What would be a good basic lens collection?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions
GreenMountainGirl
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What would be a good basic lens collection?
Mar 27, 2013

I have noticed that among the photographers on these forums, many have a huge variety of lenses (and multiple cameras).  Some have remarked that they bought several in the process of looking for the "right" lens of a particular kind.  There also appears to be a lot of overlap of range in the lenses people own, which I do not understand why that is.  I would like to avoid this, but would like to work toward owning an assortment that would cover the most important bases.  The budget is not unlimited, but over time I can probably get most.

My camera is a Nikon D7000, and in general prefer to stay with Nikon lenses.  The lenses I own now (bought to learn on) are the 18-105mm VR DX AFS f/3.5-5.6 and the 55-300mm VR DX AFS f/4.5-5.6.  For future purposes, I am considering a prime lens f/1.8 (probably 50mm, recommendations welcomed), a macro lens (probably 105mm), and (much later) a 300mm f/4 with a teleconverter.

I take pictures of a variety of subjects.  Mostly wildlife/birds, but also landscapes and plants/flowers, portraits (people and pets), ready to start macro.

Thank you.

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GreenMountainGirl

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happysnapper64
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Mar 27, 2013

GreenMountainGirl wrote:

I have noticed that among the photographers on these forums, many have a huge variety of lenses (and multiple cameras).  Some have remarked that they bought several in the process of looking for the "right" lens of a particular kind.  There also appears to be a lot of overlap of range in the lenses people own, which I do not understand why that is.  I would like to avoid this, but would like to work toward owning an assortment that would cover the most important bases.  The budget is not unlimited, but over time I can probably get most.

My camera is a Nikon D7000, and in general prefer to stay with Nikon lenses.  The lenses I own now (bought to learn on) are the 18-105mm VR DX AFS f/3.5-5.6 and the 55-300mm VR DX AFS f/4.5-5.6.  For future purposes, I am considering a prime lens f/1.8 (probably 50mm, recommendations welcomed), a macro lens (probably 105mm), and (much later) a 300mm f/4 with a teleconverter.

I take pictures of a variety of subjects.  Mostly wildlife/birds, but also landscapes and plants/flowers, portraits (people and pets), ready to start macro.

Thank you.

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GreenMountainGirl

Hi, GMG. I have Canon gear, & bought the Canon 100f/2.8 macro [non L] but was very tempted, & still am, to get the Sigma 105 macro. Cheaper than the Canon L & Nikon offerings, but the reviews were promising. I really love macro. You can achieve stunning abstract images with a good lens & a little imagination. Look up Bryan Petersons you tube video tutorials, also a site called "Try my shot.com" Be careful if you try the flame shot with lighter fuel. I nearly set fire to the cat when she got a bit TOO curious!!!!

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lee uk.
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Leonard Migliore
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Mar 27, 2013

GreenMountainGirl wrote:

I have noticed that among the photographers on these forums, many have a huge variety of lenses (and multiple cameras).  Some have remarked that they bought several in the process of looking for the "right" lens of a particular kind.  There also appears to be a lot of overlap of range in the lenses people own, which I do not understand why that is.  I would like to avoid this, but would like to work toward owning an assortment that would cover the most important bases.  The budget is not unlimited, but over time I can probably get most.

My camera is a Nikon D7000, and in general prefer to stay with Nikon lenses.  The lenses I own now (bought to learn on) are the 18-105mm VR DX AFS f/3.5-5.6 and the 55-300mm VR DX AFS f/4.5-5.6.  For future purposes, I am considering a prime lens f/1.8 (probably 50mm, recommendations welcomed), a macro lens (probably 105mm), and (much later) a 300mm f/4 with a teleconverter.

I take pictures of a variety of subjects.  Mostly wildlife/birds, but also landscapes and plants/flowers, portraits (people and pets), ready to start macro.

I have a D300, which is a crop-sensor camera similar to yours. I have a number of old Nikkors, two of which I still use a lot (105mm f/2.5 and 55mm f/2.8 Micro).

