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  1. #1
    member Kag12's Avatar
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    some buying advice please

    Ok so Im looking at 3 DSLRs at the moment, all include UV and skylight filters and i will be getting either a 50mm or 35mm lens in a few months:

    Nikon D90 with 18-105mm VR kit lens + Tamron 70-300mm DI LD macro (1:2) lens - 984

    or

    Nikon D5000 body only Nikon 18-105mm VR + tamron 70-300 DI LD macro (1:2) lens 865

    or finally

    canon 500D with 18-55 IS kit lens + canon 55-250mm IS lens - 860

    I really like the handling of the D90 (size, weight etc...) and the kit 18-105mm lens that comes with it, not bothered by the vari-angle screen of the D5000, would love the 920k screen of the D90/500D. Im put off the D5000 because there is not a built in AF motor. There is nothing that I dont like about the Canon apart from the 18-55mm lens, plus I have been leaning towards Nikon system recently as my friend has one. but the less money of the canon appeals to me.
    what you guys recommend? my budget is about 900, is the Nikon D90 worth the extra 85? and would it be ok for a first time DSLR user?
    I shoot landscapes and scenery, my brother mounting biking and BMX, i may also be going to the le mans 24 hour race in june.

    cheers for your help guys!
    kyle

  2. #2
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Is the Nikon D90 worth the extra 85? Yes.

    - Much better viewfinder
    - Two control wheels like the rest of the Nikon range
    - Built-in focussing motor so you can use non-AF-S lenses like the 50mm f1.8
    - Better build.
    - The D5000 and 500D are consumer bodies. You're getting a bit beyond that

    Would it be ok for a first time DSLR user? Yes

    Go Nikon:

    - The IS version of the 18-55 is apparently not too bad (unlike the previous versions)
    - You can share experience, knowledge and perhaps equipment (cobra flash) with your friend
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  3. #3
    Senior Member BlueRob's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    My two cents....also consider that the D90 is the heaviest body of you options.
    Personally I think the D90 is great but has features like its video capabilities that I don particularly find appealing. For me if its too heavy is a camera I will not like to take out.

    I prefer to go with one of the "consumer" type bodies which are lighter with the same if not better quality output with less weight and cheaper...the money you save you put it on a nice glass.

    Canon XSi
    Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM
    Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS
    1. "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words."Ansel Adams
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  4. #4
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    I'd go for the D90 but then I am a Nikon guy.
    No matter what your decision, be cautious of who you buy from.
    It appears you are getting a kit deal. Kit deals usually come with a good body and a package of junk except maybe the lens. The uv and skylight filters are probably cheapos that will be tossed soon for good ones. Why put a piece of plastic or cheap glass in front of the fine glass in your lens. I do know the 18-105vr gets good reviews.
    I would advise to get a body with a lens you have read reviews on and know is good.
    The rest I would buy separately after researching and looking at reviews for filters, lenses, tripods, or whatever else you want to add to your kit.
    Don't know how it works in the UK but also make sure you aren't getting a gray market body that the manufacturer won't guarantee. In USA ebay sales there are a lot of gray market sellers and then people are surprised when Canon or Nikon or other won't fix their camera.
    Keep Shooting!

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  5. #5
    member Kag12's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    I'd go for the D90 but then I am a Nikon guy.
    No matter what your decision, be cautious of who you buy from.
    It appears you are getting a kit deal. Kit deals usually come with a good body and a package of junk except maybe the lens. The uv and skylight filters are probably cheapos that will be tossed soon for good ones. Why put a piece of plastic or cheap glass in front of the fine glass in your lens. I do know the 18-105vr gets good reviews.
    I would advise to get a body with a lens you have read reviews on and know is good.
    The rest I would buy separately after researching and looking at reviews for filters, lenses, tripods, or whatever else you want to add to your kit.
    Don't know how it works in the UK but also make sure you aren't getting a gray market body that the manufacturer won't guarantee. In USA ebay sales there are a lot of gray market sellers and then people are surprised when Canon or Nikon or other won't fix their camera.
    Thanks for the advice everyone, I think I'm gona go for the D90! I do like that 18-105, played with it alot! It's alot nicer than the 18-55 lenses! i'll be buyin from jessops, they seem to be doing similar prices as everyone else. And I don't fully trust eBay, certainly not enough to spend nearly 1000 on it! Lol So would you suggest that I don't get the 20 filters untill later? I don't know much about filters apart from they add effects. Who make good filters?
    kyle:thumbsup:

    Nikon D90
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
    Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR ED
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF macro (1:2)

  6. #6
    member Kag12's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    Is the Nikon D90 worth the extra 85? Yes.

