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Nikon D200, anyone here using one?
I just ordered one.
ken_b




msg:3310774
 10:57 pm on Apr 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just ordered a Nikon D200 digital camera and a 12 - 24mm lens to go with it.

Anyone here using a D200 have any hints or insights about the camera, or the lens?

 

Liane




msg:3310782
 11:16 pm on Apr 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi Ken,

I have 3 Nikon D70S's. I was going to go for the D200 but was convinced by some people on the Nikonians website not to do it because (for my purposes), it was overkill.

All I can advise you to do with any Nikon is to be very, very careful when changing lenses outside. If any little spec of dust gets blown into the camera body, you'll get specs all over your pics. Its a major pain. So now I have three of them and I never bother to change lenses anymore. I leave the 18-70 on one, a 17-35 on another and the 80-200 on another. Problem solved! :)

If lookin for great advise and helpful hints go to nikonians.com. Marvelous site and they have helped me countless times.

ken_b




msg:3310807
 12:28 am on Apr 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Liane;

So now I have three of them and I never bother to change lenses anymore.

Yeah, that was a big part of buying the D200. I have a D70 and shoot mostly outside at events where there is usually more than enough dust being blown around to make me nervous about changing lenses out in the open.

The D200 was on sale, so it wasn't all that much more than buying a D80.

I'm a bit disappointed that the D70 batteries won't work in the D200 though. But the D200 batteries will work in the D70 apparently, so maybe Ill just get a couple more of those so I only have to carry one kind of battery around.

I also popped for an 8GB Compact Flash memory card, so taken all together, there goes my lunch money for the month.

balam




msg:3310842
 1:34 am on Apr 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm curious, Liane, what advantage is gained by having the 17-35? 17 can't offer much more than 18, I imagine.

<edit>Ah, hit me - the f/stop, right?</edit>

weeks




msg:3310844
 1:38 am on Apr 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have had a Nikon D50 for about two years and it's delightful. This has to be one of the best values on the market.

Liane




msg:3310994
 9:41 am on Apr 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

balam,

Actually, the 17-35 is my most useful lens and gets the best quality shots you can imagine. I was given the 18 as a Christmas gift and quite frankly, I find it to be much inferior to the 17. I only use it if I think there is going to be bad weather and there's a chance of rain. It would really upset me if something were to happen to my 17-35 but the 18-35 is expendable.

I use the 17-35 to take interior and exterior shots of yachts. The wider angle provided on the 17 is just enough to make a huge difference for my purposes. In fact, I have had professional photographers ask me (on more than one occasion) what lens I used to get this shot or that shot because they weren't able to get as wide an angle as I do. Inside a yacht, that extra bit of width makes all the difference in the world. And yes, the F-stop makes a difference too! ;)

It isn't intended for a digital camera ... but of course all Nikkor lenses are interchangeable on both types of cameras. I highly recommend it.

And don't even try to take away my 80-200. You would get your hands slapped rather severely. I LOVE that lens. Best quality I have seen in years and the abuse it takes is incredible. I use it for mostly aerial shots taken from my friend's tiny little plane. I have to stick my head and camera out this itty bitty window at 60 MPH. It gets bumped and buffeted all the time and takes it like a champ.

I have even stuck the 80-200 inside a baggy and got some pretty good underwater shots of a reef which was twenty feet below the surface. You could never tell I was sitting in a kayak and didn't even get my feet wet.

I have other lenses but those are the three I use most often. Its a pain in the neck (literally) hauling all three cameras with me to a shoot, but I learned my lesson when I missed a big event because I had to send my camera back to the US to get cleaned by Nikon.

Now, with the three cameras, I am ready for anything! :)

[edited by: Liane at 9:42 am (utc) on April 14, 2007]

nutsandbolts




msg:3311357
 10:17 pm on Apr 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Happy D200 and D70 user :)

Ken Rockwell has a D200 User Guide - Google search which is a handy PDF.

The first thing I did was get the D200 battery pack (MB-D200) so I finally have a trigger button near my finger when shooting vertically and also stop the huge beast eating through all my battery power so quickly! Sure helps to have that extra battery...

I like the look of the 17-35. I am really unimpressed with the 18-70s lens quality to be honest... especially as I also have an 80-200 2.8 and the image from that lens is simply beautiful..

[edited by: lawman at 5:48 pm (utc) on April 16, 2007]

stever




msg:3311596
 10:47 am on Apr 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the tip about the nikonians site, Liane.

I've been a Nikon user for years, from an F2 through to a current F90X (which sadly hasn't been used in months). I've been debating about getting a D model so as not to waste the lenses - but end up relying on the Coolpix for web work anyway.

So interesting to hear your positive comments about the D70 and from the rest about the 50, 80 and 200.

Liane




msg:3311603
 11:16 am on Apr 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I like the look of the 17-35. I am really unimpressed with the 18-70s lens quality to be honest... especially as I also have an 80-200 2.8 and the image from that lens is simply beautiful..

