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Old Feb 1, 2006, 2:36 PM   #1
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Hello. I'm from "accross" the pond you might say - I live in the UK. I've owned a canon A400 for about a year and then a Panasonic creative compact (prosumer I think you call it?) FZ5 for bout 4 months, but only because at the time funds dictated I couldnt afford a D-SLR. I mainly take Landscape, Indoor snaps and sports (soccer) pictures at the moment but will probably photograph anything.

I am myself a DSLR noobie, but know a wee bit about the basics and intermediate bits of photography - mostly due to my father who was a keen keen amatuer photographer (unfortunately he had a olympus om-1 so I can't nab his lenses :P)

I've decided to go for a D50, mainly because it frees up sums for a (cheapish) tele zoom lens. I'm thinking mostly of sports photography when I type this and there are two small issues I'd like clarified.

1. In addition to the 18-55mm kit lens, I'm gonna get a tele lens. The kind of price range I can go for is sub £200 ($350). I've been looking at the Sigma 70-300 APO f4-5.6 DG MACRO lens (the one with the switch and red ring), the equivalent Tamron (also 4-5.6) and also the nikkor 70-300G 4-5.6. I'm wondering which provides the best results and indeed, if anyone has any examples? I'm not overly bothered about focus noise, as long as it focuses well.

2. I would not be afraid to up the ISO in 'poor' light or indeed under stadium lighting in order to freeze the picture, how good is the D50 with average (as mentioned before 4-5.6 aperture) speed lenses, even at high high iso's?

Cheers.
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Old Feb 1, 2006, 2:48 PM   #2
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StevenC wrote:
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1. In addition to the 18-55mm kit lens, I'm gonna get a tele lens. The kind of price range I can go for is sub £200 ($350). I've been looking at the Sigma 70-300 APO f4-5.6 DG MACRO lens (the one with the switch and red ring), the equivalent Tamron (also 4-5.6) and also the nikkor 70-300G 4-5.6. I'm wondering which provides the best results and indeed, if anyone has any examples? I'm not overly bothered about focus noise, as long as it focuses well.
I can't comment on the Sigma lens, but I owned the Tamron and it wasn't bad (wasn't great either)...my biggest issue was focus speed and bulk..it is a big lens. If you're looking inexpensive, try the Nikkor 80-200 f/3.5..Thom Hogan has a nice review on his website www.bythom.com. It can be had for around $100 used from KEH. Also, the 55-200 is not all that bad..not great build quality but offers a lot of bang for the buck for the price around $250. If you don't need the reach, then I would consider the 2 lenses I mentioned...if you need the reach , any of the lenses you mentioned would be ok.

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2. I would not be afraid to up the ISO in 'poor' light or indeed under stadium lighting in order to freeze the picture, how good is the D50 with average (as mentioned before 4-5.6 aperture) speed lenses, even at high high iso's?
The D50 works very well at 1600. Attached is a sample photo from a MLB game taken with the D50 and the tamron lens you mention. The image is a little soft because of noise reduction and being taken wide open at full zoom.


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Old Feb 1, 2006, 3:00 PM   #3
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Thankks for the reply man. I had seen the 55-200 and had considered it as the two lens kit, however I think I'd rather the reach for framing than having to crop. Im lucky that with the FZ5 the 35mm equivalent was 465 so I know what kind of length I use / need for the soccer pictures.

I've also read good things about the tamron 28-300 so I could go body only then get the one lens to avoid dust etc. Im not sure I want such a wide focal length (speed of focusing etc) and Ive also heard stepping down at the high end is needed for crispness so Im not sure.
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Old Feb 3, 2006, 6:08 PM   #4
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Hi Steven,

You've probably seen that the D50 body is now selling for £350 in the UK. After reading some dodgy reviews on the 18-55 kit lens the word on the street is to go for the 18-70mm DX (which I've done) as it's far superior optically and will set you back another £180. It's worth every penny IMO.

Then you can choose your 70-XXX lens without a 55-70mm gap:lol:

Personally I'd beg, borrow or steal to have Nikon glass all the way. My next move will be to trade in the 18-70 and get the Nikon 18-200 VR (drool) when I have some more cash.


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Old Feb 4, 2006, 3:18 AM   #5
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I see your point re the 18-70 but I can't help but laugh at those wanting to buy the VR for the D50.

Why even bother with a £350 body and then put £1k+ of glass on it. That's just my opinion though.

Kinda decided that 200mm would probably be enough and I be looking at the duel lens kit at the moment. 18-55 and the 55-200. Hmmz. In any case, the upgrade I'm likely to go for is the Sigma 75-200 2.8 HSM. That things a beauty and a steal at £500.
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Old Feb 4, 2006, 6:34 AM   #6
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StevenC wrote:
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Why even bother with a £350 body and then put £1k+ of glass on it. That's just my opinion though.

The 18-200mm DX VRis £450-500, so certainly not cheap. Are we takling about the same lens?

Because I'm trading inmy Fuji S9500, I just want to replicate its 28-300mm zoom and hopefully will not ever need to change lens if I eventually get the VR.

Andy
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Old Feb 4, 2006, 8:45 AM   #7
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StevenC wrote:
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I see your point re the 18-70 but I can't help but laugh at those wanting to buy the VR for the D50.

Why even bother with a £350 body and then put £1k+ of glass on it. That's just my opinion though.
Why not?? Image quality is more dependent on the quality of the glass you have hanging off the front of it. If one only has limited funds, I think it makes sense to save on the body and get the best glass you can afford. The average amateur won't use most of the features of the pro level bodies to get the most out of them...however you really don't need to be an expert or have any special skills to get a benefit from better glass.
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Old Feb 4, 2006, 11:05 AM   #8
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Im thinking of a different lens. Apologies.

Opinion still stands re super expensive lenses but I do see where you guys are coming from.
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Old Feb 4, 2006, 11:20 AM   #9
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I wouldn't ignore the used market, either if you're on a tight budget. Sometimes you can find some real jewels at bargain prices if you're a careful shopper.

My favorite vendors for used gear are http://www.bhphotovideo.com , http://www.keh.com and http://www.adorama.com

KEH rocks (typically has better prices for equivalent quality, with more conservative ratings). B&H has very fair ratings (but is usually a bit higher). Adorama comes in last (my opinion only), but they are all good vendors.

You've also got Ebay, local camera shops, Pawn brokers, newspapers...

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Old Feb 4, 2006, 11:31 AM   #10
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JimC wrote:
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I wouldn't ignore the used market, either if you're on a tight budget. Sometimes you can find some real jewels at bargain prices if you're a careful shopper.


Jim's right. I haven't purchased a new lens in years. I recently got a 105 f/2.8 micro from KEH for a little under $400--- almost 40% cheaper than new, and the lens was in nearly perfect condition. Even the lenses graded good or bargain are in much better shape than one would think.
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