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Your expereince hands on with your kit
Hi all!.

I have just purchased a Nikon D80 with 18-135mm lens. I have done a lot of trawling through the forums and reading books however I prefer trying things hands on. Sadly I cannot afford to buy and try all the potential kit. And everyone on here Im sure has experience with different kit..

All I am wondering is bascially.....

I will be doing a combination of the following:Close up/Macro of insects/flowersLandscape shots - Live right by darmoor and the sea Portrait/ModellingNight shots.

I saved a good amount of money when buying the D80 so I have some money left over to spend. Therefore is there anything you all would recommend me to purchase to assist/improve what I currently have, consdiering the types of photography I am going to be doing? I am asking from your experience as photographers and using your kit what do you find useful?.

My after thoughts are:.

I am after good quality for a sensible budget, so something along the lines of Nikkor Lenses, Hoya filters, Nikon Flashes as from reading they seem to be very good kit for sensible prices..

I really appreaciate everyones views, as compaired to many of you I have little experience of using different kit and what is best for what..

Also on a different note apart from the apature what is the difference between the three below, Im asking rather than going crazy and thinking of buying them! Just trying to understand the difference..

Http://imaging.nikon.com/...af/zoom/af-s_vr_zoom70-300mmf_45-56g_if/index.htm.

Http://imaging.nikon.com/...eup/lens/af/telephoto/af-s_300mmf_4d_if/index.htm.

Http://imaging.nikon.com/...lens/af/telephoto/af-s_vr_300mmf_28g_if/index.htm.

Thanks again all!! Edd..

Comments (10)

Might want to shoot with the 18-135 for a while before you buy a longer or shorter lens.SB-600 or SB0800 flash would be a great addition.GaryPhotos at http://www.pbase.com/gary_602zVery funny Scotty now beam me down my clothes!..

Comment #1

I agree with Gary. The time to get something new is when you know you need it and what for. You have a lot to learn with your new camera and lens so get the hang of that first. A flash would be a sesneible first additional item if you want to do portraiture..

Also on a different note apart from the apature what is thedifference between the three below, Im asking rather than going crazyand thinking of buying them! Just trying to understand thedifference..

Http://imaging.nikon.com/...af/zoom/af-s_vr_zoom70-300mmf_45-56g_if/index.htm.

Http://imaging.nikon.com/...eup/lens/af/telephoto/af-s_300mmf_4d_if/index.htm.

Http://imaging.nikon.com/...lens/af/telephoto/af-s_vr_300mmf_28g_if/index.htm.

These are quite different from one another. The first, as you can probably tell from the title, is a 70-300 zoom, a general-purpose tele zoom. The latter two are 'primes' - i.e. fixed focal length, non-zoom lenses, intended for sports or wildlife photographers: a 300mm lens is far to long for general purpose use. If you don't know exactly what you are going to do with one of these, you don't need one (sounds a bit of a smart-a$$ answer but it's true)..

The 300mm f/2.8 costs 2800, about four times as much as your camera/standard lens combo, and weighs nearly 3 kg. The f/4 version is a mere 800 and 1.5 kg: that extra stop makes a lot of difference..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #2

To experiment with macro try the 50mm f/1.8 with a BR2A reversing ring. Not as easy as a real macro lens but a fraction of the cost and the 50mm f/1.8 is a bargain in it's own right...

Comment #3

That 18-135 is very close to a macro. Play with it for a while. You might find that it does a good close focusing job..

My very first addition if I were you would be a steady tripod and good ball head. I'd look at something like the Manfrotto 055 series and a 488 Manfrotto ball head. You'll need the Nikon IR or cable release..

Secondly I'd get a good flash. I'd consider the SB600 or SB800. If you're considering macro, the SB800 tilts down..

Later, you might consider the 70-300vr and the Sigma 10-20..

For my first macro when you've outgrown the kit lens, I'd start with the 60 f2.8 AF-D Micro or the Tamron 90. I like the 60 because it is superbly sharp and can double as a fast light telephoto and portrait lens. The 90 will give you slightly more reach for biting critters. The 60 gives less reach but a bit more control over depth of field..

You should get some good RAW converting software as well...

Comment #4

I've never been to Dartmoor closest was Brighton once..

But I read books and magazines and have a fairly good idea of where you live, I think..

