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what lens to get

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by bmallery, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. bmallery


    Jun 1, 2007

    I am looking for a new lens to buy before vacation (to Glacier N.P.) . Right now i have a D50 with the 18-55 kit lens, 50mm 1.8, Sigma 70-300 APO, and Tokina 12-24. I like to shoot landscapes and wildlife and airplanes. I was thinking about getting the 55-200vr since my sigma is a little soft, or i was thinking about getting an sb-600. What do you guys think i should get or what other suggestions do you have? I don't mind buying used lenses, and the price limit is $300.

    PS. what would be a good polarizer for my tokina 12-24?
  2. Zachs


    Feb 25, 2006
    I say sell the 70-300 and 18-55 and pick up:
    Tamron 17-50 f2.8
    Nikon 70-300 VR
    Your image quality will improve greatly + you gain VR and a 2.8 lens. The contrast on my Tammy beats out my Nikon 50 1.4 when stopped down, which would be great for your landscape shots.
  3. Hey back atcha', and welcome to the Café!

    Here are a couple ideas and/or suggestions:

    Your current lenses cover a great range, so . . .

    If I were going to Glacier with your equipment, and I were interested in shooting landscapes and wildlife (great place for both!), I'd be sure to have a decent tripod. Do you have one? If not, that would be my top recommendation. You can get hooked up with a sturdy Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 Pro with a decent pan/tilt or ball head for well under your budget.

    If you have a tripod, and would like to capture things like sunrises, or landscapes with a big dynamic range, or getting "silky" waterfalls or streams with a nice background (Glacier would be great for all of those!), I'd think about getting the following:

    1) a 2-stop graduated neutral density filter (the Galen Rowell ones are great, expensive and within your budget);

    and if that's the way you decide to go,

    2) A Cokin P-size adapter and a set of filter mounts corresponding to whatever lens diameters you have.

    You might be able to come close to acquiring all of the above options for the price of a new lens, especially given the inevitable "cost inflation/rationalization" that accompanies any and all trips to photographically rich environments - LOL.

    Just some thoughts . . .

    Whatever you decide, be sure to share some photos with us.

  4. bmallery


    Jun 1, 2007
    thanks for the tips, i might have to look into selling those 2 lenses. i already have pretty good tripod (gitzo 1257 w/markins ballhead) so i don't need one.

    what are the differences between a neutral density filter and a polarizer? is one better than the other for landscapes?
  5. IMHO, a good polarizing filter is a must-have item. Nothing else will get rid of glare, or provide more appealing blue skies, or heighten contrast in cloudscapes, etc. It will also cut the light entering your sensor, which can also be used to advantage.

    Since the polarizer's effects vary with one's angular relationship to the sun, on extreme wide-angle shots you might see a differentiation from one edge to the other.

    A Grad filter just lets one block light in certain parts of the composition - if you're interested in landscape / nature shots, this is a great enhancement to your toolbox.
  6. I've got a bit of an unusual suggestion.

    First, from what I've heard, the Tokina 12-24 is a fine lens, so you have a real winner - a definite keeper.

    The 50mm is also a no-brainer - possibly the best Nikon lens value ever produced. Another keeper.

    However, I'd suggest selling off the 18-55 in favor of the 18-70 - which is argueably another one of Nikon's best values.

    For the longer lens, I'd suggest an older 75-300. I know, it's not as sexy as the newer 70-300VR, but it's actually quite a lens. I didn't know much about this lens until my friend Elizabeth (Bosslady) introduced me to it. It's tack sharp at most all lengths and apertures, built like a tank, and can be found used well under your budget. It's a push-pull zoom, so if this turns you off, you might want to look at other options. It's also not particularly fast. But if you want some seriously sharp shots, this might be the lens you need.
  7. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    As Zachs says, get the Tamron 17-50, it's a league above the 18-55DX and 18-70DX kits.

    I only use Hoya filters, including polarisers. The extra cost is minimal and worth it. Also get a set of ND grad filters, they will help you keep your sky exposures in check and give you much richer colours.
  8. Pixelographer


    Dec 22, 2006
    Eric's right - these tools will make the most of your shots at Glacier. I used the 12-24 for every landscape shot. Only left the camera when I put on the 400mm. Goose Island at sunrise: 12-24 or the 50. Elk at dawn/dusk, Two Dog Flats: 300mm plus. Mt. Goat along Hidden Lake trail: they're close enough sometimes that anything works.
    You won't run out of subjects there, that's for sure. When are you going?
    We'll be there in early August to catch the flowers.
    Here's a link to some of my pics from last year.


    All the best!
  9. kbaird


    May 7, 2007
    Midwest, USA
    I am having trouble finding those.

    Is HITECH an ok filter for the Cokin P?

    When do you use soft or hard edge?
  10. kbaird


    May 7, 2007
    Midwest, USA
    Thank you for the reply and link.

    I will have to try one out soon.
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