D300 or.... ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Driver, May 2, 2008.

  1. Driver macrumors member

    Driver

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    #1
    So looking to get a Nikon. Would love a D3... but not at twice the price. :eek: Stretching to get something like a d300 as is. Any opinions? Don't want Canon, neice is a Pro and she has one and even she is looking at going Nikon as that's what they use where she works.

    I only want to buy lenses once. Whats a good starter lens as well that's not one of the cheapie "starter lenses"? I mostly shoot at car shows and the like. But want to try some nightime skyline stuff of downtown Austin. New home overlooks the Zilker area and is just across from downtown.
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #2
    D300 or what? Just get the D300. Don't worry about the "competition". It's an awesome camera, and you won't regret it.

    If you're going to shoot the city at night, I'd get a lens specifically for it. I guess that means you'll have 2 lenses, but that's life. If you don't mind getting 2 lenses, I'd get a Sigma 10-20 mm and a Sigma 24-70 mm f/2.8 (or Tamron 28-75 mm f/2.8). This shouldn't break the bank. If you only want a single lens, I'd probably just get the Nikon 16-85 mm lens. You'll be able to shoot quite wide, and you'll also have a useful focal range.
     
  3. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

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    #3
    Just get get what you can afford. Go for a D300 + 18-200 + 50mm f/1.8 I reckon.
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #4
    If the D300 is a stretch, then why not get a D80? That'd leave you about nine hundred dollars more for lenses. If you don't have one, you're going to want a good tripod and head for the night shots- it's easy to spend real money there if you only want to buy once.
     
  5. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    #5
    Or wait for the long rumoured D90 which may be out in the summer...?
     
  6. Driver thread starter macrumors member

    Driver

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    #6
    Waiting for a mythological next gen is not an option. I like the D300's HDTV output as well. That's tilting me in it's favor a lot. Have a major trip coming up next month. 1st time out to the west coast. Some touring and a more than a few track days.

    I should also inquire about VR (image stabilized) lenses as some will be from a moving, open cockpit 2 seater handheld (shooting with a full helmet on).
     
  7. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #7
    I'd jump on the D300 plus a 50mm f/1.8 and a long or wide zoom. Figure out what your "style" is and go from there.
     
  8. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    #8
    Get the D300 and don't look back. It's an absolutely beautiful piece of engineering.
     
  9. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #9
    I bought the D300 and the 18-200 VR lens in a package deal. If you don't want the lens, you can always sell it, and that way you'll get the D300 for substantially less than list price. After living with this combo for a few weeks, I'm keeping it. A post I wrote about how to buy the D300 cheaply is in this thread (post #7):

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=472685
     
  10. TimJim macrumors 6502a

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    May 15, 2007
    #10
    Get the D300 with the 18-200 VR, that will be good for cars. Then get a 50mm 1.8.
     
  11. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #11
    I think, given the description you've given, the D300 + the Nikkor 18-200 VR would be a good choice. It has two different VR settings including one called "active" - that's supposed to be for the sort of situation you describe.

    I'm a bit concerned, though, that someone who picked "Driver" as their monicker is talking about taking pictures. That should be left to "Passenger". :rolleyes:
     
  12. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

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    #12
    The d300 is a fantastic camera. my dad loves his.
     
  13. iBallz macrumors 6502

    iBallz

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    #13
    isn't there a $300 rebate going right now on the D300 and 18-200VR?

    I dig mine. Wanted Canon, but settled on Nikon, and glad I did now.
     
  14. seattle macrumors 6502

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    May 15, 2007
    #14
    I have the D300 with the 18-200VR lens and I love it. I think Costco has a deal on the camera now. It is much bigger than my Canon XTi. I would go to a local store and check it out and see how it feels.
     
  15. Driver thread starter macrumors member

    Driver

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    #15
    Nope, no D300's at Costco here. The Best Buy had this setup for $2,239.
     
  16. Martin C macrumors 6502a

    Martin C

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    #16
    Why don't you use costco.com? Here's a link to the $300 off deal that iBallz was referring to.
     
  17. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    #17
    I'm not entirely sure how the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 became the lens of choice for the D300, as it's... rather weak. I own one and use it when I know I'm not going to be able to change lenses for days at a time (e.g. road trip, traveling), but it would not be my go to piece of glass.

    At the same time, I understand that that lenses really aren't cheap, and a lens with such a huge range as the 18-200mm is awfully appealing. That and the D300 really is a great camera. So if you feel as if you must have it before you have any spectacular lenses (and it looks like you can get a good deal on it through Costco now), sure, get it with the 18-200, but with the intention of quickly availing yourself of the better glass options out there.

