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Looking to buy DSLR.

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 

I am drawn to the D90 deal at Costco for a D90 with a 18-55 and 70-300 VR lenses at about $1500.  On the other hand, this "kit" has a big hole in the sweet spot where portrait and normal shot occur, and I'm not so sure the glass is the quality of other options.  My objectives are to get back into the SLR photography. My last (and current) SLR is a Nikon FM2.   None of the Nikkor or Tameron glass will translate into the digital era, and the truth is, I have been using Powershot cameras (several)  for the last nine years anyway.

 

I finally have an opportunity to upgrade to a good camera, and would like to do something meaningful with a piece of inheritance from my dad, an avid 35 mm Leika / Olympus film, amateur  nature photographer.  My objectives are to have the flexibility and control of manual settings, and good results in auto-modes.  Fast continuous shooting and a reasonably compact and lightweight form factor.  I can afford a good bit more than the D90, but I am limited by my own patience and skills.  I am also willing to accept some compromises in quality in consideration of price, but want to significantly up my game.  I'd show you what I mean, but I'd have to convert a bunch of slides to digital.

 

So help me find what I should buy and where I should buy it. I'd rather not invest five-figures, but I'd like this to be a life investment, if not in the camera, at least in the glass.  I realize this is pretty open-ended,  but I'll enjoy the conversation, and will soon act on it.  As much as I like the D700, that is beyond my comfort zone for spending, and like buying a great ski may not let you buy a turn, I'm not sure that level of camera will let me buy the shot.    My photography is mainly around the house, the motorcycle, skiing and hiking.  I occasionally may go out to see "the shot", but haven't done that since my film days.  Shooting speed, quality and a form factor that I can live with are a big deal.  Also keep in mind that Trekchick's big camera and lens are feeding my natural male insecurity, and I think my size factor is currently lacking. At the very least, I hope to regain my virility with a proper camera and manly lens.    300 mm should  be adequate for my purposes.

 

got any ideas?


Edited by Cirquerider - 8/31/10 at 8:52pm
post #2 of 87

I am not sure how much TC has wrapped up into her set up, I am not sure I want to know either. I do know after playing with it, it is very nice. .The sports/continuous setting is fantastic. I hope one day I could use a camera like that to its potential. 

 

One think nice about the Costco deal, is if you don't like it, you can return it w/in 90 days. 

post #3 of 87

that's a decent rig...

 

the nikon 18-55 kit glass is much better than the canon kit glass, and not too shabby anyway...

 

the 70-300 is a nice reach for skiing, there's a bit of a gap there, but 15mm's is easy to zoom with the feet...

 

If you have a bunch of old Nikon mount glass (nikkor) you can use that on a full frame sensor.  The d90 is a crop, the d700 is full.  Full frame dslr's aren't for learners, but you could use that old quiver...

 

There is supposed to be a new d90 imminent, so you could hold out for that or take advantage of the price drop the d90 is going to experience. The d90 replacement is (rumored) to be 18 mps, 6-8 fps, and a magenesium alloy body (as opposed to plastic).  It also is rumored to go to 12,600 ISO.  

 

The new D3100 is a good option as well, a little more beginner (or out of the loop) friendly than the d90, though you'd be fine either way...

 

 

post #4 of 87

Cirquerider,

 

Consider the PENTAX K-7 because:

1) It is a sub-$1,000 weatherproof DSLR with lenses!  Not a bad idea when shooting outdoors in dust, snow, fog, extreme cold, etc.

2) Of all the kit lens out there (Nikon, Cannon, etc.) PENTAX probably has the best.  Note: IMO most kit lenses are crappy, particularly in terms of build, regardless of manufacturer.  Still, the ones from PENTAX Nikon and Cannon are at least "very good" when shooting around f/5.6.

3) PENTAX has in-camera image anti-shake, not in the lens.  This can give you a couple more stops with any lens.*

4) The better PENTAX lenses are very good to excellent, but not cheap.  If you want to go with a non-weatherproof lens, there are great third party offerings particularly from TAMRON & Sigma.

5) Abe's of Maine has the best prices.  B&H Photo in NYC is always competitive (they are not open on Sat.).  Both are usually less than COSTCO.