    - Much better viewfinder
    - Two control wheels like the rest of the Nikon range
    - Built-in focussing motor so you can use non-AF-S lenses like the 50mm f1.8
    - Better build.
    - The D5000 and 500D are consumer bodies. You're getting a bit beyond that

    Would it be ok for a first time DSLR user? Yes

    Go Nikon:

    - The IS version of the 18-55 is apparently not too bad (unlike the previous versions)
    - You can share experience, knowledge and perhaps equipment (cobra flash) with your friend
    thanks, that and what frog said has enforced what I already thought! I'll be getting the D90!! can't wait to get it!
    kyle:thumbsup:

    Nikon D90
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
    Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR ED
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF macro (1:2)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    *edit - nevermind, didn't see the recent post.

  8. #8
    member Kag12's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol
    *edit - nevermind, didn't see the recent post.
    thanks anyway mate, the reason i dint list the canon 50D as one of my options is because its to expensive, its 800 body only over here and 1050 with a 17-85mm lens, id rather get the nikon D90 and be able to get another lens or 2. i am hoping to get it either tomorrow or at the end of the month. if anyone has any suggestions im still open to hear them.
    kyle:thumbsup:

    Nikon D90
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
    Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR ED
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF macro (1:2)

  9. #9
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Kag12
    thanks anyway mate, the reason i dint list the canon 50D as one of my options is because its to expensive, its 800 body only over here and 1050 with a 17-85mm lens, id rather get the nikon D90 and be able to get another lens or 2. i am hoping to get it either tomorrow or at the end of the month. if anyone has any suggestions im still open to hear them.
    I have seen several reviews in the French Press (Chasseurs d'Images) that say that the Canon 17-85 is a bad match with the latest generation of DSLR's. It is just too soft to match the resolving power of the sensors. Put it on a 18Mpix DSLR and on a 12Mpix DSLR and you don't see any difference in the amount of detail because the lens was already at its maximum at 12Mpix.

    It's unfortunate because it is nicely built, covers a useful range and it is cheap. But for the 7D Canon released the 15-85 which is much better - at twice the price.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  10. #10
    member Kag12's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    I have seen several reviews in the French Press (Chasseurs d'Images) that say that the Canon 17-85 is a bad match with the latest generation of DSLR's. It is just too soft to match the resolving power of the sensors. Put it on a 18Mpix DSLR and on a 12Mpix DSLR and you don't see any difference in the amount of detail because the lens was already at its maximum at 12Mpix.

    It's unfortunate because it is nicely built, covers a useful range and it is cheap. But for the 7D Canon released the 15-85 which is much better - at twice the price.
    Thats definitely something to keep in mind!
    which lens would be better for a D90? the 50mm or the 35mm?
    kyle:thumbsup:

    Nikon D90
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
    Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR ED
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF macro (1:2)

  11. #11
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Kag12
    Thats definitely something to keep in mind!
    which lens would be better for a D90? the 50mm or the 35mm?
    Both the 50mm f1.8 and the 35mm f1.8 DX will work on the D90 with no problem. I use both on my D300 but I prefer the 35mm :

    - I find that the "normal" view of the 35mm is more useful than the "mild tele" view that you get with the 50mm. But this depends entirely on what you use it for. If you want it for informal portraits under low light then the 50mm is nice
    - The 35mm is full AF-S which means that you can adjust the focus manually just by touching the focus ring rather than having to mechanically uncouple the autofocus (on the 50mm f1.8)
    - As the 35mm is AF-S it also works on my motorless D60 (but that doesn't concern you)

    When you get your 18-105 (or whatever), leave the zoom at 35mm and then at 50mm for a while and see which is more useful.

