RailPictures.Net Forums

RailPictures.Net Forums (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/index.php)
-   Railroad Photography Forum (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=9)
-   -   Comments/Pictures Wanted on Entry Level DSLR / Entry Level Glass (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/showthread.php?t=6018)

ottergoose 10-19-2007 02:08 AM

Comments/Pictures Wanted on Entry Level DSLR / Entry Level Glass
 
It might take a few months to get some funding scraped together, but I'm getting ready for my first DSLR, which will be a nice upgrade from my old Sony DSC F707.

My budget's probably not going to be any better than $450 for a body and $200 for a lens. At those prices, buying new, that looks like a Rebel XT, D40, or K100, and an entry level 70-300 mm lens. I'd be willing to buy used as well, if there are any previous generations of equipment that are worth looking at. And, since I'll be graduating from college and getting genuine income in the spring/summer/[whenever I land a job], it's likely that I'll be investing in a newer body and/or lenses in the next 1-2 years.

I'd also be interested in knowing if, given those budgetary constraints, it might make more sense to get a nice DSLR-like camera (Canon S5 IS, etc.), or just cross my legs and wait it out with my old camera.

I'm not looking to open another can of worms regarding Canon vs. Nikon, I know they're both fine products, and that generally speaking, Canon's known for better bodies, Nikon for better lenses. What about Pentax or Olympus? Are those even worth considering?

Since the primary use of the camera will be train photography, this would be an excellent excuse for you to show off any pictures you've taken with a Rebel XT, D40, or K100 along with a $200ish lens.

Freericks 10-19-2007 02:24 AM

I've always been a Canon and Fujica guy, and I will stand by them both - but I know that's not really what you are asking.

As a Rebel XT owner, my recommendation is that you buy a used 20D body. I love my XT, but the 20D is a faster and more accurate focuser. As to lenses, start at what you can afford, but the more you upgrade, the happier you will be. (I know the 20D might be a little out of budget, but it's such a nice camera and with the intro of the 40D the prices on used ones are coming down somewhat.)

JRMDC 10-19-2007 02:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ottergoose
I'm not looking to open another can of worms regarding Canon vs. Nikon, I know they're both fine products, and that generally speaking, Canon's known for better bodies, Nikon for better lenses. What about Pentax or Olympus? Are those even worth considering?.

The Canon and Nikon generalization, that is old info. Bodies are a matter of preferences in shooting. There can be differences in sensor quality, but if you are not a SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHER or picky, they can be ignored. Same with variations in lens quality - which are generally specific to lenses and not an entire brand line of lenses. Pentax and Olympus are quality stuff.

In general, I would suggest you go with the cheapest possible used body, that you can put up with, in the brand that you want to stay with in the long run. So, if you are doing Canon, look at the 300d (dRebel). Ask Joe Hinson, Joe the Photographer, he uses one. I personally couldn't stand the slow buffer after a while, but I would have stuck with it had I not had the money to upgrade to a 20D. (As far as Canon goes, I think the D30 and D60 - old, old - fall in the "cant put up with" category. The 10D doesn't get you enough over the 300D to justify spending more for it, especially for a used camera that is to be dumped after a year or two.)

The key is that you commit to a brand. Then, down the road, you eventually upgrade the body when you can, and stick with the same lenses, or upgrade the lenses and stick with the body, and not have to dump the whole thing and start over.

Cyclonetrain 10-19-2007 03:30 AM

Something like a Canon 300D or a Nikon D50/70 would be fine. You're going to keep your glass much longer than your DSLR itself, so keep that in mind.

ottergoose 10-19-2007 04:00 AM

After quickly skimming over the prices on eBay for the 300d and D50, they both look to be well within my budget... I had no idea you could get a tolerable SLR for that little...

Thanks for the input - I'm still interested in what anyone else has to say, especially if it includes photos they've taken with any of the relevant cameras.

Slopes09 10-19-2007 04:50 AM

I shoot with the K100D and I can personally vouch for its awesomeness. Any of my shots August 11th and after were taken with my Pentax K100D. In my opinion, you get a lot for your money with the K100D, including image stabilization, which seems to come in handy a lot for me, especially since I seem to have a tendency to wind up in less than perfect lighting conditions.

EMTRailfan 10-19-2007 10:33 AM

Look for floor models for sale too. That's what I ended up getting. I got a D40, 18-55, 55-200, and some other smaller goodies for what a new body is worth.

JRMDC 10-19-2007 02:29 PM

If you are uncomfortable with buying on eBay, KEH.com is an excellent used equipment vendor with a large stock of stuff.

railfanzone 10-19-2007 03:16 PM

I second getting a used 20D body over a newer XTi. Watch places like Adorama and B&H - they get refurbished 20D bodies from time to time at a decent price, and they usually come with a 90 day warranty. Also as mentioned, KEH is another reputable outlet for used gear. I've had my 20D since December 2004 and love it.

Example photos are really going to depend on the glass you're using. Nearly all of my photos up here from December 2004 on are shot with the 20D (there's a couple B&W film shots from my Graflex Speed Graphic in the mix), so feel free to poke around. Of course, any other questions, feel free to ask.

ottergoose 10-19-2007 03:45 PM

Quick question - how many mm of glass do you need to pull off the "telemash" (telesmash?) look, with the nice heat distortion and so on? The 5x optical zoom on my current camera doesn't seem to be sufficient. Would an entry level 70-300 mm lens get the job done?

