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Thread: ***DSLR/Photography MegaThread***

  1. #71
    VF
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBarneyJets View Post
    Okay folks. Here's a few images that I processed with Adobe Lightroom. I'm loving this program! And I love shooting in RAW format! There is SO MUCH MORE DATA in the image to play with! It gives you MUCH MUCH more control over how your images turn out!

    Main dome at Griffith Observatory. I processed this in B&W (durhey) and tweaked the highlights and contrast to bring out the cloud detail. I also turned off the noise reduction to give it that grainy look.
    Some how I missed these, they look great! It isn't easy to use wide angle / fisheye without making people nauseated, but I think these look fantastic, very nice. I like your B+W conversion.

    Shooting RAW is great! I can not tell you how many times I have been saved by the 4 extra bits per channel (for the 5D at least)




  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cytoxan View Post
    Wow, this thread really makes me want to take a class. Did you guys take a class or just pick it up?

    I have a Digital Rebel xt like a few others and have just started to uses some of the manual settings. I felt like the kid that just had his training wheels taken off… I am looking for a good lens to take on a Caribbean cruise. We’re going on several tours and want to take lots of scenic shots. What would you recommend in the $500.00 - $1000.00 range?

    Thanks,
    Although my photos aren't great, I would say the best advice is just take a BUNCH of pictures. Try everything, play with settings, see how far you can push things. Try taking the same picture many many times with different settings to see what it does. Once you start getting the technical stuff down a bit more, you mind is more free to think about the shot you want to get and you aren't worried about how you are going to get it. Reading the "rules" of photography, the tips and tricks (the rule of 1/3s, etc.) is not a bad idea, just make sure you then break all the rules and do what works for you. Now that I have just said to ignore the rules, one of the great sites for learning about lighting is http://strobist.blogspot.com/

    I would say if you are just starting, don't go to the full manual modes quite yet, I would try futzting around with either the aperture or shutter speed priority modes (Av or Tv modes), that way if you know if want very shallow depth of field, all you do is you set your camera to Av mode, set the f stop you want, and the camera will set the shutter speed for you. It's nice as sort of a semi manual mode. That way, you can set the parts you care about, and watch to see what the camera does to set the exposure, and you can start getting a feel for the amount of light you need to properly expose for the settings you want.

    As for a lens for the XTi, it heavily depends on the style of photography that suits you. Which lenses do you have now, and what do you feel that they are lacking? One of the great walk around lenses for the XTi, and one that 1.6 croppers are loving is the EF-s 17-55 f/2.8 IS (B&H has it for $949 right now) really fast lens which also boasts image stabilization, and a fantastic zoom range, which is the equivalent to a 28-85 on a full frame camera, but again it depends on what you are after. I use a 24-70mm on a full frame 5D, and 24mm is pretty wide, but if you are seeking really wide angle, 17mm on a 1.6 crop camera isn't going to cut it, and you might want to look at the EF-s 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5. A bit over a stop slower on the long end (so half the about of light reaches the sensor = twice the amount of time the shutter has to be open) but it is a fantastic ultra wide.
    Last edited by VF; June 10th, 2007 at 02:33 PM.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by ValleyFan View Post
    Although my photos aren't great, I would say the best advice is just take a BUNCH of pictures. Try everything, play with settings, see how far you can push things. Try taking the same picture many many times with different settings to see what it does. Once you start getting the technical stuff down a bit more, you mind is more free to think about the shot you want to get and you aren't worried about how you are going to get it. Reading the "rules" of photography, the tips and tricks (the rule of 1/3s, etc.) is not a bad idea, just make sure you then break all the rules and do what works for you. Now that I have just said to ignore the rules, one of the great sites for learning about lighting is http://strobist.blogspot.com/

    I would say if you are just starting, don't go to the full manual modes quite yet, I would try futzting around with either the aperture or shutter speed priority modes (Av or Tv modes), that way if you know if want very shallow depth of field, all you do is you set your camera to Av mode, set the f stop you want, and the camera will set the shutter speed for you. It's nice as sort of a semi manual mode. That way, you can set the parts you care about, and watch to see what the camera does to set the exposure, and you can start getting a feel for the amount of light you need to properly expose for the settings you want.

