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KennyG
Oct 22, 2002
Here to blow my own horn.

The last thread was getting unwieldy at 13k posts, also the start was significantly disjointed from the current discussion. Time to start anew.

Old Threads
v1
v2 (why is it in the gas chamber? )
v3.25
v4
v5
v6

Related threads
This thread is the catch all for gear. There is a film thread, newbie dSLR thread, business thread, technique thread, lens review thread and a lighting thread - if your question would fit better in those... check there first. Also, there is a monthly Photo A Day(PAD) thread that is helpful in getting critique if that's what you are looking for.

Some links to get you started on finding photo gear
http://www.bhphotovideo.com (THE photography equipment store)
http://www.adorama.com - THE other photo equipment store
http://www.lensrentals.com/
http://www.keh.com - Used equipment
http://www.photography-on-the.net (buy/sell forums, +forums)
http://www.robgalbraith.com (THE best site for CF/SD/other card performance,)
http://www.dpreview.com (Good preview site, stay out of the forums)
http://www.cameralabs.com/ (Camera video tours with an Ausie accent)
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/nikkor.htm#af - (For comedy... if you need to read this post, just assume everything he says is wrong or misguided)
http://cambags.com/ - Camera bag reviews
http://www.shortrunposters.com/ Cheap poster sized printing


Sage advice from the old thread:
  • Photography is expensive. It can be had on the relative cheap but if you want to be serious about it more than using a point & shoot, get ready to kiss your cash goodbye. If a $400 lens doesn't sound reasonable to you, rethink why you want to get into photography. Yes there are cheap Manual focus gems, but the price of admission is pretty steep here in photography land.
  • The first prime lens you should get is the 50 1.8, it's about $100 USD - the cheapest AF lens you will ever find.
  • The lens to replace your lovely kit lens is the Tamron 17-50 2.8.
  • Don't buy UV filters.
  • Buy a card reader.
  • If you need a bag, go to a real store and look at one. You may want to buy online, but go touch it first.

Why no UV Filters?
Invariably, about once a week the discussion comes up about UV filters. Someone comes in who was just told by a 'friend' or (worse) a sales clerk at Wolf/Best Buy/Wal-Mart that they should get a UV filter to protect their 'investment.' Now this is not quite outright bullshit, but in the context that anyone who is receiving this advice would get it, it most certainly is. The thing is that cheap filters do this:

Click here for the full 800x450 image.

UV filters do have a purpose and are not completely a waste. If your lens is $1000, and you are willing to spend about $100 on UV filter, then it may be a good idea to use one if the conditions are messy. Some Canon lenses with weather sealing need a filter to complete the seal. Obviously anything that's going to harm your lens will harm your filter. So putting your filter on in a sand storm will save your lens but destroy your filter, and that's the goal at the high end. These situations though DO NOT apply to anyone who needs to have this explained to them. Your 17-55 4-5.6 IS/VR Kit Lens is worth about $50 in mint condition used. You can buy a new one for $150. It doesn't make sens to spend $100 on a filter to 'protect' it when you degrade the image quality by doing so. You can always use a hood to protect your lens if you're worried about it.

Why a card reader?
This comes up from time to time. Someone has a problem with plugging their camera into their MacBook and getting everything to show up. The forum generally responds get a card reader and then the requester gets huffy about people not solving their problem. Here's the thing. Just about every camera you could ever plug into your computer is going to be faster through a card reader. We are not talking about a VHS rewinder here. These things are significantly faster and they save your camera's batteries. A simple USB 2.0 reader can be had off of newegg for less than $10. In photography dollars that's basically free! Don't believe me? Just look at what was posted a bit ago in the Canon gear thread:

[Doing an import into Lightroom.] It seems that when I plug the camera in and go to import the photos from it, most of them don't show up the first time. Say I've taken 100 shots, the first 30 will show up. So I close the import window and open it again - now 70 will show up. I close it and open it again and now all of them show up. Those numbers are just examples, there's no set number that show up each time. [Help]
Alright, time for this discussion again. It's faster to buy a card reader. Spend the $20 or so and just do it that way.
I've got one. I didn't realise that there'd be a big difference in speed, so I'll give it a go - Edit: making GBS threads Christ, that is quicker.

There you have it, scientific proof you should buy a card reader.


Recommendations
We are more than happy to help you pick your new gear, but if you are here for a recommendation on what Lens, SLR (not your first dSLR, go to the newbie thread for that), Camera Bag, Tripod, Point & Shoot, Printer, Desk Chair or Tuna Net to buy, be sure to give us an idea of your purpose for wanting such things, current equipment that it would be replacing if any, and your rough budget.

