Africa!!!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by White99z, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. White99z

    White99z TPF Noob!

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    So... a year later after my first posts, I am back. Last summer, before my travels, I was looking for a DSLR camera and pondering my choices. Eventually, since I was bicycle touring, I decided to get an olympus camera that was built for the outdoors... waterproof to 12ft, resistant to drops, etc etc. It was a point and shoot and after a year of taking photos, I believe I am ready to hop into the realms of DSLRs. I am selling my old Nikon N75 on eBay right now along with some other music gear to finance the purchase. I am leaving for Africa in December and want to get it for their, as I will be there for a good amount of time (a few months)!!! I settled on the D40 due to its size and decency for a starting DSLR. I do however, want to get a body only which is where my questions come in.

    1. I want to get one versatile lens to take. I am living out of a backpack there, so space is important. I am assuming a VR lens would do the trick. Any recommendations for a lens that is versatile in all types of light conditions for a first DSLR? Lets say $300 or less... used is better! You guys would recommend staying away from a kit lens, right?

    2. How long does a battery last on a D40 generally? I want to get a couple. I am going to a music festival in the desert in Mali and want to be able to take lots of photos... it is far away from civilization and lasts three days.

    3. Any other tidbits you would reccomend besides memory? Filters or whatnot?!? I have a camera bag so that is covered. Anything to help keep the desert sand out of my camera or is it gonna happen no matter what I do? Heck... my guitar still has sand from Lake Michigan stuck in places... and I live in Utah now, haha!

    4. What is a good price to pay for a used D40 body? I have been looking on eBay and some of the prices seem pretty high to me... I just read a post about people saying a D50 body used were going for X amount of money (can't remember) and that was cheaper than some of the D40 bodies on eBay.

    Thanks!

    I will be sure to post up pics from my trip. I am also headed to Kyrgyzstan for a couple weeks before Africa. I hope to have lots to share!!!
     
  2. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1. Its going to be hard to find a good VR lens for less than $300. Id say the 18-200 would probably be the most versitile and cheapest.

    2. Youre going to need alot if youre taking alot of pictures. Get a Vertical grip. They hold two batteries and allow your camera to be used with double As if necessary. Nikon and Zeikos are good brands.

    3. Yes, dont throw your camera on the ground because you missed the awesom photo. = P. There are weather covers for lenses, but its going to be hard at lens changing time.

    4. Use your money wisely and get the D60 over the D40. If you want the D40, look on craigslist. Youll soon find the price you like.

    Good luck!
    Mark
     
  3. Stormchase

    Stormchase No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Will you have a car around? I would recomend a power inverter for batteries. you can get a 100watt, $20, 2 outlet inverter at truck stops or walmarts. About the size of 2 cell phones. They plug right in to the car lighter and great for a charge if no power outlets. DC power is DC power no matter where you are in the world, AC power changes. Sounds fun, have a great time and I look forward to the photos!
     
  4. abqstyle

    abqstyle TPF Noob!

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    You will probably find a deal now for the Nikon D40 with two lenses: the kit 18-55mm and the 50-200mm for about $500 (US). The 50-200mm is an excellent lens and is quite a bit cheaper than buying the 18-200mm and sharper. You should find close-out deals for either the D40 or the D60. Both are great cameras.
     
  5. White99z

    White99z TPF Noob!

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    1. The VR 18-200 is like $225 on Amazon right now I believe.

    2. I will look into it.

    3. I will try not... I will quell my anger management issues, haha!

    4. Why a D60 over a D40? Please elaborate. I have read a few reviews that said the D60 wasn't that much greater of a camera... not enough to warrant the extra cash expense.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  6. White99z

    White99z TPF Noob!

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    I have an inverter, but chances are, I won't be able to use it. The festival is 17 hours from Bamako (9 hour bus ride, 8 hours taking a 4x4 "taxi" from mopti). Many of the locals ride in on camel. It's pretty secluded!

    The Official Website of Festival Au Desert | Essakane, Mali | Jan 7-9 2010
     
  7. White99z

    White99z TPF Noob!

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    Would this 50-200mm (I am assuming its a kit lens) be better than the 18-200mm VR lens? Why is it sharper? It is my understanding that the photographer is the most important part in taking a sharp photo... right?

    EDIT: Haha... I looked back on Amazon and I was looking at the 55-200mm VR lens all along. I saw the price of the 18-200mm and about crapped my pants, haha!
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  8. abqstyle

    abqstyle TPF Noob!

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    The 50-200mm lens is an excellent value for the price, and a cheaper way to get more telephoto power you already own the 18-55mm lens.

    If you are concerned about battery power, you can purchase a battery grip that attaches to the bottom of the camera and allows you to work with 2 batteries in the camera. The Targus battery grip for the D40-D60-D3000 (about $50) also allows you to use AA batteries in an emergency if you Nikon batteries die. AA batteries are easy to get anywhere so it offer a nice backup.
     
  9. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1. That is an unrealistic price. The cheapest I've seen is craigslist at like ~$550.

    4. The D60 (exact same as d40x) just has a better sensor with 4 more megapixels. That's the only real difference, that should concern you. If you look at keh.com, you can find really cheap used camera bodies. A D40 will run you ~$250 or so, and you can get a D70 (a better camera) for around the same amount. They have used lenses too, so look around. It's where I look when I'm on a tight budget for bodies or lenses.

    For your longer lens, I had the non-VR 55-200 a few years back, and it worked well. The VR version is supposedly plenty sharp too. I'd look at other possibilities for your mid-range zoom though. The 18-55 is not the best, though it's capable of some good images. The 18-70 is a better lens overall, but costs ~$200.
     
  10. White99z

    White99z TPF Noob!

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  11. White99z

    White99z TPF Noob!

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    So... as I sat on this for a while, I started putting some things up for sale that I don't use to help raise some money for my trip. I put a mountain bike up on craigslist for $750 that I have an offer from a guy to trade his Nikon D70s, a 24-120mm VR lens + filter, 4GB memory card, two batteries, and a padded case. We are talking the cash on top, but I would like some opinions on this setup and what it might possibly be worth. I read some D70s reviews and some say its a great camera. I even read some that said the D40 was better. How is the D70's size compared to the D40? Would this be a good DSLR for a beginner to DSLR (but an old friend of SLRs)? It looks big and bulky in pics, however I understand those are just pics. I read some not so great things about that lens combo and might consider throwing it up on eBay and getting a different lens. Would you do a trade like this for a bike you didn't use? Whats a fair amount of cash to ask for on top? Thanks!
     
  12. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    If you're going to Africa, you'll want some reach for the wildlife I'd assume.

    70-300VR is what I'd recommend at a bare minimum for this, and though it's above your budget, it's your best choice here. Perhaps you can scrounge up a little more money...;)
     

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