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Old Jan 22, 2014, 10:00 AM   #11
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It seems that what you want to do is all over the place. But:
  • Buildings - Distortion is your enemy.
  • Night/Low light - Large apertures are your friend.
  • Landscape - Wide angles of view (short focal lengths) are your friend.
  • Wildlife - Long focal lengths are your friend.
  • Close-ups - High magnification ratios are your friend.
Putting all these capabilities together into a two or three lens kit is tough, especially with restrictions on your budget, but I think you'd be best served by:
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 6:42 AM   #12
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It seems that what you want to do is all over the place. But:
  • Buildings - Distortion is your enemy.
  • Night/Low light - Large apertures are your friend.
  • Landscape - Wide angles of view (short focal lengths) are your friend.
  • Wildlife - Long focal lengths are your friend.
  • Close-ups - High magnification ratios are your friend.
Putting all these capabilities together into a two or three lens kit is tough, especially with restrictions on your budget, but I think you'd be best served by:
I really do appreciate all your help, you've given me so much to think about. I do have a question. So, I'm assuming these two will fit on the D5200. Which of the two would you buy first if you were me? I'll plan on getting both, but won't be able to at the same time.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 9:04 AM   #13
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The Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 is the more "general purpose lens" of the two. That's the one I think you should go with first, as it will do most of what you want.

And yes, those lenses use the same mount that Nikon dSLRs have been using since the first Nikon dSLR. The D5300 requires Sigma lenses to have slightly different firmware in order to work properly, Sigma knows it, all their new lenses now have it, and Sigma will upgrade older lenses free of charge.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 11:23 AM   #14
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my son uses the sigma on his canon (obviously with the canon mount), and he has used it for conventions, a wedding and lots of other stuff, and gotten good results. my husband used to use the sigma on his canon, and it never left his camera till he sold the camera. definitely a versatile lens.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 3:46 AM   #15
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TCav has given great advice.

I would be inclined to consider the D5300 with 18-55 VR kit. The Sigma is an excellent lens, but my general inclination with zoom lenses for beginners is to choose VR over larger apertures.

You don't say what your overall budget is, but if you can manage something like:
D5200/D5300
18-55 VR
70-300 VR

That will give you a wide focal length range and a couple of very decent lenses to get started with.

Or the Canon equivalents - Canon still makes excellent cameras, and you may find them to be cheaper depending on the deals available.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 6:55 AM   #16
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TCav has given great advice.
Thanks very much.

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I would be inclined to consider the D5300 with 18-55 VR kit. The Sigma is an excellent lens, but my general inclination with zoom lenses for beginners is to choose VR over larger apertures.
The Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM is stabilized (OS) as well as has large maximum apertures.
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Old Jan 25, 2014, 5:57 AM   #17
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... plus, it's got a 1:2.9 maximum magnification ratio.
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Old Jan 25, 2014, 8:08 AM   #18
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Another thing. I know I'll need a memory card, I was thinking of a 64GB but haven't decided on not getting a 128GB card. Do you think a 64 would be fine for what I'm using it for? In other words, the pictures I take, which will normally be in the highest of quality, will that size card be more than enough for taking pictures?

Also, does anyone here think I might need any kind of filters or other accessories, except a bag, I know I need a decent bag? Was going to get a tri-pod for when I take pictures at the church, but is there something I might not know about that might be something I need to think about?
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Old Jan 25, 2014, 9:11 AM   #19
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Another thing. I know I'll need a memory card, I was thinking of a 64GB but haven't decided on not getting a 128GB card. Do you think a 64 would be fine for what I'm using it for? In other words, the pictures I take, which will normally be in the highest of quality, will that size card be more than enough for taking pictures?
My preference is to use multiple smaller cards. A big part of that is not keeping all my eggs in one basket, but I've also found that smaller cards are slightly faster than larger cards. I have multiple 16GB and 32GB cards that I keep in an SD Card Case.

Quality is also important. I've been very satisfied with SanDisk Extreme and Lexar Professional cards. They're fast and reliable. Others have their favorites; those are mine.

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Also, does anyone here think I might need any kind of filters ...
A Circular Polarizing Filter is a good idea for landscape and other outdoor shooting. You might also consider a Neutral Density Filter.

The Glass in Front of Your Glass: All About Filters

But if you're going to get filters, get good ones.

Good Times with Bad Filters
Bad Times with Bad Filters
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Old Jan 25, 2014, 6:14 PM   #20
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And now I'm contemplating the Canon EOS 60D or Nikon D7000...I know, I'm a mess.

Last edited by spiritgod; Jan 25, 2014 at 6:48 PM.
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