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Emerson
Jan 18, 2006, 08:19 PM
Alright I need some help with making some buying decisions. Basically I am a college student on an internship so I will be getting some money on upgrading my equipment and I need a little help. Basically I have put together 3 good packages, with my spending limit around $3500.

Here is some background information, just to keep in mind.

I have the following camera equipment:
Nikon D70
18-70 lens
70-200 VR lens
SB-800
50 f/1.8
Kirk BH-3 Ballhead
Gtizo 1340 Tripod
Bunch of memory cards and a couple of nice bags

I have the following computer equipment:
2 Dell 2005FPW screens (bought them on mega sale)
12" Rev. A 867 GHz Powerbook (kind of slow)
Wacom Tablet
Photoshop CS
Nikon Capture 4.4

Now here are my three packages that I am trying to choose from:

Package 1:
New Dual Core 2 GHz Powermac with 4 GB memory
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8
Total: $3500

Package 2:
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 $1200
Nikon 85 f/1.4 $1015
Nikon 10.5 Fisheye $570
Total: $2785

Package 3:
Nikon D200 $1700
Nikon MB-200 w/ extra battery $210
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 $1200
Sale of Nikon D70 & Kit lens $600
Total: $2510

I love photography, but my computer is becoming quite slow. I don't do alot of post processing simple curves and adjustments, but I would like to start cataloging my photos with Iview or Lightroom. The D200 is an amazing camera (yeah I will wait until the banding clears), but I am afraid my laptop will really struggle with the 15 MB files. Basically I need your help and have always gotten good responses hear, so thanks ahead of time.



yankeefan24
Jan 18, 2006, 08:24 PM
Well if you don't need portability, go with 1. Powermac is an awesome computer. I don't kno alot about the different camera types, but you can't go wrong with the powermac.

dmw007
Jan 18, 2006, 09:07 PM
I say go for option #1. A new Power Mac G5 sounds like that will be of the most use to you at this point.

Curious, is the 4GB of RAM being purchased via Apple or third party? You should be able to save some $$$ by purchasing extra RAM from say www.crucial.com or www.datamem.com .

Emerson
Jan 18, 2006, 09:16 PM
dmw007,

I was looking at getting 2 x 512 from apple and then 6 x 512 from either crucial or OWC. I would think that 4 GB will be plenty for photoshop and Capture (even though it runs slower than hect on macs). I am just thinking that when the Intel Powermacs come out, I will be very dissapointed. Maybe I could get by with my powerbook until next year and then by a Intel powermac, but I really want a new Powermac. What do you think about the whole Intel Powermac?

Thanks

dmw007
Jan 18, 2006, 09:39 PM
dmw007,

I was looking at getting 2 x 512 from apple and then 6 x 512 from either crucial or OWC. I would think that 4 GB will be plenty for photoshop and Capture (even though it runs slower than hect on macs). I am just thinking that when the Intel Powermacs come out, I will be very dissapointed. Maybe I could get by with my powerbook until next year and then by a Intel powermac, but I really want a new Powermac. What do you think about the whole Intel Powermac?

Thanks

4GB of RAM should be more than enough (when coupled with the power of a dual-core PowerPC G5 processor). Glad to hear that you were going to order RAM from OWC- its good to be frugal!:)

Personally, I would wait for the intel Power Macs to come out. I myself am considering buying a top of the line Power Mac w/ conroe processors (which will be even faster than the Core Duo/Yonah processors currently being used by Apple) when they come out to replace my Power Mac G5 (not that its slow by any stretch of the imagination).

If you can wait, I would say to go and do so. But if you must have a new computer now, then a Power Mac G5 is an excellent choice that will last you for a long time.

mbdamdg
Jan 18, 2006, 11:27 PM
Package 3:
Nikon D200 $1700
Nikon MB-200 w/ extra battery $210
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 $1200
Sale of Nikon D70 & Kit lens $600
Total: $2510

Why not wait on the MB-200 and buy a new iMac? That would tide you over until Intel Powermacs - you can (apparently) use dual screens with the new intel iMacs. That puts you right around $3500.

Definitely get the 17-55. It's supposed to be an amazing lens. I'm stuck in 24-85 land - which just doesn't cut it with digital. (well it broke and is being repaired - so now my widest lens is the 50 f/1.8 - try taking group portraits with that - it wasn't fun :rolleyes: )

Well option two isn't bad if you can live with your current computer. The 85 f/1.4 is one nice lens - it was amazing for the night soccer games last fall - so much better than my current f/2.8 telephoto zoom.

Personally, I've never seen the point of a fisheye. (Though maybe you have some interesting ideas for it - I see it more as a novelty item then a real lens) I wouldn't think that lens would get used very often. If I had the cash, I'd be going for a 12-24 zoom (or one of the fast wide angle primes).

Good luck with your decisions!

What are you shooting anyways?

~Paul

law guy
Jan 18, 2006, 11:30 PM
Alright I need some help with making some buying decisions. Basically I am a college student on an internship so I will be getting some money on upgrading my equipment and I need a little help. Basically I have put together 3 good packages, with my spending limit around $3500.

