New Lens advice for a D70

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Kamerynn, May 26, 2010.

  1. Kamerynn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    County Durham, UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    It's birthday time fast approaching and I've decided I'd like to get a new lens for my D70. I currently have the kit lens, a Nikon 50mm and Sigma 70-300.

    I'd like to go for a VR lens as my hand holding is appalling but a tripod is not always practical.

    Bare in mind I'm a beginner so I don't need anything flash, just something to help me get a less blurry picture :) Budget is max 200 notes, need to save some pennies to go on one of Doylems courses later in the year.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Kam
     
  2. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    I shoot Canon myself, but I can't think of a lens for 200 that would be a significant step up from the kit, seeing as you already have a 50mm.

    Also note: with small budgets, lights will always give better bang for the back than lenses.
     
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #3
    I would recommend you get a 35 mm f/1.8 Nikkor or a 35 mm f/2 Nikkor. If you can push your budget a teeny bit, go for a used Sigma 30 mm f/1.4. These lenses do not have VR, but you don't need it: they are much, much faster than the 70-300 mm and you can take pictures in darker rooms since you have a much larger initial aperture.

    My Sigma 30 mm is my favorite lens at the moment.
     
  4. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #4
    What kind of pictures are turning out blurry? If they're action shots, you don't need VR. If they're long exposures (say, one second or more), then VR won't help.
     
  5. Kamerynn thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    County Durham, UK
    #5
    Hi,

    Not all my photos turn out with blur, I take loads in the hope one turns out OK. But even pictures of static items I manage to get some shake in.

    I'm sure a lot of it will probably be down to technique, I've tried all sorts of different ways of holding the camera to no avail. My P&S which has the VR system turns out more stable shots, so i was thinking a VR lens for the big camera may help me.

    Thanks for your advice so far guys
     
  6. schataut macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    #6
    What lens to get - depends on what you like to shoot? Do you find yourself not being able to zoom in enough or not being able to zoom out enough? I have a D70s and absolutely love Tokina 12-24 on it. So if you feel that you are not being able to zoom out enough to get wide angle shots then I'd definitely suggest looking at Tokina 12-24.
     
  7. Mr Ski 73 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #7
    Depends if you can stretch the budget a bit but if you can afford it the best option is a used Nikon 16-85 VR which you should pick up off the bay for around £330. The alternative is a Sigma 17-70 HSM which is a stunning lens for around £150 and definitely a step up on the kit lens.
     
  8. Kamerynn thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    County Durham, UK
    #8
    Thanks for all your advice guys, I'll go away and think about what I want from the lens.

    Kam
     
  9. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #9
    Is not the consensus that the 35mm f/1.8 nikkor is preferable in almost every respect? Sample variation alone puts me off the sigma.
     
  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #10
    With regards to the Nikkor, the only drawback of the new 35 mm lens is that it's only for crop sensors. To most people, this disadvantage is absolutely irrelevant.

    With regards to the Sigma, the lens is absolutely amazing. I am aware of reviews (e. g. by photozone) which criticize it for its lack of sharpness in the corners and such. But I've not seen that in my pictures. In fact, the biggest problem in getting sharp pictures at large apertures is compensating for movement and in choosing the right AF point. Focus and recompose doesn't do the trick. I can wholeheartedly recommend it. Plus, it feels very sturdy, in fact, it is much more robust than the 50 mm f/1.8 Nikkor that I also have.
     
  11. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #11
    Oh yes, but so is the Sigma 30mm (DX only). It's good to hear that you get good shots out of your sample, the most recent review I have seen is Thom's, he didn't like it much either http://bythom.com/Sigma 30mm-HSM-lensreview.htm . You're of course quite right that focusing with wide-aperture lenses is difficult, not least as modern focusing screens don't let you really see what's in focus and what isn't.
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #12
    That's correct and I should have mentioned that out of completeness.
    I was very skeptical about the lens at first, too, and I had to think quite a bit until I made the decision to get the Sigma. Even though I haven't made any synthetic tests, in practice, I haven't noticed the soft corners (not that I doubt the test results). Mostly, because I like using it rather open anyway and my subject isn't in the extreme corners.

    The thing the reviews don't really mention is that it's a joy to use. f/1.4 is addictive in low light situations and my D80 + grip + 30 mm is still reasonably compact. The large initial aperture gives you a lot of creative freedom and there are, practically speaking, no alternatives to it. Nikon has a 28 mm f/1.4 which is no longer made, but that puppy costs an arm and a leg. I think it runs about 1600-1800 € used -- which is 5-6 times of what I've paid for the Sigma. I can only encourage you to give it a try. I can also post samples if you'd like.
     
  13. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #13
    What I do know about lenses is that each has a particular way of rendering a scene. My father is a bit of a luddite, albeit one that uses digital cameras. As such he has a 35mm f/2 Nikkor on his DSLR and just uses it. The subjective quality of the shots, the colour, or perceived sharpness or something is really nice, and better than one would think given the lens reviews (I have other lenses which are supposedly better). It's quite possible, likely even, that this is not captured in the review of the Sigma. I personally would be interested to see some samples from the sigma, do you have a Flickr? I don't want to clog the OP's thread too much, but he might be interested. Oh, btw, have you tried the 35mm f/1.8?
     
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #14
    I'll put up some picks on flickr next week.
    No, I haven't. I'm not claiming I've come to recommending the Sigma after some objective comparison of several different lenses. In fact, my subjective conclusions sometimes at odds with objective reviews: e. g. I don't particularly enjoy Nikon's 18-70 mm kit lens. I find it lacking in sharpness and pop. On the other hand, I enjoy running around with the Sigma on my D80 a lot. It gives me a lot of creative freedom to paint with light and regulate foreground vs. background lighting in low-light situations. The large initial aperture also allows me to separate the subject from the background. Full time manual override and a nicely sized focus ring allow me to correct the focus quickly (or screw it up, depending on the situation ;)).

    There are situations when the Sigma is soft: when I'm very, very close to the subject, it seems milky. But other than that, I don't think my photos lack sharpness. In any case, I'm thrilled about the additional creative freedom.
     
  15. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #15
    When I had a D70, I loved using the 18-70 on it. The 16-85 is supposed to be equally good.
     

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