PDA

View Full Version : I need a DSLR...




wisredz
Sep 12, 2006, 05:09 PM
OK, I know there are a lot of these threads but I'm in a special case, or so I would like to think.
Here's my special case, I live in Turkey. That means over here we puy nearly 2 times more for taxes and of course for the supplier's impossible-to-fill pockets. To give you a few examples, a Canon 20D with 18-55 mm lens can be had for $2700! A Nikon D70s with 18-70 and 70-300 can be had for $1855! A Nikon D200 with 18-7o can be had for $3k...
Now I've been getting into photography lately. I have a Sony DSC-N1 which was a birthday present for my mom. It served me well for some time, and it is a great P&S camera. But I'm extremely interested in macro photograhpy and Sony just can't focus on the item in Macro mode. I can't even get 1:2 ratio. I will of course take some other photos, but macro is my main interest. And I'd like to have a camera that will serve me well for quite some time.
I've been looking into Canons and Nikons, and as you may have guessed I am hopelessly lost as to which way to go.
Mind that I have just started into serious photography. D200 is the highest point I can go. Maybe even not that.
Now, my uncle's in the US for some scientific research and can get me something if I want. I'm doing a research of course on my own, but I'll need your much-valued opinions and advices on the subject.

PS: I don't think I will get a Rebel Series camera. I don'T like the looks of them, they look cheap and nearly everyone has got to say something negative about them.

Thanks in advance.



devincco
Sep 12, 2006, 06:20 PM
Look at what each manufacture has to offer in the way of lenses and go from there. Your investment is in the lenses, not the camera body itself. The bodies will get updated every couple of years, were the lenses will be around for a while. Also, each manufacture (Usually between Nikon and Canon) will leap frog each other with technology. What I mean by that is that this year, Canon has the best product, next year Nikon will have the best product, the year after that, Canon will have the best technology. You'll never be able to keep up unless you have tons of money to burn. For me, I'm just starting to get more into photography as well, graduating from a P&S to a DSLR. I chose the Nikon D50 with 2 lenses (18-55 & 70-300). I figured I'd start on the cheaper end, and if I really get into it, I can always get a better body later on and keep the lenses I have now and use them in the future. So buy the camera for the lenses, not the body.

Clix Pix
Sep 12, 2006, 11:24 PM
Nikon has just come out with its new D80, which is somewhat less expensive than the D200 while having a lot of good features that push it beyond the D50 and the D70/D70s. You might want to do some reading online about it.

Nikon offers a wonderful selection of macro lenses:
60mm
105mm
105mm VR
200mm f/4

There are also older macro lenses which can be used on Nikon cameras, including the 55mm macro, the 70-180 macro, etc.....

Tamron and Tokina also make macro lenses in a Nikon mount.

I am addressing only Nikon's offerings because I'm a Nikon shooter and not that familiar with the Canon line.

Hope this helps and good luck!

sjl
Sep 13, 2006, 01:29 AM
Nikon offers a wonderful selection of macro lenses:
60mm
105mm
105mm VR
200mm f/4

Canon's macro offerings are:
50mm
60mm (EF-S, so 1.6 crop bodies only)
100mm
180mm
MP-E 65mm

The 60mm is, in my opinion, a waste of time. You're better off getting the 100mm or 180mm. The 180mm is an L series lens; very nice, but also very expensive. ($AU2700 RRP compared with $AU1000 RRP for the 100mm macro). That, plus the fact that I can't take it underwater when I eventually get a housing for my DSLR, means that I'll not be buying it.

Those three offer 1x magnification (ie: image on the sensor is the same size as the physical object.) The 50mm is a compact macro, offering 0.5x magnification (image on the sensor is half the size of the physical object). The MP-E is a very interesting lens; manual focus only, and it offers up to 5x magnification (as Canon says, you can fill a 35mm frame with a grain of rice.) It is, however, a lot harder to drive than the 100mm.

My recommendation, if you wanted a Canon lens, would be to start with the 100mm macro, and maybe pick up the MP-E 65mm if you wanted to get very serious about it. You'd also probably want to pick up the ringlites down the road, to reduce the depth of field issues.

You can also get the Sigma macro, and probably the other third-party brands, for the Canon.