6) The PENTAX is highly rated.

7) Check out www.photozone.de for lens reviews.  I picked up some nice glass for cheap using their advice.

8) Negatives: There is noise above ISO 3200 with the K-7.  I rarely shoot above that, anyway.

9) Like any DSLR, your best photos will come from shooting in RAW and then converting to JPEG.  This is particularly true when the dynamic range is out-of-sight (pun intended), like when shooting the typical Lake Tahoe (or any mountain) scenes in the snow with shadows, etc.  Get a decent RAW converter, usually from Adobe or Phase One.

 

* At a recent Cub Scout outing in your neck of the woods (Sugar Pine Point) I was the only dad to get great campfire/lantern shots without a flash or tripod due to the built-in anti-shake.  It really works!

post #5 of 87

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

I am not sure how much TC has wrapped up into her set up, I am not sure I want to know either. I do know after playing with it, it is very nice. .The sports/continuous setting is fantastic. I hope one day I could use a camera like that to its potential. 

 

One think nice about the Costco deal, is if you don't like it, you can return it w/in 90 days. 

Phil if you don't want to know then don't read the  post below.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

I am drawn to the D90 deal at Costco for a D90 with a 18-55 and 70-300 VR lenses at about $1500.  On the other hand, this "kit" has a big hole in the sweet spot where portrait and normal shot occur, and I'm not so sure the glass is the quality of other options.  My objectives are to get back into the SLR photography. My last (and current) SLR is a Nikon FM2.   None of the Nikkor or Tameron glass will translate into the digital era, and the truth is, I have been using Powershot cameras (several)  for the last nine years anyway.

 

 

 

 Also keep in mind that Trekchick's big camera and lens are feeding my natural male insecurity, and I think my size factor is currently lacking. At the very least, I hope to regain my virility with a proper camera and manly lens.    300 mm should  be adequate for my purposes.

 

got any ideas?

You should probably get the Nikon because I wouldn't want to inspire a competition about who has a bigger Canon.  The last time that happened I made Bob cry(maybe they were tears of joy). 

 

On a serious note, this is a really nice way to spend some remembrance money from your dad.  While I'm no expert, I did a bit of research and found that Nikon and Canon both have good products.  My baby sister is a photographer and had some good input, but what it came down to was picking two cameras on my list and then seeing which one I could get the best deal on.

 

My set up, including the camera kit with 18-55 lens, extra battery, filters, and additional 18-200 lens with stabilization was somewhere in the range of what you're talking with the Nikon kit.

 

Get the camera and make your dad proud!


*note the emphasis on stabilization 

post #6 of 87
Thread Starter 

To top it all off, today is Mary Ann and my 31st anniversary.  Is it such a coincidence, or sentimentality, that we honeymooned in Nags Head as Hurricane David was approaching, and purchased our first SLR, a Nikon FM.  Today as Earl approaches the outer banks, its kind of cool to be looking at the evolution of that first camera on this day.  I am glad to hear that knowledgeable folks here think the Nikon kit glass is pretty descent.  The Nikon D5000 seems very close in specs to the D90, and comes with the 18-55 and 75-200 VR zooms at $500 less (currently $909).  I will take a look at Pentax and check back.

 

As much as I like the Canon lineup, I do have more sense than to get into a cannon competition with Trekchick, although she seems to have stuck a cork in it.

 

 

 

I just want to make winning photographs that bring the world some pleasure....or at least me!

 

post #7 of 87

When you get your camera, you may want to check out this thread to find some other essentials and possibly a carrying option.

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/93147/essentials-to-go-with-a-new-dslr

We love the LowPro Slingshot!

post #8 of 87
Thread Starter 

Been checking the Pentax K7.  Its in the ball part price-wise with good lenses.  The waterproof, cold resistant construction and 5.2 fps speed is impressive.  I'm a bit put off that the only local authorized reseller is RC Willey Home Furnishings.  What's with that?  We have Kits, Ritz and a bunch of camera stores and they aren't listed.  I'm a bit concerned with service and the accessory selection is pretty skimpy, although with adapters I'm sure it broadens out considerably.

post #9 of 87

one good benefit of the d90 over the 5000 is the in camera AF...

