Nikon D3200 lens / kit question

Started Jun 30, 2013 | Questions
Gayle84 New Member • Posts: 9
Nikon D3200 lens / kit question

So I've finally made the decision to step into the slr world and will be buying a Nikon D3200.

So now the question make the best of the camera (once I get to a skill level where it might matter down the track of course) which lens is my best option?

1. Buy the twin lens kit with 18-55mm f3.5/5.6 and 55-300mm f4.5/5.6

2. Buy the body only and invest in a Tamaron 17-270mm F3.5/6.3

3. Buy the kit with body and Tamaron 17-200mm F3.5/6.3

Or does any one have a better suggestion? I'd like to have a range in the lens so I can try out a range of different photography. At this stage I've no idea what I will favour, the world is my oyster!


Nikon D3200
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jquagga Contributing Member • Posts: 616
Re: Nikon D3200 lens / kit question

I think it's generally considered that having a kit & telephoto (ie, the 18-55 and 55-300) offers better performance than a superzoom (either of those tamron's) however you do have to switch lenses back and forth.

Often times, Nikon offers a rebate on buying a lens with a body.  My 55-200 which I bought with my D5100 and 18-55 cost me $87.  At that price it was a steal and actually while the 18-55 was sidelined by a Sigma 17-70 the 55-200 is still in my bag.  I want a 70-200 f/4 to replace it but that would require $1K and a new camera bag so ... :).

I don't think you can go wrong with either, but I'd consider if there are any rebates and see what the best deal is.  You can always change/add lenses later if the starter package isn't perfect for you.

Nexu1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,743
Re: Nikon D3200 lens / kit question

I don't have much experience with those Tamron lenses so I'm limited in my ability to comment on them but I can say that whenever you're looking at the super zooms that cover the largest focal range, inevitably there are some compromises in IQ. Now don't get me wrong, some people love the 18-200 type lenses and virtually never take them off their body. I think a huge part of it is convenience, some folks don't want to be bothered with carrying 2-3 lenses and switching them.

IQ wise, there probably isn't a huge difference between the 3 options. I have option 1 and I believe it's a great setup to learn on.

I think, more importantly than picking one of these 3 options (either will work just fine), you need to buy a 35mm f1.8 prime lens:  It's cheap, the IQ is a big improvement, and the lens is fast, and you'll learn to "zoom with your feet" - so to speak.

A prime lens like this one (or the 50mm f1.8g) will give you the ability to do some things that you've likely never done before: 1) shoot indoors with relatively low light without a flash (you'll probably have a "wow" moment because the pictures will look drastically different than what you're use to seeing with a flash (usually harsh) lighting someone up) and 2) shallow depth of field- the f1.8 can really make the background blurry if you want it to. The 35mm isn't a true portrait type lens but you can still get that effect- and it can create "wow" type images.

My recommendation would be to go 18-55, 55-200 and 35mm f1.8g. You'll have a LOT of room to grow with that 3 lens setup.

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OP Gayle84 New Member • Posts: 9
Re: Nikon D3200 lens / kit question

Awesome, thank you so much! Will do the twin lens starter kit and look at getting the 35mm lens as well

Can't wait to get started!!

Richy6771 Contributing Member • Posts: 726
Re: Nikon D3200 lens / kit question

I think Nexu1 gave you excellent spot on advice. I too have the D3200 which I bought with the 18-55 kit lens new and I later purchased a 55-200 lens used. I am an experienced photographer of 40+ years. I have had several film SLRs  and many P&S digitals. I also purchased recently a used D300 which is a pro style body very ruggedly built and sealed against the elements.

Good luck with your photography and welcome to the forum. There are a lot of knowledgable people here.

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JDintheD New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Nikon D3200 lens / kit question

Thanks for asking the exact same question that I had. Very helpful to get a basic list of lenses to put on the list. Can anyone confirm that older Nikon lenses will work with the D3200 body, but without autofocus? I might try ot pick some of those up cheaply to at least get some range in my lense collection.

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