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View Full Version : Beginners Lens For Nikon D50 ?



timk99
09-09-2005, 08:18 AM
I am considering getting a Nikon D50 after some disaapointing results with the Panasonic FZ5. It is nothing more than just an idea at the moment - trying to weigh up pros and cons and whether I can justify the cost.

What I was interested in knowing is what would be a good first general use lens for this camera which as much zoom as possible ? And how would it cost ?

nwpoland
09-09-2005, 08:24 AM
Just got myself a D50 as well. After much (I mean MUCH) reading I decided to go with the Sigma 18-200mm DC lens. It's got everything I need in terms of quality, zoom factor, price isn't bad, and it's not really too big.

I'm sure others here would agree (probably George will weigh in on this one was a similar response--I'm guessing). But definitely as a first-timer it's a great all-around lens that'll meet most of your needs until you're ready to add other lenses for more specific purposes.

timk99
09-09-2005, 08:26 AM
My main problem is I also like to do quite a lot close up photography too. I assume I would need a separate macro lens for this ?

nwpoland
09-09-2005, 01:16 PM
Right...no macro function on the Sigma 18-200. The alternative is as close to your subject as possible and then crop the image as desired.

Of course, if you're a big "macro'er" then you might want to think in a different direction. Another point is that I've read that Canon users haven't always been too thrilled with the Sigma as where Nikonians seem overly pleased. Just another thought as you don't seem to have made up your mind completely on the camera.

Here's some more info on the Sigma:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0502/05021402sigma18-200dc.asp

D70FAN
09-09-2005, 03:24 PM
Just got myself a D50 as well. After much (I mean MUCH) reading I decided to go with the Sigma 18-200mm DC lens. It's got everything I need in terms of quality, zoom factor, price isn't bad, and it's not really too big.

I'm sure others here would agree (probably George will weigh in on this one was a similar response--I'm guessing). But definitely as a first-timer it's a great all-around lens that'll meet most of your needs until you're ready to add other lenses for more specific purposes.

George agrees. Let us know how you like the 18-200, with the D50, once you get the hang of it. I would think that this would be the ideal combination for everyday (and even some specialized) shooting.

Keep us posted.

D70FAN
09-09-2005, 03:35 PM
Right...no macro function on the Sigma 18-200. The alternative is as close to your subject as possible and then crop the image as desired.

Of course, if you're a big "macro'er" then you might want to think in a different direction. Another point is that I've read that Canon users haven't always been too thrilled with the Sigma as where Nikonians seem overly pleased. Just another thought as you don't seem to have made up your mind completely on the camera.

Here's some more info on the Sigma:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0502/05021402sigma18-200dc.asp

As for macro... consider buying a $250 Nikon CP5200 which can focus down to 4cm, and fits in a fanny-pack, rather than a fixed-focus-length macro at $400+ that will only focus down to 8 inches.

Low cost all-in-ones will generally out-macro a dSLR for less money. If you take a lot of macro shots then you can easily set up a low cost dedicated light box as well.

erichlund
09-09-2005, 06:46 PM
As for macro... consider buying a $250 Nikon CP5200 which can focus down to 4cm, and fits in a fanny-pack, rather than a fixed-focus-length macro at $400+ that will only focus down to 8 inches.

Low cost all-in-ones will generally out-macro a dSLR for less money. If you take a lot of macro shots then you can easily set up a low cost dedicated light box as well.
While the economics is all good, I'm not sure you have your priorities straight on the distance thing. The real key is to compare the macro power. A 1:1 is desired. A lot of zoom's have 1:2 macro, which means that they are only half size in the frame. There can be advantages to a long macro, especially if your target of preference is particularly skittish. You don't have to get so close. There's a reason they call the Nikkor 200 micro a legendary lens. OK, it's mostly sharpness, but I'll be it handles very nice at 19.4" from the target (Where it produces 1:1). Even butterflies won't be bothered at that distance.

BTW: The close focusing distance on these cameras is usually with the lens at it's widest angle, which minimizes the magnification. It's interesting that the Nikon site publishes the focusing distance for a lot of these cameras, but doesn't publish the magnification at that distance. My wife's Canon S70 is the same. There's no mention of the magnification, even in the manual.

Cheers,
Eric

Just thought of another thing. The cameras are so small, it's sometimes hard to set them up on a regular tripod. The longer shooting distance can be an advantage here as well, as you have room for tripod legs.

Not that I mean to bludgeon you to death... ;)

timk99
09-10-2005, 02:16 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone. Looking into this more, I have decided that I cannot really justify the cost of a dSLR - it all starts to add up so quickly.

