D7000 w/ 17-50 f2.8 vs D5100 w/ 17-50 & 70-300 lenses

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kylebybee, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Just getting into photography, and can't decide. My wife already has the D7000 and likes it she has a Tamron 18-270 vc lense. I was trying to decide if I would better off with the D5100 and the two mentioned lenses or the better body (D7000) and just one lense for now. Thank you for your opinions. The lenses mentioned are Tamrons.
  2. It depends on 2 things (which both of them cannot be really answered from your OP):
    • Would you miss the added features of the D7000: better viewfinder, better AF, support for autofocus on AF-D lenses, support for Ai/AiS lenses and ability for be a Nikon CLS master?
    • Do you prefer the smaller and lighter body of a D5100, or the size of the D7000?
    Additionally, how important is it for you to get the 70-300 lens now? Given what you already have access to: it will most likely be better than the 18-270, but in terms of aperture it's only marginally faster and in terms of range it's near identical too - so most of what it does can be done with the 18-270 as well.
    Personally, using a supercompetent camera (D700) with only a superzoom (any 18-2x0) to me is a 'sign' of money spent the wrong way; it's to me the type of lens that manages to downplay most of the advantages that a D7000 has over a D5100. So, I'd always lean towards spending a bit more on lenses and less on the body unless the body has a specific feature I really need.
  3. It would be good for anyone trying to give you advice to know something about your photography thus far. I know you are "just getting into photography" but still, without knowing something of what you like, it is difficult to suggest lenses. As to the D5100 vs the D7000, there would be a real advantage to getting the same model that your wife is using. It will simplify the learning process, facilitating the sharing of knowledge between you. It would also be more convenient -- as far as I know, the two cameras can't even share batteries or battery chargers. Your wife won't envy the articulated screen and lighter weight of the D5100 and you won't envy all the things that are better in the D7000.
    I nearly forgot. As you are considering a 70-300mm Nikon lens, be aware that the VR version is much optically than the non-VR version. The VR version is a lovely lens, but for the reasons above I don't know if its focal length range is suitable for your photography.
  4. I haven't yet decided what my shooting is going to focus on. So far we go on day trips on the weekend to small towns and countryside and shoot everything from flowers old barns, buildings and landscape and everything that looks interesting. I do like the advantage of having the same camera as my wife for the reasons mentioned. The 70-300 lens I was looking at was the Tamron which is considreably less money.
    If deciding on the D7000 which lense should I think about getting the Tamron 17-50 or the 70-300
  5. I'm glad you had the same point of view, that having the same camera body as your wife's is a good idea. I think you'll love the D7000. Some photographers don't mind bodies with different characteristics, but it's not the best thing when starting out.
    Definitely start out with the 17-50mm, a much more suitable focal length for the photography you are describing. The Tamron 17-50mm is an excellent lens. I don't know the Tamron 70-300mm.
  6. +1 Hector's comments
    Have you ever considered getting a prime lens? When you are first starting out super zooms are very convenient, and initially a prime lens may seem like a huge restriction. Fast primes are a nice compliment to the super zooms though, because they are restricted compared to the super zoom's range, yet they are good at limited depth of field, low light, and general high image quality, all things that super zooms do poorly. Two good examples that are both the 35mm F/1.8 or the 50mm F/1.8. I highly recommend both of these lenses, the G versions of both go for around $200, while the 50mm F/1.8D is around $125 new. Note the D version will not work with the D5100.
  7. shoot everything from flowers old barns, buildings and landscape and everything that looks interesting.​
    If this is intended purpose for using the camera, D7k is an overkill. I would go with a lighter body, which you will appreciate after carrying it around for a few hours, and save the money to buy a good prime lens. D7k and D5100 have the same sensor so the IQs from these two cameras should be nearly identical. The swivel screen on the D5100 is very useful for shooting at an odd angle and for video. One big negative with the D5100 is that it does not have a built-in AF motor so it can only AF with AFS lenses.
  8. Thanks for all the good advice, I'm also new to this site. I really enjoy it.
  9. You and your wife deserve at least one good Nikkor lens, and not only Tamrons.
  10. +1 CC.. Seems like the better AF of the D7000 would be overkill.... You seem to have the luxury of photographing things that don't move!
    The D5100 would save enough to buy some nicer glass!
