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Old Jan 24, 2007, 5:16 PM   #1
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I'm in a bit of a quandry. I'm looking at getting a DSLR. I've had 35 mm SLRs and rangefinders for years and although I have a nice little P & S Digital, I'm missing the fun of a more complicated camera with interchangeable lens.

One of the top picks on my list is the D80 Nikon, but I'm concerned about it not having a sensor cleaner , like some of the newer Canons or Pentaxes.

I anticipate I will be changing lens outside every so often and my question is, is this dust on the sensor a big issue with the Nikon D80?

Are you cleaning the sensor on a regular basis when you change lens a lot?

Question # 2...ruggedness of the D80 body.

I note that it does not have a metal frame like the D200 (too expensive for me), the Pentax K10 or the Canon 30 D.

I'm not a pro, just an amateur who like snapping away indoors, outdoors at everything.

I intend to keep whatever I have for many years and durability and reliabilty are important factors.

Lens quality in terms of ruggedness is also important. I understand the 18- 135 Nikon lens has a plastic lens mount, which gives me some concern. Do you think this will be a problem over the years?

I'm on a bit of a budget, so although I know those $ 1500 Nikon lens are strong and durable, they're out of my price range.

Your opinion, experience is welcome. Thanks.

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Old Jan 24, 2007, 5:30 PM   #2
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I have a Nikon D-70 and I have found that cleaning the glass protector plate which covers the imager to be no problem at all. Both Copperhill and Delkin have great cleaning kits that are easy to use and work quite well.

I clean about every 6 to 8 weeks and have had no problem in doing so myself.

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Old Jan 24, 2007, 11:31 PM   #3
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i have the D50, and i would say don't worry too much about dust. you do need to buy a blower, and it's usually good enough. the biggest dust problem i had i had to do the blower thing 5 times (it took 15 mins including taking sample shots and looking at it on my pc). i bought wipes and solutions 6 months ago and never had to use it.

if you are considering other dslr's i would put more weight on the ones with built in VR/IS than the dust reduction. though it i'm in your shoes, i would probably get the D80. if you're in the US, remember that Nikon USA has 5 year warranty on all their US lenses. that weighed heavily on my decision, and that Nikon's walk-around 18-200VR is a better value than Canon's 17-85 IS USM, and that the rebel xt's body was too small--even for my small hand (i returned it after 6 weeks of use), and that i got a great deal on the D50.

in terms of built, the D80 and other non-metal dslr's are made of strong polycarbonate plastic (the stuff they use to make airplane windows and bright colorful water bottles), so unless you drop it in a concrete floor on a bad angle, i wouldn't worry about it. my two lenses cost more than my d50, so i'm more worried about dropping my lenses.

i've read of a person who sent his D2x flying after pulling his jacket out of his car's trunk without knowing his D2x was on top of it covered, and the camera fell on the concrete pavement, cracked the some outer plastic parts and stopped working. he sent it to nikon, and nikon said that since they couldn't repair it, and bring it back to the quality level of a "like-new" camera they wouldn't repair it. (basically they wouldn't do a half-a#$ repair) so having a metal body does not guarantee long pysical life.

ditto for lenses. unless you drop them, they should last years.

(if you do drop stuff a lot, like me, be sure to learn how to catch the initial impact with the top of your feet. this has saved my cellphone and mp3 player several times. pain goes away!)

good luck!

EDIT: For accurancy, I re-read the guy's post, and it's actually his D2Hs (still with magnesium alloy body), and it fell 2-3 feet after falling out of it's bag when he took the bag out of his car's trunk. Nikon deemed it "unrepairable" since they can't bring it "back to spec". He had insurance to cover his gears.

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Old Jan 25, 2007, 12:59 PM   #4
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I have a D80, the 18-135 and the 70-300VR. Like you, I was a bit concerned about having a plastic body, but after handling it for a while, I'm not concerned. There is a rubbery, silicone type camera case available for about $50 that shrouds the camera body and lens front and should buffer those hits that come now and then. I agree with the other post that the 18-200 VR would be a better choice. I can't hand hold the 18-135 at zoom as it has no VR. The VR in the other lens is amazing and makes the price worthwhile. I didn't know about the Pentax 10D until recently, but if the body vibration reduction works, it sure makes future lens purchases more reasonable.

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Old Jan 27, 2007, 7:53 PM   #5
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lesmore, the D80 is fine camera, and quite strong also. No dust problems until now, and I do alot of lens swapping myself. But I take care to dust off the lens before placing it on the camera (I carry around the InnoDesk portable duster) and around the camera mount, before taking out the lens. If it's quite dusty, I also use a small brush around the camera mount before taking the lens off.

I have the complete cleanning kit from Copperhill, but until now, it's just the duster I use the most.

I also have a 18-55mm lens with a plastic mount. The mount itself is quite solid, but I do take extra care when doinga lens swapping.

Andabout the VR, well it's great to have it, and I got the feeling that VRmight be better on the lens than on the camera sensor (but that's another topic),and you can shoot hand held without VR, just make sure to use a high shutter speed.
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