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 Post subject: Lens Discussions
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Location: Randburg
Afternoon to all,

I have a question about lens options.

I am looking at different options with regards to the next lens I want to purchase.
Currently I have a Nikon D3000 with the Nikon 18-55VR kit lens and Sigma 70-300 Non-APO lens.
My main concern is that I want some better glass when I go to KNP in August. My budget I initially decided on is R10k.

In some of the classifieds, I have seen the following:
- Nikon 70-200 VR1 (R14 000 - I know it is above my budget, but I guess serious consideration must be taken)
- Nikon 80-200 (R8 000)
- Or should I look at some of the Sigma options (50-500 ; 120-400)

The more research I am doing, the more confused I am getting. I will also be looking to upgrade my body within the next 2-3 years.

All photos taken will be for personal use. Maybe some canvas stuff for the really good ones.

If there are some other considerations, please let me know.

Thanks to all!

_________________
Why do time fly when you are having fun?

KNP - May'14 done and dusted :(

Ah well on to the next planning phase.....


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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:45 am
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Location: Witbank, Mpumalanga
How about the Nikon 80-400mm, more than your budget allows, but worth saving for, also have a look at the Sigma 150-500mm(not sure about the price). As far as I'm concerned these are both good lenses - but good quality glass comes at a high price. The Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 is an excellent lense but you obviously won't get the distance you do with the 300mm, but better image quality! I'm also looking at a new lens fro my D3000, the options are end less and money is limited - buy the best you possibly can and you won't regret it!

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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:28 pm 
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NJVermaak wrote:
How about the Nikon 80-400mm, more than your budget allows, but worth saving for, also have a look at the Sigma 150-500mm(not sure about the price). As far as I'm concerned these are both good lenses - but good quality glass comes at a high price. The Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 is an excellent lense but you obviously won't get the distance you do with the 300mm, but better image quality! I'm also looking at a new lens fro my D3000, the options are end less and money is limited - buy the best you possibly can and you won't regret it!


If I go this route, I will be looking at getting a teleconverter for the extra distance. Most probably 2x teleconverter.

I have seen the Sigma 150-500 for around R8k secondhand.

_________________
Why do time fly when you are having fun?

KNP - May'14 done and dusted :(

Ah well on to the next planning phase.....


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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Location: Witbank, Mpumalanga
Quote:
If I go this route, I will be looking at getting a teleconverter for the extra distance. Most probably 2x teleconverter.


Just remember when using a teleconverter on bodies like the D3000 (i've also got one) autofocus is lost(according to what I've heard) as well as f stops. I can't give you the exact specs but have look on the Nikon website and on photography forums, there will be more info there.

Quote:
I have seen the Sigma 150-500 for around R8k secondhand


I tested one at my local photo shop a while back, not a bad lens!

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NJ Vermaak


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NO HOTELS IN KNP


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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:39 am 
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Posts: 195
Location: Fourways, Johannesburg
Hi Badprop_za

Before you go and spend tons of money on new lenses, consider the following:
The 18-55mm that you have is considered a reasonable lens for every-day usage, and most lens purchases will provide an improvement over the 70-300 sigma that you currently have. However, the biggest improvement you can currently make is an upgrade to your camera. The D3000 is one of the worst performing cameras that Nikon has produced (t was not around too long and quickly replaced with the D3100) and while you may get an improvement in your picture quality with new lens purchases, I would suggest that you upgrade your camera before throwing good, scarce money at lenses that may only marginally improve your photos. The sensor in the D3000 is simply a bad performer compared to ANY of the newer sensors that have been released in the newer models.

While I understand that you intend to upgrade your camera in a few years, I believe that your money would be better spent an improved sensor at this stage. If you are looking at new prices on lenses that are under R10,000 (for wildlife), your best option is the Nikon 70-300 VR. Nothing comes close to it in terms of price/performance in that focal range, unless you start to look at the second-hand market. Even so, if you are in the market for 2nd hand equipment, you should be able to pick up one for less than R5k.

