Guys I need you help in deciding which lenses to use on my D7k when I am going overseas soon (and also as a general lens at any other times) I have the 18-105VR, sigma 18-200 OS DC HSM and can borrow a friends Nikon 24-120 VR (f2.5-5.6) I have done a quick test on each lense and the 18-105 has the sharpest of pics (I only took some sample pics of plants etc, and set all the lenses to around 50mm @ f5 I think with the same shutter speed) i will try and post the pics later on today I am quite surprised at this result, which also leads me to another question.. Is the D7K set to adjust setting according to the lense that’s fitted to it?? I have lense fine tuning set to off.but have increased the sharpness setting in the picture modes, im wondering wether different lenses affect the settings on the camera and that each lense has to be programmed to suit. Mainly concerned that if I buy another lens (tamron or sigma 17-55 f2.8) im going to have the same problem of the 18-105 giving me the best pictures. Im not concerned with using the 18-105 but im after something a bit faster (hence the purchase of the 17-55) I also found the 18-105 is the slowest to focus out of the above lot. Mainly shooting landscapes, cars and portraits. Many thanks for your help. Cheers
#1. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 0
Land O Lakes, US
If I were to only take one lens I believe it would be the 18-200 simply based on range. I have a D7000 with Sigma 8-16, Sigma 17-70 and Nikkor 18-200. This past Spring we spent a month in Chicago and I found that carrying all my stuff wasn't practical so I pared down to just one, on camera, lens and it was the 18-200.
Also, I found with my Nikkor 18 -200 that it performs best at f/10. You might conduct your tests of various lenses at different apertures and see where each lens performs the best.
#2. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 0
The sharpening setting in the picture control is a software setting that affects the output file, regardless of the lens used.
The sharpness of the lens, when testing, can be ascribed to so many factors, unless you really control for variables. But, given your quick test the results aren't surprising. Generally, super zooms lenses like the SIgma 18-200 are not as sharp as something with less range. Why the 24-120 wasn't as sharp is beyond me, but as it is an unfamiliar lens to you, that may have had something to do with it.
If you are going to do a quick test, I suggest that you use a tripod, are remote release or delayed shutter release and shoot at f/8 at a variety of focal lengths on each lens. That should not take too long and you may find that a good lens at 50mm is not as good as the others elsewhere.
For me, if I were going on a trip with just one lens, I would take a superzoom to have maximum flexibility. My preference for the D7000 would be the new Nikon 18-300 or the Tamron 18-270 VD PZD.
#3. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 2
Guys Thanks for the quick replies. I was going to setup a tripod and shoot with that as well (but considering when im overseas all shot will be hand held I decided to do just that) I understand every lense is different so that being said I am going to try the tripod method at different focal lengths but am not sure what focal lengths to try? I will only take one lens that’s a guarantee. So I want to make sure I get the best one to maximise my chances of getting decent pics as going overseas isn’t something I get to do every year. And also to touch base on the different lense having different setting on the camera?? Im guessing that’s not the way it is (im only asking this since all the other lenses bar the 18-105 gave clear pics almost all the time, but the 18-105 was the slowest to focus out of the lot) I also tried the 50mm 1.8d lense and the pics weren’t that great But I will do a comparison soon with a tripod. cheers
#4. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 3
The only way a lens has different settings on the camera is for fine tuning and since you have that off, in your case they are all acting with the same settings.
FWIW the 18-105 kit lens tests out pretty well for sharpness especially for a "kit" lens. I do not have an 18-200 but have heard so many negatives comments regarding the lens being soft especially paired with the D7k. For my own travels (vacation not specifically for photographic reasons) I typically bring my D7k with the 18-105 and then bring along a 50 f1.8 just for night shots simply because it is small, lightweight, easily fits in a jacket pocket, etc. I have rarely missed having a longer or faster lens. The speed at which it acquires focus is usually fine for travel shots. For me I would rather give up the extra reach for sharper shots in general.
Marc There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.-Ansel Adams
#8. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 7
Marc, No problem mate the plan is to take a zoom lense (whichever works better for me after testing) and the 50mm for night shots. i have been reading about the 18-105 being a really good lense but also seen reports of people cringing about why bother with a kit lense on the D7K.
#11. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 8
I too have seen many negative comments about the 18-105 and they are almost always negative simply because it is a "kit" lens. I personally do not care whether or not a lens is a "kit" lens or a "pro" lens. All I care about is the results, and from my experience this lens is just fine for a travel lens, sharp, lightweight and a decent focal length.
Good luck and enjoy your travels.
Marc There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.-Ansel Adams
#12. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 0
I think the technical advice you are getting is pretty good. I would like to add one other general opinion, i.e. the lens(es) you take with you should be based on what you plan to shoot. If landscape is to be a prominent part of your shoots, then a wide angle (e.g. 10-24) could be an important part of your lens portfolio. On the otherhand,if portrait happens to be on the agenda for any given day, then you'll need another type of lens, i.e. longer. I guess the essence of what I'm trying to say is take a selection of lenses to meet your anticipated needs, BUT on any given day of a photo shoot, decide what your're aiming to do and take the appropriate equipment, i.e. leave the unneeded lenses out of your carry-around.
P.S.: If landscape is an important part of your plan, don't forget to take a tripod and, ideally, a (tethered or infrared) release.
