New Lenses?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by eric_schott, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. So right now I have these Lenses for my D40:
    Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm Lens
    Nikkor AF-S DX 18-135mm Lens
    Nikkor AF-S DX 55-200mm Lens
    None of my lenses are VR. I am for now an all around photographer, even though I have been shooting for a year and a half I still have not truly found what I like the most. Therefore, I'm trying to buy multi purpose, all around lenses. I'm looking to buy some right now. I have about $700 to spend, and I was mainly looking at the Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR IF lens and the Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm 1.8 lens. What other lenses would you guys recommend me buy that would work well for many different areas of photography. Thanks
     
  2. Why not sell all of them & get a 18-200mm VR and add a 35mm f1.8 or a 50mm f1.8?
     
  3. a jack of all trades is a master of none.
    if you are really looking for an everything lens, get an 18-200vr... it will do everything okay.
    I would highly recommend a 35 1.8, a 50 1.4afs, perhaps a tokina/tamron/sigma/nikon ultra wideangle if they make one with afs or hsm or whatever its called. perhaps an 85mm lens if there is an afs version of one of those...
    until you get into wide apertures, its really hard to figure this stuff out, I think.
    a flash can make worlds of difference too... sb-600 and a 35 1.8... that might do!
     
  4. I would recommend the 16-85 paired with the 70-300 VR. The 18-200 may perform OK for some but it's not really known as a great lens. Plus balanced on the end of your D40 it may be a little top heavy...
     
  5. One more thing. You'll get (give or take depending on the condition of the lens ) about $400 for them. Now you have $1100 to spend.
    Nikon "New" 18mm - 200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR II $810.00
    Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX $200.00
    $1010
    or
    Nikon "New" 18mm - 200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR II $810.00
    Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8 D ( won't AF with the D40) $120
    $930
     
  6. I strongly second the 16-85 VR II.
    -Owen
     
  7. Sell what you have. They're OK, but without VR they are less flexible. Buy a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8, Nikon 70-300mm VR. Reason: The Tamron is sharp and will give you f2.8 speed in a very usuable zoom range. The 70-300mm has VR and will give you reach. With this combo you don't need a third lens like 35mm f1.8 because the Tamron will be plenty fast enough. As a bonus both lenses take same filter size, so buy a polarizer if you like taking outdoor photos. Especially around water.
    Kent in SD
     
  8. I rest my case for 18-55 VR being the best lens ever :)
    I can also very much recommend a Sigma 50-150/2.8 which I acquired recently.
     
  9. I think you should buy the lenses you mention. Or upgrade the body instead.
     
  10. I don't like street or journalism or portraiture. I am a landscape dude.
    But when I go overseas I cannot escape it. I find that the slow kit zooms are fine but when the sun is down and I want to capture without a tripod like in Hong Kong, I need my primes. Even if it is a cloudy day, I need them without upping the ISO. You can capture street lights in night, you can capture people inside, capture the peak hour traffic in subway stations.
    If you are ok with your current lenses, I leave them. I would add a 35mm f/1.8 and see how you go and if you like it maybe a 50 f/1.4, the 50mm f/1.8 won't focus on the D40x.
     
  11. Hi Ray, I have D80 with 18-200, prime 50 mm 1.4 and a macro 105 all Nikon and I am off to HK and cruise around the far east very shortly, would you take all kit and lug it or would you cut down, have spedlight 600 and mono pod and also gorilla heavy zoom , appreciate your thoughts
    Michael
     
  12. Don't buy anything until you KNOW what you need. You have decent all-purpose lenses and don't need to buy anything new.
    If you like low-light, a 35mm f1.8 would be fun... if you need it. You don't know if you need it... so wait...
     
  13. I would recommend the 16-85 paired with the 70-300 VR. The 18-200 may perform OK for some but it's not really known as a great lens. Plus balanced on the end of your D40 it may be a little top heavy...​
    I agree with Dave Lee 100 percent. I sold my 18-200 to a friend. She loves it, but it drove me crazy. The extra width of 16 mm and the extra length of 300 mm would make this two-lens tandem far more useful than the 18-200, and that's before taking into account annoying 18-200 issues like lens creep and complex distortion.
     
