Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Nikon Lenses

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 2, 2006, 7:26 PM   #1
Member
 
chhetri_inside's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
Default

Hi,
I'm pretty new to photography and found this forum full of gurus. I just bought a D50 with kit-lens and wants to do more. So, I'm on the hunt for right lens for about $1000 that will suffice my needs. I found lots of lens and looks none of the lens is perfect.
some has "barrel distortion", "vignetting", "soft picture", "bokeh", "light fall off" and blah blah. Can somebody points me to a place that will describe these things and help me decide what distortions are OK/correctable.
I need to take sharp photos close to what Pros get. I'm intersted in taking potraits and birds photographs. I'm planning to buy TC17 teleconverter later.
Any suggestions. Yes I already looked review on 18-200VR and I read as bad comment about it as there are goods about it.
chhetri_inside is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 2, 2006, 9:34 PM   #2
rey
Senior Member
 
rey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 949
Default

Since you're a Nikon guy, I'll point you to the Zen Master, err Ken Master:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/index.htm

He has lots of info, (yes, a lot are bias), but I wish there's a Canon guy just like him!

rey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 2, 2006, 9:47 PM   #3
Member
 
chhetri_inside's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
Default

I already saw lots of lens review on this side. And he even says kit lens(18-55) is great, thats why I wonder then why the heck people spend $1000+ on other kens ??? thats why I asked this question

chhetri_inside is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2006, 2:31 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
cameranserai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 548
Default

There are two types of Nikon lenses - professional and amateur - which is easily discerned by the price difference. The 18/55 lens is fine at about $160 for many people but is a f3.5/5.6 aperture lens, so taking photos with that lovely bokeh (blurred background) isn't possible. You need the professional lens, the 17/55 f2.8 for that which costs $1,200. Since it is f2.8 this lets much more light in and there fore you can take pictures in much lower light than with the other lens. The 17/55 is not though considered a portrait lens since it isn't long enough - 135mm used to be considered the norm for that which equates to 85mm allowing for the crop factor on a digital camera body.

You intimate that bird photography is of interest and here you'll need a long lens, 300mm being considered the absoluteminimum for this type of photography. I have the 70/200 f2.8 and I can assure you that it isn't long enough at all to get any reasonable photos without a TC attached, whereas my 200/400 f.4is highly suitable. Once again though, to take professional photos you are going to need serious glass if you want the bird in focus and the background blurred and this costsbig money. My 200/400 lens is listed now at about $5,000, the 300mm $4,500and the 500mm at about $7,000. The 80/400 f4.5/5.6 is listed though at about $1,500 but you get what you pay for - a good enough lens but not capable of producing professional style images. Nice pictures yes, but not up to the standard of the expensive lenses.

You mention a TC17E, which, if you fit it to a 70/200 zoom, might be good enough for bird photography but you lose 1.5 stops but starting from f2.8 that isn't too serious. I can tell you that this lens is a great portrait lens too. Here the price is in the region of $1,600 and this lens is now considered by pros and amateurs alike to be one of the very best zooms that Nikon have ever produced.

So, in conclusion, yes it is worth spending serious money if you want to take serious pictures, not just snaps. Your budget to do what you want will need to be extended to encompass the 70/200 and the TC17E though. Hope this helps.


cameranserai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2006, 7:58 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
rjseeney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Taylor Mill, Kentucky
Posts: 2,398
Default

cameranserai wrote:
Quote:
There are two types of Nikon lenses - professional and amateur - which is easily discerned by the price difference. The 18/55 lens is fine at about $160 for many people but is a f3.5/5.6 aperture lens, so taking photos with that lovely bokeh (blurred background) isn't possible. You need the professional lens, the 17/55 f2.8 for that which costs $1,200. Since it is f2.8 this lets much more light in and there fore you can take pictures in much lower light than with the other lens. The 17/55 is not though considered a portrait lens since it isn't long enough - 135mm used to be considered the norm for that which equates to 85mm allowing for the crop factor on a digital camera body.
First of all, being new to photography, I doubt you would notice the difference between pro-level and amateur level glass, especially if you're only printing at 4x6 or even 8x10. Also, you will be able to achieve blurred backgrounds with the kit lens...f/2.8 is not a requirement. Yes you need larger aperatures, but blurred backgrounds can be achieved even around f/8 with some care. You even claim to be able to do it. At f/4, using a TC.
Quote:
You intimate that bird photography is of interest and here you'll need a long lens, 300mm being considered the absoluteminimum for this type of photography. I have the 70/200 f2.8 and I can assure you that it isn't long enough at all to get any reasonable photos without a TC attached, whereas my 200/400 f.4is highly suitable. Once again though, to take professional photos you are going to need serious glass if you want the bird in focus and the background blurred and this costsbig money. My 200/400 lens is listed now at about $5,000, the 300mm $4,500and the 500mm at about $7,000. The 80/400 f4.5/5.6 is listed though at about $1,500 but you get what you pay for - a good enough lens but not capable of producing professional style images. Nice pictures yes, but not up to the standard of the expensive lenses.
Bokeh is a term I've been seeing more and more on the forums, and it is often used incorrectly. Bokeh is not blurred background. It is a subjective term used to describe the quality of the blurred background, specifically the quality of the highlights and how well the main subject transitions to the background. There is good Bokeh, and bad Bokeh, and most people wouldn't know the difference. Even experts disagree on the quality of bokeh.

