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Old May 22, 2008, 6:41 AM   #11
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@ TCav:

Thank u for the information.

So could u suggest what kind of lenses should i get as a beginner ? maybe a 18-55mm or something else... if they are cheap enough i can buy 2 or kindly suggest as my photography needs would be landscapes...sunsets...architecture mostly... maybe a lil bit of low light ...but i dont indulge in potraits or macro that much...

and i have read somewhere that if later i buy a 18-200mm then i can easily use that for macro as well....

is there something like a 18-135mm that i could buy for starters ??

thank u for ur time guys !!
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Old May 22, 2008, 8:36 AM   #12
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For low light, it depends on what the subject is; ifthe subject is close, you might use either a fast lens or a flash, but if the subject is more than 20 meters away, that's more than a flash can handle, so you'll need fast lenses.

For landscapes & architecture, most people use wide angle lenses. (BTW, the geometric distortion inherent in superzooms will rear it's ugly head in either of these subject types.)

Sunrises and sunsets can require from wide angle to medium telephoto.

Actually, except for the low light shooting, the kit lens is a good place to start, whichever camera you choose. But for the low light stuff, Canon has a bettter selection of fast lenses than Nikon. That's because most of Nikon's faster lenses won't autofocus on Nikon's D40, D40X or D60.

Macrophotographyis tough. It depends on what you mean by 'macro'. There's flowers and then there's bugs; there's watches, and then there's watch parts. The choices you make should be appropriate to what you want to shoot.
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Old May 22, 2008, 9:17 AM   #13
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...I would like to being by saying my photography needs... just a casual amateur photographer who likes to capture the sunset , the sunrise... beautiful landscapes etc., my pictures are based more on nature than anything else.
[snip]
I would say my budget for the Camera and lenses should be arounf 1000 US$
For the low light captures, stablization can come in handy so that you can use lower ISO speeds without a tripod. I sometimes take photos on the river banks right at sunrise and stop down the aperture for better depth of field (which will cause slower shutter speeds and can lead to camera shake if you're not careful and don't have a tripod with you).

The 18-55mm kit lenses available with the Canon 450D and Nikon D60 models (Canon's with IS, Nikon's with VR) are now stablized. With some of the other manufacturers (for example, Sony or Pentax) the stablization is built into the camera body (so that any lens you use benefits from it).

You'll have to check Nikon's prices there and see what the price difference is for a kit with a lens like the 18-200mm VR if it's within your budget.

You may want to keep lens costs at a mininum until you've used a camera for a while though. From your description I get the feeling by "nature" you mean mostly landscape type images (versus wildlife or something where a longer focal length may be more appreciated). If you're going to stick with a single lens (which can have some drawbacks) to cover a wider range, then the Nikkor is probalby as good as you'll do on a Nikon body. I'd look at the Tamron 18-250mm for use on a Canon (but, it would not be stalibzed on a Canon or Nikon body)

I'd also take a look at models like the new Pentax K200D and Sony DSLR-A200 (or A300 if you want live view). These cameras would give you stablization with any lens used (and a lens like the Tamron 18-250mm we're discussing is also available for Pentax and Sony models). Pentax and Sony also sell an 18-250mm lens based on that optical design (with some changes to it).

There are pros and cons to any of them. If you're brand new to photography, I'd probably go with the cheapest kit lens available and get a feel for it's strengths and weaknesses before spending a lot of money on something else. That way, you can make better informed decisions on what lenses you may or may not need after some experience with one.


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Old May 22, 2008, 12:44 PM   #14
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TCav wrote:
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  1. The people that recommend the Nikon D40 over the D40X refer to the D40's better low-light, high ISO performance. In all other circumstances, having the D40X's 10MP image sensor is better than the D40's 6MP image sensor. The D40X will give you more image to work with especially for cropping. SoI think that, except for high ISO settings, the D40X is a better choice than the D40. Plus, I just checked to make sure, and the differeneces between the D60 and the D40X are that the D60 has Dust Cleaning, White Balance Bracketing, and a few more Re-touch menu options. Those all sound like good things to me.[/*]
  2. There is no good multipurpose lens. The superzoom lenses (i.e.: 18-200mm, 18-250mm, 28-300mm, etc.) do most things adequately but few things well. They all have significant geometric distortion at the wide end, are soft at the long end, have significant chromatic aberation throughout, and are generally pretty dim. A dSLR is a 'No Compromises' camera, but a multipurpose lens is a compromise. I am confident that you will be happier with the results from multiple, less ambitious lenses, that with a single lens that you want touse everything simply because of it's focal length. Whatever you choose, your future dSLR will be capable of a lot more than what a 'mulitipurpose' lens will deliver.[/*]
Well, the D40 also has better flash sync. I'd go either D40 or D60, not D40x, really.

