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On a budget for new glass

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by VoidRaven, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. VoidRaven


    Jul 13, 2006
    Lagrange, OH
    So I recently came into a very small amount of money in the tragic wake of the loss of my grandmother. She left all of the grandchildren one last gift to spend on ourselves in a "fun" way (absolutely NOT to be spent on bills) to remember her. I, of course, was completely floored and now find myself in a conundrum...to which I figure the answer is to add to my bag something that will help further my hobby and that every time I use I will think of her.

    With that in mind, I feel my kit is lacking in three areas: wide angle, long reach (telephoto), and light. While I should probably just go with a SB800 and call it good I find myself more often in need of glass than light.

    I've been reading a LOT of the threads here but still find myself in some small state of confusion. I do like taking pics at parades, fairs/festivals, etc and those frequently find myself in tighter than normal spaces where even my 28-105 is a little "long". I find that I seemingly need "wider" more than "telephoto"....not that I wouldn't love to just keep saving up for that gorgeous 200-400mm.

    With that in mind....considering that I am trying to maximize my dollars without sacrificing too much quality....where to turn? Nikon 18-70? Tokina 12-24? Something else I'm not considering currently?

    I shoot mostly animals, some people, some landscape/flowers, fairs/parades...will be heading to Hawaii for the first time ever in December and will be spending 2 week there (1 week on the Big Island, 1 week in Oahu, with some island hopping possibly too).

    If I can figure this right, I can possibly get both a lens AND light...but that's a whole 'nother question too (SB600 versus SB800).

    My current kit is listed below in my sig. What I am seeking is insight as to how to go about making this next purchase. I haven't bought gear for a while but I have been creating a list of "wants"....yet now that I have the means to select something from that list I find myself totally indecisive!!! HELP!!
  2. Don

    What a nice idea your grandmother had!

    If you're considering a wide angle lens (your current lenses are nowhere close to wide) you might do a search for threads that talk about (show) wide angle shots, to see the kind of "look" you can achieve with one.

    One such thread I just read has an amazing example of a wide angle landscape shot...


    but there are many others. A trip to Hawaii could be a great place to use wide angle.

    As far as light goes, you may want to consider using an SU-4 (wireless flash slave controller)to work with your current SB-28DX or SB-28. These are relatively inexpensive and can allow your internal D200 flash to fire them off camera. Go check out the "Lighting and Flash, Cameras, and gear" forums to learn more about this.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  3. davidzvi


    Apr 30, 2005
    Based on what you have:

    Tokina 12-24 for the wide end

    One of these:
    • 70-300 vr great telephoto on a budget.
    • 300 AF-S f4 or since you have a powerful body in the D1, maybe the older and less expensive AF-D version
    • Or you could just add a Kenko 1.4 tc to your already great 80-200
  4. VoidRaven


    Jul 13, 2006
    Lagrange, OH
    Hmmm...Kenko 1.4....not something I had thought about. I'll have to check into that. Thanks!

    See, the Tokina was the direction I had been leaning into when I first set out to build my "want/need" list of camera gear. Now that I actually can afford something I'm waffling between that and other stuff.

    I know I need wide angle...been in too many situations where even my 28-105 was tight...

    I've only got $500 to work with so I need to maximize my dollars.

    What about the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8? Is it any good?
  5. Check this thread on the Tamron 17-50 f2.8. Most folks recommend getting a copy made in Japan if possible, but I have one assembled in China and have been very pleased with it. Within this thread, there is a link in my post to yet another thread on the 17-50's. https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=109816

    Good luck in your search!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  6. adaml


    Feb 21, 2006
    You really should consider first adding a wide-angle to your collection, especially with your upcoming trip to Hawaii, which will give you unlimited opportunity to put it to good use. Composition with a wide-angle is tough because you need to keep good foreground interest, but it should also be complementary to the mid-ground, and the background.

    I have the Nikon 12-24, which I love, but I've heard great things about the Tokina 12-24 which you mentioned.
  7. davidzvi


    Apr 30, 2005
    Ok here you go.

    KEH has an "EX" grade Tokina 17mm fixed for $265.00 (this lens gets a 9.2 out of 10 over on fredmiranda.com).
    Then add the Kenko 1.4 for you 80-200. Make sure you get the Kenko PRO 300 1.4x. Kenko makes another model, but this is the one to get. Do a search here on the Cafe you'll find many have and use it.

