New to DSLR

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Ultra Magnus, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Ultra Magnus

    Ultra Magnus Guest

    In October, for our 21st anniversary, my wife got me a Nikon 5200 with AF-S
    DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (Kit Lens) an extra battery and 2 32meg
    class 10 SD Cards. I've had had a lot of digital cameras in my life
    starting with the old B&W Logitech, a great Sony CyberShot DSC-P30 and my
    last one was a Canon SD 1100 IS. I've also had experience with many 35mm
    cameras (using) like Nikons (no idea which ones, they belonged to my
    friends) and the Canon AE1 Programable (yes I'm that old). I'm not versed
    in light meters, or f-stops, so this is all new to me. I have lots of
    experience in the defunct art of darkroom work.

    I'm looking to find reading suggestions, like books, magazines, websites
    and blogs that will help. I do a lot of macro photography, and just playing
    around I'm getting much better photos than with my last camera, and I know
    there are macro lenses available, but at this time I don't have the cash to
    get another one. I would like to be able to take good (OK great) family
    pictures at the holidays, pet pictures, portraits, and some nature shots.

    I have experience in Photoshop (been using is since version 4 not CS), and
    am learning to use a Bamboo tablet for editing.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Ultra Magnus, Dec 18, 2013
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  2. Ultra Magnus

    Peabody Guest

    Ultra Magnus says...
    Congratulations. Sounds like you married up.
    Don't forget about using the lens reversal method for poor
    man's macro. Basically, you just shoot through your kit
    lens backward. You can probably get an official reversing
    ring for that lens on Ebay for just a few dollars. It
    actually does work, although you have some challenges with
    aperture and focusing.

    As for learning sources, others will have good selections,
    but I would just suggest that you spend a good bit of time
    with the camera's manual at some point. There is also where you can watch workshop videos for
    free if you watch them live, or buy them later.

    And finally, if you really want to shoot great portraits,
    you need to get to off-camera lighting at some point. If
    you stay away from the expensive stuff, you can get a
    complete one-stand lighting setup, including flash
    and triggers, for under $150. But you do need to know about
    f-stops for that.

    Good luck. I think you'll have lots of fun with the new
    camera. It's amazing how capable they are now.
    Peabody, Dec 18, 2013
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  3. Ultra Magnus

    Savageduck Guest

    A starting point would be to look through some of the quite useful and
    informative web sites such as "Cambridge in Color".
    < >

    There are also some sites to provide some guidance in macro/micro photography.
    < >
    Then there are those engaged in the business of training in digital
    photography one of the best of those is Scott Kelby and he has along
    with all his Adobe related books his series on digital photography
    available is pretty good, and available via Amazon.
    < >

    Since you are also of the many older guys around here (there are quite
    a number of us around here) and you are trying to work within your
    budget, you might consider getting some extension tubes or rings to
    facilitate an early start to your macro/micro work.

    B&H is a reputable online vendor and most here highly recommend them.
    Once you have your finances ready to buy that new lens you might
    consider them for that purchase.
    Here are a bunch of Nikon mount macro/micro lenses available via B&H.
    Welcome to our little club of bickering, opinionated old farts. Just
    remember that there are times that discussions in these Usenet news
    groups can, and do take off at a tangent from the original post. So,
    take all that you might read here wit a pinch of salt, and don't take
    what is said in some of the battles between us personally.
    Savageduck, Dec 18, 2013
  4. Ultra Magnus

    Ultra Magnus Guest

    I've briefly looked at the sites, but will be spending time with them after
    the holidays.
    I'll check it out.
    I have a lighting box I made a few years ago, got the directions from one
    of the photography magazines.
    That's where my wife ordered my camera from, seemed to be the most
    recommended one online. She was thinking of getting me the D3200, but the
    sales person (she called) recommended the D5200.
    I plan to. My friend has a D90 I believe, but he was a bit let down that
    they use different lenses. He has 12 of them, and I could borrow them as I
    please. From what I read I believe it's because the auto focus motor for my
    series camera is in the lenses and not the camera, but I could be wrong.
    I know how that goes. Been using Usenet since the early 90's. I belong to a
    collecting group, and remember how posts could drift, and flame wars could
    linger. We only have around 10 or so of us left on that group, most have
    moved on to the web forms.

