D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?

Started Jun 6, 2012 | Discussions
asif999
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D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
Jun 6, 2012

Hi,

I'm planning to pick up D3200, initially I was planning on getting the camera with the kit lens and additional 50 1.8, but then again I thought I'd just pick the body with tamron 17-50 2.8 (without the VC)

Any thoughts on which combo would be better? How is the performance of the Tamron 17-50 (without VC)

My basic needs are general street and portrait photography.

Thanks

Nikon D3200
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JaronRH
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Re: D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
In reply to asif999, Jun 6, 2012

I think it will depend on what you're shooting. The kit lens works very well when you have sufficient light and the 50 1.8G will make a wonderful low-light/DOF lens for you (although it will be a little long for use indoors).

I don't have experience with the Tarmon variant but I found the Sigma 17-50 OS to be a big step up from the kits lens! It was sharper, better DOF, better in low-light... IMO its IQ was very similar to the Nikon 17-55G that I usually rented for weddings. However, the 2.8 is no match for the 1.8 of the 50 1.8G.

So, it really comes down to what you plan on shooting and what environment you're shooting in!

(I do have the Tarmon 90mm which is optically an incredible lens but the BIM for AF is horrendously slow! You might want to ask others about the focusing speed of the Tamron 17-50.)

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williamj1
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Re: D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
In reply to asif999, Jun 6, 2012

First off, both are excellent lenses and are wise choices. However, there can be no doubt that the 50mm prime is better, as would naturally be expected, in terms of sharpness and low light performance, plus depth-of field.

You say your basic needs are street photography and portrait shooting. I would have said the 50mm is the perfect lens for both of these, without even considering the Tamron. As explained, it will beat just about any lens on sharpness, depth of field and low light performance ... three critical elements to the type of shooting you perform.

Personally, what I love so much about prime lenses (I use my 50mm 1.8 95% of the time now) is that it really makes me think about my shot. I don't have zoom, so I really have to nail the composition and really consider what would make the shot more interesting, what angle would be best and so on. When I use a zoom, I tend to go more "trigger-happy" and just shoot lots and lots.

So for me, I think it is an odd choice to have to make or consider, because for street photography and portraits, a 50mm is perfect in terms of focal length in my opinion. The Tamron is a great multi-purpose lens. But the things you are shooting really don't suggest you need different focal lengths, as for both portrait and street shooting you want to get up close most of the time.

Are you new to photography? If so consider the above. If you already own a camera or have some experience in photography however, I think the easiest way to decide would just be to look at your photos and see what focal lengths you most frequently shoot at.

For example, if you find you are typically shooting at 40-50mm most of the time, then the 50mm is an obvious choice. Because if you are going to be shooting at "around" 50mm all the time anyway, then there is no point getting the Tamron which will perform less admirably than the 50mm 1.8 prime when shooting at 50mm.

Whereas, if you are shooting much wider frames, then the 50mm prime may limit you. So this should help you narrow down your options.

As I've said already, I prefer to shoot with specific purpose lenses. For example, at the moment I have a D90 and I have 3 lenses.

My Nikkor 50mm 1.8 AF-D which I use almost all of the time. For family pictures, pictures with friends, nature, street photography and people in general, this lens cannot be beaten.

My Nikkor 18-55mm which came with my old D40. I only use this for landscapes, and am looking to upgrade this to 10-20mm so it is more specific.

My Nikkor 70-300mm, which I only use for telephoto shots e.g. birdwatching etc.

I find that shooting with specific purpose lenses makes me think about what (and crucially how) I want to shoot, and adapt my shooting style resulting in better pictures. So I would always advise a prime if it suits your needs. My basic point is that the Tamron is a fantastic multi-purpose lens. But if you will only shoot around 50mm anyway, then the prime boasts the best performance. More over, its a smaller, lighter and more discreet (important for street shooting) lens.
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asif999
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Re: D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
In reply to williamj1, Jun 7, 2012

Great Advice, Thanks a million.

I've been into photography for a long time now, and mostly for normal street photography I tend to take a lot of wide pics. Tokina 11-16 is on my wish list and that would be my next lens. Having said that my portraits are a lot closer and they are usually 50mm kinda range.

As suggested I think I shall go in for the Kit lens + the 50 1.8. I had taken pictures with the 50 1.8 earlier on a couple of occasions, and it's performance in low light conditions wowed me. so I already have an inclination towards the 50 1.8.

my idea for considering the 17-50 was because I would be traveling shortly and I thought the 17-50 would be very convenient walk around lens without having to shift lenses, but I also agree with your point that when you use the Prime you tend to compose your pictures well. My father was a photographer and in his days he used to use only 50mm Primes manual focus lens and his compositions are still considered amazing. He used 50mm 1.2, 50mm 1.4, 50mm 1.8 (still have all his manual focus lenses). So I agree, 50mm 1.8 would be a great asset.

Thanks for your suggestions, Decision made :).

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slimandy
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Re: D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
In reply to asif999, Jun 7, 2012

There are pros an cons either way. If I was going to pick up the kit lens I would get a 35mm f1.8 to go with it rather than a 50. 50 is a bit long as a standard lens on DX but not really long enough for portrait.

