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07-07-2010, 07:24 PM   #16
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I agree with the statement about lenses - get some good ones and learn how to use them. It'll save a lot of frustration and lotsa time manipulating photos after the fact.

The other item I'd think about is a tripod/remote switch. Nobody has mentioned it and it is the one thing after good glass that will give you good pictures.

07-07-2010, 08:50 PM   #17
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Well, I don't know anything about photography. I freely admit that. So maybe the "buy good lenses right off the bat" idea is valid and has merit.

However, in the other fields I am familiar with, the limitation in performance to start is always the learner. Obviously if the equipment is faulty (a bass that won't stay tuned, a rifle that won't hold zero, a car that constantly breaks down etc) that is an issue. However, I've generally found functional if lower end equipment to be a very valid place to start, especially for a field with so many choices as this.

Let's say I did save up a couple months and buy a several hundred dollar lens. What should it be? Mid-range for general walk abouts? Wide angle? Tele? Zoom? With or without macro? I feel these are questions I need first hand experience to be able to answer. It seems (and I admit I could be wrong) that learning what kind of lens I need, and practicing with what I have until I find the gear limiting me is the most practical way to go.
07-07-2010, 08:58 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Balog Quote

Let's say I did save up a couple months and buy a several hundred dollar lens. What should it be? Mid-range for general walk abouts? Wide angle? Tele? Zoom? With or without macro? I feel these are questions I need first hand experience to be able to answer. It seems (and I admit I could be wrong) that learning what kind of lens I need, and practicing with what I have until I find the gear limiting me is the most practical way to go.
That's sort of what I posted :-)

Start saving now, decide later with experience.
07-07-2010, 09:22 PM   #19
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All I suggested, is that I think it's a mistake for Beginners to believe they need Beginner equipment (whatever that is). Too often, it only frustrates their efforts (your Bass that won't stay tuned). I didn't make the original post to try and piddle on your parade. I believe you have your expectations in check and you may very well take some great photos with your lenses.

Show us some when you get all set up..



07-07-2010, 09:45 PM   #20
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I don't think you need to spend several hundred dollars on lenses right now. I do agree the lenses you have really aren't worth much, but the telephoto is at least better than nothing. Not having wide angle is a huge downer, though and that 28-80 "macro" is nothing of the sort. I'd dump that and just tget th 18-55 that normally sells with the camera. That gives you wide angle, quality at least as good as the 28-80 and probably better, and it's no less macro than the 28-80 (which is to say, not very macro at all). And the 18-55 shouldn't cost more than $100.
07-07-2010, 10:31 PM   #21
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SpecialK: pretty much, yeah. Jeff: terribly sorry if I came across as defensive, certainly not my intent. And I agree with you in principle. Just because one is starting that doesn't mean that beginner should buy cheap junk. In this particular instance, I felt that lower end lenses would be needed strictly from an economic stand point. Right now, I have no idea what particular facet(s) of this hobby I'll be most "in to." Architecture? Macros? Portraits? Nature? All things I really want to try, and with very different lenses needed for optimal performance. So I'll see what kind of things I like taking pictures of, and what kind of lenses I need from there. Or that's the plan anyway. Marc: I didn't realize lack of a wide angle (which is just another way of saying shorter focal length, correct?) Was such a deficit. I shall look into remedying that. Also, the 28-80 seemed to have decent reviews on this site, and I don't recall any mention of the macro function not working correctly. Can you please help me to understand what the issue is with using the macro function, so I may correct or compensate for it? Thanks to everyone for the valuable input, I'm pondering carefully on everything said here.
07-07-2010, 11:01 PM   #22
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No problem, I just wanted to clarify my point.

07-08-2010, 07:19 AM   #23
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QuoteQuote:
Camera on the way, lenses on the way, what am I missing?
Obviously, you're missing a camera and lenses if they're not there yet.

07-08-2010, 07:58 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Balog Quote
SpecialK: pretty much, yeah.

Marc: I didn't realize lack of a wide angle (which is just another way of saying shorter focal length, correct?) Was such a deficit. I shall look into remedying that. Also, the 28-80 seemed to have decent reviews on this site, and I don't recall any mention of the macro function not working correctly. Can you please help me to understand what the issue is with using the macro function, so I may correct or compensate for it? Thanks to everyone for the valuable input, I'm pondering carefully on everything said here.
I only mention lack of a wide angle because I like them, including the fisheye. You may have no use for it. You may end up like Yeatzee and go hunting flies with a macro lens.

