Lens recommendation

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by victoria_pavlov, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Hello All,
    I need a help, what lens can you recommend for low / or no light (December outside Light festival) photo shot? I need the lens that will work with Nikon D90.
    Thank you in advance!
  2. Budget? Do you know what length you want?
    I use a 50mm f1.8 and 35mm f1.8 on that camera and they work very well. The first is 120 bucks or so, and the second is 200. If you want longer, but still fast, you'll pay for it, for sure.
  3. A Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 would probably do it. You can shoot at ISO 1600 on the D90.
    Kent in SD
  4. My budget is : maximum 1000.
    The festival will take a place in December( around 7PM)..outside on the street…long processing with light…I can’t afford a mistake there…
  5. I'll second the 17-50 Tamron. I have one on a D300 and it works quite well.
  6. Tamron 17-50 will it work with night shot? I heard a lot of good things about this lens…but this lens is not VR..it is ok?
    Thank you!
  7. There is a VC version of the Tamron 17-50. VC is Tamron for VR.
  8. I heard a lot of good things about this lens…but this lens is not VR..it is ok?​
    There is a VR version if f2.8 is bright enough.
  9. Thank you guys for your help! I think this lens will work good enough with the night shot.
    Thanks a lot for the link!
  10. 1000 what? USD or Euro. A 1000 Euro will buy you a very good used Nikon 17-55. That would be my choice over the Tamron. Or a 35mm 1.8 AFS. Light, portable and fast. Cheap too.
  11. I have the Tamron 17-50 VC and use it for events all the time. I also suggest ISO 1600. Does a very good job.
  12. $1000..sorry I forgot to mention it…
    I have Nikkor 35 mm that I use at evening..but it will be dark night and I too many people depend on this shot..
  13. Victoria, where will the festival take place? In Russia? Then you would be better off making sure if the VR (or VC or whatever) works properly under very low temperture. You may be more successful with a lens without VR (meaning simpler mechanical design) and a tripod.
  14. Low light = primes. Go with a 50mm f1.4, either Nikon or Sigma. f1.4 is a whole 2 stops faster than f2.8, that is it's letting in 4x as much light. That's a LOT.
  15. No, not in a Russia. I am from USA, state CT.
  16. Steve, I will take a look at those lenses right away..
  17. CT is located almost at the northern end of the U.S. How far the temperature goes down in the winter at night (Fahrenheit or Celsius)?
  18. In December the temperature could be around between 29- 18 by Fahrenheit...
  19. 18F might be tricky. Under circumstances, it could go even lower, right? Then you may want to take some back up lenses without VR. Steve's suggestion is worth bearing in mind, too.
  20. Victoria,
    I have Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC but for really low light I'm not trusting it. That's why I second the advice to go for a f1.4 prime.
    For a street event in the night on a crop camera I'll prefer something wider than 50mm. The only option available is Sigma 30mm f1.4. I do not have it but I've heard lots of praises from people who use it. For 50mm I use Sigma 50mm f1.4 and is really stellar when shooting people.
    Good luck!
  21. Victoria, if it is not too far, go to the site where the festival is held, at the worst possible hour for light, and get a careful reading (actually several readings) at f/4 and ISO 1600 with any of the lenses you already have.. Let us know the results. Sometimes f/2.8 is not enough. If it is an action-type festival, the VR/VC will help keep the lens still, but not the subjects. The temps should not be a problem.
  22. Good point Mihai, sorry I forgot it was a crop body, I use the 50mm on a D3. You're right, the 30mm 1.4 should be a good equivalent.
    Thing about 50mm f1.4s have always been that they are (relatively) cheap, small and optically excellent - what more could you want?
  23. Guys, I will do following… today close to 8-9 PM ( it’s already dark at that time) I will go to the place where the parade will take place and take shots with all lenses I have..after that, I will upload those photos and you will see …
  24. Any lens good with...- ,talk focal no more than 100mm even f=8.0 is very good option on dim.lens not greater than 58mm(filter).Thank you for concideration,Victoria Pavlov.
  25. THANK you ALL for your help!!!!!
  26. Victoria, I agree with Steve.....fast primes are the only way to go. I find it amazing the people who rattle on about high ISO performance, then stick a zoom (which are slow at best) on the front of their camera. Rather than shoot at ISO3200 with a "professional" zoom, shoot at ISO800 with a cheap little prime. Something that gives you similar to a 35mm on a full frame would be a good start.
  27. That'd be the Nikon 24mm f1.4 then Ty - hope Victoria's got a healthy bank balance! Almost be cheaper to buy a D700 and a Sigma 30mm f1.4! You'd then get an extra 2 stops of useable ISO performance too.
  28. 35mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8.
