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Goldfly29
12-31-2005, 01:52 PM
I've never owned a DSLR. After two years of making do with the family camera (a Canon Powershot G2), I decided that all or some of the $2500 sitting in my savings account is going to pay for an excellent camera.

My father has been an amateur photographer for 40 years, and he's a Nikon guy through and through. That puts Canon out of the question for me, because the F Mount will support all his old lenses... or so I thought. I called Nikon, and they told me that while any Nikon camera can mount his lenses, only the d200 will give any metering.

How important is this? I don't trust Ken Rockwell at all (he spewed something like "heck you may as well use a '50's era flash meter!"), and I'm not sure I even need everything the D200 has to offer. White balance is important, as is the superb button layout and rugged magnesium-alloy body (I hate plastic). Like I said, I have $2500 to spend but if the D70s or D50 has everything I need with a few concessions (e.g. plastic frame, a few megapixels), I'll just go with something lower.

Any thoughts? Does anyone even have a D200 yet??

Esoterra
12-31-2005, 02:40 PM
Goldfly $2500 is a lot of money and the conservative , less impulsive , side of me will tell you not to touch that savings account. You never know when you will need that money for something that will seem much more important at the time you need it, than having a camera. That's just me though.

While the D70 is plastic, it sure feels sturdy in my hands, and as far as white balance is concerned, I always shoot in RAW anyhow, so it's never an issue as I can just change is in Nikon Capture. If I were in your shoes I would rent a D70(s) and try it with all your lens'. If they work then you are out $800 for body only and you still have $1700 in savings. This way you get your new toy (yippee) and peace of mind that you still have some savings.

Goldfly29
12-31-2005, 03:06 PM
Ah, I should've clarified. The savings account is a seperate one; this is money from a few years back that I put aside for buying "something expensive" I might want someday. Originally, a nice electric guitar was in mind, but acoustic has suited me just fine over the years and I've never seen the need.

Also, I just found out that these lenses aren't as spectacular as I thought them to be- the Kiron telephoto (70-210, f/4) goes for a mere $90 bucks at B&H. All but one of them are manual focus only, too.

I plan on taking the lenses with me when the ma&pop camera store tells me my d200 has arrived. I'll take a look at both cameras, then decide.

Thanks for the advice, Esoterra. Besides the megapixel jump and better continuous shooting, is there anything else about the d200 that might make that price jump worthwile for me (the AF system, maybe)?

D70FAN
12-31-2005, 03:14 PM
I've never owned a DSLR. After two years of making do with the family camera (a Canon Powershot G2), I decided that all or some of the $2500 sitting in my savings account is going to pay for an excellent camera.

My father has been an amateur photographer for 40 years, and he's a Nikon guy through and through. That puts Canon out of the question for me, because the F Mount will support all his old lenses... or so I thought. I called Nikon, and they told me that while any Nikon camera can mount his lenses, only the d200 will give any metering.

How important is this? I don't trust Ken Rockwell at all (he spewed something like "heck you may as well use a '50's era flash meter!"), and I'm not sure I even need everything the D200 has to offer. White balance is important, as is the superb button layout and rugged magnesium-alloy body (I hate plastic). Like I said, I have $2500 to spend but if the D70s or D50 has everything I need with a few concessions (e.g. plastic frame, a few megapixels), I'll just go with something lower.

Any thoughts? Does anyone even have a D200 yet??

The D200 may be overkill, but if you want the best of the current crop of prosumer dSLR's, and AI and AI-S lens compatibility, this appears to be the one. I suggest that maybe you try the D50 first, as it may be what you really need, and spend the extra on decent pro grade Nikkor lenses, like the AF-S 17-55 f/2.8 DX, which will retain most of their value and give the D50 some added punch, for about the same price as the D200 body alone. There is little value added to the D70s over the D50. A good dSLR and a great lens would serve you better than a great camera and a mediocre lens.