Here is some background information, just to keep in mind.

I have the following camera equipment:
Nikon D70
18-70 lens
70-200 VR lens
SB-800
50 f/1.8
Kirk BH-3 Ballhead
Gtizo 1340 Tripod
Bunch of memory cards and a couple of nice bags

I have the following computer equipment:
2 Dell 2005FPW screens (bought them on mega sale)
12" Rev. A 867 GHz Powerbook (kind of slow)
Wacom Tablet
Photoshop CS
Nikon Capture 4.4

Now here are my three packages that I am trying to choose from:

Package 1:
New Dual Core 2 GHz Powermac with 4 GB memory
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8
Total: $3500

Package 2:
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 $1200
Nikon 85 f/1.4 $1015
Nikon 10.5 Fisheye $570
Total: $2785

Package 3:
Nikon D200 $1700
Nikon MB-200 w/ extra battery $210
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 $1200
Sale of Nikon D70 & Kit lens $600
Total: $2510

I love photography, but my computer is becoming quite slow. I don't do alot of post processing simple curves and adjustments, but I would like to start cataloging my photos with Iview or Lightroom. The D200 is an amazing camera (yeah I will wait until the banding clears), but I am afraid my laptop will really struggle with the 15 MB files. Basically I need your help and have always gotten good responses hear, so thanks ahead of time.

Modify Package 3 would be my vote:

Get the D200 and the lens, scratch the MB-200, which brings you down to $2300, then add either a 12" 1.5 GHz Powerbook (great portability, faster processor, works with your current software and lightroom beta, better graphics and you have the monitor option still) - $1399 edu price; or a 1.9 GHz G5 (would work great today with your current software) or 1.83 core duo intel 17" iMac, either model for $1199 (will have to wait a few months for native pro apps - March for those from Apple, it has been reported, but a nice choice with an eye towards the future, and new intel iMac lets you expand the desktop and not just mirror: http://www.apple.com/imac/). Either of these later two bring you up to your package one price with the D200 (better AF), a new lens, and a new Mac.

Blackheart
Jan 18, 2006, 11:35 PM
Don't forget about the cost of the software, that can cut budgets pretty quick!

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 19, 2006, 07:17 AM
I might suggest the following:

1 - Nikkor 10.5 fisheye

2 - Nikon Capture to defish the 10.5, and work with your raw files

3 - Upgrade to the Nikkor 17-55 2.8, sharper than the 18-70 and a good match to the 70-200 2.8

4 - Find an iMac G5 17" as a stop gap system

You will find that as a trade you might get about $100-125 for your 18-70 to help the budget. Or you could sell it on your own for $200- 250.

law guy
Jan 19, 2006, 12:33 PM
Emerson - please let us know what you end up deciding. I'm very curious to see what combination you end up going with.

Abstract
Jan 19, 2006, 07:07 PM
Can you just get a 12-24mm and a new iMac or PB? Even add the 10.5 mm fisheye if you want.

Emerson
Jan 19, 2006, 09:14 PM
Can you just get a 12-24mm and a new iMac or PB? Even add the 10.5 mm fisheye if you want.

No I am set on the 17-55 f/2.8 because I want a good fast lens that allows for portraits and landscape shooting with everything in between and from all my research over at dpreview.com, the 17-55 sounds perfect. I really got spoiled by the 70-200 f/2.8 vr and now my 18-70 just plain lets me down. Right now I am leaning towards package one since, I tried processing some D200 raw files and my powerbook just choked. I think I will have a great two lens combo...but I am still looking at package 2. I just can't decide.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 19, 2006, 09:27 PM
No I am set on the 17-55 f/2.8 because I want a good fast lens that allows for portraits and landscape shooting with everything in between and from all my research over at dpreview.com, the 17-55 sounds perfect. I really got spoiled by the 70-200 f/2.8 vr and now my 18-70 just plain lets me down. Right now I am leaning towards package one since, I tried processing some D200 raw files and my powerbook just choked. I think I will have a great two lens combo...but I am still looking at package 2. I just can't decide.

I understand the desire for faster lenses. I am looking to add a used 35mm 2.0 that we have at work to my proposed travel kit of the 10.5 and the 18-200VR for my new D50.

Did some test shooting at work today with it, and the limited DOF would be nice to have for low light situations. Heck, after a half hour I was tempted to add a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4, and only if Nikon had the sense to add their AI version of the 24mm 2.0 to the NAFD system I would want one of those too.

As to your choice of #1 or #2; I am not sure that the PM in #1 is the best use of the dollars right now. With #2, only you can say whether the DOF control of the 85mm 1.4 would be worth the price since you have the excellent 70-200mm 2.8. That is why I went with my choice that I posted.

Dark
Jan 19, 2006, 09:30 PM
Most definately go with package one. It seems you already have plenty of nice photog equiptment. Your computer is just as important as the camera in digital photography. Either a powermac or a macbook pro would be your best bet.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 19, 2006, 09:43 PM
Most definately go with package one. It seems you already have plenty of nice photog equiptment. Your computer is just as important as the camera in digital photography. Either a powermac or a macbook pro would be your best bet.

