Looking to buy another lens for my D80. Any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by marday, May 8, 2008.

  1. marday macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #1
    I'm looking to buy a new lens for my D80. I have the 18-135mm & the 1.8/50mm fixed lens, but I really find that the 18-135 is quite low quality. Which it is of course because its a kit lens. I'm interested primarily on portraiture, but a wideangle isn't necessarily out of the question either. Really i'm looking for a good quality lens <$800. Any suggestions to what good quality lenses I can get for under that price?
     
  2. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #2
    For portrait's I'd consider Tokina's 2.8/50-135 zoom. If you want a bread-and-butter lens, have a look at the various 2.8/16/17/18-50 zooms. As you might have noticed, I'm partial to Tokina, the lenses have the same built quality as Nikon's or Canon's pro lenses and they have a very good price/performance.
     
  3. eddx macrumors regular

    eddx

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #3
    The 85mm f1.4 would be a nice portrait lens.

    For the wide angles, can't go far wrong with the Sigma 10-20mm.

    The Nikon 105mm VR Macro f/2.8 would also be a nice lens to have.

    Hope this helps
     
  4. nburwell macrumors 68030

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #4
    The 85/1.4 is an excellent recommendation (even the 85/1.8 is another great option). If like to do more full body portraits, you could consider the Nikkor 35/2. But I would lean a little more on either of the 85mm lenses. They would work pretty well on a 1.5x crop body, and wouldn't be "too long" when shooting portraits.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    If you look inside your photo collection can you figure out how many shots were taken at each focal length? If you use iPhoto or Aperture you can make smart albums for each range of length. Check to see where you mostly shoot then buy a prime to cover you most used focal llength. Even if you and I both shot the same subject it is a matter of style that says if you use a 35mm lens and walk up close or stand back and shoot with an 85. Just count up your catalog.
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #6
    35-70 AF-D f/2.8
     
  7. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #7
    I'd rather have the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 or the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 in that range. 35 to 70 is too small of a range for it to be particularly useful and its a clunky old lens.

    It really depends what focal lengths you need. The tamron 17-50mm f2.8 is a great option, or the 80-200 f2.8 might be too. It just depends what you have been using historically.

    Another option might be Nikon's 16-85mm VR zoom lens. A bit slow in the dark, but excellent VR and it produces gorgeous pictures.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    But this guy does not need to extend his focal length range. he has the 18-135 and does not need to go longer or shorter. My suggestion was to buy a prime to cover his most commonly used setting on thr 18-135. If he does people photos mostly (as he says) then the 35-70 range is near perfect. And as I suggested a primme I wont argue that 35-70 is to small of a range. Also he said "quality" he wants something much better then the 18-135 and the 18-135 is not bad. I'd not recommend Tamron or Sigma to some one wanting to move up from the Nikor 18-135

    Both the prime and 35-70 will still be usable 10 years from now after nikon goes back to full frame. I don't thik DX is here to stay except at the low end. in 10 years all serious shooters will be back to using FF. So the 36-70 and any prime will be a good long term investment. I would NOT spend $500 on a DX lens.
     
  9. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #9
    Tammy is considered a true alternative to the Nikkor 28-70mm, it dumps on the 35-70.

    And its fully compatible with full frame unlike DX format nikon lenses. It works great with the D3 (check fredmiranda for samples).

    I've had a couple and they were both great copies. I moved onto more expensive lenses because the tamrons lacked IS which I've fallen in love with, but they're awesome lenses.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #10
    I shoot lots of portraits, and in a studio setting the zoom range is just fine. As far as "clunky," can you articulate what's "clunky" about it for portrait use? Portraits aren't moving subjects (not that the lens has issues keeping up on my camera.) I use the 35-70 almost exclusively for portraits unless I have a large group where I need wider, and I find it particularly useful- especially on a 1.5x body where the angle of view is in the sweet spot for portraits.

    The 35-70 AF-D is widely regarded as one of the best zooms Nikon has ever produced- as a portrait photographer, I'd say if it has any sins, it's too sharp, I generally have to soften female portraits taken with this lens.

    There are plenty of online reviews talking about quality and warranty issues with the Tamron (including at least one report of clunking sounds- ironic huh?) The Sigma has flare issues, though those should be controllable in the studio and sounds like it makes "clunky" focusing sounds too. The Tamron QC issues seem global, and I'd say that if multiple samples don't last six months, it wouldn't be on any list of lenses I'd want.

    50mm won't give you that pleasing telephoto look in portraits, and 80mm is going to want a very large studio space for portraiture- let alone trying to go up to 200mm, and the 80-200 has a 4.9 foot minimum focusing distance- what sort of portraits do you shoot?

    VR is generally not a big portrait feature, the 16-85 is a DX format lens, and variable aperture. I'm not sure I'd go with it unless it had significantly good IQ at the wide end.

    Do you even actually shoot portraits?
     
  11. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #11
    My question is, why buy a Nikon (or a Canon or any other brand) and then stick a bunch of third-party lenses on it instead of lenses made by the manufacturer of your camera body?

    I agree with Compuwar that the 35-70mm is an excellent lens, well-suited to portraiture and many other applications.
     
  12. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #12
    I just don't see the point of such a limited range (35-70) if you've already got the 50 prime. The distance from 50 to 70 can be negated with a few footsteps, and a zoom lens is at its weakest at the extremes.

    Why not just add another prime (85 1.8?) to accomplish the same thing.

    As for the third party lens comment, tell that to the Zeiss/Oly fiends.
     
  13. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #13
    Seriously, the OP was asking about portraiture, do you shoot portraits? Are any of your recommendations to the OP based on actual experience?

