Build a Nikon kit, what would you choose!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SLC Flyfishing, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    With a hypothetical budget of say $6,000 to build a Nikon kit from the ground up, what body, lenses etc etc would you buy and why?

    I've got a bag already, but apart from that I'm 100% startug from scratch with Nikon (I've got a pretty sweet Pentax setup)! Other non brand specific gear I have are various reflector disks, generic flash bracket, a grundle of filters in varying sizes, SD cards (but am unopposed to replacing them with CF if needed), card readers etc.

    I'm set with software (I have the complete CS3 design premium collection as well as Lightroom 1.0).

    Keep it to just body lenses and flash and tell me what your dream kit would be. You don't have to spend the entire budget (no need to be superfluous here) but it's imperative that it stays under the limit!

    Have at it!!!!

    (Oh, and don't worry, I'm not asking anybody how to spend my money. I'm merely just wanting to hear some other perspectives incase there's anything I might be interested in that I haven't considered just yet)

  2. uMac macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2007
    For an Event/Model Shooter

    Your Dream Kit Depends on what your shooting, however this would be mine for event photography.

    D700 - $3253
    MB-D10 - $325
    SB-900 - $586
    50mm AF f/1.8 D - $159
    85mm f/1.8 - $482
    24-85mm f/2.8-4.0 D - $775 [ In Reality any Mid-Range zoom will do]

    Total - $5,580 leaving me with $420 for Memory Cards, better straps, extra batteries and perhaps a tripod.

    All Prices are Final and in Canadian Dollars

    Of Course - This is what I have Now...
  3. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    As an aside, I would upgrade to LR 2. It is improved over v1.

    Does this kit need to target weddings? If not, what else will you use it for?

    edit: FWIW my dream kit is pretty close to what I have. My lenses double your budget.
  4. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Well your dream kit contains two items I've got planned for purchase!
  5. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR

    Weddings and general portraiture (a mix of studio and outdoor stuff). But I've also got an interest in Macro and Sports (though the Macro might be a bit too much to ask right now)

  6. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    $5000 is a relatively tight budget.

    If you're shooting weddings, then you'll be shooting indoors a lot in situations where using a flash would be intrusive, so high ISO performance becomes important. It's between the D300 and D700, but with the focus on portraiture, I think I would favor an FX sensor over a crop sensor. So a D700 is my call, at $2400 from B&H. Add in a spare battery or two at $42 each.

    You need more than one portrait lens. Unfortunately, you don't really have the budget for more than one portrait lens. A telephoto zoom would likely solve that problem. I would like the 70-200VR for the VR, but at $1900 I think it's a budget buster. I have an 80-200 AF-S and I have so far not been tempted to replace it with a 70-200. Its SWM focus motor hunts less than the screw driven 80-200 AF-D and is considerably quieter. You can find very clean used examples for $1200 (or buy one that is not so clean and have it refurbished by Nikon). We're up to $3700.

    You will probably need a wide angle for groups shots and such. Nikkor's 24mm f2.8 AI/AIS is well regarded and very clean used examples go for $200 or less. At f11, the hyperfocal distance is something like 4 feet, so you can pretty much prefocus for distance and not have to worry about focusing. $3900.

    Throw in a 50mm f1.8 AF-D to cover the gap between the 24 and the 80 for another $135 for a new total of $4035.

    Add a pair of SB600 flashes at $225 each and 4 4GB Lexar UDMA cards totaling $240 and you're up to $4665. You'll probably need an umbrella, light stand, super clamp and other miscellaneous gear that along with shipping will bring the total closer to $5000.

    Oops, I must be spacing out, the budget is $6000. An 85 f1.4 will easily spend what's left.

    edit: I used B&H as the source of prices for new equipment, and experience for used prices.
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    What are you shooting?

    I'd sure like to recommend a 400mm lens but if you are doing mostly architectural interiors that 400mm lens would not be your first choice. Some people like the 12-24 zoom but not for shooting birds.

