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Old 03-11-2005, 22:22   #1 (permalink)
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Hello

I have had this forum in my favourites for quite a while, and for some reason have never posted, so I thought I would say Hi

I am fairly new to photography, only having bought my camera in June - and am currently on a rather disappointing "digital photography" course at the local college (should be called a photoshop course in my opinion as he admits himself that he knows precious little about photography, and believes that almost all mistakes can be rectified in photoshop).

As for kit, I have:

Canon EOS350D
CAnon 17-85 IS USM
Sigma 70-300 APO MAcro DG
Manfrotto 714B Tripod
Manfrotto 484RC2 Head (I should have bought one with a panning handle)

Both lenses have Hoya HMC UV filters permanently attached, and I have circ. polarising filters for both as well.

As for what I like to photograph, well I haven't decided yet. I do go to track days and motorsport venues, but also like walking around and taking pics of things that catch my eye. I really want to get more practice at portraits though, as my wife and I are only 3 just over weeks away from having our first child, and I want to be able to take good pictures possibly with a view to printing framing them.

So, that's me really

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Old 03-11-2005, 22:44   #2 (permalink)
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Old 03-11-2005, 23:07   #3 (permalink)
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Well if you're into portraits I would look into getting impossibly sharp (for the price) 50mm 1.8 prime (Mk I or II) for the baby shots. The difference between this and a zoom is quite astonishing.

POh, and, err, Hi, BTW.
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:02   #4 (permalink)
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Hi there and welcome to the forums.

As Sammy says if you want the best possible pictures then the 50mm lens will give you stunning results at low light, however I don't really see a great deal wrong with what lenses you already have and if you learn them and the camera, then I am sure they will produce pictures that you will be very happy with.

I will add that if you feel the draw of portrait photography then its almost always about two things, the first is lighting and the second is controlling the subject while making them feel comfortable and at ease. The second you is down to you but the first is usually combated by the addition of at least a dedicated flash gun and sometimes a much more advanced lighting system.

Many great results can be had with early morning light casing a soft glow over your subject but for the flexibility, an add-on flash would be a great benefit.

Just something to think about for the future.
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:46   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the posts

FWIW I am already looking at buying a 50mm prime macro lens, either the sigma ex dg f/2.8 or the canon equivalent, will this suffice for the portraits? Or should I still go for a faster lens?

I am also in the process of saving for a speedlight (probably the 420EX or the 430EX)
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:58   #6 (permalink)
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The 430EX replaces the 420EX for less money with many improvements. Getting the new version is highly recommended as it also fully supports distance info, camera crop factor and colour temperature communication with your camera. All of which have been added or improved over the 420EX. It also recharges faster and is both smaller and lighter.
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Old 04-11-2005, 08:31   #7 (permalink)
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Generally speaking, faster lenses are both more expensive and slightly lower quality than 'slower' lenses (though with some you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference).
My Leica kit, for example comprises a single body and a prime 35mm f/2 lens - this is the sharpest lens I've ever used, period. Makes my Nikkor lenses look as though they've been crafted from bottle ends and tissue paper.
If its real quality you're after, go for a max aperture of around f/2, as the extra 1/3 stop makes little difference to anything other than viewfinder brightness IMO.
For portraits you need something around the 80-120mm mark (measured against 135 film format) - the 50mm (which represents about 75mm on most D-SLRs) will do, but you may find it slightly restricting.
In the old days (how I do love saying that) I used a series of prime lenses from 24mm up to 135mm. Now I do almost everything on three zooms - 17-35 f/2.8; 28-70 f/2.8 and an 80-200 f/2.8. The 28-70 works best for me for portraiture as it comes in at about 48-105 in 'film' terms.

One day we'll stop trying to mentally convert to the old film camera values - more sonowadays as people go straight to D-SLR.
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Old 04-11-2005, 08:42   #8 (permalink)
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Also, the Canon 50mm f1.8 is actually quite soft until about f2.2 anyway. After that it's razor sharp.
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:15   #9 (permalink)
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welcome Braedon
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:20   #10 (permalink)
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Old 04-11-2005, 13:16   #11 (permalink)
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Old 06-11-2005, 16:20   #12 (permalink)
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Old 06-11-2005, 16:46   #13 (permalink)
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Hello Braeden

I can add to the comments on the 50mm f1.8, it's the cheapest and best in my small collection and I bought it for exactly the same reasons you have in mind.

Congratulations on the impending arrival in 3 weeks...I've a nipper on the way in February.
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Old 06-11-2005, 17:24   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks Bachs. I looked at the 50mm 1.8 II earlier today and it really is cheap!

Can it really be that good for portraits?
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Old 06-11-2005, 17:37   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braeden
Can it really be that good for portraits?
It really is!
You need a little room to manouvre with it not being a zoom, and keep above f2.2 as previously mentioned.
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Old 07-11-2005, 19:14   #16 (permalink)
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One last thing, I have a gallery at a different forum that is for digital photography... am I ok to link to it so you get an idea of my (relatively low) level of skill or should I move the photos to my own webspace and make a post?

I don't want to step on anybodies toes (or get shouted at).
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Old 07-11-2005, 20:02   #17 (permalink)
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You are ok linking to your photos Braeden.

Welcome to the forums.
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Old 07-11-2005, 20:05   #18 (permalink)
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Thank you

Ok, well here is a link to my small gallery at photozo.

Enjoy (or not)

Braeden
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