Friday, May 23, 2008

What I use

Well, I figured that I should mention what I use for my photography hobby.

Camera Equipment:
Nikon D80
Lenses - Nikkor 18-135mm, 70-300mmVRII, and 50mm f/1.8
Flash - Nikon SB-600
Battery Grip: Nikon MB-D80
Others - Kenko close-up extension tubes, various filters, Manfrotto tripod and ballhead, Gorillapod SLR+Zoom

Nikon View NX for sorting
Nikon Capture NX for processing RAW files
Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 for more in-depth editing if necessary
Microsoft Pro Photo Tools to add EXIF data such as copywrite, ID, and geotags

I also have a Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW bag to carry my stuff around.

That is pretty much my kit.


ikd said...

Hi Craig,

I saw this blog from your answer at a dpreview forum post. I have the D80 with the 18-135mm lens and I was looking to buy both the 50mm f/1.8 and the 70-300 VR.

Are you satisfied with both lens? What about the 18-200 VR instead of the 18-135?


Craig Lee said...

Hey there.

Both the 50mm f/1.8 and the 70-300mm VR are great lenses. I probably use the 70-300mm more than the 50mm, but that is just because I tend to need zoom reach more than low-light or depth-of-field control.

As far as the 18-200mm VR vs. the 18-135mm, I can't really say as I don't have the 18-200mm VR. The extra range might be nice, but then that is really why I got the 70-300mm and even that isn't alway enough reach for flying birds and the like. Also, I've read that the 18-200mm isn't a true 200mm and some focal distances. It is 200mm at infinity and to some distance closer, but at say 135mm it doesn't have the same magnification as a 200mm should. Or at least that is what some of the reviews I've read have said.

The VR would be the main feature advantage over the 18-135mm. However, is that feature alone reason enough to pay the higher price for the 18-200mm? If you want just one lens to carry around that can do just about everything you might need, then the 18-200mm is a fantastic lens.

For me, I went with the 18-135mm for a couple of reasons:

1) Lower price as the VR didn't seem to be worth it to me at the time for the mark-up.
2) Sharpness is outstanding on the 18-135mm. Much better than the 18-200mm if you use it properly.
3) Plus, 18-135mm is still a good, versatile walk-around zoom range.

I have really enjoyed the 18-135mm, the 70-300mm VR, and the 50mm f/1.8. I think the 18-135mm and 70-300mm are a better pair than the 18-200mm VR and the 70-300mm would be. There would be too much overlap in focal lengths with the two VRs for my taste.

Also remember that both the 18-135mm and the 18-200mm VR are consumer grade lenses. Eventually you will probably want better lenses with a constant f/2.8 aperture. I've decided to forego the 18-200mm VR in favor of better lenses down the road. The 18-135mm has been a wonderful lens for me to learn the D80's functions and features with and to get an idea of the kind of photography that I enjoy.