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Colonel Lingus
11-29-2007, 07:18 PM
Well... I went ahead and made my first purchases. I was potentially sidelined by a hard drive crash (well over $1k to rehab it professionally).... I found enough of the data in my archives to worry about the drive at a later date. So, give me your thoughts on the purchase:

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (Black) (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=371189&is=REG)
Canon USA Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=12142&is=USA)
Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM Autofocus Lens (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=206434&is=USA)
Petal Lens Hood for above Lens (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=162031&is=REG)
I also picked up a Tungsten 3 piece light kit that I saw in a thread here, along with a Canon backpack, 4gb CF Card, and basic tripod.

I am truly a camera noob, but I hopefully made some good decisions. Much of the above stuff was recommended to me here, but some was not. So... thoughts?

Rich

Stime187
11-29-2007, 07:19 PM
That sounds like some pretty good stuff. You might consider picking up a remote release at some point. But otherwise, I think you're set.

Congrats!

Now shoot something and post it!

Colorblinded
11-29-2007, 07:24 PM
I motion for a name change, that's not the nifty fifty, that's the thrifty fifty. It's gotta be a 1.4 to be nifty! :lol:

Any better and it's a fancy fifty.

Colonel Lingus
11-29-2007, 07:33 PM
Updated. Also, I got a discount on the whole order. My company actually sells products through B&H, so I made a few calls. I ended up getting 8% off the whole order. I wont complain.

Colonel Lingus
11-29-2007, 07:34 PM
That sounds like some pretty good stuff. You might consider picking up a remote release at some point. But otherwise, I think you're set.

Congrats!

Now shoot something and post it!


The only other items I anticipate "needing" would be the IR remote, as well as the battery pack for a fuller feel. I figured I would toss around the regular XT body for a while, to see how it fared.

Colonel Lingus
11-29-2007, 07:35 PM
...Guess I should not impulsively post. The entire shipment will arrive tomorrow, so I will get to play around with it all weekend. I am looking forward to getting a feel for it, and see if I can produce something that doesn't look like crap on a stick.

Stime187
11-29-2007, 07:45 PM
as well as the battery pack for a fuller feel. I figured I would toss around the regular XT body for a while, to see how it fared.


I've never understood why so many people want/have the battery pack add-on. My battery rarely dies (I have spares) and it just adds weight/bulk to the camera.. plus its a couple hundred bucks more. But hey, if you want it, go for it.

subimatt
11-29-2007, 07:57 PM
Congrats! I own/ owned most of that stuff, so if you have any questions... you know.. ask.

Stime187
11-29-2007, 08:02 PM
Congrats! I own/ owned most of that stuff, so if you have any questions... you know.. ask.


Same here. I actually still own most of it.

tardypizza
11-29-2007, 08:24 PM
First off, you're gonna love your purchase. Good choices.





The only other items I anticipate "needing" would be the IR remote, as well as the battery pack for a fuller feel. I figured I would toss around the regular XT body for a while, to see how it fared.


I'm sure you know that the IR remote only works in front of the camera. Not sure why you need it, but for that reason alone I went with the corded one.






as well as the battery pack for a fuller feel. I figured I would toss around the regular XT body for a while, to see how it fared.


I've never understood why so many people want/have the battery pack add-on. My battery rarely dies (I have spares) and it just adds weight/bulk to the camera.. plus its a couple hundred bucks more. But hey, if you want it, go for it.


I've got it for mine and love it. I don't mind the extra weight and the bulk gives a better balance to the camera. Each to his own though.

subimatt
11-29-2007, 08:33 PM
agreed with Ted, I have the grip on my 30D, makes it much more comfortable IMO. Handy for weddings as well. Im planning on getting one for the new camera as well as one for the XTi, just feels to small.

Colonel Lingus
11-29-2007, 08:59 PM
Congrats! I own/ owned most of that stuff, so if you have any questions... you know.. ask.


