FocusAndEarnIt

macrumors 601
Original poster
May 29, 2005
4,468
733
Hi everyone,

Upgraded my very rusty but trusty Nikon D50 to a Nikon D7500 - a massive upgrade in literally every way. I had fallen out of the photography world for quite some time due to work, but now find myself with more time and desire to get back into it, especially with a one year old and baby on the way - lots of photo opportunities to come. I purchased a Nikon refurbished D7500 for $689. Just got it yesterday. Shutter count when I received it: 0. I bought a three year accidental damage warranty through Amazon, better than the 90 days Nikon gives.

A while back I bought a Tamron 18-200 f3.5-6.3 Macro lens. It's been a good lens from as far as I can tell, I like its adaptability. Though in truth I rarely zoom out to 200mm, and photos taken that far away are typically less than ideal (though this was on a D50). Notably, I was living overseas for 6 months when I bought it, but I'm not sure if that matters or is relevant at this point - I bought it 8 years ago. This is the lens I bought. I'm not sure it's made anymore, but that product page is accurate.

As I took the plunge to get the D7500, I investigated and learned about the advantages of AF-S and some of the Nikkor specific advantages like vibration reduction. I went ahead and bought the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6. This is a renewed lens for around $245 on Amazon. We'll see what I end up getting - I've heard of people getting gray market items through this, and some people get actually refurbished Nikkor lenses. Amazon has a generous return policy so I took the plunge. This also has a 3 year accidental warranty purchased, again better than nothing.

My question for you is this: is it worth it? I'm not sure it is and am second guessing my purchase. Does anyone have any insight into the tangible benefits I would have in sticking with the new Nikkor lens over the Tamron?

Benefits of Nikkor:
- newer
- I'm guessing a higher quality lens
- vibration reduction
- silent wave motor
- "extra low dispersion" glass (however helpful that actually is)
- warranty

Benefits of Tamron
- I already own the lens 😉😂
- extra zoom

Both have similar apertures and both have aspherical lenses.

What will I be doing with this? Mostly capturing precious family shots. I am an avid hiker and plan to take this out into the wilderness. In that setting, I will likely use this versatile lens as well as my 50mm f/1.4 in that setting. I am considering picking up a 35mm f/1.8 for this scene as well, though that is another thread for another day!

Anyone have any thoughts?
 

mollyc

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2016
4,033
20,634
Personally I am (in general) not a fan of variable aperture lenses. A lot of it depends on your use case. My most recent lens actually is variable aperture, but it is a dedicate wildlife lens that zooms to 600mm so there was a big cost and weight savings there. But all my other lenses are a fixed aperture.

I like this for several reasons. One, fixed aperture lenses tend to be higher quality, and good glass makes as much of a difference as a body does (sometimes more). I like the additional light through out all the focal lengths when shooting a zoom. And lastly, because I shoot only in manual mode (lots here don't and I don't think it makes me better, it is just the way my head works), if I need to change settings due to light/subject change, I'm not worried about my aperture changing on me when I start zooming.

Another thing to consider is where you will be shooting. You mentioned shooting outside on hikes, but also two little ones. I imagine your family photography will be indoors a lot and you will find those apertures very limiting inside. Especially with wiggly little ones where you need to keep your shutter speed up. For an indoor lens I wouldn't go slower than f/2.8 and f/1.8 is even better.

However, all that said, I know that budget is typically a driving factor when choosing a lens. There is definitely a good reason to upgrade a lens to a higher quality one, even for the same length. When I started shooting way back when I started with a Tamron 24-70 and as my skills and camera bodies evolved I moved to the Canon and Nikon versions of the same lens, and it was a worthwhile move for me. I am not familiar with the DX line of Nikon lenses as I shoot full frame (and now mirrorless). Did you do much research to see if the Nikon version is appreciably better than your existing Tamron? It seems they are very similar lenses other than the long end focal length and that you've basically just bought the same lens without actually gaining much. I'd be inclined to put that money into a new, different lens, something that offers you something you don't already have.

