N00bie photographer

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  • #22144
    boogerwolf
    Participant

    First of all, no staplers in the list. Totally unacceptable. You need to work on that.

    I plead total ignorance: what’s a stapler?

    I’m picking up what you’re putting down mofo. I’ll get some knowledge under my belt before I “let that woman in the car”. I guess it might be a good idea to learn to take good shots on the 18-55 before dropping the sheikels on bigger and better glass.

    And what’s the rub on the 70-300mm “macro”?

    #22145
    staplermofo
    Participant

    A stapler is a device for binding things with staples.
    I meant it as a joke. A long time ago, I entered pictures with staplers in them regardless of the theme. I’ve been meaning to start again, but, you know…

    The rub with my Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro is that it isn’t very sharp, contrasty or good at autofocusing. The color’s pretty muddy too, and there’s a fringing problem in bright sunlight. And really, when it came down to it, I didn’t really want a telephoto lens. I just felt compelled to because everyone knows that all the macho guys have big telephoto lenses.

    The lens also gave me chlamydia.

    #22146
    sleeping
    Participant

    Cheap tele zooms that go to 300mm+ are almost always pretty mediocre (or worse) at the long end of the zoom range. The best low cost tele option for Nikon is the 55-200mm VR, IMO – if you can get past the plasticky construction it’s optics are extremely good.

    #22147
    nobigdeal
    Participant

    My 70-300 IS USM every bell & whistle Canon lens sucks ball too. I think it is just a 70-300 thing. It does ok as a medium distance lens but don’t expect great shots at anything over 40 feet away.

    #22148
    orionid
    Participant

    1) General outdoor and candid shots. I think my kit lens should do OK for now.

    It will. I used that lens for a long time before expanding my options. Just be weary of what mode you have the camera set in. For example, on the D50, if you throw it in landscape mode just because it has no flash, and it’s convenient, the AI will assume you have a tripod, bump up the f/stop (less light), and slow down the shutter. I took alot of early evening shaky photos on that lens. It’s also not that great when it comes to bokeh. Here’s a few shots that show what can be done with that lens on a D50.

    2) Football and possibly baseball. My son plays both and I have access to the sidelines when he plays football. I figure a 55 to maybe 300mm zoom to get in on the action. Now here’s the question: I’ve never done macro but the way I see it zoom/macro lenses aren’t that big a jump in price from just zoom-only lenes so I might as well get one. Is that flawed thinking? Is 300mm too much?

    I haven’t used a zoom/macro combo since I shot on film about ten years ago (and had no idea what I was doing, other than using the camera’s internal light meter and doing what it said). As a general rule, though, I don’t think of zoom and macro in the same process. That being said, I spent all my money on an acceptable zoom lens, and use it with various “poor man” techniques for macro – like extension tubes and diopter filters. 300mm will be great for sports, just be prepared to shell out some cash for good glass at that level. I’ve got the Nikkor 70-300 AF-S VR ED IF and I love it. But there are still some cons to it.

    Good:
    Lightweight and quiet (as compared to my dad’s Tamron 18-300mm)
    Generally sharp colors and good contrast.
    Nice bokeh at full zoom and low distance

    Bad:
    Downright shiatty in low light
    VR sucks down your battery with alot of moving targets in low to medium light
    Very bulky (hard to fit in a coat pocket if you’re packing multiple lenses and don’t have a bag).
    Even with VR, in waning daylight, you’ll get some motion blur on moving subjects.
    Can’t focus closer than six feet

    Examples:

    3) Real estate photography. This is going to be a HOBBY. If I make money at, so-be-it. If not, no big deal. In my slice of the world the MLS photos look horrible so I figured a wide angle lens to get the job done. Here is the rub: Wide angle (and I’m thinking 10-24mm or 10-20mm) are a little cost-prohibitive for me right now. I did some experimenting with my 18-55 around the house and got cool results in medium to large rooms but smaller rooms take some effort. I found a cool website for realestate photography http://www.photographyforrealestate.net

    Good wide angles are expensive. Almost as bad as zoom. Especially fast wide angles. No specific advice other than play with your 18-55 until you get a chance to borrow/rent/try-before-buy a couple good pieces of glass. I’ve got an older 24mm f/2.8 prime that I bought used at B&H ($220), and it’s my walkaround lens about 95% of the time.

