Lens recommendations for D700

Mar 11, 2005
SF Bay Area, California
Anyone want to venture forth on this topic?
Perhaps those of you who have D3's might have suggestions.
What would be your recommendations for an ideal set?

aka beaucamera

Eye Spy

I'm thinking I'm set with the 20/2.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.4, and the 180/2.8.
Mar 21, 2007
Los Angeles
1. 24-70 for sure, 24mm is 24mm again, sharpness is comparable with some primes.
2. 14-24 if you didn't mind no thread for filters, wide and sharp, center to corners.
3. 70-200 if you didn't mind some vignetting.
4. 200-400, fast and versatile.

*TC14EII/ TC17EII, I, too, am looking for one for extra reach.
PC TS lenses for landscape, product, architectural shots.
And of course, those fast 300, 400, 500, 600 lenses if you could afford them.
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May 3, 2005
Owings Mills, MD
Hi Virginia,

I have been thinking about this for some time because I want to maintain my birding kit, but if I had unlimited funds and plenty of time :tongue::tongue::tongue: ...

  1. 14-24
  2. 24-70
  3. 70-200VR II :tongue:
  4. 85 1.4
  5. 200 f/4.0 AFS micro :tongue:
  6. 300 2.8 VR
  7. 28 PC
:tongue: = new lens maybe??

Of course, I would hate to give up my 17-55 for the third time. :tongue: Right now I carry the 17-55 and 70-180 micro. I use my 300 2.8 for song birds, eagles and the occasional humming bird.
Mar 23, 2007
Collecchio, northern Italy
Hi Virginia

my IDEAL set has not been released yet (*), besides, unless you are in a rush, I'd wait till next PMA to see what's coming soon. However, just to reply to your question, in the ACTUAL lens line, I'd choose:

Primes: 24 PC-E - 35 F/2 - 85 F/1.8 - 135 F/2 DC OR 35 F/2 - 105 F/2.8 VR

zoom: 17-35 F/2.8 - 28-75 F/2.8 (or 24-70 if you can afford that, but in this case you could think if you really the FF range from 17 to 24) - 70-200 VR

My ideal set on a FF camera could be:

24-135 F/4 AF-S N ED VRII macro 1:2 for traveling
a 16-42 F/2.8 AF-S N ED to go VERY wide
a 25-50 F/2 AF-S N ED for low light street photography (prime zoom)
a 90-135 F/2 AF-S N ED VRII optimized for portraits (prime zoom)
a 70-280 F/4 AF-S N ED VRII macro 1:2
a 120-400 AF-S VRII (already existing by Sigma) to go even further.

I think the reduced excursion of each lens could lead to an excellent optical quality while maintaining size and price relatively low (even if AF-S and VR of course need their space in the lens), so that for each kind of thing you could take with you only the walkaround zoom AND one of the other lenses, remaining light. Just one requirement, if possible: durable METAL mount, NOT plastic
Feb 2, 2005
Maple Bay, Duncan, BC, Canada
Real Name
Andreas Berglund
I have a tried a bunch on my D3 and come to the conclusion that this is what I want and have:

  • 17-35mm F2.8, it is plenty wide very sharp and has better range then the 14-24. Takes normal 77 mm filters too!
  • 20mm F2.8 AF-D, Does very well with the D3, very light and sharp.
  • 24-70mm, I dont have it but have tried it and I'm saving up for it.
  • 60mm AF-S G Micro. Probably the sharpest closeup lens I have ever tried. Decent at distance but not great.
  • 105mm VR Micro, did not like this lens on the D2X very good on D3 and D300. Takes all the TC's and does very well up to TC17EII!
  • 70-180mm Micro. Just love it! use it for many things
  • 300mm F4 AF-S
  • 300mm F2.8 AF-S II, lighter then the VR as sharp, who needs VR at 1/2000 of a second and F8 on a D3 at ISO whatever?
  • 400mm F2.8 AF-SII with TC's with great IQ at 680mm with the TC17EII. As far as I'm concerned the best lens I have.

I also have a 24-120mm VR. Great range! To soft wide open, only decent at F8. Linear distortion at the wide angle. VR works well. I wish Nikon would come out with a new sharp version at constant F4!
Jul 3, 2007
I have the D3 and some thoughts.

50/1.4 was an awkward FL for me on DX but it is fantastic on FX!

14-24 Simply awesome. One of the best Nikon has come out with in awhile and how can you not get it.

85/1.4 Not as good on FX as on DX :-( I absolutely loved this lens on DX and it pains me to say this. I'm waiting on a new 135 AF-S.

35/2 Still great on FX.

70-200 I dont get all this fuss about corner sharpness. It's superb on the FX as far as I can see and it's one of my most used lenses given all the kids sports in my life. I dont shoot landscape with it. How many people do?

Sigma 150 macro All I can say is wow it lives up to all the hype and it's superb. The longer FL macros make sense on FX.

I was lusting for the 200/2 and ZF lines when I was sharpness obsessed but not after getting the D3. All lenses look sharper on FX and all my lenses are now plenty sharp for FX. Now sharpness is just one factor along with contrast, bokeh, color etc.
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Depends on what you shoot and how you shoot it.

But i would stay clear from Nikon primes below 50mm (AF) none of them was to much to write home about on DX, and they wont perform any better on FX....

Sigma offers better AF primes on the wide end for FX.

Other then that just pick lenses that will suit your style and subject.
Feb 10, 2007
My "ideal" set.
14-24mm f/2.8
24-70mm f/2.8
70-200mm f/2.8 VR
85mm f/1.4
200mm f/4 micro
200mm f/2 VR
400mm f/2.8 VR
600mm ff/4 VR

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