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Old Oct 12, 2010, 10:54 AM   #31
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Go with a 2 lens kit over the 18-200, you will have much better quality. Carrying a 18-55 and a 55-300 or 70-300 depending on which system. It will give you much better quality then the fz at the long end. And the 55-300 lens is about the same size as the fz35. Either lens will give you the about 18x zoom range of the fz.

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Originally Posted by Lilacfire View Post
Great picture Sarah, but was that taken with a 50mm? I think I might have to get 35 mm then because I can always move in closer to a subject but if there is not enough room to move back then I would be at a loss.

I basically want to capture the frame you presented from a little further back and preferably capture a candle burning on a table in front of it which makes it more personal for me.



Thank you Jim, 35mm sounds better but those prices are insanely high. I cannot justify them as I am not a professional and would not be making money back on them, nor do I have money to throw away. So 700 budget - a compromise will have to be made somewhere.. and ideally I would look to avoid the D3000 and Xsi then because of the reasons you mentioned which narrows it down to A500, D3100 and T1i.



I do not want to compromise on image quality. Distortion is a no no for me. A second is the idea of carrying lenses around.. and I am willing to sacrifice zoom. I would much rather pick up a Lumix FZ35 later on as a cheaper alternative to carrying a zoom lens as some of the outdoor pictures I have seen are stunning.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 12:01 PM   #32
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Personally, I'd try to get a used or refurb body and spend the rest on glass/accessories.
You can get a Sony a230 refurb for $320 on Sony's website. If the kit isn't enough (and it probably won't) I'd get a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 ($350-400) and a HVLF42AM external flash (200). If you can't use flash, try the Minolta 50mm 1.7.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 12:49 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Lilacfire View Post
..I think I might have to get 35 mm then because I can always move in closer to a subject but if there is not enough room to move back then I would be at a loss.
You don't have to buy everything at once. You may decide you want both. :-)

If you go with a Sony A500 solution, you can get a used Minolta Maxxum 50mm f/1.7 AF lens in EX condition for around $70 if you're a good shopper. Or, go with a Bargain condition lens (no problems that would impact image quality) from a dealer like keh.com for even less, including a good return policy and 60 day warranty. I'd probably grab the $49 one in bargain condition in these listings:

http://www.keh.com/camera/Minolta-Ma...105000170?r=FE

Although not as bright as an f/1.8 or f/2 lens, you could get an inexpensive 28mm f/2.8 AF lens in Bargain condition like this one for $72 for when you want something wider than a 50mm in a lens that's brighter than the 18-55mm kit lens.

http://www.keh.com/camera/Minolta-Ma...00004500N?r=FE

Then, use the kit lens when you need more framing versatility (as you can't always back up far enough to fit what you want into the frame using a lens starting out at a longer focal length).

With a dSLR using a Sony APS-C size sensor, you multiple the focal length of the lens by 1.5x to see what focal length you'd need to shoot with for the same angle of view with a 35mm camera. For example, a 50mm lens on the Sony A500 would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 75mm lens on a 35mm camera (50mm x 1.5 = 75mm).

So, the 18-55mm kit lens would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 27-83mm lens on a 35mm camera.

That type of kit (Sony A500, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, used 50mm f/1.7 AF lens, used 28mm f/2.8 AF lens) should bring you in at under your $700 budget with some room to spare.

A500 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAM lens at $539.99
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...0_12_3_MP.html

Minolta 50mm f/1.7 AF lens in bargain grade for ~ $49
http://www.keh.com/camera/Minolta-Ma...105000170?r=FE

Minolta 28mm f/2.8 AF lens in bargain grade for ~ $72
http://www.keh.com/camera/Minolta-Ma...00004500N?r=FE

Then, buy a another prime later if you want something even brighter for low light use (35mm f/1.8, etc.).

After you use a basic kit for a while to get a better feel for your needs, you'll be able to make better informed decisions for what might work best for the types of photos you take more often, without a large investment up front (since the kit lens adds very little to the camera kit, and keh.com has very good prices on used lenses, and they have conservative grading). I've bought lenses, cameras and flashes from them in Bargain condition and they all looked and worked fine.

