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Getting a new camera and I have a few questions.

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by fellow14, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. fellow14

    fellow14 The Member

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    I am getting ready to make the leap from a Kodak Z7590 to the Canon Digital Rebel XT. I have done lots of reading on various sites recommended here. I have a few questions though. I have been asked to take pictures for a wedding. I will only have about a week to get acclimated to the new camera, is that going to be enough time to be able to take good pictures? Are the auto settings on the camera good enough to compensate for being new to SLRs? I consider myself fairly good at taking pictures with my old camera, but simply outgrew it. I know the kit lens leaves a lot to be desired but from what I have read it is far from the worst. Is there a different 'budget' lens I should get instead of the 18-55 kit lens? I know you get what you pay for but I am on a pretty tight budget and have allowed myself about $900 total. Will the stock battery last through an entire wedding and reception? B&H sells a $10 cheat sheet, is it worth it? Does it really help a newbie? Is there a filter that will produce better pictures indoors? Any other tips, or suggestions? Here is the combo I am looking at:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...807&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation
     
  2. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    I would resist buying cheap zoom lenses. If you want quality inexpensively, there are prime lenses that may suit you. Here are two good examples:

    Canon 24mm f2.8
    Canon 35mm f2
     

  3. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    BTW, I take it you are going to the wedding reception as a "candid" photographer, and you will be shooting with ambient light? In that case, you need bright, fast to deploy lenses. Cheap zooms would be dark, and would not be as quick to deploy (and would also lack quality-wise).
     
  4. fellow14

    fellow14 The Member

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    Some shots will be posed others spontanious. And yes ambient light with the help of the flash, which I have read isn't the greatest.

    Do you think the kit lens will be sufficient? Or should I go with a lens like you suggested? I was looking at the Canon 18-55 EF-S USM. What's the difference between the USM And non-USM?
     
  5. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

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    Don't forget the Nifty Fifty :)

    50mm 1.8

    Opinions

    It will cost you about $75 and although it is plastic it is a damn good lens. For that price, you can replace it when (if) you wear it out.
     
  6. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    First of all, is it a paid gig, or are you just going as a friend, and someone else will be the main photographer?

    USM stands for Ultrasonic Motor. It has some advantages over non-USM lenses when comes to speed and quietness of focusing (and also allows manual focusing while in autofocusing mode).

    For inside work (with poor lighting), this lens (f3.5-5.6) could be a bit dark. However, if you are going to buy a lens specifically for wedding work, you should talk to a pro with good experience. There is a lot more equipment you need for this kind of work, anyway. I would recommend you check this forum.
     
  7. JimBianchi

    JimBianchi Da Da CLM

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    As a working pro photographer for over 11 years, I can honestly say a great Canon L zoom lens is far more versitile than primes.

    Primes are great and I have many, but for weddings a good zoom lens is the way to go.

    One of the best all around zooms is the Canon 24-105 F4 IS L.

    And it won't break the bank.

    90% of the work on my site (www.thephotoop.com) was shot with two lenses, the 70-200 2.8 and the 24-70 2.8. Two great zooms that will break the bank of most people! (About $2500 for both)

    BTW, lots of pros use the Digital Rebel as a back up. Good camera.


    YMHO

    Jim
     
  8. fellow14

    fellow14 The Member

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    Not a paid gig. Friend of the family thing and they asked that I do the photography. I wish they had hired a pro, but I guess they think I am better than I think I am. There is a lot to take in making this transition and I will probably take my old camera that I am familiar with in case things are not going well with the new camera.
     
  9. fellow14

    fellow14 The Member

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    So do the 35mm lenses work as well as the 'digital' lenses? Christ, yet another set of options.:wow:
     
  10. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    Original poster was talking about ca. $200+ lens budget, hence my mention of primes. Zoom L lenses are $1K+.
     
  11. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    The joy of abundance. ;)
     
  12. fellow14

    fellow14 The Member

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    So do are there any problems with using 35mm lenses?
     
  13. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    No. I assume you are not talking about old, manual-focus lenses.
     
  14. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    Oh, also remember that there are plenty of lenses from third-party manufacturers, like Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina. Some of them are quite good. Visit the Fred Miranda site I linked earlier and read the reviews.
     
  15. fellow14

    fellow14 The Member

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    No I was refering to new stuff. Would that 50mm lens MissKitty linked to do ok indoors without flash or would I need one of the 28-35mm you linked to? I think my brain is going into overload trying to assess all the options.
     
  16. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    That 50 is brighter, so it would do even better indoors, but mind you, it's just part of the equation. The great benefit of the 24-70 f2.8L that JimBianchi was talking about is ability to change focal length. That 50mm will always be like 80mm on your camera (longer than standard). If your shots will be from a distance or of details, that would be a great lens. Otherwise, you will need something wider. That's why a good zoom is so nice, but they do cost a bit of money. BTW, on your camera, that 24-70 would be an equivalent of 38-110, just barely wide to mild-tele.

    These are difficult decisions, and budget is rarely a helpful criterion for selecting lenses.
     
  17. General Sherman

    General Sherman

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    Your Kodak is a nice camera.

    Getting used to a new Digital SLR is a chore and maybe too much for the short time before the wedding.

    I would get the kit lens, which is fairly versatile for a wedding. You will need the wide angle for group shots and since you will be taking informal and candid shots a zoom lens should serve you better than a fixed focal length lens.

    I would consider a Canon flash for the camera, like the 220EX.
    Do not use an off brand flash as the flash shoe voltage may fry your camera.

    Good luck and have fun.
     
  18. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

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    Always be mindful of that conversion factor based on the 1.6 sensor.

    It makes your lenses "longer" and it also alters wide angles some. For example, I am lusting for a TRUE fisheye but none of them will give the full effect an XT. The closest I can come is with an 8mm Peleng (sp?).

    On the other hand, it is like having longer lenses with less weight and bulk to carry around with you so the pros/cons do compliment each other.

    You are going to absolutely love that XT once you get used to it. After a year, I learn something new every day. And it is just as fun as it was the day UPS brought the box to me :supergrin:
     
  19. fellow14

    fellow14 The Member

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  20. fellow14

    fellow14 The Member

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    LOL one more question does the camera write to the memory card fast enough to warrant spending the extra money for the "faster" cards?

    I found a PNY 1GB card for $25 on newegg. The Sandisk ultra II is about double that.