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Old Dec 18, 2010, 11:11 AM   #1
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Default some advise about zoom....for Nikon

Hi all

I am a starter here, and currently use a Panasonic FZ38 superzoom.

Ive had it for close to a year, and feel perhaps the time has come to graduate to a DSLR.

Ive been eyeing the D7000 quite lustfully, but one thing thats holding me back is I'm not sure whether I will get the same level of zoom with the basic kit lenses ie the xx-300 or xx-200.

I like to shoot wildlife (considering I live in Kenya), and family pics and landscapes (at which I am doing poorly). You can see my shots on my Flickr linked below.

Please can someone advise how expensive it is to get a lens with equivalent zoom as my Panasonic, or even better.

Or perhaps, is there a teleconverter option I can use which wont reduce the quality of the shot?

Thank you!

p.s. I asked the same question on the Canon lens forum regarding a T2i.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 10:08 PM   #2
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Lens is only part of the story with the sensor size contributing considerably. The FZ38 is a "super-zoom" with a 35mm equivalent range 27-486. The catch is, it does that by using the small sensor typically found in most P&S, including the ultra compacts. Given the physical size of the of the camera, it is a bit of a surprise, but necessary to get the multiplier for the extremely long range on the lense. If Panasonic had bumped the sensor up to the size of the LX series, picture resolution would have improved but the effective coverage of the lens would have decreased and would be nowhere near 486. What I am trying to say, it is all a process of compromises.

With both Nikon and Canon you gain a much larger sensor and essentially would require a 2 lens solution to get close to the equivalent 486. The longest "single lens solution" is the Tamron 18-280, but it falls a little short. Photographically, the 2 lens solution is superior to the single lens as compromises have to be made. With both Canon and Nikon would probably want the 70-300 (but not either's cheapest model.) With Nikon, another to consider is the newly released 55-300. Nikon has a slightly larger sensor requiring a multiplier of 1.5 x 300 = 450mm. Canons multiplier is 1.6 so the 300 conversion is 480.

Can't really go wrong with either. Plus, it doesn't stop there. With interchangable lens, you are not limited. Two exceedingly sharp lens that are relatively affordable (but more than the zooms) are their F4 300mm primes - zoom with your feet. That is totally ignoring fast glass where the price goes up significantly. You just have so many more choices.
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Old Dec 23, 2010, 1:33 AM   #3
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you can get much longer zoom with a few different lenses. Sigma 150-500 will give you a longer zoom than the fz-35 all together but I would suggest if you're on a budget, get an older reliable cheaper dslr and save the money for a better lens.
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Old Dec 23, 2010, 2:35 AM   #4
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Your present camera gives you a maximum focal length (35mm equivalent) of 486. The Sigma 50-500 OS has had a very good reception, rather better than their 150-500, and that 500 becomes effectively 750 when mounted on a D7000. At the wide end it's 75, so you'd need another lens to cover below that.

That would be my first choice lens for wildlife, but it'll cost you around US$1600 (in the US - God knows what it would cost in Kenya). I'm afraid once you move to DSLRs the costs rise steeply!

I'm getting that lens in Canon mount along with a new crop sensor Canon, probably a 7D, to go alongside my present FF Canon.

The D7000 is apparently a superb camera, especially now they've released a software fix to deal with some issues, but IMO a problem with Nikon is that their own brand lenses tend to be very costly, and not always that good/durable. A (much) cheaper option that would give at least the same quality results is the Canon 550D/T2i, plus the lens of course. If you need seriously good autofocus then the Nikon will be better, but so will the Canon 7D (at even more money). The Canons will give slightly longer effective focal lengths with the same lenses (in Canon mount of course) - actual 500 mm becomes effective 800 rather than 750.

How do you get gear in Kenya? Do you import it personally, or do you have useful dealers? What are prices like?

Last edited by peterbj7; Dec 23, 2010 at 2:45 AM.
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Old Dec 23, 2010, 8:34 PM   #5
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Warning! The Sigma 50-500mm lens weighs almost 2kg! http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/50-50...g-os-hsm-sigma
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Old Dec 23, 2010, 11:20 PM   #6
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But it IS a zoom to 500. Do you know of any other lenses with that reach and with OS/VR/IS (essential at 500) that are significantly lighter?
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Old Dec 24, 2010, 11:44 AM   #7
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No argument about the reach, I was just pointing out the weight so the OP wouldn't be surprised since he is used to a superzoom.
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Old Dec 24, 2010, 3:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Nichol View Post
No argument about the reach, I was just pointing out the weight so the OP wouldn't be surprised since he is used to a superzoom.
And reach doesn't do you any good if you can't lift your arms...
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 12:21 AM   #9
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Thanks all and sorry for the late response. I was on the beach for the holidays!!!

I am considering a dslr, but cost seems to be an issue, as it portability. Nikon sprang to mind first, given their name brand reputation, but this new Canon T2i looks equally amazing.

Gear is hard to get here, I usually buy on Amazon and deliver to my friend's place in the US, and he travels a lot so I get my stuff in a month or two.

For me, its a toss up between D7000 and T2i, but looks like the canon may take it.

Thanks again!
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Canon 60D ¦ EF 50 II ¦ EF-S 18-135 ¦ Canon 100-400 L
Vivitar 28/2.5 ¦ Helios 44-2 ¦Meyer Optik Gorlitz Trioplan 100/2.8 ¦ Tele Lentar 135/2.8 ¦ Soligor 180/3.5
Panasonic FZ38 / Olympus TCON 17
My Flickr
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