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Thread: Birthday Present Ideas Please!

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    Birthday Present Ideas Please!

    Hi I am a newbie with a birthday coming up soon and hubbie wants to get me something for my Photography... either hardware or software

    So I am after ideas on the 'can't manage without' item for no more than $250.00. I enjoy taking pictures of my kids and landscapes - but am keen to try anything new!

    My small collection consists of -
    • Nikon D40X
    • 18-55mm lens
    • 55-200mm lens
    • Elements 8
    • Dummies Guide to Nikon D40X
    • Elements 8 beginners guide
    • Tripod


    Ideas Please!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Seeing you enjoy landscapes, how about a filter system. Something like the Cokin P system with some filters?
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

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    It's all about the Light!
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    Save the $250 and mortgage Christmas pressies, and get a Sigma 10-20mm !!
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Seeing you enjoy landscapes, how about a filter system. Something like the Cokin P system with some filters?
    Yes, I agree.

    I recently invested in a P-Series Cokin filter adapter (and 2 slides). It is made a wonderful difference.

    Only problem is, I have found that if you do wide angle stuff, the P-Series can't go that wide. So, I upgraded to the Z-Series - a wonderful system.

    I note your widest is an 18mm (x 1. crop for 27mm equiv). So the P-series should suit you well. If you intend to one day go wide angle (say <20mm equiv) then the Z-Series might be worth the extra $$$.

    You can get a good P-Series kit with room left over for your choice of extra slides well within that budget.

    Scotty
    Canon 7D : Canon EF 70-200mm f:2.8 L IS II USM - Canon EF 24-105 f:4 L IS USM - Canon EF 50mm f:1.8 - Canon EF-s 18-55mm f:3.5-5.6
    Sigma APO 150-500mm f:5-6.3 DG OS HSM
    - Sigma 10-20mm f:3.5 EX DC HSM
    Speedlite 580 EX II - Nissin Di866 II - Yongnuo 460-II x2 - Kenko extension tube set - Canon Extender EF 1.4x II
    Manfroto monopod - SILK 700DX Pro tripod - Remote release - Cokin Z-Pro filter box + Various filters

    Current Social Experiment: CAPRIL - Wearing a cape for the month of April to support Beyond Blue
    Visit me on Flickr

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    wow so many replies - I will have to research your ideas - cos it is still sounding like a foreign language to me!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    Save the $250 and mortgage Christmas pressies, and get a Sigma 10-20mm !!
    Just seen the price Kym! Looks good - but maybe see if the taxman brings anything this year... then maybe ..... Or perhaps I should keep feeding the children instead!

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    for those of you in the know... could you score a cokin Z-Pro filter system (filters included, say 3) for under $250?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regnis View Post
    for those of you in the know... could you score a cokin Z-Pro filter system (filters included, say 3) for under $250?
    Unless you have very good contacts.. You are looking at more like a little over $300... remember, you need a screw / thread adapter.

    Scotty

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    Member DJT's Avatar
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    how are you going for hard drive space / how are you backing up your photos. What about an external hard drive. Other than that, even before reading Ricks comment I was going to suggest a filter system. Even a CP filter to start off with

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJT View Post
    how are you going for hard drive space / how are you backing up your photos. What about an external hard drive. Other than that, even before reading Ricks comment I was going to suggest a filter system. Even a CP filter to start off with
    Hi DJT,

    Yes I have a large exturnal hard drive for back up - so looks like the fliters may be the way to go!

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    Ok - Update - I have now managed to stretch the budget (rallied the rellies pressies) to about $500.

    So new ideas for a pressie for my Nikon 40X please.

    I have found that I really enjoy taking pics of my kids and animals / birds. I would like to look at either going for a bigger zoom lens or perhaps a macro, where I could try my hand at photographing flowers and bugs!

    Decisions.... help me!!!!

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    Perpetually Bewildered
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    What about a flash? E.g. SB-600 $296 at DWI. You would have money left over for remote-triggers, stand, brolly, etc. Not much good for landscapes admittedly but should be good for shooting the kids...