I agree an upgrade in computer is needed. But with the MacIntel PM's due sometime this year, I am not sure that the current PM's are the best use of the $$$$. A iMac or MacBook Pro may be the best short term solution.

law guy
Jan 20, 2006, 02:36 AM
I agree an upgrade in computer is needed. But with the MacIntel PM's due sometime this year, I am not sure that the current PM's are the best use of the $$$$. A iMac or MacBook Pro may be the best short term solution.

Which gets me to the modified three - iMac either G5 or intel, no vertical grip and the new 17-55 lens and d200 all for $3500.

Abstract
Jan 20, 2006, 07:39 AM
That sounds good. I'd go for the Intel iMac regardless of what these very early "tests" say about the speed being a bit slower here and there, and only faster in some areas. Fact is that the Intel iMac is faster, and you'll see that in the future.

-hh
Jan 20, 2006, 11:55 AM
I agree an upgrade in computer is needed. But with the MacIntel PM's due sometime this year, I am not sure that the current PM's are the best use of the $$$$. A iMac or MacBook Pro may be the best short term solution.

I'm also thinking of computer hardware too...not sure I'd get one of the new MacTel's until I heard how well they do running Photoshop CS.

Similarly, given the preexisting investment of the two Dell 2005FPW's, I'd be very much inclined to say "use em or sell em", and go to the PowerMac Dual core 2GHz to have a solid home workstation. I'm running a 1st Gen PowerMac (SP 1.8GHz), and while I'm starting to think that I'd like a bit more "oomph", its quite clearly significantly faster than my the 1.5GHz G4 that's in my 12" Powerbook (RAM's about the same on both).

Perhaps I can suggest an alternative of offering up the sale of my SP 1.8GHz at a good price, so that I can get the Dual 2GHz? :)

Insofar as the rest, it looks like its a "shotgunning" of pretty diverse camera equipment choices, which I interpret as a likely lack of clear focus as to what is trying to be accomplished with these toys - - ie, what specifically are you trying to accomplish with this purchase? Since one of the groups is 10-85mm and the next is 18-200mm, it doesn't exactly seem that the focus is on wide angle or telephoto, etc.

As such, I'm inclined to suggest leaving that money in the bank until the specific need/application can be more clearly articulated: "what do you need this for?". Afterall, I definitely know that that's what my wife would say to me! :)


-hh

-hh
Jan 20, 2006, 12:10 PM
...what specifically are you trying to accomplish with this purchase?

As an aside, if the objective is to just spend the money, at this time of year, airline tickets to Europe (to photograph stuff!) are pretty affordable.

Checking site59.com quickly, it looks like there's some weekend flight/hotel packages for under $500 for New York to London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Madrid, Paris and Brussels. Just add food, airport transfers and incidentals.

Rome's a bit more, but still starting under $600...and the rates there are pretty good even after you add a few days: it only goes up to $773 for (7D/6N) for the 1-7 Feb listing. The train from the airport to "Termini" is roughly $10 each way, and food in town doesn't have to be expensive. Weather at this time of year will be fairly brisk, but not too bad: Daytime high's in the low/mid 50's and going down to 30-35F at night...a medium weight jacket that will easily cover a camera so that you don't appear to be a tourist as obviously as in the summertime.

Hmmm...maybe I'll mention this to my wife; she's never been to Rome.

-hh

mchendricks
Jan 20, 2006, 02:47 PM
It depends on what you are shooting.

If you are doing sports shooting,
1) get the D200 with the vertical grip ( I ALWAYS get the grip)
2) sell the D70 and 18-70 kit lens.

For landscapes or portraits,
1) keep D70
2) get 17-55 2.8 (buy local, there are sample variations good and BAD

For the computer, sell your PB 867 and get a new PB. Either Intel or IBM system will serve you well. I might be more inclined to get the Intel, but if you can wait a little longer until real people (everyday users) have hands on experience to use them then you can make a better purchase.

I currently use a MDD 867, Nikon F100 and D100 with an assortment of lenses. I can do anything I need, it just takes a bit longer. Have you tried Adobe's Lightroom?

Good luck and happy shooting
Mike

-hh
Jan 20, 2006, 03:47 PM
I'm also thinking of computer hardware too...not sure I'd get one of the new MacTel's until I heard how well they do running Photoshop CS.


MacWorld has a review of the new iMac and runs some basic G5-vs-Intel performance benchmarks.

In short, in universal app's, the new iMac does great. Of course it does...otherwise, they wouldn't have released it as a new product!

They also do a an "Applications in Rosetta" test. For Photoshop CS2 (not the same version, but probably close enough), the benchmark iMac (iMac G5/2.1GHz) took 1:16 to complete, whereas the new iMac (iMac Core Duo/2GHz) took 2:50, which means that the dual-core Intel version was roughly half the speed ("0.45x as fast") because of the Rosetta emulation while using Photoshop (& similar PPC-compiled app's).

YMMV on how much Adobe's going to charge for their upgrade to the 'Universal' flavor of Photoshop. Its still TBD for what performance level it would eventually have, but this sets the "can't be worse than" minimum.


