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Archive 2013 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution
  
 
adam613
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


I have an unusual "which lenses should I buy" conundrum. I might regret asking this here, but I'll try it anyway

I rarely display high-resolution images. I rarely print at all. So resolution isn't a huge concern for me, I don't think. I frequently read lens reviews that say "this lens is soft" and wonder if I'm actually going to care. So, you ask, why don't I just get a point-and-shoot? Because even the best ones are totally inflexible and have slow AF and aren't particularly responsive. I enjoy shooting with an SLR, and I can afford it, so why not? Also, I'm a bit of a bokeh fiend, and it's a lot easier to get subject separation with a larger sensor. I am in the process of switching to Nikon from Micro Four Thirds because of the smaller sensor and because I missed having an optical viewfinder. I thought about going full-frame, but realized I couldn't quite swing it, so I have a D7000.

The question is, can my lack of care about resolution save me a lot of money? I've got a Sigma 17-50 OS that I'm quite happy with...I am looking for an ultrawide of some sort, a telephoto lens that can get me to 400mm (teleconverters are ok if AF is maintained), and possibly a macro lens or a fast 100mm-ish prime. I'm looking to spend another $1500 or so on top of what I already have. I buy almost all of my lenses used. Below are representative images of the kind of shots I like to take. Given all of this, any thinking-out-of-the-box ideas for lenses I should look into? I know what I think I want, but I could be wrong.


















Jan 31, 2013 at 04:03 AM
stevemacko29
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


Hello... I'm an amateur, amateur, so take my advice with a grain of salt. :-)

I've shot Olympus, Canon, and now have a Nikon D7000. Great camera, and I'm sure it will serve you well. I started with the 18-105 kit lens, which is still an OK all-around performer. Not great at any one thing, but not bad either.

For the wide end, I added the Tokina 12-24... Used for under $300. Plenty sharp enough for my needs, and you can get the older version without the built-in focus motor for the D7000. My son "steals" this lens quite often for his D5100, even though it doesn't auto focus on his body.

For the long end, I added the Tamron 70-300 VC... Not 400mm, but I thought it worth mentioning. I came from a 70-200 L on Canon, and the Tokina does everything I need on the Nikon side. Not in the same class as the Canon L, but it's a great lens... also under $300 used.

The 35 f/1.8 is a great little lens for a fast prime... I picked one up in beat up condition from KEH dirt cheap. Great lens... Sharp.

I'm sure you'll get some great suggestions... Good luck and enjoy your camera.



Jan 31, 2013 at 04:25 AM
Steve Torelli
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


When you mention resolution I assume you're talking about sharpness, which isn't exactly the same thing. Get a quality lens that suits your purpose AFA focal length, speed etc. and don't get caught up in the "sharpness" pursuit that so many let ruin their experience with an otherwise fine lens.
Good photography isn't about technical perfection, if you're happy with the results you're getting you're in good shape. Enjoy !



Jan 31, 2013 at 02:34 PM
adam613
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


The Tokina 12-24 is probably at the top of my wide-angle list. I had one of these many years ago when I was a Canon shooter, and I've done some of my best work with it (like the bridge shot above). It'll even be a bit wider on Nikon due to the crop factor difference.

I know the 35 f/1.8 is awesome, but 35mm isn't a focal length I use particularly often...I would probably be better off with a fast 50 and a set of extension tubes. Or a Tamron 60mm macro.

The long end is a much bigger issue. I know the Tamron 70-300 VC (and Nikon 70-300 VR) are both excellent and cheap, but the slow aperture is a turnoff. I was thinking more along the lines of an older Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 and a teleconverter, or a Tokina 50-135 and a Sigma 80-400, or something like that. Or a Sigma 100-300, which is what both the airplane and butterfly shots above were taken with, and a 60 or 85mm prime to fill the gap...choices abound!

Good photography isn't about technical perfection, if you're happy with the results you're getting you're in good shape.

That's exactly the realization that has me pondering this now. Most of what is driving the high cost of new lenses is the race to outresolve the newest sensors. If I don't care about that, I'm thinking I can get a good deal. I know sharpness and resolution aren't exactly the same thing, but for my purposes, the distinction isn't that important as long as my focus is spot-on.



Jan 31, 2013 at 03:15 PM
plubbry
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


The Tokina 12-24 would be a good budget wide. I haven't used one myself but being able to find them under $300 seems like a good deal.

The tamron 70-300 VC is very well regarded. It is supposedly a bit sharper on the long end compared to the Nikon 70-300 VR.

Another option for the long end is the Nikon 300 f4 AFS. These can be found used for $900-$1000. Not cheap and doesn't cover any of the gap between your 17-50 and 300mm. This lens takes a 1.4TC very well giving you 420mm. Furthermore, the 300 f4 AFS has a very short minimum focus distance. Depending on what FL macro lens you were wanting this lens could hold off your need/desire for a macro lens. The 300 f4 AFS excels at shooting close for flowers, butterflies, etc. while giving you a better working distance than most macro lenses.



Jan 31, 2013 at 04:21 PM
qburke
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


When you say "fast", are you meaning fast auto focus or fast in shutter speed (wider aperture)?

