how to bridge the gap?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by OreoCookie, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    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.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    Kebabselector

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #3
    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.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    If money is an issue, film is not really a good option.

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

    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.

    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
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #5
    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
     
  6. macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #6
    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
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #7
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions! :)
    Hmmm, the used prices are a bit too high for me right now. I wouldn't mind a used D90, though.
    I use the camera indoors a lot and thus I depend on the flash.
    The problem is that they'd have to change the whole electronics -- which would run about the same as a used D80.
    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.
    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'll look into it, thanks!
     

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