 

the d5000 doesn't have it, come to think, I haven't checked if that recommended d3100 has it or not...

 

I shoot with a d5000 and I really like it...

 

I do wish it had in-camera AF, I didn't think it would limit lenses I want, but it does (you have to buy AF-S lenses (in-lens AF))...

 

I mainly shoot with the 16-85mm, I really love it, but some of the quiver I would like to start building to cross over to FX aren't always AF-S.

post #10 of 87

A good review of the D90 here: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond90/

At the time of it's launch it was compared to the Pentax K20D and the Canon 450D.

Since it is a bit long in the tooth, I wouldn't be surprised if Nikon replace it soon. The current Canon camera to compare it to is the 550D, although I suspect the D90 outperforms it in most areas bar the video.

I'd suggest not going for the Pentax because of several factors, including the lack of camera shops selling it - you might want to consider a Sony instead - they have just launched the A33 and A55 which are a similar price.

 

But my first main piece of advice would be to get your hands on the cameras and see how they feel in your hands. The shape of the body and how the controls fall to your fingers is kinda important - if the camera doesn't fit, it won't be as balanced or as comfortable as you might want.

Secondly, save the money on the body and spend it on the lenses. I'd say go for a couple of zoom lenses to start off with, then add primes for more specific tasks.

post #11 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

Been checking the Pentax K7.  Its in the ball part price-wise with good lenses.  The waterproof, cold resistant construction and 5.2 fps speed is impressive.  I'm a bit put off that the only local authorized reseller is RC Willey Home Furnishings.  What's with that?  We have Kits, Ritz and a bunch of camera stores and they aren't listed.  I'm a bit concerned with service and the accessory selection is pretty skimpy, although with adapters I'm sure it broadens out considerably.


Weatherproof, not waterproof!  It will come out of a rainstorm just fine, but not if you drop it in the lake.    If you go with it, I'd buy it from Abe's of Maine and get it serviced on-line.  I used  PENTAX service once (I dropped a K10D on a hard tile floor and broke the baseplate).  They were slow to return my call, but gave me a free part.  The K-7 is really a semi-pro camera, much lighter and less expensive than the heavy "pro" cameras.

 

Regardless of what brand you purchase, Abe's of Maine and B&H are the least expensive places to buy it.  And www.photozone.de is a great place to find lenses.  I picked up a PENTAX  manual 50mm 1:1.4 for portraits (close to a portrait lens in digital format) for $35 on ebay, and it is sharper than my friend's $400 dedicated portrait lens with IMO better bokeh at f/2.8 and f/1.4 (where you would want to shoot portraits).  Thank you Photozone for saving me at least $300!  Regardless of the brand you purchase, Photozone is a very useful tool with their brutally honest reviews.  As mentioned above, www.dpreview.com is a great camera review site and has very useful forums.
 


Edited by quant2325 - 9/5/10 at 1:34pm
post #12 of 87
Thread Starter 

Well, there is an incredible difference between the Nikkor AF-S lenses and the VR zooms I am seeing on kits.  Wow! 

 

I'm tempted to wait on a D90 update, but who knows when that might take place.   All of these cameras are going to up my game and I love what members like Splitter are putting out there with this level camera.

post #13 of 87

 

you could go refurb...

 

b&h is good, personally I like adorama...

 

a factory refurb on adorama would be a nice place to start, you could search for a d90 and a 18-200mm zoom and call it good for a while...

 

though, the 16-85mm and a 70-300 could give you everything you want for a good long time...

 

I picked up my 16-85 as a factory refurb from adorama...

 

that lens is a spendy little zoom for a crop sensor, especially since you'll want some longer for skiing, that is, if you want one for skiing, but that 16-85 is sharp...

 

I'll keep it around for walkin' around on most any crop I'll own...

 

but it's a crop only lens, so if you ever wanna go FX, it'll be useless

post #14 of 87

If considering purchasing online, you got my vote for B&H and Adorama also. Great rep. J&R also has some good prices sometimes but don't expect more than retail support from them. Abe of Maine are crooks and they have always been since the 80s (or however long ago they have been in business).

