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Old Apr 9, 2007, 1:03 PM   #1
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Hi folks. I've been researching a new camera for the last 3 days and I seem to get more confused all the time. Here's what I want to do -

This camera and lens will be used for landscape shots mainly but also for vacations and the like where I'll be shooting in more urban environments.

I've narrowed the bodies down to two - the D80 and the D200. The D80 seems to do most of what I'll ask of it but I've been to a shop where I was able to handle both and there's no competition, the D200 wins hands down. I have big hands and the body 'fits' far better than any camera I've ever used.

I have roughly £1000 to play with and here's my options -

D80 with a 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR IF ED

D200 with a Tamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

I need the wide end but I don't really need the long end of the Nikkor lens. I can always get a long telephoto at a later date. I can't afford the Nikkor 17-55mm lens which is why I've came up with the Tamron.

Which is the best combination? Will the Tamron be up to the job of working with the D200? Is there a real benefit with the D200 over the D80?

I'm going on holiday to Corsica in a few weeks and so this is an important purchase (it's also a helluva lot of money for me).

If anyone has better suggestions then feel free to air them. One thing though, the camera must be comfortable in my hand. I've tried out most in my price range and it's really only the D200 that felt right. It helps that it's built like a tank too, I'm a bit clumsy sometimes.

Thanks for listening.
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Old Apr 9, 2007, 2:19 PM   #2
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I just bought that same Tamron lens for my D50 and have been very happy with it. But, based on the "just" part of my purchase, I'd be interested in hearing more experienced opinions as well.

For what its worth, I bought it to replace the slower Nikkor lens that came with my D50. I think it was the 18-55mm (which they replaced on the D80 with the 18-200mm). I'd check the Nikon lens website and if the F stop on the 18-200 is the same on the 18-55 that I had, I'd go with that Tamron even if you buy the D80 (get it body only). I didn't like the lens for anything but very bright conditions. So far the Tamron seems extremely crisp. But, maybe they improved the glass and such on the 18-200mm. ?

This may not show anything important, but its a picture with the Tamron all the same. Natural light photo of some goggles I have up on an ebay auction currently;



Good luck. Anything else you liked about the D200 vs the D80 worth mentioning?

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Old Apr 9, 2007, 2:38 PM   #3
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That's a great help. I wa worried the lens might not be to the job but I guess that's not really the point. With the D200 body I'll at least be making the most of any lens I use and I can gradually upgrade as funds allow. The real seller for me with the D200 is the handling. It feels superb, like it's a tool rather than camera shaped jewellery, if you know what I mean. I also like it's weather-sealing though I take the point that for it to really work I'd need a lens with the same qualities. I'm also of the belief that the final image can only be as good as what the lens captures. Is this true? If so maybe I'd be better buying a D80 and spending more on a good lens.

This is really a one-off purchase for me. My wife & are about to come into some money and we're allowing ourselves one 'luxury' each. I'm getting a camera and she's getting...a holiday to Namibia! Guess what, I can't have her going all that way on her own, so ...result!

Anyone else with any reasons why the D200 option might not be the best option?
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Old Apr 10, 2007, 8:30 AM   #4
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Hi again. Well, after taking all the advice from here and other forums I changed things around a bit. I've ordered the Nikon D80 with an Nikkor 18-135mm zoom, optional battery grip, two SD cards, spare battery & UV filter. This lot kept the price under £1000 so the wife's happy and the battery grip should cure the slight handling problems I had with the D80. The lens isn't the fastest but it is the optimum choice for my upcoming Corsican adventure and I'll see what I can get later in the year.

Why go for Nikon? Well, simply put, I can't stand the control layout and handling on the Canon D400. I know in a lot of respects it's a superior camera but it's flaws are important to me. The lack of any anti-dust device is mitigated by the fact I'll have only the one lens anyway so the camera won't be 'open' very often. The Pentax K10D was in the running for a while and the prices are really good for what you get but... I went around a few forums and began to hear of problems regarding reliability and quality control. I suppose this happens quite often when brand new products hit the shelves and I've had my fingers burned as an early adopter before, too many times actually. So that's why the Nikon. I figure it's been around long enough for any firmware or production problems to have been ironed out.

Let me thank you all for the help and advice. It really is very much appreciated.

Now, who owns a D80 so I can pick their brains, lol.
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Old Apr 10, 2007, 3:42 PM   #5
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Good decision.

You will be pleased by the sharpness of the lens and the 18-135 is a really good walkabout lens that will fit the bill for many situations.

With my D80, I found the battery discharged quite quickly for say the first three chargings - since then, it seems to run forever on a single charge. I only mention this since you are about to go on your holiday. It may just be a quirk of my camera or it may be a battery trait.
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Old Apr 10, 2007, 5:06 PM   #6
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Good choice, Zorro.

I think you'll love the range of an 18-200mm lens for your vacation. I have friends who use this camera for sports photography and haven't even felt a pressing need to get a longer zoom because its so convenient to have it all in one lens.

You are correct that the dust prevention becomes more of a major issue when you have to change lenses often, which is the case with me. All the same, I may swap out my D50 for a D80. Who knows.

-todd

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