Slightly Frustrated (lens debate for concerts). Please help..again

Started Sep 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Josh Jones
Regular MemberPosts: 141Gear list
Slightly Frustrated (lens debate for concerts). Please help..again
Sep 10, 2012

Hi everyone,

I have already had a few posts in the past couple of months and still cannot make a decision. It seems that the more I research and ask --> the more I add to the list and the less I eliminate --> more frustration.

Primary Use for these lenses: Concert Photography with varying venues, therefore, I will need a wide focal range, but all fast glass.

Current Gear for this use: Nikon D7000, Nikkor 24/2.8 Ai, Nikon 35/1.8G, Rokinon 85/1.4, SB-600 when ok. Note: I also have the 18-55 VR and 55-200VR for festivals and shooting during the daytime, but am currently looking for indoor/night gear

What am I missing and what I like/dislike about my current gear. I purchased the 24 about a month ago and havent used it that much, but it seems that it will work. However, it was just a little to wide for the last venue I shot, so I rarely used it and ended up cropping the shots I did get. I like the 35G, but I find it has a hard time finding focus at times or locks focus on something else and I really dislike using this lens as MF. When focus is nailed, I generally like the images I created. The only problem is that it appears that I have more out of focus images with it than with my 85/1.4 MF. I really like the IQ of the Rokinon 85 and I generally shoot between f2-2.8 and dont find focusing very difficult with it in most lighting situations.

Range: I mainly use the 85. However, at times I find it a bit tight and I think a 50 would work better in some venues. On the other side, I do find myself cropping out about 20% of some of the images taken with this lens, making me think that I may also be better suited with a slightly longer focal length as well. However, I do believe I would get the most use out of a midrange zoom, then a tele zoom.

Future Goal: to go FX, therefore, I am seriously considering FX gear of DX gear, however, I do understand that I have the option of selling all my gear at some point and going to an all FX system at that point.

Concerns/Wants: I am looking for a well built lens that can take some abuse. However, I hate to purchase an extremely expensive lens (as it would be expensive to replace if something happened to it, I know I know, that just sounds ridiculous) I want something with IQ similar to my Rokinon 85/1.4, if not better. I do like shooting with my primes, but find that I do miss some shots due to FOV at times. Also, at some of the concerts, I have been limited to 2 songs and want to limit wasted time from swapping lenses.

My options:

1) Add a Nikon 24-70. Pros: Excellent lens, Good midrange, FX, Quick AF, build quality, can purchase new = warranty; Cons: Price, will be awhile until I can purchase a pro tele zoom.

2) Nikon 35-70/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200/2.8 (push/pull). Pros: physical size, can cover larger range, both are found to be good lenses, build quality, price. Cons: push/pull system and dust?, AF speed? read reviews concerning flare, may require an additional upgrade in the future to option #1 and possibly a 70-200 VRII

3) Tamron 28-75 and Tokina 50-135. Pros: Price, range of each lens (may not have to change lenses at all during a show depending on the venue), IQ, physical size. Cons: build quality? AF speed? Would stil need to add on a tele prime (but due to the price, it will still be under the 24-70 cost)

Above are on my short list and my long list also includes options such as the Sigma 17-50, Sigma 50-150 or completely different setup such as a second body and more primes such as the 105/2.5 Ai, 50 1.4Ai or 1.8D, 135 Ai, 180/2.8 ED, 200/4

My main concern is that I dont want to buy twice in a short period of time, if it would be more beneficial, I will just wait until I have the money and purchase the 24-70/2.8 and then save again for my next tele zoom when i can. However, if the cheaper lenses will do the trick, then I will go ahead and purchase my complete setup and start shooting with it. I am just trying to find the balance between Price, Build Quality and IQ for my situation. I do understand that you can never get the best out of a lens in this setting and wonder if I will be leaving something on the table by purchasing the Nikkor trinity vs the older pro lenses or third party lenses.

Thanks for all your help

 Josh Jones's gear list:Josh Jones's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Voigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II +2 more
Nikon D7000
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