Nikon lenses, which one should I get?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bearbo, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. bearbo macrumors 68000

    bearbo

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #1
    i've eyed on the following few lenses, and i need helps from the photography pro's opinion :)

    18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor

    18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor

    24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor

    the 18-200 has a 1~2 month wait

    this is my first DSLR, i shoot mostly outside. where i am has a lot of cloudy days this season, so i dont know if that's considered as low light and thus the aperature isn't big enough..

    also i sometimes do night photos, the night of streets for instance.. but for that i MOST likely will have tripod

    i'm also considering getting this Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF... has anybody had experience with this?
     
  2. uberfoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #2
    The 18-200 seems nice. If you were to have just one lens, this would be a decent choice to start out with because of the its broad range. The VR will also come in handy when shooting by hand and zoomed in.

    One thing I have learned is that a larger aperture capability is never a bad thing. With any of the lenses you have chosen, if you ever shoot indoors or are trying to capture something moving during low light conditions, you'll wish you had a larger aperture.

    Your choices all have the silent wave focus which is great. I shoot a lot of moving objects, cars, kids, etc. Trying to use anything but the SW focus is near impossible unless your object's movements are consistent.

    Did you buy a body alone or did you get it with a lens? If you already have a lens, it might be worth getting another to compliment it instead of replacing it.

    I shot with a 50mm 1.4 for a few weeks. It's an interesting lens and the aperture is fun to play with but its because its range is fixed you'll feel restricted. Its speed and zoom is great for shooting people, indoor low-light situations, and during dusk outside. It's really easy to reproduce exactly what your eyes see.

    One of my favorite lenses is the 24-70 F2.8. Aperture is nice for most light situations and the its range is useful for general photography; a "leave on your camera 90% of the time" lens.
     
  3. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502

    shieldyoureyes

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    #3
    I would definately not go the 24-105 route. You will probably miss that wide end, because after the crop factor, it will be a 36mm-157mm. As for the other 2 lenses, you couldn't go wrong getting either. If the 18-200 is in your price range, go for it, you won't regret it, it is a great walk around lens. I have zero experience with the 18-135, but I am sure its great.
     
  4. beavo451 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Get that in addition to whatever other lens you buy. At $100, it is sharper (by most accounts) than the renowned $1600 70-200 VR. Every SLR shooter should have a 50mm lens in their bag.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    Either one would be fine. I'd prefer the 18-200 mm VR simply because of the VR. Plus, the 18-135 mm has an aperture of f/5.6 at 135 mm, whereas the 18-200 mm probably has an f-number of around f/4.5 or so. It's not a big difference, but meh....it's still 2/3rds of a stop. :eek:
     
  6. shambolic macrumors regular

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    Staten Island, NY
    #6
    Maximum apertures for the 18-200 are: (from this review)

    18mm f/3.5
    24mm f/3.8
    35mm f/4.2
    50mm f/4.8
    70mm f/5
    135mm and higher f/5.6

    So the aperture is no better as the 18-135 at full telephoto, but then you effectively regain a couple of stops from the VR (fine if you're looking to get longer shutter speeds, not so useful if you wanted the shallower depth of field, or trying to shoot moving objects).

    I'd second the advice to get a fast prime, for a start it will give you something to shoot with while waiting for the 18-200VR to become available. If street scenes are your thing, something wider than the 50/1.8 (which behaves like a 75mm lens when mounted on a DSLR) might be useful. The 35/f2 prime is highly regarded, if you can afford a little more money.
     
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    Ah, my mistake. I didn't know that the aperture was f/5.6 from 135-200 mm. Either way, get the 18-200 mm because of the VR, which should get you an additional 3-4 stops, but probably more like 2 stops if being realistic.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    Read up on the "Sunny 16 Rule". This was invented to help people who don't have a light meter built into their camera. The D50 of course has one but you can use it to compute the proper exposure in your head just for planning purposes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_16

    So.... to work out one example. A cloudy day. It says ISO 100, 1/100th second and f/8.0 No suppose you are using a 200mm lens and you need to shoot at 1/200th to prevent camera shake induced blurr. So you could use
    1/200 at f/5.6. Now suppose it gets slightly darker. Your lens only opens to f/5.6 and you can't use 1/100. So you need to move up to ISO 200.

    The D50 will go up to ISO 1600. You can play around with combinations and see what compromises you would need to make with a lens that only opens to f/5.6 Of couse yu could get pictures. But the ones you want???
     
