The best nikon system for $2500

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by nancy_klich, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. I want to build the best Nikon digital slr system I can for $2500, including a variety of lenses, lights, tripods, etc.. I have researched a bit on the NikonUSA site and read a bit about a basic, but versitle, system, but need more personalized advice.
    I came from the old days of film and had a Nikon with wide angle to 500mm lenses but no longer have any of that equipment. Any suggestions for digital camera and lenses would be helpful - I want the best quality for serious amateur shutterbugging - I'd like to take macro, portrait, landscape photos. I don't need or want any video or movie capabilities, but I do want the best quality photos so will take the video if needed. Also will consider buying reconditioned or brand new, so ideas in the "you might be able to get this camera (lens)" used will also help.
    Thanks,
     
  2. That sounds to me like the beginning of a serious NAS. So, face it, get a D700 right away and while saving for the first lens, shoot with your love's P&S...
    :)
    Actually, why not, a 50/1.8 with it and off you go.
     
  3. Zooms or primes? Do you need fast lenses? VR?
    To keep the keep the cost down I would seriously look at a number of manual focus lenses to cover macro and landscape - there is no reason for af in these situations. This just leaves you with af portrait lenses to buy meaning you can put more money into getting the best body you can - this is the most cost effective way to the best quality. If you are happy to stitch your wide landscapes you can eliminate wides angles too (or at least until you really want them).
    If you do want more AF on a budget without compromising quality buy a 35-70 f/2.8. they are 250ish on the auction site and very sharp well made pro lenses.
    You are going to struggle with this budget if you need to included flash(s) and a good tripod + head.
     
  4. Nikon D90 $810
    Tamron 90/2.8 macro $400
    Nikon 50/1.8 $120
    Nikon 17-55/2.8 $1350
    Yes, it is a bit over $2500. Yes, it doesn't even have a tripod. $2500 just doesn't carry too far with good DSLR gear. May be if you spend the money in one place, you can get the sale person to throw in a flash card plus a bag. Look at the bright side, the D90 has a built-in flash :)
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    When your overall budget is $2500, that pretty much means you should get a D90 body, which has the video capability you of course don't need to use. That is about $800. We need to clarify exactly what
    a variety of lenses, lights, tripods, etc.. a variety of lenses, lights, tripods, etc..​
    means. To cover macro, landscape, and portrait, you might consider the new 85mm DX macro lens and some 10-24 or 12-24 type wide angle. Add a 50mm/f1.8 or 35mm/f1.8 and you are pretty well covered.
    There is no point to bring up the D700; that body alone is going to eat up the OP's entire budget.
     
  6. Just not enough money for today's inflated prices. Will have to shop around and find good used stuff and even then it's going to be hard to do.
     
  7. For the best possible quality (semi-pro body and pro lenses) on that budget inc. tripod and 1 flash:

    All used:
    D300
    35-70mm f/2.8
    SB800
    24mm f/2.8 AIS
    60mm macro AIS
    Manfrotto 3021 legs and ballhead
    May come in a bit over.
     
  8. with your budget i would sugest a D300 with two Sb800 strobes and a decent tripod. Then a 50m f1.8. A Sigma 10-20 (you dont need the new version) Maybe a 200mm f4 ais (got mine for £16 a few months ago) A 35 and an 85 mm AI (loads to choose from ) Why not grab a 135mm too. So cheap ATM if you look around. A background support and some muslin to start you off. Photosel have some good prices. Not top quality, but will do to start with. A generic remote release. Spare battery and CF card.
    This sholud do you for starters. Ok you are missing some range , but you dont have a huge budget. You might want to include an 18-200 vr in there somewhere. Despite what some people say, it is possible to take quality pictures with this lens and it is just SO useful a range.
     
