Beginning into photography

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
Hight Fly Forum Member • Posts: 54
Beginning into photography

Hi everyone,

As said in the title, I'm beginning into photography. I'll soon get a Nikon D300 (so a DX camera) and was wondering which lens(es) I should get.

I have made lots of researches and had those results/combos that could be good:

The sigma 30mm DC HSM Art - I can get it for 350 euros new

The Tokina 12-24mm (I can get it for 220 euros in very good condition) + 50mm Nikkor 1.8G (I can get it for 130 euros in very good condition/ brand new) (= 350 euros) and later why not buy the 35 mm Nikkor 1.8g (+130) euros.

The Nikon 16-80mm. I can get it for 500 in good condition, 600 euros brand new.

The other zoom option is the 17-55mm f/2.8 we can now get for around 300-350 euros. In the future, I could add on top of that a good low light lens such as the 35mm 1.8g.

The Nikon 24mm 1.8G and a Nikon 50mm 1.8G. I could get both for 600 euros if I search well. This would allow me to get some great landscapes and streets shot with the 24mm (like 35mm on fullframe) and some beautiful portraits with suited bokeh on the 50mm. Now I reckon this option might be the hardest to get, but I think I could get it if I wait enough.

What do you guys recommend? I have chosen these ones because I want to start photography and thus want to do everything: landscapes, street photography, portraits. The convenience of the zoom is something to remember, but in the end I lose quality and it is very expensive. The zoom is the maximum money I would put into lenses.

Regards,

Hight fly

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Klaus dk
Klaus dk Veteran Member • Posts: 5,588
Re: Beginning into photography
2

I'd recommend one of the zooms. When you don't know yet what you're going to shoot, the 16-80 mm is a good universal lens that will enable you to find which focal lengths works best for you. Even if you later find you prefer shooting primes - and a few photographers do - you have a lens you can use in the cases where a prime would be too limiting.

I have a Canon 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 and a 17-55 f/2.8 and I use both, the former when I have good light and want to be able to shoot a variety of subjects, the latter for low light and perhaps combined with my 50-150 f/2.8.

Since the 50-150 is no longer manufactured, I'd recommend the Sigma 50-100 f/1.8 for portraiture.

Don't worry about the sharpness of the better zooms, they're absolutely adequate. If sharpness is an issue, stay clear of superzooms. You can see reviews of many lenses on opticallimits.com.

Good luck and good light.

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OP Hight Fly Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Beginning into photography

Thanks for your quick feedback, I really do appreciate.

I reckon it'd indeed better to start with a zoom, I just read my stuff saying that it is also good to start with primes to "learn how to move and not just rely on your camera" which makes sense but is a bit... Stretched out. If you see what I mean.

Furthermore, I think that as a beginner, the sharpness would still be totally amazing for me, at any range. I just want the best quality possible, as everyone, that is why I have out those options out there.

Anyway: do your think it is better to invest on the 16-80mm or to take the oldest one, the 17-55? They are 150€ different which could save me money for a later purchase, which could be accessories like tripod etc.

Do you think it is worth it to invest that little more for a newer one? Especially if I buy a brand new one at 589€.

Regards,

HF

 Hight Fly's gear list:Hight Fly's gear list
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D
Klaus dk
Klaus dk Veteran Member • Posts: 5,588
Re: Beginning into photography

Hight Fly wrote:

Thanks for your quick feedback, I really do appreciate.

I reckon it'd indeed better to start with a zoom, I just read my stuff saying that it is also good to start with primes to "learn how to move and not just rely on your camera" which makes sense but is a bit... Stretched out. If you see what I mean.

Anyway: do your think it is better to invest on the 16-80mm or to take the oldest one, the 17-55? They are 150€ different which could save me money for a later purchase, which could be accessories like tripod etc.

Do you think it is worth it to invest that little more for a newer one? Especially if I buy a brand new one at 589€.

Regards,

HF

I found this review of the 16-80 and it seems to me to be good value for money. It's even a 1/2 to a full stop brighter than my 15-85, so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

You'll often hear advocates for primes say that you can "zoom with your feet". In some situations you can fill the frame with your subject if you go closer, but that will change the perspective, and in some cases it's impossible (a mountain, the moon) or impractical (tigers).