#13. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 12
Thanks to all for the suggestions,
i must be fair and honest in saying the only reason to look into the sigma or tamron 17-55 f2.8 lenses are due to the negative comments i have seen on the internet about the 18-105 kit lense.. i in all honesty am not a pro and neither am a pixel peeper, as long as the shots are good im happy, i wasnt convinced with the 18-105 lens at first either. so looked for the next alternative and found a used sigma 18-200 so i bought that and instantly noticed my photos looked better, but was also lacking in detail here and there. the 18-105 lense was sitting on the shelf doing nothing. this was about 6 months ago.
few days ago out of curosity i took the 18-105 and tried some shots with it and was stunned to see it produce better shots. so i did some more testing and the pics were more clearear than the 18-200 sigma. i then borrowed my friends 24-120 nikkor and did the same and the 18-105 still was the better out of the lot. so that really confused me as to why this was happening. mind you as i mentioned before this is just an average joes interpretaion of the outcome of IQ, you guys might see it differently. anyway this is why i was wonderign wether the camera had some settings i wasnt aware of foreach individual lense to make it perform at its best...
#14. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 13
on the tpoic of travel now i will be visiting Kerala (Gods own country as they call it) in INDIA its a ladnscapers paradise so a wide angle is best for that. i was thinking the 18mm end of the lense might cover what i need. i havent looked into hiring a lense yet thats the next step for me
i already have a tripod and remote release as well. one thing i will need to look into are ND filters as i have no idea about them and will def need them as the place is quite sunny, plus i plan to do some long exposure shots..
#16. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 15
Woudl appreciate it if somebody in the know was able to say what happened with the pics as to the 18-105 being the better lens(to me anyway by looking at the pics) or is this just normal behaviour of the lenses in question.. ps im not able to upload pics to my gallery for some reason so if anyone can host the pics for me so they appear in the thread that would be awsome.
#18. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 17
St Petersburg, RU
The most versatile lens in my bulging bag is the 18-105. It is not great but is very flexible and has the range that is most useful for me. I got it as a kit with the D90 when it came out 4 years ago and even today some of my favorite portraits and architecture shots have been with it. Technically it is not as good as any other lens in my bag but since it good, not stellar, light, and covers my preferred range it stays with me. If weight was not a problem I would take faster glass, the 70-200 for sure and probably the 24-70 2.8 and 24 1.4.If you are using domestic airlines in India, weight will be a real consideration due to low limits on hand carry baggage.
The test shots were under-exposed so less can be determined by them but the point is, as you have learned, the 18-105 is fine for the application of a travel lens. Consider that lens testing is normally done in highly controlled conditions and on a tripod with remote release. It is likely the 24-120 would beat it under those conditions but remember that what works in crude tests, hand held, with uncontrolled light is actually a better indicator of what you will find by using it in the same uncontrolled conditions doing casual shooting. If the images look better when using your current techniques, it makes little sense to worry about ultimate performance of another lens when it is not going to be used in those optimum conditions while traveling. I would reserve judgement on the 50 1.8D however, when stopped down, it is the best of the lot. When shot wide open, the D version is not very good. But it can capture scenes in low light the others can't. Stopping it down to 2.8-4.8 and it transforms into a super sharp, quality lens. The 18-105 is really good when you can stop it down to 5.6 which will be easy outdoors. I would be happy to take both the 50mm and 18-105 since the little 50 fits in any spare pocket yet opens a lot of options for ambient light shooting that all the others are hampered by. Have a great trip and enjoy the lower weight.... Stan St Petersburg Russia
#20. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 17
Pricing aside, which lens, according to your experience (not specs data), would accommodate to more photographic situations and which would render generally better results: 18-105 or 16-85 both Nikon ? Your answer would clear a misty sight for us beginners into Digital Photo.
#21. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 20
St Petersburg, RU
The 16-85 is better built and slightly better optically wide open but for me, no question the 18-105's extra reach is more useful than the extra 2mm at the wide end. Stopped down they are both quite good. The reach and 1/2 the price tips the scales towards the 18-105. A good kit for vacations would be a small fast prime and the 18-105, 18-200, or 18-300. I am getting ready to take a trip back to the US in two days for a few weeks and trying to decide what to take now. I usually start out thinking I am going to be light this time but by the time the taxi picks me and my luggage up for the ride to the airport, my bag will be bulging with heavy lenses. Last time I was proud of myself to limiting it to just two lenses, a 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 and one flash. I ought to take just the 18-105 and one body, D7000 but it is too much to resist taking some faster glass and D800. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#22. "RE: D7K lens comparing and setting question." In response to Reply # 21
Have a safe trip and enjoy your load !!
In the meantime I keep asking myself why is it so time consuming to select the lens you need for the camera you have. I have made much larger and important decision in one or two days analysis time and here I am weeks on end, all tangle up ( and by what I see I have a lot a company in that area) going back and forth trying to be rational. Could it be some masochistic tendency we photographic lovers have? At first I said to myself "it is ok, you (me) are taking so much time because you (me) don't have enough knowledge and you (me) are making a decision in a field you don't know much about." But I have received some valuable and disinterested advice from people in the know (which is sometimes the difficult part n must other other decision making process) and still.... no white smoke.
Sorry people for taking up your valuable time. Will hang myself with my own rope....soon I hope !!