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Old Feb 5, 2007, 2:38 AM   #1
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Hi, I'm new to this place, but have been reading up a bunch of threads here. I'm on the verge of buying a d80, but my main concern is the lenses -- this will be my first camera with interchangable lenses, and so I am obviously torn among all the various options.

I just found a kit option that includes the following lenses, for not even $200 over the price of just the body:

Tamron 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical Autofocus Lens
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Autofocus Lens

This appeals to me immensely, because I'll then have a shorter walk-around lens as well as a longer lens that I can use for both telephoto stuff and macro (or at least, somewhat macro) -- I've got a penchant for closeup shots of small things like insects, reptiles, etc.

However, the cheap price sort of makes me wonder what the catch is. I'd order it right now if not for this misgiving. I read a few posters on here recommending sticking with higher-end lenses for manufacturers other than Nikon. But also, I am quite new to SLRs like this, so perhaps getting these cheap ones would be best, because then I could further refine what it is I am looking for before putting down the serious dollars towards true macro lenses and all that fancypants stuff.

I am one inch away from buying this, but it is a serious investment, and I was wondering if there were any major caveats any of you could offer. Thanks!

edit: Also, amazon apparently seems to have the nikon 18-200 VR lens -- this costs quite a bit more and covers less range, but also has VR, and starts closer. Plus, some friends have told me all about how much they love it. I would end up spending about $750 more to get this lens -- would it be worth it?

edit2: Even more scouting, I think I have a better solution:

Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED IF AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens - $310
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras - $133

This would end up with a better overall range, with the same basic capabilities, for not too much more. My head is spinning from all the different options that keep popping up and seeming "absolutely perfect".. Sorry for this post turning into a monstrosity!
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Old Feb 5, 2007, 7:31 AM   #2
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dkavende wrote:
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I just found a kit option that includes the following lenses, for not even $200 over the price of just the body:

Tamron 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical Autofocus Lens
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Autofocus Lens


edit 1: Also, amazon apparently seems to have the nikon 18-200 VR lens -- this costs quite a bit more and covers less range, but also has VR, and starts closer. Plus, some friends have told me all about how much they love it. I would end up spending about $750 more to get this lens -- would it be worth it?

edit2: Even more scouting, I think I have a better solution:

Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED IF AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens - $310
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras - $133
I have an older Tamron lens (28-105) and it is high quality and works well. But heavy. I don't know anything about the two you have listed. I currently am using a modified edit 2: an 18-70 I got with my D70s kit and a Nikon 70-300D I had from my film days. Both work well and you can get the 70-300G for about the same price as the Sigma. I have owned 3 Sigma lenses and only have one left, a 50mm Macro. All three were not as well made as the Nikons including the one I still have. But the two I sold were their entry level lenses I assume like the ones you have listed here. I think you would be happier with the Nikons so I would go with and edited edit #2, the 18-70 and I would get the 70-300G instead of the Sigma. The Nikons will also be easier to sell if the 18-200 becomes more available and you want to part with the cash.

As for edit 1, I think it would save you money in the long run. I am going to get one when they becomemore available and sell my 18-70. So if you have the cash and they have the lens I think it would be the way to go.
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Old Feb 5, 2007, 12:46 PM   #3
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If you can find and afford the 18-200VR, I would suggest you go with that. It's not a "pro" level, but for the money I think it's pretty good. I got mine for $750. I've seen it listed as high as $900. I wouldn't pay more than $800 for it.

For two lens combo, you have several options. The best probably would be Nikon 18-70 and Nikon 70-300VR as this gives you VR on the long end.

Nikon's 55-200 is also decent and relatively cheap.

The only Sigma 70-300 I would consider is the Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro (~$220). This has a good reputation of being better than the Nikon 70-300G (non-VR).

For D80 packages, checkout Cameta. They sell new and refurbished, so be sure to look for the new ones if you don't want refurbs:
http://stores.ebay.com/Cameta-Camera


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Old Feb 5, 2007, 1:23 PM   #4
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First of all be sure that the seller you are dealing with is a reputable dealer. Check the reseller ratings. It will save a lot of grief later.

The Nikkor 55-200mm lens that Rey mentioned is a very compact lens that is easy to carry with you. I have had very good luck with my Nikkor 55-200mm lens.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 5, 2007, 4:52 PM   #5
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rey -- I think I may have found that sigma 70-300 macro lens. I found it for about $140 through amazon, so I'm thinking that sounds like quite a good choice. I found a similar model from Nikon for the same price, but it doesn't have the same macro capabilities. Also, thanks for the link, I'm trying to compare stuff on there now.

rene -- the nikon 18-70 definitely sounds like my best bet for that range also.

Also, I would quite love the 18-200vr, but even if I could find it for under $800, that'd still be quite a lot to spend right now. I think I'd rather end up with two lenses, one for wider shots, and one for macro/telephoto anyway.

In fact.. I just found the 70-300VR, rey -- but for about $500, I am still on the fence. I'm pretty steady with the camera, but I doubt I'd be able to take any free shots without a tripod at the max range without quite a lot of blur.

So, I think I'm going to go with the nikkon 18-70, and still deciding between the nikon 70-300 VR and the sigma 70-300 macro. I'm still debating whether I'd rather have the macro capabilities of the sigma lens, or the VR capabilities of the nikkon one. Would either of those nikkons be good for at least some decently close (or zoomed-in close) photography? Is the VR worth the extra few hundred dollars?

And I'll definitely be checking out the seller's ratings first, this is a lot of cash! ;D
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Old Feb 5, 2007, 5:16 PM   #6
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FYI, Sigma has had several versions of the 70-300, the one that says "APO" is what people like and it usually cost $220.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home;jsessionid=FH5hP7c0nb!882085411!1170717018636 ?ci=1&sb=ps&pn=1&sq=desc&InitialSe arch=yes&O=RootPage.jsp&A=search&Q=*&a mp;bhs=t&shs=Sigma+70-300&image.x=0&image.y=0





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Old Feb 6, 2007, 7:28 AM   #7
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dkavende wrote:
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In fact.. I just found the 70-300VR, rey -- but for about $500, I am still on the fence. I'm pretty steady with the camera, but I doubt I'd be able to take any free shots without a tripod at the max range without quite a lot of blur.
I have used my 70-300D with good results at NASCAR races handheld with fast shutterspeeds. Not much room for a tripod in the stands so I just cranked up the ISO to get the fastest shutter sppeds I could and was very pleased with the results. Now if you were taking bird pictures I think it would be a different story.

I love my 18-70 and I use it 90% of the time. I almost got the new 18-135 with the D80 but decided to save my money for the 18-200 when it becomes more available.

Good luck.
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Old Feb 6, 2007, 11:04 PM   #8
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Thanks, everyone! I ended up getting the nikon 18-70, and the Sigma 70-300. I figure the 18-70 will be a good general lens, and I can see how particular I'm going to be about the other's macro and telephoto abilities. They're all on the way, along with extra batteries and filters. Now, the suspense!
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