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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Lens Recommendations?

So my dad just gave me his gray market Nikon D80, and I need to pick up a lens or 7 for it. Since I'm really just getting into this hobby, I don't want to spend a lot of money on a lens since my pictures will be crappy either way. I've been looking around, reading reviews, trying to figure out what all these letters/numbers mean and think I found a set of lenses that would work:

http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/B0009HN...1W0649DTNS6002
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...d_i=B0009HN57E

I know they aren't top of the line by any means, but the reviews I've read seem pretty positive on them.

Since I'm just getting into this hobby, I really haven't found exactly what I like to shoot, so I figure buying two lens that will cover a wider range seems like a good idea to me and I need to be able to take pictures of my wife's dogs, or she'll be mad with me

I'm open to other suggestions as well. I'd say my price range is <$500 total.
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 09:20 AM
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Do you have any experience with cameras or photography?

If not, I'd recommend a book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.

That lens kit would be a perfect start for you, you might want to stick with the 18-55 until you get more comfortable.
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 09:21 AM
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You can't go wrong with the 18-55 EDII lens, one came with my D40 and it's a great bargain at $100; very sharp.

I haven't read anything really good about the 55-200 lens, but never really considered getting one. I'd recommened getting the 18-55 (or possibly a 18-70 or 18-135 off ebay for cheap) until you get a feel for what you are doing and see how much you want to (or can) spend on other lenses.

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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
Do you have any experience with cameras or photography?

If not, I'd recommend a book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.

That lens kit would be a perfect start for you, you might want to stick with the 18-55 until you get more comfortable.
I was actually planning on ordering that book with the lenses

My experience involves a P&S digital camera. I'm an uber-noob at this lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadrach View Post
You can't go wrong with the 18-55 EDII lens, one came with my D40 and it's a great bargain at $100; very sharp.

I haven't read anything really good about the 55-200 lens, but never really considered getting one. I'd recommened getting the 18-55 (or possibly a 18-70 or 18-135 off ebay for cheap) until you get a feel for what you are doing and see how much you want to (or can) spend on other lenses.
Thanks for the advice. I'll have to poke around some more to see what I can dig up.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 09:33 AM
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oops, here is the updated edition: Found here

Simple and to the point with great analogies to help you better understand how a camera captures light. Good luck!
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
Since I'm really just getting into this hobby, I don't want to spend a lot of money on a lens since my pictures will be crappy either way. .
OK, first off, wrong attitude. If that's your mentality, sell the camera to someone who wants to use it and learn, and get a point and shoot.

Sorry to sound harsh, but here is the reason.

Lenses you can keep for 10+ years. The *lens* is the key to producing a sharp, quality image. Camera bodies come and go, lenses last for years and years. In fact, I'm still using a 90mm Macro from 1977 made by Tokina that Nikon still hasn't surpassed in quality, even with all this modern technology and coatings and alphabet soup of features.

I'm not saying run out and buy $1200 lens, but if you stick with this for more then a year, and plan on doing more then using it as an expensive point and shoot, you'll be fed up with those bottom end lenses really damn quick, and buying the ones you should have in the first place.

It's like buying cheap tools to work on your bike. You get the cheap chinese crap from the flea market and you find out you enjoy fixing your bike...after you bust your knuckles and break some tools and round off a few bolts, you'll be like "crap, I should have at least bought Craftsman".

Both those lenses you linked to are Nikon's modern junk. The 18-55 II (second gen) is OK, but still bottom end junk. The 18-70 and 18-135 are award winning kit lenses that Canon users wish they had. At least start there.

As for the Alphabet soup in the lens name, this should help:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/nikortek.htm

The guy who owns the page link ^^^^ is a nut, but he knows his stuff. Take his opinion with a grain of salt, but hes an engineer that helped design the digital video cameras used in TV and movies today.

And the book that Bobby recommended above is AWESOME. Make sure you find the most up to date version that gets into digital a little bit.

My recommendation for anyone who *really* wants to learn to use a camera (regardless of brand), is to get a basic 50mm lens, and a good flash (if you can afford it) and take a class or sit down with several good books and truely *learn* to use all the settings of your camera. What you learn with those three basic tools (camera/lens/flash) will transfer to any camera, any lens, and any flash from any brand...even basic point and shoots.

Your Lens

Your Flash

I'm willing to back up all this talk. You come over to my place for an afternoon one weekend, and I'll give you the crash course in photography.
Free Lesson.
In fact, if you want to try out the 50mm, I have one you can borrow for our lesson so you can get a feel for it. I have several lenses you can try out and get a feel for should you be inclined to spend more then those bottom end lenses call for.

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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Let me clarify my post before Lonely Raven comes to my work and beats me to death with his camera

I just got handed this nice, fancy camera that I know nothing about that doesn't have a lens. I've always wanted to get into photography, but before I start dropping boat loads of cash on lens and flashes and anything else, I want to make sure this isn't going to be a hobby that I'm going to enjoy for a few months and then let the camera sit for years, collecting dust.

