What prime lenses worth getting for D5000?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by joe_bloggs|12, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Hi all, I'm new to this forum (have been a dpreview regular). I recently bought a Nikon D5000, this marks my venture back into the world of DSLRs after 3 years in compact-land. Instead of the 18-55mm kit lens I opted for the 35mm DX f/1.8G and am glad I did--it allows me to get photos genuinely different from ones I can get with a compact that I can justify lugging the camera with me almost all the time.
    Photos like this one:
    [​IMG]
    The out-of-focus background really makes you focus on my son with his new toys :) (I could have sat further to the right, straighten the focus plane to put the toys in sharper focus, but this wasn't exactly a planned shot...)
    However with that out of the way, I'm not sure where I should go from here.
    My interests are landscapes, people pictures, and people pictures in landscapes. I think that means I should be well covered with another wide and short tele lens, both of them preferably of wide aperture. Now that I'm having such a pleasant time with the 35mm I'm reluctant to go back to zooms--they seem too much like a good way to carry much bulk in return for getting compact-like pictures, unless I invest in monster f/2.8 zooms or get a flash and associated paraphernalia to soften flash shadows. (I seem to end up in dim interiors way too often)
    However there just doesn't seem to be many good choices for me. My D5000 won't move AF-D lenses, so it's either AF-S for me or learn to MF. The 85mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 would be a no-brainer if not for this. On the wide end, there's no good choices even if I were using a D300s--the closest thing would be the 20mm f/2.8, but I could just as well get a 17-50mm f/2.8 or something like that from Sigma or Tamron. That also happens to overlap with the 35mm prime in focal length, so I'm considering the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 or other wide zooms instead.
    I could also get one of the Sigma f/1.8 primes in the 2x mm range, but the ones I tried when I was using a KM 5D in 2007 couldn't focus on the broad side of a barn, so I probably can't even use the rangefinder function on the D5000 and have to use liveview to focus...
    The same goes for the Samyang 85mm, because as far as I see, a lens with no electronic contacts won't activate the rangefinder (this I tested by rotating my 35mm halfway off the mount to disable the contacts)...
    Thoughts? I'm going slow on this as I won't have the finances to buy the next lens for a while anyway.
     
  2. Folks like you should really be getting the D90 instead of the D5000. For an extra 200 bucks or so (for the body), you open yourself up to a much wider range of primes that will AF with your camera.
     
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I think Nish has an excellent point. Consumer DSLRs such as the D5000, D3000 and D40 are intended for casual photographers who will buy no more than a couple of consumer AF-S zooms. The 35mm/f1.8 AF-S DX works fine with them, but if the objective is to use some fixed-focal-lenght lenses and perhaps manual focusing, one should get at least the D90 for a better viewfinder.
    I wonder why you want to use some "prime" lenses, especially if your background was digicams in the last 3 years. There are plenty of affordable DX zooms that can do a decent job, although perhaps a bit slow for indoors.
     
  4. Shun wrote:
    "I wonder why you want to use some "prime" lenses, especially if your background was digicams in the last 3 years. There are plenty of affordable DX zooms that can do a decent job, although perhaps a bit slow for indoors."
    Exactly! If I have to use flash for anything but fill (and even then worry about flash shadows), and not get subject isolation from the small aperture, I'm not getting a picture significantly different from what I'd get from a compact. I sold a Canon G9 in exchange for a Nikon D50 with kit zoom last year and could not justify the extra bulk with this combination--sold it back for a Canon S90. Had to rethink everything when the S90 was smashed to bits and settled on the D5000 and 35mm prime... didn't have the money for the D90. I knew going in that buying the D5000 would constrict my lens choice, unlike entry-level models for any other make, but I like Nikon ergonomics. Might have bought Pentax though, if I had found a better deal...
     
  5. why not just use the 35 exclusively like Henri Cartier Bresson? you've effectively ruled out fast zooms, slow zooms, MF primes, AF (but non AF-S) primes, and third party primes. oh, and the 11-16 wont AF on a D5000 and you dont want it for kid pics anyway. there's nothing left, except the 50/1.4 AF-S. and if you're trying to shed bulk, might as well stay with what you have going now.
     
  6. if money is an issue, why not try the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 for portraits?
    if u don't mind MF on the D5000, and have the money, Nikon 85mm f/1.4 is the right lens to go!
     
  7. You might want to try 12-24mm F4 tokina. It has an AFS version and F4 but still useful in most setting considering you can shoot at ISO 3200 at ease these day with DSLR. The soon to be sigma 85mm 1.4 has HSM so it will AF. Bokeh / OOF is a function of distant to subject ratio as well as aperture. It can be done with the "slow" 12-24mm f4
    [​IMG] 12-24mm F4 [​IMG] 85mm F1.4
     
  8. If you like landscapes, an ultrawide lens will be very fun (albeit, challenging) to take pictures with. It also makes for interesting portraits because of the perspective distortion.
    Note however, than with ultrawide lnses, you're usually not aiming to throw the background out of focus, so don't chase f/2.8 expecting that you'll get prime-like bokeh (my coworker made that mistake when he bought that Tokina lens you mentioned). The meat of these APS-C ultrawides is done around roughly f/8, to maximize sharpness, and to increase depth of field so everything is in focus. The wider you get, the more depth of field you tend to have.
    Just throwing something out there: I know you're focused on landscape and people, but how about the 60mm AF-S micro? It's good as a longer portrait lens, and gets your foot in the door for macro.
     
