In the market for a new lens...help a newbie out?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by michelle_tanner, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. Hi and TIA for any and all help.
    For Christmas my husband bought be a Nikkor 105 Micro lens. While I find it to be fantastic, I think I need something a little more multi-purpose.
    I have a D90 with the Nikkor 18-10 Lens kit. I also have a Nikkor AF 50mm. I also have the SB800 speedlight.
    I'm looking for a good all around lens. I don't know much about equipment. I just want to take photos. I would say my style is documentary... I like to take photos of children and babies and really like getting those close shots and bokeh effect with these kind of unposed portraits. However I also love to take photos of band in clubs.
    What Nikon/Nikkor lens would you suggest for these needs with my setup? My husband spend $850 for the 105 micro that I will probably return tomorrow. I friend of mine uses some sort of wide angle one that costs around $1400... he does similar work... would that be the way to go?
    I'm finding babies are moving way too fast for the macro to focus but I love the look.
    Thank you,
    Michelle
     
  2. A good all-around lens? Perhaps that would be a 24-85 zoom. Later on you can add to it as you see fit. It's easy to understand those folks with NAS (Nikon acquisition syndrome) that must lust for the latest Nikkors.
     
  3. Michelle,
    do you have a D90 with the Nikkor 18-105 Lens kit? I wonder if you might have left off a digit.
    I would guess that the micro lens is too restricting in field of view to catch portraits of kids on the move.
    How do you like the 50mm? This lens might already be what you want, but maybe you could express how that lens isn't working for you.
    If you need a zoom for indoor low light, can you check on the focal length range that you like to use?
    I'm pretty happy with the Tamron 17-55mm and your 50mm, or maybe an 85mm for somewhat better bokeh, or a Sigma 30mm for normal view, but it's really up to you.
    There are several good Nikon zooms, but they are an investment so it would be good to decide on your prefered focal length while using your kit lens.
     
  4. If money is no object, you may want to look into the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8. This lens is a bit pricey ($1400) but would not disappoint you with the picture sharpness. Sounds like you would enjoy the crisp look for your portrait shots given the range of focal lengths you're looking for.
     
  5. Ops...yes, I have the 18-105 kit. Sorry about that.
    Thank you for all the tips! Yes, I'm looking for an investment piece. I don't want something will grow out of too soon. I like the 50mm but I find that I have to change my lens too often during a session... sometimes I like to sit back and get those candid playground shots which is why I would need a zoom.
    With my 18-105mm, I find myself hanging around the 70 mark. I had a Tamron 28-300 that I traded in and I didn't think I would miss such a zoom but I find that I do.
    Let me ask you this...what do you all think of wide angle zooms?
    Thanks for the tips! I'm going to go look up these suggestions now.
     
  6. First, I would say Yes to the zoom question. Kids move around a lot, even more so if there is a group. As for which zoom might be best, Nikon's 24-70 is a teriffic lens but I suspect you will too often be too close unless you like to get very close to your subjects.
    My first thought would be Nikon's 70-200 zoom. This way you wouldn't have to be so close to get those playground shots, especially as the kids get older. Also, the lens has VR, which is very helpful since it is not a light lens. Only you can know if the 24-70 range would be more useful than 70-200.
     
  7. Something simple, no lense changes needed when trying to capture that illusive kid shot....the 18-200, I myself will be
    trading my 18-55 & & 55-200 for the convenience of not changing lenses all the time
     
  8. Hi Michelle, if you want Nikkor lenses and based on your description of your shooting style, you should be looking at the professional lenses. Most of these lenses have a fixed aperture of f2.8 they will generally give you a nice bokeh and are faster so shooting fast moving subjects would be easier.
    The lenses that you can consider includes the
    17-55mm f2.8 (great for events and should not be a problem if you can moving a little closer to your subjects)
    24-70mm f2.8 (not that wide on the D90 but gives you more reach on the long end than the 17-55mm)
    70-200mm f2.8 VR (if you like to take the children from a distance, this is the lens to consider)
    The main problem with the above three lenses is really the price. If you can afford it, they are very worth your money.
     
