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Everything in a Single Lens

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by adr3naline, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. If you had to have 1 lens, which would it be? I've read about everybody's favorite lenses, but if you had to pick one that would be your everyday landscape, portrait, candid, nature lens, which would you chose? I understand that the one lens wouldn't be ideal for every situation.

    I'm currently shooting a Nikon D80 with the 24-85mm f/2.8 lens. The lens is my dads (who has a number of great lenses), and I need to start picking up my own set of lenses. I'd like to get something with more zoom.

    With that said, I can't go out and buy a couple lenses to have a lens for every specific situation. I'll get there eventually, but I want to buy a great all around lens for my first.
  2. there is only 1 that is close, the 18-200 VR AFS
    it does nothing great but everything good

    'great all around lens' is a contradiction in terms
  3. I 2nd the 18-200mm lens. Good all around range. If you need a little more reach the 70-300mm is nice.
  4. Ewout_vB


    Feb 6, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Sadly enough, you can't yet have a lens that does everything.

    I really suggest the 70-300vr if you are looking for more range.

    The 18-200mm vr is an option but personally I didn't like the quality of the images it produced and the distortion was pretty bad. It still works great though -- some people swear by it, others hate it.
  5. moffo


    Oct 20, 2005
    Central TX
    Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 seems to get some good press, unless you want something wider. (But I'm one of those that really likes the 18-200, for what it is.)
  6. Cleo68


    Jul 7, 2008
    Bedford, MA
    I see this question getting asked over and over again on all camera forums. I think it comes down to what you plan to shoot. If you're doing portraits outdoors or outdoor sports, you might want a longer, faster lens. For landscape, a wider lens. For indoor portraits, a fast prime. You've really got to think about what you'll be using it for. For me at least, it really comes down to focal length. And I've found it's good to have both zooms and primes. My next lens, when I can afford it, will likely be either the 50 1.4, or the 85 1.4. Good luck and have fun!
  7. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    the lens in my eye
  8. Cope


    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    I think for a one lens set up, anything on the 18-200/18-250 range works. It is a jack of all trades kind of thing.
  9. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    i hate threads like this ..lol
  10. Alan.Tran


    Jun 5, 2008
    17-55 2.8 or 50 1.8 for me :)  buuut since this is a single lens, probably the 17-55 :) 
  11. tomtodeath


    Jan 11, 2007
    new jersey
    Nikon 58mm f/1.2 Noct-Nikkor, because if I ever buy one Ill have to sell every lens that I have at the time..:biggrin:
  12. braver


    Apr 2, 2008
    just to add a bit of contrast...I'd be fine with just the FE and a 28mm 2.8. fits my style. heck, you have to develop a style, push your creativity.

    but no single lens will do it all. that's what you bought an slr for in the first place, right?
  13. LDB415


    Apr 26, 2008
    There's probably no lens that's more than a 95%er but the 18-200 would fall into that 95% category.
  14. lisantica


    Jul 4, 2006
    So. Calif.
    I took a D40 on vacation with me to Florida. I had the 18-55 and the 55-200 VR kit lenses. I was constantly switching out the lenses.
    First I wanted some reach, so I had the 55-200 on, then I wanted a shot of the surroundings and my family, so I'd switch to the 18-55.
    I have since sold my 55-200VR (will miss it as it was nice, lightweight and sharp), but I've purchased an 18-200VR for my all-around vacation and hiking lens.
    A point and shoot might have fit the bill for my purposes, but I do love the speed of the D40 and compared to the super zoom P&S cameras, it's not that much bigger.

  15. I do the one lens does it all yearly, during a week at Sturgis S.D. I will be going this Aug. 2nd, with a D300 and 24-70 af-s, but in years past I choose the 28-70 af-s. 1 lens will do it all. I would rather leave the camera home as to use that 18-200, it just don't make it for me.
  16. The 16-85 VR is the obvious choice; it covers wide enough for most non-distortion landscapes at an effective 24mm, through normal (45-50mm), through established portrait focal lengths (85-105mm), to short telephoto at the long end at 128mm effective FL. You can crop depending on final usage of the image, to an effective equivalent of say, 150mm, so plenty of reach too.

    The range is a much better trade-off, and more useful than the 'Tamron-style' less sharp 18-200 VR, which is now losing favour to the newer zooms.

    ED and Asph elements plus VRII for handholding, very sharp at optimal apertures, 485 grams and smallish, about the same quality as the over-rated and non-VR 17-55/2.8, and very sharp at f5.6 and f8. Sounds too sensible for most shooters...and it is! A double cam design, so it may not last like the old ones do, but that is not the target audience, I believe.

    Perfect companion for the 70-300 VR, together these are all a generalist really needs (the 70-300 has very nice bokeh from its 9 blade aperture); together you have an all-up weight of less than 1300 grams - which is a full 150 grams less than the 70-200 VR so many drool over...it is not hard to care for lenses, so 'professional build quality' is a bit of a furphy, unless you shoot in a war zone, of course.

    I think another real benefit is the camera/lens combination weight and bulk, so less weight and less bulk means a smaller bag, less stage-fright for the subject (if a human), and an easier day long carry.

    And not to forget filters - both use the 67mm fit, for compatibility, cost, easy handling and storage. These are the kinds of things that really count in the field. But as they say, we all have different needs and, more significantly, different *desires*!

    Sadly, this one is DX only so it goes up for sale if migrating to FX only. Many other suggestions seem to lean towards the long end, but don't underestimate the value of wide through tele with a mere twist of the wrist, especially for non-specialised shooting; when the world will not simply stand still. If interested, you will still pay around $US560, cheaper with cashback deals.
  17. tjny

    tjny Guest

    16-85 vr is my favorite lense do everything and do it well, later you can add a 7-300 vr if you need more reach.
  18. I know most people here are using/recommending the high end lenses... but what do you think of the 18-135 lens... honestly?
  19. I like the 18-135 a lot. It is significantly sharper and more contrasty than the 18-200 I had for a while. At $200 used it is a steal, IMO. It is definitely the lens I reach for when I don't want to fuss around with lenses, or travel light. All of its' flaws (CA, distortion, vignetting at 18 and 135 wide open) are easily corrected in software. You can't create sharpness that's not there, though ;) 
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