Lenses that make you go WOW

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
Aston Senna Junior Member • Posts: 49
Lenses that make you go WOW
1

Thought this would be interesting. Instead of asking about a comparison of lenses or thoughts on a lens, let me ask you all this.

What are the lenses (any lens, full frame or dx/crop) that on your DX body just make you go "wow."

For me, I tried the newest 70-200E 2.8 at the store and a shot in the dark of the store was just a wow moment, zoomed at 200 and at 2.8 ISO 1000 on my D7500, couldn't believe the quality.

Another was the 85 1.8G on my d7500. I thought it'd be sharper to be hoenst, but while still very very sharp, it's my first 1.8 lens longer than a 50 and the bokeh and subject isolation just wowed me. Love the color and rendering, too.

Thought this could be interesting way to create a list of peoples' favorite lenses ever on their DX bodies.

 Aston Senna's gear list:Aston Senna's gear list
Nikon D7500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF-P 70-300mm F4.5-6.3G VR Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF +3 more
Nikon D7500
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Jocksa
Jocksa Contributing Member • Posts: 985
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW
2

My oldest lens - AF 105 f/2.8D Micro. Brilliant as a light telephoto prime, portrait lens, and of course macro.

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“Stand in front of something more interesting.”

 Jocksa's gear list:Jocksa's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm F2.8-4E ED VR +5 more
Frank Nichols
Frank Nichols Senior Member • Posts: 1,901
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW
1

I just recently started shooting Nikon, and so I don't know yet for Nikon, but for Canon, for years my two favorites were the 70-200/2.8E and the 24-70/2.8E. The 70-200 was good and reliable, but the 24-70 was magical.

-- hide signature --

Photographers compose by limiting items in the image.
Painters compose by adding things to the image.

 Frank Nichols's gear list:Frank Nichols's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon D7500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 VR +5 more
Holmes375
Holmes375 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,491
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW
3

While there are a number of current optics that give me the 'wow' factor, I find myself thinking back to the NIKKOR 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED. That was my first fast tele-lens and I dearly loved the files it gave me. It certainly had it faults but it had a good bit o' magic, too.

-- hide signature --

Pleasant trails to ya.
~Holmes
WSSA member #103

 Holmes375's gear list:Holmes375's gear list
Sony RX10 IV Sony RX100 VI Nikon Coolpix P950 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 Panasonic ZS200 +3 more
8675309 Regular Member • Posts: 213
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW

Having played with a few ( very few ) lenses and looking at other images and asking a lot of questions ( thanks to the fantastic folks on this site ) I am convinced that the kit-lens set that comes with cameras are 'ok' at best... however I'm also convinced that the 55-200 kit lens that came with my camera is pretty daum sharp for what it is.

That being said I just stepped off the cliff and ordered up a Tokina 11-16 2.8 and hope to get some real clean shots with it... living off of so-so-security means less money to play with but I think I'll go on a new-lens-every-3-to-6-months diet.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CD4Sfp9BMeL/

bookz Regular Member • Posts: 264
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW

Great idea for a thread. I feel like with all the modern Nikon lenses we're pretty spoiled. I don't think I've shot with a real dud. I haven't been wowed in a while, but I want to be!

I remember when I first got my camera I inherited an old 50mm AF that was manual focus on my d3400, I shot it at wide aperture and liked the subject isolation (not much was in focus due to my skill at the time) Optically I think the 85mm f1.8G is my nicest lens.  It's probably sharper than the 40mm G and 105 AF-D macros. One of my first outings with it was in low light on Halloween and I got some keepers of my son in costume that impressed me a lot - couldn't have done that with any of my other lenses.

The first time I used a macro was a wow because of all the details they reveal (faceted eyes, hair, pollen and eggs on insects) The 40mm G has been a fun lens. The 105mm AF-D is even sharper, better for insects and I was impressed by its sun stars stopped down which are very nice compared to my rounded aperture lenses. Now that I have some other lenses included a couple screw drives I'm impressed with the nearly silent, lightning quick focus of my kit 18-55 AF-P. That is one of the things I'm looking forward to with mirror less if I ever upgrade, AF-P focus technology in all the lenses. I bet a 4X telephoto lens is a wow the first time you use it because of the zoom and reach - I'd like to have one eventually.

