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Advice to a newbie

Andysnapper 12 109 25 England
20 May 2008 10:45AM
Hi all,

Can anyone please give me some advice. I'm new to photography and 6 months ago bought a Nikon D40x and I have since bought the 55-200mm Nikkor VR lens.
I have realised that the lens is not long enough for the type of photography I like, wildlife mainly, and would like to upgrade. I have seen on offer, on a birding site, a Nikon D70 with a Tamron 200-500mm zoom for a very reasonable price (I think). But, as the Tamron will not autofocus with the D40x, would the D70 be up to the job?
Thanks for any advice

BubbaG2000 13 767 1
20 May 2008 2:13PM
Hi Andy
I too have a D40x, and as much as I love it, the autofocus issue is a bit of a pain. However, I don't think you should trade for a D70. I don't know how much the D70 is selling for, but I suggest selling your 200mm lens (face it, knock 10 off full price and people will still buy 2nd hand!) and putting the money towards a Nikon 70-300 VR lens. It costs about 300 but will definitely autofocus on the D40x.

Edit - I totally missed the mention of the 500mm spec of the Tamron. I hope my post is still valid!
cameracat 17 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
20 May 2008 3:21PM
There are several considerations here...!

First if the Tamron Lens is any good....Then the price if it's reasonable might be worth it for that alone....!

Secondly, You will also be getting a D70, That if in good working order is still a very capable camera, Believe me when I say don't let Mega Pixel count pursuade you otherwise.....! And as you will be aware the D70 can handle the older AF lens, No problemo..!

So taking that into account, And if the " Price Is Right " it could be a good deal......Smile

However do some research on the Tamron Lens, I'm fairly sure it has been around for quite a while, Then compare price & potential quality + Overall condition of the combo....!

As has been mentioned The Nikon 70-300 ED.VR would be a good bet......You may find the VR capability more versatile than the Tamrons massive zoom range with bugger all aperture options available.....Sad

Last but by no means least......Why is the D70/Tamron combo being sold.......Always a good question to any seller, Make what you will of any reply to that........Smile
mightymash 13 111 1 United Kingdom
20 May 2008 3:34PM
I have to say, if the D70/Tamron 200-500mm are in good nick and the price is good go for it.

The D70 is a great camera which has a few features your D40x doesn't have (commander mode for remote flashes and on board focusing motor being the obvious). I would run it along side your D40x though, as they will complement each other well.

I've heard great things about the 200-500mm, mostly about it's sharpness which is great for a zoom of it's type.
Andysnapper 12 109 25 England
20 May 2008 8:03PM
Thanks everyone. It appears that the seller has upgraded to a D300 and a newer lens and wants to clear out his old stock. The price is 500 for both camera and lens which he states are both in very good condition.
I was thinking of using the D70/Tamron only for birding photos and the D40x for everything else. Does that seem a reasonable idea.

Thincat 14 616
21 May 2008 11:58AM
That's a good price. The Tamron 200-500 is a good choice for wildlife photography and in good condition goes for over 400 on ebay usually. The only thing I'd say is that you may also want a slightly smaller lens as the Tamron is very long and not that easy to hand hold - although I guess you're going to be using a tripod without VR. A 300mm f4 with IS and a 1.4X TC are handy to have (if the IS works when a TC is attached, I'm not sure ??)
Andysnapper 12 109 25 England
21 May 2008 4:08PM
Thanks Jabberwok,
I'm fairly sure I'm going to buy it now, thanks to the advice on here. I've also realised how much I don't know. Still its fun finding out.

strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
21 May 2008 4:25PM
High Andy, some things to think on. Is it birds at rest or birds in flight you want to photograph? Generaly primes give better autofocus, so Jabberwok's advice to look and see if you can get a 300m prine may be of value. Yes the Tc slows it down, but a 1.4x makes it a 420mm f5.6, and if it has IS then it will still work, as will autofocus (assuming your bcamera body support the lens type). Wildlife action shots can be a bit demanding on your equipment.

Also you often get good light to show the birds off on overcast days so again picking a lens that works good wide open is important.

If you are thinking of mainly static photographs then the tamron on your existing camera may be good, just manual focus it. In terms of using a 500mm type zoom for wildlife, my advice is to mount it on a sturdy triopd if you can, and think of using a remote release, as the vibration of you pressing the shutter button can spoil the photo.

The camera and lens together price does sound good value. An alternative lens you may think of is the Sigma 50-500 or the 175-500. I think the focusing problem may stil lbe there on both lenses though, and the 50-500 is the better of the pair I mention.
Andysnapper 12 109 25 England
21 May 2008 7:22PM
Cheers Strawman,
I have got a fairly sturdy tripod and a remote and I will mainly be working from hides (certainly to begin with) and I think an offer may get the kit for even less !! I think its a good start and when I've built up the brownie points with the financial controller (or the wife as she likes to be known) I'll look at some more up to date kit.
As to the question of in flight or at rest, I'll probably take my d40x and 55-200mm VR AF for any in flight stuff. we generally go to Martinmere or Leighton Moss in Lancashire so there no shortage of hides and comfy(?) benches.
Well, of to spend the new kitchen money then. Wish me luck.

Thincat 14 616
22 May 2008 9:15AM

Quote:Yes the Tc slows it down, but a 1.4x makes it a 420mm f5.6, and if it has IS then it will still work

Are you sure that's true? You may be right, but it occurred to me that, if the IS uses a floating element to make the image stable at the point of the sensor, placing a TC in between the lens and the sensor might cause problems - in fact you'd think that even an extension tube would cause problems, but I could be wrong.
Andysnapper 12 109 25 England
22 May 2008 9:23AM
Blimey that all sounds very complex
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
22 May 2008 9:37AM
On the IS lenses I have used it works because the IS is stabalising the image being projected out of the lens, so it is stabalised before it hits the TC. Now as you are croping you will be amplifying any movement, but then that is also true of using a longer focal length. It is just croping but I am happy to hear from someone more skilled in such things. It was either still working or my hand holding got a lot better Smile

The issue with a TC I am aware of (apart from it degrading image quality) is that as you get close to f8 the camera focusing systems find it hard to auto focus, and many systems stop AF at f8.
Thincat 14 616
22 May 2008 10:07AM
Not convinced SM. There are various types of movement - lateral, vertical and yaw - and I don't see how it can work. But who knows. If it does, a 300mm f4 VR with a decent 1.4X TC is a handy combination to have as it's much easier to use than these any of these big 500mm zooms. The Tamron's the lightest and the best quality of the affordable big zooms but it's still very long and is difficult to hand hold although some people seem to manage.
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
22 May 2008 10:25AM
OK you are projecting an image. with a 1.4x converter you just pick the middle out of it, just like use a crop sensor instead of a full frame one. The Lens provides the ISO function on its focal length. In-lens IS works as well on full frame or crop sensors, so why would it be different with a TC?

Now with in-camera IS you are correct it needs to compensate for focusing distance and the change in focal length as the camera does the calculation. So yes in-camera IS needs more compensation. But in-lens works on it keeping the projected image stable, and in a way it does not need to know what is hanging of its back. So its works the same as it works on stablising the projected image. If you crop in more then you you will increase the impact of movement, but then you have also altered the effective focal length too.

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