New Nikon D80 questions

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jim_seines, May 2, 2007.

  1. I am purchasing a Nikon D80 for my wife (a combination birthday and mom's day present) and am
    considering the following package from B&H Photo: Nikon D80, 10.2 Megapixel, SLR Digital Camera with
    Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D IF Zoom Nikkor Autofocus Lens (link:
    controller/home?O=Search&A=details&Q=&sku=473605&is=REG&addedTroughType=search). Was
    wondering if anyone has any thoughts/opinions on this set-up, in particular the lens choice. After
    reading some reviews, I have decided to stay away from the standard Nikon kit with the 18-135 DX lens.

    Thanks in advance for your guidance!
  2. You might want to also consider the 18-70 kit lens, it's pretty good lens.
  3. Can you comment on how she'll most likely be using the camera? Is it mostly family shots... or is she of a more artistic or technical orientation? If she's likely to shoot indoorsy/activity stuff, then 18-70 is a very useful range. If she's going to be getting a little more outdoorsy and nature/sports oriented, then more reach could really help. Any more to go on, here?
  4. I'll go for the 24-120mm AF-S VR.
  5. Thanks for the answers so far. She will be using the camera mainly for outdoors stuff - landscapes, her famous "wall art", candid people shots, some sports work at my son's lacrosse games (he plays goalie - why I don't know, but he likes having balls shot at him for some reason!). She will also be doing some work indoors at family events, school, that time of thing. Hope that helps!
  6. Good move to steer clear of the 18-135. She'll find the wider angle of the 18-70mm far more useful for the vast majority of her shooting. Nothing wrong w/ the 28-105 as it is a very good lens but not wide enough for situations you mentioned. Lacrosse (outdoor field sports in general) requires more reach than either lens (18-70 or 28-105) can offer. Without breaking the bank a 70-300 will do well under bright sun and compliment the 18-70. If lacrosse is under artificial light...too dark for the'll need a faster (f2.8) lens. A shoe-mounted flash (Nikon SB-600 or preferably SB-800) will do wonders for her indoor shooting as the on-board flash is weak.
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    With a Nikon DX sensor DSLR, I would get a zoom that starts from 17 or 18mm, which would be a moderately wide lens. The 28-105 was designed for 35mm film bodies and will likely be not wide enough.

    Unless you are a casual user on a tight budget, I would steer clear of any Nikon lens that has a plastic mount, which is a clear sign of poor build quality. I would get the 18-70mm DX instead, unless you can afford a lens that is more expensive than the D80 body.
  8. Thanks again - very good info. Keep it coming! B&H shows two different versions of the 18-70 lens, one listed as "imported" and the other "Nikon USA". Not sure what the difference is except that the imported version is a little cheaper.
  9. Or you could look at the VR 55-200mm AF DX Nikkor. It is not heavy, and the glass seems to work OK. The VR at 200mm is good to have as well.
  10. just Curious.. Is this the first camera and lens in your household?
  11. I would recommend you try the 18-135 for yoursef. A good friend of mine has it and I have seen many, many prints from it. It is much, much better that the reviews indicate.

    I have the unpopopular, low rated 55-200 lens and it give me superb prints, in many instances as good as my pro lenses, even wide open.

    The only lens I have had and promptly sold was the 70-300, which many say is a really good lens. I didn't care for it.

    If you have the money and can find one, the 18-200 vr might be a better choice.
  12. Jim writes "B&H shows two different versions of the 18-70 lens, one listed as "imported" and
    the other "Nikon USA". Not sure what the difference is except that the imported version is a
    little cheaper."

    The big difference that matters to you is that the import is NOT covered under warranty and
    if it fails will most likely NOT be fixed even out of warranty. Nikon refuses to fix what is
    called "gray market" gear in the US (google that for an explanation of the term). Buy the US
    one, it comes with a warranty which you want.
  13. I must confess to having a soft spot for the 28-105mm - I am currently getting some very good macro results with my D80. However, it will be lacking at the wide end. Therefore, you are probably better off going for US guaranteed 18-70 lens & then maybe something in addition to take care of the longer end (55-200VR or 70-300VR lenses).

    I tend to use a full range of focal lengths on any one shoot & like to travel light, so I have had another go at ordering the 18-200VR lens & hope to get a better copy this time. So if funds & patience permits this may be another option.
  14. Thanks again - good discussion! Responding back to a previous question, this will not be the first camera in the household. My wife's dad was a photojournalist and taught her the finer points of photography. She had a Nikon FE2 when we got married that she shot with for a number of years. She kinda got out of the game given the cost and has been using my digital Canon pocket camera. She has a real nice Zeiss 55-135 (I think that is right - in any case it is a telephoto zoom lens) for that camera - not sure if that will work with the D80.
  15. I'll also vote for the 18-70 as a great walk around lens. For sporting events and nature you want something longer. I think the 55-200 complements the 18-70 quite well. It's not a fast lens, but the optics test out very well in lab tests, and it's relatively inexpensive as lenses go. It works well for me because I don't need it all that much, the 18-70 being fine for most of what I do.

    The 55-200 does have a lot of plastic in its construction, and I'm going to take this thread as an opportunity to say a bit about that. Plastic may be less expensive, it definitely is lighter, but it is not neccessarily inferior to metal in any way as a component of modern mechanical devices.

