Need a All-around Nikon Lense with a FUTURE

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ali_torkzadeh, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. I capitalize the word FUTURE, because that's the point of my post. When I bought my D70 a few years back, the 18-70mm AF-S DX 3.5-4.5 ED zoom that came with it spoiled me. Up to then I hauled around a bunch of fixed-focal lenses. With the zoom I travelled lighter and shot faster. I am still using it as my main lens on my D80.
    But this plastic thing is NOT razor sharp -- not as sharp as fix focal length lenses I accumulated 30 years ago.
    I read good reviews on the 18-200 VR and went to Best Buy to buy it only to realize it is DX.To me that's a lens without a future because my hope is to eventually purchase full-frame digital SLR.
    So what's your recommendation for a zoom that is not DX, that provides wide-angle and moderate zoom (I already have a 80-200 2.8 for higher focal lenght) and is SHARPER than what I got.
    I've read posts of people saying there are zooms out there today as sharp as any fixed-focus, a statement that would've been laughed at 30 years ago when I was a full-time photographer.
    Is that really true? Is there a Nikon zoom out there that can match fixed-focus?
    I do use a lot of natural light so I prefer bigger aperture but sharpness if higher priority.
    Thanks for your help.
    Ali
     
  2. 24-70/2.8
     
  3. Maybe you should give us an indication on how much you're willing to spend. If budget is not an issue I completely second Rick's comment of the 24-70 f/2.8
    Lil :)
     
  4. 24-70 f2.8.... But it is also a "plastic thing" like your 18-70.
     
  5. Every lens will be replaced sooner or later.
     
  6. I would agree with all the above. If you can afford it, I would go for the 24-70 2.8. It seems just about every lens gets replaced sooner or later. I would imagine since the 24-70 is fairly new it will be around for quite a while. It won't be as wide as your 18-70, but will be perfect once to upgrade to a FX sensor.
     
  7. "It won't be as wide as your 18-70, but will be perfect once to upgrade to a FX sensor."
    I disagree with the statement above. An 18mm on DX is equivalent to 27mm on FX.
    Anyhow the lens of choice here is a 24-70.
     
  8. I asked a similar question about buying for the future, and most of the comments back were that you should buy for what you need now, since what's to come is still unsure. To that I think that a 24mm-xx is not wide enough (for me) on a dx sensor- so buy a used one to use now and when you buy a full frame, sell it and buy an appropriate lens at that time. Ijust bought a used Sigma 18-50 2.8 ( would have got the Nikon version but Wife said No!). Here's the thread http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00TYzk
     
  9. "It won't be as wide as your 18-70, but will be perfect once to upgrade to a FX sensor."
    I disagree with the statement above. An 18mm on DX is equivalent to 27mm on FX.​
    curt, how's your math doing today? 24mm on DX-which is what OP has now--is 36mm film equiv.
    to the OP. 24-70 is the most "future-proof" lens in nikon's current lineup since its the newest, bestest, most costliest zoom. of course, you could also get the new 50/1.4 AF-S, which should also serve you well on both FX and DX.
     
  10. TRUE wide angle on DX that will work on FX?
    Only the 17-35, the 18-35, and the 14-24 (poor choice for DX).
    True zoom that can match the best primes? very rare indeed.
    The sharpest lens you can use? A good sturdy tripod.
     
  11. The best all-around Nikon zoom is the 24-70 f/2.8G.
     
  12. Umm yeah, unless you have an extra $1800 lying around and want to lug a 2 pound lens on your D80, I would NOT recommend the Nikon 24-70mm zoom. Sometimes I think this forum is full of a bunch of bots just repeating "Get the Nikon 24-70mm" - it is great for pros who earn a living but most of us don't want a lens like that.

    Get the Nikon 16-85mm VR zoom lens. It is a BIG jump up from the 18-70mm zoom (I know, I owned one and use the 16-85mm VR zoom for 90% of my photos now).
     
  13. Yes, modern zooms are often better than the old fixed lenses. Those older lenses were designed maybe 30 years ago, so you're surprised there's been advances in lens coatings, lens elements, and design since then? The lens you think you want is the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8. However, think about this carefully. The day when you could just buy "the best" and it would remain "the best" for 10-20 years is long over, even for lenses. Also, if you won't be buying a D700 etc. for the forseeable future, I suggest some more thinking. I too will eventually get a D700, once they drop below $1,700 or so. I'm thinking of a refurb. I knew I'd be going that way when I bought my D300 last fall. I thought it through very carefully and bought a used Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 lens instead of the 24-70mm f2.8 though. Here's why. The 17-55mm is perfect on the D300, and that's the camera I had. The 24-70mm is not as wide and not as good a match. The other thing is what if they come out with a 24-70mm VR while I'm waiting for the D700 price drop? I would want THAT lens, for sure! When I go to sell my Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 I'll likely get what I paid for it, and probably more since I bought it used. I will be able to use a top notch lens that fits the D300 perfectly, meanwhile D700 prices drop. When I buy a D700, I will simply resell the 17-55mm and put the money on whatever the best lens is at that time. I likely won't lose any money at all when I do that. So no, I would NOT buy a 24-70mm with the idea of it being "future proof."
    Kent in SD
     
