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18-70 now.. upgrade to?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by VDMTom, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. VDMTom


    Jun 24, 2008
    CA, USA
    Yes, I have the Nikon 18-70 now. Want to upgrade.
    Not sure what to go for.
    I shoot models and automotive.

    Let me know. Also recent nikon convert.:eek: 
  2. timkoo


    Oct 9, 2007
    Depends on your budget and what you're looking for.

    Portraits typically use a longer focal length than autos (depending on what type you shoot)

    If you want full body shots I'd recommend the 17-55 or 28-70. If these are out of your budget, the Tamron alternatives are considered some of the best 3rd party lenses (17-50, 28-75) All four of these lenses offer a constant f/2.8 aperture so you will have better depth of field, subject isolation, and better low-light capabilities
  3. What makes you want to upgrade? (ie what's missing in the performance of the 18-70....this would lead you to what lens may fill the need.....)
  4. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    18-70 to Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is what I moved to. Same size, weight, but much sharper and faster.
  5. madeofpanda


    Sep 8, 2007
    I went from the 18-70 to the tamron 28-70 and i am very happy with the quality. the only downside is that wont give u as much wide angle as your 18-70. i dident think that i would miss those extra mm but i really do!!! other then that very pleased !
  6. adaml


    Feb 21, 2006
    Of the Nikon line of lenses, the only true upgrade is the 17-55, but at 3x the price of the 18-70.

    I'm not familiar with the third party alternatives.
  7. I don't get "the only true upgrade is the 17-55" to be honest... the 24-70, the 28-70, the 17-35, the 17-55, even the 16-85... all these are true upgrades, unless you meant DX only, in which case forgive my misunderstanding.

    To get some different options, how about grabbing a bargain top optic in the 85mm f1.8. Great useful portrait lens, and very nice IQ. If you like the 50mm length on DX, the 50mm f1.4 is also a relative bargain for the IQ. To add some length and still keep budget in mind, the 70-300VR is incredibly versatile for the price.

    If money is less of an object and the idea is to REPLACE your current normal zoom, grab a 17-55, or if you intend on going FX down the road, a 24-70. The Sigma or Tamron 17/18-50 f2.8's are both an improvement somewhat on the kit 18-70, obviously for aperture speed, and neither will break the bank. I really was impressed by my 17-55 and would still have it today if it weren't for the FX move.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2008
  8. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    The 17-55 is Nikons only direct range replacement for the 18-70DX if you want a noticable difference, I don't think any of the other lenses (16-85, 18-135, 18-105 etc.) with a similar range to the 18-70DX will offer substantially better image quality, although the 16-85 and 18-105 do stand out as the best of the kit lens bunch.
  9. The 18-70 is a well regarded lens. Rather than upgrading, why not add some lenses that will complement it and expand your range of photography? Here's a couple of candidates based on my personal experiences.

    Going Wide
    I always considered myself a telephoto kind of guy, but was amazed at the creative possibilities when I bought a gently used Tokina 12-24/4 for $375. That range is traditionally used for landscapes...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    but it can also deliver portraits, either realistic...

    View attachment 254227

    or stuff with intentional perspective distortion.

    View attachment 254228

    Going Fast

    In lens-speak, fast means big apertures. And big apertures relate to the ability of a lens to selectively focus, which allows you to isolate a subject from the background. This shot, for example, wouldn't have been nearly as effective if the bushes in the background had been in sharp focus.

    View attachment 254229

    Zooms aren't very fast. The biggest aperture of your 18-70 at full zoom is only f/4.5. Even Nikon's expensive pro zoom lenses are only f/2.8 at best. Imo, the biggest bargains in the lens world are prime (fixed focal length) lenses. You could pick up mint copies of the 35/2 and 50/1.4, and 85/1.8 for less than the price of a used 17-55... and beat its pants off in terms of speed and, arguably, image quality. But you don't need all 3... just 1 or 2 of them.

    The 35/2 is great for group pics and 3/4 body shots.

    View attachment 254230

    It's also very good for closeups.

    View attachment 254231

    I don't own the 50/1.4, but it's extremely fast and highly regarded... as is the less expensive 50/1.8.

    The 85/1.8 is an excellent general purpose medium telephoto lens, and is often used for head & shoulder portraits and headshots.

    View attachment 254232

    I use the f/1.4 version, but don't recommend it for general purpose use, as it's a very expensive portrait specialist's lens.

    Go Long
    Hey, it's worked for future Hall of Famer Bret Farve :wink:. Nikon offers several versions of 70-300mm telephoto zooms. The most recent one is the 70-300/4.5-5.6 VR. I paid $480 for mine, and consider it one of my very best lens buys. It's great for outdoor sporting events...

    View attachment 254233

    trips to the zoo...

    View attachment 254234

    and even birding.

    View attachment 254235

    Any of these lenses would be nice additions to your kit... but hang on to the 18-70. It's a very good lens. Jmho.
  10. timzilla

    timzilla Guest

    I made the same upgrade and am happy with my new lens
  11. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    I think other than a 2.8 option

    none of these other 18-xxx ones are any better, esp given the price

    get something different as U. Frank suggests

    I love my 18-70, awesome range, great IQ, fast AFS
  12. MMarz


    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I agree with everyone that the 18-70 is a solid lens. I sold mine a while back, missed it's IQ and ease of carry and then bought another one!

    Admittedly, I have been searching for a mid-range zoom to compliment it, but my needs are specifically focused at a faster aperture. For what it is, the 18-70 rocks.
  13. Thaddeus


    Jul 24, 2008
    i just bought my 18-70 from the cafe ..looking forward to seeing what I can do with it :D 
  14. tammy 17-50 is not sharper than 18-70.
    if you want constant 2.8 then go with 24-70 2.8 much sharper than 17-55
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