And check out ken rockwell's site for a comparison of D40, 6 mp, with some 8 and 10 mp.

What does it matter to have 10 mp to crop from is they are all bad, rather than having 6 good mp?

The reason I am considering other cameras is mainly the lack of good prime lenses without AF-S from Nikon. This is not different on the D40x or D60. Otherwise I would gladly keep the D40.

I am now instead stretching my budget to either the Canon XSi or the Nikon D80 (which I most stupidly ordered expedited, without checking out the Canon first).

The main thing is to do it in the right order - choose system based on the lenses. I did it the wrong way. Trust me, I have paid too much for shipping and still have not tried Canon...
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Old May 22, 2008, 2:45 PM   #15
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Well very interesting thoughts..... i dont have a problem spending on the Canon 450D if at a later point of time i'll have a choice of better and a variety of lenses... since it was rightly pointed out that the Nikon D40, D40x and D60 dont have auto focus built in the body.

Does the Canon suffer from the same problem? to be very honest i dont prefer Pentax and Sony DSLRs...

so it seems the only option i have i the Canon 450D.... any thoughts on that... i can live with a 18-55mm or a 18-135mm lens...n later on can graduate to a 18-250mm one.... i would kindly like ur valuable opinion on this please.

thank u !!
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Old May 22, 2008, 4:43 PM   #16
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Well... the D60 would be OK if you don't need low light use with brighter primes (since some of the Nikon primes would not autofocus on this body). If your budget would stretch a bit for a longer lens, the 18-200mm VR would be a good choice as "all in one" lenses go. If looking for something "in between" the 18-55mm VR lens and 18-200mm VR lens, I'd probably look at the Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 before going with the 18-135mm (mostly because the 18-70mm has less in the way of Chromatic Aberrations) But, you may value the better focal range from wide to long more. Any of them will be a tradeoff in one area or another.

On a Canon body, that's a tough call. The 18-55mm IS is good. But, I'm seeing a bit more in the way of Chromatic Aberrations than I'd like to see from a lens in real world samples used with the newer XSi (450D). This lens seems to do a bit better on the Canon bodies with slightly lower resolution (i.e., 400D or 30D or 40D) from what I can gather (even though it's a very good lens by most test results.

Real world images with the 450D/XSi do show a bit more purple fringing in high contrast areas than I like to see in a lens like that (probably due to the way the lens interacts with the microlens design on the sensor). But, for it's price it's hard to beat (and it would give you some experience with a lens before spending a lot of money), and it's not really any worse than most kit lenses for fringing (and it tests as a very sharp lens). None of the 18-55mm lenses are going to be free of some image quality problems at this price point (you see similar issues with lenses from most other manufacturers, too).

As for the differences in the Nikon and Canon bodies, all lenses designed for Canon dSLR models have a focus motor built in. It's just a matter of how fast it is (some types are faster than others). With Nikon, some lenses have a focus motor built in (for example, Nikon AF-S lenses), but some lenses don't and a focus motor in the camera body drives the focus mechanism (and there is no body based focus motor in the D40, D40x or D60 like you'll find in all other Nikon dSLR models, which can limit some lens choices).

No choice is going to be perfect in all conditions. ;-) I personally shoot with a Sony dSLR-A700 right now (which can use any Minolta AF lens ever made), and one reason is because they're all stablized. I think the Sony A200 is the best value in this market niche right now, since you'd have features like ISO speeds up to ISO 3200 (not available on that Canon body), stablization with every lens (including a lens like the Tamron 18-250mm we've disussed), as well as very good Autofocus (it's going to be faster than a model like the Nikon you're looking at, and also tests faster than the Canon XTi (400D). I haven't seen tests comparing it to the newer XSi (450D) yet (but, the XSi might just edge it out due to some improvements, although the XSi is a higher priced model). Note that the Nikon D40x and D60 use a 10MP Sony sensor (most Nikon dSLR models are using Sony sensors).

