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For The Future

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by confused, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. This is kind of a question for the future since im broke now after spending a ton of money on backpack, flash, new lense for my alaska cruise. I kind of want to line up my spending and see what its going to cost me and in what order I should get some things and I wanted some feedback.

    Future List:
    105mm Macro Nikkor
    70-200HSM Sigma
    24-120VR Nikkor

    I also want the 50mm nikkor but that shouldn't be a problem. Can probably get that after my cruise. So my question to you is what is probably more important to hae in my gear? I have the 70-300ED nikkor but I am finding that it is terribly slow and sometimes doesn't focus as great as I would like. I guess the convience in that came at the price I paid for it. I really would like to get the 70-300HSM Sigma for when I go to HS next year and it would be awesome to shoot sports. But on the other hand I love macro so the 105mm wouldn't be a bad choice at all. Since I am not in desperate need of VR or the extra length that the 24-120VR provides I guess thats last on my list. I know I won't have the money for awhile for any of these but how would you line up the need of these considering I have the 70-300ED and the kit lense. Not too mention my SB600 and new Lowepro backpack should be here today!!!! :D  :D 

    So feedback? Thoughts? Just throw some ideas out please :D 

  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    70-200 2.8 VR and a tc or two :>)) Maybe just the 1.7

    Cannon 500D to put on the 70-200 VR for macro.

    Then the 24-120 VR.

    hee hee
  3. The 70-300 is excellent in good light. But you've got to help it out by mastering the techniques of long lens photography. Work with it some more before you give up on it, because buying better gear won't guarantee you'll play a better game.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think youi're confused. Sigma's 70-300 is not HSM. You have to move up to their 70-200 to get that feature.

    Truthfully, with that kit, you have more than you'd ever need to take awesome pictures. Learn to use it, and postpone upgrading until you've mastered what you already have. It will be a sounder approach for long term improvement. Jmho.
  4. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  5. Oops....typo. I meant the 70-200HSM.

    Okay so if I am fine with what I have then I guess my next step would be to get a macro since it has always been a little fantasy of mine.

    So I guess I will start saving for the 105mm. Don't worry I don't think I need to postpone getting it....cause I won't have the money for ever. So it will be like postponing it. I will keep trying to work with that 70-300. I havent given up. I bought it for my alaska cruise and im still gonna try to use it to the best of my knowledge.

    Thanks for all the opinions!!!!
  6. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Take the 70-300 out every day and do some practice shots with it. Try all different kinds of things, so when you are in Alaska, you won't need to take time and storage on things that won't work so well with it. One use I put a telephoto to, is portraits. When you are a distance away, you can get more natural looks. And, the distance compression of a tele will let you put some awsome backgrounds behind your subjects.

    You can also get into fantasy-land, I mean shoot macro, on the cheap as well.

    Nikon makes a close-up filter/lens called the 6T that will screw onto the front of your 70-300. It's not *quite* as good as a dedicated macro lens, but the center will be sharp and saturated. If the 6T is too expensive, there are many cheaper brands, but for a telephoto you will get best results with the Nikon or Canon 500D close-up lens (which will fit on a Nikon lens, no problem.)

    Disclaimer: I use B+W +2 and +3 close-up lenses with my 24-120vr. They do quite well, but are costly, and are not optomised for a telephoto lens.
  7. I know what you mean with the getting into fantasy land. This lense creates some good backgrounds when shooting flowers and allows me to get pretty close =). This is one of the strong points of this lense that i have liked. Question-When shooting birds or moving stuff, do you set it on manual or autofocus? it seems like sometimes it looks clear when I focus manually but then when I get it onto the computer it comes out all blurry =( Anyway to prevent this?

    That 6T is priced fairly well...the 500D I am afraid is not before my 50mm lense or a new 1gb card.

    BTW, thanks for the PM's Chris. I appreciate that a ton.
  8. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    HA! I couldn't shoot a bird if one cut me off in traffic. But I try. Except for an all manual (diaphram too) 400mm, the 180mm f/.8 with a Kenko 1.4x telextender is my longest lens. The 180 is a pretty slow focuser, so I often use manual focusing on it with moving targets. This lens has excellent manual focusing. There is a dot in the lower left of my D100 that comes on when the lens is in focus. Shoot then.

