Westjet_737
Topic Author
Posts: 845
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 1999 8:42 am

Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sat Jun 22, 2002 1:46 pm

Hey!  Big thumbs up

I have decided to try to enter the "Aviation Photography" hobby but I have absolutely no idea where to start. Any pointers you can give me will be of very good help.

First though to the camera...

Would it be safe to say that I should probally be looking at a 35MM SLR camera? This seems to be the standard you guys use.

My price range for the camera and lenses is probally about $900 canadian to start out with (More can be added later). What kind of cameras should I be looking at in that price range?

The Canon EOS Rebel 2000 and the Mintola Maxxum STsi seem to fit perfectly. Are these cameras any good? They seem to fit into the price range well.

Any other help with regards to film, processing, etc... would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks for all of you help in advance...

Chris Johnson @ YYC
 
yevgeny
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2001 2:17 pm

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sat Jun 22, 2002 2:53 pm

Hi Chris
For start, Go for DIGITAL  Big thumbs up

Yevgeny Pashnin.
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sat Jun 22, 2002 3:18 pm

digital is only a good choice if you can spend at least a thousand Euro or USD on a camera, preferably over 2000.

Good cameras to start are the Nikon F65 (N65), Minolta 505Si Super (could be the Stsi, check a Minolta website or call them) and Canon Eos 300 (could be the Rebel 2000 or one model up).

Get a camera with at least centerweighted metering and aperture priority mode, a camera where you're stuck with a 'sports program' is severely limiting.
I'd prefer to also have a DOF preview button and spotmetering mode, plus full manual mode.
The possibility to disengage autofocus is also something to look for.

Get the best lenses you can afford, if possible at least one model up in quality from the ones the camera ships with as default.

Shoot loads of film, preferably slidefilm. Don't shoot just aircraft, you'll be a better photographer for it.

But most of all, have fun!
I wish I were flying
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sat Jun 22, 2002 7:22 pm

If you are going to go with a 35MM.

I would recommend that you only look at Pentax or Nikon bodies. The reason is that niether one of those companies changed the design of the bayonet mounts that they use. That means that any Pentax K mount lens will fit on any Pentax camera, and any Nikon lens will fit on any Nikon camera. All of the other manufactures have changed their designs at least once.

Of the two of them I shoot Pentax and am quite happy with it, but Nikon does have a wider selection of both brand and aftermarket lenses.

Also don't get too hung up on buying new gear especially if you are new. Check out some used shots. A lot of times there is nothing wrong with the older stuff and you can learn more about all the adjustments.

It is kind of like learning to drive with a manual or automatic transmission.

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Jan Mogren
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2000 2:47 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sat Jun 22, 2002 7:46 pm

ALL Canon EF lenses works with ALL Canon EOS bodies. Nikon on the other hand has a lot of lenses that won't work with this body or that body.
/JM
AeroPresentation - Airline DVD's filmed in High Definition
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sat Jun 22, 2002 7:48 pm

Really....that is different then what I have been told...ref the Nikons.

At least Pentax stuck with the K mount ever since they got rid of the screw mounts in the stone ages.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sat Jun 22, 2002 8:01 pm

Oh you are correct on the EF lenses working on EOS bodies, but they won't accept the older FD lenses.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Shawn Patrick
Posts: 2465
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 7:30 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sat Jun 22, 2002 10:05 pm

Please enlighten me, I've always wondered how slide film works. Do you just put the special film into the camera, shoot, then put the "negatives" into the slides??

I'm also one of the digital bunch...

«Shawn»
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sat Jun 22, 2002 10:14 pm

Yep...Instead of a negative image, you end up with a positive image on the film.

You just have it processed, each frame is cut apart and "mounted" into the cardboard slide.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
flpuck6
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 1999 12:32 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sat Jun 22, 2002 11:37 pm

Three basic photography tips:

- Be sure the sun is behind you. You want to avoid taking photos facing the sun. It causes the subject(s) to be what is called "backlit". You want the sun highlighting your subjet(s)!

- Try to photograph in good sunny weather. In short, just avoid very cloudy days.


- Don't hold back on the trigger, take lots and lots of photos. Make the investment. It is a long term thing, it takes practice and experience. Experiment. And, take a look at other photos here on a.net, study the composition (how the subject is framed etc.), the positions of the airplanes and try to copy and/or come up with your own points of view!

Have fun and good luck!
-Chris
Bonjour Chef!
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 12:17 am

All Nikon lenses work on ALL Nikon bodies, but there may be restrictions on the functionality.

If I had a 1960s Nikon lens it would work just fine on my 2001 F80, except I would have no autofocus (doh, wasn't invented yet) and no 3D matrix metering (no D-chip).
The 1980s Canon lens for the A-1 on the other hand does not work on the Eos bodies released a few years later.

