Beginner D50/D70s lenses for indoor

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by adrian_niculescu, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone!
    So I just got 2 used Nikon cameras, a D50 and a D70s.
    I have a small room that is my recording studio (10' x 8') and I would like to use the D50 to take some nice pictures of my guests. Right now I have a Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D and I can't seem to fit few people inside my studio in the picture.
    So for a very small room, the lighting is poor what would be the best lens to buy as I don't have a lof of money to spend, if possible around $100. I am not looking to buy a new lens I can settle for a use one that would do the job. Can I use a macro lens with my current lens?
    Also, what would be a good lens for taking pictures of birds and trees, as my girlfriend likes to take that kind of pictures with the D70s.
    Thank you in advance.
  2. You might want to get a 35mm lens, which would give you a wider field of view than the 50mm lens you have. The 35mm 1:1.8 lens is reasonably cheap and well regarded (I haven't used it myself).
    If you want to take macro shots, the cheapest option is to buy a set of "closeup lenses" that can screw onto the front of your 50mm lens (or onto the 35mm 1:1.8 lens). These work reasonably well, though not as well as a real macro lens.
    For birds, you would need a lens with a larger focal length, such as one of the 70-300mm zoom lenses.
    Do you not have the usual 18-55mm "kit" lens for the D50 or D70s? You might want one, and they are reasonably cheap. That could be a substitute for a 35mm lens, though it wouldn't work as well in low light with no flash.
    One problem with the picture you attached is that it is focused on the wall behind the people rather than the people themselves. On the D50 (and I think the D70s), you can specify the focus point to use, which is one way to avoid this.
  3. Both the D50 and the D70s have a built in AF motor, so you can use any old Nikkor AF lens. (D40 and the like are limited to AF-S lenses, where the lens itself has an AF motor.) I'm not sure that there is any affordable fast lens that's wider than your 50/1.8 (the cheapest used 35/1.8's seem to be going for $170 on ebay), and I think the wide angle zooms are also expensive, so maybe one of the kit lenses (supposedly the 18-70 is not so bad) and a flash might be the solution? For a really small room even the built-in flash and a diffusor (I have used a styrofoam paper plate in a pinch) might work.
    By the way, your attached image had focus set to manual. AF (too late) and white balance correction (can still be done) might have made it usable.
  4. Nikon's 18-55mm would be perfect and easily fits your budget if you purchase it used.
  5. Used 18-70 even better. SB600 bouncing or diffused in addition... even BETTER...
  6. Birds and trees: One of the nice things about your two cameras is that you have full access to all the lenses Nikon made in the last 30 years. For birds and trees (or birds in trees) there are a few older Nikkor AF tele zooms out there, some more affordable than others. I really like my Nikkor 80-200/2.8, but I doubt you'll be able to find one below $350. (Tokina also makes an 80-200/2.8; no idea about its quality.) Search this forum for recommendations for lenses for travel to find lighter and cheaper tele zooms.
  7. do these cameras autofocus? that reference shot with the 50mm should be a LOT sharper.
    2 bodies gives you a lot of versatility, but 2 bodies and just one lens, not so much. however, $100 isn't enough budget to get you anything but maybe a used 18-55 non-VR. for $200, a 35/1.8 could be just the ticket for indoor candids. anything wider and faster is gonna be a lot more expensive. another option is a sb-400 flash, which gives you bounce capabilities, but makes more sense with a zoom. you could probably swing the sb-400 and 18-55 for around $200-$225.
  8. Definitely get yourself a used 18-55mm, 18-135mm, or 18-70mm lens. All are respectably sharp, especially when you stop down, which you'd have to do to get an appreciable depth of field for multiple subjects. I also agree that you should consider adding more lighting to that room, or investing in a flash.
  9. I'd strongly suggest you look at a 28mm f2.8 prime lens. This is the equivalent of a 42mm lens on a 35mm camera -- so you'll have a little wider field of view than the 35mm (and it'll be cheaper) plus you'll still have a fast 2.8 aperture.
    The problem with the 18-55 or other zoom is the small max aperture -- especially as soon as you start to zoom in from the 18mm focal length.

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