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Thread: Just bought a Rebel.... know nothing about photography!

  1. #1

    Default Just bought a Rebel.... know nothing about photography!

    I figured this would be a great place to get some FB on photography.... very few places rival Alaska for photo ops. We are in Wyo and we have some world-class scenery of our own, so I finally decided to buy a camera that's capable of taking some decent pictures.

    I checked out the Rebel XT and XSI, and the Nikon 40 and 60 series cameras... ended up picking up the XT for a great price gave up a few features on the XSI/60 since I really just need a good starter camera anyway. I figured I'd put the saved money into lenses and get started that way.

    This camera has WAY more features than I know what to do with.... I don't even know what the jargon is on some of this stuff. The first order of business is going to be reading the instruction booklet and hitting Google for the things that aren't explained well.

    The second order of business will be picking up some lenses. There is a ton of wildlife here and everything from grass prairie to jagged mountain peaks. You can't drive for an hour in Wyoming without having the scenery change on you. One of my big frustrations with my little point and shoot has been that photos of the mountains (appearing very large and spectacular in person) always end up looking like a run of distant hills when I get the images back to the computer. I'm going to need some good lenses to make these places look like they really do in person.... I don't know a thing about lenses though.

    Can anybody provide me some FB on this? I don't have unlimited resources to jump into a photo hobby (the gun hobby has pretty much eaten up most of that ) but I don't mind spending a fair amount on quality equipment. I'm looking for some different lenses that will do a good job, and I'm not sure I'm interested in the thousand dollar-plus lenses the pros use. Any suggestions? Can I get a hand decoding the numbers on the lenses and what they translate into for magnification, and the types of lenses that are good for mountain shots? Wildlife shots?

    THANKS!
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  2. #2
    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAK Supply View Post
    I checked out the Rebel XT and XSI, and the Nikon 40 and 60 series cameras... ended up picking up the XT for a great price gave up a few features on the XSI/60 since I really just need a good starter camera anyway. I figured I'd put the saved money into lenses and get started that way.
    Any of those are suitable entry level cameras to learn with.

    I would, however, caution a little more research (and some time learning) before making decisions on investing in lenses...

    Quote Originally Posted by LAK Supply View Post
    The second order of business will be picking up some lenses. There is a ton of wildlife here and everything from grass prairie to jagged mountain peaks. You can't drive for an hour in Wyoming without having the scenery change on you. One of my big frustrations with my little point and shoot has been that photos of the mountains (appearing very large and spectacular in person) always end up looking like a run of distant hills when I get the images back to the computer. I'm going to need some good lenses to make these places look like they really do in person.... I don't know a thing about lenses though.
    Your situation has some similarity to mine (except in Alaska we don't have to drive for an hour to change scenery, we just look in a different direction). You have a prarie and I live on flat tundra, both of which make wildlife photography into an "either/or" situation: either you have a very long lens, or you don't get close enough. (Here there it is also the same with photomacrography, where those 4:1 macro zooms just don't have much application, but 1:1 macro lenses do.)

    And the above is going to eventually lead to the problems you hint at below.

    Quote Originally Posted by LAK Supply View Post
    ... and I'm not sure I'm interested in the thousand dollar-plus lenses the pros use. Any suggestions? Can I get a hand decoding the numbers on the lenses and what they translate into for magnification, and the types of lenses that are good for mountain shots? Wildlife shots?
    You can't get a lense with too long a focal length. You can't afford one with enough, either! :-)

    The problem I can envision with your initial choice of cameras will be if you do happen to get fairly interested in wildlife photography. There are fewer high quality but inexpensive lenses available for a Canon camera than there are for a Nikon camera. If you are willing to pay the going rate for what is available, you can certainly find what you need. It just can't be the economy model, because none exist.

    For Nikon cameras there are many many older lenses available at significantly lower prices. Optical quality is great, but they lack features like AF and VR. If, and only if, you want that option available, you would be better off with Nikon than Canon. Otherwise, Canon and Nikon have just about equally suitable modern lens selections.

