Picking lenses for landscape photography with the D500? Talk sense into me...

Started Dec 24, 2017 | Questions thread
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Northrunner New Member • Posts: 10
Picking lenses for landscape photography with the D500? Talk sense into me...

First post from a longtime reader. Let me know if I mess this up.

In brief: I have a D500, which might not the first pick for shooting landscapes, but it's the tool I have! I'm going to be shooting in Iceland in a few months, and I'm seeking an appropriate lens or lenses for the kinds of landscapes you might expect there.

I can't say I'm a professional—I’m not making a living from photography. But I am taking assignments and selling prints, and I want something that will serve me well on, sadly, a tight budget: $1000-$1800.

Is a good lens for this camera out of reach on this budget? Talk sense into me!

Background: I initially purchased an AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G VR, but a trip through some amazing U.S. national parks revealed to me that the lens wasn't quite up to the task. I tend to shoot long to capture geography, shoot multiple shots to stitch panoramas, and stack shots to capture interesting foregrounds. No matter what I do with this lens, though, shots are always soft, with distortion at some focal lengths that makes roughly a 1/3 of some images unusable. I feel dumb, but I now understand why this lens might have been a less than ideal choice.

So here I am. I've looked at a load of lenses, mostly Sigma (18-35mm F1.8, 70-200mm f/2.8) and Nikkor (18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G, 70-300 f/4.5-5.6)...and honestly, I feel like I'm probably missing the boat. Definitely overwhelmed and looking for advice and wisdom.

Do I blow my budget on one good long lens? (I tend to shoot long for landscapes.) Or do I try to get a wide lens, too? I'm having a hard time prioritizing for fear of hobbling myself.

Thanks for reading, and cheers.

ANSWER:
Nikon D500
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