Lenses for the D600

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by andrea_magugliani, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone, the D600 isn't probably the Nikon messiah we were all waiting for but still, from the specs I believe it will be a significant
    upgrade from my beloved D300 that with 100k shots is close to the end. From my point of view I would have prefered to pay slightly more
    and have the 51 AF points (no I don't want the D800) that I will certainly miss from the D300.. Anyway, I kit my D300 with a 16-85, 70-300
    VR, 50mm 1.4 and 85 1.8. I shoot mainly street, landscape and sometimes portraits, when I travel to Asia. Now, upgrading from DX to FX I need to
    replace my 16-85 with a midrange zoom.
    Probably the best buy for me would be the 24-70 2.8 but it is too pricy. Researching on the net I found that third party 24/28-70 aren't so
    reliable, the only one that intrigues me is the Tokina 28-70 2.8 second hand for 300 USD to pair with the Tokina 16-28 2.8 to buy new for
    739 USD. My budget is around 1000. The Nikon 28-300 doesnt inspire me much, same as the 24-85 that kits with the D600.
    Which lenses would you choose if you were going to buy the D600? Any though and recommendation appreciated.
  2. Hi Andrea,
    If you want to stand a chance of maximising the image quality from a D600 I am afraid cutting corners on lenses won't be the way - but I am sure you know that. If you must have a mid-range zoom then the Nikon 24-70mm is the way to go. I always found it more useful to have a wide-zoom (in those days a 17-35mm) and have a 50mm prime tucked away too but of course your requirements aren't mine. Whilst I am 100% a prime user now sometimes I think it would be nice to carry about the current 16-35mm F4 and save a bit of weight and messing about.

    It is an expensive mistake to settle on second best only to be unhappy with what you have bought and have to do it again. Just get it it of the way in one go even if you have to wait a bit. My tip is is to look at your best shots and establish what focal length they are - you'll probably find it falls within a narrow range and for most people it is wider that you might think (for me it is 24mm-35mm).

    Don't think that a couple of zooms going from 24mm to 300mm are going to work beatifully on a D600. They will work but it won't always be beautiful as it will show them up badly. I have a Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar that is an outstanding lens but wide open I see problems on my D800E that I never saw with my D700. A D600 will be similarly punishing believe me. My advice is to narrow down what you really use and spend your money on that rather than going for the whole range of focal lengths as you will end up with ugly compromises all over the place.

