I've been reading through these forums in hope of gaining some enlightenment on how to proceed with embarking into the realm of DSLR photography. Many years ago, I spent a fair amount of time on photography, but I have not been able to do so in recent years.
The only SLR camera I have ever owned is a Nikon F3, which I still have, but which I prefer not to use due to the inconvenience of using film. I own a point and shoot digital camera, but I've recently decided to return to photography as a hobby, and this camera is insufficient for that purpose.
As a Nikon user, who has some old lenses (which hopefully I can still use), I thought I would stay with Nikon as I moved into digital photography. My biggest problem with getting into digital photography is that I am on a limited budget. This will affect what equipment I am able to buy now and for the foreseeable future.
Initially, I considered buying an inexpensive DSLR just to get started, but I realized that I would outgrow such a camera too quickly, making it a bad and frustrating investment. So, after a considerable amount of reading, I have begun to think that I would do well to buy a D7000 with an all-purpose lens to be used for learning.
I am aware that there are advantages to going with a D7100 or even a D600 (for those with a larger budget), but I keep coming back to the D7000 as a better value for someone just starting out.
I would like to get some feedback and advice from more experienced photographers on my plan. Right now, Amazon has a bundle which seems like a good starting point for me, at an acceptable price. It consists of a Nikon D7000 DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR Kit with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR II ED Nikkor Lens; included is a 16GB SD card and two Nikon instructional DVDs (a huge selling point if you don't know what you're doing!).
I have also considered the kit with the 18-105mm lens, but it does not appear to be as good of a deal (money-wise) as the 18-200mm kit. From what I've read, people either love or hate the 18-200mm lens. This lens seems slow and not particularly useful at either end, but it might be good for practicing, as well as for vacationing or hiking excursions.
I can't afford to buy the D600 or the lenses which it uses, so I have ruled it out. I have considered the D7100, but don't see it as enough of an improvement to warrant the extra expenditure over the D7000. Perhaps I would be better off saving some money up-front by buying the D7000 18-200mm kit and investing in better lenses when my budget allows.
Also, I have several old lenses lying around. The one I would like to use most is the Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens, which came with my F3. I imagine it would be sharper than the 18-200mm, although I'm not sure how old lenses compare to new ones. Will this lens work with the D7000? If so, will I run into any limitations when using it?
Any opinions on my reasoning and options would be greatly appreciated.