If the zoom teaches you to never move relative to your subject and always shoot only one frame from where you stand, I'd say you might benefit from using a prime for a couple of weeks. But even if you think a prime is a good tool for learning, you should consider if it's also a good tool for daily shooting.

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NikonNature Veteran Member • Posts: 3,674
Re: Beginning into photography

I agree that a zoom is the way to go. Primes can be great, but are usually better once you've established the kind of work you want to do. Zooms just gives you so much more flexibility and the IQ is excellent these days. To avoid being a 'lazy zoomer', you can always do exercises where you force yourself to use one focal length (e.g.: 35mm) and move your feet to frame the shot.

I have a 24-85mm on my full frame Nikon and it covers everything except ultra-wide and telephoto for wildlife. The 16-80 would be full frame equivalent of 24-120mm which would be awesome. If the price is a hurdle, you might check out the 18-140mm.

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Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 16,868
Re: Beginning into photography

I have a D300, which I bought with a 16-85 zoom. This lens is perfectly satisfactory for a wide range of subjects; my only problem with it was I wanted a wider angle for landscapes, so my next lens was a 10-24. The 16-80 is supposed to be a better lens than the 16-85, which was a little soft at 85mm.

I wouldn't recommend the 17-55 because it's not stabilized and doesn't have a very wide zoom range.

You should use your zoom to see what focal lengths you prefer and then, if it's appropriate, get a prime. As it happened, I got a 35mm f/1.8 prime but hardly ever used it since the 16-85 was perfectly good at that focal length.

The D300 is a great, robust and reliable camera. I found it quite complicated to use but after a few months was able to get good results from it.

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Leonard Migliore

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PhotoTeach2 Senior Member • Posts: 9,607
Re: Beginning into photography
4

Klaus dk wrote:

Hight Fly wrote:

Thanks for your quick feedback, I really do appreciate.

I reckon it'd indeed better to start with a zoom, I just read my stuff saying that it is also good to start with primes to "learn how to move and not just rely on your camera" which makes sense but is a bit... Stretched out. If you see what I mean.

Anyway: do your think it is better to invest on the 16-80mm or to take the oldest one, the 17-55? They are 150€ different which could save me money for a later purchase, which could be accessories like tripod etc.

Do you think it is worth it to invest that little more for a newer one? Especially if I buy a brand new one at 589€.

Regards,

HF

I found thisreview of the 16-80 and it seems to me to be good value for money. It's even a 1/2 to a full stop brighter than my 15-85, so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

You'll often hear advocates for primes say that you can "zoom with your feet". In some situations you can fill the frame with your subject if you go closer, but that will change the perspective, and in some cases it's impossible (a mountain, the moon) or impractical (tigers).

I was at a party once with, ("professional"), photographers.  He raised his camera to shoot the moon w/ 200mm lens, and said, "Its pretty small".

I said "get closer" -- and he STARTED WALKING, (that was about 15 years ago and we have no idea where he is now).

If the zoom teaches you to never move relative to your subject and always shoot only one frame from where you stand, I'd say you might benefit from using a prime for a couple of weeks. But even if you think a prime is a good tool for learning, you should consider if it's also a good tool for daily shooting.

PhotoTeach2 Senior Member • Posts: 9,607
Re: Beginning into photography
1

May I respectfully ask WHY the "D300".  Do you have a used one on a special deal available ???

That is now an older camera and may I suggest you look at Mirror-Less cameras.

AND if budget is an issue, may I suggest you can get a lot more for your money with a 1"-type bridge camera, (ala FZ-1000).

ALL Mirror-Less cameras do things not possible w/ dSLR's, (because of the inherent limitations of their "mirrors").

The FZ-1000 has a fixed lens w/ "continuous" zoom that is wider/longer/faster than typical "kit" lenses, (you may be looking at).

Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 16,868
Re: Beginning into photography

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

I was at a party once with, ("professional"), photographers. He raised his camera to shoot the moon w/ 200mm lens, and said, "Its pretty small".

I said "get closer" -- and he STARTED WALKING, (that was about 15 years ago and we have no idea where he is now).

Do you recall what beverages were served at this party?

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Leonard Migliore

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AlbertTheLazy
AlbertTheLazy Veteran Member • Posts: 7,685
Re: Beginning into photography
2

Hight Fly wrote:

Thanks for your quick feedback, I really do appreciate.

