grockpilot
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:52 am

Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:10 am

Hi,
Been a fan of airliners.net for a while and finally decided to sign up. I wanted to pick up photography as a nice lil hobby. Sadly I have no DSLR experience. I'm new to the whole DSLR thing...I've only shot p&s. I have a lot to learn, reading up on articles, it's a bit overwhelming. I'm guessin it's trial and error once I get the camera. I'm thinking of purchasing a Rebel XT (350D) for entry-level - that way I can maybe spend more money on a good lens rather than spending more an Rebel XTi or Nikon D40x. Good idea?

I'm also interested in taking photos at or around LAX/LGB and would like to know if anyone can recommend what lenses would be ideal. I'm not sure if the 18-55mm that comes stock would cut it. Looking around, looks like guys here use anywhere from 70-300mm lenses.

I'm lookin at Amazon for lenses for a general price feel. I found two sets of senses, 70-300mm/75-300mm. For one lens it states its for Canon SLRs and the other one for Canon EOS DSLRs. I'm guessing you can't use the SLR ones for DSLRs? or the quality will be lacking? Im noticing a huge price difference.

I'm glad to be joinin the community.

Thanks,
Ray
 
LHRjc
Posts: 1346
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:31 am

RE: Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:03 am

Hi Ray,

Firstly, welcome to airliners.net  Smile I am reasonably new to shooting airliners and so I thought I'd give you my perspective as someone who has 1st hand experience with a Rebel XT, the cheap 75-300 Canon Lens as well as the kit lens.

You will find many images on here that have been taken with the Rebel XT and the 18-55mm kit lens, so it's certainly possible to get images on here with that equipment. For example:


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Photo © Darian Froese



And with the basic Canon 75-300mm lens that I presume you are looking at on amazon: (this is my own shot, I am not including it for the hits, I just know that that is the equipment I used)


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Photo © James Corbett



I think you are correct in assuming that you can't use Canon SLR lenses on a Canon DSLR although as I say I am quite an amateur so I'm sure one of the more experienced people can confirm that.

If I was buying the body again, to be honest I would probably go with the Rebel XTi / 400d, but that's my personal opinion because the price difference isn't that great. As I'm sure most people will say, it's the lens that really makes it and that's where you want to spend your money.

To get shots on here you will also need a decent editing program like Adobe photoshop to crop, level and sharpen your pics among other things. There is a wealth of information and masterclasses available as well as this forum to help you use the software to the best of it's ability to get your shots accepted onto airliners.net.

The best bit of advice I can give you, as a fellow amateur is that you should take pictures primarily for yourself rather than primarily for airliners.net. It took me 6 attempts at uploading shots which I thought were acceptable before I got my first shot accepted. It does get you down initially but it's made me a better photographer and even with the "cheap" equipment I've got I still enjoy it as a hobby and anything that does get accepted on here is a bonus  Smile

Unfortunately I can't help you with your questions re: LAX / LGB but I'm sure someone can  Smile

Good luck and I look forward to seeing your shots on here soon. I hope that my information is of some help...
James
"Our 319's are very reliable. They get fixed very quickly."
 
waketurbulence
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 12:33 pm

RE: Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:58 am

Hi Ray,
First off, welcome. I have spotted around LAX, LGB, VNY, SNA, and BUR many times so I am very familiar with lens lengths at these airports. For my first 400 shots on Anet I used a Canon 300D which did well, and this year I upgraded to a 400D. The lenses I use are the Sigma 10-20mm for wide angle shots, the Canon 17-85 IS for window shots, close ups, etc, the Canon 70-200 f/4 for medium telephoto, and the Canon 300 f/4 L IS prime for telephoto. I also own the 1.4 extender. At LAX usually the 70-200 will be fine, but sometimes you will want more length. The 70-200 at LGB would be fine as well. Amazon and B&H Photo are where I shop for equipment. The photos below will give you a better understanding of what lengths I used for each shot.

Sigma 10-20

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Photo © Matthew Wallman
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Photo © Matthew Wallman


Canon 70-200

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Photo © Matthew Wallman
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Photo © Matthew Wallman


Canon 300 Prime

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew Wallman
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew Wallman


You can email or message me if you have any questions about shooting spots or camera gear.
-Matt
 
LHRjc
Posts: 1346
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:31 am

RE: Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:03 am

Quoting WakeTurbulence (Reply 2):
Canon 70-200


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew Wallman



Wow ! Great shot Matt...