So what I'm looking for is a basic lens set up that isn't going to bust my wallet. To start, the camera will be used as an expensive point and shoot, but I do plan on learning all the fancy manual stuff that it can do. I want something that can do most stuff well. It doesn't have to be great at everything, but just good. It really doesn't matter to me if this lens is considered garbage by the professional world, as long as it will allow me to learn.

Once I decide 100% if I want to get into this hobby further, then I'll worry about going down the road of buying higher end equipment, but to start, I want to make sure it is going to stick.

And selling the camera is not an option.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 10:26 AM
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Go with the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED then. See if you can find a newer generation GII model for the same price. Or if you can find a used 18-70 or 18-135 lens you get much more range for not too much more cash. But for $100 total, a D80 with 18-55 lens is a friggen STEAL!

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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
Let me clarify my post before Lonely Raven comes to my work and beats me to death with his camera
.
I appreciate you taking my fervor in humor. I just hate to see friends waste money.

Come on over and try out some lenses. For real. The D80 is a fantastic camera!

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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post
I appreciate you taking my fervor in humor. I just hate to see friends waste money.

Come on over and try out some lenses. For real. The D80 is a fantastic camera!
I can tell you take this stuff seriously. It's like when someone comes on here and says they bought a 2007 1000RR for their first bike and want to know how to put neons on it Well, maybe not that bad.

I'll take you up on that offer one of these weekends, just have to find some time.
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 11:28 AM
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The Nikkor lenses aren't THAT bad, but Lonely Raven is right about lenses. They stick around forever. I personally don't see any problem with starting out cheap and upgrading later. The range that you picked is perfect, its just about the same kit I started out w/. You definately want the zoom capabilities of the 55-200 and you are going to need the 18-55.

Listen, I'll trade ya! You can have my D70 for the D80 man I'm jealous, I wish someone would drop a D200 in my lap haha. Congrats tho, and if you ever want to go out shooting let me know!

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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 12:11 PM
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Also dont need to be just looking at Nikkor lenses. Tamron and Sigma also make damn good lenses.
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
I can tell you take this stuff seriously. It's like when someone comes on here and says they bought a 2007 1000RR for their first bike and want to know how to put neons on it Well, maybe not that bad.

I'll take you up on that offer one of these weekends, just have to find some time.
No, it's more like someone lucking into a Ninja 500 for free and then asking for help in getting a ton more HP out of it. While the Ninja 500 is a good upper end *starter* bike, it's still a starter bike and a waste to upgrade. You want to spend money on something, get a better bike and work from there.

(this is ignoring resale value and learning value of a Ninja 500 by the way)



Quote:
Originally Posted by lady_yamaha View Post

Listen, I'll trade ya! You can have my D70 for the D80 man I'm jealous, I wish someone would drop a D200 in my lap haha. Congrats tho, and if you ever want to go out shooting let me know!
Remind me not to let you walk too far away with my D200 then.

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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lady_yamaha View Post
The Nikkor lenses aren't THAT bad, but Lonely Raven is right about lenses. They stick around forever. I personally don't see any problem with starting out cheap and upgrading later. The range that you picked is perfect, its just about the same kit I started out w/. You definately want the zoom capabilities of the 55-200 and you are going to need the 18-55.

Listen, I'll trade ya! You can have my D70 for the D80 man I'm jealous, I wish someone would drop a D200 in my lap haha. Congrats tho, and if you ever want to go out shooting let me know!
My dad didn't know he orderd a gray market camera and when he went to register it with Nikon for a repair, the serial number came back bad. He ended up ordering another D80, and while it was shipping, he reloaded the firmware on the gray one, it worked fine again. I went over there yesterday and he just gave it to me. I'm starting to wonder if he's sellin' crack or something, because I have no idea where he's getting this money


I just ordered the 18-55 from adorama. I'll play around with that for awhile and then get a zoom lens to play with. Thanks for the suggestions everyone
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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All true as said above, but lenses can be sold. You bought a $100 lens, and then 2 years later sold it for $50 after realizing that you're not interested in SLR photography or figuring out that you simply like your point and shoot better. The more expensive the lens, the more you take a hit when selling it. Buy yourself a $500 lens, use it twice and then sell it for $350 or less. Basically it could suck to find out that you're not as into it as you thought for a high price.
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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
I just ordered the 18-55 from adorama. I'll play around with that for awhile and then get a zoom lens to play with. Thanks for the suggestions everyone
Glad you went with a good interwebz company, there are a lot of fakes out there.

bhphoto.com is good too
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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 02:59 PM
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All true as said above, but lenses can be sold. You bought a $100 lens, and then 2 years later sold it for $50 after realizing that you're not interested in SLR photography or figuring out that you simply like your point and shoot better. The more expensive the lens, the more you take a hit when selling it. Buy yourself a $500 lens, use it twice and then sell it for $350 or less. Basically it could suck to find out that you're not as into it as you thought for a high price.
Or just buy said more expensive lens used for $350 or less.

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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
Glad you went with a good interwebz company, there are a lot of fakes out there.

bhphoto.com is good too
I'm pretty sure you were the one that recommended it to me in my other "DSLR Recommention" thread. The lense was backordered on BH, which is the reason I went to adorama.