Ah, macro. Marc was pointing out that many zoom lenses have the "macro" word attached to them. That means they focus a little closer, (maybe a couple feet) than some other lenses, but they can not really be compared to "true" macro lenses that get within an inch or so of your subject, and has been optimized for a flat field, and other goodies. You can get inexpensive lens attachments like Raynox or close up filters, or a dedicated macro lens. The popular focal lengths are 50, 70, 90 and 105mm. Longer FL means a bit more working distance between the camera and subject, which helps keep shadows off your flowers and not scaring bugs.

Last edited by SpecialK; 07-08-2010 at 10:41 AM.
07-08-2010, 08:27 AM   #25
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SpecialK: ah, that makes a lot of sense.

Also, buying the SD card, and I note they appear to come in different "classes." Do I need a certain class, or will any standard SDHC work?
07-08-2010, 08:30 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Balog Quote
SpecialK: ah, that makes a lot of sense.

Also, buying the SD card, and I note they appear to come in different "classes." Do I need a certain class, or will any standard SDHC work?
Any Class 6 will work. Anything faster is overkill on the K20d. More importantly is to get one from a reputable company. Stay away from the cheapo ones, you'll soon regret buying them.

07-08-2010, 09:21 AM   #27
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QuoteQuote:
are the Magic Lantern or Yvon Bourque K20D guides worth picking up
Magic Lantern guides are great! I bought the one for my K10D and after reading my manual from beginning to end, I read it and found it more useful than the manual. I definetly recommend that book.
07-08-2010, 09:57 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Any Class 6 will work. Anything faster is overkill on the K20d. More importantly is to get one from a reputable company. Stay away from the cheapo ones, you'll soon regret buying them.

Ah, I was looking at Class 4 on NewEgg... So those would be too slow, right?

QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
Magic Lantern guides are great! I bought the one for my K10D and after reading my manual from beginning to end, I read it and found it more useful than the manual. I definetly recommend that book.
Great, I was leaning towards ordering one, I think now I will. Thanks
07-08-2010, 10:23 AM   #29
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You might hate flash because you've only experienced onboard flashes for point-and-shoot cameras. Many dedicated / external flashes, as mentioned, can direct their light upward and/or backwards, allowing the flash to light the subject indirectly. This results in much better lighting. Google for "flash direct indirect" or something like that. If you don't want to sink money into a flash ($200+ for a modern one with tilt/swivel), Google for "diy flash diffuser" or you can buy something like a Light Scoop. For a couple of months, I held an index card in front of my onboard flash when I needed it Much better results that way.

I might have been unorthodox, but when I started on SLR photography about a year ago, my SIL directed me to buy a body-only and a 50mm lens. I do not regret this, as I found the 50 nicely handled my needs, which was mostly taking pictures of my daughter who was born in 2009 (my parents subsidized the purchase after seeing pics from SIL's K10D). 50 mm lens lets you take good portrait-ish shots without getting too close, but not having to be too far from the action. It's a bit too narrow for tight spaces though.

If you're going to be saving for a good lens, I would suggest something in the "normal range," which is something between, say, 35mm and 70 mm. The FA 50 mm f/1.4 is fairly popular and relatively cheap (I think around $300 these days). I'd definitely go with a 50 mm for the versatility. If you're really set on doing manual focus, you can find manual focus 50mm's for cheaper. Eventually you will figure out your real needs and interests. I got a wider lens recently (35 mm) because I found that I was wanting a wider field of view, especially while indoors.
07-08-2010, 10:45 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Balog Quote
Marc: I didn't realize lack of a wide angle (which is just another way of saying shorter focal length, correct?) Was such a deficit.
Yes, wide angle means shorter focal length. On film, 28mm was considered wide angle. On digital, you need 18mm to get the same field of view.

It's not that you can't take pictures without a wide angle lens. But you've got tons and tons of options for telephoto there - way more than anyone normally ever needs (several pounds worth of lenses that for most people would take about 10% of their pictures), and nothing at all in the 18-28 range where most people would probably take many more pictures than they'd take with all your telephoto lenses combined.

QuoteQuote:
I don't recall any mention of the macro function not working correctly.
It's not that it doesn't work "correctly" - just that it doesn't allow for anything much more closeup than any other lens. Google the term "magnification" as it relates to macro photography. True macro is usually considered around 1;1 - you can fill the whole frame with an object the size of the sensor (about 1 inch on a DSLR). Your 28-80 won't come close to that; it will get you only marginally closer than any other lens. That's true of pretty much *any* zoom with the word "macro" on it.

You'll get much much better closeups with a real macro lens, with extension tubes or reversing rings with a shorter prime, or with a Raynox 150 or similar closeup adapter on one of your telephoto lenses. Again, Google is your friend with regard to what those terms mean if you aren't familiar 0 or just get a good basic book on photography.
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