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Old 2012-03-08, 20:10   Link #581
Drake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xAdversus View Post

I sort of disagree with taking a lot of shots. I mean even though the camera world has gotten to the level of digital sensors and what not, I honestly feel that even though you have the ability to just spray and pray.. it's not really a good method. It lessens the importance or value of each photo, imo. When I was shooting film I treasured every frame I had, so when I switched over to digital, I carried the same values with me. That way each photo I take has a reason behind it. (Most of the time at least when I'm out on a shoot.)
Your misunderstanding, while I said "take lots of shots" I don't mean to imply that anyone should spray and pray but when you are new to photography its extremely useful to take multiple shots of the same thing but from different angles or with different settings since at first your not likely to know what works and what doesn't so having a good batch of images to choose from gives you a better chance of getting a shot your happy with.
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Old 2012-03-08, 20:15   Link #582
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I've been getting multiple people recommend me 50mm 1.8 fixed lenses, saying it will help me get better, because it will help me think of how I take a picture instead of relying on zoom lenses? Is this true? and should I get one?
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Old 2012-03-08, 20:29   Link #583
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I suppose they do or at least they make the whole photography process a little more involving since you really have to move about a lot more, learning benefits aside they are cheap and useful little lens to have since they are particularly good for portraits and still life images.

Here is a stupidly quick photo I took with a canon 50mm prime lens that I bought for about £50 on ebay.

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Old 2012-03-08, 20:50   Link #584
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that's really cool! Thank you! I think I need to get one! does it matter who I buy it from? (E.g. Canon, Sony, Nikon)
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Old 2012-03-09, 01:18   Link #585
xAdversus
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Originally Posted by CaptnAwesomee View Post
that's really cool! Thank you! I think I need to get one! does it matter who I buy it from? (E.g. Canon, Sony, Nikon)

Yes. You have to buy lens' that are compatible with Canon. (IE: Sigma, Tokina, Canon.) Do your research on lens' before you buy them.
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Old 2012-03-11, 00:25   Link #586
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by CaptnAwesomee View Post
I've been getting multiple people recommend me 50mm 1.8 fixed lenses, saying it will help me get better, because it will help me think of how I take a picture instead of relying on zoom lenses? Is this true? and should I get one?
I hear this advice quite a bit, and I don't think that it's true. What it does is slow you down and make you work harder to get the composition that you want - but that's it. You can still take "snap shots" with a prime (fixed-focal length lens), and you can still fudge the composition. Similarly, you can slow down and use a zoom pensively, working carefully at the composition. It partly comes down to self control.

I enjoy using primes, though. It can feel restrictive, at first, especially to a beginner who is trying to photograph anything and everything (I admit it - that was me when I started). Yet once you get the hang of it, it becomes a very interesting experience. Your "photography vision-awareness" shifts to accommodate the lens that you're using, and it's different with each prime.
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Old 2012-03-31, 12:50   Link #587
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Nothing spectacular, just that my friend's expression was so darn hilarious I just have to share. Two of my other friends weren't fast enough to capture a nice shot, but luckily I did.

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Old 2012-03-31, 12:54   Link #588
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^Muahaha, nice timing.
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Old 2012-03-31, 13:12   Link #589
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^Muahaha, nice timing.
Haha, thanks. I have to thank my reflex action for instinctively clicking the camera right before it crumbled down.
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Old 2012-03-31, 16:10   Link #590
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I've been going a bit nature mad as of late.

Spoiler for pics:
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Old 2012-03-31, 17:41   Link #591
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Originally Posted by CaptnAwesomee View Post
I've been getting multiple people recommend me 50mm 1.8 fixed lenses, saying it will help me get better, because it will help me think of how I take a picture instead of relying on zoom lenses? Is this true? and should I get one?
50mm primes are a bit of a throw back from the film age. 50mm focal length on a 35mm film camera or a full frame DSLR is equivalent of human eyes field of attention, about 45°. This is in fact often rather mistakenly referred as field of vision which is not strictly speaking true at all. Human eyes field of vision or field of view is in fact something more like 90-110° however the about 45° portion of it which is overlapping for both eyes and produces stereoscopic vision and as a result our brains pretty much focus on that and leave the rest for the subconsciousness to deal with (peripheral vision).

