18-200 Vr AND 35-70 2.8 OR Just the 17-55 2.8?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by sunchung, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. sunchung

    sunchung

    300
    Jun 12, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Hi, new member of Nikon Cafe and to photography in general. Bought a D70s, 50 1.8, and a sigma 17-70 about a year ago when my daughter was born. Been playing around quite a bit and find myself limited by my glass at times.

    I prefer the PJ style plus some portraits for a majority of the time. Mostly shooting family and my daughter. As she was a newborn, most of the photos are indoors and have used the 50/1.8 a majority of the time. I have a sb600, but much prefer natural light photography.

    But I find myself shooting more outdoors as we take our girl outside and was thinking I could really use the reach of the 18-200. Plus outdoors, I don't need the fast glass as much, but could use the 35-70 2.8 indoors if needed.

    But I also want to get a top notch lens to invest in (invest upfront rather than in steps) now that I feel like I know what i'm doing with the D70. What's your advice with shooting primarily children? My budget is about ~$1200.

    I've also toyed with going primarily with primes (85, 35) but my wife is less open to that idea. Although she's gotten pretty used to the 50/1,8...

    Appreciate any advice you could give.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2007
  2. weiran

    weiran

    966
    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I find that indoors something like the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is quite useful due to the extra stop of light over the high speed zooms. You could always replace your Sigma 17-70 with the new Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Macro, or the excellent Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 to use indoors, as I find width is also quite useful in tight indoor spaces and the constant f/2.8 aperture helps!

    Personally I wouldn't get the 18-200 no matter how good the light is, for the money you can get a much better lens for portraits, for which f/2.8 is useful as it gives you more DOF to use. A Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 is a very versatile portrait lens and would be my choice along with replacing your Sigma with the newer constant f/2.8 aperture 17-50 zooms. Should come at well under $1200 too :smile:
     
  3. Welcome to the Cafe.

    I can suggest you an alternate avenue to suite your budget and needs. How about 18-70 dx and 80-200 AF-D?
    18-70 is superb (unless you get spoilt by 17-55dx) for both indoors and outdoors with good ligthing. 80-200 Af-d two ring can help you in both lowlight portraits and outdoor with great DOF. I assume you are going to keep 50 1.8.


    Thanks,
     
  4. Dayo

    Dayo

    May 1, 2006
    Bahrain
    I wanted to say 35-70 but looking at what you already have, I'll say get a 70-300 and be done with it.

    If you want big pro glass you will probably soon stop using because of the weight and bulk, get a 80-200.

    Best bet is 70-300 IMHO though.
     
  5. sunchung

    sunchung

    300
    Jun 12, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks for the replies. Just wanted to clarify, the Sigma 17-70 is a variable aperture lens, so it doesn't work so well indoors. Hence my desire for the Nikkor 17-55.

    I've looked at the 3rd party equivalents, but I am leaning towards spending the additional $$$ for the Nikon lens.

    The alternative is going with the Nikon 35-70 2.8 for indoors and the use the 18-200 VR for outdoors general use. I don’t want anything too big (rules out the longer zooms) since having a baby now-a-days forces you to carry a lot of kid related gear to begin with.

    I did think about getting a prime 30 or 35mm lens, but that’s where I thought the Nikon 35-70 2.8 would be as good. Not quite 1.4 in aperture, but for the most part, I shoot about 2.8 for a good chunk of my shots with the 50mm 1.8.
     
  6. rlacy

    rlacy

    316
    Apr 22, 2007
    San Diego
    IMHO, dollar-for-dollar, and Image Quality vs. Image Quality you can't beat the 35-70. It has to be the best value in the Nikon lens line up. It is sharp, great IQ, nice range, constant aperture, relatively light, good general purpose lens, with Macro capability. Wow. If there is a better bargain out there, I wish someone would point it out. It is not a perfect lens, but it is one of the best values around. Seems to me this is a lay down hand.

    Ron
     
  7. weiran

    weiran

    966
    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Macro are currently the best value lenses around IMO. The 35-70 might be good, but its not as sharp wide open and I find the rage is very limiting on a DX crop camera, 50mm is just not wide enough.
     
  8. Dayo

    Dayo

    May 1, 2006
    Bahrain
    I find 50mm just not long enough and limiting for my on the camera lens and prefer to change for a wider angle and find my 35-70 plenty sharp wide open.

    As for the zoom range, that is the best part. It is like a prime lens with some flexibility. The best of both worlds.
     
  9. weiran

    weiran

    966
    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I find myself wanting wider most of the time, but if you like to shoot long the 35-70 is pretty good value.
     
  10. Get a 80-200mm and maybe the 35-70mm

    No doubt about it an 80-200mm will give you some excellent people pictures. You will really be able to isolate your subject and it will allow you to be farther back and really capture some more candid moments. You can get both the 35-70mm and 80-200mm for less than price of the 17-55mm and only loose speed at the wide end where it is less needed. You should be able to get both of these for well under $1200 used.

    Good luck!
     
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