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Thread: Equipment for starters.

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    Default Equipment for starters.

    Hello,

    I've recently bought an FM2n that came with a Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens over the weekend. Being a starter, are there anything which I should get (ie. filters, stuff like that)? I'm wondering if there are some stuffs I should get before I start shooting things just in case I screw things up and not even knowing that I am. Any suggestions greatly appreciated. No need for expensive stuff.

    So far I figure I need a tripod and a bag to keep it in when I go outdoors?

    Tim.

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    Tim,
    If you are just starting out and live in Singapore, may I suggest you first get a small dry cabinet to store your gear so that it will not grow fungus or suffer corrosion in our humid climate.

    Step 2 is to keep the FM2 and lens in that cabinet for a year and not take it out.

    Step 3 is to go buy a 2nd hand DSLR with 1 decent zoom lens and flash in the buy/sell forum.

    Step 4 is to go out and take a thousand pictures every month and review them in your computer. This is the fastest and cheapest way to learn photography. Don't buy anymore lens or camera for 1 year. OK to buy used tripod or bag from buy/sell forum.

    Shooting film as a newbie is very slow learning. And shooting with a fully manual FM2 is hardwork for newbie. You will forget what you did by the time you process the film and get the prints. In your free time, go to Borders or Kinokuniya and read photo mags FOC. Also have a look at some photo books by Salgado, Ansel Adams for inspiration.

    Step 5 -- after 1 year or so when you get your photography 101 sorted out and figure out what kind of pictures you like to take, you can then research into what equipment can meet that need. Sell everything you got to that point and start buying your ideal gears again (this helps our economy ).

    I shoot both digital as well as films and offer the following opinions:
    GO DIGITAL for:
    - portraits using longer lenses and AF. Can shoot 10-20 pictures just to get a great one.
    - casual events, vacations, scuba. Keep about 20% on DVD or make only good prints and toss the rest.
    - ease of editing and printing using Photoshop and inkjet printers.

    GO FILM for:
    - passion of shooting analog or traditional style
    - joy of working with great mechanicals like Leica, Rolleiflex TLR, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Contax etc
    - harsh and remote environment. If temp is below -10degc, most electronics stop working.
    - street shooting or landscape. Rangefinder works better than SLR because wide angle lenses for rangefinder outperform those for SLR.
    - shooting medium format slides - get great colors, then scan into computer for further editing.
    - shooting b/w film and can easily preserve for 100 years.

    Go join photo outings and get the chance to check out a variety of gears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordAeRo
    Hello,

    I've recently bought an FM2n that came with a Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens over the weekend. Being a starter, are there anything which I should get (ie. filters, stuff like that)? I'm wondering if there are some stuffs I should get before I start shooting things just in case I screw things up and not even knowing that I am. Any suggestions greatly appreciated. No need for expensive stuff.

    So far I figure I need a tripod and a bag to keep it in when I go outdoors?

    Tim.
    You won't "screw things up" because you don't have certain equipment other than your fm2n and 50 f1.8.

    Learning with Film SLR no doubt is slower. You can try photo.net articles on learning to shoot with 50mm lens.

    If you like reading, go riceball to get some photography books.
    If not, pick up a basic photography course where you can shoot with other students as well as get your photo review by the instructor.

    Happy shooting

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    You need a D2x.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LimCB
    You need a D2x.
    Undoubtedly D2x is a great camera, but may be a bit overwhelming for brudder Tim, unless money no object. Perhaps a good used Canon 300D from upgraders may be more than enough. Or wait 2 months for new budget DSLR like KonicaMinolta 5D or Nikon 50D.

    Then again we need people to buy good stuff like D2X, EOS1DMk2 use it a little then sell it at CS b/s forum for a cheap price ha ha.

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    Hi guys,

    Thanks so much for the advices, I will make a point of each and figure my next step from here. Once again, thanks!

    Tim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordAeRo
    I've recently bought an FM2n that came with a Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens over the weekend. Being a starter, are there anything which I should get (ie. filters, stuff like that)?
    Film, and a lab that you feel comfortable with.