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #9
    The 18-200 is a great lens, the G model I am not familiar with, but it sounds decent. Because of the VR I would not even consider the 18-135. The 18-135 may be nice, but like everyone is saying, that VR may save you one day when you see a shot and can take it because you have the VR and no tripod.

    I have the 24-120 VR. It's a great lens. I didn't miss the wide for a while, I am old school and zoom with my feet where needed. However I did just pick up the 10-20mm (sigma) and so far it's been awesome (100 photos on it so far). So I'm thinking that the 24-120 VR is a great choice, but if you do not already have a wide, then perhaps the 18-200 is the best bet.

    Back to the 18-200...I'd go with that.
     
  10. bearbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    bearbo

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    Jul 20, 2006
    #10
    the 24-120 has VR too i believe, altho that's VR I instead of VR II

    see, i think i would've preferred 18-200 for my first lens as well, but here's my thought on why i shouldn't get it, please help me think this through, thanks!
    (at this point, the only reason i'd get 18-135 is because of price...)
    1. it's my first lens, which means inevitebly i will be getting more lenses to improve my collection, so this one doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to cover ALL the angles and lenses, so i can just get a feel for all the features given by this lens...

    2. altho i dont have a strict budget, i do like to keep spending to low, again, given this is my first setup, i can always expand later

    3. the 18-200 has a 1~2 months wait

    ... i dont know if i'm thinking logically, please correct my logic as necessary

    i do like the 18-200 a lot, but given its price and its wait, i dont know if the 24-120 might be a better option at this point

    i was thinking i'll shoot with 2 lenses (a zoom one and the 50mm 1.8 one) for a yr or half, and see if i miss a lot of long shots, then i'll consider if i'll get a longer zoom one... or wider angle one... actaully, wouldn't dedicated wide angle one be better for wide angle ones? like a 17-35 ish? i dont know what i'm talking about anymore :eek:
     
  11. innhitman macrumors newbie

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    Jul 16, 2002
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    NJ
    #11
    I have the 18-200 with the D80....

    I think the lens is great.... night shots are pure and sharp....

    I regret not waiting for the 70-300, because I use zoom for most of my shots... rarely need the 18-70 range.... and the 300mm range would help for sports, etc.....

    But the ease of using this single lens is a big plus....

    Hand held shots at 200mm are sharp.... obviously a tripod would only help...

    If you don't care about the 300mm zoom that is coming out, then go for the 18-200 with not regrets.
     
  12. serpent macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2006
    #12
    If you plan on sticking with Nikon products, then I don't agree with your logic of buying a cheap lens. Good glass you will retain while as your photo skills improve you will upgrade your camera.
    If I were you I would start out with the 28-70 f/2.8D, Known as "THE BEAST" IMO there isn't a finer peice of glass made! It has become my normal walk around lens.
    is the 18-200 a great lens? I don't think so! It is good at what it was intended to be, an average lens that someone can shoot with that doesn't want to shlep around 3 different lenses. The 17-35 f/2.8D, 28-70 f/2.8D, and the 70-200 f/2.8G VR. These lenses ain't cheap the 1st two sell for about $1400ea while the 70-200 goes for around $1600, but they can be had on ebay used for around $900 and $1400.
     
  13. bearbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    bearbo

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    Jul 20, 2006
    #13
    if you financially support me on buying those lenses, i'd get all of them
    i dont want to pull out this, but i'm a student, i can't afford spending a lot of money, heck, i don't have them

    also, i am no professional, sure great lenses are great, but am i gonna notice the difference between the best lenses out there and some lenses that's 700ish? i doubt very much

    1400 + 1400 + 1600 + 1000 (D80) = 5400, i'm sorry, i don't have that much money.
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #14
    But if you just get the 18-200 mm with VR and the 50 mm f/1.8, it's probably all you'd need for quite awhile.


    Actually, I wanted that 18-200 mm VR a long time ago. I'm sure it's fantastic, but it's a DX lens, and I don't want to find out what happens when Nikon has to use a full frame sensor one day. I get non-DX lenses only, except for my 12-24 mm Tokina, since it's pretty much tied as the best wideangle with the Nikon 12-24 mm f/4. However, if I had to do it again, I'd get the Sigma equivalent model. There are 2 of them, but one of them is DG, which means I can use it on 35 mm cameras.
     
  15. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #15
    Good glass is important and will grow with you. This is no lie. However, I see your point in trying to find a really great lens for what you can spend today. I started with a good body and ok glass. At least when I moved from Minolta to Nikon (film). I have an F4 and I had a 70-210mm (which I still have and love) and then a 50mm and a 19-25mm. All of them are great pieces of glass, but there are better for about $500 more per lens.