Oh that won't be a problem. I have damn near zero idea how to use any of this stuff. I hope some of it will simply "come to me" upon playing around. I don't know if you all categorize shots you have taken, with misc lenses, but I would not mind seeing some of potential greatness held within the equipment and operator. There are just so many unknowns for me right now about this stuff. Examples...

Exposure - how to tell if its over or under, and how to gauge on the situation
F stop - I understand the relationship of them, but till I play around with the setup... its all greek to me
Varying Depth of Field - how to manipulate at various distances from object, and if F stop or others come into play

... to name a few. There are more, but Id like to not have a simple anxiety attack before the damn thing even gets here :)

Markitos
11-29-2007, 09:01 PM
+2... I have the vertical grip for my D200 and I don't have to worry about batteries or my fingers breaking from trying to balance a top-heavy camera with flash. The grip balances the whole camera with heavy lenses, flash, etc.

I didn't see what the big deal was until I used it. That said, there are very specific reasons to have it, and if you don't have those reasons, then no biggie.

M

Colonel Lingus
11-29-2007, 09:03 PM
First off, you're gonna love your purchase. Good choices.

What I wanted to hear :banana:





I'm sure you know that the IR remote only works in front of the camera. Not sure why you need it, but for that reason alone I went with the corded one.



After thinking about it, I might be better suited to a corded unit. Just too many unknowns for me now. Getting excited to see the UPS man tomorrow.

tardypizza
11-29-2007, 10:07 PM
Exposure - how to tell if its over or under, and how to gauge on the situation
F stop - I understand the relationship of them, but till I play around with the setup... its all greek to me
Varying Depth of Field - how to manipulate at various distances from object, and if F stop or others come into play


1) Exposure is easy, don't fight the camera at first. Hit the "info" button twice when you're reviewing your images and that will bring up the histogram. I suggest leaving your camera on the view mode all the time. What you're looking for is a histogram graph that doesn't jump off either the lowpoint nor the highpoint. Shoot a shot with what the camera thinks is the proper exposure, check the histogram and adjust accordingly with what you see on the histogram. This will make much more sense once you have the camera in your hands.

2)F-stop is camera lingo for how big the camera's aperture is (how much light the lens lets into the sensor or film at a given time). Actually, it's a ratio of the focal length vs. aperture but all you need to know is that small numbers let in more light while large numbers let in less. These are the standard f-stops: 1.4 2.0 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16 22. Each progressive f-stop lets in 1/2 the amount of light as the previous one. You'll often hear about "fast" glass. What they are referring to is lenses that have maximum apertures large enough to afford an f/1.4 or f/2.8 ratio so that they let in a lot of light quickly.

To complicate matters, f-stops also control the depth of field of a photo, ie how much is in focus. F-stops like f/1.4 and f/2.8 have narrow DOFs and the focal point is emphasized with most everything else blurry and out of focus. F-stops like f/11 and f/22 can be used for landscapes and other situations where you want everything in focus.

3)Varying Depth of Field, see 2) above. What I suggest is taking your new camera for a test drive on the green square, aka "auto", but then quickly switching to the Av priority mode (Aperture priority). Set your camera up to shoot the same scene repeatedly and vary the aperture so you can learn about DOF. Then play around with exposure compensation. But above all else, shoot a lot. You'll learn a ton in no time.

subimatt
11-29-2007, 10:17 PM
Here are some photo examples of some of the same/ similar gear that your ordered. Plus to show examples of Teds explanation.

Taken at F8 with Canon XTi and EF 28-105 USM F3.5-4.5 II
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1259/1183941419_83ebde37e2.jpg

Taken at F1.8 with Canon XTi and EF 50mm F1.8 II
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1181/1484800724_d110c60ecf.jpg

Stime187
11-29-2007, 10:18 PM
Play with the 50mm f/1.8 like crazy. You'll learn all about aperture vs. DOF. Its the best tool there is for that.

tardypizza
11-29-2007, 10:19 PM
Play with the 50mm f/1.8 like crazy. You'll learn all about aperture vs. DOF. Its the best tool there is for that.


