Yet another lens question: if you could only have 2 lenses...

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by misou_ho, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. I have a D40 that came with the kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G) and I want to upgrade but am on a budget. Which 2 other lenses would you get if that's all you could get? I usually do outdoor portrait for friends and family, some landscape/cityscape and macro. Would like the best all around lenses I can get right now for my moolah.
    Thanks in advance for answering!
  2. For the D40 on a budget I'd get the AF-S 35mm f/1.8 DX, which we'll give you the angle of a standard lens, which I happen to like a lot. Then I'd get the AF-S 55-200mm.
  3. What's your Budget?
  4. Ditto Emilio- I just got a D90 and the 35mmf/1.8 DX is my favorite and so far, most used lens. It's very versatile, wicked sharp, and makes it easy to tote the camera around and get great pics without looking all touristy/paparazzi around town like the zooms.
  5. I'd like to spend less than $500 for the first lens and maybe less than $1000 for my next one.
  6. I have the two lenses Emilio mentioned, for my D90. Since they're both AFS they're perfectly compatible with a D40 as well, and they'd be my recommendations. (For the 55-200 you want the VR version.)
  7. 60/2.8 AF-S Macro or 85/3.5 AF-S Macro for both macro and portrait. Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 or the new 8-16/4.5-5.6 for landscape/cityscape. Selection is quite limited since you need AF-S (or equivalent - like Sigma's HSM) lenses with build-on motor to have AF with the D40. Could also get rid of the 18-55 and replace with Sigma 17-70/2.8-4 OS HSM. Maybe Sigma 50-150/2.8 for the portrait work.
  8. Nikon 18 - 200 VR. Some may poo poo it, but it is a great lens if you want a wide range. It would tend to overwhelm your D40 though! Primes are great, but if you are limiting yourself to two lenses zooms will give you more bang for your buck. I also have the Tokina 11-16. I'm quite happy to have two lenses that cover 11 - 200 mm.
  9. How about the Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 $450.00 & the 70-300mm VR f/4-5.6G. $500.00
    Prices on Amazon
  10. How about the Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 $450.00 & the 70-300mm VR f/4-5.6G. $500.00
    Prices on Amazon
  11. I can't see doing all that with two lenses, but more or less it can be done within your budget. Sell your current 18-55 & get the newest VR version. Add a 60/.28 macro (double duty macro/portrait), and an 85/1.8 for longer working distance portraits, headshots, etc. This is assuming you already own a steady tripod for the landscapes, of course. That 18-55 needs to be stopped down some to be all it can be.
  12. I think it should be a strictly personal decission, you should buy the gear you think/feel you need for your own pourposes. If using your currently zoom you feel you need something different or more capable, or specialized, or whatever, it`ll be the time for searching.