 bookz's gear list:bookz's gear list
Nikon D3400 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-P 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm F4-5.6G VR II Nikon AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 40mm F2.8 +2 more
bluzman
bluzman Contributing Member • Posts: 966
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW

Full frame Sigma 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary on my D7500.

 bluzman's gear list:bluzman's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II Nikon D7500 Nikon Z50 Nikon D750 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 +18 more
vwcrusher Regular Member • Posts: 408
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 16-80mm f2.8-4.0 E ED DX VR. A little wider at the low end and just enough at the top. Clear, bright and fast.

 vwcrusher's gear list:vwcrusher's gear list
Sony a7R II Samyang AF 75mm F1.8 FE Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Samyang AF 18mm F2.8 FE
Kazmarov Contributing Member • Posts: 886
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW
2

For me the "surprise of the day" was a another Sigma zoom, the 24-105mm. In the uncompressed version of the picture you can count the rungs on the benches on the hill next to the monument on the right. It almost matched my other favourite - the Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G through the lower part of the zoom range.

Another sunrise - the fishermen return from work in a tidal harbour

 Kazmarov's gear list:Kazmarov's gear list
Sony RX100 III Nikon D90 Nikon D5500 Canon EOS 60D Nikon D7200 +10 more
labalaba Contributing Member • Posts: 887
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW

I take this to mean lenses that surprised through being unexpectedly good.

Two examples from film days:

Tamron SP 80-200/2.8.  I bought the lens used and by first surprise was how big and heavy it was.  i thought there was no way I would carry it on a regular basis.  Half a day of shooting and I knew I was no longer going anywhere without it.  I imagine anyone switching today from consumer lenses to any of the 2.8 zooms would have a similar experience.

Leica-R 35/2.8.  I though Leica optics was all hype, then as film gear lost value I tried this basic lens (I was coming from Olympus Zuiko).  Wow.  Different class.  Later I converted it to F-mount and used it on a D700 but to me it did not seem to have the same magic on the digital sensor and I used a Cosina Zeiss instead.

And on digital.

Voigtlander 180/4 Apo-lanthar.  So much better than the Nikkor 200/4 Ais that it replaced, and less than half the size!

Since then I've used many good lenses, but since I expected them to be good, so there was not a 'wow' moment.

Mahoonse Regular Member • Posts: 242
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW
4

The old manual focus 105mm f/2.5 AIS amazed me.  Around 1990 I switched to Nikon and this was my first Nikkor.  The lens was knife-edge sharp and the contrast made the image jump off the print.  I've owned many lenses which have impressed me since but the old 105 stands allone.

 Mahoonse's gear list:Mahoonse's gear list
Nikon D7100 Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Tamron SP AF 60mm F2 Di II LD IF Macro Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D +5 more
Holmes375
Holmes375 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,491
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW

I'd forgotten about that lens but agree with you wholeheartedly.

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Pleasant trails to ya.
~Holmes
WSSA member #103

 Holmes375's gear list:Holmes375's gear list
Sony RX10 IV Sony RX100 VI Nikon Coolpix P950 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 Panasonic ZS200 +3 more
rdavy Regular Member • Posts: 344
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW
2

The biggest wow for me has been trying the Nikkor 28mm f1.4 AF-S, admittedly on FX camera.

I have explored various primes, but lately am finding that I'm not yet finished with my 18-55mm VR II. So yes, I am still getting surprised by what it can do.

With 36mm extension tube

 rdavy's gear list:rdavy's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P340 Nikon D3300 Nikon D600 Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 Macro | C Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +4 more
Sactojim Veteran Member • Posts: 8,382
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW
1

Timely post as I just dug out my 70-210 f/4-5.6 D lens purchased from the late 80's and wow, love the bright/sharp/beautiful color rendition from this lens. One of my few that always make me smile.

This one: https://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/7021056.htm

dzba Senior Member • Posts: 1,607
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW---->Frank
1

Frank Nichols wrote:

I just recently started shooting Nikon, and so I don't know yet for Nikon,

me, as well.

but for Canon, for years my two favorites were the 70-200/2.8E and the 24-70/2.8E. The 70-200 was good and reliable, but the 24-70 was magical.

My main focus in photography is nature,wildlife, landscape and flowers. Tried several versions of the Canon 70-200 models.  All were heavy,difficult for me to hand hold steady, and being only 200 mm, not long enough for wildlife.

