Still undecided on purchase...

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by RMThompson, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Ok all, If you've read my panicked thread in the Beyond Basics forum, which I now realize was the wrong place, you know I am making a DSLR purchase VERY soon.

    I have a few questions, and I promise to try to make my posts a little more straightforward, and wait answers before I ask another.

    I need advice on my purchase which I am shooting a wedding in May with, and also my usual portrait photography.

    Here are the qualifying statements:

    A. I can purchase a Nikon D50 *new* body only in my area for $449.99, plus tax equals to 481.49

    B. I can purcahse a REFURBISHED Canon EOS 350D from simga4less body only for 429.95, plus shipping which I would approximate at 20 dollars for a total of 449.95, but refurbished.

    C. I can (hopefully) still purchase the Nikon D50 *new* with 18-55 Nikkor lens, (f/3.5 - something) for $550.00 plus tax for 588.50.

    D. I can purchase a REFURBISHED Canon EOS 350D from sigma4less for 529.95 with 18-55 lens (f/3.5 - 5.6) for 529.95 plus shipping for a total of approximately 559.95

    E. I can purchase the D40 with 18-55 (f/3.5 -5.6) for approxiamtly 559.95

    So here are my questions:

    1. Which should I buy, the age old question, Canon or Nikon? Although I have been using a Canon A610 for over a year, I still lean Nikon. It seems a more "professional" camera, even though neither qualify. Which is sharper? Which has less noise *REALLY*!!?

    2. Assuming Nikon, D50 or D40. I don't think I would be buying older lenses, so would I really miss the AF features of D50?? I hear the D40's flash is VERY nice... am I wrong?

    3. When shopping on eBay, how do I know which lenses are AF, or which aren't but will work with the D50 anyway? How do I know which are not compatible at all. I recently started looking for a 50mm 1.8 or better for the Nikon D** and I couldn't understand HALF of it.

    4. What lenses are a REQUIREMENT for the wedding? I hear a 28 - 70, but FASTER than the f3.5s.... (other thread)... is that correct?

    5. If I purchase an external flash, can I get away with the slower f/3.5 lenses??? (maybe an 18 - 55 f/3.5 and an 18mm f1.8, or even better a zoom f3.5 and 18mm 1.8?)

    6. What flash? Besides the one you recommend, what else can I use that might be a bit cheaper?

    7. What's the big thing I am missing?

    I really need help, I don't want to make a bad decision, and I really cannot afford to.

    My budget right now calls for around $700 - $800 dollars TOTAL on this purchase. I already have a decent tripod, and a case, so it's strictly camera/lens(es)/flash... (AND memory if I go Canon, since I have 1.5gigs of SDmemory)

    What do you guys recommend??
     
  2. snappin

    snappin TPF Noob!

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  3. Big Mike

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

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    And to muddy the waters even more...Nikon just announced a D40x :shock:

    The PMA show starts this week (March 8-11). This is when the camera companies will release their new models (if they haven't already been leaked or announced).

    This may open some new options for you...although new models can be slow to make it to stores or are in high demand...but it will also drive down the price of current models.
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    An sb600 flash for a Nikon is $200 (as is I expect a comparable Canon flash), you won't want to use a popup flash on people no matter what and expect to be paid for it. If you go Nikon, go ahead and get the 50 because if you are on a strict budget, you can get a 135mm AI'd lens (older manual) at f2.8 (which is right at 200mm with the 1.5 crop)that will take beautiful photos. The 18-55 Nikon is supposed to be a very sharp lens and unless you will be shooting in a cave you should be OK. (if you get the flash, don't waste money on the diffuser, go to Wal-Mart to the hobby section and get a sheet of white foam. It's about the size of a sheet of paper and you cut it in half and put it around your flash with a rubber band then roll it up or down with the flash set to bounce off the ceiling to modify how much light goes forward). If you go Canon, I have no idea how you get any of the older (cheaper) lenses to work. mike
     
  5. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    lol...

    DAMN that's a good price on a 350D... but I have a feeling nikon lenses are cheaper?

    Can someone answer this one:

    3. When shopping on eBay, how do I know which lenses are AF, or which aren't but will work with the D50 anyway? How do I know which are not compatible at all. I recently started looking for a 50mm 1.8 or better for the Nikon D** and I couldn't understand HALF of it.
     
  6. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    In some respects by focusing in part on Canon vs Nikon, you are making it a tougher choice for yourself. You have identified a budget of what you want to spend and that is a good start. Canon and Nikon are equally very good systems, so instead you should be focusing on which system offers you the lenses etc. that you will be using as well as which feels the best and easiest to you to use. Now you will be in a position to look at deals used & new that may be out there.
     
  7. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    Cost difference should be minimal, but again the question, what works best for you? As far as question #3 goes, there is a wealth of information on the Nikon website about their lenses. A visit there will arm you with the information you need to shop intelligently on Ebay or anywhere else for that matter.
     
  8. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Anyone else care to chime in? IM still lost...

    I am thinking Nikon D50 since I can use older lenses, but even after looking at the website, I dont know what lenses I can use and which I cant...

    :(
     
  9. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    Per Nikon's website one would have "all functions with all AF lenses including AF-S, DX, VR & D-/G type and many functions on other Nikkor lenses. IX Lenses cannot be used"
     
  10. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    I guess the thrust of my questions lie in this:

    What is wrong with f3.5??? I mean I understand the idea of a wider aperature = less light needed for a sharp shot, but does 2.8 - 3.5 make a HUGE difference?

    The lenses out there are MOSTLY f/3.5, or f/4, and I just don't understand why I need faster for shooting with a flash for a wedding.

    Please someone explain why this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Tamron-2-Lens-S...31QQihZ006QQcategoryZ3343QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    isnt a good deal.

    or this even:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-D50-Digit...Z006QQcategoryZ122616QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

    Or best of all:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-D50-Digit...Z006QQcategoryZ122616QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

    Damn I might buy that anyway!!!!
     
  11. snappin

    snappin TPF Noob!

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    I'm pretty much a newb but I think I can still answer your question since I've been doing quite a bit of researching myself. Its not the 3.5 vs 2.8 that gets you on that lens you linked its the range. If you look it says f3.5-5.6 That means at the shortest length it will go to 3.5 but when youre zoomed fully (when you need to be open the worst because your flash wont reach as far) is when it will only go to 5.6 (which is a HUGE difference from 2.8). The higher quality lenses will give you constant aperature say either f/4 or the f/2.8.

    hope that clears somethings up.
     
  12. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Oh SNAP!

    You're so very right. I feel dumb...

    Damn!
     

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