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Thread: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

  1. #1

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    Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    So I am having a really hard time trying to find the perfect lenses for my Nikon D5100. I currently have the Nikon D5100 kit lens. It takes amazing photos, but I'm looking for something that can bring more detail. I LOVE to take portraits of people, including myself, and photos of close-up objects. I love a lot of detail in my pictures. I love them to look perfect, I just don't know what to choose. I have read that a macro lens could be good for close up photography, but not to much portraits. I have also read that telephoto lenses would be good for portraits too, but don't know if it would be good for close-ups. The problem I have with my lens now is that is doesn't bring enough detail, and when I put the setting how I want them, it either takes a far away picture with a focused close up, or when I take a close up, it focuses on what's far away. It's SO annoying. I don't even know what to look for in a lens, but I would really appreciate it if someone could help me out!
    Last edited by Breinke; 25th October 2012 at 05:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    Hi, welcome to CIC.

    You dont really make it very clear what you want this lens for but reading between the lines you want a macro/portrait lens. If this assumption is correct then the nikon 105 f2.8 VR is a great choice, i dont know where you read that macro lens's arnt suitable for portraiture, but i would disagree.I believe that some of the 3rd party lens's in this range are also very good but i
    dont have one so cant comment.

    Oh and if you could add your name to your profile and maybe an approximate location, we are all on first name terms here!

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    We seem to have two threads with teh same name going here.

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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    I want to take pictures of people, landscapes, flowers, etc. I want the photo to have a lot of detail, and I want to be able to take close-ups. I also want to know what settings contribute to a more detailed picture. I will post some samples of what kind of photos I want to be able to take, hopefully that helps!

  5. #5
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    ok Brianna,

    Generally fixed focal length lens's also known as primes will have better image quality than a zoom will, this is because of the complexity of the element arrangement involved with a zoom. lens's tend to have better image quality in the center than the edges. Lens's also typically have a sweet spot at which they resolve detail this tends to be around F8 and then there is the inevitable you get what you pay for....

    the above are all generalizations and will depend on your lens choice but Donald is right, i would make sure that your technique is getting the best out of the lens you have before spending money on more equipment.

    post some examples up and im certain we can help you get good results out of the equipment you already own.

  6. #6
    Melkus's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    As I have said before the kit lens is not that bad for starting out. Think of the kit lens as two lenses in one, treat it as an 18mm and 55mm lens in one. The 18mm is a moderate wide-angle that is great for landscapes, architecture and environmental portraiture. The 55mm end is a short telephoto lens ideal for compressing perspective and taking portraits or closing in on details. That doesn’t mean you can’t use the in-between focal lengths, and there are times when you can’t avoid it, but by sticking with the shortest and longest focal lengths you will learn how those focal lengths behave. Lenses are the ‘eye’ of your camera system and your photos will improve as you learn the characteristics of each focal length. You say the lens doesn't bring enough detail, I have to ask how long have you had you D5100 and or are you new to a DSLR. I had the D5100 with the 18-55 kit lens before I got my D90 and my photos were always sharp with great detail. There are other factors besides the lens that could cause this problem is why I ask.

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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    I've had this lens for over two years, and it just isn't meeting my needs. I posted an album called Inspiration with sample pictures of what I'm looking to do. I want more than just a standard lens, something that can make my photos really pop. I just need to know what to look for in a lens. I also want to learn more about aperture, because I have read that it has a big impact on the pictures you take.

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    RichB's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    I'm no expert but the common factor I see in the inspiration photos is high quality lighting rather than a specific lens choice.

    For my 2p if there's a cheap/free way of improving your photos, i.e. learning more, then I'd go for that first and only when you know for sure what you need do you invest in gear.

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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    Well I don't know how to take photos like that with my Nikon Kit Lens. I don't know what settings to use or anything. that's what I need help with. /:

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    You do seem very determined that what you need is a new lens.

    Based on what you have written and what it suggests about your level of understanding of how the lens works, I would repeat the suggestion made in the duplicate of this thread that you started - You need to master the use of your camera, existing lens and post-processing before you conclude that your present lens isn't capable of delivering what you want.

    A new, more expensive lens will not, of itself make your images 'pop' as you write you wish. Good camera craft and post-processing skills will do that.

    As for learning about what settings work best, that is all about practice, practice and more practice. It will not happen unless you are determined to learn how to make it happen.

  11. #11
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    i cant find the album!!

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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    Well that's weird, because that's the only thing I updated on my profile. Do I have to change the settings in order for you to see what I post?

    And I understand that I have to master the camera, but no matter how much I read or look into it, I can't find the desired effect of my pictures. Like I said earlier, when I try to take a close up picture, it focuses on the background and when I go to take a picture far away, it focuses on the close up objects. How to I get that to stop and just take a picture of what's right in front of the camera?

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    Melkus's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    I have to quote Henri Cartier-Bresson "You first 10,000 photographs are your worst."

  14. #14
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    Richard is right, those images are all about light not a lens, you will be able to a chive images like those with the lens you have. try taking some images and posting them up for us to help you with. you can also take Colins portraiture class on here at this link

    School of Portraiture - Links to Lessons 1 through 8

    these sites are good to help you with lighting as well:

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/ take the lighting 101 & 102 courses its all free!

    http://neilvn.com/tangents/

    then post all your fantastic pictures for us to see, but i think youll be better off buying some flashes!!

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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    I cannot see your link ): I will take some photos tonight and upload them. (: I need a camera tutor haha.

  16. #16
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Breinke View Post
    Well that's weird, because that's the only thing I updated on my profile. Do I have to change the settings in order for you to see what I post?

    And I understand that I have to master the camera, but no matter how much I read or look into it, I can't find the desired effect of my pictures. Like I said earlier, when I try to take a close up picture, it focuses on the background and when I go to take a picture far away, it focuses on the close up objects. How to I get that to stop and just take a picture of what's right in front of the camera?
    now your talking about a different problem! do you know about your focus modes and focus points?

  17. #17
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    no my fault brianne i had to navigate away to get the links and didnt want to loose what id typed!! i should use word and copy and paste!! the links are there now

  18. #18
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Breinke View Post
    I've had this lens for over two years, and it just isn't meeting my needs. I posted an album called Inspiration with sample pictures of what I'm looking to do. I want more than just a standard lens, something that can make my photos really pop. I just need to know what to look for in a lens. I also want to learn more about aperture, because I have read that it has a big impact on the pictures you take.
    Was going to say you said you wanted to learn more about the aperture. This is just one of the 3 things in what is called the " Exposure Triangle" the other 2 is ISO and Shutter speed you got to know what these are and what they do and how changing one effects the other. All of this can be found right here on CiC under "Photo Essentials"

  19. #19

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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    I know some about focus modes and little about focus points, explain! And Paul I cannot see your link!

  20. #20
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    re: Help Required - Looking for a New Lens

    oooohhhh ! you are demanding!! well you need to put and image up but it sounds like you could have your camera selecting a focus point on parts of you image that you dont want to focus on.

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