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Thread: Returning to photography after 8 years

  1. #1

    Default Returning to photography after 8 years

    Hi everyone, I'm new here.

    I used to do photography on film about 7-8 years ago, but retired because film prints and processing is expensive and quite a hassle. Recently, my friend has reignited my interest and I'm planning to get a new dSLR.

    My budget currently allows me to only get a new D90 or a used D300. I am planning to get the body only for both, as I have preference for other lenses.

    I won't be shooting much action/sports but my friend has been advising me to get the D300. Better ergonomics, faster autofocus, higher fps, and 51 autofocus points.

    The other factors which I am considering with regards to the body:
    1. Resale value = I reckon the new D90 has less resale value than a used D300. Useful when upgrading.
    2. D400 coming out = this may obsolete the D300.
    3. Money issue = it's the recession now. Trying to save as much as possible, but not compromising picture quality. HAHA!

    I have done some research and the plan for my new system is as follows:
    1. Body = new D90 or used D300. Still undecided.
    2. 1 Prime Lense = 50mm f1.4 or 50mm f1.8. Is the price difference worth it?
    3. 1 Zoom Lense = 18-200mm or 55-200mm. Is the price difference worth it?
    4. 1 Flash unit = SB600 or SB800
    5. 1 Tripod = no idea yet. any advice?
    6. 1 Camera bag = no idea too, any recommendations?

    This is the system I have in mind at the moment.

    Most of the photos which I will take are landscapes and portraits. Appreciate if you guys can provide your input.
    Last edited by happyfrog; 4th February 2009 at 02:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Member Lord Soth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    Hi there!

    You mentioned that your budget is limited to DX cameras such as the D90 or D300.

    Based on the reviews of users who were actively involved in film, they were never quite comfortable with the DX crop factor.

    I really recommend the FX camera as all your lenses will look like what they did in the good old film days!

    Perhaps you might want to reconsider getting an FX D700 instead?

    If I were on a tight budget, I'll go for a

    1. FX Route

    D700 and a Tamron 28-75 zoom lens to cover general usage such as landscapes and portraits.

    2. DX Route
    Either that or a D300 and a Tamron 17-50
    or D90 and Tamron 17-50 and use the difference for other photography essentials.

    If you want a DX camera, for your landscapes, you would have to settle for the 18-200 zoom as per your choices because the 55-200 range is not wide enough.

    BTW, I'm more of a landscape shooter than a bazooka zoom type of person.

    Just my 2cs worth.

    Cheers!
    | Nikon D700; AF-S 14-24 f/2.8GED; AF 20 f/2.8D; AF 50 f/1.4D; SB400| Tamron AF 28-75 f/2.8 A09NII|

  3. #3
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    I suggest getting something within the budget instead of making it tight or overstretching it.

    Within limits of affordability
    The (used) D300 will let u meter with ur older lenses ( ? Nikon ) But if not, and u dun need the faster fps or better AF, the D90 is a great contender. Resale value .. that was never in the equation for me. Price will probably depreciate quite abit for the D300 unless the used set is really selling at a steal.

    50mm 1.4 if u got the budget. The AFD 50mm version is pretty good.

    You pay the 18-200mm for the flexibility. IQ comparisons nothing much to nit pick differences over hyperzooms.

    On a budget the SB600 should fill up most of the typical uses i think .. SB800 might be extinct already unless the shops still have stock left over.

    Tripods .. You can do a search on the huge archive of threads discussing the various tripods. Again u need to factor in budget for the tripod and the head

    Bags depend on what kind u want, body sling ? shoulder sling ? waist pouches etc ...

    Ryan

  4. #4

    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Soth View Post
    Hi there!

    You mentioned that your budget is limited to DX cameras such as the D90 or D300.

    Based on the reviews of users who were actively involved in film, they were never quite comfortable with the DX crop factor.

    I really recommend the FX camera as all your lenses will look like what they did in the good old film days!

    Perhaps you might want to reconsider getting an FX D700 instead?

    If I were on a tight budget, I'll go for a

    1. FX Route

    D700 and a Tamron 28-75 zoom lens to cover general usage such as landscapes and portraits.

    2. DX Route
    Either that or a D300 and a Tamron 17-50
    or D90 and Tamron 17-50 and use the difference for other photography essentials.

    If you want a DX camera, for your landscapes, you would have to settle for the 18-200 zoom as per your choices because the 55-200 range is not wide enough.

    BTW, I'm more of a landscape shooter than a bazooka zoom type of person.

    Just my 2cs worth.

    Cheers!
    Thank you for your comprehensive reply. FX is way over my budget, so will just stick to DX instead.

