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New lens suggestions....

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by KG72, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. KG72

    KG72 Guest

    So.... I sold off my D40, 18-55mm and 55-200mm kit lenses along with a few extra batteries and SD Cards for the body, and extra camera bag, etc. Neither the Wife or I use it. She grabs the D80 whenever she wants to snap off some pics and I grab the D300. Only ever used the 55-200mm once for the Champ car Race here in 2007 and decided I wanted more length so I grabbed the 70-300mm VR.

    The fact that I sold the 18-55mm didn't please the Wife too much as she liked the lens and used it on the D80 a lot to chase the kids around and snap pics of them. I like to use my primes.

    So I told her I 'd buy her a new zoom she could use. I want to get her some nice glass... she doesn't care if its "pro" grade or not. But if I ever need/want to use it I'd like it to be so.

    I was personally thinking either the 17-55mm f/2.8 or The Beast.

    Considering she would be using it the most and likes a more lightweight kit... where as weight doesn't matter to me... I'm sure she would prefer the 17-55 and I would choose The Beast. Though she would prefer a lighter kit... she is not a weak girl and could handle The Beast.

    Now... that said...

    She will often sit beside me and read Nikon Cafe as I'm going through it and comment on all the pictures taken by everyone here and does value the opinions of those that post here. She has learned a lot(as have I) from those here and her photography is getting noticeably better.

    She knows the approximate costs of both lenses and being the frugal lady she is would probably go for the 17-55mm initially but wouldn't mind the extra cost of The Beast if its IQ is considered to be better. Money for either really isn't an issue.

    So.... thoughts... opinions?
  2. What about the 24-70?
  3. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    I don't know if I'd call the 17-55, a lightweight kit
    but certainly lighter than the 28-70

    I do think the 17-55 has a better walk around focal range on a DX body
  4. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Kayne :

    Well, the Beast's a fine lens, but you might consider picking up a 35-70mm for her as a fine compromise. The IQ's pretty darned close to the Beast, it has a macro mode, that while limited, works well, and it's a much lighter lens. The neat point of this is that you'd have access to exceptional glass when she wouldn't want to use it.

    If she's quite taken with a bit more wide-angle, I'd suggest considering the 24-120mm AFS/VR lens. This lens has an undeserved poor reputation, IMO, and is actually an exceptional "walking around" lens. It's not too obtrusive, has reasonable WA, and reasonable reach. It's not excessively heavy, even just stopped down one stop, delivers some rather crisp images. Again, it's a nice complementary lens for you to use.

    Neither of these is a kit lens, both having better builds, and in the case of the 35-70mm, an exceedingly fine build. Both are versatile. Both would deliver images to be proud of. And...

    ... very much to the needs of your spouse, both are more on the affordable side than the Beast without taking on unacceptable compromises in lens quality.

    John P.
  5. You'll need the range that the 17x55 gives you when you shoot close up inside. While the 28x70 is great, I'd still go with the DX format. At F/2.8 it's plenty sharp for enlargements, much less snapshots from around the house.

    You may want to take the wife with you and put one of them on the camera so she can hold and feel the weight. You may learn it's larger or heaview than she wants. If so, you'll have to regroup.

    Lastly, you may want to have her play with the 35mm/F2 on the D80 without the grip. Just stick it on for her the next time she reaches for the camera inside. May be you can satisfy the need with what's in your bag already.
  6. KG72

    KG72 Guest

    Thanks for the comments all.

    I had thought about it. But she doesn't want me spending that much on a lens for her. I suppose if I could find one for quite a bit less than what I've seen out there... she wouldn't mind. With spending that much on a lens she thinks she would be almost afraid of using it for fear of damaging it if she had an "oops" moment.

    Thanks :smile:

    I have actually been kicking around the idea of getting the 35-70mm previously. I still might as one can get it for a good price for the quality. Will have to see. She mentioned she might want something a bit wider though.

    She has played with the 35mm prime and likes it. She wants a zoom though.

    Anyone else?
  7. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Kayne :

    The problem, IMO, is that it's hard to get a lens with high IQ, big aperture/small f/stop, and run from WA to mid-length zoom. The 18-200mm is OK on IQ (but not all of the range), definitely not fast glass, but hits WA to mid-range zoom neatly. The compromises are just too many for me - I'll lift weights and stay fit to carry more glass.

    If you add in the term "affordable", it's pretty close to impossible to satisfy all of the variables.


    The 18-70mm kit lens is (relatively) cheap, fairly ranged in focal length, and stopped down even one stop, actually has pretty good IQ. It won't work worth beans for low light shooting without high ISO, but the mix isn't bad. I got one for my spouse's D50 with all of that in mind (and she can raid my collection of glass when she wants). It's also light and unobtrusive.

