finally making the plunge-
Have not as of yet purchased a digital SLR. purchased point+ shoot canons over the years as the kids were born, and they have served well- but I have a hunger to be able to take " real" pictures again with real lenses. I am not a professional, but I have a good depth of knowledge, and get deep into the piece of equipment I am using. last film camer was a nikon 6006 that I have had for a billion years- it has done well for me over the years as well. Have a bunch of older nikon lenses- nikkor 16mm fisheye- manual. 80-200ed 2.8 , manual 24mm 2.0 have read myself sick, and finally have a few questions if you would indulge. If sticking with nikon( I hate to part with these lenses, if only for the funds invloved) then it seems my choices are d80 or d200...

Comments (9)

"1. do either of these systems have a visible in camera light meter? something to be able to set aperture with on the manual lenses?" Of course. Still you should ceck the Nikon site to see if your lenses are compatible with those bodies. I know with the 80-400VR it has to be set in the smallest aperture to allow the camera to control aperture. ". do you think that the fisheye will translate properly? will it look the same as on my SLR?" No all the lenses will get the FOV crop of 1.6x the focal length "am I better off just starting over and abandoning these lenses?" not if they are compatible with the body, even if not sell them on eBay " do these newer lenses available compare- lens speed is lens speed no?" ..."no" you have to factor in the extra FL that they get from the FOV crop especially if they are not IS lenses.

Can you replace a zoom lense like to 80-200ed with something newer that is not as fast and get the same beautiful pictures?" sure if you use a tripod the problem is that a fullframe lens will not give optimal sharpness on a subframe body and vice versa. It'll be "ok" but not as good as it was on the 35mm body that you shot it on before...

Comment #1

"dare I mention even switching to another line like Canon? I know that that is simply a matter of opinion as to thta last line- but is this perhaps the time to make the switch and see what happens?" you can always try Canon, you'll have similar problems plus the inherent difference between Canon and Nikon design and engineering "4. I realize the d80 does not allow for rear screen viewing to compose. I think I would want this. does not having this piss you all off?.

Then I am at the d200. " doesn't bother me one bit, but I prefer to shoot with the viewfinder.

In any case it doesn't hurt to take a few extra shots to check framing. "thanks for any input here. I am willing to spend dough on a new body, and even see if I can package a newer smaller zoom lens. I guess I'm trying to ask, other than the few specific tech questions, what you all would do in my position. would the d80 or d200 take care of me with these lenses? if I di dnot have these lenses, I would be examining much harder canon for sure, to see waht my options were." ....if you want to get the most out of those lenses you're going to have to look at a D3. If you want to get the most out of your money in terms of a new Nikon body, that means picking the best body at the best price for you and getting lenses to match it.

Don't get hooked on your lenses...pick the body that you want and trade your lenses to buy what you need for that new body...

Comment #2

Re: Johnny B, my two cents: I recently purchased a D60, as I have old Nikon film optics, with the thought of using these on the digital body. Yes it works. Manual everything. I don't need a light meter because I can guess at the exposure under normal circumstances to within a stop or so and just shoot and adjust the exposure. A handheld light meter would reduce the number of iterations but I have all but given up on the old optics. The new VR lens (kit 18-55VR) is slower (f#)than some of the old Nikon glass but the VR makes up for the speed.

Your optics may be better but I agree with TG87 that the optics developed for subframes is likely going to be sharper than optics that have been developed and optimized for the 35mm format. I'm sure there are some high end exception$. I thought I'd miss the live view/tilt screen of my Canon a650 (point and shoot). Well, what I miss is the sharpness and easy shooting nature of the a650 ! Actually, I think through the lens framing is easy to get used to and forces me back into the previsualization mindset I used to have when shooting film. Since I brought up the comparison: The a650 is sharper, lighter/more portable, great zoom range (6x) and at $300 you can take it anywhere and not have to worry (who's going to mug you for a homely p+s !).

If I ever want to get the resolution and focal length of my a650, I can cough up the additonal $600-800 for a decent AF, VR lens...

Comment #3

"If I ever want to get the resolution and focal length of my a650, I can cough up the additonal $600-800 for a decent AF, VR lens." ...the problem then being that you'd need about a 20-135mm VR lens in DX mount to get the 35-210mm VR that you get with the a650. Plus you'd lose 2 stops in speed in trying to match the sharpness of the p&s lens. There's no guarantee that it will do so even at F8, throughout the zoom range. Buying good lenses for a DSLR and using them well is no easy task and trying to mate FF lenses to a subframe has inherent compromises beyond that...

Comment #4

"Your optics may be better but I agree with TG87 that the optics developed for subframes is likely going to be sharper than optics that have been developed and optimized for the 35mm format. I'm sure there are some high end exception$." I doubt that.....for a scientific example of this just look at the recent reviews of the Canon and Nikon 70-200 lenses on slrgear where they test both on subframes and fullframes. I would think that the higher the quality of the lens, the better that it is optimized for a given sensor-size, and the greater the discrepancy between sf and ff performance. It might however be "ok" even in a mismatch condition. Comparable to the same lens shot wide-open on the proper sensor. But there's no way around the lack of IS, that alone will cost 3 maybe 4 stops of speed.

This does position Sony very well for a fullframe DSLR, vs Nikon with years of DX lenses. The one problem being that a FF DSLR doesn't fit into their low-cost model. Also there's a lack of antireflective coatings on some alpha lenses that will come back to haunt the owners when they try to shoot them on a DSLR under lights...

Comment #5

Re: Full frame vs subframe optics: "I'm sure there are some high end exception$" Really just a guess on my part and hoping that someone out there would offer an example of a really fine ff Nikon lens to support this statement...

Comment #6's almost a nonissue as you'll do whatever is necessary to get as sharp a shot as possible out of a lens and camera combination regardless of what that combination actually is...

Comment #7

Used D200 bodies are going for about $750-800 right now, as many "gear junkies" are selling them to move up to the D300 or D700/D3. I've had mine for about 2 years and I'm very satisfied with it. Try to find one with less than 10,000 shutter actuations. I'd suggest or as excellent sources. KEH offers a liberal return policy. If buying new, the D90 is the way to go.

The 70-300 VR is nice value. There are quite a few 18-200s on the used market now. I've decided to wait at least another six months before buying another body. I'd like to see if the price drops on the D700, as I'd really like to go full frame in order to take advantage of my wide angle lenses, but I'll probably keep the D200 for long tele shooting...

Comment #8

I agree that getting a good used D200 is a great way to go digital if you have a good Nikon film camera like me with good old 1980 dollars invested into 50mm F/1.4 and wide angle lens.

Manual F mount will work with the D200, D300 series.

I have a tech guy who worked at a camera store who can make a small modification that allows manual-focus lens with F-mount to work with a D200 so that the lens can couple to the thru' the lens meter system. The D40, D60, D90 will not work with this modification...

Comment #9

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