 

As a photographer, I am also no pro (more like an advanced novice -- kinda like my skiing) but I love to shoot when I can find time. The kind of stuff I shoot is similar to your interest, Cirq.

 

I love my D70s and what it can do but there are limitation on it (as compared to more recent offerings) that I wish I can overcome. From what I've read so far, the D90 apparently closes that gap. I used a N6006 prior to the D70 and was able to transfer all the AF lenses over, including a Tamron. I also like the feel of a Nikon body for some reason.

 

If you're still thinking Nikon, FWIW, for general purpose I use two lenses in particular: I have the 18-200mm VR zoom for outdoors and a 35mmf/1.8G for indoor sans flash.

http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Nikon/Product/Camera-Lenses/2159/AF-S-DX-VR-Zoom-NIKKOR-18-200mm-f%252F3.5-5.6G-IF-ED.html

http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Nikon/Product/Camera-Lenses/2183/AF-S-DX-NIKKOR-35mm-f/1.8G.html

 

The 70-300mm kit lens that you mentioned would complete my nice general purpose set (but I have the el cheapo non-VR version).

 

OTOH, if you get this D90 kit, you are covering the 18-200mm range between the two kit lenses. But, I highly recommend the 35mm-f/1.8G. It will be the best $150 you can spend for a "low light" lens.

 

And yes, I also would like to have a LowePro SlingShot.

post #15 of 87
Thread Starter 

I picked up the D90 at Costco.  Thoughts on this are that if the new camera model is released inside 90 days, I can return and exchange if I want to.  No one else offers that deal. Meanwhile, I'll be able to start taking some pictures.  Battery is charging now.  Looks like an extra batterypack is an essential item.

post #16 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

I picked up the D90 at Costco.  Thoughts on this are that if the new camera model is released inside 90 days, I can return and exchange if I want to.  No one else offers that deal. Meanwhile, I'll be able to start taking some pictures.  Battery is charging now.  Looks like an extra batterypack is an essential item.


An Extra battery was the first thing I bought when I picked up the DSLR.

post #17 of 87

Great!  Start posting some pics.  A note on lenses:

 

We're heading to India and Bhutan in a few months and I wanted a lens which fits my chest mounted bag and covers a big range.  Nothing worse than changing big lenses in a third world outdoor market.  I have lenses which range from a super compact 18- 55 to a IS 70-300, none of which seemed to fit the bill.  I picked up a non- IS Sigma 18- 200 and it seems to fill the bill.  Not a fancy lens, but a great shoot on the run setup. Sort of like the one ski quiver, great as long as you have all the other ones in your quiver too.  I think it is all I'll carry on this trip.

 

jack lake etc 079.JPG


Edited by newfydog - 9/5/10 at 12:07pm
post #18 of 87
Thread Starter 

18-200 is a sweet lens. I think Tricia has one as well.

post #19 of 87

Yup.  The thing to look for with that lens, especially if you're using it for skiing and other outdoor activities, is Stabilization.  Love it!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

18-200 is a sweet lens. I think Tricia has one as well.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post



You should probably get the Nikon because I wouldn't want to inspire a competition about who has a bigger Canon.  The last time that happened I made Bob cry(maybe they were tears of joy). 

 

On a serious note, this is a really nice way to spend some remembrance money from your dad.  While I'm no expert, I did a bit of research and found that Nikon and Canon both have good products.  My baby sister is a photographer and had some good input, but what it came down to was picking two cameras on my list and then seeing which one I could get the best deal on.

 

My set up, including the camera kit with 18-55 lens, extra battery, filters, and additional 18-200 lens with stabilization was somewhere in the range of what you're talking with the Nikon kit.

 

Get the camera and make your dad proud!


*note the emphasis on stabilization 

post #20 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

 My photography is mainly around the house, the motorcycle, skiing and hiking.  I occasionally may go out to see "the shot", but haven't done that since my film days.  Shooting speed, quality and a form factor that I can live with are a big deal. 


