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zuninet

CA
3 posts

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zuninet Registered since 30th Nov 2009
Mon 30-Nov-09 10:09 PM | edited Mon 30-Nov-09 10:12 PM by zuninet

I just upgraded my d40 to a d5000, and am now thinking of getting rid of my 18-135 dx lens for a 55-200vr lens. I've been told that the 18-135 lens isn't very good, and have seen that in some of my shots (especially when almost fully zoomed out). I already have the 18-55 VR lens, is the 55-200vr the optimal second lens for sports and shots where I need the zoom? Another option is the sigma 18-200mm lens, but unsure if the quality of that is on par with the nikon.

Thanks!

MEMcD

US
28060 posts

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#1. "RE: Next lens?" | In response to Reply # 0

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Mon 30-Nov-09 11:13 PM

Hi Jason,

Welcome to Nikonians!
If you are looking for the "optimal second lens for sports" I have to ask: Which sports do you want to shoot and in what ambient lighting conditions will you be shooting?
The lenses that you list will work for shooting outdoor sports in good ambient lighting conditions.
Tell me more and we can continue.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

greenwing

Yorkshire, UK
1304 posts

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#2. "RE: Next lens?" | In response to Reply # 0

greenwing Gold Member Nikonian since 18th May 2006
Tue 01-Dec-09 02:31 PM

With no scientific evidence, I'd say that the 18-135 isn't very good, but neither really is the 18-55 VR nor the 55-200 VR. It really depends on what the scale is; they're probably all of very similar 'goodness'. The Sigma 18-200 may be about the same amount of good, or perhaps a little bit lower.

I'd consider keeping the 18-135 and adding a 70-300 VR.

Chris

PhotoRaoul

AU
6 posts

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#3. "RE: Next lens?" | In response to Reply # 0

PhotoRaoul Registered since 10th Dec 2009
Thu 10-Dec-09 07:59 AM

I have the 55-200mm VR lens and it takes great images. The VR works great in low light interiors and fill flash. Turn OFF the VR when mounted on tripods.
The hidden treasure of a lens is the 18-70mm F3.5-4.5 which came with the D70 when it was released a few years ago. Get one if you find it. Wide opening at a bargain price. Other lenses are like F4 to 5.6...

zuninet

CA
3 posts

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#4. "RE: Next lens?" | In response to Reply # 3

zuninet Registered since 30th Nov 2009
Thu 10-Dec-09 10:08 AM

So I ended up picking up a 55-200VR, works quite well. Now it's time for a few classes to take some better pictures. I noticed a few shots I took at dusk fo the kids playing turned out ok, but there was a fair amount of them that were blury. Once thing I alread notice with the d5000 is that auto makes the pictures too soft and I prefer programmed mode with the setting on vivid. Not sure if anyone else has noticed that.

zuninet

CA
3 posts

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#5. "RE: Next lens?" | In response to Reply # 3

zuninet Registered since 30th Nov 2009
Thu 10-Dec-09 10:16 AM

Another addon I was looking at getting is a SB-600 flash, I'm guessing it's a huge improvement over the built-in flash in low light scenarios and indoors. Just the ability to bounce the light off of a ceiling must help a tonne.

blw

Richmond, US
27173 posts

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#6. "RE: Next lens?" | In response to Reply # 0

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Thu 10-Dec-09 12:45 PM

> I've been told that the 18-135 lens isn't very good

Actually that isn't the usual reputation of this lens at all. It may not be built for the ages, but it's actually quite good optically.

> have seen that in some of my shots (especially when almost fully zoomed out)

Before assuming that it's the lens, it might help to investigate why the shots didn't come out as well as you'd like. A sample with EXIF information would help. To put it bluntly, most of the time when someone has bad results with a lens generally regarded as pretty good, it's the user's technique that's at fault.

> is the 55-200vr the optimal second lens for sports and shots where I need the zoom?

