equipment planning

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ptschantz, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. ptschantz

    ptschantz Member

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    Background: I'm new to photography, and got a Canon Rebel G w/ kit lenses from a friend of mine. I'm interested in B&W photography, landscapes, etc.

    Question: As I want to shoot in manual mode, does it make sense to get better lenses for the Rebel, or just go ahead and decide on a manual mode camera and get lenses for that? I don't need the latest and greatest, but as I haven't invested anything yet I'd like to make an informed decision before spending. I know for example that lenses for the manual focus bodies (both Nikon & Canon) are less expensive than AF lenses.

    Not asking for a particular model really, just trying to figure out which way to go.

    thanks in advance

    Pete
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Welcome to APUG and film.

    It's good that you are planning ahead. But my suggestion is to play with what you have for a while first and let your taste and ability develop. I say this because what you would like for your gear will likely change rapidly in the first few months and what you think you'd like now won't be the same anymore.

    Assuming you have a typical kit lens that is wide to mid telephoto - that's likely all you need for quite a while. Modern kit lenses are actually quite good while it may not be as durable as more expensive counter-parts.

    My idea on equipment is that better equipment will give me an ability to do things I already know how faster and easier. But, they won't give me an ability to do things I don't know how to do. If you like collecting gears like I do, that's little different but I don't think that's what you are talking about.

    I hope I don't sound condescending but that's how I feel about it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2011
  3. ptschantz

    ptschantz Member

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    thanks tkamiya!

    Didn't sound condescending at all.

    I'm not planning any immediate purchases either way, because I do want to have a better idea of exactly what I enjoy doing before spending. I just want to start planning ahead at least a little bit.

    Thanks for the feedback,

    Pete
     
  4. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    If you're a Canon fan and don't mind manual focus lenses, buy a body that takes FD lenses. You could find tons of them cheap on Ebay. I'm sure they're every bit as good as the newer lenses for your Rebel. I've had a 20 year old F-1(n) and I've never regretted owning it nor the lenses.
     
  5. ptschantz

    ptschantz Member

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    thanks mcm, that's one of the options I am considering.
     
  6. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    You can do landscapes generally even with very cheap lenses. The cheapest lenses are usually OK for optical quality once you stop them down far enough and often for landscapes you'll use a tripod and a small aperture like f/11 or f/16 anyways. For that you can get by with what you have for now and then decide if you want to go wider, go to manual focus, go to medium format or whatever you end up doing as you explore the hobby.
     
  7. ptschantz

    ptschantz Member

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    Thanks Harry!
     
  8. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    You didn't mention what lens you got with the camera but I am going to assume that it is a 50mm lens. I agree with Tkamiya that you should get familiar with what you have and as your comfort/experience level increases build on that and add lenses that fit your needs.

    Where are you located? Try to get together with other film photographers in your area and learn. That would be my suggestion. APUG is an excellent source of information but I find that getting together with people face to face and being able to get hands on is the best way to learn short of taking a course at the local community college.

    Think about becoming a subscriber and put your work up in the gallery. We have the standard and critique where you can get ideas of what you can do different as far as lighting, focus and composition.

    Before I forget, welcome to APUG.
     
  9. ptschantz

    ptschantz Member

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    Thanks guitstik. Actually I got the two zoom lenses, I was considering getting a 50mm (or the Voitlander 40mm) prime for the Rebel.

    I will be subscribing in the next few days, and will definitely be asking for C&C once I have some work back to post.

    thanks for the suggestions!

    Pete
     
  10. Markster

    Markster Member

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    Your Canon Rebel G has an EOS lense, I don't know the exact acronym but it stands for something like Electronic Optical Stabilizationg (or whatever).

    The older Cannon FD mounts are nice but the prices are going up. They are also dead-ends. The EOS lenses have the option/capability of being mounted on digital camera bodies should you wish to pull double duty later on.

    I would definitely stick with what you have for now. Just do it all manually (don't let it focus, don't let it set aperature, shutter, etc... Just use it for a light meter and take your own shots). Same result, and you don't fork over a ton of money.


    I found that my standard 50mm prime wasn't doing justice for group photos and interior house shots so I got a wide angle lense. 28mm for me, but anything 35mm or so is decent. On top of that I have a minimal zoom (around 70mm-200mm) which is very useful for things slightly further away. I don't always zoom to the max, but it gives you that option to frame your shots better than a prime lens does.

