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[Official] OCN Camera Thread - Page 78

post #771 of 29551
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highly-Annoyed View Post
Yeah, I thought of just getting one really good Nikkor. I was going to get the Nikkor 16-85mm, but although it's wicked-sharp, it's f3.5-5.6 and it's boke is supposed to be undesirable.

I also looked at the popular Nikkor 18-200mm, but again, it's f3.5-5.6 and it's distortions (although well controlled for such a large zoom range) are quite prominent, especially so at the short end, where I'd use it most.

In addition, I thought of foregoing almost all of the extras (like Capture NX2, and every filter) and just getting a single lens in the Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8, but the truth is, that based on what I've read, the slightly shorter 17-50mm f2.8 Tamron is sharper throughout the zoom range and with RAW editing (that I'd be doing anyway) the little extra distortions and CAs compared to the Nikkor can be fixed easily. One thing you can't fix with software though, is increasing the detail captured in an image, that needs to be done with the hardware and the Tamron is better at it than the Nikkor based on everything I've read. Also as I said, Tamron are offering (at least in the USA) a 6 year standard warranty, which says to me that they're confident their lens will last.

I've spent about two weeks reading (into the small hours) reviews, user feedback and looking at photos taken with various lenses on the D300 and I've tried various permutations of lens purchase within my budget and the two lenses I've listed fit best for what I shoot most currently and the money I've got to spend initially.

I figure that in six months to a year's time, I'll be able to get more and potentially better lenses, but if I'm going to get the D300 (which I am) for the mean-time I'm going to have to make some compromises in terms of how many lenses I can get, for what price.

Later on, I intend to get the Nikkor 70-300mm VR, which, although it's only got apertures of f4.5-5.6, is supposed to be very good for the money and on a crop frame sensor gives a 35mm equiv. of 105-450mm, which will be more than adequate for me as I'm not into wildlife photography much and rarely need to zoom past 135mm (around 200mm @ 35mm equiv.). The Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VR is also a contender .

The only other lenses I plan to get would be a prime lens (perhaps the Nikkor 50mm f1.4) and a macro lens, which currently I plan to be the Nikkor 105mm f2.8 VRII Micro, unless a better, equivalently priced alternative shows up in the lens market. This will leave a gap between 50mm and 70mm, but I'll probably fill it as time progresses.

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts! They're fairly long and I was a bit concerned nobody would read them and comment!

Further comments are welcome!

Highly-Annoyed
I understand the want for great bokeh, but if you doing mostly landscapes, then that would be among the least of your concerns, since bokeh is seen in macros, portraits, etc. where you use wide apertures.

And I wouldn't be so concerned that all your lenses have constant apertures throughout the focal range. Afterall, landscapes are best shot in narrow apertures anyway.
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post #772 of 29551
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoyd1 View Post
Check out these shots I have from the 18-200 I used. I see only a little distortion on the wide end; its really nothing to worry about. It is an amazing lens.




They do look very nice ecoyd1. I know the Nikkor 18-200mm is a good lens. For the zoom range it provides it handles distortions extremely well.

The truth is that I thought to myself, why get DSLR if you're going to get one lens and leave it on all the time? The beauty of DSLR over super-zoom bridge cameras like the FZ50 is (apart from superior sensors etc) the ability to pick lenses that specialise for a certain range, with certain apertures. As good as the 18-200mm is, I'm sure you'd agree that it's not as good as getting several individual lenses which cover the same focal range, but specialise at certain sections of it. The Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 is better at 18-55mm than the 18-200mm is at 18-55mm, no? Surely the 70-200mm f2.8 is better at 70-200mm than the 18-200mm is at 70-200mm, right?

Also, to be honest, I don't really go much beyond 135mm more than, perhaps 5-10% of the time currently and very few of those shots make it to my collection. I'm just not that bothered about telephoto zoom. When I have the spare cash, I'll probably invest in the Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6, which can be had for about 60% of the cost of the 18-200mm in the UK and is likely better at 70-200mm than the 18-200mm is at 70-200mm.

Thanks for your comments and for taking the time to show me examples!

Highly-Annoyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneTomorrow View Post
I understand the want for great bokeh, but if you doing mostly landscapes, then that would be among the least of your concerns, since bokeh is seen in macros, portraits, etc. where you use wide apertures.

And I wouldn't be so concerned that all your lenses have constant apertures throughout the focal range. Afterall, landscapes are best shot in narrow apertures anyway.
Agreed, landscapes are best shot at small apertures, but I'd like the flexibility of having a large aperture if possible, to tackle low light situations, or shoot wide-angle indoors in available light. Also, I'd like to expand what I shoot to a certain extent to encompass other subject matter as well, so flexibility is useful.

