Older cheaper lenses for D800/D600

Started Oct 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Astrophotographer 10 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,596
Older cheaper lenses for D800/D600

I thought I'd share my experience so far with Nikon lenses for my D800E.

I started with 14-24mm F2.8EDg mainly for nightscapes as I knew this was a gem of a lens from Nikon. It has proven to be spectacular for this purpose and perhaps the absolute lens available from anyone for that use.

I also got 24-70 F2.8G for general use and I have found that to be a beautiful lens. I use it a lot and its very versatile. It also does beautiful rendering and I like it at 24mm for panorama landscape shots and it works well for that. Its a tad heavy though and very expensive.

I got the 85mm F1.8g and its a mixed bag. It is very sharp, but I sometimes get harsh looking images for portraits in some lights and also some nasty chromatic aberration on further away objects. Overall though its a great lens but not without flaws.

I had 50mm F1.8D and this is quite good. You have to click the little red button down once the aperture ring is set to F22 I think it is or perhaps F16. Otherwise you get an ERR message and AF stops working.

So I got the 50mm F1.8G. Wow, much better than the 50mm F1.8D, super fast AF, a nice lens hood, super sharp, cheap. Whats not to love about it.

I then balked at 70-200 F2.8 VR11 over cost and weight. I may still get one at some point as I like F2.8. So I researched.

I got a 2nd hand Nikon 55mm F2.8 micro on a post saying it was one of Nikons sharpest ever lenses. I noticed CA on landscape shots but where this lens is fabulous is for close up portraits. It is super sharp and no CA in that situation.  This lens has turned out to be a gem and under $100 makes it a super bargain. Manul focus though.

I then read more reviews and picked up the Nikor 105mm 2.5 AIS. Again about $100. Bokeh is beautiful and straight away I loved this lens. No wonder it is considered a classic portrait lens. Manual focus though.

I then got a 70-210mm F4 zoom. It was supposed to be the D model but was mislabelled on Ebay and its the AF model. It seems very good and again was under $200. This has autofocus. AF seemed a bit off on certain shots so I checked with Live View this morning and it was more accurate than I thought. So its a bit softer than the primes or the 24-70 etc but still a great buy. I probably will send it back and get the D model which Ken Rockwell states has a very fast AF.

I have a Pentax 67 165mm F.28 lens and a Nikon adapter. Again manual focus but what fantastic bokeh this lens can produce. I did a whole afternoon using this lens and loved the results. A tad soft perhaps but a wonderful look. This lens was around $250. Perhaps less, it was a while ago.

I have a 180mm F2.8 ED on the way and expect that to be like the Pentax except sharper and a tad longer. I have had one of these lenses in the past for astrophotography and it was high quality and well known in astrophotography as a good lens to use. This is AF and about $450.

So my point is you don't have to spend a sqazillion on lenses to get good results. A lot of these older Nikons represent fantastic value and are a very good reason to use Nikon.


 Astrophotographer 10's gear list:Astrophotographer 10's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R II Fujifilm X-T2 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8R LM WR +7 more
Nikon D800 Nikon D800E
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