But my working lens collection, which is what goes in my back pack when I'm out taking pictures, is a 10-24 Nikkor, a 16-85 Nikkor and a 70-300 Tamron. So my angle of view coverage is similar to yours except that I can go much wider. Since you indicated you do landscapes, I suggest getting a 10-24 Nikkor. That lens goes very wide and is quite good.

I have some prime lenses, which are nice and sharp, but I don't use them a whole lot. I have a 35mm f/1.8G, a 50mm f/1.8E, an 85mm f/1.8G and a 300mm f/4 AF-S. I don't use them a lot because their focal lengths are covered by my zooms, and the zooms are not too shabby. When I take pictures indoors, I generally use flash, so I don't really need fast lenses with their accompanying shallow depth of field.

You may want a 50mm or an 85mm for portraits. The "G" Nikkors in those focal lengths are extremely sharp wide open and will allow you to take portraits with a very limited depth of field. You have to back away more with the 85.

As is often stated here, most macro lenses are very sharp and one's selection of such a lens is primarily based on working distance. In general, the longer focal length lenses have longer working distances. They are also bigger, heavier, more expensive and harder to use handheld. Note that the stabilization on Nikon's 105mm VR Micro Nikkor is not very effective at close distances.

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nelsonal
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Mar 27, 2013

A caveat, I'm probably the exact opposite of you, I shoot mostly primes, and have collected several lenses that are the same or very close in focal length.  Worst are portraitish lengths (for me 90-135mm) I use choose between depending on subject, look, or even how I feel at the time.

That said, I think you're well on your way to a very good basic collection.  From scratch my first choice is probably be an 18-55 and 55-200 (very similar to your 18-105 and 55-300).  I think Thom Hogan sums up my thoughts better than I would:

http://bythom.com/rationallenses.htm

The economy DX kit is about 1/3 of the way down.  Beyond those, and perhaps a 35mm prime it requires a big increase in budget to buy increasingly modest additional performance.  The kit will obviously lack large apertures, though high ISO, flash, or a judicious addition of primes could both serve as fine ways of solving that issue.  I'd supplement those with his suggested 35mm and probably a longer prime (your choice of 50, 85, or 100mm).  A 300mm is a great lens though somewhat more of a specialty lens but a fine addition to fill a role as your kit becomes more specialized.

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ArchiDeos
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Mar 27, 2013

Hey.. Newby here  from my point of view, get 1 prime lens let say, 50mm f/1.4, next a 24-70mm and last maybe a 70-200mm for a long distance subject. For that range 24mm up to 200mm Focal Length you have an excellent range whatever your subjects there may be.. keep up.. make fun with your camera..

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mike703
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LBA beware
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Mar 27, 2013

GreenMountainGirl wrote:

There also appears to be a lot of overlap of range in the lenses people own, which I do not understand why that is.

It's a disease colloquially known as 'LBA' (Lens Buying Addiction).  Whatever collection you have isn't quite enough. You always need just that one more specialist lens to make your lens collection (and, therefore, life and happiness) complete.

You start with your kit lens... then you need, obviously, a telephoto zoom as a second step.  Then you have the common range covered but a fast prime for indoor shots or portraits - like a 50mm f/1.8 - would be nice.  Then you discover macro... and an ultrawide for landscapes / interiors is revelation when you realise that 18mm just isn't wide enough.  Pretty soon you realise that actually your kit lens isn't so good when you look at the corners of huge blowups of the pictures on your monitor with a magnifying glass, so you'll need something like a 17-55 f/2.8 to remedy that.  And so it goes on.

As an addictive disease it's better than drugs (your health doesn't suffer, much, and if the house is about to be repossessed and the kid are starving you have the nuclear option of selling a few of your less used lenses).  And it's cheaper than sports cars, mostly....

If I want to take a shot in the 35 - 40 mm range I could use one of four lenses (Pentax 16-45; Tamron 28-75; Pentax 35mm prime; Pentax 40mm prime).  So I have the fun of choosing what to carry with me for a specific shoot, whether it is a walk in the countryside (couple of small primes) or a family gathering with the requirement to switch from individual portraits to large groups (zooms, definitely).  And the small Pentax primes are so.... tactile... and... collectible.... (shakes head to snap out of it).