The 18~55 VR has got pretty good IQ, is light weight and takes 52mm filters (i.e. cheaper than 67mm filters which I think the Tamron takes). The 35 also takes 52mm filters.

The Tamron has better build and will give you better IQ and a faster aperture so would be a better choice as your everyday lens. Obviously it is not as fast as the 35 (or 50).

I would get the kit lens anyway because it is dirt cheap if you get it with the camera. Buy the 35mm f1.8 too. At a later date you will have a better idea whether you should get a 17~50mm f2.8 or would prefer to add something else. I would get a longer lens for portrait first. 85mm f1.8G maybe, or a Tamron 90 so that you can do portrait and macro.
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asif999
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Re: D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
In reply to slimandy, Jun 8, 2012

Again great suggestion, the Tamron 90 have got great reviews for a portrait lens.

From the suggestions I guess the consensus is that kit lens is a Yes, I can then decide on the 35mm or the 50mm prime. if I tend to take a lot of portraits then an 85 1.8 or the Tamron 90 would be good.

Thanks guys, I think for now the kit lens +50mm 1.8 (leaning towards the 50 1.8 as I'm looking forward for the entry level full frame from Nikon)

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slimandy
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Re: D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
In reply to asif999, Jun 8, 2012

asif999 wrote:

Thanks guys, I think for now the kit lens +50mm 1.8 (leaning towards the 50 1.8 as I'm looking forward for the entry level full frame from Nikon)

If you want the 50mm for FX buy it when you get an FX body. Buy now what you need now. Why buy something you don't need yet and miss something you do? Doesn't make any sense.
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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
In reply to asif999, Jun 8, 2012

asif999 wrote:

Again great suggestion, the Tamron 90 have got great reviews for a portrait lens.

From the suggestions I guess the consensus is that kit lens is a Yes, I can then decide on the 35mm or the 50mm prime. if I tend to take a lot of portraits then an 85 1.8 or the Tamron 90 would be good.

Thanks guys, I think for now the kit lens +50mm 1.8 (leaning towards the 50 1.8 as I'm looking forward for the entry level full frame from Nikon)

I have both the 90mm and 17-50mm f2.8 Tamrons.
They are both excellent lenses and well priced good bang per buck.

I personally don't think the 18-55mm is going to do justice to that 24mp sensor, there is no doubts the 17-50mm will be far better suited and hold up much better for high res sensors.

But it's up to you. I see the 17-50mm as a good all round lens and it's fast for a zoom. But it IMO does not replace a fast prime (35/50mm f1.8) for when you need it

You really have to sit down and work out what you want/shoot and then build up the lenses from there.

The other reason for getting the 90mm macro is obviously it's good as a macro lens, but the 135mm equivalent makes for a good candid lens too. And it's a different focal length to the 35/50mm primes that's why I like it

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asif999
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Re: D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, Jun 8, 2012

:), now I'm confused.

My main goal was that since the price of the Tamron 17-50 was a little higher than the Kit lens + 50 1.8G combined and was within my budget. at the same time I dont want to have too many lenses in my bag, that would prove to be a bad decision economically as well.

So what I gather from the discussion is that you cannot replace the primes.

So do you think I can start off by just replacing the kit lens with the 17-50? and later add on a Prime as per my needs? do you think that would make sense?

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slimandy
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Re: D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
In reply to asif999, Jun 8, 2012

asif999 wrote:

So do you think I can start off by just replacing the kit lens with the 17-50? and later add on a Prime as per my needs? do you think that would make sense?

You could go either route, there are pros and cons to both. This makes sense to me though. You might not miss the primes or you might at least get a better idea which would suit you best. Perhaps get the 17~50 now then later decide between a 35mm or 50mm if you think a fast prime is needed, or maybe get a Tamron 90 for portrait/macro/extra reach.

Getting the 18~55 VR as part of a kit is the value for money option. You could just use that for a few weeks to get a better idea what you need. Don't spend extra until you have an appreciation of where your money is going.

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YRUNVS
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Re: D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
In reply to slimandy, Jun 9, 2012

I'm currently shooting with a D5100 and had the kit lens, 35 1.8G, and 50 1.8G.

Thanks to thieves I no longer have the kit lens and 35mm. I bought the Sigma 17-50 OS HSM, and held off on repurchasing the 35 to see if I could live without it. I believe the non-VC Tamron is of similar IQ. I am finding that I can live without the 35. The prime offers better IQ w/o a doubt, but I am finding that the Sigma is good enough for my purposes, and am enjoying the flexibility of the zoom. These are primarily people pictures, parades, baby showers, etc. were I doing landscapes or still life photos then I would opt to use a prime.

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asif999
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Re: D3200 with (18-55 + 50 1.8) or Tamron 17-50 2.8 ?
In reply to YRUNVS, Jun 9, 2012

Thanks Guys for all your help in deciding with the lens. I shall go ahead with the Tamron 17-50 for now and then later decide on the prime.

Your suggestions were truly helpful in my decision, I'm glad I posted this on the forums before my purchase

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