Time for a new lens for my D200.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by garrett_smith|2, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. This is an age old question on this forum, but I posted another age old question about which camera to buy and got a lot of great advice and ended up with a great D200. As I get more comfortable with my camera and my shooting style I think that it is time to upgrade my second hand 18-55 kit lens acquired from a friend when he upgraded. About 99% of the photography that I do is while traveling which I do a fair amount of. With travel photography I do not scout out locations or look for optimal lighting times of the day, instead I just walk around with my wife and shoot inside/outside with whatever light is available, kind of like a photojournalist who has to work with what is available at the time. I tend to ere towards really wide photography though 18 on a DX is not that wide. Oftentimes I am usually at 18 or 55 and nothing in between, though I would say that I am at 18 over 85% of the time, doing a small amount of cropping in post. I have been looking at the 17-55 2.8, the 17-35 2.8, the 14-24 2.8 or just the 10.5 2.8 fisheye. I know that ultimately I want to get a FF body but that will not be happening in the near future so I cannot really decide if it is worth the extra money to get the non-DX lenses at this point. My thinking with the 10.5 is that I used to shoot all fixed lenses on my film cameras and am used to positioning myself for the shot and switching out lenses so I could buy a few other primes. Then again not switching lenses would be nice as well. I am assuming that photojournalists would probably use the 14-24 more than any of the others? I am aware of the prices of each and am not too scared by the higher end ones as this lens will more than likely not come off the camera, unless I lean to the 10.5. Any insights or if anyone else has been faced with the same problem I would love to read your thoughts.
  2. if you have the skill in shooting primes and walking the zoom, the 12-24mm - 35mm combo will suit you fine. otherwise the 17-55mm is your best bet. or for now the less expensive tamron 17-50mm or the sigma 18-50mm that have both been proven to match the performance of the nikkor. the long end of these lenses are excellent for street/outdoor portraits.
  3. "... I know that ultimately I want to get a FF body but that will not be happening in the near future so I cannot really decide if it is worth the extra money to get the non-DX lenses at this point... "
    IMHO, definitely not. If you want to stay with DX for a time and you are confortable with the D200, nothing better than the 17-55 and 12-24. If you get tired of the D200 in a near future, there will be affordable upgrades like the D300s or even the D90.
    Think that if your next, say 10 or 20k shots are done with a non-DX lens, you will be limited on each shot by the non-optimal focal lenght, size, etc.
  4. Garrett,
    I'd suggest if you want wide, don't look at the 17-xx - it's only like 1mm wider, the 16-85 goes slightly wider (24mm equiv fov) and maybe that should be put in consideration, however if you are looking for wide wide consider the dx ultrawides from nikon or the 3rd parties e.g. 12-24, 10-24, 10-20, 11-16 etc.
    If you wish to move to FF in the future, sell these dx lenses then. If not, using ff lenses which aren't that wide on a dx camera you will be losing out on photographic ops right now. I use the 16-85 + 70-300vr combo and it's very good for general purpose use.
    14-24 sounds like a fair investment, however, it's a *huge* chunk of unprotectable glass.....
  5. 14-24, not a DX solution, and I don't think ANY PJs would use that lens a whole lot.
    I agree with the sentiment that you might be better off with a Tokina 12-24/35 combo (keep the kit lens for snapshots.)
    For the price of the 14-24, you could also get the Tokina 12-24, Nikon 35 f1.8, and an upgraded kit lens like the Tamron 17-50 or the Nikon 16-85 (VR would be really nice to have on that kit lens imho).
  6. If you want a one lens setup for event style photography I suggest looking at a 17-50 f2.8 type lens. Nikkor or Tamron seem to be high on the list but I have used neither. If you can deal with changing lenses for extra speed then I suggest a look at the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 with a fast 35mm and a 50mm f1.8 or faster. These zooms are not small or light but a bunch of primes are not either. A 12-24mm f4 zoom plus a 50mm may suit you better if you don't need wide speed.
  7. The Tokina 12-24mm is a good choice. And add a 35mm f/2 or 50mm f/1.8 prime.
    Garrett, when I'm traveling with a D200 I find that my Tokina 12-24mm is on it most of the time. It is a nice wide lens on the D200, but coupled with the MB-D200, it makes for a heavy and somewhat obtrusive outfit for street shooting. The 17-55mm f/2.8 is a great lens, but replicates what you have with the 18-55 in focal length.
    Something I've begun doing is bringing a good P&S digital (Nikon P6000) with me. And lately that has replaced my D200 and the myriad of lenses I bring when I travel. The convenience is one thing, but the quality of the results is pretty astounding.