The two major problems I've had with my FZ50 are noise and poor low light performance and I'd really like to cure those issues with the D300's good high ISO performance and some fast glass. To be honest, I don't care too much about the f2.8 aperture on the 11-16mm, as it will be used mostly for daylight landscape/seascape etc, but it just so happens to be sharper and cheaper than the Nikkor equivalent, so I look upon the wide aperture as a bonus for that lens, rather than something I actually need. It's also a bit wider than the Nikkor, which is also nice.

As for the 17-50mm f2.8, again, it's sharper than the Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 equivalent and will be used as a kind of general purpose lens, so it's always a good idea to have the wide aperture at hand if needed.

Later on, I can add the 105mm Micro (macro), 70-200mm f2.8 tele, or 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 tele and perhaps a decent prime and that'll be OK for my needs for a while.

I've read that Pros tend to gravitate towards lenses with wide apertures throughout (perhaps with the exception of landscape pros?) so I figure there must be a good reason for it. The pros of course can afford the absolute best, I have to just go with what I can afford, but again, other than some minor niggles (which can be fixed in Capture NX2) the lenses I plan to get are the better choice over the equivalent Nikkors, perhaps with the exception of a certain amount of build quality.

Still, I believe both lenses have a one year "local" warranty, so as I'd be using them a lot, I'd soon find out if there were any troubles and if so, be able to get them replaced. If they go wrong outside of the warranty limit, I may accidentally drop them ( who knows ) and put in an insurance claim for a replacement .

That's partly why I'd like to get two lenses to start. If one is defective (or becomes so) hopefully the other will be OK and I wont be left lensless whilst I wait for a replacement .

I know I'm leaving myself a little short, range-wise with the two lenses I've chosen, but as I said, they'll cover, perhaps 65% of what I currently shoot. If I got a tele, instead of a wide-angle, they'd only cover perhaps 35% and if I got a tele and wide-angle I'd have a fairly big 17-70mm gap in the middle that would leave my options more limited than the combination I plan to go for. Also, to be fair, I don't make use of tele zoom often enough to really justify it at the moment .

I really wanted to get the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC macro lens, which would be a good range for me, but I've read some bad user feedback about their hit-and-miss QA and pretty poor UK customer services, so that make's me reluctant to purchase. The lens it's self has some good reviews though, but is quite a bit less sharp than the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 at f2.8 and isn't f2.8 throughout the zoom range. Annoyingly Canon make a 16-70mm f2.8 L series lens which looks nice, but obviously isn't for a Nikon mount .

Anyway thanks for your responses GoneTomorrow, it's always good to hear from you .

If you guys hear of anything bad, specifically about the lenses I've listed, I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know. I've only seen good things in the couple of weeks I've been on the hunt for lenses, but obviously there are millions of relevant web pages and I can't read them all .

I should be making the purchases sometime in August, probably around the 20th to the 30th, when I should have all the funds I need, so I've got time to make changes to the current list if it turns out there are problems I'm not aware of with my current choices .

Thanks guys!

Highly-Annoyed
Edited by Highly-Annoyed - 6/21/08 at 9:08pm
    
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post #773 of 29551
Hey everyone, I just purchased my first camera from the egg, and should be in this Wednesday or Thursday. Its the Casio Exilim EX-Z80. I know people reccomend the Cannon SD1000 for Ultra Compacts, but the Casio had a few features that I really liked and the Cannon didn't fit in the budget.

Anyways, I'm looking forward to learning how to take good pictures. I'm not really going to be doing any displayed photography, most of it will be for archiving, or 4x6 prints if anything. Ill also be doing a good bit of video.
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post #774 of 29551
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highly-Annoyed View Post
They do look very nice ecoyd1. I know the Nikkor 18-200mm is a good lens. For the zoom range it provides it handles distortions extremely well.

The truth is that I thought to myself, why get DSLR if you're going to get one lens and leave it on all the time? The beauty of DSLR over super-zoom bridge cameras like the FZ50 is (apart from superior sensors etc) the ability to pick lenses that specialise for a certain range, with certain apertures. As good as the 18-200mm is, I'm sure you'd agree that it's not as good as getting several individual lenses which cover the same focal range, but specialise at certain sections of it. The Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 is better at 18-55mm than the 18-200mm is at 18-55mm, no? Surely the 70-200mm f2.8 is better at 70-200mm than the 18-200mm is at 70-200mm, right?

Also, to be honest, I don't really go much beyond 135mm more than, perhaps 5-10% of the time currently and very few of those shots make it to my collection. I'm just not that bothered about telephoto zoom. When I have the spare cash, I'll probably invest in the Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6, which can be had for about 60% of the cost of the 18-200mm in the UK and is likely better at 70-200mm than the 18-200mm is at 70-200mm.

