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View Poll Results: Which camera?
Canon EOS 400D (Digital Rebel) 0 0%
Olympus E-510 0 0%
Nikon D60 0 0%
Nikon D80 2 100.00%
Nikon D40x 0 0%
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Old May 13, 2008, 7:29 AM   #1
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With the lack of a on board lens motor with Nikon DSLR's, how limited are my choics for high zoom ratio lenses?
As in over 8x.
Also how much does that limit me for regular 3 or 4x zoom lenes?

I was really hoping to get away with a single wide range zoom lens if the trade off of image quality wasn't that great.

Yes, I do know there is a trade odd, but I'm hoping there are ones that aren't as bad as some of the others I have read about. I really didn't want to carry a 2nd lens and have the hassle/worry with changing lenes in the field.

The cameras I was considering are;

Canon EOS 400D (Digital Rebel),
Olympus E-510,
Nikon D60,
Nikon D40x &
Nikon D80

Kinda in that order.
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Old May 13, 2008, 8:26 AM   #2
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You could use the Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens with any of the Nikon models (and you'd also have stabilization to help with blur from camera shake).

A third party lens with a similar zoom range is the Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 But, it won't Autofocus on the D40, D40x or D60. It would AF on the D80 or Canon dSLR models.

Note that Tamron has a new 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 VC lens out that's stabilized. But, you may find that 28mm isn't as wide as desired on a camera model with an APS-C size sensor (this lens would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 42-450mm lens on a 35mm camera, and you may find that you can't always back up enough to get what you want in the frame if the lens you're using won't go wide enough.

You may also want to look at a model like the Sony DSLR-A200. A Tamron 18-250mm would be stabilized with it (thanks to the in body stabilization system), and the Sony has a better Autofocus System compared to the entry level Nikon models you're looking at (or the Olympus and Canon model you're looking at for that matter although the Canon's AF speed is very close). Sony also has a version of that Tamron marketed under the Sony brand, with some improvements over the Tamron branded lens (Sony regeared it for faster Autofocus and improved the build quality some). But, the Tamron version of it is also well liked on Sony dSLR models. You can see a review of the Sony 18-250mm here:

http://www.alphamountworld.com/revie...-f35-63-review

Just keep in mind that any zoom with that much focal range from wide to long (using this this lens on a dSLR with an APS-C sensor would give you the same angle of view that you'd have using a 27-375mm lens on a 35mm camera), is going to have some compromises in image quality. So, for best results, you may want to stick with lenses that have a less ambitious focal range from wide to long.

Quote:
Also how much does that limit me for regular 3 or 4x zoom lenes?
That would depend on the specific focal range and brightness you're interested in. 3x or 4x doesn't tell us anything. That just gives the difference between the widest and longest focal length setting. A 3x lens could be a kit lens with 18-55mm available, or it could be a zoom with much longer focal lengths like a 100-300mm lens. ;-)

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Old May 13, 2008, 8:37 AM   #3
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The D60 and the D40x do not have an in camera focus drive the D80 does so there are no limitations specific to the D80. Nikon has already produced several lenses that work with the D60 and D40 and most other manufacturers are following suite.

The terms 8x 3x and 4x are pretty meaningless and just advertising terms to sell compact cameras.

A lens of around 36mm gives an angle of view that is roughly considered normal and is similar to the angle of view of the human eye. shorter than this is wide angle longer is telephoto.

The terms 8x 3x and 4x are pretty meaningless and just advertising terms to sell compact cameras and tell you very little about the lens.

For example I have a 12 - 24 zoom lens that is a wide angle lens and in this terminology a 2x lens. The D60 kit lens is 18-55 so about 3x but this lens is a moderate wide angle to a short telephoto. A 70-300 is a 4x lens but is telephoto all the way.So your first question needs to be what do you want to shoot. For example landscape would bias you towards the wide angle end, sports probably telephoto and portraits in the standard to short telephoto range.

To specifics Nikon do the 18-55 lens, an 18-135 and an 18-200 zoom that would fit your criteria as I read it. Sigma HSM lenses work with the D40 & D60 so that gives you 18-50, an 18-125and 55-200 Tamron do an 18-250. There are several other suitable lenses around as well including primes and macro lenses.

So basically it's only a limitation if you have older Nikon lenses that you want to use or need something specific which isn't available with the internal motor yet.

Ken
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Old May 13, 2008, 8:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Just keep in mind that any zoom with that much focal range from wide to long........ is going to have some compromises in image quality.
That's what I'm afraid of.
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Old May 13, 2008, 8:44 AM   #5
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JimC wrote:
Quote:
A third party lens with a similar zoom range is the Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3. But, it won't Autofocus on the D40, D40x or D60. It would AF on the D80 or Canon dSLR models.
My bad. It looks like Tamron is now shipping a version of this lens with a focus motor built in (so that it can Autofocus on an entry level Nikon dSLR like the D40, D40x or D60).

