close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

The "other" hobby

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by Lone Wolf8634, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Lone Wolf8634

    Lone Wolf8634 :):

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    10,222
    Likes Received:
    1,512
    Location:
    Under the bus
    Now that I'm getting close to having my gunsafe full of my various "Gotta haves" I thought I'd turn to the other hobby I've always been interested in.
    So last year I bought a Canon Digital Rebel XT. It came with a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lense. I played around with this for a while then bought a EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM. Now that I've played with it for a year or so I seem to have gotten bit by another bug.

    So, as some of you know, I'm a truck driver and I travel around the country a lot, which should afford me the chance at some good pics. Not to mention I am "allowed" to have my camera's on the truck with me. Something I cant do with the other hobby.

    So my question to you is: What lenses/other equipment would you recomend for an amatuer to purchase if I'm interested in the following:

    Landscapes
    Wildlife
    portrait
    Extreme close up (Macro?)

    I'm already looking into taking a photography class, but with my line of work that may be a problem, so it will probly be a "learn as you go" type of experience. Which means I'll be bothering you guys!

    For the most part, the professional lenses are out of my economic reach but I can save for just about anything else that would help me out.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Glkster19

    Glkster19

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    I recently purchased a Sigma 18-125. Got it just in time for a trip to the UP. Was very happy with the pictures it took. It has image stabilization for us amateur photographers.

    The Canon 70-200 lens' always take great pics, but you mentioned a limited budget I think. The cheapest in that line with IS is going to run you about $1k.

    For portrait pics, find yourself a Canon 50mm 1.4, under $400 brand new and used around $300. Great lens for the money.

    I'm sure others will chime in here shortly that know way more than I.
     

  3. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Get a cushioned rig for your camera and a wireless remote, so you can mount it in your truck and take pictures safely while you're driving. A light and bright fixed-focus wide lens would be nice. Then experiment with shutter speed and set it manually to eliminate shake. Let the camera set aperture.
     
  4. Hokie

    Hokie NRA Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    515
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    VA
    It is worth it to save up for great glass. Unlike a body that is discontinued and replaced with a new model every 2 or so years you will use a great lens forever and will not become obsolete like the body. If for some reason you do sell it will hold its resale value unlike lower quality lenses. Get the best you can afford to get.
     
  5. bigzebra

    bigzebra

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Missouri
    You may want to look into the Canon EFS 10-22mm, which is the only true wide angle lens for the crop bodies. It really allows for some spectacular shots. It runs about $699, give or take about forty bucks. It is really worth it!

    Shop around on B&H or Amazon.

    As an added bonus, the 10-22mm is reportedly on par with an L lens- Cannon's top of the line professional lenses.
     
  6. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    18,802
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    >^..^<
    How much of a budget do you have now or forsee?

    You are going to discover that you will basically need a different lens for each of these subjects: landscapes, wildlife, portraits and macro. One thing worth noting is that a lot of macro lenses will also double as a great portrait lens if they aren't too sharp for your taste--a lot of people find them to be because of wanting to minimize flaws but just as many love them so it is a matter of taste.

    For wildlife you are going to need something long. I have had my 70-200 around six weeks and I love it. That and a 1.4x or 2x teleconverter will get you more than enough reach for most skittish animals. I went with the f/4 IS version because I wanted the extra speed IS would give me but the 2.8 was too heavy. For me, it was an awesome compromise. You may not care for IS, or for the 2.8 version. For the non IS f/4, you can get it for around $600 new, with IS it goes up to $1100 which is about the same as the 2.8. If you are interested in any of the four models of the 70-200 you won't go wrong with either of them. :)

    When I was looking at the a shorter prime, somebody suggested the Sigma 24-60 2.8 and I looked around and jumped on it. I got the lens and a good UV filter for about $250 from Cameta by going thru amazon.com and I am very pleased with it. Since I found this bargain (it's been discontinued so once the sellers who still have it sell out, you are looking at $1K and up for other lenses that perform like this in this range!) I have sung it's praises to anybody who would listen. Since I saved so much on this one I could then spring for the 70-200 f/4 IS (I also got a nice bonus I wasn't expecting that made it possible. Yeah, I know all about buying lenses on a budget :) )

    For macro, if you stick to the 50mm choices you may can use it for portraits. I have heard of some wedding photogs using the 60mm EF-S macro just for bridal portraits. I have a 50mm 2.8 Sigma macro that I love.

    I will throw out the Canon 50 1.8 as an awesome little lens. It is an excellent lens due to cost, speed and quality. Mine is a sharp little booger and if I had it to do over again, I would have bought it first instead of the kit lens---I learned so much using this lens. I have no plans to sell my kit but I believe I would have learned a lot faster with the nifty fifty when I knew absolutely nothing.
     
  7. Lone Wolf8634

    Lone Wolf8634 :):

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    10,222
    Likes Received:
    1,512
    Location:
    Under the bus
    Lotsa Info here folks!! I just spent the last 4 hours cruisin around the internets researching your recomendations. I can think of worse ways to spend the day:supergrin:

    So far what I've decided is to go with:
    A 70-200 f/4 L IS USM. With a 2x extender it should take care of my long shots. (Thanks Misskitty5077)

    An 50 mm f/1.4 USM. For portrait and macro. If I dont like it for the macro I can always get a 60 mm.(Glkster19 & misskitty5077:wavey:)

    And as recomended a 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 for wide angle.(Bigzebra:cool:)

    It'll be a while before I can get them all since this wishlist is upwards of $2300. Boy is my wife gonna be :steamed:

    Another question is , what do i gain by buying the lower f/# compared to higher? Ex. 70-200mm f/2.8 compared to 70-200mm f/4? Other than making my wallet $500 lighter?

