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Thread: Lens Advise for D800

  1. #1
    kris's Avatar
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    Lens Advise for D800

    Hy,

    I just got a D800 and I would like to have some advices about lenses. I looked in forums and specialized sites but I could not find a definitive answer to my problem, maybe just because I overlooked it.

    I use my camera in mountaineering, so I am looking for a lens with a good image-quality/weight/size balance.

    Till now I used a D300 with:
    Nikkor 35mm/2D
    Nikkor 50mm/1.8D

    and
    AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
    AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

    which have a more than acceptable image-quality/weight/size balance.

    With the new camera I need a new FX lens to replace the DX ones.

    The AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, which covers (almost) the same range as the DX 18-200mm is heavy and really big. Moreover I usually do not need such a long focal in mountaineering.

    The AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, is slight lighter and smaller, but not so much.

    The new AF-S NIKKOR 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR is really appealing for my needs: focal range, weight and size. But what about image-quality?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Bye
    Andrea

  2. #2

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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    Andrea: I can see some of your thinking, about the 24-85mm, however for my thinking, when you are clinging to the side of a mountain, or hanging at the end of a rope a really wide angle or marco would work as you would be very to your subject in front of your. I think what you want the view behind you and I think that the 85 end would not be long enough as your subject is some ways from you. I would suggest the 70-300 4.5 VR, it is lighter than the 70-200 2.8, fast focus, and lots of reach in the distance. Problem at far end not as sharp, good thing not as much ($) as 70-200 2.8, it is an excellent lens and you pair it with the 35mm of close work on the mountain I think you would have a good combo. Hope to see some of those clinging to the mountain side shots.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  3. #3
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    Andrea: I can see some of your thinking, about the 24-85mm, however for my thinking, when you are clinging to the side of a mountain, or hanging at the end of a rope a really wide angle or marco would work as you would be very to your subject in front of your. I think what you want the view behind you and I think that the 85 end would not be long enough as your subject is some ways from you. I would suggest the 70-300 4.5 VR, it is lighter than the 70-200 2.8, fast focus, and lots of reach in the distance. Problem at far end not as sharp, good thing not as much ($) as 70-200 2.8, it is an excellent lens and you pair it with the 35mm of close work on the mountain I think you would have a good combo. Hope to see some of those clinging to the mountain side shots.

    Cheers:

    Allan
    Dear Allan,

    thanks for your advise. Actually I already have the 70-300/4.5 VR, which is lighter and smaller than the 70-200/2.8. I use it when I leave for a photo-mountain trip. I also have a 105mm/2.0 Micro which I use
    as well. But quite often I go out in the mountains just for the mountains themselves, if you understand what I mean. In that case I carry my camera, but not many lenses. I need space for other goods, especially in winter.
    This is why I am looking to a "general-purpose" lens that I can mount and use in most of the case.

    With the D300 I found the 18-200 a good compromise. The FX equivalent 28-300 is too big and, also , heavier.
    The 25-85, that with 1.5 cropping can be pushed to (almost) 135mm, looks a good candidate. But unfortunately its is quite new and opinions on it are quite different. Even if some dislike it just for the price..

    I'll post some of my D300 photo soon.

    Thanks again for the advice.

    Andrea

  4. #4

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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    Andrea: I have a better understanding now, so I will dangle this rope down to you. What about the 24-85 f2.8-4 older lens but not VR'ed for $120.00 CDN more than the new one, or the 24-120 f4 VR about $1350.00 cdn. As it states you are in Rome, are you able to hire a len for a day or two, that way you can get a feel for the len. Sometimes someplaces will let you use the money you payed for a rental go against the cost of the lens. That may be a way to go. Looking forward to seeing some of those images.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  5. #5
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    I have the D800 and find that my "go to" lens is the f/2.8 24-70mm. While it is not a light-weight, it is fast and fairly versatile and has great image quality; no VR though. I probably use it for 65% - 75% of my shooting. You might want to have a look at it.

