Hello to all at TPF! SCROLL DOWN TO #15 OR CLICK HERE I am writing this because I need some experienced help and judgment in selecting a solid starting package. I would like to use it to do small, professional jobs on the side. However I am a full-time engineering student, and have a limited budget to begin with. Enough about me, lets talk about equipment! I have narrowed my search down to two cameras: Canon EOS 40D and the Nikon D200. I know...plenty has already been said about the two, and I have done my research. Both are really good cameras that satisfy my needs and budget. But since I'm not a Canon or a Nikon guy yet, I have no real preference of one over the other. Both bodies are in the $650 - $700 range. The deciding factor for my choice is based on the price and quality of the optics that I can begin my work with. Basically I need at least one good quality lens, that I can use in weddings, as well as in group and portrait photos. However, I'm aiming at spending around 1k for this whole kit. What are your recommendations for both Canon and Nikon lenses that will be good glass for shooting what I want and in the given price range? I have looked at the Canon 28-135 F/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens ($230) which seems to be of decent quality, but may be out of range for what I want because of the 1.6X of both cameras. I would love to get an L lens, but I don't know if I can afford it just yet (certainly #1 on the upgrade list the more I get into it). For Nikon, there seem to be mixed opinions. Some people actually claim that the lower end Nikkor lenses can be used professionally with great results. Can anyone give me any pointers for a good lens for either camera that can give me good quality for around $300? Like I said, the more I get into it, and the more work I see, the faster I'll be upgrading to something like the 27-105 F/4 L. Thank you all for reading and your recommendations!