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 Post subject: Some advice needed for a Beginner Photographer
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 11:30 am
Posts: 190
Hi Guys.

This year I saved up a lot and after consulting many forums and experts, I acquired my first DSLR Camera and Lenses.

My kit consists of: Nikon D3100 Body (Entry level body I know)
Nikon 18:55mm
Nikon 55:300mm
Sigma 150-500mm
32GB memory card
8GB memory card
2 Batteries.
Car charger for batteries.
Bag of rice(wrapped in a pillow case) for window support.
Pool noodle :D

I am going on 3 big trips to SANparks in the next 2 months starting from next sunday. Do I have all the equipment that I need? I also want to take pictures of bugs and of landscapes. Which lenses should I use for those?

Also, any other advice would be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Some advice needed for a Beginner Photographer
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:30 pm
Posts: 97
Location: A grey UK ! Longing to be in SA !
Looks like you've got the fundamentals all there. The lens kit you've aquired will see you through most scenarios.

For wider landscape shots you'll probably want the 18-55 or the wider end of the 55-300...

For 'bug' shots you'll need to use the long end of the 55-300 or the 150-500 and zoom right in...

For general animal & bird shots you'll probably use the 150-500 in preference to the 55-300...

Try not to swap lenses too much while you're moving around; and if you do need to, make sure you keep the camera body out of the wind to minimise the risk of dust getting in!

If you'll be doing early morning and/or sunset drives, the only other thing you might want to consider is a dedicated flash unit; combined with a 'Better-Beamer' 'flash-extender' ideally. The on-board pop-up flash just won't have enough power to light anything up at any distance. If you either can't do that, or don't want to, then you'll need to ramp up the ISO to compensate for the low-light levels...

Have a great time.


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 Post subject: Re: Some advice needed for a Beginner Photographer
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:02 pm
Posts: 2668
Location: Bellville, Cape Town
EOS_User, thank ou for the tip to use flash during early morning and late afternoon drives when light becomes problematic. I got a 600Speedlite this weekend and will come handy with upcomig trip. I know, you can up the ISO, but good tip, anyway.

By the way, Canon is having an expo in Johannesburg this coming weekend and was let to believe there will very good specials and discount on purchase. I got a pro-forma discount already this past weekend here in Cape Town on the flash... so good opportunity. :thumbs_up:

_________________
Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Some advice needed for a Beginner Photographer
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:27 pm
Posts: 274
Location: JHB
Read this with interest.
I will be purchasing a canon 600d which comes with 2 x standard lenses as well.
I am looking to buy a better "long distance" lens and have been told to get the Canon 18-200mm lens.
Is the 150-500mm lens a lot more expensive or is the 18-200mm sufficient for me at this stage.
I have someone coming from US and they are able to buy it for me - presume its a lot cheaper in US than here.


Will be visiting the Canon show this weekend as well before I make my final decision.

I have been using the Canon sx30IS and have taken some awesome photos with it - a lovely camera, so easy to use, and great for closer shots, but find for much longer distance the clarity just isn't there. Takes amazing HD video as well.
It will be an adjustment for me to get used to using lenses!!


Panekoek, I also started using the pool noodle on the car window and it works great. Find the bean bag kept on separating on the window and wasn't as steady.


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 Post subject: Re: Some advice needed for a Beginner Photographer
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 11:30 am
Posts: 190
Thanks for all the replies.

I have heard that a macro lens is more ideal for close ups of bugs and smaller things. Is this true? Would you advice to rent or buy one or is what I have sufficient?

Fee, I have a 55-300mm and I found that it sometimes did not get the length that I wanted. That is why I got the sigma 150-500. It was a lot cheaper than its Nikon counterpart and Im sure thee cannon as well. It produces very sharp images and is very well built. It does get a bit heavy when walking with it for long times but if you are mainly using it from your car with a pool noodle or bean bag then it is not problem. It really is a fantastic lens.


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 Post subject: Re: Some advice needed for a Beginner Photographer
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
i do not know how long your trips are but be careful on memory.