On a typical consumer DSLR this doesn't actually work quite like that however because of the crop factor. 50mm no longer produces the field of attention equivalent field of view but narrower. With typical DSLR crop factors something like 30-35mm would be more like it.

That being said there's one big advantage to f/1.8 50mm primes. In terms of image quality and low light performance there's absolutely nothing on the market that can even come close to beating them in terms of bang for the buck. You should be able to get a brand new Canon 50mm F/1.8 II for about $100 and for that money it's a deal pretty much impossible to pass. Out of 50mm lenses available for Canon that would be my recommendation.

As for it helping you get better at photography I'd have to agree with Ledgem. It's a tool just as anything else it's restrictions will force you to to think more of what you're doing if you want to end up with a good result and thus it will probably help a bit with becoming more comfortable with planning your compositions ahead. It will also allow far more control of depth of field than your kit lens. At 50mm 18-55mm Canon if I remember correctly has a maximum aperture of F/5 which doesn't really allow to do that apart from very very close focusing distances. So it will open the world of bokeh balls for you. Just don't get lost in there.

But there are really no tricks to improve yourself as a photographer. It's all in the effort you put into it. To actually get better you need just need to go out there looking for something to shoot come hell or high water. There's no substitute to experience and there's only one way to get it. Your equipment what ever it is, is just tools.

Some tools are better than others, some are not necessarily better in absolute terms but better suited for the job and so on. Having to adapt to the tools available is a useful learning experience. Because no matter what kind of gear you have you'll have there's always some of it to do. I've never found myself in a position where I would have had the perfect lens and a camera with me there's always something you'll need to work around of to get the shot you want.

What ever gear you get should be suited for the kind of photography you want to do. While a 35mm or a 50mm are good for general photography, street photography, portraits and so on they're pretty much useless for sports or nature photography. And then again something like 300mm f/4 which is great for nature and sports photography is completely useless for street photography.

So I would recommend getting a 50mm or 35mm it's with a reservation. They're great as long as you know what they're suitable for. If you want to try your hands on nature photography for instance I would recommend not wasting your money on either 35 or 50mm and would recommend going for Canon 55-250mm EF-S instead. It's a rather nice performer for its price. However be warned if you do end up finding that to be a lens that works for what ever photography you do, you'll probably run into it's limitations quite quickly.

I myself shoot almost exclusively on primes. Even though I don't really have large collection of them. I'm a graduate of film age as a photography enthusiast and equipment being a bit too expensive for a budget of a kid of his early teens I had to make do with what I had which was an arcane semi-automatic film camera and a few prime lenses. Seems old habits are hard to kick.

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Here's one shot from a recent experimental set I shot. Taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and Voigtländer 25mm F/0.95 Nokton. Lit with two candles.

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Old 2012-03-31, 19:48   Link #592
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I've been going a bit nature mad as of late.

Spoiler for pics:
7 Gorgeous images Drake, love the last one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by escimo View Post
Here's one shot from a recent experimental set I shot. Taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and Voigtländer 25mm F/0.95 Nokton. Lit with two candles.

Spoiler for :
F/0.95? wow!

Looking good escimo! Nice work.
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Old 2012-04-01, 15:09   Link #593
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@escimo: How did you stage that to get it to get away with a low shutter speed at that angle?

As for primes, for my purpose - cosplay photography at conventions - the ability to do background blur would be useful because there's often limited opportunities for good backgrounds at convention sites. However, there's a couple issues (aside from costs as I don't actually have an SLR body at the moment so it would get pricy:
1) I tend to like to give my subjects some "space" and hence tend to shoot a lot at 24-36mm equivalent.
2) When I do shoot 50-ish mm, it tends to be in conjunction with wider 24-36mm shots. As a general rule, I wouldn't count on cosplayers to hold the pose while I swap lenses.
3) As mentioned, on most budget SLRs a 50mm prime is actually 75-80mm. It's unusual for me to use focal lengths that long unless I'm shooting down on the subject from a balcony or something like that.