I have a tendancy to agree with the idea that manual focus lenses are interesting but waste most of the capability of newer AF cameras.

Goldfly29
12-31-2005, 04:04 PM
...and spend the extra on decent pro grade Nikkor lenses, like the AF-S 17-55 f/2.8 DX, which will retain most of their value and give the D50 some added punch, for about the same price as the D200 body alone. There is little value added to the D70s over the D50. A good dSLR and a great lens would serve you better than a great camera and a mediocre lens.

From what I've heard here and what I've seen of Nikon's lens catalog, it seems like a much better idea to forget the D200 and get the D50 or D70s and spend money on a few great lenses. I shoot mostly outdoor and portrait photography; I probably don't need anything in the telephoto department. Any ideas for a good wide angle?

Nikon's lens website gives the "DX Nikkor" line an entirely different section- what's special about the "DX?" If these lenses are made for Nikon's DSLRs, is there anything they can do that the other Nikkor (/Sigma, Kiron, etc.) lenses can't? It seems that this line has everything I could want, just more expensive.

Thanks for all your help, George & everyone.

timmciglobal
12-31-2005, 05:37 PM
The AF system on the D200 sounds nice, as does the higher megapixel count (almost 2X that of the D50)

I guess it depends on what your shooting though, more $ into glass is always better then bodies.

Tim

Esoterra
12-31-2005, 07:04 PM
Ken Rockwell says:

" The resolution difference isn't important. What is important is that the D200 offers numerous little improvements in convenience, speed and ease of use, like more buttons dedicated to individual functions. For instance, the Three Kings, which serious photographers reset almost shot-to-shot, QUAL, WB and ISO, now have dedicated new buttons on top (see photo below) instead of being shared with playback buttons on the back as they are on the D70s. New from the D70 is that the ISO shows all the time in the finder..."

and...

"The quality of your photos will be the same from the D200 as any other DSLR. It's you, not the camera, who makes the pictures. I have a page here about that. If you're dissatisfied with your photos then your money is better spent on becoming a better photographer or traveling to exotic locales than on more cameras. I've seen 3 x 4 foot prints made from a D50 and they look great. If you can't get sharp results with what you have, then a new camera probably won't fix it. The technical image quality differences are so minute among cameras that only the very top virtuoso photographers are good enough to discern the differences in real photography of anything other than test charts. Of course people trying to sell you cameras will say otherwise, and if you have the money then by all means get the best."

Seeing that there is some skepticism about Ken, I would only take what makes sense to you. Here is the site

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d200.htm

D70FAN
12-31-2005, 08:05 PM
From what I've heard here and what I've seen of Nikon's lens catalog, it seems like a much better idea to forget the D200 and get the D50 or D70s and spend money on a few great lenses. I shoot mostly outdoor and portrait photography; I probably don't need anything in the telephoto department. Any ideas for a good wide angle?

Nikon's lens website gives the "DX Nikkor" line an entirely different section- what's special about the "DX?" If these lenses are made for Nikon's DSLRs, is there anything they can do that the other Nikkor (/Sigma, Kiron, etc.) lenses can't? It seems that this line has everything I could want, just more expensive.

Thanks for all your help, George & everyone.


The DX indicates lenses designed for Nikon digital cameras which use an APS-C size sensor (Nikon calls this sensor DX) that is smaller than a 35mm frame by a factor of 1.5. this is called a crop factor and is treated like a multiplier where lens focal lengths are concened. A 35mm frame is about 36mm x 24mm and APS-C is about 24mm x 16mm (or equivalent to cropping the 35mm frame by 1.5X).

This size difference allows lens designers to make smaller and lighter lenses of equivalent or better quality, for less money, but limits the use of these lenses for 35mm film cameras and possible future full-frame image sensors (Canon 1Ds MarkII and 5D dSLR's are the only remaining full frame digital sensors currently available).