The only real photography store nearby has had a gear test drive at the zoo in Denver twice a year, for several years.  I can only hope when things get back to more normal (virus pandamic related), that the gear test drive returns.  I have a (new to me) refurbished Nikon d7500 that I would love to try some other glass on.  I got to use the Canon 100-400 II that made me go WOW for not only sharpness, but for speed of focus.  How this relates to this thread is when I ordered a refurbished Nikon d7500 I also ordered a 70-300AF-P DX f/4.5-6.3 G ED Vr lens, too.  I was amazed at how FAST the focus is on this lens.  I can't compare them side by side, but the Nikon lens is as fast as the Canon lens was with focus!  Yes, quality of lens build and sharpness of images was higher with the Canon, but with tax the refurbished Nikon was less than $150.   Yes, there are "faster" and sharper lens out there, but you'd be hard pressed to find a lens that gives more bang for the $$$.

Mike

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"in a world where you can be anything, Be Kind ", borrowed from a Winnie the Pooh tee shirt.

 dzba's gear list:dzba's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Canon EOS Rebel T4i Nikon D7500 Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM +2 more
Pinnacle Photo
Pinnacle Photo Regular Member • Posts: 388
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW
1

Mahoonse wrote:

The old manual focus 105mm f/2.5 AIS amazed me. Around 1990 I switched to Nikon and this was my first Nikkor. The lens was knife-edge sharp and the contrast made the image jump off the print. I've owned many lenses which have impressed me since but the old 105 stands allone.

Love mine too! It is such a different rendering than the newer lenses.

On my Z6, it is so easy to focus with the being able to magnify and use focus peeking.

 Pinnacle Photo's gear list:Pinnacle Photo's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon Z6 Nikon 1 V3 Nikon Z 85mm F1.8 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +12 more
Raticus
Raticus Regular Member • Posts: 336
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW

Aston Senna wrote:

Thought this would be interesting. Instead of asking about a comparison of lenses or thoughts on a lens, let me ask you all this.

What are the lenses (any lens, full frame or dx/crop) that on your DX body just make you go "wow."

For me, I tried the newest 70-200E 2.8 at the store and a shot in the dark of the store was just a wow moment, zoomed at 200 and at 2.8 ISO 1000 on my D7500, couldn't believe the quality.

Another was the 85 1.8G on my d7500. I thought it'd be sharper to be hoenst, but while still very very sharp, it's my first 1.8 lens longer than a 50 and the bokeh and subject isolation just wowed me. Love the color and rendering, too.

Thought this could be interesting way to create a list of peoples' favorite lenses ever on their DX bodies.

On DX, my "wow" lenses are the recent 16-80mm and 70-300mm AF-P VR (FX version) used on a D7500.  Loving the images with this set up.

And I have to say, the 'ol 35mm 1.8G DX still very good.

From the olden days, that 105mm f/2.5 Ai is my favorite, but on FX.  I don't use manual focus lenses anymore though.

 Raticus's gear list:Raticus's gear list
Fujifilm X-T4 Nikon D5300 Fujifilm XF 23mm F2 R WR Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR Fujifilm 50mm F2 R WR +3 more
Frank Nichols
Frank Nichols Senior Member • Posts: 1,901
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW---->Frank

I don't think the post referred to cost. And yes, the Canon pro line is expensive, probably more so than justified by the difference in IQ.
I was referring to the 24-70 based on the impact of the images. I was shooting with a wide range of Canon pro lens at the time, and they are were sharp and contrast was good, etc.
The 24-70 was something else, an intangible "magic". When I looked at an image on-screen (or print) there was no doubt when it was shot with that 24-70. The term I used was magical. It was so startling, it was almost 3D. 
Like I said, all the lens were good. and pixel peeking was a waste of time they were so good. But it was not just a case of the 24-70 always gave good images, it was more than that.

-- hide signature --

Photographers compose by limiting items in the image.
Painters compose by adding things to the image.

 Frank Nichols's gear list:Frank Nichols's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon D7500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 VR +5 more
David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 12,418
NASA's Hubble ..
4

.. is pretty impressive. In fact, the image it produces are out of this world but the cost is astronomically expensive.

CraigVMN Contributing Member • Posts: 762
Re: Lenses that make you go WOW

My absolute favorite

 CraigVMN's gear list:CraigVMN's gear list
Nikon D5600 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm F2.8-4E ED VR Nikon AF-P 70-300mm F4.5-6.3G VR Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 VR
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