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    Member Norvil's Avatar
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    Please advise me

    Hello hello
    Thank you in advance for your replies, and sorry if this is not the right section for this. I am a complete beginner to photography, but I have been reading a bit over the last few weeks, which has led to more and more questions. I think I have decided on the camera body, a Nikon D7100. I would be using it as I travel around Australia next year, my thinking is that I would be mainly taking landscape photos, just walking around national parks taking photos and just general travelly good time photos. I was mainly wondering which lens/es should I initially get? Also, I was thinking about buying from DWI, I'm not sure about this due to the bad reviews, however, from what I've seen they have all been from a couple of year ago, and they seem generally liked now. Is it recommended to buy from them? Lastly, any advice will be greatly appreciated, and sorry for the vague post please ask anything that would help you help me.
    Thanks Connor

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Firstly, welcome to AP.

    The D7100 is a fine bit of kit. I would suggest if you are travelling and including outback places then consider something like an 18-200. This gives you a decent wide end at 18mm for those sweeping landscapes etc and at the 200mm end lets you zoom in on some of the action. Yes you could consider a few lenses, like an 12-24 for your landscapes etc but I think, as a beginner, the 18-200 is a good starting point. By starting with an 18-200 you get a good range, no need to change lenses (good thing in dusty environments) and it is a reasonably good lens. Once you start using it and get more interested in specific photographic genre, you can then re-asses about getting a lens dedicated more to the genre you find interesting. Nikon make a good 18-200, so do Sigma (make sure you choose a Nikon mount if you buy a third party lens).

    DWI did have some issues in the past, but I have not heard of any issues recently. DWI are advertisers on this site, so if you click the highlighted name in posts you will be directed to their site. Just be aware that DWI are Hong Kong based and therefore you will not have an Australian Warranty on anything you purchase from them.
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    Thanks for the swift reply, I will certainly go to DWI through your site when the time comes. For almost twice the price what does the Nikon offer that sigma does not? Should I get a filter, they seem to be suggested even if it is just to protect the lens.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and I've heard that the D7200 is likely to come out in September, is it likely that the price of the D7100 will go down if it is released?

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    The 7100 is an excellent camera and the price on the DWI link you posted is a good price. There is always something newer coming out in the future, if we all waited for a the newer model theres some truth that none of us would own a camera! My next body will definately be the 7100 or equivalent(ie 7200) as I'm not yet able to justify the jump to FX. My advice to you would be if you want to get the most out of the 7100 while you are away, grab it now and get on to YouTube and invest the time to learn how to use it outside of auto mode. I just discovered today that this forum has a weekly member challenge thread http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...s-52-2014 which I plan to jump on and have a crack. This will help you het the most out of the awesome functions the new investment has to offer before you head off. BTW, I'm jelous of the trip and the camera... not necessarily in that order.
    Nikon D80 - Nikkor 18-55 f3.5 - Nikkor 35 f1.8G - Nikkor 18-135 f3.5 - Nikkor 55-200 f4 VR - SB700 - CS6

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    Yeah I would love to have it now, just really busy for the next month, so if in a months time when I can really start delving into it and its cheaper it would be nice. That weekly challenge is a great idea, thanks for the url. Ahhah I just hope it all ends up happening.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    As said above, there is always a new model coming out sometime. Buy, learn and enjoy.

    Re filters. If you are going to shoot in really dusty conditions or near sea-spray a lot, then a filter will provide some protection..to the very front of your lens. What about the sides.. and the camera? In other words, it is like sticking a a piece of sticky tape on the bonnet of your car and hoping the whole car doesn't get dirty. Certainly consider a polariser filter for 'effects', but do not get a filter just cause a salesperson recommends it to protect the lens. It serves no real value at all, except to empty your wallet.

    Re prices of lenses, the third party lens makers, Sigma, Tamron and others are generally always cheaper than the brand name ones. In the past the brand name ones were better quality, these days, often the third party lenses can be just as good. Really the choice comes down to personal preference. When you have found the lens you are considering, ask in the Gear Forum here on AP specifically about that lens and you will find members who own it, have used it, give you good feedback on it.

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    Alrighty, thanks a lot.

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    The D7100 is a great camera. You will never outgrow it and because of it's metal build it will serve you for years.
    The 18-200mm lens mentioned before is also a good choice overall. Eventually you may invest in a fast prime if you are keen on portraiture.
    Although the 18-200 at 5.6 extended to 200mm will shoot very nice portraits also.
    As for DWI, i used them quite a bit. Probably spent 20K with them over the last 3 years and they have always been ok.
    They did send me a dud lens once, but I got a replacement within a week thru an agent they have here in Sydney.
    The dud lens was a Tamron 24-70, but I would still recommend that lens. The replacement works very well and its less than half price of the Canon 24-70.
    I also have a Sigma 85mm... and I'm happy with it. I don't think you should worry too much about 3rd party gear. Their new lenses are really good value.
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    Thanks for the advice CandidTown. I do have a question about prime lenses, I have read in a few places that it they are good to use to start learning how to compose photos. Would it be a viable option to buy a cheap 35mm or 50mm prime lens to start learning with, or would the versatility of a zoom lens just be a better option?

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Norvil, about prime lenses...

    A prime lens is one with fixed focus (apologies, I meant) focal length, ie, not a zoom.

