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Old Jun 3, 2010, 11:41 PM   #1
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Default Greetings from FL...and Nikkor opinions please

Greetings from the Sunshine State and the 50th Anniversary of Where the Boys are (yeah, Connie Francis threw a BIG party last w/e here in Lauderdale)...

And I've been doing photog for, let's say, a good portion of those 50 years as advanced amateur and semipro (i.e., I make money from it). Most of my casual interest is restoring images of airliners.

Upgrading to a Nikon kit at long last on a tight budget:

•D5000 because, from experience, a swivel LCD is invaluable for me, particularly event shoots, and I can easily sell a 12MP body down the road. 12MP is fine for my print advert work. To be honest, too, I have to take professional image - deserved or not - into consideration. Clients have better recognition of Nikon vs., say, Olympus.

•Nikkor 16-85 VR walkaround. This has been a tough one, given the smaller aperture. My reasoning:
1. Get the best glass (hey, it's been drummed into me forever!). CA and aberrations seem minimal for this price and less than the 18-200.
2. The 2mm, indeed, does make a diff with real estate interiors vs. the 18-200 which has more length than I need for walkaround. And there appears to be an IQ tradeoff you'd expect for the additional reach.
3. Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 remains an alternative for speed and, from what I understand, bokeh...not an interiors consideration, but for events. I'd like more recent firsthand feedback on CA, IQ, AF speed, etc., than is already posted. I've already read the reviews.

•Nikkor 70-300 f/4 tele. A purchase for fall. You really think I go outdoors in the Florida summer except to mow the lawn and do the hurricane shutters?
1. Again, glass wins. 300mm reach crucial for airport work.
2. Like that it shares the same 67mm thread as the 16-85 (hate duplicating filters because I'm a tightwad at heart...really!).
3. By that time the Tamron VC 70-300 should be out - unless someone has more current info which I'd love to hear. Concerns will be aberrations at max zoom and VC operation. Pix post to Airliners.net and they're picky.

Upshot is I'm still considering the Tamron 17-50 and it's the most immediate area of feedback I'd like. My concern is losing the additional 35mm of reach, particularly in event situations, not to mention the IQ.

Last edited by Davycam; Jun 4, 2010 at 2:41 AM.
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Old Jun 4, 2010, 9:04 AM   #2
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Hi welcome to the forums !
Canon T1i/500D
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Old Jun 4, 2010, 10:20 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums.

I don't want to sound too negative, but what kind of event shoots are you talking about here?

a swivel LCD is invaluable for me, particularly event shoots, and I can easily sell a 12MP body down the road
Using Live View with a Nikon D5000 is not the same thing as using Live View with a non-dSLR model. It's really not suitable for moving subjects. The only dSLR models with a Live View system that allows fast Autofocus right now are the Sony models (thanks to a separate Live View Sensor in their Viewfinder housings that sees the same image that would normally be projected to the optical viewfinder, allowing the use of a camera's dedicated phase detect AF sensors when using Live View).

Models like the D5000 have a less than desirable Live View system for non-stationary subjects. That's because they have to flip the mirror out of the way and use the camera's main imaging sensor with slower contrast detect Autofocus if you want Live View, and it's very slow with the D5000.

For stationary subjects, you may want to use it from time to time. But, for moving subjects, you'll want to use the optical viewfinder instead. So, you may want to let members know what you mean by "event shoots" (and if they're events involving moving subjects, I'd assume that you'll need to use the optical viewfinder instead). Given that, you may want to look at the D90 instead, even though it doesn't have a moving LCD (as it's going to be more compatible with more lenses if you need Autofocus, since the D5000 does not have a built in focus motor, requiring lenses that do have built in focus motors if you want Autofocus).

Also, I would not expect a dSLR model to hold it's value well over time. Yes, you could probably sell it at some point. Just don't expect to get a high percentage of what you paid for one, as camera technology tends to advance rapidly, just like other consumer electronic products. ;-)

•Nikkor 70-300 f/4 tele.
What lens are you referring to? AFAIK, Nikon does not make a 70-300mm f/4 (where you'd still have f/4 available when zooming in much). They do make two different 70-300mm f/4-5.6 AF lenses now. But, note that you'll need an AF-S VR version if you want Autofocus with a D5000, because the D5000 requires lenses with built in motors for Autofocus, which means you need an AF-S (Silent Wave Focusing Motor) lens in the Nikon lens lineup. The latest Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR would probably be a good bet.

But, you'll want to avoid the non AF-S versions of the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lenses (image quality is poor in comparison, and they would not Autofocus on a D5000).
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Old Jun 4, 2010, 11:49 AM   #4
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Quick response and appreciate your detailed opinions.
-My bad on the 70-300. Yes, I was referring to the f/4.5.
-My point on the body was that, like most tech, it's relatively disposable, but salable.

I'll get around to the rest when I have time. Thanks again.
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Old Jun 4, 2010, 12:40 PM   #5
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Note on the "live events" for clarification. Got out of commercials years ago and not interested in the same kind of smooth viewfinder function found in a Betacam. Framing that gets me in the ballpark is just fine...bad MLB calls notwithstanding! Almost goes without saying I don't care about this body's vid capabilities.

That said, the events are mostly schmooze/casual - no hands growing out of the shoulders please, so I can make it nicey-nice for the social pages. Occasional tame performance pix where I figure I'm okay with higher ISO, a NN wash if necessary and my usual pushy manner to get the shot (i.e., "Diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to hell and then having them ask you for directions"...which I should use as a profile quote). I"m more gun and run.

Yes, Sony did cross my mind, Jim. Despite the Minolta glass and my F828 experience, it's expensive and this is a company that makes Playstations, TVs, boomboxes and kids' toys. Nikon does just one thing.
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