  9. the 18-200mm will not be fast enough for your kind of shoots. if you hang around 70mm, the 17-55mm will be short. but you'll be happy with that one when you do events, especially indoors with minimum lighting. just "walk" the longer range.
    your shoots ask for the 70-200mm f/2.8. the best duo to do the job for you, i think, is the f/2.8 17-55mm and the 70-200mm. your 105mm will be a very good portrait lens to keep, if you don't need the "return" money.
     
  10. 18-200 VR and a 50mm 1.8D will get you the all around coverage and the fast lens. If you want cheap the 18-55 is great. F3.5-5.6 is plenty fast for digital, especially with VR.
     
  11. bms

    bms

    Well, "investment piece" probably means a pro-lens. If think the best lens for you would be the 70-200VR f2.8 if you keep the 18-105. The "band in club" thing means low light and you'd want a f2.8. The lower end of 70 would just be in the right range for portraits (70*1.5=105 "35mm equivalent"). I rented the lens once ad should say it is great and will probably be my next purchase if my wife ever lets me buy another one....
     
  12. The 17-55/2.8 is one of the best lenses available and covers about 80 percent of everything I do. It's pricey though. I also have the Tamron 28-75/2.8 which has really impressed me. What it gives up in the wide end it makes up for in price. That and a used 80-200/2.8 ought to have you covered without spending absurd amounts of money. Rick H.
     
  13. Wow! I can't thank everyone enough for all this wonderful information. It info is exactly what I'm looking for! I'm going to do my research on these and then I'm off to the camera store tomorrow... I do not have to trade any of my other lenses.
    I'm so excited now. Thanks everyone!
     
  14. 2nd what Rick said the 17-55/2.8 would be what I would look at for what you want to shoot. If that is too expensive I would look at the 16-85 which has good reviews. 24-70/2.8 is a nice lens I am sure but it wouldn't be very wide on a D90.
     
  15. I have a D70. I have quite a few lenses, including a bunch of manual nikons. For the past 3 yrs my photography shifted to taking pictures of my son- born 3yrs ago : ) Anyway, I have been using an AF 35/2 the most by far. Light, easy to pack and use. Excellent low light capability so that I can often shoot without flash. Very sharp-definitely possible to crop some and still get an excellent print. Possible to limit depth of field by shooting at f2. The zooms have been languishing in the closet with the film bodies. All the best.
     
  16. I use 17-35mm f/2.8 on D300, which i like, but it's a heavy combo. If i wasn't after max quality, I would want a 17-85mm zoom at f/4, if there was a lens like that. I do enjoy using my 50mm f1/.8 because of its tiny size, it fits the D300 nicely. Not much variety though.
    You should get 17-55mm f/2.8 for max quality, including wideangle.. with 24-85mm you would be losing the wide end from 17-24....... but maybe you don't need that so 24-85mm be the best option. Probably lighter than 17-55 f/2.8 too.
    The 24-70mm f/2.8 is a $1600 recommendation and a heavy one.
    ............however...............
    the above is good for zoom recommendation. if you are specifically looking for portraits, closeups, as in head and shoulders, possibly without your subjects' knowledge, that 105mm would be the lens for pictures like this
    [​IMG]
    the following is also with 105mm
    [​IMG]
    The blurred background comes from telephoto lens (105mm and up) and large aperture (f/2.8 or so). Similar blur could come from 50mm f/1.8 but being a lot closer.
    If you want just pictures of kids playing and including the surroundings, then maybe focal lengths under 70mm is what you want. 50mm to 105mm is a significant change, but from 55mm to 85mm it is not such a drastic change, it's there but if a lens you enjoy stops at 55mm you can crop it to get something similar to 85mm. still that f/2.8 won't help you much with 17-55mm lens for blurring background, it will help in low light, but then you can use flash or higher ISO................... if we're talking about pictures of kids. There are other applications when high aperture is quite important.
     