-hh

Clix Pix
Jan 20, 2006, 05:07 PM
My thoughts here: go for Package 1, as I think you really need a new computer system, regardless of whatever camera body and lenses you have. Since you have the wonderful 70-200mm VR, I'd definitely hang on to that and then get the 17-55mm lens, which will give you a nice range. Since these days post-processing of images is key, you'll need more power than you've got with your current computer, and since right at the moment PSCS2 is not available in universal binary, IMO you really would do better not buying one of the new Intel machines until Adobe's software and others' software has caught up with Apple. You could go with the PowerMac for now and then in a year or two when everything is settled down as far as hardware/software, then sell it off and go with whatever Apple has in the way of computers at that point.

Although the 10.5mm fisheye lens is neat, it IS kind of specialized. How often would you really use it? You'd also have to purchase and use Nikon Capture in order to adjust the images and put them into regular perspective as opposed to the fisheye look.

That 85mm f/1.4 lens is definitely something to consider, but maybe your money would be better spent right now on a new computer to use for PP and then later on you could invest in that lens. I have to admit, that's the next lens on my lens wishlist! Ah, that old "lens lust..." Given the choice between it and the 17-55mm f/2.8, I'd go with the 17-55mm at this time because it offers so much more flexibility. It's a terrific lens.

If you were to sell your D70 and that 18-70, could you then find a little more money to throw into the pot in order to get a D200? If you could, it would be well worth the money, but if that would be really pushing things, stressing you too much financially, then I'd hold on to the D70 and continue using it for a while longer. Having a fine set of lenses is even more critical than camera bodies, so if you can't get the D200 now, you'd still be in a good position with using and enjoying the excellentl 17-55 and the 70-200 lenses on your D70, and which you could eventually put on a new camera body when you are able to afford it.

So, in summary, my reccommendation:

Sell the D70 and the 18-70 lens

Purchase:

D200 (hold off on the MB200 until later if you are stretched financially -- it's the camera body that is more important)

Power Mac Dual Core with 4 GB RAM

Nikkor 17-55 mm f/2.8 lens



If you aren't quite able to swing that, then I'd follow your plan in package 1. Let us know what you decide to do!


OTB

ChrisA
Jan 20, 2006, 05:31 PM
You have to look at the end product, the finished image files. If the end product is not up to professional standards there is no point to any of this. So work backwards. What iscurrently limitting your work?

If you don't own a super-wide fast lens there are some shots you just can't get no matter how powerfull a computer you own. And also the people who buy images (or grade them) expect and like to perspective of a wide shot. It looks like you know this because there is a wide, fast lens in each package.

It may be time to upgrade the computer if image processing is eating into your available time and preventing you from shooting or otherwise limiting your output.
but now is a poor time to buy a computer to use with Photoshop. The new Intel macs are poor choisesu ntill Adobe releases a universal binary. You can buy a dual core Intel Mac but PS will run at slower than G4 speed. Yuk.
We don't know if the PS universal will be a free upgrade either, I'd guess not and a new Intel core duo is not usfull until you have a universal PS binary in hand.

Buying a quad core Power Mac and a lens is not in your budget.

How about buying a used older power mac (about $1k) that will run your current copy of PS untill Adobe releases one that will run native on Intel?
then unload the Power Mac for maybe 2/3 what you paid?

Emerson
Jan 20, 2006, 11:08 PM
First thank you all for your opinoins and ideas. Some you have asked what I am interested in shooting, and to be honest it is a little of everything. I love taking landscape pictures and am looking to improve my portraits. I have chosen the 17-55 because it is the most versatile lens I could find for both portraits and landscape and will easily become my most used lens.

For now I am going to go with package one. Simply put I can't afford it all and the major stack up in my photography is at my computer, to be honest I sort of dread a rainy afternoon processing photos, but I think with a new powermac and both my displays the whole process will greatly improve.

I am looking over my budget and there is still a small hope for the D200, but I would probablty choose the 85 f/1.4 to act as a far lighter portrait lens. I still have not mastered my D70 so a year or so more with it combined with a D200 price drop will certainly help make up my mind to upgrade to the D200. Until that time I want to build my lens collection (really all I want more is the 17-55 and the 85, and maybe the 10.5) before too much more on the camera.

Again thank you and keep the responses coming, by no means is this the final decision.

One more quick question is 4 gb (8 x 512 mb) of ram enough, or should I look into getting more. I plan on having Photoshop and Nikon Capture open at the same time? So far is just seemed like 4 gb was a solid and affordable option.

Emerson
Jan 20, 2006, 11:24 PM
It depends on what you are shooting.

Landscapes, but wanting to improve my portrait skills

If you are doing sports shooting,
1) get the D200 with the vertical grip ( I ALWAYS get the grip)
2) sell the D70 and 18-70 kit lens.

No,that is one of the main reasons I feel no real rush to upgrade my camera, but when I do it most likely be a D200 with grip.

For landscapes or portraits,
1) keep D70
2) get 17-55 2.8 (buy local, there are sample variations good and BAD

That is what I was thinking, I will probably order from B&H, they are pretty good with returns and they have good prices.

