A Penny Saved…

…is a big disappointment.

I have been pleasantly distracted these past several days with the notion that it is time for me to upgrade my camera: FROM the current Nikon D70 since April 2004 TO the Nikon D200. And although I initially considered lesser lenses, I had at last resolved to spend extra for this lens:

Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR II

What a lens! What a combination! Do it!

But then, my camera-lust relented as my frugal nature regained control, and I arrived at a middle position: hold off on the camera body and stick with the D70 until the price drops some more on the D200. Just get the lens. You can sell your 18-80mm and your 80-200mm and recoup some of the high price for the 18-200 and carry just the single lens! Perfect compromise solution! Yes, I’ll do it. I’ll order the lens this morning.

No you won’t. They seem to be backordered (at acceptable prices) until the third quarter of 2007. Sigh.

NOW THIS! Since posting the above at 5:00 as a draft, I caved. The lens is available WITH the camera body. B&H has them in stock. I ordered the combo at 6 this morning. Oy. Now, I’ll be looking to sell some Nikon lenses and a D70 body. More about that soon enough. (Fred doing happy dance–quietly: wife still sleeping.)

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I went through the same camera lust this summer. For me though my frugal nature won out and I picked up the D80. I haven’t had a second thought since. It has most of the D200 features in a smaller, lighter package. The only thing I miss (and might never need) is the beefed up body construction.

    Enjoy the new camera thrill. It’s one of the great ways of increasing creativity at a reasonable cost…

  2. Phred:

    I believe you will be disappointed in the 18-200, especially after using the 80-200 for the last two years.

    At a constant f2.8, the 80-200 is one of the fastest, sharpest zoom lenses ever made by Nikon. It’s a pro lens with durable construction and great optics.

    Low-light performance with the 18-200 will be compromised by the varible maximum aperture (3.5 to 5.6) as will your depth of field and Nikon’s VR system is a power hog. The construction is primarily plastic and won’t hold up as well. It’s a consumer lens. Plus your teleconverter won’t work with it.

    The D200, on the other hand, will be worth what you spend on it. But I’d recommend holding on the 80-200. I think you will find it a better match to the D200. A good camera body like that deserves fast, pro-grade glass.

  3. Sigh. Camera and lens envy. 😉
    Enjoy your new toy. Buyer’s remorse is completely forbidden in this case.

  4. I went through similar guilt/happiness for binoculars. Zeiss, Leica, Swarovsky. I ended up getting 2 pair an 8×30 and a mere 7oz 8×20 for hunting. It’s all about optics as the eyes grow weary.

  5. Congrats. Nothing like a new camera body, but the lenses are everything as far as image quality. I’ve used both pro and consumer grade lenses, and can say from experience you will notice the difference in quality immediately, tho when made tiny for net consumption we might not can tell. Anyhoo, don’t let us rain on your joy, but as doug says you might want to hold on to that 80-200.

  6. I, too, have made some dubious, indulgent purchases online in the wee hours when my better half was asleep upstairs.