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  1. #1

    BlueMac's Avatar
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    The official "what camera/ lens should I get?" thread!
    Tell us what you are looking for. Point and shoot digital, point and shoot film, whatever. As long as it is a camera or lens! We can help you find the perfect camera.


    For best help, please specify what you would mainly use it for, your budget, and other general specs.
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    Last.fm
    Si, hablo Espa˝ol. Oui, je parle franšais. Yes, I speak English.

  2. #2

    lifeafter2am's Avatar
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    Good idea BlueMac! Although, this thread is just like the "What Mac should I get" question to us photo people. lol.
    masakatsu agatsu

    @lifeafter2am

  3. #3

    rocketman766's Avatar
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    Ok, just getting into photography, mainly to shoot action shots of my daughters events (gymnastics and cheerleading), so if I am 150 ft away and want to be able to shoot some good close up shots ( where her whole body fills the shot ), what would be a good lens to get? General lens question as I don't have the camera yet. It will be a entry level DSLR, something like a D60 or equivalent camera. Thanks.

  4. #4

    lifeafter2am's Avatar
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    Well if you are indoors, and you want to stop the action (ie have a faster shutter speed) then you want to make sure you have a "fast" lens. This means you want a lens with large aperture, ie f/2.8. This is due to the, usually, bad lighting conditions in gyms (I have shot indoor gymnastics before).

    I would think that somewhere in the vicinity of 100mm on a 1.6x crop body (entry level DSLR) should be sufficient.
    masakatsu agatsu

    @lifeafter2am

  5. #5

    BlueMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman766 View Post
    Ok, just getting into photography, mainly to shoot action shots of my daughters events (gymnastics and cheerleading), so if I am 150 ft away and want to be able to shoot some good close up shots ( where her whole body fills the shot ), what would be a good lens to get? General lens question as I don't have the camera yet. It will be a entry level DSLR, something like a D60 or equivalent camera. Thanks.
    You will certainly want a telephoto lens. There are many good telephoto lenses out there, but since we don't know your price range, I will show several links.

    Here is one for a about 470$:

    Nikon | 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF-S VR Autofocus Lens - Black | 2161

    That one has vibration reduction... which is useful. If you will be using a tripod, then there is no need to worry about VR.

    Here is one for less money:

    Nikon | Zoom Telephoto AF Zoom Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G | 1928

    That lens is a basic, no frills telephoto zoom. It uses auto focus.

    Another for a moderate price. This lens has a great focal length, from 18-135mm. These are considered wide-telephoto lenses.

    Nikon | 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S DX Lens | 2162 | B&H Photo


    Do shop around, though. These are some basic recommended lenses. Hope that was some help.
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    Si, hablo Espa˝ol. Oui, je parle franšais. Yes, I speak English.

  6. #6


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    Have to disagree with ya BlueMac
    If you want to stop action, none of those lenses will be sufficient unless:
    A. There is really good lighting and anything indoors is risky at best.
    B. One uses a high ISO.
    Remember he stated he was shooting action and half of that was gymnastics which is primarily indoors which equates to iffy lighting.

    A VR type lens is completely useless in either situation as they are not suited for action photography. They are for low light situations in which the subject is still or close to being still. The VR enables the photographer to use a lower ISO or SLOWER shutter speed.

    Rocketman, my suggestion is to buy a used DSLR and put every dime you have in a fast high quality lens.
    The 80-200 2.8 is probably a good all around zoom. Its just big.
    The 180mm 2.8 is a very very good lens which should suit your needs.
    If the 180 is too much lens, then the 85mm 1.8 is a fine choice.

    Also when looking at lenses, remember that lenses are an investment. They can still be used if you decide to upgrade your camera, so price should be less of a consideration than when buying the body.
    I'm telling you this because good lenses are pricey. Sticker shock is an understatement. Buy used lenses from a reputable place like KEH.com to lessen the blow.
    I'm telling you this because I screwed up some precious photos thinking that I had enough light to shoot with a slower lens.
    Since then I vowed never to buy a lens slower than 2.8.
    (the lower the secondary number the faster the lens)IE An 85mm 1.4 is faster than an 85mm 1.8 .
    Feel free to e-mail me for more in depth discussion.
    paintbox at bellsouth dot net

  7. #7

    rocketman766's Avatar
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    Thanks guys ( or girls ??? only assuming with the guys thing....) That is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I will share some of my photos when I get them ( and I don't mind constructive criticism ), but it may be a month or so...

  8. #8

    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    Sooper Fast!
    Keep in mind that until recently, Canon was the all around high ISO king. So if you're looking at used and haven't made your mind up on a system, something like a 30D would probably be a lot better than a D70, d80, d40, d60, etc...

    Plus Canon's XXD lineup is in between Nikon's DXX and DXXX. It's cheaper than their D200 and D300, but offers faster FPS than Nikon's DXX lineup.

    Ed: Or is you want to be able to shoot at 6400 ISO and not worry about noise, there's the 5D MKII, 1D MKIII, 1Ds MKIII, D700 and D3. All between $2700 and $8000
    Chaotic Evil, Level 1 IT-Tech

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  9. #9

    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    I pre-ordered my 5D MKII last week. I wanted to have a camera that I could take some good snapshots with. I'm pairing it with my 70-200 f/2.8L IS and also purchasing a 24-70 f/2.8L.

    Is this overkill for taking christmas pictures of my friends' kids?

    Chaotic Evil, Level 1 IT-Tech

    Slough Roast Blog
    Capitol Sound Blog

  10. #10

    lifeafter2am's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
    I pre-ordered my 5D MKII last week. I wanted to have a camera that I could take some good snapshots with. I'm pairing it with my 70-200 f/2.8L IS and also purchasing a 24-70 f/2.8L.

    Is this overkill for taking christmas pictures of my friends' kids?

    You suck! I want to order that camera soooo bad! I am looking to probably pick it up around March for my birthday. I can't wait to use it with my 100-400L!
    masakatsu agatsu

    @lifeafter2am

  11. #11

    BlueMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
    I pre-ordered my 5D MKII last week. I wanted to have a camera that I could take some good snapshots with. I'm pairing it with my 70-200 f/2.8L IS and also purchasing a 24-70 f/2.8L.

    Is this overkill for taking christmas pictures of my friends' kids?

    What if i gave you rep points for every post you make in exchange for that camera?

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    Si, hablo Espa˝ol. Oui, je parle franšais. Yes, I speak English.

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