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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Photography

I'm totally new to photography... I've always been interested in picking it up as a hobby.. what websites, books and other things would you guys recommend and also what would you recommend as my first real camera?

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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:39 AM
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+1 to this, digital specifically

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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:43 AM
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http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm

Disregard the zealous opinion written throughout, but some of these articles are really good and tell it like it is.

The main question is: What is your budget? You can get a cheap camera and learn a lot, or get a nice DSLR and expand the possibilites.

www.dpreview.com has some good equipment reviews, but tend to get a little too technical with comparing silly things.

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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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I could potentially spend a few hundred dollars to start.. upwards of 5 bills maybe. What kinda camera could I get for that?

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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:50 AM
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Check Mort's post in this thread:
https://www.chicagolandsportbikes.com...ad.php?t=58752

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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:51 AM
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Oops, thanks jeff!

Last edited by Mort82; 07-24-2007 at 09:55 AM.
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:51 AM
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Edited: because I'm way too slow and there are more knowledgeable people posting about this.

Edited again: Shadrach, I have a D40 as well, but I'm not so fond of it. Colors are drab and reds come out artifacty and crunchy. I have really cheap lenses though...

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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Man, the Nikon DSLR cameras are $$$$$. I might just start with a 300-400 dollar Canon. What do you guys think? I'll also have to check out those links/books you recommended this evening.

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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 09:58 AM
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Man, the Nikon DSLR cameras are $$$$$. I might just start with a 300-400 dollar Canon. What do you guys think? I'll also have to check out those links/books you recommended this evening.
You can find the D40 for about $500 online. Amazon has it for $530, and the kit lens is really good, much better than the one on the Rebel.

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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:00 AM
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I'd also check out the classifieds section on photo.net and craigslist.org

I'm sure you can find some decent used stuff, but I'm not much of one to buy used electronic digital anything for that matter...

But Shadrach is right, the D40 is an awesome camera at an affordable price, that's why Nikon made it for people who like the idea of a SLR at a decent price.
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post #11 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:01 AM
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Yeah, spend the money now on a good camera body and ok lens, and then you'll be able to expand on it later. On the other hand, there's some fairly versatile point-and-shoots, but the more sophisticated ones (if you really want to learn *about* photography as a hobby rather than just take nice pictures) get spendy too.

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post #12 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Cool, thanks for all the info. I will do soem research. Hopefully I can get myself a deal!

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post #13 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadrach View Post
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm

Disregard the zealous opinion written throughout, but some of these articles are really good and tell it like it is.

The main question is: What is your budget? You can get a cheap camera and learn a lot, or get a nice DSLR and expand the possibilites.

www.dpreview.com has some good equipment reviews, but tend to get a little too technical with comparing silly things.
+100 on both accounts.

I've had long chats with Ken...he's a fuckn nut...but he has some talent and is an engineer to boot. So he's very technical. Just don't take what he says as gospel...he is very opinionated.

DP Review, and their forums are a good source of info...but the forums often has the internet echo-chamber of repeating wives tails, and the reviews are a bit over the top geeky.

As for getting a proper digital SLR, if you think $500 is too much just for getting the body...then you are looking into the wrong hobby.

As with anything, you get what you pay for. I started out with a $1000 Nikon body and $500 lens. With practice and lots of reading and even more practice, I realized I only had a beginners kit. Now I'm up over $8000 worth of Nikon kit and I have a good all around setup. I could go pro with this for sure, but I could still spend $10k to $15k to reach a higher level of gear.

That said, you could get an nice used setup for $500-700 that would get you a last generation Nikon body and basic, but quality starter lens. You could learn 95% of what you need to know about photography with that simple setup and decide where you want to go from there.

In fact, if Peanut doesn't get off her arse and use my D70s I gave to her, it's going up for sale pretty damn soon! I even dropped $600 on a nice lens for it (grrrrrrr) that I wish she'd use. LOL

So if you are looking at $300 cameras and considering that *maybe* you want a $500 camera...then you're stuck in Point and Shoot land. You can still learn a lot about taking good photos with that P&S camera, but you're not learning SLR photography.

Feel free to snoop through my gallery, and ask any questions you might have. While I'm not a pro, and I freely admit that I have LOOONG way to go before I consider myself a pro...I know enough to get around an SLR of any brand.

www.LonelyRaven.ZenFolio.com








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post #14 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:18 AM
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yea nikon d40 $600 jesus...

if i had the money id do it tho

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post #15 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:21 AM
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I want one of these

Though I like the car I drive now, and don't think that thing would get to work and back...
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post #16 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:29 AM
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I still like using film.

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post #17 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:31 AM
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Film totally has it's place. It has a texture that digital just can't reproduce.

Just too expensive for me considering how many shots I throw away.

Though if I trained with film, I might just learn to take more time with my digital shots and maybe produce better final results.

