Building First setup

NikondentalNikondental Posts: 4Member
edited November 2013 in D90/D7x00
I'm building a camera setup for residency. We are required to use the following parts

Nikon D90
Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash
Nikon Nikkor AF 105 Macro lens

I've priced these items on for $1890 and that includes a 3 year warranty. I've been looking around and obviously can find the parts cheaper on various websites but without knowing condition, warranty, use/abuse. Although this is a required purchase I would like to be cautious on spending and on needing to get something repaired should I by a Lemon.

Also I would like a Lens that can be used for personal photography in addition to this setup. Any recommendations appreciated.

I appreciate any and all advice regarding my future purchase. Thank you for your time


  • rbrylawskirbrylawski Posts: 222Member
    I'm sorry for being stupid, but what does building a camera setup for residency mean? Adorama is very reputable and you can feel confident buying from them. If anythings wrong, they'll take care of you, so saving a few $$'s may not be worth the uncertainty of lower priced options.
    Nikon D7100; AF-S DX 35mm f1.8; AF-S DX Macro 40mm f2.8; AF-S DX 18-200mm VRII; SB-700 Speed Light and a bunch of other not very noteworthy stuff......
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Sounds like he is going to Macro school.
  • NikondentalNikondental Posts: 4Member
    Should have been more specific. Its a Dental Residency program. We take many photos of small parts and intraoral.

  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Personally, you don't save much on used camera equipment, except the camera, as these items hold their value well. If you are saving much, something is likely wrong or if it is the camera, do you really want a used item as complex as a camera. Maybe you do if you are really motivated, but I think that you need to be motivated.

    Your macro lens will also be a great medium telephoto (equivelent to about 155mm on your D90), though not particularly fast as a 2.8 (but not slow). You may want to consider another prime - perhaps a 50mm and a 20mm or 24mm. Between those three focal lengths, you may never need another lens in your life. You might want to purchase a 35mm instead of the 50mm if you want a "normal field of view lens". The above recommendations are all FX lenses which will work fine on your D90. On your D90, the above 50mm would be a pretty good portrait lens.

    Or just get a zoom, perhaps the 28-300. However, that will duplicate your Macro lens at 105mm, so it defeats the purpose of a system.

    In my opinion, zooms are convenient, but you will likely take better pictures with a prime - especially a 50mm equivelent (35mm on your DX). Note the following article for my reasoning:

    There are a thousand articles like this on the web. I just picked the first one that popped up, though they all say similar things.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,518Moderator
    @jshickele: The Nikon 105 macro is f2.8.

    @Nikondental: (the clue to what you do is in your name ;) ) You don't give a budget, but I will assume that because you aren't a practising dentist yet, you aren't rich(!). I say you need a zoom like the 18-200 and a fast prime like the 35 or 50mm f1.8. FYI the 35mm is regarded as the 'normal' lens for DX format bodies, but the 50 is an option.

    The 18-200 will be all you need as a general purpose walk around lens for sure, buy and use that before the 35mm or 50mm f1.8 so you can see which focal length fast prime you want (if at all).
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    I would suggest a refurbished or new D7100 vs. the D90 which is an older camera model and does not have a sensor as good as the D7100. The 105 is a stunning lens and will do fine for what you are doing…macro. And, of course the ring flash will provide a near shadowless lighten the subject.

    And as has been confirmed, Adorama is a very good dealer and I would not worry.

    As to a general purpose lens it is all about the money. And, zoom or prime? Maybe you should purchase your required equipment, and an inexpensive lens such as something in the 18-105mm range, and after you find out what focal length you prefer, then purchase a pro lens which fits your needs. If you wanted to have a single focal length (prime) "normal" lens for the crop sensor body, I would look at the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, but this is going to be nearly $1,000.
    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited November 2013
    the D7100 is far superior to the D90

    but I can see the advantage of every one having the same camera

    For a personal lens the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens would be a good start

    I would not worry too much about warranties, Nikon equipment is very reliable
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I would go for a D7000, D7100 or even the D5200/5300. All will fit your residency fine and the image quality is far better than the D90. The D90 is 3 (almost 4) generations of a system back (6 years old) and that is just not a great choice anymore.

    The 18-200vr lens would be a good all round lens that covers everything.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • NikondentalNikondental Posts: 4Member
    I appreciate all the feedback. Unfortunately I am locked into the D90 body. Its the required model so that all residents have the same setups so that troubleshooting and the settings will be the same for everyone. I agree, I would like to upgrade to the d7100 if it was allowed.

