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sbin Jun 22, 2006 10:50 AM

Planning to buy a dslr setup to photograph orchids.Currently we are thinking about buying either the Nikon D50 or D70s.What would be a good lense for indoor orchid photography?

Also while reading forums and reviews on the D50 and D70s it seems that the quality of lens included with the D70s package was higher.Am I mistaken on this assumption?

keith1200rs Jun 22, 2006 10:57 AM

Well, I have a 60mm Micro Nikkor which I think is great for orchid photography, but as orchids are generally fairly large you could probably get away with the 18-55mm kit lens.


sbin Jun 22, 2006 11:35 AM

Plan on buying a general purpose lens and one to use for orchids.


Thanks for the suggestion!

What do you like about this lense?

keith1200rs Jun 22, 2006 1:12 PM

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It is difficult to say why I like it. I have had it since they came out and used it with film cameras and now my D50. I like the fact that it can do 1:1 (film) with no extensions. It is not too big & heavy. The manual focusing ring (which I almost always use) is nice & big. I always get good photos when using it! I have been to a few orchid places (Madeira, Guadeloupe) and it always seems a good choice of lens. There are longer macro lenses around but I would guess they are heavier. With larger objects you can probably use the built in flash, but when you get close for smaller objects then the lens will obscure the built in flash. I have bought a Metz 28 AF-3N to use with the SC17 cable so I can get round that problem.


keith1200rs Jun 22, 2006 1:13 PM

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This is one with the flash.

sbin Jun 22, 2006 2:48 PM

Wowwonderful photos Keith!

That is the level of detail and clarity I had in mind.My wife has been writing for a orchid web site she is affiliated with and wants to add better quality photographs to her work. Nikon seems to be the right combination of quality and price.

You answered another question of mine as well also reguarding how older manual lenses worked with dslr equipment.

keith1200rs Jun 22, 2006 3:09 PM

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My lens is actually auto-focus (D type lens - probably unchanged from the latest one), but macro work seems to be easier with manual focus. As I recall, the version of the 60mm Micro Nikkor I bought was a new version when I got it 10 years ago or so, and one of the improvements over the old version was the larger manual focus ring.

The first shot was hand held in dull lighting so not so sharp. The bee was one of the first shots with the new Metz flash. I will probably get a macro flash bracket to hold the flash sometime.

Here's one from yesterday - saw these Small Magpie Moths in the garage last night.


sbin Jun 22, 2006 5:04 PM


Did you use the 60mm lens on the moth also?

keith1200rs Jun 22, 2006 5:17 PM

Yes, 60mm.


keith1200rs Jun 22, 2006 5:23 PM

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Here's an orchid (60mm micro again) but scanned from a 6x4 print.


sbin Jun 22, 2006 5:55 PM

Thanks Keith

We have been debating the pros and cons of D50 and D70s.

Since they are so close in many ways it might be more sensible to purchase the D50 and spend the price difference on better lenses.

Something multi purpose and a nice macro to begin with.

What suggestion can you offer on a good 18-55 or perhaps 18-120

keith1200rs Jun 23, 2006 3:35 AM

The only lens I have bought so far for my D50 is the 18-55 kit lens. My others (70-300ED, 60mm Micro and 20mm f2.8) are ones I already owned.

While people seem to knock the 18-55mm, I quite like it. I would like a longer range but I am put off the 18-200 lenses by the weight and wierd distortions at the wide end. Simple barrel distortion is easy to get rid of, but the moustache distortions of the 18-200s could be a problem with architectural shots. The 18-70 is supposed to be a better lens but seems to have terrible vignetting and is a lot heavier. 18-70 is a useful range though.

I like my "carry round" lens to be light and swap it for specific purposes. That way there isn't too much weight on my neck/shoulder all day. I had some heavy "carry round" lenses in my film days and sold them to buy the lighter kit lenses. The kit lenses don't last forever - the quality of construciton is not great, but my theory is that for the price you just replace it when it starts to creak (as one of mine did).

Not much help I am afraid.


sbin Jun 23, 2006 1:54 PM

Thanks again

Your opinions aremost helpful!

As is often the case with such purchase I have been debating what level of expense is necessary vs what level of quality is desired.It is quite easy to become infatuated with equipment when taking a decision and spend far more than what was originally budgeted only to understand later such additional expense was not prudent.

20 years ago while attending university I worked for a photographic supply business and helped a friend get a job,fortunately he still works there as a manager currently.Now that I have an idea about what equipment would meet our needs I can trouble him over lunch for a good discount on some quality used lenses,flash and some varient of case.

Without a reasonable understanding of what other more experienced people are using it would be very easy to walk out of the shop with alot of veryniceequipment that is not necessary for what we want to accomplish

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