    The zoom changes the perspective- which changes the look of the face, which is desirable in different ways for different faces. But in a studio you have limited space unless you have a very large studio, so a huge zoom range isn't useful at all- so you'll end up with all the optical compromises of a large zoom range and use none of the advantages. If you're that worried about budget, then I'm guessing that you're in a smaller space, so while portraits from a 400mm prime totally rock in terms of flattering zoom compression, the OP isn't likely to (a) want to hear about a lens that's 10x his budget, or (b) going to want to be 20+ feet away from his clients.

    Also, the smaller the zoom range, the more likely you are to get consistent results at differing focal lengths, important if you're doing a range of portraits, or portraits for different members of a family that are going to hang next to one another on the same wall.

    The point of recommending the 35-70 is even at its weakest (wide open, wide end,) it's much better than most lenses, which is why it's regarded by many people as one of Nikon's finest zooms ever. The new 24-70 is a better lens, but it's twice the OP's budget.

    My studio is pretty small, one of my friends has an old elementary school as a studio- when I've shot in his studio I can use a lot more lens, though that takes me a lot further away from my model, making communication difficult.

    The 85mm is a very good portrait lens choice. However, if you're shooting adults and children and mixes of adults and children then I think the 35-70 is still a better overall choice (which is why it's my main studio lens.)

    Which Zeiss is that- the European Zeiss, or the licensed and made by someone else in Asia Zeiss? You do understand the difference between a Zeiss ZF (which is outside the OP's budget) and Nikkor and Sigma when we're talking about the OP's D80, don't you? It certainly has a lot more generic validity than recommending an 80-200 for portraiture.
     
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #14
    It was not a comment, it was a question.

    I see that you're attempting to avoid an answer.....
     
  15. Adrien Baker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Bakersfield, Ca.
    #15
    I have to agree on the third party nonsense. Also, comparing the "high-end" Zeiss lenses to Tamron, Tokina and Sigma is apples to oranges.

    There's a few third party gems out there, and everybody knows which ones they are, and I don't thing any of them fit the OP's needs. For your basic standard and wide zooms however, it's best to just stick to Nikon. The cheap alternatives to Nikon are just simply cheap alternatives.

    Adrien
     
  16. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #16
    By the recommendation of many portrait photographers, including Compuwar, I have to agree with the 35-70 recommendation. I had originally stated I had an unlimited budget for a good lens and remarkably the first recommendation was indeed the 35-70 and not the new 24-70. I went on to do some homework (google) and found some great comparisons of the two and figured out that I could probably pick up the 35-70 and be just as pleased with it for many years even on my d300. Here is a comparison I just located and frankly this was the worst I've seen so far, which isn't half bad. 35-70mm on a d300 and 24-70 on a d300.

    The 24-70 is better, no doubt it should be at twice the price and 20 years newer. But again, you have to realize that the 35-70 is a great portrait lens. I don't know if I'd use it as an every day walk around lens due to the limited zoom, but that is just me.

    I don't dislike third party lenses, not in the least. I simply don't find cause to buy a third party lens if a Nikon lens is available to me at a similar price. We all have our limitations though.
     
  17. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #17
    Hi there, I am aslo looking for a new lens. And also interested in a lens which can make good portraits.

    I am considering the Nikkor 105 f/2.8 VR Micro, which seems to be spectacular for Macro photography (which I am also interested in) and has a very nice bokeh and range making it a good portraiture lens.

    And it is within your price range. $750 at Amazon.

    Anyone here uses this lens for portraiture work?
     
  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #18
    I haven't used the 105VR, but I'd suggest comparing it to the Tamron 90mm, which is a 3rd party lens with a 1st party reputation- I'd probably prefer 90mm to 105mm for portraits on a crop body- though the 105's results I've seen are really good (especially given its MTFs.) The working distance for macro should be relatively comparable.
     
  19. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #19
    I have the 105mm f/2.8 VR but I have only used it for macro work, not for portraiture. I have heard that it can be excellent for that, though.
     
  20. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #20
    Yeah, I have read many reviews saying so.

    Just one question about the lens: how is the focus scale in this lens? I mean, when you have it at f/11 and not in the macro mode (1:1), can you have the whole field be in sharp focus?

    Not sure I am explaining myself. But for example, in the 80-200 f/4.5 that I have, there are lines that help you see what focus range is covered at certain aperture. Meaning that at f/22 and at 80mm everything from 5 feet to 15 feet is focused.

    My question is because I am afraid that if I ever want to use this lens to take a photo, where both the person and the background are in focus, I might find myself unable to do so.

    Thanks for the help,:)
     
  21. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #21
    It should be..... tomorrow I'll pull out the lens and stick it on the camera and check things out, but I'm pretty sure that, yes, if I set it at f/11 and focus on a person and everyting surrounding him/her that everything would be in sharp, accurate focus.
     
  22. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #22
    Thanks a lot Clix Pix

    And I'm sorry marday for using your thread for something different from your original question.:eek:
     
  23. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #23
    f/22 will be diffraction limited on almost any digital body.
     
  24. laurencenoton macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    #24
    No one seems to have posted recommending the 17-55mm f2.8 lens.

    I know it is a DX only lens, although will work on the D3 (in DX mode) it is probably one of the best lens out there. Stunning in everyway.

    Couple that with a 70-200, or 70-300 (I have the 70-300) and you have a good set.

    The 50mm's are great, I favor the 1.4 personally but both are great.
     
  25. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #25
    That's because most of us can't afford that lens ;) :D
     

Share This Page