    I'm wondering if there are some stuffs I should get before I start shooting things just in case I screw things up and not even knowing that I am.
    Screwing up is IMHO a necessary part of the learning process. Keep it simple, and chances are that you'll take interesting photos with your standard lens while others are still trying to decide which lens/filter combination to choose from their collection.

    So far I figure I need a tripod and a bag to keep it in when I go outdoors?
    Some kind of bag is very useful, but it doesn't have to be an expensive "camera bag". A small backpack can also hold a camera (wrapped in a plastic bag against rain and a towel/shirt against bumps), plus a water bottle, an umbrella, possibly a small tripod etc. A tripod is only useful if you carry it with you when you need it, which is usually easier said than done.

  8. #8

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    i am a newbie, here to share my 2 cents thought. Its great u got for yrself a manual SLR, but to learn from it is painful. U will end up wasting money in developing, under/over exposed, out of focus images. Hence, as the experts have advised, go the digital way. U need not start of with a state of the art DSLR, an entry level one such as 300D or D50 will be an ideal platform. You can also look at the B&S for good and affordable 2nd hand DSLR. Alternatively, u can get a prosumer with advanced features such as shutter-priority and aperture-priority to learn the basics of photography. You can shoot as much as yr card can stored and delete those images which you are not acceptable. Finally, you can choose your favourite ones to be developed and a slightly higher cost as compared to developing film. Just my 2 cent thoughts. Cheers, happy snapping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordAeRo
    So far I figure I need a tripod and a bag to keep it in when I go outdoors?
    hi tim, welcome and congrats on your purchase of a great camera combo!!

    i'm not going to get into the film vs digital discussion, i'll leave that to you to weigh-off.

    in terms of ither equipement you would probably consider -
    1 dry-box w/ silica gel (or dry cabinet when you have money to spare)
    2 bag (don't need anything fancy to fit in the fm2n, the 50f1.8, spare rolls of film)
    3 lense cleaning cloth & blower (should have this for general maintence of your lense)
    4 cloth to wipe your / wrap your cam with (wouldn't die without one, but i find it very useful at times)
    5 flash (for general shooting in lower light conditions, a basic flash would be useful.
    6 filter (for protection of your lense, buy a cheap UV filter. later, you can consider exploring into other types of coloured filters etc)
    7 tripod (no dire need for this, unless you're going to do night shoots, or shots with telezooms)
    8 spare batts (LR44 - these are to power the matering in the fm2n, but the batts should last like forever!!)

    this list is by no means exaustive, but it's some things to consider in a new kit. in the meantime, read up on basic techniques and different films, etc. good luck!!

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    Actually, you do not need anything else except film.

    FM2 and 50mm can hang around the neck. You might not need a bag.

    If you can afford some money, try to buy a tripod. I will recomend manfrotto 190 + 141 RC.
    You might need a remote cable release.

    You can either get a 30L electronic dry cabinet or use a airtight box with silicon ($5 a big bottle in most photo-developing shop).

    You can learn photography thru film camera. Read the manual and learn the function of all buttons.

    happy shooting.

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    Hi again,

    Thanks again for all the advice!

    I've bought an airtight box and filled a layer with silica gel so it'd stay dry. How much is a 'normal' UV filter and flash? The filter's for protecting the lens right? And for the lens cleaning cloth and brush, can I get it from normal shops or only from camera shops (Cathay etc.) ?

    Thanks again!

    Tim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordAeRo
    Hi again,

    Thanks again for all the advice!

    I've bought an airtight box and filled a layer with silica gel so it'd stay dry. How much is a 'normal' UV filter and flash? The filter's for protecting the lens right? And for the lens cleaning cloth and brush, can I get it from normal shops or only from camera shops (Cathay etc.) ?

    Thanks again!

    Tim.
    Remember not to let the silicon come into contact with the camera.

    If you just want protective filter, you should buy a 52mm UV filter. Tokina(cheaper) or hoya will be good enuff.