    Imbocca il lupo.
  3. Quite looking for the same (*), replacing that 16-85VR isn't half as easy as it seems! The natural candidate is the 24-120 f/4 VR, but it's a bit expensive (if your budget is a €1000, it will fit, but then no money left for a dedicated wide angle). The "kitlens" 24-85VR looks really sweet, from reviews it looks to be a really solid performer, and it will leave you cash for a wide angle option too.
    Myself, I'm probably going for the 24-120 f/4VR in the end, because I want the 77mm filters and the flexibility of a bit more reach. If not for those two niggles, the 24-85VR would have been an easy choice.
    While James is right that the D600 will show lens errors, it will not be worse than a D300, which has a similar pixel density as the D600. And many of those lens errors will show at pixel-level, while the overall image looks really OK. So I would not be too afraid, the 24-70 f/2.8 is not the only way to go and 'compromising' on price/performance is really a normal sane thing to do.
    (*) Maybe food for thought for the camera choice... I much prefer the handling and size of the D300 over the D7000, so some time ago, when rumours persisted on a D7000-style body FX, I went for a new D700 instead. I do not really need more than 12MP, and the D700 just matched my wants better. You might still find the D700 brand new, and hence have FX and the 51-pts. AF too - if you're OK with the resolution.
  4. I'd try to find a 24-70 2.8 used...there is just no comparison. I also own the 24-85 2.8D and while it is fine on my D800, the 24-70 blows it away...and I imagine the results would be similar on a D600...I just replaced a 35mm 2.0 D with a 35 1.4 afs...It was a great example of the "poor man always pays twice"...sad, but true. When you buy the best, you will never sell it and it will last a lifetime. You won't be disappointed.
  5. Andrea, the other option is to go for the Tamron 24-70 mm f/2.8 VC which has been rated to be a very good lens in compare to the Nikon and the price is much less than the other.
  6. The new VR AF-S 24-85 is a quite decent performer and should be ideally fit as a standard zoom on D600 size cameras. Corner sharpness is not as good as with the 24-70, but there is always a tradeoff when going for very light weight in a zoom. It would be my choice for a travel zoom. I think the new 24-85 presents good value, along with the 28/1.8, 50/1.8, and 85/1.8 AF-S trio. All these lenses should balance well on the D600 and especially the primes produce very good image quality, just slightly short of the performance of the f/1.4 versions (however at a much reduced cost).
    The VR 70-300 is an ok consumer telezoom and while the higher resolution of the D600 (compared to 12MP FX or DX) improves the image quality noticeably it is still not close to the performance potential of the camera. I would recommend getting the 70-200/2.8 Mk II if you can afford it. The 70-300 of course would work ok as a travel zoom within its limitations, although I find it quite soft at 300mm and the small aperture limiting. For 300mm range, the 300/4 AF-S is hard to beat in quality without going to the 5k€+ glass. But putting your existing 70-300 on the D600 will get more out of it than using it on low resolution cameras.
  7. For a small budget Tamron 28-75/2.8 is a decent performer. Its build quality is not close to Nikon f/2.8 zooms but optically the lens is really good. What I like apart the IQ is the size... I kept this lens while I choose to sell Nikon 24-70/2.8 because that was too bulky for my taste. When I need top-notch quality I use fast primes but for a general use Tammy is the right tool.
  8. The new 24-85G-VR and 70-300G-VR combination bring you a whole lot of versatility. Add a macro and a couple fast primes that suit your particular style and you pretty well have it all covered.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If you don't need f2.8, the 24-85mm/f3.5-4.5 AF-S VR is quite good; I have checked that on the D800E. However, if you can afford a $2100 D600, hopefully you can also afford some really good lenses. If you have the budget for the camera body but not lenses, maybe you want to reconsider your priorities. IMO there shouldn't be any rush to move into FX until you have at least a few important lenses ready.
  10. Thanks everyone for the inputs. It seems that the 24-70 Nikon can be found second hand for around 1500/1600 in US.
    The question to Shun is, as you own both the D7000 and a FF, is better a FF with let's say the kit 24-85 or a D7000 with
    the 24-70. My case is that my D300 is literally finished and I need to buy a new one. The 85 guarantees me good portraits
    and I love it, the 70-300 can be sacrificed, same as the 50mm 1.4 (IMO not very exciting focal length at least on DX).
    I tried the Tokina 16-28 this morning at the shop with a D800 and it looks very interesting. Anyone has it and can confirm
    my first impression?
  11. Nikon typically does not sacrifice IQ with their consumer lenses, they just don't have the fast aperture and may not focus as quickly as their pro glass.
  12. Hi Andrea. I just wanted to add that photozone.de do all their FX-format lens tests on a D3x, which has the same resolution as the D600. Therefore their reports on how lenses perform should be a very good indicator of whether they're suitable for D600 use (including the sample images). Good luck with whatever you choose (normal zooms aren't my area of expertise, so I can't really advise otherwise!)