Your 50mm is probably a bit long for child photography indoors. I'd actually consider the Nikon 35mm 1.8 lens for you. If would be about 50mm equivalent on your crop body, it is wicked sharp, and small and lightweight. I have this lens and it is awesome. It would give you something in a range/aperture/shooting style that you can't get right now with your Tamron.
 

dimme

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2007
1,956
8,075
SF, CA
On paper i'd say the Tamron is the better pick. BUT the real answer is which lens give the sharpest image. For me the only way to find out is to do a side by side test.
 

deep diver

macrumors 68030
Jan 17, 2008
2,614
4,300
Philadelphia.
I generally agree with what Molly has said.

I made the switch from a D50 to a D7000 several years ago. I love the 7000. It is a fun camera, and you will enjoy it. It does everything I want and more. I have a friend that is a professional. He shoots with the D800 series (although I'm not sure which one.). He recently inherited a 7000 series body from his father-in-law, and he has been using it for some of his personal work rather than the 800 series. The price you paid appears to be right. You can , however, get a factory new 7500 body for only about $200 more. (B&H, Adorama, and Dodd have no stock so you might have to search a bit.)

I prefer Nikkor glass, although there is a lot of quality from other manufactures. I don't object to the others, but I just have not found anything I think is better. I used the Nikkor 18-200 DX with the D50. I use the 18-200 DX and 28-300 FX with the 7000. Don't buy more range than what you think you will be using. At the same time, a lens that gives you a little more range won't leave you thinking "what if" in that unexpected situation, especially given that you will take it hiking. My only concern with the Tamron is that it is so slow at smaller apertures. By comparison, the Nikkor 18-200 is f5.6 in the 150mm - 200mm range. While it is still not great, it is better. The image quality at high ISOs is good enough with the 7000 that I have rarely not been able to get the shot I want, even at night.

No matter what you decide, you will have fun with he 7500. Also, you should look at the photo of the day and weekly photo challenge/contest threads. They are great opportunities to share and to learn.
 

Hughmac

macrumors demi-god
Feb 4, 2012
4,827
19,947
Kent, UK
I have owned that Tamron 18-200mm and have found the Nikon 18-140 to be a lot better, and it is regarded as a reasonably good lens.
I use a more modern Tamron 18-270mm (with image stabilisation, which your Tamron doesn't have) for daily use and found it plenty sharp enough, but if you don't need the extra reach I would stick with the Nikon 18-140, at least until you get used to the camera.

I also second the idea of picking up the 35mm 1.8 for indoor work.

Cheers :)

Hugh
 

FocusAndEarnIt

macrumors 601
Original poster
May 29, 2005
4,468
733
All, I really appreciate your input! I regret buying the 50mm f/1.4 but I hope to put that to good use. I canceled the Nikkor 18-140 lens and picked up a Nikkor AF-S 35mm f/1.8 Nikon refurbished + 3 year accidental warranty for $190 at BH.

Any thoughts on what the 50mm f/1.4 will be better for than the 35mm? Should I just try to sell that one? Money doesn't grow around trees over here, and wished I would have consulted those more informed than I. I got the 50mm f/1.4 for around $150.

I also have a Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 micro lens that I used on my D50.

I'll see how the Tamron 18-200 performs when I'm able to really put it to use (just got the body yesterday and have been working), and then see if I should replace it with the Nikkor 18-140.

EDIT: Loving my scroll through the Photo of the Day thread. Hope to partake :)
 
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mollyc

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2016
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All, I really appreciate your input! I regret buying the 50mm f/1.4 but I hope to put that to good use. I canceled the Nikkor 18-140 lens and picked up a Nikkor AF-S 35mm f/1.8 Nikon refurbished + 3 year accidental warranty for $190 at BH.

Any thoughts on what the 50mm f/1.4 will be better for than the 35mm? Should I just try to sell that one? Money doesn't grow around trees over here, and wished I would have consulted those more informed than I. I got the 50mm f/1.4 for around $150.

I also have a Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 micro lens that I used on my D50.

I'll see how the Tamron 18-200 performs when I'm able to really put it to use (just got the body yesterday and have been working), and then see if I should replace it with the Nikkor 18-140.
The 50mm is one stop faster, so will help you in low light situations, and it's just a different focal length. On your crop body it will act close to an 85mm, which is an excellent portrait/headshot length. I'd keep it for a while and experiment; I think you will like that length outdoors with your little ones; I shot a lot at 85mm when my kids were small (they are 13 and almost 15 now).
 