  17. okkkkkk, i didn't read the initial post very well :)...... it is an all around lens that you want
    24-85mm f/4 for day.... for night and low light you want f/2.8 or faster, like that 50mm f/1.8 should do, and for something wider probably a prime like 35mm f/2......... keeping price to $300 for new
    or 17-55mm f/2.8 for somewhat good low-light, but it's not light to walk around with
    the cheaper lenses which cost under $500 like 16-85 i think... the kit lenses kind, those won't do well for low light, but will do for walking around with and are wallet friendly
    basically for
    1) large range -- like 18-200 -- you sacrifice quality
    2) large aperture -- like 50mm f/1.8 -- you sacrifice zoom, or you gain weight like with 17-55mm
    3) great quality -- you pay more and don't get much zoom range - like 17-55mm, 17-35mm, 24-70mm
    There is also a 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 which is not optimal for low light, but quite a range for daytime, but probably 24-85mm you'd be happier with, they both have a "macro" setting for 50mm and up, but for night-time you probably additionally want another lens......... doesn't the 50mm f/1.8 do? is it too long, or too wide? tripod is a good idea, sometimes you can get 'accidental' shots from 'accidental' blur that look good if it's the subject moving, not your hands
     
  18. Because a lens is cheap, like a 18-something lens, i don't know which lens you have, you typed it in wrong as 18-10, doesn't mean you can't do great photos with it, especially if you don't want to print it big. it must be at least 18-55mm...... so why don't you like it?
    I have 3 lenses that come with me always, 17-35mm, 50mm, 105mm.
    I had just a one lens in the past, 28-105mm, and while the range was good and i never changed lenses, my photos weren't as good as they are now. the wide aperture of 105mm is very nice for portraits.
    How you use the lenses is most important, the ideas you get from having seen pictures you like in the past, and then pursuing the right ideas... and developing a feel of what works and what will happen when. and then getting exposure right, bracketing at times, and on the computer in Photoshop cropping and adjusting. when people are moving and doing things you have to anticipate issues like closing eyes and overlapping, so take more than one picture during times of action.
     
  19. Thanks Robert - I really appreciate all this information/knowledge you have shared with me. (Yes, my mistake - it's an18-105mm kit lens. It's not that I don't like it (the 18-105mm) but I have the chance to get another lens since my husband is buying it for me for Christmas so I thought I would get myself an investment lens -- something I won't grow out of.
    I think I have it narrowed down to these 3:
    17-55mm f2.8
    24-70mm f2.8
    70-200mm f2.8 VR
    But, of course, they all have their ups and downs for what I want to do. I think I really want a longer zoom but the 17-55 is so intriguing. I wonder how much quality I would be sacrificing with the 70-200mm.
    I just notcied the 24-85. I don't remember looking that one up. I'm going to do that now.
    And thank you for posting the photos, Robert. I love them.
    Thank you so much!
     
  20. Maybe a 70-200mm lens then would give you new focal lengths, for something like zoo animals and kids playing, but it's not light, carrying it on a strap on your neck probably wouldn't work, and carrying it in your hand would be heavy too. It's a great lens, just not portable.
    17-55mm would be heavier than your 18-105mm, and I don't know that you'd notice the difference in pictures, but maybe the fun factor would increase. I had a 18-35mm and replaced it with 17-35mm, and i can't demonstrate taking better pictures with it, but in the past 6 months that I had it, it is a comforting thought knowing that i have it instead :).
    [​IMG]
    17mm, ISO-200, 2s f/8 (top and bottom cut out to include only this part, 4:1 ratio)
    Pictures are about light first, imagination, luck..... equipment on some level, but you can take great pictures with mostly technique and low-cost equipment.
    [​IMG]
    (same details as for previous picture)
    There are times when the lens makes a difference, like when shooting into a light source like sun, moon, streetlamps at night.
    Try some lenses in the store, bring your camera, mount the lens on the body, take pictures around the store, to get a feel for it....... and then maybe walk away,sleep on it, come back the next day. Ideally you should rent something for a day or so, especially in cases of expensive lenses $1000 and up, because weight can be an issue. I never rented a lens before buying, I have rented $1600 and $4000 lenses which i wasn't planning on purchasing, but wanted to try [extensively, hours per day].
     
  21. Try the Zoom-Nikkor 12-24. May not be too fast at f/4 but it has a fantastic quality, and will fulfill all your wide-angle needs. Along with the 24-85 that you already have, seems to me that's all you need except long telefoto (for that you should try the Nikkor 180/2.8, it's good and cheap, as long telephoto lenses go).
     