    As for a lens for the XTi, it heavily depends on the style of photography that suits you. Which lenses do you have now, and what do you feel that they are lacking? One of the great walk around lenses for the XTi, and one that 1.6 croppers are loving is the EF-s 17-55 f/2.8 IS (B&H has it for $949 right now) really fast lens which also boasts image stabilization, and a fantastic zoom range, which is the equivalent to a 28-85 on a full frame camera, but again it depends on what you are after. I use a 24-70mm on a full frame 5D, and 24mm is pretty wide, but if you are seeking really wide angle, 17mm on a 1.6 crop camera isn't going to cut it, and you might want to look at the EF-s 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5. A bit over a stop slower on the long end (so half the about of light reaches the sensor = twice the amount of time the shutter has to be open) but it is a fantastic ultra wide.
    I don’t know if I should thank you for all this information, or to curse you for all the research I have to do to understand what you said?

    Seriously thanks! That lens looks pretty sweet.

  4. #74
    VF
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cytoxan View Post
    I don’t know if I should thank you for all this information, or to curse you for all the research I have to do to understand what you said?

    Seriously thanks! That lens looks pretty sweet.
    Feel free to PM me if you want to talk through the lens choices some more. Knowing what you currently have, and where you need to fill out I might be able to give you more useful advice

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    Quote Originally Posted by ValleyFan View Post
    Feel free to PM me if you want to talk through the lens choices some more. Knowing what you currently have, and where you need to fill out I might be able to give you more useful advice
    I got a bundle with the camera that included 2 Sigma lenses.

    18 – 50mm & 70 – 300mm, I’m sure they’re nothing special as the bundle wouldn’t have been so inexpensive. I got married about two months ago, the photographers were great and recommend to get a better lens for our trip. We never got the chance to go over the best choice for us. Once I get a better handle on this one, I want to get a point and shoot converted to infrared.

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBarneyJets View Post
    Here are a few images I shot at Dodger Stadium last Wednesday. These were taken from my seat in the lower reserved section, about a third of the way between the third-base bag and the foul pole. Probably three-hundred yards. 70-300 lens.



    Those two really show the limits of the optics on my cheap-ass 70-300. Its especially noticeable when you zoom in a click or two. Ghosty whites. I need a better quality long lens.
    Wowww... I missed all of this while I was in Chicago for 3 weeks in May due to a family medical issue. Some excellent pictures! The 70-300 lens you have, is it the Nikon 2.8 VR? I used that out in Fontana for a NASCAR race and had some fantastic shots. I'm looking to pick one up in the not too distant future... Once I get a few spare overtime shifts in so I can part with the $1100+.

    As far as rental lenses go, there's also Samy's Camera that rents equipment. That's where I got my start with a rental Nikon D100 and the VR lens.

    The pics below were shot using my D70s and (I believe) my Tamron 70-300 F4-5.6.





  7. #77
    FBJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImA1032 View Post
    Wowww... I missed all of this while I was in Chicago for 3 weeks in May due to a family medical issue. Some excellent pictures! The 70-300 lens you have, is it the Nikon 2.8 VR? I used that out in Fontana for a NASCAR race and had some fantastic shots. I'm looking to pick one up in the not too distant future... Once I get a few spare overtime shifts in so I can part with the $1100+.

    As far as rental lenses go, there's also Samy's Camera that rents equipment. That's where I got my start with a rental Nikon D100 and the VR lens.
    No. The 70-300 is the f4-5.6 G lens that Nikon USA had made in China until about three years ago. It's really a cheapo. Cost me $175, new. The new VR lens is the shizznit, so I'm told.

    I've got a few lenses I need/want, and that 70-300 VR is at the top of the list. I also want the 80-400 Nikon (or perhaps the 50-500 Sigma, but I think the Nikon's VR would be useful at the longer focal lengths), a nice macro lens, and the 28-200 VR lense that Nikon makes. It just takes money, which is in short supply at the moment.
    Last edited by FBJ; June 12th, 2007 at 07:41 AM.
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  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cytoxan View Post
    I got a bundle with the camera that included 2 Sigma lenses.

    18 – 50mm & 70 – 300mm, I’m sure they’re nothing special as the bundle wouldn’t have been so inexpensive. I got married about two months ago, the photographers were great and recommend to get a better lens for our trip. We never got the chance to go over the best choice for us. Once I get a better handle on this one, I want to get a point and shoot converted to infrared.
    How do you like the 18-50mm zoom range? If you like it, and just want to move up in quality, it might be worth renting the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD and the Canon EF-S 17-55mm to see which one you like (www.lensrentals.com has them, the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 macro is also of similar quality, but I couldn't find if for rent). The Canon is more expensive, but it does have IS, which the others don't (IS is supposed to be good for an extra 2-3 stops, which is handy hand held with a stationary subject, but if your subject is moving, IS isn't going to help all that much)

    If you just want to fill out your wide end, you could keep the 18-50mm you have and try the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, or the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6. The Sigma is slower than the Canon, and not quite as sharp, and it's about the same price. The reason for that, and it's one potential advantage for you, is that it can be mounted on a full frame camera, so if you ever see yourself upgrading to a 5D or any of the 1D-s, that is something to keep in mind.

