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Old Jan 16, 2011, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default Best IQ body+single lens combo for under $1K....

Hello:

A question for the experts:

I shoot primarily landscape and architectural subjects, and am looking for a DSLR body and single walk-around lens (preferably a wide-angle zoom).

What body + single lens will give the best image quality for under $1000?

Thanks for your opinions!
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 1:42 PM   #2
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I'd say a Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 (~$340) on the best stabilized Pentax or Sony body you can get with what you've got left over.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 2:13 PM   #3
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I would flip the question around and start with the lens first. At under $1K you are in an APS-c sensor. Depending on how wide you consider wide, I would think that you would be in the 10 to 24 mm range for focal length. You do not need a fast lens, so f4 would be fine. If not on a tripod, then hand holding, in body stabilization might help - especially in fading light or heavy shadows (down town, etc.). In terms of wide angle, the lower the distortion the better.

The Tokina 12-24/f4 (for Sony, Nikon and Canon), which is also essentially the same lens (different lens mount) as the Pentax 12-24/f4 (Pentax uses their own coatings and has their own Auto Focus Clutch). This particular set of lenses has a field of view of 100 to 60 degrees wide. Distortion is very well controlled - much better than similar focal lengths from Tamron and Sigma (whose prices are less). The Tokina goes for $400 (for Canon and Nikon), $600 (for Sony) while the Pentax goes for $700+.

To stay in your budget that would put you in a Canon or Nikon body. Others can advise you on the best body set there.

For a point of reference, Pentax, using a Kx body - however they go for $450+ and with the $700 lens your total is hovering at $1150. This is new, the lens is available used in the $600 if you look or going with an earlier used body (Km, K200, K10, K100, etc.) that would be less.


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Old Jan 16, 2011, 2:27 PM   #4
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The Tokina 12-24 that interested_observer mentioned, won't AF on any Nikon bodies that you could get with the money you'd have left over after buying it, so that limits your selection to Canon. And because of Canon's slightly smaller image sensor, it's angle of view would be slightly less.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 2:31 PM   #5
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Nikon D5000 & 18-105 VR.

Should come in just around $1,000.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 3:04 PM   #6
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17 and 18 are not that wide.

Canon T1i with the 15-85mm will be pretty close to the budget, and it is pretty wide, and a good walk around zoom range.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 4:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
Nikon D5000 & 18-105 VR.

Should come in just around $1,000.
The 18-105 has a lot of distortion at 18mm, so it wouldn't be great for architecture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
17 and 18 are not that wide.

Canon T1i with the 15-85mm will be pretty close to the budget, and it is pretty wide, and a good walk around zoom range.
The Canon 15-85 is ~$739 (~$650 Refurbished.)
The Canon T1i is ~$559 (~$530 Refurbished.)

That's a total of ~$1298 (~$1180 Refurbished.)

Edit: That's an excellent kit, but 20-30% over budget.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 8:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FWSchreck View Post
Hello:

A question for the experts:

I shoot primarily landscape and architectural subjects, and am looking for a DSLR body and single walk-around lens (preferably a wide-angle zoom).

What body + single lens will give the best image quality for under $1000?

Thanks for your opinions!

Hi,

I'm no expert, but I do enjoy taking photographs of landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes, etc.

I use an Olympus E-30 and the Olympus 12-60mm SWD lens. As new, the combo is above the 1K threshold that you've set but on the used market, you may be able to pick up this combo for around 1,100.00USD.

Shooting fast action sports has not been traditionally, Olympus' strong suit. However, in the area of interest that you have, this camera and lens combination excels and I would put this up against anything currently being made-in by anyone in cropped sensor dslrs.

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Old Jan 18, 2011, 1:26 PM   #9
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Sony a33+Sony 16-105.
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 1:36 PM   #10
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At the wide end, the Sony 16-105 also has a lot of distortion, making it less than great for architectural shooting.
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