    Personally, if I were owner of your gear, I`d look for a 35/1.8DX. When I used to use DX cameras I liked to have a 24/2.8AFD as the "standard" lens, but I probably would have prefered the new 35/1.8AFS. I like to have the isolating power and polivalence of a fast standard lens, specially for casual shooting. The smallest&lightest combo. My second lens was a 105VR.
  13. This one taken with a 24AFD @ f2.8 -- With a 35/1.8 you still have 1+1/3 stop to get a shallower DoF.
    (BTW, a very, very good wine... ) :D
  14. Wow,
    You have a D40 and want to spend 1500 on lenses?
    FOr 1500, I'd buy a D90, a 70-300 VR, and a 35mm f1.8, then keep the D40 as backup or sell it.
  15. I echo:
    "Enrique Rabelo , Apr 15, 2010; 12:44 p.m.
    How about the Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 $450.00 & the 70-300mm VR f/4-5.6G. $500.00"
  16. For portraits the Tamron 28-75 2.8 is great. I believe the latest version has a built in AF motor which you need for a D40 to enable AF. The 50mm 1.8 can also be a great portrait lens on DX bodies but it won't af with your D40. The 35mm 1.8 is a good recomendation also I would also look at the sigma 30mm 1.4 and the sigma 50mm 1.4 if you like shallow DOF.
  17. I'm wth Mr Hamm,
    Right now you can get a new D90 with the 18-105vr and 70-300 Vr for $1369.00 delivered. As opposed to hanging more stuff on your D40 this seems like a great option. You will have a great backup camera and a more-or-less state of the art primary camera.
  18. A Nikon 18-70 is $450?? That's for a used kit lens that's not fast and has no VR. For that money you could have a new Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 with VR, but I thought this was about lenses that go with an 18-55, not to replace it with a marginal upgrade. Second the Tamron 28-75 being a great lens, I have one on my F100, but this is DX and it overlaps the 18-55 by a lot.
    I agree with Peter - it seems a bit odd to buy $1500 in lenses to go with a D40, even though one does usually spend more on lenses than bodies, and it's true that a D90 and 70-300 as a combo (there's a rebate going on for that) plus a 35/1.8 AFS lens comes to under $1500. Then sell the D40 on Ebay and use the proceeds toward something else.
  19. I would suggest the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC ($650) and Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 ($750), but the macro would be missing, unless you're OK with cropping. I use this combination on two D70s bodies for events, concerts, portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, etc., filled out with a Tokina 12-24 f/4 and 70-300 VR.
  20. I usually do outdoor portrait for friends and family, some landscape/cityscape and macro.​
    misou, you have a fairly good idea of what you want to do. that's good, helps to make more specific suggestions/recommendations than just general ones.
    your biggest limitations are probably the d40's lack of an internal focus motor and its small size. with that said, one lens i'd definitely recommend as a major optical upgrade to a kit lens is the tamron 17-50/2.8 VC. the compactness wont completely dwarf your d40, the low-light performance is great at 2.8, and the corners are sharp stopped down to f/8. plus, it will AF on a d40. a quite sensible option, when you think about it.
    if close-up performance matters more than constant aperture, the sigma 17-70 HSM is capable of 1:2.3 magnification. and it's 2.8 at 17mm.
    for landscapes and cityscapes, nothing quite beats an ultrawide. the sigma 10-20 HSM can be an excellent performer in the right situations (though UWAs take some practice getting used to, and are best shot on a tripod).
    outdoor portraits: for $1000 you have a nice selection to choose from. usually outdoors means more room to move around, so a longer focal length can work here. you could even go with a macro in the 90-105 range, but there are some good zooms as well. with a small body like a d40, though, you will want to think about how well the lens balances on the camera (maybe add an aftermarket grip if you get something heavy).
    my recommendations:
    • nikon 16-85 VR. pretty good all purpose lens with both wide and long reach. only minus is slow variable aperture (and price)--which makes it more difficult to throw backgrounds out of focus.
    • nikon 70-300 VR. definitely a go-to outdoors lens and the price is right for the reach you get.
    • tamron 28-75/2.8. a well-regarded, super sharp (at f/4 and beyond) compact fast zoom--did i say compact?--which makes a good landscape and portrait lens. make sure to get the BiM version if you go this route.
    • tamron 90mm macro. legendary for its sharpness. works for portraits too. i think they make a version with a built-in-motor now.
    • nikon 105 VR. does the same thing as the tamron 90, but with a squeench more reach plus VR and faster AF (nice for handheld, low-light portraits) at--ulp!--double the cost.
    • sigma 50-150/2.8. a great lens for DX. covers the entire portrait range, smooth internal-focusing zooming action, lovely bokeh, super fast AF. could be a bit unwieldy on a d40, though, at 27.5 oz.
    • nikon 55-200 VR. extends your reach to the portrait range and beyond in a compact package which is impressive stopped down to f/8-11. for the price it's actually quite good for landscapes, hiking, and travel.
  21. the Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 $450.00
    seriously? that's wayyy overpriced for that lens, which was $300-$350 when new. i had it, wasnt crazy about it, got the 28-75 and never looked back. now it sits all forlorn on my backup camera, waiting for the chance to redeem itself.
    @Tim E. : the 11-16 wont AF on a d40. not so much of an issue for landscapes on a tripod, but the OP would likely be better off with the 10-20 in that field.
    also, Peter H. makes a really good point about the d90 being a better all-around body than the d40. one thing with that is it opens up a lot of (relatively) inexpensive but good lenses, like the tokina 35/2.8 macro, the nikon 50/1.8, the nikon 85/1.8, the tokina 11-16 and 12-24, etc... as a matter of fact, i would get the tokina 35 over the nikon 35/1.8 any day--it's reputedly sharper at 2.8, has a much better build, does 1:1 macro with 5.5cm close-focusing, and only costs a little over $100 more.
  22. polivalence​
    lol, jose. had to look that up. it means versatile, no?
  23. I have the Nikon D60 with 18-55 VR lens and 35F1.8. And the only lens I plan to add is the new Nikon 85mm F3.5 VR/Micro lens. So consider:
    • Nikon 35F1.8 DX AF-S
    • Nikon 85mm F3.5 DX AF-S
    • upgrading your 18-55 to the VR version
    And you'll be left with a very compact, lightweight and still high-performance system.
  24. Nikkor 17-55 2.8 + Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VR.
  25. Sell everything, buy a D5000 + Tamron 17-50mm/f2.8 and another Tamron 90mm/f2.8 macro (and portrait) and you are well covered.
  26. Hans, you've got to tell me where you shop to get those two lenses at the budget the OP has stated. I'll buy everything there!
  27. the Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 $450.00

