Will this camera & lens meet all my needs?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Al B, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Al B macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #1
    Okay, here's my situation. I freelance as utility mostly in sports and entertainment. Often I'm positioned in the pit at a concert, or on the side lines of a game as the "go to" person in the event of a fire. Only about 1% of the time are there fires to put out so I simply enjoy the event.

    I always wanted a camera to capture my experience and one day a D80 was placed into my hands at a family event. I went wild and now I want one.
    As I learn this camera, my intent is to use it for sports, entertainment, social events and family portraits.

    Question: Do you think that the D80 is a decent camera in which to start and would it be wise to go for the Super Wide Angle-Telephoto AF Zoom Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR II Autofocus Lens, or would that be a bit too much at my experience level?

    Remember, I am totally a novice.
     
  2. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #2
    You'd be able to use the kit, as long as you've got a vague sense of things.

    I suspect you'd be better off with the 70-200 or an 80-200 f/2.8. How far are we talking from stages?
     
  3. Al B thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2008
    #3
    I'm usually in the pit about 4 ft from the stage. At times I am backstage about 15 ft from the action. Two weeks ago I was at an ESPN boxing event positioned at ring side.
     
  4. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    May 5, 2007
    #4
    What kind of shots do you want? I must say, there are better people than me to answer this question, as this kind of photog isn't really my thing, but I'll tell you what I think, until they get here.

    I assume that a number of these events are quite dark, fast moving, or both. In this case (and sorry if I'm talking down to you - I don't know what you know about photography, so I'm being fairly basic) you want a lens which is both fast, that is to say, can let in a lot of light, denoted by a small maximum f number (f/2.8, 2 etc) and which has VR. VR (or similar systems by canon etc) move an element in the lens to compensate for camera shake. Wider (faster) apertures, as they allow more light into the camera, mean that you can take photos with a shorter (faster) shutter speed in given lighting conditions.

    How long a lens you want depends on what you want to capture, but a 70-200 would give you a reasonable range, while keeping lens quality and speed high. The nikon one also has VR.

    What would I do? I'd probably get a nikon D40 with the kit lens, and a 70-200. The kit lens is cheap for family shots etc, and the 70-200 is top notch. The D40 is just very inexpensive, and takes a good photo. The only significant flaw is that short primes like the 50mms won't autofocus with it. Personally, I could live with the kit lens and the 70-200.
     
  5. Somepix macrumors member

    Somepix

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    Beauce, Québec
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    If you are close you are not going to need one of those huge, expensive telephotos. Those would only be needed for shooting close ups of football players from the sidelines.

    I would think you might want a wide to medium zoom but if you are in low light you are going to want a "fast" lens the faster the better. Fast zooms are expensive and they "only" open op to f/2.8 so many people buy primes wich are much less expensive and open up to either f/1.8 or f/1.4. So you can gain two stops at 1/3rd the price but you loos the zoom ring and so you need to use your feet.

    The odd thing is that you can get good shots with any lens but you just get different shots. Say you got the 85mm f/1.8 you'd get a lot of really nice close up head hots even in low light and with a 35mm f/2 you'd get some good shots that show maybe two people n the frame. Buy a zoom and you get to choose but you loose so low light abilty and yu pay more. Buy a lens based on the style of photos you want.

    The best option is to get the "kit" lens first. Buy the 18-70. It's relatively cheap and does 80% of what you might want. Later buy a fast prime lens and/or an f/2.8 zoom.

    I think the best and most engaging images are shot with a wide lens from a position very close to the subject. That perspective seems to draw in the viewer. I would only resort to using a telephoto if I could not get physically close. But it sounds like you can get close

    The Nikon D80 is a great camera for you usage. Unlike the cheaper Nikons it does not limit your choice of lens
     
  7. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    I would say go with the Nikon D60, and the 70-200mm. The D60 is the same as the D40, except it is 10.1 megapixels, vs. 6 megapixels. The D60 also can go down to ISO 100, vs. the D40 only being able to reach ISO 200. The D60 also has dust reduction, which can be very helpful.

    Don
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    The guy is four feet from the stage and has access to backstage. What's he going to do with a 200mm lens? Will the 70-200 even focus down to 4 feet? If he does buy the D60 he will not be able to use any of the current Nikon primes. I think the 35mm might be perfect for him
     
  9. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    Michigan
    #9
    I understand that. but there is no reason that he needs to waste his money on a d80, he is a novice. There is no reason that he needs a prime. he can get a good zoom that will be more versatile. He said that sometimes he is 15 feet away from the event. He can use the kit lens when he is close up, or even manually focus with a prime if he wants, Nikon will most likely be introducing some AF-S primes at Photokina IMO, they pretty much have to, more and more D40/40x/60 owners want more lens selection.

    Don
     
  10. bleufire macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    #10

    Forget the primes and kit altogether.

    Go primes but realize that you will be switching lens to lens as time goes.

    Forget kit lens. I wish I didn't get one for my Xti when i got it. I could of gotten much better lens for a few bucks more buying them seperate and a lens of my choice.

    Just my opinion.
     
  11. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #11
    Although the kit lenses aren't great, Nikkor low end lenses are much better quality then canon low end lenses, IMO. The only issue I could see with the kit lens, is the aperture (f3.5-f5.6 I believe).

    Don
     
  12. Al B thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #12
    I have decide on the D80, but the lenses will be a more difficult decision. I'm have a difficult time understanding all this "f/mm" lango.

    I have access to so many great image near and far. Because I don't know the type of photography I will gravitate to in the long run, it was my impression that the Wide Angle-Telephoto AF Zoom Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR II Autofocus Len, would cover all my needs. I suppose it does not work like that?
     
  13. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #13
    My only concern with the 18-200mm is the aperture (or the f numbers) the aperture is how much light your lens can capture, lower f numbers (1.4, 1.8, 2, 2.8) can capture more light. the mm is just the focal length of your lens. the longer the focal length, the closer you can zoom in, and vis versa. normally, with longer focal length's come smaller apertures (3.5, 4, 5.6, etc.) unless your willing to spend upwards of $1000 for a lens. This is why primes can be good, because generally you can find wide apertures for not much money. I'm not an expert, so if i got anything wrong here please correct me.

    Personally I think a good zoom for your situation is the AF Zoom-Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF (3.5x), with a monopod so you can have slower shutter speeds another lens that could compliment that one is the af zoom-nikkor 80-200-mm f 2.8-d ed. But those two lenses will run you around $1500, the 24-85 is about $550, and the 80-200 is around $900. Both are good lenses, I have used them before, although I don't own either of them.

    Hope I could help!

    Don
     
  14. Mattjeff macrumors 6502

    Mattjeff

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    Jun 2, 2008
  15. Al B thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #16
    About $1300
     

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