Feeling a bit lost .. .

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by gemgem76, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. gemgem76

    gemgem76 TPF Noob!

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    After using my Canon P&S for years, was surprised with an upgrade for an anniversary gift.

    We've purchased the Nikon D60 w/ 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR. Costco had a "decent" package price and a lovely return policy.

    Now that I've gotten it home, I'm second guessing our decision??

    ***

    I don't know much about photography, settings, etc - and typically just shoot on "auto"

    I want to learn more about aperture, shutter speed, etc. - and plan to take the time to get acclimated.

    Take lots of pics outdoors. ..of our kids and garden

    Need to be able to shoot great from the bleachers while watching football/lacrosse games

    ***

    So should I take back the D60 and instead get the D80?? I am so confuesd about what the differences are between the two.

    Which lens? Do I need the 70-300?

    Signing off as . . .

    Needing an aspirin
     
  2. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What kit lens package does the D80 have? The D80 will take a little more work to learn how to get the camera to shoot best. I went from a D50 to a D80 and, had to play with it for abit till I got it doing what I wanted. The D60 is entry level and I believe much easier to learn to use. But you will have to stay with AF-S lenses to auto focus, non AF-S lenses will need to be manually focused. But Sigma and Tamron are both making lenses for the D60/40 cameras now so your choices are better. The beauty of the D80 is all of Nikons lenses work with that body. You might also like to try going to http://www.nikonians.org/ for help with the D60.
     
  3. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

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    It sounds like you might be okay with your current set-up but there are 3 possible limitations I can think of off-hand dealing with shooting sports:

    1. Your lenses are good for most purposes but are probably not fast enough for fast action shots, especially at telephoto (zoomed out). VR does not help freeze action

    2. 200mm should be able to get you into the action but may not be able to zoom in close on individual subjects on the field

    3. The D60 only has 3 autofocus points on a horizontal plane so it could easily focus on the wrong thing. You can always set it in the middle or to focus on the closest thing it picks up though

    That said, it's gonna be much better than a P&S once you get used to the camera and lenses and I'm not sure the D80 would be much better (you're probably better off investing in better lenses with the D60). Others will have more insights about this. I recommend the D60 Field Guide to get you acclimated to the controls and settings of the D60.
     
  4. gemgem76

    gemgem76 TPF Noob!

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    same two lenses I have now .. . 18-55VR & 55-200VR

    I think I'm out of my league all the way around :(

    I keep getting told that Tamron and Sigma are lenses that I should NOT get? Or is that just a salesperson trying to get me to buy the more expensive lens?

    what is AF-S

    ?
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I am not sure how big the divide is between D60 and D80 ( canon many myself ) but the best advice is not to overworry or overspend on the body at the start. The body is a recording device - it records what the lens sees at the settings the photographer shoots at. Thus the skills of the photographer and the lens (glass) on the end of the camera body are far more important.
    Most people start on a beginner body and then focus on building up a good selection of lenses before moving to a better body - the lenses will stay with you for decades, whilst the bodies outdate very quickly.

    After that I think the best thing for you is to spend some time with your kit - you sound like you just got it very recently and are having second thoughts after (possibly) getting some less than expected results. This is perfectly normal and DSLRs do have a breaking in period for the new photographer - especially as you try out the manual modes - just give it some time (a good few weeks/months!) and when you shoot post up a few of your shots for comments on the forum - then you can get more pointers about where to improve in stages.
    I would recomend starting off in Aperture Priority mode for the manual settings - then you can set your aperture (and thus your depth of field) and let the camera choose a shutter speed for you. I this is easier to work round that selecting shutter speeds.
    Basically (very basically) a wide aperture (that mean a very low f number) means a smaller depth of field (the area of shot in focus) than a smaller aperture (larger f number) which in turn leads to a wider depth of field. Of couse with a smaller aperture (larger f number) you then need more light to enter the camera to get a good shot - which means a longer shutter speed.


    For sport a 200mm is a little short at times but you should still be able to get some good results - though a 300mm end would let you get that little bit closer to the action. One thing I would recomend getting is a tripod - a cheap one will do instead of an expensive on if finances are thin, just don't trust it to hold your camera and lens freestanding. A tripod will help you get sharper results and is (I consider) and essential bit of kit when starting out - especially with the cheaper end lenses.
     
  6. gemgem76

    gemgem76 TPF Noob!

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    right off of the bat - thx so much to both of you!

    i like the suggestion that the 60 will be "good enough" as an upgrade from my P&S . . . and until I learn what I'm doing with this, don't necessarily need the 80 . .. just need a lens to accomodate the sports stuff (again, once I figure out what i'm doing)

    will check out the two links. . ..

    THX!!
     
  7. gemgem76

    gemgem76 TPF Noob!

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    how'd you know? :)

    will work with the "A" setting as you suggested . .. will give it some time .. and will post my attempts (can everyone promise though not to laugh?)
     
  8. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good way to start. Also you want to spend money on high quality glass, that is where the greatest diffrence in quality is.
    And while Tamron and Sigma lenses are not Nikon lenses they arent slouches either. All you need to be sure of is they will work with the D60.
     
  9. gemgem76

    gemgem76 TPF Noob!

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    Can you answer me this . . . what is the difference between a "print lens" and a "digital lens" ??

    Then, I see a Quantaray 70-300 that is compatible with the D60 (from Ritz) for $149 . . . or the Nikon 70-300 that is $549.00

    ?
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The Quantary will do the work - but will most likey be soft at the 300mm end - fine most of the time with a tripod and websized shots with sharpening, but not as good fullsized shots and working handheld will be tricky.
    The Nikon on the other hand will be a far better lens - by standards it will still be considered a little soft at the 300mm end, but it will produce better results 0 you get what you pay for
     
  11. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  12. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    If you're just shooting lacrosse games on auto you definitely don't need a d80 or even a d60. A d40 would've worked fine. Whether you need a 70-300 or not depends on how far the bleachers from the game are.
     

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