New Nikon D80 + 2 Lenses Recommendation

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by iPlm, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. iPlm macrumors regular

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    Sofia
    #1
    Hello!

    I'm thinking of getting a D80. What I was wondering about is, should I get it with the 18-135mm kit lens or buy only the body and then the lenses seperately. I'm not planning on spending much cash on the lenses though. One lens I'm considering is the AF Nikkor 50mm f1.8D. Though I'm not really sure what other lens could I get. I will be using it only for shooting as a hobby from time to time and probably mostly outdoors shooting landscapes or family and friends.
     
  2. RevToTheRedline macrumors 6502a

    RevToTheRedline

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    Sep 27, 2007
    #2
    50/1.8 and 70-300mm VR (since you said you don't wanna spend a huge amount of cash, otherwise I'd say the $1700 70-200mm VR F2.8)

    You'll be surprised at how decent the 18-135mm lens is, I find it far better then a typical kit lens on any other brand which is why I haven't bothered jumping on an upgrade... It may not be the fastest by any means like a 70-200 or 24-70 but it's fairly sharp, light and great CA/Vignetting control for what it is.
     
  3. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    #3
    The 50mm 1.8D is a no-brainer, it's one of the best Nikkors out there. Super-sharp, no disortion, high-contrast, and cheap. I routinely get better shots from my 1.8D than any other lens (and I own the more expensive 1.4 version as well). No matter what the budget, it'd top the recommendation list.

    The 18-135 is a bit overpriced for what it is. If you're shooting landscapes you want to go wide. You may want to take a look at the new 16-85VR that was unveiled at the PMA.
     
  4. iPlm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    That's great! I'll definitely get the 50mm 1.8D! But the other two lenses are kinda expensive for me, the 70-300 VR and 16-85 VR. Is there another good option for like 100-200$?
     
  5. mrsollars macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2006
    #5
    i would recommend, for the wide end, the Tamron 17-50 F2.8. awesome lens and very versatile. i, also, say that the 50 1.8 is a no brainer, but i find it's a little too long on some inside/group shots.
    this leaves your long end uncovered. it really depends on what you're going to shoot.

    people: i say the Tamron and the 50 1.8 for portraits.
    sports/outdoors: i say the 70-300vr...but if that's a budget issue, the Sigma 70-300 APO get's decent ratings for a cheap price.

    invest in a reversing ring (15-20 bucks) for the 50 1.8 and do some macro stuff....see if you like it too.

    just suggestions.
    matt
     
  6. iPlm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Okay! So Sigma 70-300 APO is a choice then! And it's a better choice than the 18-135 that comes with the kit right?

    It would be great if I can shoot macro with the 50mm 1.8 and if this reverse ring is 15-20$ it's perfect!
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    The 18-135mm zoom will likely cover all the focal length range you need. Anything longer then 135 on a "crop body" camera is a pretty long telephoto. (beginners always think they need some hugely long telephoto lens. Resist that.)
    I always recommend getting the "kit" lens because it is such a good value. Nikon sells there almost is loss leaders. Take advantage of that. The quality is good. It's only real limitation and the reason for the low price is the f/5.6 maximum f-stop. The cost of a lens is determined mostly by the size of the glass elements and those large f/2.8 elements are expensive to make. So the kit lens is not low priced to to low quality it is low priced due to it's small size (in optics "size" means "diameter")

    Given that the 18-135 covers the length that you need the second lens should do something the 18-135 can't. If you are looking not to spend a lot I think the only lens that could complement the 18-135 would be a fast prime. The 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 is good but it depends on your subject.
    What I'd do is wait until you've used the 18-135 for a while. Shoot 1,000 frames then you will know how the 18-135 is limiting your work and then choose a lens that adress those limitation

    For example you may find the 18-135 is horrible for macro shoots and you will want to pick up a 60mm macro lens. The reason to buy a second (or third) lens is to address a problem, wait until you can precisely state a specific problem. like "I want to make a portrait with a very small DOF", "I like to take hand held shots in low light, I hate flash." "I want to take photos of flowers and insects". Typically when people can't decide on a lens it is because they can't make a clear statement like the ones above.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #8
    A 70-300mm zoom is a "specialty lens" not something you use the "every day" photography. You REALLY need to first have the 18-70mm range covered as that where 80 or 90 percent of you work wil be. Unless you mainly shoot sports and wildlife.

