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Newish to Photography, Lens advice needed, please!

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by underitall, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Hi, im newish to Photography, and undertsand the basic principles of it, but, the thing I dont understand are different lense, its all a bit overwhelming in a way.
    I have a Nikon D40, Nikkor 18-55mm, and (Ordered) Tamron 55-200mm, I ordered the Tamron, because I want a bit more zoom capability, and it was cheap, but, whats so special about lenses like Nikon 12-24, and Nikon 20mm 2.8, 20mm doesnt really sound like much, and on its own, I cant, at the moment understand how and why anyone would want to spend alot on a lens like that, can anyone, or anything explain to me, and take away the confusion of how these types of lenses are so special, and how they can create different images, and thanks in advance, Tom.
  2. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    That is a "huge" question - and you send it to this "Lens Lust" where we all - or mostly all - suffer from NAS (that will say: Always want a new Nikon lens - just because it is a little different and can shot in a different way, and maybe better, but we can not help it (and we love it) :biggrin:

    The 2 lenses you are talking about:

    The Nikon 12-24: You pay for a wide angle lens, that goes from 12mm and that is really wide, and it is expensive to develope a wide angle lens (and not easy).

    The other 20 mm f/2.8 - here you pay for the ability to shoot at f. 2.8 and that gives some possibilities - better in low light - better in isolating - and lenses is normally sharper stopped down a little, so you will get a lens, that normally is more sharp at f. 4.0, than a lens, that starts with 4.0 (normally).

    That was the short story:smile:

    PS: I have the D200 and 2(two) D40 with 18-55 - I think the D40 + 18-55 is a real bargain, so you started very, very fine.

    ..and welcome to the "Lens Lust"
  3. Go to Pbase.com and do a search for these lenses. You will most likely notice a dramitic difference in image quality.
  4. Thanks for your replies guys, and im sure ill be in this section alot from now on, cheers again, Tom.
  5. the_traveler


    Mar 22, 2007
    Manhattan, NY
    Lewis Lorton
    The short answer to this question is image quality. With the occasional exception, expensive lenses just give better images than inexpensive lenses. - and are usually faster also.
  6. Anything with an F stop of 2.8 or lower are most times (not all times) professional lenses. They are capable of shooting in low light conditions and give that "creamy" bokeh.
    They are considered fast lenses and produce stunning images.There is whole lot more to be said but this is just a pinch of information. In a nutshell... a 17-55 2.8 AFS ($1200 lens) is much more different than a 18-55 3.5 G kit lens:cool: 
  7. It's a lot to absorb, so don't try to do it overnight. But before we go any further, allow me to suggest you cancel the order for the Tamron 55-200, and buy the Nikon 55-200VR in it's place. It's difficult to get a sharp shot with a 200mm telephoto lens unless you use a tripod or monopod. But the Nikon lens has image stabilization (VR) built into it, which is a huge advantage. Trust me.

    Put the 18-55 on your camera and look at the world through the viewfinder.... first at 18mm, and then at 55mm. Your field of view (FOV) is much wider at 18mm end, right? If you looked through the 12-24 lens, the 12mm FOV would be hugely wider, as in this image taken at the beach.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    It's difficult to make lenses that can gather light from such a wide area, and focus in on a camera's sensor perfectly, so that the resulting images are sharp and contrasty. That's why wide angle lenses like the Nikon 12-24 are so expensive.

    Now lets take the Nikon 20mm f/2.8. It's pretty wide angle, but not as wide as the 18mm end of your 18-55 zoom. But the f/2.8 part indicates that it's very efficient at gathering light... nearly twice as efficient as your 18-55 lens. The method for making a lens efficient requires a much bigger front glass element that's free of flaws. And that's what makes it expensive. The 20/2.8 produces lovely images...

    View attachment 218154

    and, in a pinch, can also double as a piece of art :wink:.

    View attachment 218155
  8. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007

    Of course the 17-55 is a better lens, than 18-55, but notice:

    The 18-55 is as sharp in the center as the 17-55 at 3.5/4.0 - even a splithair sharper according to the MTF (2251/2200)
  9. Well, thanks to you all, expecially me good old Uncle Frank (is it okay to call you that, sounds nice), quite alot of info to take in yes, but i think i undertsnad fully, and iv ordered the Tamron anyway,becasue of costs, and id rather trial and error on a cheaper lens, than spedning twice as much on another lens, but ill be up with you lot on understanidng, and pricing one day, thanks again, Tom.
  10. Billy Ng

    Billy Ng

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hartsdale, NY
  11. Tom, I don't know about you, but the Tamron 55-200 is 179 new, where the Nikon 55-200VR is 229 new. I completely agree with Uncle Frank that VR (vibration reduction) is very useful and is worth the 50 dollars. If you can cancel the Tamron, I would definitely do so...If you really are in dire need of money, get a used one for 179 at BHPhotoVideo.com...it's the same price as the Tamrom is new, and I guarantee you it will be a better lens overall.
  12. neimac


    May 26, 2008
    Don't frown on the prime lenses, (20mm 2.8). Im still pretty much a beginner at all of this myself, but I just got a 50mm 1.4 and I can tell you its far far better lens then the kit zoom lens my D50 came with and rather cheap too.
  13. I'd be honored, Tom.
  14. Well, thanks for the advice guys, such a nice place this.
    I bought the Tamron on ebay, so probably cant be cancelled, and it only cost me $114 new, so, cant be too bad.
    And VR, iv never, so far, had a trouble with zoom vibration, as of yet, but im sure, like you say I will, and kick myself for not getting the Nikkor, but the Tamron is only to get used to a bigger lens for now, as one day, id like to keep it original, and have all Nikon gear.
    Until then, Tom.
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