  29. Ty--
    I'm mainly a night photographer in winter. I routinely shoot my D300 with f2.8 zooms, generally ISO 1600. There are tradeoffs with single focal lenses for this project. First, changing lenses. It might be snowing or sleeting. A basic zoom like a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC would be very quick to use. The other problem with single focal lenses is that yes they can do f1.4, but the DoF is very limited. Sometimes f1.4 is the only way to go though, and for that I use a Sigma 30mm f1.4. I'm not aware of anything that's wider and as fast that's really very sharp, exception being Nikon 24mm f1.4G of course. It's all going to depend on how much light is at the parade. It's wise to go check it out and get some meter readings. You'll want at least 1/125 shutter speed I would think. A 1/250s would be about perfect, but I'm betting that you'd have trouble hitting that even shooting ISO 1600 and using an f1.4 lens in many places. The main thing you are after is SHUTTER SPEED. A Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC and a Sigma 30mm f1.4 would be a good combo. Although I'm not crazy about this lens, adding a cheap 50mm f1.8 would not be a bad idea either.
    As for using lenses at +18F, crying out loud. That's not cold at all. Barely even "chilly." In winter I routinely shoot in below zero (F) temps and have yet to have ANY problems with lenses at all. Just be careful to not breathe on them. In fact, last winter I was out for hours when it was colder than 30F below zero and had no lens issues. Coldest I've been out in with Nikon gear was 42 below zero; lenses did great! One thing I'll add though is it would be wise for Victoria to take at least two extra batteries. While I doubt she'll need them, having two fully charged batteries in an inner pocket keeping warm is something I would not be without during any important shoot. So my advice is to get two extra batteries now, go out and see what ISO and f-stop you're going to need at that location to give you a 1/125 to 1/250s shutter speed. If you have no lens right now that's very fast, just take a few shots with what you have with ISO 1600 and then use Law of Reciprocity to calculate what f-stop you're going to need to hit 1/125s or faster.
    A thought just occured to me since I don't think you said. Is this festival a parade where you are shooting moving subjects? That's what I'm assuming here. Or, are these static subjects, such as houses all lit up? If static, you can simply use a tripod and any lens should work. A fast lens would be good for people shots, and I'm thinking an f2.8 would be enough if the people are lit fairly well by the Christmas lights. If you are photo'ing people standing fairly still and also trying to photo lit up houses/etc. in the background, you could use a decent flash and select "slow sync" on your camera. That's the way I would go. Would probably have to add a CTO gel on the flash since Christmas bulbs are still mostly tungstun balance. I've did this sort of thing last winter, photo'ing moving freight trains in the background with a lit up Christmas tree in the foreground. Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 lens, two monolights with CTO gels. Worked like a charm.

    Kent in SD
  30. If you have a budget of $1000 how about selling the D90, and picking up a used D700? That would make a great improvement to your low light abilities combined with a fast prime.
  31. As many have suggested I would go with a prime, maybe Sigma 30mm 1.4.
    And extra batteries are never a bad idea. Depending on the focal length and subject, a good small tripod is irreplaceable.
    But adding another thing to the list, I also have a D90 and it can have trouble focusing in the dark especially with such a thin DOF. There is only one cross AF sensor in the center and the rest is not super reliable when it gets dark. The helplight can 'help' but is often not what you want. An SB-600 flash or so can also help with focusing with the AF-help light (red light pattern, less annoying than the white lightbeam in the camera itself. Even if you don't use the flash.
    Using a D300s would improve the AF accuracy and it should also be more robust for low temperatures. What does help is that the noise will go down on low temperatures, so maybe you can go 'higher' than normal.
  32. If you have a budget of $1000 how about selling the D90, and picking up a used D700? That would make a great improvement to your low light abilities combined with a fast prime.​
    Andrew, that is WAY over his budget. There's no way you can sell a D90 and buy a D700 + a fast prime and only spend 1000.
  33. peter, I think Victoria is a she, but I agree about the budget. although a D700 would be great. Maybe Andrew can give us all pointers where to buy one that cheap.
  34. Hello,
    Kent, it will be moving objects..people we walk along with on the street and final destination will be a plaza that you can see on the image I posted.. Yes, definitely I will take at least 3 extra batteries with me..
    Andrew, no one is buying D90 for the price that I need to spend on D700.. :( I will be more than happy to do that…
    Yesterday I took a few shot with following lenses: Nikkor 35 mm and Nikkor 70-300 mm ( I have also Nikkor 18-35mm and Tamron 18-200mm..but those lenses were in my office and I was not able to use them).
  35. Victoria--
    What shutter speed was used for the photo you took above? That's the whole thing--the shutter speed. You need at least 1/125s.
    Kent in SD
  36. Kent,
    the shutter speed was 1/160s... I know this is not enough but this is what I was able to get…. I will try again today..what is your recommendation?
  37. Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-S + a decent light meter. Even if you buy the lens new at full MSRP and a new small light meter (Sekonic L208 or Gossen Digisix), you are still $150 under budget.
  38. having used both a 17-50 and a 30/1.4, i would get the 17-50 first. it's very sharp at 2.8, whereas the 1.4 has extremely narrow DoF wide-open and needs to be stopped down for best sharpness. a fast prime is not the only way to go, but it's nice to have when there's no other option to capture the shot.