  8. I would skip the 10.5mm fisheye. The fishy look will get old very quickly. You could keep your 18-55mm and add the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 or the new Sigma 10-24mm f3.5. If you need the speed, the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 is a relatively compact lens. I'm not aware of any good lenses that would be ultrawide on a DX that would also work on an FX, with exception of the superb Nikon 14-24mm f2.8. I've been using the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 and love it. It's in high demand and still hard to find one though.
    Kent in SD
  9. If you feel that you need to go wider, 17 or 16mm is not enough, you'll have to look at the 12-xx or 10-xx range, i have the sigma 10-20 with a D90 and use it 80% of the time. However, 20 or 24mm is not enough in the long end so maybe you should also look for a second zoom or a 50mm prime. I personally prefer 2.8 constant lens because of the sharpness, IMQ and possibilities so i have a tamron 28-75 2.8, i find 75mm to be long enough for me but i guess this is a personal choice. Think that a f2.8 zoom or a f1.8-1.4 prime will solve you the low-light situations as well, this way you won't be switching glasses all the time.
    In any case, my personal advice is go spend the big part in a good wide zoom (nikon 10-24, sigma 10-20 f3.5 or tokina 11-16 f2.8) and don´t waste a lot on the second zoom/prime because you'll be using a lot more the wide end during travels (architectural, monuments, landscapes...).
  10. If you can afford the Nikon 14-24 2.8 go for it but I have the Tokina 12-24 f/4 and I've been very happy with it even despite the slow speed. If I didn't already have it I would buy their 11-16 2.8. I think that would probably be a good choice for you given your interest in the wide end. Tokina also has a 16-50 2.8 and a 50-135 2.8. These three lenses are intentonally the DX equivalents of the classic news photographer's full frame setup: 16-24, 24-70 and 70-200 (or 80-200.
  11. Tokina 12-24mm f4 is a fine performer. The 17-50 f2.8 Tamron is a fine performer. The Nikon zooms are expensive and certainly are good performers. The 50mm f1.8D lens is cheap and very useful and an excellent performer. I use my Tokina 12-24mm f4 on my D200 probably more then any other lens. I love it. If you put a polarizer on the lens it will give you patchy skys as it's just to wide. The use of a polarizer for reflections is still valid. Tomorrow I am going up into the Sierra's for the day and will take the 12-24 and the 50mm. I have purchased a bogen base leveler and am anxious to shoot some pan's. I will use the 50mm for that.
  12. Does the 10.5 fisheye look like a true fisheye lens? From all the samples I have seen it is just extremely wide. I have also been looking at either the 35 or 50 1.4 for the speed in low light situations, what you tend to find in interiors like churches and such. This way I will not have to rely on the ISO with grainy results. If I did invest in a wide zoom I would definitely opt for the 2.8 because with the 18-55 I often find that in some situations that 3.5 is not fast enough to shoot in a decent ISO range. I do not like the feel of the 18-55 either as it does have a very plastic feel, I am used to shooting medium format stuff that is really heavy and substantial. How do the third party lenses stack up against the Nikon 17-55 as far as build quality?
  13. The 16-85VR is incredible... where can you get superb IQ @ 24mm equiv for $629. The D200 on auto iso will produce very nice images at 1400-1600 as well, so the slow speed of the lens will not be an issue. If speed, and/or portraiture is a necessity, the 17-55/2.8 is the answer. The 105/2.8 VR Micro, and 180/2.8 will fill the gaps, are multi purpose, and will be ready for FX when the time comes.
  14. The answer to your question is yes, the 17-55 2.8 is the finest lens you can have for your D200 as a stand-alone lens (if money isn't an issue of course). The thing here is, 17mm is wide enough for you?, because if you need wider then you`ll have to add a 12-24 or 10-24 zoom to the nikkor. The result is a total bill of about 2000$ for a long end of just 55mm and the fastest aperture of f2.8... more important, you'll have a focal range (17-24mm) where the two lenses overlap, this is a bad thing because you will lose time wondering wich one to use. I'm not saying the 17-55 or 12-24 are bad lenses, they are superb performers, i'm saying that for about 2000$ this is not the better combination.
    Another solution could be adding the 10.5 fisheye to the 17-55 but make sure you try the 10.5 in the store before buying it, it gives a more extreme fisheye vision than the other ultra-wide zooms (even if the focal length is the same)... this can be a good thing or not depending on your needs. Personally i would prefer a (for example) tokina 11-16 + sigma 24-70 combo bringing you more flexibility, full f2.8 constant range coverage for at least 500$ less in your bill. For that money you could even have a nikkor 10-24 f3.5 + sigma 50-150 f2.8 and a 35 f1.8 prime.

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