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Thread: Beginner Questions and Equipment Advice

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    Member illuzian's Avatar
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    Beginner Questions and Equipment Advice

    Hi Guys,

    Just some quick questions - and if these have been asked to death can you point to the right kind of search terms as photography lingo definitely isn't my usual forte!

    Okay:
    1. f/stop and filters - when a ND or Polarizer states it will reduce the light by X amount of f/stops am I to assume this will not affect DOF?
    2. For longish night shots with a f/4-5.6 300mm cheapo lens what would be the ideal aperture for DOF especially when zoomed? I like the time lapse effect caused but want to reduce noise while increasing DOF
    3. And lastly equipment:


    Okay I have the D90 with the generic 18-55mm and the cheap AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 non ED lens and I have a Tokina Macro lens on the way since I love the world up close.

    What should I look at buying next? My two areas of interest are Nature and Macro photography - landscape, birds, animals, insects etc.. Should I invest in a flash setup such as the R1C1 or some SB600s etc or should I invest in a more quality zoom lens with ED to avoid chromatic aberration etc which I have already experienced once?

    Thanks very much in advanced all.

    -Ant

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    1. Correct
    2. F/8
    3. Flash will be important for micro....I think a R1C1 is overkill right now, a sb-600 etc with a way of diffusion would be a good choice
    Darren
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    1. Correct
    2. F/8
    3. Flash will be important for micro....I think a R1C1 is overkill right now, a sb-600 etc with a way of diffusion would be a good choice
    Thanks very much Kiwi - should I go the sb600 or sb700? Would you recommend just one or two or more since they are reasonably affordable? Are there any "good" Aftermarket flashes that are alternatives too?

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    Sb900 if you have the budget, purely because I believe it can act as a commander, start with one flash.

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    Oh, I never recommend 3rd party anything if it's an option

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    Thanks again kiwi! Might look at an sb900 instead - is there any advantage over using the sb900 as a commander instead of the d90's commander system? Also if the budget allowed would there be any benefit in buying the su800 commander unit or is this total overkill?

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    Amor fati! ving's Avatar
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    on the topic of 3rd party. i have an old simga ef50 dg super flash on my D90. works a treat. the pop up flash on the camera can work as a commander on the flash too so you dont have to have it attached to the cameras hotshoe!
    you could pick one up for $100 or the newer version which is even better

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    The d90s commander mode is fine and you dont need commander on the flash also.....but for example the d3 doesnt so it's a bit of future protection

    The su800 I think is not a necessity... But if you ever go down the r1c1 path in the future it comes with one anyhow

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    Thanks a bunch ving and kiwi!

    I think I will go for a sb600 or sb900.

    Here's another question: Should I go for the kenko rings for greater than 1:1 magnification on macro or something else?

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    On a 300mm lens, use the smallest aperture available. Larger apertures are recommended for shorter focal lengths, to minimise refraction, but on a 300mm lens with the diagragm set at f22, you have a lens size of about 13.5mm. That's still quiet large. Usually 4mm (give or take) is a good size to aim for, so if you have f32 on your lens, then that would likely be better still. There will always be exceptions however.

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    After you get the SB 600 or 900 speedlight get yourself a good sturdy tripod.

    and enjoy your photography.
    Cheers
    Darey

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    Thanks Darey and TOM Already have a sturdy Vanguard tripod! Should of mentioned that - it's fairly well built although I'd love a Manfrotto eventually!

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    Ausphotography Addict geoffsta's Avatar
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    illuzian.
    After many months of practice, practice practice, I think I have mastered the 70-300 Sigma lens.
    Try running the camera with these settings on a reasonably sunny day.
    ISO 200 - f7.1- Metering Centre weighted, and AF on constant (AF-C)
    I was seriously thinking of chucking it in the bin, until yesturday.
    Geoff
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    Nikon D3000 ... Nikon D90... Nikon D700 Various lenses, Home studio equipment and all the associated stuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by illuzian View Post
    Hi Guys,

    ....

    1. And lastly equipment:





    -Ant
    Just go straight for the AFS 600mm f4 VR-II ...... it'll save you money in the long run when you buy many telephotos in the mean time until you realise that you 'need' the 600mm
    Australian Nature Photography

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    (Comments And Critique On My Images Most Welcome)

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    Thanks geoffsta - my lens is the Nikkor AF non ED - it has horrible chromatic aberration when zoomed past about 125mm so I really do need a new telephoto! If anyone can recommend a decent quality lens which has a decent zoom + image quality please do!

    Thanks NikonUser - I already think I 'need' the 600mm however I also need the 12k it costs :P It's a very hard decision lol! Maybe if one day I begin to profit from photography I will get it!

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