I upgraded my sigma 70-300 to the Nikon VR version and given the improvements in the sharpness and clarity, regret not doing it sooner. In my view, a D3100/D3200/D5100 is likely to produce better pictures with your existing lenses than good lenses on your D3000 is likely to produce ...... and you are likely to get any of these, together with the Nikon 70-300 VR for less than R10k 2nd hand, possibly around R12k new.

Lastly, unless you are looking at fast lenses (f2.8 and faster), forget about using them with teleconverters. Better to simply crop sharp photos than lose the sharpness from the start..... plus you will lose autofocus ability.

Happy shopping and enjoy your trip....

_________________
"Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Learn to use your equipment
and spend your time taking,
rather than processing images.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:42 am 
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Location: Randburg
Scottm wrote:
Hi Badprop_za

Before you go and spend tons of money on new lenses, consider the following:
The 18-55mm that you have is considered a reasonable lens for every-day usage, and most lens purchases will provide an improvement over the 70-300 sigma that you currently have. However, the biggest improvement you can currently make is an upgrade to your camera. The D3000 is one of the worst performing cameras that Nikon has produced (t was not around too long and quickly replaced with the D3100) and while you may get an improvement in your picture quality with new lens purchases, I would suggest that you upgrade your camera before throwing good, scarce money at lenses that may only marginally improve your photos. The sensor in the D3000 is simply a bad performer compared to ANY of the newer sensors that have been released in the newer models.

While I understand that you intend to upgrade your camera in a few years, I believe that your money would be better spent an improved sensor at this stage. If you are looking at new prices on lenses that are under R10,000 (for wildlife), your best option is the Nikon 70-300 VR. Nothing comes close to it in terms of price/performance in that focal range, unless you start to look at the second-hand market. Even so, if you are in the market for 2nd hand equipment, you should be able to pick up one for less than R5k.

I upgraded my sigma 70-300 to the Nikon VR version and given the improvements in the sharpness and clarity, regret not doing it sooner. In my view, a D3100/D3200/D5100 is likely to produce better pictures with your existing lenses than good lenses on your D3000 is likely to produce ...... and you are likely to get any of these, together with the Nikon 70-300 VR for less than R10k 2nd hand, possibly around R12k new.

Lastly, unless you are looking at fast lenses (f2.8 and faster), forget about using them with teleconverters. Better to simply crop sharp photos than lose the sharpness from the start..... plus you will lose autofocus ability.

Happy shopping and enjoy your trip....


Thanks for the additional spanner in the works. :)

What camera would you suggest? When I bought initially, I was naïve and think I had to buy new, hence the D3000. Since then, the guys on the forum have educated me tremendously (I hope).
Reason why I am asking is that I see I can get a second hand D300 body for R6 900 at ODP. Or a D3200 with 18-55 kit lens for R5 400.

_________________
Why do time fly when you are having fun?

KNP - May'14 done and dusted :(

Ah well on to the next planning phase.....


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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:56 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi,

As a Nikon user I have gone from a D40x to D90 and now have a D7000, which I would highly recommend.

The 70-300 Nikon lens is very good (and you can get cheap second hand ones) but if you can afford it go for the 70-200 f2.8 with a 1.7 convertor, you can always get a bigger lens later but you will never want to get rid of it altogether. I have hired it for kruger and use it instead of my sigma 150-500 which is very good for Kruger but the image quality of the Nikon lens is far better. have a look at my website and virtually all the pics for Kruger 2012 are with a 70-200f2.8 and convertor.

I recently bought second hand a 200-400f4 and Im looking forward to using it this coming trip.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:12 am 
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john n poppy wrote:
Hi,

As a Nikon user I have gone from a D40x to D90 and now have a D7000, which I would highly recommend.