For the computer, sell your PB 867 and get a new PB. Either Intel or IBM system will serve you well. I might be more inclined to get the Intel, but if you can wait a little longer until real people (everyday users) have hands on experience to use them then you can make a better purchase.

It will be a little while before I buy, so I will have time to hear more reviews.

I currently use a MDD 867, Nikon F100 and D100 with an assortment of lenses. I can do anything I need, it just takes a bit longer. Have you tried Adobe's Lightroom?

No I haven't tried it yet, but I look forward to it. I have heard alot of good things.

Good luck and happy shooting

Thanks and you too

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 20, 2006, 11:31 PM
I am looking over my budget and there is still a small hope for the D200, but I would probablty choose the 85 f/1.4 to act as a far lighter portrait lens. I still have not mastered my D70 so a year or so more with it combined with a D200 price drop will certainly help make up my mind to upgrade to the D200. Until that time I want to build my lens collection (really all I want more is the 17-55 and the 85, and maybe the 10.5) before too much more on the camera.

About the 85mm 1.4 being a portrait lens. The FOV factor makes this more of a 125mm lens on a Nikon DSLR body. For many that FOV is bit long for portraits.

About not mastering the D70. Some feel that one should master the current gear before going on to the next level. IMO going to the D200 only makes sense in your situation if you NEED the greater megapixel count, the improved sensor, the increased FPS capture rate, the two channel wireless iTTL flash system, the weather-proof body (only important if you have the weather-sealed lenses), want a grip with a vertical release, among other "small" things.

We tend to be caught up in the "specs". I am old enough to remember phenomenal photos from those that had only 3 FPS to capture sports by. Bresson caught his images frame by frame by manually winding to the next shot.

That being said, the D200 being able to do a 9 frame bracket at up to +/- 1EV steps (based on specs printed) and CS2 having HDR - brings a new level of dynamic range in the final product for those with the time and talent.

Since I am used to RF cameras like the Leica M6 series, the likes of the Canon XT and the Nikon D50 offer me enough to be happy and content for my needs at this time....

-hh
Jan 21, 2006, 07:25 AM
...One more quick question is 4 gb (8 x 512 mb) of ram enough, or should I look into getting more. I plan on having Photoshop and Nikon Capture open at the same time? So far is just seemed like 4 gb was a solid and affordable option.

RAM "never hurts".

IIRC, I think the short answer on determining if you have enough RAM is to take an educated guess, then run the system for awhile. We're supposed to be able to use the "Activity Viewer" Application, under the "System Memory" screen (second tab), look at the ratio of "Page Ins/Outs" swaps to see how well the system's doing.

For example, mine right now says "637574/13014", with 6 days of uptime.

The values of 637574/13014 is a 49:1 ratio, so think that it suggests a 2% performance hit? On the pie chart, roughly 25% of it is the green slice ("free"), so it would appear that for general purpose stuff, I'm doing fine...I'd suspect that that goes away when I have Photoshop CS & Bridge both running. It probably wouldn't hurt for me to add a GB of RAM, to take me up to 2.5GB total...since I have the 1st Gen 1.8GHz, I still have 4 slots empty :)


-hh

kwajo.com
Jan 21, 2006, 12:12 PM
go for package #3, the lenses and (to a lesser extent) the camera body are more important than the computer

SpookTheHamster
Jan 21, 2006, 02:57 PM
Go for package 1 or 2. Probably a mixture of both. If you went for a cheaper computer (a used PM or an iMac G5) you'd still notice a HUGE increase in speed from your PB and you'd have more money to spare for glass. I normally take about 300-400 shots when I work, and I could get through the 100-200 or so that I kept in a day on my 1Ghz PB.

The D70 is still an excellent camera, the resolution jump to a D200 really isn't that big. I've had full-page prints from my D70 in the same magazine as from a D2x and the pictures are equally sharp.

I've been using my D70 for sports photography since it came out and I can easily see myself using it in a few years time. The only benefit I'd find in the D200 is faster continuous speed, and if you're more concerned with landscapes and such then the D70 will be fine for you.

This isn't like comparing cameras of 5 years ago to cameras nowadays. To double the resolution of a picture needs a 4x increase in MP, the D200 only gives you an extra 800x500px.

When it comes to package 3, you're confusing what you NEED with what you WANT.

law guy
Jan 21, 2006, 07:33 PM
Emerson - Earlier on I voted for a modified option 3. But that raises an interesting issue in my mind - is there a non-DX lens that you might consider instead? http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=5 What's your view on getting the digital specific now given that lens can last so long and the industry seems to be on the move to full frame (and indeed Nikon still has 42 non-digital specific lenses (not counting manual focus) to 7 DX series)? Is your view buy now, trade it later? Just a point of curiosity.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 21, 2006, 10:12 PM
Emerson - Earlier on I voted for a modified option 3. But that raises an interesting issue in my mind - is there a non-DX lens that you might consider instead? http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=5 What's your view on getting the digital specific now given that lens can last so long and the industry seems to be on the move to full frame (and indeed Nikon still has 42 non-digital specific lenses (not counting manual focus) to 7 DX series)? Is your view buy now, trade it later? Just a point of curiosity.

