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Old Feb 28, 2012, 9:50 AM   #1
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Default Extreme novice looking for D7000 lenses

I was able to pick up a D7000 last week. I also bought the Nikon 35mm F1.8 and an SB-400 flash, and 2x16gB 95mb/s cards. This got me started taking picture of family and friends, mostly inside. Love the low light pictures I am able to take of the kids in the evening.

I know very little about photography, that's the wife's interest, but she is so busy with work, I am trying to pick up some knowledge and get recommendations.

Long story short, I am looking for a lens with some zoom to it, for taking pictures of the kids without being right up in their face all the time, or in the backyard when they are out playing. Nature or architecture when on a hike or in the city are other interests. I know I want fast focusing and image stability. My wife prefers Nikon lenses. What do you recommend?
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 12:34 PM   #2
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That's a very tall order.

I'd say the best choice would be Nikon's AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR ($649.95 at Adorama.)
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 3:48 PM   #3
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If more than 1 lens is appropriate, feel free to recommend more than 1. Though for cost, is there is one lens that would cover me in many situations, I'd would like to know which it is!! Not be a professional, or even an advanced enthusiast, I'd rather have one lens that is good at many things, even if it isn't master of any one thing...

From my reading here and on other forums, I think what you have recommended, the 16-85 is about where I expected recommendations to be....Any other opinions?
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 5:07 PM   #4
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Totally agree with TCav, the Nikkor 16-85 is a beauty. It was recommended to me a few years ago and it is the one that stays on the camera most of the time for portraits, landscapes etc.
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Old Feb 29, 2012, 8:36 AM   #5
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Spent a lot of time reading last night....got the baby down early!

Thinking long term, trying to build a collection of lenses, I am seeing a lot of people recommending this line up:

35 or 50 mm prime for low light/portraits (currently have 35mm)
10-24 for wide angle landscapes
16-85 for everyday use, portraits, etc.
70-300 for extended zooming
105 for macro

I have also seen a lot of recommendations for the 18-200. If I didn't think we needed the extra zoom, is this a better choice than the 16-85 plus the 70-300?

Is the 10-24 really much better than the 16-85 for wide angle landscapes?

We have a yard full of flowers, in fact, the first bloomed a couple weeks ago, and the last of the year usually die back in early December. So although I am looking for a general purpose lens right now, perhaps the macro lens should be my second purchase!

So many decisions...

Last edited by Fiziksgeek; Feb 29, 2012 at 10:42 AM.
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Old Feb 29, 2012, 9:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Fiziksgeek View Post
35 or 50 mm prime for low light/portraits (currently have 33mm)
Without question, if you want to shoot in the dark, a large aperture prime is the way to go. And you've got the 35/1.8, which is very good.

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10-24 for wide angle landscapes
It's a very nice lens. It has a lot of vignetting unless you stop it way down (f/11 or so) and there's a lot of distortion at the wide end, but it's better than anything else. But it's expensive too. The Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 is almost as good and it costs a lot less.

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16-85 for everyday use, portraints, etc.
Conventional head & shoulders portraits might be a stretch, but in all other respects, this is a great lens for most things.

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70-300 for extended zooming
Also a very good lens. The Tamron 70-300 SP Di VC USD is almost as good, and it's cheaper.

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105 for macro
There's no such thing as a bad macro lens. You select a macro lens based on what you'll use it for. 105mm (or thereabouts) is a good focal length for some things but not for others. It depends on what you'll be shooting.

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I have also seen a lot of recommendations for the 18-200. If I didn't think we needed the extra zoom, is this a better choice than the 16-85 plus the 70-300?
The 18-200 is a jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none lens. It can do a lot of things, but it does few of them well. The image quality you'll get from the 16-85 and the 70-300 will run rings around what you'll get with the 18-200. I think it would be unfortunate to get a great camera like the D7000 and saddle it with such a mediocre lens.

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Is the 10-24 really much better than the 16-85 for wide angle landscapes?
The 10-24 goes about 1/3 wider than the 16-85, but the 16-85 is still pretty wide. I wouldn't get a wide angle zoom until I started bumping into limits of the lenses I already had.

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We have a yard full of flowers, in fact, the first bloomed a couple weeks ago, and the last of the year usually die back in early December. So although I am looking for a general purpose lens right now, perhaps the macro lens should be my second purchase!
Macro lenses project images onto the image sensor that are the same size as the subject. (That's 1:1 magnification.) If any of your flowers are less than an inch wide, they will fill the sensor witha macro lens at its closest focusing distance. If your flowers are about 4 inches wide, a lens with a magnification ratio of 1:4 will do fine. As it happens, both the Nikon 70-300 and the Tamron 70-300 SP can do 1:4 magnification, (and the 16-85 is not far behind at 1:4.5) so you don't necessarily need a macro lens for your flowers.

And if all you'll be shooting is flowers, you can get away with a shorter focal length, which will be less expensive. Longer focal lengths are so you can avoid frightening animate subjects and not block your own light. If you've got good light, or a macro flash or ring light, and you're shooting inanimate subjects, a shorter focal length might work better.

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So many decisions...
I think you may be having a problem because you're trying to cover every poteniality before you've even started. Start with a good body with a large selection of all types of lenses, get the lenses you think you'll need now, and cross all those other bridges when you come to them.
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Old Feb 29, 2012, 10:51 AM   #7
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I think your right TCav, and I appreciate the feedback. I guess wht I mostly want to avoid, is buying something twice...or rather buying something now, because its cheaper, and then replacing it with something better/more appropriate later on. Dollar wise, I would rather buy quality up front. Although there is a limit to the budget...haha. I am a planner....it drives the wife nuts, but I need a plan...so just thinking of the future!

From what you are saying, the combination of the 16-85 and 70-300 would do most everything I desire pretty well.

Are their particular accessories you would also recommend as "necessities"? Filters? Hood? got a favorite camera bag appropriate for carrying the D7000 plus 2-3 lenses around?
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Old Feb 29, 2012, 11:10 AM   #8
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Memory cards (plural), spare batteries (maybe even a spare charger), maybe a vertical grip, blower, LensPen, lens cleaning cloth (Mine is 18% gray so I can use it for setting a custom white balance when I need to.)

The 16-85 and 70-300 come with hoods. I don't recomend filters, but you may enjoy working with a Polarizing Filter occasionally. (As it happens, both the 16-85 and the 70-300 use 67mm filters, so you'd only need one.) I had a polarizing filter once. I used it a few times and liked the results, but never bothered with it again.
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Old Mar 9, 2012, 9:44 AM   #9
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So they 16-85 is out of stock everywhere. I think I am going to put it on order, but don't know when it will come in.

I am going to a wedding the first weekend in May, our daughter is a flower girl. We are certainly not their wedding photographer, but it would be nice to take some additional pictures for our friends. If I were to rent a lens for that event, what lens might you suggest. The wedding is on Cape Cod, the ceremony is planned to be outside, the reception inside. Should I rent a 16-85 (if mine doesn't come in) or would there be another more appropriate lens, even a more expensive one for a special occasion? Maybe a 17-55 f2.8?

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Old Mar 9, 2012, 10:45 AM   #10
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If you have a flash, the 16-85 would be better than the 17-55/2.8 for almost everything, even indoors. (BTW, you can rent a flash too.)

FYI, KEH.com has the 16-85 used, plus they've got free shipping this weekend. That will save you a few bucks.
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