Some thoughts on my camera and lens choice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jstegman, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. jstegman macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    Hi everyone, and your input is appreciated. I had an itch for photography as a youth and took classes in the 7th and 8th grade. Then as I entered high school things changed and not for the better. I got interupted by evil influences and the good things in my life (photography for one) were thrown to the wayside while I spent the next 15 years wrecklessly destroying myself.

    I met my wife a few years ago and have sinced turned a 180. The addition of my beautiful daughter 1 year ago has forever changed me and the darkness has 100% receeded. I have also started discovering old passions I once had which is what brought me here to post today.

    I started dabbling with photo editing a couple years ago and just recently completed a huge project where I restored dozens of old photographs for an uncle to be used in a gift he was making for my aunt. He was amazed at what I acclomplished with the photos. They had defects such as tears, wrinkles, bad sun glares, etc. and I repaired them to new condition. I spent literally over 100 hours on these pictures and never tired of it. Each picture was a new project and a greater acclomplishment.

    Well, that project really got me REALLY itching again and I began my research. I wanted to find a good all around camera for an amature to a semi professional. A versatile camera that could go from a b-day party, to a wedding, to deep in the woods, to the local ball games indoor and out. In my search I found this forum a couple weeks ago and have pretty much exlusively read the posts here to help me along. What I learned was that while the camera body is important for the features, it is the lens' that makes the picture. They are the meat and potatoes I guess you would say, and the camera body is the plate.

    Below is my list of the camera body I decided on, along with the choice of lens'. I also included the price and where I was going to purchase them from to get some feedback on that as well. This is my first post, but as I said, I spent a long time reading first because I know how tiresome it gets seeing the same old, "Which fill in the blank should I get?". Anywho, whatever input you have on my choices of equipment, the prices, and/or the vendors would be of great help. I have researched heavily and pretty much made my decision but before I pull the trigger on this rather large purchase I wanted a second opinion if you will. Thanks a bunch and I do like the knowledge base found in these forums.

    Camera: Nikon D80 $379 from

    Lens 1: Nikon Zoom 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 G-Super Wide Angle AF ED-IF DX Autofocus $205 from

    Lens 2: Nikon 50mm f1.4 D-Autofocus $239 from

    Lens 3: Nikon Zoom 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR Autofocus $539 from

    I did want to add that I have been using higher end point and shoot cameras up to this point. I am not completely new to the game of photography, just taking it to a more serious level.
  2. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Don't buy camera equipment from discount online dealers. There's about 100 scam artists for every real retailer online, when it comes to cameras. If the price is "too good to be true" (and those are), then it's a scam.
  3. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    No disrespect but this is a short reply;

    You have a good lense setup there in my opinion. The 50 f/1.4 is excellent for portrait work. The 18-70 i what I use for every day stuff and the 18-200 is a fantastic trravel/zoom (tho I use the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8).

    You will have a selction there that should cater for most situations. I hope you're thinking about a nice sturdy tripod and cable release (release - ebay from Hong Kong about $10 I paid and is every bit as good as the expensive Nikon version).

  4. disdat macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2005
    New England USA
    The D80 is a wonderful camera, but you might reconsider your choice of purchase. Google "" and you will find many complaints. I didn't check the other store you listed, but since it doesn't sound like one of the reputable ones I know, it's probably in the same league as the 1wayphoto store.

    Consider buying from Adorama, Amazon, and B&H Photo. There might be a couple more choices, but those are ones that I personally have used, and are highly reputable.

    Good luck.

    PS I can't offer any personal advice on Nikon lenses, since I am a Canon girl
  5. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    Bay Area
    Those are all scam sites and you will never get that camera. Please, all you have to do is type the store name into google... is that too much to ask?

    As far as your choice goes, it makes no sense to have the 18-70 and the 18-200. The 18-200 does everything the 18-70 does, but better.

    Also, the Nikon D90 is going to be coming out in the next few days/weeks, so you might want to give that some though.