    BTW: The 18-105 VR is a nice lens by all accounts - but it's still mostly plastic. If you want something more noble with a metal lens mount then there's the 18-70, 18-200VR, 16-85VR or the 18-55 2.8
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  12. #12
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Which lens is a matter of choice. The 35 is newer and gives the photographer what is considered a normal view,(what the eye sees at same distance). The 50 gives that normal view with 35mm or full frame digital. Because most digital cameras have cropped sensors, the lenses will have a zoom factor compared to full frame or 35mm.
    The 50 will have the same view as a 75mm. The 35 will have the same view as a 52.
    The Nikon has a 1.5 crop factor so multiply the lens's focal length by 1.5.
    Keep Shooting!

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  13. #13
    member Kag12's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Well... I have just ordered the Nikon D90 with the Tamron lens, should be here by tomorrow morning! Cant wait to get my hands on It and have a play with It some more! Thanks for all your help guys! Really appreciate it! If anyone has some tips and advice about filters and accessories in general, I would love to hear about them as I will be buying different accessories In the coming months! Also what battery and battery grip does the D90 take?
    kyle:thumbsup:

    Nikon D90
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
    Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR ED
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF macro (1:2)

  14. #14
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    The D90 takes the EN-EL3e battery, same as the D200, D80, D300, D300s and D700.

    The D90 takes the same battery grip as the D80 (MB-D80).

    Most of the time I don't use a battery grip with my D300. It makes the camera too big to carry in my favourite bag plus I've never managed to get beyond 50% discharge in a full day's shooting. I use the battery grip only when I'm using big lenses and I need to hold the camera vertically.

    The only filter you need is a transparent one to protect the front of the lens (optional). The arty effects stuff you can do in post-processing (you're going to need processing software). You do need lens hoods but these may be included with the lenses.

    The major accessory that you need and it's an important one is a cobra flash like the SB600. The built-in flash on the camera is useful for emergencies but it doesn't really go out beyond 10 feet. Now you've got a nice camera people will expect you to take the photos at family gatherings and weddings and stuff. The Nikon CLS flash system is excellent and it makes things much easier.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  15. #15
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    - The 35mm is full AF-S which means that you can adjust the focus manually just by touching the focus ring rather than having to mechanically uncouple the autofocus (on the 50mm f1.8)
    Other lens do this in DMF mode. The difference is AF-S lens don't give you the option to turn it off.

    Does the D90 support DMF mode?

  16. #16
    member Kag12's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    The D90 takes the EN-EL3e battery, same as the D200, D80, D300, D300s and D700.

    The D90 takes the same battery grip as the D80 (MB-D80).

    Most of the time I don't use a battery grip with my D300. It makes the camera too big to carry in my favourite bag plus I've never managed to get beyond 50% discharge in a full day's shooting. I use the battery grip only when I'm using big lenses and I need to hold the camera vertically.

    The only filter you need is a transparent one to protect the front of the lens (optional). The arty effects stuff you can do in post-processing (you're going to need processing software). You do need lens hoods but these may be included with the lenses.

    The major accessory that you need and it's an important one is a cobra flash like the SB600. The built-in flash on the camera is useful for emergencies but it doesn't really go out beyond 10 feet. Now you've got a nice camera people will expect you to take the photos at family gatherings and weddings and stuff. The Nikon CLS flash system is excellent and it makes things much easier.
    I dont think I will need a grip If Im honest, just wanted to double check It was that one Incase I do feel the need to get one In the future. A spare battery would be nice tho, but I can probably wait a bit for that. Is a transparent filter different to a UV filter? I was under the Impression they were the same but I could be a wrong lol
    I will definitely look Into getting the SB600 flash!
    Thanks very much for all your advice!
    You all have been a massive help!
    kyle:thumbsup:

    Nikon D90
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
    Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR ED
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF macro (1:2)

  17. #17
    member Kag12's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol
    Other lens do this in DMF mode. The difference is AF-S lens don't give you the option to turn it off.

    Does the D90 support DMF mode?
    Im probably being really stupid here but, what DMF?
    kyle:thumbsup:

    Nikon D90
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
    Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR ED
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF macro (1:2)

  18. #18
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    I see Charles and I were typing at the same time in our previous posts but he typed faster.