Thanks for your comments and for taking the time to show me examples!

Highly-Annoyed

Agreed, landscapes are best shot at small apertures, but I'd like the flexibility of having a large aperture if possible, to tackle low light situations, or shoot wide-angle indoors in available light. Also, I'd like to expand what I shoot to a certain extent to encompass other subject matter as well, so flexibility is useful.

The two major problems I've had with my FZ50 are noise and poor low light performance and I'd really like to cure those issues with the D300's good high ISO performance and some fast glass. To be honest, I don't care too much about the f2.8 aperture on the 11-16mm, as it will be used mostly for daylight landscape/seascape etc, but it just so happens to be sharper and cheaper than the Nikkor equivalent, so I look upon the wide aperture as a bonus for that lens, rather than something I actually need. It's also a bit wider than the Nikkor, which is also nice.

As for the 17-50mm f2.8, again, it's sharper than the Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 equivalent and will be used as a kind of general purpose lens, so it's always a good idea to have the wide aperture at hand if needed.

Later on, I can add the 105mm Micro (macro), 70-200mm f2.8 tele, or 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 tele and perhaps a decent prime and that'll be OK for my needs for a while.

I've read that Pros tend to gravitate towards lenses with wide apertures throughout (perhaps with the exception of landscape pros?) so I figure there must be a good reason for it. The pros of course can afford the absolute best, I have to just go with what I can afford, but again, other than some minor niggles (which can be fixed in Capture NX2) the lenses I plan to get are the better choice over the equivalent Nikkors, perhaps with the exception of a certain amount of build quality.

Still, I believe both lenses have a one year "local" warranty, so as I'd be using them a lot, I'd soon find out if there were any troubles and if so, be able to get them replaced. If they go wrong outside of the warranty limit, I may accidentally drop them ( who knows ) and put in an insurance claim for a replacement .

That's partly why I'd like to get two lenses to start. If one is defective (or becomes so) hopefully the other will be OK and I wont be left lensless whilst I wait for a replacement .

I know I'm leaving myself a little short, range-wise with the two lenses I've chosen, but as I said, they'll cover, perhaps 65% of what I currently shoot. If I got a tele, instead of a wide-angle, they'd only cover perhaps 35% and if I got a tele and wide-angle I'd have a fairly big 17-70mm gap in the middle that would leave my options more limited than the combination I plan to go for. Also, to be fair, I don't make use of tele zoom often enough to really justify it at the moment .

I really wanted to get the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC macro lens, which would be a good range for me, but I've read some bad user feedback about their hit-and-miss QA and pretty poor UK customer services, so that make's me reluctant to purchase. The lens it's self has some good reviews though, but is quite a bit less sharp than the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 at f2.8 and isn't f2.8 throughout the zoom range. Annoyingly Canon make a 16-70mm f2.8 L series lens which looks nice, but obviously isn't for a Nikon mount .

Anyway thanks for your responses GoneTomorrow, it's always good to hear from you .

If you guys hear of anything bad, specifically about the lenses I've listed, I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know. I've only seen good things in the couple of weeks I've been on the hunt for lenses, but obviously there are millions of relevant web pages and I can't read them all .

I should be making the purchases sometime in August, probably around the 20th to the 30th, when I should have all the funds I need, so I've got time to make changes to the current list if it turns out there are problems I'm not aware of with my current choices .

Thanks guys!

Highly-Annoyed
No problem, the questions you ask make me consider my future lenses. I really wish I could have all Canon L lenses!

I learned a lot about lenses from this guide (you may know much of this info):
http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8089

I love the picture at the beginning, must be $50,000 worth of lenses:


Edited by GoneTomorrow - 6/21/08 at 9:45pm
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post #775 of 29551
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dronac View Post
Hey everyone, I just purchased my first camera from the egg, and should be in this Wednesday or Thursday. Its the Casio Exilim EX-Z80. I know people reccomend the Cannon SD1000 for Ultra Compacts, but the Casio had a few features that I really liked and the Cannon didn't fit in the budget.

Anyways, I'm looking forward to learning how to take good pictures. I'm not really going to be doing any displayed photography, most of it will be for archiving, or 4x6 prints if anything. Ill also be doing a good bit of video.
Budget? The SD1000 retails for $150, same as the Casio you bought. Maybe you're thinking of the slightly more expensive SD1100 IS.

Nevertheless I think you will like the Casio, they're decent enough. Since you have an ultra compact, you should carry it with you where ever you go. I have an SD1000 that I used to carry in pocket almost at all times, good for those candid shots or sudden inspirations.
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post #776 of 29551
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneTomorrow View Post
No problem, the questions you ask make me consider my future lenses. I really wish I could have all Canon L lenses!