  9. If still interested after reading all the responses up to here, ...
    I hate to say this somehow, but Sigma beat Nikon , they make a new 85mm 1.4 lens that will focus on the nikon 5000 and alike, since it uses HSM for focussing. They also used their new SLD glass for this lens.
    First impressions ( I tried it at a show in Belgium..) it looks and feels great and produces a pretty darn good imgage too ..... Don't know the price yet though ...
     
  10. I generally don't like single length lenses as they aren't very versatile, but the new Sigma 85mm f1.4 has caught my imagination. I have the Sigma 30mm f1.4 and love it. Most of the time I greatly prefer an f2.8 zoom though.
    Kent in SD
     
  11. I also love primes more and more. The 35 was a good start. The 50 would be fun although it's focal length is awkward for DX imho. If you like wide and want fast, the 11-16 from Tokina is GREAT fun.
    But for any tele action, I'm more and more convinced that most are better off with zooms. Too much of that stuff is action/moving and you really benefit from being able to crop as you go rather than zoom with your feet (not always possible with sports/kids/stuff like that). Birds are another story.
    But whenever I'm shooting my kid with the 35 at home, I get a little frustrated with a prime, and end up with my 18-70 or 18-200 instead.
     
  12. If there's a 85mm HSM lens from Sigma, that's likely my choice... (although depending on finances, I may yet punt for the Samyang *g* )
    60mm sounds like an interesting focal length on DX, but I hear bad things about making a macro lens do double duty as a portrait lens from Joseph Wisniewski...
    Still undecided on the wide. A wide aperture would allow me to shoot in lower light as much as it would make shallow DOF (maybe not so much of the latter)--but I'm finding that poor *quality* of light may yet force me to invest in flash and bounce equipment sooner than I think, although here again I'm loathe to move and shoot with the extra bulk. If I chuck the speed requirement, lots of AF-S / HSM ultrawides to choose from.
    Does anybody have good things to say about the Sigma 20mm f/1.8? It's the only game in town for a fast wide prime, but image quality is apparently...?
     
  13. the 35m f/1.8mm will not be a bad overlap with the tamron 17-50mm or sigma 18-50mm. in fact they will complement well for your camera and kind of shooting. when i have my sigma 18-50mm on, i still have the nikon 35mm in my pocket.......unless you're into ultra wide, then the sigma 20mm will complement well, too. have not tried that lens, though.
    the nikon sb-400 is a nice little unit for but has its limitations --- as you already know, lesser power than the sb-600 and bounce only. i carry an sb-400 in my going-to-the-office bag together with the D60 and 35mm f/1.8. when i have less files in my bag, i mount the nikon 18-70mm.......... i have the same gear for the out-with-the-grandkids bag.
     
  14. bottom line, i think, is that you are going to be challenged in what you want to do--use fast primes for low-light/bokeh--as long as you have a d5000 as your primary body. i have the 12-24/4 tokina, but there's a big difference between shooting wide open at f/4 and shooting wide open at f/1.4. and the bokeh is only so-so, and only then when you focus real close. nobody has mentioned the Voigtlander 40/2 and 58/1.4, but these are MF lenses. and, to be honest, MF is not optimal for kid pics, especially at narrow apertures. also the d5000 has a small viewfinder which will make MF difficult. the sigma 85/1.4 will likely cost as much or more as the nikon version when it comes out--at that price, you'd be better off IMO selling the d5000 and getting a D90, which gives you much wider latitude in prime selection, as shun has (once again) pointed out.
     
  15. Here are some to consider with approx. prices:
    • HSM Sigma 10mm f/2.8 EX DC Fisheye $650
    • AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED $2000
    • HSM Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC $440
    • AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G $440
    • HSM Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG $500
    • AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED $550
    • AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR $500
    • HSM Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG $900
    • AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED $890
    • HSM Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX APO DG Macro $750
    • a whole load of Nikkor $1000+ AF-S telephoto primes
    If I were you, my next lens would be based on what I want to shoot. Landscapes? For a reasonable price, a wide zoom is the best option. People? This is going to depend on how far away you are, how much of the person you want to show, and how much "flattening" of facial features you desire (more flattening = longer focal length). A lot of people love the 105mm micro as a portrait lens, others prefer the 50mm, and still others the 85mm. Some even shoot portraits with the 200mm f/2!
    If you're going to be in a normal house, you may not have the space to back up and use a long lens, in which case the 50mm is a better choice. If you want to give your subject room to move without sticking a camera in their face, and/or your living room is like 100ft long, then go with something longer. People debate a lot about what distance to photograph people from; in fact, academic research has been done on the subject:
    Realistic portraits, whether paintings or photographs, are traditionally obtained using perspective projection. Pictures of the face taken from different distances along the same viewing direction (e.g. frontal) may be scaled to occupy the same size on the image plane. However, such portraits differ systematically: e.g. when the center of projection (the camera) is closer to the face the nose is proportionally larger in the picture. These differences are small (for typical camera distances of 50-500cm): do they have an effect on how the face is perceived?

    Ten naive subjects of both sexes, viewed equally scaled frontal pictures of 15 neutral-expression adult male faces, each photographed from distances of 56, 124 and 400cm. The photographs were corrected for lens distortion to obtain ideal perspective projections. The subjects were asked to rate each portrait according to 13 attributes (evil-good, repulsive-attractive, hostile-friendly, pushy-respectful, sad-happy, dishonest-honest, introvert-extrovert, violent-peaceful, dumb-smart, distant-approachable, evasive-candid, week-strong, unpleasant-pleasant). While the subjects were unaware of the manipulation, their ratings are systematically correlated with the distance: faces imaged from the closer distance appear significantly more benevolent (good, peaceful, pleasant, approachable), those taken from a larger distance appear more impressive (smarter, stronger). Intermediate-distance portraits appeared more attractive. The remaining attributes are not significantly different across distance.

