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huaiwei

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#1
Hi!

Been lurking around too long, so I guess its time for some speaking up here. :D

I have been using my Sony F-55V for some years now, and thou its a very simple and trusty camera to use, its limitations is beginning to get into the way of my shots. Hence, I am considering jumping stright up into the DSLR relm.

But...I know almost nothing about DSLR, other then the basics one can get from newspapers I suppose? :dunno: Are there anyone out there in the same boat as me, and dying for tips on where to start from here?
 

clive

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hihi have u used film SLR b4? the film version is easier to digest for a start
 

huaiwei

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Thanks for the responses!

clive said:
hihi have u used film SLR b4? the film version is easier to digest for a start
The thing is I have not used a film SLR before...which is why I am wondering if the leap is going to be too big. Then again, I suppose this question has been fielded very often in this forum by now? :D
 

zekai

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no lah, you pick up quite quickly... the learning curve has been shorten with so much free reading material on the internet and enthusiast like us from CS.

OT: are you the huaiwei who was involved in the e-mail hoohaa a few years ago?
 

huaiwei

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Hm....considering I am so much into digital photography, I was indeed hoping the learning curve might be shortened somewhat.

Actually I think the bigger problem I am going to face is that I am still not that familiar with all those lens technicallities...those focal lengths lah....exposure lah...aperture and blah blah....Then there are the lenses like zoom, wide angle and so on. Not that I am totally alien to those terms, and I roughly know how they work. But I just cant figure what does numbers are supposed to translate to! Dunno if any of you understand what I am blabbering about..oh well...:D

And erm. I am a little surprised the email thing is still in people's memories.... Ok I admit I was none other then the one. Nice to meet yah. ;)
 

zekai

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hey i am from SRJC too. I stay in hougang too. next time we can hang out and maybe i can share what those no. means...

i know... i tried reading the books for ages and i never understood what they mean. finally understood when my someone finally explain face to face.

maybe the hougang chapter of Clubsnap.
 

huaiwei

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Wah...got regional chapters one ah? Where do I find the rest of you in here, or is it an informal group beyond CS?
 

lizter

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#9
huaiwei said:
Actually I think the bigger problem I am going to face is that I am still not that familiar with all those lens technicallities...those focal lengths lah....exposure lah...aperture and blah blah....Then there are the lenses like zoom, wide angle and so on. Not that I am totally alien to those terms, and I roughly know how they work. But I just cant figure what does numbers are supposed to translate to!
they can be quite overwhelming at first, but once you start to get the hang of it, you will find that it is not that intimidating after all. in fact it is fun to find that you can do so much more things with SLR.

there is nothing to fear than fear itself
 

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huaiwei said:
Hi!

Been lurking around too long, so I guess its time for some speaking up here. :D

I have been using my Sony F-55V for some years now, and thou its a very simple and trusty camera to use, its limitations is beginning to get into the way of my shots. Hence, I am considering jumping stright up into the DSLR relm.

But...I know almost nothing about DSLR, other then the basics one can get from newspapers I suppose? :dunno: Are there anyone out there in the same boat as me, and dying for tips on where to start from here?
Hey brother remember me anot, aloy ah! Hehe so u finally decided to know more about photography in depth ah. Tot u MIA from this forum never to be back again after u posted 1 of ur stiched up picture.
Actually u can either do searches for past threads if u have any doubts, or u can simply ask me lah if u need help in regards to SLRs. No probs at all one. Basically if u wanna handle an SLR be it film or digital, the best is to know ur basics and the relationship between, shutter speed, aperture setting, metering modes, flash settings , compensation. All these knowledge will let u have more control on the camera ensuring a properly exposed picture with the right depth of field or achieving the correct field of focus. But the modern cameras are very smart so basically most of ur shots in normal circumstances will come out good easily in auto mode. But if lighting is somewhat changing all the time and the scene is a fast paced one, then there might need to have some adjustments made. So thats why its better to learn from the basic, digital speeds up the learning curve but also make the photographer think less before firing off, but heck, mistakes cost nothing in the digital realm. Different lens are designed for different uses too, so try not to get a lens which claims to be able to perform extremely well at all ranges. There will be trades off definitely.

Aiyah too much to explain like that lah, if u want, can icq me or we meet out then i explain in detail to u.

PS. If u are still into architectural shots, and is serious about it, then u might wanna find out more about the Tilt/Shift lens. U will need it and find it most useful. No more converging lines and distortions. Infinite depth of field. Its a prime lens worth considering in ur case.
 

huaiwei

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Walao who can forget you. Want to forget also cannot ah! Hehe!

