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Some advice for a beginner

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:07 am

fee, don't buy a D60, it won't autofocus with the majority of long wildlife lenses. Rather buy a 2nd hand D50 or D80.

Ken Rockwell can be very overwhelming, but he's starting to give a lot more non-technical advice, which I like.
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Dakka » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:11 am

Hi Robbie . .are you in the market for a correspondence course? I would be very interested

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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:29 pm

Thank you all for the advice! Especially Robbie - where are you situated? Does anybody have any experience with the Nikon D3000, or any comments?

And then another (probably stupid) question - I understand when a camera's lens is described as having eg. 15/30Xoptical zoom. But in laymen's terms - what is the magnification with a normal 18-55mm lens?
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby BushNuts » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:30 pm

joshilewis wrote:fee, don't buy a D60, it won't autofocus with the majority of long wildlife lenses. Rather buy a 2nd hand D50 or D80.


Agree with joshilewis... if your budget allows for it. If not and you can get a D60, or even the newer D5000 or D3000 with at least a compatible (AF-S or AF-I) 70-300mm lens, then go for it. Not sure if the Bigma Elephant Compensation Lens (150-500mm) works with it though.

But the advantage of these cameras (D60, D3000 and D5000) is that you can get one cheap and see if it really is your thing. If you really like it you can upgrade the body later and still use the lenses you originally purchased.

PS: Buying new sometimes has the advantage that the retailer might include a voucher for a free course (Not the best of courses, but good enough to get you going).
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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:49 pm

Guys, none of the D40/D60/D3000/D5000 will autofocus the majority of long lenses you'll use for wildlife. All other Nikon DLSRs will (and all Canons will autofocus all Canon lenses).

The only advantage of the above cameras is that they're smaller and lighter.

Trust me on this, I now have to buy a second camera because of it.

If you want to minimise the amount of money you spend, buy a 2nd hand D50 or D70.

@BushBuddies: optical zoom has nothing to do with magnification, it is simply a measure of the range of the lens. The magnification of lens has to do with quite a lot of factors, including the sensor size.
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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:35 pm

Magnification of any lens can be calculated as follows:
(focal length * crop factor) / 'normal' focal length for format.

So for all lenses on a Nikon DX camera (APS-C sensor with 1.5 crop factor) this becomes:
(focal length * 1.5)/50mm
So for an 18-55mm lens, the magnification range is:
(18 * 1.5)/50 = 0.54X to (55*1.5)/50 = 1.65X
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:53 pm

joshilewis wrote:@BushBuddies: optical zoom has nothing to do with magnification, it is simply a measure of the range of the lens. The magnification of lens has to do with quite a lot of factors, including the sensor size.


Then let me rephrase to maybe better answer my question. I've got a camera with a 15XOptical zoom lens (that's the only terminology they use to define it). If I now use a SLR camera with a 18-55mm lens - will I have greater or lesser or the same "zooming" capability.
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby michel367 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:56 pm

Far more less.

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:11 pm

Bushbuddies wrote:Then let me rephrase to maybe better answer my question. I've got a camera with a 15XOptical zoom lens (that's the only terminology they use to define it). If I now use a SLR camera with a 18-55mm lens - will I have greater or lesser or the same "zooming" capability.


A lot less. The 18-55mm lens as zoom factor of 55/18 = 3X. Optical zoom is a marketing term, and is more or less meaningless unless you know the absolute focal lengths involved.

For example, the 18-55mm as mentioned has an optical zoom of 3X. But a sigma 150-500mm lens also has 3X optical zoom. Yet these two lenses are completely different.

If you look carefully on the lens of your camera, you should see the 35mm 'equivalent' focal lengths for the lens (which will allow you to make a direct comparison). Its probably something like 30-450mm.
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby BushNuts » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:18 pm

joshilewis wrote:Guys, none of the D40/D60/D3000/D5000 will autofocus the majority of long lenses you'll use for wildlife.


Unfortunately true. The only long lens that works (Nikon lens that is) is the 70-300mm AF-S VR lens and the new 200-400mm, which is great... if you've won the lottery :dance: and even then you would have bought a more expensive camera 8) .

Mind you the 70-300mm AF-S VR (be careful there are four 70-300mm from Nikon) is good for most beginners and usually if you go bigger you've saved up a good bit of dough and would already have got one of Nikon's better models (D50, D70, D80, D90, etc.).

JL, I'm guessing the guy who sold you the cheaper model never warned you about the AF issues of your model :naughty: , that sucks.
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Mike1916 » Sat May 01, 2010 1:44 am

Hey where are all the canon users?????

Here's my 2c worth:
The two biggest brands are Nikon and Canon, second hand and new market, in my opinion you should go to a shop and hold a canon say 450D and a nikon D60 or D80 and see if they fit nicely in your hands.

I originally started with pentax and then changed to canon so trust me when i say that you need to make the right choice because changing systems after a few years damages your photography!

As a starter i would suggest a Canon 400D or 450D(which are great cameras and relatively cheap second hand) and possibly a Canon EF-s 55-250 IS or Canon EF 70-300 IS USM (a lot more expensive but has better optics). I used to own the 400D and 70-300 lens and it was a great combo. Look at my Gallery in my Signature :thumbs_up:

There is nothing greater than upgrading your camera or lenses!

Hope this helps :thumbs_up: :)
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Haupie » Sat May 01, 2010 6:09 am

This is my first visit to the photography section on the forums. Very interesting indeed.

I have just purchased the Canon 450D with the 55-250 IS lens. What a beautiful thing to own! I am still learning about it, as I previously only used a simple camera (Sony P8) and took pictures off my video footage.

What a difference this camera has already made. I cannot wait for my first addo trip to try it out in the veld.

i looked at many models over a long period of time and I am happy so far with my choice. the photography course is the tough part when you have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. But we'll see it through
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Sat May 01, 2010 1:29 pm

Thank you all for the advice - this seems to be of help to a lot of us! :clap:

Now that we do have some "Canon-people" on board... In this thread it became obvious that some Nikon's don't autofocus with all the lenses - and that one should rather buy the ones that do. Anything like that with Canon? Do the sigma lenses also work on all the canons?
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby Mike1916 » Sat May 01, 2010 3:11 pm

As far as i know all sigma lenses work with all canons :thumbs_up:
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Re: Some advice for a beginner

Unread postby badprop_za » Sat May 01, 2010 3:37 pm

HI guys,

I am a proud owner of a Nikon D3000. The lack of AF with lenses can be an issue, but I have learnt to cope without it. Some issues that I had with AF is that it would sometimes focus on the wrong thing and I the subject is out of focus. (It could also be lack of skill :redface: )

The guys from ODP told me this from the start. For me it was a case of what can I live with and what not. For the price they offered, I was willing to accept the lack of AF until I will be purchasing a 2nd body.

For lenses at this point, it is more important for to have a lense with VR/OS than AF. These days I don't even use AF on my 18-55 kit lens I received with the camera.

My 2c worth would be to determine what can you live with and what not. Also talk to guys from reputable dealers. Salesmen at mass retailers are looking to push sales.
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