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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Lightbulb New DSLR Users may benefit from ...

    SONY has a tutorial section in their Online Learning Center. It is a free service and is certainly recommended as a "tireless" solution on how to operate your new SONY DSLR.

    (No longer in existence - terminated April 2010)

    If you are interested in a more casual, yet focused perception of using the SONY DSLR ... you are invited to review the link suggestions on this thread, as well as peruse the rest of the forum. A lot of ground has been covered on these pages and it really could fill a book.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-25-2010 at 05:55 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

  2. #32
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    Cool PRIME consideration

    The subject of PRIME Lenses was brought up and this really can be a real "mine field" to navigate, because there are various advantages to the different focal lengths and apertures.

    The most dynamic aspect of a PRIME lens is Depth of Field (DOF). Having a short focal length PRIME lens with an ultra wide aperture (f/1.4 - f/1.8) provides a lot of light, but also a relatively deep DOF at close range. The same aperture and distance on a medium prime length PRIME tightens up that DOF considerably (shallow). On a telephoto PRIME lens, the DOF at wide aperture becomes very thin.

    A couple of DOF examples:
    f/1.8 @ distance of 10-ft

    Focal length → DOF

    24mm → 3.8-ft

    35mm → 1.8-ft

    50mm → 10-inches

    85mm → 4-inches

    135mm → 1.5-inches

    Now, increasing the distance between you and your subject does have large effect, but the subject is reduced in size. Increasing to 20-ft, the subject is half as large. That can be a real problem with a wide angle lens, as the subject gets kind of 'lost' in all of the background:

    Focal length → DOF


    24mm → 17.5-ft

    35mm → 7.3-ft

    50mm → 3.5-ft

    85mm → 14-inches

    135mm → 6-inches

    While this is hard to envision, without the accompanying images, you can kind of get the feel for the problem if you have a typical 17-50mm, 18-50mm, 18-55mm, 24-70mm or 18-70mm "kit" lens. Ignoring the DOF for a few moments, focus on your subject (10 feet away), then simply watch through the viewfinder as you zoom from 50mm down to 24mm. Now, step back 10 more feet (to a total distance of 20 feet) and do the same thing. Yeah, a lot more background to fight the "framing battle" with.

    So, as you can probably tell ... picking the proper PRIME lens depends almost entirely on the situation. The low-light struggle with DOF has to be reconciled, before you spin wide open to f/1.4 or f/1.8, otherwise ... everyone may be bright, but they are going to look a little fuzzy around the edges.

    So which PRIME lens to own? Well, generally speaking, the 50mm f/1.7 would be a place to start, because it is a relatively low-cost choice and splits the difference between wide and telephoto. The next one is a bit more difficult to choose, because the cost goes up considerably and kind of depends on whether you have a APS-C (α100, α200, α300, α350, α700) or a Full Frame (α900) sensor camera.
    [I][B]


    Here is a "short list" of available prime lenses w/ filter diameters* (non-MACRO despite description)

    Non-fisheye Wide Angle PRIME
    ۝ Samyang 14mm f/2.8 Rectilinear (manual lens w/ no filter ring)
    ۝ TAMRON 14mm f/2.8 Rectilinear (no filter ring)
    ۝ SIGMA 20mm f/1.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL RF 82mm
    ۝ SONY 20mm f/2.8 72mm
    ۝ SIGMA 24mm f/1.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL MACRO 77mm
    ۝ SIGMA 28mm f/1.8 EX DG MACRO 77mm
    ۝ SONY 28mm f/2.8 49mm
    ۝ SIGMA 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM 62mm
    ۝ SONY 35mm f/1.4 G 55mm

    Normal PRIME
    ۝ SIGMA 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM 77mm
    ۝ SONY 50mm f/1.4 55mm
    ۝ SONY DT 50mm f/1.8 55mm
    ۝ Minolta 50mm f/1.4 49mm or 55mm
    ۝ Minolta 50mm f/1.7 49mm or 55mm


    Telephoto PRIME
    ۝ Samyang 85mm f/1.4 72mm (Manual lens)
    ۝ SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 77mm
    ۝ SONY 85mm f/1.4 CZ 77mm
    ۝ SONY 135mm f/1.8 CZ 77mm
    ۝ SONY 135mm f/2.8 [4.5] STF 72mm Manual Focus
    ۝ SONY 300mm f/2.8 G SSM 42mm (internal)

    * Some folks pick and choose their lenses to have similar filter-ring diameters to reduce filter costs, so I included it.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 06-24-2010 at 01:17 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

  3. #33
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    Talking Hey ... you might actually learn sumptin'

    Here is a useful link, that kind of deals with the "Basics of the Photography"

    I guess I tire of people selling books on a 100plus-year-old subject that should be free, by now. This is nothing new ... so get reading and just learn ... for free.

    If there are any non-SONY DSLR members reading this ... YES, you can also get something from reading this information. It is generic in nature ... so read up and hopefully you can find something useful to improve your understanding of the subject. Personally, I have always seemed to get a little something more from the materials.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 06-10-2009 at 06:55 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

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Cool MACROs & Fisheyes

    Some of the special prime lenses are the MACROs and Fisheyes.

    MACROs allow for a very close-up shot, with a very wide aperture (usually f/2.8), allowing for exceptional clarity, detail and extremely shallow depth of field, effectively "fuzzing out" the areas in front of and behind the subject.