I posted my first pano, kana shoot by your mod liao....so I have to lie low for a while first. Haha. Dunno if they got long-term memory or not.

Er...so you are saying you consider a DSLR having a shorter learning curve then film? I often had the impression people are saying the film one is easier to use, although I am quite open to differing opinions. Since I dont mind playing around with electronical stuff, I would think I am more of less set on getting DSLR rather then the manual one, despite more or less knowing about the pros and cons of each.

Hmm...most of the "Basics" you just mentioned....some of them I know by name only, some I know how they work and effects my pictures, but I never got a chance to really have much of a hands-on experience unless you consider it counts when using a normal digital camera?

And yes, I am kinda "forced" to continue taking architectural shots. Therefore most of my shooting requirements (and questions) might be very much specific to this subject. Should post some sample photos here for the rest of you to critique and, if possible, point out the faults and remedies?

Never heard of this Tilt/Shift thing. Care to roughly tell me more about it?

Thanks!

p.s. Ah Sam just PMed me leh....and he mentioned about you too! :D
 

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Hehe, dont worrry about the mods lah, they will forgive and forget one, and since u newbie guess they wont be too harsh one. But i think they will certainly come down hard if its a troll.

Jus to let u know, from P&S digital cam to D/SLR is not gonna be cheap. But wat u get from the D/SLR is gonna be real quality, control, feel and bokeh(background blur) which is rather different from what u get from a P&S cam. They are just built differently. But u will have to spend from at least $2k up for a very basic DSLR with a kit lens, and the external flash, memory card, extra lens, extra this and that etc etc etc etc etc ............. never ending lah are definitely NOT INCLUDED !! :blah:

Ok, DSLR has a faster learning curve becos u can have instant review on ur pics thus u can instantly know ur mistakes and learn from there and then. Can check if the pic is framed the way u want or get to know if ur shots are under/over exposed when viewed on the computer unedited. The 1.6x crop factor present in most semi-pro DSLR will also mean that u will need to be careful in choosing ur lenses. But of cos there are currently quite a few lenses designed for the DSLR in mind. ;)
U will also have total control of how ur pic will look like with the help of photoshop during post processing. Post processing is also a chore cos not all pics will turn out exactly how u want them to be w/o going through post processing :cry: . Thus, u will also need to be well skilled in PS to a certain level. U will need to know whether u want ur pictures taken in RAW mode or the usual jpeg mode. RAW mode gives u more control w/o quality loss in future post processing e.g. for ur white balance. Shooting RAW will take up more bytes, so u will need larger memory = more money :cry: . Printing ur pics will be a little tedious also since the colour profile of ur labs printer and ur monitor is sometimes quite different, so sometimes pics tagged with different colour profile will look ok on screen but look weird when printed. Thats an area which u might wanna look into if u are printing extensively. There are tools to do monitor calibration too, but cost quite abit.
Simply put, Digital will incur high initial cost but low long run cost. If u are shooting alot constantly and a "film burner", digital will be a good investment. :) U would have saved alot on wasted shots and also developing only those shots that u like. Remember one thing tho, these digital equiptment dont usually hold their value for long as the technology race is one that usually put a new equiptment in the obsolete list very quickly. :what: So as long as ur tool serve u well, dont fall for equiptment lust where u wanna get the latest and greatest all the time. Spend once and for all and be happy with it, learn and master ur equiptment. Unless of cos, ur current equiptment isnt good enuff for ur work or needs, then u should upgrade. ;)

For film u will have to wait for it to be developed before u know how it turns out to be and know ur mistakes, by then, u would have most probably forgotten ur camera settings and mistakes u make, unless of cos u took them down dilligently on paper for every shot taken :think: . But i doubt many of the ppl here do it this way. Minolta's dynax 7 or 9 have got this memory functions that will take down the setting for every shot up to 10 rolls of film. 2ndly, most of ur shots' exposure would have been compensated by the lab technician when u develope them so u would most probably not know if ur shots are constantly over or under exposed, unless of cos, u are familiar with the characteristic difference in contrast level of the developed photo for compensated under/over exposed shots :dunno: . Film bodies will hold their value pretty well too since u dont get a new model once every few months unlike the digital ones. U wont have problems with dust on CCD except for Olympus E1 i guess. U dont have to bother too much about post processing, and u can SHOOT SLIDES !!! :bigeyes: U jus gotta take a look at properly exposed slides :bigeyes: . Film has got a larger latitude for exposure mistakes too. Not that u should get into this mess but jus that its good to know that u can salvage the problem more easily.

