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Old Aug 28, 2008, 7:12 PM   #31
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candleman wrote:
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wow..

d300 is for pro's
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i reckn buy a d80 (or dimilar middle of the road camera) and learn to use it to it sfull extent, in conjunction with a wide variety of lenses.
I've already ruled out the D300 coz its too complicated to learn as a beginner. though my heart remains attached to it design and size. But my mind says its useless to buy it and be unable to utilize its full capability.

I've considered the D80 but now with the D90 announcment out, then the D90 would be the better choice. Butshould I stick to the lens the comes with it or opt to buyNikon 18-200 & 17-55 .

On the other hand TCav have recommended a hard to beat Sony and Zeiss lenses along with the A350 or A700 which I'm serously considering. I'm just hoping that Sony would come out soon with a replacement to the A700.

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Old Aug 28, 2008, 7:15 PM   #32
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JimC wrote:
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What is it about your R1 that you find limiting, and what do you expect to gain from a >$2000 investment in a new system?
Do you have or ever used the Sony R1. I sense you highly rate it. one additional con is the lack of FPS capability as well as lens limitations.
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Old Aug 28, 2008, 7:27 PM   #33
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Why do you say these lenses are not the brightese around. What lenses do you have in mind and what do you recommend. TCav recommended some good lenses. Print size will vary. good photos-Family or nature will find their way to A3 frames. AS for my lack of expertise, I'll work hard towards improving my skills.
Those may be just fine for what you plan on shooting. I'm just pointing out that they're not that bright (for example, the Sony 70-300mm lens you're looking at has a widest available aperture of f/5.6 on it's long end, so it's no brighter than the budget lenses with it's focal range).

Brighter lenses have wider available apertures, represented by smaller f/stop numbers.

Aperture as expressed as f/stop as a ratio between the focal length of the lens and the diameter of the aperture iris opening. So, smaller f/stop numbers are larger openings.

With a prime (non zoom) lens, you will see one aperture listed.

With a zoom lens, you usually see two apertures listed (the largest available aperture at wide angle zoom setting, and the largest available aperture at the full telephoto zoom position). When in between the widest and longest focal length of the lens, the largest available aperture will fall somewhere in between the apertures shown.

Some higher quality zoom lenses can maintain a constant aperture throughout their zoom range (with f/2.8 being the most common, and f/4 being the next most common). A lens that can maintain f/2.8 throughout it's focal range is a must have for some types of shots (i.e., night sports in a stadium under the lights). Otherwise, you're going to get nothing but motion blur, even at higher ISO speeds if you subject is moving.

To put things into perspective, a lens with f/2.8 available is exactly 4 times as bright as a lens that only has f/5.6 available.

For many indoor conditions trying to shoot moving subjects without a flash, even f/2.8 may not be bright enough. Then, you may need to use a brighter prime (fixed focal length versus zoom, since you can find brighter primes versus zooms).

Lenses are rated by their largest available apertures (smallest f/stop numbers). But, most lenses can be set to use apertures of f/22 or smaller.

When you vary the aperture, you're controlling the iris in the lens (which like a pupil in your eye, can be opened up to let in more light or closed down to let less light in). So, this impacts the shutter speeds you'll need for proper exposure (since more or less light is getting through to the sensor).

The aperture scale in one stop increments (with larger than f/1 apertures theoritically available) goes f/1.0, f/1.4, f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8.0, f/11, f/16, f/22... With each one stop move to a smaller aperture (represented by higher f/stop numbers), you will need shutter speeds twice as long for proper exposure for the same lighting and ISO speed (only half the light gets through compared to a one stop larger aperture).

Here is a handy online exposure calculator that you can use to get anidea of the shutter speeds required for any EV and Aperture. But, make sure to use your camera's metering, as lighting can vary. This is only to give you an idea of how the relationship between light levels, aperture, ISO speed (shown as film speed in the calculator) and shutter speed works.

http://www.robert-barrett.com/photo/...alculator.html

The lenses you're looking at are of very high quality, and if you plan on using a camera more in good light outdoors (or with a flash indoors), they should be just fine. Convenience also comes into the equation (a brighter lens is going to be larger and heavier). But, for more versatility in challenging lighting, sometimes brighter lenses are a better way to go.

Depth of Field also enters the equation. With a lens with wider available apertures, you can isolate your subject from distracting backgrounds easier.

There are pros and cons to any of them (including size and weight). I'd just be concerned that you're spending a good chunk of change for someone starting out with a dSLR, and you may not realize the limitations of some of your choices.

Again, they are very high quality lenses. So, if you're not worried about shooting in challenging lighting (night sports under the lights, indoors without a flash, etc.), they'll probably be a good fit.