    You can get the filter from cathay. Should be $30 or less. Since the 50mm is cheap, you might find using $30 to protection it senseless. :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by binbeto
    Remember not to let the silicon come into contact with the camera.

    If you just want protective filter, you should buy a 52mm UV filter. Tokina(cheaper) or hoya will be good enuff.

    You can get the filter from cathay. Should be $30 or less. Since the 50mm is cheap, you might find using $30 to protection it senseless. :P
    silicon very nice to "play-play"!! but it is silica gel that you should be using to keep your dry-box!! i used to use a old sock, fill about a fist-full of silica gel and leave it in the box.

    $30 is too much for a standard UV filter... you should closer to $12-$15 ($30 might be the mutlicoated one).

    LordAeRo - flash prices range too much depending on the what you want your flash to be capable of doing (of course - brand also matters). recommend that you play around, read around, ask around so that you can get a better idea of what you need (before you spend another $300 on a new SB-600).

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    FM2 is good, but with 50mm you have to zoom with your legs, but its a fast lens (f1.8). But OK, I started with a manual Nikon and 50mm too.

    UV or skylight Filter is optional. Some people say, you are introducing a cheap lens element onto your good lens, that have no real purpose, instead will cause higher chances of flare and reduce image quality. Just be carefull when handling your gear.

    Get a blower and a lens pen, if you haven't bought a lens cleaning kit.

    Tripod is also optional. Depends what you are shooting for. Cable release are cheap. Get the original Nikon cable release for less than 20. Otherwise, use the timer to release the shutter. A long wait for the timer to go off, if you don't mind.

    Can put a small towel in your normal backpack to absorb shock, if you are not buying a padded camera bag. Because you only have a body and lens, you don't need to frequent you camera bag to take stuff like other lenses or flash in and out of the bag. So technically, you don't need a reporter type shoulder bag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LimCB
    You need a D2x.
    Wow answer like this is sure "helpful"

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    Tim. Frankly I would like to say is "knowlege is power". You have the basic equipment, then there might be more to get. But you might want to gain some know how first. Books on basic photography are good start or a basic photography course are also the way to go there plenty on CS. Joining a photography club can help also, the first step by coming in CS is a great step. But you have to try and think of information given to you, as there people might gave you misinformation. Enjoy the being on the path rather then rushing to reach the end. We all learn through trial and errors nothing wrong with that, just don't repeat your mistake that you learned. Remember it alway the person behind the camera.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordAeRo
    Hello,

    I've recently bought an FM2n that came with a Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens over the weekend. Being a starter, are there anything which I should get (ie. filters, stuff like that)? I'm wondering if there are some stuffs I should get before I start shooting things just in case I screw things up and not even knowing that I am. Any suggestions greatly appreciated. No need for expensive stuff.

    So far I figure I need a tripod and a bag to keep it in when I go outdoors?

    Tim.
    Being a starter... you should familarise with some basics, both technically and practically. Go library to read up on those basics.

    You shouldn't be concerned about filters at this stage. I recommend tripod+cable release and el-cheapo manual flash as next equipment buy. (U might wan to buy the tripod+cable release soon cuz Fireworks festival is coming)

    I agree with Kecak on his comments on filters, cleaning kit and bag.
    Gallery | Facebook Page Spreading the Good photography.

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    1) Visit the new central library and look at all the pictures you can get your hands on.
    2) Think abt how you can emulate what you see
    3) Ask (the right people) if you're unsure
    4) Think abt how you can develop what you emulate

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus jACK
    silicon very nice to "play-play"!! but it is silica gel that you should be using to keep your dry-box!! i used to use a old sock, fill about a fist-full of silica gel and leave it in the box.

    $30 is too much for a standard UV filter... you should closer to $12-$15 ($30 might be the mutlicoated one).
    Wa!! Like dat say my england huh?

    $30 just guesstimate lah as B+w one is abt $35.

    There are some good and bad advice here.. Must learn to filter it..

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    Hi all,

    Thanks all for your insight. Any ideas on how much to spend on tripod+cable release and an 'el-cheapo flash'? :P A budget range per item would be good, thanks!

    Tim.

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