    EDIT: Oh, weddings. Is a DX size Nikon good enough for this? Seems kind of low-end If you are making money you should set you equipment budget based on a fraction of yearly gross income. Can you really get an FX body and a backup and so on for only $6K I'd think not. Even plumbers and will spend more than $6K on tools

    That said I'd put the 70-200 f/2.8 VR lens on the list And then you need a "head and shoulders length" prime but which one depends on if you are doing FX or DX body. I'd pass on any very wide lenses as much as I like them. Those set-up group shots could be done with an f/5.6 kit lens
  8. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    Bay Area
    I had no idea canadian prices were so high. Those are 1.5 to 2x higher than US prices, which is much more than the exchange rate. Almost 800 bucks for the 24-85?!? :D

    OP, it depends on your style. For me, it would be:

    Nikon D700 - $2200
    Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 - $1500
    Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 - $1500
    Sigma 12-24mm f/4 - $500
    Nikon SB-800 - $300

    = $6000 real dollars :)

    Of course, I'd buy it all gently used so my cost would be $2000 less.

  9. Rockies Photo macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2008
    Building a Kit for Sports, Portraits, Weddings, Macro, & General Photography is going to be quite diverse.

    I would recommend a 2 Body Setup + 2 Speedlite's + Lenses, so I would suggest:
    D300 $1100
    D300 $1100
    MB-D10 $200
    24-70/2.8 $1400
    70-200/2.8 VR $1500
    105 VR Macro $750
    SB-800 (2x) $275 ea.

    This keeps you in the Fast 2.8 Line-up for Sports/ Weddings. Plus, you have your Macro lens, which is an Excellent Portrait Lens, & 2 Speedlite's & a grip you can switch between identical bodies.
  10. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Hm. If I had to get everything for $6k I'd say FX sensor, so a D300 ($1600), Sigma 30mm f1.4 ($400), Nikon 50mm f1.4 ($400), Nikon 85mm f1.8 ($400), Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 ($700), perhaps a Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 ($450), and a couple of SB600 with some stands and diffusers and whatnot so you can do off camera flash ($500). That's only about $4500, so there's plenty left for a second body to have on hand for a spare and to keep a second ready lens on. Maybe a D90 ($1000) so you can shoot some little video clips too, plus $500 for memory cards, batteries, etc.
  11. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    If I had that kind of money, but no dSLR, I'd just get a refurbished D40x body (about $300), one lens: Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens ($700), bag and extra memory cards for $100, and pay off bills with the rest.

    Maybe take a long weekend somewhere nice (for about another $1000 air, hotel, and expenses) and use the Nikon... ;)
  12. uMac macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2007
    Well for me most of my lenses where purchased used, and most of the newer AF stuff is priced around $250 each for the f2.8 stuff.

    All and all I would say my current set-up as you see it costed around $3500. Yes Canadain Prices are a bit high, but we also are paying 14% tax on every item, that is why there is such a strong used market - lower prices and no taxes.

    This year I am hoping to make enough money to afford the leap to the D700, best thing is all my lenses (but one) are Full Frame, and I have a line of f/2.8 so I only need to by the camera.

    Bottom Line - Invest in Good Lenses... best to invest in good used lenses.
  13. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Good replies all.

    I'm quickly realizing that I may need to increase my budget slightly to accommodate the desired glass if I'm to buy new. Can somebody direct me to a good and trustworthy place to buy used Nikkors?

    I tried KEH but the 3 most expensive aspects of my proposed kit aren't available used there, and the new prices, I can beat those here in town easily.

    Anyway, so far we've chosen the D700, AF-S 24-70 f/2.8 and the AF-S 70-200 VR f/2.8 as near certainties (which will essentially eat up my entire budget). I mentioned in another thread that we're also interested in an 85 prime (probably the 1.8) and a 105 f/2 DC lens. But there have been some interesting ideas given in this thread, and I might have to look into swapping one of the latter two lenses for a Macro in a similar focal length.

    So yeah, keep em coming, and if you know of a great way to acquire used glass in good condition I'm all ears.

  14. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    80-200 f2.8 instead of 70-200 might get you budget for a 50 f1.4

    At a certain point, sooner rather than later, you would need a second body, and flash (and second flash).
  15. seedster2 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2007
    50mm 1.8
    70-200mm 2.8
    24-70 2.8 (Sigma)
  16. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    I'd wait for the Nikon D400 or D800, then make my purchase based on the used cost of the D300 bodies and D700 bodies. If I had to buy now, for what you are using it for, it'd be:

    D300 x 2 used
    Nikkor glass all the way 17-55(new), 70-200(used) 12-24(used) 35mm 1.8 (hottie & new)
    Sb-800s (used if you can find them)
    Grab one MBD10 and ENEL4a battery and charger

    That kit is under $5000 for sure.

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