Anyway to answer your original question your two-lens zoom pair covers the 18-300 range nicely, and will do 90% of what you ever need.  A fast prime in the 35mm - 50mm range (f/1.8) is small and very useful in lower light or for portraits if you want small depth of field.  Many restrained people would stop there and call it a day; beyond that you're on the slippery slope above.  Welcome... 

Best wishes

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happysnapper64
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to Leonard Migliore, Mar 27, 2013

Leonard Migliore wrote:

GreenMountainGirl wrote:

I have noticed that among the photographers on these forums, many have a huge variety of lenses (and multiple cameras).  Some have remarked that they bought several in the process of looking for the "right" lens of a particular kind.  There also appears to be a lot of overlap of range in the lenses people own, which I do not understand why that is.  I would like to avoid this, but would like to work toward owning an assortment that would cover the most important bases.  The budget is not unlimited, but over time I can probably get most.

My camera is a Nikon D7000, and in general prefer to stay with Nikon lenses.  The lenses I own now (bought to learn on) are the 18-105mm VR DX AFS f/3.5-5.6 and the 55-300mm VR DX AFS f/4.5-5.6.  For future purposes, I am considering a prime lens f/1.8 (probably 50mm, recommendations welcomed), a macro lens (probably 105mm), and (much later) a 300mm f/4 with a teleconverter.

I take pictures of a variety of subjects.  Mostly wildlife/birds, but also landscapes and plants/flowers, portraits (people and pets), ready to start macro.

I have a D300, which is a crop-sensor camera similar to yours. I have a number of old Nikkors, two of which I still use a lot (105mm f/2.5 and 55mm f/2.8 Micro).

But my working lens collection, which is what goes in my back pack when I'm out taking pictures, is a 10-24 Nikkor, a 16-85 Nikkor and a 70-300 Tamron. So my angle of view coverage is similar to yours except that I can go much wider. Since you indicated you do landscapes, I suggest getting a 10-24 Nikkor. That lens goes very wide and is quite good.

I have some prime lenses, which are nice and sharp, but I don't use them a whole lot. I have a 35mm f/1.8G, a 50mm f/1.8E, an 85mm f/1.8G and a 300mm f/4 AF-S. I don't use them a lot because their focal lengths are covered by my zooms, and the zooms are not too shabby. When I take pictures indoors, I generally use flash, so I don't really need fast lenses with their accompanying shallow depth of field.

You may want a 50mm or an 85mm for portraits. The "G" Nikkors in those focal lengths are extremely sharp wide open and will allow you to take portraits with a very limited depth of field. You have to back away more with the 85.

As is often stated here, most macro lenses are very sharp and one's selection of such a lens is primarily based on working distance. In general, the longer focal length lenses have longer working distances. They are also bigger, heavier, more expensive and harder to use handheld. Note that the stabilization on Nikon's 105mm VR Micro Nikkor is not very effective at close distances.

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Leonard Migliore

Hi Leonard. Re; Stabilization on macro. I see that the IS on the Canon 100L is only worth 1or 2 stops max at close distances, & only 1 at 1:1.

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lee uk.
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happysnapper64
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Re: LBA beware
In reply to mike703, Mar 27, 2013

mike703 wrote:

GreenMountainGirl wrote:

There also appears to be a lot of overlap of range in the lenses people own, which I do not understand why that is.

It's a disease colloquially known as 'LBA' (Lens Buying Addiction).  Whatever collection you have isn't quite enough. You always need just that one more specialist lens to make your lens collection (and, therefore, life and happiness) complete.

You start with your kit lens... then you need, obviously, a telephoto zoom as a second step.  Then you have the common range covered but a fast prime for indoor shots or portraits - like a 50mm f/1.8 - would be nice.  Then you discover macro... and an ultrawide for landscapes / interiors is revelation when you realise that 18mm just isn't wide enough.  Pretty soon you realise that actually your kit lens isn't so good when you look at the corners of huge blowups of the pictures on your monitor with a magnifying glass, so you'll need something like a 17-55 f/2.8 to remedy that.  And so it goes on.