Smaller APS-C sized sensors are also much cheaper to make which is why we enjoy dSLR's in the $600 price range, while the lowest cost full-frame dSLR (Canon 5D) is around $3300 (body only).

The effect of digital only lenses is that if you have a Nikon F100 and a D70 the DX lens will cause vignetting (darkening of corners similar to shooting through binoculars or tunnel vision) on the F100 due to the design for a smaller target. If you use a non-DX lens it will work on both.

One of the drawbacks to non-DX lenses, for digital use, is that their focal length is designed for full frame targets (sensors or film) so that 28-70 is now equivalent to 42-105. Terrific for telephoto shooting, but at the loss of wide-angle. That's why you see many of the DX lenses with a range starting at 17mm or 18mm as these are actually the equivalent of around a 25-27mm field of view on a 35mm frame.

The flip (good) side of that is that you are only using the center portion of the lens, so it's like using a smaller aperture without the loss of light. Conventional lenses that had sharp centers and soft edges/corners wide open are now sharp wide open because in escence we have cropped the corners and edges of the target by about 30%.

I think that on the whole you will find DX lenses to be lower cost, for equivalent quality/performance, than their non-DX equivalents. The pro versions will always command a premium price, but the consumer grade lenses like the 18-70 DX are pretty reasonable.

coldrain
12-31-2005, 09:57 PM
For wide angle a Tokina 12-24 mm f4 would be a most excellent choice.

ktixx
12-31-2005, 11:16 PM
My father has been an amateur photographer for 40 years, and he's a Nikon guy through and through. That puts Canon out of the question for me, because the F Mount will support all his old lenses... or so I thought.

If the majority of the reason you decided on Nikon was your old lenses, Now that you found out the lenses are cheap, would you consider Canon?

The reason I ask this is because the Canon 20d is Magnesium Alloy, is very well rated and for $2500 you could get a Great package. If you were to go with Canon I would suggest the following:
Canon 20d --------- $1300
Canon 24-70L ----- $1200
Canon 70-200L f/4 - $590
Tripple Rebate --($510)

Sandisk Ultra II 1gb CF Card $90

Total---------$2670

The only reason I went over your $2500 budget is because you will only be paying $370 more than without, for a $600 Lens (70-200 f/4)

Add Some shipping in there and you will probably pay $2700 for the entire package (only $200 more than your budget). If you didn't get the 70-200 f/4 the package (including rebates & CF Card) would run $2300. That is a great package.

Just a thought
Ken

Goldfly29
01-01-2006, 01:14 AM
Ahh thanks for the advice everyone, this is great stuff. Ken, I've been loyal to Nikon my whole life but canon does sound awfully inviting. I think my trip to the camera store will be a long one; I'll certainly ask to hold the 20D and hear a bit about their lenses (brand loyalty is pretty strong, though). Thank you for the lens recommendations, I'll certainly keep that lineup in mind.

coldrain and george, thanks for the DX info. I have to ask, though, is a DX lens really a good investment? I mean Nikon's been running the line for 3 years now, so it seems obvious that this 1.5 crop factor will be around for a while. It'll be a few years at least until full frame drops to a prosumer price range. And then, when megapixels are firmly in the double digits and full frame is accepted standard, the DX lenses will be worth... nothing. Am I right? Obviously, I'm no expert at all, but I'd rather not buy something that's going to be a worthless antique someday.

Does it make more sense to invest in, say, a cheaper wide angle DX lens along with an all around 35-mm lens (say, the 24-120 f/3.5-5.6 Nikkor) instead of going DX all the way? The 24-120, for example, works out to be a 36-180, a pretty good zoom range I think. Since even a 14 mm wide angle becomes a 21 mm, it makes sense to go for a DX zoom-wide angle like the Tokina coldrain recommended.

(If my guesses are wrong, and the DX line really is a good investment, then Nikon's 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 DX looks absolutely perfect.)

