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Old Oct 6, 2008, 9:33 PM   #1
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I'm looking at moving to a Nikon dSLR from P&S digital having used film SLRs for many years. I'm comfortable using an SLR (although I'm still learning - aren't we all). My son has a D80 with 18-70mm lens which I have tried and like. My main uses would be general family photos, vacation travel, etc. but I have an interest in getting into nature and macro photos (a future lens purchase). I have a film camera 28-85mm AF lens (about 10 years old) which works well on a D80 but is not AF-S. On a DX camera, this lens gives limited wide angle (42mm equivalent). I've been looking at the D80 but, in Canada, there is a fairly large price differential between the D40/D60 and D80. I have identified options of interest in two price groupings. The first is around $650Can while the second is around $900:

Group 1 ($650):
a) D40 with 18-135mm lens
b) D60 with 18-55 VR lens
c) D80 body only.

Group 2 ($900)
d) D60 with 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR lenses
e) D80 with 18-70mm lens

Then there's a 'wish list' third group ($1750): D60 with 16-85mm VR and 70-300mm VR.

I know that the third group gives the best lenses, which I could use in the future with a new body. But, it's more money than I want to spend. I don't think that a 55mm max zoom will meet my needs (choice b) but, despite the many positive comments about the D40, I am hesitant to invest that much money in 'old' technology (choice a), especially with a lens (18-135) which has been criticized for distortion effects and has no VR. In group 2, I like my son's 18-70 lens but choice d) would give wider zoom, at the cost of an inferior 18-55 coverage.

I know there are lots of other combinations possible. And I know that there is no 'right' answer. I'd be interested in experienced comments, particularly if there are any trade-off issues which I may have missed.

BTW, I have looked at the D90 but, it is beyond my desired price point ($1450 Can with the 18-105 VR kit lens).
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Old Oct 7, 2008, 9:21 AM   #2
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hummel wrote:
Quote:
Group 1 ($650):
a) D40 with 18-135mm lens
b) D60 with 18-55 VR lens
c) D80 body only.

Group 2 ($900)
d) D60 with 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR lenses
e) D80 with 18-70mm lens
I like options b/d and e. First the D60 is a second generation camera with ADR and all kinds of tweaks the newer cameras have. Either lens package will be fine. The only downside of the D60 is the lack of a focus motor. But if your buying new lenses anyway this is not an issue. The camera is small and produces great results.

The D80 (I have one still) is easier to get to some of the other functions because it doesn't rely asheavily on the menu system.It also has a built in focus motor so you have more lens choices. I have an older 70-300D that auto focuses just fine on the D80 and is available used for less than $150 and the G version for less than $100. The AF-S version is much more expensive but does have VR. So to me this is a great advantage over the newer D60. I also like the top LCD. The 18-70 is a very good lens, I did sell my 18-70 but wish I had kept it for the D80 (I use the 18-200 on my D300 most of the time).

Maybe it's time for your son to get a new camera and you can just take over his D80 kit?
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