Just ordered a Nikon D80.....

Started Sep 6, 2006 | Discussions thread
David Chin Forum Pro • Posts: 11,670
Get the 18-200, and here's why ...

Dez, please do not feel offended if I prejudge your photography inclinations as being more on the casual side of photography, rather than on the professional / pixel peeper side.

Get the 18-200 VR because you ... :
1. Will not be shooting weddings / portraits for pay

2. Like to travel light, and have a lens with a wide zoom range and produce images of acceptable quality

3. Don't spend a lot of time in front of the computer staring at every pixel of your image at 100%

4. Like to go quickly from 18mm wide to snap the huge Arc de Triomphe in front of you (samples of 18mm-type images http://www.pbase.com/dlcmh/image/37496630/original , http://www.pbase.com/dlcmh/image/37398588/original , http://www.pbase.com/dlcmh/image/36311606/original ), to 200mm a split-second later to photograph a candid of an interesting Parisian macaque across the road ( http://www.pbase.com/dlcmh/image/62268966/original - ok, they don't really have macaques strolling the streets of Paris). Fit a cheap closeup filter on your lens at 200mm, and you can even take the occasional bug closeup: http://www.pbase.com/dlcmh/image/62270120/original

5. Print 99% of your pictures a 4 x 6, a handful at 8 x 10 (12) and are not the type to hold prints 5.3 inches away from your eyes to detect sharpness flaws, in other words, you enjoy flipping through your prints in an album, and hanging prized ones up on your wall

6. Are not going to be submitting images to top-flight stock photography agencies who demand the very best images for onward sale to fussy clients

7. Will occasionally go to a dimly-lit museum where flash is not allowed, where you'll appreciate the VR feature that allows you to handhold the lens and get a reasonably sharp picture at low shutter speeds

8. Snap lots of pictures of friends and family at gatherings in a smallish room, boy, will you be glad for that 18mm wide capability which allows you to include everybody in the picture without having to back out into the garden / balcony

9. Like to capture the occasional wide landscape ... yup, the 18mm end of the lens helps you out a lot there - wait for the right light, compose your shot well, ISO100, f5.6 to f/8, shoot RAW, camera on a good tripod and nobody can tell you're using a value-for-money lens from an 8 x 12 (or larger) print

10. Don't relish the thought of people glancing at you holding big, heavy, 70-200 or 28-70 lenses as you walk around NYC or place your equipment on the table as you sip your coffee.

But, if you're not like what I just described above, yeah go ahead and get the big glass

Oh, btw, if you crave for that occasional "arty-farty"-looking shot with blurred backgrounds, just take out another $100 for the super Nikkor 50mm f/1.8:
http://nikond70s.dpnotes.com/nikkor-50mm-f18-d-af-lens/

The only other thing I would advise is to go to a store and test the lens before purchase. This is very easy to do:
1. Popup your D80 flash, P mode, ISO200, f3.5

2. Set the lens at 18mm and take 2 shots - one focused at the salesperson in front of you (you probably have to go up to him / her real close), and one of the entire store

3. Set the lens at 200mm and take 2 shots - one focused on the salesperson's eyes and another at an object far away, say 20 to 30 feet

4. Get the salesperson to bring up your 4 shots on the computer, and take about 5 minutes to look at them at 100%, corner-to-corner, all over - seems sharp enough? - great, get the lens.

5. If you're genuinely interested, get the salesperson to print the shots out for you at 4 x 6, or the largest (s)he's willing to go - sharp enough? - great, definitely get the lens.

Hope this helps, and good luck with your final decision.

-- hide signature --

Regards, David Chin
(D.7.0. & C.P.4.5.0.0.)

Nikon D80 Links:
http://www.nikond80links.com
http://www.pbase.com/dlcmh/nikon_d80_sneak_pictures

Links to all my other sites:
http://www.flickr.com/people/davidchinphoto

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