I currently use a D60, and have a Nikkor 18-55. 55-200, 300 F4, and TC 1.4, all AF-S. Ever since buying the 300 a few months ago, I've done nothing but birds and wildlife, I've been so happy with the glass on the 300.
Next month, my daughter and I are touring middle-America from Carolina to Kansas, with a few points further south. I'm hoping to do some good general landscape photography: hills, lakes, thunder-heads, farm buildings, etc.
My guess is that I will not be as happy shooting the above with my current zoom lenses, as I have been shooting birds with my prime.
Question #1: Is the quality of the glass on the 18-55 about the same as on the 55-200?
Question #2: Do you agree that I am unlikely to get professional-looking photos from my 18-55 and 55-200?
Question #3: If you were going to buy ONE prime AF-S Nikon lens for general landscape use (and you already had a TC 1.4), which would it be?
#1. "RE: D60 landscape lens" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 18-Jun-12 01:49 PM by aolander
1) I don't have these lenses, but it is my understanding that both of them are quite good for "kit" lenses.
2) Both of these lenses are capable of producing "professional-looking" images. Are you?
3) If you are referring to a wide angle lens for "general landscape use", there aren't any AF-S primes that are very wide on a DX camera. The new 28mm f/1.8 is a "wide normal". The 24mm f/1.4 (expensive!) will only get you to the equivalent of 36mm on DX.
AF-S TCs aren't made (and won't fit) to use on most lenses; primarily for telephotos.
I would use the lenses you have unless you want a wider zoom. In that case get a 10-24mm, 12-24mm, or maybe a 16-85mm (and leave the 18-55mm at home).
#2. "RE: D60 landscape lens" In response to Reply # 0
>Question #1: Is the quality of the glass on the 18-55 about >the same as on the 55-200?
>Question #2: Do you agree that I am unlikely to get >professional-looking photos from my 18-55 and 55-200?
No! Even the kit lenses are optically excellent. While the Pro zooms and Primes are better the difference is smaller than most think.
>Question #3: If you were going to buy ONE prime AF-S Nikon >lens for general landscape use (and you already had a TC 1.4), >which would it be?
When I think of a landscape lens, I usually think wide angle which are not designed to be used with TC's including the TC-14E II. Without regard for budget, for an AF-S prime, it would be between the 24mm f/1.4G AF-S, 28mm f/1.8G AF-S, and 35mm f/1.4G AF-S. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#4. "RE: D60 landscape lens" In response to Reply # 2
Hyde Park, MA, US
Thanks for the reply. I'm going to stay with my current lenses for now, and perhaps in the future, pick up a non-prime 10-24.
I own a circular polarizer (Tiffen), and plan to use it on a lot of my outdoor landscape shots this summer. It's been so long since I've used it, what are the rules of thumb as to when to, and when not to, use it? Is my Tiffen good enough to use with the Nikkor 18-55 and 55-200, or should I be looking at another brand?
#5. "RE: D60 landscape lens" In response to Reply # 4
Use a polarizer to eliminate the reflections on non-metallic surfaces (water, glass, etc..). A polarizer will also increase contrast and the intensify colors.
Tiffen makes several grades of filters. The cheap ones are not multi-coated that can increase the probabiliy of flare and ghosting and often add a color cast to the image. Some models may also cause vignetting when used at wider angles which you might want to test on your lens. Polarizers will also reduce the amount of light passing through the lens by about 1 1/3rd to 2+ stops. This will allow you to use a slower shutter speed than would be possible without the filter. You can find much more information in the Filters forum. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#6. "RE: D60 landscape lens" In response to Reply # 5
Hyde Park, MA, US
Thanks for the reply. I'll go to the filters forum, and try out my CP on wider angles.
My most likely use of the CP in the near future will be to increase contrast (clouds especially). On subjects that I really like, and with which I have plenty of time to shoot, I'll go with and without the CP to cover all my bases.
#7. "RE: D60 landscape lens" In response to Reply # 6
Marion, IN, US
Bear in mind that using the CP on a wide angle shot may cause a gradation in the color of the sky from one side to the next. The CP is most effective at 90 degrees to the sun. In a wide angle shot, the angle with the sun shifts significantly across the field of view. Therefore, the effectiveness of the CP changes. You may have one side a nice, deep shade of blue and the other side a noticeably paler blue. I was reminded of this recently when I had a day at Lake Tahoe. The CP was beautifully effective in reducing the reflections on the surface of the lake and made the rocks beneath the surface visible. However, some shots had a very noticeable shift in the shade of the sky from one side to the other.
Another interesting phenomenon was the reflections of clouds on the surface of the lake. They were very visible but not just a simple selection; it was more like a beam across the surface of the lake, like you might get from the sun or the moon.
That being said, I soon thereafter bought the lens that I wish I would have had with me on the trip: the Tokina 11-16 DX AT-X Pro. That would have made some nice sharp landscape shots for me (that is, if my lack of talent would permit!).