    Obviously, another solution would be to get a lower end body and higher end glass, which I'd find to be a bit better of an idea. The 50mm f/1.4(/1.8), 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, and some sort of wide-angle lens (tokinas are good and nikkors are good) are all lenses that are good to have at your disposal, despite the fact that people will think you're aiming some sort of weapon at them.

    But right. Use the 18-200mm as a jumping off point, not as a cure-all.
     
  18. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #18
    Let's accept that the lenses you mentioned are desirable - indeed they are. There may still be a reason to go with the D300 + 18-200, depending on how advanced a photographer you are. If you are a newbie, then I'd argue it makes sense to stick with the 18-200 for some time until you not only learn your camera and some of the possibilities of digital photography, but the tremendous range will allow you to find your favored focal lengths and your favored photography (portraits, sports, nature, social, architecture etc.). At that point, you can make a much more informed choice of which lenses to buy.

    There is another reason why shooting with the 18-200 makes sense - time. All the lenses you mentioned have issues. The #1 issue is availability - take the Nikkor 24-70 2.8. This was going to be the first lens for my D300. Unfortunately, it just wasn't available anywhere. Now, hunting diligently for weeks/months on end, I'm sure I could buy it - but meanwhile I'm glad to have a lens to shoot with - the 18-200. The other issue that immediately cooled me in my zeal to get the 24-70 is the fact that this new lens may have some teething problems. There are tons of reports from reliable photographers about horrendous sample variation - in fact, many find anywhere between one in two to three in four lenses unacceptably flawed (back/front focusing etc.). This is a great lens... when it works. Here's my plan: wait until the 24-70 is widely available - at which point they may even work out some of these teething/production problems, or at least it will be easier to send back and get a new copy until one is actually working... without a good supply, you can't do that. Meanwhile, I'm shooting with my 18-200.

    The Nikkor 70-200 2.8 - according to many sources, it may be updated soon. And it sorely needs updating (to match the newer 14-24 and 24-70), especially it needs better coating (flare reduction) and perhaps the newer VR. Why pay a premium for an old lens when a new one may be around the corner? Why not wait a bit? And while waiting... yes, shoot the 18-200.

    The 18-200 is a very versatile and great for travel lens, perfect for a dslr newbie, and perfect as a fill-in lens while figuring out what and when to buy next.
     
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #19
    You mean you want to buy pro-level glass? What's your budget? It is pretty easy to blow through $5,000

    If I were doing car shows and could afford (and justify) top level lenses I'd go for some fast wide angle lenses. The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED seems perfect for a show. The show is not lke motor sports so you would not need a telephoto. One of those 10.5mm fisheye lenses would be fun to have too if they let you shoot interiors. For people shots I like my 50mm f/1.4 lens

    It's hard to go to wrong with any of the Nikon f/2.8 zooms or any of the Nikon primes.

    I think there are many, many people who have tons of many but aren't really photographers who buy the d300 and 18-200 as a kind of "rich man's point and shoot". I think the lens serves that purpose well.

    Beginners tend to understand focal llength but many of them don't know what an f-stop is. They are willing to pay $$ for what the understand but won't pay for "f/2.8" because they don't know what that is.

    You have to rememeber that most people who buy camera don't know much about photography they choose camera based on price and use the camera only a few times a year on vacation. I don't mean this as any kind of insult, it's just the way the camera market has always been. Most camera owners don't think of them selves as "photographers" Th 18-200 is very apealing to the guy who wants justo ne lens.
     
  20. Driver thread starter macrumors member

    Driver

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    #20
    What's a "justo ne" lens? :)

    I could easily take my old Minolta film (X700) for which I have several nice lenses for but it's time to upgrade. A lot has change since i bought it back in the 80's, I know the DSLR body won't last as long but am just trying to step up a little until FX DSLR's become affordable. The D3 is out of my price range, and as a first generation I'm not keen on being on the bleeding edge. :) A freind just got a Phase One back for his medium format but I'm nowhere near as well heeled. I figure with a D300 I can wait until a D500 or 600 (5 years -fingers crossed) is out and it's available with a full frame chip and 25+ megapixels. Frankly with the way computer chips progress I'm surprised DSLR resolution moves so slowly.
     