    That doesn't mean the Canon camera you have is a bad choice though, because the entry level Nikon cameras don't work well with those older manul focus lenses either! The object now is to learn about photography and cameras, with a camera that didn't cost an arm and a leg. Just don't start investing arms and legs in lenses until you know enough to decide which suitable camera you want to upgrade to, and then buy lenses for that camera, not for the entry level camera.

  3. #3
    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    FB = fundamental basics ? I dunno, but let me put in my 2 cents, and this is only an opinion,

    first you must read that instruction manual a dozen times, until you know and understand every feature of that camera you now have in your possession. Lenses comes much later. You do not need lenses now, first you learn to sit up, then crawl, then walk, running is for later !!

    Play with that camera and learn how to use THAT camera to its full potential, that is going to require practice ... .. lots of practice.

    for now, put that camera on automatic and learn how to create an image.. .. by filling the viewfinder with detail up close and personal. Learn how to compose interesting images that are pleasing to look at.

    Photography is all about light, .. .. and what YOU can do with YOUR imagination .. .. and that light.

    it has absolutly nothing to do with the name brand of the camera per say. it is all about your ability with ANY CAMERA.

    you need to learn some of the few basics. what makes a pleasing sale-able image ? COLOR(S) and sharpness & detail.

    You need to learn the relationships between the six different colors, if your going to effectively understand the Art of Photography.

    Using colors and their compliments in juxtaposition with one another often produces the most pleasing results possible.

    That sentence is going to require much practice for you to understand and begin to learn and master if you want to become familiar with the Art of Photography.

    You have a lot to learn in a lot of different areas. but for now you must learn and understand that information contained in that manual that comes with any camera.

    Correct composition is learned easiest by studying old images in National Geographic; or of time / life magazines. You are studying images created by pro's.. study them and learn correct angles and subject placement(s).

    This is going to take lots of practice... most new bees try to include too much in their scenes. Learn to open your eyes and see, by walking about the outside of your house and look for textured detail, in symetrical shapes, shadows, lighting, etc. learn how to see.. ... learn how to LOOK, - frame that in your viewfinder. FILL THAT VIEWFINDER .. with textured detail and you will quickly begin to understand what I am trying to impart to your new way of thinking.

    It is not about brand names, It is not about lots of lenses, It is all about your ability to create with what you have !! If you cannot do that FIRST, then all the other stuff will be useless !!

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I got my wife a D-40 kit which included an 18-55 and 55-200 lens. What I've found is that I would greatly prefer a 24-70 lens, as it seems I'm constantly switching lenses, and a lens that was 24-28 on the low end and 70-105 on the high end would fit 90% of our use. You can get a very good quality lens for $500, and even the entry level $200 lens take good shots. The key is to just get out there and do alot of shooting to learning the basics of composition and lighting. When you get your skills down, then you'll see what equipment will help you to take better photos.

    B&H has the best prices on canon, as they sell more than anyone and get the best prices from canon.

  5. #5
    Member EricL's Avatar
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    The best thing I ever did was take a beginners photography class. I then went back and took all the more advanced classes I could find. Then got into the Photoshop classes. Compared to what I have spent on gear, the $$ spent on the classes was money well spent!! Here is a great forum that I spend a lot of time on. Some great information.

    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/
    EricL

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAK Supply View Post
    I figured this would be a great place to get some FB on photography.... very few places rival Alaska for photo ops. We are in Wyo and we have some world-class scenery of our own, so I finally decided to buy a camera that's capable of taking some decent pictures.

    I checked out the Rebel XT and XSI, and the Nikon 40 and 60 series cameras... ended up picking up the XT for a great price gave up a few features on the XSI/60 since I really just need a good starter camera anyway. I figured I'd put the saved money into lenses and get started that way.

    This camera has WAY more features than I know what to do with.... I don't even know what the jargon is on some of this stuff. The first order of business is going to be reading the instruction booklet and hitting Google for the things that aren't explained well.

