Help me choose a lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bloogersnigen, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. bloogersnigen macrumors regular

    bloogersnigen

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Wherever the water flows
    #1
    I am new to photography and just got a Nikon D70 and don't have a lens. I got this camera primarily for a trip I am doing this summer. It is a 50 day canoe trip in northern canada. I will be taking pictures of vistas, sunsets, portraits around a fire, flowers, wildlife, and general happenings of the trip. I am looking for one lens to bring. Under $500, but I will use this for my photography future so I'm willing to invest. Something that is compact, hardy (I don't want a delicate lens), and able to cover what I want to take. Zoom or prime would be acceptable. Maybe a wide angle prime that I could crop later (Are there enough pixels on the D70 to do this?), or a standard 18-70 zoom?. If you would please give a suggestion and tell me why I would a appreciate it.
     
  2. sonor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    Sigma 18-50 f2.8 Macro is very useful and a top quality lens.

    Standard zoom range: 27-75mm equivalent on your D70 - moderate wide to moderate telephoto - vistas to portraits

    Fast lens - constant 2.8

    1:3 macro - 7.25 inches minimum focus distance

    Very sharp - several tests rate it higher than Nikon's much more expensive 17-55/2.8, although it's not built quite so well

    Probably around $400
     
  3. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    The Sigma 18-55 f/2.8 is a great reccomendation, or perhaps an 18-200 VR, which isn't as fast and perhaps not as sharp, but very versatile as an only lens when you are trying to pack light.

    SLC
     
  4. PixelFactory macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    I have the Sigma 18-55 f2.8. It's a great lens. The build is very good.

    Here are a few samples of photos i have taken with it.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    I have the 18-70 and it is usefull for about 80% of what I need. 18mm is wide enough for what you will be shooting. 70mmis not quite a strong telepoto, not long enough for close ups of wildlife. I'm sure people will recommend the 18-200 VR that might be a good compromise lens for people who can only have one lens. But is 18-70 is good and has some nice features like a non-rotating filter ring (for your pol. filters) and is slightly fater then the f/5.6 lenses. Also look at the 18-135 it has more "reach" 135mmis quite long in a DX body.

    I've done a fair amount of canoe and kayak trips including the Bowron loop trip in Canada but mostly California white water rivers. Some advice: Buy a Pelican case. keep the equipment in the case. The new eletronic cameras really do not like to be near water. Shoting from a boat is hard and I never get great shots that way. Best to pull over and take time to set up. That said, I used to keep a Nikonos (a film camera designed for scuba diving) clipped to my PFD or loose but tethered in the boat. You might take a whaterproof P&S with you in addition to the SLR. Waterproof camera are great, when they get dirty you can just swish the around in lake water to rince the mud off.

    Nikon makes a lens like this too but at 3X the price. If you need low light abilty you can always go with buying a 50mm prime to compliment your 18-70 zoom The primes are even faster then the f/2.8 zooms by two stops, which is a lot. But if you are space limited maybe takig two lenses is not an option.

    You can get good shots with any lens, if you have only a wide angle prime yu will find 200 good wide angle shots. if yu take a zoom you will good 200 other kinds of shots. The reason is that very quickly you learn to choose subject that match your equipment's abiliies.

    As for cropping. It depends on the final output media. if it is 8x10 prints. No. You can't crop much. If it is 4x5 prints then up to a 50% crop. If the images are going on the web you can crop to maybe 4X I have a D50 which is very much like your D70
     
  6. bloogersnigen thread starter macrumors regular

    bloogersnigen

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Wherever the water flows
    #6
    Thanks

    Thank you all for the answers. I do have a pelican case btw. And that sigma 18-50 lens looks perfect.

    Another question?
    How much better are prime lenses then zoom in terms of picture quality?
     
  7. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #7
    53.22% better. ;)

    It all depends, but almost any prime will be sharper than almost any zoom (to say nothing of being lighter!)

    I started off with nothing but zooms and now I am really getting into primes because of the tremendous IQ. It all depends though - I was at a zoo today and saw 5 different guys with Canon 100-400m zoom lenses -- the venue really determines the lens choices (as these guys would get eaten if they just moved closer.)

    If you have flexibility in the setup, go for a few primes in your kit!
     
  8. sonor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    It's great to have a few primes, but if you stick with pro quality zooms (like the Sigma 18-50) then the difference is not that large. For most people, most of the time, the advantages of a zoom outweigh the marginally superior optical quality of a prime.

    One area where primes come into their own is low-light photography, where an f1.4 lens is enormously helpful. Nikon's 50mm/1.4 is relatively cheap.
     

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