Need Lens Help!

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
johnchap2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,364
Re: Need Lens Help!

A-Craig4 wrote:

Hello all,

I am an amateur photographer who recently rediscovered my passion for photography. I am currently shooting on a Nikon D5100 DSLR and have three lenses that I utilize;

1. AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

2. AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor ED 55-200mm F4-5.6G

3. Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens with Built In Motor

Due to the hassle of switching between all of these lenses for various shots while hiking/riding a bike, I am looking to reinvent my repertoire of lenses. I have been looking at the Nikon 18-300mm VR lens as well as the Tamron 18-400mm VC lens. Additionally, I am also open to the possibility of having two lenses; a 18-200mm and a 200-500mm. I primarily use my camera at places such as parks where I take wide-angled shots of a pond and zoomed-in/macro shots of birds, ducks, and plants. I also take it with me on vacation and walking around downtown taking scenic shots and well as zooming in on various buildings or artistic creations. To help you all, the only post-processing I do on my photos is adjust the sharpness, saturation, and exposure.

I did research the all-in-one lenses and am aware of the tradeoffs such as vignetting and warping. Like I said I am by no means a pro but I do want quality images that I can frame, share, etc. If you do want to see some of my images for a reference, you can check them out at

Any help/recommendations is highly valued and hopefully you have an idea of what lens repertoire would be right for me!

My thinking re lens choices is similar to yours.  However....  For serious shooting I shoot with two bodies.  On one I mount a sigma 12-24mm FX lens and on the other generally a Nikon 28-300FX.  A heavy combo, but I do not want to risk changing lenses (dropping lens, dirt on sensor, etc).  I actually find that with a two camera rig is rather easy to carry since the two bodies sort of balance themselves.  Doesn't feel much heavier than one body.  Odd walk in the park I take one body with Nikon 28-300.

Hence, at least consider adding a used DX body.  This will cut down on having to change lenses.  The other thing is that your 18-55 is not wide enough to give you the framing options that you sound like you need.  There are a number of super wide zoom DX options that you should at least consider, with the wide end about 10mm.

Most of the gear I buy is used off ebay from highly rated sellers.  A whole lot easier and cheaper to experiment at used prices.

Finally, I bought new the original Nikon 18=300DX.  The purists tend to despise these wide ratio lenses, but I found the lens to be a decent/respectable performer.  Bought it about 10 years ago, and still occasionally use it on my D800 body -- basically gives me 28-450 DX equivalent.

I will add at this point that I tend to recommend to people considering another body  to look at a used D800.  Has 36MP resolution which means that DX lenses will still produce near 15MP images.  This strategy can sort of hedge your bet in case at some point you want to migrate to FX.

Perhaps ten years or so ago I owned a Tamron 18-270DX lens.  Optically it was better than OK, but one day in Dubrovnik it self destructed in my hands.  Although I still own a tamron lens or two, I would never buy another one.

 johnchap2's gear list:johnchap2's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR +18 more
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