#2. "RE: Nikon d5100 - beginner lens question" In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians! Even the Nikkor kit lenses are optically excellent. As you have noted, the 18-105mm having a wider range is a little more convienient than the 18-55mm and 55-200mm combo since you might not have to switch leses as often. If you want to have your cake an eat it too, the 18-200mm is another option though significantly more expensive and not quite as good optically as the others you list.
Neither the 18-55mm or the 55-200mm are very large or heavy so carrying a second lens should't be much of a problem. I would get the two lens kit. If you can, consider the 55-300mm instead of the 55-200mm. It is only a little more expensive and provides significantly more range.
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#4. "RE: Nikon d5100 - beginner lens question" In response to Reply # 0 Fri 25-May-12 03:07 PM by suzyk
near Hobart, AU
I was in your position (beginner) about six months ago.
I bought a D90 and 18-105mm lens and I love the both. In the early days, I had enough to learn, without adding changing lenses. Having said that, lots of people are equally happy with the 18-55mm lens. I'm sure it is an equally good beginner's lens.
I took the chance to buy a bargain 55-300mm 2 months ago but to be honest I don't use it that much. Mostly, I haven't perfected my hand holding technique, so I'm not steady enough at the longer focal lengths.
Carrying the extra lens around isn't a hassle if you have a good bag.
I really wanted to reassure you that for at least one beginner, the 18-105mm was an excellent choice.
EDIT: I would say the 35mm f1.8 lens for low light shooting (as David mentioned) is worth considering in a beginner's kit. For me, it would rate above telephoto. (not reflected in my lens choice ).
#5. "RE: Nikon d5100 - beginner lens question" In response to Reply # 0
> I also intend to connect them to my telescope to take some snaps - will either choice of lenses be better for this?
No. In general when one attaches a DSLR to a telescope or microscope, it is using some sort of adapter than turns the 'scope effectively into a big lens. In these cases you attach the 'scope directly to the camera, instead of a lens. So regardless of which lens(es) you have or own, you don't use them in this context.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#7. "RE: Nikon d5100 - beginner lens question" In response to Reply # 0
I have a D5000 with the 18-55 mm kit lens and upgraded the zoom from the kit to 70-300mm. I am happy with both. However, in retrospect, I believe I probably should have started out by buying the 18-105mm or the 18-200. It can become annoying having to change lenses.
#8. "RE: Nikon d5100 - beginner lens question" In response to Reply # 0
For portraits and a 'walking-around' lens, I'd go with the 18-105mm. I don't have that lens, but instead have a 16-85mm which I love dearly, both for vacations and portraits. If you plan on doing portraits, the next lens you should get is a fast one--f1.8, to make the background blur and your subject pop.
I have both a D5100 and a D90; my other two lenses are a 50mm f1.8 and an 18-250mm and even when I have the longer lens on the camera, I rarely go out past 150mm--but that said, it really depends on what interests you as a photographer. A friend of mine takes mainly wildlife; he has a 400mm and is lusting after a 600mm.
#9. "RE: Nikon d5100 - beginner lens question" In response to Reply # 0
I have both the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm Unfortunately I didn't have the advantage of getting them in a Kit (with my D3000). The camera came with the 18-55mm, then I bought the 55-200mm separately. Recently I purchased 35mm f/1.8.
They work well in fact. IF you go with just the one size 18-105mm will limit what you can do.
Unlessyour going to turn pro then you need better lens all around.
#10. "RE: Nikon d5100 - beginner lens question" In response to Reply # 0 Tue 12-Jun-12 04:54 PM by rgsindc
I bought a Nikon 35mm prime 1.8 (52.5mm considering "crop factor"....thus "nifty fifty") for portrait and low light work and a Tamron 18-270MM as my "walk around" lens. The latter provides reasonable wide angle and telephoto for landscapes or birding, respectively and I have been pleased with the price/weight/photo quality.
This set covers most situations for an amateur, I have found
#11. "RE: Nikon d5100 - beginner lens question" In response to Reply # 9
At this time I'm happy with my 18-55mm kit lens on my new D5100. I will experiment a lot with it as I learn all (some) of the new cameras feature. I'm sure eventually I will want some like a 18-105 (or longer range.
#13. "RE: Nikon d5100 - beginner lens question" In response to Reply # 0 Thu 21-Jun-12 08:01 PM by jameskuzman
You're not alone in posing this question to be sure.
The 18-55 and 55-200 actually get excellent reviews optically, and even if purchased separately from the body, represent great value for money. I applaud Nikon for not bundling cheap optics with their kits.
Beyond the economic and image quality advantages, they're also pretty compact. Many people find they need nothing more, except maybe a 35mm f/1.8 as others here have already mentioned. That's a bargain, too, for $200.
My old Olympus EV-500 setup had something similar to this - a 14-45mm and a 40-150mm. Optically, these are fantastic lenses. The only beef I had with them is that for casual, not-sure-what's-coming-up-next shooting, I never seemed to have the lens I needed on the camera.
I can't tell you how aggravating it is to have to swap out lenses all the time.
Which brings us to the classic and dreaded trade-off dilemma we all face: Everything is a compromise. You can have reasonable quality and low price, but at the expense of convenience... You can have convenience, but at the expense of ultimate quality and low price... You can have excellent quality, but at the expense of convenience and low price.
It sounds like a cop out, but it really does depend upon how you shoot and your priorities.
The 18-200, for instance, is very popular. Depending upon who you read/talk to, its quality seems to range from acceptable to very good. The convenience of having that kind of range is hard to argue against. On the downside, it's not as sharp as some zooms with a narrower range (and certainly not as sharp as a good, fast prime) and it's pricey.
Will you notice the difference in image quality? Maybe. Will you be bothered by those differences? Perhaps. You probably won't be on-screen or in smaller prints. You might be if you print large or crop excessively.
Then again, if you don't have the right lens on your camera and need to swap out, the opportunity to make your picture could be gone, in which case image quality is a moot point, isn't it?
If budget is the primary driver in this decision, I wouldn't hesitate to go with the 18-55 / 55-200 combo for a minute. Add a 35mm f/1.8 and you're in great shape without breaking the bank.
If you have the budget and value convenience, check out the 18-200.
Or, look into the 18-105, live with it for awhile, and see if you even have the need for something longer on the tele end. It offers a nice wide range and good image quality, and other than being a bit slow aperture-wise, it is a fine choice for portraits. I didn't see a mention of wildlife shooting as a priority in your post, so you may not need anything beyond 105. If you find you do, you could then look at something like the 55-200, 55-300, or better still, the 70-300.