FX lenses recommendations?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
frontal_lobe
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

I agree with a lot of the suggestions that 16-35 is too wide as a general purpose lens. As a simple matter of practicality, I'd strongly recommend just starting with a standard zoom. The 24-70 is, as you've recognized, a wonderful lens, but it is big heavy and expensive. The 24-85 would be a fine choice as others have mentioned. My own preference is the 24-120 f/4 VR. FWIW, I wrote a review of it here a couple of months ago:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51610510

My suggestion would be to look carefully at both your budget and what you really intend to do, and then choose either the 24-85 or 24-120. Live with whichever you choose for a while, and see what frustrates you (if anything). Then choose your second/third lenses. You may possibly find that you want the faster aperture of, say, an 85/1.8 for portraits etc, but based on what you've said, you may find that one of the zooms does you for 90% of everything. 24mm on FX is pretty wide, and for landscapes, if you need to go wider, you can stitch panoramas very effectively. Do you have a really good tripod? Your budget, in relation to landscapes, may be better spent on a tripod/ballhead/remote release/filters than on another lens at this stage.

Just my two cents!

Cheers,

Anthony.

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JStachowski
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

Hi---

I'll add my vote for the 85 F1.8G.  It's got great sharpness.  I do have other lenses but the 85 is the best thing I have for portraits.

Take Care---

Jerry

Hendrixx wrote:

I'll be getting my first fx soon (D600) and I'm still wondering what lenses I should get with. At first I figured I'd go for the 24-70 but after a lot of research I'm thinking I'd rather go for 2-3 lenses(for almost the same price).

I mostly shoot landscapes and I'm wanting to do more portrait. I actually shoot a little bit of everything.

I've been thinking of going down this road:

sb70016-35 f4 and the 50 f1.4g OR the 85 1.8g
and then later on add a telezoom, like the new 80-400 maybe.

Would the 16-35 be too wide for everyday use? Talking not just landscapes, but around the house, low light indoor, pets, snapshots around town...etc? Or is that something the 50mm would cover better?

The reason I thought of getting the 50 or 85 was for a dedicated portrait lens. Maybe the 50 is a little too wide for that? (but perfect for the scenarios mentioned above? Maybe best to get all three?(barely in my budget)

What do you guys say? Is the 16-35 strictly a landscape lens? What do you think of the primes?

All help much appreciated..

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Hendrixx
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Brian Caslis, 11 months ago

Brian Caslis wrote:

The 16-35 is a nice lens but way too wide for around the house unless you like to take distorted pictures of family and pets. Here's my starter recommendation:

24-85 VR f3.5-4.5

50 f1.8G

85 f1.8G

I've found the kit zoom to be way better than any other kit zoom I've used. I use the 50 f1.8 for indoors general purpose shots. Start with the these three and you are only missing an UWA, Telephoto, and Macro to cover all the bases to start.

Is the 16-35 really too wide for everyday shots around the house? My current Dx lens is 18-55 and I'm using the 18-24mm a lot (equivalent to the last 27-35mm) on the 16-35 lens. However, it might be too distorted like you say? Lens corrections are pretty good today though right?

I didn't even give the kit lens a thought. Is it that good? It's so cheap....but that doesn't have to mean anything I guess

I do find it peculiar that the other two recommendations are 50 and 85 which are both covered by the 24-85? If they are so much better then the kit lens, that you would buy them alongside it makes me think if spending on the kit lens is really worth it? What do you think?

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Hendrixx
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Re: ual
In reply to Ho72, 11 months ago

Ho72 wrote:

Hendrixx wrote:

Ho72 wrote:

...

I read the 16-35 was sharper, is that not your experience?

Aren't you also paying for the extra two mm? And the fixed aperture? Not that it's a huge difference.

No, my experience that the two are about equal in the center of the frame but the 18-35 is sharper in the corners. 2mm can be significant depending on your needs; the variable aperture (3.5-4.5) is, for all practical purposes, the same as a constant f4.

Given that I have no need of VR, it made no sense for me to spend the extra money on features that are irrelevant to me and end up with poorer image quality in the bargain.

After more research I think the 18-35 is on the top of my list now for a wide lens. Appreciate the recommendation. How would you say it fairs as an everyday lens? Is it too wide, even the last 28-35mm? Too distorted? Do you use it only for landscape maybe?

