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Old May 10, 2009, 6:25 AM   #1
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Default Switching to Nikon - What lenses?

Hi, I've been out of photography for awhile (high school teacher with not enough time) will soon be retiring and now have lots of time to get back in to it.

I have a Minolta 7D camera body, Minolta 28-85 auto focus zoom lens, Sigma 75-200 auto focus zoom lens and Minolta AF100mm f2.8 Macro.

I'm thinking of either the Nikon D90 or D700 body.

What lenses would you recommend that compare to what I have in Minolta? I'll need the following:
1. An all around shorter range zoom telephoto,
2. A longer range zoom telephoto for birding and nature
3. And later a Macro for close up.

thanks for your help,
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Old May 10, 2009, 12:07 PM   #2
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I'd start w/ Nikon 18-200 vr (best all around lens available), then maybe get a 70-200 f2.8 vr, then micro-nikor 105mm for macro. I have a 300 f2.8 and a 400 f2.8 that I use for nature stuff but they're kind of on the pricey side and not being zooms may limit you a bit.
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Old May 14, 2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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If you go for a D700 --> 24-70 2.8. As your first lens. It has a wide angle (24 mm) and a bit of zoom (70 mm) that is ok for many things already. This lens will cover a lot of areas. This is an expensive lens, but if you buy cheaper lenses it does not go well with such high quality dlsr. Best allround lens... why best. The Exellent build quality and it has a 2.8 diafragma. A lot of light for your camera. The 18-200 is a small sendor format lens (DX) so that is no option for the awesome D700. The D700 has a large sensor (FX) more then 2 times bigger then an DX format sensor.. Capable of shooting at 6400 ISO and the pictures are still good.

The diafragma of the 18-200 is 3.5-5.6 compared to 2.8...big difference.

Last edited by feetjai; May 14, 2009 at 1:28 PM.
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Old May 14, 2009, 5:51 PM   #4
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I agree that one of the 24-70mm f2.8 lenses for the D700, if you can't afford Nikon then the Sigma is a good option in either HSM or normal. The older 24-70mm f2.8 is a good lens if you get a sharp one so just buy from a store that will allow you to take it back if there is a problem.

For the D90 I would go with one of the 16/17/18mm f2.8 lenses and you have options of Nikon, Tamron, Sigma and Tokina to play with. You can go with the 18-200, it is a good lens if you want a lot of coverage in a single lens but you won't get the quality of one of the other options.

Now with the longer end this is where Nikon doesn't really have anything in the mid price range. Canon has a pretty nice 70-300mm IS lens, the Nikon option is not in the same class. This being the case the Sigma 100-300mm f4 is a sweet option and takes a 1.4x TC very well.

The benefit of the D90 over the D700 when shooting wildlife is the narrower field of view so you don't need such long lenses for the same sort of shot. As most wildlife is about getting focal length this is really helpful.
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Old May 19, 2009, 5:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1616 View Post
I agree that one of the 24-70mm f2.8 lenses for the D700, if you can't afford Nikon then the Sigma is a good option in either HSM or normal. The older 24-70mm f2.8 is a good lens if you get a sharp one so just buy from a store that will allow you to take it back if there is a problem.

For the D90 I would go with one of the 16/17/18mm f2.8 lenses and you have options of Nikon, Tamron, Sigma and Tokina to play with. You can go with the 18-200, it is a good lens if you want a lot of coverage in a single lens but you won't get the quality of one of the other options.

Now with the longer end this is where Nikon doesn't really have anything in the mid price range. Canon has a pretty nice 70-300mm IS lens, the Nikon option is not in the same class. This being the case the Sigma 100-300mm f4 is a sweet option and takes a 1.4x TC very well.

The benefit of the D90 over the D700 when shooting wildlife is the narrower field of view so you don't need such long lenses for the same sort of shot. As most wildlife is about getting focal length this is really helpful.
Wow, my first day posting and I find I'm in slight disagreement with a "Super Moderator" :) About Nikon's 70-300mm lens that is. If you're talking about older versions, then yes, they weren't particularly good optically. But the current 70-300mm VR is tremendously improved, and from what I've read (in another forum not to be mentioned) for a year or two is that it is easily the best moderately priced 70-300mm lens available. It's focusing is quick and it has excellent resolution up to 200mm, dropping slightly at 300mm. Several months ago I bought and quickly returned Nikon's expensive 70-200mm VR "pro" lens because I found in tests (center of image, stopped down one to two stops, tested mainly at 200mm) the 70-300mm always produced detail as good or slightly better than the 70-200m VR. I never talked this up very much since the 70-200mm has such a good reputation (on DX bodies, at least), but a couple of days ago I found Thom Hogan saying essentially the same thing, where he said the the 70-300mm provides sharper images when stopped down to f/5.6 and f/8. Many other users have said that when used on FX bodies (D3 and D700, since the D3x wasn't out at the time), the 70-300mm became an even better lens because the 12mp FX sensor is much more forgiving than the D90/D300's much more pixel dense 12mp sensor.

I agree that the 24-70 is a very good lens for the D700 (if the size, weight and cost is manageable). For the D90/D300 I prefer the 16-85mm VR lens over the 18-105 (which is also a pretty good lens). Both are good companions for the 70-300mm, have a nice focal length overlap, and this longer zoom would be my choice for both DX and FX bodies due to it's quality, relatively small size and moderate cost (1.6 lbs/$590). If I was just starting out though, I'd get one of the shorter zoom lenses (16-85 or 18-105) and wait a bit before getting a longer zoom. Despite its slow focusing, I've seen others use the 80-400mm VR Nikkor (2.9 lbs/$1,550) effectively for nature shooting and birding. There's a good chance that Nikon will update it by adding AF-S later this year. Nikon has better, longer lenses, but until the OP shows that he can tolerate the weight and cost of these (200-400mm VR == 7.2 lbs/$5,900, 300mm f/2.8 VR == 6.3 lbs/$5,100, 400mm f/2.8 VR == 10.2 lbs/$8,800), they're probably out of the running.
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Old May 19, 2009, 6:09 AM   #6
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I'm happy to be wrong about the 70-300, and was just basing what I had to say on what I've heard previously from some of our Nikon users as I've not used the lens myself so if it is better quality than I had been lead to believe that is good news.
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Old May 19, 2009, 12:23 PM   #7
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I may just have a bad copy of the 70-300vr, but i find it almost unusable as you approach 300mm. Strange bokeh, prone to ghosting and flare. I still have it and use it, but have to be very careful above 225mm or so to get decent images.
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Old Jun 6, 2009, 6:13 AM   #8
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I have a D700 and use my older 24-120 most of the time. I know the old version or the new version don't get glowing reviews but it performs well in the real world. I also use an 18-35, especially inside the house. Both of these lens can be purchased used. Since I purchased the D700 my D300 and D80 sit in the safe most of thier lives. The D300 does make a showing is I need long or want to use the 18-200VR. Get the D700 and be happy. Even if Nikon comes out with the replacement you wont be sorry.
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 8:50 PM   #9
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Mark. Etal.
I have just bought the D5000 which came with the basic 18-55. I need a lens with some zoom. What would U recomend that will not break the bank. This is my first SLR.
Richard.
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 3:43 AM   #10
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Hi Richard, it is probably best to start a new thread as you will get far more answers. Also let us know what you want to use it for, under what conditions as well as your budget etc.
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