Best 3 lenses for Road Warrior

Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
780
Location
Phoenix, AZ
The two kit lenses that came with my D-80 (18-55 & 55-200) have done a great job, but they are being handed down to my 16-year old daughter and I’m going to buy some new glass. I’m really agonizing over the purchase decision because I have a very unique circumstance. I know that many of you have the lenses I’m considering, so I would love to hear your thoughts.

Here’s the deal….I spend literally half my life on the road (or in the sky). Most of my flying is to South America, Hawaii, Guam, and Japan. I have a Tamrac backpack style camera/computer bag that carries all my equipment. This bag can get very heavy, especially when I have to lug it through airports and hotels on a daily basis. When you add the weight of my suitcase and a very heavy flight bag, it becomes a real chore. I mention all this because weight has become a real issue. As I consider new lenses I have to bear this in mind.

For example, I really want a 70-200 VR, but it is way to big and heavy. I know that I will end up leaving it at home and that is exactly what I’m trying to avoid. So, I’m considering a Nikkor 70-300 VR as my long lens. I played with one at the camera store a couple of day ago and it looks like it would be the perfect compromise. For my wide angle I want a 12-24 by either Nikon or Tokina. I would love your feedback on these choices. That leaves a gap from 24 to 70mm and I haven’t come up with a choice in this area yet.

Three lenses are the most I will carry. Remember, I have a computer, camera, lenses, batteries, AC connectors, voltage converters, and a ton of other miscellanies stuff to haul in the bag. Choosing the right glass is all about compromise. So here is the question: If you were going to spend half your life hauling around a load like this, what 3 lenses would you choose? Thanks.
 
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Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Messages
3,473
Location
Wyoming, USA
My trio of most carried is a Sigma 10-20, Nikkor 18-70, Nikkor 70-300 VR.

Fully satisfied with all of them.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
3,272
Location
Kentucky
My most carried lenses are:

17-55/2.8
70-200VR/2.8
200/2.0
4th place is Nikon 12-24

If you prefer less weight, I would recommend:

17-55/2.8
70-300VR (I use it a lot)
Nikon 12-24

I recommend Nikon glass wherever and whenever possible. That wonderful glass is the biggest benefit to buying the Nikon system. Keep us informed!
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
3,272
Location
Kentucky
Actually for a road warrior I'd recommend the 18-200VR. =D
The 18-200 is a great lens; however my 18-200VR sees very limited use because I accept the increased weight for the 17-55 in turn for it's benefits. My wife also owns both, and carries the 18-200 nearly every time; she rarely carries the 17-55, mainly indoors and for night scenes.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
498
Location
riyadh
Haze,

You asked for a 3 lens kit

1:Nikkor 12-24/4 or a 20/2.8D

2: Nikkor 50/1.4 AF-D

3: Nikkor 70-300mm VR

you cover ultra-wide,mid and tele with these three plus low light.

Good luck.
 
Y

yrrek

Guest
I have a 18-200 which almost never leaves the body and the 50 1.8 for low lights. All i need now is a 70-300 and im set.
 
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
445
Location
Aliso Viejo, CA
The two kit lenses that came with my D-80 (18-55 & 55-200) have done a great job, but they are being handed down to my 16-year old daughter and I’m going to buy some new glass. I’m really agonizing over the purchase decision because I have a very unique circumstance. I know that many of you have the lenses I’m considering, so I would love to hear your thoughts.

Here’s the deal….I spend literally half my life on the road (or in the sky). Most of my flying is to South America, Hawaii, Guam, and Japan. I have a Tamrac backpack style camera/computer bag that carries all my equipment. This bag can get very heavy, especially when I have to lug it through airports and hotels on a daily basis. When you add the weight of my suitcase and a very heavy flight bag, it becomes a real chore. I mention all this because weight has become a real issue. As I consider new lenses I have to bear this in mind.

For example, I really want a 70-200 VR, but it is way to big and heavy. I know that I will end up leaving it at home and that is exactly what I’m trying to avoid. So, I’m considering a Nikkor 70-300 VR as my long lens. I played with one at the camera store a couple of day ago and it looks like it would be the perfect compromise. For my wide angle I want a 12-24 by either Nikon or Tokina. I would love your feedback on these choices. That leaves a gap from 24 to 70mm and I haven’t come up with a choice in this area yet.