Agreed, that lens is extremely capable.

distorto
11-30-2007, 02:38 AM
the only reason that i am going to buy a grip is for night photography. i also use the corded remote, it is great.

mkfotos
11-30-2007, 03:21 AM
Congrats on taking that big first step. Shoot a few shots in auto/near-auto mode, then experiment and chimp. Figure out why the auto exposure came out the way it did when compared to the settings you're using. Experiment and chimp some more. Get familiar with the controls, the custom settings, etc. RTFM X 3... and experiment and chimp some more ;)


...as for the grip, since the weight is immaterial (5D + 400 f/2.8 >>> added weight of grip), I like it for the better balance it gives the camera, vertical controls, more gripping options... and sometimes, the added battery life/security of knowing I won't run out of juice.

Stime187
11-30-2007, 10:53 AM
Ah, thanks for the replies, guys. I was in no way knocking it, just didn't understand it. I guess since I do so much backpacking its just ingrained in me that more weight = bad. :lol:

- Scott

Colonel Lingus
11-30-2007, 12:54 PM
My stuff arrived, and I cant get **** done here at work. I keep looking over at the boxes....

Colonel Lingus
11-30-2007, 12:54 PM
Oh, and thanks to all who posted above. All great info!

tardypizza
11-30-2007, 01:01 PM
Post pics dammit!

Colonel Lingus
12-01-2007, 07:07 AM
1) Exposure is easy, don't fight the camera at first. Hit the "info" button twice when you're reviewing your images and that will bring up the histogram. I suggest leaving your camera on the view mode all the time. What you're looking for is a histogram graph that doesn't jump off either the lowpoint nor the highpoint. Shoot a shot with what the camera thinks is the proper exposure, check the histogram and adjust accordingly with what you see on the histogram. This will make much more sense once you have the camera in your hands.

Do you mean truly jumping off the chart (like.. out of the FOV) or just a spike or dip?



2)F-stop is camera lingo for how big the camera's aperture is (how much light the lens lets into the sensor or film at a given time). Actually, it's a ratio of the focal length vs. aperture but all you need to know is that small numbers let in more light while large numbers let in less. These are the standard f-stops: 1.4 2.0 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16 22. Each progressive f-stop lets in 1/2 the amount of light as the previous one. You'll often hear about "fast" glass. What they are referring to is lenses that have maximum apertures large enough to afford an f/1.4 or f/2.8 ratio so that they let in a lot of light quickly.

To complicate matters, f-stops also control the depth of field of a photo, ie how much is in focus. F-stops like f/1.4 and f/2.8 have narrow DOFs and the focal point is emphasized with most everything else blurry and out of focus. F-stops like f/11 and f/22 can be used for landscapes and other situations where you want everything in focus.

So, to obtain a great landscape shot... I would want to bring that f stop way up, and probably slow down the shutter so it soaks up the light longer than normal? How about ISO settings? When do you use 100 versus 1600, and does that have any effect on the above question?



3)Varying Depth of Field, see 2) above. What I suggest is taking your new camera for a test drive on the green square, aka "auto", but then quickly switching to the Av priority mode (Aperture priority). Set your camera up to shoot the same scene repeatedly and vary the aperture so you can learn about DOF. Then play around with exposure compensation. But above all else, shoot a lot. You'll learn a ton in no time.


Will do. Thanks

tardypizza
12-01-2007, 09:02 AM
Do you mean truly jumping off the chart (like.. out of the FOV) or just a spike or dip?




Sorry for not being clear. Spikes and dips are cool, that's just a normal representation of a lot/little data for a certain value. Think of the left side as pure black and the right as pure white. If the camera is trying to capture data past those points there is no way to display it. What you're trying to avoid is histograms that go off the chart to the right (blown out) or to the left (under exposed).



So, to obtain a great landscape shot... I would want to bring that f stop way up, and probably slow down the shutter so it soaks up the light longer than normal? How about ISO settings? When do you use 100 versus 1600, and does that have any effect on the above question?


