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Thread: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

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    D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Hello,

    I am in a situation, there are just so many lenses on the market for cameras, I cannot figure out if my decision will cover the needs I have. After doing 10 hours of (constant) research, I've landed myself here. I'm new to the photography scene, but I'm considered technologically savvy.

    Here are a few questions I have:

    First question
    Will the Nikon 18mm - 55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX and the Nikon 55mm - 200mm f/4-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR suffice for my shooting style? Okay, you must be asking yourself what is my shooting style, well its going to mainly consist of portraits and relatively distant architecture. Perhaps some pictures of trees and other natural things as well. I've been doing research and from what I conclude, the Nikon 70mm - 300mm f/4-5.6G isn't all that good. So, my current cart from adorama consists of just the body.

    **A note, I have been thinking about going with a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens in addition to the two others I have posted. But, would like advice first.**

    Second question
    According to my research, there is mixed views of what photographers would consider their essential lenses; with that being said, could a photographer who enjoys architecture, portraits, and some nature tell me what they use as their primary lenses? This would be greatly appreciated.

    Third question
    Which polarizing films would be best used?

    Four question
    Ken Rockwell says he finds himself using the Nikon 18-200mm VR often, he has switched from using 6 or so lenses to primarily two. I can, but I am not inclined to pay the 800 USD for the lens at this moment. I would like to get the fill of DSLR photography before I invest more than my current allocated budget of 1600 USD. So, instead of going with the Nikon 18-200mm VR, I went with his next best advice. So, now, I am asking you guys, what are good alternatives to this lens?

    *******

    I believe this sums up my questions for now, but if more should arise, I will certainly ask.



    Thanks again for your time,
    ees

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    ees, I have the 18-55 kit and the 55-200 non-VR on the D40. A friend has the same setup except he got the VR version. He and I can tell very little difference in the two setups. To me, the VR doesn't add enough usefulness to be worth the extra cash. NOTE: My opinion, not that of everybody else.

    When I got the D70, I moved the 28-80 and the 70-210 over to that bag with very good results. All the lenses are Nikons. I do have the Nikon Series E 50mm, which I find an occassional use for, but it is usually on my FG. I just don't find a need for the faster lens that often, because I seldom shoot people, critters or sports at wide angle.

    Pops

    That is just my experience and the way I shoot. I'm afraid that mightn't be much help to you, but it is what I have found to work for me.

    Pops

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Thank you, Pops. I have researched both lenses mentioned by you early on in my research project.

    Pleasure,
    ees

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    ees, I have the 18-55 kit and the 55-200 non-VR on the D40. A friend has the same setup except he got the VR version. He and I can tell very little difference in the two setups. To me, the VR doesn't add enough usefulness to be worth the extra cash. NOTE: My opinion, not that of everybody else.

    When I got the D70, I moved the 28-80 and the 70-210 over to that bag with very good results. All the lenses are Nikons. I do have the Nikon Series E 50mm, which I find an occassional use for, but it is usually on my FG. I just don't find a need for the faster lens that often, because I seldom shoot people, critters or sports at wide angle.

    Pops

    That is just my experience and the way I shoot. I'm afraid that mightn't be much help to you, but it is what I have found to work for me.

    Pops
    ees,

    To add to Pops comments my lenses purchased in this order:

    18-55mm kit lens purchased with camera
    55-200mm within a few weeks of camera purchase for added focal range
    70-300mm within a year of previous purchase, for additional focal range
    At this point I wanted additional focal range but wasn't ready to lay out $1,400 or more dollars for a few mm's more.
    Considered selling or trading in the 55-200mm because I could cover this range with the other lenses but held back and purchased a CP filter that only fits the 55-200mm and now it's an asset to my camera bag.
    Purchased the 50mm f/1.8 for night photography and except for having that extra focal range, I feel I have everything I need. But, you never know. The bottom line is everyone has particular shooting styles and equipment needs that may not apply to every photographer.

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Hi ees,

    I have been using the Nikon D70s for sometime now but have recently upgraded to the Nikon D300s and I also simplified my lens kit and now carry a Nikor 16 - 85m VR ED lens and the Nikor 70 - 300m ED zoom. I am very happy with these two lenses at the moment. Oh! I also have a 180m Tamron Macro lens that I love but do not carry with me all the time. I take this lens when I specifically go out to shoot marco otherwise I use the 70 - 300 for close work if needed.

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Thank you Peter, Shadowman, and Pops for the quick replies. I think I will buy the two lenses I mentioned in the OP, and go from there. Afterall, I can return them if I do not have satisfaction, or of course just buy more lenses. These guys are cheap, minor pocketbook setbacks, figure out the ones I like, then go for the professional lenses later.

    Thanks again!
    EES

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Hi Edward,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, great to have another Nikon shooter (designate)

    I got a D5000 and a wide range zoom in May 2009, the aforementioned 18-200mm VR, because I was used to that exact range on my previous camera. I am so glad I did.

