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      11-03-2006, 01:38 AM   #1
aphall
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DSLR Question

I'm thinking of picking up a Nikon D50. Do I, buy the kit with the 18-55mm lens, or do I buy the body only and pick up maybe an 18-70mm lens instead?

This will be my first SLR or DSLR, and I'll mostly be taking pictures of landscapes and nature. I'll be going to the Grand Canyon and to Beijing to see the Great Wall this month, just to give you all an idea of what I'll be taking pictures of.

So, I need recommendations on what other things I need to purchase as well. Does anyone have one they want to sell me? Thanks!
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      11-03-2006, 01:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aphall
I'm thinking of picking up a Nikon D50. Do I, buy the kit with the 18-55mm lens, or do I buy the body only and pick up maybe an 18-70mm lens instead?

This will be my first SLR or DSLR, and I'll mostly be taking pictures of landscapes and nature. I'll be going to the Grand Canyon and to Beijing to see the Great Wall this month, just to give you all an idea of what I'll be taking pictures of.

So, I need recommendations on what other things I need to purchase as well. Does anyone have one they want to sell me? Thanks!
The lens that will come with the kit will probably be a polycarbon body with inexpensive lens groups. It will be lightweight and good mainly for point and shoot, party stuff.

You'd do well to get just the body and then spring for a quality lens if you can. An 18mm is about the shortest focal length you can get without getting into the fisheye range. With the D50 an 18mm will be essentially a 28mm or 36mm with the magnification factor of the CCD. You should also consider a second, longer lens as well if you're going to the Grand Canyon and China, especially for wildlife because you can't get up close easily. If you're getting into serious nature photography you might consider a Vibration Reduced lens. They are a tad expensive, though.

Get the fastest lens you can justify buying but remember the faster the lens, the more expensive it will be for the focal length, i.e., an f/2.8 300mm is more expensive than a f/4.5 300mm but less expensive than a f/2.8 500mm.



Something else to consider if you're travelling outside the U.S. would be to get a strong case you can carry everything in and still fit in the overhead compartment of an airliner. You can't lock your checked luggage anymore so you'd be gambling on your gear arriving at your destination instead of a baggage handler's car trunk. The carousel at baggage claim doesn't look like a roulette wheel by accident.

Before you leave the country you might consider registering the serial numbers of your photographic items as well as any expensive watches you might have with customs. That way, when you come back in they can't claim you bought it overseas and then charge you import duty (your duty free import allowance is $800 per person now). Words of experience.
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      11-03-2006, 01:17 PM   #3
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Not sure about the Nikon kit lens because I shoot w. Canon. If you're very new to the DSLR thing, then it will probably do. They are usually capable of very good results, it's just the images will not stand up to professional scrutiny. You (and most non-photographers) will be amazed at the quality if you're coming from a cheap 'point and shoot'. If you're coming from a good 'point and shoot', then the upgrade will probably not be as noticeable.

That said, the better the glass, the final image. When you finally get to grips with the level of control a DSLR offers, then the lens will become the limiting factor in your images. If you shoot mainly indoors, then you will be limited by the lens a LOT more quickly.

I'm still learning (2 years on...) and I still get great photos from the stock lens. I wouldn't enlarge them beyond 8x10, but for regular 4x6 prints they are fine.
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      11-03-2006, 02:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoYank
The lens that will come with the kit will probably be a polycarbon body with inexpensive lens groups. It will be lightweight and good mainly for point and shoot, party stuff.

You'd do well to get just the body and then spring for a quality lens if you can. An 18mm is about the shortest focal length you can get without getting into the fisheye range. With the D50 an 18mm will be essentially a 28mm or 36mm with the magnification factor of the CCD. You should also consider a second, longer lens as well if you're going to the Grand Canyon and China, especially for wildlife because you can't get up close easily. If you're getting into serious nature photography you might consider a Vibration Reduced lens. They are a tad expensive, though.

Get the fastest lens you can justify buying but remember the faster the lens, the more expensive it will be for the focal length, i.e., an f/2.8 300mm is more expensive than a f/4.5 300mm but less expensive than a f/2.8 500mm.



Something else to consider if you're travelling outside the U.S. would be to get a strong case you can carry everything in and still fit in the overhead compartment of an airliner. You can't lock your checked luggage anymore so you'd be gambling on your gear arriving at your destination instead of a baggage handler's car trunk. The carousel at baggage claim doesn't look like a roulette wheel by accident.

Before you leave the country you might consider registering the serial numbers of your photographic items as well as any expensive watches you might have with customs. That way, when you come back in they can't claim you bought it overseas and then charge you import duty (your duty free import allowance is $800 per person now). Words of experience.
Yeah what he said...
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