Bottom line lens quality is dependent on price, but one does not need to spend thousands of $'s to get a good serviceable lens. You could easily get3-5 quality lenses for $1500 that will more than suit your needs. If you've got money to burn, or a a serious pro, those pricey lenses will serve you well.Also, if you are serious about birding, you will need a long pricey lens with a heavy, quality tripod whichwillcost as much as a good lens.

As a beginner, give the 2 kit lenses a try...you can resell them laterif you want to upgrade. They will cover all focal lengths.Then look at getting the 50 f/1.8(the best lens for the money). Depending on your shooting needs, you could look at picking up a speciality lens like a macro, of a longer single focal length tele. I would spend the extra money on a good tripod ($300-$500 or more), the SB600 or 800 flash, a nice bag, a polarizing filter and ND filter.





rjseeney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2006, 6:09 PM   #6
Member
 
chhetri_inside's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
Default

thanks for you views but if I buy lens for $5000 then my wife is gonna kill me and neither do I see any value on buying such lenses. I decided to buy it under $1000
and looks like I have two choices(considering I mostly be needing 30-80mm range and occasionally 200mm),

1) 18-200mm VR - $900
50mm/1.8 - $100

2) tamron 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di - $320 OR nikon 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 AFS $300
sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX HSM - $730 OR nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AF $800

3) any good 24 - 80 mm
any good 80 - 200 mm

All I want is sharp image with great color/contrast I don't worry about pincushion/barrel distortions for this prize.

Any suggestions ???
chhetri_inside is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2006, 7:40 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
rjseeney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Taylor Mill, Kentucky
Posts: 2,398
Default

Your first option is the best. If you look around, you should be able to get the 18-200 cheaper than $900...check B&H or Adorama. I would also seriously consider the 18-70, 50mm, 80-200 combination. You could get all three for around $500. Drop another $200 or so on the SB600 flash, and another $200-300 on a decent tripod. I think that would give you the most flexibility, good image quality, and give you the most bang for your $1000.

By the way, you say you have the kit lens.....what don't you like about it. Adding the 55-200 covers the entire focal range for alot less money and provide good quality.
rjseeney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2006, 8:11 PM   #8
Member
 
chhetri_inside's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
Default

thanks ... I was thinking somebody would say choice 2) is good. I'm not sure if it's because of my lack of techniques or what but somehow I feel the images from 18-55 kit lens is not SHARP :-)
my primary concern is sharpness and color/contrast only and I'm not planing to use tripod(OR rather I would prefer travelling light).
What do you think of lenses not made by nikon. I somehow feel that high end nikon lenses are OVER priced compared to canon. If its so then may be I will sell my D50 itself and buy canon Rebel XT plus canon lenses.

chhetri_inside is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2006, 9:05 PM   #9
Member
 
chhetri_inside's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
Default

I just saw some sample pictures taken using 18-200mm at digitalreview.ca. They look OK except I see lot of color problem(blusih color) at edges of images.
chhetri_inside is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 2006, 9:28 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
rjseeney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Taylor Mill, Kentucky
Posts: 2,398
Default

Remember all images from a DSLR will require some sharpening in post. DSLR's do not process images as much as point and shoot digicams. You can also turn sharpening up in camera through the menu, but most would prefer to do so on their own, as it's easier to control on your own while editing.

Nikon's glass is a bit more expensive than Canon's L series. However if you can afford top of the line equipment, the price difference is not that big of a deal.

What kind of images have you been shooting?? Softness could be from focus issues, motion blur, or shooting technique...it's not neccessarily the lens. Most lenses are fairly sharp when stopped down (f/8-f/11), even the cheap ones. Also, most consumer grade lenses aren't as sharp when shot wide open (even some pro lenses). If you could post a pic with exif data, we may be able to provide some help to improve your results without requiring a huge investment.
rjseeney is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:09 PM.