Goldfly29
01-01-2006, 02:31 AM
I was looking back at the lens George recommended, the 17-55 f/2.8 DX, comparing it to the 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 Nikon touts on their website and B&H is already backordered on. 18-200 seems to perfectly cover everything; why is a 17-55 so much more expensive? I'm pretty sure this has something to do with the aperture, but I confess to knowing very little about the difference between 2.8 and 3.5. How much does this matter (because the price jumps from $750 to $1200!)?

And in other news, I just found two more lenses. A 35-70mm (so 52.5-105) lens with autofocus and a 2x teleconverter. The teleconverter (a vivitar that's at least ten years old) doesn't say anything about autofocus; can I snap this on with a new autofocus lens and still take advantage of autofocus when I need to?

Thank you so much everyone. This advice is invaluable.

coldrain
01-01-2006, 05:08 AM
NOt only aperture, but also the quality of the lens elements can make a big difference in how image quality turns out. The 18-200 VR is a "consumer" lens, a basic do it all lens. It does have its drawbacks though, like quite some barrel distortion on the wide angel part, and probably some pin cushion distirtion on the long end, some CA, and such. Making a lens with such a big range is very difficult, and by the price you already can see that the 18-200 is not as good a lens as the 17-55 f2.8. For its type the 18-200 is a good lens probably, with the VR responsible for half its price.

For bigger apertures larger lens elements are needed, and usually they then also use more precise and better lens elements... so both factors make the better lenses very expensive.

D70FAN
01-01-2006, 10:21 AM
Ahh thanks for the advice everyone, this is great stuff. Ken, I've been loyal to Nikon my whole life but canon does sound awfully inviting. I think my trip to the camera store will be a long one; I'll certainly ask to hold the 20D and hear a bit about their lenses (brand loyalty is pretty strong, though). Thank you for the lens recommendations, I'll certainly keep that lineup in mind.

coldrain and george, thanks for the DX info. I have to ask, though, is a DX lens really a good investment? I mean Nikon's been running the line for 3 years now, so it seems obvious that this 1.5 crop factor will be around for a while. It'll be a few years at least until full frame drops to a prosumer price range. And then, when megapixels are firmly in the double digits and full frame is accepted standard, the DX lenses will be worth... nothing. Am I right? Obviously, I'm no expert at all, but I'd rather not buy something that's going to be a worthless antique someday.

It is possible that 10 years from now many cameras will use full frame sensors, so it's a decision you need to make based on present and future needs. Personally, I am leaning toward the 17-55 f/2.8 for specialty shooting and staying with the Sigma 18-125 as my day-to-day. I may end up with an 18-200 VR someday but until I can try it out in person...



Does it make more sense to invest in, say, a cheaper wide angle DX lens along with an all around 35-mm lens (say, the 24-120 f/3.5-5.6 Nikkor) instead of going DX all the way? The 24-120, for example, works out to be a 36-180, a pretty good zoom range I think. Since even a 14 mm wide angle becomes a 21 mm, it makes sense to go for a DX zoom-wide angle like the Tokina coldrain recommended.

I have not had good results with the 24-120 VR and can't recommend it. Even with some minor drawbacks I still consider the Sigma 18-125 DC (also a digital DX type lens) to be one of the best walk around lenses available. I know a lot of Canon users have had problems with this lens but it seems to work well on Nikons. For $270 you really can't go wrong. I have considered the Tokina, but no one seems to carry it in-stock, so I haven't tried it. The posted results seem to be very good.



(If my guesses are wrong, and the DX line really is a good investment, then Nikon's 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 DX looks absolutely perfect.)

