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Is DSLR better for novice?


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#41 Jyda

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:38

It is not my intention to revive the heated debate, but I do want to mention something that, in my humble opinion, has not been covered extensively. First of all, there's obviously no substitute for different focal lengths—Nikon would be selling 50mm lenses only otherwise—and there's no substitute for moving around by changing perspective.

The whole changing-focal-lengths thing is easy to learn with a zoom lens. Heck, if I can figure it out, anyone can.

But moving around to change perspective is a different story. Being forced to move around will open up your daughters eyes that moving will not only allow her to change perspective in a literal sense—getting closer or further—but also in an artistic way, by changing the angle you shoot the subject from. A zoom lens prevents you from “discovering” that.

Yes, I'm very much in the “shoot with a fixed focal length lens for a while” school.

No worry. The debate is probably not as heated as it may appear. :)

I whole-heartedly agree that learning about perspective is a major part of your photographic journey. I also believe that a fixed focal length is a good way to explore that even though I don't agree that a zoom lens prevents you from anything. What I do argue is that a fixed lens probably is not the best option for a beginner. I believe that the most important thing for a beginner in any endeavour is to enjoy the process and forced restrictions take away lot of the joy of discovery. When you have been trying the waters for a while, by all means restrict yourself if that's what it takes.

When I started out in music I had piano lessons where the teacher restricted me from playing certain keys and songs. I hated it and got put off playing music for several years. Later I picked up music again and this time didn't let anyone put any restrictions on my experimentation. I then rediscovered the joy of music and got more and more curious of the possibilities. I absolutely loved trying to find out how to produce the sounds I heard on records. Often I failed, but discovered so many things along the way that I wouldn't have found out if I had been artificially restricted to certain keys. Only then, when I wanted to dig deeper, I made the concious choice of exploring certain aspects of my instrument by restricting myself. It may not be the best way for all to learn, but I think there's a danger in getting stuck to the mantra of learning by restrictions.
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#42 nfoto

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:16

Not every aspect of life can be painless, comfortable, or simple.
  • yunfat likes this
Bjørn

#43 Jyda

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:53

The "No pain, no gain" motto also is an empty platitude in many cases.
/Johnny

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#44 nfoto

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:02

The "target user" can and should decide for herself.

That the "one lens, one camera" approach does work has been demonstrated over and over again. I've run the exercise many times myself and it is a permanent component in all my workshops. People grumble first and are positively surprised thereafter.
Bjørn

#45 Larry

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:07

"A Hoodman Loupe though unwieldy and slow helps and is virtually a necessity when shooting outdoors in bright sunlight with a dSLR."

??


In viewing the photos just taken.

#46 nfoto

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:26

Sorry, don't buy that. I use a handful of DSLRs and no loupe.
Bjørn

#47 Larry

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 19:25

Sorry, don't buy that. I use a handful of DSLRs and no loupe.


Sorry as well but this is not my experience when shooting where I am. Reviewing the photos using the rear LCD under direct sunlight is practically pointless. One can look at the photo just taken but whether one can get anything useful of what appears in the screen without using a shaded loupe like a Hoodman Loupe is questionable.

Edited by Larry, 22 November 2012 - 19:30 .


#48 Bart Willems

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 19:39

Sorry, don't buy that. I use a handful of DSLRs and no loupe.


You also live in Norway!! :D It's a bit different here in the summer in NJ (and most of the US, I suppose)
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#49 Bart Willems

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 19:48

Not every aspect of life can be painless, comfortable, or simple.


While this is true there is also a difference between sharpening talent and awakening interest. A lot depends on the daughter in question--how interested is she in the first place? If this is about her getting more involved in photography I wouldn't jump on the "hard" wagon too fast. But it's a different story if she already has an intense desire to make better pictures.

When I was growing up the Dutch chess federation had a very solid training program that emphasized dry knowledge. The "If you want to learn chess, you'll have to deal with this" approach. I think there are two or three Dutch grandmasters my age.
Then the training program changed, putting an emphasis on developing passion for the game first. Learn how to play, play a lot, have fun, and gradually learn the value of "theory". After that the talent dropped out of the trees like ripe fruit (and the training program has been exported all over the world since). The willingness to endure "pain" or complexity has to be there first. Once the passion is there it's easy to say "stick with this if you want to develop yourself" but if the will to develop isn't there yet you will simply turn off the interest.

Edited by Bart Willems, 22 November 2012 - 19:49 .

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#50 palalaikka

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 20:08

I would get her small, modern Nikon DSLR or Nikon V1.
Modern model in order to have good high-ISO quality and good AWB, as she most likely will shoot JPEG and not post-process a lot.