    Charles,(Franglais), has more knowledge than I, but I do disagree a bit on his choice of filters.
    I'm convinced that a clear or uv filter to protect the lens is almost useless and will only add another piece of glass between your subject and your sensor. It will not add to the quality of the pic and may degrade it. This is a subject of debate amongst photographers so you must decide yourself. The lens hood which comes with almost all Nikon lenses is more protection than you'll need unless you are shooting in windy, dusty conditions.
    However, you WILL need a circular polarizing filter, the effect of which cannot be done in post editing. Here is one article with some sample photos: http://www.offrench.net/photos/artic...ing_filter.php

    Good filters cost money. The brands I know that make good ones are B+H,(not B&H), Helipoan, and the higher end Hoyas. Before I got advice here, I bought 3 for different lenses at 70 to over a hundred. Now I know that you will only need one. Get the biggest one you think you'll ever need,(think ahead to what you think your biggest lens diameter will be in the future), and get the best one you can. You can then use that filter on all of your lenses by getting adapter rings. The other way to go is with Cokin filters and filter holders. The Cokin filter holder is a device that attaches to your lens and hold filters. No screwing them in and holds many sizes to fit many lenses.
    I shoot with a D80 that uses the same battery and have never run out of juice with a full charge, shooting maybe a couple hundred a day. If you are going to take thousands of photos a day you may want a battery grip. Or you can just carry a spare battery. I guess they help with holding the camera steady but I've never used one so don't know.

    The sb600 flash, Charles recommended is a good one. The sb800 is better. The sb900 is the newest but I've heard differing opinions on it.

    Research, research, and then research some more. Google or Bing will bring you more info than you can read in a life time. And you can always ask here.
    Be sure to post some pics when you do get the camera and you'll get friendly pointers on what you're doing right or wrong or just how to make them better.
    Welcome to the passion!
    Keep Shooting!

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  19. #19
    member Kag12's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    I see Charles and I were typing at the same time in our previous posts but he typed faster.

    Charles,(Franglais), has more knowledge than I, but I do disagree a bit on his choice of filters.
    I'm convinced that a clear or uv filter to protect the lens is almost useless and will only add another piece of glass between your subject and your sensor. It will not add to the quality of the pic and may degrade it. This is a subject of debate amongst photographers so you must decide yourself. The lens hood which comes with almost all Nikon lenses is more protection than you'll need unless you are shooting in windy, dusty conditions.
    However, you WILL need a circular polarizing filter, the effect of which cannot be done in post editing. Here is one article with some sample photos: http://www.offrench.net/photos/artic...ing_filter.php

    Good filters cost money. The brands I know that make good ones are B+H,(not B&H), Helipoan, and the higher end Hoyas. Before I got advice here, I bought 3 for different lenses at 70 to over a hundred. Now I know that you will only need one. Get the biggest one you think you'll ever need,(think ahead to what you think your biggest lens diameter will be in the future), and get the best one you can. You can then use that filter on all of your lenses by getting adapter rings. The other way to go is with Cokin filters and filter holders. The Cokin filter holder is a device that attaches to your lens and hold filters. No screwing them in and holds many sizes to fit many lenses.
    I shoot with a D80 that uses the same battery and have never run out of juice with a full charge, shooting maybe a couple hundred a day. If you are going to take thousands of photos a day you may want a battery grip. Or you can just carry a spare battery. I guess they help with holding the camera steady but I've never used one so don't know.

    The sb600 flash, Charles recommended is a good one. The sb800 is better. The sb900 is the newest but I've heard differing opinions on it.

    Research, research, and then research some more. Google or Bing will bring you more info than you can read in a life time. And you can always ask here.
    Be sure to post some pics when you do get the camera and you'll get friendly pointers on what you're doing right or wrong or just how to make them better.
    Welcome to the passion!
    Thanks for the tips! I think I will be seeing if the I need an extra battery before I buy one, I was thinking I would possibly need one one holidays! As I go camping and have limited access to electricity. I have seen hoya and they seem good filters, my main concern was weather i needed to spend the extra money on better quality filters, from what you and Charles (hope you dont mind me calling you Charles) have said, It Is. Thanks for the Info. As for flashes, Ive had a very quick look, and I cant see the SB800, would that be because the SB900 replaced it? I think for my needs at the present, the SB600 may suffice! Ill be sure to post some pics as soon as I can!
    kyle:thumbsup:

    Nikon D90
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
    Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR ED
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF macro (1:2)

  20. #20
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    Re: some buying advice please

