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Old Apr 13, 2006, 2:47 PM   #11
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Thank you for your thoughts, mtclimber. You're making it a very tough decision.

Although, if I could actually find the 18-200 in stock anywhere, I'd probably be tempted to get it. :G
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Old Apr 16, 2006, 11:46 PM   #12
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Soy,

Forgetting for a second the gushing reviews of the 18-200 and forgetting the VRII which is awesome.

Lemme give you a word of advice from someone who has wasted plenty of money on cheap lenses.

DON'T.

If you really want top notch images then you are just throwing your money away buying cheap lenses. When I needed a $3000 lens for football I tried to get buy spending 750 on a Sigma. (135-400) The pictures were crap and I was never happy. In the end, I gave the lenes away and wasted all 750 bucks. I would have been FAR better served putting the money toward a Nikkor 80-200 f2.8. It might not have been a 300 2.8 but it would have been such a good lens I would have been much happier.

As for me, I'm the last of the film SLR holdouts. I got a 4mp digicam about 4 years ago and waited for "the right" camera before I went dSLR.

Today, I'm buying a D200 and the 18-200. I'm going to cry the day I see the charge on my charge card but I'll grin for years as I have incredible images.

If you want to be limited by your equipment for the rest of your life, buy a cheap camera and lens. You'll always regret it.

My two cents.


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Old Apr 17, 2006, 2:01 PM   #13
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I understand what you're saying, Geek. But I'm a beginning photographer, and I'm sure our standards for a good looking photo are different. And if I find out it does in fact take a $3000 lens to take high quality photos, then I'll be ditching this hobby much faster than I took it up.

Although I realize a zoom lens for sports photography is probably the most expensive lens one can get. I'm more of a nature and landscape photography guy... so my lenses seem to be a little cheaper.

But that's not to say I wouldn't pay $700 for an 18-200. $700 is a lot of money, but it's certainly realistic. Especially for such a do-it-all lens as the 18-200. And now that I got my tax money back, I'm ready to buy one. Problem is, I can't find one anywhere!! Every place I look seems to have a 2 month backlog.

So here is what I'm contemplating at the moment:

Tokina 12-24mm. This one is a must-have, and I will surely buy it whenever they become available (back logged).

-and-

1)Tokina 28-80 f/2.8
2)A telephoto lens yet to be determined. Possible a used 70-200 VR

-or-

1)Wait for a Nikkor 18-200 to become available. Possibly months.


I could order the Tokina today, giving me much more mid-range capability than my current 50mm f/1.8. But given that telephotos are so expensive, it would be awhile before I could save up for one. So I'd be stuck at 80mm (120mm on DSLR) for quite awhile.

But the 18-200 would give me much more range, as well as VR, which would be great. But the wait would be tough.

Anyways... I'm just babbling.

Love.


PS. I understand you had a bad experience with Sigma. Out of the plethora of lens reviews I've been reading, it seems to me Sigma has the lowest build quailty, and I don't plan on buying any of their lenses.
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Old Apr 17, 2006, 2:15 PM   #14
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Powered by Soy-

Here is a photo sample taken this morning using my Nikon D-50 equipped with a Tamron 28-300 XR Di lens. Yes it is only a Tamron, but the image makes me happy and this is a 100% crop as well

MT
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Old Apr 17, 2006, 8:08 PM   #15
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Soy, as someone who has been shooting for a LOOONG time. (20+ years) my advice to you is get over the spec sheets.

YES you need quality tools. That's a given. But photography ain't about numbers and letters. IF you want to be a good photog, buy $100 Nikkor 50mm f1.8 and don't take that lens off the camera for at least 2 months. Learn it like the back of your hand before you worry about a zoom.

READ READ READ READ the owners manual that comes with every piece of equipment. Back when I was shooting semi-pro, I read every manual of every piece of equipment every year in January. YOU WILL BE STUNNED how much you forget in a year.

As a newbie the shiney pictures in the magazines are quite appealing. If you talk to old time photogs most all of them talk about "collecting" glass. Buy one lens every year or so. After a few years, you'll have a deep toolkit.

My point is, don't gets ants in your pants that you can't buy all the toys you want this week. Becoming a photographer is a marathon, not a sprint.

If you can find a good photographer, you can hand him a disposable and he will probably outshoot you with all the best toys Nikon makes. His images might not be tack sharp, but they'll be better than yours.

I once went into a studio where the guy had stunning shots everywhere. I was looking at his antique camera collection while I was waiting for him. When I asked what kind of equipment his used, he was rather puzzeled. He pointed to the shelf of "antiques" and said, "You've been looking at it." -- He was using equipment I would not have even looked at in a second-hand shop. I learned a humbling lesson.

Above I told you that you needed good glass. And you do. But you don't need every single bell and whistle near as much as you need skill and talent. That's what seperates a photographer from a guy with an expensive camera.