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BasiliskPhoto
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

I would suggest getting the kit lens if you can get a good deal. It may not be the ultimate best at anything, but it is excellent value, sharp enough for 90% of uses, one of the most useful, and reasonably compact for a FX zoom. And much cheaper than anything else, and covers from pretty wide angle to a good portrait length. You wont miss many shots while you get the hang of your new camera. Throw in the 50 to get a play with shallow DOF shooting (get the D version if you want a really compact, lightweight, sharp and very cheap lens - good for video too, as you can change aperture on the fly with the aperture ring).

Do a load of shooting with these two excellent value lenses, and then you will know whether you need to buy more primes or more expensive zooms

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Ho72
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Re: ual
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

Hendrixx wrote:

After more research I think the 18-35 is on the top of my list now for a wide lens. Appreciate the recommendation. How would you say it fairs as an everyday lens? Is it too wide, even the last 28-35mm? Too distorted? Do you use it only for landscape maybe?

No landscapes yet, just some limited event work with the 18-35 (I've only owned the lens for about three weeks).

I usually pair it with the Tamron 28-75; those two lenses cover 90% of what I normally want to do. I don't think it would serve most people as a general purpose lens though, unless you normally live on the wide side. I've been on a couple of outings where it was the only lens I took, but I knew ahead of time that it would be all I needed.

Distortion is a non-issue, software corrects it well enough for me.

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user_name
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Considerations...
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

Mostly landscape?

Generally, landscape is shot at the wide angle and ultra wide angle end of the spectrum. That means 14 to 25mm is usually the most used range.

The gold standard is the Zeiss 21mm. It is a manual focus lens, but for landscape work that does not matter. The performance of this lens is legendary. Not cheap, but uncompromised performance.

The Nikkor 14-24 is good second choice. Using filters is a little complicated with this lens, but third-party solutions do exist. I own and like this lens a lot, but you need to understand this lens's weaknesses and how to work around it to get the best from it. When you do it pays back big time.

The Nikkor 16-35 is not a bad lens, but its performance at either end of the zoom range is not nearly as good as it is in the middle range. The newer 18-35 may be a better choice. I see these lenses as good choices for someone that wants a versatile zoom and is okay with sacrificing some performance compared to a more purpose built lens.

For ultra wide angle the Zeiss 15mm is king, but costs about $3000. Many people like the Samyang (Rokinon) 14mm. Rokinon also makes a 24mm that is worth considering. Both Rokinons are reasonably priced and perform well. To get better requires at least 2X the price. All are manual focus.

For portraits, the 85mm 1.8G is excellent and relatively low cost. Its virtues are many and flaws few.

The Nikkor 24 - 70mm zoom is a good zoom. It is weak at the 24mm end, but a good general purpose lens. It seems a lot of wedding photographers like this lens.

50mm is a general purpose lens. I have the 50mm 1.8D, which is ultra cheap, ultra sharp, and light.

Lastly, rating lenses is a complex and tricky process. There are so many different attributes and details concerning lens performance that simply using something like DXOMark to rate a lens is misleading.

Things like field curvature and focus shift are issues for all lenses. Corner performance matters for some work and is unimportant for others. You really need to understand what your needs are and how various lenses meet those needs.

Renting lenses is one way to determine if a lens you are considering will perform as expected. In the grand scheme of the cost of quality lenses, renting is a good investment for peace of mind in your selection.

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Brian Caslis
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

Hendrixx wrote:

Is the 16-35 really too wide for everyday shots around the house? My current Dx lens is 18-55 and I'm using the 18-24mm a lot (equivalent to the last 27-35mm) on the 16-35 lens. However, it might be too distorted like you say? Lens corrections are pretty good today though right?

I didn't even give the kit lens a thought. Is it that good? It's so cheap....but that doesn't have to mean anything I guess

I do find it peculiar that the other two recommendations are 50 and 85 which are both covered by the 24-85? If they are so much better then the kit lens, that you would buy them alongside it makes me think if spending on the kit lens is really worth it? What do you think?

DX is a 1.5 multiplier. So the 24-85 is really the FX equivalent of what you have. The 16-35 is basically the lower 1/4 of the range you are currently getting from the 18-55.

The 24-85 while a lovely lens is a little too slow for an indoors lens without a good flash. The 50 1.8 is great general purpose length and plenty fast for indoors use. It can also be a great full body portrait lens. And it's so cheap it's a no-brainer.

The 85 f1.8 is easily the best portrait below $1000. Maybe the best portrait period. Take one portrait picture with this lens and you will understand it's magic.

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Tee1up
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

Are you able to rent lenses from your location?

My suggestion would be to spend a weekend with each piece of glass you are considering before buying.

I would also consider buying the 50mm 1.8D in spite of some of the 'boring lens' comments. The thing is cheap, tack sharp, fast and would be the lens I would take into a trench if I could only bring one.

