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Author Topic: Looking for a good, not too expensive Camera and Lens (Landscape photography)  (Read 6333 times)

the_marshall_101

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Use the zoom as three lenses - wide, normal and tele and do not use it as a zoom... try to stay longer on one focal length and change position.

Great advice.
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dwswager

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Use the zoom as three lenses - wide, normal and tele and do not use it as a zoom... try to stay longer on one focal length and change position.

This is a great tip for LEARNING.  In fact, one of the standard assignments for students is to use a single focal length to explore an entire shooting situation.  But never let this translate into a shooting style.  Camera position and focal length work together and produce differing results as both change. There is no "correct" combination, it is based on each photographer's judgment.  It would be the same to advise never changing positions and always change focal length. The point is to learn how these parameters affect the image and what you prefer.

Another good tip is to look at photographs.  Decide what you like and don't like.  Then try to determine how it was shot from shooting position, camera height, focal length, fstop, time of day, etc.  Then try to duplicate it.  Then try to better it.

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brandtb

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I use a Olympus OMD-EM1 as a general purpose...walk-around/travel camera. For the money, just under 1k (and available lenses for it) - there is not much better. I think LuLa's reviews of it (link at end) are pretty spot on. It handles beautifully, and the image quality is superb. There are about a hundred images I shot with it and a Zuiko M4/3 12-40 lens in the book "At Home in the American Barn" published by Rizzoli (04/16). Many of these are exterior wide landscapes. If you have any questions, you can message me. /Brandt Bolding

https://luminous-landscape.com/best-new-camera-of-2013/
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 07:40:41 am by brandtb »
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dwswager

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Specific Gear Recommendation:

Considering $1000 limit, then I would buy a Nikon D5300 with either a 18-140mm or better 18-200mm VRII lens.  You can find the D5300 Nikon factory refurbished for $399-$449 while the 18-20mm VRII lens is $499 refurbished.  Personally, I would try to score a D7100 or D7200 used though, even if it took me over budget a tad.

The D5300 gets an overall 83 score from DXOMark and is basically the 4th best of all APS-C cameras.   The number 1 D7200 gets an 87. 

The 18-200mm VRII is the only DX lens I've ever owned (and thought worth owning because I have better FX lenses to use) and covers pretty much anything but super long tele.  The image quality is very good and so is the VR which gives handheld options.  The big drawback is it's weight means when tilted down, it will zoom out to 200mm unless you stop it.
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Colorado David

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I shot a lot of images for a big defense manufacturing company with equipment they provided; a Nikon D7000, a Nikon 18-200 VR DX lens, and a Nikon SB900 flash.  I was really surprised by how good the 18-200 lens looked. They provided the equipment and I processed the images on their computers since everything was work for hire, every image was a trade secret covered by ITAR and the images couldn't walk out the door with someone's personal gear. Just because the D7000/18-200 combination isn't the newest or best doesn't mean you can't produce quality images.

Colorado David

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I would suggest that the one thing from your initial purchase you will keep longest is the tripod and head if you choose wisely. You'll eventually replace the camera body and your first lens.  Buy the best tripod and head combination you can.  A tripod and head obviously takes the potential for movement during the exposure away, but it also forces you to be more thoughtful and deliberate about your composition and shooting. My dad taught me to carry a fountain pen and use it to sign documents.  He explained that anything important enough for your signature required a deliberate effort, but also required thoughtful consideration. The same goes for photographic composition.

ErikKaffehr

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Hi,

I sort of agree and don't…

A first rate tripod can swallow all your budget, but there are quite a few really decent offerings from Chinese companies offering great value.

A good tripod is very helpful, it makes me slow down and gives a relaxed mind to find a good composition, so I regard is as an essential tool.

It is quite true that your first lens won't last for ever. There are two schools:
  • Buy a decent prime and learn it well.
  • Buy a decent zoom and learn how to use different focal lengths

Using a single prime is a great learning experience, but you will miss a lot of pictures. Also you will miss a lot of opportunity to learn about making the best of a subject. If you plan on travel I would go with the zoom.

