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Ultimate travel setup?

Travel Forums Travel Photography Ultimate travel setup?

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1. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 10y

Nikon just announced the D200 (10.2 MP, 100-1600 ISO, 5fps), and the Nikon DX VR 18-200 mm F3.5-5.6G Zoom, and color me impressed, but (assuming that the price point for the lens won't fall too high) the combination of the two sounds pretty much like the ultimate travel setup to me. Lightweight, durable, and performing at pretty much pro-levels.

I'm currently travelling with a D70, kitlens (18-70mm) and 70-300mm zoom, but except for the few times when I *know* in advance that I'll need the zoom (crocodile safari and such), most of the time when I'd need the zoom lens in travel situations, there's just not enough time to get it on. And since I'm travelling, a tripod is unfortunately also something I have to make do without.

So one VR lens covering pretty much that entire range would be a major goodness. And okay, technically I could just plop it on the D70, but c'mon...! *covet* *drools over D200 specs* (And its extra 240g weight would be offset by having only a single lens, or so I hope.)

Anyway, I'm interested in reactions from others - do you think this setup is as ideal as it sounds to me, or do you see any downside?

2. Posted by Kayaker (Budding Member 16 posts) 10y

Just make sure you have enough media to handle the 10MP pictures. Especially if you take pictures in Raw mode. My 6MP D100 sucks them up pretty fast. I've also got a Nikon 8800 but I normally shoot JPEG.

I may have to wait to look at the D200 seriously but I need to check out that lens.

3. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

My kit rightnow is a D70 + 24-120mm VR + 70-300mm. The 70-300mm is a piece of crap. But I can't afford the 80-400mm VR rightnow. Nikon needs to put out a 70-300mm VR lens at reasonable prices. The Canon 75-300mm IS lens is awesome at $500USD. The D70/D70s/D50 comes with a 18-70mm, why they would make a 18-200mm VR instead of a 70-300mm VR makes me scratch my head. Sounds more like something Sigma would do...

10MP isn't all that exciting either. It's a half ass move probably made to keep the 12MP D2X going. I haven't looked at the spec's in depth, but I'm more excited by the fact that they brought in "many D2X features" as DPreview says. Not sure what those are exactly.

I'm also not impressed by DX lenses in general. One day they'll go full sensor and then all the DX lenses will be useless. I'm interested in picking up a cheap F80 at some point so DX lenses are useless to me.
I've been travelling with my D70 and it's just very bulky and conspicuous.

I'm afraid, I'll need to wait one or two more generations before it gets exciting....

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 10y

For my money, the difference between 10.2 MP and 12 MP is negligible. I doubt you could tell the difference in print.

I understand your reticence about DX lenses, but (assuming the cost isn't prohibitive) I personally would love to spend some money to buy a lens I can use now at a form factor a lot less bulky and heavyweight than the same would be for full frame. There's no way I can carry around most zoom lenses, no matter how well they'd perform.

5. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Quoting Sander

For my money, the difference between 10.2 MP and 12 MP is negligible. I doubt you could tell the difference in print.

That's why it's half assed.... When you have 12MP technology, to put out a 10MP "pro" camera is suspicious. And even 12MP isn't enough to make me change my D70. The exciting thing about this body is the "D2X functions". That's what makes it attractive to the semi-pro's. But not a real advantage for travelling....probably anyway.....I'd need to read more about the spec's.

Quoting Sander

I understand your reticence about DX lenses, but (assuming the cost isn't prohibitive).

I'm predicting $1200-1600CDN based on the $800 something I paid for mine with the smaller range. Not something I'd throw around for fun. But if you can replace your existing two lenses with a single and live without extra the 150mm, it might be worth it. Lenses are an investment. In general, DX lenses aren't a good investment. And for myself, while a 18-200mm range is an excellent zoom range, since I already have an excellent full frame zoom, it's not worth it. My subjects require a different lens.

6. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 10y

If you're buying for the first time, this looks like a nice setup to me. I don't have a digital SLR (yet), but what stops me from travelling with my 'old' SLR now is the fact that it's just too much for me to carry. I've got a 35-70 and a 75-300 lens and together with the body I just have nearly stopped bothering... So, if I'm purchasing a digital SLR for the first time, this would be a very appealing choice, with that range on the lens !

7. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Quoting Sam I Am

If you're buying for the first time, this looks like a nice setup to me.

The D200 body is selling for $2150CDN + tax here in Toronto.
For comparison a D70s goes for $1100CDN + tax.
People are pre-ordering the 18-200mm VR lens for $910CDN inc. tax.

A D200 is overkill for a first time buyer, IMHO. A D70s is cheaper and will do an excellent job for most people. The 18-200mm VR is a good general kicking around lens. If you have to choose ONE setup, then yeah, I'd have to agree that a D70s (or a D200 if you have deeper pockets) + the 18-200mm is the best combo. I have the closest setup to it, one generation older, and know why I chose it. I also know the shortcomings of this setup. To keep to the positives, my 24-120mm VR almost never leaves the body. I just grab it and go. The new lens is positioned perfectly to cover the complete zoom range. Just on either side of that range are the serious folks who are willing to shell out the extra $$ for the best landscapes and that super closeup of the Amazon parrot (or dancers in my case).

The most prohibitive thing for travelling is something I think we've all touched on. It's TOO BIG !!

8. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 10y

I meant if 'you're buying a digital SLR for the first time'... but yes, too big :(

At the moment, I'm looking more into buying a decent video camera that will also take good stills. They're pretty compact these days and I find the little pocket digital I carry is suffice for my needs. Not great like my SLR, but good enough...

9. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Quoting Sam I Am

I meant if 'you're buying a digital SLR for the first time'... but yes, too big :(

Sorry if I'm becoming long winded. I love this stuff. This is a whole new topic you bring up, Sam. And it's an interesting one. I'm going to stick to my guns and say that a D70s/D50 is a better film to digital conversion body. The D200 is aimed at the semi-pros or pro wildlife photographers. And you pay for the features to back it up. DSLR's are completely different machines from film SLR's. I wouldn't recommend learning a whole new technology on a body that will be obsolete in 1-2years. A very knowledgable shooter will make the conversion faster of course. But for most people, it would be wiser to start out with a lower end body, learn the technology, then in 1-2years trade it in for the kick-ass replacement for the D200. One of the considerations for DSLR's is planned obselecense. In digital cameras, most people (me included) can't stop drooling after the next great thing and just be happy with what they've got....

Quoting Sam I Am

At the moment, I'm looking more into buying a decent video camera that will also take good stills. They're pretty compact these days and I find the little pocket digital I carry is suffice for my needs. Not great like my SLR, but good enough...

I don't see many threads on this interesting subject.

10. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 10y

Quoting Q_Zhang

Quoting Sam I Am

At the moment, I'm looking more into buying a decent video camera that will also take good stills. They're pretty compact these days and I find the little pocket digital I carry is suffice for my needs. Not great like my SLR, but good enough...

I don't see many threads on this interesting subject.

When I start getting really serious, I'll post a few. For now it's just dreaming until some big money ship sails in (I stand by the harbour and wait every day :( ) ...