Next upgrade, lens or body?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Darkhunter139, May 14, 2010.

  1. Darkhunter139

    Darkhunter139 TPF Noob!

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    Ive been doing a lot of research lately and I still don't know what piece of gear I want to get next. Right now I own a Nikon D40 body, 55-200mm VR lens and the 18-55mm kit lens I got with the D40.

    Originally I was planning on buying the sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 but that is a pretty expensive lens and my 55-200mm has been suiting me pretty well. I want to replace the 18-55mm kit lens next with the tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 or the sigma equivalent.

    I always see people on here saying to invest in glass over camera bodies but I am not so sure anymore. If I were to upgrade my D40 to the D90 or D5000 id be able to shoot at higher ISOs. I feel like id be getting better low light performance if I upgraded my camera body over my lenses at this point. Which brings me to my next question, is the D90 worth the extra money over a D5000? The biggest difference is the ability to use lenses without an autofocus motor built in but besides that are there any big differences between the two?

    Thanks!
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First question: what is your budget?

    Second question: what are your current photographic issues that are wanting you to upgrade?

    I wouldnt go from a D40 to a D5000. To a D90, maybe, again, depending on what you are looking for.

    Sure, the body has higher ISO, but good glass has a wider aperture that will allow for lower light shooting, better dof control, and wont hurt your image like high ISO. Dont just look at the max ISO a new body can do, but look into the highest usable ISO.

    Ex: I had an XSI. ISO was said to go up to 1600. But 1600 looked like crap for 90% of my images. 800 was ok SOME times. 400 was the all around max I would go to for my shooting.
     
  3. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir TPF Noob!

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    I would upgrade to a D90.

    I just bought a D90 about a week ago as an upgrade from my D60.

    It also depends on what you want to shoot.

    The D90 has a big advantage - commander mode. That's the reason I went to a D90 over a D5000. There's also the advantage of the in-body motor.
     
  4. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    This was a question I wrestled with last year. I had an 8MP 30D and took it on a trip to Alaska. I had a great photo-op with 2 wrestling bear cubs in relatively low light. They were at some distance so, even with my 100-300mm f/4 and 1.4XTC (420mm), a substantial crop was required. Since I couldn't shoot in high ISO, the images were dreadful following crop and I couldn't fix the noise (although one of these days I am going to buy Genuine Fractals and see if that helps).

    What to do? My options were to get a longer faster lens (I already had the 100-300 f/4) or a better-ISO /higher MP body. The body turned out to be the alternative I could afford, as it was $1.7K and the faster longer lens (e.g. the 500/f4) was almost $7K. The 7D has worked out great and would have gotten that image of the bears for me with the glass I already own (although I still want that 500mm :) )

    The long and short of it is that there is no RIGHT answer. You have to look at your situation and what you want to shoot.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  5. Darkhunter139

    Darkhunter139 TPF Noob!

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    Right now I don't really have a set budget, I put some money away into a camera fund each week and don't mind waiting a little while to make my next upgrade if its worth it. I figure I could sell my D40 for around $200-250ish as well so a D90 does not seem like a very far reach you can get a refurbished one for $689 on adorama which seems like a pretty solid deal.

    I guess I would be better off upgrading my D40 kit lens before I do anything else, then after that go with a D90.

    How long has the D90 been out? Is that due for an upgrade any time soon.
     
  6. Darkhunter139

    Darkhunter139 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah if I decided to upgrade bodies I think I will have to go with the D90 over the D5000. I have wireless triggers for my flashes so the commander mode is not a big deal for me though. Another reason I want to upgrade my body is so I can make larger prints. The D40 is only 6.1 MP so I cant really go any bigger then 12x18.
     
  7. Moe

    Moe TPF Noob!

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    This decision can only be answered by you. Do you want more MP (overrated)? Video? Commander mode? If not, I bet you'll see a bigger improvement in your images by keeping the D40 and getting the Sigma 18-50 2.8, rather than putting the kit lens on the D90. The Sigma will get you two full stops improvement at 50mm. I'm not sure the D90 can guarantee that (debatable).
     
  8. Darkhunter139

    Darkhunter139 TPF Noob!

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    Pretty sure I am going to go sigma or tamron 17-50mm 2.8 and then the D90.
     
  9. Divatologist

    Divatologist TPF Noob!

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    I would probably go for the lens 1st as well. Watch the Nikon roadmap for 2010-2011. They have a couple of bodies getting upgraded as well as some glass. I'm not sure about the D90 getting upgraded yet though. I think it's still farely new. I definitely want to get some 2.8 lenses before I upgrade my body.
     
  10. Misfitlimp

    Misfitlimp TPF Noob!

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    Dont quote me on this cuz im not sure how nikkon stuff works but the canon extenders when put on a lens make it so you lose a stop or two. So if you have a lens that its max apeture is f4 and you put one on from my understanding you could have actually been at f5.6 or maybe even f8. So without the extender your 30D might have done a little better with an apeture of F4 seeing as how every full stop higher(lower f/stop#) is double the amount of light as the one before it and seeing as how you would have more light available to you the ISO could have been dialed down some. Although you might not have gotten the shot at all seeing as how you probably needed the extender because its not a smart idea to get to close to some bear cubs. Sorry for going off topic a bit but its late and ive had a couple beers and im bored. remember dont quote me on any of this. ha!
     
  11. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    My opinion would be to get a better lens but I have to say that 200 mm is too short. It sounds like it is a great focal length but honestly it just doesn't have the reach.

    I have a Vivitar 205 mm zoom from back in my film days along with it's 2x extender and it really doesn't have enough power at 205 for a long distance and the extender cuts down light. I have tried to use it for photos of my son in a High School Marching Unit and when he was far away it just didn't have enough power. When I bought the D90, I bought the 300 mm zoom which HOPEFULLY will give me enough reach whenever I need the extra mm, it's equivilent to a 450 mm zoom.

    If you can, I would get better quality lenses first then worry about the camera body in the distant future. One thing I did read is to buy FX series lenses vs DX series ... the vignetting would be cut down due to the camera's crop sensor. I guess it would also be nice if you ever decide to get a full sensor camera. Just a thought.
     

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