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Old     (bigdad)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-07-2007, 3:09 AM Reply   
Well that is what I told my wife to convince her to let me drop a couple grand on my new set up. I originally was all set to buy Canon but the reviews on the Nikon D80 were just too good. So I switched brands and bought a Nikon D80 and accessorized it with a MB-D80 grip, Speedlight 680 flash, bought a 50 mm f/1.8 and finally my 18-200 VR lens arrived.

Now I just have to learn how to become a photographer. Bought a couple of books (Scott Kelby Digital Photography and also the standard Understanding Exposure). Peruse and I do like ken rockwell’s site.

Anyone have any other suggestions for books or websites to put me on the fast track to learn this craft?

For what it is worth I used my Canon point and shoot to take this pic.
Old     (phantom5815)      Join Date: Jul 2002       03-07-2007, 3:52 AM Reply   
The best thing for you to do now is just go out and start taking pics.....of anything/everything. Just make sure you document ( or look at the EXIF) and then go from there.
You can read all you want but until you start getting a "feel" of your camera and its settings your setup is just going to collect dust.
Old     (mim3)      Join Date: Sep 2006       03-07-2007, 6:29 AM Reply   
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is still $199

Nice tool.
Old     (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       03-07-2007, 7:36 AM Reply   
Read up and USE IT! Learn all the functions of the camera and how they will affect your shot.
Old     (eubanks01)      Join Date: Jun 2001       03-07-2007, 8:04 AM Reply   
Check out the forums on They have a forum for most each individual camera and I have been helped greatly by that site.
Old     (bigdad)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-07-2007, 9:58 AM Reply   
I waited 2 months to get the 18-200. But in the meantime I was using the 50 mm. I have taken probably close to 2000 pictures already and with f/1.8 you really start to learn the basics. I'm to the point where I shoot mainly in manual now but still learning.

I have photoshop and the cool thing is the city I work for is offering a 2 day photoshop class free.
Better than free, I get time off from my normal job to take it. Lightroom is interesting but I don't know anything about it. Is it really worth it or will it not do much more than what PS does already?
Old     (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-07-2007, 4:30 PM Reply   
Lightroom is definately worth it. Great tool for tweaking the exposures and organizing your files. Although LR and CS3 share a lot of features they are really different beasts.

The main thing you are missing (that you will want to use all the time) are the layers and the photomerge. Layers make sequence shots easier and photomerge makes short work of your panos.

Anyways, I love lightroom


Old     (bigdad)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-07-2007, 5:00 PM Reply   
You know I clicked on that link about lightroom and there is a short video clip of my exact question. I guess for me I can take 100 pics and out of that maybe 10 really turn out great. So I figure it isn't that hard to take those 10 and adjust them in PS. Maybe with the tax refund coming I convince the wife to let me splurge.

Here are some pics I took last month with my 50 mm. Great lens for cheap. fredmiranda had a shootout contest using just the 50mm. Anyone here interested in doing the same?


I realize I blew out the background but I liked the effect. I need to Photoshop the boogies off of this one.

Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       03-07-2007, 7:30 PM Reply   
You need to set your expectations a little higher! Upload

To take 100 shots and only have 10 keepers and then have to Photoshop those - that would drive me crazy!

I would shoot RAW and read up everything you can on understanding RAW conversions. You can get away with murder if you have a RAW file to start with.
Old     (bigdad)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-07-2007, 8:06 PM Reply   
Well 10 meaning basically no photoshopping at all. Getting the magical combination of composition exposure just right. The shots above are straight out of the camera. I was probably being conservative because I do get more and more keepers each time I shoot. I guess when I mean keepers, I mean photos I willing to print out and share with others. But I'm sort of a photo snob.

I'll get to RAW eventually. But for now I have to learn photoshop.
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       03-07-2007, 9:06 PM Reply   
I gotcha,

One thing to keep in mind with RAW in lieu of your plan above. Processing RAW is different then processing jpegs so if you learn how to tweak jpegs in PS you'll kind of need to learn an all new workflow over again with RAW conversions.

Jpegs are good for one thing only and that's making a smaller size versions of your images other then that I say banish em!Upload

BTW anybody notice Canon has found a way to compress their RAW files on the CF cards? The new 1D 10mp images are only 2.5 mb coming off the card before processing! (not much bigger then a full res jpeg.
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-07-2007, 9:22 PM Reply   
yes yes, Rich, those guys over there at Canon are figuring out more and more ways to make everyone wanna buy that new machine gun of theirs. And here I am slaving over my IIn trying to figure out which magical combination of settings I selected that wont let me switch out of spot metering!
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-07-2007, 9:30 PM Reply   
and there's still PLENTY of room for excuses: "user error!" haha. Having good equipment is always nice to have, because if/when a pic comes out like crap you know it's your fault and not your equipment. But in the end it's just another tool, and it'll only take an awesome picture if you set it correctly. So be sure to read that manual and check out the websites that you find useful. There is a TON of information available on the internet.
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       03-08-2007, 7:30 AM Reply   

I subscribe to Artie Morris' newsletter where he shows a bunch of shots from his latest photo excursion. Of course he got his hands on a mk3 for "evaluation purposes". The pictures he's putting up are absolutely un-fricken-believable! He went from a 1Ds2 to the mk3 and I can see the difference in the dynamic range in his shots (especially with the way he PP's them).

