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View Full Version : First DSLR, what to get?



JDS300
07-07-2008, 11:30 AM
Looking to get my first "real" camera. Right now I'm thinking about getting the D40 and spending the extra $$$ on a couple of extra lens. Since it seems there isn't much different between the D40 & D60, I figured the money would be better spent on getting better glass.

For starting out, what would be some recommended lens to get? Nothing special in terms of what I'll be taking pictures of. My 8 year old is starting football in a couple of weeks, so I'd really like something that can get some good shots. I don't know if all of his games are during the day though, I think they have some games under the lights.

Suggestions?

bgrablin
07-07-2008, 12:07 PM
18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR, it's mmm mmmdelicious
http://bmimages.jr.com/productimages/NKN18200MM.PNG?FTR=7&CELL=175%2C175&QLT=67&CVT=jpeg

It'll cost you more than the D40 camera body, but it's my next investment. Link to J&R @ $679 + Free Shipping (http://www.jr.com/nikon/pe/NKN_18_hy_200MM/)

JDS300
07-07-2008, 12:29 PM
Since I'm looking at the kit I'll have the 18-55mm. I've been looking at the 55-200mm VR lens, but if I where to get that one it would almost be the best of both worlds right?

bgrablin
07-07-2008, 12:40 PM
It would definitely encompass both ranges (wide and telephoto) thus negating the kit lens and the 55-200mm. AND the 18-200mm is a faster lens than the 55-200mm. The 55-200mm is only f/4-5.6G, but still a good lens for the price.

But wait around here and you will get a variety of suggestions with plenty of great options. LOTS AND LOTS of choices.

Also, don't forget a good flash. SB-600 or the SB-900 if price is no object. ;)

TheWengler
07-07-2008, 12:54 PM
I'd say just start out with the kit and figure out what you're doing before you start spending more money. If you need to shoot of your son's games then you'll probably want to add the 55-200 VR as it's a great value. You'll probably also want to add a flash at some point too.

wilson44512
07-07-2008, 01:29 PM
when i got my first SLR . i got the D40 with kit lens and the 55-200mm VR lens. i had a accident with it and have to send it in to get fixed:( i later got a tamron 70-300mm. it has a little more range, but don't have VR so most of the time i use that lens with a tripod

JDS300
07-07-2008, 01:35 PM
What about this lens from Tamron - http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/18200_diII.asp. Its about half the cost of the Nikon lens.

K1W1
07-07-2008, 03:21 PM
It 18-200 vs 55-200 argument has raged at various times in this forum. Many people love them but I'm in the anti camp so I have to give a dissenting opinion.

The 18-200 lenses have optical compromises. To have a lens with that amount of zoom means something has to give and it's the optical properties. read any professional review and they will become obvious. They are convenient but really that is their only advantage.

As you are getting a camera that already has a 18-55 getting the 55-200VR lens will be a much better option financially and will certainly not cause you any issues optically. For the cost of a 18-200 you can nearly pick up a 18-55VR plus an SB-600 flash which overall will be a much more versatile set up.

Of course if you area person who wants to use your DSLR as a glorified point and shoot camera and never change lenses then go for the 18-200.

XaiLo
07-07-2008, 04:25 PM
I'm in the same camp as the guy above, between the 18-55 & 55-200mm VR you have not only a more economical solution but the image quality can not be matched by any 18-200mm variant.

As Kiwi noted, if you reside in US the savings would easily pay for a SB-600 or SB-800 for that matter and some other nice goodies, rechargeables & charger, memory card(s), case... that will not only negate the minimal speed advantage of the 18-200mm but will also make your kit much more versatile.

Rooz
07-07-2008, 05:21 PM
Looking to get my first "real" camera. Right now I'm thinking about getting the D40 and spending the extra $$$ on a couple of extra lens. Since it seems there isn't much different between the D40 & D60, I figured the money would be better spent on getting better glass.

assuming you get the d40+ kit lens, whats you budget for the additional lens ?

JDS300
07-07-2008, 08:38 PM
When all is done, I'd like to be in the $1200 range. I'd say my absolute max is $1400.

I'm still torn between the D60 and D40. I may step up to the D60 + kit lens+ 55-200mm VR. After looking again though, the Canon XSi looks pretty good as well and its in my range.

<sigh>... seems the more I look the more unsure of which one is the right one to get.

