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Discuss Nikon digital cameras, Nikon film cameras, Nikkor lenses, Nikon camera accessories, etc. - Your Nikon cameras forum moderator is Franglais.
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  1. #1
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    Advice on accessories for Nikon D60

    I need some help with deciding what to get for my girlfriends birthday. My girlfriend bought a Nikon D60 about a year ago and has been using it a lot lately. She's gonna start a photography course in Januari and is really trying to get her pictures noticed.

    She's still using the standard set-up with a 18-55mm lens and no UV-filter, tripod or separate lenses. Since it's her birthday coming up soon, I figured it would be a good idea to buy something for her camera so she can upgrade the quality of her pictures and have something to keep her motivated to push for those perfect pictures.

    I'm gonna need some idea's and help here on what would be fitting. The budget is not so much of an issue but I will not be able to afford an entire new lens at the moment. It'll have to be at the 75 euro/100 dollar mark. Several things that would add up to that would be good, or one bigger thing would also be fine. Budget can be stretched and I'm not set on that budget if something comes up that really fits the bill.

    The problem is that I'm a bit stuck at what would be smart to buy for her. Which would be the first accessory you'd buy for a Nikon D60? I've been looking at various UV-filters, Tripods and other bits and bobs but I'm completely lost in the differences in prices, quality and what the different accessories are really useful for. Is an external flash really worth the money? Do the UV-filters really make a difference when making pictures with a backlight?

    Any idea's, tips or thoughts are more than welcome because I'm a bit drowned in "cameraland" right now... :mad2:

  2. #2
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on accessories for Nikon D60

    What sort of pictures does she do? The accessories you buy are very dependent on what use you make of them.

    Personally I don't think a UV filter is any use except to protect the lens. It allows you to leave the lens cap off even when the camera is in your bag so the camera is ready for use straight away.

    If like most people she does photos of friends and family indoors and out, in dim light and in glaring sunlight then the number one accessory to me is an external flash. The flash on the camera has several drawbacks:

    1. It's not powerful enough to work at more than about 6-10 feet
    2. It's too close to the lens so you can get red-eye
    3. It gives you a hard, direct light like you stuck a flashlight in your subjects faces. You can't point it at the ceiling to give a more natural effect.

    The Nikon SB400 is just about in your price range and resolves these problems.
    Charles

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

  3. #3
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    Re: Advice on accessories for Nikon D60

    If she does a lot of outdoor shooting... a circular polarizer.

  4. #4
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on accessories for Nikon D60

    I agree with Charles on getting the flash, it can be used indoors with low light or outside for fill light, Jeff
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  5. #5
    Member Dave Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on accessories for Nikon D60

    Charles probably gave the best advise given your budget.
    A flash is a great first accessory.

    I might suggest a tripod for Christmas (you can start saving now )
    Dave

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  6. #6
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    Re: Advice on accessories for Nikon D60

    @Franglais: She does all sorts of pictures. The standard family picture, a lot of pictures of dogs, scenery, sunsets but she also tries macroshots. Although one of the biggest problems is that the lens is not good enough for making good macroshots.

    Browsing through a photowebsite I found something that, providing it would work, would be perfect for her. It's a Hoya Close-Up Set (+1,+2,+4) HMC 52mm. According to the website it would fit on a 18-55mm lens but call me stupid but 52mm and 55mm aren't the same? How come that it would fit? Would it provide a decent addition to a 18-55mm lens to be able to make better macro-shots?

    I'll definetly look into the SB400. On another photoforum where I asked some help someone recommended me the SB600 which seems quit pricey He called the SB400 "a waste of money". Would it really be like that or is he just the "perfectionist"-type?

    @ngc1514: I've only done some reading on circular polarisers and from what I understand so far it makes the colours and contrast better when shooting outdoor pictures. It leaves out the light that gets reflected from certain objects. I've seen some comparison pictures and it seems very promising! She's always post processing all her pictures to remove as much of the reflections, improve contrast and colours etc. This seems like something that would make that slightly less time-consuming. Which means, more time spent with me instead of the laptop.


    @Dave: Already have been thinking about that. I know for sure that for the next couple of birthday's, christmas, etc. I'll have something to get presents for! And I thought I was spending a lot of money on my hobby, diving more into the world of photography makes me see that I'm not half that bad. :thumbsup:



    So what is it gonna be? Tripod? Close-up Filter? Circular Polariser?

  7. #7
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on accessories for Nikon D60

    18-55 is the range of focal lengths that the lens can do. 18mm is the wide-angle end and 55mm is the telephoto end. You can't actually physically measure it because it's produced by the lens elements taking up certain positions in the lens.

    52mm is the physical diameter of the ring at front of the lens that you screw filters into.

    I've never used close-up lenses but I haven't heard anything good about them. Perhaps a macro specialist could give us an opinion?

    I don't have a SB400. I think the SB600 a waste of money compared with my SB800 which is only slightly more expensive and does a lot more. (Etc.. you get the picture..). I checked up B&H and on our reviews page here before writing and people seem to be pretty happy with the SB400:

    http://www.photographyreview.com/cat...0_3121crx.aspx

    Just remember - a flash is a tool to start to take control of the light and do what you want with it. To get the best out of it you have to learn how to use it. Whereas a close-up filter you just whack on and shoot.
    Charles

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

  8. #8
    n8
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    Re: Advice on accessories for Nikon D60

    I agree that a flash would be a great first accessory, but I think that it's worth considering what she needs, and what she'll grow into. The sb400 might fit her current usage, but a sb600 or higher might come into play down the road, and it might be a short road depending on how enthusiastic she is. I have an sb600, and while I would gladly take an 8, or even 900 model, I don't need it. The best thing I think about the 600 is that it will be cheaper, fairly powerful, and will open up the door of remote triggering by her camera...but only if the d60 has a commander mode (Charles?). The 800/900 are more powerful and can trigger other flashes, but she'll probably be more worried about her lenses or camera body before this happens.
    Regarding tripods, I have a Rocketfish (yup, best buy brand) carbon fiber tripod that I am extremely happy with, and got if for under $150. She may not need this with a lighter setup, but I've come to believe that you're wasting money if you're buying something that you can't grow into.
    The UV filter is kind of a standard accessory that primarily serves to protect your lens. Some debate on whether or not they degrade the images or not. I'm not sure how much they really help.
    Software is also another option. She may be able to get a lot of use out of Photoshop Elements or something comparable.
    Oh, and don't forget the IR remote.
    mostly Nikon gear

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  9. #9
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on accessories for Nikon D60

    Quote Originally Posted by n8
    ...The best thing I think about the 600 is that it will be cheaper, fairly powerful, and will open up the door of remote triggering by her camera...but only if the d60 has a commander mode (Charles?)....
    The D60 has no Commander mode. None of the low-end models do. You have to go to the D90 to get Commander mode.
    Charles

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

  10. #10
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    Re: Advice on accessories for Nikon D60

    For anyone that's interested I ended up going with ngc1514 suggestion of buying a circular polariser! Talking with the owner of the photography store here he also suggested that as the possible best choice.

    I'll get her something else for Christmas ;) Maybe a camerabag, tripod or external flash, we'll see by then!

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