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Topic: Hi, Looking For Honest Opinion.
Username: 777KIWI
Posted 2012-10-22 11:17:42 and read 5700 times.


I have been spotting for some time now. I can identify nearly all of the types that fly into my home airport (Auckland International). I listen to the atc traffic through a scanner and just really enjoy being at the airport spotting. At this stage I don't have a good camera ( a p&s Olympus). But it looks like I may be about to be given a Nikon d40 that somebody I know has lying around. We also have a cannon 600d but I'm not really allowed to use it. So is the d40 an acceptable camera for a BEGINNER photographer or do I look for something else?


Topic: RE: Hi, Looking For Honest Opinion.
Username: Airplanepics
Posted 2012-10-22 11:23:30 and read 5700 times.

Yes, it'll be fine.

Remember, shoot for yourself, not for!

Take some photography lessons or just practice by yourself taking random photos etc, you'll soon get the hang of it all.

Topic: RE: Hi, Looking For Honest Opinion.
Username: eskillawl
Posted 2012-10-22 12:13:16 and read 5662 times.

As you may know, the lens is the most important. Try it out, as long as you're happy with it and take as good pictures as you want (for the moment, you always want more) it's great. Good luck!  

Topic: RE: Hi, Looking For Honest Opinion.
Username: NZ107
Posted 2012-10-22 14:27:19 and read 5613 times.

Get some practice with the D40 and prove that you can use a DSLR to the point that you are allowed to use the 600D.. Then sell the D40 and buy a nice lens to use on the Canon   The 600D is a much better camera than the D40 but both can take good pictures if you know how to use them.

Read the manual - it'll help explain things. I recommend sitting at the international terminal observation deck (lower level, not the skydeck - the tinted glass makes things horrible) or even at home or something like that and figuring out what the settings do etc. There are plenty of tutorials online as well.

Topic: RE: Hi, Looking For Honest Opinion.
Username: megatop412
Posted 2012-10-22 18:04:56 and read 5554 times.

The D40 is an excellent DSLR to start with, I started with the D40x, same controls but with a 10.2MP sensor.

The thing with these bodies is, they are devoid of many of the bells and whistles the more advanced models have that would just confuse you anyway. All you really need is the P, A, S, and M modes(I would work on them in that order), keep it at ISO 200 as much as possible but bump it up as needed, and match the white balance to the situation. That's it. Don't worry yourself with how many shots it can take per second, the dynamic range of the sensor, the noise performance- a lot of folks argue about minutiae such as this on the internet, just focus on learning to take a nice, sharp photo that you'll look at and say "cool, I took that."

You do need to concern yourself with a lens- depends on your level of interest. If you forever remain a casual shooter, you'll love the shots you get from the 70-300mmVR. If you get caught up in the uploading to photo sites such as this one, you could also find yourself lusting after very expensive lenses. I would go with the 70-300mmVR, 55-300mVR, or the 55-200mmVR to start with, that should last you a couple years till you get the hang of shooting, before investing in serious glass.

Don't forget to enjoy it, it's very easy to get distracted with the gear side of things

Topic: RE: Hi, Looking For Honest Opinion.
Username: 777KIWI
Posted 2012-10-22 19:05:30 and read 5548 times.

Thanks for all the help,

The camera is a d40x rather than just a d40. I will need a lens upgrade because it currently only has the standard 18-55. I'm not looking to post pictures up on this website. I just want to get a few half decent shots when I go out. Hey hopefully I might even get given the 600d we have in the house. On another note is anyone familiar with AKL that could tell me how far I need to go on the upper end of the lens. 250? 300? Thanks again.

Topic: RE: Hi, Looking For Honest Opinion.
Username: 777KIWI
Posted 2012-10-22 22:30:21 and read 5519 times.

I was sitting in my lounge room early this afternoon when three RNZAF choppers flew straight over my house real low hueys I think..Grabbed the 600d but it had the 18-55 on it instead of the 55-200. Didn't get a shot but still a great sight to be seen.

Topic: RE: Hi, Looking For Honest Opinion.
Username: NZ107
Posted 2012-10-23 00:28:57 and read 5494 times.

Quoting 777KIWI (Reply 5):

Depends how close you want to get to the smallest planes.180mm can easily get an A320. So it sounds like you could just use the 600D and 55-200 and be fine..

That's for the Puhinui Road carpark. For other sites, it might be slightly different; such as the international terminal observation deck where you might want a wide angle shot using 18mm if there's a plane at Gate 2.

[Edited 2012-10-23 00:50:32]

Topic: RE: Hi, Looking For Honest Opinion.
Username: 777KIWI
Posted 2012-10-23 01:02:03 and read 5483 times.

Thanks NZ107

I just park my motorbike in the car park and spot from there. I might try the observation deck at a later stage.

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