Equipment used

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Equipment used

Post by VatiKaki on 9th October 2008, 23:42

I'm currently shooting with a Nikon D3 - a wonderful piece of machinery. Lenses include a 50mm f/1.4 prime, 14-24mm f/2.8 wide angle, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-300 and 80-400mm zooms. With the full-frame sensor on the D3 I have no bonus distance on the lenses, but it is nice to have the full wide angle available at 14mm.

My studio consists of 2x 1600w and 2x 800w Alien Bees studio lights, with a giant softbox and a couple of umbrellas. I also have a background stand with various background patterns and solid colours. The studio allows me to do proper white (and black) isolations.

I used to have a D200 and D40x as backups, but gave those away as gifts, so may be looking at a new Nikon (or maybe the new Canon 5D Mark II) as a backup.

What are you using to create your masterpieces?

VatiKaki

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Re: Equipment used

Post by adrian on 18th March 2009, 19:58

Greetings,
I'm using the Canon 450D with the stock standard 18-55mm lens. Clearly I need to change this but the variety of lenses is quite daunting. If you had to decide on 2 lenses, what would they be? ... and don't say "Nikon"!
Your comments much appreciated.

adrian

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Re: Equipment used

Post by VatiKaki on 19th March 2009, 11:46

Adrian, this is quite a hard question to answer. It is like saying, what type of rope do you suggest I buy?

That said, a fantastic zoom lens from Canon is the EF 70-200mm f4.0L IS USM, also available in an even better f2.8L version. These are both L lenses and will provide really good quality (but are a bit costly). On the cheaper side there is the same as the above 2 lenses, f/4.0 and without the IS. I would rather save up and get the IS version though.

If you have a slightly smaller budget and need a larger range on your lens, the EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM is a good solid unit, but keep in mind that you need light for this baby.

On the shorter side of the focal range there is the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM that is a fantastic walk-around lens. A bit pricey though, but MUCH better than your standard lens.

Generically speaking, I would get a good quality lens in the f/2.8 range to cover a wide angle to medium zoom (18-55mm or 24-70mm) and a zoom lens such as one of the 70-200's mentioned above - the f/2.8 with IS if budget allows.

Or, you can get Nikon Wink

VatiKaki

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Re: Equipment used

Post by adrian on 20th March 2009, 13:49

ok, Nikon it is, you smooth talking bugger .... anyone interested in a barely-used Canon 450D???

Thanks for the advice.

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FILTERS

Post by adrian on 26th March 2009, 21:19

Can you perhaps give me a quick rundown on filters - the most useful type, the best make etc.

And how about cleaning kits? It's a minefield out there!

Thanks.

adrian

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Re: Equipment used

Post by VatiKaki on 27th March 2009, 00:23

There are two main types of filters to consider. Many photogs will use a UV filter to protect their lens(es). The UV filter is like another piece of glass in front of your lens and will help to protect your actual lens against scratches or other damage. It will not block any light, so you can shoot with normal settings. It may make your skies look less blue though because of the UV filtering process. I don't use these because I take real good care of my lenses.

A circular polarizer is probably one of the most useful filters. This filter will screw onto the front of your lens and you can rotate it to find the best effect. It will provide deeper colours (especially the sky) and remove reflections from water. Remeber that a polarizer will 'steal' more than a stop of light - actually closer to two stops, so you will have to compensate with any of your exposure triangle settings or a combination of them.

Sigma makes good filters that are not too expensive. Remember to check the physical size of the lenscap - the measurement is usually written inside. Your filter needs to be the same measurement as what is written on the lenscap (in mm)

For cleaning my sensor (if that is what you are talking about) I use an Eclipse cleaning kit. This is a 'wet' kit that comes with the cleaning 'sticks' and fluid. From the various methods I have used, these work the best. Remember to purchase the correct kit for your camera.

Another valuable piece of kit in my bag is the Giotto Rocket Blaster - the thingy that blows air. Quite often I can blow loose dust off the sensor without having to use the wet cleaning kit. Also useful for blowing dust off the lens.

Hope this helps a bit.

VatiKaki

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Re: Equipment used

Post by adrian on 31st March 2009, 16:38

Thanks Broer,

A very complete and detailed answer, much appreciated.

Ciao for now.

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Re: Equipment used

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