If you go that route, make sure to get the latest version of it with a Focus Motor Built in. Some vendors may not have the newer one yet. B&H stocks both versions of it. Here's the listing for the one that has a built in focus motor for Nikon models:

Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 with built in focus motor at bhphotovideo.com
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Old May 13, 2008, 8:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
The terms 8x 3x and 4x are pretty meaningless and just advertising terms to sell compact cameras.
I understand that. It was only MY term since I came from the 'video' world and lens power is a standard spec for video lenes. Besides, it makes the comparison easier.
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Old May 13, 2008, 9:21 AM   #7
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Any of the Nikons with the 18-200 VR will suit you fine, fabulous single-lens setup, good all-round performance and if you have to make compromises this is one of the best ones you can make.

In "binocular" terms you can probably think of that as a 0.6 - 6x zoom lens because it is the approximate equivalent of 6x magnification at the telephoto end on the DX format, and wider than 1x magnification on the wide end.

In "marketing speak" it's an 11x zoom because 200/18 ~= 11.


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Old May 13, 2008, 10:32 AM   #8
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Optically, the Tamron 18-250 is a better lens, and it's longer, but the Nikon 18-200 has optical image stabilization.

But keep in mind that neither is as good as two or more lenses with less ambitious zoom ranges. And they're both pretty dim.

You need to really want a single lens to do everything in order to get past their shortcomings.
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Old May 13, 2008, 11:18 AM   #9
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Tamron better than Nikon?? I though Tamron was a 'less expensive' choice.
Regarding IS. I haven't decided on that yet.

How about a lessor range zoom ratio, say 6x and using a 2x entender? I haven't seen anything, but are there choices larger than the common 3 & 4x types and less than 8 or 10x super zooms?
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Old May 13, 2008, 11:43 AM   #10
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The biggest drawbacks of the lenses being discussed like the Nikkor 18-200mm and Tamron 18-250mm is distortion (for example, barrel distortion is a bit pronounced on the wide end of these lenses), and some softness at wider apertures (smaller f/stop numbers) as you get further away from the center of the frame.

You can see reviews of the Nikon 18-200mm and Tamron 18-250mm lenses on the same camera model (Nikon D200) at these links:

Nikkor 18-200mm review at photozone.de

Tamron 18-250mm review at photozone.de

Center sharpness is actually fairly good at most focal lengths with both lenses. If you went with a Nikon body, the stabilization of the Nikkor may be appreciated, especially since these are not the brightest lenses around for use at longer focal lengths (i.e., their 200mm end), especially if you wanted to stop down the aperture a bit for better sharpness or Depth of Field, or needed to use one in less than optimum lighting. Just note that the stablization won't help for blur caused by subject movement, only with blur caused by camera shake.

But, a less expensive solution that would still give you stablization would be the Sony DSLR-A200. Checking prices for both at http://www.bhphotovideo.com, the base Sony A200 kit with an 18-70mm lens is $599.95 ($100 less than the base D60 kit with an 18-55mm VR lens); and you could use the Sony 18-250mm lens (or the Tamron 18-250mm) with the Sony and still have stabiization (saving another $180, since the Sony 18-250mm is $499.95 at B&H, with the Nikkor 18-200mm listed at $679.95).

IOW, the Sony solution would be almost $300 lower compared to a Nikon D60 solution with stabilization giving you a similar focal range, and with the Sony, you'd have a faster 9 point AF system, the ability to shoot jpeg fine + raw if desired (the Nikon D40x or D60 can only use jpeg basic + raw), the ability to control Sony flashes like the HVL-36AM, HVL-42AM and HVL-56AM wirelessly via the camera's built in flash (this Nikon can't use it's built in flash that way, so you'd need to buy the the SU-800 wireless Speedlight commander to wirelessly control the Nikon SB-800, 600 or R200 flash units (or buy another Nikon external flash and use it in the hotshoe to control off camera Nikon flashes). Also note that the Nikon and Sony 10MP models all use a Sony 10MP sensor.

The Sony would also give you compatibility with any Minolta Autofocus lens ever made (with stablization, thanks to a body based solution), whereas the Nikon D60 is limited to Nikon F mount lenses with focus motors built in if you want Autofocus (making it incompatible with the vast majority of lenses you'll find in the used market for Nikon models unless you want to use manual focus with them).

Note that I currently shoot with a Sony A700. So, I'm probably a bit biased in that direction. ;-)

Note that one of our forum members now shooting with a Sony A200 made some comments about the D40 and D40x that you may want to read to see some of the differences he observed. See the post on this page from djand:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=87

But, any of these cameras are capable of taking great photos in most conditions, and your familiarity with it and skill using one is going to be more important than the camera you choose. I'd try them out in a store and see what you're more comfortable with.

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