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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:51 pm 
Hello all, currently I'm an enthusiastic 'point and shooter' and would now like to graduate to a DSLR.

Initially I thought I'd get a Canon 400D, simple.

Since then (about 6 weeks ago) I've ploughed through 2 books, about 20 magazines and a similar amount of websites and things just aren't that straight forward anymore (or cheap, sob!)

I've found the video tours here really helpful. Other sites offer longer and I expect more in depth reviews but to a novice like me they make incredibly dry reading and I often find myself skimming over what they say. The videos are like going down to Jessops to have a look without the sales patter and are backed up by a useful amount of impartial info / examples.

Thanks in no small part to this website I'm now leaning towards a Nikon D80 or 200 (suprise! :wink: ) The difference in price bewteen the two in the UK is about £325.

My first question is, does the more rugged body of the D200 mainly account for the price differential or does it deliver a supierior end product? I'm aware of the (what seem to me as a beginner, fairly slight??) specification differences. Although the metal body would be nice, if I'm honest, I could probably live without it. I could then put that £325 towards a better or even an extra lens. That said, a year or two down the line I don't want to regret not getting the right body.

Secondly, can anyone tell me where I can find an explanation of Nikon lens nomenclature? I find the initials in their names very confusing, apart now from the ones detailed in the Nikon kit lens group test. I found it particularly interesting that although all the lenses in that test were 'DX' their build quality seemed to vary a lot. For instance, is there a clue in the name of the lens whether it has a plastic or metal mount? Or is the only clue in the price?!

Thanks in advance for any input on this...

thanks!

Tony

BTW, the reason (ok, excuse!) for buying a camera now is to record a year long trip to Spain I have planned for next year. So i expect plenty of land/cityscapes, fiestas, portraits of the people I meet, the odd sporting event, etc, etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:31 pm 
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Hello Tony!

My advice: stick to the D80. In my Opinion it delivers same picture quality as D200. Invest your money in original Nikon lenses, get the 18-200mm VR!! This has no equivalen from Canon and is the most versatile lens for a long trip (just took it a month to New Zealand).
DX=only for 16x24mm Sensors
AF-S=focusses with a built in motor (faster, more silent), so can be used with D40 also
AF=Autofocus that is done through the motor in the cam-body, so does not work on the D40!
VR=optical image stabilization (that is great stuff - invest in it!)[b]

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Last edited by Thomas on Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:32 pm 
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Hi Tony, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

The D200 is one of the best semi-pro DSLRs on the market, but I'd say it's overkill for most photographers, especially if it's your first DSLR. The D80 is more than capable - and already a step up from budget models - so I'd agree with Thomas and go for that, spending any extra on the lens.

And yep, the DX 18-200mm VR is a great choice, although there's also a case for the DX 18-70 and 70-300 VR if you don't mind carrying two lenses and want a longer reach for, say, wildlife use.

I look forward to hearing how forum member Phil Lee got on with this exact kit on his recent trip!

Gordon


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 Post subject: glass it is!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:03 pm 
thanks both for your replies, it's really useful for a newcomer like me to have the benefit of your opinions.

Reading my original post, my wife has just noticed how it's funny that NOT spending the money I 'save'' by buying the D80 doesn't even occur to me! Anyway, never mind that! Lenses!

here are some other Nikon initials (often placed at the end of the focal length info)...

ED
D
IF
DC
G
DH

any takers?!

Cheers

Tony


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:13 pm 
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Here is the official wording from Nikon (source: Lens_guide_Ver2.pdf):
DX: Specifically developed for use with sophisticated Nikon digital SLR cameras
IF: Internal focussing
RF: Rear focussing
ED: Employs an ED glass element, which minimizes chromatic aberration and offers superior color and image sharpness
ASP: Employs an aspherical lens, which corrects image distortion in wideangle lenses.
SWM: Silent Wave Motor for ultra-quiet and ultra-fast focusing.
CRC: Features the Close-Range Correction system to ensure superior lens
performance even when shooting at close distances.
D: Distance information. Relays subject-to-camera distance information to the camera and enables Nikon’s advanced metering and flash control.
SIC: Features Nikon Super Integrated Coating to minimize ghost and flare.
VR: Equipped with Nikon’s innovative Vibration Reduction system to minimize image blur caused by camera shake.
N: Nano-crystal coat
DC: Defocus image control for smooth out of focus blurs for portraits

...and sorry, but there is no "DH" on any current Nikkor lens :(

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:24 pm 
Thanks for going to the trouble of relaying that info Thomas, very helpful.

I saw the mysterious 'DH' in the following lens description in the back of a photo mag...AF-DG 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 AF DH..could well be a typo though.

Is there any sign or word that Nikon are doing anything about the world shortage of the 18 / 200 VR lens do you know? I certainly take on board Gordon's point that the 2 lens option offers a longer range but I can imagine having the immediate flexibility of changing from wide to moderate zoom might mean capturing images that might otherwise be lost whilst fumbling around in my bag.

cheers Tony


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:36 pm 
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Cheers Tony,

I think, Nikon is doing everything to sell as many 18-200 lenses as they can. That would at least be economically logical. But maybe demand is outpacing their production plans time and again.
The other option is, that they would like to keep street prices close to list prices and are protecting their dealers.
I got mine (lens that is) at a high street store after placing several orders with online stores (you can easily cancel orders in Germany). After none of the prospective online stores could deliver, I just paid list price and never looked back.
So in the end you may find one, but not at a discount of -20% :cry:

As for the "DH": at least in Germany there is no such lens on offer that carries "DH" in its designation.

As to the optimal choice of lenses: The less you have to change, the faster, lighter and more dust resistant you are! And by the way almost always also cheaper...
I, at least did not feel an urgend need for a longer lens on my trip to NZ. Plus remember: 200mm is eqiv to 300mm at 24x36mm cameras!

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D800+assorted lenses


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