D800 - best budget lenses?

Started Feb 8, 2012 | Discussions
mfbernstein
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D800 - best budget lenses?
Feb 8, 2012

I'm curious what folks think are the best options for the new 36MP sensor if one takes cost into account.

One of the great things about the D700 has been that it makes even modest lenses look acceptable, by virtue of its large pixels. The D800 though, will be far more demanding when viewed at 100%.

So I'm wondering which of the non-pro lenses, let's say those less than

I'm guessing the new generation of 50s (50/1.8G and 50/1.4G) should do pretty well, but hopefully there's more than just that! Cheers,

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MFBernstein

'Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.' - Ed Abbey

Nikon D700 Nikon D800
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sfnikon
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Re: D800 - best budget lenses?
In reply to mfbernstein, Feb 8, 2012

My favorite reviewer Lloyd Chambers has some thoughts on it:
http://www.digilloyd.com/

He lists the 60G and 85/1.8G as well as the 50/1.8G you mention. For outstanding sharpness on a budget I would also suggest Rokinon 35/1.4, Sigma 150 macro (cheaper non-stabilized version).
I find the 20/2.8D excellent when stopped down to f/5.6.

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Jake

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J Mankila
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Second hand manual lenses... :)
In reply to mfbernstein, Feb 8, 2012

mfbernstein wrote:

I'm curious what folks think are the best options for the new 36MP sensor if one takes cost into account.

I've yet to try mine on a D800, but I would say, or hope rather, that the AI 35/1.4 should do fine. See Bjorn Rorslett's review:
http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_wide.html

Or the AI-S 50/1.2 and 50/1.4, they should be fine as well.
http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_norm.html

One of the great things about the D700 has been that it makes even modest lenses look acceptable, by virtue of its large pixels.....

That's the common belief, it seems. But in real life, with large pixels, you're only suppressing the resolution of the lens. Let me present an example. Check out the Nikkor 25-50/4 review:
http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_zoom_01.html#MF25-50

With film, it's great. "Images are sharp from corner to corner", says Bjorn. With D2X, it's great. But with D3, "it interacts less gracefully".

I can only deduce that the strong AA filter and low resolution are the pundits, here. In pure resolution, my copy of the lens almost equalled the 17-35/2.8 at 25mm when used on the 10MP D80. In fact, already in the corners of the DX sensor, the 25-50 was better.

I know you didn't mean manual focus lenses when you asked the question, but I'm simply stating that it's an open door, don't shut it.

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Janne Mankila, Finland

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Fullframer
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Re: D800 - best budget lenses?
In reply to mfbernstein, Feb 8, 2012

mfbernstein wrote:

I'm curious what folks think are the best options for the new 36MP sensor if one takes cost into account.

One of the great things about the D700 has been that it makes even modest lenses look acceptable, by virtue of its large pixels. The D800 though, will be far more demanding when viewed at 100%.

So I'm wondering which of the non-pro lenses, let's say those less than

I'm guessing the new generation of 50s (50/1.8G and 50/1.4G) should do pretty well, but hopefully there's more than just that! Cheers,

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MFBernstein

'Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.' - Ed Abbey

Unfortunately you are going to need PRO glass to get the best results, esp at 36mp. My advice is to buy the pro lens first, spend the $$ on the glass always, then at a later time get the D800 body. I know a guy that bought a $5k D3 and used crappy glass on it, since his budget was only $6k. He should have gotten a D700 and put diff towards a pro lens.

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Wanchese
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Re: D800 - best budget lenses?
In reply to Fullframer, Feb 8, 2012

Amen to getting good glass first. Buying the D800 and a budget lens would be akin to putting Pep Boys rubber on a McLaren.
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SiPat
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Re: D800 - best budget lenses?
In reply to mfbernstein, Feb 8, 2012

From the D800 Brochure:

To best draw out the full potential that a 36.3 megapixel camera can offer, lens quality is of vital importance. Even subtle differences in optical performance make a difference when utilizing such a large pixel count. NIKKOR empowers photographers and cinematographers in every field, allowing them to better see the essence of their vision and render it as sharp as possible without sacrificing delicate tones or nuance.

