Which lens would you buy?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by woodynorman, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. woodynorman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #1
    I currently shoot 95% time with my 18-300 3.5-5.6 Nikon lens on a D7100. I like the range of it, and the photos it takes, but am yearning for some better glass.

    Im currently looking at two lenses:

    --Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM APO
    or
    -Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR

    I really do use all of the 18-300 range, shooting mostly landscapes and sunsets, with some 4 wheeling (jeep rockcrawling) thrown in. I do also find myself taking lots of handheld low light pics, and sometimes find the aperture restricting what I can do.

    I think I like the range of the 24-120, but wonder if I will benefit that much from a 4.0 aperture lens? Is the Sigma with 2.8 aperture that much better than 4.0?

    I'd appreciate any input on which lens is "better".

    Thanks!
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    I can't see any reason at all to get the Nikon 24-120. f/4 is not much different from f/5.6 irt is just one stop. hardly noticeable. The 2.8 lens is slightly more noticeable. as f/2.8 is a couple stops faster. Of the two this one if different enough you might notice.

    But if you want to really make a huge difference in the type of images you can take buy one of the less expensive f/1.8 lenses. Get the 35mm or the 50mm. The 35mm is a good one for general photography and the 50 is good for people.

    So you put on of these on your camera then you can control depth of field down to a tiny range and shot in very low light. You WILL notice a difference because the fast prime FORCES you think different and make different images.

    If you get the 35mm it will teach you to tried and true two step method of making great images (1) get close, (2) take two steps forward. Images taken from the closer perspective more more engaging. You are forced to interact with you subjects because you are only three feet from them.

    I doubt the other lenses would cause you to make different images. You'd shoot the same old stuff but with different glass.

    .....
     
  3. woodynorman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the advice! I do have a 35mm 1.8, and a 11-14 tokina that I use on occasion, but don't carry them with me at all times. I guess I'm looking for a better "walk around" lens, and the primes don't really fit the bill for me for that.

    I want better low light performance, better bokeh when I want/need it, and a higher quality photo, while still keeping the zoom I use so often. If the quality of my pics isn't much better than with my current lens, then I would just as soon keep the $1000-1200 in the bank.
     
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #4
    Low light - often people prefer a slightly faster lens
    better bokeh - product of how lens is made and again slightly faster lenses that deal with shallower depth of field(s).

    You have a very nice camera and I would suggest perhaps you go to Ken Rockwell's site. I am not too much in agreement with all his suggestions and statements but he has some choices of lenses that you might find interesting given your tastes.

    Btw, ever find a good report on your lens and how good or bad it is? You might want to look on line and get some info on tests on your model of lens.
     
  5. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #5
    You can sort your photos by range in LR and see what end of your current glass you are using the most.

    I'm currently I'm waiting on getting a 70-200mm 2.8 and possibly a teleconvertor to go with. 55mm is just not close enough for me.
     
  6. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    #6
    Since you're shooting landscapes, the faster 50-150mm would probably be too narrow to be your walk around lens. What you're basically asking for is a fast zoom lens that goes from fairly wide to fairly tele and has a large aperture. I'm afraid that still does not exist :(

    All the fast zooms typically offer only 2-3x zoom in the wide range (like the 14-24mm and 17-35mm f/2.8) or in the tele (like 70-200mm f/2.8), but they also share such undesirable qualities like being huge, heavy and expensive. Neither fits the "walk around" qualification unless you do only very specific kinds of shots.

    I would try coming out with just the 35mm f/1.8 to see what you shoot when put in its restrictions, though it can be a bit too long for the landscape shots.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    Try this. Leave the zooms in the bag in the closet. Put on the 35mm and shoot with it alone for a week or two. At first you think about all those shots of a bird on a wire (or whatever you take with a 300mm lens?) but after a while you stop thinking of missed shots and start seeing what works with the 35mm lens and you just take those.

    I 've found that no matter what lens I have, I always get the same number of good shots. But I get different shots. So I take the lens for the kind of shots I want. If I shoot a 35mm lens I get images of people I'm with close up with an engaging "in your face" kind of style. I also have a 135mm f/3.8 lens (manual focus) and with that I get more distance shots where the person does not notice the camera. These are less engaging to look at but some times fun if the subject is children running around not watching me (because I', 30 feet away)

    So try limiting yourself to one lens and take 1,000 frames before you remove that lens.

    You take different shots but I bet after some time, the same number of good ones.

    You have everything covered. You might notice a tiny increase of shaprtness with some different lens or if you went to tripod shots but no one else would because you are the only person who would ever blow the images up to 1000% size and "pixel peep". Everyone else is going to look at the image on their phone.
     
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #8
    + 1
     
  9. woodynorman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #9
    Thanks for the replies! You all are probably right...

    I looked at the EXIF (not sure if that's the right name?) for a lot of my past pics, and found that I REALLY do use ALL of my 18-300 lens. Some of my best shots are above 200mm, but a lot of good ones are as wide as it will go.

    If there was an 18-300 2.8 on the market, I probably wouldn't be able to afford it anyway!

    I like the idea of just using my 35mm 1.8 for a month, and see what I get.

    I also think I need to start thinking more creatively with my current lenses. They really are good ones and I probably don't use them anywhere near their full potential.

    I also have been reading my manual again, and learning some of the cool features I didn't even know it had!

    Just cause I can...here are a few of my favorites:

    This one was shot at midnight:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #10
    Rent one before you buy it.


    lensrental.com


    Since you do have the D7k you can bump up the ISO and make the f/4 more usable. Its better that you can use f/4 through the range of the lens.
     
  11. woodynorman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #11
    Thats perfect! I had no idea you could "rent" a lens. Will look into that.
     
  12. twitch31 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    #12
    I would also look at the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 (not the 18-50) and the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 seems awesome. There is also the Nikon 18-55 f/2.8. I think any of these options would be better.
     
  13. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #13
    LensRentals.com is a good suggestion. I've used them to rent a 10mm lens for a special project.

    On lenses, I really like my Nikon 17-35mm 2.8. It's heavy, but a really nice lens and it's wide enough to do most things. I'm not sure how good the Sigma is as a lens, but the 2.8 aperture does make a pretty big difference in low light, especially if you're trying to shoot 1/60-1/100. With my D7000 pushed to 3200, I'm able to shoot quite a bit with the f/2.8 that's difficult at f/4.

    The Nikon 24-120mm f/4G is a pretty good lens and I like the focal range, but I'm not sure if you're going to get that much more bang for your buck. One thing to keep in mind too, is will the VR help you? And, I'm always sensitive to autofocus speed, so some lenses that are otherwise quite good are too slow for me.

    This may or may not be an issue for you.

    Definitely test the lenses using LensRentals and you'll start to see what you really need.
     
  14. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #14

    idk where you are located. There are a few rental places that are online. I've used lensrental.com a lot. My wish list for lenses are the 24-70mm f/2.8 and 105mm f/2.8 or 10-20mm lens.. I've been renting them until I get enough money to buy. The whole transaction is nice. You pay a little more for the insurance. At lensrental I opt to pick up at a FedEx store so that I don't have to wait for it to ship. They box it well so that all you have to do is drop it off at FedEx/UPs.


    Take the suggestions here and rent the lens for a week when you will be out shooting.

    I would go with the 24-70mm f/2.8 used over the 24-120mm f/4 because it sounds like you want something faster. Sell the 18-300mm and get the 24-70mm. If price is a factor then go with the 24-120mm.
     

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