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BeginnerLC

US
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BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Mon 26-Aug-13 05:11 PM

Hello,

Total newbie at DSLR and photography, and considering buying a D5200.

There are many different kits out there, and I’m trying to find the best deal possible with the most useful/powerful equipment. I see that I need to choose between having two lenses (18-55mm G VR DX AF-S Zoom Lens with 55-300mm VR Lens) versus a single, more versatile, lens (18-300mm VR Zoom Lens). The latter is more expensive, probably because it is more practical–you don’t have to change lenses as often– but are there differences in quality between the lenses I mentioned?

I gather that lens choices depend on what you intend to shoot. As a beginner, I will try exploring all types of photography (portraits, nature shots, artsy photos from close-ups to landscapes.

Thanks!

rogermorris

Harrogate, UK
51 posts

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#1. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 0

rogermorris Registered since 14th Apr 2013
Mon 26-Aug-13 05:53 PM

The 18-300 is relatively expensive & according to the reviews I have read suffers from distortion at both ends of the zoom range (all zooms do, especially superzooms). I have the 18-55 & the 70-300 which both get good reviews for their price point. The 15mm gap in range is equivalent to a couple of steps forward or back.
The 5200 is a great entry level camera, I like the adjustable rear screen. Best of luck! Nikonians is a fantastic source of help & advice for a all levels & interests.

Best regards

Roger

No work of art is ever finished, merely abandoned

BeginnerLC

US
12 posts

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#2. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 1

BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Mon 26-Aug-13 07:16 PM

Thanks Roger,
Appreciate your feedback on the lenses.
Laurent

MEMcD

US
28556 posts

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#3. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 0

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Mon 26-Aug-13 07:34 PM

Hi Laurent,

Welcome to Nikonians!

The extended range Jack-of-All-Trade zooms like the 18-200mm and the 18-300mm are much more versatile and convenient than having to carry and change two or more lenses.
The price you pay for the additional versatility and convenience is two fold:
1. Reduced optical performance. (The optical design of the lens is Compromised usually at both the long end and the short end to gain the extended zoom range.)
2. Price. The 18-200mm and 18-300mm cost more than an 18-55mm and 55-300mm.
Being more expensive they also have a better build quality (larger and heavier) than the kit lenses (18-55mm and 55-300mm) though they are not as good optically.
The difference in optical performance is not earthshaking but there is a difference.

Bottom line: there is no free lunch.

Best Regards,
Marty

BeginnerLC

US
12 posts

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#4. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 3

BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Mon 26-Aug-13 07:44 PM

Thanks Marty,

No free lunch? Ouch!

Looks like I might order the kit with the lenses Roger recommends (slightly better quality winning over ease-of-use) and, as I gain experience in various shooting situations, see what becomes more important.

Thank you Nikonians for a warm welcome.
Laurent

BeginnerLC

US
12 posts

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#5. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 1

BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Mon 26-Aug-13 08:32 PM

Hi again Roger,

On a slightly different topic, do you have any experience w/ the Nikon 7100? I understand it's a semi-professional tool.

Seems tempting, but would the learning curve be much steeper w/ the 7100 than w/ the 5200? I know nothing about photography (have been using a basic pocket-sized Olympus , but am beginning to see a lot of limitations)and am wondering if the 5200 may be a good first step to building some skills. I purchased some basic books on the 5200 and the technology seems complicated, but manageable.

Also, the 7100 is quite a bit more expensive, but not if I find the 5200 too limiting after a while and end up having to buy up. Any feedback along those lines would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Laurent

BeginnerLC

US
12 posts

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#6. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 3

BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Mon 26-Aug-13 09:00 PM

Hi again Marty,

On a slightly different topic, do you have any experience w/ the Nikon 7100? I understand it's a semi-professional tool.

Seems tempting, but would the learning curve be much steeper w/ the 7100 than w/ the 5200? I know nothing about photography (have been using a basic pocket-sized Olympus , but am beginning to see a lot of limitations with it)and am wondering if the 5200 may be a good first step to building some skills. I purchased some basic books on the 5200 and the technology seems complicated, but manageable.