For wide angle and somewhat wide aperture, I like the Rokinon 14 f2.8. It does not have auto focus, but usually when shooting that wide you don't really need it. I think I got my copy for under $300.



Jan 31, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


If you are looking for a bokeh fiend and are not searching for the sharpest lens out there (though it's still sharp) the MF Cosina 55/1.2 is the dog's B%^%^s and one of my very favorite lenses. It does amazing things to points of light.


Jan 31, 2013 at 04:51 PM
adam613
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


Frogfish wrote:
If you are looking for a bokeh fiend and are not searching for the sharpest lens out there (though it's still sharp) the MF Cosina 55/1.2 is the dog's B%^%^s and one of my very favorite lenses. It does amazing things to points of light.


If only it were possible to find one



Jan 31, 2013 at 05:34 PM
lxdesign
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


sharpness is over-rated... especially when I add a soft filter to my images.


Jan 31, 2013 at 05:45 PM
edl415
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


Frogfish wrote:
If you are looking for a bokeh fiend and are not searching for the sharpest lens out there (though it's still sharp) the MF Cosina 55/1.2 is the dog's B%^%^s and one of my very favorite lenses. It does amazing things to points of light.


I'd also mention if you're a bokeh fiend and on a tight budget, you can achieve wonderful boke with a 5Dc and alt glass.



Jan 31, 2013 at 06:34 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


Get used Nikkor 12-24 f/4 and a new or used 70-300VR.


Jan 31, 2013 at 09:41 PM
lovinglife
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


Why don't you keep the nikon and get a 35/1.8 - an excellent lens


Jan 31, 2013 at 09:44 PM
James R
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


lxdesign wrote:
sharpness is over-rated... especially when I add a soft filter to my images.


This statement is odd. How is it overrated. Even great soft images start tack sharp, at least IMO. There are time when one misses critical focus, but get a great capture due to the impact of the capture.



Feb 01, 2013 at 12:01 AM
lxdesign
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


You shouldn't take my comments seriously.... Sometimes I am just stirring up poop

But that said, some people take lens sharpness way too seriously sometimes...



Feb 01, 2013 at 03:09 AM
James R
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


lxdesign wrote:
You shouldn't take my comments seriously.... Sometimes I am just stirring up poop

But that said, some people take lens sharpness way too seriously sometimes...


You are right, I forgot. You've been posting here for a long time.



Feb 01, 2013 at 03:37 AM
adam613
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


lxdesign wrote:
But that said, some people take lens sharpness way too seriously sometimes...


And I've been known to be one of those people! Which is what I'm trying to stop.

I bought a Tokina 12-24 today...that seemed like a no-brainer. Now for the hard decisions

Has anyone tried the RokBowYang 85 f/1.4 with extension tubes or a teleconverter? How does it do for close-up shots that way? I've heard that lens produces some NICE bokeh, and it's cheap...



Feb 01, 2013 at 04:21 AM
Two23
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


Fastest lens I know of is the Leica 50mm f 0.95. It could be made to work on an M4/3 system. If you get one, show us a picture. Don't see them very often.


Kent in SD



Feb 01, 2013 at 02:38 PM
James R
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


adam613 wrote:
And I've been known to be one of those people! Which is what I'm trying to stop.

I bought a Tokina 12-24 today...that seemed like a no-brainer. Now for the hard decisions

Has anyone tried the RokBowYang 85 f/1.4 with extension tubes or a teleconverter? How does it do for close-up shots that way? I've heard that lens produces some NICE bokeh, and it's cheap...


Adam, the first thing you need to figure out is whether the soft images are due to the lens or your shooting technique. Also, are you looking for cheap lenses or lenses with excellent IQ? General rule is excellent IQ is more expensive. You might get a good Tokins copy, but overall they are not up to Nikon or Zeiss standards. Final point about buying lenses is resale value. Nikon, Zeiss, and Canon hold their value very well, while Tokina, Sigma, and Rokwhatever do not. For example, I bought a used Nikon 200-400 f4 for 4200 around 6 years ago and sold it for 4800 last year (benefit of price increases). Take care of the glass and it takes care of you.



Feb 01, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


Take a look at nikon's af-d lenses. They have pretty much depreciated as far as they will, the 105mm f/2.8 macro is maybe 300 boxed and you'll resell it for the same money.


Feb 02, 2013 at 07:18 PM
RKB58
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Fast lenses without regard to resolution


The older Nikon 300/f4 AF ED is an outstanding lens that can be had cheaply for what it can do. Just compared it to my friends 70-300 AFS VR, the old 300/4AF has much better contrast/color wide open. Pretty sure it would dust the various slow/long zooms that are available. It is better than my 80-200/2.8 AFS + 1.7TC, as well.

Yes, the 300/f4AFS is better than the old AF, but not much for over 2x the $, unless you are shooting sports where the AF speed does help significantly.

Had a Tokina 400/5.6 AF once. Not a bad lens, but I think the net IQ would be better just cropping 300mm files on a high res (D7000) camera.

The old generation 300/2.8 lenses are good, also.





Feb 03, 2013 at 03:51 PM
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