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Old Mar 13, 2009, 2:54 PM   #1
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I have finally decided to purchase the d90. This is my first dSLR after having Minolta film SLRs and taking lots of b/w. I will be taking pictures of family/friends/children in low light, kids' indoor and outdoor sports, portraits (for personal use but also related to courses I teach in psychology and human development), travel landscape and some architecture (and also people in those places).

I have been taking pictures for over 30 years and I enjoy it and like learning more about photography, techniques, history. That makes me an enthusiast I guess.

I do know that good lens are important and the quality should be equal to or greater than the camera body, which changes. However, I also know that quality does not necessarily equate to cost.

Anyhow, my biggest question is this: Would the 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR give me quality, affordability, and the range to do what I want in taking pictures. (I have read reviews and, although lower cost, the bang for the buck seems pretty good.)

Other possible combos:

16 - 85 VR along with 70 - 300 VR

18-105 VR along with 70-300 VR

I would pick any of those combos (or consider others upon your suggestions), and possibly add a prime (85/1.4 from Nikon or Sigma 30 1.4 or Tamron 90 2.8).

Could I use a wide angle?

Could I use a flash (SB-400 or SB - 600)?

I know I need filters, too.

I have enjoyed reading the forum very much and it has been a good education for me, too. Thank you in advance for any help.
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 9:26 PM   #2
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JazzManB-3 wrote:
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16 - 85 VR along with 70 - 300 VR
For your three options I think these two lenses would give you the best performance and range. However, you will be limited in low light and you may need to use a flash.

JazzManB-3 wrote:
Quote:
I would pick any of those combos (or consider others upon your suggestions), and possibly add a prime (85/1.4 from Nikon or Sigma 30 1.4 or Tamron 90 2.8).
There are also two 35mm and three 50mm wide aperture primes from Nikon that you may want to consider for low light use. You might want to try a zoom first and see what focal length(s) you use most before investing in a prime.

JazzManB-3 wrote:
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Could I use a wide angle?
If you use the 16-85mm @ 16mm it is equivalent to a 24mm lens on your Minolta. Do you need to go wider?

JazzManB-3 wrote:
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Could I use a flash (SB-400 or SB - 600)?

Yes. IMHO the SB-600 is the best choice.

JazzManB-3 wrote:
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I know I need filters, too.

Just for lens protection.



What were yor favorite lenses on your Minolta?

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Old Mar 14, 2009, 8:25 AM   #3
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Quality wise, the 16-85/70-300 is probably the best choice. The 16-85 is pretty wide, but you could go wider with one of the third party choices (Sigma 10-20, Tamron 11-16, or new 10-24) for $500-$600. In terms of primes, the new 35 f 1.8 is probably a good choice, especially for indoor stuff. The 50 f1.8 is cheaper, but is a bit long for indoor use.

A flash is always a great idea. It helps a lot in low light, but also can be used in sunlight to open up shadows, and even out lighting. The Sb600 is cheaper, the Sb800 is a great flash (but is discontinued), and the SB900 by all accounts is amazing, but is quite pricey.

I would only recommend two filters...a circular polarizing filter to reduce reflections and improve color (especially blues and greens) for outdoor, landscape work, and an ND filter. I'm not a fan of protective filters (the lens hood works well for protection, and improves IQ). Some argue they degrade image quality (maybe, maybe not), but they certainly do increase the potential for flare, and at the very least do nothing for IQ, and have to be removed when using another filter. You're also likely to get vignetting with a wider lens like the 16-85.
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 9:32 AM   #4
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I'm always a big fan of external flash; However I would lean toward a more powerful device than an SB-600 especially for outdoor fill...

