Buying first SLR... lense quality and compatability?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by PSA, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. PSA

    PSA TPF Noob!

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    Hi! I'm new to the boards and to photography. I have a question, but I'm hardly even sure what it is, so I'll jst explain things from the start.

    I'm taking a photography class in the fall. If it weren't for this class, I would just go digital, but I need a film camera for the program I'm going into. So I am looking at getting a Nikon N55 or N75, but am totally open to advice and suggestions on my selection. Also, does anyone konw if the N55 has spot metering? I'm having trouble finding information on this.

    Anyway, I eventually will also want to get a digital camera. So I'm trying to not only choose lenses that are of a good quality but still affordable, but I also would like to choose lenses that would also be compatible with a digital camera when I get one. I figure that Nikon (Nikkor - same thing, right?) lenses will be compatible with a nikon digital camera, but if I get a Tamron, Sigma, or Quantaray (or any other brand) lense, would it also be compatable with my digital camera?

    Also, what recommendations can you give me on these brands? I'm looking at camera kits on ebay, mostly from Cameta Camera, and these are the brands I have run across. What are the quality differences? I don't know the exact model numbers of the lenses, because they're not listed, but I can show you the auctions.

    I guess I'm just fishing for advice here. I want to get something that's going to last me a while that I won't need to upgrade, but I don't want anything too fancy, complicated, or expensive.
     
  2. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    First, be very careful with those eBay "kits." You can usually buy the same or better from Adorama or B&H for less money.

    As for lenses, I think any lens that will fit on the N55 or N75 will also fit the Nikon D70. There are some D70 owners on the board who can answer for sure.

    As far as Third Party lenses, for the most part they're OK, but I have heard of some people getting lenses that were not well-made or had problems. You don't seem to hear that as often when buying lenses from Nikon.

    The N55 does not have a spot meter. It has center parial metering which is a wider area than a true spot meter.

    You might want to check with the class instructor before you buy a camera. ALl Nikon SLR's N75 and below lack the ability to manually set ISO. IF that is important to your instructor (or to you - it would be to me) then you have to go with the N80 if youre set on Nikon.

    /edit for speeling :D
     
  3. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    I'm not perfectly familiar with Nikon's line of slr's or anything, but an older camera may be worth looking into. Are you just planning on using this camera for class or for serious work down the road? If the plan for the film camera is just for classes and fun/artistc stuff later on, then I'd suggest this route (IF the lens mount is the same as the D70 which i'm not sure about). The older cameras are comletely manual and great for learning on, and can be found for really cheap on ebay (i bought a pentax body for $25).
     
  4. PSA

    PSA TPF Noob!

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    thanks guys! so if I can't manually set ISO I can't do pushing, or whatever that's called? (I've obviously never tried it).
     
  5. Soulreaver

    Soulreaver TPF Noob!

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    I have got a F80, its quite good for a consumer camera, it lacks only a thing or two from the pro F100.
    If N75 can't set ISO manually u got a problem, because u wont be able to change the DX info that comes in the roll.If u use bulk loaded rolls, its not guaranteed that the ISO of the film is the same as in the roll.

    As for lenses, I'd go with a nikkor 28-105 3.5-4.5 AF-D.Quite a good all around lens.
    A 50mm is also a good buy.

    Any AF nikkor will fit both digital and film bodys, but for DX lenses, which only fit digital cameras, and F3AF ones.
    Sigma does some nice lenses too, for about 60% the price of nikkors.But I would go the sigma way only for great( and expensive in the case of nikkors) lenses like that 70-200 2.8 or similars.
     
  6. PSA

    PSA TPF Noob!

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    I'm kinda confused... buying a camera is a lot harder than buying like... a car or a computer or really anything else I can think of. Why does everything have to be so freakin' complicated?

    Is the F80 different than the N80? Are there any cheaper cameras that you know of that have spot metering, decent built in flash and manual ISO settings? What is a depth of field preview and do I need it?

    are there big quality differences amongst lenses of the same company? what difference will I see between a Nikkor and, say, a Tamron? I understand about the millimeters, but what does the 2.8 mean in 70-200 2.8? Makes me think of F-stops.