Abstract
Sep 13, 2006, 03:49 AM
Yep, Nikon D80. You said a D200 is the highest you can go, and yet you may not even need to go that high, since the D80 costs much less. ;)

Nikon has fantastic macro lenses as well. Hopefully my next lens will be the 105 mm with VR (vibration reduction). :)

wisredz
Sep 13, 2006, 05:41 AM
Thanks for all the info. I've had a look at D80 and it seems like a good camera but as you all have said, the lens is muchmore important. I need some info lenses, and I couldn't find anything good until now. Any links or info will be appreciated.
I'll have a decent all-around lens and a decent macro lens. I don't know which way to go though. I'll need more than 1:1 ratio, but I don't know which lens to get. what is the difference between 105 mm and 200 mm. What makes a good macro lens what it is? Same question with an all-around lens.
Thanks for all the responses. D200 is stunning but it is over me for now, seeing that I'm getting serious about photography newly. As you might have guessed, I want one but that costs a lot of money. If I shell out that much cash, it'd be better on lenses. But a decent body is needed and D80 is recommended already. Amazon.com says it wil be released on October 31 and my uncle returns on October 1. Is the D80 available in stores over there?

wisredz
Sep 13, 2006, 05:56 AM
I have another question. Now I'm looking at 18-200mm Nikon VR which seems to be a great lens. Can't I use this to take some macro photos. It offers a lot of zoom, and maybe I can zoom enough to take some good macro shots? What is the main difference between macro lenses and zoom lenses? I know these are trivial questions but I'm getting into SLR stuff newly...

dogbone
Sep 13, 2006, 06:07 AM
Something to consider...

I would suggest to get the D200 as you will still be very happy with it in 5 years. Consider that for macro work you could get away with a high quality old analogue second hand nikon lens like the 55mm ƒ3.5 micro nikkor which is a very sharp lens for non macro as well as being excellent for macro naturally. You won't really miss the auto focus with macro and with digital, auto exposure for macro is not that big a deal. you could also look out for an old 105mm micro nikkor ƒ4, considered one of the best macros they have ever made.

Later on when you are more cashed up you can go for some exotic new macros like the 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR.

Abstract
Sep 13, 2006, 07:54 AM
Thanks for all the info. I've had a look at D80 and it seems like a good camera but as you all have said, the lens is muchmore important. I need some info lenses, and I couldn't find anything good until now. Any links or info will be appreciated.

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/index.php
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/index.php
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html


I'll have a decent all-around lens and a decent macro lens. I don't know which way to go though. I'll need more than 1:1 ratio, but I don't know which lens to get.

I think you're going to be out of luck. ;) They probably exist, but I haven't seen them around, and they'd probably cost too much even if they did.

In order of price (without giving up much/anything in terms of optical quality)
- Nikon 105 mm macro with VR.
- the very recently discontinued Nikon 105 mm macro (without VR).
- Sigma 105 mm, Tamron 90 mm, and Tokina 100 mm (not sure if these focal length values are correct). Very good lenses for cheap. Optical quality is probably as good as on the new Nikon 105 mm with VR, although the discontinuted Nikon 105 mm macro is supposed to be better than the rest.



what is the difference between 105 mm and 200 mm. What makes a good macro lens what it is?

A macro lens can get a magification ratio of 1:1, or at least 1:2. Some people (and companies) say that a macro lens is any lens that has a ratio of 1:4 and better. That's why a lens that has a magnification ratio of 1:3.8, like my Sigma 24-70 mm f/2.8, is considered a macro lens by Sigma. However, it's more of a "quasi-macro" than anything else.

D200 is stunning but it is over me for now, seeing that I'm getting serious about photography newly. As you might have guessed, I want one but that costs a lot of money. If you don't really understand why it's better, then it's not worth getting.

You're as likely to get good photos with a D50 as you are with a D200. I mean, if you didn't look at file sizes or number of pixels of an image, it wouldn't make much difference. So yes, spend your money on lenses. The D80 is plenty of camera. ;)


What is the main difference between macro lenses and zoom lenses? I know these are trivial questions but I'm getting into SLR stuff newly...

Just because you have a zoom lens doesn't mean you're going to be able to zoom in as close as you can. The lens WILL be able to get even better than 1:1 ratio, but it would be impossible for that lens to focus to give you a photo. ;) Macro lenses were designed to focus on things that are located very close to the lens. The great thing about them is that they're also capable of focusing on objects that are far away. :) Regular zoom and prime lenses can't do that because once you get to within a certain distance, they can't focus anymore.

