Why can’t lens choice be straightforward?

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Questions thread
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,360
Re: Why can’t lens choice be straightforward?

tighernan wrote:

Here is something will the 1.5 crop censor make any difference when choosing a lens?

Yes, in several areas.   First, wide angle.   You can make a significantly smaller lens to cover DX at wide angle, which makes them significantly cheaper as well as lighter.   You probably want a 10-xx DX lens instead of the monster 14-24 F2.8 (which is extremely wide on FX, but not so much on DX).

Second, corners.  Putting FX lenses on DX cameras means you are only capturing light coming through the central portion of the lens.   Tends to mean corners are sharper on DX than FX for the same (FX) lens.

But overall, it's the angle of view that looks different, and other than wide angle cost/size has the biggest effect for DX users on how a lens 'performs'.    Using a 35mm lens on FX gives you that slightly wide look.  Using it on DX gives you that normal look.

Some lenses tend to work well on both formats, and some don't.   And others just work differently.   My 24-70 on a D300 was nice for portraits and group portraits, but was often not wide enough for general use.  I had to have a wider lens with me (12-24dx for me).   On a D700, it was great as a normal zoom, but it was suddenly short for portraits.   My 85mm lens tended to work fine on both as did my 105 macro.   But my 80-200, which had been fine on my film cameras, was too long on the wide end on DX.  It was also too short on the long end for wildlife, so it tended not to get used much.   When I got a D700, I liked the 80-200 again.

What's a good choice of lenses if you had to pick 4 for the D7100. One wide angle lens. One mid range lens. One zoom lens out to lets say 200mm and a macro lens.

Because of the very high pixel density of the D7100, I'd want very good lenses to go with.  That for me rules out most of the AF/AF-D era lenses as the new G lenses are noticeably better, especially wide open.

I would go with 35F1.8 (DX), 85F1.8g, 70-200 (F2.8 or F4 depending on your budget and mood to carry weight) and a macro of either 105 or 150mm.   Can't go too wrong on macros though, as long as you have enough working distance for your use.   There are lots of good choices.

Now if one of these choices were to be able to double up as a macro lens that would be great if would save having an extra lens in the bag.

Macro lenses should be slow to focus.  Used for macro, they are generally used with manual focus and a long focus throw makes them easier to focus precisely.

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