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Thread: Looking at purchasing a DSLR

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    Member Davidtodd85's Avatar
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    Looking at purchasing a DSLR

    Hi Guys,

    I am looking to purchase a DSLR i currelty have a Panasonic Lumix TZ20 and its a quality little camera, although it has manual mode its a bit limted to what i want to do.
    I'm currently looking at the Nikon D7000 (looks the goods) The reason being is that I want a camera that I'm not going to outgrow in hte next 5-6 years. I am looking at purchasing the body seperate to the lenses, as i have gathered from this forum most lenses purchased with the camera arent much chop, i could be worng though..... I've been looking on the net and there are all sorts of packages you can get with the camera, and im not sure what lens sizes i would need......

    The types of photos i am looking to take included (surfing, landscapes, portraits and macro). I appreciate any input anyone may have as I'm a bit green....

    Cheers,

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    How much are you wanting to spend?
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Not over 3k. Whats the best i can do for around that?

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    From the list of interests you provided, you are going to need lenses from each end of the spectrum to do the job *correctly*.

    As a general guideline:

    Landscapes would often require a wide angle lens such as the Sigma 10-20.

    Portraits would require anything between 30-200mm.

    Surfing photos would require a long telephoto lens such as a 500mm - Depends where you are positioned in relation to the surfer.

    Another question you'd want to ask is if you want prime (fixed focal length) or zoom lenses? Each have their advantages. Zoom lenses obviously have the benefit of changing focal distances when required however, most zoom lenses have a variable aperture which means you will sometimes find it difficult to to shoot in certain environments (dark, indoors). There are constant aperture lenses but can cost quite a bit of money in comparison to the abovementioned - you will need to ask yourself if you are going to use the lens at its largest aperture all the time (such as hand heled in low light conditions) to justify the purchase. Prime lenses often produce a higher quality image than zoom lenses and are relatively light. Most Primes also have large apertures making them ideal to shoot in low light conditions or achieve a very shallow depth of field to seperate detail in photos. Of course, the disadvantage is your "zoom" device are your feet and it's not always practical to move about - such as shooting from a cliff or in a cave.

    Like Rick said, at the end of the day it all comes down to one thing - your budget. I could make a "dream list" of the best lenses you could use for each of the genres you listed but it'll be no good if you can't afford the lenses' price tag.

    If I were starting out all over again and wanted to experiment with different focal lengths and seeing how they can be used in certain scenarios, I would buy a "super zoom" lens such as the Nikon 18-200 VR II and see which end of the lens I spend more time on and use that as a starting point for future purchases.
    Last edited by lay-z; 27-05-2011 at 12:47pm. Reason: spelling
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    D700 | D80 | 16-35 | 24-70 | 70-200 | 30 | 50 | 85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidtodd85 View Post
    Not over 3k. Whats the best i can do for around that?
    Is this $3k with or without the camera body?

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    Thanks Lay-Z, very helpfull!

    3K will include the camera so ive got about $1500 for lenses (maybe a speedlight flash on top of that). Would i be better of going with one of the package deals? I think i would prefer the zoom function although as mentioned i would not have the larger apeture......

    Its all quite overwhelming, wish i had alot of coin then it would not bother me if i bought crap the first time around.....
    Last edited by Davidtodd85; 27-05-2011 at 1:03pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I would suggest looking at something like an 18-200 as suggested, and get a feel for your photography from that. This 'hobby' if it becomes addictive will end up costing you thousands, but as you know, at the start you have no idea what gear to get. So get an all-round lens and learn you craft, find out what you want to delve deeper into as far as genre goes and then invest in specific lenses at that time. For example, to take great surfing photos you could spend your entire budget, and multiply it by 10, just on a lens!

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    As others have suggested an 18-200mm's a good start for an overview. Its also a handy all in one travel lens but its a jack of all trade lens and will obviously be a weaker performer when compared to specialised lens for specific tasks.
    Maybe add a Tamron 60mm f2 macro. It'll do double duties as a macro and portrait lens.
    You might want to look at a tripod too but I don't wanna open up too many cans of worms for you. As Rick pointed out, when you start to consider all the support gear, photography can be a very expensive hobby.
    Your initial set of things you like to photograph is very diverse (good!!). But with a limited budget, after maybe an initial 'overall' lens, try to hone in on the next highest priority subject and buy a good lens that you're less likely to want to replace (ie. your reasoning for avoiding the kit lens).
    But I got nothing against the kit lens.... they're great bang for your buck. If you don't intend on keeping an all-in-one superzoom like a 18-200mm (I never had one and don't want one), the kit lenses might be a cheaper option for you to try out all the focal lengths.
    Buying second hand is also a great way to save and try out things with little depreciation loss if you on-sell. But being a beginner, probably wait til you know what you're buying before going down this route.
    Nikon FX

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    I'd like to commend you on choosing Nikon

    Then I'd recommend you spend less on a body and more on lenses

    In this basis if I were you I'd grab a near new or new d90. Still a very good body

    I'd then invest in three specialty lenses all second hand.

    A wide angle sigma 10-20 for landscapes
    A tamron 28-75 2.8 for general use and will do passable macro work
    A Nikon 70-300 for longer end stuff

    All very gettable with your budget I reckon with maybe enough spare change for a sb700 speedlight and a manfrotto tripod
    Darren
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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    $3k including all.

    You want quality, since you already have a Panasonic Lumix TZ20. You're not a complete noob. Thus I'd stay away from any 18-2xx from any brand. It's good at nothing, except pure range. It's not cheap either.


    I'd start with
    D7000 or good D90
    16-85 DX VR
    55-300 DX VR or 70-300 VR

    Stop there. Play with it for a bit.

