Any three lenses (but only three)

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Tuanglen
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Any three lenses (but only three)
2 months ago

I'm curious about Nikon FX lenses used as a system, so I'd like to pose this thought experiment. If you could pick any three lenses for a Nikon FX camera, and they would be given to you for free, but those would be the ONLY three lenses you would be allowed to use for the next decade, which three lenses would you choose? It wouldn't matter which lenses you already owned, because they would all be confiscated, and you couldn't turn down the deal. All you could do was choose which three lenses you would use exclusively for the next decade. Money would be no object because, as I said, they would be given to you for free and replaced for free if ever damaged. (If you wanted a free Nikon FX camera, you could have whichever you wanted and upgrade whenever you wished, so the lens choice would presumably need to be made with some thought of the future in mind.)

I'm not asking for you to speculate about the theoretical needs of some imaginary person; just choose what YOU would want for your own needs if you could only have three lenses but they could be any three regardless of price.

Again, this is just for the purpose of learning what others have discovered in their own, varied experiences about what their priorities and strategies would be with a carefully chosen SET of lenses, restricted in number but not in price. Most of us can't afford to buy every lens that sounds interesting, but some of us might be able to eventually save up for almost any set of three or so.

RichyjV
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Easy.
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

Zeiss 21 2.8

Sigma 35 1.4 Art

Nikon 70-200 4

Done. Have them already and they are just magnificent. If there was a shift and tilt with the rendering of the zeiss at that focal length then I would go for it.

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Rich Rosen
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

Tuanglen wrote:

I'm curious about Nikon FX lenses used as a system, so I'd like to pose this thought experiment. If you could pick any three lenses for a Nikon FX camera, and they would be given to you for free, but those would be the ONLY three lenses you would be allowed to use for the next decade, which three lenses would you choose? It wouldn't matter which lenses you already owned, because they would all be confiscated, and you couldn't turn down the deal. All you could do was choose which three lenses you would use exclusively for the next decade. Money would be no object because, as I said, they would be given to you for free and replaced for free if ever damaged. (If you wanted a free Nikon FX camera, you could have whichever you wanted and upgrade whenever you wished, so the lens choice would presumably need to be made with some thought of the future in mind.)

I'm not asking for you to speculate about the theoretical needs of some imaginary person; just choose what YOU would want for your own needs if you could only have three lenses but they could be any three regardless of price.

Again, this is just for the purpose of learning what others have discovered in their own, varied experiences about what their priorities and strategies would be with a carefully chosen SET of lenses, restricted in number but not in price. Most of us can't afford to buy every lens that sounds interesting, but some of us might be able to eventually save up for almost any set of three or so.

Nikon sets that out for you. Its called the trinity and consists of three Zooms; an UWA to WA, a mid range Zoom, and a tele zoom. The professional zooms, Nikon makes; are the 14-24 2.8, the 24-70 2.8, and the 70-200 2.8 VRII. That type of trinity has been my staple for years (I have the 17-35, 28-70, and 70-200 VRI). But today my choices would be different. I am 2/3s of the way there with the 24-120 f4, and the 120-300 f2.8 Sports from Sigma. My third lens would be the 14-24. I do events and sports, and dabble in landscapes and city scapes, when I can. If only limited to three lenses, I would choose those three. But it wouldn't be enough and for ten years I wouldn't be happy, watching as new lenses come and I am restricted to these three. What a nightmare! LAD (lens acquisition disease) is dangerous

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BasiliskPhoto
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Rich Rosen, 2 months ago

My curveball set is here. What I actually have and use rather than my dream set. It has the advantage that I bought the lot for less than £500, they are all great lenses and they fit in my coat pockets. They are all a bit worn, so I protect the glass but otherwise they can take fairly rough handling.

Nikkor 28mm f2 AI - wide but non distorting, fast enough for some bokeh, good close focus

Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI - super fast, and useable at f1.2

Nikkor 105 f2.5 AIS - all time classic portrait lens, add some tubes for good close up use.

