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Looking to buy into a system - how's my current plan?


IdoS 8 16 Israel
10 Oct 2013 8:21PM
I've been a point-and-shooter for my entire life until about 6 months ago, when I became interested in photography and started utilizing my superzoom's manual control. I'm finally ready to get a system camera, and my body of choice will be the Nikon D5200. It will serve me mainly for travel photography, at least at first, so weight and convenience are among the top priorities. Here are the lenses I think I'll buy:

The first will be a standard zoom, for which I'd pick up a Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC HSM Contemporary. According to all of the reviews I read, it's not any worse than the 17-50 f2.8, yet provides greater convenience and flexibility.

Second will be a telephoto zoom. I'd probably pick up a used Nikon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR.

Third will be a fast prime, and that will depend on my budget moving forward: either a Sigma 30mm (or 35mm?) f1.4 Art lens, or a Nikon 35mm f1.8G.

Any thoughts? I would love to hear your opinions, I highly appreciate it. I want the most convenient package I can have, without sacrificing on image quality.
scottishphototours 17 2.6k 2
10 Oct 2013 8:40PM
For travel, I'd junk the idea of a standard zoom and a prime and get myself a used 17-55mm f2.8 Nikkor which is a STELLAR lens.
RavenTepes 12 226 United States
10 Oct 2013 8:54PM
Honestly, I'd go with the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 paired with the 70-300. I'd actually take the 17-50 Sigma over the Nikon 17-55 any day of the week. And it's considerably cheaper, too.
Paul_Anthony 9 442 4 Wales
10 Oct 2013 10:23PM
Personally, I'd ditch the SLR idea all together and get yourself an Olympus OMD E-M5 and a few of the excellent high end Olympus or Panasonic Lenses (both their zooms and primes are excellent).

The Olympus is way better suited to travel photography both in Size and Build Quality.
sparrowhawk Plus
12 282 2 United Kingdom
11 Oct 2013 7:05AM
i agree with paul i use a panasonic g5 and a collection of lenses because weight is an issue for me being i'm wheelchair bound ! also weight wise for traviliing these systems would be more practical to you in my veiw
StrayCat 17 19.1k 3 Canada
11 Oct 2013 7:15AM
Olympus E-M5, Olympus 17mm f1.8, Olympus 45mm f1.8, and Panasonic 100-300mm. The camera body has the best stabilising system built in, and the lenses are top shelf. I wouldn't pass up the Olympus 12-50mm either, I got one half price, and it's a steal.
LenShepherd 13 4.4k United Kingdom
11 Oct 2013 7:31AM

Quote:Personally, I'd ditch the SLR idea all together and get yourself an Olympus OMD E-M5(snipped)
The Olympus is way better suited to travel photography both in Size and Build Quality.


I would not tell someone to ditch their original choice without finding out why they first made that choice.
Good though the Olympus system is in some respects it is expensive and in some respects in some situations it is not as good as a Nikon or Canon system.
The OP may have good valid photographic reasons for preferring Nikon DX over a 4x3 system.
IdoS 8 16 Israel
11 Oct 2013 10:28AM

Quote:For travel, I'd junk the idea of a standard zoom and a prime and get myself a used 17-55mm f2.8 Nikkor which is a STELLAR lens.

I swear by image stabilization. I got a nearly pint-sharp sunset photo in Iceland with my Coolpix P520, with a shutter speed as slow as 1/2s, handheld! I understand I won't get THAT even with a stabilized DSLR lens simply because of the weight, but I'll take as much support from the lens as I can. I don't like carrying a tripod with me, I do it only when I know I'll want to do a long exposure wherever it is I travel on a certain day of a trip. I just don't want my obligatory equipment to slow me down. I probably won't need a fast prime.


Quote:Honestly, I'd go with the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 paired with the 70-300. I'd actually take the 17-50 Sigma over the Nikon 17-55 any day of the week. And it's considerably cheaper, too.

So far, I've preferred the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 Contemporary lens. The 17-70's extra 20mm reach (equiv. to a 30mm difference) is more valuable for me in travel photography than the constant aperture is, and the relatively high magnification rate is also valuable for me. What advantages of the 17-50mm f2.8 may be more valuable than the ones I mentioned about the 17-70's?


Quote:Personally, I'd ditch the SLR idea all together and get yourself an Olympus OMD E-M5 and a few of the excellent high end Olympus or Panasonic Lenses (both their zooms and primes are excellent).

The Olympus is way better suited to travel photography both in Size and Build Quality.


God, I wish. I guess Israel is just way behind the US, UK, and others in the mirrorless category. Lenses are just pricey as hell here for any mirrorless system, while their counterparts for DSLRs are way cheaper. I definitely can't afford an E-M5 + lenses, let alone such a system that involves brand new (unused) equipment. Economically speaking, I basically don't have a choice but to get a DSLR.


Quote:I agree with paul i use a panasonic g5 and a collection of lenses because weight is an issue for me being i'm wheelchair bound ! also weight wise for traviliing these systems would be more practical to you in my veiw

Of course, but that's irrelevant to me. Read my reply to Paul's comment.


