Backup Body + cheap standard lenses = 1 stone, 2 Birds

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by fotoflo, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. fotoflo

    fotoflo TPF Noob!

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    Hi ALL,

    Question: Which nikon lens series's can i fit on a d80. and what do i gain/lose with each series?

    Back story:

    I am a photographer working in Beijing, China, and Ive just bought (a few months ago) a nikon D80, switching from an old fully manual Olympus OM1 and a Panasonic Lumix FZ-20.

    When I bought the D80, my budget was tight and i didnt even have money for a 50mm and a zoom lens, so i decided to start with the 18-55 3.5 (which had better sharpness then any of the more comprehensive lenses, and almost completely covers the range of zoom I use). Ive since bought a lens baby 2.0 and now I am ready to get a 50.

    A new 50 1.8 here costs around $100 (easily within my budget) and a 1.4 costs around $225 (a bit of a strech). I was looking at american Ebay and I can get a Nikon EM body with a 50 1.4 for like $30. I dont think i get autofocus or TTL metering with that lens though... and will my 18-55 work on the EM? what about an F3?

    I see either of these manual cameras as a good backup if i run out of batteries (i have 3, so i can go a week between hotel rooms/electricity pit-stops, but sometimes thats not enough..) or something goes wrong with my D80 (both happened on my last motorcycle trip across northern china... www.kuaibbs.com/fotoflo/moto, luckily i had my Lumix with me).

    what do you guys think?

    Thanks
    -fotoflo
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All post AI lenses work (so anything after 1975 really). AI will lose autofocus and 3d matrix metering.

    Check the back of your manual under accessories for specific exclusions like some reflector lenses will also not be usable because of their size. The mirror may hit the lens during shutter release.
     
  3. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    BTW I have now used both, and I think that the 1.4 Nikon is a bit pricy when compared to the 1.8, since their build quality is (to my eye at least) identical. If the choice were between a 1.8 and 1.4 50mm, I would DEFINITELY choose the 1.8
     
  4. fotoflo

    fotoflo TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys.
     
  5. johnmh

    johnmh TPF Noob!

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  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    HI Fotoflo, as to the other question- no the 18-55mm won't work on the film camera becaues it's a Dx. In other words it was designed to cover the Dx sensor but will not cover the 'full frame' of 35mm film.

    If you are going to get a film camera as a backup, why not look into some of the others available.

    For instance an N90s has a magnesium alloy body and is weather sealed (a bit anyway- it's not fully water proof). It's metering and autofocus are both good. AND, it uses AA batteries (4) which you can find most anywhere or can carry extras easily.

    The N90s (don't get the N90 with out the "s" because it doesn't have the spot meter) doesn't play well with G type lenses (if you have any that are not the Dx type) but it will play. See this discussion for further information...
    http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=004oVg

    If you want a camera body that will do what you need and use G type lenses (though not Dx) then you will have to move up to the F100. It is about 3 times more expensive but has a sub command wheel which allows control of the G types.

    The reason I am mentioning the N90s and the F100 is that they are both Rugged bodies and should be up to the task of being reliable in the way-outback that you describe, and still be newish enough to be serviceable from the start. (you don't want to have to buy a camera and have it TLC'd right away.)

    Good Luck,

    mike
     

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