Help with lens selection for events

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by hagr182, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. hagr182, Oct 17, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016

    hagr182 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #1
    I have been a hobbyist photographer since 2009 when I got my trusty D5000. I'm by no means a pro, but have been volunteering my work for charity organizations for the past 4 years. I own a D5000, a nikkor 50 mm 1.8 (my main workhorse), the kit lenses my camera came with (18-55, 55-200) and a flash (sb700) plus a few trinkets.

    Many of my events have switched recently to indoor only and there's only so much you can do with the 50 mm due to more restricted spaces. I have tried focusing on my kit lenses on some ocassions, but the results are not the same.

    I have been saving up to solve this and I'm thinking of buying two lenses for myself this Christmas, the sigma 24-70 2.8 for indoor events where I need a zoom and Nikon 18-200 to have a walk around lens outdoors.

    Someone advised me to replace my body already, but I feel my old camera still has a lot to give and is only halfway through its guaranteed shots. So I want to build a collection of glass useful to me before even thinking about switching.

    My questions would be:

    1. Do you think the sigma is good enough for my needs or should I be looking into other lenses?

    2. How similar is the quality between the 18-200 and the individual lenses I already own (18-55 and 55-200)?; I'm thinking of either keeping them or selling them depending on the IQ between them.

    Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    #2
    The Sigma is good; also consider the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di Lens as it is of similar quality but cheaper to buy, and much lighter on the camera.
    I had both for a while until I finally decide to keep the Tamron.

    You might like to look into the Nikon 35mm 1.8 if you think the angle will be wide enough for you.

    As for the 18-200 I can't comment, but if you're happy with your 55-200 I would keep it.

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  3. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #3
    The Sigma is a fine lens. Don't expect the Nikon super zoom to be comparable to your primes or probably the Sigma. It's also quite large and heavy for a walkabout lens. Some compromises are necessary to deliver that zoom range. I had the first version of the lens and I would not repurchase it. Soft, boring draw. The only difference in the current version is VR II, optics and packaging are the same. Your "kit" 18-55 delivers better IQ and is a lot closer to at least my idea of a walkabout lens.
     
  4. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #4
    The DX 18-200 and it's big brother the 18-300 are great "do it all" lenses. I would personally go for the 18-300 because it's has slightly better IQ and the longer reach. Unfortunately you will only find them acceptable for indoor use in very well lit areas or where you can effectively use a flash. Neither can hold a candle to the 50mm (or to a 2.8 lens). Plus you won't really see any improvement over your 18-55 / 55-200 combo. If you really want a single lens "walk around" then add on the extra reach of the 18-300.

    Indoors, with no flash, there is really only two options. Faster lens and/or better ISO body. In my experience I've had to upgrade both to get acceptable results indoors with no flash.
     
  5. jaduff46 macrumors regular

    jaduff46

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    #5
    Also looking for a zoom (have the Nikon D3000 with the 18-55) and was told the same thing about IQ as Jeff and Ray suggest with the 18-200 by the guy at the camera store.

    I'm currently thinking about 55-300 range Nikon/Tamron/Sigma.

    Just getting into it after retiring last year.
     
  6. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #6
    I've shot with the 18-200mm before and found it okay. Using it with my D90 and shooting in low light, it was pretty slow to focus compared to my 50mm f/1.8. Which I was wasn't surprised because its a kit lens. But the 18-200mm is better than the 18-55mm and 55-200mm because you have more elements.

    I would go with the newer kit lenses like

    24-120mm f/4G ED VR (used for $580)
    35-75mm f/2.8 if you can find one.

    When I was searching for the next lens, I looked at the 17-55mm f/2.8 and 24-70mm f/2.8. OMG both were great on my D90. They were sharp and fast just like all the reviews said. One my D90 I never shot at 200mm or felt the need to go beyond 100mm. If so then it was very rare. You should make sure you really need to go past 200mm which is ?? on a DX camera. Before you buy rent them to decide. Check out lensrental.com I use them a lot for gear.
     
  7. anewman143 macrumors regular

    anewman143

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #7
    Although I am a Canon guy, some of the advice is generalizable - investing in good glass will likely yield far better results than changing our your body. And as you said, good glass is future-proof. If you get to the point where your desires exceed your current body's abilities, your great lenses are still there. Don't get sucked into the "body-upgrade" propaganda. For what you are doing, fast quality glass will likely yield far more happiness.