I reckon it'd indeed better to start with a zoom, I just read my stuff saying that it is also good to start with primes to "learn how to move and not just rely on your camera" which makes sense but is a bit... Stretched out. If you see what I mean.

Actually, you are better off using a zoom as an aid to learning 'how to move'. The important thing in photography is getting the camera in the right place to take the picture you want.

So often you see people arrive in front of an attractive view, whip out the camera, zoom and click. Bingo! Their shot includes lamp posts, railings, bin, all sorts of things that moving to find a better shot would avoid.

Shooting distance controls perspective so that is an important part of 'the right place'.

My way of doing that is to leave the camera in its bag and walk around until I find the angle and the shooting distance that I need to get the shot I want. Then the camera comes out and I choose the focal length I need to frame my shot.

If you only have a single prime that reduces your options.

Sorry I can't advise on specific lenses.

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Albert
Having fun with my cameras

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OP Hight Fly Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Beginning into photography

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

May I respectfully ask WHY the "D300". Do you have a used one on a special deal available ???

That is now an older camera and may I suggest you look at Mirror-Less cameras.

AND if budget is an issue, may I suggest you can get a lot more for your money with a 1"-type bridge camera, (ala FZ-1000).

ALL Mirror-Less cameras do things not possible w/ dSLR's, (because of the inherent limitations of their "mirrors").

That is indeed a good point you raise. When I started doing my researches, like you advised, I oriented myself towards Mirrorless Cameras, more specifically the Olympus EM-10 II (that is what I thought I'd get at the end of my researches). But after a while, an acquaintance of mine told me he had an old D300 in perfect condition he did not use, so he's gonna give to me.

Long story short, I'm gonna get the D300 in perfect condition for free.

Do you reckon it is still better to invest on a Mirrorless camera?

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Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D
OP Hight Fly Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Beginning into photography

Thanks a lot for the feedback. I keep it in mind.

 Hight Fly's gear list:Hight Fly's gear list
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D
OP Hight Fly Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Beginning into photography

Thanks for the advice!

That's a really great one!

Regards

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Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D
OP Hight Fly Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Beginning into photography
1

I think I'll do what you said then!

It seems more logical too. I might find out that I want to shoot more landscapes/or portraits.

I think that if I later find out I am more into landscapes and wide angle photography I could even get a zoom-wide-angle (10-16mm from tokina for instance).

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Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D
PhotoTeach2 Senior Member • Posts: 9,607
Re: Beginning into photography
1

Hight Fly wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

May I respectfully ask WHY the "D300". Do you have a used one on a special deal available ???

That is now an older camera and may I suggest you look at Mirror-Less cameras.

AND if budget is an issue, may I suggest you can get a lot more for your money with a 1"-type bridge camera, (ala FZ-1000).

ALL Mirror-Less cameras do things not possible w/ dSLR's, (because of the inherent limitations of their "mirrors").

That is indeed a good point you raise. When I started doing my researches, like you advised, I oriented myself towards Mirrorless Cameras, more specifically the Olympus EM-10 II (that is what I thought I'd get at the end of my researches). But after a while, an acquaintance of mine told me he had an old D300 in perfect condition he did not use, so he's gonna give to me.

Long story short, I'm gonna get the D300 in perfect condition for free.

Well ... can't argue with "free" ... LOL

And the D300 is not a "bad" camera. BUT ... you do need to consider what your (eventual) cost for "lenses" will be, (albeit you can get used from eBay, etc.).

Do you reckon it is still better to invest on a Mirrorless camera?

Well ... maybe ...

And the Olympus is also good, BUT ... again you will eventually spend a lot on lenses.

I can only "suggest" you may want to "look" at a FZ-1000 first ... it could still be your cheapest and BEST option.

A STEAL-VALUE @ only $600 new, (<$500 used), with (close-focusing) "continuous" zoom lens that is wider/longer/FASTER then typical "kit" lenses. (25-400mm-EFL @ f/2.8-4)

It has features that are not possible w/ dSLR's or Interchangeable lens cameras.

It has a faster AF and better (5-axis) Image-Stabilization than dSLR, (which is limited to 2-axis In-Lens VR).

Frame rate to 12fps.

And even 4K-video.

With EVF you have a direct visual-feedback when making exposure/WB adjustments/corrections and "zebras" for easy/FAST exposure optimization via ETTR.

