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i feel the need for a second lens

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jon H, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Jon H

    Jon H

    Jun 25, 2005
    Stockton, CA
    hello all.

    i recently got back into photography and got a D70 a few months ago. after many hours spent with the the kit lens, i feel the need for something more. the thing is, i can't seem to decide what kind of lens i want.. reason is, i like many types of photography.. macro.. landscape.. portraits.. action.. you get the idea. SO, i was hoping you all could give me some advice/feedback on what you think is pretty good and versatile. i would really really appreciate it. thanks!

    - jon
  2. Shopping is challenging and, hopefully fun.
    Tell us one thing:
    What shots have you not taken or tried unsuccessfully with your lens?
    Presumably your lens is a 18-70, yes?

    Do you need better low light capability? 50mm 1.4 or 1.8, 35f2
    Do you need shallower depth of field for portraits 85(either) 70-200
    Longer focal lengths? 70-200
    Wider for landscapes? 12-24
    Macro? 60 or 105mm

    The kit lens is a very nice starting point but, as with all lenses, must have limitations.

    There is nothing I find more gratifying than helping other people spend their money. Thanks for asking. BTW what's your budget???? We'de love to see you buy a 200f2G VR

    You have come to the right place, be that your quest! :biggrin:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2005
  3. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    The kit lens is a capable performer for both landscapes and portraits. My suggestion would be to invest in a decent telephoto zoom next. In ascending order of cost:
    70-300 G
    70-300 ED
    80-200 f/2.8
    70-200 f/2.8 VR
  4. If your budget will allow, the 70-200mm f2.8 VR is a wonderful lens and will work nicely with what you have.
  5. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Ditto to Gordon's suggestion. Kit lens, 70-200VR, Kenko extension tubes, and TC17 IMHO is quite a capable arsenal.
  6. Unless you ABSOLUTELY can't afford anything more, after several months your D70 needs way more than a 70-300 G.....At the very least if you can't afford anything else get the Nikon 70-300 ED or the Sigma 70-300 APO Super II (the $200+ one), I've heard it is pretty good.
    Now, if you're willing to do the proper thing, then you must go for one of the REAL telephoto lenses :) 
    These are:
    Nikon AF-D 80-200 f/2.8D ED-IF- screwdriver AF is noisy but not too bad speedwise, and optically this is only beaten twice in zooms
    Nikon AF-S 80-200 f/2.8D ED-IF- Relatively rare, due to its short production run... sells in the $900 range, I had one myself. Huge, old crinkle style finish, whisper quiet and lightning fast AF. Think of it as lightning without the thunder. I believe it is slightly Optically better than the 80-200 AFD
    Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR- Big, currently going through a shortage (everyone wants one), but not as heavy or wide as the 80-200 AFS along most of it. Better ergonomically IMO. Better optically, incredible bokeh, use a closeup adapter on it and you can do macro type work. Focus is just as fast or faster than the 80-200AFS, and VR can be quite useful. I have one myself, I paid another $400 over my 80-200 AFS to be able to afford it. No regrets.
    IF you want AF-S but can't afford those, Sigma makes a fine 70-200 f/2.8 EX HSM which is their version of AF-S. Several users here have it. The old EX APO IF version is being phased out now, and is selling for about $100 less than the new EX DG version. About $750. Check it out :) 
  7. I gotta say the 70-200 VR pretty much lives on my lens right now. I own the 70-300 ED and while it works, it works well only under certain lighting situations. I would highly recomend saving as much money as possible and get the 70-200VR. Its not proper to say you won't be disappointed. Its more proper to say you'll be seriously pleased.
  8. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    2 that I would suggest if you don't have a lot of $$ are the
    Nikon 28-200 F3.5-5.6 G IF-ED around $300
    or the
    Sigma 70-300 Super APO macro.
    I have owned the Sigma and own the Nikon and they are both fine lens'. I did have the Nikon 70-300G and returned it for the Sigma after about 3 days, just didn't like it very much.

  9. I reviewed your earlier posts, and see that you're a "starving student". That means we should keep this real, and not wave pro glass at you. You inquired about a long zoom a while back, and I think that one of the 70-300 class general purpose telephotos would complement your 18-70 lens nicely. The Sigma is one of the forum favorites and has macro capabilities as well, so you could kill 2 birds with one stone for about $200. The Sigma will deliver excellent results in good light.

    So you'll have your 18-70 for landscapes and portraits, and the 70-300 for wildlife, candids, and macros. All that's left is the action category, and if you learn good technique, you'll be able to do that with either of these two lenses.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2005
  10. Another option is the 70-210 f/4 if you can find one. They go for around $200 used. May not be as sharp as the 70-300 but I like the bokeh, tonality, and colors better.
  11. Dude, get a Nikon 180mm f/2.8 on the cheap, forget about zooms and perfect your technique with primes. Primes teach you the fundamentals of composition and are also of higher optical quality. If you're on a budget, this lens is perfect!
  12. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  13. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Hi Jon!

    Everybody's telling you 'go long, go long!' like this is a touch football game. :wink:

    Well, I'm gonna tell you different. Analyse the shots you take with your kit lens. It's got great range, so you should be able to tell what focal lengths you like to use. Then get a fast prime lens at that focal length. By going with a fast lens, it will open up many, many more picture opportunities to you when the light grows dimmer. Your fast prime (without breaking the bank) choices are 35mm f/2 ($300), 50mm f/1.8 ($100) or 1.4 ($250), or the 85mm f/1.8 ($350). All of these are spectacular performers, and you won't be likely to ditch them when the pachecks start rolling in.

