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Old Aug 25, 2006, 3:15 PM   #1
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I think my focus is narrowing down to the D50 (although I'm still open to D70s persuasion). Right now, pending CFO (wife of me) approval, here's what I'm thinking:

**D50 body
**Nikkor 28-200 "G"
**Sigma 10-20 (or perhaps Tokina 12-24)

That would cover me from very wide to moderate tele, with a gap between 20 (or 24) and 28, which I don't consider significant.

My inclination toward the D50 over the D70s is based primarily on two factors:

**Better out-of-cam JPG's (or so I've read...)
**Cleaner high-ISO images.

This latter is driven by the "vicious circle" of long-ish tele shots requiring both fast shutter and small (f/8+) aperture for maximum sharpness, both of which work against low ISO, unless using a tripod or other support.

Comments? Suggestions?

Eddie
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Old Aug 25, 2006, 3:36 PM   #2
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I think the D50 is the logical choice, it has the best IQ of nearly all DSLRs, except perhaps the S3 pro, and it seems that newer Nikons, like the D80 are going with SD cards, so there is a clear upgrade path. I have a Tokina 28-200, (plus the 18-55 kit lens) which is very versatile, plus I purchased used, 500 F8 (vivitar) and 300F5.6 (spiratone)mirror lenses. Amazingly the D50 focus light works, even with the 500mm lens. These lenses cost me $100 for the pair, are extremely light weight and surprisingly sharp. I also have a series E 50mm F1.8 MF lens thats good for low light work. The big drawback to using MF lenses with the D50 is the lack of metering but I've been doing film for so many years that I have a pretty good LM in my head...and if I shoot RAW, the wide dynamic range of the D50 enables me to recover the shot, if I don't have time to "chimp" the LCD display for exposure feedback.

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Old Aug 25, 2006, 3:53 PM   #3
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DuncanM wrote:
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300F5.6 (spiratone)mirror lenses.

Duncan
Duncan,

Now, THAT is a name I have not heard in a long, long time (to quote Obi-Wan...). I bought some stuff from Spiratone back in my Fujica 42mm screwmount days and, to this day, my favorite lens, range-wise was a Spiratone (Sun) 60-150mm. Great camera system, too, by the way.

The only real beef I have with the D50 specs is that I have found the grid in my S5200 vf to be helpful in the extreme, and I'll miss it with the D50. But, as Steve's review samples prove, there is a HUGE difference (IMO, anyway) between the ISO 1600 noise of the 50 and 70s. If the 28-200 is going to force me to shoot high ISO on occasions, I guess I'd be better off with the 50 for that reason, plus I'm lazy and cheap and don't want to spend the time or money required to do a lot of PP to everything I shoot.

Eddie
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Old Aug 25, 2006, 4:29 PM   #4
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Eddie, I actally have an ST701 gathering dust somewhere...

Being able to mount used lenses is one of the real draws of DSLRs, I bought both these lenses used from B&H, actually for non photographic purposes, but they work well with my D50. I do astrophotography, and I took a real hard look at whats on the market, and the D50 is just heads and tails better than the rest. Nikon has modified the D50 sensor to increase its DR and SNR compared to other DSLRs including the D70s, which is a drag because I really like the D70s but it just can't compete in IQ. I would like the gridlines as well, but for astrophotography I sometimes use an old F2 body and DW6 to frame things up.

you can see some astrophotos that I've done here:

http://www.sfu.ca/%7Edmunro/D50.html

Duncan


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Old Aug 25, 2006, 4:54 PM   #5
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VERY nice shots, Duncan. I'll bet the gear to move the camera in sync with the earth's rotation is more expensive than the camera!

I had ST801, ST705W, and AZ-1, with an assortment of lenses: the obligatory "normal" 50/1.8, a nice 200 prime, the 60-150, a 24, an 18, and I think maybe a 75-250 or so. Moved on to Minolta (X700) from there, and finally to Maxxum. Got two 7000i bodies and a bagful of lenses, but just don't think Sony is the future for me, personally. I may feel differently a year or two down the road, once they have fleshed out their line some, but right now, I just don't think that's the way I want to go. Always thought Nikon was the "Cadillac" of cameras; maybe I'll find out firsthand.