#51 nfoto

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 20:34

"You also live in Norway!! :D It's a bit different here in the summer in NJ (and most of the US, I suppose)"

You mean the Midnight Sun? If so even more of what is allegedly a problem.
Bjørn

#52 schwett

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:36

In viewing the photos just taken.


huh? i've never used a loupe. never been unable to see an image on the screen of a modern dslr. i've taken pictures on the beach at equatorial latitudes in the summer and sure, you might have to shade the display with your hand... but this is hardly a major consideration, except to say that when it's very bright out you don't want to solely rely on live view composition. thus the optical finder of the dslr is king, with the evf second, and live view lcd third.
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#53 Alan7140

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:53

Fuji X100. No need for loupes or anything even in direct sunlight - image just taken appears in EVF if desired. Doesn't matter what the sun is doing.

I think I may have already mentioned the X100, but I could be mistaken... :D :D

(But then I learned the basics on a Leica 111f with an Elmar 5cm f/3.5 lens. This model was not equipped with an LCD screen, or even an EVF :wink: , so one had to previsualize, take the shot and concentrate like anything while you did to judge whether you'd got the shot or needed another crack at it. Plus you only shot one or two versions before moving on, not a machine-gun rattle of 50 exposures.)

#54 Larry

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 13:29

Fuji X100. No need for loupes or anything even in direct sunlight - image just taken appears in EVF if desired. Doesn't matter what the sun is doing.

I think I may have already mentioned the X100, but I could be mistaken... :D :D


Naaah Fred ... everyone should just either make do not reviewing the image or just use one's palm to shade the rear LCD screen as the idea of using a hooded loupe or an EVF to comfortably and clearly view the image just taken is simply too much to consider. :D

#55 simsurace

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 13:38

If the light is bright I have a hard time seeing anything on the rear lcd, even the histograms, let alone whether sharpness is critical or whether something is in the frame that is not supposed to be there. Shading with the hand helps, but it is very time consuming and difficult if the camera is e.g. on a tripod in a low position. The loupe really helps here, and makes that my eyes don't tire as quickly

#56 Andrea B.

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 17:38

I'll remind Bjørn that on our Desert Wildflower Safari, the intense light was so overwhelming that I would get a version of "snow-blindness" from the reflection off the rocks & sand and have to put a cloth over my head to shade the LCD & viewfinder in order to make menu settings and use Live View focus. Somewhere on NG there is a hilarious photo of me butt sticking out from under this light blanket. But I got the shots!! Subsequently I vowed never to return to the desert without a Zacuto. Bjørn wasn't having too easy a time of it either in that strong light. "-)


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#57 nfoto

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 20:00

I do remember and it is a strong case for using a true viewfinder ...
Bjørn

#58 Ron Scubadiver

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 20:37

You are right. If there is any "rule" in photography this is there are no rule(s).


This is an interesting and lively thread. Nfoto points out the chief drawback of the EVF cameras is the EVF. That is probably why I don't own one. Too bad there isn't a small AF prime with a 28mm to 35mm FOV to mount on a body like a D3200 to make for a compact DSLR with a wider FOV than the 35mm f/1.8.
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#59 Bart Willems

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 21:50

Too bad there isn't a small AF prime with a 28mm to 35mm FOV to mount on a body like a D3200 to make for a compact DSLR with a wider FOV than the 35mm f/1.8


The D7000 isn't that much bigger than the D3200; if the price is not an issue then you can get a cheap combo with a wider angle lens.
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#60 wildoat

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 00:02

No worry. The debate is probably not as heated as it may appear. :)

I whole-heartedly agree that learning about perspective is a major part of your photographic journey. I also believe that a fixed focal length is a good way to explore that even though I don't agree that a zoom lens prevents you from anything. What I do argue is that a fixed lens probably is not the best option for a beginner. I believe that the most important thing for a beginner in any endeavour is to enjoy the process and forced restrictions take away lot of the joy of discovery. When you have been trying the waters for a while, by all means restrict yourself if that's what it takes.

When I started out in music I had piano lessons where the teacher restricted me from playing certain keys and songs. I hated it and got put off playing music for several years. Later I picked up music again and this time didn't let anyone put any restrictions on my experimentation. I then rediscovered the joy of music and got more and more curious of the possibilities. I absolutely loved trying to find out how to produce the sounds I heard on records. Often I failed, but discovered so many things along the way that I wouldn't have found out if I had been artificially restricted to certain keys. Only then, when I wanted to dig deeper, I made the concious choice of exploring certain aspects of my instrument by restricting myself. It may not be the best way for all to learn, but I think there's a danger in getting stuck to the mantra of learning by restrictions.

It's so easy to educate children or people in general away from their natural creativity.
Education systems the world over are unfortunately designed specifically for this, they are designed so that
everyone follows a similar path and it's a real shame.
Politicians are more than happy for everyone to be educated towards a particular goal, it's limiting, short sighted
and actually destructive.

Jyda,
you may enjoy this, it's worth sticking with it!

http://www.ted.com/t...creativity.html

Tony

Edited by wildoat, 24 November 2012 - 00:11 .

 

 

 

It's about time we started to take photography seriously and treat it as a hobby.- Elliott Erwitt

 

 


 





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