1,000 US to spend


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Oct 11, 2007
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So I'm getting to spend 1,000 bucks on camera gear for xmas. I know I'm going to get the 50mm 1.8. The wife is getting an 18-200 VR for her D40 so I don't need one of those. I'm also going to get a spare battery. But I'm dabateing what else to get. Should I get the 50mm 1.4 for the extra cash, or use the extra cash for another lens? Or a 2X tele? I'm looking at some other lenses also, but I'm not seeing a lot I can squeez in to 1K. I like mostly nature shots, landscape, birds, lakes, etc... And taking shots of my kids in there natrual habitats, not really snap shots, but yeah snap shots lol... So tell me what you would do with that kinda cash?
use to to pay for gas to go somewhere and photograph it.

I do have a tripod, it's a cheapy but it works great, though I am considering either an external burner to burn from card to cd/dvd or an external storage and viewer the 20G model is 300 bucks.
Yeah, honestly if I had $1000 and didn't have a pretty solid idea of what to spend it all on, I'd either use some for a holiday or something, or save most until I know I need/want something specific.

But ok, say I've got $1000 and it has to be spent on camera gear. Here's what I would get...

1) Nikon 50mm f/1.4 (yes it's more expensive, but you have $1000, why not?).
2) Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (much cheaper than the Nikon equivalent; will take up less than half your budget).

Having got one or both of those I would probably sell the 18-135mm. I'd now have a fast moderate-wide-to-moderate-tele lens, and between that and the 70-300mm be fairly well covered (personally I wouldn't miss the gap between 50 and 70).

So with the 50mm and the 17-50mm I've spent $720 and have $280 left; say I get $200 for selling the 18-135; now I have $480. Now I would either save that, or spend it on a good tripod/head if I didn't have one already.
The 70-300mm is a good lens; obviously not as good as much more expensive ones, but good, being decent wide-open and having VR. So I'd hang onto that unless I was sure I was losing shots because of the max aperture.

Of course that's just what I'd do, but that was what you asked for :D
Personally, after having shot with both, I would buy the 50mm 1.8 over the 1.4 because I see no difference in image or build quality, only a small bit of speed vs. twice again more money for the 1.4

How are you set for flashes?
got my SB-600, the wife is most likely buying here an SB-600 with her money.
If you like shooting bugs, sell on ebay, or want a good fast prime that can do other jobs as well, a 2.8 macro might be fun.
My wife shoots wildlife and likes to zoom in on things at a distance. An she wants one lens that she does not have to switch out at all and we feel that this lens is for her. That and she has a D40 and the VR on the 18-200 should be good for her. I've read both good and bad on this lens, but it's her money and it will do her better then smaller lenses when most of what she shoots is birds and squirels.
Apparently JIP isn't the biggest fan of the 18-200mm. You'd never guess.


I don't like the idea of it either. There is no way an 18-200 of any kind could have IQ THAT good. Everyone who says the quality seems fine seems to only own that lens or a kit lens. They have nothing to compare it to!
Everyone wants to sell you on a zoom. Apart from the 50mm, have you considered primes to take photos of your family and friends. I can recommend the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 and the 35mm f/2.0. Nice lenses IMO. You'll have change left over from your thousand dollar bill.

EDIT: Both of those lenses are very small and lightweight. Easy to carry around.
OOO I was figurin I'd stir somethin up with that one. Listen all I have against that lens is that it is a shameful waste of $750. When I was coming up I could only WISH I could afford $750 for a lens and the last thing I would buy was that one. I just cant imagine wasting money on a gimmick rather than a quality lens that's all that is really a gimmick lens. if she wants to shoot squirrels here's a real squirrel shootin' lens for only about $300 more


Honestly, I think it is your job as her husband to help her use her money wisely not waste it on junk.
There is way more to the equation than just a lens that JIP considers the devil's tool. Things like how the person uses it, VR, versatility and their desires.

Are there better lenses? Yes, but none offer equal features, vesatility and yes, quality. If someone is willing to sacrifice a little quality for an "all-in-one" solution, the 18-200 is just made for them. I would definately put a D40 owner in that class... as well as some D200 users... like me.

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