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Newbie and getting D90 ????

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by mlktwins, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. mlktwins


    Aug 29, 2008
    Hi all! I'm getting the Nikon D90 and it will be my first DSLR camera. As a novice my question is should I get the kit and use the 18-105 lens that comes with it or get the body only and get the 18-200 lens? As of now, my main reason for getting the camera is to take pics of my 3 year old twins who don't sit still for long. I would obviously like to take some portraits shots, but I'm looking to get the boys in action at the zoo, park, etc. and not have all the motion blur that I'm getting with my point and shoot.

    I've heard the 18-200 is a great all around lens, but not exceptional at any one thing. My friend has a D80 with the 18-200 and she has taken some great photos of my boys. I don't know much about the 18-105. I do know that I will not be able to stop and switch the lens easily for a few more years. I guess I could also get the 18-105 with the kit and spend about $500 getting the 70-300 lens. Just don't know how often I will have to change the lens.

    Thanks for any input!
  2. evokel


    Sep 6, 2008
    i perfer the 18-200 but it just varies. but yes if you have a few lenses you will switch them out often
  3. ERAUGrad04


    Jan 15, 2008

    Here is my $.02 for you. The 18-200 is a good lens, but it is a bit on the slow side. Having a max aperture in the 3.5-5.6 range, the lens will leave you with shots requiring higher ISO's to prevent blur.

    I would say to pick up the D90 with the kit lens and then the $119 wonder: the Nikkor 50mm 1.8 AF-D. The main reason I recommend this lens is your statement of "kids" and "no blur." The fast aperture of 1.8 will allow you faster shutter speeds so you can keep up with your twins and not have to worry about blurry images. Run a search here on the Cafe, and you will find some amazing images taken with this lens.

    Enjoy your new D90! It is a great camera and post some pictures from it when you can!

  4. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
    I like Morgan's thinking (above) along with whatever glass you get with your D90 the 50/1.8D would certainly be a good choice for taking quality portraits.

    I used to own this lens and it's very sharp and a good lenght for portraits.

    In terms of overall IQ the 18-105 will probabally beat the 18-200, so the 18-105 + 70-300 combo would be preferable to the single lens if you can live with needing to change lens sometimes.
  5. I also vote for 18-105 + 50 f/1.8. Make sure to scour through the menu of the D90 when you get it though. If you had problems with blur on the P&S you may experience some more of it too on the D90 if you just leave it in one of the scene modes. Learning some of the manual features and auto-iso should help you out as well.

    Either way, enjoy your D90 - you've got an amazing camera.
  6. mlktwins


    Aug 29, 2008
    Thanks to all for the great advice!!! I ended up getting the D90 kit yesterday and am loving the camera already. Of course I'm coming from my little P&S :) .

    I am a TOTAL newbie and right now am learning the camera and taking pics in auto and program modes. I do plan to learn how to use the manual functions but don't want to miss some shots of my boys while I'm learning -- hence the auto mode.

    In a few weeks I'm taking the boys to an aquarium and children's museum. I don't think the 18-105 will do well in that light. Will the 50mm f1.8 do ok in those situations? And, for the really stupid question, will it work in auto or program mode (until I learn the manual functions) or do I need to adjust the settings myself? Do I need to manully focus the 50mm f.18? I don't think I will have enough time to learn the manual part in couple of weeks. Can you tell I'm new to this -- LOL???

    Thanks so much for an advice!
  7. Sam O

    Sam O

    Jul 24, 2007
    Congrats, still waiting for stores to carry them in Canada. Anyhow, if you pick up the 50mm you will not have to manual focus though you will have that option. Enjoy!
  8. The D90 has pretty good high ISO. I'd turn it to on and probably set it to around 1/30 for the shutter speed and 1600 if you're doing prints, 3200 if you're just using them on the computer. With that you should be fine in the lowlight aquarium, even with the 18-105. However the 50mm would work even better if you get a chance to purchase one before you go.
  9. nostaws


    Aug 29, 2008
    Here is another vote for the 50mm f/1.8. If you are not in a rush to get one, I picked one up (used) on craigslist for $75 (actually a little less), but you have to wait until one shows up for sale.