"Hey guys what camera and lens should I buy" is not going to do anyone any good.
Please give us as much of the following information as possible:
  • What you are looking to buy
  • Budget
  • Your photo gear you already have
  • What you plan on using your purchase for
  • What you find limiting about what you have now
At a bare minimum at least give us something like this:
"I'm looking to move to full frame from a 40D. I have $2000 to spend and shoot mainly street photography."


Reading
If you haven't yet, check out Understanding Exposure from the local library, Amazon.com or just go sit in a Borders and read it. It will help you... understand exposure.

KennyG fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2010 around 17:00

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sky shark
Jun 9, 2004
WALKING ARGUMENT FOR GUN CONTROL

I masturbate to Matthew Bracken books and long to kill black people. Also I leave guns laying around for criminals to steal.

Didn't get an answer in the other thread - I need a tabletop mount monopod that can handle a DSLR - Canon 40D with 28-135 lens. This is going to be for my store & tethered to my pc for product photography, so I don't need a super fancy tripod costing several hundred dollars, a decent monopod that will allow me vertical overhead shots and such will be fine... any suggestions?

PlasticSun
Feb 12, 2002

Unnaturally Good

sky shark posted:

Didn't get an answer in the other thread - I need a tabletop mount monopod that can handle a DSLR - Canon 40D with 28-135 lens. This is going to be for my store & tethered to my pc for product photography, so I don't need a super fancy tripod costing several hundred dollars, a decent monopod that will allow me vertical overhead shots and such will be fine... any suggestions?

You said monopod but that won't be free standing...if you are looking for a tripod I use this as a travel tripod and despite it being cheap plastic it holds my 20D with a 70-200 2.8 lens with a 2x teleconverter just fine. Cheap too.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ini_Tripod.html

If you are looking for a monopod, the Canon one is pretty nice and it's also cheap: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...onopod_100.html

pwn
May 27, 2004

This Christmas get "Shoes"


Hahah, love the thread title. And no more "(I WANT A MANFROTTO. ").

sky shark
Jun 9, 2004
WALKING ARGUMENT FOR GUN CONTROL

I masturbate to Matthew Bracken books and long to kill black people. Also I leave guns laying around for criminals to steal.

PlasticSun posted:

You said monopod but that won't be free standing...if you are looking for a tripod I use this as a travel tripod and despite it being cheap plastic it holds my 20D with a 70-200 2.8 lens with a 2x teleconverter just fine. Cheap too.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ini_Tripod.html

If you are looking for a monopod, the Canon one is pretty nice and it's also cheap: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...onopod_100.html

Sorry, I should have included that this would be clamped onto the work surface, so preferably it'd have some sort of joint at the clamp / base that swings it over the product, and is adjustable for height and such.

EDIT: Something similar to this Sharpics Tabletop Monopod but by another vendor.

sky shark fucked around with this message at Jul 2, 2009 around 02:20

KennyG
Oct 22, 2002
Here to blow my own horn.

sky shark posted:

Sorry, I should have included that this would be clamped onto the work surface, so preferably it'd have some sort of joint at the clamp / base that swings it over the product, and is adjustable for height and such.

EDIT: Something similar to this Sharpics Tabletop Monopod but by another vendor.

I don't quite see the value in that at $90... it doesn't look all that sturdy. Foba makes some gear that could suit your purpose but you are likely looking at $1000 before you get anything usable. Personally I think your best bet would be to just use a tripod designed for Macro without extending the legs that far. Something like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...Tripod_Kit.html or similar product.

PlasticSun
Feb 12, 2002

Unnaturally Good

sky shark posted:

Sorry, I should have included that this would be clamped onto the work surface, so preferably it'd have some sort of joint at the clamp / base that swings it over the product, and is adjustable for height and such.

EDIT: Something similar to this Sharpics Tabletop Monopod but by another vendor.

Hmmm... well one thing you could look into if you don't want to spend too much are Ram mounts. http://www.ram-mount.com/

These use a ball and socket design that are commonly fitted to motorcycles, cars etc to hold up laptops, gps, and cameras. If you were to get a base like this:

http://www.ram-mount.com/CatalogRes...85/Default.aspx

You could fit that around a steel bar that's clamped to the table. Then you could fit arms onto the ball joint like these:

http://www.ram-mount.com/CatalogRes...67/Default.aspx

and cap them with a camera plate:

http://www.ram-mount.com/CatalogRes...85/Default.aspx

You'd end up with something that's very very flexible and can hold a significant amount of weight.

sky shark
Jun 9, 2004
WALKING ARGUMENT FOR GUN CONTROL

I masturbate to Matthew Bracken books and long to kill black people. Also I leave guns laying around for criminals to steal.

