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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    10
    Hi Guys

    Thanks for all the advise and I do agree, a better lens would improve a lot of things. For now though it would be a crazy investment to what is a weekend interest at the moment. I'm investing more in time learning the craft and reading / researching / investigating about being a better photographer.
    If I can get my head round better use of a camera (With a lot of help from you guys) then when I do invest in a Foxtrot Oscar lens I will really reap the benefits.
    I'm only just working out depth of field! :-)

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Lightbulb Opinionated solutions ...

    Guys,

    I know it's been a good run and all, but I have to say, I came to the DCRP to learn and share. Simply put, I do not have all the answers ... that's responsibility resides in a much higher authority. I can only try and report on the things I have experienced ... and, hopefully, I successfully share that.

    As far as what will impact your photography ... avoiding reliance on the "kit" lens is my best advice. How you do that is your decision.

    The short list goes like this:

    Reasonable alternatives:
    "Single lens" solutions (not necessarily by price)
    1) TAMRON AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)
    2) SONY DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3
    3) SONY SAL-24105 - 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5

    "Twin lens" solutions (medium cost)
    1) SONY SAL-1680Z - Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 & SAL-70300G 70-300mm f4.5-5.6
    2) TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) & TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO

    The pricier ideas (termed "professional"):
    "Twin lens" solution:
    SONY SAL-2470Z 24-70mm f2.8 & SAL-70200G - 70-200mm f/2.8 G

    The medium cost "Ultra lens bag" - Four lenses
    1) TAMRON SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di-II LD (IF) or SONY DT 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 (when available)
    2) SONY SAL-1680Z - Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5
    3) TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO
    4) TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)

    I'm not even going to recommend the lesser lenses ... because, I cannot see why anyone would want to buy a new lens to shoot inferior images, if they can avoid it. Sure you can use them ... then complain about results. My feeling is: Spend the extra couple of hundred and "shoot happy." It's a long road ... and just MY opinion. You are eagerly encouraged to have one of your very own.

    I know there are cheaper ideas on how to do this ... hell, I've tried them, also. But, to be honest ... you wind tossing away up hundreds of dollars on inferior (non-resellable) lenses trying to acheive results that only can be gotten from a much better optic (which usually is resellable). Oh sure, you can try an beat those pixels into submission with Photoshop or whatever else you use, but the bottom line is ... you should just take better (composed & sharper focused) images, to begin with.

    It really is a lot easier, overall. (Yes, I know that I am avoiding the counter-argument: "Well, how good does the image have to be?" and therein lies the rub. That's the part you figure out for yourself. Welcome to YOUR opinion. LOL )
    Last edited by DonSchap; 09-03-2008 at 08:00 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr® & Sdi

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    Guys,

    I know it's been a good run and all, but I have to say, I came to the DCRP to learn and share. Simply put, I do not have all the answers ... that's responsibility resides in a much higher authority. I can only try and report on the things I have experienced ... and, hopefully, I successfully share that.

    As far as what will impact your photography ... avoiding reliance on the "kit" lens is my best advice. How you do that is your decision.

    The short list goes like this:

    Reasonable alternatives:
    "Single lens" solutions (not necessarily by price)
    1) TAMRON AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)
    2) SONY DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3
    3) SONY SAL-24105 - 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5

    "Twin lens" solutions (medium cost)
    1) SONY SAL-1680Z - Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 & SAL-70300G 70-300mm f4.5-5.6
    2) TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) & TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO

    The pricier ideas (termed "professional"):
    "Twin lens" solution:
    SONY SAL-2470Z 24-70mm f2.8 & SAL-70200G - 70-200mm f/2.8 G

    The medium cost "Ultra lens bag" - Four lenses
    1) TAMRON SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di-II LD (IF) or SONY DT 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 (when available)
    2) SONY SAL-1680Z - Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5
    3) TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO
    4) TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)

    I'm not even going to recommend the lesser lenses ... because, I cannot see why anyone would want to buy a new lens to shoot inferior images, if they can avoid it. Sure you can use them ... then complain about results. My feeling is: Spend the extra couple of hundred and "shoot happy." It's a long road ... and just MY opinion. You are eagerly encouraged to have one of your very own.

    I know there are cheaper ideas on how to do this ... hell, I've tried them, also. But, to be honest ... you wind tossing away up hundreds of dollars on inferior (non-resellable) lenses trying to acheive results that only can be gotten from a much better optic (which usually is resellable). Oh sure, you can try an beat those pixels into submission with Photoshop or whatever else you use, but the bottom line is ... you should just take better (composed & sharper focused) images, to begin with.

