by Rob Williams on October 2, 2006 in Digital Cameras
If you are looking to get into the D-SLR world but find it too expensive, then you may not know the value that awaits you. We are taking a look at the Nikon D50 6.1 megapixel camera, and given the pricerange, it packs a serious punch.
If you purchase the D50, chances are good you will wind up with one of these lenses. If not, then you are probably looking for a more expensive lens with better capabilities. As an affordable D-SLR though, both of these lenses retail around the $200USD mark
I have already touched up on the lenses on the first page, but will elaborate on them here and also show examples of their capabilities.
AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18 – 55mm f3.5-5.6G ED
If nothing else, this is the lens you should have with your D50. It’s a great all-around lens that allows for relatively nice close-ups. The lens spans from 18-55mm which is equivalent to 27-82.5mm in 35mm format. As the name suggests, this lens uses ED glass which is designed to avoid various sorts of distortion in your shots. It weighs in at a comfortable 210g (0.46 pounds), so it won’t add a lot of weight to the camera for carrying around. Its dimensions are 69 x 74mm, so it’s far from being a huge lens… easy for transport.
Utilized here is Nikons SWM feature, or Silent Wave Motor. This allows for quiet operation when you are focusing on something. I can vouch that the motor is indeed extremely quiet. The loudest part of the camera by far is when you have acquired a perfect focus… a nice beep. The motor is no problem, after hearing this beep.
For some tests, I shot a picture at both 18mm and 55mm, so as to show you the full range this lens can offer you.
Not too shabby! Here is another more realistic test:
Here is a macro shot of the powerball, to give an idea of what to expect in that regard.
After using this lens for about a month, I’ve come to enjoy it far more than the one we will be looking at in a moment. It’s a terrific all-around lens, whether you are shooting close-ups, portraits or nature.
AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 55 – 200mm f4-5.6/g ED
The 55-200mm lens is designed to be a perfect compliment to the other lens. You may ask… why a 18-55mm and 55-200mm instead of a 18-200mm? Well, that lens retails for near $700. That’s why ;-)
This lens is equivalent to 82.5-300mm in 35mm format, and Nikon gives this a zoom rating of 3.6x. It has the same physical characteristics as the previous lens, but is slightly larger at 68 x 79mm. It’s near 18% heavier though, at 255g. This also uses the Silent Wave Motor, but I found it to be slightly louder than the 18-55mm.
I performed the same test as I did with the 18-55mm lens, and stood in the same spot. The first image is at 55mm and the second at 200mm. Note the poor quality of the photos. This could be due to the mode I selected, but I blame it on the lens itself. I believe there is a problem with this specific lens, but it didn’t affect long range shots… only relative closeups. Should you purchase this lens, you may experience different results.
Luckily, I have a pretty decent vantage point from my window, so I stood there and took a shot at 55mm and then 200mm. The results are below.
The zoom capabilities are clearly better than the 18-55mm but are not that incredible. If I were to buy one lens with the D50, I think it’s obvious which one it would be. However, if you are interested in better zoom capabilities than what the 55-200mm provides, you may want to check out the 70-300mm f4-5.6D ED Lens which retails for around $300 and offers a 4.3x zoom.
Lens are useless without great picture quality though, so lets move right along.