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Some advice for a beginner

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Bushbuddies
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Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:28 pm

Hi everyone!

This is a case of a "novice" asking the "guru's" for some advice... :whistle:

I've started developing an interest in photography - especially wildlife photography. But so far it has only been me, myself and my "mik-en-druk" (basic) camera. Recently got myself a nice Nikon Coolpix L100 - which has a built-in 15XOptical Zoom, but only functions in "Auto" mode, it doesn't have a "manual" mode. I've really enjoyed the camera, but think I now want to maybe take the next step. Learn all about "f-stops" and other terminology still foreign to me... :hmz: And to have the freedom to play around a bit more!

I think it might be a good idea to go on a good photography course to learn about all these things, but in order to put the newly acquired knowledge into practice - I'll probably need to first buy the camera to do it with. So looking at SLR-cameras and lenses - something to start with, but something that I'll be able to use for many years to come (money being an object), what would you guys recommend? Any advice will be appreciated...
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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:37 pm

Hi Bushbuddies, there are numerous threads around with loads of discussion around this.
My advice is always to minimise the initial outlay and buy secondhand.
I'd advise you to buy something like a Nikon D50 (a 5 year old camera which can do anything you need it to) and then 1 or 2 lenses depending on what you plan on shooting. For wildlife, a lot of us would recommend starting off with a Sigma 170-500mm or maybe a 70-300mm.
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Scipio » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:44 pm

BeeBee, go for it, go to a course & Buy a Pentax. :twisted: Sorry Josh. :lol: :lol:

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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby michel367 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:54 pm

Pentax is great bud and you know that it would be my first choice, but it is not readily available on the second hand market and the same goes for the lenses.

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:55 pm

No worries Scips, just glad to see you posting again.

Bushbuddies, I didn't really address your course question in my earlier post.
I've never taken a course, so I can't really comment. I've managed to teach myself most of what I know (not terribly much) by reading on the Internet and experimenting (and through forums like this one). Depending on how you learn, it may not be necessary to attend a (expensive) course.
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Sprocky » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:56 pm

michel367 wrote:Pentax is great bud and you know that it would be my first choice, but it is not readily available on the second hand market and the same goes for the lenses.


Just like a Ferrari, not many on the second hand market but still the best! :thumbs_up:

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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby michel367 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:00 pm

Now THIS we can agree on. As for your choice of rugby team??????

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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Scipio » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:01 pm

Just like a Ferrari, not many on the second hand market but still the best!


Cause they last & once used, you dont want no other. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Robbie A » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:09 pm

When you enter the DSLR market you buy into a system. Each manufacturer has their own bodies and lenses and these don't fit other brands cameras. So if you buy Canon, you stick with Canon cause only Canon and Canon mount lenses fit on their cameras. You need to look at the different manufacturers out there, the availability of lenses, new and used as well as accessories available. Once you have narrowed this down to a brand that meets your requirements, then I suggest you visit a camera store that stocks your chosen brand and then handle the actual cameras.. Make sure that they are comfortable for you to use and choose the one that works best for YOU... most entry level cameras are much of a muchness these days..
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Sprocky » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:19 pm

Robbie A wrote:When you enter the DSLR market you buy into a system. Each manufacturer has their own bodies and lenses and these don't fit other brands cameras. So if you buy Canon, you stick with Canon cause only Canon and Canon mount lenses fit on their cameras. You need to look at the different manufacturers out there, the availability of lenses, new and used as well as accessories available. Once you have narrowed this down to a brand that meets your requirements, then I suggest you visit a camera store that stocks your chosen brand and then handle the actual cameras.. Make sure that they are comfortable for you to use and choose the one that works best for YOU... most entry level cameras are much of a muchness these days..


Great advice Robbie, :thumbs_up: I am just too lazy to post long post's! :whistle:

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:27 pm

Agreed RobbieA. One caveat though: Sigma and Tamron, among others, make lenses that fit all the major brands, so for example you could (theoretically) find a Sigma 170-500mm to fit any brand of camera you buy.

That's why I generally recommend only Canon and Nikon, though it appears there is a slightly larger market for used Canon gear in SA.
If you're in Jo'burg, go to Kameraz in Rosebank. They have a lot of second hand stuff, and you'll be able to try it all in the shop to see what suits you.
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Robbie A » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:35 pm

joshilewis wrote:Agreed RobbieA. One caveat though: Sigma and Tamron, among others, make lenses that fit all the major brands, so for example you could (theoretically) find a Sigma 170-500mm to fit any brand of camera you buy.


Yes, 100% true but as an example, 2nd hand Pentax mount lenses are almost impossible to find, and these include those from 3rd party lens manufacturers. You are buying into a system and you can't chop and change from one brand to another.

BTW, I own and run a photography school and would consider giving forum members some special deals on part time courses and tuition if there was a requirement for such..
Capture the light and expose it to the world..

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:39 pm

Robbie A wrote:Yes, 100% true but as an example, 2nd hand Pentax mount lenses are almost impossible to find, and these include those from 3rd party lens manufacturers. You are buying into a system and you can't chop and change from one brand to another.
Yup, that's why I said theoretically :) Maybe Sprocky would be willing to sell his :P

Robbie A wrote:BTW, I own and run a photography school and would consider giving forum members some special deals on part time courses and tuition if there was a requirement for such..
Awesome! We'd also love you to contribute to the photography threads that discuss technical and artistic stuff!
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby oddesy » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:38 pm

Would definitely go down well here Robbie A! :thumbs_up: :D

joshilewis wrote:Agreed RobbieA. One caveat though: Sigma and Tamron, among others, make lenses that fit all the major brands, so for example you could (theoretically) find a Sigma 170-500mm to fit any brand of camera you buy.

That's why I generally recommend only Canon and Nikon, though it appears there is a slightly larger market for used Canon gear in SA.
If you're in Jo'burg, go to Kameraz in Rosebank. They have a lot of second hand stuff, and you'll be able to try it all in the shop to see what suits you.

Tamron and sigma lenses are both great and the top of the range is just as good as the best (canon, nikon). If you are looking for canon and nikon im sure kameraz would be a great place, if you are pentax like me you may appear invisible to them or be treated with such lack of interest im surprised they sell anything!, just my experience :wink:

A better place to try would be online at B&H, they have a second hand store as well with lots of equipment and good condition ratings . Also have heard of many other people buying successfully from there.
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby fee » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:38 am

Hi everyone, Glad this topic has been brought up again.
I am also looking to upgrade my camera, especially for visits to KP.
Have been on to dpreview.com website and Ken Rockwell - he seems to be biased towards Nikon. All the advice on these sites is rather over whelming for a novice.
Is the Nikon D60 a good choice for a beginner? Like the idea that with Nikon the lenses are interchangeable.
I was also looking at the brand new Fuji hs 10 (not an SLR) before I step up to the SLR league. Has got good reviews and seems to have all the components of a SLR. Anybody seen or heard about it. I fancy the 30x lens and the fact that you don't need to wory about changing lenses. Any advice there.
Nikon to offer an introductory course with a any new camera you purchase, but I would also be interested in a course with Robbie A when I've decided what to buy.
thanks for all the advice you always give.


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