As usual the test jpegs Canon threw up on their site from the mk3 look like poop compared to what the cam can actually do. I remember the same thing happened when the 1D2 was intro'd, everyone waas looking at Canon's test images and weren't impressed.

Anyway the shots Morris put up have a 3D / non digital look that's just amazing. I can't wait for the digic 3 chip to filter down to to the 5D and 20/30D.

One more thing of note Canon held the photosites on the mk3 at 7.4 microns (same at the current 1D2 & 5D). This plays a big part in keeping noise down and extracting the most dynamic range out of the sensor. I read people saying "only 10 mp?" - hey look at the images!

Sorry for the hijack!
Old     (bigdad)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-08-2007, 9:36 AM Reply   
Yea Canon sucks....

It's all subjective but I thought the mid consumer cameras is where Nikon has a slight edge. Get into the professional arena and Canon get's the nod. That is why all you see is a field of white lenses from the photographers at any major sporting event. I was on a budget but I like my choice.

Out of curiosity.... why do people hate Ken Rockwell so much.
Old     (swami)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-08-2007, 9:46 AM Reply

This is a good article on how to get the most out of your flash unit.

Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       03-08-2007, 9:52 AM Reply   
Ken Rockwell just doesn't call it the way it really is, no matter what Nikon is always better in his blogs. For example he came out when the D200 was launched and claimed it had less noise then the 5D at high ISO's and posted some bogus underexposed image from a 5D to prove his point. Even the guys on the Nikon forums were laughing at that one.

Now that Nikon has really leveled the playing field he's having an easier time with it all though. There are a lot of things Nikon does better (like their flash systems for example) and most Canon guys admit that freely.

But Nikon is committed to the 1.5X size sensors even in their top of the line bodies. At this point that hasn't proved to be a limitation in overall IQ but with this digic 3 processor in the new 1D3 I think Canon will raise the bar again. As photosites get smaller and smaller their ability to actually gather light becomes limited. Canon invested heavily in their CMOS technology a few years back and will probably keep that advantage until Nikon quits relying on Sony and does their own thing.

It's no big deal though, no matter what brand you buy today the obsolesence starts when you open the box!
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-08-2007, 10:46 AM Reply   
Rockwell's opinions and views are skewed so damn hard it's almost unbelievable at times. Additionally, he really only evaluates equipment based on HIS needs (Yeah the stats say that the camera sucks at ______, but I never use that anyways, so this camera still rocks, etc).
Anyways, I don't know if I've ever read anything on Rockwell's site that couldn't be found elsewhere.

What's with all these rumors flyin around about Nikon's FF D3 sensor?

and the Strobist is amazing website.
Old     (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-08-2007, 3:25 PM Reply   
Raw Vs JPEG?

This is just me and I am no pro that's for sure....I just lke to take pics.

I shoot most things JPEG. They take up a lot less space and it just seems faster to work with.

That being said, if I am shooting something that I really want to make sure I get I will do the raw thing.

It used to be that you could not open JPEGS in ACR, but now that you can I have a harder and harder time trying to convince myself I need to do raw for everything.

Anyways, that's just my opinion as a dude who likes to take pics...I am sure others will have their own opinions.


Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       03-08-2007, 3:42 PM Reply   
One of the nice things about using Lightroom or Aperture is that working with RAW is like working with jpegs. Your RAW shots are already displayed and processed via the apps default parameters and you can just accept the default or process on your own. I like to sharpen differently depending on whether it's for the web or print and RAW allows you to sharpen to taste rather then allowing the camera to crank the sharpening onto the jpeg. You are right though jpegs do load faster and process faster as they are limited to 8 bit color by default.
Old     (xtremebordgurl)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-08-2007, 5:54 PM Reply   

I used to be of a similar mind until I had the jpeg compression explained to me like this.

Take out a page of a magazine. Crumple it up into a ball. Then open it back up, the first time you can hardly notice anything. Then do it again, and again, and again. By the time you're done the page looks like crap.

