Lenses for Nikon D300

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by amengual, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. I had decided to buy the D200 last July but before I placed my order the
    announcement came out about the D300. I decided to wait and I just placed an
    order with Ritz camera for the D300 last night.

    Last July I received great advice on this forum and I had decided to buy a
    Nikon D200 with 2 lenses to get me started, the Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF and the
    Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED IF AF-S DX. I figured I can get back on the saddle
    again after a long layoff of using SLRs. After a while I can get the Nikon 70-
    200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom.

    Should I reconsider my lenses or should they still be a good start-up set for
    my D300? I wanted the 50mm for low light indoor shots. I think the 18-70mm
    should cover most of my other situations (portraits, city and nature shots).
    Any new lenses I should check out?

  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Whatever lenses you decided for the D200 should be just fine for the D300. Those two camera are quite similar, although the D300 is the improved version.

    Whatever lenses you might get, I suggest you buy them one at a time. Use it for a little while and see what you are missing, before you get another one.
  3. I recently purchased the 18-70mm new and found it to have vignetting at all focal lengths and from wide open to f8. I purchased it to use on my D200. I was very disapointed and sent it back to BHPhoto and they exchanged it for the 28-105 f3.5-4.5D lens with the appropriate refund. I plan on staying with the full frame type lenses in the future as they are also very useful on my film bodies. Besides I plan on a large sensor camera one of these days. Probably not the D3 but rather something down the road depending on what Nikon brings out. It's the 5 year plan.
  4. Hector, if those were the lenses you liked with the D200, I am sure you will love them with the D300.

    As for new lenses, yeah there are some but they are much more expensive that the 18-70mm you like. The 18-70 is a good place to begin. You will know soon enough if you need something wider/longer.

    Enjoy your new camera.
  5. The 18-70mm lens is a great value for its price. I thought it vignetted too, but I found out that I had not locked the lens hood on properly. You need to turn it so it locks itself in place. I use it most of the time on my d 200 when I do not have a 500mm on it. Joe Smith
  6. That would seem a logical explanation why some people are having vignetting with the lens and others do not. Until now I was just thinking that maybe some people just do not notice the vignetting as being part of the image. It did seem to have excellent sharpness and contrast from my brief exposure to it.
  7. I've been using the 18-70 fow a couple of months now and I haven't seen any relevant vignetting unless wide open. I don0t use any filters or hood.
  8. I use the 18-70 every day and have published hundreds of pictures taken with it. It is sharp and I don;t notice any vignetting. You need at least 18 wide anyway.

    Just out of curiousity. Why the 50 f1.4? It is a fine lens but do you really need it? Are you planning to shoot in extremely low light or use it for a portrait lens? For the price of these two lenses you could be really close to an 18-200 vr which is a very convenient lens. And you will need some more length one day.
  9. What's your budget Hector? If you can afford it, the 17-55mm 2.8 is quite a nice lens and would complement the D300 very well. And with the 70-200mm 2.8 in your bag, there's not much else you'd need accept a second job!
  10. I agree with Matt. The D300 goes to ISO 3200 nativly (so to speak). The 17-55 is a fine lens.
    If you can swing it that would be my recommendation. That way you won't have to worry
    about upgrading to a better lens later. Once and done!

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  11. A lot of folks argued with me about this very topic on the Canon forum. But here's my $.02

    A good optic is a good optic and never becomes obsolete. Why do you think Nikon allows for AI lenses on the newer digital bodies?
    It is the bodies and their features that change more often..so...buy the best glass you can afford and even stretch to afford. you will change it out less frequently than you will the bodies.

    Nikon makes super lenses. The 85 1.4 and the 70-200 2.8 will alsways be killer lenses no matter what camera you put them on. So whether you get a D3, D300, D200, or a Fuji, it is a good idea to get superior glass and build your tool kit. I found over the past 30+ years of shooting that a photographer can shoot with anything but can easily be dissatisfied with results obtained by buying gear "just to save money". This is an expensive field of artistry and as such requires good judgement when purchasing equipment. When you look for a lens to do a job, get the best you can, before you end up buying several until you find one that actually delivers your desired results. That, to me, is more cost efficient than starting out as cheap as possible.

    I used to do weddings with a Hasselblad. When I wanted to explore digital I didn't have $8000 for the top of the line camera. Even my Blad didn't cost that much money! So I started my humble digital beginnings with the Canon digital Rebel and a 50mm 1.8 lens.
    I sold a Leica to buy that kit! The Rebel is now a really nice camera...for my 9-year-old. I realized I wasn't looking solely at getting the job done, but at how much it would cost me. Needless to say I stayed with film until I could buy the proper digital tools (20D and then 5D).

