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  #16  
Old 18-07-17, 12:50 AM
jimbob75 jimbob75 is offline
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Thanks for all the good advice. The boy does like taking close-ups, and since a macro is well outside budget the 18-55mm may be a good call, and also allow him to get a feel for differing focal lengths. I certainly think it'll be good to get started on a prime so he starts thinking about composition and perspective, plus with the added benefits of better optics, low-light ability and depth of field.
In terms of bodies, size-wise comparable to a D40 I guess. Still need to get my head around all the models, but preferably one which is tactile in terms of manual operation, eg adjusting shutter, aperture, manual focus. The D40 was a bit limited in that respect.

Last edited by jimbob75; 18-07-17 at 01:11 AM.
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  #17  
Old 18-07-17, 12:56 AM
Pete MB&D Pete MB&D is offline
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The D50 has a focus motor and they are cheap second hand, I have one that still gets used every now and then.

Pete
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  #18  
Old 18-07-17, 02:45 AM
Rico Rico is offline
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Originally Posted by Durmbo View Post
*I use a Nikon D90 and have been seriously considering getting an 18-55mm VR II. So light compared to my 18-105mm and less obstrusive and sufficiently flexible for my uses, and only true micro Nikkors can focus more closely without assistance, as far as I know.
the 18-55 (any model) is vastly under-rated and overlooked, sharp as a sharp thing, and better than the 18-70, 16-whatever, 18-105, etc etc etc. you can pick em up for buttons, and they're light and compact.

People push used consumer Canon, I'm not entirely sure why. I'm no fan of the Canon 50 1.8II, it's loaded with chromatic aberration. yes you can shoot around it. With the Nikon 50 1.8 you don't need to! But I digress.

I have small hands. I shoot (mostly) a D3, or D700. I shot my D7000 recently, it was a joy to drive something compact and light. You can get D7000's for buttons now, too.

this stream of consciousness brought to you by a glass of central otago pinot noir, the letter steak, and the words wok/fry/stir/vegetables.
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  #19  
Old 18-07-17, 02:47 AM
Rico Rico is offline
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Originally Posted by Pete MB&D View Post
The D50 has a focus motor and they are cheap second hand, I have one that still gets used every now and then.

Pete
that would be a good place to start, IMV. Assuming the nikon way does not leave your lad feeling left handed.
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  #20  
Old 18-07-17, 04:36 AM
jimbob75 jimbob75 is offline
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He has used a D40 and seems comfortable with it. Perhaps wise to get a play with a Canon first then if one system may feel counter-intuitive. He did also mention using it for video, if that sways the decision either way? I had the Nikkor 18-55 kit lens (non-VR) but felt it wasn't fast enough under low light
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  #21  
Old 18-07-17, 09:45 AM
Rico Rico is offline
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Originally Posted by jimbob75 View Post
He did also mention using it for video, if that sways the decision either way? I had the Nikkor 18-55 kit lens (non-VR) but felt it wasn't fast enough under low light
Warning: you're adding more and more requirements, which is going to force you to increase your budget, and/or force serious compromises.

If Video is a serious requirement, you need something a lot newer/better/more expensive.

If fast glass and zoom is a requirement, you need a lot more money for glass and are looking a f2.8 - not exactly budget beginner territory.

Macro: close-up lenses (filter rings) or a set of extension tubes. Make a reverse coupler out of cokin filter adaptor rings and some JB Weld (I used to use a 50mm 1.8 reversed on the end of a 35-80 for macro fun), makes a macro lens for charity shop money. Or get a reverse mount.
Plenty of inspiration to be found here in Poor Man's Macro group on Flickr.

He can shoot decent video on his iPhone.

EDIT: ps don't forget Nikkor 35mm f1.8 DX. A cracking compact prime for buttons.
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  #22  
Old 18-07-17, 10:50 AM
Jono_13 Jono_13 is offline
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Also the Lumix cameras from Panasonic with Leica designed lenses would worth considering for the smaller hands. My G3 is about the same size as bridge or an rangefinder sized camera.

The lenses are pretty damn good and the OS is a cinch to use.

Jono
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  #23  
Old 18-07-17, 04:22 PM
sls4321 sls4321 is offline
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Originally Posted by jimbob75 View Post
He has used a D40 and seems comfortable with it. Perhaps wise to get a play with a Canon first then if one system may feel counter-intuitive. He did also mention using it for video, if that sways the decision either way? I had the Nikkor 18-55 kit lens (non-VR) but felt it wasn't fast enough under low light
I got my kids started in photography on Fuji. My younger son had and X-E1 and 35/f1.5. He is now 16 and has an XT-1, same lens. They learn how to take photos with a 35 or 50 prime, just using aperture, speed and ISO.

The Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 R is a stunning lens if you can get a deal, put it on an XE-2 from mpb. The only worry is that Rockwell says it's as good as the 3,000 Leica 50 Summilux, rather worrying as I have one on order.
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  #24  
Old 18-07-17, 04:59 PM
Durmbo Durmbo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbob75 View Post
Thanks for all the good advice. The boy does like taking close-ups, and since a macro is well outside budget the 18-55mm may be a good call, and also allow him to get a feel for differing focal lengths. I certainly think it'll be good to get started on a prime so he starts thinking about composition and perspective, plus with the added benefits of better optics, low-light ability and depth of field.
In terms of bodies, size-wise comparable to a D40 I guess. Still need to get my head around all the models, but preferably one which is tactile in terms of manual operation, eg adjusting shutter, aperture, manual focus. The D40 was a bit limited in that respect.
Yeah, I see do see the merit in starting with a prime for educational reasons. Again, going wider rather than longer would be my recommendation. Your call, but I just think an 18-55 would be better value. I imagine his phone has a wide fixed focal length lens? How does he like it?

