ianj844 From United States of America, joined Nov 2013, 2 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1289 times:
I am interested in spotting ant my local airport. I have spotted there before but just with a cell phone camera and maybe a cheep digital camera a few times. I a ready to upgrade to a DSLR camera and would like your advise. I have only used a DSLR about 2 times at school in my photography class so I am no pro so I do need a camera that is good for learning on. Please recommend a DSLR camera and a lens that would be good for spotting. I was thinking maybe a NIKON D7100 with a 70-300mm lens from what i have read but would like your advise. Please not that my budget is no more than around $2000 USD.
gunone From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1212 times:
I would like to help you but need to know more about your goals.
Can you handle a lens that weighs 10 lbs?
How far are you going to be from the aircraft?
What type of aircraft are you going to shoot?
Are you going to shoot in low light, mornings and evenings?
What are your intentions with the photo's?
In photography, it's about the lens. The camera is secondary. You are going to spend most of your budget on a camera not the lens. This is going to hurt you right out of the box. The D7100 is a extraordinary camera and because it is very good it needs great glass in front of it. The reason is this camera will show all the weakness of a consumer lens. You will be fighting soft images and poor color contrast. The 70-300 does not allow enough light to the sensor and the 7100 has a great one.
I would recommend a used D300 for $500 and a good used zoom like a 70-200mm for $1500 and if needed a 1.7 teleconverter for $400. This is a perfect example of good allocation of funds. The photo's will be awesome but the big question is can you handle a 14 pound camera and do you have the expertise on how to take advantage of the equipment's capabilities.
yerbol From Kazakhstan, joined Feb 2010, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1187 times:
I suggest you to buy Nikon D90 18-105mm lens kit in new condition + Nikon 70-300mm VR.
Nikon D90 kit costs around $800 these days + Nikon 70-300mm VR costs around $600. Total spent $1400.
Nikon 18-105mm lens will do normal wide angle tasks for you and zoom lens will work for long distance.
Nikon 70-300mm lens will be 105-450mm on Nikon D90 cropped sensor so you covered from 18 to 450mm by these two lenses. I do agree that pro lens for $1500 or more will give you better result but I think Nikon D90 with these two lenses is a good kit for beginner like you.
darreno1 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1116 times:
I say go for a used/refurbished D90 or D7000 with the 70-300 Nikkor or Tamron for starters. IMO, avoid DX only lenses unless you can find them for cheap. I have one, a 35mm f1.8G, but all my other lenses are now FX capable as well.
Between both bodies mentioned, I'd lean more to the D7000 considering you can get them in the $500-600 range used. It's got most of the bells and whistles you'll need and then some: (2 card slots / dual-dials / quick enough focusing / a good buffer for most use / a strong weather proof body / very good battery life / excellent image quality / built-in motor to use a wide variety of lenses, and more headroom for cropping than a 12 mp sensor).
Once you feel you're going to get more serious about your photography and want move on to the next phase, you'll want to start upgrading your lenses (again keep FX capability in mind when purchasing). You'll immediately notice an improvement in image quality with better glass, even with the same body. Eventually, you might want to do high ISO or high-speed, fast-action shooting and might want to graduate to an FX body. No problem, by now, you've already invested in some decent FX capable lenses that will complement the new body......
Regarding used purchasing:
I've been lucky with used lenses so far, but I do a lot of research before buying. Try to avoid jumping at the cheapest listing as more often than not, there's a hidden reason for the low price. I tend to lean more to the more reputable stores and look at the return policies. You don't want to get stuck with a damaged sensor or body that was dropped or suffered other abuse that the owner tried to hide. They should have a reasonable return policy.