Three lenses are the most I will carry. Remember, I have a computer, camera, lenses, batteries, AC connectors, voltage converters, and a ton of other miscellanies stuff to haul in the bag. Choosing the right glass is all about compromise. So here is the question: If you were going to spend half your life hauling around a load like this, what 3 lenses would you choose? Thanks.
On my last trip (last month) to Kauai I carried the D200, 12-24 Tokina, 24-120 VR Nikkor, 70-300 VR Nikkor as well as the 10.5 Nikkor and the 105 f2.8D Micro Nikkor. I could have done without the fisheye but since I enjoy macro photography I couldn't have done without the 105mm. I also had the MB-D200 mounted to the camera the entire time we were there but carried it in a sepoarate carry on during the flights to and from the island.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,507
If you were going to spend half your life hauling around a load like this, what 3 lenses would you choose?

I hear what you're saying about the extra weight and bags. I don't find it worth the effort to carry a DSLR and lens around. I just stick a point & shoot camera in my kit bag. But then, most of my layovers are so short, I don't even get a chance to use that (actually, I mainly do domestic turns now). It's mostly just for Elvis sightings, etc...... I have all the pictures of the ramp I can stand.
 
D

Dennyd80

Guest
Sigma 10-20
Nikkor 17-55 F/2.8
Nikkor 70-300 VR

Those three with a D80 should cover just about any type of photography that you might encounter. If you can find room...a high quality carbon fiber tripod is worth the inconvience of carrying it. I always find room in my luggage for my tripod...even if I have to leave something else at home.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
20,408
Location
SW Virginia
This is a personal decision of course, but if it were me I would just carry two lenses: 18-200VR for 99% of the shots and either 50/1.8 or 35/2 for low light. I have done this on several trips, and end up using only the 18-200. I also carry a very light laptop computer (Dell X1, 2.5 lbs) for downloading pictures and doing e-mail.

Sure the 12-24, 17-55, etc. are better lenses but not worth the hassle (to me) of hauling all that stuff around and changing lenses for the matginal improvement they provide.

Look at this thread to see what can be accomplished with just a D80 and 18-200VR.
 
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Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
780
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Thanks a million for all the suggestions. You guys came up with several ideas I hadn't considered so I need to ponder this a bit longer. Many of you seem to like the 70-300 for the longer lengths. I'm pretty keen on this lens because of it's size and weight. In reading reviews, the only rap I've heard on this lens is that the performance falls off as you approach 300mm. But two people I've spoken with that own this lens have been delighted with it through the entire range. I'd love some more feedback on this lens. Thanks again for all the input!
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
3,509
Location
Massachusetts
Real Name
David
Other than just getting the 18-200 you might consider:

18-35 AF-D Nikon, yes the 18 not the 17, much cheaper, lighter and not half bad.
28-105 AF-D 3.5-4.5 or 24-120 AF-S VR (both Nikon), the 28-105 gives you 1:2 macro
and
70-300 AF-S VR
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
20,408
Location
SW Virginia
Thanks a million for all the suggestions. You guys came up with several ideas I hadn't considered so I need to ponder this a bit longer. Many of you seem to like the 70-300 for the longer lengths. I'm pretty keen on this lens because of it's size and weight. In reading reviews, the only rap I've heard on this lens is that the performance falls off as you approach 300mm. But two people I've spoken with that own this lens have been delighted with it through the entire range. I'd love some more feedback on this lens. Thanks again for all the input!
I've had one of these for a couple of months now and haven't used it that much, but have been amazed by some of the shots I get. But for me it is such a specialized lens that I seldom use it.

I always just grab the 18-200VR which covers about 95% of what I shoot with quite acceptable quality.
 
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
4,503
Location
Cincinnati
Haze,
You need to fill in the gap with a good prime.

Tas, along with some others, has the right idea, I think... 12-24, 50/1.4 and 70-300.

The 50 is a superb lens, as is the 35/2. Either of these will give you plenty of normal range. They are light and great fun to use.

You might also think in terms of the Sigma 10-20 on the wide end, rather than the 12-24. It's cheaper and wider and produces wonderful images.

But fill the gap with a prime. You won't be sorry!

God bless.
Doug
 
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