Still trying to make my camera and lens dollars go as far as possible. REALLY hoping the 28-200 has decent sharpness, as the focal range (42-300mm equivalent) is near-perfect for my shooting style, about 75% of the time. Teh 10-20 (or 12-24) would be nice for superwide use, and the two would eliminate the need for the std "kit" lens.

Here is my photobucket album, if interested:

http://s76.photobucket.com/albums/j11/fasteddiew/

Mostly shot with Fuji S5200; not a bad $225 camera, but I'm ready to move back into the SLR world.

~Eddie
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Old Aug 25, 2006, 5:22 PM   #6
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Eddie, thanks. Yes the equatorial mounts are not cheap, but my two mounts are not much more each, than the average price of a DSLR. I actually got the ST701 and a bag of lenses free from a friend a few years back. I started off with a Miranda Fe, then a Sensorex (what a thrill that was!) then a Nikon FE and EM, which got stolen, then a Pentax ME amd Super and I stayed with that and a few lenses for over 20 years, for photography, but I got a used F2 body in the early 1990s. I was biased against digital until I got a Fuji A205 P&S, and I was very impressed with the IQ. I missed the whole SLR AF revolution, until I jumped in with two D50 bodies, including one with the IR filter removed. When I got my D50 kit, I thought to myself that this was the most expensive camera that I've ever purchased...and it's a bottom feeder in term of price!
Oh well, I think I may stick with the D50 for a few years before moving on. I am impressed with the K100D, and "if I where a rich man" I might buy one just to use my old K-mount lenses with. I love the ergonomics and it has a beautiful VF, that reminds me of my old ME Super. Neither the K100D nor an ist DL2 can compare to the D50 for long exposure work, but the K100D is better than previous Pentax DSLRs and if it had the D50 sensor and IQ I'd buy one in a heart beat. The D80 looks very promising, as it appears to trade higher frame rates for lower noise. I doubt the smaller pixels will be able to compete with the larger D50 pixels, though.

Duncan
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Old Aug 25, 2006, 6:05 PM   #7
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Well, the 80 is out of my range, if I'm going to get any halfway decent glass. I'd rather put enough money into glass that I won't be immediatly disappointed with the results and have an early onset of buyer's regret. I need to solidify my tele zoom search, and the 28-200 fits my shooting style, as I said. I have also considered the Sigma 70-300 APO. It appears to me that the two lenses are probably comparable in OQ, but cover slightly different ranges. The Sigma is about a hundred bucks (US) less than the Nikon 28-200 and of course, offers more reach. I'm afraid, though, if I were to get the 10-20 for my wide needs, the gap between 20 and 70 would be too great. Maybe the Nikon 55-200 would be worth considering. ARRRRGGGHHH! This is *SO* maddening!

~Eddie
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 2:30 AM   #8
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Good choice, the D50!
Oh, lens selection, what a wonderful way to spend your time I knows all about that.
But, I'm just wondering why would't you consider a 28-300mm lens if you're looking for tele. The 10-20mm is a great lens and I would love to have one myself. Maybe, I'll move it higher on "the list" :G
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 6:23 AM   #9
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zygh wrote:
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I'm just wondering why would't you consider a 28-300mm lens if you're looking for tele.
My assumption is that the wider range would almost surely mean lower IQ than the 28-200 delivers.

Am I missing something?

Eddie
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Old Aug 27, 2006, 12:11 PM   #10
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FastEddie wrote:
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My assumption is that the wider range would almost surely mean lower IQ than the 28-200 delivers.

Am I missing something?

Eddie
That's right for mostlenses. But you have to add that the price also gives you an impression of the IQ. Most of the times, you can't go wrong with an expensive lens, even if it covers a wide range
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