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Old Oct 28, 2006, 7:26 PM   #1
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Hi to all,

First post of many more to come, first question....

I've decided to get a Nikon D50 (I really wanted a D80) since I'm moving up from a point-and-shoot, with a roughly $1000 budget and with the knowledge that lens is as much important as the body.

With my budget, I'm convinced to get almost any brand of lens. What is important to me is what lens to buy for my needs. (I'm only getting a D50 body). One lens is good but if I have to go for two lens in my arsenal, so be it.

I live in scenic Long Island with trees, beach, birds, butterflies and all. At the same time, I love going to Manhattan with the tourist spots and tall buildings and people.

I love doing macro photography of my Hot Wheels (I'm 33!) and I am currently using a Nikon Coolpix 3100 on a tripod.

So... Trees, birds, butterflies, ocean, buildings, people, scenery and macro. I rarely go to parties lately but I can set aside a lens for indoor and gatherings later.

What could I possible buy? I first considered a Tamron 18-200 but if anybody has a better advice, I would be ever so greatful!

Brian

PS, I plan to watch car races in Riverhead next year to take some photos... but that's for a future project.


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Old Oct 28, 2006, 8:44 PM   #2
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No need to overthink this. The kit lenses (18-55, and 55-200) are solid (if unremarkable performers). They are lightweight, cover the most common shooting ranges, and fairly sharp. If you're looking for a one lens solution, the Nikon 18-200 VR is the obvious choice, but its pricey and hard to find. You'd be giving up a lot in quality if you choose one of the third party 18-200 superzooms. If you're set on a one lens solution, the new 18-135 is as sharp as they come in consumer grade lenses, although CA and distortion are a bit worse than the kit lenses I previously mentioned.
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 9:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I think I would go that route.

Just a few more questions...

Is this the one you're talking about? Nikon 55-200mm Lens F4.5G ED Y

Would the plastic parts be a concern? Even though I don't want to spend much for now, I don't want it falling apart on me.

Most importantly, will I be able to use it for MACRO???


With the D50, 2 lenses and a 1gig sd card, I'm still on budget. Great. Now to squeeze a little more to buy basic filters (UV, Polarizer) and a decent camera backpack. :roll:

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Old Oct 28, 2006, 10:01 PM   #4
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That is the correct lens. Certainly, plastic mounts aren't as good or durable as metal. However, plastic in itself is fairly durable too. I wouldn't recommend them for a pro, but for the casual shooter, they will likely last a lifetime.

Also, don't get too caught up in buying filters. UV filters are particularly useless, unless you're using them to protect the lens in poor/harsh conditions. For everday use, I'd forget about the UV. Polarizers can be useful, but they take some experience to use correctly. You'll lose 2 stops of light, so you can only use them in bright light. I'd spend alot of time with your camera and figure out what other accessories you'll really need. The bag is a great idea. Second I would consider a decent tripod and one of the Nikon speedlights, the SB600 (cheaper, and quite functional) or the SB800 (more features, a bit more complex to use). These items are more important than adding filters.
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 10:20 PM   #5
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Advice taken. Bag then the flash. The SB600 is cheap enough to consider as well.

I have a crappy $10 aluminum tripod that I use for my macro shots but I'll get a better one in the future since my budget is now overboard at this point. I might have to get more memory and battery for now.

I'll be going from NY to Las Vegas in January via Amtrack so I'll have a lot of opportunity to test and learn my new gear.

You definitely helped me a lot. Thank you.
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Old Nov 14, 2006, 1:10 AM   #6
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I got my Nikon D50 with the kit 18-55mm and added a Tamron 70-300mm.

I decided to get a 50mm 1.8 prime lens for indoors since I hate using flash as much as possible. (that's why I didn't get an SB-600 Speedight for now.)

I saw photos at http://www.tipsfromthetopfloor.com website that used the 50mm 1.8 in an indoor party and it was pretty decent. The mood of the party was left intact.

Since used is almost the same price of a new one due to popularity, I'll just buy it new.

Next.. tripod.

Does anybody think this is not the right path to take?
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Old Nov 14, 2006, 6:15 AM   #7
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The 50mm is a great lens. It's sharp and fast, and great for when you can't use a flash. However, I've found I rarely use it. If given a choice, I'd much rather use a flash. Either boucing the flash off the ceiling or using a diffuser gives me the ability to use the lowest ISO and get much better results. When used as i described, the SB600 (or SB800) produces very nice, natural results. The 50 is also sometimes a bit long to use indoors in tight spaces. That being said, for the price and quality of the 50mm, every photographer should own one.
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Old Nov 14, 2006, 6:26 AM   #8
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I don't know about the 50mm lens option. I also don't like flash but for taking pictures indoors I would want something a lot wider - I thought 50mm was too long for general use with 35mm film, for a DX camera I think it is far too long. I would want something like 20-24mm, such as the Sigma ones, but they aren't cheap. Try walking around indoors with your 18-55 set to 50mm and see if the focal length looks right for the sorts of pictures you want to take.

Keith.
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Old Nov 14, 2006, 8:57 AM   #9
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You're all right guys, 50mm is too long for indoors. The flash is a better alternative next to an expensive shorter focal length prime. I do outdoors 90% of the time then 10% macro. I'll skip the 50mm for now and get either a good tripod or the flash which I'll use rarely at the present.

I have a very cheap tripod that vibrates whenever I take a shot (even on timer). It's a bit long too when folded. I wonder if the Bogen or Slik lower models are enough or should I wait and save?
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Old Nov 14, 2006, 10:17 PM   #10
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FYI, B&H currently have the SB-800 on sale for $295, and Nikon has an additional $10 mail-in rebate.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

They also have a 15% sale on Bogen/Manfrotto, but you have to call them and tell them you got the code PPE06215 from Photo Plus Expo flyer.

For other discounted items, go to B&H and search for PPE06.

Good Luck!
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