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Archive 2016 · First Lens Advice
  
 
rebelskyrot
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · First Lens Advice


Hi all,

I have a few friends whose enthusiasm and interest in photography has rubbed off on me recently. After some research and conversation I picked up a used D5500 off of ebay and have a few days until it arrives, but since it's only a body I need a lens. I live in the city and plan on shooting landscapes, buildings and nature. My budget is around $300, but if that's an unrealistic budget for a decent lens let me know. I'm learning quickly there's quite and array of lenses and would appreciate any guidance you can give on a first purchase. Thanks!

- Kyle



Oct 12, 2016 at 02:36 AM
Chris Court
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · First Lens Advice


The 35mm f1.8 (dx) would be a good starting point for you. Or if you prefer the idea of a zoom, there are a multitude of 18-xx(x) VR variants that would be adequate to get you started.

As you develop as a photographer, you will quickly figure out where your preferences regarding focal length, speed, weight etc. lie.

C



Oct 12, 2016 at 02:57 AM
mysh
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · First Lens Advice


You can buy a 18-200mm VR for $300 used. This would give you a nice big range to start with. Any large zoom like this has some flaws but it would give you a really nice range to figure out what focal lengths you use the most. After maybe 6 months or so look over your pics and see what type of focal range you gravitate towards and then consider getting a better lens in that range.

Also the 18-200mm is not crap. It does do a nice job of being a walk around lens.




Oct 12, 2016 at 03:01 AM
Two23
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · First Lens Advice


I suggest a Nikon 18-140mm. It's a decent lens, especially for the money. I buy everything I can used.


Kent in SD



Oct 12, 2016 at 03:02 AM
rebelskyrot
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · First Lens Advice


I like the idea of an 18-200, that's actually what a friend of mine recommended too. How does the quality between Nikon, Tamron, Sigma, etc lenses compare?


Oct 12, 2016 at 03:33 AM
mysh
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · First Lens Advice


rebelskyrot wrote:
I like the idea of an 18-200, that's actually what a friend of mine recommended too. How does the quality between Nikon, Tamron, Sigma, etc lenses compare?


If you get the 18-200mm go with the nikon. It is a lot better than the other options. This isn't always true with lenses but as far as I know with that one the Nikon is superior.

You can find it for around $250. There is 2 versions of the 18-200mm nikon but from what I have read they have the same optics and use the same VR (VR II).




Oct 12, 2016 at 03:36 AM
rebelskyrot
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · First Lens Advice


I'll start looking around. Any favorite sites to purchase from?


Oct 12, 2016 at 03:43 AM
mysh
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · First Lens Advice


It is a pretty popular lens so finding it around won't be too hard. If you are in a city check and see if a good deal on one is on craigslist.

Also check the buy and sell board here. For the most part there is trusted sellers on here that take good care of their gear.
Ebay has tons of listings of this lens. Just look for someone with good feedback, good pictures and a good description.




Oct 12, 2016 at 03:51 AM
Chris S.
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · First Lens Advice


Kyle,

I have a few friends whose enthusiasm and interest in photography has rubbed off on me recently.

This being the case, I'd suggest you hold onto your $300 for a bit, and try out as many of your friends' lenses as you can. Done right, you'll learn a ton. Try to spend an hour or three with each lens, learning what it can and can't do, and how it depicts the world. Ask your friends for tips on using each lens.

You'll end up learning not just about lenses, but your personal style, which is very important when choosing glass. I did this with a friend not long ago. She was new to DSLRs, and spent a few hours each with a bunch of my lenses. One of the things she ended up loving to do was make images of people isolated by a soft, smooth background--so we found her a nice specimen of a lens that does that well. For a mid-range zoom (the main workhorse lens for many photographers), she likes a wider angle than the 18-xxx lenses mentioned in this thread. So we got her something that goes wider.

If you have to buy now, I'd point out the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, which is a higher grade zoom than most of the 18-xxx lenses, and most importantly, goes wider. It can be bought used for $300 and under.

But that's based substantially on my own preference for available wide-angle. This isn't as important to some other photographers as it is to me; it may or may not be to you, which is part of why doing some free discovery with your friends' lens collections can pay off. .

Cheers,

--Chris




Oct 12, 2016 at 04:15 AM
Todd Warnke
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · First Lens Advice


Chris has a good idea, the 16-85 is a stellar lens and general purpose enough that you may find yourself happy with it and needing only to add specialist lenses (low light/fast glass, ultra wide, telephoto). Another even cheaper, but still stellar lens is the old 18-70. KEH has them for $125 or so. That plus a used 35/1.8 or 50/1.8 and you can do a lot of serious photography.