    In the 1980's Gaston Glock started a revolution in the firearms industry which is still going on today, when he introduced a polymer framed pistol, which also has advanced polymers in many moving parts internally. Glock pistols have proven to be among the most reliable and long lived pistols ever made. I've owned a couple of them, and have taken them apart in detail and studied them. The striker (firing pin) on a Glock slides back and forth in a sleeve of plastic. Glock specifically instructs that these parts must not be lubricated, as the plastic material is self lubricating. Glock pistols routinely survive hundreds of thousands of cycles without these parts needing replacement, more than any comparable steel fabricated guns, which usually need a rebuild within a hundred thousand cycles. This is just one example. Glocks now have about 60% of the USA police market, and this technology, be it from Glock or all the other major manufacturers who are copying it, is rapidly replacing the older, all metal technology. The firearms industry, and its consumers, did not accept this new technology quickly at first. There was the same skepticism that there is now in the photographic industry. The new materials had to prove themselves, and they have.

    The polymer material does react differently to compression than metal. It can compress and then rebound. Depending on the application, this may or may not be desirable. But, as to wear and tear, I frankly would worry about metal on metal more than advanced plastics on metal, or advanced plastics on advanced plastics.

    Knowing what I know, I will certainly never lose any sleep over the plastic lens mount, or other plastic components of any Nikon lens.
  16. Another vote for the 18-70 over the 28-105.

    I have both. When I switched the digital, I bought the 18-70 and it has prety much replaced the 28-105. When considering the crop factor, the 18-70 on the D80 is basically the same lens as the 28-105 on a film camera. I love the 28-105 but the 18-70's 18mm wide end is just more useful on a DLSR.
  17. gv


    Being a recent convert to digital after many years of shooting film I highly recommend
    getting Thom Hogan's D80 ebook. The first 200 pages or so are essentially a digital
    primer and the remaining 500 pages are an excellent guide to a complex camera. Hogan's
    book is head and shoulders above other third-party camera "manuals" such as the Magic
    Lantern Guides.

    I also think that Nikon Capture NX is a good RAW convertor and image editing program for
    Nikon digital newbies, and Jason Odell's guide to NX is another winner. I realize that there
    are a number of decent RAW conertors out there (including ACR in Photoshop) but NX has
    some very accessible image editing tools and it plays nice with Nikon RAW files.

    Using these two guides I was able to set-up my D80 to suit my needs and obtain
    perfectly-exposed images right from the start. Two Thumbs Up!
  18. I bought the D80 with the 18-200. I would tell you to get that but it's more expensive than the 18-70 and it's sold out most everywhere. I like the 18-70 over the 28-105 because the 28-105 becomes a 42-158mm lens. 42mm is not wide for landscapes.

    If you end up thinking of adding an extra tele zoom to compliment the 18-70 I would just say skip both of them and go with the 18-200 for the convenience. Going from 28mm to 300mm with one lens is very cool. I bought an 18-200 in December at my local camera shop for $899. If $899 is too much, just go with the 18-70.
  19. I had been making due with my 28-105 and recently got the 18-70. One of the best decisions I could have made. I like the 18-70 much better on the D80. Unless shooting with my 80-200, it doesn't come off.
  20. Peter wrote:

    The big difference that matters to you is that the import is NOT covered under warranty and if it fails will most likely NOT be fixed even out of warranty. Nikon refuses to fix what is called "gray market" gear in the US (google that for an explanation of the term). Buy the US one, it comes with a warranty which you want.

    My reply:

    The difference is specifically that the US version comes with a 5 year warranty while the imported version comes with a 1 year (international) warranty backed by BH. Nikon USA repairs grey market lenses, film SLRs, and accessories; but they do not repair grey market DSLRs.
  21. Thanks for all your help! Ordered the camera today with the 18-70mm lens. Good advice on the books - did not pick these up on the order today but will in the future. Is the Nikon Capture NX Mac compatible?
  23. First I want to say thanks for everyone's input. The camera was a big hit and my wife loves her new "outfit".

    Unfortunately, the older Zeiss 70-200mm lens is not working with her new camera - it is a CPU-type lens and should work, but there is something wrong with it and the camera cannot correctly read/set the shutter speed. Also, the zoom operates on a pull out/push in basis, which the folks at the local camera store say is a problem with dSLRs as that tends to pull dust into the camera.

    So now on to Phase II as my wife bats her eyes for a new zoom lens. Specifically, I am looking to get a 70-300mm zoom (or there abouts) to complement the 18-70mm she currently has. The salesperson showed me both a Nikon DX and Tamron model 572D lens (both ~$180) but recommended the Tamron.

    Any opinions on the relative merits of either lens and/or recommendations for other lenses would be appreciated!!

    Thanks in advance...

  24. Hi Jim,

    In your price range I recommend the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro. I don't know if I have the extra letters in the right order, but the "APO" designation is the important one. I have the lens and it's pretty sharp throughout the range, and it also takes some really nice close up shots. Great for walking around because it goes the distance for animals and people, and then when you come across a flower or a bug you can just flip the switch into macro mode and take a stunning photo without having to switch lenses. I think sells them for $180. That's where I got mine.

    I do recommend a monopod with it though... a good 10 Megapixel sensor like the D80's can really show an unsteady hand.

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