Digital SLR

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by newshooter.45, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. newshooter.45

    newshooter.45 Guest

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    I am interested in purchasing a Nikon D80 with a Nikon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S DX Lens. What additional lens would you recommend in the 300-400 dollar range (or less). I am most likely to use this to take scenic photos. I am particuarly interested in hiking up mountains and taking photos from a distance. I am not all too familar with Lens so I would like some opinions. Thanks.
     
  2. General Sherman

    General Sherman Guest

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    That is a very nice camera and lens and probably the only one you would need for sceens and general photography.

    If you are new to photography consider a simplier non SLR camera to start with. They are lighter and easier to use and protect in bad weather. The image quality from high end point and shoot cameras can equal the SLR images for practical purposes.
     

  3. sjfrellc

    sjfrellc CLM

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    That one lens might be all you need.

    If you need a longer lens, the 70-300 G series Nikon is a bargain. It's only about $140 and the glass is sharp. You'd be surprised.

    If you multiply the focal length by 1.5 conversion factor for the CCD sensor of Nikons, then the 18-135 is equivalent of 28-200 in 35mm film terms.
     
  4. Aaron S

    Aaron S

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    The Tokina 12-24 is pretty well received in the Nikon community. Some say it is better than the Nikon version. I think it is 400-500 though. My widest lens is a 20-35 and I struggle with it not being wide enough for my style. Sigma makes a 10-20 that is supposed to be good also, but I don't know what it costs. You could get a nice tripod for that $300 also. I would recommend buying from B & H Photo

    Aaron
     
  5. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    How about shooting with the above lens for a while and then see what range or features you're missing? The above lens has very good reviews, so it should serve you well. After you decide which direction you want to go, check one of the many lens review sites and read up on users' experiences.
     
  6. nipperwolf

    nipperwolf

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    how much experience do you have with SLR cameras?
     
  7. Jasper007

    Jasper007 Guest

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    Newshooter,

    I have a Nikon D80, I love it.

    I just posted some pictures of my German Shepherd in the animal section. I am no pro, I have been just using auto (trying to learn settings for action shots)-however even with Auto, it takes phenominal pictures.

    I would love to own the lenses that you could photo wild animals (like in Africa-the $10,000 ones), however I have the following...

    18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED

    50mm F/1.8 D (highly recommend this lense for closeups -it's like $100.00

    70-300mm F/4-5.6 ED

    I will eventually buy more lenses, as I get better.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions I can try and answer.

    Jack
     
  8. newshooter.45

    newshooter.45 Guest

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    Thanks for all the recommendations. I have a little experience with SLRs. I learned how to operate one in high school and break out my film SLR a couple times a year. Though I have never dedicated my time to using it. I plan on doing that now as I have plentiful subject matter now. This area of North Carolina is beautiful and I plan on heading to the Smokies this weekend with my new camera. I am anxious to tinker around with it. I have found some great sites that offer some good advice. I "need" this camera like I "needed" an AR! Really though, I'm trying to collect all the toys I can before I have kids. It's what my dad told me to do. (And the only advice I've ever taken from him...LOL)

    One great site I found was this.
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d80/users-guide/index.htm

    If you have any others lets put them in here for me to check out. Thanks GTers!
     
  9. Aaron S

    Aaron S

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    You can find good reviews and users talking about all makes of cameras at www.dpreview.com. Mr. Rockwell tends to "run his mouth" sometimes so don't take everything he says as gospel. I haven't read his D80 review though.

    Aaron
     
  10. nipperwolf

    nipperwolf

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    Congrats on the new camera! looking forward to your Smokies pics.

    word of caution; ken rockwell has a love/hate following in the photo world. for every person that likes his advice, there is another (or two;) ) who doesn't.

    a couple things from your link I don't agree with;

    1. shooting jpeg in BASIC mode to get small files. with the low cost of SD memory nowadays, there is no reason not to shoot in FINE. especially since you'll be shooting mostly landscapes.

