First time DSLR buyer!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by James Ryan, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. James Ryan

    James Ryan TPF Noob!

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    Hi all! I’ve been lurking here on TPF for a few weeks now and decided it was time to get on board.

    A couple years back. I inherited an old Minolta X700 and a trunk of great glass and accessories from my uncle. I loved that camera and shot with it every day. Simple and no frills, but it took great pictures. Unfortunately, while on a solo road trip this past October, my car was broken into and everything was stolen.

    So now, a few months have passed and I’m ready to start taking pictures again. After a bit of research, I’ve decided a DSLR is the way to go. I’d like to keep the budget around $1500 (not including bag and a tripod, I have those) and this is what I’ve come up with:

    (From B&H)
    Nikon D90 SLR Digital Camera Kit with Nikon 18-105mm VR Lens and lens hood
    Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED Lens and lens hood
    Hoya 52mm Ultraviolet UV(0) Haze Multicoated Filter
    Hoya 67mm Ultraviolet UV(0) Haze Multicoated Filter
    Pearstone EN-EL3e Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.4V, 1500mAh)
    Pearstone Mini AC/DC Battery Charger for Nikon EN-EL3/EL3E
    SanDisk 4GB Extreme SDHC Memory Card (2)
    Camera Armor for D90

    Any suggestions for a first time DSLR buyer? Thanks!
     
  2. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    :lol:!!!! DONT DO IT!!!:lol:

    YOU WILL EVENTUALLY INVEST YOUR LIFE SAVINGS AND EVERY MOMENT INTO THIS HOBBY!

    Just kidding! Everything you have listed looks good. Enjoy your new toys!

    Maybe get an external flash.
     
  3. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm TPF Noob!

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    Are you set on Nikon? I think the best first step is rather than just reserch online, go to a camera store and hold differen Nikon and Canon bodies in your hands, fiddle through their menus, and see which one fits you best. The Canon Rebel T2i would be the closest competition, and that's a fantastic little camera. Either system would make an excellent choice, but the differences lie in how they are used.

    That being said, I think the lens range choices are a bit redundant. There's a lot of overlap without too much extra reach out of the longer lens. I don't know Nikon lenses all that well, but perhaps a 70-300mm would suit better for your telephoto.

    My personal opinion is that these "Haze" protrctive filters are more or less useless. They degrade image quality unless you buy the super expensive ones, and even then they don't add anything in terms of IQ. If you are concerned about lens protection, the hood and some careful eyes should be more than enough.

    I would look into getting a battery grip as well (if it's in your budget). Most Nikon bodies need this in order to achieve their full burst rates, but for all cameras, it's just nice to have the extra battery capacity and extra buttons for shooting in portrait.

    I would also ditch the camera armor. It's usually big and bulky and you shouldnt be dropping or knocking around your DLSR anyway.

    If there's some extra cash leftover, I would HIGHLY suggest a BlackRapid neck strap. I use the RS4 and feel like I can't live without it. It carries the camera in a much more natural position at your hip and swings up straight to your line of sight. BlackRapid.com
     
  4. James Ryan

    James Ryan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Hardrock! I've never used a flash much when shooting film (I'm planning to shoot mostly outdoor/scenery/festivals), but a flash unit will probably be on the next 'to buy list'. Figured I'd get the bare bones stuff out of the way first. I do have an old Vivitar 2800 and external flash mount kicking around, but I'm not sure if the flash will work properly with the D90.

    I know I'm doomed to a life of picture taking... might as well do it right though. Thanks again!
     
  5. James Ryan

    James Ryan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Matt. A good friend of mine has a D90 and I found it very user friendly as compared with my dads Rebel. Good thoughts on the lenses. I was looking at some of the budget Sigma glass and the reviews seem good.
     
  6. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    I recently bought the D90 with the 18 -105mm and the 70 - 300mm and I agree with the overlap comment.

    I look at the smaller zoom is good for family photos, just taking shots while walking around and having a lens that can get in tightly if need be. 18mm which in DSLR is about 27mm (has to do with the non full frame sensor) is good for getting a group shot where the 105mm (about 157mm on a DSLR) is nice for taking portraits or to isolate something.

    The bigger zoom is for anything else where you need higher magnification or can't approach close enough. The 300mm is equivilent to a 450mm on the DSLR and I recently played around with it and it brings the subject pretty close. You are duplicating the zooms in the 70 to 105mm area but it's not that big of a duplication. There have been a few times in the past that I wished I had a little more reach in my lens and I'm hoping that this 300mm zoom will fit the bill.

    BTW, while researching on the internet for cameras and lenses, the 18-105 and 70-300 came out as being pretty good as far as imaging.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    IMO the UV filters and the Camera Armor are a waste of funds.

    Most digital image sensors have a UV filter in front of then so you don't need one on the lens. Plus adding a filter will somwhat decrease contrast and will make it more likely you'll get lens flare when pointing near a bright light source.

    Some people use UV/Clear filters to 'protect' the front lens element, but a lens hood also offers protection to the front lens element, increases contrast and minimizes lens flare, so it's a good idea to always use a lens hood for image quality reasons. Be aware a lens hood can cause unwanted shadows when using on camera flash.

    I really liked having a Nikon MB-D80 vertical grip on my D90 and having at least a SB-600 speedlight is a good idea. I never leave home without mine.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The spam has been reported
     
  9. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would recommend not buy TWO kit quality lenses (especially two that overlap so much). I can see the use of one kit-lens, to cover a wide zoom range inexpensively and allow you to learn. However, the rest of your lenses should be higher quality and more specialized.

    If you absolutely must have a telephoto, a nikon 70-300mm af ed cost only around $90 used on ebay, and it's has better optics then most kit lenses.

    Ditch the filters as well, no need.
     
  10. DirtyDFeckers

    DirtyDFeckers TPF Noob!

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    I definitely wouldn't invest the 250 bucks or whatever it is for the 55-200 lens, it's a waste of $. The only reason I own one, is that it came with my camera. Slow focus, slow everything, don't buy it. I would save the money you were going to spend on the lens and get an external flash.... it's a much better investment. Good luck, and good choice with the D90, you won't be disappointed!
     

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