Nikon D80 kit lens question

RKW3

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The Nikon D80 offers a lens in a kit. Is it worth getting that or should I buy the camera body only and save for a better lens?

Also, the mm number it shows means how far the lens can zoom, right? (I know I sound stupid asking that question, just never happened to learn it as this is my first SLR I'm about to purchase.)
 

sabbath999

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It depends on the kit lens. If it is offered with an 18-55 then it is worth it as a starter lens. If it is the 18-135, I would skip it (simply because those lenses are WAY too expensive for what they are).
 

bellavita64

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Actually, I got the 18-135 with my D80, and I really like it. It was a great all-purpose starter lens and I still use it. I bought it about six months ago and got a good deal on it. It really depends on what you plan on shooting and your shooting style. I shoot almost 100% fully manual, so speed is not an issue for me. However, low light is. That is the only limitation I have found with the 18-135 is that the maximum aperture is too small (3.5 @ 18mm and 5.6 @ 135mm). I have since bought an 11-18mm wide angle and I just picked up my "nifty-fifty" yesterday (50mm prime w/ 1.4 max aperture for our newbie OP). I think it will become my immediate favorite, because I am a huge fan of selective focus. If you don't think you will want/need a zoom (all of the kit lenses are some type of zoom with so-so max aperture), then I would recommend buying just the body and getting a prime lens. You can't beat the sharpness (or speed if you do auto-focus). But make sure you get SOMETHING because it would be a real bummer to have that great camera body and no lens to start shooting!
 

sabbath999

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I shoot almost 100% fully manual, so speed is not an issue for me. However, low light is. That is the only limitation I have found with the 18-135 is that the maximum aperture is too small (3.5 @ 18mm and 5.6 @ 135mm).

When people in photography say a lens is "slow", they are not talking about how fast it focuses or anything like that... they are saying that the maximum aperture is small...

What you are describing (3.5-5.6 apertures) is what folks mean by "slow".

Simply an FYI.

The 18-135 isn't a bad lens, you can take good pictures with it. The reason I don't care for it is that you are paying $300ish for a slow lens without VR that is made mostly out of plastic (the body of the lens, not the glass).

For $300 it should have VR and a metal lens mount, IMHO.
 

m1a1fan

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I'm currently using the 18-55 that came with my D80. I like it. I generally find myself between f/5.6 and f/11 and I think this lens is at it's sharpest around f/8.

The build quality is a bit lacking but what do you expect for a kit lens. If you take care of it it'll last you a couple years until you can scratch more cash together for a better lens.

I also have the 55-200 VR & 50mm f/1.8
 
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RKW3

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Thanks for your replies everyone, I appreciate it.
happy0192.gif
 

Sweetsomedays

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I hardly use mine. Once I got my 50mm f/1.8 my kit lens just sits in my bag...
 
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RKW3

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WOA I just looked at a 500mm lens for the heck of it and they were all thousands and thousands of dollars. Are all good 500mm lenses this much?

I saw some Sigma ones for like 1,000. Would that lens still produce good results?
 

sabbath999

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I have the Sigma "BigMa" 50-500 zoom.

I call it "the beast" and it is a decent lens... but absolutely, positively in no way does it compare to one of those big Nikon 500mm primes.

For $1,000 it does pretty good though.

I went into my library and pulled up the first picture I found shot wide open at 500mm. This particular shot isn't all that good (blown out highlights) because the bird was backlighted, but you can see that the lens is at least moderately sharp. It was also shot through a black wire fence, which affects sharpness significantly.

Long focal lengths help blow through fencing really well.

500sigma.jpg
 
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RKW3

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Thank you again sabbath, I appreciate you taking the time to help me out here.

I will have a look at those sigma lenses, hopefully I can find a used one or somethin cheap, and it doesn't necessarily have to be 500mm. Just something that can get me some fairly close NFL action shots or somethin. (I go to all Chargers games)

Yeah sabbath, that image definitely looks serviceable for that type of zoom. Thanks.

