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I don't understand all the thrashing going on about spending so much money on different lenses

tonyboy9

PH
18 posts

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tonyboy9 Registered since 23rd Aug 2010
Wed 16-Feb-11 08:48 AM

I’m a Nikon newbie with a D3100 and two kit lenses, the 18-55mm and the 55-300mm. Most of what I’ve read so far tells me both these lenses are quite adequate for anything a newbie needs for long time learning.

I got caught up in the hype about how wonderful is the 35mm 1.8, low light shooting and all that, till I looked at my 18-55mm and figured out I already paid for a 35mm.

Same with the long lens, why am I wasting time reading the oohs and aahs about Nikon 100mm and 200mm lenses, I already have one.

If I shoot what I have, at the identical ‘mm’ settings and near same apertures, I mean how much different would the photo turn out? I’m guessing not much.

I’m thinking the art of photography is mostly imagination, and not even ‘auto’ setting can help there.

I’m thinking you set the mode to ‘program’ priority, turn the wheel to maximum aperture fast shutter speed, shoot, turn the wheel to smaller aperture slower shutter speed, shoot, do this for three or four shots, compare all four shots and there you have it, no more newbie. I have yet to practice what I preach. You old time Nikonians tell me what you think of this approach.

Tony


Visit my Nikonians gallery.

rafaelgcpp

BR
3 posts

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#1. "RE: I don't understand all the thrashing going on about spending so much money on different lenses " | In response to Reply # 0

rafaelgcpp Registered since 13th Feb 2011
Wed 16-Feb-11 10:53 AM

Actually, the 35mm has a f/1.8 maximum aperture. That's about 2.5 stops faster than the f/4 maximum aperture the 18-55mm has at 35mm.

Besides allowing you to shoot with 4 times less light than the 18-55mm, the larger aperture makes the DOF really narrow, creating some beautiful bokeh on portraits.


That is why everyone loves these prime lenses: zoom are always slower, limiting the creativity. Lenses are for photographers what brushes are for painters!

d3100user

US
148 posts

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#2. "RE: I don't understand all the thrashing going on about spending so much money on different lenses " | In response to Reply # 1

d3100user Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Jan 2011
Wed 16-Feb-11 01:20 PM | edited Wed 16-Feb-11 01:28 PM by d3100user

I'm certainly not an old time Nikonian but I have been dabbling in photograpghy for about 25 years now.....With that said I think if you approach photography with the plan you have laid out above you will quickly become bored and dissapointed with your results. The method you outlined may work with a point and shoot but why lay out the money on better equipment if you don't plan on using its functions.

As for your lens statement all I can say is until you have used some quality glass you really will struggle understanding why we spend large sums of money on quality lenses. (at best I have 2 OK lenses).

Spend a little time looking at some of the images in the gallery and you may find out what happens as you purchase better lenses and learn to use them and your camera efficiently.

With that said learn and enjoy yor D3100 it is a great DSLR.

tonyboy9

PH
18 posts

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#3. "RE: I don't understand all the thrashing going on about spending so much money on different lenses " | In response to Reply # 2

tonyboy9 Registered since 23rd Aug 2010
Wed 16-Feb-11 08:49 PM

Thanks for that advice.

When I bought the Nikon a month ago, I took a handful of practice shots indoors with the flash up, thought the results were just ok, certainly not that much better than my Canon Powershot point and shoot, put the Nikon back on the shelf, and there it sits.

When the willingness to work at it strikes, I will give the Nikon another go. I certainly am glad I did not buy more lenses.

Tony

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

d3100user

US
148 posts

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#4. "RE: I don't understand all the thrashing going on about spending so much money on different lenses " | In response to Reply # 3

d3100user Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Jan 2011
Wed 16-Feb-11 08:57 PM

Don't give up on it. The best thing you can do is learn all the functions and practice, practice, practice. In due time you will blow away anything a point and shoot can produce.

billgreen

US
388 posts

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#5. "RE: I don't understand all the thrashing going on about spending so much money on different lenses " | In response to Reply # 3

billgreen Registered since 14th Oct 2010
Wed 16-Feb-11 09:23 PM

>Thanks for that advice.
>
>When I bought the Nikon a month ago, I took a handful of
>practice shots indoors with the flash up, thought the results
>were just ok, certainly not that much better than my Canon
>Powershot point and shoot, put the Nikon back on the shelf,
>and there it sits.
>
>When the willingness to work at it strikes, I will give the
>Nikon another go. I certainly am glad I did not buy more
>lenses.
>
>Tony

Definitely don't give up on the DSLR. I would offer one bit of advice, forget the flash. The flash pictures from your DSLR didn't look any better then a point n shoot because in my opinion an on camera direct flash is the great equalizer of the lowest sort. I have little use for flash of any kind. Off camera, bounce, diffused....whatever. I'll go to any length to avoid using a flash. I'd rather spend $500 on a 1.4 lens and use extreme ISO settings than use a flash. That's just my opinion.

Bill

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

MEMcD

US
31610 posts

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#6. "RE: I don't understand all the thrashing going on about spending so much money on different lenses " | In response to Reply # 3

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Thu 17-Feb-11 06:06 PM

Hi Tony,

First Relax!
DSLR's are easier to use than film bodies. The instant feedback is an excellent learning tool and will help you hone your skills.

Since you are just starting out.
You can use "Auto" exposure mode or one of the "Vari-Program" (Pictogram) exposure modes to use the D3100 like a P&S. In the Vari-Program modes both the camera settings and picture controls are optimized based on the subject you will be shooting. You should be able to capture excellent images without having to work too hard.

When you get more comfortable with the camera, you can start to use P, S. and A modes Thus taking control more settings as you get experience. When you are ready to take the next step; Manual exposure mode, I would recommend reading Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. It will help you get up and running in Manual exposure mode taking full control of the image.

One Step at a time.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

Wingman

Kimberley, CA
1766 posts

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#7. "RE: I don't understand all the thrashing going on about spending so much money on different lenses " | In response to Reply # 6

Wingman Silver Member Awarded for sharing his excellent work and continued contribution to the forums, most notably at the Aviation forum. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2002
Thu 17-Feb-11 06:59 PM

Hi Tony

One thing you did not say in your post is what you use your cameras for. For general snapshot type usage -- 4x6 inch prints from Costco, or emailing and viewing on a computer -- your equipment is very adequate and in fact you will not see a lot of improvement over a good point and shoot. If you want to start printing your photos at 8x10 or larger on a good photo quality printer you will very quickly see big differences with your Nikon, and will probably quickly find the limits of even your quite good lenses.

Good shooting...

Neal Nurmi

---Wingman Photo---

Drbee

Naperville, US
5927 posts

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#8. "RE: I don't understand all the thrashing going on about spending so much money on different lenses " | In response to Reply # 0

Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004
Thu 17-Feb-11 11:28 PM

Tony,

Do exactly what you say in your last paragraph. That is photography, getting to know your tools. You can read all you want about the qualities of some other equipment, but until you know whether or not your current equipment is adequate, the rush to purchase might be a mistake.

Why use a 35mm f/1.8 AFS lens??? Why not figure out first if your 35mm zoom set point is inadequate. If you find that your current equipment doesn't do the job you want, it is much easier to find a solution if you can define the problem.

As you review your images (and copious notes) you will begin to notice certain qualities in your images over which you will discover you have some control in your choice of settings. When you develop that level of skill in your image production (and interpretation), you may find that taking those effects (that you presumably like) to a new level may require some new stuff.

Best Regards,
Roger

G