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Archive 2012 · Lens Recommendations
  
 
goobers
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lens Recommendations


I know there are dozens of posts on the forums regarding best lenses and all that jazz, but I was hoping to get some feedback from those of you who have faced a similar issue as I am facing now.

I'm primarily a landscape, nature, and architecture photographer and occasionally dabble in event/sports photography such as marathons, cycling races, and conventions. Of the 10s of thousands of photos i take a year, i would estimate that 70% are landscape/nature/architecture.

I shoot with a Nikon D7000 and a Nikon D80 (which i'm hoping to replace wither another D7000 sooner than later). My lens/flash collection includes:

Nikon 135mm f/2.0 DC
Sigma 10-20mm wide lens
Nikon 35mm f/1.8
Nikon SB-600 flash (very rarely used)

I absolutely love shooting with my 135mm and my wide angle and can't imagine ever giving either one up, though I do recognize the Tokina wide angle is generally a better lens than the sigma. I typically hate shooting with my flash and would prefer buying a lens with a greater aperture to avoid having to use a flash. Also keep in mind that i prefer shooting from a distance and capturing people/things in their element (rather than posing). With that said, I've had a really tough time landing on the right lens combination to cover all of the types of photos I take. In particular, i'm looking for a zoom lens that will support indoor photography such as some sporting events or weddings.

I've considered purchasing a Nikon 80-200 f/2.8, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8, or Nikon 24-120mm f/4. The 24-120mm is an interesting choice because I would have very little overlap with my existing lenses and would allow me to shoot from a distance if I chose to. But on the flipside, getting a 2.8 lens is really attractive due to the greater aperture. I have rented all of the lenses mentioned with the exception of the 24-120mm and they all product great images. The 70-200mm and 80-200mm (new version) were a bit heavy for my liking (shoot handheld often), but the range on those lenses are just phenomenal.

I'm curious, for those of you who faced a similar decision as me, was there something else that you considered or factored into making the choice?

-Goobers



Sep 13, 2012 at 03:27 AM
biggbird
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lens Recommendations


If you were considering the 24-70, why not give some though to the 17-55 2.8? It may not be quite as long as you had wanted, from the sounds of it, but in my experience, it's a fantastic walkaround lens. I've had a lot of fun using it at events, for which it seems to be just the right focal length. Having said that, I use my flash a lot, as shooting wide open just isn't practical when a) in a dark club, or b) trying to keep an entire group of people in focus. Bounce flash has been great

There's recently been a thread on this lens, which has given some good examples of its versatility! you can find it here:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1147069

Perhaps not quite what you wanted, but another option anyway

Good luck with whatever you choose




Sep 13, 2012 at 04:12 AM
goobers
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lens Recommendations


Thanks for making the recommendation, biggbird. I was actually just going through that very thread to see all the sample photos people have posted. Incredibly sharp lens and something I'll rent in the near future to give a test run myself!


Sep 13, 2012 at 04:16 AM
biggbird
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lens Recommendations


No problems! Happy to be of what little assistance I can

Definitely a beauty of a lens, and worth having a go with to see if it suits you.

I wonder also whether giving a price range might help people in recommending? Always nice to have something basic to work with.



Sep 13, 2012 at 04:41 AM
krickett
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Lens Recommendations


I own or have owned the following lenses:
Sigma 17-50 2.8 OS
Nikon 16-85

Tokina 50-135 2.8
Sigma 50-150 2.8
Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR1

The 70-200 VR1 (not surprisingly) is the sharpest of the medium telephotos mentioned. The VR2 is reputed to be even sharper (especially on the corners in full frame). The Tokina's qualities are: built like a tank and sharp, but its demerits are: slow autofocus prone to misses. The Sigma is a bit snappier and more accurate in the autofocus department. For sports, I appreciate the additional reach from 150-200, and VR always helps. VR helps more in low light however. If you're doing day time sports, it may not be worth it... just bump your ISO up a little and keep those shutter speeds fast.

I really loved the Nikon 16-85 for landscape. It's simply a nice range, a decently built lens, and rather sharp optics when stopped to f/8. I sold it when I bought the Sigma 17-50, which is also a great lens. I think for dark, architectural interiors, what matters most is tripod or VR, and wide angle. This is why I shy away from the Nikon 17-55 2.8 offering (no VR).

I dunno, does that help?



Sep 13, 2012 at 06:02 AM
 

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Mishu01
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Lens Recommendations


If you are a dual bodies shooter why not to go for fast primes? Lesser weight, great IQ... In your shoes I'd go for 85/1.8 AF-S and for 180/2.8 AF-D. Later on eventually I'd add a 50/1.8 AF-S.

I shoot events in available light with a full frame camera and depending on the event I go with a trio. Either 28/50/85 f/1.8 AF-S or 28/85 f/1.8 AF-S and 180 f/2.8 AF-D. I could not be happier.



Sep 13, 2012 at 11:04 AM
goobers
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Lens Recommendations


krickett - totally agree with the tripod comment. I roll with my tripod anytime i know i'm going to be out early in the morning or before sunset. On the VR front, good call out that the 17-55 f/2.8 doesn't have VR. In my head I was just assuming it did, but I will still go rent one and give it a shot to see if it would work for me.

Mishu01 - I have definitely considered rolling with primes and i've rented the 180 f/2.8 before (which I liked). For the primes with a shorter focal length, I don't know if I would be utilizing it frequently enough since i rarely bust out my 35mm f/1.8 as it is. If i'm shooting a landscape, i typically prefer using my wide angle over the 35mm (especially since i take those shots with a tripod. Do you ever find yourself lacking the range in between when you're shooting with your dual/tri combos? I feel like that for some of the event photography, i'd miss things because i would either be too close to the subjects or too far away for a decent shot.



Sep 14, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Mishu01
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Lens Recommendations


Since I started in photography with a very basic rangefinder having a 40mm lens on it... I can do most of an event just with a single lens... but of course three different primes are a nice kit that lets creativity jump up... I never found lacking the range between... probably because of my style of shooting and also because in general I know what is happening at the event I am shooting so I'm never surprised with the "bad" lens mounted... You need a good strategy for each event... that's all.

I had a time in my life when I used to go at events loaded with many lenses, just in case I need them... but now I found that less is more and a few fixed focal lenses are boosting my creativity. For other people that are different structured than me things may be exactly opposite.



Sep 14, 2012 at 09:19 AM
DTOB
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Lens Recommendations


I'll second Mishu.

Depending on the event, I could probably do a whole day with a 35mm or 50mm on full frame. On crop, it's a little tougher as the only real option is the 28 or 35g.

For me, primes aren't limiting. They actually free me up, because if all I am carrying with me is 28mm and 50mm, then that's all I see around me. I can imagine the shot before raising the camera to my eye, something I find more difficult with zooms as there is always that moment of 'zoom-in-zoom-out' trying to find the right focal length.

To answer your question, with 2 bodies, I think a 17-55 or a 28g on one and the 135 on the other should be about all you need. For people/even photos, I know you said you like to shoot from afar, but maybe you need to push your own comfort levels and start getting more intimate?



Sep 14, 2012 at 01:17 PM





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