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sierrajb Registered since 20th Apr 2013Sun 21-Apr-13 08:32 PM
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"First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"


Fort Worth, US
          

For years I've been pining away for my first Nikon DSLR. On an extremely tight budget, I knew I had to wait until someone posted their barely used camera on craigslist for a song and a dance. Finally, I got a lead and bought a slightly used, pristine D80 kit that came with a lens, battery, strap, boxes, etc. for only $220. I recently acquired a SB-600 for $170, and a backpack for $60. So, with less than $500, I'm set to go.

Still feel like it was a great buy and love learning from the 40 pictures I've already taken with it (all in one of the point-and-shoot modes).

HOWEVER....after reading several of the posts about the D80 from this forum, I'm wondering if I jumped the gun and should have held out for the D90 or better. Since I'm a newbie to digital photography I really don't know enough to criticize my recent purchase or the quality of my photos so far. They all look fantastic to me! Just need some words of encouragement and someone to point me in the right direction. I plan to visit the "New to Photography" section quite a bit.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Proverbs 25:11).

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)
OnTERRYo Silver Member
21st Apr 2013
1
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sierrajb
21st Apr 2013
2
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MEMcD Moderator
21st Apr 2013
3
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sierrajb
22nd Apr 2013
5
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JosephK Silver Member
21st Apr 2013
4
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sierrajb
22nd Apr 2013
6
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micro Silver Member
22nd Apr 2013
7
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James23p Moderator
22nd Apr 2013
8
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sierrajb
22nd Apr 2013
10
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sierrajb
23rd Apr 2013
11
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avm247 Moderator
22nd Apr 2013
9
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sierrajb
23rd Apr 2013
12
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MarkM10431 Silver Member
11th Jun 2013
14
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brainexhaust
04th Jun 2013
13
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MEMcD Moderator
13th Jun 2013
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Sujoy61 Silver Member
18th Jun 2013
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brainexhaust
21st Jun 2013
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km6xz Moderator
18th Jun 2013
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msullivan09 Silver Member
19th Jun 2013
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JCY88
20th Jun 2013
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Bluewaterhooker0 Silver Member
01st Jul 2013
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shipsdrummer Silver Member
04th Jul 2013
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mkbee1
05th Jul 2013
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04th Aug 2013
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24th Aug 2013
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OnTERRYo Silver Member Nikonian since 25th Nov 2011Sun 21-Apr-13 09:08 PM
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#1. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 21-Apr-13 09:09 PM by OnTERRYo

Hamilton, CA
          

Hi James.

Welcome to Nikonians.

I believe you did well deciding on the D80.
I looked for quite a while for a used D80 or D90 before I decided on a new D90. I think the D80 is a very capable camera and for a very good price. I think you did well. What lens was included?

Terry.

OnTERRYo

"The Nikon did the work; I just happened to be behind it at the time." TP

  

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sierrajb Registered since 20th Apr 2013Sun 21-Apr-13 09:24 PM
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#2. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 1


Fort Worth, US
          

Thanks, Terry. Good to hear from a PRO that I did "ok." The lens in the kit is the Nikon DX (AF-S Nikkor 18-135mm, 1:3.5-5.6 G ED). Not sure what all that means exactly, but seems to be a great overall lens for a variety of uses.

I did have to order a lens cap, lens UV filter and a LCD monitor cover to keep it free from scratches. Found that stuff for very cheap online.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Proverbs 25:11).

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Sun 21-Apr-13 11:41 PM
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#3. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 22-Apr-13 12:15 AM by MEMcD

US
          

Hi James,

While the D90 has better high ISO performance they are also significantly more expensive than D80's.
The D80 is more than capable of capturing great images.
I continue to use my D70s that is older and less capable than the D80 even though I have more capable bodies.
Enjoy!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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sierrajb Registered since 20th Apr 2013Mon 22-Apr-13 12:48 AM
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#5. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 3


Fort Worth, US
          

>Hi James,
>
>While the D90 has better high ISO performance they are also
>significantly more expensive than D80's.
>The D80 is more than capable of capturing great images.
>I continue to use my D70s that is older and less capable than
>the D80 even though I have more capable bodies.
>Enjoy!

