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Archive 2012 · Buying a D600. Keep the kit lens or start with primes?
  
 
Slabshaft
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p.1 #1 · Buying a D600. Keep the kit lens or start with primes?


Preface:
I'm basically a hobbyist shooter, so I like to shoot just about anything, but it's mostly landscapes. I only recently moved out of shooting 6x7 film. Believe it or not, spending 3-4k on the Nikon gear will SAVE me money over shooting film+drum scanning each slide (read: $50+/shot). I also plan to make this a life-time purchase, meaning I will use this thing until either I die or it dies. My plucky old Canon 350D is still ticking despite it's beat-up condition. It's images just never satisfied, despite the 17-40L lens I bought for it. I think the color gamut of slide film combined with the level of detail, amazing bokeh and giant viewscreen of the 6x7+prime lenses just turned me off from digital until recently. So, out comes the D600 which seems to satisfy every aspect of what I enjoy about the 6x7 film. The viewfinder isn't even close to as good as the one on my RB67, but it's still big and very nice to look through. Anyone who has used a 6x7 knows what I'm talking about!

Moving on:
I would like to keep the total initial price of the new kit (body, lens(es), memory cards and ND filter) below $3500. I will upgrade my ridiculous 7-pound tripod later.

Here's my dilemma: I can buy the D600 body and start with a couple of good primes OR stick with the kit lens and collect primes later OR do a cheaper ultrawide zoom + normal prime. I'm a huge fan of prime lenses. I want the optical quality and I love the way they look through the viewfinder.

1st: If I go with primes, I think I'd be very happy to start with an 85mm and a 24mm since that's about equivalent what I used on my RB67. Eventually, I'd like to end up with a 20, 50 and 35 to fill in the gaps. Only problem being that the good 20,24mm primes (Zeiss/Nikon Ns) are way expensive. I'd likely go with a 24mm D lens for starters which kind feels like a big compromise. The 85 would be the 1.8G.

2nd: Stick with the kit lens for now and just wait. I favor this option a bit less, only because I want to get the most I can out of the whole package. It would probably be cheaper though. The kit lens doesn't really stack up to the quality of the primes. The wide-normal zoom lenses with prime-level quality (i.e. 24-70 f/2.8) are way too expensive, which would leave me sticking with the kit lens instead.

3rd: The other option is more hybrid: Buy a good, less-expensive ultrawide like the Tokina 18-28 and probably one prime to go with it, like the 85mm f/1.8G (used). Then fill in the gaps later. I'd probably also get the 50mm f1/8 as a filler lens until I could upgrade it.

I'm probably thinking WAY too much about this since I won't be buying it until November. Nonetheless, I simply won't spend more than $3500, but it doesn't mean I want to stretch the first-buy all the way to that limit either.

Thanks for your opinions!



Oct 02, 2012 at 07:44 PM
mick5
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p.1 #2 · Buying a D600. Keep the kit lens or start with primes?


Slabshaft you are not the only one iam sailing on a same boat, as a hobbyist it will be too much money. i was thinking D600 with kit lens and 70-200 f/2.8 vr II
i used D800 with 24-70 f/2.8 i did my best but can not take sharp Photo my hands not sturdy.
Other Option is id D600 with 50 f/1.8 and 28 f/1.8 prime



Oct 02, 2012 at 07:57 PM
k1d_
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p.1 #3 · Buying a D600. Keep the kit lens or start with primes?


I went with D600 + Rokinon 35mm 1.4 (manual focus) + 85 1.8g (will get it when I find a good deal used).
Should hold me off for awhile...



Oct 02, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Mishu01
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p.1 #4 · Buying a D600. Keep the kit lens or start with primes?


If you mostly do landscape you can go with the newer and less expensive Tokina 17-35/4. This lens seems to be quite soft wide open but stopped down at f5.6 or more is very sharp. It's smaller, less expensive and receives filters. You can add a 50/1.8 AF-S and a 85/1.8/AF-S and you are settled.

Another option... if you love primes... you can go with the great Nikon legacy... manual focus Nikkors are great tools and at least some of them plays very well up to D800. You can get them cheaper and later on you can sell for the same amount or for more... the value seems to increase with every year.

Very good options are:
28/2 AI-S
35/1.4 or 35/2 AI-S
50... almost every version from f/1.2 to f/2 is very sharp, especially when stopped down
85/1.4 AI-S
105/2.5 AI-S (a legendary gem... great for portraits and for landscape)
135/2 AI-S
180/2.8 AI-S

Also quite well are performing the wider:
20/2.8 AI-S
24/2.8 AI-S

You can look in the dedicated thread of MF Nikon lenses to see what many guys are producing with these gems on all modern Nikon DSLR's including here D600.

Good luck!




Oct 02, 2012 at 11:24 PM
 

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boshek
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p.1 #5 · Buying a D600. Keep the kit lens or start with primes?


get it with the kit 24-85, sell it when you have the $$$ to upgrade


Oct 02, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Avi B
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p.1 #6 · Buying a D600. Keep the kit lens or start with primes?


Get the 28/1.8 and 85/1.8 as the primes to start. They are not terribly expensive together and the IQ and speed ought to be enough for most if not all situations.



Oct 02, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Slabshaft
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p.1 #7 · Buying a D600. Keep the kit lens or start with primes?


I considered the older manual focus lenses. The 28mm AI-S looks very compelling although I know I will want wider, like 18mm-20mm. I'd feel right at home with the wide-angle MF lens. For walking around shooting wide open with a 50mm+, I'm terrible at focusing. I'd prefer to stick to the AF lenses and rely on the camera combined with the focus correction to get critical focus. I'm not as worried about the wide/ultra wide since it's easy to get the focus right.

If the subject is stationary, I have my panorama head to get a wider FOV out of it.

If I went with a 28mm f/2 AI-S (~$300 used), I'd probably be fine for awhile combining that with a 50mm the 85mm AF lenses.

Interesting point regarding the lens values. I could always buy lenses used, play around with them and re-sell them for about what I paid.



Oct 03, 2012 at 12:15 AM
williamkazak
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p.1 #8 · Buying a D600. Keep the kit lens or start with primes?


I admit to owning the 85mm F1.8G and liking it very much. The 50mm F1.8G is very nice and not much money new. I would not get the kit lens with the new body. 28mm is not all that wide to me now. I am hoping for a Nikon 20mm F2.8 update. You can find one used, even in MF version.


Oct 03, 2012 at 11:41 PM





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