James
"Our 319's are very reliable. They get fixed very quickly."
 
dimoko
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:44 pm

RE: Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:05 am

i would look at B and H as well, they have good prices, and the user reviews are very helpful
"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams
 
dlednicer
Crew
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:35 am

RE: Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:13 am

I'll be the contrarian here. Another way to get into this is to go to your local general aviation airfield or air museum and shoot stuff you can get close to with a reasonable point and shoot digital camera. Then, you can learn a bit about composition, lighting, framing and photo editing, without the expense of a DSLR and lenses. I've got several images in the database shot with a 3Mp Canon Powershot A20 and about 700 in the database shot with a 6Mp Canon PowerShot S3 IS. Now that I'm nearing 1000 accepted images, I think I'm about ready for a DSLR. However, none of the DSLRs can offer the pop-out LCD of my S3, its compact size and the ability to poke the lens through a chain link fence.
 
INNflight
Posts: 3526
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:11 am

RE: Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:57 am

Hi Ray, and welcome!

The Rebel XT ( 350D ) is a perfect entry-level DSLR, that's for sure...it has high megapixels, a rather fast frame rate, and is just right for becoming familiar with DSLR photography!

My first dslr was a Rebel ( 300D ), which I used until about half a year ago, and also easily made the cut for airliners.net.

A few things you might want to look after when starting out.

- Look at the photos online here ( I guess you already do  Wink ), but still.....SEEING what makes it into the database, and recognizing the photos' technical details helps you a huge amount when starting! If you, for example, are off to LAX....take an hour or two the previous evening, browse through the LAX shots and see which spot you are going to shoot from, see how other photographers accomplished their shots, and try to reproduce them!

It's a lot easier to know what you want before actually trying. If then get home, compare yours to others, see what you did well, and what you would want to improve next time! The perfect learning experience.

- Take your camera's manual with you!!! It really covers EVERYTHING about your camera, so if you seem to be lost, have a read!
When I received my first DSLR, I only had about half a year SLR experience, mainly in Program mode....so basically none.... I learnt from the manual, and internet sites, and forums..... it's trial and error mainly, but you'll get there!!!

And the most important factor - have fun, out on a sunny afternoon, shooting aircraft  Smile

Cheers,
F.
Jet Visuals
 
grockpilot
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:52 am

RE: Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:15 am

Hi all,
Thanks for all your feedback and advice. Yeah I definitely have much to learn about photography. My knowledge is definitely limited. Thanks for the encouragement! This is gonna be fun.

- Ray

P.S. - Matt, those are great lookin' shots...thanks for puttin them up here
 
navymmw
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:30 am

RE: Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:29 pm

hello, I'am also a noob, I currently own a Canon S3 IS and im thinking about upgrading to a DSLR, I have no SLR expierence but in my Canon S3 IS I only use manual and like someone else on this fourm suggested to take two shots, one in manual and one in auto, I have been doing that and in most cases my manual comes out better. So what I'am asking is should I either buy the Nikon D40 or the Canon Rebel XT? what one of these is a overall better camera for aviation? Also once I get whatever camera I buy with thhe 18-55mm lens what other lens do you recomend? I will only be able to afford one more so what other lens under $200 would you recomend for aviation spotting? Also I would be spotting at KBOS and KBED so anyone who is near there what lens is best for those airports?
 
User avatar
dvincent
Posts: 1486
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:53 am

RE: Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:58 pm

Just so you know, you can use any EOS mount lens on a Digital Rebel. Lenses that say for DSLRs are probably EF-S or crop lenses and will not physically fit on a full-frame Canon SLR or DSLR.

You can't use Canon's old manual focus FD mount lenses.
From the Mind of Minolta
 
dbudd
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 4:39 pm

RE: Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:01 pm

Go up to the viewing area above Imperial Highway at LAX and introduce yourself to anybody there with a big lens. You know if they have spent the money on good equipment then they are serious about aviation photography and are probably a member here at airliners. They will set you straight and maybe hang out with you all day. I know a few of the LAX locals and they are all great guys. Who knows you might even meet someone from another country and make news friends...

And if your ever up here in Vegas I can show you around LAS!!

Dave
 
scottieprecord
Posts: 1208
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 5:38 am

RE: Hi! Noob Trying To Get Started

Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:31 pm

Canon 350D with a 70-200 f/4L lens is an excellent way to start the hobby/obsession. That's roughly $565 + $575 = $1140. I've shot with this combination quite a bit and absolutely loved it. If you want a bit more focal length, consider purchasing the 1.4extender from Canon.

Also, for anyone starting out new to photography with an D/SLR, I recommend a book called "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson:
http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-...UTF8&s=books&qid=1186381661&sr=8-1

This book covers the basics in both the technical and artistic sides of photography. Excellent read and well worth the $15...

Good luck!

-Mike

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