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cheap but good zoom

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by jeffgreen, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. jeffgreen


    Jul 7, 2006
    Fairbanks, AK
    I have a D70 that I am going to convert to IR. My gear roster is evolving, and I currently only have MF lenses except for a 50mm f/1.8 AF-D. I would like to put on an autofocus zoom lens that is adequate, but not extremely expensive. It does not have to be exceptionally fast, as I will only be using it during the summer in relatively bright light. I don't need focal lengths over ~100mm, and I would probably not need anything less than ~20mm. AF-S would be nice, but would gladly go without it if price or quality were lower or higher, respectively, in an older (maybe AF-D?) lens. I will not be using it on a full-frame camera, so DX lenses are an option as well. I am transitioning out of Nikon mount lenses, so I am not looking to invest in expensive glass. Ideally, I would like to buy one zoom and leave it on the camera for the rest of their natural lives. I would like to keep the cost under $200 if possible.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Thanks! :) 
  2. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    The AFS DX 18-70/3.5-4.5 seems to meet your criteria.
  3. DrewC


    Jan 30, 2007
    Denver, CO
    just about to say the same thing...
  4. CAJames


    Sep 6, 2006
    Lompoc, CA
    I agree with the 18-70 DX. The 24-85 AF-S G is excellent as well.
  5. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Yep. I use the 18-70 on my IR'd D70, along with the 12-24. For some reason, wide angle seems to go hand in hand with IR. If Life Pixel does the work, they calibrate for the 18-70 along with the conversion.

    You mention that you are transiting out of Nikon mount lenses. I notice that you list a couple of mighty fine view cameras in your sig. What do you do with those? :biggrin:
  6. jeffgreen


    Jul 7, 2006
    Fairbanks, AK
    I am a c-grade hack landscape photographer, but I really enjoy the process of 4x5, and the image quality on well exposed, well focused, well composed chromes will blow your mind. Now the trick is doing all three of those things. :) 
    The reason I am transitioning out of Nikon mount glass is that I pretty much jumped ship and moved to Canon because I got tired of waiting for full frame. I moved to full frame digital for the same reason I moved to 4x5 film... enlargements. It is not necessarily something for everyone, but definitely was for me. IQ for enlargements is heavily tied to the physical size of the original capture, and the 5D is the biggest digital capture device I can reasonably get. In motorsports they say that "there is no replacement for displacement" and the same is true for sensor/film sizes, with obvious caveats for particular (such as wildlife) application.

    Don't get me wrong, my Nikon gear served me faithfully for many a year, but I try not to get an emotional attachment to gear/brands/etc. I say that, but I do have a pretty strong emotional attachment to my FM2n. That was my first real camera, and it has earned a permanent spot in the stable. It is why I have (and will keep) my MF Nikon glass. I think that Nikon has, does and will make wonderful cameras. I am definitely still a fan.

    And an update as well... I just sold my D70 to a relative, so I won't be doing the IR-mod. The lens criteria, however, still apply to the new owner, so I will pass along your suggestions. Thanks everyone! :) 
  7. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    There's a 18-70 for sale in for sale forum now, FYI... (Friday 3/30) 9:00 AM from good old Tanglefoot, our frequent trader, lol.

    But wait, you need to boost to 25 posts to see it, hurry...
  8. If you'd like something a bit faster (and with much better build) I have a Tokina 28-80mm f/2.8 ATX Pro for sale in the For Sale section for $300. It's a lens you could hold on to and even beat-up on if that's your style without much investment OR worrying about it breaking.
  9. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Be sure and visit the Film forum with that kind of stuff, it'll blow us away, I'm sure! Most of us use "ff" Nikon cameras there.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
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