The common element in each of Emerson's packages was the 17-55 2.8. From Nikon the only real alternative in a non-DX lens is the 17-35 2.8 IMO. And for someone going all digital the 17-55 2.8 makes more sense.

There is no guaranty that Nikon will ever go FF. There have been a few 35mm sized sensors that found homes in MF cameras over the past few years. Most of these sensors had been gotten by the MF manufactures on the "open market", meaning that unlike Canon they did not make the sensors themselves.

So in the end, Nikon has not been unable to bring a FF DSLR to market, but chose for their own reasons not to do so at this point. For there would be more than enough Nikon pro users IMO for Nikon to offer a FF DSLR in the $10K to $15K range, with enough takers to make it worth their while.

What Nikon may be banking on is the next major shift in how the pros see the DSLR format. As I mentioned in other posts, the chosen format of photography has changed over time.

In the very early days, LF (large format) ruled. This was because prints were made from paper negatives. So if you wanted a 11x14 final print, you shot a 11x14 paper negative.

Fast forward a bit, to the time that negative film made its way to popular use amongst the "pros". This gave the ability to allow an 8x10 or 4x5 negative to be made as large as one had an enlarger and the paper to print in on.

That changed when Kodak came out with their original roll film camera ("You take the picture, we will do the rest"). Till that time, quality photos required a massive investment in LF cameras. As this format caught on, "pros" found the format easier to handle than the bulky LF stuff.

I am sure there was great discussion among those that "knew better" that LF would rule over this "up start" roll film camera. But in the end the ease of use of the forerunner of MF cameras gave way to to complexity of LF cameras. For now one was not tied down to using a tripod to take pictures!

But the roll film camera soon became a popular format for the pro and consumer alike. And for the consumer, would prove popular till the introduction of the Kodak Instamatic 126 cameras of the '60's.

Yet in the '30's we had Ernest Lietz come up with the idea of using 35mm motion picture film as the basis for the what we now know as the 35mm camera. These smaller cameras allowed more frames per a roll, but more importantly - smaller. and easier to use cameras. No longer was the photographer limited to single sheets of film, or just 12 shots on a roll of film. Or a camera that screamed "here I am".

Yet each step of the the way, there were those that said that with each new "standard"; there goes the craft of photography. From those that "embraced" LF photography as it gave way to MF. As those that embraced MF, gave way to 35mm. And today we have those in 35mm film not wanting to yield to the APSC format of the digital era.

But guess what? There are still those that shoot LF and MF, as well as 35mm. Why? There is a different "feel" in the final print. Just as there are those that hold on dearly to carbon or platinum printing for prints from film stock.

In the end what does it mean for the "rest of us"? For those that know and love film, it will be harder and more expensive to find supplies. For the others it will mean better quality at lower prices.

I am reminded of this in looking at the consumer market in the '60's and '70's. For the consumer the Kodak Instamatic 126 camera was the end all, be all. Yet there was a great market for 35mm RF (rangefinder) cameras that offered more than the 126 format offered.

This continued till the '80's with the first Canon Sureshot 35mm AF (autofocus) cameras. Ease of use, with the quality of 35mm. This caused a major shakeup of who was represented in the camera market place at the time. Many names went by the wayside during that time; Miranda, Exacta, Petri, Soligar, Kiron, among others.

Just as Canon caused a shift in what consumers could expect in film photography in the '80's, digital is doing the same now. We have camcorders that now allow for decent 11x14 prints. We have cell phones that can do decent 8x10's. Heck, we are maybe not far off from our toaster from doing decent 4x6's....

The point is that our expectations of photography is a moving target based on our own needs. This past week I did a test print from a customers miniDV camcorder (IIRC, just about 1+mp). He was thrilled with the results. Some of you here, myself included, would have said it was "OK".

Sure I shoot digital with DSLR's from both Canon and Nikon. But there are times that I will also go out with my "old" Leica M6's - just because of the look and feel of the format. Heck, there is a Fuji 645 camera that just came in to our shop, that seems to be calling me each time I pass by it.

Maybe I will relent in this post 9-11 world, and breakdown and take my Leica or this Fuji 645 out - just to show that there is more to life than 1's and 0's.

Clix Pix
Jan 22, 2006, 02:29 PM
Wow, Chip, your post brings back some memories! I had one of the Kodak Brownie cameras when I was a little girl during the 1950's, and then when I was in college in the mid-1960's is when the Instamatics hit the scene. I loved that thing....

MANY years later, when taking some photography classes, I had my first exposure to large format and medium format, and, yes, there is definitely something about using those cameras and something about the prints produced from those that is special, something which cannot really be matched by current computer/digital results. Part of it, to which you alluded, is the process of first creating the image by photographing it, then the additional process of standing in the darkroom with an enlarger and trays of chemicals.... With Large Format in particular, so much more time and care needs to be put into the process, starting with loading up the sheet film into the holders prior to setting out. One doesn't rush into shooting with a field camera, one needs to set up the tripod and the camera, deliberate over the best angle and perspective, play around with the exposure and usually do a few test shots with a Polaroid back first.... A far cry from using a digital camera, where often one can hand-hold, where there is always immediate feedback in the LCD screen, where one can shoot as much as one likes, limited only by the memory capacity of and number of CF cards one has on hand....