(so it is MUCH faster/easier to LEARN to use, and eventually get better-exposed images w/ lower-noise)  Note that is also has a "Hand-Held NIGHT-shot" mode for lower-light.

And what could be very important, is that it has a "LEAF" shutter than can flash-sync at ANY shutter speed so you can get SUN-light fill-flash to 20', (w/ BUILT-IN FLASH).

Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 16,868
Re: Beginning into photography
1

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Hight Fly wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

May I respectfully ask WHY the "D300". Do you have a used one on a special deal available ???

That is now an older camera and may I suggest you look at Mirror-Less cameras.

AND if budget is an issue, may I suggest you can get a lot more for your money with a 1"-type bridge camera, (ala FZ-1000).

ALL Mirror-Less cameras do things not possible w/ dSLR's, (because of the inherent limitations of their "mirrors").

That is indeed a good point you raise. When I started doing my researches, like you advised, I oriented myself towards Mirrorless Cameras, more specifically the Olympus EM-10 II (that is what I thought I'd get at the end of my researches). But after a while, an acquaintance of mine told me he had an old D300 in perfect condition he did not use, so he's gonna give to me.

Long story short, I'm gonna get the D300 in perfect condition for free.

Well ... can't argue with "free" ... LOL

And the D300 is not a "bad" camera. BUT ... you do need to consider what your (eventual) cost for "lenses" will be, (albeit you can get used from eBay, etc.).

Do you reckon it is still better to invest on a Mirrorless camera?

Well ... maybe ...

And the Olympus is also good, BUT ... again you will eventually spend a lot on lenses.

I can only "suggest" you may want to "look" at a FZ-1000 first ... it could still be your cheapest and BEST option.

A STEAL-VALUE @ only $600 new, (<$500 used), with (close-focusing) "continuous" zoom lens that is wider/longer/FASTER then typical "kit" lenses. (25-400mm-EFL @ f/2.8-4)

It has features that are not possible w/ dSLR's or Interchangeable lens cameras.

It has a faster AF and better (5-axis) Image-Stabilization than dSLR, (which is limited to 2-axis In-Lens VR).

Frame rate to 12fps.

And even 4K-video.

With EVF you have a direct visual-feedback when making exposure/WB adjustments/corrections and "zebras" for easy/FAST exposure optimization via ETTR.

(so it is MUCH faster/easier to LEARN to use, and eventually get better-exposed images w/ lower-noise) Note that is also has a "Hand-Held NIGHT-shot" mode for lower-light.

And what could be very important, is that it has a "LEAF" shutter than can flash-sync at ANY shutter speed so you can get SUN-light fill-flash to 20', (w/ BUILT-IN FLASH).

A free D300 is a hard deal to beat. Note that the D300 can use thousands of lenses old and new. There are lots of inexpensive used Nikkors; the D300 works fine with manual focus AI lenses, some of which are excellent optics. The D300 has excellent autofocus and is very responsive. The only areas where it shows its age are high ISO noise and the fact that it's only 12MP.

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Leonard Migliore

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OP Hight Fly Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Beginning into photography
1

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Hight Fly wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

May I respectfully ask WHY the "D300". Do you have a used one on a special deal available ???

That is now an older camera and may I suggest you look at Mirror-Less cameras.

AND if budget is an issue, may I suggest you can get a lot more for your money with a 1"-type bridge camera, (ala FZ-1000).

ALL Mirror-Less cameras do things not possible w/ dSLR's, (because of the inherent limitations of their "mirrors").

That is indeed a good point you raise. When I started doing my researches, like you advised, I oriented myself towards Mirrorless Cameras, more specifically the Olympus EM-10 II (that is what I thought I'd get at the end of my researches). But after a while, an acquaintance of mine told me he had an old D300 in perfect condition he did not use, so he's gonna give to me.

Long story short, I'm gonna get the D300 in perfect condition for free.

Well ... can't argue with "free" ... LOL

And the D300 is not a "bad" camera. BUT ... you do need to consider what your (eventual) cost for "lenses" will be, (albeit you can get used from eBay, etc.).

Do you reckon it is still better to invest on a Mirrorless camera?

Well ... maybe ...

And the Olympus is also good, BUT ... again you will eventually spend a lot on lenses.

