What would be a good basic lens collection?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 16,597
Re: What would be a good basic lens collection?

GreenMountainGirl wrote:

Hi Leonard!  I looked at the 10-24mm on B&H, and it sounds like a very decent lens from reading the specs.  I really would like to have a wide angle lens, and the IF is also something to like.  (Neither of my current lenses are IF.)  Thank you for recommending it.

The lens is really good. It takes some getting used to because it is...wide. My biggest problem with it is getting too much in and then I have to crop. Not very smart at all. But I would expect a reasonable person to figure this out and only go as wide as needed. The 10-24 does a great job on postcard shots:

Sedona postcard

I have been thinking about possibly acquiring a 35mm f/1.8G, mostly because of it's wide aperture.  The only time I have been using flash is for fill, so I thought it might be handy.  Eventually I should get a good flash unit and learn more about using it, but for now I still have much to learn about what I already have.  Won't the 35mm be good for portraits?  I have seen different opinions on what is best to use with the cropped sensor camera.

I have a 35 f/1.8G and its main benefit is that it's small. So I use it a lot indoors with flash. Anytime you use a fast lens indoors without flash, you're stuck with bad lighting and no depth of field. It's just a hassle unless you really need to catch the atmosphere:

San Jose soul, 50mm lens on DX

The 35mm f/1.8 is a terrible portrait lens, at least for adults. It's not bad with small-nosed children, but we don't have any of those in my family. A 35mm is sort of short for portraits and the 35G has a lot of distortion. Some people like a 50mm for portraits on DX. Some people like 85mm. I like 105mm.

The 105mm micro sounds like it will be fine for me to start doing macro shots.  Doing this on a tripod, the VR won't be an issue.  But I was wondering what you think about its usefulness for other types of photography.  I have heard that macro lenses can take excellent pictures outside of that specialized area.

The 105 micro seems to be a very useful lens for things other than macro. It's a good portrait lens (and the stabilization is good at long distances) and is a reasonable telephoto. In the old days, macro lenses tended to lose sharpness at long distances but now they're bleeding sharp from here to infinity.

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Leonard Migliore

 Leonard Migliore's gear list:Leonard Migliore's gear list
Canon PowerShot G12 Sony RX100 III Nikon D300 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +12 more
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