2 more cents.
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Old Apr 17, 2006, 10:34 PM   #16
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geektog-

Thanks for posting. I have been a Professional Photographer for 53 years now and I am still at it and enjoying it. I am also a Digital Photographer Instructor for our state university.

Your point is well made. However, as you well know, it takes time to acquire a certain level of experience and everyone has to begin that process sometime. I always compliment beginning students, or anyone forthat matter, that really wants to learn, because they are making that all important beginning.

I sincerely think that most everyone posting here really wants to both learn and gain experience, I prefer to reach out and help as much as possible and to really encourage all of them.

MT
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 9:44 AM   #17
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After using the Nikon 18/200 "VR" lens for a while now I can say it is a truly great all around lens to just keep on the D200 and use for everything. I give it the A+ for just about any photography I do which includes Weddings, Portraits, Pets, Motorcycles, Large groups, Cars, Kids softball games and anything else that will help pay for all this Camera stuff I keep getting.

The D100 and 24/120 "VR" are now officialy retired.

I will keep the 50mm 1.4 for extremly low light if ever needed but the "VR" in the 18/200 works so well I will probably never need to use it again. Yep, I guess you can tell I'm pleased with the 18/200 "VR" Nikon lens.

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Old Apr 19, 2006, 11:39 AM   #18
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geektog wrote:
Quote:
YES you need quality tools. That's a given. But photography ain't about numbers and letters. IF you want to be a good photog, buy $100 Nikkor 50mm f1.8 and don't take that lens off the camera for at least 2 months. Learn it like the back of your hand before you worry about a zoom...
Well, I'm glad to say that's exactly what I've been doing. When I purchased my D50 body about a couple months ago, I also ordered the 50mm f/1.8 lens. This is the only lens I've been using while I learn the camera - because I figure if I can't take good pictures with this lens, having a more expensive zoom isn't going to help any. But lately I've been having situations where the lack of zoom (either wide or far) has been creating problems. Not with picture quality of course, but more so with composition.

For example, here's a bird shot I took a couple days ago, and this was as close as I could get. Keep in mind, this picture is about a 100% crop. :sad: Also, for indoors the 50mm (75mm) is a tad long. So I'd say I'm ready to try a zoom.




I will admit though - the way the 50mm lens forces you to move around and compose your shot is a lot of fun. :-)

Thanks for the post, Geek. Although it may have seemed to condradict your first post a bit, you give excellent advice. You reminded me that I do sometimes get caught up in the hardware.
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Old Apr 20, 2006, 8:41 PM   #19
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I'd like to hear some input on peoples thoughts about Nikon VR lenses and tripods. Particularly from the owners of such lenses.

Does having VR enable you to forever be rid of a tripod? Or even with a VR lens, do you still have to pull out the tripod in order to nail a certain shot (while turning off the VR of course)?

I ask this because I'm about to spend a lot of money on new camera equipment. Tax returns! Do I first get the $600 tripod, and stick with the more basic (and inexpensive) lenses? Or do I go all out and buy the 18-200 VR, for which the vast majority of my shots I probably wouldn't even need a tripod?

Most of my photography is going to be while out hiking. And the thought of foregoing a heavy and clumsy tripod in favor of a VR lens sounds quite liberating.

Thank you for humoring my brainstorm.
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Old Apr 20, 2006, 10:43 PM   #20
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The fact is when you use a tripod you need to turn off VR if your steady handed anything under 200mm can be done with out VR in most cases if lighting is good.
VR works well hand holding but you can never beat a tripod for those shots that require it, VR will allow you to get shots that other wise you probably would never get though when shutter speeds are low.
For really fast action I turn off VR because the time it takes VR to lock and focus cancause a missed shot, so I have always turned it off.
VR has its place but for fast sports you can't use slow shutter speeds so VR really isn't needed anyways unless your subject it static and not moving so you can use a slow shutter speed.
For your specific needs while out hiking you'd most likely be better off with VR since you don't want to be packing a tripod but fornice setup to carry up to 13lbs. I would look at
Bogen 3021BN $145.00
Bogen / Manfrotto 486RC2 w/quick release Supports 13.2 lb @ $61.95
or
Bogen / Manfrotto 488RC2 w/quick release Supports 17.6 lb @ $95.95
If you want to get a different quick release system you get the ball head with out its quick release.
Bogen / Manfrotto 486 @ $53.95
or
Bogen / Manfrotto 488R @ $78.95
and a Quick Release System from Really Right Stuff, Kirk or Acratech for $75.00 - $100.00
Camera Plates for about $55.00 each.
So for about $400.00 you can get a nice setup to carry up to 13lbs on the legs and up to 17lbs on the ball head. Spend a little more on the tripod legs for lighter or stronger but that depends on your needs. The ball head and quick release should be enough for quite a load.
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