Newbie Nikon Lens Suggestions

Started Jun 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP MyWebGuy New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Newbie Nikon Lens Suggestions

PSCL1 You can get that lens new  for a lot less than $589 if you troll around. However, if you are planning to shoot mostly at 300, I'd contemplate the 300 f4 Nikon prime, perhaps with the Nikon 1.4 converter.   You've already got 55-200 covered.

Yes, the referenced lens is $200 off this week through Nikon at Best Buy. I won't be shooting primarily @ 300 but do need the extra range for some shots.

A. Westreich The 70-300 might be "good enough" but as noted above the 300 f4 would be much better.  My experience is that the 70-300 just doesn't focus as fast or as surely as the 300 f4.  And at the speeds that you'll need to shoot to capture fast moving boats and water sprays, you are going to need to turn off the VR anyway.

There won't be any spray and the 3004f is a bit out of my price range.

RRowlett The 70-300 VR is just outstanding for the price. Lots of reach on a DX body. Out of doors you should be able to get good shutter speeds by cranking up the ISO a little, with good image quality. ISO 800 should be very good on the current crop of 24 Mpixel Nikon sesors. Even higher may still be OK. The VR may help with your unstable shooting platform (or not, but you have it available.) VR won't neutralize subject motion, just shooter motion. To do better with image quality, you have to spend a LOT more.

Thanks for the feedback on the specific lens, it's very appreciated! Sounds like it may be the ticket until my skills, and or budget, improve and can spend a lot more.

The 70-300vr is a good choice.   It's always been a good lens, and a very good lens for the money. For the type of shooting you're doing (from a boat), you're going to want a lens with VR.   You could make a case for the 300f4, but while it's a really nice piece of glass, it may not have the flexibility you need, and it's a lot more money.The 3200 will be fine.  Great sensor, limited body, but it will work with the 70-300vr just fine.

Thank you, the longer this goes the more it seems like a good start.

Chad Gladstone Are you zoomed out to 200mm and need more reach? Yes, for some shots.

  • how large you plan on magnifying the image, and what f/stop you are planning on using or need to isolate your subject. At least 16x20 and I can't spell FStop so your suggestions would be welcome/appreciated.
  • This is not to say you shouldn't get it, but with the 55-200mm range already covered, you only really advantaged by getting a lens to cover the 300mm FL (while giving up the useful 55-70 range on DX). - I'm a total newb, things will be happening quickly and we're on salt water so I'd prefer not to be switching lenses if at all possible.
  • Best of luck in your never ending quest to dominate your FL range. - Just looking to get my feet wet so to speak but thank you for the good wishes.

87350iroc I have printed my old 6mp D40 at 20x30 and 24x36 many times.  Your 14mp will be just fine for 16x20's. Another reason to hold off on the body upgrade and save for a better body, like the d7000.

I was told in the newbie forum that with the cropping necessary on many images that I'd get better results with higher mega pixels and it does make sense mathematically. I couldn't agree more on the better body but need to spend time learning with tools that will get the job done and the D700 is only 16 MP. (I know... mega pixels shouldn't matter that much to someone who knew what they were doing)

Frank  I agree with 8735. I recently rented a 70-300vr. It was usuable at f/11  . Not at f/5.6 You dont need 24mp to do a 16X20. I had rather have a sharp 200mm and crop than a fuzzy 300mm. my 2 cents.

Thank you and I think you're probably almost right... YOU, or most, may not need 24 MP to get a quality 16 x 20 but it sounds like I might... at least until my skills improve.

ralphcramdon YES and you can save hundreds on a used one since you will probably sell it someday for an ever better one....check and I second the advice on keeping the d3100, for now anyway....

Thanks for the feedback and you're probably right as well... see above.

Chuck Yadmark the megapixels is exactly the very last thing in a long list of things that will improve your photos for your use case. I've been a pro/freelancer for the whole digital era, and learned through experience what does it. I have printed really good 16x20s with the 3mp of the original D1, the 4 of the D2H, and certainly 12 of the D300 and D700. You are going to be very disappointed in the difference between the 3100 and the 3200/5200 for your use case. The 24mp will out-resolve the non-"pro" lenses in your situation. If I were you, and speaking not from theory but from experience, I would find myself a used D300, or  D7000, or save up for a D7100, and/or get a used 70-200 AFS VR1

Thank you for your thoughts but this may allow me to do what I need to do now, while I learn a few of the things that most of you have forgotten or take for granted. My guess is that I'll move forward with the package noted, maybe find the lens needs to be upgraded but at this point I'll only be out around 1K. I think when I get to the point that I recognize this that I'll have some very good pictures (perhaps not great) and will be the first to admit that you told me so.

Windancer I would tend to agree with you, I have an old 16 x 20 print of the following .subject hanging on my wall that was taken with an old 6mp D100. It is very sharp and you would think it was taken with a higher mega pixel camera. It was taken with a better quality lens in very good light, good photographic technique was used  (ie. proper exposure, bracing myself when I made the exposure). Personally I would put my hard earned cash into better glass, just my opinion though.....

Again... you are probably right and have the benefit of experience, it wasn't moving and you could control all of the variables. I can control a few but will need to be cropping... and don't have the experience.

nlawbiker Yep get the 70-300 VR.  It's not very sharp wide open at above 250mm but in good light you'll be able to stop it down, and it will be great.  The "active" mode VR is meant for taking shots of moving things from moving things.  Another alternative is the Tamron 70-300 VC which is next on my list I think.

Thanks, we'll be in good light and I'll learn about "stopping it down". It looks like Tamron 70-300 VC could fit in the budget.. if it's significantly better than the NIkon I'd appreciate confirmation.

Chuck Yadmark Forgot to add that the 70-300 AFS VR is a fine lens and will help your shot, even if a D3200 does not.

Thanks again Chuck!

Summary, WOW! Thank you all for the great feedback and I think that you are all right. If I had the liberty to wait, improve skills, focus on the glass I definitely would. As it is, and I aim to get going I think I will move forward with the d3200 and the VR lens unless the Tamron VC is significantly better.

If I can get a few of you to take a shot at that, without pushing my luck too far I'd really appreciate it! Is the Tamron VC significantly better than the Nikon VR?

Either way, thanks to everyone for your thoughtful replies!

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