Hi I was reading all the post about rick wanting to upgrade from a d40 to a d90 or d7000.I too was wondering the same thing for my d50.So after reading all the post i think i will just keep my d50 and learn it better.I currently just shoot family and nature with a tamaron 55-200 lenses. Some one suggested i get a nikon 70-300 lenses to get closer pics.Any one have thoughts on that.Since i am retired $$ do come into play,but going out to the everglades etc and shooting pics is fun.Thanks for ur advice
I have a Nikon D50, it is now my backup - I migrated to a D300 a couple of years ago. The Nikon 70-300mm f4.0-5.6 VRII is an excellent lens. A new choice, for about $100-150 less is the 55-300 mm f4.0-5.6 VRII which is DX only - but that is not a problem since the D50 is a DX body.
However, given that you are already shooting a 55-200, that would not be my first suggestion. The 55-200 has pretty good telephoto reach. My suggestion would be to get a wide to normal zoom something in the 18-55mm range. You can get the Nikon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR for about $180 new, or as little as $99 if you are willing to get a Factory refurbished lens(by Nikon) The key difference is that the refurbished lens comes with a 90 day warranty while the new copy has a five year warranty. My 18-55 VR I bought as a refurbished copy for $99, which is usually on my D300. I have had it for about 2 years with no problems, but YMMV. I got the 18-55 non VR as the kit lens when I bought my D50 and still use it.
My alternative recommendation would be a fast prime lens. I would recommend the 35mm f1.8 G which costs about $190-200. It would be an excellent complement to your 55-200.
I've shot with a D50 for the last 4 years. It was my first DSLR. I finally moved to the D7000 this year, but shot a ton with the D50...all kinds of lenses. I always found reach to involve cost, so the 70-300 might be the only "reasonable" compromise that I could think of. You'll have 3rd party alternatives, and can sometimes find an used Simga or Tamron in the 500mm range for somewhat more than the 70-300, but less than the telephoto primes. I think Tamron may even have a rebate for their version of the 70-300 right now.
Agree a good fast prime would be easily achievable, the 35 1.8, or 50 1.8 AF-D for even less (which your D50 will auto-focus, unlike the D40/60/3000/5000). Wide angle is more affordable as well, if you are interested in honing that part of your repertoire. You can also consider the 18-105 VR at around 200 on the used market.
> Some one suggested i get a nikon 70-300 lenses to get closer pics... going out to the everglades etc
The Nikkor 70-300 AFS VR is a nice lens, it will do what you want - get a bit closer (50% closer to be specific). On the other hand, Nikon also offer a 55-300 AFS VR DX that would do the same, for less money. It's less expensive because it's a DX lens, but that doesn't seem like an issue to you.
I must say that I have no comprehension as to why the others are advising the 18-55 or 35/f1.8 for "getting closer pics." They're fine lenses, but get you closer to Everglades subjects than a 55-200 they will definitely not do.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
I have a D50 and a D300, and in most circumstances you can't tell which camera took the photo. The D50 is a wonderful camera and I still use it a lot even though I have another camera most people would say is better. So, don't feel like it's much of a compromise to keep using your D50.
As to lenses, I also have the 55-300 that several others have recommended, and it works great with the D50. The image quality is excellent, you get more range than with a 70-300, it costs less, and it is smaller and lighter. The D50 and 55-300 make a great pair and if cost is a factor, as you say it is, the 55-300 is easy to recommend.
One more thought: You can use a 55-300 with a Kenko Pro 1.4x teleconverter, and that will get you even closer. The combination works really well in good light (for example, in the Everglades during the day). When the light falls off the combo has trouble focusing, so in lower light adding the teleconverter is problematic. If the situation is right for it, the 1.4x teleconverter and 55-300 will get you out to 420mm, more than twice as close as your current lens.