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Just ordered a used Nikon D50... now what? (slr newbie)
I found a used Nikon D50 w/ a 55-200mm zoom lens for $300 so I decided to finally jump into the DSLR ring and quick watching from the sidelines. The camera came bare with the body, lens and battery. So, I've ordered a charger, I already have plently of the USB cables that are needed. I found the manual online and have it downloaded. I also ordered a 2GB SD memory card (Kingston)..

This is my first DSLR and I'm a complete newb when it comes to true photography. So, I'd like to see if the knowledgable people here could help me out with my next steps. I will, of course, read the manual. But what else should I do to prepare myself to start taking decent pictures (I know I won't be taking "good" pictures until I have some experience). Is there anything else that I need to purchase (NOTE: I'm on a pretty tight budget... I can probably spend another $100 - $150 on this stuff for now).

I should probably back up just a bit to discuss what kind of pics i'll be taking. I'm the proud father of a 2.5 year old. I will primarliy be taking family pictures both indoor and outdoor..

Thanks in advance for your help..

Comments (11)

Cbono2000 wrote:.

I found a used Nikon D50 w/ a 55-200mm zoom lens for $300 so Idecided to finally jump into the DSLR ring and quick watching fromthe sidelines. The camera came bare with the body, lens and battery.So, I've ordered a charger, I already have plently of the USB cablesthat are needed. I found the manual online and have it downloaded.I also ordered a 2GB SD memory card (Kingston)..

This is my first DSLR and I'm a complete newb when it comes to truephotography. So, I'd like to see if the knowledgable people herecould help me out with my next steps. I will, of course, read themanual. But what else should I do to prepare myself to start takingdecent pictures (I know I won't be taking "good" pictures until Ihave some experience). Is there anything else that I need topurchase (NOTE: I'm on a pretty tight budget... I can probably spendanother $100 - $150 on this stuff for now).

I should probably back up just a bit to discuss what kind of picsi'll be taking. I'm the proud father of a 2.5 year old. I willprimarliy be taking family pictures both indoor and outdoor..

Thanks in advance for your help.

If the 55-200 is the only lens you're getting with the camera, you'll need something wider to shoot anything inside. What you have is telephoto to a lot of telephoto. The typical Nikon "normal" lens is an 18-55, which will at least let you stay in the same room as your subject..

You should actually be able to do quite well with just that additional purchase..

Leonard Migliore..

Comment #1

You want one of these....

Http://cgi.ebay.com/...QQcategoryZ152383QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem.

... as people 'upgrade' their starter DSLR kits, the 18-55 lenses tend to appear cheaply on ebay. This is the standard zoom range that will be most useful on a day-to-day basis. The Nikon one is pretty good and as Leonard said will be all you need to start with in conjunction with your telephoto..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #2

Or better yet, join a photography club (camera clubs can be a bit humbling for those with humble gear...) Yes Martha, that was a joke. Seriously, there's nothing like others' input to help you improve. If you can, try a couple of groups to find the 'best fit'..

The second-best way is to shoot lots and self-critique. One downside of that is that it's hard to divorce yourself from your images, leading to the almost inevitable 'Gee I'm great, everything's perfect' attitude, when it's usually fairly ordinary. The other side of that is of course that some are their own hardest critics, and quite presentable work is often relegated to the bin, just because 'It's not my best'. You will need to excercise some restraint in your climb to the top, but if you can be honest with yourself, it's not a bad way to get there..

Books from the library are free and can help teach you all you need to know about the actual image making/taking process - the basics of aperture, ISO, shutter speed and focal length haven't changed, even if the image recorder has. There are specialist books around that will give you specific help with your camera model.

Http://www.bythom.com/d50guide.htm.

Is a good place to start. I have his D200 guide and it's awesome. You will also find books about digital technique in your local library, or you can have a squizz at some of the many magazines on the newsagents' shelves; be selective here - some are very good, some wouldn't even make good toilet paper. Look inside and be as critical as you like - it's your money after all..