  9. Hey Nancy,
    Welcome back in our world! It is hard to tell you what to do with your money... you have to spend some time to see what the market is offering because you are already familiar with camera and lens specs from your slr time.
    But if I'll be in your situation I'll buy a new D90 camera (I know that many people will advice to go for and older used camera but this is my option) and with the money left in the budget I'll buy several new and used prime since you are familiar with such of glass.
    In my wish list would be: Sigma 20mm f/1.8; Sigma 30mm f/1.4 or Nikon 35mm f/1.8; Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AI or f/1.4 G or the excelent Sigma 50 f/1.4; Nikon 85 f/1.8 and so on...
    Of course that you cannot purchase all of them from your budget but it's enough to pick what focals are more appropriate with your needs and shooting style. You can go cheaper purchasing some old stuff, manual lenses, that are available sometime at good price but check first if those have a good reputation for digital cameras.
    Another options is to buy a wide prime and a 50mm and then a 80-200mm zoom that is a very good and versatile lens and you cand find good used copies.
    Make sure when you pick your lens to read some reviews in advance... Some good information you can find here http://photozone.de/Reviews/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests and here http://www.pbase.com/marcoraugei/nikonlenses
    What is important is to start somewhere and start with a good camera and with good glass. In future you'll find possibilities to expand your stuff but make sure you don't make any compromise in quality when aquiring the initial equipment. Good luck!
     
  10. D90 Body $810.00
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DX $185.00
    55-200mm f/4-5.6 DX VR $150.00 (refurb)
    50mm f/1.8 $125.00
    105mm f/2.8 VR Micro $800 (reburb)
    SB-600 flash $219.00
    Total $2289.00
    All current prices at Adorama & leaves you $211.00 for tripod & filters
     
  11. the best quality for serious amateur shutterbugging ... macro, portrait, landscape photos​
    Your question is a bit too broad. This is especially difficult for the consideration of lenses, as one would have to consider focal length, prime vs zoom, fast vs slow/light wight/cheap, Nikon vs third party. If you do not narrow down your question a little bit, you will get answers all over the place.
    However at this point it seems that one thing you are not interested in shooting is fast action/sports so this rules out cameras with super fast AF. In this case the choice is between D90 ($800) or D5000 ($650). These two have nearly identical sensors. One major difference is that the D5000 does not have built in AF motor so you want to make sure that your lenses do.
    In terms of lens, this is very complicated. What was your favorite lens in the film days? In general, the 17-50 mm range is the most useful for the DX format of the cameras, and this range is equal to 25-75 mm of the film (full frame) days. Do you want f2.8, if not, go with the kit lens? If you find f2.8 useful for low light and shallow DOF, then you can buy the Nikon version ($1300 new, $900 used, almost 900 g in weight) or the Tamron version ($650, 600g). I believe those made by Sigma and Tokina are also quite good, but the new Tamron has VC (vibration control). I have the Nikon version and love it but it is very heavy. You may not have money left for a macro lens (if you also buy the flash and tripod). The cheap way to go is to buy the AFD 50/1.8 ($120) and use a 10T close up lens. The 50/1.8 can be doubled as a good lens for head/shoulder shots. (However if you really want to use the 50mm for photographing people, the Sigma 50/1.4 is a fabulous choice but it will set you back by $450).
    For flash, SB600 is outstanding for the size and cost ($250). It can bounce well with a 20ft ceiling. For tripod, get one that is made of carbon fiber to reduce weight. I think a reasonable one may cost $250.
    I think the best strategy to build a camera system is to buy fewer equipment first but spend money on truly quality products. Buying and selling constantly are just tedious.
     
  12. Nancy
    welcome to Photonet and I humbly apologise that you have to deal with so many smart ass answers luckily there are many people trying to be helpful, for sure $2500 should be more than enough to get you started I think a D90 is a good start and maybe a used 18-70mm and an SB600 flash and a $125 Slik tripod then just start taking pictures and find out where you equipment limits you, the tools shoot fit the task not the other way around.
    As to people telling you to spend your entire budget on one camera or that $2500 is not enough money to get started I'm hoping there joking or drunk..
    Steve
     
  13. I'd head for the KEH website and look around. If you go for a D300 you can find tons of manual focus AI lens compatible with that body for little money. I have mf Nikkors in 28, 35, 50, 85, 135, 80-200 and 300mm for a total of under $600. All in good but not new condition and all will meter on my digital bodies. I have a couple of modern zooms as well but am not a big fan of AF. Unless you just insist on the newest gear, and you don't seem to, you can put together a bagful of useful equipment and have money left over. Don't forget to pick up some memory cards and a good bag. It's a great time to be getting back into photography.