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Hendrixx
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Tee1up, 11 months ago

Appreciate all the informative replies!

I still haven't decided but you guys have helped a lot and given me much to think about.

I'm going back and forth now between two scenarios:

18-35 f3.5-4.5 + 24-120 f4

or

18-35 + 50 f1.8 + 85 f1.8

I'm thinking the first combo would be perfect for my landscape and all my everday uses. Although I would want the 85 f1.8 later on for portrait(I would also get a tele zoom in the not too distant future, in both scenarios).

However, I also think the latter combo would force me to be creative. I would have my landscapes covered of course, but then I was thinking I had my everyday uses covered by the last 30-35 mm on the 18-35 lens and the 50 lens. 85 would be my portrait lens.

We'll see how it goes.

Feel free to chip in...

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ata3001
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

I prefer primes since they are faster lenses for times when needed & most primes are optically superior than most, BUT NOT ALL, zooms. Sold my Nikon 28-70 F/2.8D AF & replaced with Nikon 28/1.8g, 50/1.8g & 85/1.8g. These 3 lenses produce superior images when compared to the zoom, tho not as convenient to use, but I put image quality above convenience. Others may not.

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I a n
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

Hendrixx wrote:

18-35 f3.5-4.5 + 24-120 f4

or

18-35 + 50 f1.8 + 85 f1.8

I'm thinking the first combo would be perfect for my landscape and all my everday uses. Although I would want the 85 f1.8 later on for portrait(I would also get a tele zoom in the not too distant future, in both scenarios).

Feel free to chip in...

I really like my 24-120 f4 for general purpose use.  And my 85 f1.8 AFD (older version of the G) is one of my favorite lenses.  For portraits I use my 85 whenever I can.  It is also really good for low light work too.  I have a 20mm f1.8 (Sigma) for when I want to go wider than 24.  How much do you really need to go wider than 24mm for landscape work?  I do use my 20 for landscape work but honestly I use my 24-120 @24 more often.

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Kali108
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

Hendrixx wrote:

I'll be getting my first fx soon (D600) and I'm still wondering what lenses I should get with. At first I figured I'd go for the 24-70 but after a lot of research I'm thinking I'd rather go for 2-3 lenses(for almost the same price).

I mostly shoot landscapes and I'm wanting to do more portrait. I actually shoot a little bit of everything.

I've been thinking of going down this road:

sb70016-35 f4 and the 50 f1.4g OR the 85 1.8g
and then later on add a telezoom, like the new 80-400 maybe.

Would the 16-35 be too wide for everyday use? Talking not just landscapes, but around the house, low light indoor, pets, snapshots around town...etc? Or is that something the 50mm would cover better?

The reason I thought of getting the 50 or 85 was for a dedicated portrait lens. Maybe the 50 is a little too wide for that? (but perfect for the scenarios mentioned above? Maybe best to get all three?(barely in my budget)

What do you guys say? Is the 16-35 strictly a landscape lens? What do you think of the primes?

All help much appreciated..

D600 is a great camera, especially for the money. Highly recommend going with a refurb..$1500-1600 now?

Anyway, from your post, it seems you're looking for good value vs the ultimate performance....yes? No?

If you're serious about landscape...primes. The Nikon 14-24 is an exceptional zoom, but a Zeiss 21 f2.8 or my fav, the Zeiss 25 f2 (!!)(not the f2.8) is better. Really big bucks though. Most other zooms have serious field curvature issues, etc. So, I would suggest a Samyang prime, 14mm f/2.8 ED. See photozone.de's review. $350. Shockingly good. Most landscapes don't move, so manual focus is fine. Samyang 24 is great value too...but the 14mm is special.

Portraits, the Nikon 85 f1.8G is a no-brainer. Stellar at 3x the price. 50mm isn't good for tight shots, but is fine for head & shoulders...still prefer 85-105 FL.

Another general purpose / landscape lens would be the new Sigma 35mm f1.4, excellent optic, no compromise whatsoever,. Better than the Nikon equivalent and way cheaper.

Zooms: I'd recommend the Tamron 24-70 VC and Nikon 70-200 f4 VR.

I'm a prime guy, so *I* would start building a kit of 85 f1.8G, Sigma 35, Samyang 14...in that order...but I'm mostly a portrait shooter. 35mm and 85mm are bread and butter focal lengths.

Good luck!

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Kali108
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

Hendrixx wrote:

Appreciate all the informative replies!

I still haven't decided but you guys have helped a lot and given me much to think about.