Thanks for the kind words, Marty. I did a side-by-side comparison online of the D80 v. D90, so I know what you mean. However, I just couldn't cough up that much extra change. All in all, this is by far the BEST camera I have ever held in my rookie hands.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Proverbs 25:11).

  

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JosephK Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Sun 21-Apr-13 11:51 PM
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#4. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0


Seattle, WA, US
          

If the equipment is in good condition and you got all of that for less than $500, you did great!

The D80 is a capable camera. Yes, there is always something better coming along; but that is always the case. Here is a quick how-to from Nikon:
http://www.nikondigitutor.com/eng/d80/index.shtml

This D80 forum is a great place to be asking questions about using the camera. See the "master your vision" forums for questions about specific subjects like sports, landscapes, and portraits.

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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sierrajb Registered since 20th Apr 2013Mon 22-Apr-13 12:56 AM
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#6. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 4


Fort Worth, US
          

Joseph,
Yes, everything is in pristine condition. I did an actuator count with the help of a freebie utility online, and it showed the camera had about 12,000 clicks. From what I understand, it still has some life left to give.
Thanks for that link. I'll get a couple of peanut butter sandwiches and a glass of milk before sitting down to watch it. Appreciate the insight!

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Proverbs 25:11).

  

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micro Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Mar 2008Mon 22-Apr-13 10:28 AM
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#7. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0


walkertown, US
          

great purchase.I got mine after the d-90 came out and the price dropped.I then found a used one for a second body.the d-80 takes absolutely great pics.the auto and scene modes are not the best so you need to study and learn to use p,s,a,m modes.take a look at my gallery,all pics are from my d-80"s. Troy

there is no problem to big or small that can't be fixed with brute strength and ignorance visit my gallery

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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James23p Moderator Awarded for his wide variety of skills, a true generalist both in film and digital photography Nikonian since 25th Apr 2004Mon 22-Apr-13 01:07 PM
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#8. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 22-Apr-13 06:24 PM by James23p

Memphis, US
          

I had a D80 it was a very good camera I also had the Nikkor 18-135 AF-s I found it to be a very good lens, it was a sharp lens and was a good fit on the D80. I think you got a great starter package that covers all the basics and will certainly serve you well.

Jim

Share, Learn and Inspire
www.nikonians.org




I will use film until the last roll and last lab are gone. Go Navy

  

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sierrajb Registered since 20th Apr 2013Mon 22-Apr-13 09:15 PM
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#10. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 8


Fort Worth, US
          

Thanks, Anthony. I will do my best and follow your advice!

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Proverbs 25:11).

  

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sierrajb Registered since 20th Apr 2013Tue 23-Apr-13 04:24 AM
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#11. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 8


Fort Worth, US
          

Appreciate your encouragement, Jim. I know I have a ton to learn, and this forum is just what I need to get started. Lots of reading, study, and practice ahead!

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Proverbs 25:11).

  

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberMon 22-Apr-13 06:09 PM
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#9. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0


Rancho Cordova, US
          

James, welcome to Nikonians!

Congrats on the purchase. Bodies come and bodies go, lenses are where its at! I think you did just fine. Its very easy to be tempted by the "next best thing" especially when it comes to camera bodies.

Use what you have, learn its nuances; get out of the auto and program modes and understand how to control the camera to get the most out of it.

We have some assignments in the New to Photography forum if your interested.


Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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sierrajb Registered since 20th Apr 2013Tue 23-Apr-13 04:28 AM
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#12. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 9


Fort Worth, US
          

>James, welcome to Nikonians!
>
>Congrats on the purchase. Bodies come and bodies go, lenses
>are where its at! I think you did just fine. Its very easy
>to be tempted by the "next best thing" especially
>when it comes to camera bodies.
>
>Use what you have, learn its nuances; get out of the auto and
>program modes and understand how to control the camera to get
>the most out of it.
>
>We have some assignments in the
>New
>to Photography forum> if your interested.
>
>
>Anthony
>
>
The
>Moderator Page> and
>
My
>Gallery>
>The important things in life are simple; the
>simple things are hard.



Hmmm....not sure how my reply was posted BEFORE yours, Anthony, but looks like I've got to learn how to navigate this forum as well as my new-to-me D80. Hope I can find the time soon to get into those assignments. I never knew a forum like this existed. FREE EDUCATION and new Nikonian Friends! Can't beat a deal like that!