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dimme

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2007
1,956
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SF, CA
IMHO I also think you should keep the 50MM, it will be great for portraits and candid photos of the kids.
 

deep diver

macrumors 68030
Jan 17, 2008
2,614
4,300
Philadelphia.
All, I really appreciate your input! I regret buying the 50mm f/1.4 but I hope to put that to good use. I canceled the Nikkor 18-140 lens and picked up a Nikkor AF-S 35mm f/1.8 Nikon refurbished + 3 year accidental warranty for $190 at BH.

Any thoughts on what the 50mm f/1.4 will be better for than the 35mm? Should I just try to sell that one? Money doesn't grow around trees over here, and wished I would have consulted those more informed than I. I got the 50mm f/1.4 for around $150.

I also have a Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 micro lens that I used on my D50.

I'll see how the Tamron 18-200 performs when I'm able to really put it to use (just got the body yesterday and have been working), and then see if I should replace it with the Nikkor 18-140.

EDIT: Loving my scroll through the Photo of the Day thread. Hope to partake :)


It looks to me as though you might be getting overwhelmed by the variety of lenses, and wealth of good but varying ideas from the rest of us.

Don't start the decision making process by looking at the lenses. Start by carefully considering how you intend to use the camera. Some years ago, I was unfortunate enough to come into a good chunk of money (it was the settlement from a personal injury case.). I was able to get (within reason) whatever equipment I wanted. I took a few weeks to figure out how I wanted to expand as a photographer, and made my choices based on that. Ultimately what is best for you depends on you, and not the input you get from others.

Once you think you have identified what might work best for you, go to a camera store to rent or to a friend to borrow some lenses. Try before you buy can eliminate a lot of buyer's remorse and, even worse, photographers remorse.
 

Laird Knox

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2010
1,885
1,181
I haven't used those lenses. One thing I learned the hard way is that there is more than sharpness to consider when getting a lens. Many years ago I bought the house brand zoom lens from Ritz Camera. I never used it much. It wasn't until I got a better lens that I realized why. It was reasonably sharp but it had very low contrast. I had no idea a lens could impact contrast like that. Every image was dull and flat compared to the newer lens.

Most of my glass is either Nikon or Sigma. I have found that Sigma makes some very nice lenses. When I upgraded to a D7000 I bought a Tokina 11-16mm lens. This is an excellent lens if you want to do ultra wide angle photography.

With that said, use what you have and practice your skills. Get out and shoot. The great thing about digital is that you can see immediately what your image looks like. You don't have to pay to wait for a role of to be developed. The more you shoot the better you will get. Don't worry about the gear holding you back.

Lenses are like tripods. You buy something inexpensive to start. Then you get something in the mid range and finally end up with one of the higher priced versions eventually. If you had just bought that good tripod to begin with you would have saved quite a bit. ;)

Take what you have and enjoy it. Work with it until you feel that it is the gear that is holding you back and not your skills. Then when you look for a new lens you will have a better idea what suits you the best. Pick the one that matches your needs the best and save up. Skip that middle value purchase. Good glass will always be good glass.

Don't be shy, most of them are nice people.
I feel personally attacked here. 😱 😂
 
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Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68040
Sep 26, 2017
3,572
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Tanagra (not really)
I haven't used those lenses. One thing I learned the hard way is that there is more than sharpness to consider when getting a lens. Many years ago I bought the house brand zoom lens from Ritz Camera. I never used it much. It wasn't until I got a better lens that I realized why. It was reasonably sharp but it had very low contrast. I had no idea a lens could impact contrast like that. Every image was dull and flat compared to the newer lens.

Most of my glass is either Nikon or Sigma. I have found that Sigma makes some very nice lenses. When I upgraded to a D7000 I bought a Tokina 11-16mm lens. This is an excellent lens if you want to do ultra wide angle photography.

With that said, use what you have and practice your skills. Get out and shoot. The great thing about digital is that you can see immediately what your image looks like. You don't have to pay to wait for a role of to be developed. The more you shoot the better you will get. Don't worry about the gear holding you back.

Lenses are like tripods. You buy something inexpensive to start. Then you get something in the mid range and finally end up with one of the higher priced versions eventually. If you had just bought that good tripod to begin with you would have saved quite a bit. ;)

Take what you have and enjoy it. Work with it until you feel that it is the gear that is holding you back and not your skills. Then when you look for a new lens you will have a better idea what suits you the best. Pick the one that matches your needs the best and save up. Skip that middle value purchase. Good glass will always be good glass.