Getting a lens with a longer focal length, say 105 mm or 180 mm, means you can stand further away from what you want to photograph. This is mainly an issue if you want to take a macro photograph of a bug. You can get close, but if you get too close, you'll scare it away.

Also, standing too close might leave your shadow.... :o

ChrisA
Sep 13, 2006, 10:27 AM
[If you want to learn about Nikon and Nikon lenses one good place to ask is at www.nikoncafe.com I'm sure there are good canon specif forums too.

I have an very old 55mm f/3.5 nikon macro lens from the early 1970's itis manual focus but goes to 1:1. (a US 25 cent piece (a "quarter") over fills the D50's frame.) Manual lenses do not meter on my D50 but then the D50 (and all DSLRs) have a histogram display so you take one test shot to set the exposure. Older macro lenses like these sell for under $100

With prices like those you could afford to travel to someplace with more reasonable prices and pay for your trip.

Also, many people on nikoncafe.com selling good used equipment who could ship to you vie FedEx, DHL or the like. Read and post over there for a month and get to know some of them.

finalcoolman
Sep 13, 2006, 10:31 AM
I'd recommend the Alpha. Same camera at a 30% lower cost than the comparable Nikons or Canons.

ChrisA
Sep 13, 2006, 10:35 AM
Something to consider...

I would suggest to get the D200 as you will still be very happy with it in 5 years.

How many people have kept a DSLR body for 5 years? 5 years would be on the high end of the usful life span of a DSLR. Not that it will break but in 5 years the low-end entry level body will be better then a D200 and the prices will have fallen too. So you'd replace ther D200 with the new $399 body in about 2011. Don't belive me? What was the top digital body in 2001 and how does it compare to the D50? Expect the next five years to bring about the same relative improvments as the last five years.

Here is the way I figure it: Assume a four year life span. So you spend $1500. That is $375 per year. I take about 2,000 exposures per year so it works out to just under $0.20 per shot. That's cheaper than film even if I throw a $1500 DSLR body in the trash every four years. I used to buy film on bulk form B&H and keep it in the freezer. I'd order about $100 worth 35mm and 120 size at a time and likely pay tripple that to have the film processed. I got better quality images with film but the speed of digitalis woorth it. You should think of a DSLR is a pack of film that you use up and replace every few years. It will be hard to give away a D200 in late 2011.

beavo451
Sep 13, 2006, 11:13 AM
I'd recommend the Alpha. Same camera at a 30% lower cost than the comparable Nikons or Canons.

With less availability of lenses, flashes, and accessories (third or first party)...

Also, lesser build, higher noise, smaller viewfinder, lesser AF systems, etc., etc.

So not quite the same camera.

thumb
Sep 13, 2006, 12:28 PM
honestly, i would suggest you get the Nikon D80 if you can find it or the D50 and spend the rest on ridiculously good glass.

the 18-200 you mentioned is a great lens, very versatile, but not "pro" quality (I have it and love it though).

I did what you are talking about recently. what i went for was the least expensive reasonable body, the 18-200, and a couple of good primes (35/2 and 85/1.8). It looks like you might have more to spend, so you could get better glass even. even a macro specific lens like the 60mm (inexpensive) or the 105 vr (expensive). Classics like the 28-70 or 70-200 vr would be a nice (and expensive) purchase.

I got the D70s used, but you might want to consider the d50 (it is very inexpensive and good). It uses the same SD cards as the D80 (and the future D90 most likely...). 6 mp is good for most use, until you are ready to upgrade in a few years after you have mastered the camera and the lenses.

cheers

thumb

wisredz
Sep 13, 2006, 01:27 PM
there is no way I'm going to get a Sony. They build really good P&S cameras, bu they don't have what I look for. Nikon is the way to go :D
Now, there is a hard choice. I will have to get 2 decent lenses with the camera but don't know what to get. I'm having a look at the sites you've all posted, I'll keep you up to date.
I still would like to hear your recommendations.

wisredz
Sep 13, 2006, 01:31 PM
I can't edit my previous post for a reason that is unknown to me, but I have another question. Is the Nikon D80 available in US from stores?

beavo451
Sep 13, 2006, 01:47 PM
I can't edit my previous post for a reason that is unknown to me, but I have another question. Is the Nikon D80 available in US from stores?