Rooz
07-07-2008, 09:08 PM
my vote goes to the xsi
but remember, you said you were going to go for a cheaper body to get better glass.. so you have to choose. better body or better glass.

kjmdrumz3
07-07-2008, 10:43 PM
Personally I would go with the D40 or D80, although the D80 would have certainly been almost overwhelming to me right off the bat. I went the D40x/18-55/55-200 route and was quite happy for sometime. Just recently added the 50mm 1.4 and have two older manual flashes coming so I can get my feet wet in strobing. Whatever you decide- best of luck!

Rooz
07-07-2008, 10:48 PM
When all is done, I'd like to be in the $1200 range. I'd say my absolute max is $1400.

I'm still torn between the D60 and D40. I may step up to the D60 + kit lens+ 55-200mm VR. After looking again though, the Canon XSi looks pretty good as well and its in my range.

<sigh>... seems the more I look the more unsure of which one is the right one to get.

heres an option for you ar the $1400 range.

d40/ 18-55 kit lens...$470
sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM tele $800
nikon sb600 flash...$185

Total: $1455
what do you get ? an excellent quality fast tele zoom for sports and a flash for far better indoor shots. hard to beat that for straight up value and quality.

e_dawg
07-07-2008, 10:51 PM
heres some options for you ar the $1400 range.

d40/ 18-55 kit lens...$470
sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM tele $800
nikon sb600 flash...$185

Total: $1455
what do you get ? an excellent quality fast tele zoom for sports and a flash for far better indoor shots. hard to beat that for straight up value and quality.

I would agree.

Visual Reality
07-08-2008, 03:59 AM
Do you plan on using bracketing or any prime lenses? If so a D40/60 aren't for you.

JDS300
07-08-2008, 07:00 AM
I stopped by a camera shop recommended by a co-worker yesterday and talked to a guy for about 30 minutes. He recommended no matte which body to have the kit lens (18-55mm) and something in the 55-250mm range to start.

That doesn't seem like a bad setup for the price. I'm not sure what bracketing or prime lenses are, so if it is something I'll want to do I don't know it yet. :p I appreciate the help from everyone so far, this is a much bigger decision than I thought it would be.

anco85
07-08-2008, 07:20 AM
I was more or less in the same boat as you.

I was dead set on a D40 until I really thought about it.

Sure you might be new to photography, but over time, you will grow and need more out of your camera.

These guys pummelled me with D80 suggestions and I ended up spending every waking moment looking for one in my budget range.

Needless to say, I'm happy as a pig in something that vaguely resembles mud

kjmdrumz3
07-08-2008, 07:21 AM
I stopped by a camera shop recommended by a co-worker yesterday and talked to a guy for about 30 minutes. He recommended no matte which body to have the kit lens (18-55mm) and something in the 55-250mm range to start.

That doesn't seem like a bad setup for the price. I'm not sure what bracketing or prime lenses are, so if it is something I'll want to do I don't know it yet. :p I appreciate the help from everyone so far, this is a much bigger decision than I thought it would be.

Bracketing (correct me if I'm wrong guys) is taking multiple exposures of the same capture. Guys who do the HDR thing use bracketing. A prime lens would be like my 50mm f/1.4 where there is no zoom, only one fixed focal length. The D40/x/60 do not auto-focus with them since the bodies do not have an internal focusing motor. You can manually focus them, however. Takes a little getting used to, but once you do it for awhile, it's no big deal.

Oh and btw, sure a D80 would give me a few more features, but I have yet to fully master the D40x and don't see the need to upgrade yet.

herc182
07-08-2008, 08:13 AM
Bracketing (correct me if I'm wrong guys) is taking multiple exposures of the same capture. Guys who do the HDR thing use bracketing. A prime lens would be like my 50mm f/1.4 where there is no zoom, only one fixed focal length. The D40/x/60 do not auto-focus with them since the bodies do not have an internal focusing motor. You can manually focus them, however. Takes a little getting used to, but once you do it for awhile, it's no big deal.

Oh and btw, sure a D80 would give me a few more features, but I have yet to fully master the D40x and don't see the need to upgrade yet.

If you are looking for confirmation of the above, then you are correct in all you say ;)

JDS300
07-08-2008, 08:23 AM
I think I'm in that same boat. Granted there is a decent price jump from the D40 to the D80 (even from the D60 to the D80), I don't want to be camera shopping 1 or even 2 years from now. I'm afraid with the D40 that might be the case.

