What to Do- to upgrade or not to upgrade

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by austriker, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. austriker

    austriker TPF Noob!

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    hi,
    so im in a bit of a 'tight spot' (oh brother where art thou reference). I have been shooting for about a year now with my d40 and so i am fairly knowledge about photographer (i do not consider myself a pro but..). I normally use the manual or aperture priority (none of that auto stuff!) on my d40. i like to shoot sports (although ive never had a lens for it), urban nature, nature and just cool lookin stuff. I really like photography and consider it one of my passions. Also i am a junior in college and this is where the hard part comes in; do i spend money to upgrade bodies? The d40 is driving me nuts b/c you have to go through menus to change anything (and yes i programmed the ISO in the FN button). Also i am looking for improved FPS and ISO for sports and the like.

    I currently own a d40, 50mm f/1.8, kit lens 18-55 and an film flash.

    I am thinking about upgrading to a d90, d200 or maybe a d80. I have looked at these options for awhile. and basically i like d90 for high iso and fps but the price is steep. although i have justified this by saying i could make money with it.. also i was looking at the d200 for awhile but decided that the iso just wasnt enough. also i like the d80 but its really similar to the d90 in price and i just dont understand that..

    also what i am looking at is buying an older 70-300mm f/3.5 for sports. it does not auto focus on the d40 and this is more incentive to upgrade my body. it is under $100 which i think is a steal for a 300mm lens.

    what some people have told me is to upgrade lenses over bodies b/c they hold they value longer. so maybe i should get like a sigma 70-200 f/2.8 (or tamron?) because they are probably the only real good sports lens i can afford...

    so i was wondering if i could some fellow photographers perspectives on this.. my flickr is below so you can see my work. i am looking to spend around $800 tops for this stuff. (i have found a d90 for $850...) if you really read this massive message, i applaud you! and thank you! and ask for some advice/help :lol:

    thanks!! its b/c of sites like this and flickr i love photography so much more
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Go for the D90 and get that out of the way... from there buy your lenses as needed. You'll find even the lenses you have now will work even better because you can crank the D90 up to 1600 or even 3200 ISO and still have acceptable prints.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Not great for sports considering that the max aperture at 300mm is only F5.6.

    I agree that lenses are a better investment than an upgraded body. As long as your camera is up to the task for most of what you do, it should be OK until you can truly afford the body that you want/need.
    After all, there is always something better out there that you will be pining over. If you get a D90, you will be wanting to upgrade to a D300, if you got a D300, you'd want a D700 and so on.
     
  4. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Just to give you an idea - I shot these in the Dome... f/6.3 with the D90 at ISO 1600.

    [​IMG]

    And SO close to ball on bat :lol:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I stopped by your Flickr pages and looked at four pages of images; you actually have some talent and your aesthetics are pretty solid for a young shooter. I see that you have used your dad's 70-300 or whatever without AF on the D40, so you know what that is like. Your situation is tricky,and I am not exactly sure what,specifically, your priorities are. I know you like sports--I saw baseball,youth soccer, and Minnesota Twins photos, and I also saw some pretty decent small-scale landscapes and genre photography.

    You need to temper Noyze's advice with somebody else's; he always,always suggests that people get a D90. Every time.:lmao: One thing about the D90 is it offers 80 percent of a pro camera's features,and works with all Nikkor AF lenses, and has an excellent 12MP APS-C sensor. It also hs a pretty good AF system, using either center AF point only, or 11- area or 7-area Wide AF for unpredictable action. But you know, on a budget, the LENS really is a critical aspect for sports shooting, and the Sigma 70-200/2.8 is really the only choice that has a fast enough internal focusing system and the focal length range and f/stop that will make night baseball possible to shoot well. I would totally skip on the 70-300 unless the price is super-low.

    With an AF-S Nikkor lens on the D40, the center bracket AF is quite fast. WIth the 300 f/4 AF-S or 70-200 VR, the D40's center AF bracket AF speed is
    really quite fast. With any of the "pro" superteles like 200/2 and 300/2.8, the D40's center AF focusing is fast enough for sports shooting if you use it within its limitations. Ideally, you have both fast-focusing lenses with wide apertures, like f/2.8, AND a good body like a D90 or D300 or D3.

    WHAT exactly do you mean by sports? Daylight sports in good light could be handled by a used D2x for $900, even using a consumer zoom lens. The $1000 and up Nikon lenses on the D40 will shoot pretty well. Indoor and night sports place a lot of demands on your gear. If you want lenses for sports, I always suggest looking at used lenses from a store/web outlet that has a good return policy. I like to buy used lenses whenever possible.
     
  6. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    I've had my eye on the D90 for a while. I've noticed that the price is slowly dropping. I check B&H every day. I'll ignore the next two weeks because of the holiday but I'll grab it when the price curve appears to have flattened out.
     
  7. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Any PP for noise reduction or is that straight out of the camera?
     
  8. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Straight out of the camera and uploaded, no PP at all - I don't even think I cropped these.

    And yes, I do 'almost' always recommend the D90 - and why wouldn't I :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  9. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    That's impressive. I've got to get me one of them.
     
  10. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    3200 ISO shot, just for kicks, hopefully the OP doesn't mind... but since he's considering the D90 for sports and all:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    That's it. Rub it in! :p
     
  12. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    :lol:
     

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