Macro. To throw another hat into the ring, how about just adding a close up lens? They're affordable and very low faff and I doubt it would degrade the IQ enough for him to notice or care, and I'm sure he'd find it fun. He's 11 after all!

Honestly, I wouldn't be too concerned with wide maximum apertures. This former film user eventually learned to stop worrying and love the ISO. Modern cameras (even some older ones like the D50) excel here. I sometimes set my D90 to auto ISO and am pleased with the results, even at 3200. Besides, compelling pictures relegate technical IQ factors into insignificance. IS/VR/whatever ice the cake. Further reasons why I'm attracted to a new 18-55 myself. Of course depth of field is more limited both ways but is an 11 year old going to so concerned?

Video? What Rico said. Why can't he stick to his phone? I do. Super convenient and untold less cumbersome than any DSLR. Then it's straight to Youtube or wherever if he wants to or you let him.

I'm sorry, I don't have any further body suggestions. If Nikon is the way (I'm not really promoting it) I love the D50 too, but like you I think it'd be too big in his hand. Something like the 100D or the G3 suggested by Jono would fit the bill here, if the price is right.
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  #25  
Old 18-07-17, 07:06 PM
Durmbo Durmbo is offline
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Originally Posted by Rico View Post
the 18-55 (any model) is vastly under-rated and overlooked, sharp as a sharp thing, and better than the 18-70, 16-whatever, 18-105, etc etc etc. you can pick em up for buttons, and they're light and compact.
To digress again. I have a junky old original 18-55 ED that I've made some of my favourite pictures with. It came with a D50. It's had a bash at some point and the AF doesn't work properly. It's a pig to focus manually because the ring only has about a 30 degree turn with no damping, and the front element wobbles all over the place! Against my 18-70mm and 18-105mm it's slightly softer all over and not as sharp in the corners as in the middle at any aperture. This is as per reviews but I suspect the optics are damaged as well. But it makes wonderful closeups, and a spot of unsharp mask later brings a dividend.

I actually watched a near new VR II one on TM the other week. It was a toss up between that and an 18-105. In the end I got the latter because one came up with a price not to be refused. It is a very nice lens, but I do find it makes the camera-lens combo unbalanced on my neck. So I'd still like an 18-55! And tape it at around 24mm sometimes to make it the 35mm equivalent that was my favourite focal length in my film days.

I prefer Nikon DSLRs to Canon as far as handling goes. Things fall into place more readily under my fingertips. I find the menus easier to navigate, too.

Quote:
this stream of consciousness brought to you by a glass of central otago pinot noir, the letter steak, and the words wok/fry/stir/vegetables.
Mine from a spell on the roof, cleaning gutters and grease taping rusty holes ahead of the imminent next winter storm.
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  #26  
Old 19-07-17, 12:22 AM
sam_cat sam_cat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durmbo View Post
Macro. To throw another hat into the ring, how about just adding a close up lens? They're affordable and very low faff and I doubt it would degrade the IQ enough for him to notice or care, and I'm sure he'd find it fun. He's 11 after all!

When I started doing macro I used a set of 'rings', no optics, they simply spaced the lens away from the body allowing far closer focusing (and losing infinity focus).. Easy fit on/off and very cheap!
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  #27  
Old 19-07-17, 02:49 AM
jimbob75 jimbob75 is offline
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Thanks for the continued responses - all good advice.

So, had a chat with the boy last night about what it actually is he wants from a camera and he's now open to suggestions. My concern with a bulky DSLR is that he'll be inclined to leave it at home rather than take it out with him, and he's quite taken with my X100...so....perhaps a Fuji of some sort? Small, cool and retro looking, hands on exposure controls, and, most importantly, something he'll hopefully be inclined to take out and start shooting with. I need to see what's available at the value end of the market but the aforementioned models seem a good place to start looking.

Sorry we've gone off on a tangent but such is the capricious nature of an 11 year old..!
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  #28  
Old 19-07-17, 06:10 AM
Jono_13 Jono_13 is offline
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Again Lumix should be on your list...
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  #29  
Old 20-07-17, 03:51 PM
Milan Milan is offline
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If you are looking at Fuji a used XE-1 is very good value and when coupled with their 27mm f2.8 is quite compact. Also they have two XC series budget zooms. The XC16-50 may be a good start.

As for Nikon consider things like the D5100 (same sensor as the D7000) which is compact, very good, and does video. My daughter has one.
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  #30  
Old 21-07-17, 11:17 AM
Rico Rico is offline
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Originally Posted by Durmbo View Post
Honestly, I wouldn't be too concerned with wide maximum apertures. This former film user eventually learned to stop worrying and love the ISO. Modern cameras (even some older ones like the D50) excel here. I sometimes set my D90 to auto ISO and am pleased with the results, even at 3200. Besides, compelling pictures relegate technical IQ factors into insignificance. IS/VR/whatever ice the cake.
I spent yesterday evening photographing fast-moving subjects in a gym under artifical lighting at up to ISO12,800. I had to rely on my old trusty (screw-focussing) primes to suck in enough light.

I'll be editing in mono, most likely - there's warped white balance and very little colour. Am I fretting? Hell no, I'll just tell myself I'm printing HP5 pushed to 800 or 1600 with bad chemistry!
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