And as a last resort, there's always the internkob. Trawling through it's murky depths will provide all sorts of many-tentacled creatures just waiting to advise you as to the correct path. Look around, you may be surprised - the D50 group here is pretty friendly, so ask them for help as and when it's required..

HTHRob.

Everyone, everywhere, has to do everything for a first time. There is no shame in failure, only in failure to try...

Comment #3

Do you guys think it would be better to buy the 18-55mm lens, or to sell the 55-200 lens that I have and use the combined money to purchase some other lens. Maybe something that's either a little better or has a range that handles close ups and zooms?..

Comment #4

Leonard Migliore wrote:.

You should actually be able to do quite well with just thatadditional purchase..

Leonard Migliore.

And maybe a flash if money would allow...

Comment #5

I would get the cheap 18-55 on Ebay, then just go out and take pictures...LOTS of pictures. You will soon find out what you like and dislike about them and also their strengths and limitations...

Comment #6

Cbono2000 wrote:.

Do you guys think it would be better to buy the 18-55mm lens, or tosell the 55-200 lens that I have and use the combined money topurchase some other lens. Maybe something that's either a littlebetter or has a range that handles close ups and zooms?.

55-200mm is a bit too long for indoors photo's. You may want keep the zoom for outdoors work and buy a second hand fixed focal length 50mm or a bit wider (like 28 or 35mm) for indoor work. Look at B&H photo and KEH.com for reputable used equipment..

Read books and associate with other photographers is the best and least expensive advice. Learn about light and composition, and enjoy...

Comment #7

Your first reply got it about right..

For photos of your 2.5 year old you needs something more wide angle than 55-200. The lenses to look at are:.

Nikon18-5518-7018-135.

Sigma17-70.

You should be able to pick up one of those used for a good price. If you can get an 18-70 within your budget that would be a better lens than the 18-55 (more reach). There are other good lenses but they will cost you more. All 4 of the above are in plentiful supply and demand for them used is modest (18-135 will have highest demand)..

I think you will struggle with a prime lens as your only lens under 55mm. Look for one of the 4 above and start shooting..

I would not get rid of the 55-200 to fund a shorter lens. It is about the least expensive tele zoom available..

Other thing to purchase:.

A rocket blower and lens pen. They will not cost you much..

Once you have two lenses next priority will be an external flash. If you remain on a tight budget get the Nikon SB-400. It will help you to get much better pics of you 2.5 year old without breaking the bank..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #8

Wow, thanks for the list of lenses and for the advice. This definitely gives me some to look for..

Are other brands of lenses typically pretty good? Liike Sigma and Tamron?..

Comment #9

That's an eternal question. The answer is both yes and no. Independent lens makers can easily make fine lenses. But you also get what you pay for in terms of durability..

An easy guy to read who won't stir up controversy here is Thom Hogan. His site is.

Http://www.bythom.com.

A more controversial but plainspoken guy is Ken Rockwell. He does have a tendency to praise or pan cameras he's never used, or plan on using. So cross reference what he says but don't discount him. Hi site is.

Http://www.kenrockwell.com.

Since it's a D50 and not a D40, you're not restricted to lenses that have an internal motor..

A good rule of thumb for the used market (or eBay) is to look at KEH.com. They typically sell high-end used gear and grade very conservatively. But it's also the highest price you should ever pay for any used item..

There may be a slew of 18-55s hitting the used market if people choose to upgrade to the 18-55 VR or the 16-85 VR..

Have fun.

'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #10

Cbono2000 wrote:.

Do you guys think it would be better to buy the 18-55mm lens, or tosell the 55-200 lens that I have and use the combined money topurchase some other lens. Maybe something that's either a littlebetter or has a range that handles close ups and zooms?.

The 55-200 won't sell for much unless it's the VR version. Just add one of the 18-xx lenses. Even the 18-55 is a great lens and should cost less than $100 on Ebay. It's $120 new, which includes 5 year warranty in the US. I wouldn't sell the 55-200 unless it was to finance an 18-135...

Comment #11

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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