Maybe classic Zeiss primes would be better and not much more more bulky, but a lot more expensive.

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JP Scherrer
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

For me, the 14-24 f/2.8, the 24-120 f/4 (which I use 80 % of the time) and the 300 f/2.8 VR II for wild-life !

J-P.

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PSCL1
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

28 f1.8, 60 2.8 Micro, 135 f2

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axcentphoto
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Rich Rosen, 2 months ago

+1....Brent

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inasir1971
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

24/1.4G, 35/1.4G, and 85/1.4G

or maybe the 58/1.4G in place of the 35...

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heulwen
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

This is surprisingly hard. But, for my personal use only, it would be these lenses:
* 24-120/4
* 58/1.4G
* 135/2 (preferably a new version)
I don't own any of these at the moment, but have to compromise between personal needs and the needs of events/weddings etc.

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Art Jacks
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

This is my choice based on what I regularly take photographs of, 35 1.4G,  58 1.4G and 85 1.4G, I arrived at this choice after many years of owning more lens of all focal lengths that I eventually found out that I had no need for ! I am fortunate that I already own the three lens of my choice

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Rick L
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

Nikkor 105mm/f2.5Ais

Nikkor 45mm/f2.8P

Voigtlander 20mm/f3.5

My overwhelming uses are travel and hiking, and this compact set renders amazingly beautiful pictures.  The fact that they aren't the fastest or sharpest in their classes is outweighed by their size/weight and wonderful character.  There are simply no lenses that can replace what these three provide for my needs.

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Felts
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

OK here goes...

18mm 2.8D - Small, light, sharp and W-I-D-E... I could just about live with just this lens (for my fine art work).

85mm 1.4G - I have the 1.8G and it is fantastic, but if they are giving it away...

Probably the 58mm 1.4G - never shot with it, but that bokeh is enough to make me dribble from multiple orifices!

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chuhsi
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to inasir1971, 2 months ago

inasir1971 wrote:

24/1.4G, 35/1.4G, and 85/1.4G

or maybe the 58/1.4G in place of the 35...

Same here.

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Muls
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to chuhsi, 2 months ago

The 2.8 trinity  anytime .

cheers

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coronawithlime
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17-35 f2.8, 28-70 f2.8, 70-200 f4
In reply to Rick L, 2 months ago

Nikon 17-35 f2.8

Nikon 28-70 f2.8 (assuming the focus motor doesn't go TU)

(been using these 2 for the last decade, so one more will probably be OK also )

Nikon 70-200 f4 VR (or 80-200 f2.8, I'm kinda on the fence about whether I'd rather have light weight and VR or heavy duty build quality and f2.8  Since I'm not paying, I could probably live with the heavy 70-200 f2.8 VRII.

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Carsten Pauer 2
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

I'm curious about Nikon FX lenses used as a system, so I'd like to pose this thought experiment.

Bad Experiment.

If you could pick any three lenses for a Nikon FX camera, and they would be given to you for free, but those would be the ONLY three lenses you would be allowed to use for the next decade, which three lenses would you choose?

That is to limited, but OK when i'm forced to use only 3 Nikon Lenses on a Nikon D800S Camera.

  • 24mm F/1.4G.
  • 85mm F/1.4G.
  • 200mm F/2G.

It wouldn't matter which lenses you already owned, because they would all be confiscated, and you couldn't turn down the deal.

D'oh!

All you could do was choose which three lenses you would use exclusively for the next decade.

10 Years ?

just choose what YOU would want for your own needs if you could only have three lenses but they could be any three regardless of price.

I want other Lenses...

