Art and Photography

SB600 + 35mm 1.8G + D90!!

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  • Oct 22nd, 2009 8:57 am
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[OP]
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Oct 25, 2003
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SB600 + 35mm 1.8G + D90!!

So we brought my son over to a cousin's house to do a small shoot, and she had nothing fancy, D70s, 50mm 1.8D and a black backdrop and the pictures turned out great. I'm pretty tired of the "OK" quality our SD700 IS gets...

The camera will be used primarily to take pictures of the little tyke, for now :D

Rather than putting cash down on a kit lens, I was just thinking of diving right into the 85mm 1.8... The SB400 for bounce if required, and the D90 since the D5000/3000 isn't compatible with a bunch of lenses... I'd really like the D300s but outta my budget...

My only real concern is about the lens... Does it have too much tele? Am I going to have to stand too far back to be able to frame the shot? 85mm is 127.5mm on the D90 right? Or should I be going for the 50mm 1.4D or 1.4G? instead?

I've pegged my budget at about $1500 USD.
it's me ramin.
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Feb 20, 2008
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The 85mm is a nice portrait lens in 35mm.
With an APS-C sensor it becomes quite a long focal. At nearly 130mm, this would be used for head or head and shoulder shots I think.

The 50mm converts to 75mm. In my opinion this is more polyvalent. With the cash saved you could purchase another lens.

I say this because neither of these 2 lenses are a good options for a 1 lens kit.

If you absolutely need a prime for your portrait work I'd pick the 50mm and with the money saved compared to the price of the 85mm I would pick up a cheap zoom (consider buying used).

Otherwise I would pick a good quality zoom.
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Mar 25, 2005
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I would go with the 50mm 1.4D and an SB600 with umbrella and stand. Reason: the 50 1.4D is lightly better focusing than the newer lens, and since you have a D90 it will focus. Unless you only need tight shoulder and head shots, the 85mm is likely too long. The SB600 gives you the option of off camera flash which will have a huge effect on portraits. All should be under $1500.
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It won't focus as fast but for practicality for portraits you should consider the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 zoom
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Kasakato wrote:
Oct 12th, 2009 11:14 am
I would go with the 50mm 1.4D and an SB600 with umbrella and stand. Reason: the 50 1.4D is lightly better focusing than the newer lens, and since you have a D90 it will focus. Unless you only need tight shoulder and head shots, the 85mm is likely too long. The SB600 gives you the option of off camera flash which will have a huge effect on portraits. All should be under $1500.
AF-D 50 f/1.8 is also pretty good too, and cheap ($150 CDN). Optically its performance is nearly the same but its significantly cheaper because of its build quality (more plastic and made in China).
"God's in His heaven. All's right with the world." - Robert Browning (1812-1889)
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Winkle wrote:
Oct 12th, 2009 5:44 pm
AF-D 50 f/1.8 is also pretty good too, and cheap ($150 CDN). Optically its performance is nearly the same but its significantly cheaper because of its build quality (more plastic and made in China).
Yup, but minus while max. out the budget. ;)
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Feb 20, 2006
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one thing with the SB400 is that it doesn't have a lot of height over the camera, so if you weren't bouncing and have a large lens hood or were going to use zoom or both there will be a significant shadow in the bottom of the picture. Should not be a problem with a prime.

Also the SB 400 doesn't swivel so you can't bounce off the ceiling if you were taking a portrait.
Newbie
Jul 10, 2009
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Can I just offer some different advice? How good are you with Cameras? I purchased a D40, some lenses, then thinking I needed more options and upgraded sensor I switched to a D90. The D90, at least for me and initially, is much harder to get nice pictures out of the box. There are so many adjustable settings and options that simply 'getting the shot' can be pretty hard to accomplish since picture controls can affect your histogram as well as many small adjustments on the D90. I've actually put my 35m. 1.8 which should also be considered onto the D40 and wish I had saved myself the money from a 1000$ body and invested it all into lenses for my D40. This camera cranks out colour and excellent shots. I also own the SB-600 and love it, the only thing you would be losing is Off-camera flash by putting it on a D40 rather than a D90 but for umbrella shots, etc, this might not matter.

Also, the D40 is a far better camera than the D5000 which IMHO is Junk
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Feb 22, 2003
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Thornhill
Cyder the SB400 DOES SWIVEL. I've got three of them sitting right here. They work great and its all the flash anyone really ever needs. (unless you really use nikon's creative lighting system).

To the original poster: A D90 is complete overkill for what you're looking to do, so is most of the other items that people are suggesting you pickup in this thread.

D40/D60/D3000 or a D5000 would be fine for what you're doing. You don't need to worry about the lack of compatibility with older lenses because you aren't going to be using any older lenses anyway (This is a wife tales that people who think more lenses + more filters + more money = better shot).

Get yourself any of the camera's above, a SB400 WHICH DOES BOUNCE FLASH and the standard kit VR lens to get started. You'll get some great shots. With the savings over the D90 invest in the Nikon 35mm AF-S 1.8 lens and you'll get incredible pictures indoors. When you get a chance to spend some more cash sell the kit lens and go for the Nikon 18-200mm VR lense. Save the rest of your money and spend it on your kids!

I've got to say that i've only posted a few times in threads related to photography on RFDs but each time I just see crazy suggestions. This is probably the worst place to get advice on photography purchases.
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Jul 10, 2009
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Listen to this guy :arrowd:
adfactor wrote:
Oct 12th, 2009 8:22 pm
Cyder the SB400 DOES SWIVEL. I've got three of them sitting right here. They work great and its all the flash anyone really ever needs. (unless you really use nikon's creative lighting system).

To the original poster: A D90 is complete overkill for what you're looking to do, so is most of the other items that people are suggesting you pickup in this thread.

D40/D60/D3000 or a D5000 would be fine for what you're doing. You don't need to worry about the lack of compatibility with older lenses because you aren't going to be using any older lenses anyway (This is a wife tales that people who think more lenses + more filters + more money = better shot).

Get yourself any of the camera's above, a SB400 WHICH DOES BOUNCE FLASH and the standard kit VR lens to get started. You'll get some great shots. With the savings over the D90 invest in the Nikon 35mm AF-S 1.8 lens and you'll get incredible pictures indoors. When you get a chance to spend some more cash sell the kit lens and go for the Nikon 18-200mm VR lense. Save the rest of your money and spend it on your kids!

I've got to say that i've only posted a few times in threads related to photography on RFDs but each time I just see crazy suggestions. This is probably the worst place to get advice on photography purchases.
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Mar 25, 2005
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adfactor wrote:
Oct 12th, 2009 8:22 pm
Cyder the SB400 DOES SWIVEL. I've got three of them sitting right here. They work great and its all the flash anyone really ever needs. (unless you really use nikon's creative lighting system).
You probably want to send it into Nikon then, its broken. :lol:
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Feb 22, 2003
403 posts
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Thornhill
Kasakato wrote:
Oct 12th, 2009 8:31 pm
Thats tilt. ;)

Swivel allows you to bounce upwards while the camera is in portrait. For this reason alone I would recommenced at least an SB600. If the OP was not focused on people shots, the SB400 may have been a better option.
My mistake. :)

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