OK too much crap liao. Jus ask watever u dunno ok, will help if i can :)

Btw, AF SLR can be used to learn all those basic things i mentioned in the previous post, jus switch everything to manual mode, and there u have it, a fully manual cam.

Also i have provided the link to the that TS-E lens that u might be interested in but it will cost like the price of a new basic DSLR, think between $1.5k-$2k for that lens. Its really useful for building shots. Enjoy ......

http://www.usa.canon.com/eflenses/lineup/tiltshift/index.html
 

Garion

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#13
huaiwei said:
Hi!

Been lurking around too long, so I guess its time for some speaking up here. :D

I have been using my Sony F-55V for some years now, and thou its a very simple and trusty camera to use, its limitations is beginning to get into the way of my shots. Hence, I am considering jumping stright up into the DSLR relm.

But...I know almost nothing about DSLR, other then the basics one can get from newspapers I suppose? :dunno: Are there anyone out there in the same boat as me, and dying for tips on where to start from here?
Hi, and welcome to the forums. :)

You are neither the first nor the last to ask this question. There are many threads of a similar nature here, just do a search and browse thru them for the answers.

Alloy has about covered the more important points. Just remember that with a DSLR, there is a steeper learning curve involved, you will need to do quite a fair bit of post-processing of images and the amount of moolah you will spend on lenses and other accessories will be staggering. It is very easy to be drawn into the black hole of never-ending upgrades and purchases..exercise caution here and think carefully before dumping your hard earned cash. Generally you will have to budget way more than just the cost of the body or body + kit lens alone. $5-6k is generally considered the minimum sum. This amount will get you a decent prosumer/lower-end digital SLR body (e.g 300D/D70, with or without kit lens), spare batteries, storage medium, camera bag, dry cabinet (a must), and (optionally) an additional lens or two (50mm 1.8 or 28-135mm range for general purpose, or 75-300/80-200 for tele), external flash and perhaps a tripod + head for those nite shots. (pls note that this just serves as a rough guide on what stuff u might be getting).

Good luck for your decision and happy shooting. :)
 

huaiwei

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#14
Thanks for all your highly informative (and increasingly longer :D) responses!!

In a sense I feel I have to upgrade to DSRL in a rather bobian situation. I have already tried the best digital P&S cameras around, and even they cant meet my expectations for some situations. I have seen the results of SLR from both film and digital, and I just felt THAT must be the answer. I was wondering if it could be due to my own techniques even with using a simple P&S, but since so many users of both have already strongly endorsed SRL, and showed me the differences to boot, I have, by then, made up my mind!

I am very much aware of the potentially huge costs involved, having read through various reviews of DSLR in local publications. Therefore, I would have to plunge into this only when I graduate, and get a "stable" job (and if I do get that particular job, I should have less problems in financing the purchase). That would be only after June 2005, giving me more then a year to plan my purchase (and hopefully allowing for prices to drop a little)!

My shooting pattern would involve many thousands of shots, since I have to snap a photo of each and every building here. Film would therefore be out of the question. Anyhow, I am quite familiar with digital media storage, printing, ps processing and so on, so no worries about those aspects. My only concerns right now are camera terminology and so on, after which, it would be mainly be the practical aspects? I would think most newbie photographers go through more or less the same process anyway. :D

Oh....I just went to the link alloy suggested. My holy! I WANT that lens!!! :D
 

zekai

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#15
huai wei, i hate to tell you....
but from your symptoms, you are suffering from equipment lustitis... :nono:

There is no cure for it except cold turkey for 2 months... and not take a look at any camera equipments.

seriously... you have not even play slr you want to buy dslr and Tilt shift lenses. What is the tilt shift lenses offer you only marginal improvement in result.... the better tilt and shift camera are those from sinar.... and they are BIG....

Just joking lah.... we all suffer from equipment lust. give those lenses a try b4 you comit to it.
 

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zekai said:
huai wei, i hate to tell you....
but from your symptoms, you are suffering from equipment lustitis... :nono:

There is no cure for it except cold turkey for 2 months... and not take a look at any camera equipments.

seriously... you have not even play slr you want to buy dslr and Tilt shift lenses. What is the tilt shift lenses offer you only marginal improvement in result.... the better tilt and shift camera are those from sinar.... and they are BIG....

