My first camera was a 2 1/4 Yashica, but when I got the money to buy my first SLR, it was a Nikon and I've owned Nikons ever since. I do have a Fuji digital that can fit in a pocket, but also have a D40 Nikon and can use all my old lenses with it. Nikons are dependable and solidly built cameras.
ah, don't get me started on the medium format. i love my yashicamat 124g. it's a beautiful thing. if i shot film at all anymore, it would be this.
now you make me want to shoot film.
I used to love my old Canon AE-1. But now, I'm in the market for a Canon T2i, mainly because of its video capabilities and qualified use of Canon lenses.
put a 50mm f 1.8 on a dSLR that shoots video and .... wow.
Thanks for all the insights. I love your work and I'm constantly striving to better mine. :-)
thank you so much!
(you seem to have a fairy beneath your fez.)
Thanks again, Kyle, for sharing the particulars of how awesome you are!
The tips and tricks come in handy. Now, off to find that perfect lens.
Have you been to Tempe Camera? Next time you hit this Arizona desert, maybe take a gander at the best shop this oasis has!
i have not, but i've bought a LOT of stuff from collectablecameras.com in phoenix.
I'm no film fanatic like some of the guys at my art school, but the one thing film is good for is Large Format.. one of my favourite shots ever, I made with 4x5 B&W. In a pinhole camera made out of a plastic lunchbox, a coke can, a scrap of cardboard for a shutter and a lot of electrical tape. Even using a pinhole, I blew that sucker up to A1 and it still looks good; I could probably pull an A0 out of it if I'd had the money for printing... I might have to use a better scan.
Anyway, for everything else I use a plain old Canon 450D, which I believe is called a Canon Rebel in the states. Still using the lens set that came with it; an f4-5.6 55-250, and an 18-55. If I can ever afford to buy more lenses, an 80-200 f2.8 would be the first; that's the sort of photo I do best with a digital.
i'd recommend a 50 1.8 next, they're cheap and useful.
Thank you kind sir for the photo tech. You are so generous.
you're welcome. i'm actually not that generous, i think of this is "ah! i'll never have to answer that one again for two years..."
Thank you for taking the time to write this! I'm a fan of your work and appreciate the insights as someone just getting started in photography.
you're very welcome. i'm always overjoyed to hear that there are fans of my work. photography is a noble outlet. it will serve you well.
2010-08-12 12:25 am (UTC)
Gotta agree with everything here
Except to add that for my day-in-day-out boil-the-pot newspaper work I can't live comfortably without my 24-70/2.8... simply because it's the most FORGETTABLE lens I've ever seen. It's a well-trained British batman... always in arm's reach, always ready for and capable of anything, totally unobtrusive, damn near invisible, and never ever makes a mistake. Makes you wonder how the hell you got along without it, while never ever taking the slightest credit for itself.
Beyond that I think the results you get from the 12-24 Sigma are somewhat better than the results I get from the 12-24 Tokina, which is good enough for newspaper but not a lot more, IME; if I were buying again I'd probably do the Sigma. Don't think it was out when I got my Tokina, though.
Don't have an iphone; if I have money soon I may get the GF1, though. Or the G1 or G2.
(Still like feeding hp5 through the M4P, though. Also fountain pens on paper. I really AM a dinosaur... I spent the evening with an archeopteryx the other day, and it was the most enjoyable evening I've had in months. He was really cool company, especially given he's been dead for 150 million years, give or take a few...)
2010-08-12 02:15 am (UTC)
Re: Gotta agree with everything here
i have a 28-70 2.8 which i use a lot. it's really sharp and i often use it with studio lights. it does a fine job, but as you said, never lets anyone know who did it.
I realize they're focused on their art, they have a great vision, they have the tool they need, and that's it.
I'm not sure about that for everyone - for me, it's that "I have this camera, it's the best one I could afford, and I blew a month's salary on it and can't afford to get more stuff, so I've worked out what the limits on it are and am focussing on what I can do well within those limits, even though one day I'd love to buy MOAR STUFFZ and experiment". (The thing I'm saving up for is a DSLR; I reckon I'll be there in about two years at current income). I have a Fuji Finepix S2000HD, which is about as good as it gets without a several-hundred-dollar price jump.It's pretty good for landscapes
, which are fun, but not so good for action shots; at least, not that I've been able to manage, which is probably as much on me as on the camera. I'd really like a DSLR so that I can use a telephoto lens and take better wildlife shots (I like birds. Birds are nervous and don't like it when I get close.)
