Question on Nikon lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bob5820, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. bob5820 macrumors 6502a

    bob5820

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    35°0′36″N 80°40′45″W (35.0
    #1
    I’m thinking about getting the Nikon D50 (or D60 if it comes out soon) but I’m not sure what lens to go with. From reading these forums I get the idea the place to sink the money is in the lens, not the body. Here is what I’m considering

    D50/60 kit 18-55 $699.00
    D50/60 kit 18-55 & 55-200 $899.00

    D50/60 body $549.00
    Nikon 18-200 DX VR $749.00
    $1298.00

    At the moment my main interest in photography will be taking pictures of dogs playing in the local off leash Dog Park, pictures of people, nature and landscapes. I have not used a SLR in many years, and this would be my first DSLR. Given the description of my intended use and inexperience is there any advantage to going with the body/18-200 DX VR combination. From what I’ve read this is a better quality lens then the other two, and then again I’ve read that the others are not bad for kit lenses. If I’m better off sticking with the kit lenses should I get just the 18-55 or the 18-55 and the 55-200.

    One final question, are camera shop prices significantly higher then online (not grey market) prices, or are they comparable at this level.
     
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #2
    If you can afford it, the 18-200 VR lens is a great do-it-all lens. It has its weaknesses like any lens that tries to do a lot. It lacks very wide apertures for low light/action photography. The VR will help somewhat, but to capture a dog at a distance racing about, a wider aperture would be ideal. Same for portraits, for isolating the subject from the background. The 18-200 has some crazy distortions too, but you can fix that in photoshop if you want to.

    For portraits thought, you can get Nikon's cheapest 50mm f/1.8 lens for under $100. That and the 18-200 VR should be great for almost everything. A perfect long-distance dog action lens is going to be really expensive.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    [I alway tell people to just buy ONE lens. The kit 18-55 is a great deal for the money. Then shoot 1,000 frames with just that one lens and this is key, keep a little note pad with you and keep track of the "missed shots" the ones you would have done but couldn't with the lens you had. Later review the notes and buy the lens that would have gotton the most of the missed shots.

    You say you want shoot dogs and landscapes. Then two things about the 18-55. (1) the filter ring rotates when the lens focuses. This makes using a polerising filter harder. and (2) the focus moter in that lens is not super fast. I bought the 18-70 and us it with my D50. Focusing is very fast and there is an instant manual focus over ride and the 18-70 has internal focusing so the ring does not rotate. The 18-70 has a bit more "reach" at 70mm and it is slightly faster being an f/4.5 lens and not f/5.6 like the 18-55. Overall I like th 18-70 but it has some limits there is some distortion at the wide end, horizon lines can bend and this is noticable in shots of the ocean, they can be corrected in post processing however.

    Later you can buy a second lens. I like my 85mm f/1.8 lens. It s very shap and focuses very quickly and of couse at f/1.8 it is fast. Reasonable price too. It is a very good "people lens" allows a good working space and blurs out the background. It was the only lens I had that could do by daughter's indoor gymnastics. I really needed the f/1.8 i the dimmly lit gym.

    Much depends on your "style" while you might think now that you need a 200mm lens to do dogs at the park you may find those shots boring and "flat" and like the ones you do at 18mm and so be tempted to buy the Nikon 10.5mm fisheye or Sigma 10-20 so you can get even closer.

    I do underwater photography. If you've never done that kind of work you might be surprized that my #1 concern there is scratching the port on the subject. The technique is to get the widest possable lens and then get inches away from the subject. I never would have guessed that untill I got into it. Assume you will learn a lot about photographing dogs after you do 1,000 frames and then review and edit those 1,000 frames on the computer. My guess is that you will mostly be shotting with a wide lens from 24 to 18 inches off the ground. Keyword here is "guess"

    Bottom line: Concider the 18-70. See if you like it more than the 18-55. Get one of these then LATER deside between
    1) 50mm f/1.4
    2) 85mm f/1.8
    3) 10.5mm
    4) 10-20
    5) 80-200mm f/2.8
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    Yes. So eliminate the "long-distance" part. Walk "down range" then get the dog's owner to throw the frizbee three feet from your location so the dog runs TO you so you are only three feet away from where the dog catches the frisbee and you get the shot with a 24mm lens. There is a basic rule in photography that is is always beter is use your feet than a long lens if possable. If you are shooting lions in Africa, different story but domestic dogs mostly don't eat photographers
     
  5. bob5820 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bob5820

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    35°0′36″N 80°40′45″W (35.0
    #5
    I like the advice about starting with one lense, makes a lot of sense. I'll look into the 18-70
     
  6. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #6
    Good point, and great advice!
     
  7. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502

    shieldyoureyes

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    #7
    The 18-70 is a great lens for its price. I got mine for $200 slightly used.
     
  8. maxi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    #8
    The 18-70 is a nice lens, but as chris said, it's got its limitations. I've shot around 5000 pictures with it and it's very solidly built and focuses fast, etc. but if you ever try one of the "pro" nikon lenses, you won't want to use it again :)

    the 18-200VR is an amazing lens that will work for any situation.

    I'd skip the 55-200, I haven't heard may good things from it.

    Realistically, if you have a budget and are new to dslr's, then I'd recommend either the 18-200 or the new 18-135 (which is pretty nice for the money).
    You can add the 50 f/1.8 or the 85 f/1.8 for little money after a while and see if you like working with primes.
    Another nice alternative is the 12-24 and one of the above primes.
    After that, you can kiss your wallet goodbye and go after the real gems (17-35, 17-55, 105DC, 105 f/2.5, 28-70 f/2.8, 35 f/2, 85 f/1.4, 50 f/1.4, 80-200 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, etc ;) )
     
  9. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #9
    Anyone have an opinion or feedback on the kit "18-135mm" Nikon lens?
     
  10. maxi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    #10
    I used it the other day at a trade show. I was favourably impressed by its build. I can't tell you details on the IQ because I havent really tried it, but what I saw looked good.
    look at this gallery, it's made by a member of the nikoncafe forum.
    http://www.pbase.com/webofnature/nikon_d80

    I guess that as always, a great photographer will be able to get incredible pictures out of this lens, and a mediocre one will get mediocre pictures.
     
  11. maxi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    #12
  12. peterparker macrumors regular

    peterparker

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Houston
    #13
    Ditto. I have both, the 18-70 is much better, no matter what Ken Rockwell says :)
     

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