    I'm well pleased with the quality of the (admittedly rather expensive) 18-200 over the really light and plasticky feeling 55-200mm (sorry guys). What you win on the smaller size of the 55-200 is lost again with the 18-55 which is the same diameter as the 18-200 and only a little lighter and shorter. Plus you got keep changing lenses, I'd rather be ready for the shot.

    I have, after about a year, recently added the 70-300 VR IF-ED, an excellent lens I am also well pleased with, plus I bought the 105mm f2.8 VR2 macro, again, a great lens. I am considering a shorter length prime with a wider aperture, but CS5 beckons, so that would rob the money pot!

    I have to buy AF-S lenses for AF on my D5000, but you could get D and AF series for a D90 and possibly save some money, although those lenses aren't as modern.

    HTH,

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Hey Dave!

    Yes, I've loved Nikon since a kid. Fantastic glass. I placed my order today. I'm going to try these two lenses, and as time progresses, switch to more expensive glass. I'm a pre-med student, studying to become a psychiatrist, so my time is short. Not to mention, getting married and moving to another country. I have my hands full. I am not sure how much time I can devote to photography at the moment. But, I'm looking forward to playing with the art! I looked up at the sky today and said..."wow, so beautiful." Pictures, pictures, pictures. Its time to invest in something better than a compact camera. You mentioning the D and AF series is precisely why I wanted the D90.

    Thanks for the heads up and the welcome

    EES

    P.S. You take BEAUTIFUL pictures!

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Edward,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, great to have another Nikon shooter (designate)

    I got a D5000 and a wide range zoom in May 2009, the aforementioned 18-200mm VR, because I was used to that exact range on my previous camera. I am so glad I did.

    I'm well pleased with the quality of the (admittedly rather expensive) 18-200 over the really light and plasticky feeling 55-200mm (sorry guys). What you win on the smaller size of the 55-200 is lost again with the 18-55 which is the same diameter as the 18-200 and only a little lighter and shorter. Plus you got keep changing lenses, I'd rather be ready for the shot.

    I have, after about a year, recently added the 70-300 VR IF-ED, an excellent lens I am also well pleased with, plus I bought the 105mm f2.8 VR2 macro, again, a great lens. I am considering a shorter length prime with a wider aperture, but CS5 beckons, so that would rob the money pot!

    I have to buy AF-S lenses for AF on my D5000, but you could get D and AF series for a D90 and possibly save some money, although those lenses aren't as modern.

    HTH,
    Dave,

    It's ironic that the only reason we have for changing lenses is because we are either too close or too far away from the subject. Yes, once in awhile we change because the light isn't right but usually we know ahead of time when light will be an issue. The only time we are tricked by the quick change of lighting conditions is because once again we have changed our position to an earlier environment suited for a particular lens.

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Dave,

    It's ironic that the only reason we have for changing lenses is because we are either too close or too far away from the subject. Yes, once in awhile we change because the light isn't right but usually we know ahead of time when light will be an issue. The only time we are tricked by the quick change of lighting conditions is because once again we have changed our position to an earlier environment suited for a particular lens.
    I guess it is true that if you have non-overlapping focal length zooms, as Edward, it will be the only reason

    But I have 3 lenses that can do 105mm; the 18-200, the 70-300 (both will be around f4-f4.5) and a macro, which can do f2.8, so if that is the focal length I need, I am spoilt for choice and would select the prime if I needed a narrow DoF/faster lens/closer focus than my 'walkabouts' which are the 18-200mm around town or the 70-300mm if 'wildlifing' in the countryside.

    Cheers,

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I guess it is true that if you have non-overlapping focal length zooms, as Edward, it will be the only reason

    But I have 3 lenses that can do 105mm; the 18-200, the 70-300 (both will be around f4-f4.5) and a macro, which can do f2.8, so if that is the focal length I need, I am spoilt for choice and would select the prime if I needed a narrow DoF/faster lens/closer focus than my 'walkabouts' which are the 18-200mm around town or the 70-300mm if 'wildlifing' in the countryside.

    Cheers,
    Dave,

    Just wondering in what order did you purchase your lenses and did you ever own the 18-55mm lens or did you substitute one of the other lenses listed?

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Just wondering in what order did you purchase your lenses and did you ever own the 18-55mm lens or did you substitute one of the other lenses listed?
    May 2009 bought Sigma 18-250mm with D5000 body.
    Sometime that summer, while the Sigma lens was away trying to be 'calibrated', I was lent an 18-70mm, that's as close as I have come to 'owning' a kit lens, obviously, after an 18-250mm and shooting wildlife, I hated the short range, but it was only for 2 weeks.

