Starting photography. Need advice

Starting photography. Need advice

33 posts
7 Aug 2015
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
RoxyMendez

redbaron - thank you very, very much, I have had a couple of private emails suggested I try a 50 as well. I will certainly be looking in to that as well - how much are they second hand?? Thanks again, Roxy


As I understood your posts you have a 18mm-55mm lens that effectively covers 50mm. Assumin gyou are photographing people then the 50mm will do you just fine for now. I would keep clear of the very wide angle end of that lens for a while though as it can cause nasty distortion to features and body unless you know exactly how to take advantage of that. I don't think you should by any other lenses until you know exactly what you are buying and why.

What I would do is head over the CreativeLive right now as they are running several free photography Webinars that are just what you may need for starting out
Posted 7 Aug 2015
Okay thank you very much.
Posted 7 Aug 2015
UKcolin
Photographer
UKcolin
I agree shoot with what you have till you get the hang of things look on Adorama Tv for basic photography videos. they are simple and good. Dont spend money till you have worked out what or where you want to go with your photography most of all have fun. Oh and welcome to the other side of the camera. Colin
Posted 7 Aug 2015
UKcolin
Photographer
UKcolin
PS that big daft tripod is holding a Sigma 150-500 lens i use for motorsport its next to impossible to hand hold it!


Posted 7 Aug 2015
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
Canon 18-55 with image stabilisation (IS version) is pretty good and would work well on your crop sensored 600D. The sensor on your camera isn't full frame, so the effective range of the lens on the 600D would be 1.6 (the multiplier of your sensor size) x 18mm = 28.8mm through to 1.6 x 55mm = 88mm. So on your camera the 18-55mm lens would actually give you a range of 28.8-88mm.

I started out with an 18-55mm and it worked pretty well. I moved to the 24-105mm when I got a full frame sensored body.

A 50mm prime is a good second lens for portraits. Personally I recommend the EF 50mm f1.4 USM which you can get for £238.

Check sites like camerapricebuster.co.UK for the best prices and use companies like topcashback.co.UK to get money back on orders at wexphotographic.co.uk



Posted 7 Aug 2015
Edited by HowardJ 7 Aug 2015
Thanks Howard that's really very helpful! I will search that lens you recommend. It's good to know about the cropped and full frame lol x
Posted 7 Aug 2015
basil
Photographer
basil
I would recommend that you take lots of pictures before you spend any money.

Since you have studio lights you can set things up so you can shoot at f8. Your camera and lens will be fine for this.

Go to your nearest river and start taking pictures at different speeds. Try keeping the aperture constant. You should get some clear pictures and some where the water has an interesting blurred effect. Increase the ISO to reduce the shutter speed. Keep increasing the ISO until the pictures look crap.
All cameras have an ISO its best not to go above unless you have to. Its worth knowing what it is for your tastes.

Try and take pictures using table lamps and candles to provide the light. That's a good test of technique using your camera and lens.

There are lots of photography forums and far too many photographers with spare time on their hands so find a forum you like and ask lots of questions.

Google "Canon tutorials". There are loads of free ones. Check out ones that look interesting e.g. http://www.canon.co.uk/youconnect_newsletter/tutorials/water/

Look at your pictures especially the ones you don't like. Work out what you don't like and what camera settings you would change if you could take the picture again.

Don't buy another lens until you're really, really sure you don't need an external flash more.

Last comment. Don't let worrying about gear and technique get in the way of taking pictures and having fun.

Posted 8 Aug 2015
pontius584
Photographer
pontius584
Hi Roxy

You never mentioned this when I saw you a couple of weeks ago!

I would agree with the people who say get to know your camera and how to use it first and then start looking to change things. Some of my favourite images I've ever taken (including some of you) were taken with a Canon 400D with the 18-55mm kit lens!

If you want to get together at some point I can lend you some lenses to try out and show you how they work.

Pete x

Posted 9 Aug 2015
Midnite
Photographer
Midnite
I'd say use what you have, perfect some of the settings before you buy any other gear.

There is nothing fundememntally wrong with the kit lens, cheaper build quality ect but perfectly usable...

They work supprisingly well really, after all no manufacturer is going to put out a camera with a totally junk unsable lens...

Posted 9 Aug 2015
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
If you've got studio lights already then just do normal setups like:

- lights set to deliver around f8/f11 at ISO 100 and shutter speed of 1/125th of a second.

- Make sure you don't have both lights set to exactly the same value otherwise you'll get flat looking lighting.

This should give you fairly standard looking images. Once you're happy achieving that then experiment with one light balanced with ambient light.

Practice makes better.

Posted 9 Aug 2015
profilepictures
Photographer
profilepictures
I'd still argue you grab a 50mm. For the price it's a bargain that'll produce some pictures you can be proud of. You'll only have to take one test shot at f1.8 to see the distinctly different properties of it over the incredibly dull kit lens.

My reasoning is that with nice gear you learn better and with more enthusiasm, it's more gratifying and gives you more feedback. Same as musical instruments perhaps? Sure you can learn all the finger placement and strumming techniques on a crap guitar, but the results will always sound like a crap guitar. For £60 you could try something with good glass. Good glass is always worthwhile.

Posted 9 Aug 2015
eosfan
Photographer
eosfan
Hi Roxy,

For the time being, use what you've got - the 18-55mm is quite alright to get some practice in - use it at f8-f11 in conjunction with your lights and umbrellas etc and you'll get some good results which will be perfectly adequate for a while.

Dave

Posted 10 Aug 2015
pixels2pictures
Photographer
pixels2pictures
Practice with your 18-55 lens, ok it may not be bitingly sharp, but there is more to getting sharp images than just the lens, these include your technique, how you focus, where and what you focus on, the amount and quality of light, subject movement, camera shake, aperture, shutter speed the list goes on. You can have the sharpest lens money can buy but that will not guarantee a beginner like you a sharp image. Practice, practice then practice more, when you reach the limitations of your 18-55 lens you will realise it, then is the time to invest money in a new better quality lens.
Posted 10 Aug 2015
CCP
Photographer
CCP
RoxyMendez

redbaron - thank you very, very much, I have had a couple of private emails suggested I try a 50 as well. I will certainly be looking in to that as well - how much are they second hand?? Thanks again, Roxy


I would advise against a 50mm, I used one for ages. In an ordinary size room, my back was always up against the wall. I changed to a 35mm, and it is so much easier, without everything being too close. Something to think about, if you are shooting in homes or small studios.

Chris.

Posted 10 Aug 2015
This is an interesting topic.

My first lens was a 50mm 1.4 and I LOVED it. Only issue I found with it is that getting full body shots in a fairly small room was almost impossible so I picked up an 18-55mm because we couldn't afford any other alternatives.

We only used the 18-55 for a couple of months though and only when we had no other options because of space.

After those we got a 24-105 which is what we use pretty much 9 times out of 10 now. Definitely worth the money we paid for it!

x

Posted 10 Aug 2015
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