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Thread: How to help 'non-photographer' friend choose?

  1. #1

    Default How to help 'non-photographer' friend choose?

    Hi Guys,

    Have you ever faced the situation where you have to give advise to a friend who's not so well-versed with equipment choices?

    I have a friend who specialises in fine-tuning precision shooting equipment (archery bows) and he needs cyrstal clear photos to post up electronically.

    He has a Canon Rebel XT / may get the 580EX and now faces the problem of what lenses to choose (budget limited).

    His first thought was to use a wide-angle to allow a shorter working diatance.

    I honestly told him to stick to prime lenses like the good old 28mm and 50 mm since they;re are really sharp and very, very affordable. I also told him to stick with plain cloth backgrounds and move the bows further away from the BG ... and to learn how to use his flash creatively and to learn PhotoShop basics.

    As he gets more opinions, he will also get more confused. He doesn;t want to make the 'wrong choice' and end up wasting $$$.

    If you were in my position, what would you recommend, and why? Bear in mind that bows are generally long in shape and feature small, intricate detail.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to help 'non-photographer' friend choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Feinwerkbau
    Bear in mind that bows are generally long in shape and feature small, intricate detail.
    Does this mean that he wants closeup detail, or does he still want to photograph the bow as a whole? My impression of the current situation is that he'll need one lens for a general, overview shot of the whole bow (which the 50mm f/1.8 prime you suggested might do), and perhaps a macro lens for insets and small bits of detail.

    The macro lens might even be able to do the overview shot if he stands further away.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to help 'non-photographer' friend choose?

    I gather that your friend is interested in doing studio shots rather than outdoor location shoots of his stuff?

    In that case its better to focus on lighting. Get about 2 flash units (maybe a 580EX & a 430EX, or 2 430EXs) and an IR trigger to position the flash off camera. Helps eliminate shadows in yr shots. Choose a telephoto prime like an 85mm or even 100mm. That way he can use a smaller backdrop, and still get sharp results. If he uses a wide angle, he'll need a larger backdrop unless he wants to PS.

    He might also want to consider a macro lens, though these cost more. Good for shooting intricate details close up.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to help 'non-photographer' friend choose?

    Thanks fir the feedback.

    I tend to agree that a short tele would be better. He could use close-up filters over the 50mm if he really wanted to save more (the pix woule never be large anyway).

    He mentioned the Canon 10-22 (?) zoom. I think he is going to get a headache over so many choices soon! LOL!

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to help 'non-photographer' friend choose?

    don't forget a sturdy tripod (buy or borrow).
    eyes | head | feet | flickr | APAD: straight from camera

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to help 'non-photographer' friend choose?

    Tell your friend, "you trust me or not?"

  7. #7

    Default Re: How to help 'non-photographer' friend choose?

    To me, a macro lens is highly important for product photography as you may need to show certain details of the product on occasion. I would recommend the 50/2.5 or 100/2.8 macro. A cheaper but also very good alternative would be the sigma 50/2.8 macro.
    My Personal Folio (of random events and things)

  8. #8

    Default Re: How to help 'non-photographer' friend choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Feinwerkbau
    Hi Guys,

    Have you ever faced the situation where you have to give advise to a friend who's not so well-versed with equipment choices?

    I have a friend who specialises in fine-tuning precision shooting equipment (archery bows) and he needs cyrstal clear photos to post up electronically.

    He has a Canon Rebel XT / may get the 580EX and now faces the problem of what lenses to choose (budget limited).

    His first thought was to use a wide-angle to allow a shorter working diatance.

    I honestly told him to stick to prime lenses like the good old 28mm and 50 mm since they;re are really sharp and very, very affordable. I also told him to stick with plain cloth backgrounds and move the bows further away from the BG ... and to learn how to use his flash creatively and to learn PhotoShop basics.

    As he gets more opinions, he will also get more confused. He doesn;t want to make the 'wrong choice' and end up wasting $$$.

    If you were in my position, what would you recommend, and why? Bear in mind that bows are generally long in shape and feature small, intricate detail.
    One of these 2 18-200 lenses which can focus down to as close as 0.45m may be a useful buy. They can focus close enough to capture intricate details and wide enough to capture the whole bow without the need to move further away. Plus, these lenses are in the affordable category.

    http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/len...02&navigator=6
    http://www.tamron.co.jp/en/news/rele...s0502_a14.html

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