    Our findings suggest that painters and photographers may manipulate the emotional content of a portrait by choosing an appropriate viewing distance: e.g. a formal and official portrait may benefit from a distant viewpoint, while an effect of intimacy and opennes may be obtained with a close viewpoint. Multiple inconsistent viewpoints found in classical full-length portraits may be explained by the need to combine close-up views of some body parts, within an overall undistorted figure.
    D. Freedberg, S. Shimojo, R. Adolphs, P. Hanrahan
    http://www.journalofvision.org/7/9/992/
     
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    settled on the D5000 and 35mm prime... didn't have the money for the D90.​
    Folks, before you follow up any further, please pay attention to that comment by Joe, the OP.
     
  17. Invest in Nikon glass for the long run...even if you have to learn to manually focus. Upgrade your body when you can afford it.
     
  18. Folks, before you follow up any further, please pay attention to that comment by Joe, the OP.​
    Shun, I agree with you on that, but some other remarks from the OP :
    My D5000 won't move AF-D lenses, so it's either AF-S for me or learn to MF. The 85mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 would be a no-brainer if not for this.​
    and
    Thoughts? I'm going slow on this as I won't have the finances to buy the next lens for a while anyway​
    still made me suggest to have a look at the new sigma 85mm ... , knowing it is not available in the shops yet ( at least not here in The Netherlands)
     
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    My point is that the idea to use "primes" (other than the 35mm/f1.8 AF-S) on the D5000 does not make a whole lot of sense; that kind of restriction simply leads to the suggestions of a lot of silly combinations. I see no reason why using zooms would be a problem, and if the OP has the money to buy some expensive lenses that are close to $1000 or perhaps more, he might as well upgrade the body first.
     
  20. This is most interesting reading, seeing as I have a D5000 as well. I still use the 18-55 kit lens, but find I do quite a bit with my 50mm F1.4 AF-S. Was not really cheap, but I think a good investment.
    I find it is quite usable for alot of stuff. You do adjust to the lens it seems.
    And yes, I have been eyeing that Sigma 85 as well. Hopefully the price is decent.
    Will be following this thread with some interest.
     
  21. "bottom line, i think, is that you are going to be challenged in what you want to do--use fast primes for low-light/bokeh--as long as you have a d5000 as your primary body. i have the 12-24/4 tokina, but there's a big difference between shooting wide open at f/4 and shooting wide open at f/1.4. and the bokeh is only so-so, and only then when you focus real close."
    Eric, what AF-D wide lens am I giving up that would have f/1.4?
    In the long run, guys, do you suppose Nikon will come out with more AF-S primes at different focal lengths? I'm not speaking in terms of lens speculations, but just general Nikon policy. I suppose the current situation with AF-S only low-end bodies came about mainly because Nikon realized it would be at a long-term cost disadvantage vs Canon if it committed to AF-D in the long run... but would updating all lenses to AF-S like Canon be the goal in the long run, or does Nikon intend to use AF-D as a bar for entry to high-end permanently? That would seem inconsistent with the fact that AF-S is usually superior to AF-D... another complication is that there may not be much customer demand for primes anymore, even among pros.
     
  22. Joe. looking at the latest releases from Nikon, my guess is they are going to be pushing AF-S.
    Their most recent lenses are not cheap hobby grade lenses, and they were all AF-S.
    BTW, I have at times had to use manual focus on my D5000. With the focus assist light, it's not a huge problem. Just manual focussing the kit lens is a pain.
     
  23. The 105/2.8 VR would be an excellent choice. It will work with your D5000. It's great for landscapes, portraits, and macro work. You should be able to find an excellent condition used one for around $750.
     
  24. OK, first, how do you quote somebody on here? Copy & paste doesn't work, and clicking on the " symbol does nothing...
    As for the topic, I wonder what the reasoning is behind all of the D5000 sentiment on here. Is it just because it's cheaper than the D90 and so deemed inferior? Invariably, whenever someone mentions they have a D5000, someone has to pipe in and say "Why don't you just get the D90, it's only $200 more for the body"
    That's all well and good, IF you have the extra $200 to spend, some people don't. And of course, you still need a lens, how much more will that cost? Another $200? But that's always conviently left out, because the D90 body is only $200 more, right? Sounds better than saying you have to really pay $400 more if you actually want to take pictures with the D90. Nothing against the D90, it's a great camera for a great reason. I just don't understand all the hate towards the D5000.
    End rant.
     
