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General Digital Advice Needed

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment
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RUMURUTI
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Re: help[ needed with equipment selection

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:52 am

Well hoyle, I can only say that with a D90 quality gets a lot better and it also has a few very handy functions, including excellent video quality.
I usually keep my 80-400 on the D90 and use it as standard lens, VR OFF!, and a 18-135 VR on my D80. This way I always have something ready for close ups and no switching lenses all the time. 300 mm is used only when I find myself in poor light conditions or want that extra sharpness that fixed focal lenses offer.
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RUMURUTI
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Re: help[ needed with equipment selection

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 pm

Something I forgot to mention, hoyle, the VR mechanism works on vertical vibrations and this is why if you have it steady it's pretty useless and causes problems on sharpness.
Having on a bean bag or tripod already cancell's these vibrations and you have the VR vibrations that "hurt" the picture.
"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
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Re: help needed with equipment selection

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:36 pm

Evening hoyle,
No you're not doing anything wrong with your 80-400. What you should try and do is change the settings to Spot focusing and that makes focus less stressing and a little faster.
"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
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ceruleanwildfire
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Re: help[ needed with equipment selection

Unread post by ceruleanwildfire » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:05 am

hoyle wrote:Hi - Marissa I am butting in to your query too please.!

I have a Nikon D80 and in KNP use my 80-400 VR lens. How do I go about adding to my equipment - a new lens, if so which one - or do I go for another camera, eg Nikon D700? (This is rather too expensive new, so maybe a 2nd hand one).

Please help - my pics are usuallly KNP or Addo - or grandkids!

Thanks all.


Hi Hoyle,

In response to your original question about New Lens vs. New Camera, it depends on what situations you find yourself in. What is your motivation towards expanding your kit? Do you need another lens because the 80-400mm doesn't fit your needs (zooming in or out far enough)? Do you need a new camera because you find yourself missing shots because you are changing to the appropraite lens at that moment?

The D700 is expensive if you are not considering photography on a professional or at least semi-professional scale. You also need to bear in mind that the D700 is an FX camera and you miss out on the 1.5x focal magnifier of most Nikon DX cameras, meaning that you won't be able to zoom in as close with the same lens.

I would not recommend the D90, unless you are looking to save some money, as there are rumours that Nikon will be releasing an upgraded model to it later this year (most likely at Photokina). The ability to do HD video recording is definately a big bonus and is supported by multiple models.

Without knowing the motivations behind wanting to expand your kit and making a few assumptions I would recommend expanding your options with photography by getting a new lens type. A lens which allows you to zoom out to 18mm will allow you to get some nice sunrise/sunset/normal landscape shots. Or possibly a Nikkor micro lens which will allow you to get some nice macro shots (closeups) of bugs/bark/flowers. This will also expand your interest in some of nature's lesser denizens and give you more value for your buck (pardon the pun) in the bush.

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Re: help needed with equipment selection

Unread post by fazekma » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:07 am

Hi Hoyle

Keep in mind that the 80-400 was Nikon's first lens with VR so it is not as sophisticated as the newer lenses. The 200-400, 18-200 and the newer lenses can detect when the camera is on a tripod or beanbag and it switches off.

With the 80-400 you must switch it off manually - but if you are hand-holding then you must remember to switch it back on.

With regards to focusing - the lens does not have a motor so it will struggle, especially when you point it up or down and in low light! There are rumours of a new 80-400 with VR II and a motor - this will make the lens superb!

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Re: help needed with equipment selection

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:28 pm

My opinion would be to keep the camera. There's very little (if anything) that a D80 cannot do compared to newer cameras (not FX obviously).

If you have some money and want to expand, I'd suggest looking at a flash, and how it can benefit your photos.
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fee
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Re: help needed with equipment selection

Unread post by fee » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:52 pm

Hello camera xperts. Help me please. I am also looking to buy a camera and have been on to kenrockwell.com site as was recommended to me. I have been looking at the Nikon D40. I am no pro photographer and it seems to have a great rating by him. I know it isn't a new model. I can get the camera in US as it is a lot cheaper. Is the camera easy to use or will the animals be gone and the sun set by the time I get it organised. Will obviously have to learn how to use it, but I find the instruction books with these type things are for rocket scientists. Someone has offered to show me the ins and outs.
Is the 18-55mm lens sufficient for my beginners use. Don't want to sit fiddling and changing lenses. Just want better photos than my small digital camera.

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ceruleanwildfire
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Re: help needed with equipment selection

Unread post by ceruleanwildfire » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:05 pm

The D40 is a nice camera and more than sufficient for taking nice photos, depending on what you want to take photos of and which lens you have. The 18-55mm is a nice family photo/landscape lens but if you want to zoom in on animals/birds you need at least 200mm or greater.

You don't need to read the manual to take decent photos with a SLR, the Auto function tends to do well for most, but changing lenses comes with the territory. There are ways around where you can get 18-200mm or even 28-300mm lenses, bu then you need to spend more.

From the sounds of it though you don't really need a SLR, unless you are planning on it becoming a more serious hobby later. Have a serious look at what you want to do with the camera and why you think you need a new one before spending any cash.

If you feel an SLR is too much I would suggest a pro-compact like the Nikon P90. It gives great results and covers a good distance without the need to change lenses or shell out additional money.

If you still want an SLR, specifically the D40, consider getting a different lens like the 18-200 so you don't have to change lenses so often. Some packages/kits also include the 18-55 and the 70-300. These two lenses tend to cover most users needs, so have a lookout for these.

