800 sometimes, but now days withy my d200 (nikon) i tend to have my iso on 200.
But as everyone else has been saying its a matter of getting your hands on a few different bodies and making the choice on how it feels in your hands and how well the shots you've taken on your memory cards turn out. You will find this forum wonderful, it is a gem of a site where so much knowledge is shared. You will no doubt learn a lot and meet some wonderful people, just as i have!

Welcome and we all look forward to seeing future shots from you! But keep in mind youll need a good bag and one thats not too heavy!!

take care!
2 x Fuji xt1,vg-xt1 grip, Fujinon xf 18-55mm 2.8-4, Fujinon xf 14mm, Fujinon 56mm 1.2.
User avatar
bigsarg7
Senior Member
 
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:11 pm
Location: Goulburn Valley (Victoria, Australia)

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Aussie Dave on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:47 pm

kiwi wrote:Just with the iso, as a newbie I'd recommend you stay at a default of 400 during the day.


Sorry, but I am of a different view.

Newbie or not, the photographer needs to learn how to utilise ISO just as much as they do Aperture or Shutter speed. All three go hand-in-hand and IMO, if the scene allows you to shoot at ISO100 then that's what you should use.

If at the beginning you start shooting with a low ISO setting (eg. ISO100) and find your images are blurry (due to incorrect/insufficient shutter speeds), then you will likely pick up on this quickly and it will be a good lesson learned. Bumping ISO up higher to counter-act what "might" occur is not the right approach (in my mind anyway). That's not to say you should never use a higher ISO setting....but it should be used as required, not just as a fail-safe (for want of a better term).

You could equally say always keep your shutter speed to 1/80th sec. and as long as you aren't using a "long lens" all should be OK (and you should not get many/any blurry images)....but in reality limiting yourself like that is not practical. Agreed this is slightly exaggerated compared to bumping up the ISO level 1-2 stops, but nonetheless shows that learning the basics is what it's all about at the beginning....and sometimes that means learning the "hard way" :)

Just another point of view to consider...
Dave
Nikon D7000 | 18-105 VR Lens | Nikon 50 1.8G | Sigma 70-300 APO II Super Macro | Tokina 11-16 AT-X | Nikon SB-800 | Lowepro Mini Trekker AWII
Photography = Compromise
User avatar
Aussie Dave
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2004 1:40 pm
Location: West. Suburbs, Melbourne [Nikon D7000]

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby kiwi on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:53 pm

I can understand your differing POV

Personally if you take ISO out of the trilateral equation it's easier for most to concentrate on the two creative choices
Darren
Nikon D3 and Nikon Glass
User avatar
kiwi
Member
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Arana Hills, Brisbane

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby gstark on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:59 pm

kiwi wrote:Personally if you take ISO out of the trilateral equation it's easier for most to concentrate on the two creative choices


Darren,

Are you suggesting that ISO choice is not a part of the creative process?

I can see the point that you made in your earlier post, and while my tendency would probably fall more with Dave's PoV, (we all know how I feel about learning the basics :) ) I find your choice of words here to be rather intriguing. Is this just a poor choice of words on your part, or is there something else here that could be worthwhile exploring?

And yes, maybe this should be spawned off into a new thread too. :)
g.
Gary Stark
Nikon, Canon, Bronica .... stuff
The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it - US Pres. Bartlet
User avatar
gstark
Site Admin
 
Posts: 22599
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:41 pm
Location: Bondi, NSW

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby kiwi on Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:16 pm

Well, yeah, a new thread maybe :D

I suppose you can use ISO as a creative choice to introduce noise - though - Id suggest this is quite rare ? Or at least I think it is.

Id think most photographers only touch ISO as a necessity so they can increase or decrease shutter speed or apperture according to their creative or technical desires, so, to me it's s/s and apperture that are the creative choices, not iso per se
Darren
Nikon D3 and Nikon Glass
User avatar
kiwi
Member
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Arana Hills, Brisbane

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby ATJ on Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:45 pm

kiwi wrote:I suppose you can use ISO as a creative choice to introduce noise - though - Id suggest this is quite rare ? Or at least I think it is.