A jpeg file is pretty much the same thing. Every time you save it it compresses and everytime you open it back up it decompresses and over time you lose a lot of image quality. You want the initial file that you are working with to be as big and clean as possible, which is why you want to shoot raw. It will give the file more meat and bones so to speak. This is also the same reason for wanting to get stuff right in camera. This is probably one of the biggest things they stress to us at school is to get it right in camera cause the more time you have to spend in photoshop fixing an image the less money you're making. Time is money.
Old     (cmawsr)      Join Date: Nov 2002       03-08-2007, 7:54 PM Reply   
You guys see Rockwell's latest masterpiece about tripods? That guy is a joke. basically he says that with digital you no longer need a tripod and you look like a fool shooting from one. Its worth a read from an entertainment standpoint.
Didn't he a compare a 5D to a p&s??? The fact the he gets paid to right that crap is frightening.
Old     (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-09-2007, 10:08 AM Reply   
"One of the nice things about using Lightroom or Aperture is that working with RAW is like working with jpegs"
--I see it the other way. The beauty of LR and ACR in CS3 is the fact that I can now process JPEG images just like I process raw images. I can adjust white balance, fill light, exposure, sharpening, etc. The ability to do that to JPEGs in a non-destructive fashion changes everything.

In regards to the JPEG artifact issue:
As I understand it, you don't start getting JPEG artifact until you start saving it over and over again. Opening it over and over again does not cause the problems; rather, it is the repeated saving (and repeated application of the compression algorithm) that causes the image to look crappy.

I don't think lightroom alters or resaves the original. Rather, it opens the original then applies (on the fly) the all the edits you have done to it. Basically it saves your edit sequence rather than re-writing the JPEG file. I believe the term is "non-destructive editing." The upside to this is that my JPEGs don't lose quality over time, the downside is that if I want to view my pics anywhere else then I have to export them from lightroom rather than just copy them from the file directory. During the export LR takes the original, applies the edits then saves it as a new JPEG (or whatever file format you want) image. The original remains untouched.

Just so everyone understand my position on this. I think you can get better pictures from raw and I will certainly shoot in raw or raw+JPEG for shots I really want. The pictures can be sharper and you have more control over the exposure variables. I just don't think you always have to shoot raw....especially with the new crop of non-destructive editing tools that now allow me to work with JPEGS in ways that used to be only available in RAW.

+1 on "get it right in the camera" If you do that then you can shoot JPEG all day long and not have to worry so much about fixing it later in PP.

Well those are my thoughts


Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       03-10-2007, 8:00 AM Reply   
Quote from a current thread over on FM from a guy that really knows his shizzz:

""Even your standard 8 bit JPEG can represent a huge dynamic range, you will just have coarser gradations between levels.""

"Exactly for the falsity of your above is why I went exclusively to RAW and 16bit TIFF. There's no way JPEG is ever going compete as to issues of HDR for the simple reason, the information isn't there to work with and at 8bits, the information is severely restricted and easily blown out with each post-processing step. That in fact, is one of the "wonders" of the newly announced 1D3 in that it now captures at the rate of 14bits as opposed to it's older siblings 12bit capture rate. To me this is a "huge," understated improvement as to the 1D3 capturing and rendering a digital file; a full doubling of captured and rendered shading information.

Wow! That's, in my book, a massive, noteworthy leap in technology.

08 bit = 00256 shades

10 bit = 01024 shades

12 bit = 04096 shades

14 bit = 16384 shades

16 bit = 65536 shades

That's a whole lotta difference, in my book, in which to work with."

The thread discusses the dynamic range of different Canon bodies and is here:

Nothing wrong with a jpeg workflow if that's what you're into but when I go back and work on some of my older shots that I originally captured in jpeg only with my workflow now and find myself severly limited in the detail I have to work with, it just reaffirms my decision to never shoot jpeg again. Canon and Nikon have gone to great lengths to capture all that information, why throw it away?
Old     (cmawsr)      Join Date: Nov 2002       03-10-2007, 1:30 PM Reply   
I agree with Rich. Memory is so cheap that IMHO there is no need to shoot jpeg
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-10-2007, 3:34 PM Reply   
Sandisk 4 gig III cards are down to $75 at B&H.
Old     (cmawsr)      Join Date: Nov 2002       03-10-2007, 6:16 PM Reply   
And if your not shooting with a high frame rate camera you can buy slower 4 gig cards for half that
Old     (xtremebordgurl)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-10-2007, 9:18 PM Reply   
The other thing about shooting jpegs, like Rich said, the images may not be that important at that moment, but down the road you never know. I took some shots of Murray while at the boarding school, shot everything jpeg cause I never thought I'd need a large file size of it, Jet Pilot later approached me about using one of the images for their catalogue but I didn't have a large enough file to send them. At the time jpeg made sense since it was just vacation. I'm still kicking myself for not shooting raw then. I'll never shoot jpeg again when using a DSLR. Maybe I will for my friends just messing arround but I even hesitate then.. just cause you never know...
Old     (xtremebordgurl)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-10-2007, 9:20 PM Reply   
Also, speaking of memory being cheap, my friend just bought a 750gig external hard drive for only $250. It's worth every penny.
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       03-11-2007, 1:27 AM Reply   
Sandisk 4 gig III cards are down to $75 at B&H.