The 70-300 Nikon lens is very good (and you can get cheap second hand ones) but if you can afford it go for the 70-200 f2.8 with a 1.7 convertor, you can always get a bigger lens later but you will never want to get rid of it altogether. I have hired it for kruger and use it instead of my sigma 150-500 which is very good for Kruger but the image quality of the Nikon lens is far better. have a look at my website and virtually all the pics for Kruger 2012 are with a 70-200f2.8 and convertor.

I recently bought second hand a 200-400f4 and Im looking forward to using it this coming trip.

John


Thanks John.

I am looking around at second hand bodies. Seen a D90 with 55-200 and 70-300 Nikkor lenses for R8k. Hence, I am pretty confused at the moment. If I upgrade my body, I want to use for at least next 5 or so years. I have had my D3000 for about 4 years now and have really enjoyed it.

_________________
Why do time fly when you are having fun?

KNP - May'14 done and dusted :(

Ah well on to the next planning phase.....


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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:47 pm
Posts: 231
Location: West Sussex, England
Badprop
I commend the D300 to you. It is a supurb camera at the semi-pro end of the market.
A good second hand D3 is an even better option.
The 70-200 f2.8 is also a supurb lens which will give you good results. Using a converter is always a compromise. I have found that the x1.4 is better than the x1.7 and both are far better than the x2. In fact I no longer use the x2.
As long as you are careful and only purchase from a reputable source then obtaining secondhand equipment should not be a problem. Nearly all my kit is second hand and I have no regrets.
Whatever you choose enjoy your hobby and remember that you take photographs for you and yours not for financial reward.
Regards
JDW

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2015 - Jun/Jul - Scotland
2015 - Oct/Nov - South Africa (Addo, MZNP, Camdeboo, Storm River, Bontebok, Hermanus, Cape Town)


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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:18 pm 
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Location: Fourways, Johannesburg
Hi Badprop

There are a number of issues that you need to consider, and each of your needs, wants and desires are likely to be vastly different to others. Take the time to list these needs and wants, and then priortise them so you have a clear basis for any decision that you eventually take regarding your photographic purchases; it can become a very deep money-pit AND provide many disappointments if not undertaken in a clear and methodical manner. There will ALWAYS be something better, faster, sharper or more appropriate, unless you have both an unlimited budget and a truck to transport the equipment.

As a budding wildlife shooter for personal memories only, I am happy with the D7000 that I use, but budget constraints forced me down the ladder when choosing lenses. I us the Nikon 70- 300 VR as my prime wildlife lens. Sure, I would love to have the 70 - 200 f2.8 and a converter, (or better still, a 300mm f2.8), but the price of that lens combination alone (new) is over R30k. I chose the D7000 primarily for the manual controls I have. Similar controls are available on the D5100, but many of them are buried within the menu system, something that was a deal-breaker for me.

While the D300 is a great camera, and built like a tank with all the bells and whistles, it was released over 6 years ago, and sensor technology has moved substantially since then. I believe that, bang for your buck, you would be better off looking at the D5100, unless you could justify moving to a D7100/D7000/D5200 (new or 2nd hand). Also, while not a long lens, do not discount the quality of the 55-200 VR (or 55-300 VR) kit lens, which, together with your selected camera, you may be able to get within your budget. The 70-300VR is, however, a better option, as it is more robust and optically a little better.

I have tried to keep the discussion around your stated budget level, and while there may be 2nd hand options within your budget for better lenses, you generally pay for what you get. For example, a new 70-200 f2.8 VRII (great lens) is just short of R30,000 and a new 200-400 f4 is currently over R90,000.... The 800mm VR f5.6 is around R180,000, should you want to go for the big stuff.... (dreams are good friends)

Finally, for your video needs, I would suggest that you look for a video camera, rather than try and use your DSLR for that mode of photography. DLSR's are designed for stills photography and video cameras are designed for video. A porsche/ferrari/bently CAN transport cement to a building site, but it is not the most appropriate tool for the job). Feel free to send me a PM, should you believe there is benefit in further discussion.