    Below is a check-listing of the "currently" available lenses:

    MACRO PRIME

    ۝ SONY DT 30mm f/2.8 Macro(55mm)
    ۝ SIGMA 50mm f/2.8 EX DG (55mm)
    ۝ SONY 50mm f/2.8 (55mm)
    ۝ TAMRON 60mm f/2 Di-II 1:1 MACRO (55mm)
    ۝ SIGMA 70mm f/2.8 EX DG (62mm)
    ۝ TAMRON SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di 1:1 MACRO (55mm)
    ۝ SONY 100mm f/2.8 Macro (55mm)
    ۝ SIGMA 105mm f/2.8 EX DG (58mm)
    ۝ SIGMA 150mm f/2.8 EX DG (72mm)
    ۝ SIGMA 180mm f/3.5 EX DG (72mm)
    ۝ TAMRON SP AF 180mm f/3.5 Di 1:1 MACRO (72mm)


    Fisheye lenses offer a distorted aspect to your image, forgoing the rectilinear correction of the standard optic. Normally, because of the rather eccentric shape of the first element, these type of lenses cannot accommodate filters and therefore have no filter ring on the front of the lens. Many do have a gelatin-filter ring in the rear of the lens to add various "style" elements to the image.

    Fisheye PRIME
    ۝ SIGMA 4.5mm f/2.8 EX DC Circular Fisheye HSM
    ۝ Samyang MF 8mm f/3.5 Circular Fisheye
    ۝ SIGMA 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye
    ۝ SIGMA 10mm f/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM
    ۝ SIGMA 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye
    ۝ SONY 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-28-2009 at 10:21 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

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Exclamation Updated first post ...

    Updating has been done to original sticky in this thread ... to add the new lens releases.
    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

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    788
    A couple of notches up in the entry about primes you mention the +30 cameras as not having the screw drive AF capabilities, but after they were released we found out they did. We might want to update that for newbies.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
    Nikon FE - Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI'd, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI, F to EF adapter, 2xVivitar 285, other lighting stuff
    Mamiya C220 - 80mm f/2.8

    Gear List flickr

  7. #37
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    Correction made ... speculation deleted.
    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. #38
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Thumbs down It moved!

    One of the major issues we rarely discuss is the type of determination you need to use when you lift the camera to take a shot, as to the "type of shot" you are going to take. Sedentary? Action? Hyper-Action?

    In FULL AUTO (the newbie's favorite MODE position), your new (or old) DSLR is going to assume the subject is NOT moving and sitting relative still, so you can get the image. This one is relatively easy to do and has a high success factor in AUTO mode. As such, the camera is going to set itself ONLY for the exposure level of the lighting. The corresponding Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO are not going to be anything special and probably based on the lens you have attached.

    You might say a tripod is best used for AUTO, indoors. Everyone "hold it" and press the shutter release. Viola, an automatic picture with your expensive DSLR. Unfortunately, AUTO will not calculate the appropriate Shutter Speed for little Johnny, as he races past on his new bicycle.

    Well, happily, your new camera is a little more useful than that ... and, normally, to "freeze" lil' Johnny, your shutter speed will have to be 1/250th or faster. The only way you are going to get that is usually by changing the MODE from AUTO to something else. You will basically need to set your MODE knob to "S" and use the thumbwheel to set 250/320/500 in your settings.

    The camera will then use this "manually entered" shutter speed setting to calculate the other necessary settings for the Aperture and the ISO, to get the correct exposure (Ev=0).

    Again, the Aperture will be limited to the base aperture of your selected lens. If you are using a lens that has a base aperture of f/5.6 ... these faster shutter speeds may not offer the necessary exposure for a good shot. You will know this, as the Aperture-setting will "flash" on and off, when you half-press the shutter release and activate the camera's metering system. If the exposure is out of range .... the setting flashes. It is telling you that you need to do SOMETHING to get the exposure correct. You might "up" the ISO to a higher setting (800, 1600) and provide enough illumination offset (Ev) of the sensor to compensate for this darker lens.

    Another way to do this without a lot of trouble is to have a flash (HVL-F42AM or HVL-F58AM) handy, that will "pop" enough light at about 1/125th or 1/160th second shutter speed. The synchronized flash can then probably "freeze" little Johnny, too.

    I would demonstrate this technique, but little Johnny has since rode off. He gets bored, easily, as you fiddle with your camera.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-25-2010 at 09:54 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

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2
    Hi all.

    I have a couple of questions about upgrading from my kit lens.I have a Sony A500 btw.

    I want to buy a Macro lens and a zoom lens.
    My questions are.
    A) Should I buy a dedicated Macro lens like this
    http://www.pixmania.ie/ie/uk/3757965...-2-8-macr.html
    or a Zoom type Macro lens like this?
    http://www.pixmania.ie/ie/uk/5021173...-dc-macro.html

    B) I want to buy a super zoom aswell and am looking at lenses like this
    http://www.pixmania.ie/ie/uk/3661238...6-dg-os-l.html

    Can anyone offer me any other advice,I would like to keep within a budget of around 800euro which is about $1000.

    So to sum it all up,I want a Macro and a Zoom,and would it be worth getting a Macro/Zoom Combo and then a long range zoom or a dedicated Macro and a wide angle to long range zoom lens.

    Was also looking at a fisheye! what ye think of this one
    http://cgi.ebay.ie/Samyang-8mm-f-3-5...item1e609c0cae

    I have a bit of money to spare at the moment so I really want to get a complete range while I can but as I'm not a pro photographer I really just need top quality but budget friendly gear.
    Sorry lads I'm starting to ramble a bit now,I think ye know what I want/need at this stage,I hope someone can guide me in the right direction

    Cheers
    Last edited by Casey78; 12-29-2010 at 03:53 PM.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2
    None of my links seem to work so ignore them!
    But the questions still remain the same

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