I learned a lot about lenses from this guide (you may know much of this info):
http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8089

I love the picture at the beginning, must be $50,000 worth of lenses:

Thanks for the link, I've book-marked it and will read through later.

It's been a crash course for me learning about lenses over the last couple of weeks. I've been agonising over what to get on such a limited lens budget.

I've got about £935 out of a £2200 maximum photographic budget to spend on lenses. Now, £935 sounds like quite a lot of money, but when you add in high quality UV filters (or the ridiculously expensive high quality Circular PL filter I'm going to get) that shaves about 16% off the budget and then you end up with around £750 for lenses alone...

Sadly, £750 doesn't go far on Nikkor lenses, it'll only buy you 88% of the Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 standard zoom for example...

I've been up to the very small hours night after night researching lenses and reading obscure camera forums for feedback from users... I've been trawling through Flickr for pictures from the lenses I've been looking at coupled with the D300 to see what the results are like. My goodness, I've read and looked at so much for each lens I've considered I'll start dreaming about MTF charts soon .

I love to learn new things though! Its been so much fun (although fairly hard work) to come to an independent conclusion about what lens choice to make based on all of my research over the last two weeks. It's been a matter of teaching myself about lenses, more or less from scratch, so I can make an informed decision. Fortunately I've only just learnt enough to make an informed decision, so there is no doubt lots left to learn!

I've also been researching into compositional technique in advance of my upgrade to DSLR and it's also been quite fun. I'm really looking forward to putting the theory into practice with the D300 when I get it, but again, like lenses there's still lots to learn! The D300 it's self has a 421 page manual, so I'm going to have a lot to teach myself in the coming few months !

Any links to web sites that explain composition in depth would be most welcome! Also, any links to user "how to" pages about the D300 would be good as well, to get some studying in before the camera arrives.

I can tell you, honestly, I'm actually getting quite excited about all this. I had no idea photography was so complex, interesting and enjoyable!

Thanks again for your help and advice!

Highly-Annoyed
    
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post #777 of 29551
If you had a Canon I could help you...
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post #778 of 29551
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrinNutz View Post
If you had a Canon I could help you...
I had a look at the Canon 5D as an alternative to the Nikon D300, but I figured that the newer, cheaper D300 would be a better choice. Still, I think it's hard to fairly compare the full frame 5D to the crop frame D300. What do you think, do they compare, is the 5D a better choice? Perhaps I'm missing an opportunity not going with Canon?

Any Canon advice is welcome as although I'm fairly set on the D300, my mind is not beyond being swayed by a good argument and I've still got about 6 weeks to make a final decision. Bear in mind though, that my maximum budget is £2200, which translates to about $4340 USD. Also bear in mind that US prices are generally lower (even when adjusted for the exchange rate) than British prices, so what can be bought in the US for $4340, when converted to GBP, doesn't buy as much in the UK.

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post #779 of 29551
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highly-Annoyed View Post
I had a look at the Canon 5D as an alternative to the Nikon D300, but I figured that the newer, cheaper D300 would be a better choice. Still, I think it's hard to fairly compare the full frame 5D to the crop frame D300. What do you think, do they compare, is the 5D a better choice? Perhaps I'm missing an opportunity not going with Canon?

Any Canon advice is welcome as although I'm fairly set on the D300, my mind is not beyond being swayed by a good argument and I've still got about 6 weeks to make a final decision. Bear in mind though, that my maximum budget is £2200, which translates to about $4340 USD. Also bear in mind that US prices are generally lower (even when adjusted for the exchange rate) than British prices, so what can be bought in the US for $4340, when converted to GBP, doesn't buy as much in the UK.

Highly-Annoyed
The 5D is a godly camera. It came out in 2005, but it was years ahead of its time. It was one of the first to use Canon's DIGIC III processor, which they are still putting in the new Canon XSi. It's easily as good as the D300 imo, but you can't go wrong with either.

Check out some 100% crops for the 5D, they are virtually noiseless up to 1600 ISO.
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post #780 of 29551
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneTomorrow View Post
The 5D is a godly camera. It came out in 2005, but it was years ahead of its time. It was one of the first to use Canon's DIGIC III processor, which they are still putting in the new Canon XSi. It's easily as good as the D300 imo, but you can't go wrong with either.

Check out some 100% crops for the 5D, they are virtually noiseless up to 1600 ISO.
QFT
not a huge canon fan (not saying they arnt good, just never enjoyed using them as much as nikon or pentax)
but the 5D is a beast, and one of the best you can get if you do landscapes and have the time to play around with shots.
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