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Old Jun 17, 2008, 7:25 PM   #6
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turin39789 wrote:
... Mostly nature photos/landscapes. ...
The kit lens would probably do well for this to start, but you might want something wider someday.

turin39789 wrote:
... I'm interested in learning macro as well, ...
You can do this with the kit lens and close-up lenses or extension tubes, but one of the probelms people usually encounter when doing macrophotography, is insufficient light, and close-up lenses and extension tubes don't help with that. So a popular lens for macrophotography is a medium telephoto with a large aperture. Tamron makes a 90mm f/2.8 and Sigma makes a 105mm f/2.8. Both are popular macro lenses and are available for most brands of dSLRs.

turin39789 wrote:
... and I'd also like to be able to do some low light family photo's, so I'll probably hang on to a kit lens ...
Uh. No.

A kit lens will not do low light without a flash.

You can go with the built-in flash, which might be barely enough.

You can go with an external flash for $200-$300.

Or you can do available light photography with a large aperture lens like a 50mm f/1.8 or so, for about $100. There are brighter lenses for more money, but this is usually a good start. Canon and Nikon have 50mm f/1.8 lenses for $100 or less, but Nikon's won't autofocus on its D40/D40X/D60. There are lots of used Minolta 50mm f/1.7 lenses available for the Sonys. Pentax has a 50mm f/1.4 for $200 new. The closest Olympus has to a lens in this category is the Sigma 24mm f/1.8 for $329 or the 30mm f/1.4 for $399.

And if you gowith a 50mm f/1.8 lens, you can use it with extension tubes for your macrophotography, and save the cost of a macro lens.

turin39789 wrote:
... and pick up a zoom that goes up to 300mm.
Sigma and Tamron both make good lenses in that category, for less than $200, that are available for most brands of dSLRs.

So, I think we've ruled out Olympus, the inexpensive Nikons, maybe Pentax, and maybe Sony unless you don't mind getting used lenses.
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