    Rick H.
     
  14. Ditto going used. KEH lenses are exactly as the describe them. Even BGN quality have good glass. You should be able to put together a nice 24/35/85 prime combo for that and still have enough left over for a used D200
     
  15. All,
    I"m a little curious no one recommended getting the D90 with the 18-105mm kit lens for $1031, available right now on Amazon. That lens is a pretty good lens for only $230 more than buying the D90 body only. Or you could get the D90 with kit lens, camera bag, SD card, card reader, and spare battery on Adorama for only $1,102.71.
    Does anyone agree with that?
    Someone recommended the Tamron 90mm macro lens, which I use with my D90 and love, so I too would second that. There's a $60 rebate on it right now, and, if you search for it on Microsoft's Bing.com website, you can follow the link from there to buy it using their Cashback program and get an additional 2-10% off (you can do that for anything you're looking for). I bought mine from Beach Camera brand new on eBay using 'Buy it Now" for $449, with a $60 rebate, and Bing cashback of $35.92, making the final cost $353.08.
    You can get the Nikon Wireless remote for only $14.53 on Amazon, that's another need, as well as a spare battery (definitely a must have).
    Good luck!
     
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The OP specifies landscape, macro, and portrait with a decent budget. Therefore I would avoid any plastic-mount, general-purpose lenses such as the 18-55, 55-200, and 18-105. If you have a very limited budget and need some "overall" lens, you may have no other choice but to compromise with one of those, but if one can afford someting better, I would avoid all plastic mount Nikon lenses. Threads such as this one remind us how fragile they are: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00V7TI
    In my mind:
    • Landscape is certainly not limited to any particular focal length, but I would get a wide zoom such as 12-24, 10-24 or 10-20, probably a Tokina or Sigma given the OP's budget.
    • Macro means some 60mm or 105mm macro lens, perhaps some 85 or 90mm.
    • Portrait is a bit difficult since there is no DX portrait lens. This topic has been discussed over and over in this forum. You can use a 50mm/f1.8 AF-D but that is a little short. A 60mm or 85mm macro lens can perhaps be used for portrait also.
     
  17. If I had that budget I would go to B&H Photo and Video and purchase D-90 with a used Macro Nikkor lens, plus a used or new SB-800 or SB-900. Then get some work and start saving to purchase another lens and a strobe kit. Forget about the tripod, use your hands and legs to steady the camera.
    The Speedlights work off the camera on remote and the built-in flash on the D-90 can be used as commander to fire them. So with this setup you can start doing very good photographs if you have some photographic knowledge.
    My five cents...
     
  18. The D90 with the 18-105 lense is a very nice unit, and very affordable. Sure it has some plastic, so do the tanks in the US army and many other places, it will not corrode or rust. In many cases it can take more punishment than metal, it will flex some before it breaks. If you drop any lense hard enough, the inside stuff will go before the outside will. I own the D90 with the above lense along with other lenses and it is quite a capable unit. The price is right and it takes much nicer pics than the older 18-55 does. Ultimately though, it is your choice on what you spend. The D90 is a very respectable start, even if you just get it and the lense for now along with a bag and tripod, then you will see what else you would like with it. I am very happy with mine, takes excellent photos and still has some nice programmed modes to help you learn.
     
