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Davey P

Nikon D50 DSLR - Advice needed...

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Ruthie has just bought herself a Nikon D50 DSLR camera kit (an impulse buy on a local Facebook selling page) and I just wanted a bit of general advice from anyone with 1st hand knowledge of this camera. I'm pretty sure she got an absolute bargain, with the camera body, a 70-300mm telephoto lens (the standard 50mm lens was not included, because he wanted to keep that for his next camera), 3 battery packs + mains charger and a separate battery grip, a remote control, a decent quality full size tripod, plus a tiny desktop tripod, and a couple of umbrellas (:laughing2dw:) - All for 80 quid! :thumbsup:

The obvious main question, and one that probably should have been asked before buying it, would be "is this camera any good?"  To a novice like me, it looks like an amazing piece of kit, with a nice solid and heavy feel.  The brand more or less speaks for itself, quality-wise, and I've seen some good reviews online but I wanted an honest opinion from anyone who's actually owned or used one.

First impressions are that it's going to take a while to master all of the functions, but she's eager to learn and has always wanted a decent camera, so I think this will be a great start to her new hobby.

Any comments or advice welcome.

Oh, and if anyone has got any smaller lenses to fit this model for sale, either 50mm fixed or 28 - 70mm telephoto (or similar), please feel free to get in touch with a price.

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I've used this model for the past 9 years.  I sold my 70-300mm lense that I used twice for £65, so I don't think you have done bad.  You could try mpb.com for used lenses too - they offered good advice and service, and came to me on recommendation when I bought a new autofocus 18-55 lense, explaining what the VR bit did and recommending it when I told them that pretty much all I photograph is watches.

As ever with photography, lighting is more important than the hardware 

 

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I still use a similarly prehistoric Nikon when I want to take 'proper' photos, although I will get round to getting something newer one day! The D50 is a great start point, and that sounds like a decent price.

I'm sure you can pick up an 18-55 dx lens for almost nothing these days - I wouldn't worry about getting the VR version on a short lens (great on long ones though).

 

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6 hours ago, ziggy1024 said:

I'm sure you can pick up an 18-55 dx lens for almost nothing these days

If you can find one at that price, please let me know mate... :laughing2dw:

 

6 hours ago, scottswatches said:

You could try mpb.com for used lenses too

Cheers mate, I had a quick look on there, but as this is all new to us I didn't know what to look for regarding the correct bayonet fitment, and I couldn't see a way to narrow down the search for compatibility with the D50.  A couple I looked at said not suitable for camera bodies before 2013, and this one is older than that.  More research needs to be done, this is going to be a fun challenge, I'm almost tempted to get one myself :tongue:

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Edit: We managed to find this 18 - 55mm lens on ebay for £44.99, so hopefully it will be the correct fitment:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nikon-AF-S-DX-NIKKOR-18-55mm-f-3-5-5-6G-VR-II-Lens/273339748759

We've ordered it anyway, plus a 2Gb SD card, so Ruthie has managed to get herself a nice cheap hobby... well, cheap to start off anyway :laughing2dw:

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I had one a few years back and liked it so much I bought several of its successors. The sensor is a little old hat now at 6MP but that won't stop it taking a cracking photo with the right lenses. You won't find the 70-300mm all that useful I would think and in fact a 50mm isn't actually all that handy either other than for head and shoulders portrait work where the big aperture helps with subject isolation and bokeh. You really need something around 35mm if fixed or a 18-55mm zoom which is very handy indeed, the one you link to is perfect but there are several versions, the better ones have VR, the early ones don't. You can't really use any ISO much above 800, 1600 max, so VR is very useful on a D50, even on a short lens IMO. I ended up on the Fujifilm system but do rate Nikon DX stuff very highly.

Edited by Padders

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10 hours ago, Padders said:

I had one a few years back and liked it so much I bought several of its successors. The sensor is a little old hat now at 6MP but that won't stop it taking a cracking photo with the right lenses. You won't find the 70-300mm all that useful I would think and in fact a 50mm isn't actually all that handy either other than for head and shoulders portrait work where the big aperture helps with subject isolation and bokeh. You really need something around 35mm if fixed or a 18-55mm zoom which is very handy indeed, the one you link to is perfect but there are several versions, the better ones have VR, the early ones don't. You can't really use any ISO much above 800, 1600 max, so VR is very useful on a D50, even on a short lens IMO. I ended up on the Fujifilm system but do rate Nikon DX stuff very highly.

Cheers Padders, that is all very reassuring and helpful :thumbsup:

The lens we have ordered states VR in the description, so I assume that is a good thing.  My only concern was making sure the bayonet fitting was correct, but we took the view if it doesn't fit we can always put it back up for sale on ebay, lol :laughing2dw:

Any other tips or advice always welcome, of course.  Thanks guys :biggrin:

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Its highly likely the lens you’ve picked up will fit. Some good info here https://www.nikonians.org/reviews/nikon-slr-camera-and-lens-compatibility

Just scroll down to D50 to see compatible fitments, explainations further down

Its highly likely the lens you’ve picked up will fit. Some good info here https://www.nikonians.org/reviews/nikon-slr-camera-and-lens-compatibility

Just scroll down to D50 to see compatible fitments, explainations further down

Just to add, according to the above chart it will fit.

