Lens help

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by capps, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. capps macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008
    So I've been searching the forum for awhile.. but I'm not really finding what I am looking for.

    I have a Nikon D60. I purchased it about six months ago. I like taking photos and I wanted a nice entry level dslr. The lens that came with it seems to be crap and we're fixin to take a family vacation to disney world. I know that the characters at disney have really vibrant costumes and I want the color to really pop in the pictures with my kids.

    So essentially, I am wanting to know what the best lens for this would be and also, if necessary, what kind of filters.
  2. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    Get a circular polarizer and learn how to use it effectively. That's the best way to get the color to pop, as you say. As for the kit lense being crap, try stopping it down to f8 or f11. Most Disney characters will be roaming the streets outdoors, so there will be plenty of light. Even a crappy kit lense can give good pictures if used at it's sweet spot.

    I'm a canon shooter, so I don't really know which one of Nikon's consumer lenses are good. ALL their Pro grade lenses are good though.:cool:
  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Color rendition is more a property of the body than the lens, and Nikon offers lots of settings, or you can process files to get whatever color saturation and vividness you'd like. Frankly, most Nikon kit lenses are quite good, so without seeing samples or a description of what you don't like, it's very difficult to recommend a solution. You also don't say what focal lengths you'd be shooting at, might want to shoot at, in what kind of light, what your budget is, or indeed give any pertinent data other than you think the kit lens is "crap" and you'd like something new- that's not likely to produce much in the way of helpful advice.
  4. advan031 macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2008
    Which kit lens did it come with? 18-55VR? If so, what makes you think it's crap? Nikons 18-55VR is a pretty damn good compared to other kit lens.

    If you want your picture to have vibrant colors then shoot JPEG and change your picture control to vivid.
  5. capps thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008

    By crap I meant with my lack of experience, they look pretty dull. I was more or less asking what lens would work better or how can I make them look better?

    I can make my pictures look vivid, but it is after me messing with them in an editor.
  6. capps thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008
    Focal lengths: I said it would be a character and my kid. If my kid is in the picture, I probably wont be but a few feet away.

    Might want to shoot at: I said it would be Disney characters and my kids.

    In what kind of light: Outside... at disney... during the day.. in Orlando, FL.

    I didn't give a budget. If you said a $100 lens would work, then fine. If you said I needed a $1,000 lens then fine.

    With that said.. I appreciate your input. Thanks!
  7. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Depends on the focal length- I can take images with people in them from 2 feet to about 200 feet- I may want the flattering telephoto look, or the distorted wide-angle look- I may have to account for crowds, or I may not, I may want "environmental" shots with a large depth of field, or I may way cozy images with a shallow depth of field. Almost any lens is capable of taking a picture of someone in a costume and a kid- but focal length, aperture and subject distance all affect depth of field and hyperfocal distance- Since you haven't defined what your current lens doesn't do for you in this regard, recommending a different lens without additional data is silly.

    Here you say "kids," above you say "kid-" the size of the group has bearing on the focal length.

    The light changes quite a bit during the day- if you know you're going to be up early or out late, then the maximum aperture size becomes critically important, and recommending a slow lens makes it a poor choice.

    You're not giving enough information to give you a good recommendation- honestly, a dearth of information makes recommendations worse. You want a standard people lens recommendation without detailed usage information for a single type of shot, fine- the AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED will outperform pretty-much any standard zoom you can get.
  8. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I'm going to recommend a trio of lenses. You can pick one of them or two, or all three if you're a rockefeller. Two of them aren't too spendy but both should give you good results, the third costs a mint but is as close to optically flawless as I've seen in a long time.

    The first problem you're going to run into is that the D60 is AF-S only. Meaning that if the lens doesn't have the AF-S designation it won't autofocus with your camera. Nikon has a lot of AF-S lenses, but they've also got a lot of non AF-S lenses, that's why people have to spend more to get the D90, one of it's benefits is being able to autofocus with all lenses.

    Not to worry though, these 3 lenses are all AF-S.

    #1 AF-S DX Nikkor 35 mm f/1.8 fast aperture gets you good performance in low light, and also helps with subject isolation. This is a new lens and it's not FX compatible so I've not paid too much attention to it, but people seem to really like it.

    #2 AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G same as the 35 mm lens, this one is just a touch faster, it's sharp and focuses fast and accurate. I've used this one some with my D700 and I liked it a lot. The thing to know about this vs the 35 mm is that it's a longer focal length meaning that you can't capture as much of the scene as you could with the 35 mm, you will have to take a few steps back from where you would be with the 35mm to capture the same image. I love 50mm's and I used a Pentax 50 mm almost exclusively on my K10D last october when I took the family to disneyland.

    #3 AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8G ED This one is extremely expensive, it's a lens designed for demanding professional shooters, so it's razor sharp, built like a tank, heavy, and weather sealed. It's got a new lens coating that Nikon has been using lately which helps with flare resistance. The 24-70 is part of the Nikon shooter's "holy trinity" (14-24 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8). This lens would undoubtedly be the most versatile, it covers a relatively wide angle at 24 mm all the way to a short telephoto angle at 70 mm. The max aperture is a constant f/2.8 not quite as fast as the other two lenses, but still fast. If you look at your kit lens you'll notice it says f/3.5-5.6 which means that as you zoom, the lens can't open it's aperture as wide, letting less light in and reducing your max shutterspeed. Not so with this lens, which is a big part of why it's going to cost you about $2,000.00. Which is undoubtedly more than your camera, the 35 mm the 50 mm and a nice flash combined.

    If it were me, I'd probably get the 35 mm and a hotshoe flash like the Nikon SB600 and call it a day. That would get you the results you're looking for. If you still have some cash and want some more versatility, then perhaps look into the 50 mm I suggested. The last lens is absolutely fabulous, but you've really got to know how to use it to justify the price so if it were me, I'd probably pass on it. In the meantime, check into your default settings on the camera and see if the color balance has been muted down somehow. I generally like to bump up the saturation slightly as well as the contrast. You should play with those settings and see if you can get more pleasing colors out of the camera, you may not end up needing a new lens.

    Those are my suggestions, take them for what they're worth.

  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    What don't you like about the lens? I'd hate to recommend one that had the same problem. If I knew the problem it would help. The Nikon kits lenses are actually good within their specifications.

    If color rendition is important then (1) calibrate your monior and (2) shoot raw format and (3) most importantly keep the exposure reasonable, don't over expose and stay out of high contrast lighting. use a fill-in flash to lower the contrast of direct sunlight.

    Polarized filers can help color saturation because they can reduce the intensity for specular highlights. Objects like cloth and skin will have little miroscopic bits on them that are at just the right angle to act like a mirror. This "shine" will desaturate the overall color. But don't over use the effect. Rotate the filter and look at the color and don't go so far as to make the sky an ugly shade of purple.

    If you do find you like polerizing filters then look for a lens with a NON-rotating filter ring. You do not want the focus to change the filter angle. Yes you can live with a rotating ring but, you will hate it and be back here claiming the "lens is crap" again.

    For your usage I like my 18-70 Nikon lens. It was a "kit" lens with one of the DSLRs a while back. It is always best to get close. The images are more engaging to the viewer than if taken from a distance. I think any lens used this way needs to be at least 24mm or wider. It is very rare to need a lens longer than my 85mm f/1.8 the 18-70 is about the right range and sells for about $270 but if you have more money a faster lens would be nice.

    Last time I took photos at Disneyland, I decided I was going to have fun. So I loaded the old F2 body with black and white film and took only one lens, a 35mm f/2.

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