Wanting to join the DSLR world, Limited Budget, Need opinions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by AFABS, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. AFABS macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2008
    I've been working with 35mm B+W film for a couple years now. I've been using an old Pentax K1000, which is fantastic, but I need to upgrade. I'm new to the DSLR world but I have photo experience. I'm very eager to continue my photographic endeavors digitally. I've been looking in to Canon 40D, XSI, and Nikon D90. Max budget is around $1000-1100. I'm going to be doing general shooting, landscape, snowboarding, portraits, basically everything. Here some options I've been looking into: XSI/XTI/XT with a second lense or just the body and a good lense (maybe a tamron). 40D with kit 17-85. D90 kit 18-105. IDK really...I need someone to give me some direction, other options, or opinions. Thanks!
  2. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Get the cheapest good body you can find and get some good glasses :)

    Its best that you wait for a couple of months till Canon T1i or Nikon D5000 is released so that there will be price cut on Canon Rebel XSi or even XTi which is both good cameras. I own XS though and I would love to own an XSi but I don't really care cause both of them is about the same.
  3. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    If you have any Pentax lenses, then I would seriously consider the Pentax K20D. The nice thing about Pentax is that their camera bodies can mount and meter with any Pentax lens ever made (yes, all of them). Also, if you're into snowboarding, the nice weather sealing and superb build quality of that camera will be a bonus.
  4. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    The canon rebel XT and XTi's can be bought for around $300 used... they're great cameras and have just the right balance of MP and noise...

    Then you've got some room to maneuver for a good lens. Recommendations:

    Canon 50mm f1.8 - $80
    Canon 17-40mm f4L - $700
    Canon 24-105mm f4L - $1000
    Canon 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 USM IS - $400
    Canon 70-200mm f4L - $700
    Canon 17-55mm f2.8 USM IS - $1000

    Go to photozone.de or www.the-digital-picture.com for a comprehensive listing of Canon-compatible lenses and lens reviews. wheelhot has it right: get a pretty cheap body and splurge on good glass
  5. venusian macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2008
    why not stick with pentax? I'm sure you can use the lenses from your old k1000 (perhaps with the help lens mount adapter). The K20D would come in under budget and probably with a lens or two....and with your snowboarding I'm fairly sure even the entry levels have some form of weather sealing.
  6. AFABS thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2008
    Mmm thats an interesting option. I do have a 50mm pentax on my 35. However it would be around only a $100 more to add a kit lense. I'll keep this in mind though, thanks.
  7. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    if you can manual focus without the split prism, you should consider staying with Pentax. you can also mount Pentax lenses on a Canon body with an adapter. dunno about Nikon.

    look at the lenses and bodies that will be available to you down the road. they might be replaced by the time you get there, but i doubt things will be drastically different. use that to pick which company, if you don't care about sticking with Pentax.
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If the 50mm is the only Pentax lens you have them that alone is not a good reason to stay with Pentax. If you had a whole bag of expensive lenses then that's different. But one 50MM is not worth a lot

    The best bargain on the used Nikon market is the D50 and the D80. They sell for about $300 and $500.
  9. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    A used or refurb Canon XTi is a great trade off of performance and price. Should run you about $300. Then a kit 18-55IS is about $130 refurb from adorama or B&H.

    You're still only about $450 at that point, so you could get a 55-250IS for about $250, or get some primes. Canon 35/2 is nice ($250) or the Sigma 30/1.4 ($300?).

    I am not a fan of the Canon 50/1.8 ($80), but some people recommend it.

    You could also go wide, some of the lenses in the 10-24 range are around $300-400.

