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Old 08-28-2012, 12:28 PM   #1
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Photographers: tips, tricks, equipment, etc

Everybody's got a camera. We all visit beautiful country and record it on "film".
Since most shutterbugs I know just love comparing notes, I thought I'd start a thread for just that.
What camera(s) do you use ?
What lenses, filters, etc.
Got any good do's or do not's (I've got plenty of the latter to share) to pass along ?

To get things started, for the last 10 years or so I've been using a Nikon D50 SLR. It's an entry level camera but it's far more capable than the guy standing behind it.

Lenses consist of the 18-55mm zoom lens that comes with the kit. I've heard "serious" photographers talk down about that lens but it's taken some awfully nice pictures for me over the years.
A 70-300 zoom lens does critter duty so that the next time I'm dangerously, stupidly close to a bear the photo doesn't eventually look like a fuzzy black dot 400 yards away. Better yet, I won't have to get dangerously, stupidly close to a bear to get a good shot.
And recently, I bought a 50mm prime lens (for non-SLR users, "prime" means it's not a zoom lens) with a wider aperture (f1.8) that I hope to use for night landscape photography.

I'll post up a few examples I've found recently that could have been much better shots had I been watching more closely or used something different.

I'm an SLR shooter, but I hope the point-and-shooters and even video-cammers will chime in.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:36 PM   #2
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I have some of the same lenses you have (18-55, 70-300), but in the Canon version.....I don't think your Nikon lenses would work with my Canon Rebel T1i. Those 2 zoom focal lenses are vesitle lens for starting out.

I just have an entry level camera, and if the shutter button pusher were better, it would take fantastic photos.

If I ever get another lenses, I hope to get a true macro....there is so much small stuff around that I just can't capture with my 2 current lenses.

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Old 08-28-2012, 12:46 PM   #3
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Took these today

We just got a new camera this spring and I love it to death !
I'll post info this evening.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
I have some of the same lenses you have (18-55, 70-300), but in the Canon version.....I don't think your Nikon lenses would work with my Canon Rebel T1i.
Remember the handyman's secret weapon: duct tape

Looks like you're doing pretty good with what you have.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:31 PM   #5
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Camera gear is expensive. Here's a couple of examples of "you get what you pay for":

The first is a filter that creates a star effect around light sources. They're kinda gimmicky -maybe even tacky to some people but I've always liked the effect they produce.
This was a very cheap filter I got from Amazon. Look how 'in-your-face' the star effect is. A better quality filter would tone that way down and would have made this a pretty neat night shot.
(granted, there's plenty else wrong with that shot; I should have used the eyepiece cover so that the moon wouldn't be showing through and I've got way too much foreground showing before the river -but the cheap filter is the point here)

The second was a lens hood for my 18-55. They're hard to find (I find). So I ordered this one -again from Amazon. It cost me less than seven bucks. Now I see why.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:36 PM   #6
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All I have is a Canon SX110is. I couldn't tell you how many thousands of photos I've taken with it. The camera has been all over the U.S. and also to Egypt, Italy, Mexico and Canada and for all the abuse, it still takes pretty good pics. It is scheduled to become my backup camera when Canon releases the SX160is.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:43 PM   #7
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A little trick to help take more stable pics in the field (saw this tip on the internet a few years back):

Items needed:

1. A bolt that will fit the tripod mount on the bottom of your camera.
2. A piece of string long enough to reach from the bottom of your camera when held at normal standing height in front of you, to the bottom of your foot.
3. A larger flat washer

Tie one end of the string to the bolt and screw it into the bottom of your camera. Tie the other end to the flat washer.

Now you can stand on the washer and pull the camera up till it is tight along the string. You can hold it tight, and this will take the wobble out of your pics.

You can also just wrap the string around the washer to shorten it, when needed (if crouched down)...as well as just unscrew the bolt and put it along with string and washer in your pocket when not needed.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Don View Post
I should have used the eyepiece cover so that the moon wouldn't be showing through and I've got way too much foreground showing before the river -but the cheap filter is the point here)
I have contributed the "moon" effect mentioned as a filter problem. If I can see it in my camera screen view, I can remove my UV filter and the next shot will be good. Too many times I don't see it in my camera screen view, and don't notice it until I download the photos to my computer.....then it is too late.

I use a "cheap" UV filter, so that may be the problem.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:52 PM   #9
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OOh, I do like to take firework pics. Here some from Disney I took. I use an Olympus e620 DSLR with a 14-54 (28 - 108 for you Cannon and Nikon peeps) f2.8 - 3.5 on a tripod with a cable release. Biggest thing I found is never let the white balance be in auto I also preset it myself.

When I do fireworks, nothing in auto, all manual. Shutter speed is however long I feel like holding in the button for, aperture is anywhere from 15 - 22, white balance set to SUN, ISO set to 100. Image stabilization turned off. I stake out my spot and stand in it for about 2 hours before the show starts...people line up quick.

My Album from a couple of years ago.

Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Don View Post
I should have used the eyepiece cover so that the moon wouldn't be showing through and I've got way too much foreground showing before the river -but the cheap filter is the point here)
I have contributed the "moon" effect mentioned as a filter problem. If I can see it in my camera screen view, I can remove my UV filter and the next shot will be good. Too many times I don't see it in my camera screen view, and don't notice it until I download the photos to my computer.....then it is too late.

I use a "cheap" UV filter, so that may be the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Don View Post
The second was a lens hood for my 18-55. They're hard to find (I find). So I ordered this one -again from Amazon. It cost me less than seven bucks. Now I see why.
I have tried the lens hood for my 70-300 mm lens on my 18-55 mm lens. It works fine down to about 30 mm of so, then the edges start to show. In my case, the lens hood has a straight cone edge instead of 1 of the scalloped units, and it gives an interesting effect when taking wide angle pictures.
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