    Also, just general info, the second nikon lens I purchased was the kit 55-200mm zoom, I think it was about $180 four years ago. I don’t regret the purchase, it was a good lens, especially for the money, and I had no complaints for a long time, but it sits around collecting dust these days (except for the occasion where the 70-300 is just too much). The downsides that I see now are:
    Shiatty at low light (see a trend? “fast” or wide aparture zoom lenses = $$$$. I look at the price tag on a 300mm f/2.8 and instead of numbers I see “1969 Chevelle” A 500mm f/2.8 reads more like “2002 Corvette”)
    Front element focus – not a big deal until you try to use it for reversing ring macro shots
    No “outward displayed” information. Now that I’m getting in the habit of doing everything manually, I like to see at a glance where focus is set, etc.

    With the 55-200

    Hope these help.

    #22149
    boogerwolf
    Participant

    A stapler is a device for binding things with staples.
    I meant it as a joke. A long time ago, I entered pictures with staplers in them regardless of the theme. I’ve been meaning to start again, but, you know…

    The rub with my Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro is that it isn’t very sharp, contrasty or good at autofocusing. The color’s pretty muddy too, and there’s a fringing problem in bright sunlight. And really, when it came down to it, I didn’t really want a telephoto lens. I just felt compelled to because everyone knows that all the macho guys have big telephoto lenses.

    The lens also gave me chlamydia.

    Sounds like the lens might have stole all your horses and poisoned the water hole.

    I didn’t add a stapler to the list ’cause the Swingline is already working overtime!

    #22150
    boogerwolf
    Participant

    Also, just general info, the second nikon lens I purchased was the kit 55-200mm zoom, I think it was about $180 four years ago. I don’t regret the purchase, it was a good lens, especially for the money, and I had no complaints for a long time

    orionid:

    I just picked up a Nikkor 55-200 non-VR zoom on an impulse buy. It was a good deal at a closing Ritz Camera. The lowest I found on line was $155+shipping. I got it at Ritz for $139+tax (not bad for a liquidation sale). Here are a picture I snapped with it:

    This was after a bad storm at dusk. It tried to mess with the manual settings as much as I could with my limited knowledge. Here is a shot with my kit lens:

    Thanks for the advice on everything. Feel free to pick at the pictures all.

    #22151
    boogerwolf
    Participant

    DISCLAIMER: I swapped the quote box in the previous posting. I’m an idiot. Orionid did not take the pictures. Had he/she have they would have been of a far superior quality. Sorry ’bout that.

    #22152
    jpatten
    Participant

    My current lens line up is on a Canon XT body (which is pretty decent, but I wish its ISO was less noisy in the upper range. I have the 18-55 Kit lens, a “nifty fifty” 50mm f1.8, and the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG lens.
    I have been pretty happy with my 70-300. Of the Canon, Tamron and Sigma, the research I did indicated Sigma had the best quality and was in the middle for price range.
    I’m looking at a True Macro lens

    #22153
    orionid
    Participant

    DISCLAIMER: I swapped the quote box in the previous posting. I’m an idiot. Orionid did not take the pictures. Had he/she have they would have been of a far superior quality. Sorry ’bout that.

    Hehe, Thanks! I’m not entirely sure about that, but I’ll take flattery where I can get it.

    As far as your photos, they look like great starts. I could toss out a few ideas on the technical end, but you’d want to talk to U-Man, Elsinore, or Soosh about the actual asthetics. A quick look through the FSM achives will show my best photos to be the ones solved like tech problems, while my attempts at getting artistic have flopped quite nicely. (I believe there’s even one with 2 votes!).

    On the sunset, one thing that I’ve noticed is that if a sillhouetted foreground is the effect you’re going for, it’s okay to speed the shutter up a little bit. This darkens your forground, lowers chance of blur (if freehanding), and helps bring out more of the reds, though I haven’t been able to determine why on that last one. You can also get more of a firey effect from forcing warmer colors by setting your white balance to flourescent or natural sunlight. There’s a post a while back where I was learning the hard/fun way about white balance where you can see a pretty pronounced effect in mixed lighting. http://www.farktography.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=1619

    I’ve also, very recently had the had-on-forehead “duhr” moment of realization that if you zoom in on your sunset, you get more reds and less blues filling the frame.

    As far as the landscape, keep in mind, I am teh sux at landscapes, but on the technical side, here’s one quick observation.

    Since it looks like you’re intending to keep the entire image in focus (and rightly so, it’d be more than okay to tighten your aperture as far as you can handle it to go (assuming you have a tripod). The bonus effect of this is that it will force a longer shutter opening for exposure, which will make the water coming over the dam blend into a smooth, milky blur rather than freeze-framing the motion. This can give a nice visual effect.

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