Good luck,

Todd



Oct 12, 2016 at 04:25 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Two23
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · First Lens Advice


If choosing between the Nikon 16-85 VR and the 18-200mm, I'd go with the 16-85 every time. Those all in one zooms have to make a lot of compromises and just aren't that good.


Kent in SD



Oct 12, 2016 at 12:49 PM
Chris Court
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · First Lens Advice


Two23 wrote:
If choosing between the Nikon 16-85 VR and the 18-200mm, I'd go with the 16-85 every time. Those all in one zooms have to make a lot of compromises and just aren't that good.

Kent in SD


Yeah, I've had a couple of 18-200s, and although they're great on paper, in actual use they are too compromised for my taste. I would choose pretty much any other 18-xx(x) option before another 18-200.

C



Oct 12, 2016 at 02:05 PM
golfinz
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · First Lens Advice


35 1.8 dx. Why?

1) It's cheap
2) Great IQ
3) You'll learn to zoom with your feet
4) You'll have the opportunity to be more creative since it is a prime (see #3)
5) Light weight
6) If you realize you don't like photography, you aren't out a bunch of money

My 6 cents...



Oct 12, 2016 at 02:10 PM
lsutigerfan
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · First Lens Advice


For a very inexpensive zoom lens, the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is very sharp and should hold up under normal handling for numerous years. The 24-85vr is nice for a beginner lens, but its effective focal length on DX bodies is odd (36mm - 127mm)


Oct 12, 2016 at 02:54 PM
eke2k6
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · First Lens Advice


I would recommend you start with the 35mm 1.8G DX. Learning photography with a fixed lens will help you master composition and the way light works faster than with a zoom.


Oct 12, 2016 at 03:09 PM
rebelskyrot
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · First Lens Advice


Thanks everyone so far for the input, I really appreciate it. It hasn't been mentioned, but in searching craigslist I came across a Nikon 18-140mm for $175. Are there any strong feelings for this lens? The review for it on kenrockwell.com sounds pretty positive. At that price I would still be within budget to pick up a 35mm 1.8...


Oct 12, 2016 at 08:25 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · First Lens Advice


I would start with a good zoom lens like the Nikon 18-55mm or 17-55mm f/2.8. I would sooner buy a top lens from a private party on fredmiranda's buy sell than buy a new lens that was of lower quality.

With a zoom you can have the equivalent of a half dozen single focal length or "prime" lenses and learn what focal lengths work the best for you. It is entirely subjective and what is good for another photographer is not likely to be good for you.

Many photographers have traditionally bought a camera and a 50mm lens. This is a holdover from the days of rangefinder cameras and before zoom lenses were available for 35mm cameras. I like to do people photography and for my first 10 years the only lens i owned was a 105mm prime. But I knew what I wanted to shoot and the working distance I wanted and the perspective I wanted.



Oct 12, 2016 at 09:24 PM
Two23
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · First Lens Advice


rebelskyrot wrote:
Thanks everyone so far for the input, I really appreciate it. It hasn't been mentioned, but in searching craigslist I came across a Nikon 18-140mm for $175. Are there any strong feelings for this lens? The review for it on kenrockwell.com sounds pretty positive. At that price I would still be within budget to pick up a 35mm 1.8...


This is the lens I first suggested. It's a good range and a decent lens, especially for that little money.


Kent in SD




Oct 13, 2016 at 12:12 AM
runamuck
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · First Lens Advice


rebelskyrot wrote:
Thanks everyone so far for the input, I really appreciate it. It hasn't been mentioned, but in searching craigslist I came across a Nikon 18-140mm for $175. Are there any strong feelings for this lens? The review for it on kenrockwell.com sounds pretty positive. At that price I would still be within budget to pick up a 35mm 1.8...


Get it. I picked one up refurbished and it works well beyond its price. Very happy with mine



Oct 13, 2016 at 02:46 AM
rebelskyrot
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · First Lens Advice


Kent (I would quote you but I haven't reached 25 posts yet ),

I completely missed that, a lot of numbers have been floating around my head these past couple days. I ended up purchasing the 18-140 and the D5500 is set to arrive tomorrow!



Oct 13, 2016 at 03:11 AM
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