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11 minutes ago, uksharky said:

Its highly likely the lens you’ve picked up will fit. Some good info here https://www.nikonians.org/reviews/nikon-slr-camera-and-lens-compatibility

Just scroll down to D50 to see compatible fitments, explainations further down

Just to add, according to the above chart it will fit.

Thanks very much @uksharky that is an excellent link, and it looks like she will be fine with that lens from ebay, much appreciated.

I think joining the nikonians forum will be a good idea, in fact I might join it myself as well (I think I'm getting more excited than Ruthie, and it's not even my camera! :laughing2dw:)

I will report back on here when the new lens arrives, and let you know what she thinks of it :biggrin:

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The D50 is actually a lot more compatible with Nikon fit lenses than later models as it has the focus drive motor built into the body, the later bodies depend on the motors built into the lenses. You can mount, with a bit of research and care, virtually every Nikon lens back to the 1970s on a D50 as long as you check things like mirror to rear element clearance. It is a fantastic tool for playing with old manual focus lenses.

Edited by Padders
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16 hours ago, Padders said:

I had one a few years back and liked it so much I bought several of its successors. The sensor is a little old hat now at 6MP but that won't stop it taking a cracking photo with the right lenses. You won't find the 70-300mm all that useful I would think and in fact a 50mm isn't actually all that handy either other than for head and shoulders portrait work where the big aperture helps with subject isolation and bokeh. You really need something around 35mm if fixed or a 18-55mm zoom which is very handy indeed, the one you link to is perfect but there are several versions, the better ones have VR, the early ones don't. You can't really use any ISO much above 800, 1600 max, so VR is very useful on a D50, even on a short lens IMO. I ended up on the Fujifilm system but do rate Nikon DX stuff very highly.

I still use my D40(!) with a 35mm prime lens, almost exclusively.

19 hours ago, Davey P said:

Edit: We managed to find this 18 - 55mm lens on ebay for £44.99, so hopefully it will be the correct fitment:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nikon-AF-S-DX-NIKKOR-18-55mm-f-3-5-5-6G-VR-II-Lens/273339748759

We've ordered it anyway, plus a 2Gb SD card, so Ruthie has managed to get herself a nice cheap hobby... well, cheap to start off anyway :laughing2dw:

A Nikon VR lens for £45 counts as almost nothing to me!

Have a look here https://www.nikonimgsupport.com/na/NSG_article?articleNo=000026574&configured=1&lang=en_SG

...to check compatibility on any Nikon lens.

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1 hour ago, ziggy1024 said:

A Nikon VR lens for £45 counts as almost nothing to me!

Same here mate, looks like an absolute bargain, assuming it turns out to be what he says it is, of course... :biggrin:

Thanks very much for all your comments guys, feel free to keep 'em coming :thumbs_up:

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Just a quick update to this one: Ruthie's new lens arrived today and it's absolutely superb.  To my eye it looks brand new and unused, in mint condition with no marks or even any signs of general wear anywhere that I can see.  To say we are both chuffed would be an understatement, and I think she's going to enjoy her new hobby a lot.  A new 2Gb SD card arrived at the same time, so now we just need to source a decent camera bag to store all the bits and pieces in, and she can stop spending... :laughing2dw:

Once again, thanks to everyone on here who took the time to comment and give advice, it is very much appreciated :thumbs_up:

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If ever upgrading in the future, I can recommend the Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens - such a usable zoom and very good image quality.  Plenty to be found secondhand for little money.

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7 hours ago, RTM Boy said:

If ever upgrading in the future, I can recommend the Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens - such a usable zoom and very good image quality.  Plenty to be found secondhand for little money.

Cheers mate, I will pass this info on for future reference, nice one :thumbsup:

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I use a Nikon D3300 that came with the 18-55 kit lens. I then upgraded my lens to a 35mm 1.8 Nikon after about a year of having the camera and wish I had done so from the start. The difference you get with a lens is unbelievable. You can pick one up from eBay for about £130 and would really recommend this lens. The 50mm is also a great buy but depends if you don't mind not being able to zoom or not. 

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@Davey P  Nikon D50 lens focal length is not equivalent to what we would know from our 35mm days.

A 35mm film diagonal measures 43.3mm whereas the D50 sensor diagonal is 28.4mm so to calculate the 35mm film format equivalent you need the crop factor which is

43.3/28.4 = 1.52

So a 50mm equivalent lens on a D50 would be 33mm and the nearest D50 compatible lens you can get to this is 35mm, as mentioned above it's a really good lens for the money, likewise if you want a wide-angle lens say a 28mm or 35mm equivalent you would be looking at 18mm (or thereabouts) D50 compatible lens. Unfortunately Nikon don't do an affordable DX series wide angle prime lens you would have to fork out several hundred pounds on a FX lens (which for a D50 camera doesn't make sense) or get a lens from someone like Sigma who do quite a nice 18mm lens for about £170.

The Nikon 50mm f1.8 AF-S lens is also a cracking prime lens for portrait photography and you can usually pick up pre-owned on EBay for under £100   

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