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Old Jun 28, 2008, 12:47 PM   #1
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Hi All, first post here but I have lurking and reading the reviews for a few years.

I think I've decided on the Nikon D60 as my first dSLR. I was leaning towards the Coolpix P80 for an easy to use point-and-shhot but decided to upgrade to something that will take better pictures and offer me more options for growth as an amateur photographer. Besides the D60 in listed here as one of the BEST.

I've been looking at the package deals at Cameta Camera via Amazon.com and am getting confused with the different lens options.

I see some lenses listed as IF-ED, ED-AFS, and some of them are listed as 4-5.6 / 4-5.6G.

Most of the packages come with the standard 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G VR AF-S DX Zoom Lens and include either a 55-200mm IF-ED VR or ED-AFS VR Lens.

What does the IF designate? looking at the lenses separately the ones with the IF are a little more expensive so they must be better? (wink) How about the G designation (as in 4-5.6G)?

Also there's a package deal that includes a 70-300mm IF-ED VR lens. Would that benefit me in any way over the 55-200mm?

Again, I'm just an amateur at this but would like something that won't break the bank but will allow me to learn and grow.


Edited to add: I think I just figured out the "G" designation after reading this "The G-type Nikkor lens is designed with no aperture rings, and offers easier, virtually mistake-free operation because the aperture does not need to be set to minimum."

Is that good?

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Old Jun 28, 2008, 1:05 PM   #2
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IF refers to internal focus..that means the outside element does not turn when focusing, making the use of rotating filters (like polarizers, or Grad Nd filters) easier. Typically this does make a lens a bit more expensive. If you don't use filters, this doesn't mean a whole lot.

VR refers to vibration reduction. These are lenses designed to allow sharp images at slower shutter speeds. They claim up to 4 stops. Note that this doesn't help with moving subjects, only static subject. This does make the lens more expensive, and usually slightly larger.

For the whole rundown on Nikon's lens naming system, check this out http://www.bythom.com/lensacronyms.htm.

All in all, for a beginner, stick with the kit lenses...the 18-55 and 55-200 are good lenses, and cover a wide range with decent quality. Figure out how these lenses are limiting to you , and base your next purchase on your need.
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Old Jun 28, 2008, 1:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply and the great information rjseeney!

Probably a dumb question but since I was going by the reviews here, and the latest review of the D80 was in 2006, would it be better to get a basic D80 and then grow from there?

I noticed they are now at 10.2MP and that was sort of determining factor in getting the D60.


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Old Jun 29, 2008, 7:18 AM   #4
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I kept my D80 after I bought a D300 because it is lighter and takes great pictures. The big differences between the D80 and the D60 are the D80 has a focus motor so it will work with more lenses, it has two thumb wheels, one in front and one in back, making adjustments easier, and It has a LCD on top showing the current settings. There a thousand other differences but these are the ones that are important to me. The D60 is a newer camera with the newer processing improvements and is smaller and lighter. It also uses a different battery than the D80,200,300. The D80 also comes with a different kit lens, I have never owned one but everyone here seems to like the 18-135, had an 18-55 once and found the long end to short more times than not.

Both cameras will take great pictures and give you many hours of pleasure figuring them out. Good luck.
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