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OreoCookie
Nov 16, 2010, 03:15 AM
My old camera, a D80, is failing. There were problems with the shutter release, and then there was a `wave, meet camera, camera meet wave' situation during a cruise while on vacation. Nikon service says they won't repair it since there is water damage. Even though the camera works 90 % of the time if I don't use flash, I effectively can no longer use the camera with the built-in or the external flash. I've had a look at the D7000 which is a very nice upgrade, but basically I don't have that type of cash this time of year. I wanted to upgrade next fall when I start my new job in Japan (which includes a substantial pay raise) and there are obligations that basically make it impossible for me to save that type of money (my best friend is getting married).

In an ideal world I would have upgraded to a used D700 after Nikon has released its successor.

I still have a Sigma DP-1, but that's not really a solution that covers all my needs. Its 28 mm-equivalent focal length isn't ideal for portraits. So I was thinking of getting a stop-gap solution. I'm not quite decided yet so I'd like your input.

I have five lenses, three of which are DX lenses (30 mm f/1.4, 12-24 mm f/4 and 18-70 mm) and two are full-frame lenses (50 mm and 80-200 mm zoom), as well as an SB-600, so at least in the longer term I'd like to stick with Nikon. Here are a few options:
(1) Get an analog slr. The idea of shooting film again has fascinated me for quite a while. I was thinking of an F80 (which I used to own 7-8 years ago). Upsides: teaches me not to waste film, larger viewfinder, acceptable performance, reliable metering. Downsides: film needs to be developed and scanned at high-res. That'll cost me.
(2) Get a cheap used dslr. I was thinking of something like a D70. Upsides: readily available, not too expensive. Downside: going back to a tiny viewfinder.
(3) Try medium format. I see Zenza Bronica and Mamiya bodies pop up on the local photography forum for very little. Every once in a while you see a Mamyia 645 with lens and back for as little as 250 . In terms of photography, this'd be a very interesting step in a new direction. I have zero experience shooting medium format and I'm curious. Upsides: something new, new way of working (perhaps I like it, perhaps I don't). Downsides: not cheap, film and development costs quite a bit.
(4) Getting another D80. The camera is fine, but not without flaws (metering, low-noise behavior not state of the art). Upside: Doesn't break the bank. Downside: I'd be buying into old technology at relatively high cost. Reliability? Plus, I have another one that `works.'

These are just ideas, so if you happen to have any others, I'd be happy if you shared them with me. My budget is ~300 *tops -- unless I sell lenses. I can do away with the 18-70 mm which I haven't used in probably one-and-a-half years. If I'm really motivated, I'm willing to sell some more, but in my experience it's usually better to keep lenses.



peskaa
Nov 16, 2010, 03:24 AM
Why not pick up a second hand D90? They've been replaced by the D7000, so the gearheads will be trying to offload them so they can upgrade, and it is a better camera than your D80.

Kebabselector
Nov 16, 2010, 06:39 AM
As above, it might be worth looking for a cheap d80/d90 chances are it won't loose that much in the year before you can update. Or just keep using until it fails completely, though if lack of flash is a issue I can understand why you want to sort it now.

Are there are 3rd party repair places in Germany? I know in the UK we have several choices for Canon/Nikon repairs.

compuwar
Nov 16, 2010, 10:42 AM
I have five lenses, three of which are DX lenses (30 mm f/1.4, 12-24 mm f/4 and 18-70 mm) and two are full-frame lenses (50 mm and 80-200 mm zoom), as well as an SB-600, so at least in the longer term I'd like to stick with Nikon. Here are a few options:
(1) Get an analog slr. The idea of shooting film again has fascinated me for quite a while. I was thinking of an F80 (which I used to own 7-8 years ago). Upsides: teaches me not to waste film, larger viewfinder, acceptable performance, reliable metering. Downsides: film needs to be developed and scanned at high-res. That'll cost me.


If money is an issue, film is not really a good option.