I'm thinking of trying something like this -
http://www.labdepotinc.com/Product_...~pid~59183.aspx

and having a ball clamp on the camera end or something.

EDIT: This may work
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...mp_without.html
combined with
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...tion_Magic.html
I just wish it had telescoping ability

sky shark fucked around with this message at Jul 2, 2009 around 15:15

Sadi
Jan 18, 2005
SC - Where there are more rednecks than people

sky shark posted:

I'm thinking of trying something like this -
http://www.labdepotinc.com/Product_...~pid~59183.aspx

and having a ball clamp on the camera end or something.

EDIT: This may work
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...mp_without.html
combined with
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...tion_Magic.html
I just wish it had telescoping ability

I think the second option is much better. Ive used things like those clamps you linked before the post in various chem labs and I would hardly trust them with out $10 beakers no less over $400 in camera equipment on the low end.

Luk3
Nov 25, 2005



I recently bought the Nikkor MF 105mm f2.5. Where would I buy a reversing ring to use it as a macro lens and how would it work?

Ziir
Nov 20, 2004

by Ozmaugh


I just got my 50mm f/1.8 in the mail and have played around with it, but one thing I'm having trouble with is taking shots of things close up (I guess this would be macro). Say I want to even just take a picture of a quarter, how do I go about doing this or can I not? Also is it worthwhile to buy a lens hood for it? Mine didn't come with one.

Bottom Liner
Feb 15, 2006


IF I'M TALKING ABOUT ART, I'M PROBABLY WRONG, SO PLEASE REPORT ME SO I CAN BE PROBATED. AGAIN.



The 50 1.8 can't focus too close, and it certainly can't do macro. Don't bother with the hood, the front element is so small and recessed that even dropping the lens shouldn't affect it.

Yeah I read books.
Feb 28, 2006

uhh yeah dude

Bottom Liner posted:

The 50 1.8 can't focus too close, and it certainly can't do macro. Don't bother with the hood, the front element is so small and recessed that even dropping the lens shouldn't affect it.

and on top of that a hood wont protect it in any other way either, if you drop that lens it is hosed. although i banged mine up against a table at a show the other night with the weight of a 5d2 with battery grip and 430 ex II behind it and it still focuses fine, i thought i was boned for sure

evil_bunnY
Apr 2, 2003



The 1.8's mostly fine. It tends to explode into multiple parts when dropped, but mostly you can just piece it back together. The 50mm f/1.4 pretty famous for busting its AF motor if you look at the front element wrong.

Ziir posted:

I just got my 50mm f/1.8 in the mail and have played around with it, but one thing I'm having trouble with is taking shots of things close up (I guess this would be macro). Say I want to even just take a picture of a quarter, how do I go about doing this or can I not? Also is it worthwhile to buy a lens hood for it? Mine didn't come with one.
As explained above, the thrifty's not designed to focus so close. Get an actual macro lens, or a set of extension tubes.

FunkyJunk
Jul 14, 2004



Sadi posted:

I think the second option is much better. Ive used things like those clamps you linked before the post in various chem labs and I would hardly trust them with out $10 beakers no less over $400 in camera equipment on the low end.

I know that sports photographers (pros) use those superclamps all the time for their remote shots. Based on that, I'd think they'd be sturdy, durable, and adaptable enough for his needs.

Iron Squid
Nov 23, 2005

by Ozmaugh


I need a new tripod.

I have a budget at $300 firm. What do you guys recommend?

FunkyJunk
Jul 14, 2004



Iron Squid posted:

I need a new tripod.

I have a budget at $300 firm. What do you guys recommend?

Manfrotto XPROB with RC2 (IIRC?) head.

torgeaux
Dec 31, 2004
I serve...

Ziir posted:

I just got my 50mm f/1.8 in the mail and have played around with it, but one thing I'm having trouble with is taking shots of things close up (I guess this would be macro). Say I want to even just take a picture of a quarter, how do I go about doing this or can I not? Also is it worthwhile to buy a lens hood for it? Mine didn't come with one.

The 50mm 1.8 is a great macro lens, provided you reverse it. This can be done hand held (literally hold the lens in front of the camera without a lens and focus by moving back and forth) or by buying a reversing ring to allow you to mount it to the camera.

