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Which Camera Should I Buy?: Discuss D3100 at Pawn Shop...The pawn shop that my wife's stolen iPad (another story entirely) showed up at has a D3100 Nikon body with ...
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Old 30-12-2013, 12:07   #1 (permalink)
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D3100 at Pawn Shop

The pawn shop that my wife's stolen iPad (another story entirely) showed up at has a D3100 Nikon body with 18-55VR lens for $199..

I've been thinking about grabbing a Crop Frame sensor camera body to extend the reach of my bigger zoom lenses for squirrel and bird hunting.

I've spent an awful lot on camera gear the past year and a half. Would be nice to add to my kit without breaking the bank. I realize this body won't autofocus on D and AF lenses like my D800 will. I also note that any more I have one lens that matches that criteria, my 70-210 F4..

My macro studio and focus stacking plans are also part of this. I'll be beating the heck out of whatever camera I end up using and was thinking quite seriously about taking some of the pressure off my D800 by getting this body to beat on, open in a dusty environment and attach/detach lenses to it constantly for that shooting.

No AF motor support means very little when you're going to be mounting manual focus lenses backwards on it..

The only thing I am not sure of is whether it will do any TTL metering like a pro level Dx00 body will without a CPU lens. I suspect due to live view, it will.

I guess my point on this posting is to ask "Am I Crazy" to bother spending 200 bucks on this body for this use? I can't see myself committing to the money for a D7100. I could perhaps see $550-600ish for a D7000. But if I could make this work the price is right.. It also never hurts having a spare body..

If this move makes any sense, the up side is I can go pick it up tomorrow.
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Old 30-12-2013, 12:30   #2 (permalink)
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Re: D3100 at Pawn Shop

Sadly Loyd, this camera will not meter with anything non-CPU, but you will probably be working in Manual Mode, so maybe it's not that much of a deal. Certainly worth taking the strain off the D800 though.

The only thing you need to check is that the live view remains bright enough when working reversed. Some Nikons give an exposure interpretation to Live View that means that it is nigh impossible to work with the Live View - e.g. the D800 as you've probably found out.

There was a firmware change to overcome this problem but it has only partly been solved as when working in Macro I often find I have to change modes - a) to see the object and line up b) to use the setting that I want. Not what you want when working with lively critters.

If I'm curious about any Nikon gear I often download the manual in non-printable PDF from the Nikon website. As usual lens and accessory compatibility is covered somewhere near the back.
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Old 30-12-2013, 12:50   #3 (permalink)
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Re: D3100 at Pawn Shop

I've come to realize that my focus stacking will be still life objects, as if it wiggles it doesn't stack well.

I never had a chance to hook up my D800 to the big screen via HDMI and do a focus stacking run with the Stackshot. I damaged the skin on my foot the day after the stackshot came in (frostbite on neuropathic foot) and I've been on my butt with feet up 96%+ of the time ever since so it will heal..

Changing modes on the focusing rail for composing vs. shooting isn't going to be that big of deal for me - on still life stuff.

Unfortunate that it won't meter a non CPU lens. That's why I got rid of my original D50 for a D200...

This will require more contemplating.. It's been sitting there for several months, not like it's going anywhere any time soon...
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Old 30-12-2013, 22:19   #4 (permalink)
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Re: D3100 at Pawn Shop

I have a full frame camera! but I used to have a Nikon D70 and in the summer months when the lighting was good I used a very old 400mm apo lens on it which gave me a 600mm throw, it did auto focus but I must admit it focused better by manual focus the lens also worked well on a D300 too, perhaps this might give you some ideas.....
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Old 02-01-2014, 23:52   #5 (permalink)
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Re: D3100 at Pawn Shop

Hi mate,
You can never have enough cameras.
I have just purchased a canon 600d as a mess around camera. I have just downloaded magic lantern software onto it so now i can do all sorts of tricks with it including trap focus, movement sensor so all wildlife can be captured with a 50 mm lens
Give it a try Loyd the software is free, there is something on there for everyone. Sadly only for Canon and not for my nikon d7100

Best wishes Steve
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:01   #6 (permalink)
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Re: D3100 at Pawn Shop

I'd try out magic lantern if I had a Canon.. It's rather late in the game for me to start buying canon gear though. Unless i was to liquidate and switch, which is a topic like religion
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:36   #7 (permalink)
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Re: D3100 at Pawn Shop

Lucky i'm not into religion! Ive got Nikon,Canon,Panasonic and Sony. I just decide where i'm going and take the relevent pieces of kit with me!
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Old 22-04-2014, 02:30   #8 (permalink)
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Re: D3100 at Pawn Shop

followup to this. same pawn shop months later I spotted a D3200 and it looks like it hasn't been touched hardly. Only issue is no charger. I beat them up about not including a charger, USB cable, etc and they agreed to knock $75 off it, so i walked out the door with it for 250.


it's way below what i'm used to in a dSLR, but it's miles ahead of the point and shoot that I bought my son two years ago. I have been playing with it here and it's pretty impressive for the price.

I anticipate I'll be taking advantage of the DX crop factor, and mount my 70-300 on it for birding this year, otherwise it will be my boy's.. My camera, he needs permission to take it and it comes back when he's done. For now..
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