searching the right slf for me - need some help!


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lagom

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Jul 2, 2008
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#1
Hello everybody!

I've always liked to fotograph and now the time has come to buy my own digital SLF. Actually, I'm not an expert at all - I used to fotograph with my fathers 25 years old Nikon and I just used it like it was, I never thought about what to look at when I buy my own camera.

Here I am now, reading trough articles about digital SLF and I can't decide what would be suitable for me.

First I would like to explain my situation: I'm 19, so I'm not very rich, I saved some money and with that I could buy cameras up to 1000 Euros. More than that would probably be to much.
I'm planning to travel a half year in India, starting this autumn, so it's important that my future camera is good to use while travelling, that means not to heavy.


I don't know which price class I should stick to, there are SLF that cost only about 400,500 Euros and others who are about 800. How much does a dSLF beginner feel the difference?

I dont know why exactly, but for the moment the Olympus e420 seems to be something to me. Or maybe the Canon d450 or something like that?

So, what would you recommend to a young, travelling, not-extremely-rich photographer?

it's so hard to find the right thing in this photographers-jungle.

thank you a lot and many regards!

Salome
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#2
First off, it's "SLR", not "SLF". :)

This forum is based in Singapore, so please understand that we are not too sure about Euro pricing here.

More than price, make sure that the camera feels comfortable in your hands! In this regard, I can recommend you look at the Olympus e420, the Canon 450D, the Nikon D60 and the Sony A200. All of these cameras should be within your weight/budget, and the Sony and Olympus also have image stabilization built into the body.
 

ortega

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Staff member
Nov 2, 2004
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#3
which nikon does your father own

does he already have lenses that you can use?
what are they?

if you are on a budget then i'd suggest staying with nikon so that you can use your father's lenses as well

D60 kit is a good starter, please not that the D60 only auto focuses with lenses that have AFS
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#4
As Ortega has mentioned, if your father has some Nikon lenses from his old camera, it might be worthwhile to stick to the Nikon camp.
If the lenses are really old, you won't have any automatic function with them (i.e. no exposure metering, and definitely no auto-focus). But you will still be able to take photos with the old lenses. Just requires a bit more trial-and-error ;)

My conclusion from your post is:
travelling = light-weight camera
not extremely rich = budget-conscious

for about 500 euros, a Nikon D60 kit is easily within reach. Maybe you can consider a Nikon D40 kit (brand new or used is also ok) to save some extra $ for other accessories like flash, extra lenses, etc. D40 and D60 requires the newer lenses with AF-S specification in order to have auto-focus ability.
 

Simon_84

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Mar 18, 2004
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#5
get a d80 so you wont missed the AF function with your father's old lens but the downside is that is bigger, heavier and more expensive than d40/d40x/d60.

else get the cheaper d60 cause the rangefinder function helps to MF faster and easier.
the rangefinder feature is available in dpreview.com under the review for d60.

the d40/d40x does not have this function so you would have to depend on the small green dot at the bottom left hand corner of the viewfinder for focus indication.

for vacation, normally i dont take so much zoom shots, so i'll go with the cheap walk-about AF-S 18-70mm (d70 kit lens).
if you can pick up a second hand lens, it will be cheaper.
 

lagom

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Jul 2, 2008
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#6
:D wow, thank you, already so many replies.

@ Rashkae: haha, It was supposed to happen that I mix up the abbreviation. ;) I'm german speaking and in the english vocabulary not very good, so first I had to look up the word for this tipe of camera, and then obviously I still managed to mix it up. :dunno:

My father owns a very old nikon, Nikon F2. I don't think that his lenses, are still usable for digital cameras, or ar they? He's got a couple of lenses, like a macro, "normal ones" and several zooms. The lenses are not automatic at all. Everything pure handwork... So I think I will have to buy new lenses anyway. I guess that I won't afford many lenses, so I would need a basic lense that has to work.

Sorry for the Euro-mess. 1 Euro = 1.57800 U.S. dollars. So my maximal budget is about 1300 Dollar, maybe a little bit more but I'm happy when it's under... ;)

So I'll have a look at the cameras proposed by you. Can you might give me some what I should especially look at when choosing a camera? How do I find a suitable lense?

Thank you!!!

many regards,

Salome
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#7
:D wow, thank you, already so many replies.

@ Rashkae: haha, It was supposed to happen that I mix up the abbreviation. ;) I'm german speaking and in the english vocabulary not very good, so first I had to look up the word for this tipe of camera, and then obviously I still managed to mix it up. :dunno:
Ach so! Na dann ist ja alles klar. :)

Hmmm.... with that budget, you're looking at about 2000 SGD. You could easily get a very good kit set for that, like a Sony A200 + Carl Zeiss 16-80 or an A350 with 2 lenses...

