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So I’ve been considering “getting back” to photography a bit more. Not that I ever was super into it but I’ve always loved it and am supposedly pretty good at it. My first digital camera though, which had a long zoom that I loved and took pretty great pics is now impossibly slow in comparison to my small pocket Canon so I can’t stand using it. The said Canon though is hard to hold still and not all that flexible so I’m taking less and less pictures.

I’m aware it’s largely a mental thing and a question of taking the time to take shots but still, I think something more reliable and flexible would help me get back into it. Add to that the fact I’ll be in France, Belgium and the Netherlands for 10 days in September and my credit card finger is getting itchy.

All of that to say, I’m considering a DSLR and would like opinions on going to that size and on which is best. At a very quick glance I’m looking at the Nikon D40X, Nikon D80 (my 35mm is a Nikon that I loved dearly) and the EOS 400D. What’s the best lense to start with? There’s supposedly some fantastic one that’s 28-200 or something close.

I might also stick to something smaller that I’ll use more in between trips, like a Leica D-LUX 3 or something similar.

Thoughts? Recommendations? André? Vanou? Éric? Ed? Karl? Bueller?


andre August 10, 2007

When I had to choose my first lens, I decided to go for a zoom that was biased toward the wide angle since I do a lot of landscape/architecture.

Lozeau has the XTi (400D) along with a 28-85 USM IS lens which has been my only lens for the past two years.

The 28-200 does not come with IS so you’d definitely need a tripod to take advantage of the 200mm range. Especially since the XTi is not a full-sensor so the effective focal length is 1.6 times greater.

the milliner August 10, 2007

Where will you be in France in Sept.? I’ll be in Paris sometime around the 10th-ish. Am going for work and trying to convince Michel to come with me. Keep me posted – if you’re in Paris at the same time, we should meet up for dinner.

vanou August 10, 2007

I’ve got the D70s with a 18-135 and a fixed 50. I’m really happy with that.
The D80 is supposed to be even better and comes with the 18-135, so that wouldn’t be such a bad choice.
Sinon pour une petite, la Canon SD1000 est vraiment genial. We’ve got two in the family and we’re always impressed by the clarity of the pictures, plus you can have little movies!

Roy Goen August 10, 2007

Nikon has the 28-200 VR lens that I basically now use for about everything. Its alittle pricy, but well worth the $$$. It does have the vibration reduction feature!

F. August 11, 2007

I’ll have to go with Roy on the Nikon 28-200. That’s what I use on mine and have not regretted the $$ spent on it a single minute since the day I got it. I had heard only good things about that lense and it lives up. And the VR really works a charm ( I shot a blimp floating above the J-C bridge while the car was moving @ 200mm and the picture is super clear, super sharp… – lame picture but great for showing off what the lense can do )

As for the body itself, I have the D80 and love it, but can’t compare with the previous Nikon DSLRs because I’ve never had one :)

If you want to know something in particular, let me know (and I’ll bring it along so you can try it and get a feel of it when I see you…)

Karl August 13, 2007

Avoid zoom.
Prefer fixed focus.

The quality of fixed focus is far better. A zoom is in fact more difficult to use. In the sense you have to be very strict with yourself. It is very rare that you are using a zoom at more than 3 positions. It would be interesting to study the distribution of focal for photos taken with a zoom.

What’s happening usually is you are using tele for things far away, and wide angle for things you can’t fit in your frame. Then why not having two fixed lenses.

I was saying using a zoom is delicate, because it means that you understand what are the type of deformation your focal does on your photo, and how you are using this effect to achieve something. You then have to choose between changing the focal or changing position or a combination of the two.

For example, I can take from far away because I want to flatten the perspective and make a short depth of field.
Or I want to come closer of my subject with exactly the same content in the frame because I want a vertigo effect with the wide angle.

As I can imagine ;) it might be a bit too much for your own purpose.

Taking the other side. A zoom is very practical when traveling, because having multiple lenses is a pain sometimes. So really it depends on what you want to do with your camera and your style of photography.

At yes last point, a good zoom is far more expensive. Cheap zoom have to be avoided.

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