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Proverbs 25:11).

  

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MarkM10431 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Apr 2013Tue 11-Jun-13 08:53 PM
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#14. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 9


jacksonville, US
          

I think you did very well. I plan on putting my D80 on the block for $400 with a 70-200mm, which i think I can get. the 80 is a gereat starter camera, I just needed better low light performance.

I hope the 80 serves you as well as it did me in learning DSLRs

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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brainexhaust Registered since 11th Apr 2013Tue 04-Jun-13 06:58 AM
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#13. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

I am new to this site and should have introduced myself in the
apppropiate forum, but would like to respond to your post. I
bought a slightly used d80 body about 4 or 5 years ago and
love it. I also shoot film with several Nikon bodies, and the
D80 will meter and focus with many  older AF full-frame lenses
so i did not need to buy glass. I will not buy DX lenses as my
next DSLR will be full-frame (FX). Noise can be an issue with
the d80 - iso 800 is about as fast as i will go, and 400 or
lower yeilds faily low noise levels. You got a great deal on
your kit!
Cheers - Chris from western NC. N2000, N60, Nikkormat Ftn,
N75, F4s, N8008, N8008s, D80.

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Thu 13-Jun-13 03:03 AM
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#15. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 13


US
          

Hi Chris,

Welcome to Nikonians!
Glad to have you with us.

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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Sujoy61 Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Jan 2006Tue 18-Jun-13 05:36 AM
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#16. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 15


Calcutta, IN
          

I had the D80 for five years and found it to be very capable camera - if you can stay away from the high ISO's 1600 and beyond you will find that it performs very well!

www.sujoydas.com
Photographs from the Himalaya
www.sujoyrdas.blogspot.com
My Blog
www.facebook.com/sujoyrdas
Facebook

  

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brainexhaust Registered since 11th Apr 2013Fri 21-Jun-13 06:41 PM
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#20. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 15


US
          

Thanks Marty! This forum seems well moderated and friendly; no flame wars.

- Chris (Brain Exhaust)

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Tue 18-Jun-13 07:25 AM
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#17. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0


St Petersburg, RU
          

Welcome James,
You have all you need to get excellent, interesting photos which are good enough to hang on gallery walls. Newer cameras sell due to having more features but very few of those features are needed for better photography. You have the best add-on, your SB600, which if used properly will really expand your options in shooting.
There is a minor learning curve to become familiar with the terms and operation of any camera but the basics that are essential for great photography stay the same and have for 140 years. To really get the most out of your new camera or any camera you pick up, I suggest reading and experimenting with the fundamentals of exposure and the relationship between light, color, and time, as well as human visual perception. An excellent book, your library must have, is "Understanding Exposure" written by Bryan Peterson. His breezy no-math enthusiastic style makes the subject easy to understand and generates enthusiasm. You can also see various Youtube videos on the subject, but the book is best. With that base knowledge you will be able to see a scene and visualize what the camera needs to capture it in the way you wish it to look, with any camera.
If you are comfortable with the fundamentals, the camera will make little difference.
When you get the basics, learning about flash photography will further expand your capability. Most beginners do not like flash, they say they do not like the "flash look" but that mostly says more about their beginning status than anything negative about flash. Flash, if used badly or without understanding of exposure can detract from an image. But, ask the same person to pick out an image in a magazine, ad or from a gallery that he likes, there is a very great chance that it was using strobes or flash lighting. Any commercial or ad photography uses it and the results are much better due to it. You will learn how effective the Nikon flash systems are and how they enhance even full daylight images.
If you have any questions, any, just ask, these forums are full of experienced people who enjoy sharing their experience and knowledge.
If an answer is filled with jargon or abbreviations you do not understand, just mention it because most can explain the terms while they go, if they know your level.
Good luck, good learning and good shooting.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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msullivan09 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Sep 2009Wed 19-Jun-13 06:56 PM
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#18. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 19-Jun-13 07:44 PM by msullivan09

US
          

Welcome to nikonians! Go take pictures! But on to the hardware issue...

I have little to add to what has already been said, except this; I understand that you're on a tight budget and fortunately for you the D80 is one of the few mid-range cameras that includes a focusing drive. That's why I went to the the D90 from a D40.