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Old Aug 28, 2008, 7:38 PM   #34
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Greatestboss wrote:
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JimC wrote:
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What is it about your R1 that you find limiting, and what do you expect to gain from a >$2000 investment in a new system?
Do you have or ever used the Sony R1. I sense you highly rate it. one additional con is the lack of FPS capability as well as lens limitations.
Yes, I'm aware of it's limitations, which is why I mentioned things like speed earlier. ;-)

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You'd have better performance with a camera model like the dSLR models you're considering (AF speed, frame rate, etc.). You'd also have the ability to use other lenses and more. But, that may or may not be applicable to the subjects you want to shoot and conditions you plan on using a camera in.
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Old Aug 28, 2008, 7:53 PM   #35
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Greatestboss wrote:
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Tcav, these Canon and Nikon lenses will only fit on a Canon or Nikon Cameras, If you suggested these lenses as an alterantive to the Sony or Zeiss lenses, then you must've had a other cameras bodies in mind that would fit them. What cameras were you referring at?
No. The lenses I initially suggested were the best lenses of their kind. I suggested the A350 as the best 'Live View' dSLR body that can use them. You didn't seem to be too happy with it, so, in anticipation of your consideration of an alternative body from either Canon of Nikon, I suggested those lenses.
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Old Aug 28, 2008, 8:00 PM   #36
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Greatestboss wrote:
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...I'm just hoping that Sony would come out soon with a replacement to the A700.
Not likely. What is it about the A700 you wouldlike to see changed?

BTW, most of the lenses I've mentioned in this thread are only appropriate for a dSLR with an APS-C size image sensor. That means no full frame dSLRs, but that's ok because a full frame dSLR will put you over budget without any lenses.
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Old Aug 29, 2008, 9:33 AM   #37
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JimC wrote:
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I'd just be concerned that you're spending a good chunk of change for someone starting out with a dSLR, and you may not realize the limitations of some of your choices.

Again, they are very high quality lenses. So, if you're not worried about shooting in challenging lighting (night sports under the lights, indoors without a flash, etc.), they'll probably be a good fit.


Thanks for all the priceless info. However its not that I wanna spend the money just for the sake of spending it. I wanna seriously buy a dSLR and lenses that will help me start the ladder from the bottom. I don't wanna buy something so over the top and then I'll look like a fool for not being able to use it to its full capabiliies. That precisely why I have overlooked the D300 at the moment.

My concern now are the lenses quality. Definetly I'm not concerned about shooting night sports. This is beyond my needs. I wanna get lenses that will help me get good photos indoors & outdoorsduring family gathering. Therefore light is a major concern. In addition, I do a lot of tourist traveling where buildings, historical monuments and structures are of great interest. Wildlifeis not a priority but I'm planning to go on a 10 days Safari trip in March. So wildlife isphotos will consist of animals not birds ( Hopefully at rest and no moving)but that just needed for a short period.
  1. So what to you recommend for lenses and body. I would love to know what combination would you come up with. Your input ishighly appreciated. [/*]
  2. How do you compare the following :
[/*]
  • Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM G ($800) [/*]
  • Zeiss ZA 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 DT ($700) [/*]
  • Sony A350 body only ($700) [/*]
  • Total: $2,200
or
[/*]
  • Nikon 18-200mm lens [/*]
  • Nikon17-55mm lens [/*]
  • 70-300mm lens [/*]
  • Nikon D90[/*]
TCav and others highly recommeded the Sony package but my only concerne was the A350. I did not feel a good grip on it. Probably coz of its size. The A700 is another option.

Finally, one Question. I've read reviews that said that the Lens on the Sony R1((Zeiss lens used 14.3-71.5 with lens focal range 24-120mm and Lens max aperture range is F2.8-F4.) would cost a fortune if it was on a dSLR.

Is this correct?
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Old Aug 29, 2008, 10:10 AM   #38
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Greatestboss wrote:
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F. I've read reviews that said that the Lens on the Sony R1((Zeiss lens used 14.3-71.5 with lens focal range 24-120mm and Lens max aperture range is F2.8-F4.) would cost a fortune if it was on a dSLR.
That's one reason I said this earlier (note the last sentence). ;-)


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From what it sounds like most of your photos are going to be taken within the same focal range you're already using with your R1 (angle of view equivalent to 24-120mm on a 35mm camera).

