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Beginner Recommendations
Old 12-08-2006, 01:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello all. I'm just getting into Glamour photography and this site has an absolutely amazing amount of information! I love looking through the portfolios of some of the great photographers here as they are very inspiring!
My questions is that I am about to take the plunge into DSLR and due to my budget I have narrowed the choices down to a Digital Rebel or a Nikon D70s. I am leaning towards the rebel at this point. Will the kit lenses be good enough for Glamour? Or should I invest in another lens? Recommendations?
I am going to start by photographing my girlfriend, she is a makeup artist and some of her clients are also willing to let me shoot them so I don't have any problems with models.
I am excited into taking the plunge and to continue learning from the amazing artists and models on this site. Thank-you for your help.
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Re: Beginner Recommendations
Old 12-08-2006, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photoguy_73 View Post
Hello all. I'm just getting into Glamour photography and this site has an absolutely amazing amount of information! I love looking through the portfolios of some of the great photographers here as they are very inspiring!
My questions is that I am about to take the plunge into DSLR and due to my budget I have narrowed the choices down to a Digital Rebel or a Nikon D70s. I am leaning towards the rebel at this point. Will the kit lenses be good enough for Glamour? Or should I invest in another lens? Recommendations?
I am going to start by photographing my girlfriend, she is a makeup artist and some of her clients are also willing to let me shoot them so I don't have any problems with models.
I am excited into taking the plunge and to continue learning from the amazing artists and models on this site. Thank-you for your help.
Welcome to glamour photography and as a new member here myself may I say welcome to Glamour1.

The Rebel from what I know is a great body and can mount the cheaper than Nikon but just as good Canon lenses. The D70's means that you will probably need to spend more on lenses.

Lesson No 1 - whether you choose the Nikon or the Canon will have no effect on your ability to become a great glamour photographer - but never ever try to skimp cashiola on lenses. You should buy the camera that allows you to choose which lens you want, and doesn't force you to buy a certain "kit" lens.

Lesson No 2 - you should place as much or more emphasis as getting a good camera body as on getting a good strobe unit and a flash/ambient lightmeter. Personally, I prefer manual flashes to TTL technology. It's more consistent in my experience. But the beauty for you as a beginner is that both of those cameras is that you can use TTL metered flashes (flashes whose power depends upon how much light is needed to light your model based on the in camera meter). That should give you some confidence and later you can start using manual metering and strobes.

Lesson No 3 - you are the artist. The camera makes for very little difference to your work. Shoot shoot and shoot. With digital you can do that. Then when you're my age, after you have learned metering, light and the other parts of glamour photography from a digital body, if you so desire, you can begin learning the behaviour of film using medium format equipment or serious cameras like 4x5's or 8x10's for some serious refined (or grainy) film looks that you can project or print to the size of a downtown skyscraper.

Gregor
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Re: Beginner Recommendations
Old 12-08-2006, 03:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Gregor, I really appreciate the advice. One more question? What size lens would be best for Glamour? I will be mostly shooting indoors with maybe the odd outdoor shot. My indoor space is pretty small. Thanks again.
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Re: Beginner Recommendations
Old 12-08-2006, 04:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photoguy_73 View Post
Thanks Gregor, I really appreciate the advice. One more question? What size lens would be best for Glamour? I will be mostly shooting indoors with maybe the odd outdoor shot. My indoor space is pretty small. Thanks again.
When working with a model you want to allow the model to have a comfort zone. So you want to work far back enough for that (I like at least 8 feet minimum). A longer focal length gives better compression and usually make for better Glamour with less risk of distorition. I typically use a small zoom (18-125) which lets be get a good range from full length to head and shoulders from my 8' range.