I'm going back and forth now between two scenarios:

18-35 f3.5-4.5 + 24-120 f4

or

18-35 + 50 f1.8 + 85 f1.8

I'm thinking the first combo would be perfect for my landscape and all my everday uses. Although I would want the 85 f1.8 later on for portrait(I would also get a tele zoom in the not too distant future, in both scenarios).

However, I also think the latter combo would force me to be creative. I would have my landscapes covered of course, but then I was thinking I had my everyday uses covered by the last 30-35 mm on the 18-35 lens and the 50 lens. 85 would be my portrait lens.

We'll see how it goes.

Feel free to chip in...

I think the 18-35 + 50 f1.8 + 85 f1.8 is the far better set up of the two options.  IMO, you could drop the 50 f1.8 and use that $200 to start saving for a used Nikon 70-200 f4 zoom.

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Hendrixx
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Kali108, 11 months ago

Kali108 wrote:

Hendrixx wrote:

I'll be getting my first fx soon (D600) and I'm still wondering what lenses I should get with. At first I figured I'd go for the 24-70 but after a lot of research I'm thinking I'd rather go for 2-3 lenses(for almost the same price).

I mostly shoot landscapes and I'm wanting to do more portrait. I actually shoot a little bit of everything.

I've been thinking of going down this road:

sb70016-35 f4 and the 50 f1.4g OR the 85 1.8g
and then later on add a telezoom, like the new 80-400 maybe.

Would the 16-35 be too wide for everyday use? Talking not just landscapes, but around the house, low light indoor, pets, snapshots around town...etc? Or is that something the 50mm would cover better?

The reason I thought of getting the 50 or 85 was for a dedicated portrait lens. Maybe the 50 is a little too wide for that? (but perfect for the scenarios mentioned above? Maybe best to get all three?(barely in my budget)

What do you guys say? Is the 16-35 strictly a landscape lens? What do you think of the primes?

All help much appreciated..

D600 is a great camera, especially for the money. Highly recommend going with a refurb..$1500-1600 now?

Anyway, from your post, it seems you're looking for good value vs the ultimate performance....yes? No?

If you're serious about landscape...primes. The Nikon 14-24 is an exceptional zoom, but a Zeiss 21 f2.8 or my fav, the Zeiss 25 f2 (!!)(not the f2.8) is better. Really big bucks though. Most other zooms have serious field curvature issues, etc. So, I would suggest a Samyang prime, 14mm f/2.8 ED. See photozone.de's review. $350. Shockingly good. Most landscapes don't move, so manual focus is fine. Samyang 24 is great value too...but the 14mm is special.

Portraits, the Nikon 85 f1.8G is a no-brainer. Stellar at 3x the price. 50mm isn't good for tight shots, but is fine for head & shoulders...still prefer 85-105 FL.

Another general purpose / landscape lens would be the new Sigma 35mm f1.4, excellent optic, no compromise whatsoever,. Better than the Nikon equivalent and way cheaper.

Zooms: I'd recommend the Tamron 24-70 VC and Nikon 70-200 f4 VR.

I'm a prime guy, so *I* would start building a kit of 85 f1.8G, Sigma 35, Samyang 14...in that order...but I'm mostly a portrait shooter. 35mm and 85mm are bread and butter focal lengths.

Good luck!

Man I love this forum. Thanks again all.

Kali you have me seriously thinking now to go for the Samyang 14mm for portraits! I went to the shop yesterday to try out the 18-35 and I wasn't too impressed. It was really distorted at 18 and focusing and metering with it gave the D600 some problems it seemed. Maybe not issues to worry about in landscape but it left me feeling a bit disappointed.

Then I saw your post, and I'm thinking why not go for the 14mm samyang, the 85 nikkor and the 24-120 f4? I'm not pulling too much more out of my pocket for a dedicated landscape lens while getting a great zoom for everyday use and a dedicated portrait lens.

My sister has a 35mm Samyang and it's a really nice lens I must say. What frustrates me sometimes is that it isnt AF but that shouldnt matter in the landscapes with the 14mm.

One step closer...

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k2guy
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Re: FX lenses recommendations?
In reply to Hendrixx, 11 months ago

Do not overlook the Sigma 35mm f/1.4.  Stellar performance and tack sharp.  Use this lens (and the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8) as my walk-around kit and use my feet for zooming in and out.  These two lenses produce excellent results and a bonus, you have low light coverage.  I also carry either my SB-700 or SB-800 in my kit for indoor and fill flash.  Again, check out the Sigma 35, it is a great lens.

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