Looking for purchase advice

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by sownman, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. sownman

    sownman TPF Noob!

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    Hello to all. Brand new member here. I'm an old time photographer with a pair of Nikon F1's and a few lenses. I've been away from product info for a very long time. In my day if you wanted 35mm and you wanted the best glass you bought Leica or Nikon. I am now interested in a gift for my daughter who is showing some talent. I want to buy her a digital camera
    and am still of the mindset that bodies don't mean as much as lenses.

    Who makes the best glass now ? I've been looking at the D90. Am I correct in my assumption that Nikkor is still top glass or have things changed ? Any new products on the near horizon that should be watched or waited for ?

    Thanks for any advice

    Steve
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    In the '35mm' format (including most Digital SLR cameras)...Nikon & Canon both have a great range of lenses. Their top of the line lenses are very good.
    I don't know much about Leica's SLR lenses but I'd assume they are pretty good. Their rangefinder lenses are, of course, outstanding.

    My advice would be to get your daughter a Nikon DSLR body because your lenses should be compatible with it. The D90 is a 'mid level' DSLR body...it's bigger and more robust than the 'entry level' models, but not up to the level of the more expensive models like the D300, D700 or D3 etc. I think it would be a good choice, unless one of the smaller models (D40, D3000, D5000) fits her hands better.

    Keep in mind that most DSLR cameras have an image sensor that is smaller than a frame of 35mm film. The result of this, is that the image circle from a '35mm film' lens will be cropped....thus making the lens feel longer that it does on a film camera. The factor for Nikon is 1.5. So a 50mm lens, on a D90...would feel like a 75mm lens on your F1.
    It's not something to worry about, except that a 'normal range' zoom lens on the digital body is about 18mm to 55mm....rather than 24mm to 70mm.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The D90 is no more robust than their least expensive DSLR the D40. All of Nikon's 'Entry-Level cameras have all plastic bodies.

    The D90 is Nikons top 'Entry-Level' camera. It has quite good image quality and decent high ISO performance because it shares the CMOS image sensor the 'Prosumer' D300/D300s has.

    However, the D90 doesn't share the auto focus module the D300/D300s has, keeping it firmly in the 'Entry-Level' category.

    The D90 will be a fine DSLR for your daughter to get started with.

    Nikon has pro level glass that's hard to beat, Leica is in a class of their own, and priced accordingly. Nikon has some 'kit' glass that performs quite well when used properly.
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Steve,
    Depends who you ask :) personally I love everything about Nikon except its price.
    D90, is an amazing camera. I'm in LOVE with it. As Mike said on 'mid level' I think it one of the top bodies. Above that we are talking about d300, d300s, d700, d3x, d3s (not in that order - but still in production, i think :) ) IF you are going for it, I'd say get the body and use the glass you have.
    D40, D60, d3000, d5000 models, they are lacking AF motor, thus if you lens doesn't have a built-in motor, those bodies won't AF the lens.
    I think the best thing would be, UNLESS camera is surprise, get her into a camera store and see which body feels better in her hand. IF it is a surprise I'd say get it from somewhere where you can return/exchange it for another body.

    good luck
     
  5. sownman

    sownman TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys. Above D90 pricing gets out of my $ range for this gift. I see
    Walmart has a D90 with the 18-105 lens for $1100 and 10% Bing CB. Any issues with that lens ? Glad to hear my 60's vintage Nikkors will fit the body, but sorry to hear they won't look quite the same combined with a sensor. I alway loved my 105mm Nikkor. I guess now its a 152mm ?

    From what I've read I think a D90 will give her all the tools she needs to find out how good she is. If she really takes to it maybe she can start earning money with it and buy her own future gear.

    Steve
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's what it would feel like...to you.
    If your daughter has no preconceived notions of what a 105mm lens is 'supposed' to feel like...then it won't bother her at all. Actually, the resulting images might be better overall, because the 'crop factor' takes out the edges of the image circle, which are typically the areas most prone to issues.

    Absolutely. Although any SLR camera can do that. The basic operation is pretty much the same for any of them...and should be pretty much the same as what you are used to with your old F1. Aperture is still aperture, shutter speed is still shutter speed...only now you can change the film rating/ISO whenever you want.
     
  7. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    look/call B&H, Adorama, maybe they can through different glass, tamron or sigma, with the body, it'll be cheaper and will give her enough to start. plus she'll have your glass to play with :)
     
  8. sownman

    sownman TPF Noob!

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    I'm trying to consider the option you suggest of a d300s with its 14bit capability and more robust construction combined with letting her use my old manual Nikkor lenses till she buys her own modern lenses. I'm sure of course there is no coupling to autoexposure or autofocus. Does the in camera light leter and focus of a d300s couple to the old F1 lenses when fstop and focus rings are manually adjusted to indicate proper focus and exposure ?

    Thanks again

    Steve
     

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