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Thread: Hampurites- DSLRs for a N00b

  1. #1
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    Hampurites- DSLRs for a N00b

    I was fortunate enough to win a new DSLR, a Canon EOS T3i. Now I know this isn't the latest and greatest, but it's a significant step up for me from a point and shoot. What are some of the basic techniques that I need to master? And what affordable lens can I buy for macro photography? One person said a 60mm, another said I can get by with a 50mm at first.

    Any insights (comedic, helpful or otherwise) is appreciated.

  2. #2
    In health or otherwise, you have all the luck.

    Congratulations on the camera. Best of luck with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Borgoguy View Post
    In health or otherwise, you have all the luck.

    Congratulations on the camera. Best of luck with it.
    LOL, I suppose you're right. Got dealt a good hand with that.

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    Point and shoot.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    I was fortunate enough to win a new DSLR, a Canon EOS T3i. Now I know this isn't the latest and greatest, but it's a significant step up for me from a point and shoot. What are some of the basic techniques that I need to master? And what affordable lens can I buy for macro photography? One person said a 60mm, another said I can get by with a 50mm at first.

    Any insights (comedic, helpful or otherwise) is appreciated.
    I'm a Canon guy. Many are Nikon guys. But dslr photography is so much more about the glass (lenses) than about the body. I shoot with a Canon 7d but my lenses are worth 10x what the camera costs. Technique trumps all, however, as a great photographer will get better results from cheap gear than I ever could from my expensive gear.

    Did the camera come with the kit lens or is it body only? Usually, starting out with a general walk around lens is the best beginning lens. A 50mm is a good portrait lens and is useful for macro use but very limited on what it can do overall. You should probably start with a decent zoom lense and if macro is important to you get one that allows for it. Your budget will usually determine where you will start. I've got lenses that cost $100 up to a 400mm prime that ran me $6k (only because I couldn't bring myself to pay twice that for one that works on lower light, or lower f stop) When looking at lenses the lower the f stop, the easier it is to get a good shot in lower light. Most lenses hold their value pretty well so you can always upgrade later, but it'a always best to buy the best you can afford. A lens like Canon's 18-135 f/3.5 - 5.6 IS is a great mid priced lens that you could leave on your camera for 90% of the time.

    The beauty of digital is you can take tons of pictures to improve your techniques. You need to learn how to manipulate light and all the variables and how they affect each other from speed, or how long the lens is open. F-stop or how wide the lens opens, and so many of the other factors which go into a great photo. Read and study . If you only read one book, get Peterson's Understanding Exposure. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-.../dp/0817439390

    The best photography discussion board by far is www.dpreview.com. The forums and reviews are as good as you'll find.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuidoYaztremski View Post
    I'm a Canon guy. Many are Nikon guys. But dslr photography is so much more about the glass (lenses) than about the body. I shoot with a Canon 7d but my lenses are worth 10x what the camera costs. Technique trumps all, however, as a great photographer will get better results from cheap gear than I ever could from my expensive gear.

    Did the camera come with the kit lens or is it body only? Usually, starting out with a general walk around lens is the best beginning lens. A 50mm is a good portrait lens and is useful for macro use but very limited on what it can do overall. You should probably start with a decent zoom lense and if macro is important to you get one that allows for it. Your budget will usually determine where you will start. I've got lenses that cost $100 up to a 400mm prime that ran me $6k (only because I couldn't bring myself to pay twice that for one that works on lower light, or lower f stop) When looking at lenses the lower the f stop, the easier it is to get a good shot in lower light. Most lenses hold their value pretty well so you can always upgrade later, but it'a always best to buy the best you can afford. A lens like Canon's 18-135 f/3.5 - 5.6 IS is a great mid priced lens that you could leave on your camera for 90% of the time.

    The beauty of digital is you can take tons of pictures to improve your techniques. You need to learn how to manipulate light and all the variables and how they affect each other from speed, or how long the lens is open. F-stop or how wide the lens opens, and so many of the other factors which go into a great photo. Read and study . If you only read one book, get Peterson's Understanding Exposure. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-.../dp/0817439390

    The best photography discussion board by far is www.dpreview.com. The forums and reviews are as good as you'll find.
    Awesome info, thanks! The camera came with a basic lens, so I've been tooling around a bit with it, but it sucks for macro. That was why I was asking about upgrading to another lens. I see Canon has a lot of refurbs that go on sale every so often, so that was my motivation for asking.

    The techniques are going to be a long and slow process. I'm juggling too much right now with nursing to start hacking away at learning the ins and outs of photography. Does that site have a quickstart type of guide? Thanks again!!!

    Waiting for Stokes to chime in here. I know he's a Nikon guy, but I would like his thoughts/advice as well.

  7. #7
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    Let me also recommend another great site: http://digital-photography-school.com/

    This site has bailed me out numerous times on topics ranging from basic camera settings to advanced techniques. Sign up for the weekly e-newsletter and get "tips to try this weekend" every Friday in your inbox.

    I'm a Nikon guy, and while Guido is right, I would recommend trying to master your camera before you plunk down cash on new lenses. Get out of Auto mode and play around with Aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual. You won't go back once you get a handle on the basics. In Scotland, with changing weather (and light) conditions every 5 minutes, I started in aperture priority but quickly changed to and stayed in manual.

