Gift advice (C´mon gimme a hand!)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Baboom, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. Baboom

    Baboom TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain...
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi all,

    I am a total stranger to photography, so please take it easy on me..

    Just wondering what to get for my girlfriend´s birthday... something like a Nikon D80, as I recall hearing...

    My biggest concern is not so much about the camera, but about he lenses. I have searched the forums and found out that lenses are "the" thing to invest on, so.... could quote some witty parable about changing your girl but keeping your offspring.....

    By the way, I don´t think she has any lenses she is going to keep, so this is supossed to be a beginning from scratch... oh, and she has taken a few courses on photography, but not on a professional basis..

    Thank you very much lads!... Any input trully welcome...

    Jaime.
     
  2. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Compostela, GZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    if beginning from scratch, there is not much advice one could give on brands to choose other than personal preferences

    tell a little on what you think she would use the camera for, how often... things like that. And then also your budget. These, I think, are the things that could better determine your choice, which as I say, wouldn't be as much on which brand as on which kind of camera. For example with Nikon, which you mention, D50, D80, D200? there is a big difference in prices, and the point is to know whether one can afford it and whether it is worth it
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    well first off, you need to ask yourself how much you're willing to spend.
     
  4. forzaF1

    forzaF1 Ultimate Ferrari Tifosi

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The 18-135mm kits lens is very nice for a kit lens. It would do just fine.
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,327
    Likes Received:
    264
    Location:
    The Upper West Side of Mississippi (you have no i
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    A camera system is much like a pet and is a highly personal choice. Decide what you want to spend and take her shopping.

    mike
     
  6. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,527
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    There are so many options. Here are some popular cameras.

    Pentax- k110D/ K100D/ K10D
    Canon- 350D/ 400D/ 20D/ 30D/ too expensive beyond that
    Nikon- D40/ D40x/ D50/ D70/ D70s/ D80/ too expensive beyond this
    Sony- Alpha A100X (2 new models coming soon)

    I listed Pentax first because the lens selection is hugely vast, their kit lenses are said to be superb (smooth like the good ole day, and don't feel cheap), and they are relatively cheaper than other SLR manufacturers.

    Then I'd look into the Sony because it has a ton of bell and whistles for a body. Lens compatibility is very good from what I hear, and later on she could splurge on some Ziess glass.

    Canons and Nikons are said to be the top, and they have a huge line of support from the market. IF she has an old Nikon or Canon film SLR (canon has ot be made after 1987) her lenses could be compatible.

    (please no one post "you forgot to to add <so and so camera>) I know these aren't all the cameras currently made, or have been made, or will be made, they are just some popular selections)
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    "you forgot to add hasselblad"

    :eek: :p

    yeah, if she runs across any Nikkor lenses made since the 1970's it will work on pretty much any Nikon body.
     
  8. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Compostela, GZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    you forgot to add Contax :mrgreen:
     
  9. Baboom

    Baboom TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain...
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I mentioned the D80 only becase I heard her mentioning it. Having said that, I think changing it for an eqivalent of any other brad would be ok... but never know with women...

    Panocho, she is probably going to use it in a variety of light conditions, but mostly when travelling (cities, mainly)... also I imagine she will be using it more often once she has a decent equipment to play with.

    About my budget, I was thinking about spending maybe a couple of thousand. Prices are not the same abroad, so this could be taken with some slack...

    Forza F1, I have seen that lens on some pre-assembled kits for the D80. I assume it is used quite a bit... could you explain me what you use it for?. If the 18-135mm is a good choice, as you say, wat would be the complemetary for it?.

    Mike_E, I understand your point, but I prefer to get something cool and well researched that needs to be changed somehow than, you know, spoiling the surprise...

    DSLR, thank you for the list, I´ve been lookin them up in the net. I´ve also read in the forums that the Canon 400D is something like a close competitor to the Nikon... don´t want to light a match here, anyway.
    The idea of getting a body with has a huge variety of lenses to keep on updating is great. In fact, I was too busy looking for a nice body and didn´t think much on the upgrades....mmm... means that Nikon and Canon are short on upgrades?.
    I am a bit lost here, your input required..

    Thanks to all, keep it up!!...
     
  10. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    pretty much any brand youd decide on has the lens backing you'll want/need for future advancement. Nikon and Canon are the two big companies, and as such most local camera stores like Ritz or wolfs carry nikon and canon. They carry other brands but are much more likely to have a particular lens in stock from those two brands, as well as having accessories.

    How much research has your girlfriend done on DSLRs? If she has done her research and decided on that, or has some sort of brand loyalty or holds the (common) belief that only nikon and/or canon make good camera's, you may not want to sway from those two.