At least this topic may be of use to others.

nwpoland
09-10-2005, 02:50 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone. Looking into this more, I have decided that I cannot really justify the cost of a dSLR - it all starts to add up so quickly.

At least this topic may be of use to others.

That's completely understandable and a reality that hurts! :)

Even with finding some incredible deals I paid over $1100 for: D50, Sigma 18-200, Speedlight SB-600, and accessories. That does sting even when it's a great price for that combination!

Of course you could always get the D50 kit and just add little by little. That certainly wouldn't hurt as much. I just wouldn't recommend spending less on a Point-n-shoot now since you're looking in the possible direction of a dSLR someday. Rather, save the money and add a little by over time and then buy in. It's very much worth it IMHO.

timk99
09-10-2005, 03:11 AM
It hurts even more when you realise I live in the UK and pay inflated prices for everything. The D50 (body only) starts at 450. Thats around $828.

The Sigma lens that was mentioned costs 260 (around $478)

The macro lens would cost around 160 ($294)

That is a total costs of 870 ($1600)

For me, that is just crazy money to spend on a camera.

nwpoland
09-10-2005, 03:17 AM
Know anyone in the US that could get it to you? That's what I did to get it for US price to Poland. Of course you'd have to ask yourself if you'd prefer to buy it from a local shop, if UK customs officials would kill you with some import fee, etc. For me it was a clear choice as it would be about the same deal here if not even a little more expensive.

Of course on the flip side...the cost means that hardly anyone here owns one so I look cool when taking pics with it! Haha!! :D

D70FAN
09-10-2005, 05:18 PM
It hurts even more when you realise I live in the UK and pay inflated prices for everything. The D50 (body only) starts at 450. Thats around $828.

The Sigma lens that was mentioned costs 260 (around $478)

The macro lens would cost around 160 ($294)

That is a total costs of 870 ($1600)

For me, that is just crazy money to spend on a camera.

I wonder if Ritz (on-line) ships international? They have the D50 body for $649 this coming week.

nwpoland
09-11-2005, 01:34 AM
George,
Wanted to see how Ritz would do with international shipping to our friend in the UK. As you can see, the results aren't too enthralling. :)

D70FAN
09-13-2005, 10:04 AM
That's completely understandable and a reality that hurts! :)

Even with finding some incredible deals I paid over $1100 for: D50, Sigma 18-200, Speedlight SB-600, and accessories. That does sting even when it's a great price for that combination!

Of course you could always get the D50 kit and just add little by little. That certainly wouldn't hurt as much. I just wouldn't recommend spending less on a Point-n-shoot now since you're looking in the possible direction of a dSLR someday. Rather, save the money and add a little by over time and then buy in. It's very much worth it IMHO.

So, nw, how is that 18-200 working out?

Keep in mind when weighing the cost of a dSLR that, should you decide to get a new body someday, the lenses and flash are transportable as well. So (hopefully) you only have to buy them once.

When you buy an all-in-one you end up buying everything all over again.

It is unfortunate that the VAT is so high in the UK, but Ritz on-line is offering the D50 kit for $799 and body only for $649, so that $100 off should help pay the difference. ;)

nwpoland
09-13-2005, 10:30 AM
So, nw, how is that 18-200 working out?


Really awesome. I read posts about the prime 50mm and others and just wonder what I'll need them for. The thing I'm wanting is longer zoom at some point...but that won't be for some time. But I enjoy shooting wildlife of whatever kind and it would be nice to have some more reach. But I'll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, though, I really couldn't be happier. Taking pics with the combo I bought is pure joy...esp seeing as though I just moved to the dSLR world from a little Canon SD100!! No going back!! :D

D70FAN
09-13-2005, 01:11 PM
Really awesome. I read posts about the prime 50mm and others and just wonder what I'll need them for. The thing I'm wanting is longer zoom at some point...but that won't be for some time. But I enjoy shooting wildlife of whatever kind and it would be nice to have some more reach. But I'll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, though, I really couldn't be happier. Taking pics with the combo I bought is pure joy...esp seeing as though I just moved to the dSLR world from a little Canon SD100!! No going back!! :D

For $189 you could try the Sigma 2X Teleconverter. The downside is that the minimum aperture is now around f11, so this would be a tripod shooter most of the time. But for the price it might be a good short term alternative.

nwpoland
09-13-2005, 01:28 PM
For $189 you could try the Sigma 2X Teleconverter. The downside is that the minimum aperture is now around f11, so this would be a tripod shooter most of the time. But for the price it might be a good short term alternative.

But is it true that you lose AF capability with teleconverters? While not a deal-breaker that could be pretty annoying.