Again, the jury is still out on the new 11X VR. Original posts looked pretty good, but recent posts here from Jeff looked really bad. I will have to try it in person.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, most of the pictures in this gallery were taken with the Sigma (and D70). A few are taken with my old CP990 and a few with the Nikkor 18-70.

http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

Goldfly29
01-01-2006, 01:07 PM
Wow. Those galleries are amazing- particularly "From 35,000 Feet." I really know nothing about third party lensmakers like Sigma; if their $260 lens can produce results like that, it seems perfect as my all-around day-to-day lens. In terms of DX, I think spending that kind of money on a lens that will serve me well (e.g. your Sigma) seems a good choice, even if it does end up worthless later on. It's the 17-55 f/2.8 that would really break the bank.

Okay, picking out these lenses on B&H is overwhelming me. I think going to a store and comparing them might help me decide. I'm positive I'll be getting the D70s, it's just a choice of which high quality glass will accompany it. Thanks again George, coldrain, and everyone else. You've been incredibly helpful.

One last question- any opinions on buying the camera off ebay? I've found it brand new in the box (yes, with warranty) for up to $200 cheaper than even B&H can offer it. I've never trusted those ebay stores with this much cash before, and if DSLR-savvy people know it's an AVOID AT ALL COSTS type thing, I'd like to know before hand.

Again, thank you everyone. Happy new year! :)

coldrain
01-01-2006, 01:24 PM
Just remember that some lenses from Sigma are good, and some are not so good. That is true with every lens maker, whether it is Canon, Sigma, Nikon, Tamron, Tokina or whatever.

When you know what kind of lens you are looking for you can always ask for an opinion on here... There might be someone with first hand experience (like George with the Sigma 18-125 or me with the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC), or someone who can point you to a lens review or opinion.
It is hard to find the best lens for a budget and focal range, but it can be fun and certainly rewarding.

D70FAN
01-01-2006, 03:37 PM
Wow. Those galleries are amazing- particularly "From 35,000 Feet." I really know nothing about third party lensmakers like Sigma; if their $260 lens can produce results like that, it seems perfect as my all-around day-to-day lens. In terms of DX, I think spending that kind of money on a lens that will serve me well (e.g. your Sigma) seems a good choice, even if it does end up worthless later on. It's the 17-55 f/2.8 that would really break the bank.

Okay, picking out these lenses on B&H is overwhelming me. I think going to a store and comparing them might help me decide. I'm positive I'll be getting the D70s, it's just a choice of which high quality glass will accompany it. Thanks again George, coldrain, and everyone else. You've been incredibly helpful.

One last question- any opinions on buying the camera off ebay? I've found it brand new in the box (yes, with warranty) for up to $200 cheaper than even B&H can offer it. I've never trusted those ebay stores with this much cash before, and if DSLR-savvy people know it's an AVOID AT ALL COSTS type thing, I'd like to know before hand.

Again, thank you everyone. Happy new year! :)

Buying a camera off of e-bay is always a crap-shoot. I have bought lenses from long time e-bay sellers, wth ratings above 99.5%, when the price is cheap enough to warrant the risk, and have not had a problem.

Direct us to some of the "deals" you are looking at and maybe we can help. Always make sure that you pay with a credit card and use pay-pal as well. Never pay with cash or money order... never.

Goldfly29
01-01-2006, 08:28 PM
Hmm. All the ones that were incredibly inexpensive had something in common- no warranty. No thank you, ebay. Still, savings are to be had, especially considering the fact that B&H is out of stock on the body-only version. I'm looking at this one (http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-D70-S-D70S-SLR-6-1MP-Digital-Camera-Body-NEW_W0QQitemZ7576389126QQcategoryZ43456QQtcZphotoQ QcmdZViewItem) in particular.