  14. I agree with the buy for now philosophy. If you do get a FF in the future you can sell it if you sell the D80 or keep it as a back-up if you keep the D80. Consider the Nikon 16-85 VR, Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 Macro, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, and Tokina 16-50 f/2.8. All are very good lenses and will not require taking out a second mortgage.
    If you insist on an FX lens consider the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, Sigma 28-70 f/2.8, and Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. Are these zooms as sharp as the best prime lenses? Probably not, but they are extremely sharp.
     
  15. '...recommendation for a zoom that is not DX...provides wide-angle and moderate zoom...SHARPER than what I got...prefer bigger aperture...' Sounds as though you're describing the 17-35/2.8.
     
  16. Ali, you can achieve what you want but it will be much more expensive, heavier, and will require at least a couple lenses.
    Personally I am not into this 'future proofing' stuff but for those that are, look at the 17-35 and 35-70 zooms. It will cost you a lot more, weigh a lot more, and require that you change lenses much more frequently, maybe even missing some shots because of it. But if this 'sharpness' is what you want, this is the way to go.
     
  17. Get the Nikon 24-70. (whirr, click, clunk...)
     
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    One of the most unwise things to do is to "future proof" you lenses. You'll end up with a lens that does not work very well with your current DX cameras and since Nikon tends to upgrade its zoom every few years, by the time you can use the full potential of you lens, it'll soon be superseded by newer versions and you'll lose money because you own the old model.
     
  19. I have read a few places complaining about the 24/70 2.8, field curvature, soft at 24.
    Keep with the primes, I have. There is a 35/70 2.8 in the bag for when I need a zoom.
    D700 is main camera.
     
  20. If cost is a concern, you might want to consider the AF 28-105D. Has been sharp for me on both film and digital bodies. But few zooms will be as purely sharp as quality prime lenses, past and present.
     
  21. >> "and the 14-24 (poor choice for DX).
    True zoom that can match the best primes? very rare indeed."
    But nevertheless the 14-24 is ridiculously sharp on DX, just like the way it is on FX, if not better. It produces excellent color, bokeh, and has minimal distortion for a 14mm lens. The 14-24 also seems to outperform the 14mm AF-D prime. It's expensive, heavy, has a short and thus inconvenient zoom range, and can't take filters, but it's still quite a marvel as a piece of optics.
     
  22. In the "normal range", i.e. on FX about 35-70mm, I have found that for my personal style, a zoom is not really necessary. By moving a little forward/backward and using a 50mm fixed focal length lens, I achieve want I want. Therefore, I have opted for zoom lenses for wide angle, i.e. a 17-35mm, and the somewhat longer range, i.e. a 70-200mm VR.
    I found that I use my 17-35mm zoom mostly around 20mm and at 35mm and the 70-200mm VR is in more than 3/4 shot at 200mm f/2.8.
    I suggest you consider a 35mm f/1.8 for your DX and that you get a 50mm when it is time for an FX.
     
  23. Unlike the consumer "kit" lenses that get upgraded constantly, Nikon's pro zooms have long lifespans. I've been waiting for years for Nikon to upgrade the 80-400 VR, but it hangs around stubbornly. The 17-35 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8 VR could both be updated, but I'm not going to hold my breath. It could be years before new versions come out. One think that Nikon has demonstrated time and time again is that they are in no hurry.
    So, if for no other reason than their relatively young age, the 14-24 f/2.8 and the 24-70 f/2.8 definitely have a FUTURE.
    That said, I don't think either one is well-suited for DX cameras. If I were still shooting DX, I would choose from among the following depending on my shooting needs:
    17-55 f/2.8 DX (faster)
    16-85 DX (lighter)
    70-200 f/2.8 VR (faster)
    70-300 VR (lighter)
    I used the 17-55 and the 70-200 with a 1.4x teleconverter with my D200. Excellent combination!
     