About rules: Rules are there to be broken. Some of my best shots ever were backlit, but you need to know what you're doing and it must be planned that way.
Unintentional backlighting often comes out horrible.
Cloudy weather can yield exceptional shots, but again it is more difficult (especially with the maginification of long teles).

Indeed, film is cheap. Burn through it. National Geographic regularly shoot 2000 frames for a magazine article featuring a dozen. A dozen more go into the archives and maybe another dozen are sold. The rest is thrown away.
Most people are happy with a 10% ratio of shots they consider good, and maybe one or two exceptional ones a year.
I wish I were flying
 
cschleic
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 10:47 pm

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 12:19 am

Definitely used is worth a look, particularly lenses. There's a lot of used gear out there, particularly Nikon, although more Canon EOS is available than a few years ago. Make sure to have the body metering checked for accurary. One route is used lenses but new body. But used is more viable for film bodies.

Manual override capability of the meter can be very helpful, that is telling the camera to over or underexpose a shot a certain amount, say a half a stop, one stop, etc. The meter can be fooled by a bright white plane, for example, and underexpose the whole shot. Just take a lot of photos and figure out what works for you.

All Nikon lenses can be mounted on all Nikon bodies, but....the change happens there. Not all autofocus or metering or extenders fully function on all bodies, mostly older ones. Using the same mount, Nikon has enhanced its lenses to autofocus, mechanical linkage to electronic, and the silent wave motor, etc. When Canon shifted from FD to EOS format, it fundamentally changed the size of the mount, and went to an entirely electronic linkage between the camera and body with the autofocus motor in the lens.
 
OH-LZA
Posts: 971
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 12:29 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 2:01 am

You may want to look at an entirely used kit too, just buy from a reputable dealer that offers you warranty. In my opinion you should invest more on the lens than the body. And BTW the EOS300 is the name of the Rebel 2000 outside Canada&US.

Another subject that hasn't been brought up is scanning, to scan slides, you need a slide scanner, which is going to be expensive. You can scan prints with a flatbed scanner, and still get them on here.

Alex
 
n907cl
Posts: 246
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2001 1:34 pm

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 4:49 am

If you do go with a 35MM SLR, you will have to invest in a decent film scanner.
Brian
 
OH-LZA
Posts: 971
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 12:29 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:12 am

If you do go with a 35MM SLR, you will have to invest in a decent film scanner.

Read the remark on this pic:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Wietse de Graaf



Alex
 
wietse
Posts: 3630
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 12:49 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:42 am

Hehe, Alex,

you're right, in the beginning it is totally adequate. (a flatbed scanner) But if you decide to stick with the hobby, then in the future you should be planning to buy a slidescanner. If you don't have a scanner right now (flatbed OR slidescanner) don't waste your money on a flatbed, you'll be wanting a slidescanner pretty soon... Big thumbs up

I've started last August, and am very pleased with the way I've been making progress in that period, but the only thing limiting my (digital) career, is the flatbed scanner!

That's why I am planning on purchasing a Nikon Coolscan IV slidescanner in the very near future!

Good luck on whatever choice you make,

Wietse

Wietse
Wietse de Graaf
 
OH-LZA
Posts: 971
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 12:29 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:51 am

Hi Wietse,
A flatbed can be useful for some other things too, so he might need it for that.
Very good to see that you are going to stick with film  Smile.

Alex
 
wietse
Posts: 3630
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 12:49 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:53 am

Yeah, was meaning to implement that in my post, but couldn't find a proper way to say it in English, so I thought: Aaah, forget it, he's not stupid!

Yeah, film has a lot more to offer I guess....!

Wietse
Wietse de Graaf
 
OH-LZA
Posts: 971
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 12:29 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:58 am

I didn't say that thinking he'd be stupid, just a friendly reminder.
And film sure does have a lot more to offer.

Yevgeny,
A camera bought for 900 Canadian dollars will be outdated in a couple of years. With your 35mm SLR you can get the same slides in a couple of years, but the digital might not be enough for airliners.net standards then.
Also, scanners will improve, so one would get much better scans of their old slides.

Alex whose next big photo purchase is going to be a 35mm SLR kit of his own.
 
User avatar
BO__einG
Posts: 2648
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2000 5:20 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 7:23 am

Shoot prints first:
You get it developed cheaper, quicker and therfore you can see how your shots came out. You keep shooting prints until about half the stuff you shot are decent/good range that meets any of the photographic rules.

Then go for slides and work your way up. Get a nice SLR camera with NO AUTOFOCUS or with autofocus but u can turn it off..
Get lens that are 50mm, and a zoom lens that can get you to at least 150mm.
If you can invest on higher lens, then that is even better like 300mm.
Here is how I see photography in relation to skillls.

