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Thread: Good Starter Kit

  1. #1
    Member leonhart83's Avatar
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    Good Starter Kit

    Hi guys,

    I am a fairly amatuer photographer and pretty much am just learning by taking as many photos as I can and seeing what works.

    Here is my setup.

    Camera
    ******
    nikon d40x
    Nikkor 18-55
    Nikkor 55-200

    Software
    *******
    Photoshop Lightroom 3

    I am looking to get a Canon EOS 60D with the triple lens kit.
    18-55mm
    55-200mm
    50mm prime

    This will set me back about 1500 delivered from a site like *removed, members with less than 50 posts cannot discuss commercial sites, refer to site rules*

    Can anyone recommend a good starter kit and what I should be aiming at?
    Last edited by ricktas; 01-05-2011 at 9:14am.

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    I don't want to be antagonistic, but isn't your Nikon setup a good starter kit?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] my flickr page

  3. #3
    Member crf529's Avatar
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    From what I know of the 2 cameras, if your still fairly amateur then don't waste your money. At the moment the 60D isn't far and away enough from the current crop of of entry level DSLRs to justify the cost, it's probably advanced entry level.

    I think you'd be much better off investing in a good tripod and ballhead, or some nice glass that you can move on to the next body you wind up with down the track. They will help you much more than the 60D on its own ever will.

    Is there a particular area the d40x is restricting you that you feel you need to upgrade?

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    Quote Originally Posted by crf529 View Post

    Is there a particular area the d40x is restricting you that you feel you need to upgrade?
    Thanks for the responses.

    The main issue I have with the d40x is that it doesn't have a motor in the camera so lenses like the 50mm prime for the Nikon won't autofocus.

    The second issue is a lot of my friends who have invested a lot of money in cameras have Canon's. So when I go on trips with them I could share their more expensive lenses and get experience and test them, so I know what to buy in the future.

    Thirdly I don't want to spend money on lenses that I feel I won't be able to use in the future (as I will almost certainly buy Canon next).

    Fourthly, I would like to be able to take some Video on my cruise at the end of next month.

    Finally, my 18-55mm lens has some damage, with the zooming. It seems tight and gets stuck sometimes. I think that it causes some issues with the autofocus and has resulted in me missing some crucial shots (Weddings etc). I was going to originally just replace this lens and get a 50mm prime. But I figured it might be better to invest in a more futureproof option like the 60D.

    I am just about to finish my holiday (it is my final day) from Brisbane / Alice Springs / Ayers Rock. I took quite a lot of photos and honestly the ones below on my flickr account are just about the only ones that I am happy with.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5408433...7626492491967/

    I don't know whether it will be the placebo effect, but I think having a higher quality camera will at least allow me to take more photos that I am proud of.

  5. #5
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I moved your thread from the New To Photography forum, which is for helping you learn how to take photos, not discuss gear.

    You have been a member here for over 6 months, but have 6 posts, if you want to learn how to improve your photography, join in, post photos for critique and learn. New gear will not help in that regard. In my view you are using post processing to try and give your photos on your Flickr stream, the WOW look, but they really just look over-processed to me. Learn to use your gear to get the best possible photos and then use post processing minimally to enhance the result, not overdo vignetting, saturation or using actions to create bleach bypass style results, etc.

    You talk about missing crucial shots at Weddings, yet you have yourself listed as a beginner? If you are not happy with your photography, you need to rethink your approach.

    I think you need to step back and take a different approach, rather than thinking about new gear at this stage. This might sound harsh, but it is the reality. The D40x can take superb photos, when in the hands of a skilled photographer, who knows the gear and works with it.
    Last edited by ricktas; 01-05-2011 at 9:24am.
    "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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    Member crf529's Avatar
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    I'll reply line by line because otherwise I'll get lost and confuse myself lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by leonhart83 View Post
    The main issue I have with the d40x is that it doesn't have a motor in the camera so lenses like the 50mm prime for the Nikon won't autofocus.
    I understand this may be annoying, but you have your 18-55 kit lens for when you need AF still, I personally have an old 50mm 1.7 MF Pentax prime for my camera, and I actually love it. As still a relative beginner myself I find not having AF very good for skill development, it makes you slow down and really think about the shot because you don't have the ability to shoot of 30 frames in a minute, all in focus but just garbage photos really.