Buying a DSLR with the kit lens may not be a bad choice. They are often pretty decent. There are some very good medium range zooms, starting with one of those may be a better alternative.

Buying used can be a good start.

Just another thought, buying one of those "bridge cameras" with a fixed zoom and relatively large sensor may be a decent idea.

Best regards
Erik

Best regards
Erik

I would suggest that the one thing from your initial purchase you will keep longest is the tripod and head if you choose wisely. You'll eventually replace the camera body and your first lens.  Buy the best tripod and head combination you can.  A tripod and head obviously takes the potential for movement during the exposure away, but it also forces you to be more thoughtful and deliberate about your composition and shooting. My dad taught me to carry a fountain pen and use it to sign documents.  He explained that anything important enough for your signature required a deliberate effort, but also required thoughtful consideration. The same goes for photographic composition.
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Erik Kaffehr
 

Ajoy Roy

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A friend of mine just asked for advice for good but cheap DSLR for his daughter. I was quite surprised to learn that Nikon D3300 body costs only about 350€, even though it scores higher on DXOMark test than Canon EOS-5DIII and EOS-1Dx for example! So getting a splendid new camera IS possible cheaply. Lenses are another matter, but a couple of used slow primes would be perfectly good for landscape, even old manual focus ones. Also with a APS-C sized sensor only the center matters, making things even better, if getting used FF lenses.

So I would say $1000 goes a long way, and would get a system difficult to tell apart just by looking at the results from a kit costing 5 times more.

I agree. I have a D3300 and the kit 18-55. That is all that you need to start. At around US $400 for the kit - Body, Lens and card (at times bag) it is a no brainer. Use the balance to get a tripod and head.
http://www.amazon.in/Nikon-D3300-Digital-Camera-Black/dp/B00KT7KCPW

. Shoot RAW, aperture priority, ISO 100. NO NR, WB=auto, NO DC. These can be set in PP.
. Use free Nikon Capture NX-D to process the images.
. Get a good tripod, preferably a Manfroto with a good ball head.
. Get a set of ND filters.

Now go out in the field and shoot landscapes at all focal lengths between 18mm and 55mm. You will soon find out what focal length is to your liking. Learn how to shoot multiple images and stitch them together. Microsoft ICE is a free and powerful software for it.

Once you spend a few moths with the above equipment, you will not only get a hang of Landscape photography, but be able to identify areas where (if at all) you need to upgrade your equipment. Remember that for getting the DOF you will be shooting between F/8 and F/11 so you really do not need fast lenses. Once you are familiar with the system, you can upgrade to sharper lenses (if at all), but the kit 18-55 VR-II is a very good lens. Do not worry much about distortion, you can correct it easily in post production.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 03:56:42 am by Ajoy Roy »
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dwswager

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Hi,

I sort of agree and don't…

A first rate tripod can swallow all your budget, but there are quite a few really decent offerings from Chinese companies offering great value.

A good tripod is very helpful, it makes me slow down and gives a relaxed mind to find a good composition, so I regard is as an essential tool.

It is quite true that your first lens won't last for ever. There are two schools:
  • Buy a decent prime and learn it well.
  • Buy a decent zoom and learn how to use different focal lengths

Like most endeavors the startup cost are high and for some almost prohibitive.  So one must understand the concept of "good enough" and work on value.  I now own a $1000 RRS set of tripod legs, but for years used a much cheaper and heaver set because they were good enough.  I believe used and factory refurbished equipment is also a good way to go.  My first good lens was a used Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 that I bought used for $900 ($1300 new) and proceeded to use it for 17 years and then sell it for $750.

Your 2nd point on lenses is generally true which is why I highly recommend the AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm VRII lens.  It is extremely affordable for the performance and is a forever lens.  As long as one continues to shoot DX format Nikon cameras, there would never be a need to replace that lens.  One will surely augment it with more specialized and/or higher performances lenses, but IMO there is not another better general purpose, keep on the camera or walk about/travel lens on the planet.

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