    Long story - easy concept. Buy great lenses. Do it once like Douglas said above and you will always have great lenses.

    BTW, my next camera is either a D300 or a D3. :)

  12. I agreed with Lou.Real investment is in high quolity lenses, because bodies will be "consumables" like perosnal computers.
  13. a DX lens is a DX lens, D200/D300 make no difference.. ;)
  14. I'd take D80 + 17-55mm combination over D300 + 18-70mm any time of the day.

    If you have (and don't mind to spend) extra money to get all the nice gears, by all means get the D300. But if you are budget limited, I'd seriously consider getting lesser DSLR but better lens instead.

    I am currently using my D80 and 85mm 1.4 Ais most of the time. I know it's an old lens and won't meter - but the picture quality - oh boy. A great lens stays forever.
  15. For different reasons (probably none really good) I haven't used an SLR for a long time. While I could afford the more expensive lenses, if I was sure of what I wanted, I want to keep the lenses reasonable until I re-learn what I'm doing. I had looked at the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR before that Lee recommends. I expect to take a lot of indoor shots in low light I thought that getting the Nikon 50mm f/1.4D would be better for that. Also, I thought I read somewhere that the 18-200mm was not as well made as the 2 lenses I selected. I know I?m initially giving up some length for better low light performance but once I feel like I need more length I can buy the 70-200mm lens. I only bought the D300 body from Ritz on purpose to give me time to reconsider my lens choices. I expect the camera in mid December. Merry Christmas to me!
  16. Hello Hector,

    Congrats on your purchase!

    Lens choice is very subjective. It depends a lot on what you like. Albert uses his 85 F1.4 a lot but I wont know what to do with one. I just don't like that Focal length!

    Shun's suggestion is probably the best idea. Buy one lens at a time and work out what you feel is missing and get the next lens accordingly. The 18-70 is a great little lens to start with.

    With the nice Higher ISO performance of the D300 and the F3.5(only half a stop darker than the 17-55 F2.8) at the 18 mm end of the 18-70 that should sufficient for most indoor lowlight shots. If it isn't good enough then you will have used the lens enough to know which of the "bright" lenses you want in terms of Focal length eg 30mm, 50mm or 85mm.
  17. I have the 18-70 on a D200 and think a great lens. Its a bit slow but with the D300 you may be OK. I also like lens speed and have some faster primes, 28 f2, 50 f1.4 and 85 f1.8. I think you would do well to get the 18-70 and use it until you know what focal lengths you really want in a faster lens. The 17-55 faster but bigger and heavier plus $$$. You might want to use http://www.naturfotograf.com/ as a guide for researching possible purchases.
  18. Hector, as you probably know, there is a difference not just in speed/optics, but also in weight and feel when you compare the 18 - 70mm (the lens that came with my D70 a few years ago, and which I like very much) to a pro-level lens like the 17 - 55 f/2.8.

    If there's a chance for you to do it, I'd suggest you mount both zooms on a camera before deciding. Keep in mind also that the advance publicity suggests that the D300 will outperform the D200 at high iso, so that the max aperture alone -- important to d.o.f. in any case -- may be less of a critical factor if you're just worried about getting usable shutter speeds in available light.

    Also, while the 50mm f/1.4 is a fine lens, so is the 50mm f/1.8, at just over 1/3 the price. If you know you'll need f/1.4 then get it. But you want a fast, sharp 50mm, the f/1.8 is no slouch. I use it a great deal and regard it as a high quality 'bargain' in modern optics at just over $100, new in box w/ warranty.
  19. After reading all your comments, and the post from Simon Hickie comparing the 18-70mm and the 18-200mm, I think I'm going to start with the 18-200mm. I'll just do a quick test indoors with low light and decide if I also want to buy the 50mm f/1.8. Sounds like those lenses would work great with my D300. Thanks to all for taking the time to share your expertise!!
  20. The amount of barrel distortion at 18mm on the 18-200mm is pretty high, rated at 4.1% by photozone.de. The 18-70mm is rated at 3.5%, lower but still significant. I shoot quite a bit at 18mm so this caused me to lean toward the 18-70mm quite a lot. If you don't shoot buildings much or other square things, you most likely won't notice this problem.

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