Just take the advice already received, more or less..

Tripod, flash, add a collapsible reflector like a lightdisk..

If money's buring a hole in your pocket, I think you can buy a GAry Fong Lightsphere in England..

That lens is great. You can use it for early morning sunrises and late evening sunsets, and at 18mm it will capture narrow lanes in the small towns..

A polarizer would be useful for beter skies..

An alarm clock seasides and moors are perhaps best at the start or the end of the day..

After six months, you'll know if you need a wider lens or a longer one..

BAK..

Comment #5

Really appreaciate all the feedback, all VERY useful. Money is so much buring a hole more, I set aside the money for a brand new retail D80 and ended up getting a brand new one for a lot less, so decided I would still spend the money I had saved from living on beans on toast and porridge this year while at uni!!!!.

Mike703 - thanks for the information about those lenses though all a bit over my head still, Im just trying to figure out how the 2k+ price difference is justified as why, afterall you get what you pay for but I'm confused as to what your paying for, unless the f stops are really worth THAT much..

BAK - Lightdisk - big round shiney thing (sorry for this but first result after googling it): http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/...=190223219843&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=009.

Also looking at a Hoya Circular Polarizer, and set the alarm on my mobile .

Guidenet/Les Olsen - Thanks for the macro advice, I will look into that!.

Whats the thought between the SB-800 and SB-600? There is SO many mixed reviews giving them one better than the other..

Being thick - You are warned LOL.

As t the tripod, arnt they all 3 legged stands? If so surely any is good? Sorry for being so thick but last time I sat my camera on a wall and took a picture it was good, so how does a tripod differ? Im assuming weight and the easy of movement and adjustiblity. Sorry for being thick! On the bright side I have perminantly "borrowed" two tripod's from a relative a small (30cm ish) and a larger (2 1/2 ft ish) pair.

Thanks again to all of you! Edd..

Comment #6

Mike703 - thanks for the information about those lenses though all abit over my head still, Im just trying to figure out how the 2k+price difference is justified as why, afterall you get what you payfor but I'm confused as to what your paying for, unless the f stopsare really worth THAT much..

They are at that focal length... an extra stop of aperture means you can use one stop faster shutter speed, which may be crucial for a professional sports photographer at whom the lens is aimed. As lenses get more telephoto it gets harder to get wide apertures because the lenses get so big, which is why a 70-300 which is f/5.6 at the long end will fit in your pocket, but the 300mm f/2.8 needs a backpack to carry it in. The optical quality will also be top-notch at all apertures..

As t the tripod, arnt they all 3 legged stands? If so surely any isgood? Sorry for being so thick but last time I sat my camera on awall and took a picture it was good, so how does a tripod differ? Imassuming weight and the easy of movement and adjustiblity. Sorry forbeing thick! On the bright side I have perminantly "borrowed" twotripod's from a relative a small (30cm ish) and a larger (2 1/2 ftish) pair.

Indeed they are but they come in varying degrees of ruggedness / portability (to a large extent those two characteristics are mutually exclusive). You can also get different degrees of flexibility in the head at the top which allows for orientating the camera differently... I have seen posts on this forum from people whose tripods have blown over on a windy day, with disastrous consequences to the camera. I don't have one because I can't be bothered to carry one around for casual use, but I find that a surprising proportion of shots taken either with my tele lens, or in poor light, are not as sharp as I thought they were due to camera shake. People who use them regularly say that a good tripod will do more than anything else to imporve the quality of your pictures..

Best wishes.

Mike..

Comment #7

Keep your money unspent for now but earmark it to spend on photography later. You will spend it much more wisely then..

Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #8

Mike - thanks for all of that, pretty much makes sense now!.

One last question - I have just been asked to do some photography work in a night club. Any suggestions of a flash or other kit I may require?.

Cheers.

Edd..

Comment #9

As others have said, I would not buy any more lenses until you get more experience and find out how your current kit limits what you want to do..

However, there are a few items which you might consider getting (based upon what you want to shoot):.

- an external flash is never a bad idea if you know that you will take a good percentage of your shots indoors- a tri-pod also often comes in handy.

- buy a carrying case for your camera and make sure it has room for a few more lenses that you may buy in the future- buy a lenspen for cleaning lenses (only costs $5-$10)- buy a spare CF card- buy a spare battery..

Comment #10

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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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