Topic Author
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2001 9:10 am

Lost Beginner

Sat May 19, 2001 9:18 am


I have an interest in avaition photography and I was wondering if you have any advice to a beginner like me in the following areas:

- whats a good camera to purchase?

- books or magazines for a beginner in photography ?

- Whats a good film to use ?


The airline I work for ( ATA) is unveiling its new 737-800W with new livery on may 31st in MDW and I would like to start my new hobby then.

Thank you for any advice you can share .

Michael Fisher
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lindy field
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:52 pm

RE: Lost Beginner

Sat May 19, 2001 9:35 am

Your first step, which is absolutely free, is to have a look at the photographs in the database and take mental notes on which ones appeal to you and which ones don't. I am not known for any aviation photography myself, but I do believe that a great part of talent in photography comes from developing an "eye." Good luck with your new hobby. Please note that spies have already photographed the new ATA livery and have posted it on the Civil Aviation forum.
Topic Author
Posts: 594
Joined: Sat May 19, 2001 9:10 am

RE: Lost Beginner

Sat May 19, 2001 11:10 am

Lindy field-

Thank you for the comments...I will take any feeback at this time .

As far as the new livery it seems about 50-50. I didnt think that many people liked the palm tree!!
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RE: Lost Beginner

Sat May 19, 2001 2:34 pm

I recently purchased a Nikon F80 and a Cosina 100-400 lens. Excellent equipment, feels more solid than the Minolta I had before (it was stolen).
I only use Fuji film, mainly because of the extremely fine grain, but the colour balance is also the most natural I've yet seen.
Currently I use their Superia XTra film, but I'm thinking of switching to the professional film when my stock runs out.
I wish I were flying
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RE: Lost Beginner

Sat May 19, 2001 5:19 pm

If you like to take slides or prints (not digital) I recommend also NIKON equipment. The F80 is a good choice, but no "smaller" Nikons. Your lenses should cover 28mm up to 300mm, but hyperzooms are of low quaility so better choose two lenses.

Films: Fuji Sensia 100 (slides) or Kodak Gold 100 (prints)

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Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: Lost Beginner

Sat May 19, 2001 9:58 pm

I have a Minolta 7000e body with 50mm, 80-210mm and 70-300mm lenses.

Although i haven't used them yet i know they are good equipment, i picked everything except the 70-300mm lense from my uncle for free.

To get a decent second hand body expect to pay about $200 - $250, and lenses around $100 - $150 each.

As with film i will be using (on my next spotting trip) Kodak codachrome(how do you spell it!?!) ISO100 film.

EGGD  Smokin cool
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RE: Lost Beginner

Sat May 19, 2001 11:53 pm

I appreciate all your advise so far . thank you so much.

I was recently given a Canon Rebel X. Is this a good camera for a beginner?
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

RE: Lost Beginner

Sun May 20, 2001 6:58 am

The Canon EOS Rebel X should work reasonably well. I use a Canon EOS Rebel G which from my quick research on the web is a newer version of the Rebel X.

As an EOS camera, it should be able to use any of the variety of Canon EOS and EOS-compatible lenses, of which there is a pretty big variety. They can be somewhat pricey; if you're on a tight budget you might want to try eBay. I bought my primary lens, a Tokina 28-210mm lens, through there.

How much zoom you will need depends on where you want to shoot and thus how close to the airplanes you can get. I have found for myself that a 28-210mm lens works in most cases for me. More is always better as it will give you more flexibility, but will also cost more.

As far as film, it depends on what you want to do with your photos. If you are shooting for yourself, you can shoot on whatever you like. Prints are popular for beginners since most people are already familiar with dealing with them. Though don't think prints are just for beginners, many long time shooters I know shoot prints. From what I have heard, prints are also more forgiving than slides so you may want to work with those for a while.

If you are interested in getting into photo-trading, then slides are where you want to head. Specifically, Kodachrome is the preferred choice, ISO 25 or 64. Fuji Provia 100F is gaining popularity among photographers though I don't know how many collectors are interested in it yet. Kodachrome has proved itself to last 50 years, color shifts over time are common with Ektachrome and other older E-6 processing films. The newer E-6 films, by virtue of being newer, haven't proved their longevity yet.

For prints, you probably will want to avoid anything faster than ISO 100. My favorite print film, that I currently prefer to shoot with, is Fuji Superia Reala 100. Kodak Royal Gold 100 is also excellent; Royal Gold 200 isn't too bad if you need to shoot on poor weather days. You can also get reasonable results with Kodak Gold 100. Again if you're shooting prints for yourself, try different films and see what you like.

If you want to put your photos on, you'll need a good scanner. If you can afford it, a film scanner for scanning slides and negatives will probably give you the best results, although some flatbed scanners can do a good job of scanning slides and even prints.

David / SAN

RE: Lost Beginner

Sun May 20, 2001 8:27 am

Hi Michael,

Here's a few tips, gleaned from my own experience and from photography school:

1. Start with slide film, preferably E-6 film like Fujichrome. Slide film is not forgiving of any mistakes in exposure at all, and when you get the slides back, you get most of the image--not a cropped version like you might get in a print. In short, WYSIWYG. The old adage from photography school still applies: "Shooting print film makes a printer out of you; shooting slide film makes a photographer out of you".

2. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I would pick a camera body with full manual capability. Again, this is for learning. How does this f-stop affect the view vs this other one, or how does this shutter speed relate to f-stop, etc. Automatics are nice for "plug and chug" photos but IMHO they teach less about photography than having to do everything yourself. As a bonus, the full-manual bodies are always easily had on the second-hand market, and are usually relatively cheap.

I use a Nikon F4, which is fully autofocus/program exposure capable--and I still shoot manual everything 98% of the time when I'm doing airplanes!

I hope this helps. Good luck out there!

Andy Abshier
Tampa, Florida

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