You mentioned lens offerings, so I thought I'd stop looking at cameras and see what lenses are going for on ebay. That 18-200 VR is $700 flat here (http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-18-200mm-DX-AF-S-Lens-for-D70-D200-D2X-D50-NEW_W0QQitemZ7577691586QQcategoryZ30067QQssPageNam eZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)- and it's not grey market. Nikon would have me believe that this lens is all I'll ever need, but coldrain's warnings about distortion make me hesitant to buy (is it fixable enough?). George, your Sigma lens is also f/3.5-5.6, and it also starts at 18 but it only goes to 125. It's also much cheaper. I mentioned the telephoto lens I already have; between that and cropping, I don't think I'll need any focal length over 120 or so. So which do I buy? Price isn't an issue, but if distortion on this 18-200 is something to worry about I'd MUCH rather have the sigma. (Another dx lens, 24-120, goes for only $515 here (http://cgi.ebay.com/NIKON-ZOOM-WIDE-ANGLE-TELEPHOTO-AF-NIKKOR-24-120-MM_W0QQitemZ7575873358QQcategoryZ106862QQrdZ1QQcmd ZViewItem))

Thank you so much everybody I can't believe you've been this helpful.

Goldfly29
01-01-2006, 10:26 PM
AH ok, this picking and choosing was driving me crazy. I kept looking at the arguments for the 18-200. I completely ignored sr. rockwell (he called it a "miracle!", I think) and checked all over for informed opinions. Man, do the opinions range on this thing. Some people swear it's the best all around lens they could ever want, some people call it absolutely worthless. Funny thing though, the people who said it causes too much distortion were all showing me graphs and numbers... while the people who loved it were showing me great pictures AND numbers (for instance, the 18-200 actually outperforms the 17-55 in low focal lengths).

In the end, I bought it. The ebay store sold it for only $699 with warranty and cheap shipping, and I plan on getting the D70s as soon as I can.

Thank you so much everyone. If I hadn't come here for your help, I probably would've ended up with a D200 and a piece of junk lens. Thanks for all the advice!

coldrain
01-02-2006, 03:59 AM
AH ok, this picking and choosing was driving me crazy. I kept looking at the arguments for the 18-200. I completely ignored sr. rockwell (he called it a "miracle!", I think) and checked all over for informed opinions. Man, do the opinions range on this thing. Some people swear it's the best all around lens they could ever want, some people call it absolutely worthless. Funny thing though, the people who said it causes too much distortion were all showing me graphs and numbers... while the people who loved it were showing me great pictures AND numbers (for instance, the 18-200 actually outperforms the 17-55 in low focal lengths).

In the end, I bought it. The ebay store sold it for only $699 with warranty and cheap shipping, and I plan on getting the D70s as soon as I can.

Thank you so much everyone. If I hadn't come here for your help, I probably would've ended up with a D200 and a piece of junk lens. Thanks for all the advice!
Mr. Rockwell who called it a miracle did not even touch the thing. Did he show you any samples? No. Did he show in fact anything? No. You can do whatever you want with Ken Rockwell's "opinion", but do not take his "reviews" of lenses as real information. I do not know why he does it, but they are just a sort of propaganda, no reviews.
There was this whole big debate about Ken Rockwell's review on dpreview, (there always is a big debate about him somewhere, apparently) and there the consensus was that he probably had not handled that lens yet, as he stated that he got it on december 23rd, when Adorama only got the lenses days later. Also he stated "I only made 1000 photos with it so far", 1000 photos in only a few days of what exactly, Ken? Why don't you show any examples. All he does is give info that you can get from Nikons publications. Silly boasting about 1000 photos *sigh* reminds me of programmers who boast about how little time things will take to make (or about the number of lines they program in a day).
The 18-200 nikkor is just what it is, a cheaper all in one comsumer lens. Its VR makes it stand out among big range consumer lenses.

It most certainly does NOT do better than that AF-S f2.8 17-55 DX lens at wide angle. I do not know where you saw that. Of course it does cost a lot less, and it gives a bigger range. Just take the 18-200 for what it is, a convenient all in one compact lens, and do not expect the best of contrast, distortion free, no CA photos from it.

