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Thread: Nikon Lens

  1. #1
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    Nikon Lens

    Hi,

    I have been using a Nikon D3100 with 18-55 kit lens and am ready for upgrade....

    1. Which prime lens should i purchase. (f/1.8G or f/1.4G)
    2. Which telefocus lens should I purchase... 55-200 or 70-300 (also suggest if I can look at other brands other than Nikon)
    3. Should I also have a Macro lens it my kit....if so please suggest an appropriate one.

    Regards,

    Anand

  2. #2

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    Re: Nikon Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by andysubramani View Post
    Hi,

    I have been using a Nikon D3100 with 18-55 kit lens and am ready for upgrade....

    1. Which prime lens should i purchase. (f/1.8G or f/1.4G)
    2. Which telefocus lens should I purchase... 55-200 or 70-300 (also suggest if I can look at other brands other than Nikon)
    3. Should I also have a Macro lens it my kit....if so please suggest an appropriate one.

    Regards,

    Anand
    Anand

    a couple of questions....

    1. Primes - what do you want one for? wide angle? "normal" 50mm equivalent? or Portraits?

    2. http://bythom.com/nikkor-55-300mm-DX-lens-review.htm at the bottom of the review (just above Final word) he offers a good comparison of all 3. I wanted reach so went for the 70-300VR. but it is bigger, heavier and more expensive than the 55-200

    3. Macro - what do you think you need it for?

    also what sort of budget do you have?

  3. #3

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    Re: Nikon Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by andysubramani View Post
    Hi,

    I have been using a Nikon D3100 with 18-55 kit lens and am ready for upgrade....

    1. Which prime lens should i purchase. (f/1.8G or f/1.4G)
    2. Which telefocus lens should I purchase... 55-200 or 70-300 (also suggest if I can look at other brands other than Nikon)
    3. Should I also have a Macro lens it my kit....if so please suggest an appropriate one.

    Regards,

    Anand
    To answer both 1 and 3, I highly recommend the 40mm f/2.8 micro. It's a reasonable lens to use for a standard, and it gives you the macro capability in the same lens. Where I work, it's only $50 more than the 50 and 35 1.8.

    EDIT: Here's a review http://youtu.be/MSy8qvgbvG4

    As for the tele lens, I have the 55-200, and I'm quite happy with it, though I'll likely sell it for a faster tele since I need to do sports now. I've never used the 70-300, but I've heard some good things about it.

  4. #4
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Lens

    The first question you should ask yourself is what are you planning to shoot, rather than just building your lens inventory. Each lens in your inventory should be there because you have a need for it, not just because you want to have the coverage.

    I for instance have no macro lens because I really don't have a lot of interest in "true" macro work, getting close is good enough for me. Standing over a flower with a macro, tripod and cable release is something I rarely do. My friends that do shoot macros all have the 105mm; this gets them far enough away from the subject for them to avoid problems with shadows in the images.

    With the 18-55 kit lens, you already have the coverage that both the 35mm (normal) or 50mm (short telephoto) coverage on your D3100. The f/1.4 G lens is a pro lens and you have an entry level DSLR, so that is something to keep in mind. Both lenses will give you shallower DoF than your kit lens, if that is important to you. I do have the f/1.8 35G for my D90, but I pretty well only use it for street photography. It is fast, for existing light work and is small so I look less intimidating when I am out and about on the streets. I rarely use it for anything else.

    I also own the 55-200mm. It is okay in good light conditions, but is a bit limited when the light levels are low. It is not a very fast lens. Going to 55-300 means extended range, with a lens that is harder to hand-hold when you rack it all the way out to 300mm. both are a bit too short and a bit too slow for wildlife photography; especially for smaller animals and birds that are flying.

    Yes, there are third party lenses other than Nikon and I own several. In every case where I bought one of these, the lens I bought best met my needs. In some cases, I was unwilling to pay the Nikon price, but in other cases, the lenses had features that Nikon lenses did not have. Some of the third party lenses are absolutely superb both optically and mechanically, but in other cases, their main claim to fame is low price, and in photography, as in anything else, you do get what you pay for...
    Last edited by GrumpyDiver; 15th August 2012 at 04:43 PM. Reason: corrected typo

  5. #5
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Lens

    Hi Anand, I shoot with the D3100 as well and use the 55-300mm for tele. When I need a longer reach I use a Canon SX40 that can get out to 840mm FFE with outstanding image stabilization. It's much lighter and far less expensive than a longer tele for the D3100.