Check Ebay.
4GB Sandisk CF Memory Card Extreme III
Seller User ID: jaylyn712
Total: $59.98

I just bought a 4 gig, but am thinking a couple of the 8 gig ones will be needed for foreign travels, along with what I currently have.

As to hard drives, from now on my drives will be mirrored. So double the cost. I have two 250 gig drives for file storage, plus a 150 gig for my main hard drive.
Old     (cmawsr)      Join Date: Nov 2002       03-11-2007, 12:22 PM Reply   
I would not buy memory cards off of ebay. Most are fakes
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       03-11-2007, 4:05 PM Reply   
So far all of my memory cards are off ebay, and Lexar has even warrantied one. If they are fake, then the manufacturer better learn that.

There are probably many a fake card out there though. I have heard it before. Wouldn't surprise me with the cards coming out of China or something. They are the knockoff kings.
Old     (wakeeater)      Join Date: May 2002       03-11-2007, 11:24 PM Reply is pretty cheap also for memory
Old     (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-12-2007, 8:12 AM Reply   
if they are fake, then the manufacturer better learn that.

how is it the manufacturers fault if you buy a counterfit card? I didn't realize legitimate businesses were accountable for the practices of scammers. Seems to me they are as big of a victim (or bigger) as the potential customer
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       03-12-2007, 8:19 AM Reply   
Whoosh...right over your head. My Lexar's are not fake is what I was saying. They recovered a card I could not and replaced it with a brand new one. I have had excellent luck with the Lexar Pro series.
Old     (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-12-2007, 8:30 AM Reply   
I guess I did. That's the way it read at a quick glance
Old     (bigdad)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-12-2007, 9:45 AM Reply   
I remember buying my first laptop only about 8 years ago and was stoked because it's hard drive was 4 GB. Now you can get that in a card the size of a postage stamp. So the question is, will cards get more memory in the current size or will they make the cards smaller?
Old     (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-12-2007, 1:51 PM Reply   
Here is another link for JPEG vs RAW comparison

BTW, I switched over from a pure JPEG to a pure raw workflow for the past few days just to see if/how much slower raw is. Bottom line, it takes about 3-5 times a long to download them into the computer (but still not really that long) but then after that raw is not that much slower. I think I will get a couple of 8 gig CF cards and see how it goes.


Old     (oldschoolripper)      Join Date: Jul 2004       03-12-2007, 5:04 PM Reply   
95% of the time, Raw is definitely the way to go BUT... Jpeg has its place as well.

Like the other day when I shot 4 girls fastpitch softball games. I shot jpeg and tried to get it right straight out of the camera. There was no way I was gonna process all 4 games to post on my website. When you are shooting multiple games in one day Jpeg is the way to go.

Had I only been shooting one game, it would have been RAW all the way.
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       03-12-2007, 5:28 PM Reply   
You guys keep talking about having to process your RAW files, That's what I don't understand. What I like about Aperture (and I assume Lightroom works the same way) is you don't need to do anything like you would in Photoshop.

Step 1: Import all my RAW images off card into a new or existing album, folder. Setup metadata to tag the file upon import. Select obviously loser files before import or select them later for deletion.

Step 2: At this point hey're ready 98% of the time using the default processing for the body they were shot by but from there I can tweak if needed, crop, red eye T/U etc.

Other then a slightly larger file which imports slightly slower as Bakes pointed out I see no additional work flow. The original RAW shots are left untouched and any changes I make are stored as a proxy unless exported. Unless exposure is way off the default conversions are just fine. I'll play around with the really good shots but then again I would with a jpeg as well. the default edge sharpening in Aperture is so much better then anything out of the cam too.

I know Aperture isn't the only program that offers this kind of RAW workflow. Lightroom, Capture one, Breezebrowser, Bibble all have this kind of functionality.
Old     (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-12-2007, 6:29 PM Reply   
Agreed. From my 1 "roll" of about 150 shots all in raw, I worked with them the same way did the JPEGs. One thing I did notice is that when I go the JPEGS, all of the settings are at zero. When I do the raw files they all have some amount of sharpening, noise reduction, etc.

Bottom line, I really don't think I will go back to a JPEG workflow.




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