Lens comparison / utilities

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by conamor, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. conamor macrumors 6502

    conamor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #1
    Good day,

    I might be redondant will all these questions but here we go again.

    I have a D3200 (SB-400) with
    - 15-55 kit
    - Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX
    - 35mm 1.8

    - Just bought Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S and a Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR to see if I will really need them

    Instead of these micro.. Should I get 24-70mm? I know it's expensive and probably won't buy it anyway, hehe!

    Ok, so the question is: What is the best use with my current lens and when should I use them.

    I take mostly portrait pictures (1 person or more), not with a setup, just for fun at home... I am still having trouble inside because of the light.

    - I have filters on them but they are clear and it is only to protect them. Should I use any special filters? Polarized? or this is simply for landscape/sky/water?

    Thanks so much
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #2
    I started out with a D3200 with the 18-55 kit lens. I decided I needed more reach so got a 70-300. Now I have a whole range of lenses (see below).
    The 24-70 mm 2.8 is a great lens. I find I use it the most. But it really depends on what you shoot.
    You mention portraits and inside shooting. Not really my bag, but maybe a speed light might help with your shots?
    I would have thought the 105 mm would be ideal for portraits.

    This thread might offer some advice to.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1771377
     
  3. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    The 105mm will be great for head shots. As AFB suggested, get some lights.
     
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #4
    ^^^ Listen to this guy. He knows what he is talking about for portraits.
     
  5. The Bad Guy, Oct 12, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014

    The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    You're only saying that because I told him to take your suggestion. :p
     
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #6
    For full frame cameras, 85 to 135mm were typical for tight portraits. If you consider the 3200's sensor size, then the 105mm is a bit too long for interior work. The 60mm is a good length but using a macro might require more time for focusing (depending on camera and lens).

    The 24-70 is a really nice range for typical shooting providing a good range for interior shots of people and of course general usage. It had the disadvantage of being a heavy lens, expensive and for some the balance of lens plus camera is awkward.

    As for light issues, you should learn to use flash off camera, possibly reflectors and for flash on camera learn about bouncing light, tools to soften flash source and more.

    There are so many great options available to you that you might want to consider going down to a good camera store and trying out the lenses if they will let you. Consider as well perhaps some 3rd party makers such as Sigma, Tokina and Tamron.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    You have an odd kit if portraits is what you shoot. Not what most photographers would use.

    The 18-55 is a great all around lens. The trouble is that it is nt very fast. Only f/5.6 So you got the 60mm micro. That is a VERY good close up lens for shooting images where maybe a single flower fills the frame or a portrait of an insect. Yes it will work for people too. But the 50mm f/1.8 would be better and much less expensive. The lower cost 50mm f/1.8 is a stop and a half faster and less then 1/2 the price of the 60mm.

    your 35mm f/1.8 lens is ideal for shots of more then one person. The 50mm is good for head and shoulders of one person. You can see this by adjusting your 18-55 to both 35mm and 50mm and see how they farm the subject.

    It is rare to need a longer lens. The only time you need one is if there is some physical barrier that prevents you from walking closer to the subject. Maybe at a sporting event or for wildlife that get "spooked" if a person gets close. Most subjects. But you say you do portraits which means you can be as close as you like. the 50mm is as long as you need.

    These faster lenses that open up to f/1.8 (or f/1.4 if you can afford it.) are not only better at low light but allow you to get a very shallow depth of field.

    The above applies to your DX size body. The focal length change if you go to an FX size sensor. DOF is very important and you don't have much control of it with a f/5.6 lens.

    You don't need filters. The polarizer is OK to use outdoors. If shooting film then YES color correction filters and even some softening effect filters are good but with digital we do all of this later in post processing.

    Your next step is NOT another lens. It should be (1) lighting equipment and (2) a tripod. Both will help more than a lens. That 60mm while not as good as the 50mm is still very good for "people shots" and has the added plus that you can do close-up photography. I use my nikon "micro" lens a lot., just not for people.

    ----------

    I think the 105mm is to long for use with a DX body. It is ideal for use with a full frame camera. I have the older manual focus 105mm f/2.5. The lens is one of the best that Nikon ever made. But on a DX body the subject to camera distance is a bit farther than I like. I used this lens with film on an F2 a lot.
     
  8. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    Aaaah, he's on a cropped body? I'm a Canon shooter, I don't know your Nikkon jargon.

