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Old Oct 24, 2005, 10:57 PM   #1
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I have been reading so many threads about lenses and combinations, but I am not any further along. I am new to digital SLRs, and the D50 is a top contender. I am also considering the Minolta D5 and Olympus E500.

I like the way the Nikon feels as well as the kit price, but the kit lense range seems limiting compared to the higher range & quality of the D70 kit. With that lense though, the D50 would be $200-250 more than the other two cameras. It would also be in strking distance of the D70, inclusive of the rebate.

Given these factors, does it make sense to go with the better lense with the D50? Is it a poor value? Is there a different lense combination that I should look at? The Minolta seems to be a bargain given the price, focal range (18-70mm) & reported lense quality.

In terms of my use, the camera will be used for indoor and outdoor family photos. A lot of kid action and nature shots as well as the occasional close up work (art. jewlery). I'm really not sure what size works best b/c I don't have the relative experience to know. I do know I want an everyday lense that is not oversized or super-heavy that is suitedfor people shots. Can you help?
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Old Oct 24, 2005, 11:21 PM   #2
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MACCT,

No matter which DSLR you get, always buy good quality lenses.

The kit lens is usually an okay lens, but you might be better off buying the body only, then get a specific lens that you will use most often, and of good quality.

For family photos, some tend to be indoors. You need something at the wide angle for that. I'd start out with a lens that is 17 or 18mm at the wide end.

Make sure the lenshas a maximum aperture ofF2.8 at the wide end. These F3.5 lenses aren't worth it.High quality lenses start at F2.8 or better.

For your budget I'd recommend looking at a Sigma or Tamron lense (I love Tamrons myself - I have a rocking Tamron 17-35 F2.8 myself).

The Nikon kit lens is a slow lens (F3.5 - 5.6). It would probably do you okay while your learning, but if you ever decide to get serious, the lens is a throw away.

I'm concerned about your interest in the Minolta or the Olympus. If you ever decide to upgrade to a better camera, both Nikon and Canon will offer you many options, where hopefully you can continue to use your investment in quality lenses.

I don't think Minolta or Olympus will offer you the upgrade options in the future. If you ever switched over to Canon or Nikon, you'd have quite an investment in Minolta or Olympus lenses thatwould be useless.

Have you looked at the Canon Rebel XT? It's a very light, very good camera with a terrific 8mp sensor. I think the Rebel XT is the best value right now.

If you can't afford the Canon Rebel XT, then by all means look at the Nikon D50. Personally I don't think the D70 is worth the extra money (I will get crucified in these forums for telling you this).

To conclude, I would steer you towards the D50 or the Rebel XT. Forget the kit lens and look for a wide angle zoom from Tamron or Sigma.

You may find yourself eventually owning two or three lenses. Buy only good quality Tamron or Sigma F2.8 lenses.

The Canon or Nikon lenses are only good if you spend the big bucks. Canon and Nikon low level offerings are outclassed by Tamron and Sigma F2.8 lensesfor the money.

-- Terry


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Old Oct 25, 2005, 12:02 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply. It was very informative and helpful.

I am leaning towards the D50 b/c of how it feels in the hand as well as the upgrade option down the road.I do think the kit lense will be limiting, but I really don't know what range would be a better fit (both quality and expense wise). When you add the 18-70mmlense to the D50 body, the cost is within $100 of the D70 kit w/ rebate. That is why I wonder about the value of that option? The other available Nikon options are not specifically for the Digital SLRs. Does that matter?

I have also looked at various Sigma and Tamron lenses. They have numerous zoom options in the 18-125mm range, but few with f2.8. What size would you choose for everyday?Would you give upany wide-angle to get a higher quality lense with more zoom? Would a max of 70mm be a good strarting point to experiment (is worth the extra 15mm)?

In terms of the Olympus and Minolta, I appreciate the viewpoint. I was attracted to their prices in conjunction with the kit lense option. I was really thinking about long-term or expansion options. It seems Minolta has a strong following that appreciate thePQ and lense quality. It seems its in the same league as theNikon and Canon options. I agree it will be more limiting though.I haven't gotten the same sense of history on theOlympus line. That concerns me that the focus may just be on the new users without growth opportunities.Thank you for expressing those concerns.

I haven't really considered the Canon Rebel XT. While I like the weight of it, it just feels awkward to hold. The grip doesn't conform with my hand. Otherwise< it woudl be a top choice.








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Old Oct 25, 2005, 2:19 PM   #4
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macct,

Your certiainly going through the right process.

I think the D50 is better than the D70. It's smaller, lighter, has a more updated sensor, and has a USB 2.0 port for fast downloads. It uses an SD memory card but you should be able to get a 1 gig card reasonably if you shop around.

You could probably work with the kit lens for a while.

I have both the Tamron 18-35 F2.8 and the Tamron 28-75 F2.8 lenses. Both are excellent lenses and I'd be happy stuck on a desert island with either of them.