Otherwise, it's got poor magnification.

The digital picture posted:

With a minimum focus distance of 1.5' (.45m), the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens delivers a rather low native maximum magnification of .15x.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/...ens-Review.aspx

KennyG
Oct 22, 2002
Here to blow my own horn.

torgeaux posted:

The 50mm 1.8 is a great macro lens, provided you reverse it. This can be done hand held (literally hold the lens in front of the camera without a lens and focus by moving back and forth) or by buying a reversing ring to allow you to mount it to the camera.

Otherwise, it's got poor magnification.


http://www.the-digital-picture.com/...ens-Review.aspx

The EF 50mm 1.8 II is not a good reverse macro lens because it lacks an aperture ring. Go to a pawn shop/garage sale/ebay and grab an F-mount 1.8 and that's a great macro lens for reversing. It has aperture control for depth of field and will likely cost you about $25... or even less http://cgi.ebay.com/Canon-lens-FD-5...%3A1%7C294%3A50 (Canon FD 1.8 Ebay auction listed at $5.)

torgeaux
Dec 31, 2004
I serve...

KennyG posted:

The EF 50mm 1.8 II is not a good reverse macro lens because it lacks an aperture ring. Go to a pawn shop/garage sale/ebay and grab an F-mount 1.8 and that's a great macro lens for reversing. It has aperture control for depth of field and will likely cost you about $25... or even less http://cgi.ebay.com/Canon-lens-FD-5...%3A1%7C294%3A50 (Canon FD 1.8 Ebay auction listed at $5.)

Sure, but then you've got a lens that that's pretty much all you can use it for, AND he already has the nifty fifty. Aperture ring not necessary, just set aperture while on camera, hit the depth of field preview button, keep it held down while removing the lens. Ta dah!

Alctel
Jan 16, 2004

I love snails

Ziir posted:

I just got my 50mm f/1.8 in the mail and have played around with it, but one thing I'm having trouble with is taking shots of things close up (I guess this would be macro). Say I want to even just take a picture of a quarter, how do I go about doing this or can I not? Also is it worthwhile to buy a lens hood for it? Mine didn't come with one.

just search on ebay

remember to get one that fixes the lens screw size (I think its 52mm for the 50mm)

Frinkahedron
Jul 26, 2006

Gobble Gobble


Iron Squid posted:

I need a new tripod.

I have a budget at $300 firm. What do you guys recommend?

I just bought a Manfrotto 055XPROB with a 488RC4 Ball Head. $299.90 and free shipping. I feel like I could club somebody with the thing. Do you have a nice (read: non Ritz-camera-esq) camera store in your area? Go and play with the tripods and heads and see what you like.

Fangs404
Dec 20, 2004

I time bomb.

A few questions:

1. What are your opinions on ball heads vs 3-axis heads?

2. I'm thinking about getting the 055XPROB with the 488RC2. This tripod is pretty drat heavy, and while it's awesome for most things, I'd like something that would be easier to lug around. Is there anything in the same price range that's lighter (a little flimsier is OK as long as it's not gonna crumble with my gear on it).

3. What are the primary differences between the 488RC2 and 488RC4 heads? The price difference is only $5 on Amazon.

Thanks!

evil_bunnY
Apr 2, 2003



Fangs404 posted:

1. What are your opinions on ball heads vs 3-axis heads?
You're going to hate the 3-axis for anything but panoramas.

KennyG
Oct 22, 2002
Here to blow my own horn.

evil_bunnY posted:

You're going to hate the 3-axis for anything but panoramas.

To expand on this a bit... very few camera movements that people execute involve only one axis. Ever use one of those $35 Velbon's? They are a pain in the rear end to use - basically you end up opening every joint, trying to hold your camera where you want it, and then trying to tighten them all while it doesn't move.

Get a ball head...

Gambl0r
Dec 25, 2003

LOCAL MAN
RUINS
EVERYTHING


KennyG posted:

Get a ball head...

Specifically a ball head with a pistol grip Those are really nice.

Ziir
Nov 20, 2004

by Ozmaugh


Thanks guys for clarifying the using the 50mm f/1.8 as a macro lens. Another question, sometimes I noticed that my AF goes crazy or just doesn't autofocus and therefore it wont shoot any pictures. How do I "force" it to to just take the god drat picture?

pwn
May 27, 2004

This Christmas get "Shoes"


If you switch it to AI servo (continuous focusing mode,) it'll shoot when you tell it to, whether or not it's focused on something.