Well, it's much more complicated than that (ask Stime), but that's a good place to start. A tripod is a must. As far as ISO, generally you want to use the lowest value possible. Higher ISOs introduce more noise, but also allow faster shutter speeds. You'll learn quickly how aperture, ISO and shutter speed are all inter-related and how they all affect each other. After your first 10,000 shots you should have a pretty good grasp of things.

There are countless great tutorials out there, some even on the main page of this site. Another that helped me a lot in the beginning was Jodie Coston's guide, you may want to google it.

jjswee
12-01-2007, 12:57 PM
After your first 10,000 shots you should have a pretty good grasp of things.

5 bucks say you scared him away with that figure.

Colonel Lingus
12-01-2007, 01:05 PM
Umm... yeah that figure has me a bit concerned. I am not looking to get my stuff on the cover of National Geographic or anything.. just average to proficient.

BCinMB
12-01-2007, 01:39 PM
After your first 10,000 shots you should have a pretty good grasp of things.

5 bucks say you scared him away with that figure.

Haha, that almost sounds about right.. well define 'pretty good grasp'. It took me awhile to start getting picky and anticipating possible critique/comments from previous experiences. (random, distracting objects/horizon etc.)

tardypizza
12-01-2007, 03:28 PM
Come on, if you shoot at even a conservative pace you can easily shoot 10,000 shots in a few years, even quicker if you shoot every day. I'm not trying to scare any one away, I'm just trying to be realistic. Photography, like any worthwhile hobby or profession, takes years of practice to become proficient. If you realize going into it that you're not going to know everything right away, and that there is a sizable learning curve, then it takes a lot of pressure off. No need to expect to master everything all at once. Take your time, learn about each facet of photography in steps, and in no time you'll be looking back at all of your shots over the years and the progression will be staggering.

In fact, take everything I've just said and forget about it. Don't even think about it. Just go out, shoot a lot, and above all else have fun. The rest will take care of itself.

thechickencow
12-01-2007, 04:31 PM
I've racked up 6k shots approx in about 2 years with my drebel.

I had my rebel 2000 film slr for a while before that and probably only ran 100-200 shots through it. Digital gives you teh freedom to shoot away.

I'd guess i did something like this:
first 500-1k using mostly green box
1k-3k P, Tv, Av without not really understanding
3k+ starting to really have a clue

Still clicking away at getting a clue, but it really helps to have somewhere to post questions, read critiques, etc. also, check the exif's of shots you like you'll see how people shoot them.

mkfotos
12-01-2007, 10:17 PM
10,000 frames is three full days of shooting races... although in terms of experience gained, it's more like a few dozen, and that's only initially. After that, it's just refining what you learned, so maybe a dozen or two 'learning shots' in those next 10,000 shot.

thechickencow
12-01-2007, 10:48 PM
if i shot 3 full days of races with my rebel, I'd get 2000 pics and 8000 missed pics of the red buffer light flashing. :lol:

Dogged
12-01-2007, 11:05 PM
Well... I went ahead and made my first purchases. I was potentially sidelined by a hard drive crash (well over $1k to rehab it professionally).... I found enough of the data in my archives to worry about the drive at a later date. So, give me your thoughts on the purchase:

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (Black) (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=371189&is=REG)
Canon USA Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=12142&is=USA)
Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM Autofocus Lens (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=206434&is=USA)
Petal Lens Hood for above Lens (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=162031&is=REG)
I also picked up a Tungsten 3 piece light kit that I saw in a thread here, along with a Canon backpack, 4gb CF Card, and basic tripod.

I am truly a camera noob, but I hopefully made some good decisions. Much of the above stuff was recommended to me here, but some was not. So... thoughts?

Rich
I think you made some really excellent choices. Consider at some point an external on-camera flash and a back up battery and CF card. After buying the basic gear, I suggest you focus for awhile on learning photography rather than on getting more gear. There is a lot to learn.

WagnerRX03
01-08-2008, 05:34 PM
I'm about to order the Canon EF 50mm 1.8 from B&H too, I've only heard great things from this lens and online retailer, can't wait to get my hands on it.

Stime187
01-08-2008, 05:37 PM
Its a spectacular lens, wagner. Good choice and welcome to the forum.