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Advice on first DSLR 

Starting out in photography
12 replies to this topic

#1 earlyreflections

  • Joined:06-July 11
  • Location:Australia SA
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Posted 23 April 2012 - 01:26 PM

Hey guys,

I have been reading up on a lot of the photography tutorials and these forums (been extremely helpful) for quite some time and am ready to take the plunge on buying my first DSLR to get started in photography. Really looking forward to getting out there and start experimenting with different shots, have always been interested in photography but have never taken it up but that's about to change :)

I've narrowed down my DSLR choices to the below;

Nikon D5100 w/ twin VR lens kit
or
Nikon D90 and purchasing a separate lens such as the Tamaron SP AF 17-50mm f/ 2.8 to being with

To start with I'll mainly be focusing on landscapes / people / wildlife/insects, what would you guys suggest as being the better option to start with and begin learning?

Cheers!

#2 purple5ive

  • Joined:16-March 04
  • Location:Australia VIC
  • Car:Toyota MR2

Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:22 PM

Both of them are good cameras.
the kit lenses are good but a good set of expensive lenses make a big difference in your pics in quality and also focusing speed (specially in low light)
if your keen on only those two id go for the D90 and buy a nice lense (depending on your budget)

i started with the D3000, its an excellent starters camera and has learning modes which set the camera up for each scenario and you can then adjust them to your tastes
i would take pics first with the pre set modes than slowly change the settings until i learnt them properly

#3 earlyreflections

  • Joined:06-July 11
  • Location:Australia SA
  • Car:S15 Spec R

Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:43 PM

View Postpurple5ive, on 23 April 2012 - 03:22 PM, said:

Both of them are good cameras.
the kit lenses are good but a good set of expensive lenses make a big difference in your pics in quality and also focusing speed (specially in low light)
if your keen on only those two id go for the D90 and buy a nice lense (depending on your budget)

i started with the D3000, its an excellent starters camera and has learning modes which set the camera up for each scenario and you can then adjust them to your tastes
i would take pics first with the pre set modes than slowly change the settings until i learnt them properly

I'd definitely be taking a lot of pictures in low light, are there any lenses in particular you'd recommend for say the $300-500 price range?

#4 purple5ive

  • Joined:16-March 04
  • Location:Australia VIC
  • Car:Toyota MR2

Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:02 AM

have you got any primes??, they are the best for low light but also restrict you in terms of range (no zoom)
if going for a prime try both the 35 and 50mm and make up your mind on which one you want
the cheaper D lenses dont have the focusing motors in them, so if you buy a cheaper DSLR they usually dont have the focusing motors built in so you cant use the cheaper D lenses on them ( you can use them but you loose autofocus and will have to manually focus with them)
the D90 has the built in motors, so you can use non motorized lenses on them, not sure about the D5100

with effect to low light lenses anything with a F2.8 in a zoom is going to be a really, really good start. the primes due to beign a fixed lense can go much lower F numbers and give you better pics
dont be fooled by the ultra zoom lenses with big reach they will struggle/take time to focus even in proper light let alone in low light
they may be fine for a begginer but once you use realy fast lenses you will regret buying the slower ones.
(the cheaper zooms are great when you have time on your hands)

im not really sure what lenses you can get for your price range so im not going to reccomend anything only because ive not used many to reccomend them

these are the ones ive used

50mm 1.8d (good prime lense and really cheap)- $170 odd new
18-55 kit lense, good for a kit lense and bang for buck - ebay has them for cheap
55-200 kit lense also good for kit lense and price - $150-200
18-105 kit lense, pretty good value and reasonable zoom range all in one - $200-300
prices are for new from last year could have changed now i havent looked

sigma 50mm, 1.4ex, also an excellent lense but pricy ($550)
70-200v F2.8 vr2 ---- very, very good lense, but very, very expensive lense as well ($3k plus)
24-70 F2.8 vr ---- Excellent lense but also very expensive($1.5K)

i would try and get a prime for sure as you can always use them somewhere, they take excellent pics in low light.
for the rest if you short on cash the 18-105 is within your budget.
the tamron you mentioned in your first post is also good but ive never used it so cant really comment there.
ive also heard good reports on the 18-200 vr as being a really good versatile lense in terms of quality and ability to zoom all in one.

if your buying the camera body then try and negotiate a deal for a good lense thrown in as well.

just remeber for low light, the lower the F number on the lense the better, but that also means you pay more, so you have to draw the line somewhere.

cheers

#5 earlyreflections

  • Joined:06-July 11
  • Location:Australia SA
  • Car:S15 Spec R

Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:38 PM

Thanks a lot for your help purple5ive – really appreciate it, been very helpful!

