Nikkor Lens Recommendation

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by carbonmotion, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    Jan 28, 2004
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    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    I have a Nikon D40 with the 18-55 Kit lens
    I plan on getting another lens in two month, should I get the...

    Zoom-Nikkor AF-S DX 18-135 mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED

    Nikkor 18-70 mm f/3.5-4.5

    Nikon AF-S DX 55-200 mm

    or

    Nikon AF-S DX VR 55-200 mm
     
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #2
    I wouldn't get the 18-70 DX, as I don't think it's that huge an improvement over the 18-55 and doesn't offer much more range. If you want an improved kit lens for that range, I'd get the Sigma 17-70 DC Macro. It has a wider max aperture, is a fraction wider, and can do semi-macro.

    18-135 is a huge range, but personally I'd rather have two lenses that cover that range (and more) because ultra zooms have narrow apertures and large distortions.

    The 55-200 seems like a good cheap zoom lens though, and the VR version sounds like a bargain to me. It's not going to be a great sports/action lens, but it'll be great for long-distance candids and things like that.
     
  3. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

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    #3
    Yeah, the 55-200 VR is the one to get. However, you'll be waiting awhile. Earliest shipments are said to be early April.
     
  4. job macrumors 68040

    job

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    #4
    I think you need to consider several things before purchasing the lens.

    First and foremost, what sort of pictures are you going to be taking?

    Do you need the zoom? Do you need a faster lens?

    Do you need one single 'travel' lens that can cover a certain focal range? Or are you willing to put up with swapping out lenses?

    I'd honestly take the 55-200mm VR. It compliments the D40 nicely and I'm seriously considering getting one myself. You've got a decent focal range and with VR on the zoom lens, you don't have to have a fast aperture.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    First off the 18-55 is optically good. It's limited because it is so slow

    Be fore I could say which to get, I'd ask why you want a second lens. If you can answer that then you will know which lens to get. Examples of why you might want a lens

    1) Some subjects are far away and you can't walk up closer to get the shot

    2) Some subjects are very small and your lens will not focus close enough

    3) You like the "look" or style of a very narrow depth of focus and your f/5.6 lens will not do that

    4) You are shooting sports and yoir subject is blurred do to motion and/or to small in the frame

    OK you get the idea..... Once you can say something like the above it will be very, very easy to pick out a lens

    One more thing: All of those lenses you picked are very much like the one you have. They're f/5.6 zooms (or close to it) maybe you need something completely different?

    I have the 18-70. I got it when I bought my D50 because I didn't have a Nikon lens that would go as wide as 18mm, my widest was 24mm. I'm happy with the 18-70 and use it for about 2/3rd of my shooting. It does distort somewhat in the widest setting but I can work around that. Only noticeable if there are straight lines in the image (like a horizon line) After that I have the 50mm f/1.4 that sees a lot of use.

    Nikon did not have the 18-135 when I bought the D50 or I might have gotten that. 135mm is about the longest lens I would need on a DX format body. Bt I don't know much about this lens

    I'd feel very limited however without my fast primes. A 50mm was the first lens I bought back in about 1972. I've owned maybe four different 50mm lenses.
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #6
    Thom Hogan wasn't particularly impressed with the non-VR version of the 55-200 lens, but he hasn't reviewed the update. Ken Rockwell claims the VR version is significantly better than the previous version (for what that's worth). Since it's new, it's hard to find much in the way of actual hands-on reviews unfortunately.

    That is a good range for walking around. With my old film camera, most of the time I'd have an 80-200 Tokina lens on it when hiking/walking around, with a shorter lens in my pocket/bag for the odd occasion where 80 was too close. That'd be pretty much where this lens would fall (except the long end is about 300 film equivalent, of course).

    Certainly the price is right!
     
  7. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #7
    For the VR uninitiated...

    VR will prevent vibration, so you can shoot with a slower shutter speed, and still get sharp photographs. In other words, if you used to have to shoot at 1/60 shutter speed to get sharp photos (hand held, arbitrary number of course) you now might be able to shoot at 1/30 or 1/15 and get the same degree of sharpness.

    VR will do nothing to prevent subject motion, however. If your subject is moving quickly the image will still be blurry if the shutter speed is not fast enough.

    One problem with the VR lenses (I have the 18-200 VR) is that they actually have a fairly slow aperture (mine is 5.6 at the zoom end), so they let a lot less light in than a nice prime lens like a 1.8. This means that quite often you have to hold the shutter open longer to let in more light to get a correct exposure.

    When shooting sports indoors, for example, this can be problematic. The VR keeps your hands nice and steady, but because the lens is slower you need to keep the shutter open a bit longer to allow in the right amount of light for the exposure. While the VR keeps your lens steady during the longer exposure, the longer shutter speed also causes your subjects to appear blurred in the image due to their movement.

    VR rocks, but does have limits!
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #8
    What focal length are most of your shots taken at now?
    What focal length do you feel is missing the most and why?
    What if any issues are you having with your current lens?

    Without more data, recommendations are useless.
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #9
    Just to nit pick a bit, Nikon does make the 200/2 VR, 300/2.8VR and 200-400VR, so not *all* their VR lenses suck speed-wise. Just the inexpensive ones ;)
     
  10. James L macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 14, 2004
    #10
    Absolutely correct... I just try not to think of things I can't have!

    :D
     
  11. carbonmotion thread starter macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #11
    yes, all the time

    no

    yes, kinda

    not really

    i use a tripod alot
    i do a alot of landscapes
     
  12. Binford macrumors member

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    Boston, MA
    #12
    For the budget, I would say wait for the 55-200VR.

    I'd also save for a 50mm f/1.8 or 1.4
     
  13. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #13
    If he has to save for the 50mm f/1.8, the 55-200VR is a long way away. :D
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #14
    Well if you shoot a lot of landscapes, then surely a wide-angle lens is what you need.

    You say that you shoot using a tripod often. If you do, and you're not shooting sports or things that move quickly, then I think a plain old 55-200 mm or 70-300 mm from Nikon or Sigma will do the job for you. You won't need VR if you have a tripod.

    I'd rather spend the money on something like a Tokina 12-24 mm f/4 wide-angle lens, as that's something you can't get without spending a lot of money. You can get cheap zooms and still get great photos if you use a tripod.
     
  15. slicedbread macrumors regular

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    Nov 5, 2006
    #15
    What he said. If you can get to a tripod, you don't need VR.

    And if you do landscapes, wideangle is what you want. The best is the Nikon 12-24 f/4, but its kinda pricey. For nearly 1/2 the price the Tokina is nearly as good - a worthwhile buy!
    Also, if you dig the shallow DOF effect, a cheap way to get started is the Nikon 50mm f/1.8. The f/1.4 is more than double that, but cheap in terms of lenses as well.
     
  16. G99 macrumors 6502

    G99

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    Mar 8, 2006
    #16
    Didn't realise you had already posted replies!
     
  17. Imbalance macrumors member

    Imbalance

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    #17
    I'd get the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. It's super. Or an ultrawide, like the 14mm Nikkor. Wide is where it's at... none of this zoom nonsense... that is if you are after sharp shots. Otherwise get some OK consumer zoom that'll never be razor sharp.
     
  18. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #18
    Not necessarily. A telephoto zoom can be great for landscapes too. It all depends on where you're standing and what you want to shoot.
     
  19. carbonmotion thread starter macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #19
    i dont do much nature, I do urban/ city scape
    trying to get in to journalist style photograph... capturing people in natural states.
     

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