M.L.Gabert 10-19-2007 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slopes09
I shoot with the K100D and I can personally vouch for its awesomeness.

Dido here, I chose the K100 because I have ton's of K mount lenses around. Plus I like the "Shake Reduction" feature built in, and it actually works, and not only on new lenses but my old. For a "budget" DSLR, I've been quite impressed.

http://railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=10417

Frederick 10-19-2007 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ottergoose
Quick question - how many mm of glass do you need to pull off the "telemash" (telesmash?) look, with the nice heat distortion and so on? The 5x optical zoom on my current camera doesn't seem to be sufficient. Would an entry level 70-300 mm lens get the job done?


2-300mm should be enough...

Freericks 10-19-2007 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frederick
2-300mm should be enough...

Two things - first, because the sensor is smaller than a 35mm frame, a 300mm lens is actually more telephoto" on many DSLRs than on a 35mm camera, so I think you'll be happy with it. Just realize you will either need a tripod or to go with very fast shutter speed on that long a lens (especially an entry level 300mm).

Second - every time Frederick posts, I get confused, wondering what it is that I posted? :wink:

Joe the Photog 10-19-2007 04:33 PM

This is handheld at f8 stretched out to 200mm and then cropped from there with an almost four yr. old 300d.

[photoid=193775]

Freericks 10-19-2007 04:58 PM

The eXIF data shows 1/1000th. You can handhold 300mm at 1/1000th too. You need a tripod at 1/250th, I think.

By the way, Joe... great shot.

ken45 10-19-2007 05:07 PM

One huge reason I switched to a DSLR is the ability to take high quality zoomed shots and telemashes. I'm not sure where the threshold is as far as mm's as to where a shot goes from normal to telemash, but as Joe shows, it can occur at 200mm (320mm digital equivalent) and I'm sure at lower focal lengths it would work if you did it right, possibly right down to 100mm.

Carl Becker 10-19-2007 09:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frederick
2-300mm should be enough...

Out of curiousity and while we're on the topic, how would this compare to high-end digital and/or point and shoot zoom capability? 10X, 12Xish?

Carl Becker 10-19-2007 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freericks
Second - every time Frederick posts, I get confused, wondering what it is that I posted?

Honestly, I get the two of you confused all the time since I just glance at who posted the message. I don't notice a difference until your avatar appears, which is obviously quite different. ;)

Christopher Muller 10-19-2007 09:38 PM

380mm is = to ~10x

SamD 10-21-2007 05:50 AM

Nikon D50, 18-55mm kit lens

[photoid=127187]

This picture was taken as a 3008x2000 jepg and crapped down. The D50 is only a 6.5mp camera. The current Nikon starter cameras, the D40 and the D80 are the same, but way better.

Ween 10-21-2007 05:56 AM

Quote:

This picture was taken as a 3008x2000 jepg and crapped down.
How ironic that it's a picture of a UP unit...:lol:

Mike B. 10-21-2007 07:04 AM

The D40 kit with the 18-55 and 55-200 is only $650 at B&H. It's what I would get if I was in your position.

ottergoose 10-22-2007 08:21 PM

Alright, I think I'm going to go with the 350D/Rebel XT. It has better continuous shooting capabilities than the 300D or D50, the sample photos I saw from the D50 were less sharp than the 350D. If that logic is sending up any red flags, please bring them to my attention! :)

Are there any suggestions for an entry level lens to go along with the 350D? I'd like to be able to take a roster shot if I have to (without being a mile away), and be able to pull off a legitimate telelmash. Is it possible to do that with one lens and spend less than $250, or will I need to get two lenses?

I would guess that Canon's EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 II USM is a candidate - does anyone here use one?

ken45 10-22-2007 09:06 PM

Good choice on the camera, but you won't be too happy with the lens choice. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the crop factor that occurs with most dslrs. The crop factor is due to the fact that the dslr doesn't have a full frame sensor, and thus only sees a portion of the image coming through the lens. The result of this is the equivalent of a little extra zoom. The xti likely has a 1.6 crop factor, like my 30D. This means you take the focal length of the lens, multiply it by 1.6, and that's the true focal length as the camera sees it. Thus that 55-200mm turns into a 88-320mm. So that's terrific for telephoto shots, but not cool for normal shooting, and you'll soon find yourself missing wider-angle capabilities.

For lenses you could:

Purchase a cheap 2-lens set from another manufacturer. You'd get what you pay for, but you'd still get better shots than with a P&S.

An example is the Tamron 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 and 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Two Lens Kit for Canon EOS

OR, buy an all-everything lens for a little more money. The advantage is you don't have to switch lenses. The drawback is that many of these lenses have their sweet spots and may not perform equally at all focal lengths, and with such a huge range, you'll get soft images. It's still way better than your P&S.

Examples include the Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DG Macro IF and the Canon EF 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 USM

OR, hold of on telephoto and use your money to get a decent lens in the wide-angle to mid telephoto range.

Examples include the Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM or for a bit more money, the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, which I use 95% of the time and absolutely love.

JRMDC 10-23-2007 12:52 AM

Nothing wrong with supplementing that 55-200 with the cheap-o "kit" 18-55, especially on your budget. Then upgrade down the road: I eventually went to the Sigma 17-70.


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:36 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.