    Hwyhobo: I dont think I would want to put my camera thru that kind of shaking!!! I cant think of any way to pad it enough to take some of the bouncing in this truck. When a truck driver says his truck rides like a dream, thats relative!!:rofl: While I'm rolling it stays in its nice padded case on the nice soft airseat.

    Thanks for the info!! Any input as to my choices here would be appreciated also.

    Now I need to figure out what I need for filters/flashes.
     
  8. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    And yet you do carry it inside the cabin, don't you?
     
  9. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    18,802
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    >^..^<
    The 50 1.4 isn't a macro, if you are looking at the one I think. It can be used as a macro with extension tubes. Make sure the 50 you buy is the right one for you. Canon does make a 50 macro but it is 1:2 unless you buy the life-size converter thingee which boosts it to 1:1 (1:1 is life size, 1:2 is half life size--I think I got that right...). Something else with macro to consider, what are you going to be shooting? Bugs can be skittish so you will need a lens with a longer focusing distance. Also, get good at manual focusing because you cannot AF macro.

    The lower the f/number (faster), the bigger the maximum aperture is. That means you don't need as much light to properly expose. Depending on what you are shooting, it can also mean a really, really small DOF. When you take the 70-200 f/4 and add IS, you gain a few more stops so it works similar to the 2.8 in low light.
     
  10. Lone Wolf8634

    Lone Wolf8634 :):

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    10,222
    Likes Received:
    1,512
    Location:
    Under the bus
    Yup, But as I said, it stays in its padded case which is strapped to an airseat. thats where it will get the least vibration and most protection. If I was to set it on some kind of tripod while I was rolling it would be subject to an awful lot of vibration, even on a good road. On a bad road things in the cab can actually become airborn if they arent stowed properly. Thats the main reason I wear a seatbelt in a truck, if I hit a bad enough bump I could be trying to steer the truck from the floor!
     
  11. Lone Wolf8634

    Lone Wolf8634 :):

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    10,222
    Likes Received:
    1,512
    Location:
    Under the bus

    I did find a life size converter for $256.60 on amazon and a EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro lens for $370. Would I be better off getting both the 50mm and the 60mm or would the 50mm with the converter do the same thing? There's only $120 difference between the 2 choices.

    Thanks for the info on the f/#, I think the 70-200mm f/4L IS USM will do what I want. I think I'm gonna need the IS on my tele lens. My 75-300mm has already taught me that I apparently shake like I'm being electrocuted while taking a pic.
     
  12. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    I would never suggest a tripod. I suggested a padded rig, a mount. If padded properly, it could be just as safe as your bag. You could strap it to the seat next to you.

    Not that I am really trying to convince you to do it, just giving ideas.
     
  13. blueiron

    blueiron

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    11,145
    Likes Received:
    11

    Best advice!

    Buying a high dollar body and discount lenses is the same as buying an Anschutz match rifle and putting a Nylon 66 barrel on it to shoot in competition.

    The lenses will last a very long time and will outlast many generations of digital bodies.
     
  14. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    18,802
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    >^..^<
    Between those choices, I would go with the 50 and converter. The 50 by itself is nice for portraits and it's fast. It is rare that you hear of anybody who don't love their 50, but I don't mean that people don't like the 60, just that the 50 is a great choice all the way around.

    Yeah, I thought I was having a seizure during an earthquake the first time I used a long lens. I love IS. :supergrin:

    Oh, IS sucks your batteries pretty quickly. Check to see what the prices are for them, the Canon and compare that to SterlingTech (sp?). I'm not sure what your body needs but I got 2 of the Sterlings for less than $35 shipped. Could have been less than $30 but I can't remember now. The crowd over at POTN raves about them and I can see why. :)

    Oh, you have discovered POTN, haven't you? I lurk there tons. Occasionally I post but I mostly just quietly move around being a sponge sucking up all the stuff I can. :supergrin:
     
  15. Lone Wolf8634

    Lone Wolf8634 :):

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    10,222
    Likes Received:
    1,512
    Location:
    Under the bus
    Ok, I'll give the 50 and a converter a try first. I already bought 2 new battery's at Wal-Mart. At close to $50 each:crying:. Noooowwww. you tell me:supergrin:.

    I'll have to find POTN and lurk around there for a while. I always ask my questions on this board since theres a forum for just about everything I'm interested in, besides, GT is the only one I've ever joined! Gonna have to give Eric some money, I'm starting to feel guilty!
     
  16. Lone Wolf8634

    Lone Wolf8634 :):

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    10,222
    Likes Received:
    1,512
    Location:
    Under the bus
    I might try that, I'm always seeing wildlife and such on the side of the road. Should've seen the herd of bull elk I saw on top of Flagstaff last year.
     
  17. Lone Wolf8634

    Lone Wolf8634 :):

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    10,222
    Likes Received:
    1,512
    Location:
    Under the bus
    I had thought of that before I posted this but I didnt know if the higher end glass would actually be worth the investment for a hobby. The 75-300mm I have takes pretty nice pics. And it only cost $179 at Wally world. But I'm convinced now.

    I really wish that I was interested in something cheap tho, collecting toothpicks maybe.
     
  18. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    18,802
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    >^..^<
  19. nipperwolf

    nipperwolf

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    71
    You need to do some more research. It's no secret that zooms, and converters, produce lower IQ, in most cases. While some get good results with top quality glass and 1.4 FACTORY converters, and fewer get decent results with a FACTORY 1.7, don't expect good results from using a 2.0 converter on a zoom.
     
  20. Hokie

    Hokie NRA Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    515
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    VA
    You also lose 2 stops using the 2x and one stop using the 1.4x. your F4 lens is now slow as molasses in January