Best bang for the buck?

Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
6,400
Location
Germany / Bavaria
AF-D 50 f1.8
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.
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AIS 105 f2.5
AIS 75-150 f3.5 Series E


not to forget the Nikkor AF-D VR 70-200 f2.8 IF ED (not cheap but worth every penny :Crunk:)
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
12,515
Location
near Montreal, Canada
I believe that it is impossible to answer this.
As a minimum you would need to indicate what kind of photography you like to do (animals, landscapes, travel, portraits etc.). Then you might want to add the kind of lenses you prefer (zoom, fixed focal, auto/manual focus).
With that stated you can begin to flush out the lenses which will give YOU the best bang for your buck...
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2007
Messages
594
Location
Seattle
Gotta agree with a lot of what's already said:

1) Depends on what you're using it for
2) 50/1.8 (AF/MF/E/AI/AIS) they're all good and cheap
3) Used lenses, especially MF
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
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Location
near Montreal, Canada
I'd like to shoot macro, kids, landscapes, animals. I'd prefer auto focus.
An excellent lens for you would be the AF 35-70 f/2.8. It is of excellent optical quality and can be had for little over $300 or so (used) - fabulous value! In a pinch, it has a macro function also. Not as close-up as a dedicated macro lens, but it is a start.

A notch down, but more versatile in focal length, you may want to look into the AF-S 18-70 kit lens. A good performer for all round shooting, which you can get used for little over $200. If you want to keep expenses down, this will do a lot of what you want - and very nicely so!

If you are willing to spend a bit of money for a macro lens, you may want to look into the AF 60mm f/2.8. A great lens to get you going with macro, but it will also do excellent double duty for portraits and animals (pets).

I agree on the before mentioned AF 50mm f/1.8. Outstanding lens which really goes for very little money. The downside is that it gives you just the single focal length - something to think about. But arguably the best "bang for your buck".

Happy hunting!
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
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Thornhill, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto
An excellent macro lens for the money has always been the Tamron 90mm 2.8.
Many of my macro-shooting photobuds have used this lens for years with excellent results. And assuming that you are shooting digital (and except for me and eight other people on the planet, who isn't?) you'll get more reach without giving up any lens speed by mounting it on a digital body.
As for the other photo genres you prefer, I'd suggest as a general rule, that you seriously consider the Tokina line of lenses. They are very well made, rugged and have excellent optics. And of course regardless of manufacterer, that you check the selection of used lenses at KEH (www.keh.com). KEH is notoriously conservative in the ratings they assign to their used equipment, so you will usually be very surprised by the condition of gear you purchase; much better than expected.
After saying all this, I think that in the end only you can determine which lens or lenses give you the most bang for the buck, based on initial cost, convenience of use and the results you achieve with them. And of course this will vary for the most part from photographer to photographer.
I hope now that I've been specifically vague enough that this information is helpful.
 
D

darag2358

Guest
50 1.8. No excuse not to have one, unless you have the 50 1.4. :)

Also agree with the 35-70 2.8. What a nice lens. The focal length isn't great for digitals, but great IQ and can be had for a great price used.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
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Thornhill, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto
Dan,
Bang for the buck is a measure of the usefulness of something versus its cost. And regardless of cost, if the object is of limited or no use, then it will, by definition provide little or no bang for the buck. In my particular shooting circumstances (photojournalism and street photography) for example, I shoot mainly with three zoom lenses;an 18~28 f4~4.5, 35~105 2.8 and an 80~200 2.8, and consider the 50mm lens to be of no use whatsoever. It's not long enough to capture action at a distance, nor wide enough for enviornmental portraits. Its only conceivable use to me is as a low-light high-speed optic. However, this function is performed for me by high-speed slide film (that's film. f....i....l....m. Think real hard and you'll probably remember film), so the 50 sits in the basement with a half-dozen other lenses that are rarely or never used. So I beg to differ that there is no excuse for not having a 50 1.8 or 1.4. In my world there is no reason to have one. But as Uncle Sidney used to say, "That's why we have Chocolate, and that's why we have Vanilla."
If you get a second, take a peek in the Photojournalism gallery. I've got a number of shots posted there, none shot with a 50 mm lens, and I think I do just fine without it.
 
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Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
9,081
Location
Oregon
Hmmm, buy a good used Nikkor (or a Tamron 90).

If you are not caught up in "new", then dollar for dollar for me it was the used 2r 80-200 and Tamron 90 2.8 I bought (one EX+ the other LN-) for less than my 300 AFS f4 cost.

If I had the kit lens, the 80-200 2r would be my next choice, used or new. It matches well with the KenkoPro 1.4 and Canon 500D for a complete "mini system" with very nice images.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Messages
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Location
Thornhill, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto
Gale,
I was replying to Dan's comment that there is no excuse not to have a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4 lens. I was merely pointing out that depending on your circumstances there may be many good reasons not to have one. You are quite correct that the original poster did not mention photojournalism, but I merely used that example to make the point.
 
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