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Middle School Photography Program...what to buy...?

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Thread started 06 Sep 2006 (Wednesday) 16:20   
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motion_projekt
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Hey folks,

I'm kinda sorta a newb here. Been on and off...left couple of posts...like what...56?? thats not too good...but anyway enough of my rambling...let me get to the point.


I have a a friend who is a teacher at a local middle school. The school is getting grant funding to start up a digital photography program. So im sitting in class one day (i'm a student at the university of hawaii, mind you im not paying attention to the lecture since im checking my email) and i get an email from him asking me for some advice on equipment to buy for the program. He doesnt give me too many specfics only that there is a LARGE amount of moolah involved. he said he was planning on buying 5-6 Rebel XT's (seeing that the XTi was just announced and that prices will drop, and two photo printers. I made some suggestions to him, and i told him i would get back to him with more ideas.

What do you think folks?? Any extra lens reccomendations? other equipmet reccomendations? Please keep in mind that even though there is a lot of money, that the equipment will primarily be used my middle schoolers..so no L fever for them!! Any constructive advice would greatly be appriciated!!!:lol:

Post #1, Sep 06, 2006 16:20:34


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Jon
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350Ds sound good - get 'em with the kit lens. Then a couple of Nifty Fiftys (50 f/1.8), one or two 580 EX and a couple of 430EXes so they could do multi-flash if they get adventurous, and one-two longer lenses - maybe 85 and 135 and a 100 macro. Don't forget a few polarizers, probably in this environment get UV filters all around but make sure they're good multi-coated ones - Hoya HMC, B+W MRC or better.

Post #2, Sep 06, 2006 16:34:07


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picturecrazy
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yes, just go with the 18-55 kit. Cheap lenses!! Remember everything gets pretty mistreated, lost, and imporperly maintained when it comes to middle schoolers... you don't want any nice glass in there. I second the notion for one or two 580's and 430's for the rest.

I was one of the yearbook photographers for my school long ago and the amount of gear that is lost or damaged every year was atrocious!!! And stock up on LENS CAPS! We lost about 20 of those! Cameras being carelessly dropped, left in the rain, it was terrible.

So I recommend (from experience).... cheap cheap cheap stuff.
One lens per camera is what I would say. letting students switch lenses is asking for trouble. Two cameras were sent for repair in one year due to johnny not lining up the red dots, and resorting to FORCE to put the two together... sheesh...
So set up camera/lens combos for specific purposes so you don't have to switch lenses.... the students can just grab whatever setup they are going to need that day.

i.e.
350D/50 1.8 for portrait
350D/75-300 for sports
350D/35 2.0 for dances/indoor events
350D/18-55 for general use
350D/50mm 2.5 macro for macro work

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Post #3, Sep 06, 2006 16:39:46


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kennmon
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i dunno if nifty 50s would be the best, seeing as they are a bit on the flimsy side

Post #4, Sep 06, 2006 17:19:53




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steved110
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Make sure and to advise your friend to negotiate a bulk discount - if he's spending enough money he ought to carry some clout.

I'm a bit concerned about the projected hammering this kit seems likely to take at the hands of the kids - surely there is some way to make sure people take proper care of the gear - like a security deposit or getting parents to sign a letter promising to replace anything that gets lost or stolen? An XT isn't exactly robust.

IMO if the kids can't be trusted to look after the kit properly, it would be better to spend the money on hardware like PC, printer, inks, scanner, software and make the little rats bring their own cameras!I think these days everyone in the western world has at least a P&S digital camera!

Post #5, Sep 06, 2006 17:20:46 as a reply to post 1950667


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kennmon
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perhaps a very adjustable P&S such as an S2 IS would be more suitable?

Post #6, Sep 06, 2006 17:24:34 as a reply to steved110's post 3 minutes earlier.




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ssim
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I am going to do some talks on photography to a few junior high (grades 7-9) here this year. It is an experimental program through the local school division. Rather than try and teach them the DSLR world they are starting out with some point and shoot cameras. They seem to have a mismatch of a little bit of everything from Nikon to Sony to Canon. The course is intended to teach the basics of digital photography and understanding the concepts and understanding of it all. You really don't need a DSLR to do that. I will be bringing in my gear later on in the year to discuss the differences between the p&s and DSLR's.

If the school division that you are talking about has made the decision for an XTi, then I would suggest that you look at something like the Tamron 28-75. It has very good optics and is fairly well built. I would like to think that we could trust these young adults to treat the equipment with some respect and still be aware of the potential for damage and/or theft. The 28-75 is reasonably priced, imo.