Ah... but ISO does affect creative choice and not because of noise.

Let's use an easy example (and this is a good one for Monica, too), shooting in sunlight. There's a very handy Sunny f/16 rule. The rule says that in normal sunlight (i.e. no clouds), the (well a) correct exposure would be an f/stop of f/16 and a shutter speed of 1/ISOs. e.g. if you were shooting at ISO 200, you'd use f/16 and 1/200s. Once you know that, you could play around a bit:
ISO 200, f/11, 1/400s
ISO 200, f/8, 1/800s
ISO 100, f/8, 1/400s
and so on...

Now, because the light is fairly constant here, you are limited to the appropriate combinations of ISO, f/stop and shutter speed.

For a particular desired creative effect, you might want to go for a larger aperture (for smaller depth of field) but also a relatively slow shutter speed because you want to blur the action (perhaps you are taking photos of racing cars - OK, I don't take photos of racing cars so this may not be a good example): let's say you want f/5.6 and 1/400s. In order to achieve that, you'd need to use an ISO of 50 (assuming your camera could do it). So, ISO would actually be part of the creative decision.

There are a great many other examples where you want to set the shutter speed and the f/stop to specific values for a specific creative effect and so you must change the ISO to achieve that.
User avatar
ATJ
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3982
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:44 am
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby kiwi on Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:51 pm

OK, I take that point where you want a specific combination of F/stop and s/speed.

More often than not though I'll still maintain (and maybe Im going to be fighting a losing battle here :D ) that more often than not you will more often set say either an appropriate shutter speed or apperture you want for a particular shot, and only change ISO as a 3rd and last resort :surrender:
Darren
Nikon D3 and Nikon Glass
User avatar
kiwi
Member
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Arana Hills, Brisbane

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Aussie Dave on Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:56 pm

Apologies for hi-jacking your thread Monica.

I have started a new thread HERE, should anyone wish to discuss this further...

Cheers,
Dave
Dave
Nikon D7000 | 18-105 VR Lens | Nikon 50 1.8G | Sigma 70-300 APO II Super Macro | Tokina 11-16 AT-X | Nikon SB-800 | Lowepro Mini Trekker AWII
Photography = Compromise
User avatar
Aussie Dave
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2004 1:40 pm
Location: West. Suburbs, Melbourne [Nikon D7000]

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Monica on Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:19 pm

Thank you for all the replies and the wonderful advice. I have reread all your tips numerous times and really appreciate the well informed replies. I am really looking forward to taking all that has been said in account and learning from it. After a lot of reading, playing and shopping around I have decided on the Nikon D90.

Teds and Harvey Norman said they would price match with Gibbs camera house who have a web special of the Nikon D90 with 18-105mm VR lens for $1577.00. Nikon is giving the $200 cash back redemption for the D90 and with the 10% tourist refund scheme, the camera and lens just make my budget, yay. Just need to wait two weeks before I can purchase but have started reading some photography books mean while.
Monica
Newbie
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:57 pm
Location: Golden Grove, South Australia

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby biggerry on Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:48 pm

the Nikon D90 with 18-105mm VR lens for $1577.0


nioce..thats a good price from them too cheaper than DD.

you will definitely not regret going with the D90, its a nice camera...

Just need to wait two weeks before I can purchase but have started reading some photography books mean while.


well we wanna see your first image posted up here! so keep it clean :rotfl2:
gerry's photography journey
No amount of processing will fix bad composition - trust me i have tried.
User avatar
biggerry
Senior Member
 
Posts: 5901
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:40 am
Location: Under the flight path, Newtown, Sydney

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Monica on Mon May 03, 2010 4:46 pm

Thanks Biggerry :) I will be definitely posting some beginner shots to help get some useful tips for all of you. Will also hopefully have some impressive shots to share from Europe when I come back.