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Rexgig0
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My three: 18/2.8 AF-D, 50/1.2 AI-S, 90mm AI-P equivalent
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

Based upon lenses with with I have experience, which means lenses I currently own, the Nikkor 18mm 2.8D and 50mm 1.2 AI-S, plus the Voigtlander 90mm 3.5 SL II. I would miss the advantages of AF at 50mm and 90mm, but could survive the decade. I would sorely miss the 28mm to 35mm range, but my 50mm 1.2 AI-S is a favorite, and I am currently wanting to shoot ultra-wide. The 90/3.5 would have to suffice for macro and short telephoto.

In theory, I would prefer the Zeiss 21mm at the wide end, but not having hands-on experience, yet, it would be better to stay with my familiar ultra-wide. Even if its images were wonderful, its weight might limit its practical utility. My body is starting to feel its age, especially in my right shoulder, wrist, and hand, so a heavy lens might not be the best travel companion for the next decade. ( I recall Felts' narrative regarding the weight of the Zeiss 21/2.8 ZF.2. )

If I were to choose an unfamiliar wide, based solely upon reputation, I reckon it would be the Nikkor 28mm 2.8 AI-S. If the scenario had, instead, been for a lifetime, rather, than a decade, I might well choose the 28mm 2.8 AI-S for the wide end.

So, my final answer, for one decade of shooting, is Nikkor 18mm 2.8D, Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, and Voigtlander 90mm 3.5 SL II.

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Felts
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Re: My three: 18/2.8 AF-D, 50/1.2 AI-S, 90mm AI-P equivalent
In reply to Rexgig0, 2 months ago

Ha, we seem to be treading down a similar path...

I too have recently picked up the 50mm 1.2 AIS! We seem to have a taste for the exotic glass 

Thanks for the mention regarding the 21mm Zeiss. It is a fabulous optic but I was just being a wet lettuce about its weight!! Still it was enough for me to sell it. It's build quality would certainly hold up over the decade... 

Size/weight is also the reason that I have no interest in the 'trinity' lenses... that and they are zooms 

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Selander
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Re: Any three lenses (but only three)
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

This is actually more difficult than I thought... I really like my current three lens combo, the 28/1,8G, 60/2,8G and 85/1,8G, but since money isn't an issue I guess I'd have to choose some other lenses. I want to cover WA, portrait and macro. Three reason for sticking with the 28 is because it slots in nicely between the 24 and 35.

I'd take the 28/1,8, 85/1,4 and Sigma 150 macro.

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Osvaldo Cristo
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Nikkor 24-120 f/4, Nikkor 16 f/2.8 fisheye, Nikkor 60 f/2.8 Micro
In reply to Tuanglen, 2 months ago

Tuanglen wrote:

I'm curious about Nikon FX lenses used as a system, so I'd like to pose this thought experiment. If you could pick any three lenses for a Nikon FX camera, and they would be given to you for free, but those would be the ONLY three lenses you would be allowed to use for the next decade, which three lenses would you choose? It wouldn't matter which lenses you already owned, because they would all be confiscated, and you couldn't turn down the deal. All you could do was choose which three lenses you would use exclusively for the next decade. Money would be no object because, as I said, they would be given to you for free and replaced for free if ever damaged. (If you wanted a free Nikon FX camera, you could have whichever you wanted and upgrade whenever you wished, so the lens choice would presumably need to be made with some thought of the future in mind.)

I'm not asking for you to speculate about the theoretical needs of some imaginary person; just choose what YOU would want for your own needs if you could only have three lenses but they could be any three regardless of price.

Again, this is just for the purpose of learning what others have discovered in their own, varied experiences about what their priorities and strategies would be with a carefully chosen SET of lenses, restricted in number but not in price. Most of us can't afford to buy every lens that sounds interesting, but some of us might be able to eventually save up for almost any set of three or so.

It is difficult to choose only three... anyway I would go towards Nikkor 24-120 f/4, Nikkor 16 f/2.8 fisheye, Nikkor 60 f/2.8 Micro - small, light weight and fun set for FX format.

All the best,

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