Why Canon calls it "AI" rather than AF, . Or why they call "Shutter" "Time."

Toupee
Feb 6, 2008

by Tiny Fistpump


^^ The gently caress are you talking about Shutter -> Time

Off the top of my head, I think the minimum focus distance of the canon 50mm 1.8 is 1.5 feet. Anything inside that, and it won't let you take a picture unless you're using manual focus.

No. 9
Feb 8, 2005

Champion or chore, Either/Or...

Shutter priority is labeled Tv, he means.

Clayton Bigsby
Apr 17, 2005



No. 9 posted:

Shutter priority is labeled Tv, he means.

Not really Canon specific though.

AI allegedly originally stood for "automatic intelligent" -- i.e. "smart" autofocus mode.

SoundMonkey
Apr 22, 2006

"I am the modding."



Luk3 posted:

I recently bought the Nikkor MF 105mm f2.5. Where would I buy a reversing ring to use it as a macro lens and how would it work?

You'd have better luck buying a coupling ring and putting a 50mm on the front of it, backwards. I have a reversing ring, and that exact same lens, and I can confirm that it does not work very well reversed.

multigl
Nov 22, 2005

"Who's cool and has two thumbs? This guy!"


ziir is using nikon so I'm guessing if he dropped the 50 it wouldn't affect the motor in it because it doesn't have a motor in it. additionally it's got a relatively good close focusing distance (not at all macro), but great reversed because it, gasp, has an aperture ring.

Ziir
Nov 20, 2004

by Ozmaugh


multigl posted:

ziir is using nikon so I'm guessing if he dropped the 50 it wouldn't affect the motor in it because it doesn't have a motor in it. additionally it's got a relatively good close focusing distance (not at all macro), but great reversed because it, gasp, has an aperture ring.

Yeah, I figured as much .

Pompous Rhombus
Mar 11, 2007


KennyG posted:

To expand on this a bit... very few camera movements that people execute involve only one axis. Ever use one of those $35 Velbon's? They are a pain in the rear end to use - basically you end up opening every joint, trying to hold your camera where you want it, and then trying to tighten them all while it doesn't move.

Get a ball head...

3-way heads are great if you're panning, but yeah I just went with a ballhead after the 3-way fell off my Velbon.

MMD3
May 16, 2006

Montmartre -> Portland

I just sold my 20D with my carry around 28-105mm carry around lens to my dad. I am planning on using the money to go towards a new carry around lens to compliment my 50mm f/1.4 which saw way more use than my 28-105 ever did.

I was hoping to find a used 16-35mm f/2.8 L or a used 24-70mm f/2.8 L before I head to Europe on vacation next week... it doesn't look like I'm going to find one on Craigslist in time but I did find the other lens I've always thought I'd love to own selling used at the local camera shop.

Should I buy a 24mm f/1.4 for $800? I looked it over and it looks almost mint, it's certainly not seen much use at all, even the rubber on the focus ring looks super clean and barely has any dust or anything built up in it... the glass looks flawless and the focus ring is super smooth.

New the lens is still $1400, the version II is something like $1650.

I think a 16-35mm would be more versatile for event photography and as a carry-around lens but I mostly shoot concerts and two extra stops of light would be absolutely invaluable at smaller venues.

such a tough decision... it could be a long time before I drop almost a grand on another lens.

evil_bunnY
Apr 2, 2003



What camera is it for?

MMD3
May 16, 2006

Montmartre -> Portland

evil_bunnY posted:

What camera is it for?

sorry, forgot that part... 5d mkII.

kefkafloyd
Jun 8, 2006

I call him that
because he waddles!

WADDLES!


pwn posted:

If you switch it to AI servo (continuous focusing mode,) it'll shoot when you tell it to, whether or not it's focused on something.


Why Canon calls it "AI" rather than AF, . Or why they call "Shutter" "Time."

Actually, there's a custom function for release priority that controls whether or not it should release before it gets focus, regardless of what AF mode you are in.

Also, the reason it's called "Time Value" (and not your silly idea of what Tv stands for) is because you're actually changing the overall exposure time. The actual speed of the shutter can't go faster than the x-sync speed and it uses tricks like the traveling slit and folding curtains to get exposure times shorter than the x-sync speed. It's one of the few things that actually makes logical sense from Canon (you're setting the value for the overall exposure time variable in the exposure equation).

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Mannequin
Mar 8, 2003


That sounds pretty cool. So you can actually say "I want a 1 second exposure" or something? Nikon doesn't have that.

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