First Post - D800 soon, Please Advise: Which first two lenses?

Started Apr 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: DONE - D800 & Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Lens
In reply to r0gue, May 1, 2013

r0gue wrote:

Bajerunner wrote:

Now I'll be a bit of a mischievous fellow

Tell me of all the good stuff in the world that I need to one day get that you like.  I'm just hoping the ones I did buy are solid choices.;-)

Haha. Firstly, I am no pexpert by far far far, just an amateur. That said, even I have likes and 'drools'.

What Greg mentioned below about taking your time and learning what you need in anything further is important and great advice.

That said, here are my OPINIONS

- a fast prime or fast zoom in 'your required focal length' will eventually be a need. Whether you shoot wildlife or sports and need a fast tele zxoom, or shoot indoor architecture or close groups or street photography and need a fast wide zoom or prime, a fast lens in you 'forte' will eventually be wanted.

If you anticipate the need for shooting family in low light situations i.e. parties, the Nikon 50 1.8G for $200 is a very nice little thing, though I do not have it, I have a few fast manual focus lenses, but they are rather horses for courses' and not for everyone. I have a 50 1.4 and two 28 2.8's.

That is sensible spending on a low light lens without breaking the bank or getting silly.

Later you may want something different. Here are some examples and remember this is just simple guidance and depends on what you shoot and an amateur opinion.

Remember also, one other thing, do not waste money on lenses and as with everything else, be sure you want something and buy it 'one time' i.e. don't waste money on something 'less' and have to re-buy what is better, but save and buy the better one first, if you can afford it.

- Portraits - if you shoot family portraits, I am sure many would recommend the new Nikon 85 1.8G.

However, some will probably say that if you also shoot a lot of sports and some near wildlife etc i.e. a lot of general shooting, save and just buy the Nikkor 70-200 2.8 II, which is about 2,300. A few quality lenses purchase will fast get to that anyway. That lens will do portraits, close wildlife, sports etc for you.

If you can do without VR (image stabilization) Nikon has an 80-200 2.8 which I am aiming for and is very nice indeed. The pro lens before the VR's came along. That lens is 'only' 1,100 new. You can buy a used one for less.

Some swear by image stabilization, but I don't give a hoot about it. Some will probably chip in that if you are shooting such as D800 with the high res, you will need VR, not sure, they are more learned than I and I have not used it.

- Rendition - Don't discount this. By this is meant how the lens brings in the subject and the image looks from that lens.. hard to explain, real explanation is looking at some images on flickr and pbase of various lenses. It involves how a lens shows depth of field (in focus and out of focus) but its far more than that. Its also contrast /microcontrast, colour interpretation etc. Some call it how the lens 'draws'. The 70--200's and 80-200 both draw very nicely in my opinion. I don't have them I have seen many images form them. That is why I say, before buying a lens go to the image ssites and see how the lens does by many people, includding on your type camera.

i.e. How do the images form the lens 'look'.

- Cost - if you are only a hobbyist, unless you are wealthy and can afford it, or have not many responsibilities such as family etc, aim for quality but also value. No point buying the most expensive unless earning money from it, BUT you do want quality that will last and lenses will be with you for life, unless you sell them. An example is that for the average person, an 85 1.8G at 500 dollars is more suitable than an 85 1.4 G for about 1,600 dollars. The 85 1.8 is about a thousand less and gives immaculate quality apparently (I don't have). That is just one example.

- My 'drools' - Ha, Honestly, I like the look of specific lenses from viewing many times on image sites. The Zeiss lenses I mentioned are some. You don't have to spend, just look at some image sites for examples of the Zeiss lenses. The ones I mentioned are the 'less expensive' Zeiss    but not cheap. But look darn nice to me. Zeiss are manual focus though, horses for courses.

The Voigtlander Nokton 58mm same thing. The Samyang 85 1.4 is a manual focus lens and cheaper than the Nikon 85 1.8G. but another nice lens, if one uses manual focus.

I did not mention the expensive Zeiss, like the 100 Macro which is mucho dinero indeed, but apparently a dream lens all say. Have not really studied images form it....didn't bother with the price what it is.

Some third party lenses like Sigma 35 1.,4 are very nicer with one issue, the third party providers reverse engineer the electronics, so when there is a cameras update, you may have to send the lens for rechipping..but if that is only every few years, maybe not an issue..depending on you. Also, some have issue using live view focus also...it seems. I would not mind, don't use live view focus.

Zooms - traditionaly theory is that zooms can not equal primes in image quality. That said, there are some great zooms, if one pays and one must balance it with that you need and what size you are printing etc, what you are willing top pay. For telephoto, if you save and save, I doubt anyone would criticize the 70-200 2.8 VRII which some say is just as good as primes. Also, the Nikon 14-24 2.8 G (abput 2,000) (I think that is it) is praised all around and the images I have seen by photographers using it, are impeccable. Bear in mind too, take care in buying wide angles, a top quality wide angle wont be cheap and maybe, just maybe, if you are really into wide angles, that 14-14 2.8 . 'bought once' is better than buying a prime here and there and not being satisfied....it is not cheap, but its apparently and looks from images to be as good as any wide angle prime. However, Tokina also make wide angle zooms and they may do you fine, have very good quality anyway and cost much, much less. Or Nikon also has a 16-35 f4 VR. It is about what you need, no  point wasting money.

Maybe...its better to save and save for the best and leave it at that? Dunno, that's a choice. Three or so primes could easily come to what one of those two great zooms would come to.  So, a nifty fifty (50 1.8G) and those two zooms could easily do many people probably. Not cheap but...we only live once in this life. And not that expensive considering those zooms should last years. Amortise that cost over say, then years?

At the end of the day...

- buy nice lenses within your budget....don't just spend but spend on what you 'need' or 'really want'

- think about rendition, I think its important

- take your time...photos with your current gear will indicate what you need or want next.

Those are my humble and AMATEUR opinions!!1

Most of all...

Enjoy!!!!!

-- hide signature --

Enjoy.....believe in yourself..

 Bajerunner's gear list:Bajerunner's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED +8 more
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