    If overall quality (both image quality and build quality, i.e. built like a tank) is of greater importance to you than zoom reach, and you want lenses that will mount on a full frame camera, then you might look at the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L and the EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L Mk II (the 16-35 is quite a bit more expensive due to it being a stop faster (when I was starting out, 1 stop never sounded like that much, and it always baffled me why with two lenses, with all else being equal, why the one that was 1 stop faster was almost twice the cost, but 1 stop is a lot, twice the amount of light you can capture))

    As for the long end, I don't know how useful it will be to your trip, but in case you where itching to replace your Sigma 70-300, Canon now has their workhorse 70-200L non-IS in a f/4.0 version that is a very reasonable $600 or so, and it is a fantastic lens for the cost. I don't know if you are willing to shoot primes or not, but in that zoom range, the EF 135mm f/2.0 is simply magic (although it might be a little long on a 1.6 crop camera for it's intended use as a portraiture lens), the EF 85mm f/1.8 ($300) holds up surprisingly well against it's big brother "THE" portraiture king 85mm f/1.2 ($2000), and if you don't like the idea of a big white L lens (the 70-200) and want something a little more stealthy (not white) and still want the image quality on the long end, the EF 200mm f/2.8 is a fantastic choice. And I have to throw it in there because it has to be the best $80 lens on the planet, the "nifty fifty": EF 50mm f/1.8 (or it's sibling the 50mm f/1.4, which is $300, but lets you manual focus full time instead of having to flip the autofocus switch to MF like you do on the f/1.8 - both of these might be a good compliment the to 17-40 or the 16-35 if you chose to go that route)
    Last edited by VF; June 12th, 2007 at 08:43 AM.

  9. #79
    Life is a highway ImA1032's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBarneyJets View Post
    No. The 70-300 is the f4-5.6 G lens that Nikon USA had made in China until about three years ago. It's really a cheapo. Cost me $175, new. The new VR lens is the shizznit, so I'm told.
    From some of the reviews I've read, that lens was supposedly made by Tamron. They pointed out several things between the two that were exactly identical but I don't remember the details. It certainly sounded as though Nikon had gone to someone else to make a lens for their labeling.


    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBarneyJets View Post
    I've got a few lenses I need/want, and that 70-300 VR is at the top of the list. I also want the 80-400 Nikon (or perhaps the 50-500 Sigma, but I think the Nikon's VR would be useful at the longer focal lengths), a nice macro lens, and the 28-200 VR lense that Nikon makes. It just takes money, which is in short supply at the moment.
    Luckily summer is here and that's my busy time. Hopefully in July I'll have 96+ hours of overtime and be able to swing the $1100-$1400 for the 70-300VR lens. BUT... I also want to get a nice size LCD TV too... which I think I'd get more use out of than the lens... so we'll see where my priorities wind up. Then again, there's always August overtime...
    Last edited by ImA1032; June 19th, 2007 at 03:06 AM.

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImA1032 View Post
    From some of the reviews I've read, that lens was supposedly made by Tamron. They pointed out several things between the two that were exactly identical but I don't remember the details. It certainly sounded as though Nikon had gone to someone else to make a lens for their labeling.
    I don't know who built it, but its a piece of ****. It was what I could afford at the time. At $150, you get what you pay for. That's for sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by ImA1032 View Post
    Luckily summer is here and that's my busy time. Hopefully in July I'll have 96+ hours of overtime and be able to swing the $1100-$1400 for the 70-300VR lens. BUT... I also want to get a nice size LCD TV too... which I think I'd get more use out of than the lens... so we'll see where my priorities wind up. Then again, there's always August overtime...
    $1100-$1400?? Where do you shop, man? The Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR lens shouldn't cost you any more than about $500 with shipping included! For $1200, you could probably pick up the 80-400 VR that Nikon puts out. Sigma also makes an 80-400 (or even one of their discontinued 50-500 lenses on eBay) that's about $200 less and just as good, quality-wise.

    I've got enough saved up to buy the 70-300, but I'm thinking I'm just going to save up another $600 and buy the 80-400. You don't lose much on the wide end of the focal lengths ( I always carry my 28-200 lens anyhow) and you gain another 150mm (with the conversion factor figured in) on the high end. I've used the 80-400, and I was exceedingly happy with it.
    Last edited by FBJ; June 19th, 2007 at 08:29 AM.
    Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Bullets are cheap. Life is priceless.


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