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Old Dec 20, 2007, 10:47 AM   #1
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I keep swinging to and fro between the Nikon D40x and the Olympus E510 mainly because of the the dust suppression on the E510.I will have either the Nikkor 18-200 vr or the Zuiko 18-180 lens permanently on and am an average shooter.I prefer the reviews on the D40x but dust bothers me somewhat.My question is ,is it a real issue ? how often approximately am I likely to have to do it. I wont be doing any dessert pics.The guy at the dealers said he has had a D80 for two years with a lot of use and lens changing and still has no dust.!!.Is cleaning the sensor a big deal?Maybe Nikon are about to bring out a dust system of their own on a similar camera. I would be interested in your comments .

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Old Dec 20, 2007, 12:51 PM   #2
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I would consider a dust reduction feature as 'nice to have' but not a good enough reason to not buy any camera.

Dust isn't that much of a problem. If you can limit yourself to changing lenses in environments where there isn't a lot of dust, or you don't plan on changing lenses at all, I don't think you should worry about it.

But there are a lot more that distinguishes the D40x from the E-510 than a dust reduction feature. I'm intrigued about how you might have narrowed your choices down to those two cameras. How did you get here?
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Old Dec 20, 2007, 1:55 PM   #3
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TCav wrote:
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I would consider a dust reduction feature as 'nice to have' but not a good enough reason to not buy any camera.

Dust isn't that much of a problem. If you can limit yourself to changing lenses in environments where there isn't a lot of dust, or you don't plan on changing lenses at all, I don't think you should worry about it.

But there are a lot more that distinguishes the D40x from the E-510 than a dust reduction feature. I'm intrigued about how you might have narrowed your choices down to those two cameras. How did you get here?
Well a long way round I guess,first of all I have had over the years several Canon film slrs,originally with several lenses but with my last one I bought a 28-200 lens to lighten my load as weight was was becoming important.Two years ago a friend talked me into going digital,so I got a Panasonic FZ7, whichI have enjoyed very much.I do miss a Slr though ,so now is the time I think.I have got used to a long reach tele lens and I. S. plus being able to go high with I S O is great.So ,I like the live view on the E510 plus anti dust ,also I like the Nikons VR as Panasonics is very good,(some of the long hand held shots I get out are amazing).Canon has only the 17-85mm lens that I can afford and its a bit short.Tamron and Sigma dont seem to be in the same class as the Nikkor.
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Old Dec 20, 2007, 2:25 PM   #4
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If weight is an issue, the weight of the Olympus E-510 is about the same as the Nikon D40x, but because of the smaller image sensor in the E-510, it's lenses are smaller and lighter than lenses with an equivalent angle of view on the D40x.

The E-510 uses sensor shift image stabilization, which is every bit as good as the optical image stabilization used in the Nikon and Panasonic lenses, and since it's in the body, you don't need the extra size, weight and cost of having it in each lens.

To be sure, there may be good reasons for getting the D40x instead of the E-510, but nothing you've said would have me point you in that direction.
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Old Dec 20, 2007, 11:45 PM   #5
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As far as dust goes, I have had a dSLR (I shoot Pentax cameras) for two years now, and don't find dust to be a major issue. I've always been able to blow whatever dust I have off with a hand-blower, I haven't needed to clean the sensor yet. I change lenses all the time and think that it is more important to develop a two handed method of changing lenses, where the camera insides are exposed for only a brief moment (you put the new lens on with one hand as you take the old one off). So dust reduction systems are very low on my list of priorities.

On the other hand, anti-shake is really high on my list of priorities so I'd lean more to the Oly over the Nikon (I have both the Pentax K10 and K100 and they have in-camera anti-shake, which works very well). The best thing to do is handle both cameras and see if you prefer one over the other as far as size and weight - both cameras are capable of taking excellent pictures.
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Old Dec 21, 2007, 5:50 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input all,I looked at http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4615...the-shake.html

that shows that the nikkor 18-200 has 3-4 stops gain and the olympus 2-2 1/2 stops .They tested them at 200mm. Thats what swayed me towards the nikkor.

Of the in bodyI Sthe Sony A100 did best at 2-3 stops. I am not keen on the Sony reviews though.
The 18-180mm oly translates to 36-360 mm ,the Nikkor to 28-300mm so slightly better for landscape althoughI do stitch my Panasonic 36mm in Photoshop.
The othersite worth a look is http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM this shows differences between the E510 and D40x when you compare the noise handling at the bottom of the page ISO 1600 on the D40x looks better than ISO800 on the E510, that would represent another stop in low light..I think its to do with the smaller sensor .Not big issues but do add to the confusion when looking at £800 + or $1600 outlay when you are retired.If I can rule out dust deletion as an issue the D40x has it .I would miss exposure bracketing but it can be easily worked around,lack of D O F preview isn't as much of a problem as it was with film.The live view is useful on the Oly something I have got used to with the Pana,although in sunlight I find I am nearly always using the O V F .


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Old Dec 21, 2007, 6:59 AM   #7
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If and when you read this, please remember that I'm not a big fan of superzooms anyway.

As to the Nikkor 18-200 VR, PhotoZone.de says:

"Distortions"

"Extreme zooms tend to suffer from rather hefty distortions and the AF-S 18-200mm is no exception in this respect. In fact the amount of barrel distortions (4.1%) at 18mm broke a new negative record beating the Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS by a fraction. At 24mm the distortion characteristic is neutral before turning into very pronounced pincushion distortions beyond. All in all one of the worst performances here."