  11. I think CC has a point, the D5100 & D7000 are two very different camera's despite having the same sensor. The D5100 is a much simpler camera, both AF, buttons, options, etc. This is where the road ends though, because I can't recommend one over the other without knowing who you are and what kind of photographer you will become. If you wind up becoming the type of photographer who doesn't want to fuss with the camera, then the D5100 will suite you just fine. If you focus more on the camera and how it works, you find the D7000 offers a lot more options and is more conveniently laid out for those who work with the various settings on the camera on a regular bases. Not to say that you can't tweak every setting with the D5100, you can, its just more difficult, and not to say you can't shoot full auto with the D7000, you can, it just depends on what kind of photographer you are and which tool suites you better. But its a very valid point, so maybe you could borrow a D5100 and compare it with your wife's D7000?
    Definitely +1 for Frank's comments, you deserve at least one Nikkor lens.
  12. I'm going to take you in a different direction. Considering what it is you like to photo, you must ask yourself what will best improve your images. My suggestion is this. Buy the D5100 and a good used tripod and head. A tripod will give you much more sharpness than a lens likely will, and you can stop the lens down more without worrying about blur. It will also help you think through your composition. By good tripod & head, I'm thinking maybe $500. Yes, they are worth it.
    Kent in SD
  13. I really like all the advice. We did purchase a Gittos tripod for around $150.00. I am a gadget guy and an artist that doesn't like to sit for hours doing my art cooped up in the house anymore. So I will definetly want to learn all the ins and outs of photography. I don't mind Nikkor lenses, from what I've been reading most of the price is in the consruction material, etc. and not so much in the glass, could be wrong. The price of a Tamron is half of the same thing in Nikkor. Do they really take that better of a picture. I will be doing some wall mounting with the pic's, nothing probablyover 16X24 or what ever that normal size is.
  14. The idea that landscape and architecture photography can't benefit from from something better than the D5100's pentamirror and single control dial is amazing to me. I've had those "features" in the D50, and they got in the way. The D5100's screen is far better than that of the D50, and the fact that it is articulated better still. Nevertheless, a quality viewfinder with a pentaprism is still important, as is having separate dials for aperture and shutter speed. Having one camera with two control dials, like the D7000, and one, like the D5100, is not the best way to be learning. I've used cameras with that situation, with a D50 backup to a D300, and it was not helpful. In time, assuming that Kyle starts to learn some of the D7000's flash capability, the fact that the D5100 on-board flash cannot be the commander module for external flash may well be a nasty shock.
    Kyle, the D5100 is a good camera with the same sensor as the D7000. If your wife owned a D5100, I would recommend you get the same to simplify your learning process, despite its limitations. But, given that she has a D7000, you are better off with the same thing, even if you have to wait for other lenses.
    The Tamron 17-50mm is one of those wonderful lenses that don't cost very much. Because of a fluke, I would up owning both that lens and the Nikon equivalent, the lovely 17-55m f/2.8. Optical performance is very similar. The Nikon is heavier and feels tougher, but the construction quality of the Tamron is everything that someone starting out needs.
  15. Kyle,
    I don't really now to be honest, I don't deal that much with Tamron lenses. I do know I've compared 3rd party lenses and found some better than the original, case in point, I preferred Tokina's 11-16 F/2.8 over Canon's 10-22 F/3.5-4.5. Nothing wrong with the Canon, plenty sharp enough, I simply preferred the look and what I felt was extra sharpness of the Tokina (plus I hate variable aperture zooms). I did look into getting a Tamron 17-50, but in the end, my Nikon 17-35mm had a really unique look to it that I preferred. Of course, I'm a bit of a snob here, because the 17-35 is a full frame lens, I would be better off shooting a 17-55, but there was something about the look of the 17-35mm that I preferred over the other lenses. This is my style, certainly not something you need to worry about, especially for a first time user. I still recommend one fast prime though, and for that, you will have to Nikon, or at least look elsewhere besides Tokina. Also in my research on the 17-50, the website photozone.de, which tested both VC and non-VC versions suggested that the non-VC version had better optical quality, just a note, which if you decided to go that route, would save you enough to buy the 35mm or 50mm F/1.8 lens.
  16. The price of a Tamron is half of the same thing in Nikkor. Do they really take that better of a picture.​
    no. optically, the tamron is very good. feel free to ignore Frank's opinionated comments. from an objective perspective, the nikkor 17-55 lacks stabilization but gives you faster focus and better build. however, it is much less compact, which is a big consideration. from an IQ standpoint alone, the two lenses are more or less equal. i havent seen any A>B comparisons which definitively show better color rendition or contrast for the nikkor, and the tamron may actually be sharper wide open.
    if i were you, i would go for the d7000+17-50. simple economics: it's easier to spend $400 down the line than $1100. the D7000 is a much better camera which is much harder to outgrow.