    A note on the 50mm. If you have never used a prime lens, it can be a little frustrating at times getting used to not having a zoom. In my opinion it isn't a great walk around lens. It isn't necessarily great for spontaneous moments, or in places where you can't have as much control over your distance from the subject (though I have used it at the beach and places, just because that is what was on my camera when I grabbed it).

    It should do fine in the low light, and works with the auto features of the camera.
  10. 50mm is great on FF, on DX it can be a little too much. The 28mm f/2.8 would be nice and it's relatively cheap, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is a jem and not too expensive and more of a walk around prime lens as far as focal length.
  11. shipsaeki


    Jun 9, 2008
    New York
    so jealous of d90 owners
  12. Congrats of the D90!

    Even though everyone is correct in regards to the Nikon 50mm f/1.8, don't feel like you must rush off and get one. The kit lens will work beautifully for much of your needs. It's going to take a while to learn the intricacies of the D90, you may not want to worry about more glass until you know what shooting style suits you best, i.e. portraits, sports, wildlife, street photography, etc. You'll purchases lenses to fit those needs.

    Set the camera on "A" for complete automatic control or "P" for some user control. I would recommend "P" because that allows you to decide whether or not the flash should be used--the pop up flash is released on the left side of the prism bump.

    Are you familiar with auto-ISO? It took me a while to figure it out but basically you are telling the camera to go to a higher ISO setting if the shutter speed falls below a certain time value. Many of us set the lowest speed to 1/30th of a second and the maximum ISO the camera will use at 1600 ISO. This way your images stand the best chance of remaining clear because below 1/30th of a second the chance of camera-shake induced blur increases.

    A monopod is very helpful in low light environments like the aquarium. The VR will definitely help too. Just remember to shoot through the aquarium glass at an angle so the reflection of the flash won't blind the image. Try and read up on proper camera holding to minimize blur. Tuck your elbows close to your chest, hold the lens with your left hand cupping the bottom of the lens and gently squeeze the shutter release as you exhale. Sometimes shooting 3 continuous shots helps in getting one sharp image. set up the camera to shoot in continuous shots instead of single shot.

    Congratulations on the D90, it sound like a class leading camera. I hope to get one eventually too, (or the D300 if my wife lets me).
  13. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    A D90 for a newbie?! :eek:  That is way too much camera for you. I am alerting the authorities! :biggrin: :tongue: Nah...congrats, I bet you will love it!
  14. Triggaaar


    Jun 15, 2008
    I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to be a little technical with the answer. 2 main points:
    1) Is the subject you are photographing is moving or not?
    2) How much of what's in frame do you want in focus?
    - If your subject is moving a little, you want a slightly faster shutter speed to make them still in the photo (so the 50mm 1.8 is better). But if they are stationary (if the kids stand still for you), your 18-105 has image stabilisation (VR), which will let you use a slower shutter speed.
    - If you take a pic of 1 person, and you don't want the background in focus, it's ok to use an aperture of f1.8 (on the 50mm lens). But if you want more in focus (the whole family, or the background) you need to use a smaller aperture (which = a bigger f number). You can have a smaller aperture with either lens, but only the VR lens will cope in dim light where the shutter speed falls below about 1/60th of a second, because of camera shake.

    If the lighting is good, and you just want a snap, it's ok to use either P or auto (for now). If you are shooting indoors though, you really need to squeeze the most out of the camera, which means choosing the aperture, shutter speed and ISO (all sounds daunting when you first hear it, but after a while it's quite simple - these 3 things, plus the actual lighting, control your exposure, and you'll be working with them forever.

    You do not need to manual focus, and if you're not busy with work, you do actually have time to learn enough in a couple of weeks (though you could really do with a friend showing you if you want to learn quickly).

    PS- I'm very jealous
  15. TheCommons


    Jul 2, 2008
    LA, CA ;)
    I would get a used 50mm f1.8 regardless(personally). Its so cheap and it can be sold fairly easily. I found it a little long on a crop body, but good for headshots, portraits, and low light situations that your kit lens cannot deal with. It got me used to using primes, and now I love primes
  16. I think you mean "Auto" rather than "A", which is aperture priority.
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