    Next see if you want a macro lens. 85 DX VR or 105 VR
    You'll probably want a flash by that time too.

    On the wide end I'd go Tokina 11-16 2.8. I don't think you should get a UWA at start.


    When you get the macro you'll want a tripod. By that time you'll know how serious you are, and whether you want an arca-swiss system pod or not.
    Last edited by reaction; 27-05-2011 at 5:01pm.

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    $3000 is very realistic budget. The D7000 would be my first choice based on that. The balance of your budget can easily spent on a variety of good lenses full frame or DX. The 18-200mm with the D7000 is a good combo simply because the D7000 has a brilliant High ISO performance that compensates for the lack of speed the 18-200 has. Even after purchasing an all round lens you'll still have enough for say a 50mm F1.8 prime lens which has brilliant optics and won't break the bank. You'll soon appreciate the limitations and advantages of both prime and zoom lenses. As an owner of a D7000 check the image carefully as the first one I had had a hot pixel and I had to return it. Take a shot with the lens cap on at both HI2 ISO and ISO 100, and check on the computer screen for bright pixels. Then take a shot of something pure white and out of focus and check for black pixels on the computer. If the pixel is in the same spot at both ISO settings its a dud if not its probably just noise. Take a few more exposures if a suspicious pixel shows up just to confirm.

    Oh and just one more thing... the Nikkor 18-200mm just won the latest "Seagate" photo competition so I wouldn't call it a dud.
    Last edited by Keith Young; 27-05-2011 at 6:42pm.
    D7000, D300, Nikkor 50mm F1.4D, Nikkor 18-200mm, Tokina 11-16mm F2.8, Sigma 8mm F3.5, SB800, 3x SB600


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    Ausphotography Regular Tommo1965's Avatar
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    if your set on a D7000...then Id suggest the sigma 70-200 F2.8 to go with it...its a constant aperture of F2.8 in all focal lengths..and has some very good reviews and is compared next to the Nikon Vr II..sigma has done a good job with this lens...the 70-200 FL will cover your portrait and some surfing shots if they aren't too far out ..

    but to be honest...bang for buck..id follow Kiwi's advice ....the D90 is a good camera...equal to the D7000 in everything apart from high ISO and dynamic range..id say the D7000 has two stops of high ISO advantage over the D90......but if you purchase faster lenses {F2.8} you will claw that back..

    the best thing about Kiwis advice, is your buying lenses that you'd keep...even after the 5-6 year period ..after that youll want a new body..as digital bodies are a emerging tech..always being updated etc...lenses on the other hand..not so much.....as you have found your way here{ forum} and sounds like you have some knowledge..id steer clear of consumer lenses..as they will frustrate you eventually ......better to buy one very good lens and a used body ..IMHO..

    heres some body boarding shot at 200mm FL...the guys were about 30 meters out and these are cropped at around 60-70%....lens was a Nikon VR II....as Ive said you could get results like this with the sigma 70-200OS...if everything Ive read about that lens is true ...also sigma Australia will price match any grey/internet price you can find..makes the 70-200 about $1300 AU ;

    if I could have only one lens ..it would be a 70-200 F2.8



    Last edited by Tommo1965; 28-05-2011 at 7:03am.

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Young View Post
    Oh and just one more thing... the Nikkor 18-200mm just won the latest "Seagate" photo competition so I wouldn't call it a dud.
    No, a photographer won the latest "Seagate" photo competition, not a lens. For any moderately serious amateur, 18mm is neither wide enough, and the softness from 130-200mm is a known and acknowledged characteristic of the lens.

    http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...ct/1281/cat/13

    v2 is much improved, but it's still not a performer.

    seriously, every P&S camera, every DSLR lens has won some photo competition somewhere. The OP is looking for a serious investment with which he hopes to work his photography skills, he's not after 'just anything better than a P&S'. For that reason a 18-200mm is not suitable.
    Last edited by reaction; 28-05-2011 at 8:35pm.

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    Always Learning ....
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    Hi David,

    I am a keen novice who started with a very basic Nikon 40x then Bought the D7000 with an 18mm 110 mm lens. This is great for every day use and when bought with the body came at a reduced price. I then bought a Nikkor 70 - 300 which is great for my Zoom work. If you shop wisely you should get all this for your $3k budget, and IMO would make a good start to build on.

    But as I say I am no expert - but am happy with the combinations - and have NO regrets at all!!

    Good luck.
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    Thanks for all the help guys, very appreciated.
    Most of you have hit the nail on the head with where I'm at and what I would like to acheive.
    I am also looking at the D90 as my next option as i dont see myself gaining much more from the D7000. Whats the main differences? Apart from the higher ISO.

    Cheers.

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    39AF points.
    AF fine tune
    video AF

    only the 1st is really important imho, and the 1st 2 are highly likely to be misused
    in that sense see what the $ diff is with D90.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hi David. Here's a goodish page that will tell you a bit about them. Am.
    http://www.dpreview.com/products/nikon/slrs
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Hi David,
    I was wondering if you've ever considered Sigma lenses?
    I have the 10 - 20mm for landscapes - $360
    105mm for macro- i think i paid about $600
    and i've got the 18 - 50mm for general work - think i paid about $400
    Both the 105 and the 18-50 were brand new, the 10 - 20mm was second hand.
    I'm not an expert in advising people about gear... but just thought i'll mention my gear and how much i've paid for them so you could widen your considerations.
    I don't think the sigmas are any worst than the nikon lenses... but again it is my preferences...
    cheers...
    PS: you seem to already know what genre of photography interests you...
    Last edited by smallfooties; 30-05-2011 at 3:29pm.

    Nikon D700 in all it's glory!

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