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Nikon D80 and Five Lens Test

With interchangeable lenses and larger sensors, these two popular camera styles appeal to the professional in all of us.
PFMcFarland
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Nikon D80 and Five Lens Test

Postby PFMcFarland » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:54 pm

My digital kit has continued to grow as I find bargains on lenses and an extra Nikon D80 body. So it was time to take the gang out for some fun in the sun.

There was a waxing moon rising in the mid afternoon, and I knew the perfect spot to get some decent views of it. Some high cirrus clouds and contrails were just enough to add a little interest to the blue skies, and there were other targets of interest in the area to train the lenses on.

The kit included:
2ea Nikon D80 DSLR
1 MB-D80 grip
Slik M410 tripod
DX AF-S Nikkor 18-105mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED VR
DX AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm 1:4.5-5.6G ED VR
DX AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8G
DX AF-S Micro-Nikkor 40mm 1:2.8G 1:1
Sigma AF 170-500mm 1:5-6.3D APO

The big rig
Image
Sigma 170-500mm D APO at 500mm by P F McFarland, on Flickr



Not as sharp as I’d hoped for in manual focus
Image
Moon at 500mm MF by P F McFarland, on Flickr



I think the image falls off a bit away from the center
Image
High Tension Pylon at 170mm by P F McFarland, on Flickr



The Micro-Nikkor works really good
Image
Details by P F McFarland, on Flickr

See all the photos and narrative at https://flic.kr/s/aHskRGuayW

PF
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PFMcFarland
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Re: Nikon D80 and Five Lens Test

Postby PFMcFarland » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:46 pm

While doing some research in the hunt for a hood on the 170-500mm Sigma, I found that it was not designed for digital cameras, being introduced in 1996. More suited to my N80 than the D80.

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minoly
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Re: Nikon D80 and Five Lens Test

Postby minoly » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:13 pm

Phil, you gave those lenses a fine workout with the D80. I liked the moon photos and the house across the valley especially. I'm kind of on the same track that you describe but I haven't been as systematic as you are. I'm using a Sony A100 (from 2006) with mainly Maxxum lenses (I have one Sony that was usually sold with the camera). I really need to do something like you've done. I get lazy or the weather doesn't cooperate and I don't get it done. Anyway, thanks for the post and hope to see more.

Bill D.
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Re: Nikon D80 and Five Lens Test

Postby PFMcFarland » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:27 pm

I plan on taking the big lens to Greenfield Center for a little bird watching later on.

PF
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melek
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Re: Nikon D80 and Five Lens Test

Postby melek » Thu May 11, 2017 9:28 pm

Those super long telephoto zooms can be fun. I have a 500mm mirror lens. I've shot with it, and it's a rather interesting lens.

Neither good, nor bad. Somewhere in the middle.

It was made by an unknown manufacturer.

I agree that most older manual-focus lenses work quite well with digital, while some are only so-so.
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Re: Nikon D80 and Five Lens Test

Postby PFMcFarland » Fri May 12, 2017 10:28 pm

I hope to replace the Sigma with a Tamron lens that has Vibration Control (or whatever terminology Tamron uses), Mike, especially since I can't find a hood for the lens. Sigma didn't bother to label the hood with a model number like they did with later versions, so it's proved to be an impossible quest.

On another note, one of the D80 bodies has gone toes up, and from what I gather doing some research of the issue is it definitely isn't worth repairing seeing as there are several things that can cause the flashing "ERR", none of which can be fixed without replacing a PC flex board (usually the main one), and with no guarantee it won't happen again. I've got my eye on a D300s kit until I can afford something newer with a different battery set up.

PF
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GrahamS
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Re: Nikon D80 and Five Lens Test

Postby GrahamS » Fri May 19, 2017 6:44 am

That's a nice kit you have there, Phil. The D80 is a competent camera, provided you don't need fast continuous bursts. It will only do 3 fps. I liked the 10.2mp sensor for its image quality which was equal to my previous Pentax K10D, which was "only" 6 mp. I up-graded to the D90, which was outstanding with the 18-105 lens. You could probably sell both of your D80 bodies for the price of a clean D90, which I recommend you do.

The 18-105 worked like a charm on the D90 and proved sharp across the frame at all apertures but when I up-graded to a 24 mp D7000, somehow it did not seem to deliver the same snap and sparkle. Granted the D7000 had AF problems but even after being fixed by Nikon I never got the same results from that lens. The D90 and 18-105 just seem to be a marriage made in heaven. The 40mm f2.8 G Micro Nikkor is superb in every respect. I find that the 35mm f1.8 G must be used at f8 or f11 to deliver corner-to-corner sharpness, but mounted on a D80/90/7000 body makes a wonderful piece of carry-around kit. I wasn't happy with my 55-300 f4-5.6 G and traded it for the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S Nikkor which I find much better. The Sigma 70-500 is, in my opinion, a waste of time on a digital camera. If ever a lens demonstrates the shortcomings of a design optimised for film use when fitted to a digital camera, this is it, and it wasn't that great with film. Even using the centre of the image circle on DX format it doesn't produce good images. Sorry to be so blunt. Also, beware of mirror slap and vibration when using it at the long end on a tripod - You will get better results using mirror-up mode if the D80 has it. I don't remember if the delayed remote shutter release mode raises the mirror at the start of the time delay or not. Hope this helps.
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“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Mark Twain

PFMcFarland
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Re: Nikon D80 and Five Lens Test

Postby PFMcFarland » Fri May 19, 2017 1:43 pm

Thanks for sharing your camera/lens experiences, Graham. This kind of information can come in handy for lots of folks.

PF
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