Kann aber wirklich nur ueber sony reden, denn ich schiesse normalerweise nicht mit den anderen Marken. Aber ich bin mit meiner Entscheidung sehr sehr zufrieden. :)
 

ZerocoolAstra

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Mar 13, 2008
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#8
Ach so! Na dann ist ja alles klar. :)

Hmmm.... with that budget, you're looking at about 2000 SGD. You could easily get a very good kit set for that, like a Sony A200 + Carl Zeiss 16-80 or an A350 with 2 lenses...

Kann aber wirklich nur ueber sony reden, denn ich schiesse normalerweise nicht mit den anderen Marken. Aber ich bin mit meiner Entscheidung sehr sehr zufrieden. :)
Sorry me no speakie Deutsch...! :)
Anyway, to answer Salome's questions:

1) The lenses used on your father's F2 can be fitted onto a Nikon DSLR (eg. D40/D60/D80). If they are very old lenses, you will have to focus and calculate the exposure manually. Which is not really a big problem, especially for gaining experience! :) Auto-focus and metering are very useful when you need to take photos in a hurry (eg. events, sports). For landscapes, you can afford a bit more time to test shoot many exposures.

2) One of the most important things when choosing a camera is that it feels good to hold (so that you'll WANT to take it everywhere) and the menu system is easy to operate. The other important point is the availability of accessories (lenses, flash, etc) that suit your requirement. The MOST important point is that the camera must be within your budget :)

*My recommendation is either Nikon D40/D60/D80 with the kit lens, and go from there. Do consider 2nd hand cameras to save some $$.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#9
Ach so! Na dann ist ja alles klar. :)

Hmmm.... with that budget, you're looking at about 2000 SGD. You could easily get a very good kit set for that, like a Sony A200 + Carl Zeiss 16-80 or an A350 with 2 lenses...

Kann aber wirklich nur ueber sony reden, denn ich schiesse normalerweise nicht mit den anderen Marken. Aber ich bin mit meiner Entscheidung sehr sehr zufrieden. :)
Sorry me no speakie Deutsch...! :)
Anyway, to answer Salome's questions:

1) The lenses used on your father's F2 can be fitted onto a Nikon DSLR (eg. D40/D60/D80). If they are very old lenses, you will have to focus and calculate the exposure manually. Which is not really a big problem, especially for gaining experience! :) Auto-focus and metering are very useful when you need to take photos in a hurry (eg. events, sports). For landscapes, you can afford a bit more time to test shoot many exposures.

2) One of the most important things when choosing a camera is that it feels good to hold (so that you'll WANT to take it everywhere) and the menu system is easy to operate. The other important point is the availability of accessories (lenses, flash, etc) that suit your requirement. The MOST important point is that the camera must be within your budget :)

3) suitable lens is determined by what sort of photography you like, and what your budget is.

*My recommendation is either Nikon D40/D60/D80 with the kit lens, and go from there. Do consider 2nd hand cameras to save some $$. With this bundle, you'll have a good camera body, a kit lens with either 18-55mm or 18-135mm coverage, and also have a macro lens and whatever from your father's camera. Once you become more experienced, you can shop around for better lenses.
 

lagom

New Member
Jul 2, 2008
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#10
about my budget: I COULD spend that much, but I'm very happy when it would be less. Like 1000 Dollar would be "enough", too. As I will travel later in India, I do need every Cent.

So I'm looking for a camera that suits me, It doesn't need to be the best but a good one, so that I won't regret buying the camera soon. How "big" is the difference between a cheaper camera like the olympus e420 and a more expensive one like the canon eos 450? Would I notice a big difference even as a beginner in dSLR fotography?

how important do you think is it to buy the "newest" camera model? I'm not sure, as digital cameras did improve extremely much during the last years, I feel a little bit insecure with buying a second hand camera. I don't want a "slow" camera etc. . What have been the biggest improvement in the last year, like where is the difference between older cameras and the new ones? Of course I do consider to buy second hand lenses, I think that's less problematic.

Questions over Questions...thank you! :)
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#11
Newest is absolutely not important. You could get a nice second-hand 400D or A100 and get fantastic results.

If you're going to me massively concerned about "which is better" it's best to narrow it down to 2 or 3 cameras, then read the reviews on dpreview and decide from there.
 

gymak90

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Jan 5, 2008
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#12
You need not get new sets for everything, especially if you think you are on a tight budget.

The lenses your dad owns, may still be able to fit on current Nikon cameras. However take note, if the lenses are of pre-AI version (very old ones, but who knows, it might be those your dad have), they can only be mounted on D40/D60.
Using the old lenses have their disadvantages. You may not be able to Auto Focus nor get metering. So in essence, you have to Manual Focus and set your exposure manually.

Given that D40/D60 are great cameras for beginners and they are well within your budget, do consider them. As for your question on the price differences, I guess it's due to the build quality, functionality and some additional features. So make sure you get what you need, and not the extras that you don't need.

The biggest improvement last year? Perhaps the introduction of LiveView? Well actually to me, there isn't much difference between an old and new dslrs. They work pretty much the same, though the new ones would sport bigger lcd screens, brighter viewfinders, more user-friendly etc.

