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Old Feb 13, 2007, 4:18 AM   #1
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All,

I am looking to buy my first DSLR after using P&S's for the last few years. I have narrowed it down to a few, D40, D50 and E500 mainly due to affordability and ease of use.

My sister has just announced that she is getting married in December which has thrown my thoughts into a bit of disarray. I was leaning towards the Oly twin lens kit as I had seen it forĀ£450 and I was leaning towards wanting a telephoto lens however, I am not sure as to how this would perform at a wedding ceremony/reception with more than likely low light! Would the Oly 35mm f3.5 help or would I need to look at faster lenses?

If the Oly doesn't really fit the bill, would the Nikon Kit lens hold up or should I look at the 50mm Nikon for the D50 and 30mm sigma for the D40??

I have handled and am comfortable with all 3 cameras but was leaning towards the Oly due to value so changing to Nikon would not make a difference to me!

Any input is greatly appreciated!
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 6:56 AM   #2
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Mike,

I'd suggest taking a look at the list of lenses Kenbalbari listed in the following thread - these are all lenses that WILL NOT WORK with the D40. IMO, it's worth the extra $$ to get the D50 over the D40.

http://stevesforums.com/forums/view_...mp;forum_id=87

Now, on to your dilema. E500 vs. D50. The E500 has the better kit lens but the d50 has much better performance at ISO 400 and above and you still have a larger selection of autofocus lenses available for the Nikon camera than the oly (including a larger selection of third-party lenses). So, while the Oly is initially less expensive, the Nikon SYSTEM is a more robust system and will present you more options down the road.

If you have a goal of taking photos at your sister's wedding, the best accessory you can get isn't an additional lens - its an external flash. This will improve your reception shots 1000% And let's face it there are only a handful of ceremony shots to get but there are 100s of reception shots or posed shots (where you are allowed to use flash). For the ceremony shots you would be looking at some pricey lenses (usually 2.8 or better)- which ones depend entirely upon how the lighting is in the specific building the ceremony will take place in and how far away you will be. My advice though is to not worry about the ceremony shots - the paid photog will get those and as indicated there are only a handful.

With a good external flash you can use a kit lens for the reception and posed shots (since aperture will likely be stopped down for greater DOF anyway) and still get great results.
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 8:20 AM   #3
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JohnG said all in real life experience of what you expect in the wedding. The D50 is the camera for your sister wedding and beyond when you want to build up your lenses collection later or buy a better Nikon camera in the future and keep the D50 as a perfect back up.
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 10:24 AM   #4
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Mike:

The 35mm f3.5 Macro isn't any faster at 35mm than the 40-150mm kit zoom is at 40mm. The 50mm f2, the 14-54 f2.8-3.5, or the 50-200 f2.8-3.5 would be better choices.

So I wouldn't recommed the 35 f3.5 for your sister's wedding. Now, if it were your ant's wedding...
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Old Feb 14, 2007, 7:24 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies

The camera will not primarily be for the wedding and I will only be taking snapshots/candids in addition to the pro as I am very much a beginner in SLR's though I am hoping to purchase one very soon so that I can get the practice in.

Looks like an external flashwill be on the list then!

Ken, I realise that the 35mm is labelled a macro lens but I had read somewhere that it takes decent standard pictures aswell. Is that not the case?

As I am a beginner and not really looking into buying multitudes of lenses, is the wide range of Nikon THAT much of an advantage. From what I can see, The Oly would provide me with 2 good lenses that would pretty much cover every angle and another such as the 35mm is not that expensive. If I do get into it in more detail, there are upgrades (right word:?) to each of those lenses that would take me further!! Although I do understand the legacy of the Nikon system, I am impressed that Oly decided to build a system from the ground up specifically designed for digital!
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Old Feb 14, 2007, 7:37 AM   #6
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Mike,

The risk with Oly is, you don't know where your photography will evolve. You may be happy with the 2 kit lenses for all your needs. Or you may not. You may find you like a particular style of photography that requires a new lens or a lens of higher quality. And that lens may not be available in the Oly system at least not with auto focus capability (I believe the Olys can use several older style manual focus lenses from the Nikon system). Whereas you are pretty much guaranteed to find it in the Nikon system. Not bashing Oly, just stating a fact. If you're comfortable with that risk then by all means get the Oly. As mentioned they aregood cameras (exccept for high ISO performance which is poor due to the small sensor) and they do have good kit lenses (as compared to other kit lenses from other systems).
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Old Feb 14, 2007, 8:54 AM   #7
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I just went through this decision making process myself. I checked out the Canon XT, XTi, the Olympus E500 w/2 lens kit, and the Nikon line - D40, D50 and D80.

The Oly looked like a pretty good deal, with 2 lenses that would cover pretty much of the ground I'd need. But I was bothered by the way a couple of the salesmen tried to steer me to that camera. Many years ago, I sold cameras at a retail shop, and we were encouraged to sell certain brands that would net the store a higher profit. There was a little cash incentive to do so as well. The customer would come in to look at the Nikons or Canons, and you'd show them those, but then you'd say, "Have you considered the ******, it has all these features and costs less." Worked about 50% of the time. Now the ***** wasn't a bad camera and the hobbyist really wouldn't see any difference in the pictures, but, still, they weren't up to the quality of those name brands either.

So, maybe it's not the same game today, but it just echoed my past experiences so much that I really didn't look to hard at the Olympus. Oh, BTW, the Oly package in the retail stores was $799. I got a D40 with 18-55 kit and a 55-200mm lens for $799 online.

Greg
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Old Feb 14, 2007, 12:18 PM   #8
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Mike, the 35mm lens will take good pictures aside from macro shots. And it's probably very nice as a portrait lens, as it's just the right focal length (70mm equivalent). But I don't think it really gives you much there that the kit lens doesn't. The 40-150 is VERY sharp at 40mm (never mind for a kit zoom). And it's just as fast. So the 35mm doesn't give you much more other than it's macro ability. But if you really need to add a macro lens, and don't need a low light lens, that's a good affordable option.

But if you wanted to add a fast prime lens, either the Sigma 30mm f1.4, or the Zuiko 50mm f2.0 macro would at least give you some capability beyond the kit zooms. Even there, the 50mm macro really won't autofocus well at much distance in low light. Macro lenses generally are geared towards focusing at closer distances. And I'm not sure about the new Sigma. The 14-54 f2.8-3.5 though does focus quickly generally (much better than the kit lens), and at least tolerably in low light.

If you're not ready to spend the near $400 it costs for one of those right now, I still think you'd be better saving the $200 you would spend on the 35mm macro , and putting it towards a more versatile lens in the future--unless you are especially interested in it's macro ability.

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Old Feb 14, 2007, 12:59 PM   #9
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Ken-

I actually own and use the Zukio 50mm F 2.0 and while it is optically excellent. it is a very slow focusing lens. The Sigm 30mm F 1.4 lens is really all around excellent. I am using it on both the Pentax K100D and the Nikon D-50.

Here is an existing light/no flash sample photo taken with my D-50 and the Sigma 30mm F 1.4 lens

MT/Sarah

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