You take: -----You are
10 photos- Newbie who just learned how the "shutter release" button works.
50 photos- Newbie who realizes that the plane has to be sunlit to take better pictures.

100 photos- semi proficient, you get a basic idea of how photography of airliners works
200 photos- Proficient newbie, you now take phots and apply the rules of photography like steady horizon, good conditions.
500 photos- Amateur, Congrads. By now at leat 50% of photos you take should be coming out decently well.
1000 photos- Hardcore Amateur, 75% shots come out well. One or two blockbuster shots.
2000 photos- Obsessive Amateur, Most of your airport photo trips go well, You now take now only side on shots by landing/takeoff/closeups and artsy shots at this point.
5000+ photos- Professional.. Congrads, you are a Lawerence Feir Wannabe.
10000 photos- You introduced slides by now and you Either trade with the guys at New York area or other K64 shooters, OR you introduce digital camera and go nuts with it.

Also by the 500-1000 photos mark, you would of invested on a film scanner to upload some shots to a.net..
You would also at that point take nightime photos using a tripod(long exposures or sunset shots)


Bo
Follow @kimbo_snaps on Instagram or bokimon- on Flickr to see more pics of me and my travels.
 
McRingRing
Posts: 1028
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 2:59 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 7:54 am

If you're really new to photography, digital can help you learn quicker. You can review your shots as you take them and adjust your settings accordingly. It's easier to look at your shot immediately and see what is wrong with it rather than waiting for the prints, slides, whatever to be developed and then try to remember what you were doing when you took each shot. Don't worry about your camera becoming "outdated." As with a film camera, a digital camera bought today will produce high-quality images and will continue to do so in the future. Assuming you don't have the money to invest in top-of-the-line equipment (and from what you say, you don't) no matter what you start with, film or digital, once you become proficient, you will want something better. Once you know what you're doing, you can make an educated decision on what you want to use the camera for in the future and what format to go for. I shoot film and digital, and would recommend starting with digital, if nothing else for the accelerated learning curve. A good digital camera can be had for $900 canadian - possibly half that.
B==============) ~~~~
 
Craigy
Posts: 1076
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 6:24 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 8:34 am

Chris,

Welcome to the hobby!
One question. Do you want to take pictures for your own collection, to trade, or to upload to Airliners.net?

Own Collection.
Buy whatever you want. Digital or 35mm SLR, cheap or expensive, new or 2nd hand. Just make sure you get a good Lens, and a body from a reputable manufacturer.
Shoot slides or print - you will know what you want to look at.

Trade.
SLR, K64 + LOTS of experience.

Airliners.net.
Digital is easiest to get to grips with as the format is already A.net compatible.
F707 is the cream of fixed lens digitals. Search pics database for Colin Abbott.
Digital SLRs are very expensive, plus you need good lenses too.

Hope you make the right decision and stay with us.

Regards,
Craig.
 
PPGMD
Posts: 2398
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2001 5:39 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 8:56 am

"Shoot prints first:
You get it developed cheaper, quicker and therfore you can see how your shots came out. You keep shooting prints until about half the stuff you shot are decent/good range that meets any of the photographic rules."

Cheaper I think not. To shoot a professional Print film, Fuji Reala costs me $4.95 a roll, then I have to pay for professional processing at $13.95 a roll (I can get cheaper for $9.99 at Walmart but I don't trust my film to them).

While with slides I shoot films that is the same price but only pay $5-6 (normal I pay $2.50 a roll) to get it processed. I can then pick the one or two that I really like (if I even like them) and send them to the Fuji lab that I like.

Westjet:
Now if you want to get into true photography I suggest that you visit sites like Nikonians (http://www.nikonians.org) and Phillip's photo.net (http://www.photo.net) there you can not only find forums where you can get many photo professionals to help you out. Also on photo.net there are reviews of equipment and an area where people report thier expierences with particular shops.

Also purchase a copy of the National Geographic Field Guide: Secerts to Making Great Photos, this book contains not only general tips and how a camera works but many more advanced tips to achieve the results that they get.

On top that purchase later on, when you get a little more confortable with you camera and are producing some pretty good photos, Kodak's Professional Photoguide. This book is extremely helpful (though I wish it was published by a third party so it could cover Fuji films too), it has metering card and many pages with slide rules to help you out with in the field calculations. Though it is a little too deep for a begineer.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
j.mo
Posts: 652
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2002 12:29 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 10:03 am

I shoot alot of pictures, but lack of a negative scanner poses a problem for me. I bought a new Nikon N80 which has DOF, spot and center-weighted metering, can shoot fully auto or manual. I got the camera body, 70-300MM and a 28-50MM for less than $600.00 US. The lenses are not the best Nikon has, but I love the results from this camera. Would recommend it to anyone. Big thumbs up
I owned a Minolta HTSI and sold it to help pay for this camera. The Minolta just felt cheap and I was not happy with the results.