  25. "Eric, what AF-D wide lens am I giving up that would have f/1.4?"
    joe, i was referring to the tokina 12-24/4's usage as a low-light/wide solution. i'm just saying that in dim light, shooting wide open at f/4 isnt going to be as effective in those situations as shooting at 1.4, 1.8, or f/2. to answer your question, there is the older 28/1.4, but that's cost-prohibitive, i suspect, since the lowest used price a quick web search reveals is about 3x the cost of the d5000.
    my basic point was that if you had a d90, you could AF with a wide prime like the sigma 20/1.8 or even a fast UWA like the tokina 11-16, and that manual focusing a 1.4 or 1.8 lens wide open to capture a moving subject such as children will be nigh impossible, especially with a small viewfinder. i wouldnt recommend anything wider than 20mm on APS-C, actually, for kid pics, since you can end up with distorted body parts and faces where you dont want them. i'm also not quite sure why you aren't considering the tamron 17-50. i have that and the sigma 30/1.4, and they only overlap at exactly one focal length. i think there is some romanticism to using a prime, but not as much practicality in real-world usage. the 17-50 has pretty decent bokeh, btw, and it's fairly compact so it wouldnt unbalance your d5000.
    IMO your basic conceit, that a DSLR with a variable aperture zoom gives essentially the same results as a P&S in a much larger package, isn't quite true. the nikon 18-70, for instance, is fairly compact and is f/3.5 at the wide end up until about 24mm i think. it's also only 4.5 at 70mm, as opposed to 5.6 for all the other nikon kit zooms. but DoF aside, this is really only true if you are shooting a DSLR like a P&S and printing no larger than 4x6.
    also, there are P&S cameras that actually have better DoF control than DSLRS with kit lenses, like the canon s90 and the panasonic lx-3, both of which have f/2 lenses and full manual controls. those can probably handle printing at 8x10, though they wont be as good above ISO 800.
    if you're saying you really like the effect of shallow DoF and sub-2.8 apertures and prefer primes over zooms for this reason, that's one thing, but you are limited by your current body in this regard, which affects your lens selection choices. there's just no way around that without compromising performance or usability, i'm afraid. that's why i suggested just learning to love the 35/1.8 a lot.
    "In the long run, guys, do you suppose Nikon will come out with more AF-S primes at different focal lengths?"
    the short answer here is, don't hold your breath.
    the long answer is, nikon satisfied its consumer market with the 35/1.8 and the pro/ advanced enthu$ia$t market with the 24/1.4. if you have an entry-level body, you are expected to use the 35 and be happy. i think we will see more primes from 3rd party makers which plug gaps in nikon's lineup, because these guys have to get in where they fit in. but you are correct that modern zooms are so good, there is less demand for primes among both pros and consumers. nikon practically has to add AF-S to the 85/1.4 once the sigma HSM version comes out, but that lens is going to be much more expensive than the AF-D version, which is already costly. and sure, it would be nice to see an AF-S 180/2.8, not to mention an AF-S version of 14, 18, 20, and 28mm primes. but if and when these appear, and they may not ever appear, they will be marketed toward FX users, not the consumer market.
    "I'm not speaking in terms of lens speculations, but just general Nikon policy. I suppose the current situation with AF-S only low-end bodies came about mainly because Nikon realized it would be at a long-term cost disadvantage vs Canon if it committed to AF-D in the long run... but would updating all lenses to AF-S like Canon be the goal in the long run, or does Nikon intend to use AF-D as a bar for entry to high-end permanently?"
    many of nikon's marketing decisions dont make a lot of sense to a lot of people--thom hogan has a lot of thoughts on this--but the basic idea is that they want to maintain market share in segments which are growing. unfortunately, the DSLR market may have already peaked, if thom's analysis is correct.
    what this means is that nikon wants to move you up the ladder. if you have a d5000, they want you to move to a d90. if you have a d90, they want you to move to a d300. if you have a d300, they want you to move to a d700. if you have a d700, they want you to move to a D3X. the way to do this is by not offering a full range of choices across all market segments. which makes sense, actually, because an entry-level body owner who develops an affinity for primes is not going to represent the majority of purchasers by a long shot.
    "That would seem inconsistent with the fact that AF-S is usually superior to AF-D..."
    not necessarily. there are two kinds of AF-S. consumer AF-S, i.e. 18-55 and 55-200, and pro AF-S, i.e. 17-55 and 70-200.
    also you have to define "superior." do you mean focus speed or IQ?
     
  26. "As for the topic, I wonder what the reasoning is behind all of the D5000 sentiment on here.
    I just don't understand all the hate towards the D5000."
    Hate towards the d5000? i think you are misreading what people are saying. it's not about apathy for low-end bodies or perceived snobbiness,it's the fact that the d5000 doesnt have an in-camera motor and thus will not autofocus with lenses which dont have a focus motor. i'm not sure how that translates as hate. i've personally recommended the d5000+35/1.8 combo to folks who dont need more advanced cameras and/or a multitude of specialty lenses for their shooting styles, and would do so again. but in this case, the OP was looking for primes which will work well with his camera and had specific requirements which ruled out all but a few of those which do actually work with the d5000.
    luc, if you have a problem with nikon's pricing structure, perhaps you should rant at them, not p-netters. we're only trying to help. :)
     
  27. Luc,
    No hate.
    But...
    Too often people think that if they buy something like the D5000 it can be a serious camera and use serious accessories and lenses down the road. Then they discover that they can't use some of the lenses they want because of one limitation, that they can't use wireless CLS flash because of another... on this forum, I'm hopeful that somebody who reads this post who's thinking about a D5000 will get direction.
    It can take AMAZING photos.
    It's a great soccer mom (or Dad) camera. It's great as a more capable alternative to the D3000.
    It's less capable as a serious camera for somebody who's going to do studio photography, portraiture, and want to use a wide variety of lenses and such. imho, it totally fails as a "poor man's D90". Years ago, the D50 was a "budget D70" and it succeeded in that to a large degree because of that screwdrive motor. The D5000, lacking that motor, fails as a "Budget D90".
    I'm glad I read posts like this before I bought a D5000, because I did I actually got a D90 instead and am very much more satisfied.
     