However, my style is an "in tight shooter" (I like to get in close) so for some reason I've been really "gel-ing" with the 18-35 even though I've had to give up a little of the "tele" end like the 75m of my 28-75.

I think an ideal lens would be an 17-85 F2.8 lensif you can get it.

There are a lot of lenses that are slower than F2.8, or try to do everything (ie. 18-200). My advice is skip them.

Maybe just start out with the D50 and the kit lens. I don't think your paying a premium for the kit lens.

You may well be happy with the kit lens, and that's okay. I've used a Canon Rebel XT with a kit lens and I thought the lens was very serviceable.

The D50 will probably be an excellent purchase for you. It's a rockin camera and you'll be very impressed with the photos you'll get. I really don't think you can go wrong with the D50.

-- Terry




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Old Oct 25, 2005, 8:09 PM   #5
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[email protected] wrote:
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I'm concerned about your interest in the Minolta or the Olympus. If you ever decide to upgrade to a better camera, both Nikon and Canon will offer you many options, where hopefully you can continue to use your investment in quality lenses.

I don't think Minolta or Olympus will offer you the upgrade options in the future.
Why do you say this? What kind of upgrade options are you referring to? If it's lenses, then IMHO I'd have to disagree.
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Old Oct 25, 2005, 8:27 PM   #6
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I have to strongly disagree with terry.Olympus lens take a back seat to no one. There is no way I would go back to a Canon.

Time does not permit me to expand more on this subject. We all have our personal preferences in what we like in a camera, but that does not give us the right makequestionable statements about good products.

Macct: do check out the E-500. Steve has a first look review, but there are other full reviews now being posted.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/e500.html


http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse500/

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/EV500/E500A.HTM



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Old Oct 25, 2005, 8:56 PM   #7
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I have to agree with Terry. There is alot more opportunity to purchase quality lenses (especially bright primes) if one goes with Nikon or Canon. Minolta is a little better in this regard than Olympus, and the anti-shake feature makes it at least a better bargain. Canon and Nikon also offer a great, easy to use optional flashes. I'm not (and I'm sure Terry wasn't) slamming the quality of Olympus. I've read the reviews, and by all accounts the E-volt is a solid camera. The point is Olympus just doesn't offer the flexibility and availibility the big 2 do. The vast majority of pros shoot either Canon or Nikon.
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Old Oct 25, 2005, 9:08 PM   #8
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rjseeney wrote:
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The point is Olympus just doesn't offer the flexibility and availibility the big 2 do. The vast majority of pros shoot either Canon or Nikon.
"Pros" can afford Canon or Nikon and their associated big buck lenses, while the averageentheusiest or hobbiest can not. But that's also not to say Canon and Nikon are the only ones who produce great optics. And as far as availability, you can pretty much cover just about any lens category with any dSLR maker - including non-OEM brands. And there are some Sigma, Tamaron, etc lenses that even out-perform the equivalent Canon/Nikon lenses.

And lets not forget to mention that KM and Oly have implemented technologies the Canon and Nikon still have to catch up on. :O
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Old Oct 25, 2005, 10:33 PM   #9
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I'm fully an advocate of looking at third party lenses (Tamron and Sigma) for us cash strapped types who can't afford the $1000+ lenses.

I don't have a problem with any particular Olympus or Minolta DSLR.

Your correct that Olympus has some pretty hot e-system lenses.

However, when it comes time to retire my Canon 20D, I will happily look at the several new models that Canon will be announcing, taking my $1,500 investment in lenses and upgrading to a new, better, faster Canon.

Meanwhile, when I see that Olympus and Minolta have basically oneDSLReach, it doesn't give me confidence that I'd have many upgrade choicesfor the future.

That's why most pro's, or anyone thinking of upgrading, stick with Canon or Nikon.

However, for those who really like their E-volt with the hot E-system lenses, or really like the Minolta 5D with antishake, they should go out and buyone and I'm sure they will be very happy with it.

I like Canon because they have, in my opinion, the best image quaity, the least noise at high ISO levels, and are basicallygreat all round cameras. That's why Canonhas 50 percent of the DSLR market.

Other manufacturers may come out with nifty innovations, but in my mind, image quality is king.

-- Terry


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Old Oct 25, 2005, 11:11 PM   #10
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[email protected] wrote:
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However, when it comes time to retire my Canon 20D, I will happily look at the several new models that Canon will be announcing, taking my $1,500 investment in lenses and upgrading to a new, better, faster Canon.
Of course you will, and that makes perfect sense. If you had a Minolta Maxxum film camera with a collection of lenses and were looking to upgrade to digital, I'm sure your choice would be different. But the important thing is that those who are looking to get a dSLR without currently having any existing lenses have an array of choices to look at, and the new models from KM and Oly are quite compelling with the features they offer. That's not to take away anything from Canon and Nikon - they're still selling just fine, and are great cameras in their own right. Whatever camerayou buy lenses for now, you'll be ableto keepthat investment when you decide to upgrade to that brand's latest offering. :|
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