    Just general shooting, I would say you should have everything covered with 2 lenses:

    1) 28mm (or 35mm) to 70mm (or 80-100mm, whatever) <-- your main shooting lens, from wide to just a bit closer than standard.

    2) 70mm-80mm to anywhere in the 150mm or 250mm range. 300mm and up get really pricey.

    #2 is optional. Can be bought later. You can get it all done with a prime lense (50mm/f1.4) but having that ability to zoom is more useful for framing of shots.
     
  11. ptschantz

    ptschantz Member

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    Thanks Markster. I have the 35-80mm and 70-200mm lenses (pretty sure, I'm at work).

    I think for the time being I'll stick with what I have, buy a tripod and some filters, and just take a lot of pictures.

    thanks for all the responses, I really appreciate them all.

    Pete
     
  12. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Yeah, I'd stick with what you got for awhile. If you like it and you like Canon, you can upgrade to an Elan 7, 3, or 1V depending on the funds and start to think about getting nicer Canon lenses. If you like autofocus, but want to try out Nikon, then do move to Nikon at that point - no wasted money on Canon EF lenses.

    On the other hand, if you want manual focus, I'd move to one of the older systems as mentioned above. Canon FD, a Nikon, Olympus OM, etc. You'll find that it's easier to focus AND it's cheaper. Win-win.

    Using what you already have for awhile will let you figure out what you like and what you don't, which will inform upon choices you make in the future. Figure out what focal lengths you like, if you want a zoom or not, manual/autofocus, how much distortion bothers you, what f-stops you use, etc. Once you have some of that figured out, it will be easier to pick a lens that is suitable.
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    E.O.S is Electro-Optical System, and also the Ancient Greek goddess of the dawn. :smile:
     
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  15. ptschantz

    ptschantz Member

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    Thanks Tim for the camera info. and Benjiboy I'll be adding that to the general trivia file in my head ;-)
     
  16. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Try putting your location in your profile and see if there is anyone near you that you can get together with. Also, check out the groups to see if there are any that interest you.

    Joel
     
  17. ptschantz

    ptschantz Member

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    Thanks Joel, didn't realize I hadn't put it in there! I'll check out the groups as well.
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I love trivia my head 's full of it :smile:
     
  19. ptschantz

    ptschantz Member

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    Trust me, I understand :whistling:
     
  20. rpsawin

    rpsawin Subscriber

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    PT...

    Another thought would be to find a pro shop in your area and see if they rent equipment. If so, they may have some of the lenses you are interested in using. This way you can "test drive" them before buying.

    Good luck and welcome to APUG.

    Bob
     
  21. film_man

    film_man Member

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    The body you have is fine and gives you access to a very nice range of lenses. A very cheap and good lens is the 50/1.8. $100 new, sharp and very nice. I can pretty much do almost everything with a 50.

    Just go with that to begin with, once you find your pace and way of shooting it will come naturally what you need, be it a manual camera, more EOS lenses, medium format and whatnot. The biggest mistake that most (myself included) make when starting out is to constantly buy all sorts of equipment, bodies and lenses looking for the next great thing. Take it easy and you'll waste little money buying/selling things.
     
  22. rjbuzzclick

    rjbuzzclick Member

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    Another vote for trying what you have first. I've not had a lot of experience with Canons, other than QL-17's and Dial 35's. Recently, a friend of mine who's moved to digital, gave me his old ELAN 7E with the plastic mount kit lens (and a second zoom). I put a roll of color film in it and the results were nothing that excited me. Just for kicks I tried some Tri-X @800, and was quite impressed with the results.
     
  23. ptschantz

    ptschantz Member

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    Bob, I might look into that once I know enough to make an informed evaluation (and once I'm developing my own film so results are available sooner).

    film_man, that is definitely one of the lenses I'm considering.

    Pete
     
  24. ptschantz

    ptschantz Member

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    Thanks Reid, I'm currently trying some HP5 @ 400
     
  25. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    You mean the buying and selling stops once you're no longer "starting out"? So after you've been doing it for 30 years you are satisfied with your equipment? I wish! :laugh:
     
  26. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Well.... I'm going to claim 5th on this one.... (for non-US members, it's a constitutional amendment concerning self-incrimination)