The 55-200vr is a nice lens, but it depends on what kind of sports you might be considering. I can think of quite a few sports situations where the 55-200 will fall far short of what's necessary. Any sports indoors will likely not work at all with this lens, and any sports at night is almost certainly out of the question.

It also depends on whether or not 200mm is enough focal length for the application. (Zoom refers to the variable length nature of the lens, not the actual amount of magnification.) Say a bit more about what you'd be shooting. There are some things for which 200mm is plenty, others where you'll really prefer something longer.

> Another option is the sigma 18-200mm lens, but unsure if the quality of that is on par with the nikon.

In some respects it's better. It's definitely better built than any of the Nikkors you've mentioned. (It still falls well short of the professional Nikkors in this category, though.) Optically it is close to a match for the Nikon 18-200VR, and certainly for most applications it's functionally as good.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

blw

Richmond, US
27173 posts

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#7. "RE: Next lens?" | In response to Reply # 4

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Thu 10-Dec-09 12:54 PM

> Once thing I alread notice with the d5000 is that auto makes the pictures too soft

Cameras don't do that, per se, and neither does an auto mode. What it may do is choose a shutter speed not entirely appropriate for the subject, or you might not have the AF quite nailed.

> I noticed a few shots I took at dusk fo the kids playing turned out ok, but there was a fair amount of them that were blury.

That's almost certainly because the shutter speed was too slow for the subject. In general the camera doesn't know the characteristics of the subject, so it can't adjust accordingly. You still have to do that.

> I prefer programmed mode with the setting on vivid

Unlike the various types of film, digital sensors tend to be very, very neutral. The vivid setting corresponds to something like Fuji Velvia, which is wonderful for nature shots, especially flowers, sunsets, etc. But you may find that it's not so ideal for, say, portraits or weddings.

> Another addon I was looking at getting is a SB-600 flash, I'm guessing it's a huge improvement over the built-in flash in low light scenarios and indoors.

The SB-600 is quite a bit more powerful than the built-in flash.

> Just the ability to bounce the light off of a ceiling must help a tonne.

Indeed, bouncing off a ceiling (or a wall) is vastly preferable in most cases. Not only do you get much softer lighting and no direct flash shadow, it's also much easier on the subjects since the light doesn't blast them straight away. This is especially beneficial with infants and toddlers, who don't really have an understanding of what flash is any why it isn't a threat.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

MEMcD

US
28060 posts

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#8. "RE: Next lens?" | In response to Reply # 5

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Thu 10-Dec-09 05:06 PM

Hi Jason,

>Another addon I was looking at getting is a SB-600 flash, I'm
>guessing it's a huge improvement over the built-in flash in
>low light scenarios and indoors. Just the ability to bounce
>the light off of a ceiling must help a tonne.


Yes, the SB-600 will provide more power and range than the built in Speedlight. Using bounce flash will soften the light giving a more natural appearance to the image.
When using direct flash for additional range the higher profile of the SB-600 will also reduce the probability of red eye because the center of the speedlight is further away from the centerline of the lens.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

MEMcD

US
28060 posts

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#9. "RE: Next lens?" | In response to Reply # 4

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Thu 10-Dec-09 05:27 PM

Hi Jason,

>I noticed a few shots I took at dusk fo the kids playing turned
>out ok, but there was a fair amount of them that were blury.

The blur is probably due to using a shutter speed too low to freeze the movement of the subject. In low light conditions you can increase the shutter speed by increasing the ISO setting. This will make the sensor more sensitive to light, thus allowing a faster shutter speed.

>Once thing I alread notice with the d5000 is that auto makes
>the pictures too soft.

It is not the camera making the image soft. Auto mode does a decent job under most conditions but is limited by the ambient conditions that you are shooting in.

>I prefer programmed mode with the setting on vivid.

Vivid is great for capturing bright colors but not so good for capturing skin tones. It adds a red cast to skin tones.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

G