    I did a quick search & that's what it said. I also found it to be high. I guess with some time you can find it cheaper.​
  28. for your budget you can get the tamron 17-50mm motorized, the sigma 50-150mm.
  29. enrique, why would you recommend the 18-70 at that price? for $200 used (which i found with just one click on the amazon link), maybe. for $450 new? not a great deal. the sigma 18-50 HSM is cheaper and that's a sharper lens with constant 2.8.
  30. To Eric; thanks for your quote. I`m sorry, I was probably thinking in spanish, or even worst, in "spanglish"... I have already checked that this word isn`t listed at the dictionary. As you say I wanted to mean something close to versatile, in the way that it could offer more aesthetic possibilities for different needs.
    (I unconsciously translated "polivalencia" (=polyvalent) to an inexintent term. In spanish, the chemical term polyvalent is also correctly used instead of all-purpose or versatile. This words can be also applied to the spanish languaje, which could be extremely subjective, as its terms are usually so versatile).
  31. okay, Misou shoots landscapes and portraits, so why on earth would he need auto focus? not only is it not a limitation of the D40, but it's one less bit techno crap that won't get in the way of his creativity.
    And what's wrong with spending $1500 on a lens for a D40. Do you honestly think that a print made from an image shot with a D40 is going to be inferior to that of the latest flavour of the week digicam? Misou asked for lens upgrade options, not poor advice on upgrading a camera that is probably one of the best SLR's that Nikon have made.
  32. I'd get the D90 and 16-85 VR. Then I'd add the 50/1.8 for portraits or the Voigtlander 58/1.4 for a bit more money.
  33. I have to say this one more time. We seem to have named every lens made in the US. Some of us just trying to add noodles to the soup.
    For 1369.00 delivered (and he has a $1500.00 budget and old camera) he can buy a brand new D90, an 18-105 vr lens and a 70-300 AFS VR lens! All new with a waranty. All from Adorama; a highly reputable dealer.
    Which of the suggestions above give him more capability than that? He will vastly increase his low light performance. Vastly increase his resolution. Gain a screen he can actually see. Gain video. Gain 40 autofucus points. Gain half again in frame rate. Gain live view which for macro is a nice thing. Gain the ability to add and use non AFS lenses for the future and wind up with a back-up camera. And much more.
    And he is not supposed to do this so he can get two sigma or two tamron lenses?
  34. OP here. Thank you everyone for your responses. I'm sure you all have very good reason to recommend what you did. I will explore all of the suggestions I receive.

    To clarify things a bit, I've only had the D40 for about two months and it's my first DSLR. Got it on clearance for 1/3 the original MSRP so I feel like I can splurge just a bit on the lenses. So far I really like playing with it but I feel the lens I have is limited so I plan on upgrading in the near future so I can further my photography. I don't mean to drop $1500 right off the bat. I just wanted to get expert opinions on what lenses I should really focus and do research on (there are sooo many out there.)
    Thanks again.
  35. whatever you do, don't splurge $450 for a new 18-70mm. i love that lens --- i have two. can get that used for less than $200. i had that lens for months with the D40 as my everyday-carry camera. very nice kit, even for street.
    a great move to get good glass and learn from your camera, the D40 is a very good learning tool. i suggested the 18-50mm f/2.8 and the sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 earlier. now if you're in the mood to splurge, add the 35mm f/1.8 or the sigma 30mm.
    you hit the pause button on your splurge there and continue on after a few years for a camera upgrade. the D40 is a wonderful second body.
  36. okay, Misou shoots landscapes and portraits, so why on earth would he need auto focus? not only is it not a limitation of the D40, but it's one less bit techno crap that won't get in the way of his creativity.​
    i agree with the reasoning here, but manual focus is an acquired taste, especially considering we're talking about someone who's only had their DSLR for 2 months.
    but, if the OP were to go the MF route, two sweet lenses would be the tokina 35/2.8 macro and the voigtlander 58/1.4.both are well within budget.
  37. Not necessarily recommending the Nikon 18-70 for your needs, given that you have an 18-55 kit lense, but if you buy one, be aware that Adorama has them used for less than $200, KEH has them used for $250. B&H doesn't have them today but it's worth checking there too if you buy one. All three of these stores routinely get recommended by members (see the "Community" tab) and I have been happy with used purchases from all of them.
  38. I'd skip the 18-70 and go with the Sigma 17-70 os. The Sigma is much sharper and is a stabilized lens. Also would get the Nikon 70-300vr to round out your kit. Both of these lenses are stabilized and very good value for the buck.
  39. I'd skip the 18-70 and go with the Sigma 17-70 os. The Sigma is much sharper and is a stabilized lens. Also would get the Nikon 70-300vr to round out your kit. Both of these lenses are stabilized and very good value for the buck.
  40. 20mm and 35mm primes
  41. Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 & the AF-S 35mm f/1.8 DX - check them out at Adorama via the PN site link at the top right hand corner of the page

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