Quick opinions on Nikon prime lens for D7000, and reliability of lens review websites

Started Jul 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
Entropius
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Re: Quick opinions on Nikon prime lens for D7000, and reliability of lens review websites
In reply to EyesHigh, Jul 18, 2013

Sure, you can use primes for landscapes. They tend to be sharper than zooms, in general, so why not?

There are two problems, though, with looking to primes to improve your landscape photography:

1) One of the main strengths of prime lenses is their fast aperture. You can get a f/1.8 prime for $200; a f/2.8 zoom will cost you several times that. But for landscape photography you don't need all that speed unless you are shooting specialized things (stars, etc.)

2) Nikon, for whatever reason, has dropped the ball in making useful wide-angle DX primes, which would be awfully handy as landscape lenses -- something like the 12mm f/2 for Micro 4/3 mount, or the new Sigma 35 f/1.4 for FX format. But there are few comparable lenses for DX. Sure, you can use the longer primes for landscape work, and take good pictures with them... but often you'll want a wider thing. There is this new Samyang 16 f/2, which looks like it could be great for low-light landscapes.

Since you won't really need the fast apertures that primes give you, and since it'll be hard to find primes in the right focal lengths for landscape work, if you're looking for a dedicated landscape lens I'd look first to some of the better zooms, if only because you're not getting something you don't really need (fast aperture), and because you'll have an easier time getting the focal lengths that will be most useful.

As for lens review sites: I go by the general principle that a good review means a lens is good, since you can't get sharp results with a bad lens. Nobody is going to be able to take tack sharp pictures with a lens that is not sharp. But bad reviews don't necessarily mean a lens is bad; the SLRGear review of the 80-400G is an example. I don't know what they did, but I know that my copy is a heck of a lot better at 400 that their test results indicate. A bad testing protocol (easy to do with telephotos, where every little problem is magnified) can give bad results with a good lens, but there's no way to get good results out of a bad lens.

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Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR
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