    Quote Originally Posted by leonhart83 View Post
    The second issue is a lot of my friends who have invested a lot of money in cameras have Canon's. So when I go on trips with them I could share their more expensive lenses and get experience and test them, so I know what to buy in the future.
    All I can say here is, while it may be handy to have the same brand as your mates, DO NOT just buy canon if this is your main reason. I'm not saying don't buy a Canon at all, but buy the camera that suits YOU best, if that just happens to be a Canon in the end then that's OK. Fact of the matter is, when you wind up purchasing good glass your really not going to be buying multiple lenses very often, quite the opposite, possibly 1 to a max of say 3 lenses at this stage, all very pricey. So you don't need to rely on them for this because it just won't happen often enough to be worth it, and that's providing they have the exact lenses you were considering buying.

    Secondly, with the explosion of photography onto the internet in more recent years, there are review websites aplenty, not to mention forums such as this. On those you will probably find more photos, reviews and opinions of any potential lens you may consider. This will probably be more helpful and un-biased than your mates who would probably wind up talking you into getting them same gear as them, which is not necessarily the best or best for you.

    And lastly, there will be a point when the sharing and borrowing will become annoying and probably really push someone's buttons. So it should probably be reserved for just after getting a new camera and once a blue moon after that.


    Quote Originally Posted by leonhart83 View Post
    Thirdly I don't want to spend money on lenses that I feel I won't be able to use in the future (as I will almost certainly buy Canon next).
    Agreed, but I think locking yourself into a Canon in the future is not a call you should be making right now. You can get many second hand lenses off freebay at the moment. And if in the future you change brands, you can sell them off again for virtually no loss, in some cases make a profit if you buy smart.

    Quote Originally Posted by leonhart83 View Post
    Fourthly, I would like to be able to take some Video on my cruise at the end of next month.
    My opinion is that you buy video cameras to take video and DSLRs to take photos. I would never consider the video aspect in purchasing if I was dead set on taking photos. If one day I ever use the video feature on my camera then great, but I haven't yet and to be honest I don't plan on it. Do you want to take great photos, or do you want to want to shoot video and some random pics?

    Quote Originally Posted by leonhart83 View Post
    Finally, my 18-55mm lens has some damage, with the zooming. It seems tight and gets stuck sometimes. I think that it causes some issues with the autofocus and has resulted in me missing some crucial shots (Weddings etc). I was going to originally just replace this lens and get a 50mm prime. But I figured it might be better to invest in a more futureproof option like the 60D.
    I don't think the 60D is a very future proof option for the money to be honest assuming that your thinking 3-4 years. A lot of entry level DSLRs worth less than half the money are in most respects equal to if not superior to the 60D.

    Quote Originally Posted by leonhart83 View Post
    I am just about to finish my holiday (it is my final day) from Brisbane / Alice Springs / Ayers Rock. I took quite a lot of photos and honestly the ones below on my flickr account are just about the only ones that I am happy with.
    I think you'll find that's not a limitation of your gear so much, but a combination of your skill and the very nature of photography!

    Quote Originally Posted by leonhart83 View Post
    I don't know whether it will be the placebo effect, but I think having a higher quality camera will at least allow me to take more photos that I am proud of.
    Definitely placebo . I try and justify new glass all the time with that rationale but it could not be more false lol.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    You talk about missing crucial shots at Weddings, yet you have yourself listed as a beginner? If you are not happy with your photography, you need to rethink your approach.

    I think you need to step back and take a different approach, rather than thinking about new gear at this stage. This might sound harsh, but it is the reality. The D40x can take superb photos, when in the hands of a skilled photographer, who knows the gear and works with it.
    Firstly thanks for the honest feedback. I have decided then to stick with the d40x and just replace the 18-55mm. As per the wedding photos, I am at a age where myself and all my friends seem to be getting married, so I have been taking quite a lot of photos of weddings of late. I am by no means anything but beginner as you can tell from my photos that you critiqued. When I was talking about crucial shots I was referring only to my damaged lens. I bought the camera second hand and the previous owner had that lens repaired.