    It seems like everyone has different opinions about the best personal lens to use for everyday photography.

    The reason I originally posted this thread was because I can purchase a D90 body with an 18-105 lens that has 5600 actuations on ebay for $415. The same pieces used on adorama without a warranty will cost $600.
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi NikonDental, the update of the camera is a strong recommendation from everyone, but the D90 certainly capable of doing the job - I still have and use mine. The D7100 has a host of features beyond the D90 that you would likely enjoy a lot, it is my main camera.

    You want a 105mm Micro in your work, the light offered by the office light used to illuminate the work area should be sufficient. I like Nikon lenses, but they are expensive.

    The D90 has a built in motor for lenses that do not have motors for autofocus, the D5x00 cameras do not. Zoom lenses for medium, telephoto and wide (3 lens, one for each range) and perhaps a super zoom 18-200, that covers them all would be considered a comprehensive lens kit. I don't have that, but that's an idea. I do have a 16-85mm, a wide to mid tele that is very sharp and has VR. The kit lenses are sharp and get short drift because they are cheap. The 18-105mm is a sharp lens that does very well.

    $415 looks pretty good.

    We, as a good, like spending other people's money. ;-)

    With the D90 and its kit lens and the 105 Micro, you should be able to figure out what you'l like to do with your personal photography,

    Ask away for more devilish ways to spent money, be sure to post some photos, and always know that your posts are welcome!

    My best,

  • NikondentalNikondental Posts: 4Member
    Thank you for your comment. Should the number of actuations affect my decision to purchase a used camera? Worst case scenario I will be buying a refurbished body from adorama.

  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi Nikondental,
    Should the number of actuations affect my decision to purchase
    It probably will whether it should or not. Mechanical things wear out (biological things, too - ask me about my knees, but most things on digital cameras are fairly easily fixed. They just become less cost effective to be fixed. It's cheaper to buy new than repair. Some of the buzz you heard about buying a D7000 or D5x00 was the quality of the final output. True that, but for the resolution that you need (I guess here) for screen, text books, whatever, the D90 will execute the task correctly. The instructor has complete knowledge of the camera as well as perfect handouts and systematic instructions for it. There are reasons for that camera.

    As for actuations, right now, what ever is 'slightly broken' is slight costly to fix. IOW, for the short haul, the D90 doesn't fall into the dinosaur category of camera - buying it doesn't cost you over and over and over again. If it breaks a little, it will be a little (probably) to fix.

    BTW I'm a retired guy who shoots educational theater, about 8 shows a year. Lots of actor and technical portfolios and head shots and personal shots, too as well as commercial advertising shots in the North West. Being retired keeps me busy.

    In a production, the D90 could easily shoot over 20,000 in a week or two. It has been in for cleaning and adjusting twice.

    My best,

  • HipShotHipShot Posts: 528Member
    If you absolutely, positively, have to have a D90, here's an alleged new one:

    (I can't vouch for the seller. Just happened to see the ad, and thought of you. I once bought an item long-distance that I found on craigslist. But first, I asked the seller to remove it from CL, and post it on ebay as a "Buy It Now" item, so I'd have some protection. Worked out fine. Good luck.)
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    OK, Nikondental, the first three images of this set on Flickr are with a D90 and the 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro Nikkor. You can see the data under the images. Note, some are even shot at 1/60 sec and wide open…still sharp. Note as well, when approaching 1:1 image size, the f/stop of these lenses changes do to the need to compensate for the extreme close focus.
    Msmoto, mod
  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 625Member
    Wasn't the D700 a standard in the dental field. It seems there are menus specific items for just that, or maybe I'm thinking about the exif data. I know I read about it somewhere.
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    If you need the camera for work I would buy a new one. When new the D90 was considered a high end consumer camera - most of them will have been used a lot. You should be able to find a good deal on a D90.

    You can buy a 105VR used. But you will not save a lot most of the time. You need that lens for your work. You need AF to be spot on. If it is not you will spend a lot more than you saved getting it fixed. While you are at it buy a new flash too :-)

    BTW I got my brand new 105VR from Adorama when I was in New York - good place to shop - B&H send me there as the 105 was out of stock at the time :-)

    D90 is still a fine camera. It will do most of what you want a camera to do.

    If you want a zoom for your D90 get a 16-85. If you want a prime get a 35 1.8 dx. Best of luck
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