    I also use the f/2.8 70-200mm for about 25% - 30% of my shooting, but is is large and heavy. I only use the f/2.8 14 - 24mm about 5% - 10% of the time, unless I do wildlife, and then I will use a longer lens.

    On the other hand, when I go for hikes and space and weight are an issue, I more often than not take my D90 with the light weight 18-55mm and the 55-200mm lenses. They are quite adequate quality wise when stopped down by a stop or two. My wife has the 18-200mm and the two lenses I have weigh a lot less than it does, for the same focal length range. I have a Cotton Carrier and I strap the camera to my chest and that way, put the other lens in my pocket and that way have no space issue in my backpack.

    I also have a lightweight carbon fiber Benro Travel Angel tripod that I strap to my backpack. It is too flimsy for serious work on the D800 but is more than adequate on the lighter weight D90.

  6. #6
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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    Dear Allan,

    actually the 24-120 f4 was my first choice when I bought the D800, but then Nikon came out with the new 24-85 f3.5-4.5,
    which sounds quite interesting. For what I could find on the net the two lenses are not so different, and
    I was stuck like the buridan's donkey...

    The old 24-85 f2.8-4? I'll think about.

    Thanks
    Andrea

  7. #7

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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    Most of my lenses are zoom lenses and have no problem what so ever with any of them but I would question the link-up of the high pixel benchmark-resolution camera D800 with any zoom lens. It's sort of like owning a Maserati and using Regular gas. With that camera, for optimum results, I'd stick to primes which will compliment that cameras awesome capabilities. I understand you need to keep the space and weight down but if zoom lenses are a must for your travels the D300 may be the better choice to carry.

  8. #8
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew1 View Post
    Most of my lenses are zoom lenses and have no problem what so ever with any of them but I would question the link-up of the high pixel benchmark-resolution camera D800 with any zoom lens. It's sort of like owning a Maserati and using Regular gas. With that camera, for optimum results, I'd stick to primes which will compliment that cameras awesome capabilities. I understand you need to keep the space and weight down but if zoom lenses are a must for your travels the D300 may be the better choice to carry.
    Andrew - I've been thinking and saying the same thing, but did a bit of a test about 10 days ago where I shot two pro lenses the f/2 105mm DC and the f/2.8 70-200mm set at around 105mm on my D800. I shot both images at f/5.6 and ISO 100. They were natural light shots taken using a heavy duty tripod, cable release and mirror locked up. Frankly, I had to get into pixel peeping mode to notice a difference. If I were to print in the 60cm x 90cm range and got close enough to the print, I would notice a difference. For all practical purposes, i.e. the sizes I normal work to I really couldn't tell the difference.

    Any system, camera or otherwise will be limited by the weakest component, but this is generally only true if you push things to the limit. Usually the weakest component is me...

  9. #9

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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    Nikon USA has a 'Technical Guide' for the D800, download here
    It provides tips for getting the best out of the high resolution sensor, and includes a list of lenses "for enhanced sharpness" on the D800E:

    • AF-S NIKKOR 1424 mm f/2.8G ED
    • AF-S NIKKOR 2470 mm f/2.8G ED
    • AF-S NIKKOR 70200 mm f/2.8G ED VR II
    • AF-S NIKKOR 1635 mm f/4G ED VR
    • AF-S NIKKOR 24120 mm f/4G ED VR
    • AF-S NIKKOR 200400 mm f/4G ED VR II
    • AF-S NIKKOR 24 mm f/1.4G ED
    • AF-S NIKKOR 35 mm f/1.4G
    • AF-S NIKKOR 85 mm f/1.4G
    • AF-S NIKKOR 200 mm f/2G ED VR II
    • AF-S NIKKOR 300 mm f/2.8G ED VR II
    • AF-S NIKKOR 400 mm f/2.8G ED VR
    • AF-S NIKKOR 500 mm f/4G ED VR
    • AF-S NIKKOR 600 mm f/4G ED VR
    • AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60 mm f/2.8G ED
    • AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105 mm f/2.8G IF-ED

