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  1. #1

    Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    OK, so this is the deal. My camera needs have changed.

    I have gone from video, which I no longer do at all (no more plays, no more video basketball or soccer games, etc.) to camera, and camera at close-enough range. Soccer games my son plays are now all streamed online for me already, and daughter's plays can no longer be recorded because they take, you know, laws seriously and crap. Photography no longer requires a super-zoom, as I can get front row seats to any soccer game, but they do require stop-action photography, and low-light conditions under stadium lights for night games.

    Don't think I'm going to get involved in photography as a hobby, but might want to play around with the concept a little. I'm just now figuring out what shutter speed, aperture/f-stops, ISO settings, etc. have to do with these action photos.

    Here's the plan.

    I'm going to pick up a super-old DSLR, like a Nikon D50 camera, hopefully with a decent lens already for next to nothing. (Just now figuring out that there are a lot of differences in lenses. Who knew? Oh, that's right--everybody else.)

    I am in no hurry, and will gladly browse eBay until the right offering comes along. Can take several months and I'm ok with that.

    Anyway, for decent, "at-home" usage, for posting on the internet, my wife posting on Facebook, etc., if I got the Nikon D50 camera or similar, is there an older lens I should look for with it for these needs, or is it just, "look at each one, because there's like 300 different lenses that fit and that's impossible to say otherwise?"

    Should I try to find a lens with a maximum aperture of like f/2.8 at whatever zoom level, sort of as a minimum baseline? Or is that going to be too expensive for just a "trial" kinda thing? Seems so many of them have much smaller apertures...looking at one now with a 35-70mm lens, and a 3.3-4.5 aperture, which I don't think would be good for low light (and the 70mm might not be enough anyway, although I don't need super-zoom).

    If I get something like this, play around with it enough--and I do know that I'll be frustrated unless the equipment is at least capable of doing what I want, which is why I'm looking for the right "set"--I may talk myself into a new hobby in a year or so, but for now, that's not what this is.

    Anyway, general comments, ridicule and derision invited.
    Last edited by Darrell KSR; 10-25-2019 at 09:59 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    I have a rebel t4i with a 18-135 (3.5 aperture IIRC) lens that does just about everything I have needed. And pretty much all I ever carry. I have a 50mm fixed (1.8 aperture) (great budget buy) I use for really low light or if I want to be creative.

  3. #3

    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    I know this is one of those areas you have to be careful. You get something that isn't right, and you won't like it, so you'll never get into it. It's like buying a $50 bike and joining a bike club with their uber-light, efficient cycles. You get frustrated because it's more work and less fun. But you sound like you're sort of along my same mindset....get something that you can get your maximum benefit out of, even if there are other cameras that would let you do more, better, bigger, faster, less fattening and less morally questionable things!

    I call myself the king of the Luddites. I like to get the maximum benefit out of whatever I have, rather than have something I don't get all the benefit out of. Drives me crazy (and drives my family and friends crazy that I'm this way lol). Plus I'm chea....err, frugal. Frugal, that's the word.

  4. #4

    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    You frugal? We never knew.

  5. #5

    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    I hide it well.

  6. #6
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    I am a Canon user and have no opinion on the Nikon brand other than they make good cameras. We could go back and forth posting for days if you want to talk Canon.
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  7. #7

    Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    I have no brand allegiance, Dan. I'm sure Canon has a great old option out there too. Just had somebody mention the Nikon D50 one to me as a good one that wouldn't hurt me to start.

  8. #8
    Comeback Cat BigBluePappy's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Quote Originally Posted by dan_bgblue View Post
    I am a Canon user and have no opinion on the Nikon brand other than they make good cameras. We could go back and forth posting for days if you want to talk Canon.
    AE1 Programmable that I have passed down to my Grand-Daughter. An honest to goodness workhorse...and she gets to work the warmth of film. Took a class her senior year at Male and has continued the love...
    One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter.

  9. #9
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBluePappy View Post
    AE1 Programmable that I have passed down to my Grand-Daughter. An honest to goodness workhorse...and she gets to work the warmth of film. Took a class her senior year at Male and has continued the love...
    Mine sits right next to my Minolta XG1 on the top shelf of our hall closet. It just needs a new roll of film and a lens mounted on the front side and we would be ready to go.
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  10. #10

    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    In my "ancient, throw-around, see if I like it" category, I'm now looking at the Canon 40D. Web photos only, not looking for any prints. It's a one-trick pony only to see if I like it or if I'll just get frustrated trying to figure it out, so I won't get hurt badly with an old, inexpensive version. Plus I have two cheap lenses that will fit it already, although they won't be good for my primary concern (night shooting, under the lights). If I go this route, I'll have to find a good deal on a used lens with decent reach and a wide aperture. Some of those prices!