  19. Thanks for all of the info. I have a much better idea of what to look for and issues to consider. Since I built my slr slowly over time while living in Japan, I never gave much consideration to trying to get all I want at once and on a limited budget.
    I worked for a short time in the '70s as a semi-pro b&w photograhper for local papers and was photo editor of my college yearbook. I have been away from serious photograhpy for ages and ages but am retiring and want to spend some quality time behind the lens again. I want to get the best and most versatile I can since I it will probably take a long time to save for additional equipment on my retirement income. I can probably give up on the studio portrait stuff which will give me more equipment.
    I have a budget of about $5000 for a new computer and camera stuff. If I go with an iMac, I can free up about 800 additional for the camera stuff. If I go with a MacBook, I have the 2500. I'd love to have the flexibility of the MacBook but am torn between that and the camera stuff. Your responses are pushing me more to the iMac. That way I can go with the better body and/or more lenses.
    I will need some time to digest all the great ideas and suggestions, but I will definately go for the best body and glass I can get.
    Anyone know anything about Daily Deal Digital? They have a D 300s with a Nikkor 105 2.8 Macro for about 1600. Their site is a bit sketchy on details, which makes me wonder. Sounds too good to be true.
    Thanks again.
     
  20. Nancy the going price for a NEW The D300s is about $1650 & for a NEW Nikon 105 2.8 Macro is about $890. I would be careful. Make sure you ask a lot of questions before you buy.
    Good Luck & HAPPY Shooting.
     
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Enrique, you don't need to ask any questions about deals. When you find "deals" that are too good to be true, run away immediately.
     
  22. VERY good point Shun.
     
  23. If I go with an iMac, I can free up about 800 additional for the camera stuff. If I go with a MacBook, I have the 2500. I'd love to have the flexibility of the MacBook but am torn between that and the camera stuff.​
    If you plan to shoot RAW, it would be nice to get Nikon softwares to edit these files. Unfortunately the current Nikon softwares (the free Nikon Transfer and ViewNX) are not compatible with the newest Apple OS (10.6), which you will get when you buy a new computer. For the Intel Mac, you can run it in "Bootcamp" such that you can use the Windows version of the software.
     
  24. BHphoto is an excellent safe place to purchase on-line. There may be a nice local store to shop at or even CostCo. For $2500.00 which is a lot of money you could get set up with a D90, a couple of essential lenses, flash, tripod, memory card and so on. Other things that will come up eventually is photoshop, external hard drive and a color calibration program for you monitor. I was just recently at Yosemite to take some pictures and I found that there are hoards of people taking thousands of pictures. Rapid firing scenic pictures sometimes with as much as $25,000 in multiple camera's hanging from their neck. A most interesting thing to see. The light was poor.
     
  25. +1 for the D700 and 50mm lens. By the time you recover from the shock, you'll have saved enough for the 85/1.4, 35/2.0.
     
  26. To really fit your budget and your needs, I suggest d300s (~$1699 new from B&H), nikkor 28mm f/2 AIS manual focus (~$450 on ebay), AFS Micro-Nikkor 60 mm f/2.8 ED G N (~$500 new). The 28mm will give you an effective 42mm "normal" lens equivalent with a pleasant bokeh, and the 60mm will give you crisp 90mm equivalent portrait/macro lens which will be equally good for long shots of landscapes.
     
  27. I think you should go to a camera store and pickup a D300 then a D90. There is a size and weight difference. Either of these bodies perform very well. I use older AIS lenses so a D300 fits that need. Otherwise a D90 paired to a 16-85mm Nikkor with a used Gitzo tripod and good ballhead should give you a lot to work with. Include a CPL filter. BandH photo or Adorama are good stores.
    For a computer I use a cheap PC with good monitor. The PC gets replaced. I use Nikon NX2 or Bibble to process RAW files. What little I print is done at Penn Camera through the mail. No printer paper or ink to purchase.
     