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"Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Learn to use your equipment
and spend your time taking,
rather than processing images.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 8:45 pm
Posts: 21
hi Badprop

As a Canon user, I cannot comment on the camera bodies or lens you have or are thinking of upgrading to.

However, as a fellow wildlife photographer, I have realised it is often better to rent a lens for a holiday than to spend a fortune on buying one that sits unused at home for many months. that way, you can afford to use a lens that you could probably never been able to justify purchasing. I have rented before from wild-eye in Design Quarter, Fourways who have been very knowledgeable and helpful and also from outdoor photo in Pretoria. Something well worth looking into.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:09 pm 
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Location: West Sussex, England
Hi All
Wise words indeed from Scottm and all the others that have contributed to this thread.
I agree totally with Scootm's rationale.
Plan to succeed.
There is no hurry don't make hasty decisions that you will regret later.
Take your time to get it right first time.
By all means concider the now but also consider the future.
Where do I want to be in XX years?
Finally:
What is the difference between a vision and a view?
To have vision you need a view and a plan to get there.
If all you have is a view it is also known as a daydream!!
Regards
John

_________________
2014 - Sep/Oct - North Wales
2015 - Jun/Jul - Scotland
2015 - Oct/Nov - South Africa (Addo, MZNP, Camdeboo, Storm River, Bontebok, Hermanus, Cape Town)


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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:33 pm 
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simonbee wrote:
hi Badprop

As a Canon user, I cannot comment on the camera bodies or lens you have or are thinking of upgrading to.

However, as a fellow wildlife photographer, I have realised it is often better to rent a lens for a holiday than to spend a fortune on buying one that sits unused at home for many months. that way, you can afford to use a lens that you could probably never been able to justify purchasing. I have rented before from wild-eye in Design Quarter, Fourways who have been very knowledgeable and helpful and also from outdoor photo in Pretoria. Something well worth looking into.


So true about renting lenses. Considering that I can rent a Nikon 200-400 f/4 VR lens for R3,8k for my holiday.

Putting things into perspective (and almost breaking my own rule of taking emotions out of buying decisions) I think that looking for a 70-300VR to replace my current Sigma is the plan of action.

_________________
Why do time fly when you are having fun?

KNP - May'14 done and dusted :(

Ah well on to the next planning phase.....


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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:56 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Randparkridge, RSA
badprop_za wrote:
I am looking to buy a superzoom camera for my wife to use. My budget is around R2k-R2,5k.


What is your recommendations?


My suggestions for superzoom would be two words: "pixels" and "optical". As many pixels and as much optical zoom as you can afford.

badprop_za wrote:
I am looking at different options with regards to the next lens I want to purchase.


For lenses my suggestions would be three words: "budget" and "sharpness" and "bulk". Stay within your budget - there will always be something better and next week there will be another bargain and/or improvement. It can become very expensive if you don't keep within your budget. Sharpness and quality will be lost with converters, and a bulky lens that is heavy and difficult to maneuver in a vehicle is not a joy. (I personally will not go over 400 or 500 (or 2 - 2.5kg) for this very reason.)

My 10 cents worth ...

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 Post subject: Re: Recommended superzoom cameras
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:43 am 
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Hi guys,

thanks for all the feedback. I have decided to rent for my trip to KNP in August.

I have 3 options:

- Nikon 200-400 VR (Will be using my Nikon D3000 on this - my understanding is that AF will work)
- Canon 50D with a 100-400 L
- Nikon D7000 with the old 80-400

These options are similarly priced, barring the D7000 option being R700 more expensive.

At this point I am going for the Nikon 200-400 option.

Looking forward to hear your opinions.

_________________
Why do time fly when you are having fun?

KNP - May'14 done and dusted :(

Ah well on to the next planning phase.....


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