In conjunction they tends to put a bit of a damper on the idea of using a 50 prime for my shoots.
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Old 2012-04-01, 16:23   Link #594
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
As for primes, for my purpose - cosplay photography at conventions - the ability to do background blur would be useful because there's often limited opportunities for good backgrounds at convention sites. However, there's a couple issues (aside from costs as I don't actually have an SLR body at the moment so it would get pricy:
1) I tend to like to give my subjects some "space" and hence tend to shoot a lot at 24-36mm equivalent.
2) When I do shoot 50-ish mm, it tends to be in conjunction with wider 24-36mm shots. As a general rule, I wouldn't count on cosplayers to hold the pose while I swap lenses.
3) As mentioned, on most budget SLRs a 50mm prime is actually 75-80mm. It's unusual for me to use focal lengths that long unless I'm shooting down on the subject from a balcony or something like that.

In conjunction they tends to put a bit of a damper on the idea of using a 50 prime for my shoots.
If you're using a crop-sensor body, the 50mm equivalent is a 35mm. Nikon and Canon have 35mm f/1.4 lenses, but they're pretty expensive. Sigma makes a much more affordable 30mm f/1.4 that is pretty decent - a bit soft at f/1.4, but at f/2.0 it's pretty sharp. For Olympus shooters, the 50mm equivalent is a 25mm, and we have a 25mm f/1.4 available (as well as the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 Nokton that escimo is using).

Those are all good, but they ultimately still can't match a "full frame" body with a 50mm f/1.4 for blowing out the background.

I don't think that people talk about the 50mm prime as being important because it's 50mm. The significance of 50mm is that, on 35mm film (or a "full frame" sensor), it has roughly the same angle of view as the human eye. Hence, it's a vision-equivalent lens. Around 35mm for APS-C sensors (the exact number depends on whether it's a Canon or Nikon APS-C sensor), or 25mm for 4/3 sensors, are the same equivalent. It's just easier to keep referring to the 50mm lens, and figure that people will calculate the equivalent for their specific sensor.
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Old 2012-04-02, 05:43   Link #595
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Originally Posted by Lost My Music View Post
Images
Seiba figure
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?
That's a very nice capture. I like the soft lighting and the colors on the background complement the subject nicely. Nice one!
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Old 2012-04-02, 08:39   Link #596
Drake
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Thanks Akarin, for reference the last shot was taken again with a canon 50mm prime lens that was sort of discussed in the conversation above.
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Old 2012-04-02, 16:40   Link #597
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@escimo: How did you stage that to get it to get away with a low shutter speed at that angle?
Missed this question. Sorry. Better late than never I guess.

It wasn't all that difficult just a bit of creativity with the use of tripod and a table. Tucked two of the legs of the tripod below and placed the figurine on the corner of the table. It was a bit of an awkward setup since the focusing distance is just above 20cm on that shot and there was very little room to play with since a good portion of the setup including parts of the camera and the lens were below the top of the table. Center post of the tripod was resting against the table in fact. Final composition was done by moving the figurine. Actually had to use self timer for the actual exposure since I had to hold both candles that I used for lighting in my hands since I couldn't get them to fit on the tabletop.
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Old 2012-04-06, 14:40   Link #598
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I hope you'll forgive the double posting and advertising my FC-thread but I made some experiments in duplicating traditional studio setup in small scale and ended up writing a tutorial on it.

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Old 2012-04-06, 18:42   Link #599
Drake
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Thats a good little tut, I used to do something similar with sheets of white card and a lamp.

Anyway this studio talk put me in the mood to try out something similar.

Spoiler for another:
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Last edited by Drake; 2012-04-08 at 19:33. Reason: added another image
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Old 2012-04-11, 06:17   Link #600
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Too low!!!! I was shooting a/c on Rwy 20 when I realised that this 320 was approaching way too low and turned the camera to capture it. Fortunately the truck driver hit the brakes before passing below! As you can see, you can get really close to the action here. (As of mid-June 2001 this road section has been closed and deviated) Aircraft was re-registred EC-HUL in July 2001.
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Well I don’t think this really needs a comment. It speaks for itself. Truly SXM trademark at its best. If he were much lower he would have gotten the fence and these guys’ heads. Not very often you see grown men ducking down there. What an awesome weekend this was. Thanks guys!
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