Your 18-135 is a "G" lens which lacks an aperture ring. Most G lens adjustments (you can focus manually) are done between the camera and lens electronically. Nikon also made/makes autofocus lenses that operate with the focusing screw. A plethora of Nikon and 3rd party lenses are available to you used at a very low cost compared to their retail price. Some of these lenses are very reasonable in price even new, like the "nifty fifty" (50mm f/1.8, c.$120). Don't get me started on the Nikon manual lenses! Just make sure you do the research and stick to known reputable dealers.

Good luck and have fun!


Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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JCY88 Registered since 24th Aug 2012Thu 20-Jun-13 10:36 AM
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#19. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

D80 was my favorite DSLR and I still own it for occasional use. It's ergonomic is better than my other Newer DLSR. It is lighter and easier to get good shots withprogrammed setting. Good luck with it.

  

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Bluewaterhooker0 Silver Member Nikonian since 31st Jan 2009Mon 01-Jul-13 05:35 AM
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#21. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 01-Jul-13 05:38 AM by Bluewaterhooker0

Tampa, US
          

Have been shooting a D80 for many years now. I find it to be a very capable body, as has been stated here several times. Liked it so much, I bought a couple of extra bodies as backups. My personal experience is that even with adjustments to the shooting modes, I still have to play with the contrast and brightness on most shots to get the look I am trying for. But it does a good job of capturing the images I require of it. Attached is a shot I did for my daughter's wedding/engagement in October of last year. Did some manipulation of the usual suspects, as well as some softening and vignetting of the border areas, but real happy with the results. I usually don't shoot in the maximum resolution mode, and am happy with the results in most cases. Have fun with your D80. It's a great camera. And, ditto on the 18-135 lens. I have the 18-200 lens as well, but shoot most of the time on the 18-135's. I'm having a couple of 18x24 canvas prints made of this as we speak. Expecting some good results.


Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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shipsdrummer Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Mar 2006Thu 04-Jul-13 02:07 PM
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#22. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 21


New Orleans, US
          

Beautiful image of the happy couple Jerry. To the O.P. I would say you bought a very good camera and lens combination. I purchased a D80 and used it for a couple of years before I bought the D90.
Here's a sample of images taken with the D80. http://www.flickr.com/cameras/nikon/d80

Enjoy the journey!


"Burn Slowly the Candle of Life"

  

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mkbee1 Registered since 26th Nov 2012Fri 05-Jul-13 01:55 PM
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#23. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 22
Fri 05-Jul-13 02:10 PM by mkbee1

US
          

You did just fine!

I don't have any experience with the D80, but like my D50 and D90, I think you can expect excellent results, if you do your part.

Your lens, while not getting much praise, has never been criticized as "bad" afaik. (A "bad" Nikon lens is hard to find, if it hasn't had the merrie aitch beaten out of it!) The lens has a very good and useful range I love my 28-105!

If you can get some sort of manual other than the factory one, it will help unravel the mystery of it all. Do/did Nikonians publish one? It will probably be worth the $$ if so.
The one for my D90 is great...much better than the Nikon manual.

Someone once said "The most important part of the camera is the 12 inches behind it",...or the guy holding it,...orr something like that, sooo...just learn the ins and outs of your marvelous machine, and take lots of pictures. We learn by doing...shoot, evaluate, adjust, repeat. The more we shoot, the better we get!
Carl

It is a Fine and Pleasant Madness

  

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JBD90 Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Nov 2011Sun 04-Aug-13 02:59 AM
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#24. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 23


US
          

I think you can look at it from this angle. You now have a very capable camera with a lens and flash that can be mounted on any step up Nikon. Use your D80, learn it, enjoy it. you are into it a a very attractive price that I am sure you could sell it for if your egg money can starts to fill up over time and you look for a D90 or other camera. Funny thing about Nikons, there is a market for every model ever made. Good shooting. JB

  

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archer4219 Registered since 02nd Jan 2013Sat 24-Aug-13 06:41 AM
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#25. "RE: First DSLR: A Nikon D80 (Second Thoughts?)"
In response to Reply # 0


Surrey, CA
          

I still have and enjoy my D80.

  

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Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D90/D80/D70 (Public) topic #252635 Previous topic | Next topic


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