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carlcmc

Opinions on purchasing a Nikon D80 with the 18-135 mm lens kit?

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I am ready to make the switch to DSLR!

I have been seriously eyeing the Nikon D80 (10mp). I also have looked at the latest Canon Rebel Xti (10mp). I think i have ruled out the Sony alpha,

I would love the live preview that the olympus evolt has but it is a 1.0 version (first generation) and I am hesitant to go with that.

I would love the sensor cleaning feature of the Canon if it were on the Nikon D80. However, after trying the Nikon D80 with the kit lens 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, I don't see that I would immediately or even in the long term get a different lens.

If I'm not switching lenses, then dust accumulation shouldn't be an issue right?

I'm attracted to the Nikon D80 for the 10 mp, plethora of features and established brand. Also it is compatible with DX lenses targeted for the pro nikon cameras.

So... thoughts? Is that lens a fixed apperature or can you change the apperature? I thought I saw someone on here coment that some kit lenses were fixed.

If you had to argue against the D80 what would be the reasons? I know several of you are Cannon shooters. If you had to argue for D80 versus the Cannon what woud you say?

I would plan on getting the D80 plus kit lens (18-135) 2) a bag, 3)neck strap

Any other high importance items to get for a first time DSLR user? I have shot my point and shoot digicams in manual mode for several years so I have an understanding of manual control.

Thanks for any imput. Carl.

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if you're able to,just try them both with similar lenses and buy the one you feel more comfortable with. i would say with good technique,the performance from either will be about the same. the dust reduction on the xti would be nice and might save you some bucks on a sensor cleaning someday.

if you're buying from a camera store,take a few shots with each camera outdoors,then have them burn the images on a cd so you can take them home and compare to see which one produced the images you like best. thats what i did when trying to make a final decision about the nikon d200 and the canon 30d. [the rebates didn't hurt grin.gif]

both make fine equipment,so by narrowing it down to these two,you really can't lose either way.

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thanks for the reply. what lens do you have for your camera and how do you feel about getting the standard 18-135 that comes with this? Would you rather do a split approach with a 50 mm or something and then a 70-200/300 or something?

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I'm with MM. Try them both out. They're close enough together in what they offer that you'll be happy with either Nikon or Canon. Buy the one that fits your hand the best and has controls where you like them.

The kit lenses are not fixed aperture lenses. You control the lens aperture through the camera controls.

And you're right about switching lenses. No switching, no dust getting to the sensor. The XTi sensor clean is fine, but one way or another there'll be some cleaning involved if you're swapping lenses.

I'd go with the kit lens. An 18-135 gives you a lot of flexibility, which is why zooms are so popular. And then down the road if you want more telephoto, you can pick up a consumer-grade (as opposed to professional grade) 70-300 in various brands ranging from $150 to over $600. Pro zooms in those ranges cost a lot more.

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Quote:

). I think i have ruled out the Sony alpha,


Curious to why you ruled out the Alpha? One advantage it offers is the image stabilization is built into the camera body instead of the lens. Those lens with Image Stabilization are expensive. Plus, if you have certain types of old Minolta lens and flashes, you can use them on the Alpha body. (My old Minolta lens and Flash work great on mine)

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Image stabilization in the camera can be effective, but because of the physics of the stabilization process generally is less effective with the more powerful telephoto lenses.

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I had thought about the Sony Alpha. Something were definitely intriguing. However, #1 I have no existing SLR equipment. #2 I'm a bit leery of it for the same reason I'm leery of the Olympus system with the live preview - namely a first generation system that may have problems that show up down the road. Nikon and Cannon have established systems and most likely to hold up over the long term and not be forced out of the business etc. Anyway, that was my reasoning.

Faulty? :-) crazy.gif

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Quote:

And you're right about switching lenses. No switching, no dust getting to the sensor. The XTi sensor clean is fine, but one way or another there'll be some cleaning involved if you're swapping lenses.


I will slightly disagree with Steve on this. There is no way to prevent dust on your sensor period. Even if you never change a lens, dust eventually will find its way in. Most bodies and consumer grade lenses are not sealed against the elements and even if they are, dust will find its way in. Also adding to the fact is the sensor is electrically charged, this attracts dust lens or no lens. Some zooms that are push-pull design seem to also help with a vacuum effect which can help dust into the camera.

Eventually you will have to clean the sensor, it may be a year, two years, or two weeks. Much of that is dependent on what types of conditions you expose your camera to. I've shot in conditions so dusty (baseball fields for example) that there is no way I would have considered changing a lens. I still ended up cleaning the sensor as well as the body due to all the fine dust that made its way in.

Is it a big problem...not really, I do change lenses multiple times a day a couple of days per week. I haven't cleaned my sensor in three months. Winter time doesn't seem to get the camera as dirty as shooting outside in spring or summer where floating dust, pollen, etc. finds its way to my sensor. I would not make a decision on a camera based on whether or not it cleans the sensor, it might go in the plus column when weighing features, but I don't think I would put in the negative if it did not have it either.

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Carl:

Not faulty logic. The huge majority of pro shooters use Canon or Nikon. When in doubt, pick the lines the pros use, because they can't afford to have things fail when they're out on a job. Things fail now and then anyway, but the better the line of equipment, the rarer the failures.

For those times when cleaning a sensor is inevitable, a new system is coming out in March that is easy to use in the field and has been extensively field tested as safe for the sensor. It's an adhesive pad that's pushed down on the sensor and pulled off. Every tiny speck of dust comes with it, but the adhesive will not stick to the sensor. Much easier to use than the fluid and swabs most of us use now. On the downside, it looks like it'll sell for $40. I can't remember the brand, but watch for it wherever you buy your digital gear.

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a new system is coming out in March that is easy to use in the field and has been extensively field tested as safe for the sensor. It's an adhesive pad that's pushed down on the sensor and pulled off. Every tiny speck of dust comes with it, but the adhesive will not stick to the sensor.


I believe what Steve is referring to is called Dust-Aid. If you do a search, you should be able to find it.

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thanks for all the great info guys. this is what makes this HSOforum great.

I'm thinking of buying it at cabelas during one of those promotions where if you spend 500 you get a 150 gift card. I realize one can find it online for 70-80 less, but this would give me a retail presence to take it back to in cases of problems plus the 150 gift card, plus the extra points earned towards more fishing gear! :-)

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Image stabilization in the camera can be effective, but because of the physics of the stabilization process generally is less effective with the more powerful telephoto lenses.


Agree, but the cost difference between the Nikon or Canon with Stabilization Lens versus the Alpha is huge. I'm not arguing that the Alpha is a better camera than the Nikon/Canon, but if you are trying to stay around a $1K investment, you might get more for your money, especially if you already own Minolta lens/flashes.

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