  28. Nikon D90 ($899)
    Sigma 18-50 2.8 ($425)
    Sigma 70-200 2.8 ($799)
    Nikon Sb-600 ($219)
    Cactus Wireless trigger and receivers ($40)
    Adorama Tripod and head ($130)
    $2512
     
  29. When it comes to a Mac portable for photography, I'd avoid a MacBook in favor of a MacBook Pro. The MacBooks are a bit underpowered when it comes to pushing pixels around, and their screens still aren't as good as those on the iMac. The 24" iMac running Aperture is a delight.
     
  30. A very versatile lens that does all you describe can be found in a Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical IF Macro Zoom Lens with Built in Motor for about $600. See reviews on Amazon for a consensus about this lens. I use an older Tamron 28-300mm and keep it on my camera about 90% of the time.
    Mount that on a D90 along with an SB800 and you still have a good $6-700 to play with for
    assy. Speaking of which, one assy I would not be without for outdoor shooting in strong sun is a hood loupe. Expensive little gadget but is the only thing I have found to eliminate glare on your LCD without bulking up your camera with a hood attachment. This one hangs on a lanyard around
    your neck and magnifies to get at the detail.
     
  31. watch local classified ads, as well as online ads.
    someone in my county has an F2 film setup with a full lens set. they only want $200 for it. sure it's film and you want digital, but there are some good deals out there.
     
  32. If you want the best system for a given budget, then invest in the lenses and get whatever camera you can afford after that. the D40 will give you similar image quality to the d3 at normal iso. going by your interests, you would be shooting at base iso for most of your work, and autofocus would not be required. ai-s lenses can be had cheap and i think the d90 can meter with them.
     
  33. I won't tell you what lens to buy.
    I will say, skip the D90 and buy the D300. You can get a refurbished D300 for about $1,100 with a full Nikon USA warranty (plus tax if you happen to be in the retailer's state). You may have to shop around to buy a D300 for that price as a refurb, but I bought my last three for that price (or less), and wouldn't pay more, and probably now wouldn't go above $1,000 for a D300 refurb. With a refurb, you either (1) need to view and handle the body in person yourself or with a person who is familiar with the body's mechanism and settings or (2) make sure of the retailer's return policies.
    There is an 'art' to buying refurb cameras and lenses, because a few (a select few) have been camera salesmen's (person's) samples (especially lenses) are optically perfect, however can be horribly beaten up. So long as they function perfectly and are perfect optically they get shipped out sometimes with the brand new lenses that have been returned to Nikon (sometimes for no other reason than a 'made-up reason' when wifey (or husband) said' what? you spent THAT MUCH on a lens for your camera?????' and so the customer makes up an excuse and 'returns' the lens claiming a 'defect'. That causes it to get inspected and 'remanufactured' -- even though it is 'brand new' in every instance except the 'sales history.'
    It generally is impossible or next to impossible to tell the usual refurbished product from a new Nikon product, except for the box and the enclosed warranty.
    As the product goes out of production, refurb prices should go down, down, down for camera bodies, and any store that just knocks off maybe $200 for selling you a refurb should be passed by, because they are making a very large profit . . . . there is (so far as I can tell) very large room for them to move down.
    A refurb D700 should now run next week $1900, if you absolutely have to have one; I have been knowledgeably told. In two weeks, I will answer e-mailed questions about buying refurbs (when I am out of the country and not so busy and have made all my current purchases (I don't want you competing with me from my source for the limited number of refurb items available).
    Refurbs are usually catch-as-catch-can; one very large Nikon long-term dealer's store manager told me their store never had been offered refurbs by Nikon; they appear to be available only to a select few stores (and some stores apparently buy them from other stores and still sell them cheaply enough to turn a profit.
    Me, personally, whenever I can, I shoot with refurbs, after personally testing and shooting with them, even if only briefly. I only saw and handled one refurb lens that didn't work properly, and the dealer promptly sent it back to Nikon.
    Nikon USA has a 90-day parts and labor warranty, so if you buy a refurb body, it may be wise to buy a second party warranty, which often can be had for about $100 for more than a year, and with a good company. For lenses, new Nikon lenses have a one-year warranty and a 4-year 'extended service contract' which is just like a warranty, but apparently is easier on Nikon's accountants and 'books'. It's really a warranty in disguise (for a Nikon USA product.)
    The problem with refurbs is they are hard to find; and some dealers offer them for only a few percentage points off the comparable NEW items; even though they pay dramatically less for refurbs. By law, any lens or body that has been returned with a claimed defect cannot be sold as 'new', and if it goes back to the factory (or to factory service) it will come out in a box marked somewhere 'refurb' (and not so pretty usually), and a paper or cardboard warranty, possibly hand written, but Nikon USA has absolutely no problem honoring these warranties (for their limited duration.)
    (Beware of one thing, however, some problems (issues) with mechanical/electric merchandise is 'intermittent' and even Nikon factory/service may not be able to reproduce (and thus miss) a problem that caused an item to be returned, especially if it was not the 'MAIN' problem, and thus was not noted for total replacement or total service of that particular part, so the 'issue/problem' might return and Nikon would not have fault, but you must find the issue within the 90-day period (or the period of any extended warranty you might have purchased from a third party.)
    My experience with refurb products (and even warranty service on them) has been excellent).
    I will answer e-mails from anyone interested, but only after two weeks, as I am planning and making a very long trip, starting today (packing for leaving tomorrow).
    If you pay $1,100 for a D300 refurb (without the video on the D300s) you have an excellent, world class camera and weather sealed, unlike the D90, whose users have complained to me about lack of seals. It is the camera I shoot with and have for two years. I could shoot with it for the rest of my life and be content, though I think a full size sensor camera (or two) is/are in my near future (a refurb of course).
    With such a good body at a very low price, you have a great deal of room for buying lenses. For $1,400, you can buy a substantial number of lenses, especially if you are able to go the refurb route and have a trustworthy dealer (who won't foist off on you the very very occasional brassed out returned salesman's lens etc., as salesmen I am told take 'horrible' care of their things (I may be wrong, but that's what I am told).
    Of course the Nikkor 50 mm f 1.8 is a gimme. It is so cheap (at $110 not $120, that it should not be passed by).
    The advice above about the 35-70 f 2.8 lens also was not bad, if you don't mind its design, though it is not very 'wide' for the reduced size APS-C sensor of all but the highest-priced Nikon Digital SLRs (but it will work very well if you upgrade to a full size (FX) sensor camera such as the D700 or D3, and successors. (think ahead!).
    (In fact, I think I will add one to the list of lenses I am looking for, as I did have one formerly, now gone).
    John (Crosley)
     