    Some folks also opt for the Canon 18-200 "all in one" lens. I never really looked into that myself, but I think it's under or around $400.
  10. gnd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2008
    At my cat's house
    You can get a new Pentax K20D from Amazon for 669$.
    The good thing about this camera is the weather sealing and in-body stabilization. The camera can work and meter with any lens, even M42 screw mount lens (with the adapter) and every lens is stabilized. I'm about to upgrade from K100D to K20D in the next couple of weeks.
    As far as your lens goes, you can get a new FA 50mm f1.4 for 199.95$. Dunno which 50mm lens you have though.
    The other options are K200D or K-M. K200D also has weather sealing and in-body stabilization, can use all the old lenses and can be had for 507$ (body only) or 567$ with the kit lens. K-M offers no weather sealing, has in-body stabilization but is a bit smaller than the other Pentax cameras, it can use all the old lenses and can be had for 490$ with the 18-55mm kit lens (all prices are from Amazon ...).
  11. AFABS thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2008
    When some one says "get a good glass", does that just mean lense or is that a particular kind? Sorry, very new to this.
  12. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    It means that within reason, a good lens contributes more to the quality of a photograph than the camera body does.

    In the Nikon world, that usually means a constant aperture lens of f2.8 or larger in the focal lengths under 300mm. But, not all lenses are created equal. Bjorn Rorslett's site has amassed a good collection of thumbnail lens reviews that should be enough to guide you in the right direction. Generally speaking, anything he rates at 4 or higher is worth adding to your collection.

    I would imagine other brands have similar sites, but I'll leave it to the customers of those brands to direct you to them. There is a post stickied at the top of this forum with a list of links that would be well worth your review.
  13. yaroldb macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2007
    If you're going the Nikon route, take a look at the D200. Best Buy has a brand new one for $599. Click here. Add a nice prime lens and you'll be less than $1,000.

  14. wgr73 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 31, 2005
    New Mexico
    This is an amazing deal!!! (You may have to join the forums) It will go fast, but you can start here. This body is a good starter (more than a good starter!). Take that into consideration! :cool:

    In case you can't view it:

    Canon 20D (with less than 1000 clicks!!)
    And a Kirk bracket!

    This would be a very good starting place for you. If you can take a look at the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 you'll be set. Hope this helps!
  15. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
  16. imfrog2002 macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2007
    I love my XTi. I got it off of eBay with a starter lens and a ton of accessories for $400. AMAZING quality, and easy to use. I'm new to SLR cameras in general though. I used a point-n shoot for a long time, so I'm not an expert in the field. ;)
  17. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    For Canon they have a designated labeling on em for top glasses, it is called L lens which stands for luxury :cool:

    And here is a list of Good Canon lenses that doesn't have the L designated in it. Notice most are primes and there might be some that are left out but this should get you occupied for awhile. (thanks to someone who gave me this list not a little long ago)

    15/2.8 fisheye
    17-55/2.8 IS
    45/2.8 Tilt-Shift
    50/1.8 (well, it sucks in low light)
    90/2.8 tilt-shift
    70-300 DO IS
    28-135/3.5-4.5 IS

    And here is my addition:
    100/2.8 Macro

    So far I own a 50/1.8 and I agree that eventhough it;s a fast lens, it's not that fast compared to a USM lens when it is low light. (I've used both 50 f/1.4 and 100 f/2.8 Macro both are USM so I confirm to this)
  18. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    dunno who gave you this list, but it's more expansive than that. a more useful list is lenses to avoid, which would be:
    18-55 f/3.5-5.6 I or II
    17-85 IS
    18-200 IS
    28-105 f/4-5.6
    ...and that's about it.

    edit: NOTE: these are lenses for which there are better alternatives for the same or similar price, meaning don't waste your money buying these new...or used, if you can help it. if it came with your camera, use it, and upgrade it if it limits you somehow.
  19. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    good point, rather then giving a list of good lenses, just give a list of lens to avoid which generally will be less, good job ;)
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Of all the cameras on your list, I've played with them all and like the D90 the best. Second place would be the 40D, but the D90 is ahead by a wide margin simply because I like having two dials on the D90. Their placement is great.

    Sounds like a great deal. I'd take that.
  21. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    The D90 is ahead of the Canon 40D, or the Nikon D40? The "40D" has two dials, too.
  22. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
  23. AFABS thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2008
    I greatly appreciate everyone's input. Thanks!
  24. AFABS thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2008
    What's wrong with the kit IS 17-85 on the 40D? <(Seen in the "Avoid List"). I was considering this since I'm used to shooting with a 50 on my old Pentax.

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