  11. #11
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    I'll have to find a good deal on a used lens with decent reach and a wide aperture.
    Those three things do not go together at the same time. I can get you into a 70mm X 200mm fixed f2.8 zoom lens, that fits your needs or wants for about $1200.00 I have one and it is a fantastic lens but cheap it is not. I have the same focal length lens in a fixed f4.0 aperture that was $1,100.00 new and is about $800.00 now

    I have a few zoom lenses that would fit your need for wide and long AND frugal but the f stop varies from f5.6 to f11.0 depending on the focal length The prices on those are $150.00 to $250.00 for used lenses in good shape. They are cheaper lenses because there is not as much glass inside them hence the lousy f stop range, but they perform very well in full daylight.

    A good 30mm f1.4 lens is about $250.00 and a used 85mm f1.8 is about the same money at $250.00 These fixed focal length lenses generally have higher quality glass that does not move in the lens tube and provides higher quality images. They are referred to as Prime lenses.

    The Canon 4D is a great used camera for the money and with good glass in front of it can produce great 11X14 prints in crystal clear colors or black and whites. It is my back up camera and I still shoot with it a lot.

    When you are pairing focal lengths with the 40D which is a crop frame camera, the field of view with each lens is is reduced by a factor of 1.6 so the 30mm lens is in effect a 48 mm and the 85 mm is a 136 mm.

    Camera lenses have a fixed depreciation factor when they leave the store of about 10 to 20 % depending on the initial cost, then they hold their value for years and years if they are well taken care of. On the other hand, prosumer camera bodies continue to lose values over time until they are dirt cheap after 7 to 10 years. If you invest in full frame professional DSLR then the value is held for years and years.
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  12. #12
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    I almost forgot about this lens, I guess because I never owned one, but it kinda fits you needs. 17mm-85mm F4-f5.6. I am guessing about $300.00 based on what it was new
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  13. #13

    Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    It looks like lenses are where it's at. I've been scouring a large nationwide photography equipment for sale Facebook group, and the really good lenses that would be what somebody serious (even semi serious) would need are $1k and up, or close.

    Ebay supports that position although a unicorn sometimes appears if you get lucky. Something like a goodwill store selling a camera, doesn't list the lens in the title, lists it in the description but doesn't describe the aperture, etc., but blowing up the photograph you see what's on the lens. Or opting for one with a flaw so you can try it out, something doesn't work with the lens, some dust in it, something.

    Fwiw, I attended my last soccer game of the Fall last night so my next need will likely be in the spring--maybe, but more likely in 10 months. Plenty of time to mess around.

    I'm still thinking a Canon 40D. I already have two lenses for it to play around with, and you can get one dirt cheap.

  14. #14

    Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Dan, a prime lens sounds interesting. That might be something I look for. I like simple, one function things and that might be just the ticket as a better lens than what I have and what I would be willing to pay for to see if I like it. Interesting!

  15. #15
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
    Dan, a prime lens sounds interesting. That might be something I look for. I like simple, one function things and that might be just the ticket as a better lens than what I have and what I would be willing to pay for to see if I like it. Interesting!
    I love Primes. Many folks do not as one has to change lenses to fit the conditions and the need. It can be a hassle. Just think of being at the beach and the sand is dry and the wind is blowing 40 mph and you have to open up the guts to your camera to change lenses in the open. I have a soft cloth bag that I put everything in with the drawstring on the inside of the bag. Pull the string tight enough to keep out the dust,sand etc, change the lens by feel and voila, I am ready for the new situation. Again some folks do not want to carry a bag with lenses or just one lens in it with them. They want to just stick a lens on the camera, leave the house, take the pictures, come home, transfer the images to the computer, and put up the camera with lens still mounted.
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  16. #16
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    If you do buy a Canon 40D or 50D let me know and we can talk about me sending you a couple primes from my collection to try out and see how you like them.. I'm thinking a EF 30mm f1.4 and a EF 85mm f1.8. That way you won't have to spend any money to just try out something that you can't return. I also have an EFS 17mm X 55mm constant f2.8 with image stabilization zoom lens that is a lot of fun to use that is on my loan list.