As an addictive disease it's better than drugs (your health doesn't suffer, much, and if the house is about to be repossessed and the kid are starving you have the nuclear option of selling a few of your less used lenses).  And it's cheaper than sports cars, mostly....

If I want to take a shot in the 35 - 40 mm range I could use one of four lenses (Pentax 16-45; Tamron 28-75; Pentax 35mm prime; Pentax 40mm prime).  So I have the fun of choosing what to carry with me for a specific shoot, whether it is a walk in the countryside (couple of small primes) or a family gathering with the requirement to switch from individual portraits to large groups (zooms, definitely).  And the small Pentax primes are so.... tactile... and... collectible.... (shakes head to snap out of it).

Anyway to answer your original question your two-lens zoom pair covers the 18-300 range nicely, and will do 90% of what you ever need.  A fast prime in the 35mm - 50mm range (f/1.8) is small and very useful in lower light or for portraits if you want small depth of field.  Many restrained people would stop there and call it a day; beyond that you're on the slippery slope above.  Welcome... 

Best wishes

Hey, GMG, Mike is exaggerating a little there. I have been shooting for 18 months now & have only bought 10 lenses! so you see, it's not as bad as he says, IT'S WORSE!! :-O. Seriously, I did buy before I knew what it was I wanted them for, it's an easy trap to fall into. I have now narrowed it down to 4 or 5. I have Canon stuff, & use 15-85, 70-200, 100macro, & Sigma 120-400. I also have a Sigma WA 10-20, but since buying the 15-85 I have hardly used it at all. there is always going to be an element of overlap, nothing wrong with that. It often saves a lot of lens changing. Once I decided on my type of photography, which is a bit of everything really, it made choices easier.

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lee uk.
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Kokeen4231
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Mar 27, 2013

As a basic lens collection, I would recommend starting with three lenses.

1) Wide angle lens for landscape. Tokina 11-16 F2.8. I personally feel the need for wide angles whenever you are on trips and just want some scenery. The f2.8 in the tokina may not seem like it would be of any use for landscapes but you never know what you need.

2) Middle range lens for street and people photography. A 24-70 F2.8 lens. Or if you are on budget, a sigma 17-70 would be good. Normally, a prime lens would be more suitable for such subjects but as you expressed you interest more towards wildlife and perhaps people as secondary interests, I think you would be able to live with the zooms. You get slightly less sharpness and light but more versatility.

3) A telephoto. Something up to at least 300mm. Depends on your needs and budget.

You mentioned you alr have the 18-105mm. Thats a pretty good glass, living up to the Nikon standard. Unless you feel you need more in that range then I recommend you sell this for a 24-70. The telephoto you have is a basic one. If you feel you need more focusing speed or sharpness, then I suggest you upgrade to a 70 300. I can't comment too much on macros but I have to say I live on 24 70 for macro in the past.

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BobSC
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Mar 27, 2013

Here are what I have, in the order of how many photos I think I take with each (all Nikkor except the 8).

18-105

50/1.4 AIs

80-200/2.8 AF

Rokinon 8

24/2.8 AIs

I do use them all regularly. I'm thinking of a Sigma 10-20 to compliment them. If I get that, I will probably stop using the 8.

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Leonard Migliore
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Stabilized macro
In reply to happysnapper64, Mar 28, 2013

happysnapper64 wrote:

Hi Leonard. Re; Stabilization on macro. I see that the IS on the Canon 100L is only worth 1or 2 stops max at close distances, & only 1 at 1:1.

Yes, and the Canon lens stabilization is much better than Nikon's, which doesn't do much at 1:1 because it only corrects for angle change and not for translation, which is the major contributor to motion blur at short distances.

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Leonard Migliore

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mgd43
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to BobSC, Mar 28, 2013

You have two good lenses now. I wouldn't add any more until you've used these two a while. After a while you'll find out for yourself what you need.

There is no good answer to your question because what makes up a good lens collection depends on many things such as what you prefer to shoot, what is your budget, how fussy are you in terms of image quality, is size and weight important, do you prefer zooms or primes or a combination of both, do you like the idea of an all-in-one lens?

