Which Brand\Equip?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Tumeg101, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Tumeg101 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2007
    Orange County, California
    I am new to photography, and am really interested in buying a DSLR in the near future...
    And I can't decide between these two sets:

    Canon Rebel XT 8MP + EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Lens - $518.88
    Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens - $476.94
    Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Telephoto Lens - $346.94
    = $1,342.76

    Nikon D40x 10.2MP + 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens - $662.50
    Nikon 85mm f/1.8D Macro Lens - $404.89
    Nikon 50mm f/1.4D Telephoto Lens - $404.89
    = $1,472.28

    these are my only options, unless you have suggestions for the lens'
    I will be doing some macro stuff, portraits, landscapes, and just some gen photography...
    I am leaning towards the canon setup, because well... it's cheaper, and the lens seem to be better, the only dif in the cameras that I can really see is the 2.2MP difference, which doesn't matter to me, due to the fact I am not going to enlarge the photos.

    I do have a few questions, what exactly is the difference between a 85mm telephoto and a 50mm telephoto lens?
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    The choice between Canon and Nikon mostly comes down to personal choice: both offer a great camera at a very reasonable price. I personally went with Canon, mostly because that's what my friends have!

    A 50mm lens would not be considered a telephoto lens: on a full frame camera it's a normal lens. On the bodies you have above a 50mm lens will operate more like a short-telephoto lens due to the crop factor. On the Canon you get an effective field of view of 1.6 times the lens. So the 50 is actually giving you the same field of view as an 80mm lens on a 35mm film camera (or a full-frame digital one like the 5d).

    Personally I'd get the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 if instead of the 85mm 1.8 if it's in budget. You'll probably find the 85mm is too long on a crop body for portraits and the additional light gathering capabilities of an f1.4 lens would be useful in low light.

    Edit to add: I'm not sure about D40x but the D40 only has autofocus with lenses with built in focus motors. Have you checked that you'd get functional autofocus with the lenses listed above on that body (or perhaps you are happy with manual focus). The Canon body does not have this issue: all EF and EF-s lenses will autofocus just fine :D
  3. anti-microsoft macrumors 68000

    Dec 15, 2006
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I was about to buy a DSLR and tons of stores in the UK and in the US recommended Canon for their lenses. So I would go with Canon. Nikon Makes really god SLRs too, so as robbieduncan said before, its your personal choice.
  4. Tumeg101 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2007
    Orange County, California

    Yeah, I checked this out, and the D40x does have a built in auto focus motor, that is the only reason why I would get the D40x over the D40
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    OK, one less issue to contend with at least :)
  6. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    This is not correct - read Nikon's technical specs for the D40x. Specifically, read under "compatible lenses":

    1. 1) AF-S, AF-I: All functions supported;
    2. 2) Other Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus

    So Nikon's current 50mm and 85mm AF lenses will not autofocus on the D40x.

    The D40x is a fine camera, but I think Nikon figures (correctly) that people in its target audience are not likely to be buying large quantities of extra lenses. By not including a in-body lens motor, they were able to make a less-expensive camera.

    I leaned towards Nikon's glass rather than Canon's when it came time to buy; but both make fine glass and will not be the limiting factor in your photography. I am a bit concerned that you're, to use your words, "new to photography", yet making somewhat expensive lens choices based on... well, a vague idea at best. It's not a big deal if you have money to burn, but $800 on lenses would be more than I'd be comfortable telling a new-to-photography friend to spend on lenses until he/she had a better feel for how they liked to shoot. Some people do like primes for learning (although even there I'd say start with the f/1.8, and save $300); but a lens like Nikon's 18-70mm zoom (or Canon's closest equivalent) gives you more options for that $400 - and if you want to force yourself to learn framing, you can just set it at 50mm and not touch the zoom ring. :D

    BTW the question of 8 vs 10 (or 10 vs 12) megapixels is rather more complicated than just "how far do you want to blow up your pictures", but that's been talked to death in other threads. Suffice it to say, it's very unlikely you'd see any practical difference; and when you get to the point that you might see it, you'll want a better camera anyway. :p
  7. scamateur macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2007
    As usual, the advice on this forum is excellent...

    ... and it looks like everyone is steering you in the right direction.

    I would advise you to get the camera (either) and JUST the (18-55) kit lens and go with that for now, and for as long as you can. If you are new to photography, you will likely find that you can do most of what want with this basic excellent equipment.

    You'd probably get more versatility and more photography joy out of a external flash than another lens.

    I have a Nikon D70, and a number of lenses that I don't use much, if ever, anymore.

    Neither the Nikon or Canon line is generically superior to the other -- they're both pretty much great. Don't let the retailers tell you otherwise.
  8. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Since I am not familiar with Canon's lenses and bodies, I am only going to address the Nikon gear....

    The 85mm f/1.8 Nikkor is NOT a macro lens. It is a fast lens, yes, which is good for shooting in low light, but it is not designed to shoot 1:1 close up, which is what a true macro lens does.

    Also, the 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor is NOT a telephoto lens. It is a "standard" lens on a 35mm film camera. On a digital camera with the 1.5x "crop factor," it becomes the equivalent of a 75mm lens. That is not really telephoto length.

    I agree with Westside Guy: before investing in several lenses, just start with the kit lens which comes with the D40/D40x. You might want to also pick up the 55-200mm VR, which is a very reasonably priced lens, too, and together those two lenses will provide you with a range spanning 18-200mm. Both will work on the D40 and the D40x. The 18-55mm focuses surprisingly close, although it is not dedicated macro lens.