    About September 2009, I returned Sigma lens to the shop (as incapable of accurate AF) and paid the difference to get the Nikon 18-200mm. Very pleased with it, bit shorter than Sigma, but better and the AF is accurate.

    About June 2010, I bought both the 70-300mm and the 105mm Macro at same time.

    I have several other non-AF, non-metering, prime and/or macro lenses, but I lose so many shots without those features ... they're really only good for tripod work with Live View - well that's my excuse!

    Cheers,

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    May 2009 bought Sigma 18-250mm with D5000 body.
    Sometime that summer, while the Sigma lens was away trying to be 'calibrated', I was lent an 18-70mm, that's as close as I have come to 'owning' a kit lens, obviously, after an 18-250mm and shooting wildlife, I hated the short range, but it was only for 2 weeks.

    About September 2009, I returned Sigma lens to the shop (as incapable of accurate AF) and paid the difference to get the Nikon 18-200mm. Very pleased with it, bit shorter than Sigma, but better and the AF is accurate.

    About June 2010, I bought both the 70-300mm and the 105mm Macro at same time.

    I have several other non-AF, non-metering, prime and/or macro lenses, but I lose so many shots without those features ... they're really only good for tripod work with Live View - well that's my excuse!

    Cheers,
    Dave,

    Nice chronology on your lens purchase, similar to mine except for the kit lens up front.

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Hey guys,

    I just went with kenRockwell's recommendation. The 18-200 VR is still pricey to me, considering I'm just in this for a hobby. If I find switching between lenses an inconvenience, I'll just buy the 18-200 VR and get it over with. But, for now, I'm going to try his recommendation.

    "If you're on a budget I'd suggest the cheap and excellent 18-55mm instead. If you need to go longer, add the 70-300mm G. You'll lose convenience, but the pair combined probably weighs less then the 18-200mm VR and costs only a fraction as much. Picture quality will be the same most of the time. Cameras and lenses have little to do with the quality of your pictures. Dollar for dollar these two lenses are better than the 18-200mm VR. All these lenses have great image quality used properly. The 18-200mm adds a new level of flexibility."

    Source: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/18200.htm

    Thanks again guys, I love reading these forums Oh and staring at the beautiful pictures!

    EES
    Last edited by ees901; 3rd September 2010 at 04:28 AM.

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    I have the D90 with the kit lens 18-105 VR (as recommended by Rockwell) and the 70-300G (also recommended) and the 50mm 1.8 lenses and am extremely satisfied with my array. I can do portraits, outdoor scenes and even a few nature shots - all excellent quality depending upon my setup and composing abilities. I use a fairly solid tripod whenever possible. Until my photography skills exceed my equipment, I don't plan to buy any expensive glass.

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dubyacee View Post
    I have the D90 with the kit lens 18-105 VR (as recommended by Rockwell) and the 70-300G (also recommended) and the 50mm 1.8 lenses and am extremely satisfied with my array. I can do portraits, outdoor scenes and even a few nature shots - all excellent quality depending upon my setup and composing abilities. I use a fairly solid tripod whenever possible. Until my photography skills exceed my equipment, I don't plan to buy any expensive glass.
    Yes, I agree completely. I don't like the zoom past 200 on the 70-300mm G lens. I don't see myself needing anything more than 200mm anyways right now.

    I've been debating on the 50mm 1.4, have not decided yet.

    Waiting until photography skills are improved to buy more expensive glass is precisely how I think. Thanks for sharing.

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    EES
    I notice that you intend to use your new purchase for architectural work. Be aware that zooms with the range of the 18-200 are by their very nature a compromise and can display unwanted distortions. Yes they are correctable in post processing on most occasions but be prepared.
    For your portrait work I would go with a prime, either a 50mm 1.8 or for a bit more distance the 85mm 1.8, both are excellent lenses for the price.

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    EES
    I notice that you intend to use your new purchase for architectural work. Be aware that zooms with the range of the 18-200 are by their very nature a compromise and can display unwanted distortions. Yes they are correctable in post processing on most occasions but be prepared.
    For your portrait work I would go with a prime, either a 50mm 1.8 or for a bit more distance the 85mm 1.8, both are excellent lenses for the price.
    Thank you mike.

    Yes, I have ordered a prime 50mm lens.

  19. #19
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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by ees901 View Post
    Hey guys,

    I just went with kenRockwell's recommendation.

    Cameras and lenses have little to do with the quality of your pictures. Dollar for dollar these two lenses are better than the 18-200mm VR. All these lenses have great image quality used properly. The 18-200mm adds a new level of flexibility."

    Source: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/18200.htm

    Thanks again guys, I love reading these forums Oh and staring at the beautiful pictures!

    EES
    With a statement like that can you take all of Ken's post seriously?

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    Re: D90 lens bewilderment, please help.

    I love my 50mm 1.8 lens I think its brill but not as much as my 10 20 lens now that is brill
    rob

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