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post #18 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:33 AM
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I still break out the old F3hp and F4s... in fact, I think the F4s will be better than the D80 on the track... thanks for reminding me to get some film!!!
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post #19 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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I think i'm gonna go for a D40 to start. Looks like a nice camera. How do I go about taking nice black and white pictures?

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post #20 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:35 AM
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Yeah, I still love film too. Ditto on the warmth and texture that digital doesn't have.

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post #21 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:37 AM
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I think i'm gonna go for a D40 to start. Looks like a nice camera. How do I go about taking nice black and white pictures?
yea i was looking at that too now it comes down to $600 for a camera to start out with or $600 for a brand new acoustic guitar.

decisions!

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post #22 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:38 AM
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I think i'm gonna go for a D40 to start. Looks like a nice camera. How do I go about taking nice black and white pictures?
If the D40 doesn't have a B&W mode built in, you simply learn to do it in Photoshop or whatever post processing software you choose to learn. Even Picassa has a couple B&W conversions that I have used...though I'm not terribly good at it yet:



Post production skills is my weakest link right now.

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post #23 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
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I think i'm gonna go for a D40 to start. Looks like a nice camera. How do I go about taking nice black and white pictures?
Shoot normally through the camera and desaturate as needed in photo-chop.

oh yeah, you're going to need a decent computer, software, and well, if ya want, a printer too, though you can just upload printer property/ICC info into your files and get a good print through walgreens.
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post #24 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:47 AM
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A couple of notes about the D40 and D40x (second gen D40(x) is 10MP).

First off, only modern lenses with AF-S motors will Auto Focus on it.

That means that a lot of good, older lenses will work, but only manually focus. The reason being that Nikon saved a few $$ on the D40 by taking the focusing motor out of the camera itself. So unless you are using only the most current lenses that have their own focusing motor built in...it's all manual baby!

Also, the metering/focusing system is pretty basic. It works, you can use it in Auto mode and it does pretty well...but again, you get what you pay for...this camera is stripped of a lot of features that in a year of regular use (and hopefully learning) you'll start to miss and want to upgrade.

Think of it like this:

The D40 = Ninja 250
D80 = SV650
D200 = Gixxer/CBR/whatever
D2Xs = Exotics

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post #25 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Sweet, that's what I figured. Nice!

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post #26 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
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Think of it like this:

The D40 = Ninja 250
D80 = SV650
D200 = Gixxer/CBR/whatever
D2Xs = Exotics
that is the best breakdown ever...

but if they are like that i might end up punting my d40 into the calsag river

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post #27 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:54 AM
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Photography is fun, but if you think the camera is expensive, your gonna be surprised. The camera is the cheap part wait till you start adding lenses




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post #28 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post

Post production skills is my weakest link right now.
Post production skills aren't that important. Ya just need the basics unless you are going to create a digital ALTERATION. Resizing and getting the right print settings etc are all you need. Maybe adjust a few levels and cropping is it.

I took a class at CLC last spring on digital photography thinking I would learn more about photo-chop... I ended up teaching people how to turn on their P&S cameras...
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post #29 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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Photography is fun, but I would not suggest getting an SLR camera out of the gate. Learn to do good photography with a 'worse' camera and then worry about SLR's. I had the Panasonic FZ-30 as my first camera to get in the hobby. Cheaper and the lens covers a fantastic focal range. They have a newer FZ-50 out now that I would suggest. It has the look, feel, and operations of an SLR so if you learn how to use it, you will have a very smooth transition to SLR's. It also held it's value quite nicely. I bought it for around $400 and sold it for around $300 a few years later.

Too many new photographers hop in and buy SLR to compensate for purely poor photography which there's plenty of examples of here and on all of the photography forums. It's just like bikes...give a skilled photographer a supposedly inferior camera and give a newbie the top of the line $5000 setup and I'd bet anything on the pro photographer taking better shots.

So get a super zoom/SLR-like camera. Try it for a while. Maybe the first month or two you'll be snapping photo's like a mad man and then just get bored. Or maybe you'll love it, get good with that camera and then seek out an SLR (which will also be good because you'll have a much better idea of what lenses to buy and additional accessories).
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post #30 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 11:04 AM
 
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Quote:
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Post production skills aren't that important. Ya just need the basics unless you are going to create a digital ALTERATION. Resizing and getting the right print settings etc are all you need. Maybe adjust a few levels and cropping is it.

I took a class at CLC last spring on digital photography thinking I would learn more about photo-chop... I ended up teaching people how to turn on their P&S cameras...
Post prod skills are actually very important. Not if you're taking family photo's or vacation shots, etc... But all of your pro shots have a very good amount of post processing. It's the same for film cameras...the pro photographers manipulate the shots in the dark room. Now it's just easier for most to access since all of us have computers and can buy software. Post prod is essential to break through the novice level.
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