    Unfortunately they did not put a viewing screen into any digital SLR that can accomodate manual focusing like a film camera, AND the viewfinder is smaller! I remember sometime in the last year, someone at DPR put up instructions to replace a screen in a DSLR. I don't recall which one, but it looked like a bit of work, and of course, voids your warranty.
  9. Here's three things you might try to improve your bird shots with the 70-300.

    1. Make sure you're using a shutter speed that's at least the reciprocal of your focal length. In other words, if you're shooting at full zoom of 300mm, your shutter speed should be 1/300th of a second or less.

    2. Use a tight aperture, like f/8, to make sure you have enough depth of field to give you a margin of error.

    3. Make sure you have a stable platform for the lens. You'll need a tripod or a monopod to get crisp results at the long end of the zoom.

    Note: in order to fulfill #1 and #2, you'll need a very bright scene, or a high ISO. Don't be afraid to set the ISO at 500 for long reach shots.

    The 70-300 isn't the snappiest focuser, and quite often will hunt, but with a little practice, it can be used for birding. Here's a few examples from when I was using one.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

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  10. ckdamascus


    May 14, 2005
    New Jersey
    1) To interject, according to Thomas Hogan, because of the crop factor, you also magnify shake. In other words, a safer amount is not longer just 1/focal length, but 1/(focal length*1.5) for a frightening number of 1/450 (at 300mm)

    2) I agree here, unfortunately it he will need a lot of light to maintain 1) if he stops down to f/8

    3) I agree 100% here. Just got to have the tripod or practice some kind of yoga (just kidding).

    Everything Uncle Frank has said earlier is true. You really should master what you have as it will lead to better pictures when you do have the funds for the more expensive equipment.
  11. ckdamascus


    May 14, 2005
    New Jersey
    This depends on what you want to do. Get a feel with what you end up liking first before you start buying specialized lens.

    105mm Macro Nikkor: A nice middle range macro, but some people feel it is a jack of all trades, master of none. It's working distance is pretty darn close to the 60mm at certain focus points and it's just not as long as the 200mm. <shrugs> I suggest you try it out. Macro photography can be pretty darn frustrating due to working with slivers of DoF. Try doing some close ups with the 70-300 + close up lens.

    70-200mm HSM Sigma: I heard it's a great lens. I heard it's also slightly slower with AF compared to AF-S (80% from what I recall). But, that's still faster than the 70-300mm ED.

    24-120mm VR: I personally don't like the focal length range on it. Some people swear by it, some people hate it. I've seen some posters here put up some nice pictures with it, so see if you like the focal length before you commit.

    Everyone and their grandma is going to tell you to get this lens. My take on it is, well do you really like that focal length? Try locking your kit lens to 50mm and see if you can shoot like that all day.

    My reasons against the 50mm
    - It's not the same 50mm everyone is talking about. I mean, the film heads said it was great but you are getting a 75mm FoV 50mm lens, so no, it's not quite the same normal perspective (perspective is a function of distance, but FoV will affect how far you are from the subject).
    - It's cheap as anything! Yes, it is, but if you aren't going to use it due to inconvenience, that's a new circular polarizer right there.

    In any event, try it out. If you do enjoy shooting at 50mm (lock your zoom!), then by all means go for it. It's the best bang for buck. My take on it is, it's a lens I'd almost never use. In that case, it's like buying something on sale for the sake of it being on sale.

    On the side, if you do a lot of portraits, it's a fantastically cheap yet excellent portrait lens.

    My final suggestion is to try out different shots. Wide Angle, Normal Perspective, Telephoto, and Macro (Closeups for the pedantic).

    Keep shooting and learning about how to improve your technique for taking these shots. When you start to reach a point where your techniques can't really improve much more and you are missing opportunities for good shots, then you start considering your magical "future lens" list.
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