    But still even with the crop factor, that lens would be great for head shots. Just back off from the subject.
     
  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #9
    Again on full frame the 85 to 135mm were fairly standard for head and shoulder shots. The OP mentioned shooting indoors which pretty much makes a 105mm a bit awkward at times on a smaller sensor camera.

    Perhaps a 3rd party lens would be worthwhile investigating including the macro offerings of 90mm from Tamron and Sigma as well as Tokina. I used to work with Nikon film cameras and 90 or 105 was my go to lens for head and shoulder shots. I also used the 85 fast lens at times and it too had good results. For the 3200, 60-85 might be the way to go in terms of interior head and shoulder shots. When shooting people in near candids, having the lens at f/4 or 5.6 makes more sense than wide open given the opportunity to fail at focus due to the subject not always being still.
     
  10. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #10
    I'm not interested in arguing with internet experts. I just take photos.

    Headshot @ 200mm. I think it turned out alright. But again, I'm no expert.

    [​IMG]
    Gold Toned
    by Adam_Campbell, on Flickr
     
  11. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #11
    Why not learn just to shoot what with what you have first? Get to know Nikon Technology. The 35mm is the best to shoot with for portraits (in your bag). 105mm gives you more reach.

    Once you've worked with those lenses. Upgrade your body and lenses to a D7100/D750 and 24-70mm lens.
     
  12. conamor, Oct 14, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014

    conamor thread starter macrumors 6502

    conamor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #12
    You are wonderful guys :)

    I have tried the 2 micro lens (60 and 105) they are really great, 105 is way to much for indoor. Finally, I have made up my mind and I do not need those 2 at the moment.

    I was going to upgrade to a D7100 but again, I am still not happy of what I do with what I have. This means that I should continue to shoot and try.

    Talking about lights. I do know this is probably my main issue. I have the SB-400 and what I do usually is aim it at the ceiling. I can get ok shots in the living room with almost to daylight through the windows since the sun is mostly in the kitchen...

    Should I invest in some kind of lightning? ( I have a tripod already )
    I had bought this kit a while ago and returned it.

    http://www.amazon.ca/CowboyStudio-P...8&qid=1413333798&sr=8-2&keywords=cowboystudio

    I was getting wrinkles on the backdrop (I did not iron it since I wasn't sure to keep it) but finally learned about DOF... I was having my subject stand up close to the backdrop...

    I will be waiting for your inputs!

    Thanks again and again for all the help
     
  13. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #13
    Lighting is where it's at and will help your portraits get that extra 'pop'.

    In saying that, those lights you linked will not give pleasing results. You'll end up disappointed.

    I personally use speedlites.

    They're not necessarily the best for all situations and they're certainly not as powerful as studio strobes, but they are very flexible, portable and they get the job done for what I need them to do.

    Grab some modifiers (reversible umbrellas, soft boxes etc) and start playing with light. You'll have fun with it. ;)
     
  14. MCH-1138 macrumors 6502

    MCH-1138

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #14
    I have the occasional bout of Gear Acquisition Syndrome as well, but this seems like a rather expensive way of figuring out what gear you need (buying two macro lenses, then wondering whether you should get the 24-70 instead).

    This seems like a far more rational approach, along the lines of what mofunk suggested -- learn to shoot with the gear you have. Maybe you'll push the limits of that gear soon, maybe not, but learn the basics, figure out what your needs are, and then start upgrading as necessary. If you occasionally need new gear as an incentive to keep shooting, that's cool (assuming you can afford it). But I think you'll be happier in the long term if you are adding gear that you need and will use rather than adding gear just to fill the camera bag.

    If you are interested in learning about lighting, I would highly recommend looking through the www.strobist.com website. Read the Lighting 101 series and then start thinking about what lighting gear (if any) you might want to get. You'll probably want to upgrade from your SB-400 if you want to do any manual flash work or need a more powerful light. But then take The Bad Guy's advice and get one or more lighting modifiers (umbrellas, etc.) and start learning the basics of lighting.

    Just my $0.02.
     
  15. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #15
    Take your flash off camera. Either with remote triggers or a cable. Look to get another speed light, as you can do more interesting light set ups with two. Look at reflectors as well. You might need an assistant for the bigger ones, so if you don't have a willing helper, look for the smaller ones the model can hold.
     
  16. VI™ macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2010
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV
  17. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #17
  18. conamor thread starter macrumors 6502

    conamor

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    Jun 27, 2013

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