  39. Victoria, quite franklly, there are better tools for the job than a Nikon SLR for night/low light shooting, and if this is a common thing for you to photograph, you may want to investigate other camera/lens combo's. If it is a once off, then I would suggest simply hiring the lens. But it sounds as though the object you are shooting will be a moderate distance from your position, which means that shooting at f.1.4 is not a big issue re. d.o.f. With a 35mm lens, you're getting the fov of a 50mm on a 135 format camera, but with the beneift of the fov of a 35mm lens.
  40. I'd suggest
    1) A tripod plus getting a cable release.
    2) if there are too many people / crowds to shoot with one, then at least a monopod
    Either will work great with any 2.8 / 1.8 lens. :)
    Seriously, I'd try to get a stable platform first. Only if that truly isn't possible would I try to solve the problem with a lens & high ISO only.
  41. i just love some of the suggestions here: a d700; a d300s; a tripod. (rolls eyes)

    i do a lot of paid festival/PJ/concert work in low-light situations and i can't imagine lugging a tripod through a moving crowd and trying to get usable shots with a kit lens. also, with a budget of $1000, a d300 or d700 is out, but the OP can get both a 17-50 tamron AND a sigma 30/1.4, or a nikon 35/1.8 and an sb-600. with a d90, i wouldn't hesitate to shoot at ISO 1600 or even 3200 with post-processing.
    seriously, victoria, you dont want to shoot a festival with just a prime if you can help it. also, IMO, the sigma 30 isnt all that sharp at 1.4 unless you are fairly close to your subject, in which case the DoF might be too narrow, whereas a 17-50 will be as sharp as a sigma 30 at 2.8. FWIW, the d90 is just as good at low-light or better as a d300, and the 51-pt AF isnt going to be that much better in really really low light, where you're better off using a flash, which has IR-assist. even with 1.4, if you have to shoot people at 1/25 or lower, you might get motion blur, thus necessitating the use of a flash.
  42. Guys,
    THANKS A LOT!!!! You are awesome!
    I don’t’ think I can use tripod because I will move with people. I took a few shots right now ( I am in a car now ) and I think I got some not too bad shots. I will upload it tomorrow morning, and please let me know what do you think about it!!!!!!
    About SB600: do you think is it a good idea to use it outside ( some people saying that it’s a VERY bad idea to use flash outside because it work max 3 feet)?
    Again, thank you so much,
  43. victoria, yes, the sb-600 can be used outdoors--you just can't bounce if there are no ceilings. also, who told you its maximum range is 3 ft? according to nikon, its range is 20meters
    you can get a more powerful flash like the sb-900 if you need more oomph, but a 600 should be sufficient.
  44. Eric, thanks a lot! I used to take outdoor shots with SB600 till that person said that…
    I like your image a lot!
    I took a few shots yesterday ( please see the attached image). Guys what do you think about it and where is my mistake?
  45. Victoria, you might want to think about a manual white balance, the colour balance is very variable on those shots. Other than that they look OK, quite high ISOs for that camera but it depends what you want to do with them. On a computer they'll be more than adequate but if you're doing a 2 page spread in a magazine they may turn out too noisy. On a D300 type camera I'd only go as high as 1600 at the very most, but that's just me.
  46. Steve, thank you so much!! I will try to work with white balance.
  47. i suggest nikkor 18-200 VR or a nikkor 35 1.8 it works like a 50mm. The 50 is normally what i need in my Leica M6 and my D700. Don't use Vr on long exposer shots. if the D90 is good at ISO 1600 you don't need neither the vr nor a tripod, believe me... i don't with the D700. with the Dx sensor go for the 18-200 it's a bit soft but you won't miss a shot.
  48. I would recommend a tripod with a cable release.
    And a good sense of composition.
  49. I will try everything you said. Thank you so much for your help!!!!!!!!
  50. Just a side note (ie, other than go with the Tamron 17-50 and the wonderful 85/1.8 plus your flash and you're golden; even without the 85 you're pretty good; and people who trash talk the Nikon 50/1.8 don't know nothin') -- as a long time metro area resident, including westchester, plus much winter time in Massachusetts, I can testify that there's almost as much chance of my winning the Lottery as there is of temperatures going below -3C or 25F in Connecticut in December. January, February, during colder snaps, sure, maybe ten or fifteen days total all winter; December: not likely.
    Of course, a Leica M7 with a couple of Summiluxes (f1.4 ASPH) would be nice (75 and 35, I'm thinking...). Or an M9 if you just gotta have digital. Whole package only $16,000 or $17,000 with the M9, $3K less with an M7...
    Finally, I have just acquired (yay) a D300 and already I can tell you that the 51 point auto focus would drive you insane in those conditions (dark. lots of movement). So your camera is perfectly adequate for this job. If you already have the flash just go get the Tamron and practice. If you're feeling insecure at the end bring a 50/1.4 with you. The Nikon AF-S I guess is the best one in your price range.
  51. Vince, thanks a lot!:)

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