I feel personally attacked here. 😱 😂
I totally agree on the lens situation. I didn’t realize just how big of a jump it can be from one lens to another. My 40-150 2.8 just blows me away most of the time. One other thing to consider when it comes to contrast is to use the hood, or to get a hood if your lens doesn’t have one.
 

gkarris

macrumors G3
Dec 31, 2004
8,301
1,054
"No escape from Reality...”
Nikon usually has a sale on their Refurbished products:
the one camera and lens I've used the past 6 years is my D3300 and Nikon DX 18-200 ED VR II.

Nikon ED definitely is a nicer picture...

Someone gave me a third party 18-200 lens a while back but it would lock up my D3300 - so no, thanks, and just got rid of it a few months ago...

I tend to only use Native lenses because of it.
 
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Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Native lens fan here, too! Over the years a few times I tried various Sigmas and Tamrons and each time ended up selling them because I didn't like how they felt in use or the images they produced on whatever camera body I was using then..... I have seen comments here-and-there about how Nikon doesn't really play well with third-party lenses and I believe it.

When I made the switch this last year from Nikon to Sony for various reasons, one thing that I determined right off the bat was that I would go with all native lenses from the get-go, and that has worked out quite nicely.
 

gkarris

macrumors G3
Dec 31, 2004
8,301
1,054
"No escape from Reality...”
Native lens fan here, too! Over the years a few times I tried various Sigmas and Tamrons and each time ended up selling them because I didn't like how they felt in use or the images they produced on whatever camera body I was using then..... I have seen comments here-and-there about how Nikon doesn't really play well with third-party lenses and I believe it.

When I made the switch this last year from Nikon to Sony for various reasons, one thing that I determined right off the bat was that I would go with all native lenses from the get-go, and that has worked out quite nicely.

Funny, I tried switching to mirrorless and after trying a whole bunch of different ones, I'm just going to ADD mirrorless to my lineup, I love the nikon dSLR's OVF and DX ED lenses...

AFA mirrorless, I'm going with Sony and Fuji, but their native lenses are quite expensive. Going to stick with their cheaper used native "kit lenses" and those are quite good as well...
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
I thought long and hard before making the switch, and realized that I probably would just leave the DSLR and lenses sitting unused while I was happily playing with my new gear, as to a certain extent I had already been doing that anyway. I am better off with just one system to manage, not several! :). Also, yes, in trading in my gear made the financial hit of buying the new body and three lenses that first day a whole lot less painful! My bank account thanked me for that....

Yeah, lenses are expensive especially full-frame ones. "Kit" lenses these days are significantly better in quality than they were say fifteen or twenty years ago, no question about that! I remember when people would turn up their noses at the idea of using a "kit" lens, but back then there was reason for that. Now, not so..... People can get excellent results from "kit" lenses nowadays.

For much of the type of shooting I like to do, full-frame suits me better, but the so-called "crop factor" in using a DX lens can definitely come in very handy when one wants more reach. My current camera body does have the ability to switch into APS-C mode but I haven't tried that out; for me it is just as easy to crop in post-processing if it is needed.
 

mollyc

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2016
4,033
20,634
Funny, I tried switching to mirrorless and after trying a whole bunch of different ones, I'm just going to ADD mirrorless to my lineup, I love the nikon dSLR's OVF and DX ED lenses...

AFA mirrorless, I'm going with Sony and Fuji, but their native lenses are quite expensive. Going to stick with their cheaper used native "kit lenses" and those are quite good as well...
you know nikon has mirrorless too, right? and they are going to announce two brand new bodies on october 14.
[automerge]1601488884[/automerge]
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68040
Sep 26, 2017
3,572
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Tanagra (not really)
I wouldn’t say the Nikons are way way overpriced. The Z6 launched for the same price as the A7 III and they are quite comperable. The same could be said about the Z7 vs A7R III. Maybe you mean too expensive for your tastes? I think if anything, the Z5 was a bit overdue, as Nikon really needed a less expensive FF model as a gateway product. Sony can sell the A7 and A7II for that purpose, and to their advantage. Still, the competition in these segments is pretty tough, so no one is really overpriced for the segments they are in, as they slot these models directly against each other.
 

mollyc

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2016
4,033
20,634
Also if you stay with Nikon you aren’t rebuying lenses. But to each their own.
 
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