The one I bought was refurbed by Nikon USA as well, so it was $30 cheaper. I figure refurb is good enough for my starter lens.

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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
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I'm pretty sure you were the one that recommended it to me in my other "DSLR Recommention" thread. The lense was backordered on BH, which is the reason I went to adorama.
Good stuff. yeah, I prolly did rec it

If you're in question about electronics on the web, resellerratings.com is a good site to check first!
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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-22-2007, 08:48 PM
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My skills suck, but I have had some fun trying astrophotography.
Cripes, way to start off in the deep end of the pool!

I'd be happy to teach anyone. Just bring the manual for your camera cause I don't know shyte about Canon.

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post #21 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 12:43 AM
 
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i got a 28-80mm and i think its a 70-300 sigma lens with uv filters ill sell you for 140.00 so you have a quick starter set i dont use them but if you want a good lens thats cheep the 50mm 1.4 nikon 250.00 ish would be a good one lens to have to start the 85mm 1.4 is better but its around 1000.00
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post #22 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 12:48 AM
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I'm so tempted to score a used 85 f/1.4, but there are rumors of an updated version coming out around my birthday, and honestly, my Tokina 90mm f/2.5 is pretty damn close in image quality...it's just a little slower....and manual.

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post #23 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post
Cripes, way to start off in the deep end of the pool!

I'd be happy to teach anyone. Just bring the manual for your camera cause I don't know shyte about Canon.
Raven, how much can I improve with this camera...
http://www.image-acquire.com/canon/c...is_review.html
I bought it because photography is a hobby of mine, but I'm not ready to step up into the SLR world just yet... are there any good websites to recommend as a good read to give tips on exposure, aperture, etc...?

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post #24 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 01:01 AM
 
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nice im not good with the manual i like my auto you might know of this site but if not its a good site
http://www.nikonians.org/ lots of info on stuff
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post #25 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 07:31 AM
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I think we should start a "Ask Raven 'bout yer camera" forum
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post #26 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 07:39 AM
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Raven, how much can I improve with this camera...
http://www.image-acquire.com/canon/c...is_review.html
I bought it because photography is a hobby of mine, but I'm not ready to step up into the SLR world just yet... are there any good websites to recommend as a good read to give tips on exposure, aperture, etc...?
With that camera you are limited by it's *very* limited aperture. That is one of those P&S cameras that's got HUGE zoom specs, because that's what the typical consumer can relate to. But it's aperture settings (and probably most other manual features) are quite lacking.

I'll put together a list of photography recommended reading, both hard copy books and stuff on line. There are some fantastic sights that teach you a lot of photography theory that I like, but unless you can wrap your head around those theories and develop lessons for yourself to practice, then they really don't mean anything. That's why I typically push people to take lessons, even if it's just a camera class at your Park District.

Once you get the basics down, you can figure out what directions you want to take your photography (LOTS of different kinds and skills!!) and work from there.

ANY camera can teach you how to frame a shot, and how to capture a scene in such a way as to tell a story or document a moment or simply for reference. That's where having a "good eye" comes in. (look at Wingnut's AZ photo thread and Maynards Sturgis photos). Everything after "seeing" a good scene and "framing" it is just technical.

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I think we should start a "Ask Raven 'bout yer camera" forum
Crap, as if I've not branded myself as a Mr Know It All already.

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post #27 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
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Crap, as if I've not branded myself as a Mr Know It All already.
At least you can man up and admit it!

I'd be willing to help out if the time and date were right

Think I need a new lens...... hmmmm

I have the 17-55 already... think i need some range know what I'm saying?
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post #28 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 08:29 AM
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At least you can man up and admit it! ?
Is it bad that I want to share all the stuff I've learned over the years?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
I'd be willing to help out if the time and date were right

Think I need a new lens...... hmmmm

I have the 17-55 already... think i need some range know what I'm saying?
I'm glad you kept that one!

I sold my 17-55 to buy the SV. That's another lens I heard was being replaced/updated soon, but the rumor has yet to pan out. I miss that lens terribly.

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post #29 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 08:33 AM
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You have good advice and know your stuff well. I don't have the patience like you, that's something I need to learn. Can you teach me?

That lens will be with me as long as it fits the sensors on my bodies. I'm thinking of dropping the dough on a good zoom....
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post #30 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
You have good advice and know your stuff well. I don't have the patience like you, that's something I need to learn. Can you teach me?
You want to learn patients? Get yourself an old Film Nikon. It will cost so much to process, that you'll learn to take your time! LOL

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Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
That lens will be with me as long as it fits the sensors on my bodies. I'm thinking of dropping the dough on a good zoom....
I said that too, but once I hear about a 24-70 AF-S VR-II (or something along those lines, I've forgotten what it was by now) to go along with the announcement of the D300, that was enough to tip me into selling the 17-55DX. The replacement is supposed to be Full Frame, and with VR, I'd be set!

So I've forced myself to stick with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and Nikon 50mm f/1.4 and concentrate on my framing rather then zooming.

If the rumor doesn't pan out soon, I'll probably just pick up the old clunky 28-70 AF-S. I find that I tend towards the longer lenses lately, so the 28-70 suits me better then the 17-55DX.

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