    I see your point in the 18-200 wait time. Seriously, if you want/need it now then the 18-200 is not even an option. It then comes down to the 24-120 and the 18-135.
    At this point I would pick the 24-120 as it has VR. Yes it is VR I, but it's VR...unlike the 18-135. AFAIK.
     
  16. serpent macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2006
    #16
    since you said that you really don't care for a long lens, then why the 18-200? the "VR" is absolutly useless at nite shooting on a tripod. The 18-200 with an average price of $900 is the same price as a used 20-70mmf/2.8D. With the Beast there is no need for any single lens that falls within its zooming range.
     
  17. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #17

    VR can be turned off when used on a tripod. If he doesn't happen to have a tripod, VR can help.

    You seem to have a fixation on the 28-70mm lens. This is a poor choice for digital SLRs due to its focal range (FOV equivalent to a 42-105mm). The 18-70mm has an excellent range and is a good lens, but not fast. If you want fast, the 17-55mm f/2.8 lens is a better choice.

    I wouldn't worry about a Nikon 35mm sensor. Are you just gonna throw away your crop cameras and buy 35mm sensor cameras? What is useful on a digital camera is not as useful on a 35mm camera and vice-versa (with the above mention lenses being a prime example). Don't get so caught up "buying for the future". Buy what you need (want) and can afford now.
     
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #18
    ^^No, but there's the slight chance that the next Nikon camera I'll buy will be a full frame Nikon. They're going to need to use it eventually if they intend to keep with with others in pixels.

    And besides, I plan to keep my lenses for awhile. I think buying only non-DX lenses isn't a bad plan. There were other reasons I didn't want the 18-200 mm VR anymore. The fact that it was a DX lens wasn't the only thing that made me change my plans.
     
  19. bearbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    bearbo

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    Jul 20, 2006
    #19
    so here's my plan, i'll get these, hopefully they'd be good..

    24-120mm VR (620)
    70-300mm VR (500)
    50mm f/1.8 (100)

    how's this?
     
  20. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #20
    Actually, I have found that the "Beast" is one of my most-used lenses -- it seems to fall into a focal range that works well for me and of course it is super-sharp, so I'm usually very pleased with the results I get with it. I've never used it on a film camera but on my D200 the 28-70 does just fine.

    I've heard some negative commments about the 24-120mm VR; I believe it was one of the earliest VRs and some people were disappointed with its performance. I have not used one myself so cannot speak from personal experience. I guess we'll all see what the new 70-300mm VR is like when it finally lands on dealer's shelves and on people's cameras. I already have the excellent 70-200mm VR and the 300mm f/4 so won't be needing this new lens but I'll be interested in seeing user reports anyway. I've got the 50mm f/1.4 so have no experience with the 50mm f/1.8, but I know a lot of people really like that lens.

    As for the 18-135mm, I agree with Jessica that since this lens is not a VR one that probably the 18-200mm VR would be the better choice, if only they were easy to find. I think they are becoming more available now, though. Unfortunately prices are significantly higher now for that lens than at the time of initial release. The 18-200mm VR is a super lens for traveling and toting about all day when one doesn't want to carry a bagful of lenses. However, it IS slower, so if the situation is one of dim lighting then a faster lens is necessary.

    One reasonably-priced lens which packs a lot of bang for the buck is the 35mm f/2. This is a small, unobtrusive little lens which is great for "street photography" and because it is fairly fast, is ideal for using in situations where the lighting is dim. The focal length of this lens when on a Nikon digital SLR is pretty close to equivalent of the old "normal" lens (ie, 50mm) on a 35mm film camera. It's great for shooting people and events.

    Just thought I'd add my input to this discussion....
     
  21. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #21
    You can go to a Ritz Camera and find the 18-200mm VR for $799, $200 cheaper then Amazon.com.
     
  22. bob5820 macrumors 6502a

    bob5820

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    #22
    The $200 premium gets you the lens as fast as FedEx can get it to you, otherwise you need to deal with a 1 - 2 month back order. I'm getting mine from B&H this week but only because it was kitted with the D200.
     
  23. bearbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    bearbo

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    Jul 20, 2006
    #23
    i didn't know amazon has stock of 18-200... heck, i dont know if anywhere has any stock of 18-200, if anywhere does, i'd get them now. one big reason i probably wont get it is because it's not available anywhere for indefinitely long
     

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