    None of these are currently for sale and probably never will be. but you would be welcome to use them to see if you like them or not.
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  17. #17
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    A coupe of camera equipment sites on the interweb are, (have to join this one to see the gear for sale forum) photographyonthenet.com and keh.com
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  18. #18

    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Thanks for all the help, suggestions (and offer), Dan. I'll let this percolate a bit and probably pick up the camera body. There are so many great cameras out there, that there seems to be an abundance of very old models that still work very well (until they don't, of course). If/when I get the body, I'll probably try it out a little with the two lenses I have and get used to it, then I may come back and take you up on your offer and see if something would work pretty well like that.

    For the most part, I'm looking for a one-trick pony right now anyway. Some action shots (starting with soccer, but probably migrating to baseball, basketball and football possibly). We'll see.

  19. #19

    Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    I don't even have a camera so I'm not interested in this, but what do you think about something like this?

    It's not 2.8, but is this a middle ground at 4.5, prime, manual focus?

    Just curious.

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F383241240057

  20. #20

    Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Assume something like this would be infinitely better anyway.

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F174071929936

  21. #21
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    stay away from #1. #2 should be a nice lens and it gives you the added feature of being able to take macro pictures where the aspect ratio is 1 to 1, You actually have to focus the image by moving the camera toward or away from the object you are trying to capture when in macro mode. It allows you to take a picture of a flower, a nickle, a tennis ball, etc and have the image that is taken be the same size as what you saw thru the viewfinder. Here is an example of what I am talking about

    Hydrangeas.jpg
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  22. #22

    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Just to chime in, I've gone from Canon to all Olympus now. Great little cameras
    My Photography Page; http://rogerelliottphotography.com/

  23. #23
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Thrrppppp!!!
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  24. #24

    Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Picked up a Canon EOS 40d on ebay last night. Got a good deal on it. I don't have any great lenses for it yet, but I have three I will play with for awhile:

    Canon EF 28-135mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS
    Canon EF 35-80mm 1:4-5.6
    Canon Zoom EF 80-200mm 1:4.5-5.6

    I know none of the lenses are very good. But at least it might let me play with it a little bit.

  25. #25
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    The native onboard pop up flash will make using the 35-80 usable indoors. Set everything on automatic and choose the zoom level and snap away. Here is a link to a good alternative to the excellent but very high priced Canon Speedlite hot shoe flash units that will give you excellent lighting out to 40 or 50 feet if needed and if you set it and hte camera to automatic it does all the work of choosing power levels for you and also allows you to use indirect lighting for a softer effect. Adorama is a very high end camera house, so one can buy with confidence

    https://www.adorama.com/us%20%20%201...SABEgJGS_D_BwE
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  26. #26

    Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Thanks, Dan. Give me a few months to play with this and I'll start asking questions after that (fair warning).

  27. #27
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    btw if you want to buy that same flash unit new instead of used prepare to pony up about $85.00

    Last comment is that you may want to shop around for a 15-55 efs lens. They run about $50.00 used and will be a good compliment to your kit. Lets you get some of the "wide angle" shots you were used to with your bridge camera.
    Last edited by dan_bgblue; 11-28-2019 at 01:58 PM.
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  28. #28

    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Appreciate all of the start-up advice, Dan. Don't be surprised when this thread gets bumped back up after the first of the year. It'll take me some time to start playing with it, and I don't mind making egregious errors on my own while starting up so that I can ask better questions. But I'll be slow with it.

  29. #29
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Wonderful thing about digital cameras is that you can keep snapping and it does not cost you anything to learn from the bad shots as well as the good. I do suggest setting the camera to the one shot per shutter button press though as that camera will zip off about 6 shots a second if you don't. It is somewhat satisfying to hear all those rapid fire shutter clicks, but all those images do not help one learn much.
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

  30. #30
    Fab Five dan_bgblue's Avatar
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    Re: Super duper baby step, super-old DSLR camera plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
    Thanks, Dan. Give me a few months to play with this and I'll start asking questions after that (fair warning).
    I'll send Coastie a PM to watch out for you
    seeya
    dan

    “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.” Hunter S Thompson

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