  34. Oh, and about warranties.
    If buying on the C's List source or the auction site, remember this:
    When buying Nikon or Canon products or almost any product with a manufacturer's warranty, the warranty is not transferable.
    It may be that the seller tells you that the warranty card is in the box and it is 'not filled out'.
    That not only is inviting you to cheat by claiming falsely that you bought or otherwise acquired the item 'new' yourself, but it may trip you up if you do make that false claim.
    You see, Nikon USA also has an on-line product warranty registration site, so the product may be registered (and the warranty already run out) even though the warranty card has never been written on or submitted.
    Embarrassingly your camera/lens may be registered to your seller (or the person who you were unaware sold it to him/her) electronically, and Nikon repair will know this, but when you submit your item for repair you will not, and you will not be able to answer questions about prior registration.
    Beware!
    These warranties are NEVER transferable, unless for some very unusual reason Nikon/Canon/etc., should make an exception to usual rules.
    On the other hand, 'third party warranties' or sometimes better called 'service contracts' (to escape laws regulating 'insurance', including setting aside money for future claims), often have a feature that allows coverage to be transferred to a new owner of the product.
    You must look at the actual contract and carefully read its language, THEN call the company to ensure that the 'contract' has not been cancelled or otherwise invalidated 'for the particular item you are purchasing,' whether and how much a 'transfer fee' may be involved (avoid any that charge a transfer fee of more than a few dollars for one, and make sure that the company has a good history, or its service may turn out to be nonexistent after you've sent your camera/lens to them.
    Sometimes dealers offer these things to buyers of refurb cameras and lenses. Make sure the company doing the warranty service is financially sound before purchasing . . . . otherwise 'hands off', even if you know their affiliated repair person (their contract with that person may terminate the minute they get into financial trouble, and you could lose your 'service contract money and have to pay for repairs yourself, even with the same person you thought was going to repair your camera/lens under the 'contract' for no additional charge.
    One 'service contract' I saw also 'covered' accidental damage 'including damage by dropping'. If it will pay claims, it may be very valuable, especially for a very expensive camera,such as a D3.
    Many dealers that sell 'refurbs' also sell 'service contracts' - some at reasonable prices. Still, buyer beware.
    They don't make money if you use their service very much, so turnaround times may be very, very slow. Also, the best reference is that the contract is affiliated for a long time with a repair shop you know, trust and would use -- which also can vouch for the warranty company and its financial integrity.
    Also, service contracts for retailers are HUGELY profitable items; the idea is to sell you 'service contracts' then to make it not worth your while to use them - such as building in very long wait times or turnaround times, poor telephone service, bad tracking, etc., so you are discouraged from making claims. (they have borrowed a page from the insurance company play book - insurance companies make huge amounts of money by discouraging claims or making it difficult to process claims)
    Still, try to do independent research on financial stability of the 'service contract firm' -- dealers may not want to be heard 'dissing' the company they do work for (or they may be the last to hear of financial difficulties or even be reluctant to tell you if their pay is late in coming or if the company is disputing good claims, etc., for fear of getting dumped from the 'approved' list of repairers. No one wants to lose their rice bowl.
    Nikon service minimum for a $250 lens may total nearly the value of the lens, so a service contract for a small percentage of the purchase price may be a very good deal; if the lens is damaged from defect and not under warranty (a refurb for instance) it may be replaced rather than having to be 'thrown away'. And, as noted above, at least one company also covers in addition, accidental damage, such as damage from dropping (which can be very valuable.)
    Warranties are covered under special law in California (and possibly under your state too, but maybe not as well).
    I hope this helps. (It is not legal advice; I have not practiced law in 20 years.)
    John (Crosley)
     