    The second order of business will be picking up some lenses. There is a ton of wildlife here and everything from grass prairie to jagged mountain peaks. You can't drive for an hour in Wyoming without having the scenery change on you. One of my big frustrations with my little point and shoot has been that photos of the mountains (appearing very large and spectacular in person) always end up looking like a run of distant hills when I get the images back to the computer. I'm going to need some good lenses to make these places look like they really do in person.... I don't know a thing about lenses though.

    Can anybody provide me some FB on this? I don't have unlimited resources to jump into a photo hobby (the gun hobby has pretty much eaten up most of that ) but I don't mind spending a fair amount on quality equipment. I'm looking for some different lenses that will do a good job, and I'm not sure I'm interested in the thousand dollar-plus lenses the pros use. Any suggestions? Can I get a hand decoding the numbers on the lenses and what they translate into for magnification, and the types of lenses that are good for mountain shots? Wildlife shots?

    THANKS!
    Here you go. Free online lessons specifically designed for the XT. You can always type some of the instructions so you can reread and try them later when taking pictures:
    http://images.photoworkshop.com/rebe...interface.html
    Take your time purchasing lenses, since the best ones will be expensive, and buying cheap ones will cost you more in the long run since you will probably want to get rid of them. The kit lens is a good one to try for now.

    For the time being, shoot in the "Basic" modes. You can see these on the rotary dial on top of the camera, and look as follows:

    -Green rectangle: This is an all purpose mode, and fully automatic. The flash pops-up when needed, etc. Just point and shoot. All of the modes below the green rectangle set the camera to full auto

    -A person's profile: this one is to take photos of people's faces (portraits)
    -Small mountain with a cloud: to take photos of landscapes
    -A flower: this one is for macro photography, and works best with a macro lens
    -A skier: this is the sports mode. In this mode the camera focuses on the subject and keeps the focus even when the subject is moving toward you or away from you. Press the shutter button half-way and hold it there, and the camera tracks the subject as long as you keep it half-pressed
    -The next one below is for taking pictures of people at night time
    -The lighting symbol: this one is for taking pictures at night without flash
    -------
    Try those modes for awhile to get a feel of the camera, and then we can tell you how to use the other modes later. These other modes are called "Creative Modes," because you can control the camera's settings instead of having it in full auto like the "Basic Modes."

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the FB and the links guys! I'm going to spend the next couple days reading up on what was posted here.... off to the mountains this weekend so I should be able to use some of it.







    Whoever that was that sent me the PM... could you please re-send it? I skimmed it earlier and just went back to read it again and it's gone!! I didn't delete it... no idea what happened!
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  8. #8

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    I have been photographing for about 12 years now. I suggest that since you are real green. Just turn the dial to green "auto" for a while, until you learn more. The thing is, photography technology advances amazingly fast, so the computer in that little Rebel is really smart, you can trust it set to auto for starting out. Band H new york is A+ to buy from. WATCH out for ebay I have found some real gems and some total misrepresented junk. Shoot with your kit lens for a while, you should be able to rent a lens and give it a try before you drop a few thousand on lenses. This link
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm
    is one of the best photo writers I have ever read, and I have read hundreds. Ken has a search engine just type in your questions. One thing to realize about photography is, there is a lot of marketing hype involved,
    Ken Rockwell really cuts to the chase and calls a spade a spade. Very educated guy and gifted photographer, he invented one of the first digital color conversion chips.
    Until you learn more about photoshop just shoot Large High Quality .jpg
    You would be surprised you can often do 97% of what a $1,000.00 lens would do with $150.00. Photographic gear is a tool so you need to match what you shoot with your gear. enjoy

  9. #9
    Big Stick
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    XTi imagery..............




  10. #10

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    Hey guys.... thanks a bunch for the responses. I'm not trying to troll or be unappreciative, I just have some things going on right now that are far more important than taking pictures.
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  11. #11
    Member trapperrick's Avatar
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    Here's some XT images from me:




  12. #12
    Member trapperrick's Avatar
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    Default and summore





  13. #13

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    As you can see you've really "stepped in it" now.

    You get caught up in it and want to buy more and more and more "STUFF".

    It's like hunting and fishing.....there is no end..!!

    Welcome aboard.....good luck.

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