Quote:Olympus E-M5, Olympus 17mm f1.8, Olympus 45mm f1.8, and Panasonic 100-300mm. The camera body has the best stabilising system built in, and the lenses are top shelf. I wouldn't pass up the Olympus 12-50mm either, I got one half price, and it's a steal.

I wish I could afford it. All of this is very expensive in Israel. For the price of a new E-M5, I can buy a new D5200 + new Sigma 17-70mm + used Nikon 70-300mm!


Quote:I would not tell someone to ditch their original choice without finding out why they first made that choice.
Good though the Olympus system is in some respects it is expensive and in some respects in some situations it is not as good as a Nikon or Canon system.
The OP may have good valid photographic reasons for preferring Nikon DX over a 4x3 system.


Exactly. Equipment for M43, Sony NEX and Fuji X systems is very expensive in Israel. In fact, even a Pentax system is too expensive, and there are very few -- if any -- lenses for it selling here; I'd have to import lenses through eBay or Amazon, and be faced with an 18% import tax duty. The same applies for Samsung NX and some other systems...
IdoS 8 16 Israel
11 Oct 2013 12:16PM
Good news! I found some absolute BARGAINS on eBay for M43 equipment! Turns out it won't be as expensive as I thought it would be!

Here's what I've been able to put together thus far:
Olympus OM-D E-M5 body only (used);
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II ASPH. (new);
Olympus 40-150mm f4-5.6 (used);
Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 (used).

All of that would cost me about 5,700 ILS, which is just a tad under what the Nikon DX system would cost without a prime lens!!! In addition, both Panasonic lenses share the same 46mm filter diameter, so I can use the same filters for both, and it's much smaller than the 72mm and 77mm diameters of the Sigma lenses for DX, so the filters should be cheaper.

Thank you very much for making me open my eyes wider to second-hand shopping, and turning the E-M5 from a dream to reality!
crash39 15 24 England
11 Oct 2013 2:40PM
I have the EM5 & am awaiting the arrival of the all new EM1. Personally I find Olympus cameras to be top quality. There are a lot of Canon/Nikon users out there who just love to slam these cameras & a lot have never even tried them!

Sure, every system has its advantages & disadvantages, but for travel, you can't beat the EM5/EM1
StrayCat 17 19.1k 3 Canada
11 Oct 2013 4:33PM
The Panasonic 25mm f1.4 is one of the best. I will have one someday. I got the 17mm f1.8 instead this summer, and I wouldn't part with it for love nor money, it has become my favorite lens of all time. I have never owned a lens that works so well in low light, and focuses as quick as the 17mm.
steve_p 16 1.2k England
14 Oct 2013 7:25PM

Quote:I have the EM5 & am awaiting the arrival of the all new EM1. Personally I find Olympus cameras to be top quality. There are a lot of Canon/Nikon users out there who just love to slam these cameras & a lot have never even tried them!

Sure, every system has its advantages & disadvantages, but for travel, you can't beat the EM5/EM1


I've got a Lumix G6, as I didn't like the Olympus when I tried it for a day.
I recently had the pleasure of using it at my daughter's wedding. The results are excellent !
Paul_Anthony 9 442 4 Wales
14 Oct 2013 8:52PM

Quote:I have the EM5 & am awaiting the arrival of the all new EM1. Personally I find Olympus cameras to be top quality. There are a lot of Canon/Nikon users out there who just love to slam these cameras & a lot have never even tried them!

Sure, every system has its advantages & disadvantages, but for travel, you can't beat the EM5/EM1
I've got a Lumix G6, as I didn't like the Olympus when I tried it for a day.
I recently had the pleasure of using it at my daughter's wedding. The results are excellent !



My first SLR purchases were Olympus, the E500 & E1, the system just lacked in enough decent lens choices back then. I soon moved to Nikon.

But I have to admit that I may well soon go full circle and buy the OMD E-M1 as my primary camera, using my OMD E-M5 as backup, the range of glass available for the system is extensive, mainly thanks to Panasonic up until now. I wont be selling my FX Nikon gear just yet though.

I really like the look of the Panasonic DMC-GH3 too and it's a good price for all those features, and I already have the Pany 12-35 f/2.8 and Pany 35-100 f/2.8 lenses that I currently use on my OMD E-M5.
Paul Morgan 20 19.5k 6 England
14 Oct 2013 9:09PM

Quote:I really like the look of the Panasonic DMC-GH3 too and it's a good price for all those features, and I already have the Pany 12-35 f/2.8 and Pany 35-100 f/2.8 lenses that I currently use on my OMD E-M5


Yes I like it as well, if I was on the market for a second body, I would pick this over the EM1.

It would be good paired alongside my OMD, the better video would come in handy as well, and the saving I`d be making by not getting the EM1 could go on extra glass.

For travel though M4/3 is a good way to go.

Add one of the superzooms a 14-150mm and a small fast prime or two.
StrayCat 17 19.1k 3 Canada
14 Oct 2013 9:44PM
I have always liked the GH3, and often felt I'd like to have one. However it all comes down to one feature that the GH3 is lacking, built-in image stabiliser. None of the excellent Olympus glass would be stabilised. Apart from that, it's a tempting camera.

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