Each of us has to determine what's important to us and buy accordingly. For example the weight of my gear has become important to me as I get older so I go for light weight cameras and lenses.

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GreenMountainGirl
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to Leonard Migliore, Mar 28, 2013

Leonard Migliore wrote:

But my working lens collection, which is what goes in my back pack when I'm out taking pictures, is a 10-24 Nikkor, a 16-85 Nikkor and a 70-300 Tamron. So my angle of view coverage is similar to yours except that I can go much wider. Since you indicated you do landscapes, I suggest getting a 10-24 Nikkor. That lens goes very wide and is quite good.

Hi Leonard!  I looked at the 10-24mm on B&H, and it sounds like a very decent lens from reading the specs.  I really would like to have a wide angle lens, and the IF is also something to like.  (Neither of my current lenses are IF.)  Thank you for recommending it.

I think I see the logic of your lens collection - as you say, you have similar coverage, but each of your lenses is more specialized than the ones I have.  Each covers a certain range better than a longer zoom would cover that particular range.

I have some prime lenses, which are nice and sharp, but I don't use them a whole lot. I have a 35mm f/1.8G, a 50mm f/1.8E, an 85mm f/1.8G and a 300mm f/4 AF-S. I don't use them a lot because their focal lengths are covered by my zooms, and the zooms are not too shabby. When I take pictures indoors, I generally use flash, so I don't really need fast lenses with their accompanying shallow depth of field.

I have been thinking about possibly acquiring a 35mm f/1.8G, mostly because of it's wide aperture.  The only time I have been using flash is for fill, so I thought it might be handy.  Eventually I should get a good flash unit and learn more about using it, but for now I still have much to learn about what I already have.  Won't the 35mm be good for portraits?  I have seen different opinions on what is best to use with the cropped sensor camera.

As is often stated here, most macro lenses are very sharp and one's selection of such a lens is primarily based on working distance...Note that the stabilization on Nikon's 105mm VR Micro Nikkor is not very effective at close distances.

The 105mm micro sounds like it will be fine for me to start doing macro shots.  Doing this on a tripod, the VR won't be an issue.  But I was wondering what you think about its usefulness for other types of photography.  I have heard that macro lenses can take excellent pictures outside of that specialized area.

I didn't mean to put this thread out there and not get back for so long!  Today was a busy day, and now it is late and I haven't been able to examine all the responses!  At least there is always tomorrow...

Thanks again for your recommendations.  I am very interested in the 10-24mm - it would fit very well with what I have already.

Susan

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GreenMountainGirl

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GreenMountainGirl
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Re: LBA beware
In reply to happysnapper64, Mar 28, 2013

mike703 wrote:

It's a disease colloquially known as 'LBA' (Lens Buying Addiction).  Whatever collection you have isn't quite enough. You always need just that one more specialist lens to make your lens collection (and, therefore, life and happiness) complete.

Mike, I know what you mean.  I am totally miserable because I NEED more lenses and haven't figured out which ones to buy!!!

You start with your kit lens...

Everything you said is so true!  I have already discovered the shortcomings, but they are all I have.  Heard about the money pit early on, and haven't bought a single lens - my imagination tells me that there is quicksand in there, and I will never get out.

And the small Pentax primes are so.... tactile... and... collectible.... (shakes head to snap out of it).

Poof fellow - your must really have it bad!  Thank goodness you can snap out of it.

Anyway to answer your original question your two-lens zoom pair covers the 18-300 range nicely, and will do 90% of what you ever need.  A fast prime in the 35mm - 50mm range (f/1.8) is small and very useful in lower light or for portraits if you want small depth of field.  Many restrained people would stop there and call it a day; beyond that you're on the slippery slope above.  Welcome... 

Leonard also said the same thing about my lenses.  I figure I could stick with them for a while, and build my collection around them for now.  He suggested a prime as well, and also a 10-24mm for landscapes.  I like the sound of that one.  Just have to decide if the 35mm f/1.8 is the right choice.