That was also one of the advantages the gentleman I spoke with lastnight had for the XSi is that all Canon lenses have the motor built-in and auto focus (hopefully I understood him correctly and this is right) which makes it a little bit easier when shopping for lenses. Not that should be a show stopper since its not that hard to find the auto focus lens for Nikon, but at least with the D80 it would open the options a bit.

anco85
07-08-2008, 08:26 AM
Well, if you still want to go Nikon and not invest in the D80, I'd take the D40 over the D60.

You really aren't getting that much more on the 60

herc182
07-08-2008, 08:30 AM
Well, if you still want to go Nikon and not invest in the D80, I'd take the D40 over the D60.

You really aren't getting that much more on the 60

The fundamental difference in my eyes is the resolution. you get 10mp with the D60 over 6mp with the D40. I have found that jump is significant.

However, the rest of the feature set is not going to make that much of a difference I agree.

e_dawg
07-08-2008, 09:01 AM
As for prime lenses that work on the D40-D60, Sigma has the new 50/1.4 HSM out now, and it is said to be pretty good. Their 30/1.4 HSM has been around for a while now and has generally good reviews, although the QC is not that great. Nikon has the new 60mm Macro and 105/VR that also will work. So you're not that limited in terms of prime lenses unless you want a specific lens...

The XSi is a good camera... the first Rebel I would feel comfortable recommend to a friend. The only two drawbacks as I see it: (1) it uses the pop-up flash to fire a series of flash pulses for AF-assist, which is startling to your subjects and irritating to anyone in the vicinity, and (2) no wireless flash control built-in.

Canon has finally implemented spot metering, supposedly fixed the underexposure problem and mediocre LCD issues from the XTi, and have improved the Auto ISO function. Horray.

e_dawg
07-08-2008, 09:03 AM
The fundamental difference in my eyes is the resolution. you get 10mp with the D60 over 6mp with the D40. I have found that jump is significant.

However, the rest of the feature set is not going to make that much of a difference I agree.

Very trrue. If you print and/or crop regularly, the extra resolution will be useful. If all you do is post your pics online at 1024 x 768, it's not going to make a difference.

kjmdrumz3
07-08-2008, 10:03 AM
The fundamental difference in my eyes is the resolution. you get 10mp with the D60 over 6mp with the D40. I have found that jump is significant.

However, the rest of the feature set is not going to make that much of a difference I agree.

D40x ftmfw!!! I have seen them as low as $300 on craigslist!

JDS300
07-10-2008, 09:24 PM
Welp we pulled the trigger tonight. Decided to go with the Nikon D60 instead of the D40 & the Canon XSi. We decided that $900 was a little much to spend on a camera right now and my wife liked the way the Nikon felt better than the XSi.

We purchased the 55-200mm AF-S VR lens along with it. Now to start in on that monster of a manual. :D I *really* appreciate everyone that posted to help. I'm sure this will be the first of many more posts to follow. :p

XaiLo
07-10-2008, 10:30 PM
Congrats on the new camera hope you enjoy it for a long time.

Dread Pirate Roberts
07-16-2008, 02:04 AM
Welp we pulled the trigger tonight. Decided to go with the Nikon D60 instead of the D40 & the Canon XSi. We decided that $900 was a little much to spend on a camera right now and my wife liked the way the Nikon felt better than the XSi.

We purchased the 55-200mm AF-S VR lens along with it. Now to start in on that monster of a manual. :D I *really* appreciate everyone that posted to help. I'm sure this will be the first of many more posts to follow. :p

Congrats on the new purchase and welcome to the "dark side" though why folks call Nikon the dark side beats me!

I look forward to seeing some of your shots on the POTD thread.

josef
07-16-2008, 09:21 AM
Welp we pulled the trigger tonight. Decided to go with the Nikon D60 instead of the D40 & the Canon XSi. We decided that $900 was a little much to spend on a camera right now and my wife liked the way the Nikon felt better than the XSi.


Great choice! ..and nice job letting the wife help out in the decision.. You will love the Nikon system and you'll be taking great shots in no time!

LittleJazz
07-16-2008, 04:56 PM
Welp we pulled the trigger tonight. Decided to go with the Nikon D60 instead of the D40 & the Canon XSi. We decided that $900 was a little much to spend on a camera right now and my wife liked the way the Nikon felt better than the XSi.

We purchased the 55-200mm AF-S VR lens along with it. Now to start in on that monster of a manual. :D I *really* appreciate everyone that posted to help. I'm sure this will be the first of many more posts to follow. :p

Congrats and best of luck with the new camera. It's a great camera and you and the wife will enjoy it.

I use the 55-200mm for my grandson's soccer and lacrosse games. It does a fine job for me.

Max