  17. Get the best quality lenses you can. The body comes second and is where the real obsolescence and depreciation hit you. Look at the Adorama, B&H and KEH. You will get an idea of prices and their no questions asked warranty and returns policy is safe.
    Assuming you don't want to spend $2k on a new 2.8 zoom, look used. I would keep with Nikons firstly, and of the three main off brand lenses...Tokina, Sigma and Tamron, my experience had the Tokina ATX-Pro range to be very good. You will get a lot of subjective opinion here so do the research, read the reviews.
    If you can afford FX lenses there are two reasons going there makes sense. Works also on DX and also, non G lenses work on Nikon film cameras as well.
    You can find used D300s for $800 used, with a warranty. If you stay in DX, try to buy bodies that have the in-camera focus motor and that will open up the choice of Nikons legacy AF-D lenses, some of which are lifetime keepers.
  18. Both cameras have their advantages which have been laid out here by others. Some people seem to think that what is best for them is best for everyone. In reality we all have our own needs and wants. My advise, now that you know the advantages of each, is to decide what is best for you. Sometimes it helps to make a list of the advantages of each camera. The one thing I would add, is to go to a store and handle the D5100 and see how you like it compared to your wife's D7000.
  19. The D7000 is either the best consumer camera, or the cheapest pro camera - I'm not sure which. I also think that it is currently the 'best camera money can buy' for non-professionals. There are better cameras, but nothing that offers you something you need as a non-professional shooter.
    Long story short, D7000.
    As far as lenses, and specifically Frank's comment, I see nothing wrong with Tamron lenses. Many of them are optically very similar to Nikons, they cost less, and the warranty is longer. In fact, the anti-shake on the Tamron 70-300 outperforms the Nikon anti-shake by a very wide margin. I find that going to a Nikon version of a Tamron lens will usually add weather sealing (wich can be a big deal to some shooters), and will often give a small quality increase for a not-so-small price increase. I've never A/B'ed my Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 with the Nikon 24-70, but I did A/B it with the earlier 28-70, and I learned that I'm never going to buy the Nikon version unless it drops into my lap at a ridiculopus price. I am a very demanding shooter, but I don't see enugh difference between them to justify paying the regular price without having a business account that I can put it on.
    Maybe it's the subjects that I shoot or the settings that I use, but if I can't see a difference the majority of the time than I'm not going to pay three times more.
  20. both d5100 and d7000 are great body.
    However, the more you use and the more you learn, you will come to realize that with d7000 you will feel little more "in control" of your camera.
    To keep things short and simple, if you are thinking of something that is easy to handle and fast (like doing auto mode), stick with d5100 and spend more money for quality lens.
    If you'd like to have more control, being able to customize your settings d7000 will do much better job.
    Also, for obvious reason (more $), d7000 will also give you better performance and picture quality.
    Try and rent or borrow and use both models for day or two and see the results for yourself.
    You'll be surprised how much it helps :D
    Good luck and welcome to dslr world!
  21. As for the Tamron 70-300... there are various of those. If it is the Tamron 70-300 VC, then it sure is a very good choice against the 70-300VR, but price-wise it is fairly close.
    If it is one of the older Tamron 70-300 lenses without the VC, then the lens should be a whole lot cheaper, and anything more than $120 would be spending too much. Those lenses are not really all that good at all.
    As for D5100 versus D7000 - go to a shop to try the D5100 and find out how you think it handles and fits your hand, and compare that to the D7000. All who say the D7000 is a superior body are right, but that does not automatically mean it's the best body for you, nor the best choice on your budget. Freeing up some cash to get better lenses is also really worth it. That alone should make the D5100 a serious consideration (given that you do not sacrifice that much at all).
    Handling of a camera really matters, though. If you find a D5100 awkward to use, it's clear which way to go.