Like other has mentioned the SB-900 is nice, but it's also pricey beside having a lower Guide Number (GN) than the SB-800 it replaced! A compromise might be the Metz 58AF-1, this unit has two heads (especially nice indoor where one head is bounced while the other does a fill) and its GN is higher than both SB-800/900 and also costs less than either

-> The Metz is also fully i-TTL compatible and conform to all the Nikon's wireless protocol (BTW it's also more compact than an SB-900 if you don't like big flash)
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 10:16 AM   #5
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Thank you for your prompt reply. The two you recommend (16-85 and 70-300) seem very reasonable and I appreciate the suggestion. I know I will be shooting in low light so the flash is going to be a priority and I need to be somewhat conscious of cost so the SB-600 is good if somewhat of a compromise. I will have to more carefully check out the 35mm lens for portraits. (I found myself using more primes than zooms in my film camera.) Thanks again for your advice. I think I will shoot with a few lens for awhile to see if I need to go wider. However, I am up for ready for some advance advice.
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 10:29 AM   #6
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OH, I just saw your last question related to Minolta lens.

I found myself using the MC Rokkor 50mm (1.7), a 58 mm (1.4), a 45 mm, and a 200 mm (vivitar) the most. I know that seems strange but I just felt more comfortable walking around and moving instead of standing still and zooming. Now I recognize the advantage of a zoom. I also have a 75-200 (4.5) Vivitar but found I hardly used it so I stayed away from zooms. I have other lens but will have to look and see what they are since I hae not used them for a very long time. And I have never explored wide angles with this camera. (That is amazing, come to think of it!)

LOL, now I am also thinking of exploring additional lens and still taking pictures with this camera in addition to the dSLR. What are the best lens you liked?

Incidentally, the one thing I did NOT like about the Minolta was using a flash with it. It made the camera seem unbalanced and clunky. One reason (and this may be a delusiong) to go digital is that the flash seems better integrated into the unit (the built in flash but also the add on). So, indoors, in low light, this may be the better camera for me to use. But, outside, or with enough natural light indoors, I really liked the pictures. I also must admit that I shot a lot in b/w.

Thanks again for your help and the chance to fondly remember my shooting experiences with heavy (but still well-appreciated) old friend.
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 10:34 AM   #7
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Thank you. I really appreciate the suggestions on the polarizing and neutral density filters. I already realize I need to better explore wides and will probably see how do after shooting for awhile. Thanks for your advice on the wides.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"The 35mm 1.8 was unknown to me until I saw it mentioned here. I imagine it gives the equivalent of 50mm on my film Minolta (which I ended up using quite a bit), so it is definitely worth exploring. Why do I think that a longer prime could be better for some indoor portraits and bokeh? I realize that a faster lens is important for this, too.
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 10:38 AM   #8
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Thank you. I do not like big, clunky flashes at all so I will definitely check out the Metz. I admit that I am quite the novice related to flash since I rarely used it on my film camera but realize I need to be able to do so. One head that bounced was my thinking but, hey, two heads are better than one, right!? I appreciate your comments and advice.
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 1:16 PM   #9
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JazzManB-3 wrote:
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I found myself using the MC Rokkor 50mm (1.7), a 58 mm (1.4...
If you liked this focal length on your Minolta then a 35mm on a D90 will work well for you. I can personally recommend the Nikkor 35mm f/2. There are some sample shots just starting to appear from the new Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 that look quite impressive.

If you prefer head shots when taking portraits then one of the three 50mm lenses might be better.
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 1:22 PM   #10
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NHL wrote:
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I'm always a big fan of external flash; However I would lean toward a more powerful device than an SB-600 especially for outdoor fill...

Like other has mentioned the SB-900 is nice, but it's also pricey beside having a lower Guide Number (GN) than the SB-800 it replaced! A compromise might be the Metz 58AF-1, this unit has two heads (especially nice indoor where one head is bounced while the other does a fill) and its GN is higher than both SB-800/900 and also costs less than either

-> The Metz is also fully i-TTL compatible and conform to all the Nikon's wireless protocol (BTW it's also more compact than an SB-900 if you don't like big flash)
NHL, the bounce+fill is an interesting idea. Do you have an example that illustrates this?
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