    My two cents: I have the Nikon D40 with a grip and I also have the 35mm 1.8. I personally prefer having the grip, the double battery life means a lot longer between charges (of course, when I DO charge, I have to charge 2 batteries). Also, you have the option of using AAs in an emergency. I had to do this once, I had simply not charged my batteries and got asked at the last minute to photograph an event for a friend, and I ran out of juice. I was able to throw in the AAs and finish the gig. More importantly, the grip helps if you use a big lens. I have a Sigma 18mm-200mm, and it's a heavy lens on the D40 body; the grip makes it much easier to hold the camera comfortably. As for the 35mm 1.8, I love this lens! Great colors, sharp focus, and excellent low-light functionality. I think you'll enjoy using that lens. I use Hoya UV filters on both of my lenses, only to avoid any scratches from cleaning. I do a lot of outdoor projects and sometimes the lenses get dusty, I'd rather risk scratching the filter instead of the lens, but this is a personal preference. I'm not happy with my ProMaster flash, I should have gotten the SB-600. However, I do have the SB-400, and I use it often. I've read that you should always stick with Nikon flashes for Nikon cameras, and I agree with that; the ProMaster works great most of the time, but every once in awhile it stops "talking" to the camera and won't function properly, and I have to take it off and put it back on to clear it. The SB-400 works every time, all the time, but does not have a lot of power.
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  21. #21
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    DMF mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol
    Other lens do this in DMF mode. The difference is AF-S lens don't give you the option to turn it off.

    Does the D90 support DMF mode?
    I never heard of DMF mode before today. It seems to be a Sony speciality.

    With non AF-S lenses you can turn the focus ring manually without switching the autofocus to M but Nikon doesn't recommend it (can't find the reference but I know I've read it somewhere).
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  22. #22
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Well damn, I thought Nikon had DMF mode too.

    DMF is 'Direct Manual Focus', its a focus mode that uses AF, then immediately releases AF gear once focus is placed without displacing the focus ring. So, you can autofocus, then make fine adjustments with the focus ring. Nikon AF-S lens force this on you, it always unlocks the gear once focus is hit. With Minolta/Sony only (so I see), you can turn this feature on or off.

    It actually got to be a problem at work (with AF-S lens on D200), because our software doesn't accept images if the EXIF data says that manual focus is engaged, if that focus ring gets even nicked - it will be considered manual focus.

  23. #23
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Looking at this more closely - I just tried to do manual focus on an AF-S lens without a battery in the camera (D300). Turn the focus ring in all directions - it makes no difference to the image. I think that even in manual focussing the lens is being focussed electrically.

    Just to be sure that it wasn't the absence of the battery (which makes the viewfinder go dark due to the LCD screen doing the gridlines) I fitted a non-AFS lens (85mm f1.8). Surprise - there is no way whatsoever to turn the focus ring without changing the focus to Manual on the body. The focus motor is locked.

    Correction: Finished charging the battery ready for tomorrow, tried again with the camera turned on and I still can't turn the focus ring on the 85mm. It's not locked, it's just the motor doesn't want to turn
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  24. #24
    member Kag12's Avatar
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Im slightly confused. so, you cant AF and then MF to make adjustments on Nikons?
    kyle:thumbsup:

    Nikon D90
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
    Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR ED
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF macro (1:2)

  25. #25
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    Re: some buying advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Kag12
    Im slightly confused. so, you cant AF and then MF to make adjustments on Nikons?
    With AF lenses the lens is mechanically linked to the autofocus motor and in order to focus manually you have to switch to "M" focus (on the camera body) which disconnects the mechanical linkage. I don't find manual focussing on an AF body+lens very easy - the focus ring is too light and there are no optical aids in the viewfinder to help you judge if you're in focus (except the green focus-OK light)

    With low-end AF-S lenses (like the 18-55 non VR) if you want to retouch focus then you have to switch to M before you can turn the focus ring

    With the other AF-S lenses (including the 18-105VR, 35mm f1.8DX, 18-70, 18-200, etc) you just touch the focus ring and refocus. The camera stops trying to do autofocus until you remove your finger from the shutter release and then put it back.

    In reality this is not a big deal. When I want to focus on a precise spot I do the same thing as on the Leica. I switch to focussing on the center focus point (the most accurate), reframe to put the center spot on the point I want to have in focus, lightly depress the shutter release to focus and hold focus then reframe (without zooming) ready to do the shot. It only takes an instant and I redo it any time the subject moves or if I change the zoom.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

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