PDA

View Full Version : SLR Beginners Corner


Don Hoey
07-01-06, 12:05
With the numbers of people just getting into long lens photography with the advent of affordable DSLR's, I thought a thread where things could be discussed in a non technical way would be helpful.

I have been through the beginners route with several people and understand the necessity for totally uncomplicated speak. Quite often in this situation people do not ask for fear of looking dim. For a new starter a Forum full of knowledgeable people could be a daunting place.

I will go away and dream up some basic info. Contributions welcome from other knowledeable members but remember please KEEP IT SIMPLE. Super tech talk will only confuse.

Don

kennygee
07-01-06, 12:39
As usual Don, a good idea!

Don Hoey
07-01-06, 13:28
I will start with this as it is one of the most asked questions.

When trying to decide on a camera the most important thing is setting a budget. It is very easy to get carried away when you look at all the toys available.

All the major camera brands have a different lens mount and lenses you buy today should be regarded as a long term investment. In time you will probably trade up your camera body, whereas your lenses will be with you for longer. With lenses you do generally get what you pay for. So a budget lens will not compete with a mid priced or top end lens. The question here is should you save up for a little longer in order to get a better quality lens that will keep you happy for years.

The best advice I can give is having set a budget look at web sites like Warehouse Express ( UK ) to see what you may be actually be able to get for that budget.

Draw up a shortlist of possibles then look at an unbiased review. Sites like DP Review are good with very thorough reviews. http://www.dpreview.com/

When it comes to the camera itself the only advice is to actually try and handle what you think you might buy first. Is it compfortable to hold - too large or a bit small. Look through the viewfinder - be happy with the view and the way information is displayed. Look at the body - how easy it is to press the control buttons and generally operate the controls. Also consider the range of accessories available - remote release, flash etc.

In the end the best camera is the one YOU LIKE and NOT what Joe Bloggs or a salesman says, so never get badgered into a particular buy. Remember a lot of camera users will, if asked the question, rate their kit the highest and what is right for them may not be right or affordable for you. By all means ask for user comments as it may help.

Don

Don Hoey
07-01-06, 17:29
I will post some info as graphics as it is easily saved to your PC. Open the image then right button click and go ' save as '

The first two graphics concern the digital crop effect of lenses whose focal length is described in 35mm terms. Also the term aperture or f stops.

Don

Don Hoey
07-01-06, 18:28
This is a graphic to show how aperture affects the area in front of and behind the subject that appears to be sharp.

Don

Don Hoey
07-01-06, 20:26
A brief explanation of the shutter and shutter speeds.

Don

Don Hoey
07-01-06, 21:32
The last of the exposure controls.

In the next post I will link Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO

Don

Christine
07-01-06, 22:11
Thanks,Don.Can we ask simple questions etc eg as I did re using a converter in a previous thread.

Don Hoey
07-01-06, 23:41
Thanks,Don.Can we ask simple questions etc eg as I did re using a converter in a previous thread.

The idea is that people can ask questions and hopfully get answers that are not too technical. I like many members can easily forget the things we found hard to understand when we started in the hobby. Blinding newbies with science does not help them to learn and enjoy photography.

Don

yelvertoft
08-01-06, 20:27
Thanks,Don.Can we ask simple questions etc eg as I did re using a converter in a previous thread.

Please do! I recall a BF member had as his/her sig file something along the lines of "There's no such thing as a stupid question, only a stupid answer".

The first time you pick up a camera, it can be very daunting. No-one knows how to use all the settings if they've never gone through a learning process first. No-one is born with this knowledge, we all have to learn.

Duncan

Don Hoey
09-01-06, 17:01
Although the title of Duncans thread is ' Manual exposure mode, juggling three balls ', in order to understand what your camera is doing in Modes other than manual, you really need to read this ....

http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/showthread.php?t=125

Even when using Program Mode, the aperture and shutter speed, that the program has selected will appear in the viewfinder display. If you have a basic understanding of how these numbers have been arrived at, then the displayed values will have some meaning as to their affect on the picture you are about to take.

Once you have an understanding of the link of these three things every other aspect of photography will appear easy. For that reason it is worth spending time on this.

PLEASE post any questions you may now have.

Don

yelvertoft
09-01-06, 19:13
Following the success of my manual mode posting, I've spent quite a bit of time over the last few days putting together an article on Aperture Priority mode, only to now find that you've covered quite a lot of it here already. Ho hum, that'll teach me! It's here if anybody's interested.
http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/showthread.php?t=414

Duncan.

Ant
10-01-06, 10:55
When it comes to the camera itself the only advice is to actually try and handle what you think you might buy first. Is it compfortable to hold - too large or a bit small. Look through the viewfinder - be happy with the view and the way information is displayed. Look at the body - how easy it is to press the control buttons and generally operate the controls.



Hi Don,

It should be taken into account that it is harder to press the buttons with gloves on. Best thing to do, take them off if changing any settings or viewing pictures.

ant

robski
10-01-06, 22:00
I thought I would donate a couple of my duff shots to illustrate camera settings.

Lens 300mm
camera to subject distance approx 10 feet.
ISO 400
Aperture f8
Shutter speed 1/50 sec
Av mode - Aperture Priority
Tripod


The light was fair for a Late December afternoon (3pm ).

The camera was set to Av mode @ f8 to preserve the inch or so DOF which is very limited with a camera to subject distance of 10 feet using this focal lenght lens. The ISO 400 and F8 setting gave me a shutter speed of 1/50 sec. Ideally a higher shutter speed would of been desirable to freeze the action. I could of increased to ISO to get a higher shutter speed but I wanted to keep the noise level ( grain effect ) as low as possible. I knew with care I may get some good shots of these fast twitchy birds at this shutter speed.

If you look along the top of the fence you can see the range that is in focus. In the first shot you can see how quickly a Blue tit can move in 1/50 sec.

The bird was facing me when I fired the shutter. There is a short delay between pressing the shutter button and the shutter opening. The second shot is 1/5 sec later. A burst of 2 shots in Continuous shooting mode. As you can see this mode can be very handy for subjects that move quickly or flight shots.