I can only "suggest" you may want to "look" at a FZ-1000 first ... it could still be your cheapest and BEST option.

A STEAL-VALUE @ only $600 new, (<$500 used), with (close-focusing) "continuous" zoom lens that is wider/longer/FASTER then typical "kit" lenses. (25-400mm-EFL @ f/2.8-4)

It has features that are not possible w/ dSLR's or Interchangeable lens cameras.

It has a faster AF and better (5-axis) Image-Stabilization than dSLR, (which is limited to 2-axis In-Lens VR).

Frame rate to 12fps.

And even 4K-video.

I will consider this option, but this is not "Future-Proof" if you see what I mean. I can always re-use my lenses if I decide to change cameras, especially if I get to find some very good deals in the coming years. DSLRs are such a big part of the camera market that it will take a at least 10 years to fade (I'm not even sure of that. But I think it'll take a lot of time).

I would like to get a Mirrorless camera, but again, remember I will have a great opportunity to begin into photography (the D300).

Nevertheless, I'll continue my researches.

Thanks a lot for your suggestion!

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Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D
Badwater Senior Member • Posts: 2,095
Re: Beginning into photography

The Nikon 16-80 would be a good first lens.  It has enough range to learn all the basics of photography, and cover a wide range of styles.  Avoid only one prime as you'll be trying to get shots you can't with only one lens.  Having a wide range normal zoom will allow you to explore more options in photography.

OP Hight Fly Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Beginning into photography

Leonard Migliore wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Hight Fly wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

May I respectfully ask WHY the "D300". Do you have a used one on a special deal available ???

That is now an older camera and may I suggest you look at Mirror-Less cameras.

AND if budget is an issue, may I suggest you can get a lot more for your money with a 1"-type bridge camera, (ala FZ-1000).

ALL Mirror-Less cameras do things not possible w/ dSLR's, (because of the inherent limitations of their "mirrors").

That is indeed a good point you raise. When I started doing my researches, like you advised, I oriented myself towards Mirrorless Cameras, more specifically the Olympus EM-10 II (that is what I thought I'd get at the end of my researches). But after a while, an acquaintance of mine told me he had an old D300 in perfect condition he did not use, so he's gonna give to me.

Long story short, I'm gonna get the D300 in perfect condition for free.

Well ... can't argue with "free" ... LOL

And the D300 is not a "bad" camera. BUT ... you do need to consider what your (eventual) cost for "lenses" will be, (albeit you can get used from eBay, etc.).

Do you reckon it is still better to invest on a Mirrorless camera?

Well ... maybe ...

And the Olympus is also good, BUT ... again you will eventually spend a lot on lenses.

I can only "suggest" you may want to "look" at a FZ-1000 first ... it could still be your cheapest and BEST option.

A STEAL-VALUE @ only $600 new, (<$500 used), with (close-focusing) "continuous" zoom lens that is wider/longer/FASTER then typical "kit" lenses. (25-400mm-EFL @ f/2.8-4)

It has features that are not possible w/ dSLR's or Interchangeable lens cameras.

It has a faster AF and better (5-axis) Image-Stabilization than dSLR, (which is limited to 2-axis In-Lens VR).

Frame rate to 12fps.

And even 4K-video.

With EVF you have a direct visual-feedback when making exposure/WB adjustments/corrections and "zebras" for easy/FAST exposure optimization via ETTR.

(so it is MUCH faster/easier to LEARN to use, and eventually get better-exposed images w/ lower-noise) Note that is also has a "Hand-Held NIGHT-shot" mode for lower-light.

And what could be very important, is that it has a "LEAF" shutter than can flash-sync at ANY shutter speed so you can get SUN-light fill-flash to 20', (w/ BUILT-IN FLASH).

The only areas where it shows its age are high ISO noise and the fact that it's only 12MP.

Excuse me for the novice question, but what does it really mean? It is the resolution that is worst?

I understand what higher noise mean, just the fact that it is "only 12 MP".

I often heard people say that it doesn't mean nothing, and you can have 16 MP cameras that are really bad.

 Hight Fly's gear list:Hight Fly's gear list
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D
OP Hight Fly Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Beginning into photography

Thanks for the advice.

As many of you say that I should get the 16-80, I might try to get it then.

Still interested in other points of views tho'!

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Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D
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