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Old Feb 28, 2007, 3:26 PM   #11
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Nikon D80 with the 18-135 kit lens

This is a very nice combo that would come within your budget.

I get the impression that you would like the D80 'to grow into' and that lens has a very handy walk around range - and is quite sharp.
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 9:00 PM   #12
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Wow! Thanks everyone, you've provided me with so much info I'm still digesting it. I'm now focusing on lenses as much as the body, and comparing what I think I'll want (and be able to afford) in the future. Meanwhile, to the camera store to do some hands-on.


kenbalbari, I appreciate the analysis. I've been researching the lenses you recommend.

mtngrl, the sample photos are enlightening.

One of my considerations is to get a good body and a fixed lens to start with, using that to continue my "education" before moving up to a zoom. Any thoughts on that as a stragegy?

Ed

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Old Mar 1, 2007, 6:29 AM   #13
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Id say thats down to your personal preference...

Me personally, Id get a little bored walking round with the same fixed lens on. Ive had my D50 a year and half now and started off with the kit lens 18-55mm.. Even tho it was the basic kit lens it really astounded me the quality it could output compared to my previous p&s. I still use it now when I require a wider angled shot.

Previously I had a FZ30, so naturally wanted a big zoom lens. I found a cheap deal on the Tamron 28-300 and this lens is amazing, its virtually never off my camera. I bought this within a few weeks of getting my camera.

Next I wanted to explore low light photography and portraits so ordered a 50mm 1.8f lens. This lens takes a nice sharp picture with decent bokeh, its not on my camera very often though to be honest.

Next up would be a nice wide angle 12-24mm and a decent macro lens. Both of these a quite pricey investments though.

I think I may keep an eye on the up and coming cameras and lenses, although no complaints about the Nikon mount at all so far.

This would worry me about the K10D http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxk10d/page18.asp

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Old Mar 1, 2007, 1:19 PM   #14
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It depends on what you are used to and your individual preference. Folks coming from a p&s would probably be happier starting out with the kit lens (more what they are used to). On the other hand, my background was with a film SLR, and I used three primes with it for 10 years before I bought my first zoom lens. I feel perfectly comfortable using primes, but not everyone would.

In general, I suggest getting the kit lens first, since they are all quite inexpensive and are excellent value for the money. Use that for a while until you decide what its short-comings are as they apply to your photography needs, and then go from there.
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Old Mar 1, 2007, 1:52 PM   #15
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mtngal wrote:
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In general, I suggest getting the kit lens first, since they are all quite inexpensive and are excellent value for the money. Use that for a while until you decide what its short-comings are as they apply to your photography needs, and then go from there.
Excellent advice!! Let NEED dictate what lens to buy not our opinions :Gof what we think you should need. Kit lenses really don't add much to the initial cost and you avoid ending up with an expensive paper weight (buying a lens you never use).
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Old Mar 1, 2007, 8:51 PM   #16
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The advice of the last two commenters makes sense. However:

- If I go with the Canon D400 (XTi), by all accounts the kit lens is sub-par. I had a Canon kit lens with my film Rebel, and wasn't impressed.

- The Nikon D80 doesn't seem to have a kit lens, though some retailers offer one in a package, usually the 18-55mm ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor. This one seems to be more highly regarded, but I wonder if it is enough.

I've taken enough photos with a SLR to know I want more than a starter lens, and I know I need the anti-shake when buying a zoom.

The idea to get a good fixed to start with is to improve a) my ability in handling a SLR, and b) photo composition before

Thanks again, all.
Ed

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