From f/1.4 primes to fast f/2.8 zooms to f/4 zooms with VR, the latest line of NIKKOR lenses — many loaded with the renowned Nano Crystal Coat — is fully optimized to deliver the image quality the Nikon D800 truly deserves. Moreover, DX lenses can also be used for the D800: simply attach one and the camera automatically recognizes it and sets the required crop.

The D800 will be able to use non-AFS lenses as the focus motor drive has been retained on the body. What quality you get will depend on the lens -- I have tried several cheapo lenses on the D700 and was surprised by their performance:

Nikon 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6
Nikon 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5
Nikon 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5

Nikon 18-55mm DX kit lens (24mm upwards) also performed really well on the D700 -- only problem was that it was the non-VR version so I sold it.

The Nikon 70–180mm f/4.5–5.6D AF Zoom-Micro Nikkor ED (not a cheap lens) produces some stunning images on the D40 and D700.

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powertoold
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50mm 1.8G and 85mm 1.8G
In reply to mfbernstein, Feb 8, 2012

They will be razor sharp with 36mp at f2.5 and above. I have no doubt about it.

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Cha Chief
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I like the 18-55VR
In reply to mfbernstein, Feb 8, 2012

It works great and it sure is a budget lens. Get the 55-200VR and you've covered a lot. Generally if you just get a prime, it will leave you wishing you'd bought a zoom. You won't always be in places where your legs can do the zooming.

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Steven-T
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Re: D800 - best budget lenses?
In reply to mfbernstein, Feb 8, 2012

IF I get a D800E for landscape, I will start with used AIS 18, 28 PC and 50/1.2. Each should be no more than $500. Maybe also a used AIS 200/4 micro. Those Nikkor AIS are bargains. Need to sell a few L's to fund camera plus lenses; but I have been parring down my L's to the bones already. Painful . . .

mfbernstein wrote:

I'm curious what folks think are the best options for the new 36MP sensor if one takes cost into account.

One of the great things about the D700 has been that it makes even modest lenses look acceptable, by virtue of its large pixels. The D800 though, will be far more demanding when viewed at 100%.

So I'm wondering which of the non-pro lenses, let's say those less than

I'm guessing the new generation of 50s (50/1.8G and 50/1.4G) should do pretty well, but hopefully there's more than just that! Cheers,

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MFBernstein

'Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.' - Ed Abbey

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Jon Rty
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Re: I like the 18-55VR
In reply to Cha Chief, Feb 8, 2012

This is either really funny or little sad, and I'm not sure which.

Cha Chief wrote:

It works great and it sure is a budget lens. Get the 55-200VR and you've covered a lot. Generally if you just get a prime, it will leave you wishing you'd bought a zoom. You won't always be in places where your legs can do the zooming.

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studio311
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Re: D800 - best budget lenses?
In reply to sfnikon, Feb 8, 2012

sfnikon wrote:

My favorite reviewer Lloyd Chambers has some thoughts on it:
http://www.digilloyd.com/

He lists the 60G and 85/1.8G as well as the 50/1.8G you mention. For outstanding sharpness on a budget I would also suggest Rokinon 35/1.4, Sigma 150 macro (cheaper non-stabilized version).
I find the 20/2.8D excellent when stopped down to f/5.6.

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Jake

I would add the Sigma 70mm f2.8. And from f5.6 to f8...maybe even the Nikon 70-300VR.

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gatorowl
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Re: I like the 18-55VR
In reply to Jon Rty, Feb 8, 2012

I think that we're all speculating now.

Clearly the pro lenses are likely to be good bets.

I wouldn't recommend cheap kit DX lenses for a $3000 FF camera for obvious reasons.

But I think that there are some good 3d-party primes out as well as Nikkor primes. The 50 1.8G is good, but someone questioned whether its soft corners will be a problem.

The trick will be finding good 3d-party zooms.

Jon Rty wrote:
This is either really funny or little sad, and I'm not sure which.

Cha Chief wrote:

It works great and it sure is a budget lens. Get the 55-200VR and you've covered a lot. Generally if you just get a prime, it will leave you wishing you'd bought a zoom. You won't always be in places where your legs can do the zooming.

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AndrewMcGregor
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Budget lenses probably not a good idea for the D800
In reply to Fullframer, Feb 8, 2012

Fullframer wrote:

Unfortunately you are going to need PRO glass to get the best results, esp at 36mp. My advice is to buy the pro lens first, spend the $$ on the glass always, then at a later time get the D800 body. I know a guy that bought a $5k D3 and used crappy glass on it, since his budget was only $6k. He should have gotten a D700 and put diff towards a pro lens.