Digital is a good choice if you can afford to upgrade every other year. Like someone said, good slides will still be good slides years from now.

My 2 cents....

Jeremy

P.S. I also owned a Mamiya RB67 medium format camera....I do love this Nikon.
 
Westjet_737
Topic Author
Posts: 845
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 1999 8:42 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 4:42 pm

Thank you for all your replies so far!!! You have all been very helpful.
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 4:49 pm

Good to see another Nikon user  Big thumbs up

The F80 is excellent. Most of the more usefull features of both the F100 and F5 in a cheaper package (offset by somewhat less sturdy construction and somewhat slower AF motor and film transport).

The Nikkor 28-80 AF-G and AF-D (older) are good lenses for the price. Certainly good enough to get started (hell, in a while you'll become like all of us and be constantly drooling over lens catalogues looking at the professional glass).
Same for the 70-300ED (which is loads better than the 70-300D and G at not too much more cost).

At the price, it can't be beat, and you get the entire line of Nikon glass behind you for potential future purchase, plus a complete line of bodies ranging from cheap consumer ones (F55) to professional ones (F5, and the digital D1x).
Lenses ranging in price from the $100 50mm f/1.8 to the $10000 600mm f/2.0.
I wish I were flying
 
Dazed767
Posts: 4969
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Mon Jun 24, 2002 1:12 am

Slides are great and all, but if your just starting, I would hold off. A good slide scanner will set you back several hundered dollars. A $100 print scanner (the canon ones are good) will be fine. Brian Stevenson shoots prints, check out his photos.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Brian Stevenson - Orlando/Tampa Aviation Photography

 
CcrlR
Posts: 2191
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 9:24 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Mon Jun 24, 2002 1:13 am

When I started in this hobby I only had $400.00 to spend on some camera equipment. What I did was I went to a regular store like WalMart or Best Buy to get a SLR body with a lens. then I went to Ritzcamera to get a longer lens because I didn't know about any camera stores where I live at until later. Then I started out using Fujifilm until I found out about this camera store and bought Supra film(ISO 100). Now I stick with what I have and later when I get enough money I can go and buy a Digital camera or more lenses for my 35mm. And also one thing is that I can use both Slides and Prints and if I get a rare bird I can send it to a avaition magazine company and they can publish it in their mag with Print or slide film.



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Chris weldy

"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
 
RayPettit
Posts: 602
Joined: Sun May 26, 2002 9:04 pm

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Mon Jun 24, 2002 3:42 am

Hi,

Yes, I go for the second-hand market which saves you ££££s and $$$s. I use a Canon EOS100 which is not made anymore, but is very good. Therefore, I could not buy new. I think its the "Elan" in the USA.

I also take Kodachrome 64 slides and will soon purchase a slide scanner. I'm going for the recently discontinued Nikon Coolscan 3 as the I've heard that the current Mk.4 model does not handle Kodachrome very well at all. Indeed, I'm told that no scanner deals with Kodachrome so good but my collection goes back years. So maybe if you do go for slides, consider another brand of film. Furthermore, seek opinions on this particular one as I'm no expert - just what I've heard.

Anyway, I guess you won't be buying a scanner on Day One.

I think slides are great, but they are not so reliable as prints in poor weather, but who wants dull weather prints anyway?

Remember also that weather conditions can be so important. If the weather forecast features thunderstorms, consider that there can be sunshine too giving dramatic sky effects. Don't just leave it to the eight-eighths blue days. Strong winds can sometimes be interesting if you are getting shots on final approach. With a bit of luck you may catch the plane swaying to reveal a different angle!

Have Fun!

Ray
 
PPGMD
Posts: 2398
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2001 5:39 am

RE: Help! Trying To Enter The Hobby.

Mon Jun 24, 2002 4:58 am

I want to suggest that you don't do the Kodachrome 64 route, that slide film is only really for traders and those that want to keep the slides for 40+ plus years reliably.

Now there are better slide films such as the Fuji Velvia and Astia (I think Astia is almost as good as Velvia) that might last 40 years (none have been around long enough to tell). Also you don't have to send your film out, almost any local pro-lab can do it.

Personally I have tried Kodachrome 64, I bought a 5 rolls, shot three. Came out pretty good except I had to wait 3 weeks to get my slides back and forth. End result some good slides and 2 rolls in the fridge that I will probally never use.

K64 has its uses(for example sweltering deserts), but in normal everyday photography I would take Astia or Velvia before I ever touched K64.
At worst, you screw up and die.

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