Torn between 2 Lens options

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mojohanna, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. mojohanna macrumors 6502a

    mojohanna

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Cleveland
    #1
    Ok, I have pretty much made up my mind to pick up a D40X. I thought I wanted a kit with the 18-55mm lens and then I was going to add the 55-200mm lens with the vibration reduction.

    I hadn't quite gotten up enough courage to pull the trigger and I was in another camera shop yesterday asking some more questions. This is where I have come to another stumbling block.

    The sales person recommended that I go with an 18-135mm lens as it would cover most of the range I am looking for and be easier to carry around, not have to switch lenses etc. The thing is, I don't know if this is good for me or not. All the reasons the sales rep made seem to be good ones and the price between the two options is relatively the same. (so I don't think he was just trying to sell me up).

    Can anyone help to educate me here? Are there other trade offs or benefits to going this route?

    My basic uses for the camera will be basic family stuff with the kids sports and activities. We are also planning a trip to europe this summer (northern italy and austria) where I hope to get some great shots.

    Thanks for the help,

    Matt
     
  2. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #2
    As long as the 18-135 is a trusted name lens, I'd say that's a decent choice. Traveling, esp. with kids, the last thing you want to do is feel a need to switch lenses periodically. Pretty decent range for a carry-around, and will cover most of the shots I imagine you'd be after on a vacation like that.

    Tamron's got some newer 18-250 and 28-300 you may want to look at as well, but I don't know your budget.
     
  3. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #3
    An 18-135mm is reminiscent of the Canon 28-135mm IS, which generally gets some favorable comments as a reasonably nice 'walk around' lens (on 35mm more so than on a crop body).

    Overall, I'd have to learn more about all three lenses, as I'd want to see which ones are really worth keeping for a decade, as opposed to using for a couple of years before bitten by the "upgrade" bug.

    One of the questions I would have for myself is if 18mm will ultimately be wide enough...on my Canon 20D crop body with a 19-35mm, I'm finding that my answer is 'No'...probably because I had gotten used to a 20mm WA on my film body before making the digital jump.


    -hh
     
  4. mojohanna thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mojohanna

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Cleveland
    #4
    The 18-135 I am considering is a Nikkor lens. It keeps me within my budget which is about $800-$850. (Camera body and lens).

    Also, I am a newbie in the DSLR or, SLR for that matter, arena. I am just trying to start off with something flexible and "easy". Something that I can learn on before I start to get more involved and add on a different type of lens. This is never going to be more than a hobby for me.
     
  5. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #5
    Read the in-depth reviews of these lenses here:

    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests

    Basically though, these lenses are fairly close in their capabilities in terms of image quality. The trade off is:

    18-135 has the convenience of being one lens, so you won't have to switch lenses. With kids, there's probably enough going on that saving time will be a boon.

    18-55 and 55-200. This combo will give you more reach on the long end (200 vrs 135) and from 55-200 it will have vibration reduction(VR), which is great for hand held shots in anything other than very bright sunlight. The 55-200 will be a much better lens than the 18-135 for kids sports though because it is both longer and has VR, when at an equivalent focal length it will have a wider aperture (say 135 where the 18-135 has a max aperture of 5.6, the 55-200 will probably be at f/5.0, which means a shutter speed of say 1/80 of a second vrs 1/60... not a huge difference, but VR at 1/80 of a second vrs non-VR at 1/60 is going to produce a lot more keepers of those kids.)

    The expensive option, of course, is to get the 18-135 and at some point get another lens for your sports needs.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #6
    I'd get the 18-135 mm for now, and then purchase the 55-200 mm later (if you find that 135 mm isn't long enough.
     
  7. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #7
    Just get the 18-135 and work on your photography skills. no point in switching lenses all the time if you're not sure what you're doing (PITA to haul extra lenses along anyway).

    As you learn more, you'll discover things like "lighting" & "composition" that'll mean more to your pictures than the lens.

    That said, I like faster lenses (2.8) w/ zoom, but still keep a few primes around for specific shots.
     
  8. X-Morgan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    #8
    Quoted for truth. I've got the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 and it's the best piece of glass I've ever owned. But that's not the point. You should head over to Fred Miranda, because the reviews are all done by random people who have the lens and it gives you the opportunity to see it not just from one perspective (aka the reviewer) but from a wide range of people. (Beware though, there's a few perfectionists who want a flawless lens and their desires may reflect on the review they give).

    You're looking at the Nikon 18-135mm /3.5-5.6 even though there's no reviews for it, I'd have a look around and see what people have to say about any other interests you might see in the high street or on a website. I reccomend looking at the primes (50mm 1.8, 25mm 2.0) because some of the shots you'll achieve from them when using them for portraits are simply stunning.

    Chris
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    I assume we are talking about the Nikon 18-135. Then yes, The saleman is right. 135 is long enough for all normal uses. 200mm on a digital crop body is not as usful as most beginners think. Most of your work will be done with lenses shorter then 80mm

    I'd go with just the kit lens, either the 18-135, or 18-70 and then wait to buy a second lens. See what you need. Maybe you want to buy an SB-600 next or a macro lens or a more high-end telephoto suitable for sports. I like my 50mm and 85mm lenses but I figure you already decided you will never want one of those.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    The second part is the most true. As soon as you take a second lens then you need a bag. If you only own one lens you can just take the camsra. Hauling around a bag AND a camara is a PITA.

    I own a half down lenses but most times I'll think about what kind of pictures I want and just take that one lens. Yes I'll miss some shots but If get grab a macro lens or a telephoto zoom and go to the same location and with either lens come home with the same number of good shots. Just different shots, that's all.

    Different story if you are a pro. The pro has to get a specifc shot and needs the tool to make that happen. non-pros can take the shots that fit ther equipment and I might argue shooting this way is more fun.
     

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