    Thanks for the reply, and all the helpful information.

    Ultra Magnus, Dec 22, 2013
  5. Ultra Magnus

    Ultra Magnus Guest

    I've really been quite surprised with the quality of macro shots I've been
    getting with the kit lens. Much better than any of my past cameras. I will
    look into the reversing ring as you suggested though.

    Read the manual cover to cover, and I keep a copy on my iPad as well. I've
    been going through the features trying them as they are presented. Looked
    over briefly (been busy with the holidays), and the site
    looks amazing.
    I have a friend who said I'm welcome to his old lighting fixtures. He just
    got himself new LEDs. He is going to teach me about f-stops and focal
    lengths and everything else I need to know. I'm just looking for some other
    self-help material, as he owns a comic shop, and his free time can be a bit
    Thanks, for the help.

    Ultra Magnus, Dec 22, 2013
  6. Ultra Magnus

    Tony Cooper Guest

    If you are going to do much in the way of macro, an investment in a
    ring flash is well worth it. Lighting small objects without
    distracting shadows is a hassle. The ring flash illuminates 360
    degrees. They are available in the $40 range like this one from

    Many of the online vendors for discount camera products offer them., for example:

    Ring flashes run up to over $500 for the really serious macro
    photographer, but the cheap ones work sufficiently for most uses.

    I don't do true macro, but do some close-up work on small objects.
    This composite was done this weekend:

    Not having a ring flash, I had to drop the shadow background and add
    the black background using Photoshop and a Layer Mask. I'll add a
    ring flash when I get around to it.
    Tony Cooper, Dec 22, 2013
  7. Ultra Magnus

    PeterN Guest

    I do a reasonable amount of macro, and rarely, if evr use autofocus.
    With macro the depth of field is very skmall, and I lake to make sure
    the camera captures what I want it to. I also prefer to use extensionb
    tubes, rather than macro lenses.
    (Gives room in my budget for other lenses.)

    Here are some sites that explain it.

    <extension tubes macro photography>
    you can google using macro photography
    "extension tubes"

    And here is one of my results using that technique:
    < Needs A Shower.jpg>
    PeterN, Dec 22, 2013
  8. Ultra Magnus

    PeterN Guest

    Use the money you saved on your daughter's present. ;-p
    PeterN, Dec 22, 2013
  9. Ultra Magnus

    Tony Cooper Guest

    A bit off-topic, but this thinking irritates the hell out of me. Not
    that your statement irritates me because I know it was made in jest
    and good humor.

    I didn't "save" any money. I just didn't *spend* any money. The only
    way I can "save" money on a purchase is to find something at a lesser
    cost that I would have purchased for the higher cost if the lesser
    cost had not been available. Savings are only possible when the
    purchase would have been made with or without the availability of a
    lesser cost.

    Wives, in general, are the most gullible to the "I saved..." thinking.
    They see an item on sale for $75.00 that is regularly $100 and think
    they've "saved" $25 and can then spend the $25 on another purchase.
    Wise husbands, though, don't point out this out. I think it, but I
    don't say it.
    Tony Cooper, Dec 22, 2013
  10. Ultra Magnus

    PeterN Guest

    I'm glad you took my comment as the wisecrack it was intended to be.
    I posted another one in a similar vein, that you probably saw by now.
    Yup! After a trip to the discount outlets, she told me she saved a few
    thou. with a big smile I said "Great." And muttered now I can get a new
    lens. She got my meaning, right away.
    I wish I had all the money my wife saved me.
    PeterN, Dec 22, 2013
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