    My $0.02 anyway
     
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #8
    I have quite a lot of pro glass, but for a cheap tele I'd look at the Nikon 70-300. It's a great lens for its price (got mine second hand), and when you are struggling with weight it fits in your bag easy.
    The 70-200 2.8 I have stays at home due to the weight more often than not.
    Also look at hiring glass if you don't need something very often or even to help you decide on an eventual purchase.
    Would also recommend second hand. Most people treat their stuff well. Buy from a camera shop and you will usually get a limited warranty.
    I'd give any all in one option a wide berth though. I'd rather have better IQ with two or three lenses.
     
  9. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #9
    For the OP: all the recommendations are great so far. These are tough choices (in part because lots of $$$ can be involved). For consideration I'll offer that I started my journey with the 18-200 as my main lens (on a D90) and then the 18-300. Both fit my needs admirably. I still have them but they rarely get used any more. As I progressed I demanded more from those lens then they could deliver. I'll occasionally throw them on for the random outdoor event where I'm not that concerned with IQ and I want the convenience of being able to zoom across the space without moving. If I'm out to capture quality images of my interests they are not in the bag. I've found that for *most* scenarios between 24 and 200 (I'm on FX now) 1 - 3 primes, zooming with my feet, and cropping fit my style and needs best. I'm seriously considering the 200 - 500 to cover the rest of my "range of interest".
     
  10. jammiefreerider macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    #10
    I believe a good photographer takes photos others can't. This leaves you with a few choices. Go:
    1) Sharp as hell - Sigma primes (85mm f1.4 v1 is a complete bargin right now and available 2nd hand)
    2) Crazy wide angles (b/c when the photo is wider than your POV your brain gets befuddled and amazed by it) - Nikon 10-22

    If you find yourself annoyed by the excess noise in your photos with top quality lenses then its definitely time to upgrade to a full frame camera. (Assuming your shooting in RAW and editing properly in Lightroom/Photoshop)

    BONUS: Rent before you buy! Forums still only give you 50% of the answer and weekend deals are normally great (at least in the UK)
     
  11. tcphoto1 macrumors regular

    tcphoto1

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Madison, GA
    #11
    I prefer to stick with the fastest lenses the camera manufacturer offers. I shot Music Industry events when I started out and found a 24mm or 35mm prime to work the best, you'll get a little environment and the subject won't be distorted even at 3-5 feet. If you have a limited budget, I'd rent and start saving first for a second body then one of the mentioned lenses. I'll attach one of the keepers from way back when. JC&MS.jpg
     
  12. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #12
    Buy it! It's really changed the sort of shots I'm able to to get. It's the most expensive glass I own, but a steal compared to a 500 mm f4.
     
  13. hagr182 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #13
    Did not really expected all these answers; all of you have offered great advice! I´ll try to rent a few of your recommendations these coming weeks (have a few events coming up) before finally deciding what to buy on December (maybe I can get a deal or two)! My idea is to keep on building my lens collection and in a few more years switching my body. My old D5000 does most of what I require it to do, I think more quality glass it´s all it´s missing. Thanks again!
     
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #14
    Some terrific advice here.

    Again, as everyone else has said, get the best glass you can.

    As a middle aged female, I found the weight of some of the more modern lenses massive, - and far too heavy, to be able to wanter around with comfortably.

    In fact, in recent years, I have found that I rarely have occasion to use zooms, and the, no longer needed the sort of heavy 'combination' lenses that I used to have on my old Nikon.

    For indoor shooting, these days, what I do use are fast lenses, - mine go to 1.4 - and primes. These days, my standard lens - with which most of my photography is taken - is a 35mm 1.4.
     
  15. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #15
    Some may snicker but if you want "ultra light" on a full frame Nikon try the Nikon 50mm 1.8 Pancake lens. Mine was $50 and in perfect shape. It barely sticks out past the flash bulge on my D750 and weighs nothing. It is, of course, fully manual but once you get used to it, it can take really sharp images. Sometimes I stick in a pocket just as a backup lens.

    https://www.amazon.com/Nikon-50mm-l...1476878209&sr=8-1&keywords=Nikon+Pancake+Lens
     
  16. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #16
    Thanks for the suggestion, but - since my Nikon F100 was stolen around seven years ago, I don't have (or use) Nikon.
     

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