    After that, the 35-70mm is probably the best of the group on the IQ and fast glass front, then followed by the 24-120mm VR/AFS, then the 28-105mm, the last two hitting the longer focal lengths, but not quite as good on the IQ and fast glass fronts.

    Then you're down to spending serious money on the Beast or the 24-70mm, which will easily more than double the cost of the most expensive alternative above (four times in the case of the 24-70mm), not to mention getting well along the curve on weight.

    I've had the 24-120mm along with me on trips to Asia and the Mideast, and it's been about the most practical alternative on the performance, size, weight curve. For me.

    YMMV, as they say...

    John P.
  8. I thought the 16-85 was a great DX performer... A bit wider and longer, good VR. Small...
  9. gd1418


    Feb 3, 2008
    Gurgaon, India

    If you are not averse to 3rd party lenses then how about the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro HSM. It weighs only 490g and is pretty fast. Gives you the additional Macro function as well.. Since you said wife likes\prefers wider angles, 17mm at its lowest would take care of most landscapes...
  10. I own both the Beast and 17-55, and I can tell you that there's not a lot of difference in the weight of the two. They're both bulky and heavy. They're also two different lenses. The Beast is the sharpest lens I've ever owned when stopped down. For portraits, I've yet to find a better lens. The 17-55 is a lowlight monster. It's not quite as sharp as the Beast (IMHO), but the difference is negligible.

    I've also owned 4 copies of the 18-70, and for the money, it's a remarkable lens. I found it to be sharper than the 18-55 (I've owned 3 copies of that lens), and much better built. But, as John said above, it's not a lowlight lens.

    If you're going to shoot lowlight shots, skip the 35-70 as it tends to hunt a bit when lighting isn't optimal. I had one years back, and it's a fine lens. I just didn't like the push-pull action.
  11. Dacali


    Aug 30, 2007
    My lens of choice was my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (without the built-in motor) if you don't mind a third party lens. It focuses fairly quickly on my D70s and D300 and was sharp wide open. It's also fairly small and lightweight too!

    Quality control seems to be hit or miss on the posts I've seen on here, but I love that lens!

  12. Having both the beast and the 24-120, I think I can comment here.
    The 24-120 is a good walk around with good build quality and being VR is easy to use.... however, as soon as I got my Beast, it has never left my camera, it is heavy sure, but you can't beat it's IQ IMHO.
    I am advised the 35-70 is also great so (funds dependent) what about that and a Sigma 10-20??
    The other question you might want to ask is whether you want to transition to FF in future. It would be a shame to have pro glass that is DX (ie. the 17-55)
    Take Care
  13. I'll second the Tamron. I recently tried their most recent version, with electric motor but not the problems oft recited. It was sharp, small, and lightweight....an amazing performer. I've used several Nikon zooms and own the 17-135 because it is sharper than any of them (save perhaps the new 16-85). The Tamron is it's equal, and faster @ a usable f/2.8....perfect for indoor grab shots of the kids. It's also the same range as the Nikon she liked, so she should be one happy camper.
  14. JustEd


    Jul 21, 2008
    Sacramento, CA
    It was

    with great trepidation that I purchased the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 HSM lens recently. First off, had to mail order as neither of my local camera shops had it. UPS did a pretty good job of messing the first one up beyond all recognition. Dealer promptly replaced it, thank goodness they require 10 bucks for insurance, and the second one arrived unscathed. Not a Pro, not a Semi-Pro, but really like the lens and the constant f2.8 aperture. Was also worried as some people have bashed Sigma for variable quality, mine seems just fine. If the OP can find one locally would highly suggest checking it out.:Love:
  15. KG72

    KG72 Guest

    Thanks all.

    I'm not adverse to a 3rd party solution. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is on my short list and I will be trying the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and comparing it to the Nikon version to see which one I like better. I'm also pretty impressed with the Tokina 11-16mm as a ultra-wide for myself and considering that as well. So 3rd party lenses are always an option.

    Christine and I are going to take the D80 to a camera shop or two and she is going to try a bunch of lenses to see which one she likes the most. She understands the benefits of fast glass when shooting in low light and has agreed to let me buy her something with a constant f/2.8 aperature. So whatever she decides she likes best is what we will go with.

    As far as switching to FX goes... maybe sometime down the road I will. But its not something I have put much thought into. For now I'm happy with DX.

    Maybe when we pick a lens up for her I'll grab The Beast for myself :biggrin:
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