    It really is a lot easier, overall. (Yes, I know that I am avoiding the counter-argument: "Well, how good does the image have to be?" and therein lies the rub. That's the part you figure out for yourself. Welcome to YOUR opinion. LOL )
    Oh whew.... for a second there.... I thought you were leaving us!

    Great advice as always. You should be a mod here since we don't have one specifically for this forum always around so that you can sticky helpful threads!
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Red face A walk on the wild side of the line ...

    I lost my objectivity when I got involved in Canon and wound up betrayed. There are others who are not so ... jaundiced ... and would make for a more balanced approach ... based on that ignorance alone. Getting screwed is no fun ... and then watching someone laugh at being ignorant is even worse.

    I rather enjoy my experimentation or continued education ... so that is the benefit, but I'm not here to stroke people's egos ... especially people who insist that being WRONG is RIGHT ... or think they are going to benefit siding with a monolithic giant, when that monolith continues to foster a bad idea. Some politics are just poor plans that someone needs to see through. I do not buy into that line of crap and never have.

    I try to tell it like it is ... if you don't like hearing it, change the channel. The truth never gets old ... it just is was it is.

    BTW: I reserve the right to change my mind. LOL
    Last edited by DonSchap; 09-03-2008 at 01:37 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr® & Sdi

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161

    You know what we need...

    What we need is more guys and gals to join the forum, ask questions on technique, exposure, composition, camera functions, tips and "tricks" and we need to keep posting pics on things we like, things we tried whether they worked or not and share advice on what we like or what we would do different with the photo. Of course there is always room and need for good detailed discussions like this but lets not make it the theme of the forum. I need to much help learning how to MAKE photographs but hey thats only my opinion!! And Don I have never thought of you as a ego stroker, based upon my own direct interaction from your advice/directions/comments all I can say is FACTS is FACTS, it worked for me
    Now if each one of us could "hunt down" another Sony DSLR user and turn them on to this forum, that could be fun eh.
    But the one thing we REALLY need, well at least me anyway is my DAMN Tamron 70-200 2.8!!!
    Man do I like this site........Sean
    Sony A700_____________Minolta AF 50mm. F/1.7
    Minolta AF 70-210mm F/3.5-4.5 Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR DiII LD Asp. [IF]
    Tamron SP AF 70-200mm. F/2.8 DI LD [IF] Macro
    Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2
    Tokina AF 28-70mm F/3.5-4.5
    Tokina AF AT-X 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6
    http://flickr.com/

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Brentwood, TN
    Posts
    3
    Don,
    Thanks for the AF tip back on 8-20-08. I'm getting the hang of it (Alpha 350).
    Frank
    Brentwood, TN
    PS: How can I add a photo in a reply to you?

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    Well, to post an image on DCRP ... the jpeg file can be no larger than 488KB ... which mean most images have to be reduced in size through MS PAINT at the worst, or Photoshop Elements which is a lot better.

    You then go to "Post Reply" ... type in your supporting text message and clcik the paperclip-looking icon ... which is the "Attachments" button. Through a number of intuitive steps, using the "Browse..." button, you locate your file and "upload" it.

    Name:  attach.JPG
Views: 139
Size:  47.4 KB

    In the draft portion of you message, it should look like this (eliminate the dashes and the XXXXX are the relative number of your attached image):

    [-ATTACH-]XXXXX[-/ATTACH-]


    You can upload up to ten images per posting ... but, usually, it is just one or two.

    For simplicity's sake, adding the image's EXIF data is appreciated. Similar in format to this:
    EXIF Data: A900 w/ CZ 24-70mm f/2.8 lens @ 50mm - f/2.8 - 1/15 sec - ISO 100 - Handheld - Natural lighting

    Give it a try and good luck.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 09-04-2008 at 01:24 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr® & Sdi

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    10
    Couple of pics I took today using the camera in A mode. APologies for not having all the details, i'll make note next time.
    Hand held for the flower and tried to blur the backgroound a bit, odd angle is due to the flower being bent over and me down on one knee.
    Sunset is on a tripod 400 iso medium aperture and shutter was fairly quick...so vague!
    Any constructive critisim and help with anything appreciated :-)
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    The DOF (Depth of Field) on the flower is too shallow ... and it is causing the "subject" (the entire flower) to look OOF (Out-of-focus). The aperture should be closed down a stop or two ... when you are this close, otherwise the only thing in focus is dead center.

    You could also back up a little and effectively do the same thing. I believe the petals, in this image, need to be sharply in focus.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 09-04-2008 at 03:00 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr® & Sdi

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    10
    Yeah I can see that now i think. Was manually focusing and the wind kept blowing the flower!
    I don't wanna sound thick, but when you say down a stop or two do you mean a lower number or a smaller size? Still not got my head around the aperture terminology :-)

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