Post #7, Sep 06, 2006 17:35:53 as a reply to kennmon's post 11 minutes earlier.


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Rhinotherunt
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I am a Canon guy, but Nikon seems to build their entry levels a lil more sturdy.

On the Canon side I would get 350's and Nifty's, a few 430's and 580's. Of course, have paper work that parents have to sign that state they will be responisble for loss or damage. I would also get a 30D and a 5D with 50mm 1.4, 10-22mm, 17-40mm L, 24-70mm L, 70-200mm L, and 300mm L that the teacher could set up and have the students look through to see the differences. Then on special assignments have the students learn with the teacher how to use the lenses. 300mm at a football or soccer game for instance.

Post #8, Sep 06, 2006 17:37:21


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motion_projekt
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thanks for the adcive guys...just so everyone is on the same page. Its a DSLR program no PS or Piece of S***s...pardon the french...lol. Really though thanks for the advice!!

keep it commin!

Post #9, Sep 06, 2006 18:37:45


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BradT0517
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Well Aproximatly how much is it in a numbe value

I would say get:

4 XT's with kit lens ($749 each BH Photo)
2X Canon 50mm 1.8 ($80 Each)
Canon 75-300mm 4-5.6 III USM ($170)
Canon 10-22mm 3.4-4.5 ($690)
Canon 50mm 2.5 Macro ($240)
one or two 430 EX ($240 Each)
8 1 Gig Ridata/Ritek 150X speed memory cards ($22 each)
Bogen Manfroto 791B Monopod ($60)
And A monopod have not been able to research it

So all together it would be about 5100 including shipping to hawaii

The Reason I chose these is because the Rebel XT is a good beginner camera the:
Nifty Fifty for them to let them learn about a good shutter speed
the 75-300 for them to get a good reach and show them how to make up for the inadicacies of high aperatures
the 10-22 for them to get to use an extremely wide angle
the 18-55 for the kinda clumsy people and for just practice to begin with
The 50 macro because they can learn about macro photography even though it is not true macro
the 430 EX's so they can learn to use flashes for effects or in just dark situations
and the memory cards because they are fast and cheap
the mono pod because it is durable
and tri pod for portrait situations

Post #10, Sep 06, 2006 18:45:10


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BradT0517
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kennmon wrote:
perhaps a very adjustable P&S such as an S2 IS would be more suitable?

then what would they do with the rest of the money if they spend it on A PS

Post #11, Sep 06, 2006 18:47:09 as a reply to kennmon's post 1 hour earlier.


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ibdb
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I'd also recommend making sure there's at least one macro lens in the bunch. The Canon EF-S 60mm is a true 1:1 macro at about $379. I really like mine, and know that a number of others here feel the same way.

Post #12, Sep 06, 2006 19:04:20 as a reply to BradT0517's post 17 minutes earlier.


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Lightstream
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I'd probably go out on a limb here and recommend affordable filters. Something like Hoya HMC, the entry level stuff. It's really not as bad as folks make it out to be, and we don't want the filters to cost more than the lens (B+W 77mm UV MRC F-Pro $$ > kit lens $ !).

Get them a long zoom, 75-300 is my favorite recommendation as an entry level zoom and it is cheap so no worries if the worst does happen. 58mm filter size common with the kit lens.

60 macro is fantastic (ring USM, internal focus, small, sharp beyond imagination, true 1:1), and you WILL spoil them with that kind of sharpness. ;) 50 Compact Macro is not so expensive if the budget is tight.

I have seen places that went and threw money at the battery grips and then went with the cheapest glass they could buy, I completely didn't understand that move. Same place had a 20D that was totally messed up, already had AF problems and the view through the prism was totally stuffed up. I suspect someone dropped it knocking the prism out of alignment :(

Glad my 350D lives a much more sheltered life...... :D

Post #13, Sep 06, 2006 19:31:23




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BradT0517
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Yea I find no reason for a class to buy the battery grips since they would be almost uterly useless for the as they would just have the camera charing when not in use

Post #14, Sep 06, 2006 19:48:42


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Jon
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I wouldn't bother with a monopod. If they need a support and can't set up a tripod, they can use it with the legs together as a monopod. But I really think you should put filters on those lenses. The kids just aren't going to bew as careful as we might be. I think that extreme wide angle is something that could wait for later in their photographic careers (if they develop); someone's going to have to teach them all this stuff, and adding UWA to all the basic technical issues and fundamentals of lighting and composition is just that little bit extra to overload the course. Pick up a couple of spare batteries, as well.

Post #15, Sep 07, 2006 10:41:30


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