My local Circuit City has one on display.

Clix Pix
Sep 13, 2006, 05:57 PM
Later on when you are more cashed up you can go for some exotic new macros like the 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR.

The 70-200mm f/2.8 VR is NOT a macro lens. Yes, one can get some nice closeups with it but the lens is considered a telephoto and its focusing distance is a little too long for doing real macro work. The bokeh on this lens is wonderful, the f/2.8 means it plays well with teleconverters to extend its range, it is great in low light and overall, it is considered one of Nikon's best.

Nikon does make a macro zoom, though: the 70-180mm, which is prized by users. It has now been discontinued, so unless you're lucky enough to find a brand new one still sitting on a dealer's shelves somewhere, you would have to go for a gently-used one.

Clix Pix
Sep 13, 2006, 06:22 PM
I have another question. Now I'm looking at 18-200mm Nikon VR which seems to be a great lens. Can't I use this to take some macro photos. It offers a lot of zoom, and maybe I can zoom enough to take some good macro shots? What is the main difference between macro lenses and zoom lenses? I know these are trivial questions but I'm getting into SLR stuff newly...


The 18-200mm VR is a great all-purpose "walkabout" lens, but it is not really suited to macro unless you were to put the Canon 500D closeup filter on it. I've seen that done and it can work but it's again not the same as a real macro lens. It is also a slower lens with varifocal shifts (f/3.5- f/5.6) rather than having one aperture consistent throughout (say, f/2.8) the zoom range.

OK.... Quick lesson here:

"Prime" lenses are those which are one focal length and one focal length only. Examples would be the 60mm macro and the 105mm VR macro. Other examples of prime lenses are the 35mm f/2, the 50mm f/1.4, the 200mm f/2, etc..... With a "prime" lens you "zoom with your feet," so to speak, in order to get the right distance from your subject and to compose your photos.

"Zoom" lenses are those which have several possible focal lengths, such as the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, the 28-70mm f/2.8, and the 200-400mm VR. Some zooms are "faster" than others (f/2.8 being faster than f/4.5). Zooms can range from wide or medium-wide to short telephoto range (18-200mm VR) or from short telephoto to longer telephoto (80-400mm VR, 200-400mm VR). Zoom lenses are very flexible when one is in a situation where it is not convenient or possible to swap out lenses. They are also convenient in situations where everything is changing quickly, so that the photographer can quickly readjust and re-compose as a subject moves around.

"Macro" lenses can be either primes (most customary) or zooms (Nikon's 70-180mm). A true macro has 1:1 ratio, with the subject filling the frame. Shooting a "closeup" is not quite the same. For instance, one can use a telephoto to shoot a really nice closeup of a flower. I've done that with my 70-200 and my 300 mm lenses. I've also sat right down in the flower bed and focused on a small part of the flower or its innards with the 60mm or the 105mm macro lenses. Does this help to clarify things for you?

One way some photographers are able to get more than the 1:1 ratio is to use extension tubes (Kenko makes these) or a combination of a macro lens AND extension tube(s).....

Yes, the D80 is available now in the US. I have not seen one in a store but I'm told that they're out there. Camera shops, Best Buy, Circuit City and other places are now carrying the D80.

Since you are relatively inexperienced in photography at this point, I think your best bet would be the D80, not just because of its lower cost vis-a-vis the D200, but also because it does include "vari-program" modes or "scene" modes, which can be helpful for a beginner. This camera incorporates a lot of the best features from the D70/D70s that it is succeeding, plus a few features from the D50 and a few from the D200. Quite a good deal for the money!

I'd look seriously at the D80 and spend the money on lenses. The 18-200mm VR is an excellent all-purpose "walkabout" lens that is better than the 18-135mm kit lens, and then you could pick up either the 60mm Micro-Nikkor (it's fairly inexpensive and it's one of my favorite lenses) and/or, if funds permit, the 105mm VR for your macro work.