If you want to see some comments from someone that's used a Nikon D40 and D40x before getting a Sony A200, scroll down on this page and you'll see a post from one of our members that has used both a Nikon D40 and D40x and now has a Sony A200:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=587789&forum_id=87

Or, read this user review from someone with a Sony A350 now (that also has a Nikon D300), discussing how one of the newer Sony bodies compares to an advanced Amateur model from Nikon. Note that I tnink the A200 and A300 would produce better images with most lenses compared to the A350 he's discussing.

http://www.epinions.com/content_428932304516

I shoot with a Sony A700, so I'm a bit biased towards them. ;-)

So, try out models you're considering in a store, compare images and performance for yourself before deciding (making sure the lenses you may want later are available for the camera you choose). Any of them are going to be a compromise in one area or another, and they are all capable of taking great photos. So, personal preference plays a big role.

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Old May 22, 2008, 5:15 PM   #17
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Thank you for the comments.I too am leaning towards the sony a200/300/350 models instead of the canon xti/xsi...but i will have to handle them in person and see which viewfinder strikes me in terms of brightness and clarity.



Also i would love an opinion on a sweet lens for the sony a200/300 which would be a good start for wide angle and portrait ranges? I used to use a 105 for portrait with film cameras like 25 yrs ago... it can be a zoom lens that will also be somewhat fast for lowlight work and not too large or heavy..thank you
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Old May 22, 2008, 7:49 PM   #18
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lofling wrote:
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Well, the D40 also has better flash sync.
According to Nikon [ ,]http://www.nikonusa.com/Assets/Common-Assets/PDF/DSLR_Compare2008.pdf ], the D40, D40X and the D60 all have exactly the same flash capabilities.

lofling wrote:
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What does it matter to have 10 mp to crop from is they are all bad, rather than having 6 good mp?
But, once again, only at high ISO settings. Otherwise, a 10MP image at 100 ISO gives a higher resolution image with more room to crop than a 6MP image at 100 ISO.

lofling wrote:
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I am now instead stretching my budget to either the Canon XSi or the Nikon D80 (which I most stupidly ordered expedited, without checking out the Canon first).
If you're worried about noise at high ISO, indications are that you should stay away from the XSi, but the D80 is a good choice.
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Old May 23, 2008, 3:30 AM   #19
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jageya wrote:
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Also i would love an opinion on a sweet lens for the sony a200/300 which would be a good start for wide angle and portrait ranges? I used to use a 105 for portrait with film cameras like 25 yrs ago... it can be a zoom lens that will also be somewhat fast for lowlight work and not too large or heavy..thank you
I use a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 for a lot of my indoor/low light work, and am very pleased with it. I also use a Minolta 50mm f/1.7 that works well for portraits, though I haven't done a lot of work in that area.

(These are large.)

http://api.photoshop.com/home_321ba3...e5287abe289fe0

http://api.photoshop.com/home_321ba3...97bed7efdbfde6
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Old May 23, 2008, 5:16 AM   #20
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so it seems the only option i have i the Canon 450D.... any thoughts on that... i can live with a 18-55mm or a 18-135mm lens...n later on can graduate to a 18-250mm one.... i would kindly like ur valuable opinion on this please.
Well, if this is the range of lenses your looking, the lack of an AF motor in the D40-60-40x is not really an issue. In reality, unless your going to be shooting with primes, Nikon has plenty of decently priced, solid performing lenses available. Vr is covered at a reasonable price by going with the 18-55Vr and 55-200Vr combo (optically and distortion wise as well as price wise the best choice), or the 18-200Vr (the most convenient one lens solution). The only limiting thing I find about these cameras is the Af system (only 3 points)....it's not great for sports or other action. IQ wise, these cameras are roughly the same, with the D40 maybe being a touch better at high ISO's. Don't get too hung up on Ken Rockwell's reviews. He's got some good info on his site, but he writes to stir things up. If you read through his site, he contradicts himself all the time (look at the current discussion of the D3 which he calls in his review as the best camera ever, vs the canon 5d which he is now claiming is better than the D3), and reviews equipment he hasn't used.
The truth is, none of the cameras you mention are a bad choice. Everything is a compromise, and how the camera feels is an important feature that often isn't considered.
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