Lens help for D60

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by saratdatta, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. saratdatta macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #1
    Hi I have just got a Nikon D60 with the standard kit lens and also a 60mm micro lens.
    I use the micro lens with a ring flash for close ups of tooth restorations.
    Can someone advice me what type of lens I should use for recreational phography.

    I am planning a trip to Nepal so that I can shoot the mountains as well as take normal touristy photos of subjects and the family.

    I do not want to take many lenses and keep changing them as it may be too bulky to lug along and i may drop them too.
    Advice???
     
  2. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #2
    If you don't want to change lenses at all, get the Nikon 18-200. It'll set you back something like $600. The results are pretty darn good for an all-in-one superzoom. I used mine on my D70, and was quite satisfied with the output. One downside is it doesn't have weather seals; but that's a downside to most any non-pro lens you might use.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    This is where you have to think about trade offs and what is important to YOU.

    That 18-200mm lens certainly has a wide range of focal lengths covered but it is a slow f/5.6 lens. What if you want faster? What if yo know you almost never shoot using a lens longer than 100mm? If that's you then the 18-200mm is not the right lens for you.

    The best think to do is take the camera out right now with the kit 18-55 lens and shoot some photos like the kind you'd take on the trip. Do about 1,000 or so of them. Then look at the result and try and figure out which photos you could not get with the 18-55 and buy the lens that would get those photos.

    Whatever you do don't buy some new gear and then use it the first time on vacation. Shoot many, many frames with it before you leave. Yes a lens is technically easy to use, just turn the zoom ring. But learniong how to use it to capture what your eyes see in a photograph is not something you can learn quickly. Shoot 1,000 or so frames before you leave. Look at some of those coffe table photo books and see how the pros did it. You can mostly guess what kind of lens they used. (Almost never a 200mm f/5.6 zoom.)

    What lens to bring? The better photographers will all recommend something that is both very wide (less then 18 or 20 mm) and very fast (f/2.8 or better) these guys know that the best images are done when the sun is close to the horizon and they know the golden rule: "get closer, get closer, repeat as required". On the other hand you see the typical vacation snapshooter with a long slow lens using it in harsh daylight and shooting from a distance with a long lens. Which is best depends on your style and intended results.


    If you are shooting pictures of people you meet the best lens in my opinion might be the 50mm f/1.4. t is fast enough to isolate a subject and to shoot indoors without flash. But this kind of shooting takes effort you have to ask the subject about photos and take a few to get them used to the camera. and then you might move to where the light and backgrond is better. Again, which lens is best depends on how you will use it and what subjects you are after.
     
  4. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #4
    On a D60, the 50mm f/1.4 is not even going to autofocus on his camera, unless you're recommending he drop $450 on the Sigma version.

    From the initial post, he wants to take "normal touristy photos". He also doesn't want to change lenses often. He doesn't want to carry around a lot of lenses, and appears to be worried about bulk. I'd think that eliminates using multiple primes, and it also leaves out carrying around those heavy pro f/2.8 zooms.

    I think lighter consumer zooms are quite often a good way to go. You just have to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Note that I'm stealing shamelessly from the late Galen Rowell here. :D

    This is all very good advice.

    BTW another option (sticking to the same "consumer lens" vein) would be to add the 55-200 to your kit - again, given the caveats mentioned by ChrisA.

    Oh, one other idea - consider buying a decent tripod and taking it along. I know that adds some bulk, but you'll assuredly get sharper pictures.
     
  5. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #5
    I don't think it matters if you're not shooting in conditions that are similar to Nepal. From what I've read (never been,) the scale of the mountains and valleys are unreal, so you're likely to want to zoom in to capture detail that'd be done with a wider lens in "smaller-scale" territory.

    If I were worried about size, I'd certainly have the 18-200 on the short list, with a light tripod and UV and CPL filters. Higher up on my list would be a companion with a D40 and wider lens setup than I'd have on my camera. Then I'd keep a 60mm, 85mm or 90mm prime for low-light shots that weren't off a tripod.

    I wouldn't discount a longer lens just because I didn't shoot around town with it if I were flying to the other side of the planet to shoot in unfamiliar conditions. Flexibility is key to getting the shots you want.
     
  6. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #6
    Just to throw it out there, the Sigma 18-200mm lens reviews similarly to the Nikkor and is about $400 (to the Nikkor's $650) so if money is an issue that's something to investigate, if you decide to go that route. (I've no experience with any of this, but came in to do some more learning, noticed the suggestion of the 18-200 Nikon, thought I'd mention the Sigma since I was just reading reviews of them both yesterday).

    Good luck!
     
  7. wgilles macrumors 6502

    wgilles

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    #7
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    It might be a good lens but it will not auto-focus with the D60. It's a Nikon "AF" the D60 lacks an in-body focus motor and needs to have AF-S lenses.

    I think before we can recommend any lens he is going to have to tell us a little bit more about how he wants to use the lens and what kinds of subjects he shoots.
     
  9. saratdatta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #9
    Hi all of you who responded.
    Thanks for the tips will work on it.
     

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