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Old Apr 30, 2008, 2:40 PM   #21
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Mikael A wrote:
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I also believe that Sony has developed the Tamron further.
Yes. Sony regeared their 18-250mm lens for faster focusing for one thing, and also improved the build quality. You can see more of the differences here:

Sony 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 review at alphamountworld.com

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I would not buy a Sony just try it out unless you have an unlimited budget.
Why would you say that? Sony dSLR models can use any Minolta Autofocus lens ever made (and Minolta made over 16 Million of them, not counting third party lenses in this mount from Tamron, Tokina, Sigma, Cosina, etc.).

Most of the time, you'll find more used Autofocus lenses in Minolta Autofocus Mount (a.k.a., Maxxum, Dynax, Alpha, Minolta A Mount) at popular vendors of used gear like http://www.keh.com, http://www.bhphotovideo.com and http://www.adorama.com, compared to Autofocus lenses from Nikon, Canon and others. There are many lens choices available. Here are some incomplete lists of lenses:

Fixed Focal Length Lenses in Minolta A mount

Macro Lenses in Minolta A Mount

Zoom Lenses in Minolta A mount

These are lenses I have for use on my Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D and Sony Alpha 700 (a.k.a., DSLR-A700), and note that the Sony Alpha 100 and Sony Alpha 200 models evolved from the Maxxum 5D, after Sony acquired Konica Minolta's camera related assets: Minolta 28mm f/2, 50mm f/1.7, 100mm f/2, 135mm f/2.8, 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, 35-70mm f/4 Macro; Konica Minolta 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6; Tamron 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5, Tamron 35-105mm f/2.8; Vivitar 70-210mm f/2.8-4. All Autofocus (and all are stabilized on a Konica Minolta or Sony DSLR model, like my KM Maxxum 5D or Sony A700).

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Old Apr 30, 2008, 2:58 PM   #22
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Mikael A wrote:
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May I also add that I used a system camera for many years as a youth (Minolta) and
I wish I could use those lenses todayas they were of highest quality.
If they're Autofocus, you can use them with any of the Sony dSLR models (A100, A200, A300, A350, A700). If they're older Minolta MC/MD mount manual focus lenses, you can buy adapters to use them with Olympus or Sony (and perhaps other) dSLR models. What lenses do you have?
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Old Apr 30, 2008, 9:49 PM   #23
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Thanks for all the replies! I was so happy to check back here today and read through all this information!

I think I've given up on the e-510. I know it can take good pictures but because of all the customization required I think the learning curve will be even steeper than other Dslrs (I'm not THAT experienced a photographer and I will have to play around with the camera a lot for something good to come out of it).

The Sony isn't available where I live, which means I would have to purchase it online and have it shipped, and I don't want to do that without checking it out first.

I've tried out the D80. Nice camera and has lots of features but doesn't have VR lens or dust removal. It's also a lot heavier than the other cameras I am looking at, which is not ideal for travel.

Unfortunately, since my first post, all the D40s and XTis have been pulled from the shelves here and you can only get XSi or D60. I played with the XSi in the store and my hand kept cramping, it was really awkward. Though it has a lot of useful features. Also, it's at the top of my price range with the kit lens and I've read reviews that say that you should upgrade the kit lens sooner rather than later, which I can't afford to do now.

So I'm leaning toward the D60. It's comfortable and, while it does have limitations, I think I can learn to work around them. I know a lot of people say that D60 isn't worth the money, that one might as well get the D40. However, it does have VR and dust removal, two features I don't really mind paying for. Also, as it's cheaper than the other option, I can afford that nice Nikkor zoom lens faster :-)

I haven't quite decided yet definitely. I have scheduled some more time at the camera store on Saturday to play around some more and maybe even to buy
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Old Apr 30, 2008, 10:32 PM   #24
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Mikael A wrote:
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I did mean the Nikon lens although I should have written 18-200. Please refer to http://www.cameralabs.com as one example of where it gets the highest ranking in its class. ...
Actually, CameraLabs didn't test the VR II, just the VR (I), and they haven't tested the Tamron. There are places that have reviewed boththe Nikon 18-200 VR (I) and the Tamron 18-250, and the Tamron came out on top (See PopPhoto Nikon 18-200 and PopPhoto Tamron 18-250 for instance.) After a quick search, the only place I found that tested both the Nikon 18-200 VR II and the Tamron 18-250 was PhotoZone.de.

Photozone gave them both the same grades, but slammed the Nikon for the wide end and the Tamron for the long end. Since the Tamron is longer than the Nikon, I'd give the edge to the Tamron.
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Old Apr 30, 2008, 10:48 PM   #25
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Travel child or videobounce (I lost track) the one of you who doesn't want to carry around more than one lense because of dust and weight.....

Please check out the Fuji S9100 camera. Its not a D-SLR camera but it is a very nice camera with 28 - 300mm lens that will cover about 85-90% of what you want to photograph. I'd call it a bridge camera as it bridges between upper end photo and shoots and D-SLRs. Got a lot of overrides and such.