Yep, the 17-35 is a really good quality lens and never fails to produce crisp images. What I like about it most (apart from fabulous image quality) is how smoothly the telephoto slides. The 18-70 is cheaply built, and the telephoto operation seems to "clunk" a lot and focus takes time to "kick in" for some reason. I just don't like the lens. The 17-35 has it all over the 18-70.

So far, nothing I have tried has the 80-200 beat for price and quality! Its a spectacular lens!

Thanks for the tip about the nikonians site, Liane.

They are great people! I once had a problem and only 15 minutes to find the answer. I couldn't find it in the booklet so quickly asked on Nikonians. (I was at a music festival and didn't want to miss a shot of the headliners)

They came through in the nick of time and I got some great shots! They are a wonderful bunch of folks. Very knowledgeable and great even with newbies and total greenhorns.

weeks




msg:3311660
 2:37 pm on Apr 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Regarding the discussion between the wide angle lens (17-35) and the medium telephotos (55 to 80), let me explain what's happening in regards to basic optics.

On most Nikons, a "normal lens" is in the 50 to 55 range. This means the image will come close to producing what you see with little distorting.

On the wide angle, the picture is stretched. Typically, news photographers will not use anything under 35, although 24 has become more and more popular.

On the telephoto, you lose depth of field. For example, the 80 mm lens is typically used to take mug shots because it makes the subject's nose just a little smaller. ("You take such great pictures!" Heh.)

Zoom lens are handy, but you give up a lot of speed for the convenience, generally two f-stops or more.

Finally, cost: expensive lens--zoom and otherwise--looks similar to the inexpensive, but the action is different and, most important to the final product, you give up several f-stops. Take a visit to the Nikon website and look at the professional fixed f-stop lens--whoa!--expensive. And, at the top of the line you're "only" getting one additional full f-stop, or less. If you're a pro, it's easily worth it. I believe the overall pic is better, too.

Therefore, you've got the great equipment and you enjoy taking photos. But, if you want to take better photos, I suggest getting a fixed high speed normal lens (50mm). The results is your photos will look more "real" or "professional." Warning: you'll have to work much harder because you'll have to move your tail in and out to frame the picture, instead of lazily zooming in and out. (But, cropping taken photos can be powerful.)

Good photography is hard work. You have to move around more and then work with the pictures AFTER you have taken them. But, with a faster lens you'll have great depth of field (depth of field increases as the f-stop closes down). But, I've discovered that the normal lens makes me think and work harder, too. (And, yeah, that extra f-stop is sweet in many real life situations.)

Finally, (but a tad off topic) the one tip that separates the snap shooters and the serious amateur: Even if you're shooting at a high shutter speed and rapid frames, learn to hold your camera still when you shoot. Be a rock. (I actually tell myself that at times-be a rock.)

Again, hard work, but what a difference in the final product.

But, if you're happy with what you are doing, don't worry about any of this. The number one thing you need to do to take great photos to is take a lot of pictures. If you get bogged down in the tech stuff or worry if you're doing it right, then photos of any kind aren't going to happen.

Liane




msg:3313559
 3:35 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

So ken, be sure to let us know how you get on with it. I was really interested in it but I think the folks at Noikonians were right. It is too complicated/sophisticated for my needs.

What applications do you plan to use it for?

ken_b




msg:3313607
 4:33 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi Liane;

Well, I picked the camera up yesterday. The battery is charged and ready to go now, so I'll be doing a little practice stuff to see how it goes.

Mostly I'll be using the camera at outdoor antique and classic car shows, and similar events.

I've done a bit more reading on the camera and it's features. I'm hoping the moire effect is less troublesome with the D200 than it is with the D70. Apparently they've made some changes that might help that.

I'm really hoping the 12-24mm lens works out well. That should offer me pretty much most of what I need most of the time.

I'm planning to use the 12-24mm on the D200 and leave the 18-70mm lens on the D70. I also a 28-105mm lens left over from an earlier 35mm film Nikon, but I can't recall the last time I used it.

Another thing about the D200 is that it is apparently sealed up a lot tighter than the D70, so dust, and especially rain, etc should be less of a worry. I still won't run out in the rain to shoot a picture, but I won't be as likely to panic (as much) if I don't get under cover as quick when one of those summer showers pops up either.

In the past I haven't shot in the RAW file format but I'm going to try that and see what happens. The file sizes are a lot bigger, but with an 8 gig memory card I should still be able to get by with out having to open the camera much, if at all, at most events.

Liane




msg:3314094
 11:49 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ken,

I've been using 2 Gig cards for a couple of years now and I shoot raw 100% of the time. I almost never have to swap cards while shooting, but I've never had trouble with dust or (in my case) sand in the card slot ... just in the camera body on the mirror.

I decided against going with the 4 or 8 gig cards mainly because sometimes cards go bad. (I've had it happen twice now) and its a lot cheaper to replace a 2 gig card! Just something to keep in mind.

Have fun and be sure to let us know how you get on with it! :)

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