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Old Jun 5, 2008, 6:15 PM   #1
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First, thank you for any and all help in this department. I am for the most part, Clueless! I think I am looking for too much out of one camera with out spending BIG bucks on a bunch of different lenses. Ok, here is the type of photos that I am going to try and start doing (very broad range, I might add): Stormy skies (SW Florida in the summer time), sunrises down in the Florida Everglades, along with wildlife. My daughter is in cheerleading, so there will be indoor shots during practice and gymnastics. Close-ups of my fish tank, lots of large fish to take pics of! Also, I do alot of fishing and like to take action shots of my fishing partners while fighting the fish. Night shots and low light shots, along with the typical fireworks shots. Last, indoor low light shots, I own a daycare also and would like to take pics of the kids here and there.

Some friends steered me towards the Nikon D40 (comes w/ the 18-55 lense) and then getting the Nikkor 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S DX VR (i think that was all the #'s and letters in the lens) and last the SB-400 flash. After reading some of the other posts, I don't think the D40 will support what i want to do with it. My budget is between 1000-1400, so I would like to keep it in that area. Thank you for your help and I hope I am not asking for tooooooo much info from you gals and guys. I would like to stay with Nikon, but I might have to steer in another direction. Thanks again and look forward to your expert advise.

Weedy



PS, I hope you all have a wonderful up coming weekend.
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Old Jun 5, 2008, 6:34 PM   #2
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You'll want a bright prime and ISO 3200 if needed for the indoor photos of gymnastics.

That rules out the Nikon D40/D40x/D60, because these camera models don't have a built in focus motor that works with the lenses you'd want (Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 or 50mm f/1.8 Autofocus Lens, or Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 Autofocus Lens. The entry level Nikon dSLR bodies don't have a focus motor built in that will work with these brighter primes.

My suggestion... Canon EOS-30D or Canon EOS-40D, Sony DSLR-A200, DSLR-A300 or DSLR-A700, Nikon D300 (and you may also want to look at the D80 and D200, but these may not do quite as well at higher ISO speeds). All of these cameras have ISO 3200 if you need it and pretty good AF systems.

With the Canon models, on a tighter budget, get the Canon 50mm f/1.8 AF lens (under $100), along with the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM lens (around $360) if you have the budget for one. With the Nikon D300, I'd grab a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 AF lens, along with a Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 Lens. With the Sony models, I'd grab a new Sony 50mm f/1.4 AF lens (around $329), a used Minolta 50mm f/1.8 AF lens (around $100), or a used Minolta 85mm f/1.4 Autofocus Lens (around $750 used in Excellent condition from vendors like http://www.keh.com ).

You'll want to shoot from the floor with these lenses.

Then, grab a walk around lens for starters. The kit lenses are usually good for learning a lens design's pros and cons. After using one for a while, you'll be able to make better informed decisions on what type of lenses you need for the type of shooting you do more often.

If you want a general purpose "super zoom" type lens as a walk around, I'd look at the Tamron 18-250mm (available for around $499 in most popular lens mounts), or Sony 18-250mm in a Sony dSLR model.

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Old Jun 5, 2008, 6:51 PM   #3
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Your ambitions certainly run the gamut.

Stormy skies, Sunrises: Kit Lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 or thereabouts.)

Wildlife: Medium to Long Telephoto Zoom Lens (from 100-200mm to even 200-500mm, depending on what you want to shoot and from where.)

Indoor Sports: Large Aperture, Short to Medium Telephoto, Fixed Focal Length Lens (50mm to 100mm, f/2.0 to f/1.4, maybe even f/1.2 if you can find and afford it.)

Fish Tank: Same as above, maybe even a little shorter focal length lens (normal, 30mm, maybe even 28mm). Flash won't do for this, as you'll get way too much reflection off the tank.

Fishing, Action Shots: Kit Lens

Night, Low Light, Fireworks, Indoor: Large Aperture, Normal to Medium Telephoto, Fixed Focal Length Lens.

A significant portion of what you want to do requires large aperture, prime (fixed focal length) lenses, and, unfortunately, the lower priced Nikon dSLRs (D40/D40X/D60) can't autofocus with those lenses.

I think Canon and Pentax would be much better choices for you. A Nikon that will autofocus with the lenses you need will probably put you over budget, and the lenses you need for a Sony or an Olympus will probably put you over budget too.
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Old Jun 7, 2008, 1:59 PM   #4
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To start, "Thank you" for the responces so far. Second, I am still kinda stuck on the "Nilon" cameras and looked at a D80 kit. I understand it won't do everything that I am looking for, also, it will work (Not that great with the correct lense) for indoor gymnastics. If I'm correct, it will work on the ISO 3200 setting, just not the greatest. So how does this sound to start with (price and kit):

Nikon D80 with 18-55 mp/3.5-5.6 G ED AF-SDX & Nikon 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED AF-SVR

I understand that this isn't the (or won't work) correct option for the indoor, but what about the low light outdoor and general purpose outdoors? I'm sorry for my ignorance, just haven't gotten up to the book store to pick up some books on this stuff as of yet.

Thank you

Weedy


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Old Jun 7, 2008, 2:14 PM   #5
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For general purpose use, the two lenses in the kit you mentioned would work.

Other than fireworks, what type of shooting do you want to do in "low light outdoors"? You could use one of the lenses you mentioned for the fireworks at night. But, you'll want a tripod (shutter speeds will be too slow without one shooting at night). For photos of non-stationary subjects at night in most lighting, your best bet is to use a flash (making sure to stay within the flash range).

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Old Jun 7, 2008, 3:02 PM   #6
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I think that the D80 is a good choice which will give you access to Nikon's good selection of large aperture lenses. And the two lenses you've selected are good choices.

I'm surprised, though, that one of your first two lenses would only be appropriate for one of the types of photography you said you were interested in (Wildlife), and neither of the lenses would be appropriate for six types of subjects you said you were interested in shooting(Indoor Sports, Fish Tank, Night, Low Light, Fireworks, Indoor.) A Nikon 50mm f/1.8 would only set you back about $115 and would give you a good start in those other areas.
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 12:18 PM   #7
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Ok, again as always "Thank you" for your guys help! The kit above I found with the two lenses, if I add a 50 mm f/ 1.4 auto focus to the list, what pics would this lense be opening up for me. It seems that for the $$$$ side of it, that kit will work for me pluse have some extra to add 1 or 2 lenses to my kit.

As to the low light pics outdoors, while down on the everglades, there is alot of later in the evening and/or morning shots when the sun is coming up. Whould these options thatI have listed work indoors lowlight? I need to get to the book store and pic up some reading material. This way I won't be bothering you guys with all this info.

Thanks again

Weedy

PS, The D80 will work (ok) with the lower lights and action shots inside correct??
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