  28. Eric,
    Thanks, I know about the D5000 not having an internal auto focus motor. And I'm aware of the topic that the OP is concerned with. HOWEVER, rather than answering the OP's question, as he already owns a D5000, he gets such useful advice like "you should have bought a D90" (I know it wasn't you that said that, I'm just pointing out as an example) That does not answer his question or helps him in any way, other than to slam the camera he currently owns.
    He already stated that he could not afford the D90. I bought a D5000 for the same reason, I could not afford at the time a D90, and the D5000 was as close to the D90 as I could get with what I could afford to spend.
    And this seems to be a site-wide issue, not limited to this post. I've noticed numerous times over the past couple of months that it seems like anytime the D5000 is mentioned in a post the automatic response is "Buy a D90, it's only $200 more for the body." My grip is not with Nikon's pricing, but of the assumption that people have an extra $400 - $500 to spend, because as I stated, the "extra $200" will get you a D90 body, but you still need to buy a lens.
    Granted, if they have the money and can spend it, great. But personally I didn't have the extra $500 to get the D90 AND a lens, because I don't know about you guys, but just a camera body by itself does me no good.
    It just seems, from what I've seen posted, that the general consensus is to "stay away from the D5000 at all costs." Maybe that's not true, but it's the vibe that I get. Maybe it's because I never hear anyone say what the D5000 CAN do. All I ever seem to hear is what it can't do, and that's just not always helpful to the OP's situation.
     
  29. Peter,
    Thanks, I understand your point... I really do. And if I could have afforded the D90, I would have gotten one, I researched heavily before I bought. I am seeking to be a professional, and I don't expect the D5000 to be my main camera 10 years from now, but I also never expected to own just one camera. I understand that down the road, as a professional, I will need to have at least one other camera if for no other reason than to have a backup incase something happens to one.
    In the meantime, I have yet to need any of the features that the famous D90 can do and the D5000 can't. No auto-focus motor? I have two lenses right now, I'll probably get one more before I feel like I need to seriously upgrade my equipment. It's a non-issue. No PC port? I have two studio strobe lights that I fire using a wireless hot-shoe transmitter. Not an issue. Wireless CLS flash? Haven't had a need to use that, and there are workarounds to that. It's not a must have IMO. I'm sure it's a great tool to use, but...
    I hate to go on about this, I really didn't mean to highjack the thread. Like I said, I fully understand the advantages of the D90, but I feel the D5000 gets a bad rap for some reason.
    Sorry for veering off the subject of the OP.
     
  30. Eric A. and Peter H. are not definitely camera snobs, Luc. They are helpful and, if anything, the antithesis of gear snobs in this gear oriented nikon forum.
     
  31. Leslie - Didn't say they were. I even made it a point to say that I know it wasn't Eric who had said the quote I was pointing out. I was simply having a very detailed discussion with the two of them, trying to explain my views a little more clearly.
    I have no issues with either of them or with anything they said. I understand the points they both made, and I hope that I was able to explain my points clearly enough.
    I don't really want to carry this particular topic on any longer here, I feel like I've taken over the thread and I did not intend to do that. If anyone feels like continuing the discussion, you're welcome to start a new thread about it and I'll be happy to chime in - obviously I'm not shy about speaking my mind :)
    Otherwise, I've said my piece and hope I've made my points and I'll leave it at that.
    So back to the OP, Joe did you finally get the answer you were looking for?
     
  32. luc, i'm glad you brought your concerns up. it opens up areas of discussion, and really, that's the reason we're all here. if you'll permit me to address some specific points you raised...
    Thanks, I know about the D5000 not having an internal auto focus motor. And I'm aware of the topic that the OP is concerned with. HOWEVER, rather than answering the OP's question, as he already owns a D5000, he gets such useful advice like "you should have bought a D90"...That does not answer his question or helps him in any way, other than to slam the camera he currently owns.
    i don't really see this as a slam, seeing as it came from Shun. i can't speak for him, but i think he weighs the OP's questions very fairly based on an objective reading of the situational context, and almost always delivers advice which is spot-on. i think this does help the OP, because he has a specific problem: he wants primes which will work with his d5000. really, this has more to do with the d5000's limitations as a lower-end body and the availability of primes with focus motors more than anything. Shun is just stating a reasonable conclusion based on extensive knowledge of what is and isnt out there. if he was slamming the d5000, he might have said it sucks, it's no good, and it makes you have ugly children. but he said nothing of the sort. in actuality, he pointed out that the d5000 isnt the best body for what the OP wants to do--use fast primes for bokeh effects which aren't possible with most P&S cameras. So it does answer his question--it's just not, perhaps, the answer he was looking for.
    "He already stated that he could not afford the D90. I bought a D5000 for the same reason, I could not afford at the time a D90, and the D5000 was as close to the D90 as I could get with what I could afford to spend."
    OK, but the OP also said he was considering at some point in the future purchasing fixed-focal length lenses which cost upwards of $1,000, as well as other lenses which approach or exceed the cost of his camera. i'm not sure why you chose to take this personally. IMO, i feel the d5000 is a great camera at that price point. it has the same sensor and low-light ability as the d90 and d300. for that reason, for what i shoot, i'd almost rather have it as a second body over my d80--except for the fact that a bunch of my lenses which AF on the d80 wouldnt AF on that (like the tokina 12-24, the nikon 50/1.8, the tamron 17-50*, the tamron 28-75*, etc. --note: i have the older, non-BiM, versions of the tamron twins).
    sooooo, if you have a d5000, you have to be prepared to live with its limitations and select lenses accordingly. that's not a slam, just the truth.
    " I've noticed numerous times over the past couple of months that it seems like anytime the D5000 is mentioned in a post the automatic response is "Buy a D90, it's only $200 more for the body." My grip is not with Nikon's pricing, but of the assumption that people have an extra $400 - $500 to spend, because as I stated, the "extra $200" will get you a D90 body, but you still need to buy a lens."
    often times, Luc, these are expert opinions from folks who have been there and done that. take it with a grain of salt if you must, but i'd rather spend an extra $200 on a body and save money down the line by being able to use a wider complement of lenses (including older/used ones) than be forced to choose from a limited selection of AF-S glass. FWIW, i saw pretty much the same comments three years ago about the d40 vs. the d80. it's really about Nikon's price points and market strategy (and the reality of lens selection) than any inherent abhorrence of low-end bodies. the d5000 is arguably the best low-end body nikon has ever produced, if that makes you feel any better (the d40's 1/500 flash sync notwithstanding).
    Granted, if they have the money and can spend it, great. But personally I didn't have the extra $500 to get the D90 AND a lens, because I don't know about you guys, but just a camera body by itself does me no good.
    thanks for sharing, but this comment is neither here nor there. you can't afford it, don't buy it. it's that simple.
    "It just seems, from what I've seen posted, that the general consensus is to "stay away from the D5000 at all costs." Maybe that's not true, but it's the vibe that I get. Maybe it's because I never hear anyone say what the D5000 CAN do. All I ever seem to hear is what it can't do, and that's just not always helpful to the OP's situation."
    Luc, i have to disagree here. for one, you are reading stuff that wasn't even said into the discussion. secondly, the d5000 is a low-end body, which has less features than bodies which cost more. that's just a fact. i don't think this is the fault of anyone on P-net. there's plenty of praise out there for the d5000, but if you are expecting someone to get all rah-rah about nonexistent features, you are barking up the wrong tree. maybe you should start a d5000 support group if you feel that strongly about it. i, for one, would certainly consider the d5000 as a lightweight, compact option--but not as an alternative to a pro or even prosumer DSLR.
    in the OP's situation, he wants to use the d5000 with fast primes, which is one of the areas where its limitations come into play. you can call an apple an orange if you like, but at the end of the day, guess what? it's still an apple. it you bite it, it will taste like an apple, and if you slice it, it will slice like an apple. no matter what you do with it, you will not be able to make orange juice with an apple. you will, however, be able to make apple juice or applesauce. and for that, you should be happy.
     