Although the lens may not be long enough for some wildlife you can try the 2x digital zoom in a pench and see how it works for you. Only used a hand full of times in emergencies and it was ok.......

I have been using this camera since May 2007 and use it alot around smoke, fires, blood and the like and with it built in lens it works very very well for me.

dave
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Old May 1, 2008, 4:34 AM   #26
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TCav, you might be very right about the quality of the lenses (although I believe that the Sony lens is supposed to be better than the Tamron). The important point for TravelGirl is that I would not recommend getting a lens without VRI or VRII; or IS, ie without stabilization. Hence, if she intends to buy the Nikon D60 then it would be the Nikkor.

Like TravelGirl, I also concluded that the D80 is too heavy. I also did not like the flat grip for the fingers on the right hand. But that seems to be standard for Nikon and this flatness is the main reason why I am not so keen on Nikon (but that is MY impression - perhaps it feels good for you TravelGirl!). Considering TravelGirls (and others) experience, I think I will try the grip of the Canon XSI another time (I do have a big hand). Sony A100 was very good regarding the grip but the new inexpensive Sony's are not as good. I also find the Sony's somewhat heavy.

Jim C, I certainly do not disagree with you that Sony/Minolta makes very good cameras. I just wanted TravelGirl to be aware that she is not just buying a camera but a system. Hence, she will find it very difficult economically to go from Sony to ie Nikon later if she would like to. It is a pity that we do not have Global Authorities that can standardize these things.

Regarding the lenses, I have non-autofokus lenses: Minolta: 50 mm (f=1.4), 28 mm (f=3.5) and Tamron: 80-210 mm (f=3.8). I especially love the 50 mm lens.

Regarding the Oly, from what I understand there are only two factory settings that need to be changed and when that is done then that's it. So perhaps that should not discourage you. I think that the double lens option and the 12-60 (=24-120 old type) lens would cost about the same as the D60 with the 18-200 VRII lens.

Sorry if I may have confused you know. At the end of the day, I actually do believe that all these companies that we have discussed and Pentax (and probably some other that I have forgotten) do very good cameras that one would be happy with.
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Old May 1, 2008, 8:04 AM   #27
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Mikael A wrote:
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Regarding the lenses, I have non-autofokus lenses: Minolta: 50 mm (f=1.4), 28 mm (f=3.5) and Tamron: 80-210 mm (f=3.8 ). I especially love the 50 mm lens.
That's too bad (manual focus). Make sure to see my post about the Seagull D55 from April 1 here. ;-)

Seagull D55 dSLR for Minolta MC/MD mount lenses

You can find adapters to use your lenses on a dSLR. You may find some of the threads over at Dyxum on this subject to be of use. For example, this "sticky" type thread has information on some of the MC/MD to Maxxum mount adapters available (scroll down and you'll see an MC/MD adapter section).

http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=2100

One issue with some adapters is the ability to focus to infinity. So, you'll find optical elements in some, with varying degrees of magnification (1.2x, 1.3x, etc.) to get around that issue.

You can also find adapters to use them on an Olympus dSLR. These cameras are more flexible in that area compared to most. Here's an article on the subject:

http://www.rokkorfiles.com/olympus.htm

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Old May 1, 2008, 5:59 PM   #28
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Many thanks Jim C!

TravelChild: I forgot to mention that the new kit 18-55 IS for Canon, has gotten good reviews in many places. In addition, Oly E-510 did not get a very good review here, but there is kind consolation to read at Cameralabs home page since they were very positive. But the Canon is of course out if you did not like the grip. The D60 should be very good since it is a development from the D40 (and D40X). The dust removal system, although not all that reliable (except the Oly-system for this), is still a welcomed addition as it may help some.
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Old May 3, 2008, 6:23 PM   #29
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Went downtown today and tried the Canon XSI (or rather 450D here), and what a disappointment! Maybe I get influenced here but it was really hard to get a nice grip on the camera. I have been interested in the Oly 510 but I am a bit concerned about much noice on ISO400+ and limited DOF. However, the feel of this camera in the hand beat all the competition by far. And contrary to Canon, both Zukio 12-60 for Oly and Nikon 16-85 are lenses that I believe in putting some money into. Canon lacks good lenses with useful ranges unfortunately. The E-520 that is remouredto be released after the summer might be better but then one never knows (the E420 did not appear to be significantly better than the E410) and one can't wait forever.

I am leaving for NY on Monday and now I am also a bit confused. Like you TravelChild, I liked the feel of the D60 (the D80 is to big and heavy); I just wished it had more than 3 focus points as I would like to take photos of my kids and indoors as well. I can do without the poor LiveViews that most budget DSLRs appear to still have (I wonder how many ex-P&S customers have been disappointed on this issue!). Anyhow, right now I am thinking of the D60, twin lenses (light things) and the 16-85 (I could do without the 18-55 but I think the price will be the same as I would like the zoom). I would then consided the 16-85 as a long-term investment because sooner or later I think that Nikon will also realize that there are some people around who like things small and light, but still get technically advanced bodies (like Canon although their bodies appears not to have a nice grip).
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