  13. I checked the Tamron 24-70, it looks good but for 1300 I'd rather look for a second hand Nikon 24-70.
  14. If you like the 16-85 lens, the newest version of the 24-85 is at least as good. Don't let the fact that it's available as
    the kit lens throw you off - we're not talking about something like the 18-55 lens here.
  15. I guess each newer camera that comes out is basically an update from a previous model so don't ever expect a completely NEW model, just an updated or refined model.
    I own a D300 too and just bought a D600 and even after just a couple of shoots and not knowing what to expect, I'd say without a doubt that the D600 is quite a good camera. I used some of the settings I though might apply to the D300 and applied them to the 600 and they seem ok, but studying the resultant images I can say the quality of the shots is noticably better. When you magnify images the quality just stays there a lot longer, even when the images are set at about the same size as the D300's. How can I put it? The D600's usage of pixels seems better than the D300, maybe more accurate. Of course this will differ from lens to lens and session to session but it was definitely noticable at first glimpse. I bought a 24-120mm lens for mine and although it was not my overall first choice, mainly because they didn't have the one I did want (24-70mm), I was pleasantly surprised to see just what the 24-120 could do for me. I also have a 70-300mm lens tucked away that I used on the D300 with some reasonably good results. I was going to try it out yesterday but in my eagerness to get out the door and click away, I simply forgot it, so it remains to be seen as to how good it can perform. Here's hoping...
    The D300 is a great camera and I will NEVER regret the day I bought it, some 4 years ago, as it has given me no end of experience on a higher level than I had ever been used to, even over the D80 I had at the same time. It just performed virtually flawlessly and made some hard shots easy and I will always think of the D300 as the camera that opened my eyes in the world of DSLR's. I doubt that I could have gambled on a better camera to get me up and running in a higher level of digital photography,, but the D600 is defintely in another class. Full frame sensor alone is worth the update to... At one time I did entertain thoughts of a D800 but reading between the lines, it may well be far too much camera for me, and 36MP, well I could never take full advantage of that in a month of Sundays. It may well be a fact that the D600 turns out to be the more user friendly of the two overall, as on a few reviews/previews it appears that the D600 is but a whisker behind in some departments and ever a whisker ahead in others than the D800,, the major difference being 36 vs 24MP,, but I don't own a D800 so I can't make too many comments without that experience.
    If you or any others are "thinking" of getting a D600 and you are the current owner of a D300 or even some later cameras, I certainly couldn't say "Naaa it's not worth it", because I don't think that's true at all... I am just one owner though and no pro at the art of cameras or photography. I just appreciate good results and the 600 looks like it may well pay off...
    It appears that like many other top shelf Nikons and no doubts Canon's and all the others,, you pay lots of dollars for a good camera but that's only the beginning. The glass you put infront of the camera is the expensive and the "telling" part of the equation.. I'm going to start saving for more glass...
  16. If you want Nikon glass, but don't want to spring for one of the newer & pricier (even used) f2.8 lenses, how about the older 20-35/2.8 and 35-70/2.8? And maybe you don't even need the middle range zoom.
  17. I finally had the opportunity to try out my D600 this weekend. I purchased the 24-120 f/4 to accompany it, and I came away disappointed. At the pixel level, the images looked soft. By comparison, all of my old AI and AI-S lenses (20f2.8, 24f2.8, 28Ef2.8, 35f2, 50f1.8, 55f2.8, and 75-150Ef3.5) were noticeably sharper.
    Am I asking too much of the 24-120, with its 5X zoom range? Should I return it in favor of another choice? The range is great, the VR extremely convenient, but the image quality does not do the D600 justice.
  18. I am thinking of upgrading to the D600, and get the 24-120 for my mid-rage zoom, however, I don't see any good reports on that lens.
    Someone else have any experience with Nikon's 24-120 ?
  19. I tried it in a shop and I wasn't impressed. I think the kit 24-85 is very close in performance to the 24-120 for half of the
  20. It seems ironic that the more expensive glass gets so many mediocre reports and that the more money one spends on glass the need for corrective photo software becomes more critical. I guess that is the trade off for improved image quality.
    The 16-85 was the lens that was on my D7000 the most, but as of yesterday my D7000 and my dx lenses were sold.
    Maybe, if I go ahead with buying the D600, I will get the 16-35 for starters, as I used the wide end the most. The 16-85 and the 55-200 covered 90% of my usage. ( Yes, the 55-200 gave very good results for the price of that lens )
    I kept my 50mm1.4 and my 70-300, the latter one being so so. Still wish that there was a great 16-85 FX lens.

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