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Re: help needed with equipment selection

Unread post by WillBen » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:37 am

I agree with CW. If you aren't into photography in a big way but you want to get great photos you should look at a camera such as the P90 or similar. Using a SLR for that quick photo of a lion crossing the road takes a lot of practice :cam: :)

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ceruleanwildfire
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Re: help needed with equipment selection

Unread post by ceruleanwildfire » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:44 am

Big +, with the P100 coming out the P90 should be reducing in price.

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: help needed with equipment selection

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:11 am

Agree with CW.
Ken Rockwell does rate the D40 the best, but I doubt he uses his for his wildlife shots. The biggest (possibly only major) problem with the D40 is that it won't autofocus with the vast majority of 'cheaper' long zooms you'll need for birds and wildlife.

Other than that, it is a fantastic little camera.

Its got a great menu system, with a reasonable 'help' function that explains what effect choosing different options will have on the photo.

I'd say mitigate your risk, and look for a 2nd hand camera, probably a compact zoom like the Nikon P90 or one of the Panasonics. If you're more serious about photography, I recommend you buy a 2nd hand D50 or D70 (or D80 if you're flush) and experiment with that. These 2 DSLRs will allow you to do anything you want (lens wise).
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ceruleanwildfire
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Re: help needed with equipment selection

Unread post by ceruleanwildfire » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:52 am

fee wrote:thanks. Just read up on p90 - lots of negative comments from buyers on different sites.


Problem with the internet, information/opinion overload. I know at least four people currently using the P90, and no complaints. Problem is people don't tend to comment when they're satisfied/content, only when something goes wrong.

If you are buying 1st hand, soon to be discontinued (like the P90), then I would say ignore the comments (that's what the warranty is for, and most things get repaired with a simple firmware upgrade anyway). If you are buying 2nd hand, then start to take into account public comment (you may be buying one of the complainer's duds).

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Nikon D80 deal

Unread post by Nungu » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:09 am

Hi guys,

I have the opportunity to get a second hand D80 with 35-80mm lense for just under R4 000. Do you guys think this is a good deal or not? I know I can get a D90 or D7000 - but those aren't available at such a price for now - so I'm considering buying this D80.

I know the D80 is a bit old - but a good camera never gets old... and as far as I know the D80 is pretty good.

Another question is about the lense. It doesn't seem to be a standard lense on this camera (standard - as far as my limited camera knowledge goes - is a 18-50mm). Is this a problem? What will I NOT be able to do with the 35-80 that I would have been able to do with the 18-50??

I will be looking to get another lense for my wildlife photography... Which would you suggest? Again here I'm looking at something in the range of 80-200 or 70-300?

PS: I forgot to say that I don't only intend to use the camera for wildlife photography - it's basically an everyday camera - sports events for the kids, family gatherings but then ALSO Kruger.

To sum up my rambling :redface:
1. Is it a good deal to buy a D80 with a 35-80mm lense for about R4 000?
2. Would I need to buy a 18-50 lense for everyday use?
3. What lense range would be best suited for wildlife photography?

Thanks guys
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DuQues
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Re: Nikon D80 deal

Unread post by DuQues » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:21 am

If I look at the secondhand pricing (in SA) for the D80 I see prices that are around R3500, so with that lens it is not a bad deal.

The difference between the 35-80 and an 18-50 is angle.
The 18-50 will give you way more wide-angle, which you use for landscapes, parties, buildings and the likes.
The 35-80 will obviously give you more zoom, and is a good lens for portraits.

Neither will serve for wildlife. Then you really need at the very least 300 mm. Preferably up to 500 even. That is going to set you back at least R10.000 if you buy secondhand.

Have a look at pricing here.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

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Re: Please help.

Unread post by coracias » Fri May 11, 2012 3:15 pm

Please...if any passing mite would be kind enough to help.

Thinking of moving from superzoom to DSLR.
A question concerning image size, not quality :
imagine three cameras
Superzoom (small sensor, say focal 5,6-112mm) : equivalent full frame 28-560
DSLR with 1,6 crop sensor+lens 70-300 : equivalent full frame 112-480
DSLR full frame+lens 100-400 : full frame 100-400.

Imagine next a small bird
Take the maximum equivalent full frame (EFF) focal length common to all three set-ups : 400
If a picture is now taken with all three cameras set at this EFF 400, and ignoring quality, then I believe that the size of the bird will be identical in all pictures, and all that will change is the area covered by the remainder of the picture, increasing considerably from superzoom, through 1,6 crop to full frame. Is that right ?

Suppose that EFF 400 is insufficient to identify the small bird.
With the superzoom, I can use digital zoom say up to 4 times.
Zooming up digitally, using a stabilizer (monopod), and spot-metering, then whatever the conditions, I can usually get enough to identify the bird, see its colours, and take a photo which won't win any prizes...
So far as I understand, I cannot do that in the field with DSLRs, that is they don't have digital zoom.
Therefore how difficult will it be to spot-meter on a small bird without any digital zoom ?
And even if that is achieved, is it "frustrating" in the field to take such a small picture, even if knowing that later on, eg in Lightroom, the image can be cropped and blown up ? (I realise quite subjective).

On equipment : had intended to go with EOS 7D+100-400, until held in a shop. Seemed just too heavy. A problem which I think would be compounded in Kruger, sitting at the wheel of a vehicle, both windows down and pivoting the body clockwise or anti depending on where the interest lies.
Then tried the 100-400 on a less weighty body : EOS 600D (ex Rebel). An improvement (surprisingly to me because the weight reduction was merely 250g ie from 2180g to 1930g excluding batteries I think). Still on the heavy side, maybe tolerably heavy, though I'm a bit skeptical.
Is the canon 70-300 (non-L version : well-reviewed, so far as I could read) a reasonable alternative ? Put on a 600D body, overall weight would reduce down to 1200g.
Pleasant predicament to be in, but if I could benefit from experience, would be most appreciative.
Sorry for lengthy post.


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