    2. using auto ISO......NOT!!

    set it yourself, and set it as low as you can get away with. you have SLR experience, so you know how to read your meter to see if you have enough light. (maybe rockwell doesn't?:supergrin: )

    3. careful with the VIVID color setting and '+' on the saturation setting. most DSLR users prefer to add in PP, rather than have the camera do it.

    4. using UV filter for protection.

    iiiiiiiiiiffffff you wish to use one for protection, be sure to buy the best. don't put cheap glass in front of good glass.
     
  11. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    I could not agree more with you on this. Coming home with a shot of your life and an understanding that you screwed it up because you shot an inferior quality original is enough to make you hate yourself for a long time. That is probably the dumbest advice Ken Rockwell ever gave (and he tries real hard).

    I agree on the other points as well.
     
  12. newshooter.45

    newshooter.45 Guest

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    Yeah, I didn't agree there either. Why take anything less than fine? I got a 4G High Speed SD card to use and wouldn't think of compromising image quality for any reason. I did think that perhaps his tweaking ideas might be something to check(in regards to color). It's great to know a little background on this fellow.
     
  13. ponykilr

    ponykilr Off The Porch

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    Get yourself a 20, 35, and 50mm prime lens as money allows. The 50mm f/1.8d is under 100bucks new and is one of the sharpest/fastest lenses ever, the 35mm f/2.0 is around $280 new and is razor sharp. What you will find is consumer lenses indoors and in poor outdoor light will give you poor photos a percentage of the time because of their inability to freeze slight movement. Remember low "f" numbers in lenses means the ability to use fast shutter speeds in low light(most indoor shots).

    A f/1.8 50mm nikkor will have more than 4 times faster shutter speed than a f/4.5 consumer lens to get the same exposure. this is the difference between blur and razor.
     
  14. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

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    I wouldn't rely on a single card. I have about half a dozen 1 GB cards. If something happens and that 4 GB gets corrupted/dies then you could lose every shot on there. With smaller cards, there is less risk of losing EVERY shot. :)
     
  15. ponykilr

    ponykilr Off The Porch

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    Absolute truth, especially important stuff like weddings. Multiple lexar or sandisk cards are the only way to go. Sure I can get a whole wedding on a 4 gig, I can loose the whole thing too. Can you say "reputation ruined".

    Even loosing the kids birthday party pics will put you on the wrong side of your spouses disposition.:shocked:
     
  16. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    How about an external drive for backup - your assistant backs up all cards as you shoot. Only takes a few minutes per card.
     
  17. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

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    Someday!

    Also, having an assistant quickly review the shots on a laptop would be great in case you needed to reshoot something, too.
     
  18. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

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    One of the two best pro wedding photographers here lost some shots from a wedding this summer. They had shot some digital and film and they "lost" both. (Yeah, ok...)

    They had to reshoot. She had charged $3K for the package. The pro then paid an unplanned $500+ to reshoot (tux rentals, dress cleaned and repaired, make-up, hair, etc).

    At least these were some shots of the couple away from the ceremony. One of the first comments the mother of the bride made to me when I looked at the album was how they had reshot these and "yeah, these are nice but it isn't the same as it having been done that day."
     
  19. ponykilr

    ponykilr Off The Porch

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    Yep, weddings are about the emotion of THAT day. It is a big responsibility, and worth the big bucks. Have you guys priced what a design group charges to layout a magazine style wedding album? Then what it costs to have it printed and bound? Eight hours of coverage from the brides house during the preperation til the reception ends. Editing all 800-1000 shots. Paying an assistant. travel expense. The pre-event meetings and planning. People(not the couple) always gasp a little at the price of an average wedding package, but the profit % is much higher on my simple portrait packages than a wedding.

    Weddings are a BIG deal. It is these folks big day, and it happens once. Pressure....