    I haven't read much about the Tamron 17-50, but I will check it out. I am considering the 50mm as I like the speed and I will be shooting a lot of indoors and low lights as well.

    50mm (f1.8 or f1.4) prime: I intend to use that to shoot landscapes and portraits. Hopefully that would be wide enough for landscapes and have good bokeh for portraits.

    55-200mm: For portraits (better bokeh and less distortion with longer zoom?), and can be used to capture details when shooting landscapes.

    I read that the 18-200mm isn't good when set to 18mm. Results are just average when set at 18mm.

    I haven't really looked into 3rd party lenses. Any suggestions on any particular good (and not pricey) Sigma/Tokina/Tamron lense?

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    tamron 17-50 is a very popular choice paired with a 55-200, it will cover a very good range.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    I suggest getting something within the budget instead of making it tight or overstretching it.

    Within limits of affordability
    The (used) D300 will let u meter with ur older lenses ( ? Nikon ) But if not, and u dun need the faster fps or better AF, the D90 is a great contender. Resale value .. that was never in the equation for me. Price will probably depreciate quite abit for the D300 unless the used set is really selling at a steal.

    50mm 1.4 if u got the budget. The AFD 50mm version is pretty good.

    You pay the 18-200mm for the flexibility. IQ comparisons nothing much to nit pick differences over hyperzooms.

    On a budget the SB600 should fill up most of the typical uses i think .. SB800 might be extinct already unless the shops still have stock left over.

    Tripods .. You can do a search on the huge archive of threads discussing the various tripods. Again u need to factor in budget for the tripod and the head

    Bags depend on what kind u want, body sling ? shoulder sling ? waist pouches etc ...

    Ryan
    Hi Ryan,

    Appreciate your comments regarding the body. Nope, I don't have any more lenses. I sold everything away many years back as I thought I was retiring for good. I am attracted by how easy and accessible dSLRs have made for photographers, so here I am.. back into photography again.

    Yes, that many focus points and fast autofocus is not really an advantage when shooting landscapes and portraits, but better build and weather sealing is an advantage when shooting outdoors. I don't know how much better? Anybody have any problems with weather sealing on the D90? Also, I would like to know if the D90 is compatible with the 50mm (1.4 or 1.8) and 55-200mm?

    My concerns between the f1.4 and f1.8 are:
    1. Bokeh on f1.4 and f1.8 - which is better?
    2. How fast in same lighting conditions and ISO settings at widest aperture - how many stops faster?
    3. Sharpness, any difference? If so, how much different?

    Of course, the 70-200mm f2.8 would be ideal (as suggested by my friend again), but price is too heavy. I'm also considering the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 now, have to check the price first.

    As for the flash, I intend to experiment a bit with flash photography, would be good if I can use filters and other attachments (ie diffusers,etc). I heard that the SB800 has more than the SB600. I am not sure yet, have to find out more.

    For tripods and (shoulder sling) bags, I am looking for value for money items. Do you have recommendations on which is good for value and sturdy as well?

    I may sound a bit long winded, thank you for your patience. Really appreciate your input.

  7. #7
    Member Lord Soth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    Quote Originally Posted by happyfrog View Post
    Thank you for your comprehensive reply. FX is way over my budget, so will just stick to DX instead.

    I haven't read much about the Tamron 17-50, but I will check it out. I am considering the 50mm as I like the speed and I will be shooting a lot of indoors and low lights as well.

    50mm (f1.8 or f1.4) prime: I intend to use that to shoot landscapes and portraits. Hopefully that would be wide enough for landscapes and have good bokeh for portraits.
    A 50mm becomes 75mm on DX.

    Again, depending on your budget, the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 is really one of those rare primes which are cheap but exceptionally good.

    Get the more expensive f/1.4 AFD (or 1.4 AFS) only if your budget allows it.

    If you find the 50mm too wide on DX, you could also consider the Nikkor 35 f/2 prime lens, which becomes a "normal" lens under DX. The 35 f/2 prime lens is also one of those highly rated Nikkor prime lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by happyfrog View Post
    55-200mm: For portraits (better bokeh and less distortion with longer zoom?), and can be used to capture details when shooting landscapes.

    I read that the 18-200mm isn't good when set to 18mm. Results are just average when set at 18mm.
    How about the AFS 18-105 VR instead?

    A lot of reviewers and users claim that this zoom can replace one whole bunch of prime lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by happyfrog View Post
    I haven't really looked into 3rd party lenses. Any suggestions on any particular good (and not pricey) Sigma/Tokina/Tamron lense?
    Thanks again.
    The 2 Tamrons 17-50 and 28-75 which I quoted earlier on are highly rated, even by Canon users. They are that good!