  22. I have had Nikons since the '60s and probably owned several dozen Nikkor and other manufacturer's lenses. I now have the D7000 (my third generation of Nikon DSLRs). I don't really agree with those who would push spending the money on better lenses instead of better bodies. The difference between a competent and an exceptional lenses is really only realized at the margins -- like extremely fast apertures. The differences in color capture and crispness can be effectively overcome with software. After many years of this, I really look for durability in the body. I typically replace my cameras after wearing them out, not because of newer technology. When I moved to my current suite of lenses that I use with the D7000, I had some of the best pieces of glass that Nikon had made -- their exquisite 85 and 180. I could not discern any real lift from those lenses over the medium level new Nikkor lenses. So I sold the older great lenses and have not felt any lack since. The generational jump represented by the D7000 more than matches any benefit I might have obtained from the "great" glass of more expensive lenses. The one exception I would make to this view is that the better glass is also a better build. If you are going to use your camera and lenses on a daily basis and they will spend a lot of time in the field -- it is the durability of the more expensive lenses rather than their ability to pass light that might influence your decision.
  23. I chose the D5100 for it's size, weight, image quality, articulating screen and how it feels in the hand. I disliked the D7000 because of the weight and how it felt in my hands. To me it felt like it has a sharp edge where the right hand grips against the palm cutting into it. Plus I have a D200 and was getting tired of the unnecessary weight. I also chose the kit 18-55, 55-300. I have no complaint about either lens. They have superb optics. My 80-200 AFS can't compete with the 55-300 shooting toward any bright horizon. I like being light weight and being able to travel further without having my shoulder straps cutting into me. But that's me. Since your wife already took the plunge with a D7000 I would get the same thing because of the reasons everyone else said. But I would strongly consider the 55-300 for your telephoto. So many times with the 80-200 I wished I could go a little wider. I prefer the sharpness of the 55-300 to the nikon 70-300. Ry
  24. The best deal would be D3100 + Tamron 17-50 + Nikkor 70-300 VR.
  25. I think the John E. post here very astute. I would just second the notion that the differences in the lenses due to "settling" for a 3rd party are only realized when shooting at extremes like wide open, printing huge photos, and for truly demanding professional applications. An example would be the minor difference in sharpness at the borders wide open--how many times is the border that critical AND I have to shoot wide open? After years of using only Nikkor lenses, budget constraints caused me to go with two Tokinas for the switch to DX from film and I love them. When I'm shooting in their sweet spot, which is the vast majority of the time, the images look just great. That said, if you need weather seals, you need them--can't compromise there. But even in that respect, my Tokinas seem very well-built and most of us don't shoot in a downpour or a dust storm. I like what Scott Bourne says which goes something like this: 90% of the lenses made today are better than 99% of the photographers that use them.
  26. The D7000 and D5100 use the same sensor so the difference in image quality is minimal. A check of the tests on dpreview will confirm that. The difference in image quality between the Tamron 70-300 VC, Nikon 70-300 VR, and Nikon 55-300 VR is also minimal. Read the tests and handle the cameras and lenses. If it doesn't feel right now there's a good chance that it never will. Again, make your choice based on your needs and wants, not other people's.
  27. Alex Iwonttell , Sep 30, 2011; 10:42 a.m.
    The best deal would be D3100 + Tamron 17-50 + Nikkor 70-300 VR.​
    If you want to pay extra for a sealed lens to put on a non-sealed camera, be my guest. Sort of seems like wearing a hat without a rainjacket though.
  28. The decision has been made, thanks for everyones input. I will be back with other questions I'm sure. I went with the D7000 and the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 VC. I will post some pictures when I get some wurth posting.
  29. Kyle.

    I think you will be happy with your choice, have fun.

  30. The weight issue is a very personal one depending on your shooting style. I like as much weight as possible in the camera. I added the battery pack to my D7000. I think the weight in the body offers two advantages: First, it adds inertia that makes it easier hand holding at lower shutter speeds. It also provide balance when using longer lenses and makes it easier supporting the long lens for hand held shots. But that realign is personal taste. I have been known to cut a metal plate the shape of the bottom of a camera and attach it with the tripod mount to add additional weight.
  31. For what it's worth, I just shot a wedding tonight with the D7000. I got almost 1,100 images and several minutes of HD video before the battery died. Granted that was with an external flash and mostly manual focus, but I also used the Live View for almost half of those photos.
    Eleven. Hundred. Images. My mind is blown.
  32. I have a D300 and now also a refurbished D5000. The D5000 goes everywhere with me, while the D300 is reserved for things like wedding receptions, gigs etc. I like the weight of the D5K, with the D7k being just a little heavier. The best camera is always going to be the one you have with you.
  33. My D90 could do that many images on a charge. I traveled Europe for 3 weeks with 3 charged batteries and didn't make it all the way through the second one.

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