D300 - wide angle wildlife options

Started Sep 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
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cnewsom
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D300 - wide angle wildlife options
Sep 8, 2012

First, I apologize for being long winded. I just wanted to try covering as much aspects of this as possible to allow suggestions to flow.

As the title says, I’m trying to get a feel for some wide angle options for a D300 from a wildlife photography style and close. I think/feel that the “close” option will be a great limiting factor. I’ll include sample photos of what I’m attempting to achieve.

Before I get to samples though, a tad bit of info from an experience standpoint. My original Nikon “kit” started as a lowly Coolpix 4500 (which I still have and love, but hardly ever use). From there I upgraded to the D70 kit (body and 18-70 kit lens). The D70 has taken a backseat dating back to 2008 when I felt I’d reached its limitations in my style of photography and upgraded to the D300.

I only possess the 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX, the 60mm f/2.8D, the 35mm f/1.8 G DX, and a very old, soft copy of a 70-300. The 60 probably sees about 80% use with the 18-70 and 35 splitting the other 19.99999%, leaving the 70-300 as very rarely used. I’ve been lucky in my 18-70 being fairly sharp, but I do get what appear to be normal softness in corners with it and the 35. However, the 18-70 recently had its AF motor die on me this July and conveniently during my honeymoon – though it still functions fine manually.

Long winded aside, the partial death of the 18-70 plus Nikon’s silence of a successor to the D300/D300s has me thinking long term (invest in glass) vs short term (new body with assumed better ISO, like D700 quality).

Outside of the 18-70 and 35 DX’s I’ve also used the 20mm f/2.8D. Coupled with the D300 it (20mm) too produced soft corners, but overall good results. I’d like to go non-DX, with “pro” DX a possibly option too. I’d like prime, but wouldn’t think otherwise of zooms either. A back-burner thought is also saving for a D700 and thus going towards non-DX glass. Lastly, the cliché budget is an issue…..BUT I’m more than willing to be patient for saving.

Photographically, what I’m after a wide angle lenses with potential to be fairly sharp, not micro/macro sharp but still decent. What I want to achieve is close photos of animals with habitat included within the frame.

Thank you,
Chris

Personal Samples/Attempts: photos post August 2008 are D300, pre-2008 are D70.

35mm

60mm

18-70mm

20mm

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Chris

Nikon D300 Nikon D70 Nikon D700
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