    The only reason to buy a Sigma lens is because you can't afford the Nikon version. Skip it. Buy the Nikon "kit lens." (either the 18-135 or 18-70) Use it for a while. After the first 1,000 frames you will know a LOT more about your needs, your style, preferences and so on.

    When you ask "what should I buy" you will hear many peole simply tell you to get whatever they have. This advice is so predictable that it is never very valuable.

    Buy the 18-135 and then later look at your collection of photos. Maybe many of them or even most are shot in the 18-30mm range with many right at 18mm. This would tell you your net lens maybe should be a better wide angle. Buut on the other hand if you see you are always pushed all the way up to 135mm then you need a longer lens.

    The three lenses I use most are first the 18-70mm "kit" lens. and then the 50mm f/1.4 and then the 85mm f/1.8

    It may also turn out that you decide you need an SB600 flash more than you need a second lens. The built-in flash is not very good.
     
  9. Maldini macrumors regular

    Maldini

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    Nov 21, 2007
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    Riyadh
    #9
    Get the Nikkor 50mm f1.8D, its one of the best lenses out there and its really cheap for its performance, believe me it will make you a better photographer.
    I have the 1.4D version and the difference with the 1.8 is minimum, here is a sample shot i took a couple of days ago.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. jaydub macrumors 6502a

    jaydub

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    Jan 12, 2006
    #10
    I too am looking to pick up a D80 but I missed out when J&R had the body for $760 shipped. :\
     
  11. iPlm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Thanks for all the replies!

    At first I thought of getting only the kit with the 18-135 but then a friend of mine who's had more experience with DSLR's told me something like 'don't buy kit lenses, they are awful...' (he has a Digital Rebel XT bought with the stock 18-55mm), and that's why I'm asking for some more info. Maybe the best thing to do really is shoot with the kit lens and then decide what I want! Tomorrow I'll start looking where to get a D80! :D

    I was wondering why do you call the 50mm 1.8D a "prime" lens?
     
  12. jaydub macrumors 6502a

    jaydub

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    Jan 12, 2006
    #12
    it's just the name for a fixed focal length lens that doesn't zoom.
     
  13. Fiasco macrumors regular

    Fiasco

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    #13
    He has a Rebel XT, which comes with one of the worst kit lenses on the market. I know, I sold my rebel xt + kit lens recently.

    The 18-135 lens on the D80, is a marked improvement over that lens. Your best move is to by the D80 kit, shoot a couple thousand pictures, then assess what your lens needs are at that point. By then you should definitely know what you're missing in a lens and buy to fill that gap.

    For example, I know I need a wide angle lens, in fact I've even narrowed it down to the exact lens I want. Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX.
     
  14. ChePibe macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    #14
    I'm facing a similar question myself...

    I'm heading to Peru this summer, and looking at a similar setup. I am a mere amateur, and I've not owned an SLR for years (not by choice, mind you). Price is not such an issue for me, though, as I plan to sell all of the gear when I get back home.

    First of all, in answer to your question: " Is there another good option for like 100-200$?"

    Nope. Lenses are expensive. Very, very expensive. You can try the 18-55 VR which will be released shortly, but that's about all you'll get in that price range. However, I have heard some high praise for the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G Autofocus Lens - available for less than $110 at BH Photo.

    Ask yourself - what exactly will I use this lens for? Snapshots? Travel? Hobby photography use?

    For most snapshots, the 18-55 or 18-135 will do just fine. If you plan on shooting in low-light areas, you'll want VR - I'll get into that for travel photography.

    For hobby photographers, there is no question - the 50mm, in either 1.8 or 1.4, depending on how serious your hobby is. No lens will give you better photos while making you a better photographer. Then pick up another lens in wide angle or telephoto for

    For those who primarily take photos while traveling, a 50mm should also be in your bag. But the rest of the setup is different.