  35. A couple of other things have occured to me...I always say that the 17-55 and 80-200, both 2.8, cover 90 percent of everything I do and that's accurate. You might consider 3rd party 17-50 and 80-200 2.8's like Sigma, Tamron or Tokina. Good stuff for much less money. Also, while I mentioned the D300 you could look at the D200 also. I have been very happy with mine. There's a lot to be said for carrying 2 or 3 lenses instead of 5 or 6. You could also budget in a second smaller body like a D40. Just a thought. Let us know what you decide, I'd be interested in knowing. Rick H.
     
  36. 2 D90's
    Nikkor 60 mm Micro 2.8, also good for portraits.
    Nikkor 20 mm 2.8
    You have the full-frame equivalent of 30 mm and 90mm and don't have to swap lenses, so lessen dust issues.
     
  37. Or
    Adorama has a Nikon refurbished D700 for $2170.
    Then go to KEH and get the Nikkor 35mm f/2 and Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 used in Excellent condition.
    I think digital is headed for full-frame as the standard, and there are a world of good wide angle Nikkor lenses available for full frame at reasonable prices.
     
  38. Thanks for all the great ideas. What I thought would was a relatively straighforward question that would have an equally straightforward answer has generated so much information for me to consider that I hardly need to worry what I will do until I retire. I especially appreciate responses that sent me to other places for additional information and reviews of equipment.
    I still don't know what I will do, but have a range of options that I know will produce a great set up for me. I am torn between the D300 and D 90 and have made initial lists of must-have and like-to-have lenses. I know the used/refurbished route is the most difficult, but I think it may be worth my time and effort since I can get the maximum bang for my meager bucks.
    I will report back my final decision. In the meantime, I continue to read and consult the advise given to others.
    Have a great holiday.
     

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