Even as today I sit at my computer and process images shot with my digital camera, I still remember back to the days when hours were spent in the darkroom.... There was a mystique there, a magic there, that just cannot be reproduced by the process of digital imaging on a computer.

OTB

law guy
Jan 22, 2006, 11:27 PM
There is no guaranty that Nikon will ever go FF. There have been a few 35mm sized sensors that found homes in MF cameras over the past few years. Most of these sensors had been gotten by the MF manufactures on the "open market", meaning that unlike Canon they did not make the sensors themselves.


True what you say on the topic. I look at it a little differently perhaps. Rather than different formats that developed in film over time, in the digital age, we have massive technology shifts over a few short years, trying to replicate film and improve in other ways as they develop. So we start from a standardized 35mm world (meaning the preponderance of photography) five years ago. In the last few years we've moved from the pro, outrageously expensive digital cameras at just a couple of megapixles to much higher resolution and better / cheaper sensors every year. In more recent months Canon has gone to two DSLRs with FF - as technology moves down their line I am guessing these will be in the rebel XT equivilent in a few, perhaps five years (think five years back where things were - through that filter I wonder if five years is too far out). Nikon is a business and wants to compete with Canon. Some of that competition may be based on preception / a desire for those for whom the 35 mm body is still warm to move to the equivilent digital alternative, etc. From that standpoint, not meeting Canon with similar options puts Nikon at a competitive disadvantage as time passes (e.g., in two years if there is a FF Canon 3D at the D200 price point and the Nikon offering at that time is a smaller size sensor, the FF may be viewed as a leg-up feature by some in the market, in other words, an advantage to that camera that moves buyers towards it) - not where they want to be. As sensors continue to improve, drop in price, as the FF works its way down the Canon line as it has already begun to do with the comparatively cheaper 5D at $3,200 (almost $5,000 less than the first Canon FF), as it becomes a widely available option, and as Nikon benefits from more technology options from sensor manufacturers, I think we'll seem them go FF soon and have that technology work down the line. I could be wrong, of course, but it keeps me in a full frame lens mindset - thus the question.

ScubaDuc
Jan 23, 2006, 05:27 PM
Package 3:
Nikon D200 $1700
Nikon MB-200 w/ extra battery $210
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 $1200
Sale of Nikon D70 & Kit lens $600
Total: $2510

.

It's a no brainer! Go for the nikon D200 because that is what I would do. You can always live with a slow computer or just get a new mini when it comes out so u spend less then 3,500 bucks budgeted: Do you really need a 17-55 2,8? U are getting quite a bit of barrel distortion...that's why I love my F3 and my 28mm PC nikkor :D : I Want a NIKON with a native 24x36 mm CCD so my vintage lenses will work as they should: ARE YOU LISTENING NIKON?

Abstract
Jan 23, 2006, 06:27 PM
Go for the nikon D200 because that is what I would do. You can always live with a slow computer....


That's pretty much the opposite of what I would have said.

A slow computer is hard to put up with, and unless there's a lot of things that the D70 is lacking that you would like to have, then there isn't much point in getting the D200 as there wouldn't be much of an advantage from a photography standpoint. Well, the advantage wouuldn't be worth the cost of the D200 for what he's shooting, anyway.

Yesterday I was uploading shots from my D50 to my 12" 1GHz G4 PowerBook with 1.25 GB of RAM, and I can now say that this computer is getting a bit too slow for me, and can completely understand why it would be WAY too slow for some people who are seriously into photography and have 100s of images. I only had around 10. :D

Clix Pix
Jan 23, 2006, 06:39 PM
Go for the nikon D200 because that is what I would do. You can always live with a slow computer

Hoo, boy.....I think that if he were to purchase the D200 and then try to load those large files (that camera has 10 MP, remember) into a slow computer, he'd be VERY sorry in a hurry! That might be what YOU would try to do, ScubaDuc, but I sure wouldn't recommend this idea to anyone!

IMHO keeping the D70 and buying a faster computer would be the smart way to handle the situation unless he's able to sell the D70 and then be able to afford to get both the D200 AND a new computer.

OTB

Emerson
Jan 23, 2006, 08:08 PM
Hoo, boy.....I think that if he were to purchase the D200 and then try to load those large files (that camera has 10 MP, remember) into a slow computer, he'd be VERY sorry in a hurry! That might be what YOU would try to do, ScubaDuc, but I sure wouldn't recommend this idea to anyone!

IMHO keeping the D70 and buying a faster computer would be the smart way to handle the situation unless he's able to sell the D70 and then be able to afford to get both the D200 AND a new computer.