  33. Luc,
    Inevitably even the least "gear snob" camera person (that's me by the way) who is serious will want more lenses. Many of these are screwdrive lenses. When I first bought a DSLR for myself (I had used the D1 since it first came out and the Kodak Full-frame DSLR in my former job) I could BARELY afford the D50, so that's what I got. I did NOT miss some of the things I really wanted but didn't get because I had that screwdrive motor and could buy any AF lens I wanted to. I now have two screwdrive lenses. Thought it would be more, might eventually, but for now, just two.
    A serious photographer who buys the D5000 limits himself. Unable to buy less expensive screwdrive versions of certain lenses, he has to either pony up more money for the AF-S versions (if they even exist... some don't, like the 85, 105, and 135 options) or settle for less "serious" lenses. They saved money in the short term, but will end up waiting a long time or spending a LOT more in the long term for the lenses that they often knew they wanted in the first place. They were "serious" and hampered themselves in a way I'm trying to keep future photographers from doing by stating that.
    So, you seem to hear people saying the D5000 should be avoided? I agree. I hear it, too, and I'll say it directly. If you are a serious photographer, and think you will want to buy an array of good lenses, especially primes, avoid the D5000 altogether. Without a screwdrive motor (forget the other feature differences, you can live with or work around all of them most likely), it is not a "serious" camera. I don't see where Nikon ever meant it to be.
    Can you and should you take great photos with a D5000? No doubt. If you already have one, enjoy it, work within its limitations, learn great photography. It's a great camera, just not a "serious" or even "semi-pro" one under any circumstances. (imho, ymmv, yada yada yada...)
     
  34. Gah...
    It sounds like I started a thread titled "what screwdrive lenses to get for the D5000" o_O
    I have to say, the D5000 purchase was the furthest thing from well-reasoned. (not that I didn't research beforehand, but the moment of purchase was pure impulse.) Perhaps I deserve to be told that I should have got the D90. Nevertheless, I don't know if I could have ponied up the money at the time.
    I'm finding that I don't really seem to need lenses much longer than the 35mm for my "portraits", perhaps because I take photos of family members exclusively and a close vantage point gives intimacy to the image. I hear many Japanese photogs use a 50mm on FX for portraits anyway, and I live in Hong Kong, where we're similarly pressed for space.
    Again, can anybody chime in on the Sigma 20mm f/1.8? I'm interested in it despite it being screwdrive. If I can learn to MF quickly enough with the rangefinder function... and if the rangefinder is accurate and precise enough.
    Other than that, I could get a zoom. Suppose I don't have much use for the 35-50mm focal length, would you prefer getting a slower wide zoom like 10-20 f/3.5 or 12-24 f/4 or a 17-50 f/2.8? Is the 17-35mm range crucial or does the UWA range open more creative possibilities?
    As for manual focusing using the screen, I really don't see how that is possible with the stock screen on any current DSLR. Current DSLR screens are designed with AF in mind and have low scatter, AFAIK you can only see out to f/5.6 or so. IMHO that's a good thing, if you're using AF lenses: for purposes of composition, you really want to see everything in focus, then decide for yourself what you want to focus on. (at least that's what Sean Reid said when extolling the virtues of rangefinder cameras :) A low-scatter screen goes some way towards achieving that.
    If I MF, it will definitely be with the rangefinder or Live View. I'd like to hear your experiences on these too, thanks.
     