(I've never tried to stitch panoramas, but it seems to me that it might be tough with this much geometric distortion. -TCav)

"Vignetting"

"The AF-S 18-200mm DX is a reduced image frame (APS-C) lens so vignetting is far more pronounced compared to full frame lenses. Typical for standard zooms the vignetting is worst at 18mm @ f/3.5 where it exceeds 1EV in the image corners. Stopping down to f/5.6 is a good idea here. The situation eases significantly in the middle range before increasing again towards 200mm. The amount of vignetting is relatively modest here even at wide-open aperture."

"MTF (resolution)"

"Typical of extreme zooms the resolution varies significantly across the zoom range. At 18mm the center performance is excellent whereas the borders follow quite a bit behind. At f/5.6-f/11 the border performance is very decent including good extreme corners. The sweet spot of the lens is around 24-50mm with an excellent center and much improved borders. At 100mm the lens showed a rather pronounced performance drop at wide-open aperture - the center performance is still very fine here but the borders were very soft. However, stopping down to f/8 helps to resolve the issue. At 200mm the resolution figures are pretty decent again."

"The lens showed quite pronounced field curvature and high residual spherical aberrations (focus shift when stopping down) at the wide end of the zoom range."

"Verdict"

"Regarding some glowing reviews available on the web the expectation were rather high. Unfortunately the (tested sample of the) Nikkor AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR II DX wasn't able to convince completely. Weak points are rather hefty distortions and high vignetting (@ f/3.5) at 18mm. Apart from a few weak spots the resolution figures are quite good though and it is possible to get very decent images from this lens under field conditions. The VR can surely help to save the day in situations where similar zooms must fail utterly The build quality is a little soso for a lens in this price class and probably the biggest disappointment. All in all the Nikkor is a highly interesting lens but not without flaws (hardly surprising for a 11x zoom)."

In addition,PhotoZone.de's Lens Performance Survey Results only gives it a 1.67 out of 5. (See http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html )

So, while the Nikkor AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR II DX is one of the finest examples of what is possible with image stabilization, and optical image stabilization in particular, it isn't a very good lens in a lot of other respects.

To be sure, the Olympus 18-180 isn't an example ofstellar optical performance either. The Olympuus ED 18-180mm 1:3.5-6.3 scored 2.75 out of 5 in PhotoDo.com,s User Reviews. Compare that to 4.25 for the Nikon 18-200. (See http://www.photodo.com/products.html ) (Comparing PhotoDo User Reviews objectivelyacross brands is not a good idea, but what this does show is that Olympus users are less pleased with their 18-180 than Nikon users are with their 18-200.)

If you are determined to get a superzoom, probably the best of the breed is the Tamron 18-250, but since it isn't a stabilized lens, you'd need a stabilized body. That means Pentax or Sony.

Unless, perhaps, there are other considerations that you haven't mentioned.

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Old Dec 21, 2007, 7:33 AM   #8
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Thanks for your efforts TCav.Yes ,I do agree with what you say,there appears to be compromises all round.I have a Tamron lens on my film S L R and it was good enough for me butI always had to have plenty of light at the long end even with 400 asa so thats what impressed me so much about the panas I O S as I can get shots out at 1/60th at 420mm on 200 ISO hand held of course.So I have been spoilt by I S . I read somewhere that Tamron were bringing out a 18-250 O S lens to compete with Sigma.If thats true it may be worth waiting. Getting back to reviews Ibought a magazine that ratedseveral DSLRs in a shoot out inone article, only to show a totally different result comparing the same cameras in their all D S L R ratings page.You only have to look at the different ratings by reveiwers on Viewscore but there are common denominators.Also these issues are what keeps the forums goingI guess.



Thanks again for your input
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Old Dec 21, 2007, 9:55 AM   #9
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I agree mostly with TCav.

My preferred review site is slrgear.com. Comparing the Tamron to the Nikon they reach similar conclusions.

The interactive blur plots however allow you to explore the behaviour in much more detail across the range of focal lengths and apertures.

In particular the thing I like about the Tamron is that the centre-sharpness is great across the entire zoom range. Whereas the Nikon is pretty soft beyond 100mm. Both lenses are optimised for the 35-50mm focal lengths which is where they will spend most of their time in snapshot-land.

The major advantage to the Nikon lens is that its build quality is much better.

If using a superzoom (in fact pretty much any zoom) I would always use DXO Optics to correct automatically for distortion, vignetting, CA and corner softness.

So if you really want a single-lens superzoom solution a Pentax or Sony body with the Tamron 18-250 and a copy of DXO Optics should stand you in very good stead.

Or as you say, wait for the stabilized version of the Tamron lens and put it on a Nikon or Canon body, with DXO of course.
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Old Dec 21, 2007, 10:32 AM   #10
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peripatetic wrote:
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I agree mostly with TCav.

My preferred review site is slrgear.com. Comparing the Tamron to the Nikon they reach similar conclusions.

The interactive blur plots however allow you to explore the behaviour in much more detail across the range of focal lengths and apertures.

In particular the thing I like about the Tamron is that the centre-sharpness is great across the entire zoom range. Whereas the Nikon is pretty soft beyond 100mm. Both lenses are optimised for the 35-50mm focal lengths which is where they will spend most of their time in snapshot-land.

The major advantage to the Nikon lens is that its build quality is much better.

If using a superzoom (in fact pretty much any zoom) I would always use DXO Optics to correct automatically for distortion, vignetting, CA and corner softness.

So if you really want a single-lens superzoom solution a Pentax or Sony body with the Tamron 18-250 and a copy of DXO Optics should stand you in very good stead.

Or as you say, wait for the stabilized version of the Tamron lens and put it on a Nikon or Canon body, with DXO of course.
Excuse my ignorance but what is D X O optics is it physical or software? Also it sounds like the nikon wouldn't sharpen in photoshop if its a lens blur?
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