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Old Sep 30, 2008, 7:13 AM   #11
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In addition to the Zeiss 16-80mm, Sony also has the 70-300mm Gf4.5-5.6 that is also the best lens of its kind. Granted, that's $1,500 for just two lenses, you could get a Tamron 70-300 Di LD, which is pretty good, for $160, until your budget permits the Sony G.
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Old Sep 30, 2008, 7:24 AM   #12
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peripatetic,

I'm not sure I know what you mean by 'not in the same class'... is that feature-, feel- or quality-wise?

it's true that the pentax doesn't have a very large lens selection, but, besides having tamron and sigma lenses as alternatives, the OP isn't looking for easy or frequent lens updating from what I read.

I didn't include the kit lens with the d90 because its wider end is 27mm eq., which is not as wide as I'd want, and for this part of the slrgear review:

"From 24mm onwards, we see a complex distortion profile: the edges of the image exhibit pincushion-style distortion (the edges of the image are ''pulled'' into the frame) while the center exhibits barrel distortion. The effect isn't dramatically evident - but if you need your photographs to show straight lines as truly straight, then you're in for a bit of a surprise. Straight lines will show the ''moustache'' effect, where they bend one way at one edge, another way in the center, and then back the first way at the other edge. This form of distortion is fairly consistent from 50-105mm(...)"

I guess it's probably hard to even notice it, but I frequently shoot architecture and wouldn't want such a complex geometry issue in my pictures.
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Old Sep 30, 2008, 9:44 AM   #13
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kezs wrote:
Quote:
peripatetic,

I'm not sure I know what you mean by 'not in the same class'... is that feature-, feel- or quality-wise?

All three.

Quote:
it's true that the pentax doesn't have a very large lens selection, but, besides having tamron and sigma lenses as alternatives, the OP isn't looking for easy or frequent lens updating from what I read.
I don't see that Pentax has any lenses to directly compete on quality with the two Nikon lenses I suggested.


Quote:
I didn't include the kit lens with the d90 because its wider end is 27mm eq., which is not as wide as I'd want, and for this part of the slrgear review:

"From 24mm onwards, we see a complex distortion profile: the edges of the image exhibit pincushion-style distortion (the edges of the image are ''pulled'' into the frame) while the center exhibits barrel distortion. The effect isn't dramatically evident - but if you need your photographs to show straight lines as truly straight, then you're in for a bit of a surprise. Straight lines will show the ''moustache'' effect, where they bend one way at one edge, another way in the center, and then back the first way at the other edge. This form of distortion is fairly consistent from 50-105mm(...)"

I guess it's probably hard to even notice it, but I frequently shoot architecture and wouldn't want such a complex geometry issue in my pictures.
Well architecture is a special purpose. Two possibilities - either pay close attention to distortion and choose your lenses accordingly as you have or alternatively use something like DXO Optics to automatically fix any distortion. I would tend to favour the latter.

I'm not suggesting that no other manufacturers can compete with Nikon on cameras or lenses. ALL of them can, but just not at this particular price point IMO. I think there are better buys if you have a total budget of $1500, $2500, $3500, etc.

Without going to the trouble of pricing these would be my picks across the manufacturers in order of increasing desirability:

...some entry level stuff then

1. Canon XSi + 18-55 IS + 70-300 IS.

2. Nikon D90 + 18-105 VR + 70-300 VR.

3. Olympus E3 + 12-60 ED + 50-200 ED.

4. Pentax K20D + Tamron 17-50 f2.8 + Sigma 100-300 f4.

5. Sony A700 + Zeiss 16-85 + 70-300G. (or Sigma 100-300 f4.)

6. Canon 50D + 17-55 IS f2.8 + 70-300 IS.

7. Nikon D300 + 17-55 VR f2.8 + 70-300 VR.

... then some really expensive stuff...


IMO all of those setups would be capable of great images with a bit of adjusting one's technique to the equipment at hand.
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