Will be finally purchasing the D90 with 18-105mm VR lens this week, will also get a camera bag, two memory cards and a filter.

Any recommendations for what filter to buy? I just want one to protect the lens.
Monica
Newbie
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:57 pm
Location: Golden Grove, South Australia

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Mr Darcy on Mon May 03, 2010 7:06 pm

Monica wrote:Any recommendations for what filter to buy? I just want one to protect the lens.


Ahh Monica, you really like to ask controversial questions don't you.
This will open yet another can of worms.
Personally I belong to the "No Filter" school.
Use a filter when and only when you need it for a specific purpose. Why add another potential source of distortion when you don't really need it. A lens hood will do far more to protect a lens than a filter will in most circumstances.

However, just to prove I can, you need a UV filter for this purpose, but get a reasonably good one. Certainly one that is "multicoated". Avoid "no name" brands. Hoya is one brand I have used happily over the years, though recently there have been negative things said about them, mostly about their mounts sticking. B&W is another with a good name. Incidentally, a UV filter was originally designed to filter out blue haze when shooting film at high altitude. It has little or no effect on the image at low altitude. Or on digital cameras at any altitude as their sensors work differently to film in their sensitivity to UV light. Personally I only use the added protection of a UV Filter when shooting in a harsh environment, e.g. at the beach.

The other filter to seriously consider is a Circular Polariser (CPL). These can remove reflections - handy if you are shooting through glass, bring out puffy white clouds, improve vegetation, and stand in for a Neutral Density filter if your exposure is too bright for what you are trying to achieve
Greg
It's easy to be good... when there is nothing else to do
User avatar
Mr Darcy
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3413
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:35 pm
Location: The somewhat singed and blackened Blue Mountains

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby biggerry on Mon May 03, 2010 7:26 pm

Monica wrote:Will also hopefully have some impressive shots to share from Europe when I come back.


awesome :up:

Monica wrote:Any recommendations for what filter to buy? I just want one to protect the lens.


basically what Mr Darcy said :up: with extra emphasis on the use of the hood and the option of using a CPL. I have always made sure I have had a CPL, its the only filter I will bother spending good money (any money at that) on.

Just stick with a good brand if you really deceide to get one, as Mr Darcy mentioned Hoya and BW are both excellent. Have a look at http://www.hvstar.net for good prices on filters, avoid buying in Aus cause they are stupidly expensive, especially from some stores in sydney.
gerry's photography journey
No amount of processing will fix bad composition - trust me i have tried.
User avatar
biggerry
Senior Member
 
Posts: 5901
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:40 am
Location: Under the flight path, Newtown, Sydney

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby surenj on Mon May 03, 2010 8:10 pm

Only thing I would add is that you will need a THIN polarising filter to prevent vignetting at 18mm on your lens. Also try and plan things so that the one polariser could be used in a couple of lenses if possible. 77mm diameter sounds common. Gerry?
User avatar
surenj
Senior Member
 
Posts: 7197
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:21 pm
Location: Artarmon NSW

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Mr Darcy on Mon May 03, 2010 8:20 pm

One other thing. A CPL is NOT a filter to leave on the lens all the time. It robs you of about 2 stops (your f5.6 lens will become an f11 one!)
Greg
It's easy to be good... when there is nothing else to do
User avatar
Mr Darcy
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3413
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:35 pm
Location: The somewhat singed and blackened Blue Mountains

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby biggerry on Mon May 03, 2010 8:25 pm

77mm diameter sounds common. Gerry?


yeah 77mm is common for some of the more mid range gear, however the 18-105 is a 67mm filter size, this could work as an advantage tho 'cause the filters will be much cheaper.

A CPL is NOT a filter to leave on the lens all the time


good point
gerry's photography journey
No amount of processing will fix bad composition - trust me i have tried.
User avatar
biggerry
Senior Member
 
Posts: 5901
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:40 am
Location: Under the flight path, Newtown, Sydney

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby aim54x on Mon May 03, 2010 9:55 pm

Filters....I am one that is of both sides of the camp, I use them on most of my lenses, but have always spent the extra to get good quality filters, but my latest lenses I have kept filter free.