32GB memory card
8GB memory card

i would then suggest you take a laptop with external hardrive to increase capacity.

i know there are many users who will tell you not to fit filters so it is your choice. Just be carry in KTP regarding keeping stuff clean and as has been said to not change lenses unless you really need to.

In KTP try playing with the EV for raptors.

i agree with you on macro it takes a macro lense with duel flash to get really amazing results that is not to say you cannot get good shoots with what you have. At least f11 and iso 100 if you can get away with it.

i am not a great fan of converters but it maybe a option to increase length - i am not a nikon user but i think around 1.4. It will more than likely though take you to manual focus.

Go have fun and practice lots!

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: Some advice needed for a Beginner Photographer
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:30 pm
Posts: 97
Location: A grey UK ! Longing to be in SA !
fee wrote:
Read this with interest.
I will be purchasing a canon 600d which comes with 2 x standard lenses as well.
I am looking to buy a better "long distance" lens and have been told to get the Canon 18-200mm lens.
Is the 150-500mm lens a lot more expensive or is the 18-200mm sufficient for me at this stage.
I have someone coming from US and they are able to buy it for me - presume its a lot cheaper in US than here.


fee;

If the 600D is coming kitted with two lenses, they will almost certainly be the 18-55 & 55-250, in which case the 18-200 will simply be duplicating what you'll already have.

I strongly suggest getting to grips with the kit you'll be getting first before you start to swap-out or upgrade that range of lens...

You will though need a much longer reach than the 55-250 can give you and so the Sigma 150-500 is a decent 'budget' option, but it's drawback is that it is slow at the long-end, and in poor light will suffer.

The 600D is a 18Mp unit, so there's plenty of room to crop images and still get a good print. If you can run to it, the Canon 'lens of choice' for Kruger (et al) is the 100-400. More expensive than the Siggy, but much better quality IMO.

HTH...


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 Post subject: Re: Some advice needed for a Beginner Photographer
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:16 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Agree with EOS. Get to grips with the camera and lenses you are buying before considering buying a new lens, the 18-200 if i'm not mistaken is close to 6k in most stores which is already half way to purchasing the 150-500 sigma which comes out at 11.5k and the canon 100-400 (my personal choice) which comes out at around 14K.

Do some shopping around, you might be able to find it cheaper somewhere.

Tip
Always know what you are receiving and what you want from the camera you are purchasing before considering a new lens choice, sit and talk to people who know, send emails to photographers, they may help you and give you advice. Dont rush decisions as you may feel that it was the incorrect decision after a while and once you have made the decision stick with it. This is an expensive hobby/career and you dont want to make mistakes.

And always do some shopping around before hand

_________________
I try my best and that's what matters I hope.


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 Post subject: Re: Some advice needed for a Beginner Photographer
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:27 am 
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Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 11:30 am
Posts: 190
Thanks for all the advice guys. I will take a laptop with me to empty my cards :)

Also, I got my Sigma 150-500mm NEW fro R9500 at camcorner. They have the best price that I found in SA. They were at least 1k Cheaper than anywhere else that I found.


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 Post subject: Re: Some advice needed for a Beginner Photographer
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:23 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:16 pm
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Location: Somewhere far far far away
Panekoek wrote:
Thanks for all the advice guys. I will take a laptop with me to empty my cards :)

Also, I got my Sigma 150-500mm NEW fro R9500 at camcorner. They have the best price that I found in SA. They were at least 1k Cheaper than anywhere else that I found.



thats far cheaper then anyone i know off. Even orms do it for 11k. the 120-400mm sigma is around the 9k mark too

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I try my best and that's what matters I hope.


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 Post subject: Re: Some advice needed for a Beginner Photographer
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:27 pm
Posts: 274
Location: JHB
thanks for the info.
Will take your advice and maybe wait until later in 2013 for another lens.
Three trips planned to Kruger before my US trip next year, so I will at least get the hang of the camera first and buy it there.
Will still use Canon sx30is as well - takes amazing photos.


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