Problem with restraining myself, is that eventually I break the bonds and go wild!  Easy to do with photography equipment - slippery slope, here I come!!!

happysnapper64 wrote:

happysnapper64 wrote:                                                                                            Hey, GMG, Mike is exaggerating a little there. I have been shooting for 18 months now & have only bought 10 lenses! so you see, it's not as bad as he says, IT'S WORSE!! :-O. Seriously, I did buy before I knew what it was I wanted them for, it's an easy trap to fall into. I have now narrowed it down to 4 or 5. I have Canon stuff, & use 15-85, 70-200, 100macro, & Sigma 120-400. I also have a Sigma WA 10-20, but since buying the 15-85 I have hardly used it at all. there is always going to be an element of overlap, nothing wrong with that. It often saves a lot of lens changing. Once I decided on my type of photography, which is a bit of everything really, it made choices easier.

Lee, Thanks for the reassurance!  Between you and Mike, I think I better wear my ice cleats when I go to buy photo equipment to keep from slipping...  The D7000 is my first DSLR, and although I was taking pictures before that (point-and-shoot digital), I count my beginning from when I took the plunge - last year in February - 13 months.

I have taken it slow because I wanted to learn more about my camera before trying to understand more lenses and techniques.  Steep learning curve.  Plus I don't want to upset my husband by spending a fortune all at once - slowly hurts less!   Sounds like we have something in common - I also like to take a bit of everything.  But it hasn't made the choices easier!   What would be easier - if I could just give in to my whimsy and fill up another backpack just with lenses (and maybe a second body, too...).

It seems that overlap is inevitable, so I accept that.  And I am beginning to see that I can build my lens collection around what I have for now, with the idea that after I round it out, then I can start to upgrade.  IF, of course, my application of techniques gets good enough to warrant such rewards!

Time to call it a night.  I enjoy reading your postings, and appreciate your response to my questions.

Susan

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Leonard Migliore
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Mar 28, 2013

GreenMountainGirl wrote:

Hi Leonard!  I looked at the 10-24mm on B&H, and it sounds like a very decent lens from reading the specs.  I really would like to have a wide angle lens, and the IF is also something to like.  (Neither of my current lenses are IF.)  Thank you for recommending it.

The lens is really good. It takes some getting used to because it is...wide. My biggest problem with it is getting too much in and then I have to crop. Not very smart at all. But I would expect a reasonable person to figure this out and only go as wide as needed. The 10-24 does a great job on postcard shots:

Sedona postcard

I have been thinking about possibly acquiring a 35mm f/1.8G, mostly because of it's wide aperture.  The only time I have been using flash is for fill, so I thought it might be handy.  Eventually I should get a good flash unit and learn more about using it, but for now I still have much to learn about what I already have.  Won't the 35mm be good for portraits?  I have seen different opinions on what is best to use with the cropped sensor camera.

I have a 35 f/1.8G and its main benefit is that it's small. So I use it a lot indoors with flash. Anytime you use a fast lens indoors without flash, you're stuck with bad lighting and no depth of field. It's just a hassle unless you really need to catch the atmosphere:

San Jose soul, 50mm lens on DX

The 35mm f/1.8 is a terrible portrait lens, at least for adults. It's not bad with small-nosed children, but we don't have any of those in my family. A 35mm is sort of short for portraits and the 35G has a lot of distortion. Some people like a 50mm for portraits on DX. Some people like 85mm. I like 105mm.

The 105mm micro sounds like it will be fine for me to start doing macro shots.  Doing this on a tripod, the VR won't be an issue.  But I was wondering what you think about its usefulness for other types of photography.  I have heard that macro lenses can take excellent pictures outside of that specialized area.

The 105 micro seems to be a very useful lens for things other than macro. It's a good portrait lens (and the stabilization is good at long distances) and is a reasonable telephoto. In the old days, macro lenses tended to lose sharpness at long distances but now they're bleeding sharp from here to infinity.

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Rich Rosen
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Mar 28, 2013

Back in the day; the film days, I quickly acquired within a year of getting my N50, a 70-300, 24-120(the first edition) and a 50 1.4. These went along with my kit lens, a very cheaply made 35-70 ( not the great 2.8 model). Those lenses didn't last me 3 years, except for the 50. My point is that chronic lens acquisition syndrome (clas) is devastating to the wallet.