If you want to have a high quality lens that gives the best image quality for the camera (whether it is a D50 or D200) the 17-55 is an expensive but good choice, the 28-70 f2.8 is the best choice but way too expensive (would eat your whole budget practically).
A more affordable lens that compares quite favorably with the 17-55 f2.8 is the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC. It costs about a 3rd of its price, and performs very well in sharpness, contrast, distortion and CA. Partnered with a Sigma 70-300 APO DG consumer tele lens, or a quality Nikon 80-200 lens and a tokina 12-24 f4 lens you would have a very big focal range of good quality lenses, if you want just a convenient all in one lens, the nikon 18-200 with its VR will make a good choice.

K1W1
01-02-2006, 04:50 AM
Actually I find Ken Rockwells site to be an interesting read. I won't say that I treat it as fact but it's a good light read (sort of like one of those novels you buy at the airport) and at least as far as the 18-200 is concerned he does have some relevant tech specs in a format that I think most non lens-technophiles would be able to make sense of.
The real laugh I got from his "review" was him raving on about the deal he got from Adorama ("less" than $699) but at the bottom of his "review" is an ad for Beach Camera for the same lens for $899! I wonder why somebody would allow an ad like that on their site? Actually I can think of reasons but I'm not sure whether US laws about libel reach across the Internet to Australia.

coldrain
01-02-2006, 05:07 AM
I always got to Ken Rockwells site via google searches, never to his home page.... Well, today I did and ... saw photos of his face.
Do you know what that cheesy plastic smile reminds me of?
Car salesmen!

And I find that very fitting... I just will think of him as a Toyota/Lexus salesman and of Nikon as Toyota/Lexus when I read any of his writings.

We all know how reliable and unbiased car salesmen are, right :D

sherlock
01-02-2006, 10:34 AM
I always got to Ken Rockwells site via google searches, never to his home page.... Well, today I did and ... saw photos of his face.
Do you know what that cheesy plastic smile reminds me of?
Car salesmen!

And I find that very fitting... I just will think of him as a Toyota/Lexus salesman and of Nikon as Toyota/Lexus when I read any of his writings.

We all know how reliable and unbiased car salesmen are, right :D

Hey coldrain,

If you don't like Ken's site, just stop going there. Easy as that. That would solve all your problems with him. You don't need to keep bashing him either ;) . Just my opinion...

Andrew S.

Goldfly29
01-02-2006, 01:14 PM
Whoops. That's definitely not low focal range, that's the 18-200's shortcoming, it's telephoto I meant.

As for little old ken's review, it was google's first result and I read it only for a laugh. I tend not to take the views of egotists too seriously, and I would certainly not put him above writing a review for a lens he did not own. The dpreview site was where I found a few of the pictures that convicned me, also this close up1 (http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/325390/1) and these panoramas (http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/329910).

Thanks also for the Sigma recomendation. When the lens and D70s arrive, I'll try those out for a while, then look at this wide angle. The 18-200 is slow, certainly not 2.8, so for dark situations and quality wide angle I'll turn to the Sigma. Thanks again.

PS: His face is hillarious. Click on the "ABOUT" link, and you'll read the most egotistical load ever posted on the internet. I laughed so hard- he actually says that because he raised his head out of the crib as a baby, he has a better photographic eye. Ridiculous.

erichlund
01-03-2006, 12:07 AM
AH ok, this picking and choosing was driving me crazy. I kept looking at the arguments for the 18-200. I completely ignored sr. rockwell (he called it a "miracle!", I think) and checked all over for informed opinions. Man, do the opinions range on this thing. Some people swear it's the best all around lens they could ever want, some people call it absolutely worthless. Funny thing though, the people who said it causes too much distortion were all showing me graphs and numbers... while the people who loved it were showing me great pictures AND numbers (for instance, the 18-200 actually outperforms the 17-55 in low focal lengths).

In the end, I bought it. The ebay store sold it for only $699 with warranty and cheap shipping, and I plan on getting the D70s as soon as I can.

Thank you so much everyone. If I hadn't come here for your help, I probably would've ended up with a D200 and a piece of junk lens. Thanks for all the advice!

