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Old Aug 1, 2016, 6:55 PM   #1
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Default 18-55 lens suggestion/comments needed please

Hello all,

I found a new D5300 body at a good price, so I guess I'm getting into the DSLR game. As we are going to northern AZ next month to look at some sort of big ditch they have there, I need a wide-angle lens. My question is this -- is the Nikon 18-55 f/3.5-5.6G VR II good enough to make sharp prints up to 8x10 or perhaps 11x14, or should I bite the bullet and get something like a Sigma 18-35 HSM ART lens for around $799? To be honest, I'm not excited about carrying the weight of the Sigma ART lens, but I will do it if it means substantially better IQ from my APS-C camera.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments you can provide!
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Old Aug 2, 2016, 8:31 AM   #2
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The 18-55mm lens is a good all purpose one especially if one is starting out with a DSLR. Image quality should be just fine if you select an aperture and focal length that is in the middle of the operational range. E.g. F/8 and a 30mm focal length. Kit lenses such as these tend to show some aberrations and weakness at the extreme ends of their operational ranges. The more expensive lenses tend to have superior performance at all settings,

If you are looking for a true wide angle lens however, you might want to look at a 12-24 mm Nikon's are pricey, but both Sigma and Tokina have some reportedly good lenses. I use the Nikon 12-24 mm f/4 and have nothing but praises for it.

If you want to stay within a budget and get some great images of the big ditch in northern AZ with the 18-55 mm, I recommend the following:

1. Use the lens in the middle of its operational range.
2. Since your focal length will not allow you to capture the entire scene, take images of the various sections and stitch them into a panorama.
3. Use a tripod for the above in order to keep the perspective angle the same as you take the multiple images. Also, a tripod will eliminate any camera shake that can cause blurring. BTW, turn off the VR on your lens when using the tripod or else your images WILL be blurred.
4. Stay until sunset to capture some of the most spectacular lighting of the canyon you'll see. You'll definitely need the tripod for that.
5. Put the camera down during your visit and take in the spectacular vista of the Canyon with your own eyes vs. through the view finder

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