New question: Now I have been looking at that 50 mm f 1.8 lens that Sweetsomedays pointed out. It looks pretty good, but since it has only 50 mm that means it can't zoom right?

But I found one for only like 150-200 dollars on B&H, and I read the reviews people gave that particular lens and they said it was a must have for the price. So this type of lens would excel in macros/ low light shots right?
 

sabbath999

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That's right, the 50mm 1.8 can't zoom. They are, however, both very sharp and cheap. I have one, it should run about $114 for USA warranty and $104 for gray market (basically 5 year warranty vs. one year warranty)

Nifty Fify Clicky

Want an excellent cheap option for a zoom lens? I have one of these and it is sharp as a tack:

Tamron 70-300 Macro

I have posted these before, but her they are again... a couple shots I took on a D80 with the Tamron:

WL1.jpg


WL8.jpg
 

m1a1fan

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New question: Now I have been looking at that 50 mm f 1.8 lens that Sweetsomedays pointed out. It looks pretty good, but since it has only 50 mm that means it can't zoom right?

But I found one for only like 150-200 dollars on B&H, and I read the reviews people gave that particular lens and they said it was a must have for the price. So this type of lens would excel in macros/ low light shots right?

To answer the first part of your question, no the lens cannot zoom. It's a prime lens and is fixed at 50mm. With the 1.5x factor on the Nikon D80 it's more like 75mm.

To answer the second part of your question, the lens does excel in low light situations because it's "fast". You can get that Aperture open all the way to f/1.8.

As far as a Macro is concerned, I'm not sure.

Sabbath beat me :lol:

This shot was taken with my 18-55. Looks great at 12x18 on my wall.

DSC_0189_8_tonemappedwithboarder.jpg
 
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RKW3

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Thanks sabbath for your continued help, I am very grateful. Both of those links you provided are very helpful, I'm especially interested in that Tamron. The 300mm should be a nice zoom. It looks like the price is affordable also.

m1a1fan, thank you too! Your answers give me a better understanding of things now.
 

sabbath999

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Thanks sabbath for your continued help, I am very grateful. Both of those links you provided are very helpful, I'm especially interested in that Tamron. The 300mm should be a nice zoom. It looks like the price is affordable also.

m1a1fan, thank you too! Your answers give me a better understanding of things now.

Look for that Tamron on eBay from Cameta camera...

Ebay Ckicky

I have bought several cameras from them, they are very good. You can get it for a lot less than the price B&H sells it for.
 

JerryPH

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The kit lenses work no doubt, but I just do not like them.

People say it takes great pics, but until you take the same picture with 2 lenses side by side, you won't really know how bad they are and what you are really missing.

I had a chance to take a few pics with the Nikkor 18-55 kit lens and it was sadly... an absolute joke. Compared to the pics taken with my Sigma 18-50 side by side, the Nikkor lens looked faded, lightly blurred (it was NOT out of focus!) and the colours were not crisp. If you zoomed the pic on the monitor, the situation became even worse. I used it once becuase it was a loaner while my 18-200 was getting checked out and I had no desire to use it a second time. Yes, to me it was that bad.

The Sigma is more expensive, but dammit, you have a D80, a near thousand dollar camera... why put a lens on it that will result in pictures who's quality will be about the same as a $200 point and shoot camera?

Kit lenses are for people who are extreme beginners that either do not know better or do not care about the results of their pics.

Once you slap on a good lens on your camera and see the effects, you will honestly feel sorry about spending that $300 on a cheap lens. That money could have been placed towards a proper lens that gives you way better results and will serve you well for years.

As a general example, I do not consider the 18-200 a kit lens, but had I known about the 70-200VR, I would have had that in my bag instead. As it is, I will be ordering my version of it likely in January after the Christmas rush and spending spree. The money that I invested in the 18-200, well thats basically money lost, even though the 18-200 is a very good lens, its not a lens really worthy of my D200's capabilities when compared side by side.

It's all about doing your homework... reading articles, reading reviews on the net, talking to people that have it, looking at pictures taken with that lens critically and doing lots of shopping around for a fair price and good service.
 

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