Since we're talking about primes for low light use on the Sony A500, here's an uncropped jpeg from an A500 using a Minolta Maxxum 28mm f/2 AF lens at f/2.5, 1/125 second, ISO 3200, using a tungsten WB. The wider 28mm let me capture more of the tavern's ambience from where I was sitting.



This next one is an uncropped jpeg from a Sony A500 wearing a longer Minolta Maxxum 100mm f/2 AF lens at f2.5, ISO 3200, and 1/100 second using a tungsten white balance. I've also got a raw file I could use if I ever wanted to tweak the photo quickly (White Balance, etc.).

A 50mm lens would get you framing somewhere in between these two lenses from roughly the same distance, which would have been a better bet from where I was sitting (able to capture a bit more of the stage and warmer lighting/atmosphere, compared to this shot with the 100mm, without needing to move around and draw a lot of attention, since this image looks a bit "warm" by itself, without being able to see the conditions it was taken in).

But, I didn't have a 50mm with me. Depending on where you can shoot from and what you want to capture, it's a good idea to have more than one focal length available. ;-)

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Old Oct 12, 2010, 3:29 PM   #34
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Thank you for wonderful advice so far except peripatic I'm a she. Just a bit strange to be thought of as a he.

Thank you Jim, those are the perfect example of pictures I would like to take except a bit more closer so 35mm may fit me better or I can just crop the picture.

I also have to ask you all this because it goes into direct conflict with my current mentor's teachings. He says he prefers 3 different dslr cameras with 3 different lens compared to switching lens constantly because he is afraid to get to get dust or worse on the sensor - which is why I wanted a 1 lens solution. Is this his phobia or is it a real concern?

His current equipment is a 500D with EF70-300mm lens (which according to him sees the most use now), a 450D with 50mm for portraits (he used to have EF28-135mm lens on this mostly but its now in his bag with the new camer and lens) and a 300D with a EF-S 10-22.

I know I cannot afford his entire collection at once since it has been acquired over a long time but I am already thinking of not going with Canon because they do not have a 35mm lens for a budget. Only Nikon provided that but it also puts me over budget so the Sony scenario seems the most feasible but Sony things always tend to cost a premium do they not? I am hoping their lenses do not cost a fortune over the long term.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 3:36 PM   #35
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I will have to disagree, nothing wrong with switching lenses. I do it all over the world. Just good maintenance will keep dust issues down.

Actually canon does have a 35mm, 2 to be exact. The 35mm f2 and the 35mm 1.2L. The L is super expensive.

Also they may be coming out with a 3rd one. As the rumors say canon is reworking the lens lineup.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 3:39 PM   #36
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But with the canon you also have the 28mm, the 28 1.8 and 28 2.8, which is about 44mm of reach vs the 35 on the nikon which is 51mm. If working room is a concern.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 3:43 PM   #37
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Oh can you please settle this internal debate I keep having: Which is better for lens in terms of budget inbetween Nikon or Canon? That way I can narrow it down to budget dslrs and 1 choice of the Nikon or Canon?
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 3:48 PM   #38
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i wouldn't worry about dust on the sensor - most modern dslrs have systems in place to remove dust from the sensor but even so if you moderately careful you'll be ok - i've had my camera (pentax k7) for over a year now and only got my first dust spec on the sensor last week - but a couple runs of the dust removal system and it was gone - and i'm living in an old dusty farmhouse where dust accumlates at a horrendous speed and i'm not what you would call a dedicated duster either

and getting a dslr and using one lens is something of a waste - the whole point behind them really is the interchangable lenses - if you dont want to change lenses would probably be better off getting a good bridge camera instead

so no fear - just remember dont change lens when there is lots of dust blowing around and you'll be fine
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 3:50 PM   #39
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think latest generation of cameras nikon's have looked better than the canon's from an outside observer point of view but really its just a matter of personal preference - go down toa brick and mortar shop and hold them - you'll almost certainly prefer one over the other
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 3:58 PM   #40
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It is hard to say which is really better, canon has more lenses depending hands down. But nikon is really close. But depending on the body you get, it is a bit less. The d90 and up you have the whole nikon line up to choose from form nikon and 3rd party. But the D5000 and down, you are looking at only lenses with AF-s or AF-s or 3rd party lenses that have built in motors. So if you want to move more into prime shooting down the road, that can be more expensive with nikon. Both companies make excellent lenses.
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