  8. #8

    #

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    Awesome info, thanks! The camera came with a basic lens, so I've been tooling around a bit with it, but it sucks for macro. That was why I was asking about upgrading to another lens. I see Canon has a lot of refurbs that go on sale every so often, so that was my motivation for asking.

    The techniques are going to be a long and slow process. I'm juggling too much right now with nursing to start hacking away at learning the ins and outs of photography. Does that site have a quickstart type of guide? Thanks again!!!

    Waiting for Stokes to chime in here. I know he's a Nikon guy, but I would like his thoughts/advice as well.
    Canon refurbs are a great eay to go. What do you want to spend on a lens? A macro is such a specialty lens, i'd be afraid you'd blow your budget and not use it nearly as much as you'd think you would. Keep in mind a maco lense will be ggod for that, but it may suck for landscapes or action shots or wildlife,etc.

    http://photo.net/learn/basic-photo-t...tterspeed-iso/

    There's no shortcuts, but here's a pretty explanation of the basics. This is a pretty good site overall, but this page explains the foundation of good photography.

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    I have a Cannon.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonhomme Richard View Post
    Let me also recommend another great site: http://digital-photography-school.com/

    This site has bailed me out numerous times on topics ranging from basic camera settings to advanced techniques. Sign up for the weekly e-newsletter and get "tips to try this weekend" every Friday in your inbox.

    I'm a Nikon guy, and while Guido is right, I would recommend trying to master your camera before you plunk down cash on new lenses. Get out of Auto mode and play around with Aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual. You won't go back once you get a handle on the basics. In Scotland, with changing weather (and light) conditions every 5 minutes, I started in aperture priority but quickly changed to and stayed in manual.
    This.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonhomme Richard View Post
    Let me also recommend another great site: http://digital-photography-school.com/

    This site has bailed me out numerous times on topics ranging from basic camera settings to advanced techniques. Sign up for the weekly e-newsletter and get "tips to try this weekend" every Friday in your inbox.

    I'm a Nikon guy, and while Guido is right, I would recommend trying to master your camera before you plunk down cash on new lenses. Get out of Auto mode and play around with Aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual. You won't go back once you get a handle on the basics. In Scotland, with changing weather (and light) conditions every 5 minutes, I started in aperture priority but quickly changed to and stayed in manual.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuidoYaztremski View Post
    Canon refurbs are a great eay to go. What do you want to spend on a lens? A macro is such a specialty lens, i'd be afraid you'd blow your budget and not use it nearly as much as you'd think you would. Keep in mind a maco lense will be ggod for that, but it may suck for landscapes or action shots or wildlife,etc.

    http://photo.net/learn/basic-photo-t...tterspeed-iso/

    There's no shortcuts, but here's a pretty explanation of the basics. This is a pretty good site overall, but this page explains the foundation of good photography.
    Awesome, thanks! Knew I could count on you guys for this. As for the lens, I suppose I am willing to spend <$200. That's why I was looking at the 60mm, they seem to be in that range and look suitable. I'll be using it for watch photography and other stuff like that. I'm sure I will get some mileage out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apache 51 View Post
    I have a Cannon.
    Of course you do. We'd expect nothing less.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    Awesome, thanks! Knew I could count on you guys for this. As for the lens, I suppose I am willing to spend <$200. That's why I was looking at the 60mm, they seem to be in that range and look suitable. I'll be using it for watch photography and other stuff like that. I'm sure I will get some mileage out of it.



    Of course you do. We'd expect nothing less.
    At that budget, you won't get much in the way of lenses. And as Paulie said, you're better off perfecting your technique before throwing down good money on lenses. Which kit lens did it come with? I'm assuming it's the 18-55mm. If so, here is an example of a "macro" shot taken with this lens. Basically, if you need to get even closer than this you will need a macro lens, nut i'd still wait if I were you to when you can a afford a zoom that has macro capability. The 60mm is very close to the 55mm you already have, although it is more suited to macro work.


  13. #13
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    2 most important techniques are "upskirt" and "downcleavage" w/o getting caught by the subject or your wife. Degree of difficulty: VERY.

  14. #14
    i was where you are about a year ago...

    I shoot with a Nikon D800. The only lens thats regularly on my camera is my Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, i have a few other lenses for things like low light shooting and macro, but i think a good "walk around" lens will get you 90% there.

    I suggest a few things that worked for me:

    i got a photography instructor when i was starting out, he charged 50 bucks an hour for private lessons, could be at his home or we went out to shoot at different times of the day. He is a pro, worked for McGraw Hill or something...

    http://www.wyzant.com/Home.aspx

    Once you understand the basics (exposure, lighting, etc...) i would download some books on basic photography techniques. i have books on everything from digital photography, to nature photography, to HDR photography... I've found them very helpful. i found it especially helpful to go out with my instructor and ask questions on things i read about and get his take on them, and talk about them. eventually you get to a point where shooting manual becomes second nature, and thats when the art of it all kicks in...finding a cool shot and understanding the surroundings is a lot more challenging then making sure you have the camera set up for the shot.

    and then above all just take a lot of pictures! i hardly leave my house without my camera (and my lens/camera is heavy as ****). you never know when you might get a good shot.

    Here are two pictures i took recently.

    http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...at104052PM.png

    http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...at104035PM.png

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    LOL, I suppose you're right. Got dealt a good hand with that.
    LOL

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