    The D40 and the D40x, as mentioned, will autofocus ONLY with Nikon's AF-S lenses or with some Sigma HSM lenses. All other lenses, while they can be used on these cameras, will need to be focused manually.

    Since you are a novice to photography, I would recommend that you get some books out of the library or buy a couple basic books at the bookstore which discuss digital photography and the techniques of photography, as you will want and need to learn about what focal distance means, what f/stop means, what aperture means, etc. unless you plan to simply shoot in "auto" mode all the time. You need to learn terminology and you need to have a better understanding of what specific types of lenses will do.

    Spend a little time on the internet and do some googling to check out what each of these does:

    "Prime" lens
    "Zoom" lens
    "Telephoto" lens
    "Fast" lens
    "Macro" lens
    "PC" lens

    Only after you've been shooting for a while with the kit lens and maybe the 55-200mm VR lens and have a better idea of how this all works and what you REALLY need for specific types of shots, should you even think about buying additional lenses.

    Good luck!
  9. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    Both cameras are excellent, probably best to try them out in store. See how they handle.
  10. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Huh. Learn something new every day. I didn't know what "PC" meant (although I'm familiar with tilt/shift lenses).
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The Nikon set is just plain wrong the 85 is not a macro lens and the 50 is not a telephoto. Neither will auto-focus on the D40x body.

    You can still buy Nikon if you like it's just the set of equipment you picked will not do the job you want. Nikon make other stuff that is more suited to what you want.

    My advice: Just buy the "kit lens" and shoot 1,000 frames then figure out what you have missed and buy the lens that would get you those missed shots. You will not know what that will be untill you shoot the first 1,000 frames.

    You can do decent macro work with just the kit lens and some screw-on diopters (they look like filters.) Canon and Nikon make the best quality diopters and yes, they interchange as thy are both 52mm diameter threads.

    Once you decide what you want look for used lenses. They will work fine and at least
    on the Nikon side you can pick up some decent ones for nest to nothing. A manual focus macro lens might sell for well under $100. You don't need AF for triod shots.
  12. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    No it doesn't.

    And you're comparing apples with oranges. The 85's are very comparable, but a 100/2.8 macro is VERY different than a 50/1.4.

    I don't mean to sound harsh, but you might want to do some more research at fredmiranda, dpreview, and even wikipedia before you pull the trigger on over $1K of camera gear...
  13. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    i'm with ChrisA. try the kit lens first, then spend more money later.

    you could buy a Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 . if you're lucky you can get it for around 300-400 dollar. it would be a good lens to start out with and you would see quickly what you shoot most. then buy the other lenses used. most of my lenses are used (from good ebay dealers). l

    ater on this lens is a great walk around lens and you will use it a lot. so it's worth the money.

    i have a quite good selection of lenses (for a bloody beginner) but i wish i had started with this lens. it's so nice to just grab you camera and being able to shoot almost everything without having to change lenses and carry them around.
  14. milozauckerman macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2005
    For the price of the two extra lenses and the kit, here's a dark-horse option:

    Canon Rebel XT from Amazon - $457.40
    Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS - $991

    A lens superior to either kit lens, with enough reach out to short telephoto land. Image Stabilization makes it hand-holdable at the same shutter speeds as the primes you're thinking of.

    Only thing you miss out on is 'true macro' - and that's not really such a loss. (sorry, had to say it, old habits, etc.)
  15. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    Dang, didn't think of that. Great suggestion. That'd be a killer setup for just $1450!
  16. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    I wouldn't suggest spending so much money for your first lens. It is an incredible lens, no doubt, but still, it is very expensive.

    In the case you but a D40x: the kit lens that comes with it is a very good one (Nikkor 18-55mm). Try it for a couple of months and see how you like it. Then you may want to buy a telephoto lens, either the very popular Nikkor 18-200mm or just the Nikkor 55-200mm.

    Just try taking it easy and don't push yourself to buy lenses so quickly. Right now I am finding that photography is a very expensive hobby, but one that I am really falling in love with.
  17. mrthieme macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2006
    I'll offer another suggestion, Canon 30d bodies are going cheaper now, under 1k, and to me they are much more comfortable to hold and change your settings without looking at the camera. Add to that a fast standard prime like the 50 1.4 and you would have a very good set to learn with and figure out what you want/need as far as more lenses go. You could do this for <1300us.
  18. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    I think you should look into Pentax as well. I am a Nikon shooter because that's what my job gave me, and now that the D300 and D3 have been announced I am a Nikon shooter by choice. But when it comes to budget bodies, I don't think there is much that beats out the Pentax bodies and glass. The k10D and K100D are wonderfully built and have great IQ for JPGs. I am not too familiar with their RAW files but you can ask around.

    The glass you use can be Pentax or Sigma so you can shop around for a really good system given your budget.
  19. jpfisher macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2006
    New Jersey
    To echo Digital Skunk, the K100D might be something to consider -- a similar body + lens configuration in the Pentax system to the ones you listed for C&N:

    K100D Super + 18-55mm kit lens - $570
    Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 - $200
    Pentax FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro - $525
    ---- $1295

    Alternatively, you could get a nicer zoom than the kit lens, skip the FA 50mm for now, and still grab the macro --

    K100D Super (Body Only) - $490
    Pentax DA 16-45mm f/4 - $410
    Pentax FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro - $525
    ---- $1425

    Unfortunately you just missed some nice rebates from Pentax that could have saved you a couple hundred bucks.

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