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Old Jun 23, 2008, 9:18 AM   #1
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I have a D80 with the above kit lense and a 80-200 tokina f2.8. I am on the fense on these four lenses.

Nikon 16-85 VR ( I really would like a VR lense, but is it worth the cost )

Tokina 16-50 F2.8 pro ( I really like the feel anf finish of Tokina )

Sigma 18-50 F2.8 EX DC Macro ( I wonder if the EX label is worth the xtra cost of the 17-70 F2.8)

Sigma 17-70 F2.8 Macro HSM ( the least expensive,and seems the most practical )

This will my general purpose lense for photos of the kids indoors and outdoor, portraits, family events and anything else under the 80-200 reach.
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Old Jun 23, 2008, 9:33 AM   #2
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Angel L. wrote:
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Sigma 17-70 F2.8 Macro HSM ( the least expensive,and seems the most practical )
It's also dimmer. It's an f/2.8-4.5 lens, not an f/2.8 lens. So, you won't have f/2.8 throughout the zoom range, as f/2.8 is only available at it's widest zoom setting, with the lens losing light as you zoom in more). ;-)

The non-HSM version of it seems to have a pretty good reputation. I haven't seen any reviews of the latest HSM version yet. But, I don't see where this lens type would buy you anything over the 18-135mm you already have (and you'd end up with less usable focal range). The Nikkor 16-85mm lens is an even dimmer lens (it's an f/3.5-5.6 lens), and VR isn't going to help a thing for blur from subject movement. You need a brighter lens for that.

NHL has that Tokina you mentioned for use on his D300. He seems to think it's a pretty nice lens. Scroll down in this thread, and you'll see a post from NHL discussing why he bought one of these Tokina lenses for a lens to use on his Nikon D300, with links to reviews:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=585677&forum_id=66

If you're looking for something appreciably brighter (i.e., you want to take photos indoors without a flash), I'd probably look a primes instead of zooms.

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Old Jun 23, 2008, 9:49 AM   #3
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P.S.

I'd let members know what you don't like about the 18-135mm. and what limitations you're finding with it. For outside use, it's got a more usable focal range than the other lenses you've mentioned, unless you're just unhappy with it's image quality for some reason. For indoor use, you may be better off with a brighter prime versus a zoom if you intend to take photos without a flash.

You may also find that an external flash is a better way to go for those image types (versus trying to get by shooting without one using a zoom indoors, especially with fast moving kids, depending on the lighting you're trying to use one in).

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Old Jun 23, 2008, 10:15 AM   #4
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Thanks for the sugestion Jim, I do not notice anything wrong with the kit lense when using the flash indoors. What I do notice on portraits I do not blur the backgroung as mush as I would like.

Do you think I would have better results with a speedlight rather than a faster lense?
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Old Jun 23, 2008, 10:26 AM   #5
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Zoom in more (filling the frame more with your subject), using a longer focal length. You'll have a more compressed background shooting from further away at longer focal lengths, giving you an illusion of a shallower depth of field. Go for a tighter head and shoulders shot versus a full length shot (the tighter the framing, the shallower the depth of field for a given aperture). Then, use a wider aperture (smaller f/stop numbers) for a shallower depth of field.

Depth of Field is going to be based on Focus Distance (closer is shallower), Aperture (wider apertures represented by smaller f/stop numbers is what you want for shallower), and Focal Length (longer is better for a more compressed background since you're shooting from further away, even if actual DOF isn't changing because you'd have to shoot from further away for the same subject framing).

If you want even shallower, use a brighter prime with a wider available aperture (Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8; 85mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 ). Longer is usually better for the appearance of a shallower DOF. But, some of that is a matter of preference. Some users like a lens like your existing 80-200mm f/2.8 for portraits, too.

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

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