  14. The sooner people stop buying those 18-200 ken rockwell superzooms, the sooner they go away forever.
    The 35mm 1.8 will be a very nice addition. 50mm on a crop body isn't too useful IMO.
     
  15. you have three kit lenses with a lot of overlap in FL. all three are slow at the long end. IQ is decent if you stop down but not so great wide open. 18-200 would simply combine those three lenses into one and give you VR, while retaining the same drawbacks as the other three.
    16-85 has a nice range, VR, and improved IQ over the kit lenses, but it's still a "daytime lens" due to the slow variable aperture. also a 16-85 +70-300 VR would be double your budget, so i'm not sure how feasible this combo is.
    so you need something fast with good IQ. best choices there for that budget would be 35/1.8 and/or tamron 17-50 VC. you might be able to get both for a little bit over $700, which you could finance by selling 18-55.
    50-150 and 70-300 VR are both good teles for different reasons but both will be a little awkward on such a small body.
    the 55-200 balances well with a d40, but the VR version is better. if you sell the 18-135 and 55-200 you could cop the VR version.
    my other recommendation would be a wide angle like the sigma 10-20 (which will AF on your d40) but you have to really love wide angle for this to be a sensible choice. a 10-20+35/1.8 would hit your target budget and expand what you could do photographically--adding w/a and low-light/bokeh to your resume, but i'd only consider this option if you plan on keeping either the 18-55 or the 18-135.
     
  16. The sooner people stop buying those 18-200 ken rockwell superzooms, the sooner they go away forever.
    The 35mm 1.8 will be a very nice addition. 50mm on a crop body isn't too useful IMO.
     
  17. So, Ed, have you come to definite opinions based on the suggestions of those here?
    Ed wrote:
    "the Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR IF lens and the Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm 1.8 lens."
    I think your own idea is the best. You'd have full coverage from 18-300mm, plus the "normal" 35mm lens with its wide aperture, although of course you're stuck with one focal length.
    I do think you're on the right track thinking about a 300mm option, because that will get you a lot closer to large mammals, and some birds and smaller wildlife, and you can really blur out the background, even with the relatively slow optics in a 70-300mm zoom, at the long end - great for isolating people and other animals you can come close to from the background.
    But, Ed, come on - how can you find out what you like most, if you don't have the lenses to let you try what you might like the most? How will you know if you like bird/large mammal/insect photography if you don't try out long telephotos and macro lenses? How will you know if you like landscape photography if you don't try it with a super-wide zoom, as well as a telephoto?
    What is it you're waiting to happen that will tell you what it is you like, if you've limited yourself to the basic optics? Divine command? The winning lottery ticket? People here?
    Your idea for two new lenses is the correct one, but those optics won't help you decide what you really want to do with photography.
    If you want to find out what you really want to do, and you don't want to spend a lot of discretionary money on super-wide and super long lenses, this is my suggestion for finding out what you really like (since you apparently don't yet really like what you're doing with the lenses you've got): rent.
     
  18. Enrique wrote:
    "Why not sell all of them & get a 18-200mm VR and add a 35mm f1.8 or a 50mm f1.8?"
    +1. You'd be limited on the long end, Ed, but you'd rarely have to change the lens.
    Dave wrote:
    "The 18-200 may perform OK for some but it's not really known as a great lens."
    It's not known as a poor lens, either, and lots of people - not just "some" - claim it's more than "OK."
    "The extra width of 16 mm and the extra length of 300 mm would make this two-lens tandem far more useful than the 18-200"
    Well, if two lenses are better than one, why stop at two? The OP would find the Sigma 10-20mm lens, teamed with the 16-18mm lens, with the addition any 70-300mm lens, plus a doubler, a macro lens, etc., far more useful than just two lenses. Certainly, the 16-85 and 70-300VR would blow poor Ed's budget - well, he'd be poor after spending all that money beyond what he wants to spend.
    "The sooner people stop buying those 18-200 ken rockwell superzooms, the sooner they go away forever."
    Dream on, Colin. Just because you aren't man enough to handle a superzoom doesn't mean you have to project your inadequacies on the rest of us. ;-)
    Frankly, it doesn't matter what the OP purchases, particularly given the limited focal lengths and f/stops he's interested in using, at least for now. Everything with photography must be - like like itself - a compromise. Even with the most expensive camera equipment, perfection with photography will never be achieved. Otherwise life would be boring.
    00VAqB-197845584.jpg
     
  19. I love my 16-85, but it is a Dx and does not function "fully" as in 12MP mode on my d700 so I am selling it. If it were a FX lens there would be no question about keeping it.
     