Also, the 7100 is quite a bit more expensive, but not if I find the 5200 too limiting after a while and end up having to buy up. Any feedback along those lines would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Laurent

rogermorris

Harrogate, UK
51 posts

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#7. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 5

rogermorris Registered since 14th Apr 2013
Mon 26-Aug-13 09:43 PM

My photographic history is fairly long (I'm 64). Film SLRs for 40+ years, digital 8. D70, D1H, D200. I like enthusiast/pro cameras but can't afford them, a lot of my kit was/is second hand & I have had to trade beloved gear (F3HP) to keep almost up to date. I have no experience of the 7100, my nephew has the 7000 & loves it. Entry level bodies have lots of scene modes, if you go the D5200 route I suggest you try to ignore them except for casual/social shooting & concentrate on learning the basics. You have lots of experience with a compact so you know what you want to achieve, virtually any DSLR will allow this. As you have probably read on Nikonians, even entry level bodies have high resolution, what they lack is speed, frame rate, buffer depth & access to parameters such as white balance, exposure compensation etc. only via menus. Enthusiast bodies have more buttons giving direct access to almost anything you might want to change, ultimately they can be easier to use. (steep learning curve, especially at my age!) How about hunting down something like a D300? often offered here. Refering to previous advice, the 18-55 or 18-70 are good & cheap as chips, the 70-300 will work with FX bodies if you think that might be in your future. Nikonians will always help, but ultimately it is down to your own photo interests. My reactions can be beaten by glaciers! so sports are out!

Best regards

Roger

No work of art is ever finished, merely abandoned

BeginnerLC

US
12 posts

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#8. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 7

BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Mon 26-Aug-13 10:19 PM

Thanks again, Roger, for a thoughtful response,

Which will lead to more thinking on my part, and investigating the D300. I will also read more of the general info provided on Nikonians.

I hear you about age and learning. I'm in my 50s and trying to broaden my horizons by learning more technical subjects (ProTools, a recording software for musicians. Tough!).

All I know is that after using the compact for a couple of years, I seem to really enjoy capturing scenes (got a great butterfly the other day), and have a decent eye for interesting compositions and angles.

Thanks for taking the time to help a novice. Again, well appreciated.

All best,
Laurent

MEMcD

US
28556 posts

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#9. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 6

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Tue 27-Aug-13 03:14 AM

Hi Laurent,

>On a slightly different topic, do you have any experience w/
>the Nikon 7100? I understand it's a semi-professional tool.

I have used a D7100 a few times.
The D7100 has Scene and Auto (Point & Shoot) exposure modes just like the D3000 and D5000 series bodies. It also has a sub-command dial, an AF motor built-into the body and dedicated buttons to quickly change settings without having to go into the camera menu.


>Seems tempting, but would the learning curve be much steeper
>w/ the 7100 than w/ the 5200? I know nothing about photography
>(have been using a basic pocket-sized Olympus , but am
>beginning to see a lot of limitations with it)and am wondering
>if the 5200 may be a good first step to building some skills.
>I purchased some basic books on the 5200 and the technology
>seems complicated, but manageable.

The D7100 provides more user control and does have a steeper learning curve to get the most out of the camera, though it can be used as a P&S.

>Also, the 7100 is quite a bit more expensive, but not if I
>find the 5200 too limiting after a while and end up having to
>buy up. Any feedback along those lines would be appreciated.

That is a question that only you can answer.

Best Regards,
Marty

BeginnerLC

US
12 posts

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#10. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 9

BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Tue 27-Aug-13 01:37 PM

Thanks for taking the time, Marty,
Looks like I need to do more thinking about all this.
Best,
Laurent

grnzbra

Springfield, US
393 posts

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#11. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 6

grnzbra Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Sep 2011
Wed 28-Aug-13 12:15 PM

I am shooting the 5100. Bought the camera with the 18-55 lens. Then got a 18-200, thinking the same as you that it would be good all around lens. Then got a Sigma 150-500. Then got a tripod and ball head. Then got a Wimberly gimbal head. Then I looked back (actually, I got a look at the credit card bills).

After using this stuff for about 2 years, I wish I had gone for the 7100 to start with. It has two features that I now consider absolutely essential - autofocus fine tuning and the ability to pin the mirror up. The usefulness of autofocus fine tuning seems obvious. The pinning of the mirror is important to me because I do a lot of shooting on full auto and having the mirror slamming around between each shot seems stupid (it is useful if one is trying to track moving objects like flying birds. However, if one is not tracking the subject but rather trying to catch the subject as it moves into a preset target area, it seems like it's just another source of vibration). Even in live view it is slamming around.