So, I just don't see a big difference in that area (and I wouldn't be surprised if the lens on the R1 outperformed the CZ 16-80mm for image quality).
The lens on your R1 is of very high quality, and I doubt you could match it using a lens with the same equivalent focal range and brightness on a dSLR. With the R1, they didn't have the same design constraints you have with a dSLR (for example, the mirror getting in the way of using a shorter registration distance from the sensor).

The CZ 16-80mm that TCav suggested is probably as close as you'll find in a lens with the same focal range.

The lens choices you're looking at would be just fine for most conditions. But, you'll likely need to use a flash with them indoors, unless your subjects are relatively stationary and/or you have some light coming in through window blinds/shades. So, I'd budget for one if you go that route.

Indoor shooting without a flash is very challenging, since you need to use both higher ISO Speeds, and wider apertures (represented by smaller f/stop numbers) to prevent motion blur from subject movement.

For that type of shooting, a prime (fixed focal length versus zoom) lens is usually preferred. For example, something like a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC (around $489 now) would be a good choice for many conditions. But, when you use wider apertures, you have less depth of field (the part of the image that's in focus as you get further away from your focus point). That presents an additional challenge to the photographer for framing (although it's not as bad if you stick with a wider prime like that Sigma). In some indoor conditions, you may need a flash for best results, regardless of lens (especially indoors at night where you don't have any ambient light coming in through Windows).

There is no one "right" way to approach it. There are pros and cons to any lens choice.


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Old Aug 29, 2008, 10:10 AM   #39
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TCav wrote:
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Greatestboss wrote:
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...I'm just hoping that Sony would come out soon with a replacement to the A700.
Not likely. What is it about the A700 you wouldlike to see changed?

BTW, most of the lenses I've mentioned in this thread are only appropriate for a dSLR with an APS-C size image sensor. That means no full frame dSLRs, but that's ok because a full frame dSLR will put you over budget without any lenses.


I'm not looking for a full frame dSLR. this is way beyond the need of a beginner. Even some professional don't get to buy it due to its price.

I haven't had the chance to test the A700 which you suggested as an alternative to the A350 due to its larger size. So I cannot tell say what would I like to see changed in it. My only concern is that it might be reaching the end of its cycle. Its been one year in the market and sony have introduced the A220,A300 and A350 after it with some additional features. Everyone including you have indicated that technology changes fast and manufacturers tend to introduce a new model for an existing camera every two years.Manufacturers

I understand that the A700 is considered the flagship of the Alph range but don't you thing it a bit old now.

Finally if you wanna compare the Sony A700, which compitior would you rate it agains. Is it the D300 of Canon 40D or 50D?

BTW, I'm a sony loyal consumer. Every piece of electronic I have at home is Sony. I trust their quality, reliability and durability. Its just because they are not a specialized photography Co that I'm concerned of.I was more under the impression that they are P&S sort of cameras only except with the R1 which was a breakthrough. As one review said about the R1 and I quote;

"Itsinventionis arguably one of the biggest revolutions in consumer digital photography in recent years. While most companies continue to pile more and more pixels into small sensors (Sony has been guilty of this too), the DSC-R1 uses a new CMOS sensor that is dramatically larger than what most cameras offer.The 10.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor used by the DSC-R1 attempts to change all that. Instead of using a 1/1.8" or even a 2/3" sensor, Sony is using a brand new APS-class sensor that's about the same size as the sensors used by digital SLRs. That means images that look like they came from a D-SLR instead of a fixed-lens camera -- in theory, at least. "

In all cases the R1 is not on debate in here. I already purchased it 2 years ago. So Am I wrong to think of sony as a P&S Co. andas the salesmen used to say they are still amateurs in thedSLR market.

Sometimes I feel its the Zeiss legacy and their great quality of lenses as the only contributor to the good reputation that sony cameras have. Don't understand me wrong. As I said, I believe in Sony and my home is a living proof. Its just the feeling I got holding a SonyAlpha range of camera compared to the Nikon, Canon or even Fujifilm dSLR. Maybe its my perception that it used to be Konica Minolta brand which was a medicore type of cameras.

Maybe I'm just wrong with my systematic way of analyzing things.




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Old Aug 29, 2008, 10:24 AM   #40
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JimC,

I read between the lines that you recommend that I stick to the R1 for my needs.

If this is what you were referring at, then I willneed to by the Wide end Conversion lens ($447) and Telephoto lens ($400) for my R1 to be fine.

during a recent family gathering, I had terrible results with the R1. Due to low light, I made a huge mistake by resorting to a high ISO 1600, 3200 for shots I took. Results were horrible as you can understand.

My brother had a Nikon D80 and his picture quality were far superior to mine. Of course he had a flash too. The R1 built in flash was useless. He managed to take at least 3fps while I was a turtle in the race.

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