  20. Hi Michael, I have a 18-200mm VR too and a 50mm f/1.8. I also carry a tripod cos I am into landscapes. I have a Gitzo traveler thou $$$. Unless you are seeking specific platforms don't' think you will use the tripod much. Such as the famous HK Peak Lookout and other platforms you find. With the population, generally tripod is just not possible.
    I seldom take the SB-800 I have. If you have portraitures to do maybe.
    I have swapped from the 18-200 to the 18-70 because it was less bulky and I didn't need the telephoto side. After returning back from Japan, with time spent in Tokyo the slow zooms were fine but at night time just unusable even when the D70 was whacked up to ISO 1600. 50mm was maybe ok as a 2nd lens, the first lens I think is a 35mm f/1.8. I needed a wider lens to capture the buildings and neon at night that I didn't have.
    Watch out for your camera automatically underexposing your pictures. With neon I find that it is best to overblow the highlights to retain the importance than to underexpose it throughout and try to botch it up in the software.
     
  21. Just because you aren't man enough to handle a superzoom​
    LOL. sorry, dave, i dont see comments like this as being constructive. a real man would heft a 600mm lens handheld anyway.
    i think colin's point was that the 18-200 isn't any sharper than the three kit lenses the OP already has --just a bit more convenient.
    i'm not trying to flame up the 18-200 debate (that's so 2006!) as some people are able to eke great shots out of it, and certainly, if you can shoot at f/8-f/11 with it all the time and avoid the distortion at various focal lengths, it can work for you.
    while lens owners sometimes get defensive about lenses they own being held up to a critical perspective, objectively it's fair to discuss benefits and shortcomings relative to other lenses and the cost of purchase thereof. no piece of glass is above reproach, and no lens is perfect for everything anyone could conceivably shoot. some are better than others for some things, and some are worse. i prefer fast glass myself, but YMMV.
    i say that to say this: from an IQ perspective, moving past kit lens specs can and often does result in better photos, though sometimes it also entails learning new technique(s) as well.
     
  22. I bought the 70-300 VR. I have a quick question, when VR is enabled, can you all feel a slight pulse to the lens and hear a noise coming from the lens? Also, its not that awkward on the little D40 because I have an aftermarket battery grip on it. Thanks for all the suggestions.
     
  23. Eric wrote:
    "LOL. sorry, dave, i dont see comments like this as being constructive."
    Perhaps not. However, I was responding to this statement: ""The sooner people stop buying those 18-200 ken rockwell superzooms, the sooner they go away forever." That's hardly a constructive comment, and I think the comment I made was appropriate.
    "i think colin's point was that the 18-200 isn't any sharper than the three kit lenses the OP already has --just a bit more convenient."
    I don't think you're able to read Colin's mind anymore than I am, Eric. What he wrote - which is all I have to go one - was somewhat snide comment about a much-beloved lens.
    "from an IQ perspective, moving past kit lens specs can and often does result in better photos, "
    That depends on the agreed-to definition of "better." The OP, though, asked about lenses that would serve for general purposes.
     
  24. Eric wrote:
    "I bought the 70-300 VR."
    You made the right choice.
    "when VR is enabled, can you all feel a slight pulse to the lens and hear a noise coming from the lens?"
    Yes.
     
  25. Thanks for the quick reply Dave. Why exactly does it do that, it is a very odd sensation on your hand at first.
     
  26. Right on, Wyman.
    To add, I sometimes feel that guys who have to put down Rockwell or superzooms are simply compensating for something ;-)
     
  27. "Why exactly does it do that, it is a very odd sensation on your hand at first."
    It's just the Vibration Reduction mechanism adjusting itself.
     
  28. Eric, I think you are fairly right with lenses you have. Hone your skills, and narrow down you genre and interests, then purchase the lenses that most suit your needs. once you know exactly what you like to shoot, you may be able to upgrade to a few prime lenses. VR is certainly not required, and i wouldn't invest any money whatever into a DX lenses (but that's just me). Just because you have the $700, doesn't mean that you have to spend it. it is lenses like a 1.4/85mm that is really going to allow some creativity to your photography, and likely going to give you the biggest WOW factor, not a superzoom 70-300 slow lens.
     