I’ve narrowed down my choices to 3 lens types that will be able to take a wide variety of shots that I’m after, but they are also quite expensive. I’m quite happy to shop around and hopefully find some second hand but are there any good alternatives to the below lenses eg. Sigma / Tamron?

Portrait – Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G

Macro – Nikon Nikkor Micro 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR

Landscape – Nikon Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Cheers

#6 purple5ive

  • Joined:16-March 04
  • Location:Australia VIC
  • Car:Toyota MR2

Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:07 PM

I HAVE THE 50MM on a crop frame camera its the equalent of around 80mm, so you loose a bit of view, you can always step back but that might not be possible every single time.
try the 35mm and the 50mm and see what you prefer, i find the 50mm too close for some shots but have never used a 35mm prime, but in saying that its just easy to check both with a 18-55 lense if you have it.
just set them to eacjh focal length and take pics and see what you prefer.

i cant comment on the other two as ive not used them...
sigma and tamron are good aftermarket lenses but some arent as compatible as the nikon lenses so you just have to be carefull. they are however much cheaper than the nikon equalent.

just also remember having different focal lengths mean you have to carry them all around, also not a good idea changing lenses on a beach or in dusty/windy conditions, thats one reason i like a good zoom.

#7 earlyreflections

  • Joined:06-July 11
  • Location:Australia SA
  • Car:S15 Spec R

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:54 AM

I'll try the 35mm and see what I think!
Thats true about the zoom lenses, they definitely come in handy for those dusty/windy situations, I'll keep researching lenses and see if anything else comes to mind - another decent fixed focal length macro lens looks to be the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX APO DG HSM.

#8 earlyreflections

  • Joined:06-July 11
  • Location:Australia SA
  • Car:S15 Spec R

Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:14 PM

Hey guys,
I've been researching a bit further and within my budget (around $1500) I could do the below;


Either Nikon D90 brand new or D7000 second hand / Nikkon 35mm 1.8G / Tamron 90mm / Sigma 10-20mm

What are your thoughts? Is the Tamron the way to go? Or the Sigma 105/150mm for macro work?

Is there anything you would change/suggest?

Cheers :)

#9 purple5ive

  • Joined:16-March 04
  • Location:Australia VIC
  • Car:Toyota MR2

Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:54 AM

i have the D7000 and its not a camera for an amateure,
its got a very advanced focusing system, and can be very frustrating sometimes.
due to the high mpx count any slight shake while takign pics will show up and be very obvious. its not so much a problem with camera that have smaller resolutions.
its a very good camera though and takes really, really nice low light shots. has a better FPS count, better resolution, better sensor etc i would go to the local shops and try it out and see for yourself. take your own memory card and use the D7000 and the D90 and take the same pics, go home and compare them and see what you think.
my sister has the D90 and its an excellent camera give it the expensive lenses and its capable of doign some great shots.

dont forget that these days shooting in raw is a easy way to get good pics as you can post process them to your hearts content..
so really a D90 can still do an awsome job


also dont forget some of the D7000 cameras suffered from backfocusing, and most likey the cameras being sold second hand will be the ones that suffered from it. nothing that cant be fixed obviously if the camera is still under warranty its just a matter of recalibrating the focusing system and your good to go.

#10 Bental

  • Joined:10-April 12
  • Location:Australia SA
  • Car:WRX 1998 Club Spec

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:28 PM

I have a Nikon D5100. I love it. Used it on Sunday at Tailem Bend actually.
Standard VR lens came with it, also have a 70-300 zoom sigma. Used the zoom almost exclusively when you don't want to get close to cars on the good angles hahaha.

Love it.

#11 Shiraz200SX

  • Joined:23-March 08
  • Location:Australia QLD
  • Car:200SX S14A

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:19 PM

sony a57 or a65 :D

#12 Jyzz

  • Joined:27-January 12
  • Location:Australia QLD
  • Car:Silvia s13

Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:44 AM

They dont stock D90's anymore, I had one but its now my brothers. Such a great camera.

I now have a Canon 5D Mark II, used mainly for my business which is filming :)

#13 purple5ive

  • Joined:16-March 04
  • Location:Australia VIC
  • Car:Toyota MR2

Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:17 PM

/\ They do, just need to know where to look :D





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