    When I was first getting into photography I decided I wanted a D50. I had done as much research as I thought I could at the time (having no SLR knowledge) and was set. For graduation my parents bought me a Pentax *ist DL, and at first I was kinda bummed, but didn't want to say anything about it because it was insanely thoughtful. Well, I used it and decided I loved it, even after using a friends D50 so it was the better choice for me, but it still didn't have that immediate "Oh my god!!! thank you thank you thank you thank you" type response.

    Of course if she hasn't done too much research, feel free to choose as you see fit.

    I will say, that the Rebel Series from canon (400D/XTi, or the last model, 350D/XT) are smaller than the D80. If your girlfriend has small hands that alone might be worth considering. The general consensus here is that any camera/brand you choose you will be able to take quality pictures with hands down. The usual advice for "which camera should I get" is "go to the store and hold them all". We say this because barring certain features (the 400D's dust removal, which doesn't work, but can map out dust so it doesn't show up vs the D80's lack of anything to prevent/cure dust, or the D80s built in photo editing features vs canons' not to detailed setup) the main difference in camera is the feel, so get something that feels good in your hands, isn't too heavy or too light for you, and get something where the controls are laid out well.

    As far as additional lenses, a 50mm f/1.8 is always a nice lens to have. On a cropped sensor like most digitals, 50mm is a short/medium telephoto and works great for portraits as well as any kind of available light shooting because of the very large aperture (f/1.8 is larger than f/3.5 and is therefore considered fast because it allows faster shutterspeeds by letting more light in). Of course it really depends on what she wants to take pictures of. If she loves taking pictures of city life and landscapes, your probably dont want to get her a 80-200mm telephoto lens, but rather something wide, like a 10-22mm. On the same side, if she wants to take macro shots you probably want to stay away from a fisheye lens and instead pick up a 100mm 2.8 macro.


    About your last question, all the major companies have huge choices of lenses that work on the cameras. Canon and Nikon have huge support with accessories, so things like battery grips, flashes, extension tubes, teleconverters ect. will be easy to come by. This isn't to say that brands like pentax and sony dont offer them, just that they can be harder to find.
     
  11. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Compostela, GZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If she mentioned Nikon, why don't you just go Nikon and forget about struggling with "which brand"? Maybe she just doesn't care, but it is possible that she does have a preference over Nikon. In case she doesn't care, Nikon is just as good as any other (in fact a little bit better, I would say... :mrgreen: just kidding; you probably noticed we sometimes have some fun discussing on stupid things like this :D ). And in case she does care, then you give her what she wants and don't dissapoint her.

    Being your budget that high :drool: I would recommed you considering the D200 instead. It is the higher model of Nikon. What you get from the extra money is basically a camera made to last more (it is weather sealed, which the D80 is not, and more resistant than the D80. if she is going to travel with the camera, that might be an important thing to expend the money), a few technical upgrades and something that for me is very important, although for many users it doesn't matter at all (think where she could be): lens compatibility. That means that with a D200 she will be able to use almost any lens, including old ones. Not with a D80. If she has old lenses or would be willing to buy and use some, that would be a very good point.

    That's basically my advice. Once you decide which camera, start thinking about step 2, which is lenses. Kit lenses are not necessarily the way to go. A good thing to do, I would say, is getting one 50mm lens (fixed focal distance, they are cheap and very good) or another fixed focal distance as the 28mm (which in the digital becomes a 42mm; this one is more expensive than the 50mm but still has a great relation quality/price) plus one zoom that covers a nice range of focal distance. I would also say not to spend a lot of money on a great lens to start with, but not to go for one of the lower (and cheaper) ones either.

    If you go for Nikon, let us know and I'll post some links for reviews and comments on different lenses so that you can choose a good one. Obviously, appart from TPF, of course! :thumbup:
     
  12. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Do you really think someone just getting into photography and especially digital needs a D200? If it wasn't for the fact that I dont like the D40 at all I'd recommend that, and use the extra 800 dollars saved over the D200 on awesome lenses, but since the D40 doesn't support current awesome lenses nevermind.

    It really is true, lenses are the real investment. DSLR's become obsolete, like most technology (think of your computer) fairly quickly. Lenses however will be good as long as they are in good shape, and many lenses will hold their value as production stops, making them highly sought after. Also, a mediocre camera with a great lens will take great shots, but even the best camera with a crappy lens will still produce flawed pictures.

    Personally, with your budget I'd get the D80 body and no lens, and then pick up this lens

    http://www.sigma4less.com/sess/utn;...Lens+for+Nikon+Digital+SLR+=28SG1850F28MNI=29

    it has just about the exact same range as the kit lens but is much faster. It also has "macro" abilities so it can reproduce images with a 1:3 ratio. Popular photography just did a review on this lens and it scored very well in all areas, whereas the kit lens gets distorted at the extremes.

    If I had the money I'd have done that, 4X the price (300 dollars) of the kit lens but performs 10X better. pretty good deal.
     

Share This Page