OTB

I have tried this and let me tell you it is an exercise in patience that I simply do not have. The raw files from the D200 are 15.5 MB, and they turn my powerbook into a spinning beachball machine. I have looked into selling the D70 along with the 18-70 lens and it simply doesn't make enought money to justify spending the extra money on the D200. From the advice I have gotten here and my experiences I am probably going to go with the Powermac, it will make editing my files are more enjoyable experience.

mchendricks
Jan 23, 2006, 10:50 PM
I have tried this and let me tell you it is an exercise in patience that I simply do not have. The raw files from the D200 are 15.5 MB, and they turn my powerbook into a spinning beachball machine. I have looked into selling the D70 along with the 18-70 lens and it simply doesn't make enought money to justify spending the extra money on the D200. From the advice I have gotten here and my experiences I am probably going to go with the Powermac, it will make editing my files are more enjoyable experience.


Have you considered maxing your RAM? I see you only have 640MB. That will be a great help. Next, you might get a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card and an external card reader (SanDisk and Lexar each make one for less than $30 USD). Transfer your files with the reader and not the camera. This could eliminate two bottlenecks. These inexpensive changes can help prolong your PB's life and still let you get a new camera or new glass.

Please let us know your final decision.

Mike

Abstract
Jan 24, 2006, 02:17 AM
^^Meh, he has a rev A 12" PB. I have a rev B 12" PB, and mine would die with those photo sizes as well. I have 1.25 GB of RAM, and let me tell you.....if I had a slower PB with less RAM, I would have jumped out my window by now. :o

form
Jan 24, 2006, 03:29 AM
I have a 400mhz G3 still, going on...6 years old now? And I process my Rebel XT's images in it just fine. Currently I've invested a bit in Canon lenses, so Nikon isn't an option for me, though the d200 does look very nice. I'm waiting for the next updates to the rebel and 20d, that perhaps will compete with the d200. I'm hoping they'll be cropped-sensor too, so my Sigma 10-20mm EX DC HSM will still be usable!

My current bent is to get a great camera and let the computer go by the wayside. I used to be all for getting a new comp, but after spending $1700+ on my first dSLR camera + equipment, computers kinda faded away. Of course, if you like computers more, then by all means stick it out with your inferior photography tools..

Abstract
Jan 24, 2006, 05:17 AM
From the advice I have gotten here and my experiences I am probably going to go with the Powermac, it will make editing my files are more enjoyable experience.

Why not the iMac? Great deal, IMO.

-hh
Jan 24, 2006, 05:44 AM
Why not the iMac? Great deal, IMO.

If you had two 20" widescreen LCD's sitting around not being used, which would you choose? :)


-hh

form
Jan 24, 2006, 10:58 AM
Uhm, I'd NEVER buy a pm g5 unless one of the dual-core systems cost about $250. Its life cycle is at the beginning of its end this year, and that's not exactly the best time to purchase, price or performance-wise. If you insist on buying a desktop, get/build a PC or wait until there's something worth getting in the pm lineup...which isn't right now.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 24, 2006, 05:50 PM
If you had two 20" widescreen LCD's sitting around not being used, which would you choose? :)


-hh

Well, with the spanning hack (I assume it works with the core dual iMac's) one could use one screen on the iMac. The other could be used for a Mac mini, doing the simpler stuff....

ScubaDuc
Jan 24, 2006, 06:31 PM
[QUOTE=

So, in summary, my reccommendation:

Sell the D70 and the 18-70 lens

Purchase:

D200 (hold off on the MB200 until later if you are stretched financially -- it's the camera body that is more important)

Power Mac Dual Core with 4 GB RAM

Nikkor 17-55 mm f/2.8 lens



If you aren't quite able to swing that, then I'd follow your plan in package 1. Let us know what you decide to do!


OTB[/QUOTE]

I fully agree with the above: You have to consider, and it is an important fact that someone mentioned in an earlier post, that Nikon has by far a wider range of excellent manual lenses which u can pick up used real cheap. The D200 allows to use older, manual NikKor lenses which wont work on the D70. Essentially, with the D70 you can kiss goodbye using the full range of Nikon lenses and accessories. Why would u want to do that? You could pick up a 55 mm MicroNikkor and a ring flash for some real close up in the future or anything that will fancy your immagination. You could even get a manual fixed wide angle and forget the zoom. What is there to focus in panoramas anyway?


That's why I said in the earlier post that it is a no-brainer. Wait a little longer and don't compromise if you can... This is a transition year for Apple and new models are going to be announced soon anyway.

The folks at Nikoncafe are real helpful and there are a lot of very experience users.

SpookTheHamster
Jan 25, 2006, 09:09 AM
...that Nikon has by far a wider range of excellent manual lenses which u can pick up used real cheap. The D200 allows to use older, manual NikKor lenses which wont work on the D70. Essentially, with the D70 you can kiss goodbye using the full range of Nikon lenses and accessories....

That's extremely misleading. You can use any Nikon lens with the correct bayonet mount on a D70, but in some cases you will have to use an external meter. I've used old lenses on mine.

Don't get the D200, it would be a pointless waste of money considering the extremely capable camera you have now. It would only be worth upgrading if you had a really old camera like a D100 or a Canon D30/60.