    Ian

  10. #10
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Andrew - I've been thinking and saying the same thing, but did a bit of a test about 10 days ago where I shot two pro lenses the f/2 105mm DC and the f/2.8 70-200mm set at around 105mm on my D800. I shot both images at f/5.6 and ISO 100. They were natural light shots taken using a heavy duty tripod, cable release and mirror locked up. Frankly, I had to get into pixel peeping mode to notice a difference. If I were to print in the 60cm x 90cm range and got close enough to the print, I would notice a difference. For all practical purposes, i.e. the sizes I normal work to I really couldn't tell the difference.

    Any system, camera or otherwise will be limited by the weakest component, but this is generally only true if you push things to the limit. Usually the weakest component is me...
    Dear Andrew and Manfred,

    that's exactly the point. I am not shooting for money, nor I am a lens-tester. My prints are usually between 13cm x 18cm up to 21cm x 19cm. So I think I can hardly see the difference in my usual pictures. I think that in my case, the good compromise is to have a decent, comfortable, zoom as walkaround/hiking lens, and invest more money for a good, or really good, prime lens. This is why I just got a 105mm/f2.8G...
    In case I really need a pro lens, I can always rent one.

    Bye
    A.

  11. #11
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    Dear Andrew and Manfred,

    that's exactly the point. I am not shooting for money, nor I am a lens-tester. My prints are usually between 13cm x 18cm up to 21cm x 19cm. So I think I can hardly see the difference in my usual pictures. I think that in my case, the good compromise is to have a decent, comfortable, zoom as walkaround/hiking lens, and invest more money for a good, or really good, prime lens. This is why I just got a 105mm/f2.8G...
    In case I really need a pro lens, I can always rent one.

    Bye
    A.
    Andrea - at those print sizes if you stop down a couple of stops you will be doing fine. In fact if those are your usual sizes, the D800 is overkill. On the other hand, I knew that when I bought mine too. The larger viewfinder and the layout of the controls is a big step up for me versus my D90, and if I ever want to do a magificent large print, I can do so.

  12. #12
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Andrea - at those print sizes if you stop down a couple of stops you will be doing fine. In fact if those are your usual sizes, the D800 is overkill. On the other hand, I knew that when I bought mine too. The larger viewfinder and the layout of the controls is a big step up for me versus my D90, and if I ever want to do a magificent large print, I can do so.
    yep,
    the D800 is really a big step forward, also versus my D300 that was, and still is a really good camera. I know it can do
    much more of what I really need but, as you say, if you want something more than your usual stuff do with the D800 you can.
    That's the point.

    Bye
    A.

  13. #13

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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    I have D7000 with Nikon 16 -85mm and Nikon 50mm 1.4 G. I am about to buy D800 but it is preorder and I hope Nikon will fix all the problems that people mention. I want to try different lens so I can make decision to buy the lens that I need for my new D800 so I rent f/2.8 70-200mm VG to shoot the firework for July 4 but I didn't like much. The quality of the image is not good at all

  14. #14
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Advise for D800

    Quote Originally Posted by phugiay View Post
    I have D7000 with Nikon 16 -85mm and Nikon 50mm 1.4 G. I am about to buy D800 but it is preorder and I hope Nikon will fix all the problems that people mention. I want to try different lens so I can make decision to buy the lens that I need for my new D800 so I rent f/2.8 70-200mm VG to shoot the firework for July 4 but I didn't like much. The quality of the image is not good at all
    I have the f/2.8 70-200mm lens and it is a really high quality, sharp lens. It is very much the "go to" lens for most professional Nikon shooters. It tends to be my main portrait lens on my D800, but find I shoot more with the f/2.8 24-70mm for landscape and streetscape work. I know a couple of wedding photographers that use the 24-70mm a lot.

    If I were to say the 70-200mm has a downside, it would have to be its weight and size.

    Why did you not like it?

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