    First of all, consider where you are traveling. If you are going to Europe, for example, be prepared for many museums and cathedrals where you won't be able to use your flash. Be prepared for large, open spaces that you'll want to have a wide angle shot of, as well as narrow alleys. On the other hand, if you're going on safari, a good telephoto may well be more important to you. You will probably want to limit your bag to 2 large lenses and a 50mm to keep size and weight down, and you simply don't have

    Here's what I'm planning on for six weeks in Peru (4 of which will be work, of course)

    1) Assuming reviews are acceptably good, I'll get the 16-85 as my primary lens. Having previously used the 18-55, I would like something a bit wider. Also, VR is a necessity for the travel photographer unlike others - you will not want to carry around a tripod (and many places will not let you use one anyways), many locations are poorly lit, you're limited in the amount of time you have to take the shot and move on, and this may well be your only chance to get this shot - you may never be there again. The 16-85 range, on top of the VR, is excellent for those who want greater versatility in their main lens - if you're traveling, you won't want to swap lenses too often.

    2) I'll be getting the 70-300 VR lens as well. Once again, I consider VR a necessity for me while traveling. In past experience, I also have found that having a real telephoto lens is invaluable for travel photography if you intend to shoot architectural details and candid photos of people.

    So that's a few thoughts. If you're getting your gear for a trip, do consider spending a bit more on it and selling it when you get home. Lenses hold on to their value quite well - better than you'd imagine. Just make sure you buy insurance, of course.

    If you're looking for in-depth reviews on lenses, check out www.photozone.de I warn you in advance that going there can make you a bit snobbish, and increase your lens budget ;-) But just keep in mind that you are without doubt the most important part of the equation when it comes to good photos, and no lens will make up for bad technique. Also remember that even the lowly kit lenses have given many people, myself included, fantastic results. Some of my favorite photos have actually been from an old Canon Powershot A95, even. Don't skimp on your gear, but don't overspend either.
     
  15. iPlm thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sofia
    #15
    I've decided to get the 18-135 kit.

    I love my point and shoot camera, it's old and cheap and I've shot great photos and memorable moments with it! It's a Konica Minolta Z10, and it's 3-4 years old now... But I want to improve my skills and for that I want the D80! The problem to me mostly is the limitations of the point and shoot camera compared to a DSLR! I guess I'm going to use the D80 for just about anything. Traveling around Europe, hobby photography, snapshots, some work (I'm a graphic designer)...

    It looks like the 50mm 1.8 is a wonderful lens as everyone recommends it! I've had some experience with it on a friend's D80, but I really can't say whether I like it or not... I guess I need to shoot more with DSLRs. At work from time to time I use a Canon 20D with a 50mm Canon lens and that's more or less all my experience with DSLRs lately. Well, that's until I get the D80!

    I'll shoot a lot and then I'll decide what I need!:)

    Thanks for the help and clarification everyone! Have a wonderful day!
     
  16. carlgo macrumors 68000

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    Dec 29, 2006
    #16
    I'll chime in here, too. Consider the 18-200 VR. Less lens changing and VR both really nice features when traveling. A longer reach never seems to hurt. I am out to 200 more often than I ever thought I would be. I also find I hate to carry around lenses and change them when I am out on the road. At home, not a big deal.
     
  17. cube macrumors G4

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    May 10, 2004
    #17
    I'd rather get a demo D70 + 18-200 VR than a new D80 + 18-135
     
  18. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #18
    I disagree. The D80's viewfinder alone is a reason to get it over a D70 (I've owned both).

    I also don't like super zooms. Even an 18-70 is plenty and covers 90 % of the situations.

    @iPlm
    If you have $100 to spare, invest in a SB-400, Nikon's smallest flash: it's so small I always have it in my camera bag. It's much better than the pop-up flash.
     
  19. cube macrumors G4

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    May 10, 2004
    #19
    I don't have any complaints about the D70 viewfinder.

    I don't like the Kodak 14n viewfinder.

    About the superzoom, he said he plans to use the camera to travel around Europe.
     
  20. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #20
    I hope that people realize that the D70 is no longer such a great value. For what you pay for it, and the features, IQ, and performance of the body just about every camera sans the D40 is a better choice. The body is over 4 years old and there just isn't anything that it offers over the D80, D60, and D40x other than an internal focusing motor, which won't matter to someone looking to buy a D80.

    Get the D80 with the 18-135, it's a great setup. I hope that Nikon bundles the 16-85 VR with the D80/D300 soon as well.
     
  21. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #21
    It's small. And it could be brighter.
    My old Olympus E-20 had a larger and brighter viewfinder, so did my F80 which I've used before.

    I just had to try the D80 once to know that I needed to sell the D70.
    And?
     

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