    Cheers.
    - Phil
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    Get an SB 600 external flash and bounce the light on the ceiling when indoors.
    You will be amazed at the different quality of your photos.
    Whatever is left of the budget, buy a 35mm AF-S DX prime lens and team that with the new flash during your birthday celebrations.
    Cheers! (and have a great birthday bash!)
    "The greatest camera in the world is the one you hold in your hands when shit happens." ©2007 Raoul Isidro

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest a flash also, good for the kids, etc; but perhaps consider the vivitar range. They have models to suit most of the major brands at about half the price of the oem's

    John R

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    wow so many ideas! thank you

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    Annie...
    go for the macro! I love closeup and macro of flowers and bugs and fungi.
    I am waiting for the Tokina 100mm f2.8 to make its way to the states ($500 here new).
    Not sure the price range where you are...
    A used Nikon 105 would make a nice lens as well...
    Quite a few on this website use the Tamron 90...
    But macro is so much fun!!
    Cheryle

    He is!
    ><>

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    Ok so I really do see that the Tamron 90 is very popular.... so who can tell me more about it?

    At the moment I have narrowed my choices down to either the Tamron 90, or a Sigma 70-300.... which will I get the most fun out of???

    decisions.....

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Annie,
    Mongo knows its your birthday and hubbie ( and maybe even you ) would like something new. However, what has not been said is that your budget can go almost twice as far if the goods are excellent condition second hand goods.

    There have been many threads on this site about the virtues of second hand gear and almost every photographer has bought some. For example, if you could find the filters second hand , there is really no risk because their condition is fully discernible on inspection. You only buy them if they look great. If you know what you are doing (or have a friend who does) you could confidently buy a second hand tamron 90 or other macro lens. If second hand , you could probably buy both or 2 other items instead of one!
    So give it some careful thought.

    PS if it is down to macro /portrait lenses - the Tamron is a far better pick of the 2 you mentioned above.
    Last edited by mongo; 30-07-2010 at 11:26pm.
    Nikon and Pentax user



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    Any of the following would be great. Just depends which you feel would be the best at this time for your style of photography.

    Fast Glass. You have the basic lens kit with your camera so a prime would be nice. The macro Tamron 90 f2.8 wold be a nice introduction allowing you to do macro and other work but it may be a bit long on the crop as an all round lens. A good idea would be to use your long lens on 90mm and see if that focal length works for you.
    Another suggestion for fast glass would be the Nikon 50mm 1.8. Cost around $150 and may be a better focal length for your crop camera. It isn't a macro lens but you will love how sharp it is and playing with small apertures will open new possibilities for you or maybe look at a macro with a shorter focal length that can be used for both purposes. I use Canon gear and I have the 60 macro, crazy sharp at f2.8 and a more useful focal length for other purposes.

    Flash. If you do not have an external flash then this also is a must have piece of equipment. You can always DIY for some light modifiers. I would suggest purchasing at least one flash that is specific to your camera - in your case a Nikon.

    Circular Polarizer: Worth looking at one of these if you don't currently have one.

    Grad Filters (cokin p series) If you are into landscapes the filters really are a must to help balance sky and ground, you will really appreciate them once you have tried them.

    As for the Sigma 70-300. You already have a 55-200 so unless you REALLY have a need for and extra reach I think your funds would be better spent on a prime lens or a flash.
    Last edited by RamblinR; 31-07-2010 at 10:44am.

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    Hi lots of advice and ideas.

    Mongo - I will definately look at 2nd hand - as an option - I think budget will be in the region of $500.

    Ramblin - you have suggested a lot of useful things. I have spent the day at Mt Tamborine and used both lenses, and I think u are right about the Sigma 70-300, the 200 was often enough for what I needed. Also I like your idea of a 60mm macro which would have more use for me. I will look in to the cost of grad filters too, I have never used them and it has been mentioned a couple of times as a good thing to have.

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