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04-10-2007, 07:47 PM   #31
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Will you never mention which prime lenses you own.

I think you should save your money instead of spending it on zoom lenses. You should use the prime lenses it will make you a better photographer in the long run. For the price of one zoom you can get several excellent primes.

Bank the other money for your future.

04-10-2007, 09:05 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
Will you never mention which prime lenses you own.

I think you should save your money instead of spending it on zoom lenses. You should use the prime lenses it will make you a better photographer in the long run. For the price of one zoom you can get several excellent primes.

Bank the other money for your future.
Interesting. The reason I was thinking of zooms was that the most news photographers I've spoken with have stated that primes aren't very practical in that particular arena. Anyhow, If primes really do help to develop a critical eye, I'm all for using them, I suppose...
I certainly am willing to make a short term sacrifice for a long term gain. What primes should I get? The FA 50 and Sigma 30 definitely look good...
04-10-2007, 10:15 PM   #33
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Will I was thinking more on the line of some of the older manual lenses like the Pentax SMC-A series. The A-series allow for aperture priority. Learning to find the focus should be a good thing. You can find a 28mm f2.8 and a 50mm f1.7 without spending over $200. They are fine lenses that will make for good tools in which to learn.
04-10-2007, 10:51 PM   #34
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When John Prinzo changed dates for issue, CMAssistant failed to change the route-date records.

QuoteOriginally posted by wmmk Quote
Due to this and many other factors, I'm now thinking of photojournalism as a career. I thought I wanted to use all primes when I was in to landscape, but I've talked to a lot of press photographers recently, and all of them say that besides an occasional 35, 50, or 300, they use all zooms all the time.

Young Will,

Those press photogs know what they're talking about.

Used to be that primes were clearly better at their focal length than any zoom could be. That isn't true any more, or it ain't as true as it used to be. Major advances in lens-making technology - driven in part, I suppose, by the fact that other things being equal, users would prefer a zoom to a prime - have made it possible for zoom lenses, sometimes even reasonably priced zoom lenses, to rival primes optically. Remember, for most photographic purposes including photojournalism, what you need is lenses that are simply good enough to do the job - combined with the personal skill to use your equipment effectively. If you're standing in the right place at the right time and you get a good shot pretty much in focus, you can make the cover of Newsweek even with a $200 lens. Photojournalism is not fashion photography or product photography. In photojournalism, content trumps technique.

And for this reason, my recommendation would be: don't wait for your career, don't wait to BECOME a photojournalist when you grow up. BE one now. I started when I was fifteen, by joining my high school's camera club, joining the staff of the school paper, and becoming a staff photographer for events. I shot football games, basketball games, chess tournaments, debate tournaments, school parties in the cafeteria, parties at friends' homes, kids in the hall, teachers in the classroom, school pep rallies, lectures by visitors, student council election speeches, the ladies in the cafeteria, kids fighting in the parking lot, school plays, behind the scenes at the school television station, my friends' girlfriends and parents and pets, pool parties. It wouldn't be an issue today, but remember, all that was on something called "film" which you may have read about. I was able to do it only because the school gave the camera club a big budget and nobody really asked us what we were taking pictures of. And it was valuable to be doing most of that photography "on assignment" for the paper or the yearbook or simply as a camera club exercise, rather than doing it as a hobby. Photojournalism is WORK. I ended up editing my high school yearbook and overseeing several other photographers (editing is good experience); four years later, I edited by college yearbook, too. There I had a small crew of photographers working for me - and I got to continue taking photos myself.

You can do this with whatever equipment you've got. You could do worse than get yourself an excellent compact superzoom camera like the Canon PowerShot S3 IS or the Canon PowerShot G7. These are not toys - and compact cameras have some advantages for photojournalists over digital SLRs. Or take the advice of those here who've recommended used, manual-focus lenses. Anyway, the point is: equipment is far less important than experience. In fact, if you will forgive me for a second if I fall back into my old career as a teacher, I'd say that there are very important lessons to be learned from working with limited equipment. Of course, there are certain kinds of photography that require (or can be said to require) specific equipment. National Geographic wildlife photographers really need $6000 monster telephoto lenses. Sports photogs really need very fast lenses (focal length depends on sport). Bug photographers want dedicated macro lenses. But photojournalism is almost by definition NOT so specialized. And if you can't take a good photo with a good compact camera that sells for less than $600, you won't be able to take a good photo with $4000 of digital SLR equipment either. Shoot a lot, all the time, every day, every where you go. Your shooting will tell you what new equipment you need, if any, and you'll really understand why you need it. Anyway, that's the sermon part of my response.

Now, I'll try to speak at least a little to the technical part of your question.

There are many different kinds of photojournalism, I know, but I'm thinking mainly of classic photojournalism, that is, news-event photography, where you don't usually get to pose your subjects and you might not even know in advance what you are going to be photographing. If you want to do that kind of photojournalism, then a versatile lens is as important as a high-quality one, perhaps even more important. If you're sent out to cover a building fire, you probably can't ask a fireman to stay up there at the top of the ladder while you change lenses.

I can recommend two lenses for versatility and affordability. The Tamron 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 is a decent lens with an excellent all-around range. And it's not expensive. The newer Tamron 18-250 is perhaps the one to get now, but the 18-200 is still available and it's less expensive. Either of these lenses would do for outdoor shooting in good light (soccer or football, but also a political demonstration across the street, or a parade), but the 18mm lens, while not VERY wide on a digital SLR, is certainly useful enough for shooting group shots from pretty close. The Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 seems to me a better lens still, if only for that fixed f/2.8. Less range, and a bit more expensive, but still a very good lens for general use, and serves reasonably well for indoor sports as well as candids, street photography, event photography. These two lenses are the ones I use most often. They're not my best lenses optically. My best lenses are from Pentax: the 16-45, and the 50 f/1.4 prime. But the two Tamron lenses are more versatile than the Pentax lenses. When I put on the Pentax lenses, I usually know exactly what I want to do with them. When I don't know what I'm going to be photographing and I want to be prepared for anything - when I go out with my camera in hand - I've got one of the Tamron lenses on.