    Best of all you'll still be under you're budget.
  8. whyhan


    Jun 14, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    Seeing what you have, you would gain more from a tokina 12-24mm than a 1.4x extender; and never feeling 'a little long' ever again. Of course, if budget allows.
  9. If I were in your situation, I'd sell the two flashes you currently own and pick up the SB-600. It's a great flash, and unless you need a ton of power and a bit faster recycling time, it'll handle your needs. Then I'd take the rest of the money and pick up the Tokina. As posted above, you'll love it in Hawaii. It's a great lens and it's built like a tank. Used versions pop up on the FS forum frequently for around $400-425. Then you can pick up the Kenko TC off ebay for $125 if you need it. Keep the 28-105 as a walk-around lens and a bridge to the 80-200 until you can fill that spot with a pro lens like the Beast.:biggrin: By doing this, you haven't taken up any more space in your bag - which will be a good thing on vacation.
  10. VoidRaven


    Jul 13, 2006
    Lagrange, OH
    WOW! Thanks for all of the feedback so far folks. I'm kind of surprised at the overwhelming votes for the Tokina 12-24 but then again not so much after reading several other threads here about it.

    As of right now I'm kind of waffling between the Tokina 12-24 (because it will use pretty much my entire budget) or something like the Nikon 18-70 with SB-600. Seeing as my wife shoots a Fuji S2 the 18-70 would get a lot of use even when I added something like the 12-24 later because it would basically disappear into her bag eventually. Kind of gives me an excuse to buy another lens later too once she starts to use it and wants to permanently add it to her kit :) 

    I have given up the thought of a tele at this point. Really no need for it just yet. Perhaps in a couple years I'll start looking at something like the 80-400mm or whatever to "complete" my kit and then start replacing other lenses with more "pro" glass.

    I'm hesitant to sell the two SB-28's because 1) they work great on my D1 so I want to keep at least one for that body which I use as a backup and 2) I'm a bit of a gear pack-rat and have sort of unofficially been collecting camera gear like my wife collects those little Charming Tails figurines. At some point I'll get a display case to show off the various "evolutions" of cameras that I have.

    Thanks for all the insight so far folks! Keep it coming!
  11. Vote for the Tokina 12-24 here. I went on many trips to places like Hawaii, Australia, Europe and elsewhere without a wide angle, and now I've come to love it.

    This may not be the best example, but it gives a good idea of the capabilities of a wide angle like the 12-24, and since your grandmother wants you to have fun, I'm sure you could do better than this:

    NIKON D200    ---    12mm    f/8.0    1/400s    ISO 100
  12. VoidRaven


    Jul 13, 2006
    Lagrange, OH
    Well, so far it has been impossible to find a Tokina around here locally so I can put it on my camera and see how it performs myself. Did go into a local photo store today and they had 2 of the Nikon 18-200 VR's in stock and at only $705! Not $750, but $705.....it was all I could do NOT to buy it. I walked out, my fingers still itching to grab it and say "I'll take it"....man is it hard to have self control with this stuff!

    They also showed/tried to talk me into a Tamron 18-200 but despite trying it I wasn't too impressed with it. Also got to play with a Nikon 18-70 which performed a lot better than I anticipated. But they wanted $295 for it used and I can get it new for $290 elsewhere.

    *sigh* The hunt continues...but it is fun looking at/handling all this shiny new glass!
  13. If you're having trouble finding an available Tokina 12-24mm, have you considered the Sigma 10-20mm?

    The reviews I've read on SLR Gear ( http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/index.php) and The Nikonian's site ( http://www.nikonians.org/html/resources/nikon_articles/nikkor/af/wide_angles_shootout/index.html ) suggest that the four lenses (Nikon, Tokina, Sigma, Tamron) come pretty close to each other in performance.

    I have been very satisfied with my Sigma 10-20mm and would recommend it. Many folks on this site also speak highly of it. I also really like the 10mm at the wide end. :smile:
  14. VoidRaven


    Jul 13, 2006
    Lagrange, OH
    Dan...I had not thought too much about the Sigma 10-20. Wasn't sure if it was starting to get a little too wide and I haven't seen many pics to show it's performance. Out of the several lenses (Sigma, Tokina, Nikon) 90% of everyone I've talked to/read about all say Tokina...so there must be something to it.

    Jim...Nice shots! I will be in Oahu and on the Big Island in December so that is a secondary motive for this purchase. Primary being I just need something shorter.

    Man that 18-200 was tempting...can't get the bugger out of my head. I think I should go look through the 18-200 Fan Club thread to see some shots from it.

    Just wish I could get my hands on the Tokina to play with it. Maybe I will call a few more stores to see if I can find one close.
  15. Don, Although I took several lenses on this trip, and used them all to some extent, the Tokina 12-24 and Nikon 70-300 VR got most of the action.
  16. mematsu


    May 2, 2007
    los angeles
    10-20 or 12-24

    Both are excellent. I've had two tokinas and presently have the sigma. Each have their quirks/advantages but in the end both will deliver. It could almost come down to which one looks or feels better.
  17. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Don, It would be nice if you used your parting gift from your grandmother isn a way that saluted her personally. Was she a long or wide kind of person? (Not talking about phenotype here, but personality wise.)
  18. Chris

    You have just demonstrated the true value of these types of forums!

    Not sure I would follow your suggestion, if I was Don, but I think it's an idea definitely worth considering and one I would have never thought of in a million years! :smile:
  19. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
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