I'm still working (very slowly) toward putting some pictures up. I do have the 18-200, and I have taken a photo at wide angle to test for barrel distortion. I can't give you numbers, but I can tell you that it is there. I want to test the lens more thoroughly, by at 18mm the barrel is significant in a photo with very linear objects. Probably not a big deal in a landscape, or a portrait (where the subject is kept more to the center of the photo), but I wouldn't use this lens for architecture photo unless you want to do a lot of barrel repair with photoshop or some equivalent.

Now, the 55mm f2.8 AI-S, that gives a rectilinear image. Wow.

Cheers,
Eric

K1W1
01-03-2006, 01:54 AM
Could you please post an untouched 18mm photo showing the distortion and also a 200mm one showing the supposed pin cushioning. I'm curious to see some "real world" examples straight from the camera so to speak.
Thanks.

Esoterra
01-03-2006, 11:55 AM
It must be due to my extreme noobness, but I actually like the barrel distortion...maybe it's because I do shoot mostly landscape and portrait and not enough Architecture. Are there any other types of Photography that I should avoid this distortion?

Goldfly29
01-03-2006, 04:03 PM
Could you please post an untouched 18mm photo showing the distortion and also a 200mm one showing the supposed pin cushioning. I'm curious to see some "real world" examples straight from the camera so to speak.
Thanks.

As soon as I get a hold of this lens (UPS Ground so... weekend? maybe?), I'll start shooting like crazy. I'll take a few architechture shots and post them (unedited) to show the distortion.

As for fixing such problems, it's actually relatively easy. I don't know what you have to do in film but in terms of digital filters, Photoshop CS 2 solves any amount of barrel or pincushion distortion with virtually no loss in picture quality. CA can be fixed too, I'm not sure how or what loss of quality it entails. But here's a link to a tutorial for barrel/pincushion correction:

If you have CS2. (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/correctinglensdistortion.htm)

If you don't. (http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Image_Techniques/Barrel_Distortion_Correction_01.htm)

I suspect some of you (coldrain?) might prefer the pano tools described in link numero dos... simply because it's not rockwell. ;)

erichlund
01-03-2006, 04:19 PM
It must be due to my extreme noobness, but I actually like the barrel distortion...maybe it's because I do shoot mostly landscape and portrait and not enough Architecture. Are there any other types of Photography that I should avoid this distortion?
Distortion, in this case, just means that a straight line appears bent. That's something that can be corrected in post processing, and is not normally desired. Some people like the distortion of fish eye lenses, so it's not about being a noob, but about what works for you. It's great if you're looking for that sort of thing for artistic reasons, but for recording an image, you want accuracy.

D70FAN
01-03-2006, 04:41 PM
As soon as I get a hold of this lens (UPS Ground so... weekend? maybe?), I'll start shooting like crazy. I'll take a few architechture shots and post them (unedited) to show the distortion.

As for fixing such problems, it's actually relatively easy. I don't know what you have to do in film but in terms of digital filters, Photoshop CS 2 solves any amount of barrel or pincushion distortion with virtually no loss in picture quality. CA can be fixed too, I'm not sure how or what loss of quality it entails. But here's a link to a tutorial for barrel/pincushion correction:

If you have CS2. (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/correctinglensdistortion.htm)

If you don't. (http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Image_Techniques/Barrel_Distortion_Correction_01.htm)

I suspect some of you (coldrain?) might prefer the pano tools described in link numero dos... simply because it's not rockwell. ;)

Many thanks for the pointers to the sites. I could not remember where the download was for the panotools plug-in (this time I will bookmark it). Incidentally, works great.

Goldfly29
01-03-2006, 10:22 PM
No problem. If it weren't for your advice, I'd still know next to nothing about everything DSLR. :)

This forum and poking around through google taught me everything (that's where those links came from, too). Now I'm just waiting for the lens/camera...

(UPS says thursday!)