  35. joe, a couple things:
    try manual-focusing with the lens you already have, the 35, before buying a lens which may or may not work to your satisfactions. Live View is probably the feature i use the least on my D300. that's because of my style of shooting, which is somewhat similar to what you said you wanted to do: low-light action. it's useful on a tripod and for macro when you need critical focus and have time. other than that, it's pretty slow.
    Suppose I don't have much use for the 35-50mm focal length, would you prefer getting a slower wide zoom like 10-20 f/3.5 or 12-24 f/4 or a 17-50 f/2.8? Is the 17-35mm range crucial or does the UWA range open more creative possibilities?
    well, i have both the 12-24/4 and the 17-50/2.8. i use the 17-50 way more. in fact, the 17-50 is my most-used lens. i do consider the 17-35 range essential, and as far as creative possibilities, constant 2.8 is a bigger boon for available-light shooting than constant f/4. that said, i do like my UWA, and find the 18-24 range essential for people pics with it, but it's really designed to be a landscape lens. in other words, it's best at f/8. OTOH, the 17-50 is pretty sharp in the center wide open and picks up corners nicely at f/8 or f/9. so if i were you, i'd get the 17-50 first before plunking down $$ on an UWA, especially because it's more suited to the type of photography you said you were interested in at the beginning of the thread.
     
  36. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Luc, nobody hates the D5000 here. The whole problem here was the OP's original question: he bought the D5000 because he couldn't afford the D90; that is all fine and totally understandable. But somehow he insisted to use "prime" and there were all those suggestions of expensive, $1000 85mm/f1.4 AF-S equivalent lenses to work around the AF limitations on the D5000. That was why the whole discussion did not make much sense.
    I am glad that Joe is now opening to zoom suggestions.
     
  37. Yes, opening up to zooms is very wise with this camera. I'd seriously look at the 17-50 from Tamron. Make sure you get the Built-in-motor version and you might be set.
     
  38. Has anyone pointed out that the 50/1.4 is available as AF-S now. Not cheap, but not $1000+ exotic, either. Would seem to meet the OPs portrait interest.
    Wide is a different issue - you'll have to have a zoom, but for an ultra-wide AF-S won't likely be available (e.g. the Tokina 11-16 or 12-25 lenses). One of the kit zooms that starts at 18mm (or 16) is likely your best bet, and frankly a good bet for 'starter wide-angle' (although if you like it you'll quickly want to go wider). They aren't *that* slow at the wide end. REALLY fast wide-angle lenses will be way more costly and way more heavy/bulky than most people will want, anyway.
    Also, Joe, you mention sitting farther to the right and aiming a little to the left to straighten the boxes and the kid into the same plane of focus. Yep, good thinking. I'd amend that, though, to *crouching* a little to the right of where you were... get that camera a little lower to about your son's eye level and see what happens.
     
  39. there's also the sigma 18-50 HSM which will AF faster than the 17-50's micromotor. the Tamron usually gets the edge in image quality but i know a few folks who shoot with the 18-50 and they seem to be happy with its performance. i've only shot a little bit with the 18-50 and never in critical situations, so i can't speak for its performance under fire, as it were. but i'm very confident using the Tammy @ 2.8, where its sharpness compares or outpaces the 50/1.8 and sigma 30/1.4.
    as far as zooms on a d5000 goes, you want to play into a camera's strength. shooting wide open at 1.8 with a 35 gives you a little sliver of focus area to work with. at 2.8, you have much more wiggle room as far as getting a sharp shot, and of course, you have more latitude as far as composition with a zoom.
    the part about playing into a camera's strength is this: the d5000 has the same low-light/hi-ISO ability as the d90 and d300. so anything you might lose from shooting at 2.8 as opposed to 1.8 is mitigated to a large degree by the ability to shoot at 1600 or even 3200 ISO, except in the dimmest of conditions.
    i've found that with the 17-50/d300 combo, i rarely use the 50/1.8, and only pull out the 30/1.4 when i absolutely need 1.4. so you might even find the 35/1.8 extraneous with the 17-50 or 18-50.
    another thing about the tammy 17-50 is it is extremely compact--comparable to the nikon 18-70 in size. it's not a big, heavy zoom by any means, but it delivers big performance. at least in my experience using it for 3 1/2 years, it has.
    00Wh0K-252677584.jpg
     
  40. - I do agree that opening up consideration for zooms is wise. Primes are nice lenses, but I think the "prime's are awesome!" mantra is a bit overdone. Zooms have gotten a lot better since their introduction, and whereas primes give you more flexibility in terms of aperture, zooms give you flexibility with perspective. A zoom will simply broaden the range of photographs you can take.
    - The D5000 is what you bought, and the D5000 is a fine camera. If I had a D5000, I would not look back with any regret, and with the current offerings, I would not be compelled to upgrade to anything short of a D300s. Yes, the camera doesn't autofocus AF-D, and that slashes your lens selection down... don't worry about it, Tamron and Sigma have you covered, and in general AF-S is a *good* thing. Remote flash: if you really wanted to do it, buy a remote flash commander. In some ways, it's better than the wireless flash control on the D90. So don't have any regrets... the D5000 has a similar sensor, and roughly the same high ISO performance as the D90.
    -35mm is great for portraits, but 50-85 I think is more intimate... you get closer without getting physically closer and worrying about focus/perspective issues. I'll make a last push for the 60mm macro: 50mm lenses tend to... not be that great wide open (say from f/1.4-f/2.8), not to mention that you're dealing with thinner depths of field. Macro lenses however, tend to be pretty awesome wide open, so you're getting similar sharpness "sweet spots" with a 60mm macro and a 50mm lens. The 60mm macro also gives you something you lost when you passed on the kit lens: close focusing. The reason (I think) macro lenses tend to be poorer for portrait work is autofocusing time... the lens will hunt across a wider range to get focus. It is a consideration, but it really isn't a bad tradeoff to put a great lens in your pocket that opens up new doors.
    Other than that, I could get a zoom. Suppose I don't have much use for the 35-50mm focal length, would you prefer getting a slower wide zoom like 10-20 f/3.5 or 12-24 f/4 or a 17-50 f/2.8? Is the 17-35mm range crucial or does the UWA range open more creative possibilities?​
    If you get an ultra-wide zoom, emphasis sharpness, then zoom range, then give a passing glance at aperture. Ultra-wides are not created equal, some tend to be very soft. Given that you only cover 35mm though, you might want to consider the 10-24 or 12-24 range, which is generally useful. The Sigma 10-20 might be kinda limited....... 10 I find is simply too wide for many situations (and they vignette with Cokin P filters if you ever get into that). The meat of ultrawide landscape work I think is within 12-20... and 20-24 is a useful range that you don't have covered.
    Aperture is nearly pointless for ultra-wides. It's hard to get good bokeh (half the point of ultrawides is to get *everything* in focus), and you will be stopping down to f/8 on nearly every lens for both depth of field and maximum sharpness.
    That said, the Tokina 12-24mm, with the autofocus motor, if you can find it, may be the best bet. Your other choice is the Tamron 10-24... which gets mixed reviews [it's what I have though, and I admit corner softness is an issue].
    Other than that... yeah, what everybody says about 17/18-50mm f/2.8 is great. You just have to decide which focal length you want to start working on. Intimate portraits: 50/60/85 primes. Perspective portraits and landscapes: ultrawide. General fun: 17-50.
     