    Does anyone with the d40x have any recommendations for lenses?

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    Member Tommo1965's Avatar
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    there was another thread around here , where the poster was asking for camera recomendations...I think you should look at the Glass that you would love to own, rather than a camera body...then choose a body that is in that system..

    I wanted a Nikon 70-200 VR II..so I invested in the nikon system....Ive also just bought a 1.7X tele converter to suit the lens....my next purchase will be Nikon 24-70 F2.8, which I knew I wanted at the time I bought the 70-200..but I have to save for it....next will be either a wide angle or a 300mm F2.8....depends on my savings.....I bought a used D300s at a very good price..

    do you see a pattern forming here??....that pattern is a lens purchase/upgrade path....something that took me a while to work out...look at the glass rather than the bodies...all the bodies take a pretty good picture...put very good glass in front of the little old sensor is the Key to great pictures, combine that with experience and you will get fantastic pictures......

    the latest crop of bodies have a 1 -1.5 stop advantage over the older {d300/d300s} bodies....but use a good F2.8 lens and the will equal the playing field a bit ..

    Canon and Nikon have great lenses , look at those before you look at a combo body and kit lenses ...

  9. #9
    Member Tommo1965's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leonhart83 View Post
    Firstly thanks for the honest feedback. I have decided then to stick with the d40x and just replace the 18-55mm. As per the wedding photos, I am at a age where myself and all my friends seem to be getting married, so I have been taking quite a lot of photos of weddings of late. I am by no means anything but beginner as you can tell from my photos that you critiqued. When I was talking about crucial shots I was referring only to my damaged lens. I bought the camera second hand and the previous owner had that lens repaired.

    Does anyone with the d40x have any recommendations for lenses?
    ok....do you want Nikon glass or canon....that is the first thing you should ask yourself...if its nikon.....then Id replace the 18-55 with a Nikon DX 17-55 F2.8 IF ED .or a Nikon 24-70 ED....the 24-70 will be ok if you ever want to venture into full Frame {35mm}...the DX lens however will only be good for crop sensor bodies.

    with the D700 and D300s at the end of their commercial life for nikon and replacements just around the corner..you can expect a few used bargains coming to the for sale sections of many forums. as the up-graders will jump onto the new bodies like bees to honey....that will allow me to get a used D700{ i hope}...as it will fulfill my need for FF and better high ISO...my current D300s will be good for more reach at sporting events etc......it will be a very long time before I ever buy a new camera body again...plus early adopters run the risk of new camera bugs that haven't quite been ironed out...I experienced this with a pentax K5...and vowed never again...

    so buy glass and save for the next piece....then buy used bodies for cheap....used glass for cheap is good too..LOL
    Last edited by Tommo1965; 01-05-2011 at 7:15pm.

  10. #10
    Member nightbringer's Avatar
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    For starting lenses, if you can still afford it, get the 35mm f1.8 - it focuses sharp, gets razor sharp pictures and is incredibly good in low light.

    Failing that, a flash and softbox will turn out some excellent portraits.

  11. #11
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    With your aims in mind I would recommend keeping the D40x, they are quite a capable camera and that is one less purchase to make.

    nightbringer ^ has offered really good advice and I will repeat it, buy a 35mm F/1.8 and use it as both a learning aid for framing and composition as well as a great little lens for many varieties of photos. It will make you think about the way you take pictures by forcing you to walk up to or away from the subject rather than just twisting the barrel on a zoom lens.
    If your 55 - 200 is the VR model then it should be kept and used as well because they are a very underrated lens, they are capable of producing excellent results on the 10mp sensor equipped Nikons.
    If you want a wide to mid range zoom then I would track down a Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 --- but --- make sure that you look for the old model, they are still available new on the web at decent prices.
    For a fairly modest outlay, you will have a kit that will provide you with the necessary quality to get very good images, save the remainder of your budget for when you have mastered your current gearand decided which particular genre of photography you favour and want to buy more specialised gear.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



  12. #12
    Member Tengu's Avatar
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    I have the D60 and a 35mm f1.8.... its cheap, its auto focus and its a great little lens!

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