Just joking lah.... we all suffer from equipment lust. give those lenses a try b4 you comit to it.
Hahah u are really a joker man :bsmilie: :bsmilie: :) For a while i really thought u are lashing out at him :bsmilie:

Hhehe, ok IMO the T/S lens is a better choice for him than a Sinar cos its definitely easier to incorporate it into the entire photography system than getting himself into LF at this stage.
If he would to get a Sinar, i bet he can do nothing with it except taking pics for some scenic, building, product shots thus losing the versatility (very slow, cumbersome and tedious to work with). Can do more with a D/SLR compared to LF. And yeah i agree with u, those things are HUGE! :bigeyes: compared to the usual SLR system. But the transition from a P&S digicam to Large format platform is certainly a rather huge step that most cannot keep up with if he is new to photography. He will definitely have problem trying to handle his equiptment and also keep his cost down in 4x5film, development and buying equiptment. :cry:
T/S lens no doubt aint that great compared to a LF with bellow back and all that, but at least i feel that it should be more than enuff for him if compared to the normal lenses which are not built specifically for correcting those distortions. That lens is slow to work with + no AF like the LF but i think its still easier to handle when compared to LF cam. But i also gotta agree with u that its definitely a wiser choce to try out the lens before buying them if possible, cos it might not be that easy to sell it off in future if he feels that its not up to his expectation. :dunno:

:) :)
 

Kit

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#17
huaiwei said:
Never heard of this Tilt/Shift thing. Care to roughly tell me more about it?
Ever noticed that in the photos you took, those skyscrapers always seem to be tilting backwards like they were falling over? That's called a converging perspective and that happens when you haven't align the camera film plane parallel to the building. However, should you align the camera parallel to the building, you most probably end up with the top or the building being cropped off or having a less than desirable composition thus not having the image you want in the first place.

This is where a T/S lens helps in Architectural photography, especially if you're using a 35mm SLR. Using the shift function of a T/S lens, you can move the axis up and down to include the top portion of the buildings that has been cropped off. This will solve most of the problem cept for some really tight situations. T/S lenses are not without any drawbacks. Extremely movement will result in light fall off and also T/S lenses designed for 35mm SLRs do not offer that much movement compared to medium/large format view and field cameras. If I remembered correctly, the Canon 24 TS-E f/3.5 allows 11mm of movement and its expensive. If you're using a Canon DSLR like the 10D or 300D, you still have the 1.6 x multiplying or cropping factor to consider. This is why most architectural professionals choose to use MF/LF cameras with shift. They're more versatile. Currently, there are 3 T/S lenses in the Canon EF range, the 24mm, 45mm and the 90mm. Nikon if I'm correct, has 3 also, the 28mm(shift only), 35mm(shift only) and the 85mm. All are pretty pricey and maual focus only.
 

Kit

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#18
Don't have to get a Sinar if you're not earning money from it. A good in between choice between 35mm and a large format view camera would be a 6x9 or a 4x5 field camera like a Horseman or a Linhoff.
 

huaiwei

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#19
Kit said:
Don't have to get a Sinar if you're not earning money from it. A good in between choice between 35mm and a large format view camera would be a 6x9 or a 4x5 field camera like a Horseman or a Linhoff.
Hmm....the photos I contribute to are actually for sale. In fact, any of you who have a love for photographing buildings and urbanity can join the team too. So quite naturally, my grouse is that my photos are probably not good enough for sale yet. :D

A sampling of some of my photos which I have contributed there:





There were taken using my P&S Sony F55V.
 

huaiwei

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#20
zekai said:
huai wei, i hate to tell you....
but from your symptoms, you are suffering from equipment lustitis... :nono:

There is no cure for it except cold turkey for 2 months... and not take a look at any camera equipments.

seriously... you have not even play slr you want to buy dslr and Tilt shift lenses. What is the tilt shift lenses offer you only marginal improvement in result.... the better tilt and shift camera are those from sinar.... and they are BIG....

Just joking lah.... we all suffer from equipment lust. give those lenses a try b4 you comit to it.
Hahaha!! I am, in effect, under cold turkey for 15 months starting from now anyway, simply coz I have no $$$ to spare! :D

I should be using this time to explore various options....although I am not sure how I am supposed to "try" lenses for free unless I suck up to other camera users. That tilt shift thing was only just introduced to me by alloy lah, and I still am not sure how its going to really give me marked improvements until I see it with my own eyes. I am also trying to visually figure out what kit was saying...sometimes for newbies like me, even when buildings look distorted behind the lense, I might take it for granted and assumed that was normal, and overlooked it!
 

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