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06-20-2013, 10:11 AM - 2 Likes   #31
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One advice? Stop reading forums! You'll just end up being convinced that you "need" all sorts of expensive stuff to be a good photographer. Which is utterly untrue, of course.

Now leave me alone. I have to have another look at that Sigma 18-35...

06-20-2013, 10:11 AM   #32
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I agree with some of the others. Here's how I started just 4 or 5 years ago...
Set the camera to M mode and get an old M50 1.7 lens(or something similar), learn exposure and manual focus really well before relying on any of the easy settings. You learn the controls intimately which is very valuable down the road.
Oh, and save money for more gear...
Good luck.
06-20-2013, 10:41 AM   #33
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One simple word... "Practice!" ...and have lots and lots of it.

Oh and use whatever you have.
After you improve you can move on with the gear.
06-20-2013, 10:50 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
One advice? Stop reading forums! You'll just end up being convinced that you "need" all sorts of expensive stuff to be a good photographer. Which is utterly untrue, of course.

Now leave me alone. I have to have another look at that Sigma 18-35...
How true! These forums are at fault for convincing me that I NEED that lens when it is released. I will blame them when I get it too!

06-20-2013, 11:30 AM   #35
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i spend way more time on this forum than i do taking photos, let's face it, it is more fun talking about photography than it is actually doing it...

Last edited by mikeSF; 06-20-2013 at 01:15 PM.
06-20-2013, 11:31 AM   #36
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Dont drop your camera

QuoteOriginally posted by moresnowdays Quote
Read the manual with the camera next to you.

Then go out shooting, bring the manual with you.

You will learn exposure fastest in M mode, and might want to read this to make it a pleasant experience;
Understanding Exposure
Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera:Amazon:Books

Don't buy more gear until you have done this, and enjoy the learning process.
This is an excellent book! I just finished reading it, I especially found the "Sky Brothers" section helpful.
06-20-2013, 11:49 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
One advice? Stop reading forums!...
It appears the OP might have just done that...
06-20-2013, 11:52 AM   #38
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That's one way to get the OP out there taking photos! Good job all.

06-20-2013, 01:46 PM - 1 Like   #39
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Regardless of anything you hear, don't buy any more lenses!! It's a trap!!! There is no known cure!!!

Not until you get them all...
06-20-2013, 02:06 PM   #40
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Do's

1 Practice lots
2 Read lots - Understanding Exposure if you want a recommendation
3 It will cost you 10x more than you think and then some


Don'ts

4a Don't pay too much attention to online forums, there are too many fanboys and fanatics!
4b If you do go to forums, don't ask which is best between Canon vs Nikon or PC vs Mac
06-20-2013, 02:31 PM   #41
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I would read the camera owners manual and learn the camera menus and operation. This way when you read some great books (mentioned here in previous posts) you'll know how to make it happen with you gear.
06-21-2013, 08:44 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by ThueO Quote
Hello

If you were to give one piece of advice someone, who has never touched a dslr camera before.
What would it then be?

I just got my first camera, and I would like to know what I should focus on in the beginning.

-Thue
F/8 and BE THERE
06-21-2013, 08:56 AM   #43
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Have fun with it, take far to many pictures, experimenting with different settings. I've been shooting with a DSLR for about 7 years now and I still only keep about 10% of what shoot. I like to experiment, and toss the extras. You're not wasting film.
06-24-2013, 12:33 PM   #44
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Don't drop the camera. (over the shoulder straps like BlackRapids or their much cheaper clones are a lot more comfortable than around-the-neck straps, but they do encourage you to get used to just letting go of the camera which can be expensive when the strap isn't attached for some reason )
06-24-2013, 12:59 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by keithlester Quote
F/8 and BE THERE
Handy rule that I've seen 8 million useless explanations for, plus the one it's actually referencing. At F8 on a fairly standard lens size from the film era, you can prefocus for just about everything that's in a useful range, so assuming you had appropriate film (or are set to an appropriate ISO rating), all you have to do is point & shoot without messing with the focus or waiting for the autofocus and maybe losing the shot.

With a 24mm lens (on a pentax DSLR or any other 1.5x crop camera) pre-focused to 12 feet at F8, your depth of field is "everything that's more than 6 feet away from you"

On a film camera it would have been a 35mm camera, and 12 feet would have gotten you everything from about 7 feet to about 41 feet away, which is a pretty reasonable distance for a 35mm lens. (focus to 17 feet and anything more than about 8.5 feet away is in focus).

For other lenses, the DOF varies, but the same basic concept is pretty sound.

There's a great calculator for it here:

Online Depth of Field Calculator

Also, for many lenses, they're at their sharpest across the board around F8.

Conversely, a lot of cameras either won't autofocus at F8 or can only autofocus slowly and in the center of the frame), so this can be *terrible* advice if you want to rely on autofocus and have one of those cameras (Not sure if Pentax is one of them... the mailman needs to hurry up with my camera so I can start playing with it! I've been waiting for it all day!)
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