    My particular choice is the 35mm. It focuses very close - a foot in front of the lens - and it's sharp, great contrast and color. The 50mm makes for a good 'head and sholders' lens and is the Nikkor bargain of the Millenium. The 85 is good for grabbing faces in a crowd, and regardless of what the 1.4 purists say, is a very good lens.

    Have fun with your shopping and good luck finding the lens you need!

    ps, after you've answered everyone on this thread, you'll have sufficient posts and can shop in the NikonCafe For Sale forum! :smile:
  14. I hope we hear back from Jon to get his thoughts on our thoughts.
    UF had the presence of mind to say "whoa" he's a student without thousands to spend and,on reflection, Chris's thoughts about economical wide primes and work on basic skills...sensible.
    Jon...let us know what you think about what we know. You are tapping immense, awesome, towering talent here. :rolleyes: 

    Not to mention...if he wanted, on a tight budget, the single lens to live with forever,,,he already has it!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2005
  15. Jon H

    Jon H

    Jun 25, 2005
    Stockton, CA

    First off, I'd like to say thanks to you all for all the help and advice. None of my friends are into photography and there are no photo clubs at my university, so this forum has been a great (and only!) resource for me.

    And here are my replies to some of your questions:
    -more than anything else right now, I think I'd like a zoom telephoto over a macro or wide lens (although if I could I'd get them all)
    -usually, I consider myself to be the "buy once, buy right" type, but in this case, my budget will simply not allow for it.. unfortunately =(
    -I really like the kit lens, but I've noticed that I've been in many situations where I could not get closer to the subject. so, that's why I'm leaning toward a zoom telephoto.

    After reading all of the replies, I think I have a better idea of what might be good for me at the moment. So now I'm debating between the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 D ED and the Sigma 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 APO Zoom Macro Super II. I always thought that it was better to stick with Nikkor lenses, but there seems to be a lot of support for the Sigma lenses as well. What do you think? Also, people have told me always to buy lenses in store and never online, because you could be getting ripped off by getting Class II or III quality lenses. Is that true? Because I've been looking at bhphotovideo.com and it seems pretty reputable. Oh, and I was curious as to why the Imported lenses are cheapter than the USA lenses. I am assuming the USA lenses are better in quality? Okay, that was a lot of questions, I think I'll stop there. =) Thanks again all, I really appreciate all the help!

  16. Hi Jon.
    First, I think hanging around here you tap some serious talent(not me) and get great advice.

    Lenses have an incremental increase in quality that is not linear. Generally you pay a lot more for a bit more quality. the 70-300 vs. 70-200 is a perfect example. We tend to get all hung up on bokeh(figure that one out) and sharpness. Photographic acumen should come first and many posters here know that. Let us know who you are, what your budget is and never should you feel intimidated by mediocre photographers with good equipment(me). we're here to learn, share and have fun with this as a hobby, job , avocation, calling, passion or simply a satisfying diversion from mundane life.

    The 70-300d is a great value. The 70-300G is Nikon's entry level and the "D" is worth the extra (with rebate $130) dollars. I'm partial to Nikkor, but that is to say nothing negative about others.

    On-line there are some shyster dealers. Avoid the ones that are 50% cheaper that retail. Too good to be true is just that. B&H in my buying experience is great. Adorama, Ritz and others are fine. Just ask here. An honest opinion is always at hand. One thing about this board...you'll always get more than you paid for.

    Happy shopping.
  17. No, the imported (gray market) lenses are exactly the same as the USA versions. The only difference is that they don't come with a Nikon warranty, and if they break, Nikon USA will not repair them for love or money. So, if you buy a gray market lens, make sure it's through a reputable retailer, because you'll be dependent on them for warranty work. BH Photo, for example, provides their own 1 year warranty on imported lenses.

    Not at all. In fact a goodly number of the online suppliers (e-tailers) are authorized Nikon retailers who also have store fronts. BH Photo and Adorama are in this class, and you can buy from them without any concerns.
  18. patrickh


    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    Used lens source

    On a tight budget, you can sometimes find a realy good price in the used lenses - for example the 70-210 is only avalable used. For these try KEH at www.keh.com. Here you can shoot two shibboleths for the price of one bullet - used and online. Every comment I have seen about them is highly favorable - they give very conservative appraisals of the condition, ship promptly and offer a return policy that works. When you have decided on what you are looking for, try them out for pricing. Personally I have bought three lenses from them and have been happy with all three. Best of luck in your quest, and you are doing exactly the right thing asking questions from this very generous crowd. BTW my own preference is for the 70-210 over the 70-300, and I have tried both, but you can get great results with either after working out how to use them.
  19. From what I have seen the most popular is the 70-200. And from the two choices that you boiled down to I would say go for the Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro. This way you'll have the macro as a bonus. Also you could add a super nice prime for cheap "50mm F1.8". This way your rocken. I have the Sigma 70-210mm APO Macro and have always liked it. But am looking at upgrading in the near futur for an F2.8 version.
  20. Living that close to Yosemite, I'd suggest a Tokina 12-24
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