Much of my history of lens acquisition was designed at haveing the "holy trinity" of zooms along with some primes to fill in holes, and alternatives for trekking, or travel. But a lot were mistakes. Fortunately I had been able to sell my old lenses at decent prices to finance my new acquisitions.

As others have said, don't rush to just acquire lenses. You have said you don't want to be redundant or make n mistakes. Achieving that will come with using the lenses you have until you find their limitations and purchasing lenses that fit your needs. Don't worry about the "newest, bestest." I learned at, great cost, that a really good lens is timeless. My 28-70,17-35, 85, are from my days using film. They are still very good lenses.

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roby17269
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Re: LBA beware
In reply to GreenMountainGirl, Mar 28, 2013

Wait till you become a "prime snob"!

If you do, you'll end up selling zooms and buying more primes to cover the important focal lengths... thus multiplying your collection.

Happened to me and, while I love my primes, I have no more room in the space that my wife allows me for keeping my gear

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GreenMountainGirl
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Re: LBA beware
In reply to roby17269, Mar 28, 2013

roby17269 wrote:

Wait till you become a "prime snob"!

If you do, you'll end up selling zooms and buying more primes to cover the important focal lengths... thus multiplying your collection.

Only time will tell which way I go!  I am probably too lazy to go that route - do love the versatility of a good zoom.  You still have your 70-200 f/2.8, so apparently you don't plan to go all the way prime!

Susan

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GreenMountainGirl
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to nelsonal, Mar 28, 2013

nelsonal wrote:

That said, I think you're well on your way to a very good basic collection.  From scratch my first choice is probably be an 18-55 and 55-200 (very similar to your 18-105 and 55-300).  I think Thom Hogan sums up my thoughts better than I would:

http://bythom.com/rationallenses.htm

Thank you for the link to Thom's article.  I spent some time yesterday going through it, and it gave me a much better idea of what to look for, what to stay away from.  He does a great job, although his website is so busy it makes it hard to wade through!

Between what I read there, and what OP have said, it seems like a good idea for now to keep what I have and build around it.

I'd supplement those with his suggested 35mm and probably a longer prime (your choice of 50, 85, or 100mm).  A 300mm is a great lens though somewhat more of a specialty lens but a fine addition to fill a role as your kit becomes more specialized.

The 35mm sounds attractive but I begin to wonder what its best uses might be.  Too short for portraits, I had the impression it could be a good walk-around lens because it is small and light and can deal with just about any light situation.

From what I have heard, the 105mm macro can double as a portrait lens, so that gives it a double purpose in my lens collection.  Since I definitely want to get into macro, it sounds like a very good investment.

The 300mm f/4 sparked my interest because it will match up with a TC and give more range.  At this point in my photography journey, I cannot see buying one of the very expensive longer focal length lenses.  I love to take pictures of the wildlife around my home and elsewhere, and my 55-300 is short for a lot of it.  There might be some short-comings when shooting birds, but hope that raising ISO and exposure compensation can help.  This investment does require some more thought...

Thank you for your suggestions.

Susan

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GreenMountainGirl
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Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?
In reply to Kokeen4231, Mar 28, 2013

Kokeen4231 wrote:

As a basic lens collection, I would recommend starting with three lenses.

1) Wide angle lens for landscape. Tokina 11-16 F2.8. I personally feel the need for wide angles whenever you are on trips and just want some scenery. The f2.8 in the tokina may not seem like it would be of any use for landscapes but you never know what you need.

One suggestion that I like is the Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX.  It has great wide-angle.  The f-stops don't worry me because with landscapes you are outdoors, probably plenty of available light, and can always increase ISO, exposure compensation.

I think you would be able to live with the zooms. You get slightly less sharpness and light but more versatility.

Agreed.  Will probably stick with what I have for now and build my lens collection around them.  Can always upgrade later!

Thank you for your suggestions - it isn't easy to figure out all the different lenses that are available.  And I certainly don't want to fall into the "money pit"!

Susan

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GreenMountainGirl

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