Thom on D800 lens choice

Started May 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
SNRatio Regular Member • Posts: 476
Re: Boat sails. Thom on dock. And Venice still lovely, though quite unexperienced

venice wrote:

SNRatio wrote:

And while most el cheapo lenses could be made to look quite good on the D700, their flaws are exposed in an entirely different way on the D800. Compared to D700/D3 they may still look very nice on D800 (just downsample to 12MP..), but you don't get a D800 for doing D700 comparisons, do you?

Well, plenty of people might use get a D800 to step up from their D700 but don't need the maximum resolution most of the time.

For those people, who I would say constitute about 90% of all D800 users, if not more, lenses like the 28-300 make excellent sense.

I surely won't need the max resolution most of the time - I don't even do that with my D700. And none of us say that the 28-300 doesn't make sense at all, what we underline, is that it doesn't make much sense to buy the D800 and then only use the 28-300. The easiest and cheapest way to get more out of the camera, is to fill in with relatively inexpensive primes. With the AF-S 50/1.8G or the AF-S 60/2.8 micro, the AF 85/1.8D and the AF 35/2D in addition to the superzoom, you have an inexpensive series giving quite good total coverage - the main weakness will be low light shooting. (And you are going to be very disappointed with the 35/2 sometimes, when you need off-center performance in the f/2-f/4 range.)

I will probably not go for such a combination myself. Why? Well,, I have got quite a bit experience with the 18-200, both versions. On the D1H it looked just about perfect, on the D50/D40 it was very good, but on the D300 weaknesses were exposed. It became a moot point that pictures with it did in fact look better on the D300 than the D50/D40 - I had to fall back on primes so often that I ended up almost exclusively using the 16-85 - which the primes had a far harder time to beat. And for the question whether the 18-200 on the D300 looked much better than the 16-85 on the D40 - never looked much into it, but don't think it did. The 18-200 is very nice for low-hanging fruit, but mostly that.

The adequate allround combo for me with the D300 was the 16-85 + 70-300, and my primes got rather little general use. With more pixels, cropping in the tele end became a much more viable option, so for example, in choosing between the 18-200 and the Sigma 50-150 on the D300 in situations where I might occasionally need 200mm, the choice was obvious. Still I find the 18-200 a damned useful tool on DX - its use has just got so much more specialized with time. Something like a 20-200 FX could be much more interesting, for me than the 28-300, in particular if it is good from 24-35mm where lots of my use is.

I hope, both for Nikon and the D800 buyers' sake, that you are wrong about the 90+ percent estimate for the 28-300 audience. Most of those people will be way better served by the upcoming D600. Using superzooms can be quite smart, trying to gloss over their deficiencies isn't smart at all. Superzooms may be very handy universal tools for beginners, and those who prefer to stay at that level may have found a companion for their life.

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