Nikon Digital SLR guidance

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Neil Jones, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Neil Jones

    Neil Jones Guest


    I am a very very amateurish photographer. Before the digital cameras, I
    invested in some Nikon Lenses for the Nikon AF 6006 camera. In the
    digital camera arena, the most advanced version of the camera that I
    have dealt with are the telezoom cameras (Lumix FZ28/FZ100 type).
    However, sometimes I do want to own a DSLR but do not want to break the
    bank either. The best Nikor lens I have is the AF ED 80-200 F/2.8 and
    the other lenses are about average. It is sad to see the lenses
    accumulating dust. :) Which DSLR would give some life to these lenses
    and some fun for me (again without breaking the bank)?

    Thank you in advance for any advice and help.
    Neil Jones, Jul 26, 2011
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  2. Neil Jones

    Joe Makowiec Guest

    These lens compatibility charts should tell you whether your lenses
    will work on which dSLRs:

    The AF ED certainly will. If you don't want to break the bank, you
    probably want to eliminate the full-frame (FX) sensor cameras - D3S,
    D3X, D700 - from consideration. Of the rest, body-only prices range
    from US$500 to US$1,700. Nikon's dSLR page allows you to compare them:

    I just bought a D7000, although it replaced an earlier Nikon digital,
    and I had some specific wants. So far, I've been pleased.
    Joe Makowiec, Jul 26, 2011
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  3. The short rule is, any Nikon lens that will mount on the
    6006 will mount and work usefully (but not necessarilly
    with all the frills) on any Nikon DSLR body. However,
    there are some bodies that will not AF with older AF lenses
    (the D40 and friends AF with AF-S lenses only), and some
    bodies that will not meter with non-chipped lenses (which
    is not that big a deal in most cases, I used one for a few
    years myself).

    Depending on what kind of photography you do, and personal
    preference, the lack of AF is somewhere between fatal and
    irrelevant :). Up to you!

    That 80-200/2.8 is a first-rate lens according to all
    reports. Optically equal to my much-more-expensive
    70-200/2.8 AF-S VR, though it will focus slower, and
    doesn't have VR (I'm not much impressed with VR in the
    70-200 anyway).

    I found the 80-200 length VERY useful on an APS-C (DX in
    Nikon terms) body (Fuji S2, and then Nikon D200). (You
    understand that the field of view depends on the sensor
    size, right? So 200mm on a DX body gives the same field of
    view as 300mm on an FX body?) You'll probably find
    yourself having to replace your widest lens to be happy,
    and maybe your walkaround lens as well.

    From what you say about price, I'm assuming the FX bodies,
    D700 and D3s and D3x, are out of the question. It does
    sound like a D90, maybe used or refurb, might be a good fit
    for you.

    Good luck!
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jul 26, 2011
  4. Neil Jones

    Neil Jones Guest

    Thank you! The advice is very practical for me.

    I think a used D90 would be good camera to own for the moment.

    Thank you once again.
    Neil Jones, Jul 28, 2011
  5. If your budget is really tight, you could probably pick up a used D50,
    D70 or D80 for a song these days...

    Moro Grubb of Little Delving, Jul 28, 2011
  6. Neil Jones

    Bruce Guest

    I agree with all of the above. Plus, if the 80-200mm f/2.8 is the
    last AF-S version, it focuses just as fast as the later 70-200mm.

    Nikon Europe apparently has hundreds of these 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-S
    lenses in stock but for some reason won't release them to dealers. We
    have a list price, we know they have them, but we cannot order them.
    No-one knows (or will tell us) why not. Very disappointing, because
    they are excellent lenses, and particularly good value for money.

    The two touch 'screwdriver drive' version is also optically excellent
    and is very fast to focus on late 35mm SLRs and pro/prosumer DSLRs
    despite not having the Silent Wave motor. Its only real weakness is
    its rather unsharp performance at the 200mm focal length when focused
    at or near its minimum focusing distance, but experienced users know
    they can correct that by using a +1 close-up lens.
    Bruce, Jul 28, 2011
  7. Neil Jones

    me Guest

    I've just seen your post looking like your coming to the D90. It might
    help if you talk about the type of photography you do. For instance I
    make great use of the autoiso modes in my D200/D300 and this is just
    one area the next level down in cameras is hampered. Specifically I
    set a min shutter speed to fix on and shoot aperture-priority mode and
    let the iso float to accommodate up to a user set limit.
    me, Jul 28, 2011
  8. Neil Jones

    PeterN Guest

    With my singing ability I could get more than one if I refrain from
    PeterN, Jul 28, 2011
  9. Neil Jones

    PeterN Guest

    I don't rely on "all reports" in commenting on a lens. I try it for
    myself. I use my 70-200 almost as a general purpose lens. My daughter
    had the 80-200. She found the focus too slow and traded it towards the

    Whether you need VR is a matter of what you photograph. With my D300 I
    use high ISO or on a tripod. In either case I turn off VR. Turning off
    VR gives a faster release time.