The one thing that the 5100 has that I really like is the articulated LCD display. When using live view to set up the shot, it is very nice to be able to move the display around to minimize reflections in the display and contortions in my body. It seems that it is the only model with this.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

BeginnerLC

US
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#12. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 11

BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Wed 28-Aug-13 01:49 PM

Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Appreciate receiving feedback from people who've been at it for a while and learning from their trials and tribulations...

jcsocalphoto

San Diego, US
1589 posts

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#13. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 12

jcsocalphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2013
Wed 28-Aug-13 07:00 PM

I started out in the digital format several years back with the 18-70mm (now replaced by the 18-55) and the 55-200mm (I had a D70s back then). I wanted the convenience of that one lens and didn't think there would be much difference in image quality - I got the 18-200 and sold both of my other lenses to do it... I regretted it. I did notice an image difference (i thought the 18-200 was much softer than my other two lenses). And I wasn't even as picky about image sharpness as I am now - but I learned from that move about checking lens sharpness and doing my reserach/trying out lenses before I jump in and buy something now.
I'd advise that you put the lens on your camera and shoot a few images - then, compare those images to images from what you have now before you buy the "convenience". As it's been said on here already, you give up something to get something else...
Since that one move, I've been through several different digital bodies and many different lenses - the body and lenses I have now are the sharpest I've ever had and I don't see changing anytime soon. It took some spampling though...
Have fun and shoot - that's how you're going to know what you really need!

BeginnerLC

US
12 posts

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#14. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 13

BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Wed 28-Aug-13 07:27 PM

Right now, I do not own a DSLR, just a compact Olympus w/ very limited capabilities (although it takes good quality pictures); so I can't add lenses to that.
At this point, it's more a questions of buying the 5200 vs 7100.
Most people, including you, seem to recommend the 2 lenses vs one, so that problem is solved.
Thanks for your feedback!

jcsocalphoto

San Diego, US
1589 posts

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#15. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 14

jcsocalphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2013
Wed 28-Aug-13 10:37 PM

Well, this is another topic all together ... but...

In looking at those two cameras and coming from a Point-n-Shoot/all in one camera, you might want to start out with the 5200. It will do most of the things the 7100 will do for less money. The one thing that jumps out about the 7100 however is that you can use more lens options (this camera will take the older Nikon AF lenses and focus them as it has a motor in the body - the 5200 does not. So, if you have older Nikon lenses, then this is something to consider).

One thing I've found with digital bodies is that they are not like the film body days. You don't tend to buy one body and shoot with it for years and years. You'll upgrade more often - so the inital cost of getting "into the game" is going to be less with the 5200. Then, add nicer lenses as time goes on and then upgrade the body later...

Just my two cents worth...

BeginnerLC

US
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#16. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 15

BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Wed 28-Aug-13 11:13 PM

Yep, as I got answers from people, I added one more question in the conversation thread. Sorry about the confusion.
I think you're right about the quality of the body. Same seems to apply to a lot of products nowadays; you don't expect to keep a printer or a TV as long as you used to.
Good advice, and thanks for taking the time.

dagoldst

Little Rock, US
2786 posts

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#17. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 0

dagoldst Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2012
Sat 31-Aug-13 08:40 PM

Welcome to Nikonians.

Here is a perspective about the lens consideration. I would not have suggested it a couple years ago, but with Nikon doing more and more FX sensored cameras and relegating DX cameras to the lower end, it is something to think about.

Buy a D5200 with a kit lens. Get the 70-300mm VR for your telephoto, (an FX lens that works great on DX cameras).

Now, if you know you are going to be shooting DX for a long time and don't care about having full coverage of a bigger sensor, then the other combos described here will work fine. Thing to keep in mind is that lenses tend to be around a lot longer and stay in service with a photographer than do bodies.

Just a perspective,

David

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof " - Carl Sagan

BeginnerLC

US
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#18. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 17

BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Sat 31-Aug-13 08:54 PM

Thanks David,
Seems like a reasonable strategy. Less expensive than a D7100, and time to study the basics of DSLR. If my skill level rises in the next couple of years, then move on to the 7100 (or newer model then), and keep the 70-300mm VR.
Best,
Laurent

pjonesCET

Martinsville, US
746 posts

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#19. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 18

pjonesCET Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 11th Jul 2011
Mon 02-Sep-13 03:50 PM | edited Mon 02-Sep-13 03:53 PM by pjonesCET

I use a 3200 and have the following lens
18-55mm
35mm F 1.8 Excellent Pictures
55-200mm (Avoid like the plague) - too bright, not very sharp even when focused correctly.
10-24mm Excellent Pictures (best lens out of the bunch -cost arm and three legs)

Click on image to view larger version

Taken with the 18-55mm lens

Click on image to view larger version

Taken with the 10-24mm

Click on image to view larger version

Taken with 35mm


Click on Pictures to enlarge.

Picture of Church on tripod
other two hand held.

If you just starting out with DSLR D3200 excellent choice.

Phillip M Jones, CET
pjonescet@comcast.net
http://www.phillipmjones.net/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjonescet/
http://www.phillipjones-cet.net

BeginnerLC

US
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#20. "RE: Two lenses versus one" | In response to Reply # 19

BeginnerLC Registered since 26th Aug 2013
Mon 02-Sep-13 04:11 PM

Thanks for sharing these examples. Really helpful.
Best,
Laurent

G