Anyway, that's just one perspective. I could argue with almost equally good faith that, if I had to keep just one lens, it would be the Pentax auto-focus 50mm f/1.4. It's an inexpensive lens (just over $200), and 50mm on a digital SLR is a bit of a telephoto lens, but for photojournalism, you will need a bit of length more often than you need a wide-angle lens. The Pentax 43mm prime would give you a somewhat more "normal" perspective but it's more expensive. A prime in this range is versatile, too, in its own way. Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of the greatest photographers of the twentieth-century, did most of his work with a single 50mm lens (similar to a 35mm lens on a digital SLR). One thing that a shorter lens teaches you is, get in close.

But it's all blather. It's fun to talk about, and it's fun to shop, too. You'll get different opinions here and you can probably learn something from all of them. But the key thing is to quit Photoshop, tear yourself away from your Macbook Pro, and use whatever camera equipment you've got to take LOTS of photos. Build up your portfolio. Shoot the photos, dump 'em on to your computer, look at them, pick the good ones and put 'em online with very little editing - and throw the rest away. Anybody - really, anybody - can take a few good photos. What will help you get work (or get into photography or art school, if you want to do that eventually) will be a portfolio that proves you have taken LOTS of good photos.

Good luck!

Old Will

04-11-2007, 03:15 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christian Quote
Of course you're right. There are many more Ford users than Ferraris so that makes Ford cars better...plenty more Canon users than Pentax so that makes Canon cameras better... come on now... you should know better!
Nope, you've got it all wrong. It's like a VW Golf GTi vs an Audi A3 2.0TFSI - same cars essentially, just different wrapping (body & interior). But the Golf is a lot cheaper and does exactly the same stuff and the options cost less.

QuoteOriginally posted by aabram Quote
Young padawan, video ram (above the one needed for required resolution and color depth) doesn't mean anything at all for photo editing. Let's refrain from depreciating each-others equipment. There's always someone out there with bigger and better stuff.
Hope you're not talking to me...
04-11-2007, 03:47 PM   #36
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I use a Macbook and wouldn't have it any other way. :?

What does it matter what we use? If I wanted to I'd boot up XP right now, but I very very rarely do.

Interestingly enough, you call OS X a "toy" yet the only time I go into XP is so I can play my computer games.

And I pray you are not saying Mac's are more expensive. I spent so much less money on my computer than any of my friends with PCs spent on theirs.
04-11-2007, 03:52 PM   #37
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Oh, please let's not have a pointless computer operating system flame war....

Will
04-11-2007, 05:38 PM   #38
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Will,

The only thing I will add is to hold on for all you are worth to your friend at the Tribune. A personal relationship with a working pro is worth more than all the advise you can get here or all the classes you can take. Don't misunderstand, the advise and classes are important, but knowing and getting to work live with a working pro is invaluable. Sorry it took a broken neck to make that connection but work it for all its worth. Just be careful not to make a pest of yourself or wear out your welcome.

04-11-2007, 05:53 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Oh, please let's not have a pointless computer operating system flame war....

Will
Agreed. Thanks much for the other post, Will. Although most people my age are content to be a 'digitall d00d,' I feel as though I should mention the fact that I did shoot film for about a year or so before going digital. I only used one (manual focus) lens with that good old Nikon N8008. I recently realized that the only glass I need to be super fast is the stuff I use for sports anyways. If the Pentax 16-45 f4 has the best image quality, I'm willing to look at it. Still, I have a feeling that Sigma's 'pro' EX series glass, which isn't actually much pricier than Pentax's 'prosumer' DA, non* or limited, glass may be a bit better.
I also recently realized that the 1Ds that Alex Garcia uses is full frame. Therefore, by recommending a 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200, he really meant 12-24, 16-45, and 45-135. His 300mm f2.8 would be a 200mm f/2.8 to me. Therefore, all his recommended focal lengths are available as upcoming *DA or DA lenses. Should I worry about buying into the APS-C crop factor? I'd hate to have to turn down future full frame DSLRs just because I have expensive DA glass that I can't re-buy.
04-11-2007, 06:29 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley Quote
Will,

The only thing I will add is to hold on for all you are worth to your friend at the Tribune. A personal relationship with a working pro is worth more than all the advise you can get here or all the classes you can take. Don't misunderstand, the advise and classes are important, but knowing and getting to work live with a working pro is invaluable. Sorry it took a broken neck to make that connection but work it for all its worth. Just be careful not to make a pest of yourself or wear out your welcome.
Yeah, sounds like a good idea. Journalists (i.e. my parents) may not have huge salaries, but they sure get to know cool people. I have become acquainted with Paul Elledge, one of the best commercial/food photographers in Chicago, if not the U.S., and Steven Gross, who is a top notch wedding photographer who travels worldwide to give lectures and shoot weddings. Hopefully I'll get to spend Memorial Day at the Trib's photo department, too. I've also been offered a summer internship by Steven Gross, which I unfortunately/fortunatyely may end up turning down in favor of spending my time off school in Barrack Obama's Chicago headquarters. Photo is cool, but that campaign could be real history...
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