With those requirements, I'm not 100% sure you need a "DSLR".  If I were you, would STRONGLY look at the Sony NEX5. 14 MP APS-C sensor (the same size sensor as most entry level DSLR's).  7 FPS.  HD video.  Interchangeable lens (including sony's entire line of A mount lenses with an adaptor).  And, it's small enough to fit in your shirt pocket.  And, BTW, the e mount lenses will fit on sony's new soon to be release video cameras.  This camera is a game changer....

 

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666192716

 

I have thousands of $$$ of camera gear (including sony's top of the line DSLR), and I think this is what I want for xmas. 
 

post #21 of 87


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

Great!  Start posting some pics.  A note on lenses:

 

We're heading to India and Bhutan in a few months and I wanted a lens which fits my chest mounted bag and covers a big range.  Nothing worse than changing big lenses in a third world outdoor market.  I have lenses which range from a super compact 18- 55 to a IS 70-300, none of which seemed to fit the bill.  I picked up a non- IS Sigma 18- 200 and it seems to fill the bill.  Not a fancy lens, but a great shoot on the run setup. Sort of like the one ski quiver, great as long as you have all the other ones in your quiver too.  I think it is all I'll carry on this trip.

 

 


That's the exact quandary I find myself in.  We're doing a cruise on the Rhine next month.  My Canon has an 18-55 and a 70-300.  I looked at Tamron's 18-270 but it's way over my budget.  An 18-200 might just do the trick.  Unfortunately I just missed Tamron's $80 rebate program.

 

staircase2-800.jpg

 

Update to post:  Just discovered that there is a Tamron $60 program in effect.  Here's a link to the lens.  It's not image stabilized but neither is my big telephoto.  Any thoughts on if this would be a good choice for my EOS?


Edited by patmoore - 9/6/10 at 6:30am
post #22 of 87

I've found that over 200 mm the image stabilization helps quite a bit.  The drawback is the lens becomes quite a bit more expensive and larger. I like the 18-200 because it is still pretty small and light and the camera fits in my quick draw case.  I imagine a 18-270 would be too big.

 

I tried a 2x telconverter on the 18-200.  Despite all the optical compromises, it does produce a higher resolution when compared to a blown up photo shot at 200 mm.  It is also quite small, so I bring it along in case I really need a powerful telephoto.

 

Here's my camera in quick draw position in the hills of Madagascar.  With the 18-200 it will still fit in the case, and will eliminate the second lens in the blue bag hitting me in an uncomfortable spot.

 

54.jpg

 

A point and shoot would be even smaller but auto focus is horrible for shooting lemurs in branches

 

123.JPG

 

post #23 of 87

Cirquerider,

 

A great lens is the TAMRON, but remember for some reason most lenses test out better w/o the image stabilization (it is slightly better to have the image stabilization in the camera).  See: http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests  for NIKON lens reviews, including several TAMRON zooms.

 

 

Now that you have your camera, you will need some accessories.  Below is some basic info on diffusers, a necessary accessory.    After all, photography is “painting with light,” and having a good light source helps.  I dunno about the right flash for a NIKON, but others here can help you find one.  Buying a good flash unit is imperative since the pop-up flash on your camera will not cut the mustard when using a long lens on the camera, or when shooting at a longer distance, bouncing light off the ceiling/walls  to eliminate flash shadow, etc.  Using the thin white thing that pops up on your flash as a diffuser (while pointing the flash straight up) works ok, but you can do better.  I’ll bet 95% of the people who buy flash units don’t even know what that thing is for, anyway!

 

There are four common types of inexpensive diffusers that work well, and I have tried them all.  The first is a homemade foam one that will cost you maybe $2.00. It packs flat and is super lightweight, making it perfect for a backpack or for travel.  The second is the Gary Fong LightSphere or one of the knock-offs sold on eBay  and elsewhere for 80% less.   It is heavy, but works great.  The third is the typical softbox popular with wedding photographers.  The last is a cheap plastic rectangle that fits over your flash unit.  All do a good to great job at diffusion light, with the cheap plastic being only “good” at best.   See: 1) http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/1427850 ; 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wfshQuBLdw ; 3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNCmuExlHvM  (Peter Greg is all over YouTube.  He seems a little ADD, but has a great idea.  I simply made my own for less than two bucks.); and http://www.diyphotography.net/homestudio/cheap-diy-flash-mounted-softbox for ideas.

