Lens options opinions needed to go from 10-400mm

Joined
Feb 14, 2008
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Aliso Viejo, CA
I am looking at getting a set of 3-5 lenses to get from around 10mm all the way to either 400mm or 500mm. My criteria are that they must all be zoom lenses, VR is preferable, lighter lenses are preferable (but not required), the Tokina 11-16 is my wide-angle zoom of choice and will be included no matter what the other lenses are, and the budget isn't a problem as it will be spread out over a year or two worth of saving and spending. Here are some permutations I've come up with:

Tokina 11-16 --> Nikon 16-85 VR --> Nikon 70-200 f2.8 --> Tamron 200-500
Tokina 11-16 --> Nikon 16-85 VR --> Nikon 80-400 AF-S (when/if it's released)
Tokina 11-16 --> Nikon 18-200 --> Tamron 200-500
Tokina 11-16 --> Nikon 24-70 f2.8 --> Nikon 70-200 2.8 --> Nikon 200-400 f4
Tokina 11-16 --> Nikon 24-70 f2.8 --> Nikon 70-300 AF-S VR

One other problem is that I'd really like to get the Sigma 120-300 2.8 and the Nikon 17-55 2.8, but can't figure out what lens to fill the gap from 55-120mm. To me, the 17-55 is the perfect indoor and event shooting lens due to the focal length on the D300. The 120-300 is almost perfect, but could use Sigma's OS treatment to make it perfect.

Can you think of any other combination(s) that will cover almost all of the focal lengths from 10-500mm and that YOU would use to shoot with?
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
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Redmond, WA
Doug,

Of the shooting range you described, is there a particular area or areas of focal length that you favor in your shooting? I think that if there isn't an equal distribution, your money is best spent on getting the best lenses for those favored ranges.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
737
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Aliso Viejo, CA
Bill,

Thanks for the advice. I really couldn't say which focal length I would use the most. I like to shoot get-togethers and such, parties, Christmas, birthdays... but I am also really getting into shooting outdoors things like the beach, BIF, animals, etc. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that every lens will get its fair share of use, but not at the same time.

I'd rather spend too much money and get great glass that ensured that no matter which lens I choose that I would get great shots.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
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1,640
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Huntsville, AL
I like #4 the best, followed by #2. They are all good. By the way, you really don't need all mm focal lengths. Many great photographers have used one, two, or three fixed focal length lenses. At any rate, any combo in your list looks pretty good.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
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Amstelveen, the Netherlands
Personally I use:

Nikon 10,5 f/2.8, Nikon 12-24 f/4, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 70-200VR f/2.8, Nikon 200-400 f/4, and a TC-14e to get a bit longer when needed.

You could also replace the 12-24 with the 14-24 f/2.8, or the 200-400 with the 70-200+tc-17e

All depends on your budget :)
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2006
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Tampa Bay
Tokina 11-16 --> Nikon 18-200 --> Tamron 200-500
Tokina 11-16 --> Nikon 24-70 f2.8 --> Nikon 70-200 2.8 --> Nikon 200-400 f4

Wow- these two options are miles apart in $$$

I just started to build a semi-enonomy set of f2.8 zooms with the Sigma EX HSM lineup 18-50/2.8- 70-200/2.8- and 120-300/2.8 plus a 2x TC. I am not super worried about gaps or overlap in the range. I had a 10-20 zoom but never used it personally.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
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Calgary, Canada
i use the sigma 18-50 for indoors and events and find its focal length perfect, so i think you would be even more happy with the nikon 17-55. i agree though if you had the sigma 120-300 as well, the gap 55-120 to be to much. i have a 80-200 as well, and i wish i had something to cover the gap, as small as it is.

two options to fill your 55-120 gap could be either the sigma 50-150 or the nikon 105vr.
 
Joined
May 10, 2005
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Huntington Beach, CA
I have the same set of zooms that DigitalHeMan does, which is close to your #4 option. It works well for me and I'm very happy with the lenses, but I also have some faster primes as the zooms don't work "for me" when I'm shooting in low light and/or indoors. I don't want to complicate your choices but you may find the need for some fast primes, depending on where you spend your time shooting.

Ted
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
85
Location
Worcester, UK
Firstly the prices of the lens you listed mean you could pay from £1000 to £3000. A bit of a difference!

If you are serious surely the Nikon 12-24, 24-70 and 70-200 are the way to go?

If you're on more of a budget tokina 12-24 is v.highly rated and 70-300 VR is an excellent lens too
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
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Riverside, CA
Tokina 11-16 (your choice)
Nikon 17-35
Nikon 35-70
Nikon 70-200
Nikon 200-400

All will be 2.8 except the last, also, possibly very important, the last 4 are FX lenses, so if you upgrade bodies, you won't be out of luck.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2006
Messages
1,146
Location
Encinitas CA
Here's what I settled on to cover this range (all Nikkors):

10.5mm DX Fisheye (with "lens hood" petals cut off to make it more usable with the D3)
14-24mm
28-70mm (May be replaced w/ 24-70mm at some point)
70-200mm VR
200-400 VR

I have a bunch of other lenses, but this is the "core" group to cover the focal length range with very good quality. These are the ones I would ultimately not part with, if something dictated that I could only have 5 lenses.

-- Russ
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
737
Location
Aliso Viejo, CA
Here's what I settled on to cover this range (all Nikkors):

10.5mm DX Fisheye (with "lens hood" petals cut off to make it more usable with the D3)
14-24mm
28-70mm (May be replaced w/ 24-70mm at some point)
70-200mm VR
200-400 VR
-- Russ

The costliest group of lenses, but arguably the best also. Thanks for the info Russ. My wallet has already started to tremble every time I visit this site. :smile:
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
6,675
Location
Riverside, CA
Can you think of any other combination(s) that will cover almost all of the focal lengths from 10-500mm and that YOU would use to shoot with?
What I shoot with is: 12-24, 17-55, 17-35, 55 micro, 24-120, 70-200, 80-400 and 300f4 all Nikon. I also have, but rarely use: 18-70, 35-135, 24, 28, 50. Recently sold an 85 and 180 as I never used them anymore, also had an 18-35 which was replaced by 17-35.
 

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