    For what I am shooting, there isn't enough benefit in a wide aperture prime lens but for really wide-angle work I use a Tokina 11-16mm.

    As Manfred points out, it is wise to determine what you are going to be shooting then match the lens to your needs.

  6. #6

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    Re: Nikon Lens

    I just want to add one comment about "fast" lenses, especially when discussing teles. Speed in the sense of having a large aperture is a consideration if you are shooting in low light or need to isolate the subject from the background. Secondarily, especially with teles, you may care about speed of auto focusing, e.g., if you are shooting sports or other fast-moving scenes. The 55-200 VR is slow in both senses. The 70-300 VR is slow only in the first sense, but focuses very quickly. Teles that are fast in both senses are very pricey, but if you only need the lens to be fast focusing, you can get a very capable tele at a very reasonable price. If you don't need speed in either sense, you can get a very capable lens at a bargain basement price in the 55-200 VR. Just one more way in which knowing what you need is important in building a kit that will get you there.

  7. #7
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Lens

    Hi Anand,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, always good to have another Nikon shooter

    A lot of good advice/questions above, I'll just add a few bits not mentioned.

    In your lens quest, do make sure you buy "AF-S" lenses, or you might get a nasty surprise when it doesn't AutoFocus on your D3100.

    For prime: I got a 50mm f/1.4 and while a good lens, for many occasions, it is a bit too 'tight' (i.e. too long a focal length), being equivalent to 75mm on our DX bodies), so I would suggest you do look at the 35mm f/1.8, the 40mm Micro as suggested above, or even something wider; say 24mm or 28mm, but if memory serves, they are quite pricey.

    I have the 105mm Macro lens and it is good, my fastest telephone too at f/2.8, but not cheap or light.

    I also have the Nikon 70-300mm and took it in to work today for a colleague to try on his new D5100, he ordered one by lunchtime

    Cheers,

  8. #8

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    Re: Nikon Lens

    good point by Dave.

    if you are buying Tamron lenses the model number needs to have NII at the end of the model number e.g. Tamron 17-50 (A16NII). and Sigma lenses HSM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Nikon Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by thequacksoflife View Post
    good point by Dave.

    if you are buying Tamron lenses the model number needs to have NII at the end of the model number e.g. Tamron 17-50 (A16NII). and Sigma lenses HSM.
    If I'm not mistaken, Tamron has only sold Nikon f-mount lenses with built-in motors for the last couple of years. If you are buying used, you need to worry about whether it has a focusing motor, but not with any new Tamron lens. FWIW

  10. #10

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    Re: Nikon Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, Tamron has only sold Nikon f-mount lenses with built-in motors for the last couple of years. If you are buying used, you need to worry about whether it has a focusing motor, but not with any new Tamron lens. FWIW
    you seem to be right! I wasn't aware that they had upgraded the 18-200 and 28-75 ta for that!

  11. #11

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    Re: Nikon Lens

    A macro is a type of prime lens, albeit slower than the classic 1.8/1.4. So, you can kill two birds with one stone by getting a macro lens that can also be used for portraits. Many like the Tamron 90mm for such a hybrid purpose. The Tamron 60 is faster, a 2.0, which makes it even more favorable for portraits. I bought a Sigma 70 2.8 for that reason, but it won't af on your camera. The Tamron 60 is designed for dx so might balance nicely with your body.
    A lot depends on your budget as well as your needs. The lenses that might fit your stated criteria vary considerably in price.
    I like the Tamron 70-300vc for telephoto. It is larger than the Nikon 55-300 and heavier. But, its af is quick and precise. I use it for sports quite a bit (soccer season is upon us). The 55-300 is, however, a natural fit for your camera. So, it might depend on how important weight is to you. You should try out the various lenses on your camera just to see which feels right.
    By going with the Tamron 70-300 and the 60 2.0, I have saved you the cost of buying a third lens. Time to get a tripod!

  12. #12

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    Re: Nikon Lens

    35mm is the new 'normal' (50mm) in the DX format, and is a very useful and versatile lens to have. I bought the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX after reading a review of it by Ken Rockwell, here: http://kenrockwell.com/nikon/35mm-f18.htm.

    It is one of the least expensive Nikon lenses, is as sharp as can be, and the f/1.8 allows good low light performance and shallow depths of field for portraits and so on. . What's more, it doesn't weigh very much, and won't make you wish you'd left it at home after a few hours of hanging round your neck.

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