  29. I recommend attending a Santa Fe Photography Workshop rather than investing in new gear.
     
  30. "To add, I sometimes feel that guys who have to put down Rockwell or superzooms are simply compensating for something ;-)"
    hahahahahahah. That's great. I was waiting for someone to make that comment, I didn't know how much longer it would take.
     
  31. I forgot to mention in my last post. Today my buddy loaned me his 1.8 35mm. I just got back from the store. I HAD to buy it. I'm going to start saving for the 50 1.4 immediately
     
  32. I just recently picked up the 50mm 1.4 and I absolutely love it. I use it on my D3000 so its performance will be similar on the D40. It takes great pictures and is very fast. Just keep in mind if you are wide open with the aperture and taking close up pictures your DOF is so shallow you can have the tip of someones nose in perfect focus and their eyes will be blurry.
     
  33. @dave: you're right, the comment about superzooms going away forever was somewhat snide. they do have their uses, but the 'jack of all trades master of none' tag appears to be apt.
    i think the reason rockwell gets bashed is because he makes comments like this: "I own a D40 and just bought a second, not a D90. Other cameras are too complicated and I can't figure them out." just a few graphs up in the same post, he says he uses a D3 for studio work. LOL.
    i enjoy KR's commentary and occasional insights, but i've learned to take his comments with a grain of salt. i remember when the 18-200 came out and he declared it the greatest thing since sliced bread. i held out, since at that time it was selling for $1k. later, reports began to trickle back that it wasn't as sharp as the other kit lenses and had distortion issues. i never regretted not getting one. if it's much-beloved by you and you're happy with it, more power to you.
    btw, my pal Mike who had the 18-200 now uses it as a paperweight, ever since he got the 35/1.8. that's probably because it's sharper, less cumbersome, and works better in low-light situations, not because he's over-compensating for something. but hey, if y'all want to form a superzoom support group or something, go right ahead.
     
  34. Eric - and Arnold - my apologies for going overboard. I like to see constructive advice and sometimes, when I think I see the opposite, I act like the curmudgeon I probably am.
    Ken Rockwell - he probably enjoys getting bashed online as much as he probably enjoys any praise. I know him, and whatever he is online, in person he's both pleasant and self-effacing.
    However, I wasn't reacting to comments about KR. I was annoyed with the casually unflattering comments about the 18-200mm lens, comments that are, in my opinion, an unnecessary put-down of people who have - and enjoy - that lens.
    The OP wasn't asking for what would make the sharpest, most distortion free fine-art print. He was looking to add a general purpose lens. The 18-200 and lots of other zoom lenses meet that criterion.
    However, I over-reacted, so again, I apologize.
     
  35. Dave
    It's a little like the guy who asks for a lens upgrade for a D40 and everybody suggests a 17-55 f2.8, isn't it. Sheesh... (Oh, and nobody ever asks what size they're actually printing...)
    Any of these consumer zooms are great for anybody who's not printing huge or doing pro work. Not good... GREAT! I have never had to correct a single image's distortion that is supposed to be so bad, the sharpness for everything I've printed up to 11 x 14 is great.
     
  36. Peter - I have noticed, on rare occasion, distortion at the wide end of one of my zooms. Specifically, what in reality were straight lines near the top of a scene were curved in the photograph. Easy to repair, but not necessary. And depending how the lens is pointed, distortion caused by a wide angle lens is often considered a plus.
    "Any of these consumer zooms are great for anybody who's not printing huge or doing pro work."
    I agree. However, I think a talented photographer, pro or otherwise, can also make excellent photographs with these optics. Printing huge? I think that's possible, too, but it depends on the subject. With a billboard size print of a postage stamp, edge to edge sharpness might suffer. A 16x20 of a lion in the veldt? No problem (except for making the photograph).
     
  37. I wasn't able to do much today, but even though its not the best lens, I did get some nice pictures of the moon this evening with my 70-300 and my D40. It doesn't seem to be as sharp as I expected but I did crop the image quite a bit. I guess I will have to test more and let you all know. I wasn't able to play with the 35mm either =(
     

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