There are plenty of cameras out there, do a closer inspection. I would suggest you save money and get good lenses to churn out good pictures. :)
 

lagom

New Member
Jul 2, 2008
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#13
Hello,

I talked today with my dad and he thinks that I don't HAVE to stuck to Nikon, as his lenses are very old. I can't classify them. I found in a D40 booklet which lenses could be used, but I couldn't identify the lenses I've got. One of them I'm having right beside me, it's written on it :
Zoom-NIKKOR 28~50 mm 1:3.5 188571 and HOYA 52mm Skylight [18] Japan. Do you think I could still use it on a new camera? (Probably I won't anyway as it is the most "standard" lense I've got... ;) Somewhere I've read something about "F- ..." (I don't remember the right word anylonger) and that all lenses of this type do suit the new cameras, maybe you have to MF but they would work at least.

But anyway, I would say I'm open to every camera-brand, in India I won't carry too many lenses anyway and after India I will earn money to buy additional lenses, in case that I need them (or I buy some in India on the black market ;) ) . So which brand would you reccommend me then? Price/value is very important, maybe too if there are secondhand lenses available, and the camera should be "tiny".

I've heard good things about Pentax. (many secondhand lenses for instance) What do you think about them? Do they have a good "beginner-camera"?

What do you think about Olympus, especially the E420, and even generally?

I need reccomendations... :cool:
Thank you! :D
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#14
Pentax, Sony and Olympus are all good choices. :)
 

felixcat8888

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May 8, 2005
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#15
If you are still keen to use your dad's old lenses, you can still do so but you cannot autofocus only. Need to manually focus on the lens barrel to see the pic clearly.

the Pentax is also another good brand. K200D is affordable too.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#16
Hello,

I talked today with my dad and he thinks that I don't HAVE to stuck to Nikon, as his lenses are very old. I can't classify them. I found in a D40 booklet which lenses could be used, but I couldn't identify the lenses I've got. One of them I'm having right beside me, it's written on it :
Zoom-NIKKOR 28~50 mm 1:3.5 188571 and HOYA 52mm Skylight [18] Japan. Do you think I could still use it on a new camera? (Probably I won't anyway as it is the most "standard" lense I've got... ;) Somewhere I've read something about "F- ..." (I don't remember the right word anylonger) and that all lenses of this type do suit the new cameras, maybe you have to MF but they would work at least.

But anyway, I would say I'm open to every camera-brand, in India I won't carry too many lenses anyway and after India I will earn money to buy additional lenses, in case that I need them (or I buy some in India on the black market ;) ) . So which brand would you reccommend me then? Price/value is very important, maybe too if there are secondhand lenses available, and the camera should be "tiny".

I've heard good things about Pentax. (many secondhand lenses for instance) What do you think about them? Do they have a good "beginner-camera"?

What do you think about Olympus, especially the E420, and even generally?

I need reccomendations... :cool:
Thank you! :D
Your Nikkor zoom lens 28-50mm f3.5 sounds like not a bad range to have.
Of course if you got a D40 or D60kit, the kit lens (18-55mm f3.5-5.6) would cover more than that.
You mentioned that your dad has a macro lens for his old Nikon, am I right? I've used my dad's Tamron macro lens (for his old Nikon FM... 1970s model!) on my Nikon D80, and managed to get some nice macro shots. Of course it requires more trial and error, but it can still produce some good results. With the LCD, it is instant feedback. Too dark, adjust shutter or aperture and try again. Within 4 or 5 shots, you should be able to get the right exposure.

So, of course you don't HAVE to stick to Nikon, but wouldn't it be nice to buy a D40/D60/D80 kit and suddenly have 3 or 4 lenses to use? ;)
Any lens using Nikon's F-mount can be fitted onto a Nikon DSLR.

For your travels, carry the kit lens (18-55mm) and that's it. Play with the other lenses when you are at home.
 

~Arcanic~

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2005
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#18
I'm not a nikon user so I can't guide you much on the lenses side, but a quick suggestion would be to go for a camera brand that has a wider range of lenses e.g. nikon/canon etc, olympus and pentax are all great too, at the end of the day, the best is to just go to a camera shop, have a feel of those cameras in your hand and see how they feel to you. :)
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#19
Check out this link http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_zoom_02.html
for more information. Your Zoom-Nikkor 28-50 lens is in that range, so I'm sure it is of the F-mount.
Actually I don't know how to answer your question with a definite answer. As far as I know, all the Nikon/Nikkor lenses made in the past 2 or 3 decades are for the F-mount. The mount hasn't changed from the Nikon SLRs of old... :)

How do I see if the lenses I've got have this F-mount?

:think:
 

lagom

New Member
Jul 2, 2008
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#20
Hello,

I went to a shop today and I've seen there a special offer: (for sale)

an Olympus E400 or E410 with two lenses: 15-55 and 55-200 for 650 $.

What do you think of that? Which camera is better? the 400 or 410?

and another question: I'm wondering, when I'm travelling will I always have the wrong lense on? ;) Or am I able to shoot "normal" pictures with both lenses?
 

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