  21. MadGoat macrumors 65816

    MadGoat

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    #21
    My google translation says "just to use one lens"
     
  22. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #22
    Why pay a premium for a body when a new one IS around the corner? IMO, if the OP isn't going with pro glass, they're better off with a D80 or if they're going with an AF-S lens and D40 or D40x and spending the "real" money on glass and a D400 or whatever's next. The 18-200's going to look the same on any of those bodies, may as well not spend more than you have to...

    Paul
     
  23. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #23
    First, you're not paying a premium for the D300 - there are some fantastic deals for the D300 + 18-200 VR lens combo with an instant $300 rebate - I bought that combo for $2,049.00 with no tax and free shipping... I don't consider this a premium. You are NOT paying MSRP for either the D300 or the 18-200 with this combo. Meanwhile, you are paying pretty $1500 or more just for the 70-200 alone - add the D80 and you're already above the $2,049.00 for the D300 + 18-200 combo. So, the price argument ("premium") is in favor of the D300 + 18-200.

    Second, the D400 is hardly around the corner - the D300 has been out since Nov. 2007 and Nikon takes anywhere between 18-24 months between bodies in this series. Is it possible that it'll be sooner? Yes, but not by much - in other words, buying the D300 makes sense in the same way as the Buyer's Guide here recommends "BUY - product just updated". It's very early in the D300 cycle. In fact, recommending the D80 is more questionable from that point of view - rumors of the D90 are "any day now", certainly before the D300. For that matter, the rumors of the successor to the 70-200 also indicate "sooner than later" (speculation is as soon as June), in particular with the view that the new D3 needs that gap filled and the 70-200 is not exactly stellar on the D3:

    http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/nikon_70-200_2p8_vr_n15/

    Given that the OP was asking about the D300 (in lieu of the D3!), I thought it best to focus the answer on the D300 + lens, rather than Dxx + lens. It seems that since he dreams of the D3, suggesting the D40 would not hit the spot /shrug/.
     
  24. johnsy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #24
    Thing about cameras and questions should I buy this or that does not make sense at all. Camera itself has no difference. Somehow people got an idea that they will get at least second most expensive item from some manufacturers model line and here you go- it just going to gather good pictures itself. It is your brain and eyes what makes a difference and knowing your camera.

    Yes, camera matters in a sense that you really don't want to get some sammoyoung product, but camera manufacturers tend to be very close in terms on selection. Of course newbies in SLR system does a little bit worse, they lack quality glass and so on, but I see amazing pictures taken with pinhole cameras (and they have no lens at all!) too. Also good SLR body will save you time when you will actually take pictures and not look for some settings in a menu.

    Yes good glass make a difference. But you can take good pictures with cheap kit zoom too. What is the difference? If good glass will allow you to take pictures without a tripod in poor light, I think it is good enough reason to get one. And if you can afford one...:)

    Car shows? I think you want to travel light. 18-200 lens is heavy, but way better than two heavy lenses. Night shots? Well you could do with many lenses, just get a tripod. Digital is very forgetting. It is good tool for beginners and pros too. You can erase and not waste any "film".

    Do you want to follow whim of your buddy or just get some attention with big camera?

    "I know the DSLR body won't last as long but am just trying to step up a little until FX DSLR's become affordable. The D3 is out of my price range, and as a first generation I'm not keen on being on the bleeding edge. A freind just got a Phase One back for his medium format but I'm nowhere near as well heeled."


    Also it depends what do you do? Do you earn a living from photography? Do you need to print big posters? Do you shoot RAW? Is it your firs digital SLR? And so on. There are a lot of misconceptions just because of deceptive marketing. A lot of people believe that more megapixels will guarantee them good pictures. Actually a lot of people I meet who are curious about my camera (I have nothing fancy, just rebel xti) ask first question - how many megapixels it has? Phase One for example is a headache. It creates more problems- WHERE THE HELL YOU WILL STORE THESE HUGE FILES? You begin buying camera and end up buying hard drives or what ever your storage system preference.

    So don't be fooled by marketing. Images make a difference, not fancy cameras. As for question what makes bigger difference- camera or lens I would go- lens. It will outlast camera (unless you will break it).
     
  25. Driver thread starter macrumors member

    Driver

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    Rollingwood, Tx
    #25
    I'm hoping that lenses and other equipment, when bought the right way, will transfer. In fact I'm banking on it. I'm not into throwing money down the drain but at the same time demand some resemblance of quality in my purchases. I went with the D300 and 200 mm lens deal with the coupon today off Amazon. Added a SB-800 to it as well. That'll do for a start. Maybe a few PocketWizards in a few months once I get comfortable with the options on the camera. Until then I'll try the Nikon CLS setup.
     

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