I have a feeling that when I have a bit more money, I'll be an equipment hog.
Oh, and in terms of "what worked", I can't recommend anything to the beginning photographer (like me) more than reading the instructions that came with the camera. Amazing how much that helped. :D
My favorite and most sensual camera is without a doubt my Leica M4. For casual use B&W film is very workable, I wouldn't want to deal with a thousand frames a month on film though.
Otherwise, yes, it's all about the lenses. My digital carry-around kit are fast 24mm and 85mm lenses and I could use just those two for quite a long while and be perfectly happy with it.
By the way, how did the behind-the-scenes shots I snapped (from your war paint shooting in Boston right before July 4th) with the GF1 turn out? I don't think I ever saw those!
Edited at 2010-08-12 12:54 am (UTC)
I might be back in boston this weekend for the bike run. i'll give you a shout. i still haven't really looked through anything from last time yet, they're all in focus though, i noticed that. rawk
Didn't your camera get stolen after you had cruelly abandoned it on a train seat, turning a tired cold shoulder to the Hello Kitty sticker pleading at you with her little eyes? I do believe you had spent a weekend photographing rock stars and were a bit brain fogged. ;P
I need a lightweight camera that's forgiving of a slight hand tremor, and the guts to start >trying< to take pictures again.
i had it on the seat next to me and a conductor came past and said, gruffly "NO ITEMS ON SEATS! PUT THAT UNDER THE SEAT IN FRONT OF YOU!"
and that was that.
Thank you for the great post!
Heartily second the recommendation for the Sigma 12-24; it's good value for money compared to the closest Nikkor equivalent, kicks the ass of the Tokina and is generally loads of fun. I like to throw a cheap IR filter on it (oh how I love you, DealExtreme) and head out with a tripod to take gritty, eerie photographs
The other lens that has been my workhorse for the last few years has been a Nikkor 70-300. Obviously, it's good fun for birdwatching and anything requiring a zoom, but given it's quite often the only lens I take with me when hiking, I've learned to love it for taking detail photos as well - I zoom in all the way, then back up as far as I have to so it will focus and get depth of field like this
While it's true that the body is less critical than the lenses, at the moment I've outgrown my beloved old D70 and reached a level of frustration with the light sensor and focus. It was my first DSLR and taught me a lot, but I can't wait for my pro-photographer ex to upgrade his second body and sell me a hand-me-down D300. (Pro tip: marry a photographer to keep your equipment costs down!)
wow, you can get a filter in front of that thing? it must be the size of a pie pan.
lovey photos you have there. your d70 probably has better IR sensitivity than the d300. they've managed to filter almost all of it out anymore. sad, but it makes the pictures sharp.
In my struggles to choose between the currently available micro 4/3 digital cameras, the Girlfriend 1 (your Lumix) and the three Olympus Pen models, I learned an interesting fact.
Apparently the stabilization for the Lumix is built into the lenses, but the stabilization for the Olympus is built into the body. So you can strap on old yard sale and pawn shop lenses to the Oly without sacrificing stabilization. What do you think of that?
For me, the micro 4/3 format is really the only way to go, because of the lighter weight. I just have to pick one.
yup. you can do that. ultimately, i thought the GF1 looked nicer than the olympus and, you know, looks count.
This is marvelous, thank you!
My god the Jared Axelrod and J. R. Blackwel photo in incredible. Stunning. Question - do you think a light exposure meter is necessary? And if so, can you recommend one? Also, what flash do you use? Been saving up and was finally able to pick up the SB900 - do you think that I should stick to the 900 for the other three or it would be ok to drop down to the 600 or 800?
Thanks for your time!
there's an off camera flash in a sixty-three inch photek softlighter II. the light modifier is a lot more important than the light.
since i nearly always use my flashes in manual, i'd recommend you get Vivitar 285's for $85 each. I've never had a flash meter w/ digital and can't really think of a good reason to bother with one. that's what the screen on the back of your camera is for.
the sb900 works amazingly well talking to your camera, so you can use it wonderfully for on camera bouncing & whatnot, but everything else, go cheap and spend the extra $$$ on wireless triggers & softboxes.