Hands on D-80 w/ 18-135

Started Aug 19, 2006 | Discussions thread
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Mike Woodland Regular Member • Posts: 148
Hands on D-80 w/ 18-135

I was fortunate enough to get about 5 minutes with a D-80 and 18-135 this afternoon. I have a D-70 w/18-70 and have taken thousands of pix with that set-up. In watching the initial reports on the D-80 I was interested, though not necessarily ‘excited’ by the D-80. I have never really run out of resolution, so the 10MP was appealing, but not something I had to have. When I heard about the 18-135 I was intrigued as I am a recreational shooter, and a single lens with good range and sharpness is what I look for.

Well after just a few minutes with the D-80 I was sold. Very similar ‘feel’ to the D-70, but with a little more polish. Design, feel and build to me are A+. It’s not the tank like feel of the D-200, but I wouldn’t want that for myself – again recreational shooter not a Pro making a living off the camera. The huge screen on the back is a big improvement as images are now large enough to not have to go into playback and zoom to get a good overview of how you are doing. The viewfinder was a pleasure and the information was well presented, including a warning when no card was present.

The 18-135 was a beautiful lens to shoot with. Nice feel, smooth operation and super fast focus. It is the build quality of its film equivalent cousin the 28-200 Nikkor, which is fine. Again not tank like, but for a walking around lens which is much more affordable than the 18-200 VR, it is just right. I had the chance to shoot off three very hasty images while our rep was distracted – these were literally taken in seconds with the camera on P.

http://www.photofinale.com/DansCamera/members/contests/albums/1194024/newest/1-60/view.aspx

Please don’t interpret these as ‘test shots’ as I was only looking to grab what I could quickly. I only had a chance to check that there was no exp. comp. on and the image mode was normal (not vivid, etc.). After shooting I realized the camera was not set to center focus (which is how I use my D-70) so the focus point from image to image may have varied – sorry about that. All were at ISO 100.

From an enthusiast’s point of view this is a killer kit. Once you have the camera in your hand you won’t care that it is SD (cards are cheap these days). The vertical grip/battery pack is also appealing as it is reasonably priced and I enjoy this option as much of what I shoot is vertical portraits. This kit along with the new 70-300 VR lens will be an incredible package. I have the older 70-300 ED, and it is fine, but the focus speed can sometimes leave a little to be desired, so I look forward to the new version. If you currently have a Nikon and weren’t thinking of moving to the D-80 – do not kick its tires – you’ll end up getting addicted.

 Mike Woodland's gear list:Mike Woodland's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5
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