 

So the next time you are shooing your significant other into a Lake Tahoe sunset, or the next time you don’t want the harshness or shadow of a direct flash, think about using a diffusing device or bouncing that flash.

 

Also, consider SmugMug to show off those great shots you are taking.  You can easily display photos, set up unlimited galleries with different passwords for the selected people you want to view the photos,  set it up to receive comments from others, store all your videos and photos, etc. 

 

Photography has come a long way since 1973-1974, when I spent some time in an institution (RIT) playing around with D–log H curves and other arcane crap related to photo science. "Digital" has made photography fun!

post #24 of 87
Thread Starter 

With the manual SLR I used a zoom / bounce flash.  Kind of big and awkward, but did a fairly good job.  We had a big Labor Day BBQ and it gave me a chance to play with the camera.  Nothing too artistic, but I'm pleased with the greater depth of field and detail the pictures are showing.  Played with some manual and aperture priority shots.  The dog is a willing victim and Mary Ann reluctantly got into the pictures..  I think Rush (Golden Retriever) likes our friends who invited him into the spa.  Indoor shots didn't have the necessary speed to stop action with the pop-up flash.  These are all very reduced JPEG images from RAW with no post-processing yet.

 

777100b8_012.jpg

 

0271c0f5_020.jpg

 

df5d1300_017.jpg

77c6c0ce_025.jpg

 

d4d36ee1_044.jpg

 

7e7e8693_049.jpg

 

6e7c52d2_080.jpg

 

fc9a2d77_090.jpg

 

http://cdn.epicski.com/f/fc/fc9a2d77_090.jpg


Edited by Cirquerider - 9/6/10 at 11:22am
post #25 of 87

I think it's just amazing that an 18-200 zoom is even possible. For sure it will have it's limitations, but 10x zoom is nuts! With DX sensor, 200 is like 300, so I can't imagine needing the 18-270. If you went there, you'd probably need a tripod and then you've blown the whole idea of going light.

post #26 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

I think it's just amazing that an 18-200 zoom is even possible. For sure it will have it's limitations, but 10x zoom is nuts! With DX sensor, 200 is like 300, so I can't imagine needing the 18-270. If you went there, you'd probably need a tripod and then you've blown the whole idea of going light.


Yes, today's lenses are pretty amazing and are relatively small and light weight. With VR, you don't necessarily need a heavy duty tripod. If you're zooming in from far enough without a lot of light then you should have something. In most cases for the 200mm (or 300 with the multiplier), a monopod and a set of reasonable steady hands should suffice. And, you can always use the timer if quickness is not a concern.

post #27 of 87

Just remember the 1/x rule and you will be fine.  Shutter speed should be no lower than 1/your focal length.  If you are shooting 200mm then your shutter speed (without a tripod) should be 1/200 sec.  If you are shooting 18mm then you can safely had hold at 1/18 (1/20 sec). 

post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post

Just remember the 1/x rule and you will be fine.  Shutter speed should be no lower than 1/your focal length.  If you are shooting 200mm then your shutter speed (without a tripod) should be 1/200 sec.  If you are shooting 18mm then you can safely had hold at 1/18 (1/20 sec). 


I used to consider it a challenge to violate that rule, with mixed results.  When I got my 300 mm with IS I shot a group at 300 mm and 1/30th of a second.  I got good pictures on most of the shots, compared with zero without image stabilization.  Of course, with the price of digital film, we can play those games.  For anyone like me who started photography in the SLR fad of the '70s, modern gear is a fantasy come true.
 

post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

 Of course, with the price of digital film, we can play those games.

 

You're not kidding. I took 500+ photos at MTB World Championships on Sunday. I sure wouldn't have done that if I was using film 36 shots at a time. 8 fps really adds up!

post #30 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post

Just remember the 1/x rule and you will be fine.  Shutter speed should be no lower than 1/your focal length.  If you are shooting 200mm then your shutter speed (without a tripod) should be 1/200 sec.  If you are shooting 18mm then you can safely had hold at 1/18 (1/20 sec). 



An easy to remember rule of thumb.  Thanks!

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