noob help needed with lens purchase...

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by jlfk270, May 15, 2007.

  1. jlfk270

    jlfk270

    18
    Mar 4, 2007
    Bedminster, PA
    Hi, I've been trolling around here for a few weeks/months aquiring info for an upcoming purchase. I plan on either getting the D70s or D80 and I would like suggestions/recommendations on a good overall lens. I have a very broad range of pics that I like to shoot ranging from lanscapes to macro. I also want a decent zoom for close-ups on animals and what not. If possible I would like to just have one lens that covers everything well with an affordable price tag of hopefully under $300. (yes I like to dream)
    TIA,
    John
     
  2. Baywing

    Baywing

    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    If I could make a 10-600 f2 lens with a 77mm filter size that was under 6" long and about 3/4 lb in weight that sold for $300 I'd be rich (assuming my costs were nil).
    Your requirements don't really match any of the current offerings. The best advice is to wait until you have enough money to buy something good, and start slow and build from there.
    The 18-200 VR is the closest, but is way beyond your current budget figure.
     
  3. jlfk270

    jlfk270

    18
    Mar 4, 2007
    Bedminster, PA
    considering that, any suggestions for a two lens tandom that would fit those requirements?
     
  4. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Actually the Nikon low cost lenses specialize in lenses that cover everything. Look at the 18-70 and 18-135 kit lenses. And although it's way out of your price range check out the 18-200vr. Also consider the recently discontinued, but still available, 28-200G. Sigma, Tokina and Tamron also make 'standard zooms'.

    Hey, and welcome to the Cafe John! Have you decided on which camera you are going after? The 70s would leave a few extra $$ for the lens ya know.
     
  5. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    18-55 & 55-200.
     
  6. +1 to everything that Chris101 has said.
     
  7. cadman

    cadman

    301
    Dec 4, 2006
    Johns Creek, GA
    Man I would jump on a used 18-70 and a new 55-200vr. Great coverage and IQ for the price.
     
  8. jlfk270

    jlfk270

    18
    Mar 4, 2007
    Bedminster, PA

    Thanks! I still haven't fully decided on the camera yet. I'm having a hard time justifying the cost of the 80 as a hobbyist, but I would like to have the ability for poster sized enlargements, especially if I get into agressive cropping. That is why I'm now looking into lens options to see if there is money I can save there while keeping IQ, thus allowing me to spring for the 80.
     
  9. jlfk270

    jlfk270

    18
    Mar 4, 2007
    Bedminster, PA
    any good leads/links/sites for used lenses?
     
  10. Baywing

    Baywing

    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Great used lenses can be had from KEH.com. Their grading is usually conservative and they have a very good return policy.
     
  11. jlfk270

    jlfk270

    18
    Mar 4, 2007
    Bedminster, PA
    I will check it out...thanks
     
  12. mugman

    mugman

    143
    Dec 2, 2006
    California
    I think the 18-200VR is your answer. I would try holding off till you save up enough funds to purchase one. The wait will be painfull, but the reward will be sweet.
     
  13. revdhd

    revdhd

    May 2, 2007
    Cincinnati
    Is this the right Question?

    Hi, John,

    There are so many fine shooters on this forum and they all have excellent takes on your question. I've owned the 18-70 and the 18-200 and found them both to be good lenses.

    However, I'm wondering if you might not be asking the right question, i.e., which lens should I buy? When I first began DSLR shooting, I was coming from a point-and-shoot and I was a snap-shooter. I had very little understanding of photography. And, like you, if it held still long enough, I'd take its photo. And frankly, I got a great deal of enjoyment from this. I still cherish a few of those shots.

    But a funny thing happened to me when I shifted to a DSLR... my contentment disappeared. After I took my first hundred shots I began to see the enormous improvement that DSLR shooting brought to my images. The images were far more crisp and sharp, more colorful, more interesting framing, and overall better image quality. I wanted to get better. So, I went nuts and bought about six lenses. The good that came out of that was two-fold... one, I was able to sell them for as much as I'd paid for them. Two, I kept a 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor.

    As I began to shoot everything with the 50 (it was my only lens by then), I learned how to compose. I learned how to move closer and fill a frame. I learned about light and how it affected the image I wanted to make. I learned to think about what I wanted to capture before I even reached for my camera. I learned about the 50's strengths its weaknesses. And I began producing some really pretty nice images... not the quality of much you see on this forum, but some pretty good stuff for me and way better than my old p&s days. In short, one 50mm prime lens transformed me from a snap-shooter to a photographer.

    Now, since then I have acquired some fast glass and some fairly expensive stuff, but you can guess which lens is always in my bag. It's not fancy and it's not expensive and it's not flashy. But it always gets the shot because I learned with it. And shooting the 50 also taught me which shots I simply couldn't get unless I had a long lens, or a macro lens, or a wide angle. I discovered what I needed to get the shots I wanted. So my next purchases were far more wise and well thought out than my first ones.