I am quickly becoming a member of the no filter clan. However, you cant go wrong with B+W, Hoya Pro1D, Hoya HD and Marumi DHG/Super DHG filters (UV, Protective). With these filters make sure you have the right size for your lens (ie 67mm).

A C-Pol on the other hand should only be bought once, so get a BIG one (same brands are good!), I would go for a 77mm and then make sure I get an step-up ring (ie a ring that converts your 67mm lens to take a 77mm filter) this means you can always use your expensive C-Pol instead of buying them again and again. You will probably have to get your local camera store to order you a step-up ring but in the long run these things are worth the expense and hassle.

Enjoy that D90 and make sure you share these Europe photos!
Cameron
Nikon F/Nikon 1 | Hasselblad V/XPAN| Leica M/LTM |Sony α/FE/E/Maxxum/M42
Wishlist Nikkor 24/85 f/1.4| Fuji Natura Black
Scout-Images | Flickr | 365Project
User avatar
aim54x
Senior Member
 
Posts: 7305
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: Penshurst, Sydney

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Monica on Sun May 23, 2010 8:16 pm

So once again, a big thank you for all the helpful replies.

I am now a very proud owner of a Nikon D90 with 18-105 lens and I am absolutely thinking it was worth every single cent. :wink:

Teds cameras were fantastic, they price matched it for $1577 and I got 10% of for the accessories as I am a student, so I definitely had a very positive experience shopping at the Adelaide city store.

So I have had fun snapping away and the daytime shots are fantastic, obviously have a lifetime of learning to go but on first impressions, I am loving it. . However it has been harder to get a hang of night time photography, it is easy to get a good quality photo of a person in the dark but when taking a photo of a person and wanting to see the background as well I am rather challenged.I know a tripod does the world of difference but carrying the dslr everywhere I go is about as much room/weight I am after.

Any tips/tutorials/ links to help me learn as much I can about taking photos at night time/low light conditions would be fantastic.

Thank you!
Monica
Newbie
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:57 pm
Location: Golden Grove, South Australia

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby Aussie Dave on Sun May 23, 2010 8:31 pm

Hi Monica,
Sounds to me like you need to try and organise a night-time meet for the SA dSLRusers....so you can see first hand what they do and pick up some valuable advice and techniques.

:)
Dave
Nikon D7000 | 18-105 VR Lens | Nikon 50 1.8G | Sigma 70-300 APO II Super Macro | Tokina 11-16 AT-X | Nikon SB-800 | Lowepro Mini Trekker AWII
Photography = Compromise
User avatar
Aussie Dave
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2004 1:40 pm
Location: West. Suburbs, Melbourne [Nikon D7000]

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby biggerry on Sun May 23, 2010 8:44 pm

Sounds to me like you need to try and organise a night-time meet for the SA dSLRusers


agreed, and if your ever in sydney and have some spare time I am sure we can wrangle a few peeps together..
gerry's photography journey
No amount of processing will fix bad composition - trust me i have tried.
User avatar
biggerry
Senior Member
 
Posts: 5901
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:40 am
Location: Under the flight path, Newtown, Sydney

Re: Newbie needing DSLR advice please

Postby aim54x on Sun May 23, 2010 10:26 pm

biggerry wrote:
Sounds to me like you need to try and organise a night-time meet for the SA dSLRusers


agreed, and if your ever in sydney and have some spare time I am sure we can wrangle a few peeps together..


I'd be up for a night meet!
Cameron
Nikon F/Nikon 1 | Hasselblad V/XPAN| Leica M/LTM |Sony α/FE/E/Maxxum/M42
Wishlist Nikkor 24/85 f/1.4| Fuji Natura Black
Scout-Images | Flickr | 365Project
User avatar
aim54x
Senior Member
 
Posts: 7305
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: Penshurst, Sydney


Return to Absolute Beginners Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron