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Old 04-08-2012, 07:15 AM   #1
Mgz
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Smile $2000, my first DSLR , which camera+lenses to buy ?

after a lot of googling I am leaning toward a Nikon D7000 18-105mm kits ($1500) + Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ($200) , and around $100 for a camera bag, screen protector, UV filters, CF cards, wireless remote, etc

or the D7000 body only + Nikon 35mm f/1.8G = $1400, so I have around $500-$600 for another lense or 2, don't know which one to get thou. I will mainly use this camera for my upcoming USA trip (flying over from Asia for my sister graduation) to take picture of the family, street life, graduation ceremony and travel

also I will stay in NY so which e-tailers (Ritz, Adorama, Amazon n B&H) that I can order from without getting hit by sales tax ?

since I am getting the 35mm f/1.8G, do I still need to get the nifty fifty too ? 50mm f/1.4D used for about $250?
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Last edited by Mgz; 04-08-2012 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:08 AM   #2
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I'd read:

http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/d...kon-d7000.html

http://nikonrumors.com/forum/topic.php?id=2557

http://www.digitalrev.com/article/5-...ave/NzE5NQ_A_A

I'd say if you are getting the 35mm, the 50mm *may* not be needed. Most would have a 50mm prime though and then a wide angle zoom.. IMHO that would be more practical. In all reality it's going to be how you are visualizing your shots. Being it's a graduation I'd probably want a bigger zoom for the shots on 'stage'.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:01 PM   #3
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The kit zoom would be a good lens for travelling, and the 35mm may be a good lens to have for indoor usage. IMHO most people wouldn't use the 35mm, because it is a inconvenience to swap lenses due to the the lost of zoom (versatility & wide angle).

You may want to take a look at the Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD as well as the Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC HSM OS.

Last edited by iGas; 04-08-2012 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:10 PM   #4
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Good choice. Nikon > Canon right now. Better sensors (kickass DR), and better build quality on their products, especially their consumer grade lenses which Nikon warranties for 5 instead of 1 year, and gives you free lens hoods on everything whereas Canon is too cheap to provide them for free on consumer grade lenses.

If you are just starting out I would suggest the D5100 unless you know you will use the advanced functions of the D7k. The D7k has a long list of bonuses, like better AF, metering, larger viewfinder, etc. but those are improvements from something to something--and the d5100 is a whole lot of something.

The improvements from nothing to something are no commander mode to commander mode, no internal screw motor to screw motor. No DoF preview to DoF preview. No guidelines in viewfinder to guidelines in viewfinder (optional).

If you have enough time before your trip, then you might want to use the kit lens for a while until you get a better idea of what you really need. After a while you will know if you are:

- happy. Then it's end of story. No other equipment needed.

- want more range but don't like changing lenses. The best option is either the 16-85 VR if you care more about the wide end, or the 18-105 VR if you care more about the long end. They are both sharp and good. The 18-105 VR's plastic mount is less of an issue if you never change lenses anyway. Also consider a superzoom like the 18-200 or third-party superzooms, though be aware that superzooms are only sharp on the wide end and lose sharpness as you stray longer, faster than dedicated telephoto lenses would.

Note that superzooms and telephotos do okay with portraits, generally. Just step back, zoom in as much as possible, and open up aperture as wide as possible.

- need more low-light capability against non-moving targets. Get a tripod if applicable. Else, a 17-50mm f/2.8 Sigma OS lens (it has image stabilization) will give you better results and zoom range at the same time, than any of the large-aperture lenses. Remember that your depth of field narrows and you lose sharpness as you open up a lens, so even a 35mm f/1.4 lens is less than idea for low light, whereas the Sigma will be fairly sharp at f/2.8 with a decent depth of field, yet with its good image stabilization will give you THREE EV stops more effective exposure time. Furthermore, 50mm at f/2.8 on DX is good enough for portraits and imho an easier focal length for portraits than 35mm on DX. If you try the same stunt with a 35 f/1.8 you will get more perspective distortion (this is the "big nose small ears" effect you get when you photograph something up close). You need to back off some... in fact it'd probably be better to back off with a 35mm at f/1.8 and crop it later, even if that amplifies the perceived depth of field.

- need more low-light capability against moving targets, including people indoors. Use the onboard flash, and if that's not enough, get a cheap but good one like a Yongnuo 465 or 467. Use a flash before you resort to the 35mm f/1.8 which everybody gets (myself included, though frankly I would not have bought it if I already had my Sigma 17-50 OS, and I'm now looking to sell the 35/1.8), but few buyers actually use because it's just one focal length and not as convenient as zooms and not long enough to get depth of field effects as well as longer focal length lenses. (I think Thom Hogan made a joke about that once... "everyone buys it; see anyone using it?") If you can't use a flash, then yes, get a 35mm f/1.8. It's decently sharp wide open, arguably better than most other lenses in its class, including some pricier lenses.

- need telephoto in daylight. A basic 55-200 VR is relatively small, cheap and effective, though not particularly fast. A 70-300 VR is more expensive but has more reach... but weighs more. (A good alternative is the Tamron 70-300 VC which is almost as sharp and built much better than most Tamrons and maybe even the Nikon 70-300 VR itself. The Tamron has better VC and costs less, too.) A 55-300 VR may be a compromise you can live with. All of these telephotos will become gradually less sharp as you reach their long ends, even with stopping down to f/8. You can "overbuy" by getting, say, a 70-300 and shooting only up to 200mm, rather than buying a 55-200mm VR and shooting at 200mm, and thus get a bit more sharpness and larger aperture (at 200mm) that way, but whatever you do, compare sizes and weights. Preferably in person. Long telephotos are big mothas, even the smaller-apertured ones like these that only do well in bright light (because in low light you would have to crank up ISOs too much in order to get acceptably fast exposure times... you will usually need to hit ~1/500th second or faster against moving targets as VR will not help you much if the target moves.)

- need telephoto in dim light. These are out of your budget and hulking monsters. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, or VR II. But if you just can't bear the thought of increasing your ISO any more to capture telephoto shots, get one.

- need a wideangle lens and can use a tripod in low light if necessary. Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 (not the 3.5 version which is no sharper but more expensive) does well stopped down to f/8 or lower and is the best budget choice. If you don't mind having to crop out nasty corners a bit, the Tamron 10-24 is the other good budget choice. I can't recommend the Tokinas due to ghosting/flaring issues though if you don't mind that, get one anyway. After that, prices go up quite a bit as you enter the realm of the Nikon 10-24 (newer, bigger zoom range) and 12-24 (still good, and better built).

- need wideangle in dim light and tripod would not help. Tokina 11-16/2.8, despite its ghosting/flaring issues. No other real choices as the only other plausible choice under f/4 at your budget is the Sigma 10-20/3.5. You will have to manual focus if you get a D5100, but it's a wideangle with distance scale and huge DoF, so it's easy.

If you don't have enough time to try gear before your trip, I would go with the Sigma 17-50/2.8 OS (great all-purpose lens even in dim light, popular with wedding photographers who need speed + low-light performance and can't be switching lenses all the time) and add a small telephoto like the 55-200 VR for things like zoos. I'm assuming you don't want to carry TOO much weight while traveling.

Good luck!

Edit: I found the Thom Hogan six word reviews on Nikon gear. They are here, and hilarious: http://www.bythom.com/sixword.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgz View Post
after a lot of googling I am leaning toward a Nikon D7000 18-105mm kits ($1500) + Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ($200) , and around $100 for a camera bag, screen protector, UV filters, CF cards, wireless remote, etc

or the D7000 body only + Nikon 35mm f/1.8G = $1400, so I have around $500-$600 for another lense or 2, don't know which one to get thou. I will mainly use this camera for my upcoming USA trip (flying over from Asia for my sister graduation) to take picture of the family, street life, graduation ceremony and travel

also I will stay in NY so which e-tailers (Ritz, Adorama, Amazon n B&H) that I can order from without getting hit by sales tax ?

since I am getting the 35mm f/1.8G, do I still need to get the nifty fifty too ? 50mm f/1.4D used for about $250?
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Last edited by blastingcap; 04-08-2012 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:18 PM   #5
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D7000 kicks ass, no doubt. But SLR photography is all about the lenses, not the bodies.

I would get a D5100 instead ($600), and spend the rest on lenses:

Nikkor 35/1.8G $200 Standard prime
Nikkor 50/1.8G $200 Portrait prime
Nikkor 70-300VR $450 Telephoto-zoom
Tamron 17-50/2.8 $450 Wide-zoom

That's a solid kit for whatever you may encounter on your trip. The lenses will transfer to whatever Nikon APS-C body you get in the future.

Last edited by jpeyton; 04-08-2012 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgz View Post
after a lot of googling I am leaning toward a Nikon D7000 18-105mm kits ($1500) + Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ($200) , and around $100 for a camera bag, screen protector, UV filters, CF cards, wireless remote, etc
Very good start.

Also, consider the D5100. $700 with 18-55 kit lens. Add the 35mm f/1.8 and you still have $1100 left for other lenses and stuff (which I would wait for a while, as you use the initial setup and determine what you really need next).

http://www.adorama.com/INKD5100K.html
http://www.adorama.com/NK3518U.html

JR
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:43 PM   #7
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I like your choices. The D7000 will be good for you for many years, allowing for a bunch of stuff the D5100 would not (using cheaper lenses that would still autofocus on D7000, better ISO management, using flash in commander mode); and you already have identified a walk-around and a prime lens.

While you could end up buying all sorts of expensive lenses later on, to begin with you could just buy a cheapo 70-300 mm that would satisfy the occasional need for the intermediate zoom. Trust me - I have that lens on a D90 and for what it cost me, it's a gem!

Other than the ones you state, don't buy any pro-level lenses now. Once you gain experience, you'll know exactly what you need.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:08 PM   #8
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Judging by your budget and research, it seems to me that you're pretty serious about jumping into this hobby. I would suggest going with your instincts and getting the D7000. People recommend the D5100 because it is definitely the best bang for your buck, but you sound like the type of person who wouldn't mind spending a bit extra for something better. If you're like me, you'll start off with the D5100 and end up with a D7000 (I own both, but the D5100 is my wife's camera). The D5100 is smaller and lighter than the D7000, but the cost is less buttons for quick settings access. Not having a dedicated ISO button and only one command dial really hurts the D5100 for people who don't put everything on automatic settings, which is what you'll eventually need to do for at least a handful of settings if you really want to take control of your photos. People already discussed the lack of an autofocus motor in the D5100 too.

As for your plan of D7000 with 18-105 kit lens + 35mm, I think that's a great first step. The 50mm is sold out everywhere because the Nikon factory in Thailand still isn't fully back up and running, and it's cheap enough where you can pick it up later if you find you really want it once the supply is better. The 18-105 will let you learn what kind of shooter you are. You'll quickly find out if you want more room at the wide end or the zoom end for your type of shooting. Switching from the kit lens to the 35mm will show you the benefits of having a significantly bigger aperture (low light/indoor performance, faster shots, background blur).
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:50 AM   #9
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I'd try to fit a flash/softbox/reflector into that budget too. Lighting is an often overlooked aspect by beginners, and I find it to be the most notable difference between pros and beginners.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeyton View Post
D7000 kicks ass, no doubt. But SLR photography is all about the lenses, not the bodies.
I agree. As long as your not constantly needing to change settings via button controls, the D7000 may be overkill.

D5100 offers the same sensor as the D7000.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:46 AM   #11
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Also, Nikon is refreshing their APS-C lineup in 2012.

The D3200 is going to pack 24MP according to NikonRumors.com.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:20 AM   #12
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I would get a used D300 for about $900, a used SB 800 for about $300 a new Tamron or Sigma 17-50. Of you get the Tamron, you could also get a 85 1.8 D used. I prefer to get new third party lenses but OK with used Nikons. Just picked up a used 35 f2. The 17-50 will give you wide angle and the 85 will give you a bit more reach and is one stop faster for the graduation ceremony. Probably have extra money for a bag and extra cards. May not need the UV filter (another piece of glass). For screen protector, I prefer the GGS which is made of glass.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgz View Post
after a lot of googling I am leaning toward a Nikon D7000 18-105mm kits ($1500) + Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ($200) , and around $100 for a camera bag, screen protector, UV filters, CF cards, wireless remote, etc
This is a good option. Just don't buy CF cards! (the D7000 takes SD)

The most versatile combination for travel (if you don't need long range) would be something like the Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 and the 17-50 f2.8 OS.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:03 PM   #14
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Even as a long-time Canon user, currently shooting with a 5DII, I too would recommend a used/refurbished Nikon body (D300, D300S, etc.) and 2-3 really good lenses:

16-35 VR or 17-55
35 1.8 or 50 1.4/1.8 or 85 1.8
70-300 VR
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:32 PM   #15
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Amazon usually have the Canon t2i or t3i on sale + a few lenses. I've always read good reviews on their EOS line.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:32 PM   #16
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you better stay in NJ if you want to avoid sale taxes. NYS did a very good job making all these e-retailers collect NY sale taxes.
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:48 PM   #17
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Did you buy it?

If not, I recommend focusing on lenses and a flash too!

Seriously, get a D90 or D300 for cheap, and make sure you have an off-camera flash (SB-600 at least). Then get a few good lenses. The 50mm f/1.8, a wide zoom (like the 10-20 or 12-24 range) and a longer lens (50-150 or something).

Then in a few years, you can drop on a D8100 or whatever, and you'll already have the kit and know how to use it.

Seriously, the flash is so important. Whenever I read a photographer's website that says "we use natural light only" I roll my eyes and thing "he never learned to use a flash".

:-)

To me, when I know I'm looking at a REAL professional's bag is when he has a flash and coloured gels on him at all times. The minute I see someone with a bunch of gels and some rubberbands, along with gaffer tape. :-D
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:00 PM   #18
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If you are spending this money you need to get a flash. I would buy a cheaper body and get more lenses, you will always have those. I will be listing an SB 600 tonight for 200 shipped
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