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35 and 70 vs. 35-70

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by DABO, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Putting together a travel kit for Costa Rica.

    For wide angle and telephoto I have a 16/3.5 and Sigma 100-300/4.

    For my mid-range and macro, I originally was thinking of taking my 35-70/2.8 AFD and my Lester Dine 105/2.8 AIS macro.

    I thought about it and decided that I might get more bang for the weight with a 35/2 AFD and a Sigma 70/2.8 macro.

    Here's what I think after comparing: The 35/2 is sharp, but the 35-70 is surprisingly (to me) AS SHARP, and maybe even sharper stopped down. I have even greater respect for the 35-70 than I had before.

    I love my Lester Dine - it's given me beautiful pictures and it's one of the sharpest lenses I've had. I fully expected it to show up the Sigma. I have to say though, that it was no contest - the Sigma blew it away. Not in real world tests, but in macros of a 5 dollar bill. I'll test further outdoors, but so far the Sigma is outstanding.

    So, the new combination (35 + 70) gives me the same range, sharper macros, and is over one pound lighter than the 35-70 plus the Dine. I don't include the Dine as a general purpose lens because my experience with it is that while it takes wonderful macros, it does not hold up at any distance. One thing I give up with the new combo is the versatility of the 35-70 zoom. Another is macro working distance: about 5 inches with the Dine and 3 inches with the Sigma.

    If there was a perfect solution, we wouldn't obsess and there wouldn't be a need for a "lens lust" forum, would there?

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  2. Brian-S


    Feb 10, 2007
    Bay Area, CA
    Why not the 35-70 + the Sigma 70 macro? With the 35-70 you have macro built-in if you need it in a pinch and the zoom convenience and f/2.8. A one stop gain with the 35/2 isn't that much and nothing that can't be compensated for by bumping the ISO one stop. If you want real macro, you can use the sigma, which should also be better at distance than the 105.

    Just my 0.02c,
  3. if anybody in the world needs an 18-200, it's someone going to Costa Rica....
  4. haze2


    Mar 18, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    If you are going to spend time in the jungle, you need fast glass.
  5. Holmes


    Oct 28, 2006
    Wyoming, USA
  6. Vote #2 for 18-200
  7. And if the camera manufactures made "really decent glass" than we would not need to test lenses from other independent lens makers.
  8. You should also take into account how you are going to travel within CR. If you will be taking small planes to various destinations there is a pretty strict 25 pound limit on baggage including cameras. If driving, then it won't make a difference but driving in CR is difficult. Also if you are going to do any zip lining, which is outstanding in CR, you will not be allowed to take a big camera up in the canopy so having a small point and shoot with you will allow you to obtain wonderful pics up on the platforms.

    Also it is important to have a macro lens as there are many amazing opportunities for great shots what with all of the spiders and other amazing insects available. And the butterflies etc. On my visit I found that I was using the macro alot and I was using the Nikkor 55mm non af. Costa Rica presents a feast of opportunities.
  9. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    I agree with this. f/2.8 and f/4 (barely) go to the prime, but I felt f/5.6 and up went to the zoom.

    I’m trying to get as light as possible while still covering my bases.

    More taste:
    Less filling:
    You guys realize that these two opinions are mutually exclusive?

  10. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Thank, Dipens. We're renting a car, so we'll bring extra Advil. I did buy a Nikon P5000 for me and my kids to use, so I've got that covered. And as far as a macro lens, I never leave home without one!

  11. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I personally wouldn't go with the 18-200, especially on trips when you only have one chance to take photos, so you want to use the best lenses you have.

    Nearly all modern macro lenses are incredibly sharp so its no wonder the Sigma is sharper than your Lester. Out of the kit you have, I'd go for the 35/2 and Sigma 70 if you don't want to take the 35-70 and Sigma 70.
  12. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    That’s what I think, too. It’s unlikely that I’ll snag the photo I'll want to blow up to poster size, but you never know. And really, the hope for that possibility is fun to have, and a motivation to try.

  13. It depends entirely on why you're going. If you're going with the intention of building up your stock library, by all means. BUT, if you're going on vacation and would rather not see your vacation through a viewfinder, then travel light.

    Don't look down your nose at the 18-200 VR unless you plan to take a lot of pictures of buildings and don't like fixing curved lines in PS. The 18-200 is a remarkable lens and this is coming from someone who's owned the most expensive Nikon makes.

    A little TEST I did back when I got mine.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  14. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Thanks, Woody. You may be right. But trading in my lenses for the 18-200 would require a paradigm shift in my thinking. I, personally, am just not ready to take the plunge that you did.

  15. If I gave you the impression that I was suggesting you do that, I apologize because I wasn't. I was trying to make the point that the 18-200 is a perfect vacation companion unless you're looking to come back with salable images.
  16. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    No apology needed, Woody.

    Your point could start a whole new discussion that could probably provide for some interesting points of view.

    My point of view: I will not be selling any pictures that I take on vacation in Costa Rica. On the other hand, I would love to take pictures that are salable. I do want to take snapshots of the family frolicking on the beach and a family portrait with a jungle sunset background and some colorful shots of local villages. But like many of us here, I’d love to, and I have the happy delusion that it’s possible to, take some shots suitable for National Geographic, pictures to blow up and hang on a wall.

    The more “professional” lenses probably give me more of a chance to do that and, maybe just as important, give me the confidence that I can do it.

    The reality will probably be that my family will be sweating like pigs and have bugs flying around their faces and I’m busy changing lenses, but I’ll just have to see….

  17. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    why not go really light and just take the 35-70? and if you're guna do some low light stuff add a fast prime to the mix.....;-))
  18. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Well, since you asked, according to Wikipedia:

    "Pigs do not have functional sweat glands, so pigs cool themselves using water or mud during hot weather. They also use mud as a form of sunscreen to protect their skin from sunburn. Mud also provides protection against flies and parasites."

    I have confirmed though, that Rhesus monkeys do sweat. So I hereby amend my post to say that my family will be sweating like rhesus monkeys.

    Thanks for the correction :219:
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