    So, after all that baloney, I think the right question to ask is "which lens will help me learn to be a better photographer." And my response would be to suggest a prime, like, oh, I don't know, like maybe a 50/1.8 (at $110 perhaps the best deal in photography), or a 35/2 ($320). Either of those lenses will help you learn your new hobby and you will never be sorry you purchased them.

    Oh, and one more thing... whatever you do, be sure to have lots of fun! After all, this pursuit is about fun, so do what makes you happy, whether it seems outrageous or not. And remember that as long as you buy good glass at reasonable prices, you will almost always be able to get most of your money back if you should decide to sell. No decision is irreversible. That is to say, you almost can't make a mistake!

    Hope this helps.
    God bless.

    Doug
     
  14. jlfk270

    jlfk270

    18
    Mar 4, 2007
    Bedminster, PA

    good food for thought, I appreciate your advice/experince and will use it while considering where to go next. I do currently have a 50 from an older Nikon SLR I own...maybe I will start there with the DSLR and see where it takes me.
    thanks again
     
  15. jlfk270

    jlfk270

    18
    Mar 4, 2007
    Bedminster, PA

    I think I will keep this in the back of my mind and look for a used one for the future...grats
     
  16. He's of course, right on. The varied type of shooting you describe eventually become best with separate, specialized lenses. That's why we, humorously of course, warn to keep away from the lens lust forum.

    Good lenses, containing lots of glass, costs money. You would be amazed at people here in the cafe calmly talking about buying the 300mm f2.8 for around $4500. Even for me that's a ton of money...for photography. However, people find it so rewarding that spending this much to get great shots is not unreasonable.

    The best lens for the dollar, in my view as well is the 18-200VR. One of the most important parts of enjoying photography is learning how to shoot. This takes lots and lots of practice. This lens will enable you to learn the techniques first and give you good images to evaluate. Buying a couple cheap lenses will, I think, in the end prove dissatisfying and confusing as you switch back and forth trying to improve your shots. Leave one good lens on the camera and start practicing. Gradually as you learn more, you will see which type shooting you enjoy most, and then be more able to make intelligent choices of which better quality lenses to get.

    Thanks, Rich
     
  17. I have been looking round for a cheapish lens to extend the reach of the 18-70 I have right now, and stumbled accross the updated 55-200, now with added VR. I have been looking at the 70-300 VR (£329), and considering an 18-200 VR (£500 ish).

    Does anyone know when the 55-200 VR will be availalbe in the UK?

    Does anyone know when Nikon will realise that the Dollar - Stirling exchange rate is $2=£1 not $1=£1? I have seen this lense priced £249 in the UK and $249 in the US!

    Anyone tried one yet?
     
  18. I do of course plan to get a 50mm 1.8 as well, as like Doug said, I am a newbie and neet focus on composition first.

    The only thing I want to add is that sometimes, its not physically possible to get close to what you want to shoot, and if you did, you might miss the moment.

    Equally, I think my leaning might be for portrait photography, so I would like to experiment with how a focal length affects the representation of natural facial features in an image. Only by having access to a wide range of focal lengths will I start to learn this.

    I'm getting quite excited at the thought of it. Just need my SD card to be delivered now and I can strart snapping.

    Dale.
     
  19. Wel if you go for a d70 you also could take a look at the d40, same 6.1MP so the cropping isn't difference, and you spare money for another lens.
    And if you don't have other lenses you probably wil buy one like the 55-200 vr or 70-300 vr, and they all got af-s so they work on the D40.
    And if you like your new hobby enough you always can upgrade your body (maybe that time for a d90) and still use your bought lenses, al least this story is what i am gonne do this week, order the d40 and play with it, and try to find out what other lens i will buy for my traveling to india. probably a 55-200 VR or 70-300 VR, i am not out of that question yet.

    Aernout.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2007
  20. Aernout's comments are excellent. Once you get "into" photography you soon find that you keep the good lenses and change bodies as they are replaced by imporved ones. Lenses do not change that much and there are many older ones which still yield incredible images on the new Digitals. Frits even seeks out and buys only AIS (manual focus) lenses and saves loads of money, yet he has lenses which yield the best of images. But keep in mind that the D40 will only take autofocus lenses though, so you couldn't emulate Frits if you got the D40.

    Rich
     
Loading...
Similar Threads Forum Date
Please help me choose a lens. (noob alert) Lens Lust May 15, 2014
Noob question: 3rd party lenses with AF-S equivalent Lens Lust Dec 3, 2010
Lens noob...could use your help! *PICS ADDED* Lens Lust Sep 22, 2010
Help this Noob ROUND 2:modified ? post 13 Lens Lust Jun 5, 2008