    It MAY help you to learn how to compose by MAKING you shift your camera to subject distance to suit the shot you want...
    (and thereby changing the perspective of the shot)...

    This is PERHAPS what is generally meant by "learning to compose"... (but it's not a guaranteed method)...

    BUT if THAT is ALL you want a prime lens for, then consider that a zoom lens SET TO A GIVEN FOCAL LENGTH will achieve the same thing...

    And FURTHERMORE, that same zoom lens can be used to simulate A VARIETY of prime lenses when so used.

    Am.

    PS: UPPER CASE is for EMPHASIS, not shouting.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 23-08-2014 at 12:56pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Thanks Ameerat42, I was also considering it as I think I will most likely be shooting in low light situations quite a bit, and for the price the Nikkon 35mm f1.8g seems to be (but might not be, I not sure) good quality, and highly recommended for just about anyone. Would it end up being a regretful purchase if I did buy it and a zoom lens, or am I just getting ahead of myself?

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    The recommendation to start with an 18-200mm type lens is sound advice. Which 18-200 lens you get may eventually become a redundant one, depending on how you eventually approach photography(as a hobby).

    Will you see any quality differences between brand A and brand B lenses .. probably.
    Will you still see this difference, say 5 years into the future, if you eventually get hooked into photography and acquire an arsenal of more capable lenses .. probably not!

    The idea of having one other optional lens, especially a faster aperture type like the 35/1.8 is a good one. It's not a massive burden to the budget, considering the budget you seem to have allowed for.
    And if you need to keep it in check then go with the Sigma 18-200 over the Nikon version which may allow you the 35/1.8 + a good quality polariser filter too(for the 18-200 lens).

    Other lenses that could be good alternatives to the 18-200 type are Nikon's 18-140mm kit lens(cheap enough) and while it is 60mm shorter at the long end, it's not really a huge difference in most situations.
    If you're trying to shoot wildlife close up .. it seems that your longest focal length lens is NEVER enough, no matter what you have!

    As for DWI .. can't offer any advice as I've never purchased from them.

    good luck.
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    Okay, thanks, the 18-200mm lens does seem like a good idea, the internet can create much more uncertainty with some things. Are second hand lenses a good idea, for the future, as I have seen a few 12-24mm Nikon lenses on gumtree for about half the price on the grey market, or is it much more of a case by case thing? Probably a stupid question reading over it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norvil View Post
    Thanks for the advice CandidTown. I do have a question about prime lenses, I have read in a few places that it they are good to use to start learning how to compose photos. Would it be a viable option to buy a cheap 35mm or 50mm prime lens to start learning with, or would the versatility of a zoom lens just be a better option?
    Shooting with a fixed length prime is on old school advice but i agree with it wholeheartedly. You will much more likely think about your composition with a 50mm lens than with your zoom. And of course your 35mmf1.8 will let you shoot in lower light conditions. 4 stops is a lot of light.
    One method however to force you to use a fixed focal length instead of a zoom is to set your lens to say 35mm adn tape over your zoom ring, to prevent you from engaging it. I saw it on youtube somewhere. That way you can still jsut use your 18-200mm
    It may sound silly, but I think its a brilliant idea. It will force you to look for different angles, different perspectives. Plus, when you zoom with your feet, you get more exercise and that's always good..

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    The tape does sound great. Yeah I like hiking, and it might be silly but I like the idea having to find that sweet spot to take the photo from, but that might get tiresome after having to put it into practise.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    You wouldn't use the method in every situation. Practise it in more controlled conditions than hiking.
    Since we're on the topic, note that changing the subject distance changes the perspective of the view,
    while zooming in/out does not: it just changes the angle/field-of-view.

    You can see this by photographing a line of objects and moving to and away from them.

    Happy experimenting...
    Am.

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    Yes, I think I just need to get it and start having fun. Thank you all for being friendly and helpful.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    You mentioned a filter. If you'll be doing a lot of landscapes a circular polarising filter (CPL) may be useful.
    And you should consider a solid tripod. Don't go to cheap here. A good tripod will last a long time.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
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    Okay I will have a read about that, is there anything in particular I should look for in a tripod?

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norvil View Post
    The tape does sound great. Yeah I like hiking, and it might be silly but I like the idea having to find that sweet spot to take the photo from, but that might get tiresome after having to put it into practise.
    You don't need tape .. you need willpower and the ability to kick your behind to high heaven!

    An easier solution is to set yourself a competition. The competition is to see if you can shoot at 35mm without moving the zoom ring(you could allow yourself a very slight leeway of a few mm either way, depending on how you hold the camera/lens)

    So your self arranged competition is to see for how long, or how many frames you can shoot at 35mm (give or take 2mm either side). Any images, no matter how great and award winning they may be, fail if they exceed the self imposed focal length limitation.
    So your next step is to rate the 35mm images as acceptable, and process them in any way you like.

    If you find yourself unable to strictly adhere to 35mm then you know for your own purposes that 35mm is not a focal length for you.

    Do likewise for any other focal length you care to resolve.

    Once you find that you are able to stick with one focal length, then you know pretty much for sure that is a prime lens focal length that you will enjoy using.
    It could save you money in the long run(in not spending money on stuff you find you really want!)

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