Nikon D5100

Photography knowledge exchange.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
RobertH
Posts: 1834
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:38 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Nikon D5100

Post by RobertH » February 14th, 2013, 9:33 pm

I am thinking of getting a Nikon D5100 paired with Sigma's new 18-250 zoom/macro lens. This combination would give me, a first time DSLR owner (though I owned a Yashika film SLR in the 80's), pretty much all I need.

The only thing that makes me hesitate a bit is that, according to several reviews and threads on the Internet, there are or at least were some D5100's where the pictures would come out black for some unknown reason (broken shutter or whatever). The consensus, online, seems to be that the problem was not due to user error, but rather a genuine defect.

I know, of course, that there will always be some people who will find fault with the best of products, and am inclined to dismiss the "black pictures" rumor as just that. Still, it would be nice to get some assurance from others here who own or used to own a D5100, before I pull the trigger.

Thanks,

Robert

User avatar
Antonsrkn
Posts: 971
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 1:38 pm
Contact:

Re: Nikon D5100

Post by Antonsrkn » February 14th, 2013, 9:42 pm

I'm not going off a large enough sample size to say anything definite or overly meaningful, but I have talked to a handful of people (5 or so) who were all happy with their D5100s. If you did get the black picture problem I'm sure the warranty would cover it and you could get your camera replaced. The only thing about it is I know the autofocus doesn't work with certain lenses, this may not matter if your'e not inclined to use AF or what appears to be the case is you don't have any lenses yet, because if you want to use AF you can just stock up with lenses where the AF does work with the d5100.

User avatar
chrish
Posts: 3295
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact:

Re: Nikon D5100

Post by chrish » February 15th, 2013, 5:53 am

I'm not familiar with the qualities of this particular 18-250, but I have owned a couple of 18-200 and 18-250 lenses over the years.

All I can say is while they provide great range, they don't do anything particularly well. They are OK at wider settings, but when you extend them to 250, they are usually quite soft and their macro images are also quite soft.

I think you might consider splitting that range. There are some good 17-70 range lenses with decent macro capability (Sigma makes an excellent one) and some decent 70-200/80-200/70-300 range lenses. This pairing will get you much sharper photos than any 18-250 and get you better macro shots as well.

Of course, you do have to do your research. There are some 75-300 lenses that aren't worth buying as well.

RobertH
Posts: 1834
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:38 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Nikon D5100

Post by RobertH » February 15th, 2013, 9:22 am

Antonsrkn: Yes, the issue would be covered by warranty, but I would of course rather not go there. But it's encouraging to know that about 5 people you know are happy with their D5100. Also, the 19-250 Sigma lens is definitely compatible with the D5100. So, autofocus won't be a problem.

Chris: I hear you and agree. The lens is definitely a compromise and I don't expect it to deliver the IQ that a very experienced DSLR photographer like yourself (and most others here) is used to. But I am coming from a P&S camera (Nikon P100) and can't (yet) imagine lugging around several lenses. At this point I am interested mainly in learning more about technique, in part so I can continue to be a coach to my 11-son Nicholas, who, you might say, is the "real" wildlife photographer in the family (and happily carries several lenses). He's way more into photography than I will probably ever be, not to mention more talented. Here's a set from his Flickr album:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicholashe ... 229034676/

The small and light-weight combo of the Nikon D5100 + Sigma 18-250 macro would not only be a good transition for me coming from my P&S, but would also allow Nicholas to shoot with it. Anything bigger, and he won't be able to hold it steady enough for macro and zoom shots. Right now, he shoots with a Panasonic Lumix G2, a micro four-thirds camera, and that's working out great. But his setup (with a 35 mm equivalent zoom lens of 90-400mm!) only weighs 750 grams. The Nikon D5100 + Sigma 18-250 macro combo is about 1050 grams, not bad at all, but 30% heavier. As soon as Nicholas is old/strong enough, we'll probably switch cameras and get him some really good glass to take his photography to the next level. Knowing him, he'll want to switch on day 1 :lol:

Finally, the following conclusion of the dpreview of the Sigma 18-250 macro makes me hopeful that this lens is a cut above the average entry-level zoom lens:

"First, let's make one thing absolutely clear - all superzooms are compromises, and can't be expected to give image quality that matches a pair of lenses covering the same range. But that's not the point; the idea is to have an all-round lens that can stay on the camera most of the time and cover a wide range of photographic opportunities, while still having the option to change lenses when necessary. The Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM fits the bill nicely; it's compact, has decent enough optics, offers fast autofocus and effective image stabilisation, and tops this all off with impressive close-up ability. We'd be inclined to conclude that it's the best-rounded general-purpose SLR lens currently on the market." (emphasis added).

Thanks again for both of your advice. If others have some more specifics on either the D5100 or the Sigma 18-250 macro, I'd love to hear them.

Robert

User avatar
Tonia Graves
Posts: 212
Joined: December 8th, 2011, 2:40 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Nikon D5100

Post by Tonia Graves » February 18th, 2013, 6:28 pm

I've had the D5100 for a year now and use it often w/ a Tamron 28-300 VC lens. I've never had any issues with the camera body itself, but that lens can be problematic. It's great for 'grab' shots but if I want high quality I have to use my Nikon lenses. The camera itself handles low-light situations well, especially if on a tripod. A really cool feature it has besides being able to do HD video is that it has an intervalometer (sp?). Basically you can set it up to do time lapse shots, which I've found to be fun to expirament with (especially at night for moving star images).

Hope the info helps!

-Tonia

RobertH
Posts: 1834
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:38 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Nikon D5100

Post by RobertH » February 19th, 2013, 2:09 pm

Tonia,

Thanks a lot for your feedback. I am glad to hear that you have no issues with the D5100 body, and am hopeful that the Sigma 18-250 will, at least for the time being, meet my expectations in terms of IQ. Clearly, as time goes by, my standards will go up (to yours and those of others here), and I/Nicholas may need to move up. But that's OK, the Sigma should always be a good, even excellent, walkaround lens. And it will always be fun to buy more new stuff :)

Robert

Post Reply