D7K - Natural progression from 18-105 kit

Started Aug 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
jonikon
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Re: D7K - Natural progression from 18-105 kit
In reply to bencho, Aug 4, 2012

bencho wrote:

What lenses would be a natural step up in performance from the 18-105 kit on the D7K?

Not sure what you mean by "natural" step up, but most would consider a constant f2.8 lens the next step up in lens quality. That means less focal length range though.

I've found that the range of the 18-105 is pretty much perfect for day to day shooting, but the variable aperture leaves quite a bit to be desired. Just got back from a wedding (with nothing but the stock flash) and even with ISO at 2500, the shutter was just too low.

This is an interesting statement since it is the aperture that affects the flash exposure, not the shutter speed. Did you mean to say aperture was too small instead of shutter speed too slow? Also the D7000 on-board flash is more powerful than most (even D90), and should been adequate at under 20 feet.

Ended up with pretty grainy pictures. The only other lens I have is the 50 1.8G but the focal length was just too short or not quite there in most cases.

2800 ISO should yield good image quality with the D7000, if exposure was correct. Can you post some examples?

The only lens I've found in the 2.8 range is the 24-70 but that is priced quite high. Is there anything else that gives a relatively broad range with a better, constant aperture? Would the lack of VR be noticeable?

There are other f2,8 lenses for APS-C cameras:

  • Nikkor 17-55 f2.8 is the top choice optically, but very expensive.

  • Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM is a good less expensive alternative f2,8 to the Nikkor17-55 also has the advantage of image stabilization. Somewhat soft at the edges at f2.8 this lens is still an even and solid performer.

  • Tokina 16-50mm f/2.8 AT-X 165 PRO DX (no longer in production, but can be found in the used market). Although soft at the edges at f2.8, this lens sharpness improves dramatically when stopped down. Micro-contrast and bokeh is excellent.

  • Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD comes in two versions, one without VC and one with VC. The non VC version is sharp with good sharpness across the frame at f2.8 and very sharp when stopped down. The VC version is soft at all but the center at f2.8. Contrast and bokeh are a little disappointing with this lens though, and CA is noticeable at f2.8 as well. Some weird distortions at some focal lengths can be annoying.

Also, I had a lot of issues focusing during the reception. It was mostly dark and both the 18-105 and 50 refused to focus properly, way too often. I have focus priority set and many times on the dance floor, it just flat out refused to focus, or back focused. Would a faster lens have helped in focusing at all?

Yes. An f2,8 lens will dramatically improve AF performance in lower light conditions and will brighten your viewfinder image as well.

Or is that performance based on the body?

No. The D7000 has the best low light focusing you can expect from an APS-C DSLR. Only a full frame camera will improve low light AF, which is noticeable and significant. I think this is why full frame D700 owners are often disappointed in the D7000's low light AF performance due to unrealistic expectations and unfair comparison of two different levels of cameras..

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noobie armed with a d7000. LEARNING!

Good for you! I expect you will find the D7000 will more than satisfy your needs

Best regards,

  • Jon

 jonikon's gear list:jonikon's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D5100 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +10 more
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