My DX Dream Team, and maybe yours?

Started Nov 12, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Knoxy New Member • Posts: 11
My DX Dream Team, and maybe yours?

I think I found the DX dream team.

I recently bought the 35mm f/1.8 DX lens for my D90 and I am absolutely blown away by the beautiful bokeh, the ability to isolate objects, and the low light performance.

When I bought the d90 I went with the two kit lenses 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 and 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 To be blunt, they overlap a perfectly and they both have an impressive range on a DX body.

The 18-105mm serves as a great landscape and hiking lens, as I would stop the lens down to have more in focus (ergo I don't need a fast 2.8 or faster prime) and the zoom means I can stay on the trail instead of zooming with my feet.

The 70-300mm has been a killer wildlife lens. I've gotten crisp, intimate shots of Grizzly Bears, Bald Eagles, Seal Pups, and anything else I point the lens at. The higher f-stop hasn't proven to be much of a disadvantage in the field. I think the weight, range, vr, and price definitely compensate.

The only part of this set where I've seen a "need" is in a longer low light lens. At the zoo, or in areas where it is forced to be darker at all hours of the day the 35mm gets sharp, bright images, but they aren't framed tight. After using a 1.8 aperture lens in these situations I can't imagine giving up those stops even for the versatility of a 70-200 f/2.8. So that leaves me in need of a longer prime...

So I took a look at the effective length of the primes on DX, disregarding any lenses with apertures smaller than 2.0 (in size, not value):

  • 35mm ~ 52mm: 1.8

  • 50mm ~ 75mm: 1.8, 1.4

  • 85mm ~ 127mm: 1.8, 1.4

  • 105mm ~ 157mm: 2 there are also 2 micro lenses at f/2.8, which would be an interesting option

  • 200mm ~ 300mm: 2

The 50 just doesn't offer enough of a change from the 35, even though it is peanuts for the 1.8d, it is out of the running. I believe the 200 would be too far of a push, though this would probably be very fun for sports. I haven't read about a single pro shooting sports events with anything lower than a 2.8. This leaves you with the 85 and the 105. I just saw the 85 f/1.8 go on ebay for $250, which sounds much more reasonable than the $1900 f/2 105mm ( or the f/2.8 micro $1000-$775 for that matter, but if you found it for a reasonable price macro work could really open up for you. Reproduction values of 1:1 or 1:2 depending which version. ).

So I think that rounds it out at the 85mm 1.8. Best of all I think the price for this bad boy is dropping because the new 1.4 that came out recently.

So what are your thoughts? Could this be your DX Dream Team?

  • 35mm f/1.8 MinFDist: .98ft, 7 oz, Reproduction Ratio: .16x, $200

  • 85mm f/1.8 MinFDist: 2.8ft, 13.4 oz, Reproduction Ratio: .11x, $250-430

  • 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 MinFDist: 1.48ft, 14.8 oz, Reproduction Ratio: .2x, $400

  • 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 MinFDist: 4.9ft, 26.3 oz, Reproduction Ratio: .25x, $590

  • Total: Coverage 18-300mm (ef. 27-450mm), weight: 61.5 oz (3.8 lbs), cost: ~$1540

for reference the FX dream team is: Coverage 14-200mm @ 2.8, weight: 120.2 oz (7.5 lbs), cost: ~$5,660

This meets all of my shooting requirements; weight ( if I can't bring it with me I can't use it ), price, range, and speed with minimal overlapping. If you found this doesn't meet all of your needs then what lenses couldn't you leave out of this group? And why? What do you shoot that this wouldn't meet? I am curious to hear your point of view!

To view more of my photos with these lenses my flickr portfolio is here:

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