    Use of a close up optic degrades the quality of the fine Nikon optics.
    If I want closer focus I use extension tubes.

    PeterN, Jul 28, 2011
  10. Neil Jones

    Guest Guest

    which 80-200? there were several versions, ranging from slow focus to
    very fast (just as fast as the 70-200). it also can depend on the
    nope. there is no additional delay once vr is engaged. also, vr helps
    stabilize tripods, especially if it's windy.
    only if it's a poor quality closeup lens.
    that also degrades things, since the lens was probably not designed for
    an extension (some lenses might be though).
    Guest, Jul 28, 2011
  11. Neil Jones

    PeterN Guest

    Not sure which one. She only had it for about a week and it may well
    have been one of the slow focus ones.
    I tend to follow the manufacturers recommendations. You are free to do
    otherwise. My avian photographer friends do not use VR unless necessary
    as they feel it takes additional time to stabilize.
    then recommend on that does not degrade resolution.
    It should have little noticeable effect on the resolution. If I am
    wrong, I would like proof.
    PeterN, Jul 28, 2011
  12. Neil Jones

    Guest Guest

    nikon recommends using vr on a tripod for many of their vr lenses,
    including the 70-200 you use:


    the 'additional time to stabilize' happens when you're composing and
    focusing. it's a non-issue.
    Guest, Jul 28, 2011
  13. Neil Jones

    PeterN Guest

    The source you cite says that you use VR "when the pan tilt head is

    With the following lenses/cameras VR should be "Off" when the camera is
    mounted on a tripod and the pan/tilt head is locked down and using a
    cable release:
    •105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro Nikkor
    •18-200mm f3.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor
    •24-120mm f3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor
    •70-200mm f2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor
    •80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED VR AF Zoom-Nikkor

    Very true with birds in flight. <\end sarcastic tag>

    Please don't insult my intelligence by misquoting sources.
    PeterN, Jul 28, 2011
  14. Neil Jones

    tony cooper Guest

    The bird photographers in my camera club also include an admonition in
    their presentations to turn off the VR on shots as you describe.
    tony cooper, Jul 28, 2011
  15. Neil Jones

    Me Guest

    There are issues with premature AF-s motor failure on these lenses, an
    expensive exercise to fix under warranty. Perhaps it was better
    economics to not sell them, and sell the more reliable 70-200.
    Easiest (IMO) just to zoom back to <150mm, and take a step closer.
    This lens has been round in various forms with same optical formula for
    a long time. Not surprisingly, the close distance/long focal length
    backfocus issue never seemed to be an issue before dslrs made it too
    easy for people to test everything to death.
    There is another weakness with the later 2-ring version of the lens.
    The AF/MF switch ring on the barrel is badly engineered, and eventually
    cracks and fails. The replacement part is inexpensive, but the lens has
    to be disassembled to replace it.
    Me, Jul 28, 2011
  16. Neil Jones

    Savageduck Guest

    The newer AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8 has not been offered by vendors for
    years, only the older AF 80-200mm f/2.8D is currently available. This
    is still very good glass, and at $1,120 compared to the 70-200 f/2.8
    VRII, is a good value.
    Nikon has done what it can to push buyers for that range of pro glass
    towards the 70-200mm.
    Savageduck, Jul 28, 2011
  17. Neil Jones

    Savageduck Guest

    In the USA, Nikon withdrew all the AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8D ED lenses for
    that reason. This left the older bullet proof, reliable AF 80-200mm
    f/2.8D, which is still available and has actually out lived its
    Savageduck, Jul 28, 2011
  18. In chronological order of their appearance (and more or less ascending order
    of desirability and probable price), the D70, D70s, D50 (a later but lower
    priced version of the D70s), D80 and D90. Any of those should work fine with
    any Nikon AF lenses, and there are must be loads of those models on eBay.
    The D90 is definitely the best, most advanced and feature-rich of those, and
    is almost certain to be the most expensive, all else being equal. My guess
    is you'd be able to find a D80 at a much more attractive price, and that is
    still a very nice and capable DSLR.

    Avoid the small-body Nikons in the D40 family (D40X, D60, D3000, D5000 etc.)
    because they do not have the in-body AF motor you need for autofocusing
    older AF (non AF-S) lenses you probably own.
    Neil Harrington, Jul 28, 2011
  19. Neil Jones

    Guest Guest

    d50 and d70s came out at the same time. they were similar but the d50
    was not just a subset of the d70s. it did a few things the d70s didn't,
    although it's been too long to remember what those were.
    the d90 is still available, new.
    true if you want to keep older lenses, but in some cases, it may be
    worth selling the older lenses and buying a less expensive camera with
    newer lenses.
    Guest, Jul 29, 2011
  20. Neil Jones

    Bruce Guest

    Interesting, guys, thanks for that!
    Bruce, Jul 29, 2011
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