    Again, the most important thing here is that YOU WILL NEVER GET A D80 FOR $379, NO MATTER WHAT.
  6. ManWithhat macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2008
    Great choices, I think. I particularly love your 3rd lens choice. :p

    Anyways, make sure you invest in some storage space for photos and adjust the sharpness of your camera up a notch ( a bit too soft for my tastes and my friend who owns the camera ).

    I'd make sure your vendors are legit.
    The D80 you can get here:

    Please refer to this website in choosing and comparing your stores:
  7. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Go into a store and try them all just to be sure. I see nothing wrong with the prime lens, but ask yourself whether you require 2 zoom lenses, one of which covers the other one for its entire focal length anyway.
  8. jstegman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    Thanks for the heads up and please understand, I always check sites out through the BBB before purchasing or I Google them just as suggested. I have compared prices locally and through many dealers online so I was a bit curious about those places because of that which is why I asked about them. That list was made after an initial search and they were listed with what appeared to be good ratings right next to Amazon and other sites I do know. I buy items almost exlusively online and have not been scammed yet. I am sure it will happen one day as much as I spend online, but have been fortunate to date. I can look at the BBB site, and Google but as you can see within a few minutes of posting this I had several warnings about the sites so that is just another wall of security. Thanks again for the heads up.
  9. jstegman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    My mistake on the 2 zoom lens. I was still deciding between the two and just got ahead of myself pasting them both. I am pretty sure I will go with the 18-200 but I had the 18-70 on the list if I changed my mind. I added the 3rd lens by mistake as I am only wanting to have 2 lens' to chose from.

    Man, you guys are posting responses faster then I can refresh. :eek:
  10. tip macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2006
    Yes, always use for any vendor you are looking at.

    With that said, the D80 is a great camera. I had two of them (sold one of them after I got a 5D).

    I'd recommend looking at the 50mm f/1.8 as a cheaper alternative to the f/1.4 version. There are many debates about if both are equal quality as well as which is sharper at certain apertures. IMO, it's still damn good and it's the right price.

    The 18-200 is good and will probably be your all-arounder. Check out the 18-135 (the kit lens) as a possible cheaper alternative - still takes good pics, just not as much reach and no VR.

    Check out the Sigma 10-20 for good (although distorted) fun.

    Finally, the prices of the D80 may go down after the D90 comes out. Who knows? As folks have said, use and if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  11. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    What's with the latest trend of newbie members referring do dubious online stores and ebay auctions?
  12. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I've had the 18-200 for a while, and it's a great general-purpose lens. I think it's a perfect match for the purposes you've described.

    The D80 is a good camera.

    I would not buy from any of those dealers however. There's no way you're going to get a D80 for anywhere near that price. B&H lists it for $724.95 - they are almost always at or near the lowest price available from a reputable dealer. The 18-200 lists at $624.95 on B&H's website.
  13. jstegman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008

    You answered your own question, we're newbies. When someone is starting something basically brand new they don't know about certain pitfalls that other more experienced do, which is why they and I come here and ask. We could just Google everything, but then if noone asked there would be nothing for Google to find and no need for support forums. I have read numerous posts here before posting myself and upon making my decision on camera and lens' I then just did a simple google search for price comparisons.

    Being ignorant to online dealers of photography equipment, I figured those who are more experienced would certainly steer me the right way (my reasoning for including the merchants in my list) which they have in several posts already. As stated before, I never just click and buy off impulse. I researched several weeks just on my equipment choice, so rest assured I would spend an equal ammount of time researching the dealers before spending such a large ammount of money. Yes, I am always looking to save money, but I also know the downsides to buying online from bad merchants as opposed to locally. Returns can be a headache, the stores could be just a scam site, bait and switch and refurbished equipment are WIDELY used by dubious online merchants, shipping and handling charges can be way over stated for additional profit, etc.

    Thanks again for the feedback! Someday soon I hope to be the more knowledgable and helping to steer the next newbie the right way. ;)

    I might also add that one reason you are seeing a lot of newbies recently inquiring about these scam stores is because there is a Google ad that shows on this site for which has these merchants right near the top. This might even be where I found the sites to begin with so the source of that issue may originate from right here within this site. Just a suggestion.
  14. Hello.there macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2007
    I was wondering that myself. Curious.

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