Don't groan: a slightly different kind of lens and camera question..

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by TwoRails, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. TwoRails

    TwoRails TPF Noob!

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    I have a little bit of a shake problem so when I want a long shot I grab my Sony H9 P&S which I can shoot at a 465mm eq due to it's very good IS. With my D70 I'm lucky to get a shot at 200mm or so.

    So I was thinking of getting a VR lens. I haven't really researched much but I noticed that I can get a D60 kit for $699 with a 18-55 VR lens and a 55-200 VR lens.

    (one example: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Produc...=4&Ntx=mode matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1 ) (The link isn't clear that both lenses are VR but the box in the store clearly states they are.)

    I imagine that the glass alone goes for $450 - 500. That makes the body going for about $200 or so for a guesstimate.

    The first lens question kinda answers it's self in that VR would be of a benefit, but the second is do they have a macro mode? That's not mentioned so I fear they don't. That could be a deal breaker by itself...

    Also, they are DX lenses and I don't know if that means if they have a conversion factor or not so, for example, is the 200 only a 200 or is it a 300 eq?

    The camera question is kinda typical, in that I don't know if the D60 is a step down, up, or sideways to a D70. Beside the megapixel difference, are there any good / strong reasons to dump a D70 for a D60? Like better noise control and other items? Maybe little things like I hear the D70 has a higher flash sync (but I don't even own a flash...). And the like...

    Or are there good / strong reasons to forget it and keep the D70 and get separate lenses? Like maybe a 300 VR?

    The lenses I currently have are a:
    Quantaray 28-90 macro 1:2.3 3.5-5.6
    Sigma 70-300 macro 1:4 -5.6

    Any and all comments / suggestions are welcome!!

    TIA

    TR :)
     
  2. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

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    No experience with telephoto VR, so I won't comment on that. But if you're looking for a reason to keep the D70, I'd say it's the built-in AF motor. With the D60 you won't be able to autofocus with lenses which have no built-in motor, meaning your Quantaray and the Sigma (unless the Sigma has a HSM in it's name which you forgot to write). Other reasons to keep the D70 are the higher flash sync, wireless flash commander with Nikon's CLS, DoF preview button, and a better button layout (two rollers, screen on top etc.).
     
  3. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

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    I'm no expert about lenses, let alone about telephoto lenses but, from what I've gathered from online reviews, something like the 70-300 VR would probably be better at the long end (zoomed out) than the 55-200 VR since it has the newer and better VR II. Of course, it costs a lot more than the 55-200 VR and not too much less than a more professional lens. I don't think either would work for macro; I know the 55-200 won't focus on anything less than at least 2-3 feet in front of it... Not sure how Sigma and Tamron's telephoto lenses compare but they'd probably be worth a look.
     
  4. passerby

    passerby TPF Noob!

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    I have not have experience with other lenses except the two lenses I have (18-55 and fixed 50mm) since I just bought a camera. But I have tried the macro feature of the kit lens. You can see how far the 18-55 can go, it can't go any further than that.
    But you will see other photos from other posters that are true macro shots.

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=113499&highlight=macro
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can save you a lot of money... get yourself a tripod and take the longer range pics with that. ;)
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If your after macro and VR then there is only one option - the Nikon 105mm macro VR - the only macro lens currently in production with a built in VR system. That said much of macro work is done with a flash (either handheld or on a tripod) so shake from the hands is usually not too much of a problem

    Further I have used a 70-300mm sigma and I also found it tricky to get handheld shots at the long end that were not suffering from handshake - a cheap tripod solved the problem - the lens is not too heavy and provided that you don't leave it freestanding its fine, also cheaper tripods tend to be very light so you can easily use one all day whilst moving around.
    A better tripod and head is more desirable though and will give you more flexability - especially going down low for macro work
     
  7. BTilson

    BTilson TPF Noob!

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    I can comment on the 55-200 VR. It works wonderfully well. I hardly ever turn it off on my 55-200. It's literally quite amazing, because since it's in the lens you can see the VR working through the viewfinder.
     
  8. TwoRails

    TwoRails TPF Noob!

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    Wow! Thanks for the posts, Folks :)

    Thank you. That's what I'm looking for, and the kind of stuff I just don't know. For an example of my lack of knowledge (and why I ask!) is I just *assumed* that lenses all focused the same way, meaning if they worked on one Nikon, they'd work on another... Sure seems like the D70 is much more feature rich.

    Thanks! I did happen to see the 55-300 VR at Best Buy and was shocked at the price which was somewhere around $650 or so if I remember right. That's one thing that kinda got me starting thinking about the potential 'value' in a kit with two lenses. Didn't even know there are multiple versions of VR. Not really knowing much about macro (except I love it) I don't know what impact not getting closer than 2-3 feet would have. Another one of my *assumptions* is that if it (the subject) fill the screen, then you're "close."

    Thanks for the link. I've looked at a lot of macro shots here and it reinforces my desire to take and learn more :)

    A good tip, but, sadly I don't get to go on true "photo shoots." It would be nice if I could, but 99.99% of my "shoots" (more like snapshot events) are grabbing a camera while we go out shopping or other errands: I see something I'd like a pic of, jump out of the truck, snap, and jump back in. My BetterHalf would go nuts if I jumped out, did a set up and the like, etc... :( -- Ya, if I was able to go somewhere for a real shoot I would take a tripod. (Time is the major reason I can't.) I do sometimes take a monopod which I am figuring out how to use to minimize shaking.

    Thanks, I'll check that lens out. Seems like I'll need to learn about flashes, too. Ya, my tripod is a cheapo plastic one. It came 'free' with a camera bag I bought a couple of years ago. I looked at a 'nice' tripod at Best Buy a month or so ago: pretty pricey at $150 but had loads of features, even a spring loaded head to support the weight of longer / heavier lenses. I guess it's for video cameras, though, as the thread mount is 3/8" instead of 1/4".

    I guess what's throwing me off some is how well the Sony H9's IS works. I showed a friend of mine 3 hand held shots -- wide, full optical zoom, and full optical + full digital zoom -- and he was so impressed that he went out and bought one. So, again an assumption, I figured a VR lens would pretty much eliminate the need for a tripod since I don't need one with the H9...

    Thanks; sounds good. Have you done any macro work with it?
     
  9. Do'Urden's Eyes

    Do'Urden's Eyes TPF Noob!

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    Yeah im not really sure why it has VR. Ive read that its use when shooting at 1:1 or anything near it is VERY limited, or isnt even usable. So the VR is only useful when youre shooting non-macro subjects...

    Or so ive heard...
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have heard similar as well, but never really had it confirmed by anyone
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    105mm macro shots are quite possible with good technique, however going to a higher focal length makes it REALLY hard without a tripod.

    In this case, we are looking at someone that says they are having issues with shake under normal circumstances... I still think a tripod is the answer here more than any lens selection. If flash is to be used, on camera flash is pretty much useless. It would have to be a macro-specific lighting or off camera lighting. This will only address up-down-sdie-to-side... if the shakes are even slightly pull-push... focus will always be off, due to the very nature of macro photography.
     
  12. TwoRails

    TwoRails TPF Noob!

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    Well, I just looked online at that the Nikon 105mm macro VR and, ouch... that's pricey at $800 - 900! That far exceeds my currently limited skills. :(

    Dooh! Forgot to mention, no, no such letters on either lens.

    You got one in while I was typing the above.. :) - Yes, you're right, I am not steady at all; embarrassing but true.
     

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