  22. Robert those are excellent pictures, and you forgot one thing in your list - a good eye - and you definitely have that. That is a wonderful expression you caught in the first picture and I also like the third one very much. Did you see the panoramic opportunity before you took the shot or afterwards? (It happens both ways with me...)
    Michelle I only have one of the lenses you are considering, the Nikkor 17-55/f2.8. The IQ from this lens is outstanding and I am very impressed with it. I say this as a Leica M film shooter so my baseline is Leica glass. The 17-55 is heavy but IMHO worth the weight if the focal length suits you.
     
  23. Peter, #3 came from this picture which I knew would work because of 1) the drama and color in the sky, 2) light source on the figure, 3) reflection along the sidewalk
    [​IMG]
    and the panoramic crop thought came afterward, I like this full-frame shot more because it has more blue, more color. The panoramic shots captures a bit of the sky. There are times i take pictures just for the panoramic crop afterwards but that's rare, normally i want the full-frame and the panoramic crop is a supplementary afterthought, i like both but they do have a different feel.
    Tripod is important for low light photos, its importance can be overlooked.
     
  24. I own and like my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. I use it most of the time.
    regards
     
  25. I got a Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 from Santa this year and I love it. It is heavy but that is it's only problem. Another lens I strongly recommend as an all around lens is the 16-85, also a beautiful piece of glass and a good bit cheaper than the 17-55.
    -Owen
     
  26. I think for your use the 80-200 or 70-200 would be ideal. The 80-200 is less money and smaller and lighter and has excellent IQ. The 70-200 is about $500 more but focuses much faster has VR and is optically a little better, but a little heavier.
    Yes you might want a wide angle some times inside but the 70-200, 80-200 could cover most of what you want if the weight is not to much for you.
    Good luck with your choice
     
  27. Get the 18-200 VR. Its brilliant. Its all the lens you will need until you go FX.
     
  28. Thank you everyone! I'm so impressed with this forum and the amount of wonderful advise and opinions! I'm truly grateful! And Robert, those photos are amazing. The colors are stunning.
    Ok...drum roll please... I walked out the the store with my new baby today... the 70-200mm f/2.8!
    I'm so totally excited. And man, I can't say you all didn't warn me about the weight. This thing is huge.
    I tried the 17 - 55mm first and I just wasn't happy. Not any amount of zoom I wanted/need and really I just wasn't that impressed although I was really hoping I would like it because the price is so much less than the other two.
    Then I tried the 24-70 and compared it with the 70-200mm. It took me a good hour to decide which I wanted. They have a 30 day return policy so I'm going to try it out a bit but when I was using it in the store, I was blown away with the images/quality and bokeh. It is heavy... that is the only draw back... it is huge. I will have to get used to this especially since I travel so much but I think I'm ok with that.
    Thank you so much for all your input!
    Yay!
     
  29. Nice :), it's good to have a lens you enjoy. A backpack would be good to carry the lens when not in use. Zoo could be a good place to use that lens, for variety. As are many other places, like focusing on part of a building, or a snowy scene... sometimes even from inside the car [but i would rather walk around to frame the way i want to frame]
    [​IMG]
     
  30. I was wondering about bags now... I think you are right about backpacks!
    You images continue to 'wow' me, Robert. This one sure looks cold. I can feel it now. Being from Minneapolis, this is quiet a normal site for me. Today all of our roads are like ice rinks. Where was this amazing photo taken?
     
  31. I use a normal backpack..... but I am not putting a 70-200mm into it. "Photo backpacks" are padded and with compartments, but they are not cheap. I prefer a fanny pack which carries lenses i am not using and i can reach them quickly while taking pictures. But the camera goes into the normal backpack.
    That picture is from Dec 2006 in Lone Tree, Colorado by Denver. This page in last 2 sections has some more pictures from that snowy day: http://www.robertbody.com/cities/lonetree/lincoln-rd.html

    and New Photos at the top has latest photos
     
  32. I love the photos in your Chicago collection. My 1st attempt with my new lens today.
    [​IMG]
     
  33. very nice... keep the focus point on one eye, maybe even in C continuous focus mode
     
  34. Thank you for the tips! I'm going to try those out tomorrow. I'll take all the help I can get. In the meantime, I'm having a nice time looking through your galleries!
     

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