  41. I have a D5000 and i do not have a problem using manual prime lenses. Indeed, i can focus just as quick, and in low light situations quicker. Technology is very helpful; however, it has its limitations.

    It is very nice lightweight, take anywhere little cam, which can easily hold its own against the bigger beasts.
    00WhkU-253087584.jpg
     
  42. Allen,
    Great to hear that you're MFing well on the D5000. Care to share how you're doing it? Rangefinder indicator? Aftermarket focusing screen? And does it work with lenses with no electronic contacts?
     
  43. Got some input on this one, just my $.02. I have the D90, upgraded from a D40, and have regular access to a D300.....and the D5000....its a great camera. Get the Tokina 12-24 II, I hardly ever take it off my camera. The best choice after I tried the Tamron and Sigma wide angles out for a week each on my 90. Tokina won hands down. Build quality as good as Nikon, half the price, good for portraits (allows some creativity with them also if wanna go that route due to the perspective options) perfect for landscapes. I also still own the 50mm 1.8, and sad to say, I find its only good [on DX] for portraits/low light "action" shots most of the time. Focal length is too short or too far it seems, which kllls me cuz I love the IQ it delivers, when its possible to step back enough that it fits into the landscape/scenery realm. I really wish it was more versatile... cant seem to justify the 35mm 1.8 AFS cuz of the Tokina, its F4 is enough to get the job done 90% of the time.... works great in my house, just keep a couple lights on when you have your camera in hand lol !! after all the mid range zooms/primes i've had (24mm, 35mm AFD, 50 f1.4, 50 AFS, 85mm, 200mm, 300mm, 18-200, 18-55, 17-55, 55-200, 20-35 f2.8, 24-120mm), I settled on the 28-70, BUT, when I got the 80-200 2.8 (i got the AFD, but you could go to AFS for a couple hundred more) I hardly ever touch the 28-70 anymore.
    If i would have known in the beginning of my progression in this hobby that I would wind up switching back and forth between the Tokina 12-24 and the Nikon 80-200AFD nearly exclusively, with my other 2 lenses collecting dust in my cabinet, I could have saved a boat load of dollars!! Just need a micro now......... :)
     
  44. I have a D60, Joe, that I use manual focus lenses with. I have an aftermarket Katzeye screen installed. It makes all the difference in the world. You get a nice, split-image to work with. I use the rangefinder as well, but the screen is faster.
    You can use lenses with no electrical contacts, but of course you lose metering.
     
  45. I may be resurrecting an older thread, but after more hands on experience having to use manual focus on my D5000, I'm going to see if I can hire a AF lens and spend a day or 2 seeing how viable living without autofocus can be. After all, not a bad skill to try and improve.
     
  46. I'm not sure about proper forum etiquette, but I was hoping I could jump in here and ask another question about lenses for a nikon D5000. Everyone who has contributed responses sounds rather competent and I am only about a year into DSLR photography. For the most part, I can decipher what everyone is saying and I know what most of the "letters" and "numbers" mean when people talk about lenses and cameras, but a lot of it is still jibberish. That being said, I do have a natural eye for photography and have already had some photos recognized by websites and contests including one for Lonely Planet...so while I have the creativity down, I am hoping that the technological part of my brain will start grasping it all. Right now I am just using the 18-55 and 55-200mm kit lenses with my D5000. I am ready to upgrade and have a budget of about $1000. I am a traveler who heads overseas each winter and will be going back to India in November (a travel photographer's paradise) and I want to have some new lenses, or at least one new lens in tow. I found on the last trip that I really enjoy taking portraits and people shots more than landscape, but I don't want to rule out landscape shots as I will be back in Nepal for some trekking, which means pictures of mountains, valleys, etc. So, what are some of your suggestions for lenses??? Also, lens weight is a little bit of a factor as I travel for 6 months and try to pack lightly! Thanks...
     
  47. Emily, could you give us a bit more info on what focal lengths you normally shoot with? Do you use the 18-55 or the 55-200 more? And what aspects would you like the new lens to improve on? Better low light? Or just looking for better performance?
     

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