wisredz
Sep 14, 2006, 02:26 AM
Great info there clix pix, thanks a lot! I think D80 is the one I should get. As someone told before, I don't know what makes D200 more pricey (700 bucks). I know the CCD sensors are not the same but there's all I know about it.
Now the lenses, the important deal. If I can get the 18-200 mm VR and 105mm VR macro then I won't need a new gear until I get significantly better. These are both great lenses from what I've read and the zooming capabilities of 18-200mm VR makes my heart skip a beat. Macro is just as fascinating as always... Unfortunately these two cost more than the body itself and I'm sure they're well worth the money. I'd like to get as much from US because the 18-200mm VR lists for nearly $1350, about twice the price over there. There is no 105mm VR Macro or I have to search a LOT to find it for a staggering cost.
I also think of getting a Lexar 133x 1 gb card and another battery. A wireless remote could be good but is not necessary now. If the cost of the above-mentioned setup is overwhelming I will try my chances with a 60mm Micro Nikkor.
Clix Pix I would like to see some photos you have taken with your macro lenses if that is possible...
Again thanks again for all your replies.

dogbone
Sep 14, 2006, 02:40 AM
The 70-200mm f/2.8 VR is NOT a macro lens...

Yes, of course you are right, my bad. The point I was making taking into account the OP's desire for macro and also a budget that would just about stretch to a D200, was to go for the D200 as a camera that he won't feel to be inadequate in a few years and spend what little he has left on excellent but cheap, analogue micros like the 105mm ƒ4. Then as time goes on to gradually add some digital macros when he is better acquainted with the type of macro he likes to use.

Clix Pix
Sep 14, 2006, 08:09 AM
http://clixpix.smugmug.com/photos/80413667-L.jpg

http://clixpix.smugmug.com/photos/80426076-L.jpg

http://clixpix.smugmug.com/photos/68695954-L.jpg

http://clixpix.smugmug.com/photos/68696035-L.jpg

The first two are with the 200mm f/4 and the last two are with the 60mm.

Clix Pix
Sep 14, 2006, 08:17 AM
With the 18-200mmVR:

http://clixpix.smugmug.com/photos/59799784-L.jpg


With the 180mm:
http://clixpix.smugmug.com/photos/64705706-L.jpg

wisredz
Sep 14, 2006, 03:43 PM
Oh my! 18-200mm VR seems to be one hell of a glass!!! I adored what it can handle. 60mm macro is sexy as well. Do you own a 105mm VR macro? Could I see some photos with that lens?

Edit : I forgot to thank you! I've had great (and i mean great) help over here! Thanks a lot!

Clix Pix
Sep 14, 2006, 04:12 PM
Oh my! 18-200mm VR seems to be one hell of a glass!!! I adored what it can handle. 60mm macro is sexy as well. Do you own a 105mm VR macro? Could I see some photos with that lens?

Edit : I forgot to thank you! I've had great (and i mean great) help over here! Thanks a lot!


Yes, I own both the older version of the 105mm Macro and the 105mm VR Macro. Right now I don't have any images to show -- I haven't taken a lot with that lens yet and the ones I did I haven't processed.... On Nikon Cafe there are plenty of people showing what the 105mm VR can do -- it's a pretty spectacular lens.

The 18-200mm surprised a lot of us when it came out. It's a very good lens with excellent image quality at that price point! Definitely it would be worth getting rather than the 18-135 "kit" lens, but it may still be hard to find. Nikon hasn't been able to keep up with the demand for this lens.

I included the last photos to show how a telephoto lens can do nicely as a closeup lens and to (hopefully) illustrate the differences between them and actual macro lenses.

wisredz
Sep 14, 2006, 05:18 PM
Thank you for that information also. While a telephoto lens can take some great close-ups, macro lenses makes it possible to get even closer.
I hope everything goes well and I will have a Nikon D80 with two great lenses... Pray for me, will you? :D

Nikon Cafe is a great place to learn all of this stuff!

Qianlong
Sep 14, 2006, 05:56 PM
hello

for Nikon cameras check out these sites:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm

http://www.bythom.com/index.htm

Like most people say invest in lenses.

Do remember that the 18-200 is hard to get, backordered all the time.

also do consider the Nikon D 50 and D70s, esp the D50 it's very good for the price, with the money saved you can invest in better lenses.

Like ken rockwel says on his site the D50 does 99% of the things most people want.

well good luck with new camera and let's us know what you got

wisredz
Sep 15, 2006, 04:46 PM
Hi there,
I contacted my uncle and there is this big problem of sending money. He does not have enough funds over there so we have to send money. My father told me that it takes a loooong time to send money via Western Union. Do any of you know another means of sending money over there? My uncle's returning in two weeks so I need a quick solution :D