Agree - a 36MP sensor will probably give you a nice large image of every flaw your lens has - so buying cheap lenses is probably not a good idea for D800 unless you like doing lots of PP - I'm planning to get the 14-24mm to start as it covers what I need - should do as a "kit" lens ...ha ha

Any other lenses purchased later will need to be in the same league.
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Cultured Vulture
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Re: D800 - best budget lenses?
In reply to Steven-T, Feb 8, 2012

As far as a true bargain in excellent glass I don't think you can beat the 85 f/1.8D. I don't know if the new G will be better or not but the D is excellent. Not quite as good bokeh as the 1.4, but probably better for everything else.
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calson
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Re: D800 - best budget lenses?
In reply to mfbernstein, Feb 8, 2012

Standard 35mm lenses provide the best results when used on DX cameras. With FX more pixels makes for bigger enlargements and any problems with focus or lens alignment or CA will be more apparent to the viewer, especially if they stand a foot or two away.

Nikon has stated that they have enabled the D800 to process images based upon the attached lens and its characteristics. This would indicate that there will be an increased possibility of problems with non-Nikon lenses and old lens like the MF Ai lenses. Nikon will have mapped all the lenses that it has introduced since 2001 when it made the move into digital SLR cameras.

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Leos
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Re: D800 - best budget lenses?
In reply to studio311, Feb 8, 2012

studio311 wrote:

maybe even the Nikon 70-300VR.

The 70-300 VR doesnt look the business even on a 12 mp DX.
On a D700 it look fine though

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gregp701
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Rokinon 14mm
In reply to mfbernstein, Feb 8, 2012

I'm looking forward to trying out the Rokinon 14mm. Lots of distortion but easily correctable and I'm thinking it's going to be plenty sharp enough.
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Leos
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Re: Second hand manual lenses... :)
In reply to J Mankila, Feb 8, 2012

J Mankila wrote:

I've yet to try mine on a D800, but I would say, or hope rather, that the AI 35/1.4 should do fine.
Or the AI-S 50/1.2

Very very sharp lenses both of them from about f2.8. If these lenses dissappoints on the D800 most any lens will.

One of the great things about the D700 has been that it makes even modest lenses look acceptable, by virtue of its large pixels.....

That's the common belief, it seems. But in real life, with large pixels, you're only suppressing the resolution of the lens. Let me present an example. Check out the Nikkor 25-50/4 review:
http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_zoom_01.html#MF25-50

With film, it's great. "Images are sharp from corner to corner", says Bjorn. With D2X, it's great. But with D3, "it interacts less gracefully".

I can only deduce that the strong AA filter and low resolution are the pundits, here. In pure resolution, my copy of the lens almost equalled the 17-35/2.8 at 25mm when used on the 10MP D80. In fact, already in the corners of the DX sensor, the 25-50 was better.

Film responds differently in the corners than do digital sensors. Most, but not all, of the old wide angle lenses has better corners on film than on digital FX.

Lenses with poor corners but better center resolution look better on the DX crop.

Cheap lenses, that resolve less across the frame look distinctly worse on a high-res DX crop than on the 12 mp FX.

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mattr
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Re: D800 - best budget lenses?
In reply to mfbernstein, Feb 8, 2012

Here's what I will probably get for the D800:

50/1.8G
85/1.8G
35/1.8G (yes, it is DX, but it works on FF)

The 14-24/2.8 is not budget but will be added soon.

I will also seriously consider the new Tamron 24-70 IS when tests become available.

Next will be hopefully an updated 80-400 from Nikon.

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Steven-T
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Re: D800 - best budget lenses?
In reply to Cultured Vulture, Feb 9, 2012

But an 85 would not suit my intended use. That is, I need a 18 or 28 PC for grand landscape, and a 200 for compressed landscape, and a 50/1.2 for everything else. I would prefer a 14-24 and the new 24 PC-E, and a new 200-ish VR. But can't afford them.

Cultured Vulture wrote:

As far as a true bargain in excellent glass I don't think you can beat the 85 f/1.8D. I don't know if the new G will be better or not but the D is excellent. Not quite as good bokeh as the 1.4, but probably better for everything else.
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JR

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