Nikon D80. Opinions?

That’s it.

Excellent camera.
Cheaper now that the D90 came out.
DPreview rates it a “Highly Recommended.”


Will my FM3 lenses fit on it?

I believe all Nikon lenses from the last 40-odd years will mount on the D80.
However: Not all lenses will meter couple or autofocus. You need to look up the specific lens to see what will and won’t work.

I have the D90 and am extremely happy with it - I upgraded from the D70, which I was also happy with.

I have a D100, which was the first DSLR Nikon issued. Great camera. All my old autofocus lenses work with it.

Sounds good. I’ll have to ‘recover’ from some other purchases, but it’s about time I upgraded from my CoolPix L1. (Or else go back to shooting 35mm!)

I got the D60 in November, and I love it. I vacillated for a while between the D60 and D80, and read some reviews that said the D60 was nearly as good so save the difference in money, which is what I did. Not trying to talk you out of the D80 though- I think everything in that line is probably a great camera.

My sister was looking at this a couple of months ago, appearently your old analog lenses will have increased focal lengths (by a factor of about 1.6) so your 100mm will now work as a 160mm. in the end she decided to get a canon 1000d, but I’m sure the differences are minimal.

Good point.
The D80 (and 40,60,90, etc.) are “cropped sensor” cameras, which means the sensor is smaller than a 35mm frame. This means that when printed full-frame, the image size is multiplied by around 1.5x. This is handy if you use telephoto a lot, but it means that your wide-angle lenses are much longer than before (a 35mm lens is effectively a 50mm on a full-frame camera). I find the longer reach pretty handy, and I bought the Sigma 10-20mm, which is as wide as I’ll ever need.

Thanks for the focal length information. I meant to ask about that in my previous post, as I know 50mm is ‘normal’ for 35mm film but I didn’t know what ‘normal’ is with digital.

Normal depends on the size of the sensor. With the size of senor on the Nikon D80, about 30 to 35 mm would correspond with 50 mm on a full-frame 35 mm camera.

More specifically, only autofocus lenses will meter couple. With manual focus lenses, all you can use is manual exposure, with no meter. (Though you can still take a test shot, look at the histogram and adjust exposure accordingly.)

Since you’re considering an older model, you might also look at the Nikon D200. Since it’s a “professional” body, its meter works with manual-focus (AI/AIS) lenses. It’s been replaced by the D300 so you can probably find one pretty cheap.

Just popped in to mention that I have a D70s, and I luuuurve it.

So, my opinion is that you should buy the D80.

I also love my D70s. I have a friend who swore by his D80 until he bought his D300.

A great resource for all things Nikon is

Thanks for this. I did some serious shooting/playing around with my D80 yesterday, and it sorta seemed like I was having to back up waaayy far to get everything in frame. Now I know it wasn’t just my imagination.

When I was looking at DSLRs I spent a lot of time going back and forth over the D80 and D200, and it just didn’t seem like I was getting so much more from the D200 to justify the difference in cost. I did a studio shoot yesterday (my first ever) and the photos were absolutely gorgeous, except in instances where I screwed it up. (And I was able to save a large number of those shots anyway with after-the-fact levels etc. adjustments in PhotoShop – basically I forgot to adjust the softboxes as the sun went down. Doh.)

You might find this helpful:

Anyway, I’m still getting familiar with my D80 (I’m transitioning from an N65, and all the buttons are in different places, so my muscle memory isn’t helping me out anymore). But, as I said, the shots I got were gorgeous, and so far I’m really happy with it. I’ve been doing fine-art photography for years, and got the D80 with the thought in mind of picking up a few paid gigs and possibly eventually making a living at this.

And yeah, the price came down significantly in the last few months (by around $200) so it’s a good time to buy.

I did look briefly at the D200 today. (Working, so I can’t do a lot of surfing – even if I am working from the couch today.) It seems the D200 body is slightly more expensive than the D80 with the lens. Yes, I have a couple of lenses for the FM3; but I do like getting another lens with the camera.

I don’t take a lot of photographs, so the CoolPix L1 has pretty much been adequate for my needs. But there are times (often, recently) when I need to take photographs beyond the capability of my little snapshot digicam. Being me, I want to get something ‘more’ than I need at the moment; the idea being that it will last me longer than if I got something less. It’s worked well in the past.

Based on the opinions here, and Kaio’s link, it looks like I’ll be getting a D80 in several weeks.

Thanks, all.