  24. The 24-70/2.8 was introduced in fall 2007 and replaced the 28-70/2.8, introduced in 1998. The predecessor of that was the 35-70/2.8 which was originally introduced (non-D version) in 1987. Thus Nikon follows an approximately 10-year cycle in replacing their standard f/2.8 (35mm/FX format) zoom. The replacement cycle for the Nikon f/2.8 telezoom has been a bit more frequent.
    I think the 24-70's range is a better fit to the DX format than the FX; 70mm on FX is awfully short for a head shot whereas on DX it's just perfect. The same is true of the 14-24; when used on DX cameras, it corresponds closely to the classic 20-35mm range which people used with 35mm film cameras. Since the 24-70 is a bit sharper than the 17-55 at f/2.8 and is much more resistant to ghosting, it makes sense from an optical point of view. It is obvious from the focal length ranges that Nikon intended the ranges to be a compromise between the needs of FX and DX cameras, to allow people to just use one set of zooms on both formats and to switch more easily. By making the ranges 20-35 & 28-85 which would be more useful on FX, Nikon would have killed the sales of these lenses to current DX but future FX users.
    I would not treat a lens as a disposable item. You buy a lens for today as well as for as far into the future as you can, to avoid 1) unnecessary waste of natural resources, energy, and pollution, and 2) to minimize the cost over the long term. If you just look at today when buying a lens, you'll be switching more often and it's ethically and economically unsustainable.
     
  25. It's a matter of personal preference. I couldn't handle a midrange zoom that doesn't go wider then a 36mm equivalent. That would be torture. (Just thinking about it annoys me.)
    The 24-70 is a solid range on FX. I've shot for days without taking this lens off of my camera. All of my large format lenses are in the 26-65mm equivalent range, and I've never wanted anything wider or longer when shooting 4x5.
    Combine the 24-70 with one or more of the following lenses and you'll have a very flexible setup.
    70-200 f/2.8 VR
    70-180 Micro
    105mm Micro VR
    70-300 VR
    80-400 VR
     
  26. A simple thing would be to get a different 18-70, or try a few of them in a store. Some of them are very sharp. There is apparently a lot of sample variation with this lens. Mine is as sharp or sharper than my older classic primes except for the 50mm lenses, but it is close to them as well. I shoot with mine wide open most of the time in available light. Even at 70mm it amazes me how sharp it is. The 18-70 is not expensive, and it is light ,fast, and quiet in operation. I miss having f 2.8 but I just use higher iso on my D80.
     
  27. The more I use the 17-55 DX, 2.8 on my D300 themore I love it. It costs less than half of the 24-70 and I think it is somewhat lighter. I would pick a good used one up an use that until I swiched to DX.
     
  28. I can't believe all the comments I got. I'm still reading. Thank you to all for their input.
    Ali
     
  29. Here. if you dont mind the heavy. then go for 24-70 and 70-200. you will have no question for sharpness and any other technical you can think of.
    if you want light and you really hate heavy . i think you can get 18-200 VR. this lens is very sharp and usefull as well. however. it has many draw back issue as well beside it convenient.
    I recommend you 24-70 and 70-200 because it has a future with your next fullframe body. and it is top quality of Nikon zoom. you can see compare in internet. 24-70 also no bad for macro photo too.
    Cheer ! i wish you have what you like !
     
  30. Steve, you wrote:
    Steve J Murray [​IMG] , Jul 08, 2009; 05:28 p.m.
    A simple thing would be to get a different 18-70, or try a few of them in a store. Some of them are very sharp. There is apparently a lot of sample variation with this lens. Mine is as sharp or sharper than my older classic primes except for the 50mm lenses, but it is close to them as well. I shoot with mine wide open most of the time in available light. Even at 70mm it amazes me how sharp it is. The 18-70 is not expensive, and it is light ,fast, and quiet in operation. I miss having f 2.8 but I just use higher iso on my D80.​
    You know I was thinking the same. My pictures are not fuzzy by any means. Maybe I am just asking too much. I keep wondering if I pony up $700 for a 16-85 VR if my pictures would improve significantly. There's no way to tell until I buy it.
    Look at this image on my blog: http://torkzadeh.com/node/500
    or This one: http://torkzadeh.com/node/523 or the one at the bottom of this page: http://torkzadeh.com/node/466
    I guess hard to judge because files are optimized for web and are not high quality jpegs.
     
  31. I keep wondering if I pony up $700 for a 16-85 VR if my pictures would improve significantly. There's no way to tell until I buy it.​
    Unless you have a bad copy of the 18-70mm or need VR. Your pictures will not improve significantly with a 16-85.
     
  32. I keep wondering if I pony up $700 for a 16-85 VR if my pictures would improve significantly. There's no way to tell until I buy it.
    I don't have your lens, but I doubt it. Went from 18-55VR to the 16-85 and while there is *some* improvement, don't count on it too much. Its more about the focal length than improvement in IQ for me though.
     
  33. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I keep wondering if I pony up $700 for a 16-85 VR if my pictures would improve significantly.​
    Well, I have no doubt about this: it will not. In fact, no lens, regardless of how expensive it may be, will suddenly improve your pictures significantly.
    Ali, you already have a good lens, and the images in your blog are already quite decent.
     

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