    I'm a super-noob. I just want a camera kit that will be versatile enough to get me through college and the beginnings of a photography career. I'd like to spend around $300, but am willing to go up to $400 (I'd like to a telephoto lens with that as well.)

    I don't know what lenses I'll need, but I'd like to be able to do a lot of macro type shots... I've seen lenses that have "macro capabilities." can anyone tell me about this and if it's legit?

    HELP ME!
     
  7. Soulreaver

    Soulreaver TPF Noob!

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    I guess N80 is the same as F80.I dont really know what N75 is capable of, I know that F80 has more segments than N75, and more flash modes.
    On the other hand I think n75 has 1/3 stops increments, while F80 has 1/2.

    Yep, 2.8 is the maximum aperture of the lens, and its a constant 2.8.Thats quite a nice(and expensive) feature.
    I dont know prices outside my country, but I think you can get a F80 body and a basic lens with that.Not that 28-105 though.But u better look at an online store.
    that 28-105 has macro (micro in nikon terminology), though its not a true macro lens.
     
  8. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    The F80 is the International version of the U.S. model N80.

    To answer some of your questions:

    Yes, if you can't set ISO manually, you can't push process.

    Most SLR's (all of the newer models that I know of) keep the lens wide open while you're composing and focusing so that you get the maximum brightness to see by. Then when you press the shutter, the lens stops down to your shooting aperture and fires. The DOF preview feature lets you stop the lens down so you can see what the film will "see" when you press the shutter. This allows you to see exactly what will be in focus when you shoot. Whether you need it or not is up to you. I use it occasionally, but my eyesight isn't perfect, so it doesn't help me much. I have to make educated guesses as to DOF. It is mainly math and practice.

    Yes, there are big quality differences between lenses of the same company. If the Nikon 28-70 f/2.8 ED-IF ($!400) wasn't a better quality lens than the Nikon 28-80 f/3.5-4.5G ($75) nobody would pay the $1300 premium. The more expensive lenses have higher quality glass components, a sturdier build, larger maximum apertures, etc. This means that they will generally last longer, be faster, and have better sharpness (especially at the edges of the frame at wide open apertures.

    The vast majority of "Macro" lenses aren't. True Macro means that the image on the negative is exactly life size (1:1). If you take a picture of a dime, it will be the size of a dime on the negative.
    Most "Macro" lenses (especially the cheaper ones) have at best 1:2 magnification. Many are even 1:4. They generally allow you to focus closer than non-macro lenses, tho so you do get some benefit from them.

    Are you absolutely certain you want to go Nikon? If so, your options are an older body or the N80 if you want manual ISO setting. I would suggest the N6006 or N8008. The 8008 is much nicer, but the 6006 will do everything you need to do for a class. It doesn't have DOF preview, but one of the big advantages is that you can use older Nikon Manual lenses and the meter still functions. This is not true of all older Nikons (N50 to name one).
     
  9. Sym

    Sym TPF Noob!

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  10. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    You can get an FM10 new with 2 lenses (35-70mm and 70-210mm) for less than $350 at B&H.

    It doesn't have spot-metering capability, tho, which was one of your questions. It has center-weighted metering, which reads the whole frame and averages out the exposure, with the readings from the center of the frame being weighted more in the averaging.

    You might be able to get an F3 on eBay in your price range.
     
  11. PSA

    PSA TPF Noob!

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    hmmm, thanks for the explanation, drlynn, that really helped. And thanks to everybody for their advice...

    As for whether I have my heart set on a Nikon, no. I do want to stick with a company that has a good line of digital SLRs for compatability purposes (and just so I can be used to it). So Canon would be an option. Any other companies? what Canon model would you guys recommend?
     
  12. PSA

    PSA TPF Noob!

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    And... does anyone have experience with these brands or lenses?

    Sigma 28-80mm 3.5-5.6 Mini Zoom Macro Lens (1:2)

    Sigma 100-300mm 4.5 - 6.7 DL Zoom

    Tamron 28-80mm 3.5-5.6

    Tamron 70-300mm 4.0-5.6, (1:2)

    I'm thinking I'll go with the Simgas because the minimum focus distance on the macro is much closer, the filter size is the same for both of the lenses, and the lenses are overall a little smaller and lighter. but does anyone know about quality difference? or whether these lenses are even of a failry good quality at all?
     

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