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Newbie here. What lens for D300?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by paulg1979, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. paulg1979


    Aug 13, 2008
    Kent - UK
    Hi all,

    After selling my 40D - 24-105mm a few months back I realised I miss my DSLR and want another one.

    After handling a D300 the other day I have to admit I preferred it over the Canon and it seems to get the vote over the 40D. Shame the lens are not as good a Canons L range.

    I think i'm going to purchase one this week. My question is what's the best walkaround lens for it? I like landscape and portrait shots mainly. The 16-85 caught my eye but don't really here much about it on the forums. I'd preferably like something sharper than the 18-200.

    Any help would be great.
  2. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    For landscapes, the Nikon 16-85 should be fine, as its fairly sharp but slow wide open, but as you'll be stopping down a lot it shouldn't matter.

    If you need f/2.8 wide open sharpness, I'd go for a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, which is as sharp as the Nikkor 17-55 but much cheaper and smaller.
  3. paulg1979


    Aug 13, 2008
    Kent - UK
    Thanks i'll have a look at the Tamron. Is it a good build?
  4. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    The build quality is fairly average, quite plasticy. However its quite flexible plastic and (as I've found) the lens does bounce if it you drop it while certain heavier and better built lenses just break.

    Some may find an issue with the build quality, but it doesn't bother me at all. I'd rather have the weight saving.
  5. I'd go for the 18-200 vr as a walk around lens. for landscape I'd look at the sigma 10-20mm.
  6. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    I'd recommend the 17-55 /f2.8 as an incredible landscape / portrait lens. Both my wife and I keep this lens on our respective D300's most of the time. Corinne has small hands and she felt the combination was too heavy at first. After seeing the results, this is her preferred combination for carrying around all day. She still has the 18-200 (I already sold mine), but it does not see much service since the 17-55 /f2.8 arrived. :rolleyes: 

    Here is a sample taken with the D300 + 17-55 /f2.8 of our deceased friend, Scoochi:


    Here is a landscape shot with the D200 + 17-55 /f2.8:

  7. paulg1979


    Aug 13, 2008
    Kent - UK
    Thats a sharp pic John. Thats very tempting. We have a little Pug pup and would love to get some shots like that.
  8. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Thank you! I added a landscape shot taken with the same lens on the older D200.

    The other lens I suggest you consider in addition to the 17-55 /f2.8 is your choice of: 70-300VR, or 70-200 /f2.8. I own both; my wife owns the lighter 70-300VR only. Both do a great job; if you want to see any D300 examples with either or both lenses, let me know. We have thousands taken with those 2 combinations on file. :wink:
  9. John, just curious, where was the landscape shot taken?
  10. exitnine


    Jun 5, 2008
    Boston, MA
    I would recommand the 17-55 f/2.8, well built, sharp and silent.
  11. Funny, I've always heard that nikon lenses were superior but there bodies weren't.


  12. paulg1979


    Aug 13, 2008
    Kent - UK

    Thanks John. Yes I wouldn't mind seeing a few pics.:smile:
  13. ERAUGrad04


    Jan 15, 2008
    One more vote for the 17-55 2.8. It spends 80% of the time on the D40x. It is considerably heavier then the Sigma and Tamron versions, but it is also built like a tank. The focus is very fast and silent. The lens is very sharp at 2.8, but incredibly sharp by f/4.

    While I have never tried the combo on a D300, I would imagine that it would balance quite nicley.
  14. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005

    I took that shot in downtown Chicago, near Millennium Park. To get the flowers in the shot, I laid on the ground, and sought out the flowers that would look the best with the Cityscape. Getting back up was the fun part! :redface:

    Here is another 17-55 /f2.8 shot taken with the D2X in Monterey, CA:

  15. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    70-300VR at 240mm + D300. Alcatraz taken from inside a moving ferry through dirty glass on the San Francisco Bay (hand held):


    70-300VR at 200mm + D300. Handheld at Alcatraz:


    70-300VR at 70mm + D300. Handheld from Alcatraz:


    70-300VR at 300mm + D300 at The Louisville Zoo, handheld:


    70-300VR at 100mm + D300 at The Louisville Zoo handheld:


    70-200 /f2.8 + D2X at 86mm handheld at an outdoor concert at San Francisco:

    View attachment 240718
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2008
  16. Brodman


    Aug 26, 2007
    Knoxville, TN
    Having the D300, I can say that this is one killer combination. There has been a lot of debate lately on whether the 17-55 is worth the money. I think it is, but I also respect anyone that says they get great results with one of the other options. As a walk around tourist lens and for group shots, it is a great performer. You may need the extra reach past 55, so I would also recommend a 70-300 or a 70-200.

    Wow look at that: 17-55 + 70-200 = $2850.00

    You will have no problem finding people to spend your money for you.:biggrin:

    My 2 cents.
  17. CraigH


    Mar 21, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    Personally, I think that Nikon's Pro-Glass is superior in most ways than Canon's L glass. Even Nikon's consumer glass, though not the same build quality, tends to be sharper on the average. For example, I can't think of a Canon L glass middle zoom that has the resolution numbers Nikon's 16-85 consumer lens has.

    With respects to pro-level glass, I think Nikon has no peers at this time.
  18. 16-85VR is the no-brainer selection: small, quiet, small filters, VRii, great FL range, excellent resolution in working apertures. Partners the excellent 70-300VR - same filter sizes.

    A two lens kit covering an effective 24mm to 450mm on a D300, which camera has such excellent high iso performance that the slower lens speeds become largely a moot point, especially with VRii. Enjoy the shift from the poor old photocopier company!
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