As far as the kit lens, most people don't seem to keen on them, but often with Glamour they give you a softer quality (which is what you often want). Just be sure to precisely focus on the eyes and then apply appropriate sharpening in post processing.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Beginner Recommendations
Old 12-08-2006, 04:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome,

Here's another thread with some similar discussion if you haven't seen this one yet. Might want to check it out to go along with RFS' good advice.

http://www.glamour1.com/forums/tech-...ion-nikon.html

As to body, don't get suckered into the marketing hype. I shoot Nikon but Canon is just as good. You should buy what feels comfrotable to your hands and whichever has the most natural feel from a menu and controls standpoint. If you really want to learn, you'll be working a lot manually so all the Auto settings don't really matter unless you're taking snapshots. Keep it simple and buy the best glass you can afford. I started with not the best glass and upgrading is definitely more expensive than buying it right the first time.

Cheers,
LSC
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Re: Beginner Recommendations
Old 12-08-2006, 04:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks again everyone for the recommendations. This is a great board!
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Re: Beginner Recommendations
Old 12-08-2006, 08:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Photoguy,

I own an Olympus E-300 with the standard kit lenses, but any of the current crop of dSLRs will do a good job. Though I wish I could've had Olympus' top-notch glass from the start, I'm glad that I saved the money towards other purchases i.e. batteries, A/C adapters, vertical grip. Also the kit lenses cover focal lengths 14-150 (28-300 in 35mm format) and with my 35mm f/3.5 macro lens, I'm able to cover a wide range of subjects. My next purchases include an extension tube, tele-extender, and shoe mount flash. I'll eventually look into getting some top-grade glass too, but my current equipment roster allows me to keep shooting.

JW
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Last edited by cifcap; 12-08-2006 at 08:11 PM.. Reason: Change of context
 
Re: Beginner Recommendations
Old 12-09-2006, 08:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Spend the extra money... get the d200 or at least the d80.
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Re: Beginner Recommendations
Old 12-09-2006, 11:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Let me also add this:

1. You should look at Pentax, Olympus, Sony and other brands - they have good lenses and are making more for their digital bodies. The only difference is this: you wont find quite as many second hand lenses as you would with say Nikon and Canon. Otherwise - they can be just as good as the 2 most popular makers of DSLRs. I see a lot of tourists walking around with Rebels and D50s and that means you should be able to get a good second hand one inexpensively. A lot of people buy one just like you and want to buy another model after a year or so.

2. You are better off buying into a SYSTEM - that means a big name brand DSLR. A SubDSLR with a fixed non changeable lens is not a system. You cant usually buy into the same range of dedicated flash units, lenses etc. But these things are far more important that which brand you buy:

A body that allows you to have a GOOD LENS
AMBIENT AND FLASH Meter
FLASH with MANUAL control
REFLECTORS diffusers etc
TRIPOD (not essential)

3. A final thought. Do not discount the thought of buying a good used or new 35mm body that uses lenses that you can later use on a digital body. 35mm film has more latitude than digital images generally, and you can shoot 36 shots and put them in your pocket, another 36 shots, etc etc. A good used professional 35mm body can cost you less than $ 250.00. Its crazy at the moment. Heck you can buy a used medium format body with some of the greatest lenses ever made (Zeiss) and film back for less than $ 1000.00! When 39MP medium format backs come down in price in 5 years you can buy one - or rent one now and use it with the body and the lens. But you do need some dollars to buy and process medium format film. 35mm is better for learning.

My recommendation:

Buy something that allows you to choose and afford a good lens and leaves you change to buy a meter, flash and reflector.

Gregor.
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Last edited by Gregor; 12-10-2006 at 05:46 AM..
 
Re: Beginner Recommendations
Old 01-23-2007, 12:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Go to www.kenrockwell.com

He does an excellent job comparing Nikons and Canons. He has and uses almost every camera you could want and writes at length comparing Nikon and Canon. Based upon his recommendation I just purchased a Nikon D200 kit with the 70-200mm lens. I have the Rebel. The lens it comes with is not that great. Fine for amateurs, but not if you want stuff that will sizzle on this site. I popped for a $700 EFS 17-85mm lens. I was happy until I got the Nikon d200. Now I'm taking pictures. I have gotten spectacular results using everything from a Nikon coolpix to a Canon Elph. It's composition and lighting that makes a photo.
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