    The 28-75 is an FX lens which can be used on DX too. Based on my experience with this lens, a good copy is sharp wide open at f/2.8. It becomes exceptionally sharp at f/4 onwards and is an optical match for the highly rated Nikkor 24-70 zoom from f/4 onwards.

    BTW: I recommend that you check out the lens reviews from the Photo Zone De website.

    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests

    Wish you happy shopping!
    | Nikon D700; AF-S 14-24 f/2.8GED; AF 20 f/2.8D; AF 50 f/1.4D; SB400| Tamron AF 28-75 f/2.8 A09NII|

  8. #8

    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    May I know how much the Tamron 17-50 and Tamron 28-75 cost respectively? Yup, I read the reviews, seems they are pretty good lenses.

    I just get to know several friends are getting pay cut. That sort of increased the price-weightage in all considerations.

    As of now, I am leaning a lot towards the 50mm f/1.4 despite costing 3x the price of the 50mm f/1.8.

    Looking at the economic situation, I am quite nervous to splurge now.

  9. #9
    Member Lord Soth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    Quote Originally Posted by happyfrog View Post
    May I know how much the Tamron 17-50 and Tamron 28-75 cost respectively? Yup, I read the reviews, seems they are pretty good lenses.

    I just get to know several friends are getting pay cut. That sort of increased the price-weightage in all considerations.

    As of now, I am leaning a lot towards the 50mm f/1.4 despite costing 3x the price of the 50mm f/1.8.

    Looking at the economic situation, I am quite nervous to splurge now.
    The 2 Tamrons should be around S$600 each.

    The 50 f/1.4AFD is around S$450.

    The prices have been steadily increasing in Singapore due to the strong Yen and so be prepared to pay more.
    | Nikon D700; AF-S 14-24 f/2.8GED; AF 20 f/2.8D; AF 50 f/1.4D; SB400| Tamron AF 28-75 f/2.8 A09NII|

  10. #10
    Member teoelisha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    hi.. am a d300 user and i think the d300 is a great body to work with. ergonomics, 51point AF, high FPS, etc. i've also got the tamron 17-50mm, and it's been serving me well. as for the 50mm, i'm using the f1.8 as i feel that the f1.4 is much too expensive. the f1.8 works well. got it 2nd hand off the buy/sell thread for about $150. so it's about a third the price of the f1.4. in this economic climate, it pays to be a little prudent with money. so my suggestion is to go for the d300, tammy 17-50mm & 50mm f1.8. cheers!
    JustOneSmile.that's all i need..

  11. #11
    Member teoelisha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    oh yes.. about the speedlight, SB-800 & SB-900 are my faves.. they're good.
    JustOneSmile.that's all i need..

  12. #12

    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Soth View Post
    The 2 Tamrons should be around S$600 each.

    The 50 f/1.4AFD is around S$450.

    The prices have been steadily increasing in Singapore due to the strong Yen and so be prepared to pay more.
    Thanks a lot. I heard that the price of Canon and Nikon products in Malaysia is not increasing. They are still steady, maybe can buy over the causeway to save some bucks. What you think?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    Quote Originally Posted by teoelisha View Post
    hi.. am a d300 user and i think the d300 is a great body to work with. ergonomics, 51point AF, high FPS, etc. i've also got the tamron 17-50mm, and it's been serving me well. as for the 50mm, i'm using the f1.8 as i feel that the f1.4 is much too expensive. the f1.8 works well. got it 2nd hand off the buy/sell thread for about $150. so it's about a third the price of the f1.4. in this economic climate, it pays to be a little prudent with money. so my suggestion is to go for the d300, tammy 17-50mm & 50mm f1.8. cheers!
    What I think about the pros of the D300 over the D90 which are applicable to me are:
    1. Ergonomics: Good feel (Applicable)
    2. Magnesium body: Higher durability I assume (Applicable)
    3. Weather sealing: Good when going outdoors (Applicable)
    4. Higher shutter lifespan: 150,000 compared to 100,000 (D90). (Applicable)
    4. 51 point AF: Good for 3D focusing, less lag. (Not really applicable)
    5. High FPS: Good for action/sports (Not really applicable)
    6. Better AF: Good for action/sports (Not really applicable)

    The pros of the D90 over the D300 are:
    1. Lighter weight: Good for travel
    2. Cheaper: Good for wallet in such times

    I don't see much of an upgrade from D90 to D300, as I foresee I won't be shooting much action/sports.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Returning to photography after 8 years

    Quote Originally Posted by teoelisha View Post
    oh yes.. about the speedlight, SB-800 & SB-900 are my faves.. they're good.
    I find the dimensions of the SB900 too big for my liking, hence the SB800. I believe they are fairly similar, in terms of features and power.

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