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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:25 pm 
Hello!

I already got a lot of help here as I'm trying to decide which SLR camera to buy. At the moment I'm leaning towards Nikon D3100 or perhaps D5000.

Because I will already pay a lot of money for the camera, I won't be able to spend much on lenses straight away (no more than £160/$260). I will get the standard 18-55mm lens that comes with the camera and probably go for one more. I'm looking for something good and cheap :) .

So a) what lens would you recommend me to get to start with?
and b) what lenses should I ask Santa to get me in the future?

At the moment I'm leaning toward 35mm f/1.8 but I'm also tempted with a zoom lens such as 55-200mm. My problem is that I'm not sure which one would really work in my situation, partially also because I'm not completely clear on what the various types of lenses are good for (though I've now got a more of an idea after searching this website).

Now, what do I want it for? I want to learn photography and so I will try little bit of this and little it of that. But ultimately I really enjoy taking pictures while travelling. This is usually in cities as I love old architecture. This means that I often also take pictures inside old churches or galleries etc. where the lighting is very poor. In fact it is because my current point-and-shoot camera had problems in-doors that I first started considering an upgrade.

Thank you beforehand!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:31 pm 
Hi there and welcome to the wonderful and confusing world of SLR photography.

Id definitely recommend the 35, in fact even above the 18-55mm kit lens, its just so useful for low light work and subject isolation also.

If you're into architecture as well an ultra wide may be something worth looking into. They can be pricy but sigma make some cheaper alternatives.

On that note, if you can afford a sigma or tamrom 18-50 f2.8 lens instead of the nikon 18-55, that may be more useful as the aperture is much brighter, so you can freeze action and movement you wouldnt be able to with the slower nikon.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:42 pm
Posts: 1388
Location: The Netherlands
:roll: I dont want to get annoying, but this feels like the 10th thread like this in the last month already, and the search function can be pretty useful. The answers are always the same, 18-55 + 55-200 + 35/1.8 (only after finding out if you use this focal length need low light and so on).

_________________
- Wout -
Lowepro Nova 200 AW filled with Nikon D90 + MB-D80
18-70 DX, 70-300 VR, 35 1.8 DX, SB-700


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:34 pm 
I concur with the above. The 55-200 is a must have to expand your range of focal lengths and follow that with the 35mm AFS when your budget allows. If you go for the D5000 then in the future you may want a 50mm for portraits. It does not have AFS so will not auto-focus on the D3100.
Good luck! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:26 pm 
Thanks for all the answers.

It's just that I will be going on holiday soon and I though that I will be using the camera in low-light. So I wanted to be fully prepared :D . Would the standard 18-55mm work fine for that? I find that to be quite important for me and that's why I was considering buying a 35mm first.

WoutK89, I actually used the search feature and I couldn't find anything that specifically answers my question - that is whether 35mm lens is a good choice for the kind of photography I intend on doing. But I might have missed it.

Dave16, are you saying that the 50mm Nikon lens will autofocus on D5000? I thought otherwise, but I could be wrong.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:43 pm 
The 50mm f1.4 AF-S will autofocus, the f1.8 and the 1.4 AF-D will NOT autofocus. Basically for the lens to focus it needs AF-S in the name.

Also the 18-55 works "fine" for everything, just some lenses work a little better at certain things

Id honestly recommend buying the camera body only, and then buying either the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 OS or non OS or the Tamron equivalent. They are 2 stops brighter than the Nikon, so allow you to capture motion or shoot in dark environments so much better. They will also let you blow out the background for the classic portrait look so much better.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:42 pm
Posts: 1388
Location: The Netherlands
Gwaihir wrote:
It's just that I will be going on holiday soon

The worst you can do is go on a holiday without knowing your camera, I do hope you will be buying and trying long enough before to go on your trip. Would be a pity if either the camera was malfunctioning or you dont know your way around the camera to get the pictures you are going for. Pictures should be everlasting memories, but if they are of bad quality the memories will be less joyful.

_________________
- Wout -
Lowepro Nova 200 AW filled with Nikon D90 + MB-D80
18-70 DX, 70-300 VR, 35 1.8 DX, SB-700


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:28 pm 
I'm going at the end of February so I'll have almost 2 months to test it out, play around with it and learn at least the basics. Hopefully that will be enough.

jeremy1302, thanks for the explanation. I checked the lens you mention but at the moment this is way above my budget. Perhaps sometime in the future when I get more serious. They seem very good.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:42 pm
Posts: 1388
Location: The Netherlands
Well at the very beginning if your budget allows, the 18-55 and 35/1.8 should do the trick for what you said, Holiday snapshots. I would hold off on the 35 or 55-200 until you indeed played around and know what you need /miss and buy before leaving on the trip, but only if you feel confident doing it this way.

I would say good luck on your step to the world of DSLR.

_________________
- Wout -
Lowepro Nova 200 AW filled with Nikon D90 + MB-D80
18-70 DX, 70-300 VR, 35 1.8 DX, SB-700


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am
Posts: 1551
Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
I agree with Wout, try out your 18-55 and see if it does what you need it to do. If you need good indoor pictures, try it indoors and see if it does all that you need it to do, or perhaps take it to an outdoor sporting event and see if it captures the action like you want it to. If it works for you, great, for now you won't need to spend extra on new lenses. If it doesn't work, try out lenses that would fit that category well, such as the Nikkor 35mm F1.8 for indoors or the 55-200mm if you need to get close up.

Have fun!

-Evan

_________________
-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:36 am 
I have both the 55-200 and the 35 1.8 with my D90 as well as the 18-105 that came with my D90. All 3 are excellent lenses. The 35 is a great low light lens as that is the primary lens I use when I shoot wedding receptions and school dances. The pictures are tack sharp and on a cropped body like the D3100 or D5000 it is actually more like a 50mm lens. The 55-200 is also a great lens as I use mine more for sports photography than anything. The 55-200 is great for getting close up on a subject, but I've tried using it on vacation to take pictures of city skylines and buildings and it is just a bit too long of a lens to really capture the whole thing. The only time I was able to successfully take pictures of city skylines with it was on top of Mt. Washington shooting the skyline of Pittsburgh. I was the whole way across the river and able to get close enough to get all the detail, but I wasn't so close to the buildings that I couldn't capture the whole skyline as well. Really it all depends on what you're going to be shooting on holiday etc.
Gunner


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