(2) Get a cheap used dslr. I was thinking of something like a D70. Upsides: readily available, not too expensive. Downside: going back to a tiny viewfinder.


Best option so far. If you don't wear glasses a DK-21M may be useful.


(3) Try medium format. I see Zenza Bronica and Mamiya bodies pop up on the local photography forum for very little. Every once in a while you see a Mamyia 645 with lens and back for as little as 250 . In terms of photography, this'd be a very interesting step in a new direction. I have zero experience shooting medium format and I'm curious. Upsides: something new, new way of working (perhaps I like it, perhaps I don't). Downsides: not cheap, film and development costs quite a bit.


Even if you do your own developing MF is going to suck more than 35mm, depending on the camera, you're looking at a maximum of 24 shots on 220, and 12 on 120 per roll- that's with 645, everything else is fewer shots.


(4) Getting another D80. The camera is fine, but not without flaws (metering, low-noise behavior not state of the art). Upside: Doesn't break the bank. Downside: I'd be buying into old technology at relatively high cost. Reliability? Plus, I have another one that `works.'


I'd go with the D70 option. 3rd party repair might help your current body, but the reason Nikon won't touch it is that there's a significant chance of more going wrong over time- so it's a big gamble without replacing all the electronics. I'd also recommend camera insurance for the future- if you had it, you wouldn't be having issues deciding what to get.

Paul

Ruahrc
Nov 16, 2010, 11:36 AM
I'd also say go for a 2nd hand D90. They probably are not that much more than a used D80 (or a used D70), and you're getting a superior sensor to boot. Then in the future when you get a new body, it would probably still be good enough to worth holding on to as a backup.

IMHO, regressing back to a D70 would just be frustrating as you'd lose quite a lot of megapixels and also probably some noise performance, usability, viewfinder, etc. Rather I think it would be worth it to get at least a D80 or better instead.

Ruahrc

compuwar
Nov 16, 2010, 12:44 PM
I'd also say go for a 2nd hand D90. They probably are not that much more than a used D80 (or a used D70), and you're getting a superior sensor to boot.

KEH has used D70s models for around $310(EX,) a D80 is about 25% ($415-EX) more and a used D90 is well over twice the cost of a used D70s ($665 EX to 695 LN-.) Given the length of the OP's lenses, cropping doesn't seem to be a criteria- so there's little point in spending more than is necessary for a camera that's likely to be unused in about nine months- certainly the D90 premium seems pretty heavy all things considered.

Unless the OP is going to be printing larger than 11x14, the D70s has enough pixels. Another D80 would be a better choice if he needs a stop higher ISO or a stop lower base ISO- but the D70s syncs to 1/500th, so the trade-off is questionable if the OP uses that flash a lot.

Paul

OreoCookie
Nov 16, 2010, 04:00 PM
Thanks everyone for your suggestions! :)
As above, it might be worth looking for a cheap d80/d90 chances are it won't loose that much in the year before you can update.
Hmmm, the used prices are a bit too high for me right now. I wouldn't mind a used D90, though.
Or just keep using until it fails completely, though if lack of flash is a issue I can understand why you want to sort it now.
I use the camera indoors a lot and thus I depend on the flash.
Are there are 3rd party repair places in Germany? I know in the UK we have several choices for Canon/Nikon repairs.
The problem is that they'd have to change the whole electronics -- which would run about the same as a used D80.
If money is an issue, film is not really a good option.
Going back to film would be a creative decision, start working more slowly again and getting used to having more limitations. Works with my Sigma DP-1.
Best option so far. If you don't wear glasses a DK-21M may be useful.
I had a D70 for a bit and I would have kept it if the D80's viewfinder weren't that much bigger. But as a stop-gap, I think I can deal with it. (I do wear glasses, though.)
I'd also recommend camera insurance for the future- if you had it, you wouldn't be having issues deciding what to get.
I'll look into it, thanks!