"Ready to move up from the kit lenses (D5000)" Sat 13-Feb-10 09:34 PM by nateccnn
A few months ago I decided I wanted a nice digital camera. I was helping my brother in law pic out a P&S camera and got that wild hair up my but. I owned a Nikon FG that I got in the mid 80s but never really understood photography. Did a couple weddings...was told not to do any more by the brides in both weddings.
Fastforward to July 2009. While helping my BIL, I read a lot of articles and that itch developed again. This time, before deciding on a camera for myself I bought a couple books on Digital Photography. The first one I read was Fundamentals of Photography by Tom Ang. Then I started reading Digital Photography, A Step by Step Guide to Taking Great Photographs by Steve Luck. After reading the book by Tom Ang I had a good idea of what I wanted to do and what kind of equipment to start with.
At this point I started shopping for cameras. I liked several of them. Canon had a nice rig in the Rebel series The XSi was recently released. I had narrowed it down to a short list of 4 cameras. Canon was advertising on TV more than anyopne else and I almost bought that rig. But I decided to slip my camera card into all four rigs at the local store and record some shots. I took those shots back to the office and opened them in CS4. The one that stood out as having the best detail was the Nikon. That also happened to be the camera that felt best in my hands.
Now I just had to find the best price on the D5000. A little shopping and a little bargaining and I ended up buying it locally from BB. I convinced the floor manager to swap the kit lenses and got a 18-55 and a 70-300 AF-S lense package for what I thought was a great price.
Last week I added a SB900 to my gear bag. I really like this flash. I thought I liked the on-camera speed light, but now I know that was a joke. Still a useful feature, but nothing like the SB900.
I also got a Nikon D5000 Digital Field Guide by J. Dennis Thomas for my birthday in August. I am almost finished reading this book. It adds clearity to what I read in the owner's manual.
Now I want to get another lense. I want to cover the gap between the 18-55 and the 70-300 I have in my bag. I want something that can shoot fast. I tend to take a lot of outdoor photos of sporting events and wildlife. I am a hunter who is getting tired of carrying meat out of the woods and realizing pictures weigh a lot less. So I will pack the camera bag along with other hunters to create memories for them. Some shots will be 400 yards (rifle shot) away and others will be within 20 yards (archery)away. Some will be waterfowl and some will be high desert. So I imagine I will need something that is versatile.
I also like to take indoor photos. Mostly for advertising purposes. Most ads will be newspaper size ads. A few will end up being billboard size. I run a small business and like to shoot my own photos so when customers come in they see familiar faces.
And then the occasional social event. I shot a Christmas party recently and was real happy with the 18-55 lense that came in the kit. And I shot my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Again...the 18-55 worked nicely.
So what would you recommend? I need to fill in my wish list in the user profile and I got lost. Help!
#1. "RE: Ready to move up from the kit lenses (D5000)" In response to Reply # 0
Seattle, WA, US
Sounds like you have the basics covered for the lenses you need. Don't worry about the 55-70mm gap. In the grand scheme of things it is not big enough to worry about.
The 35mm AFS might be good to have for the indoor shots for the larger aperture than your 18-55mm has.
Your 70-300mm is a great lens. If you are looking for more reach for those 400 yd shots, you are looking at more size, more weight, and more dollars. Assuming the 200-400mm is out of the budget, you might look at the 80-400mm.
---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
#2. "RE: Ready to move up from the kit lenses (D5000)" In response to Reply # 0
The new 56-69 AFS ED VR 1.4 should be the perfect lens to cover the gap between your 18-55 and your 70-300, and at $350, it's a bargain.
Sorry, I just couldn't resist. I just posted a reply to your JPEG v. RAW post.
It sounds as though you are getting fairly deep into photography and Nikons, so you may want to slow down until you decide exactly how far you want to dive into this hobby. The reason that I say this is that you are buying DX lenses, and from the sound of your posts and your enthusiasm, you may eventually want to move up to a full frame camera. DX lenses do not work well on FX (Full Frame} bodies.
I would suggest that (1) you use what you have for now, (2) read up on the topic and (3) zoom with your feet for now.
#3. "RE: Ready to move up from the kit lenses (D5000)" In response to Reply # 2
Oh...but how can I help the economy if I don't go out and buy stuff I don't really need? LOL
So after reading some more I am thinking I may want a macro lense. I do shots for my broither in law. He's a hobbyist jewler and has started selling items on the internet. I thought I was getting good shots with my 18-55 using macro setting. But I think they turned out lousy so that might be the problem.
#4. "RE: Ready to move up from the kit lenses (D5000)" In response to Reply # 3
Tallahassee, Florida, US
>... I was getting good shots with my 18-55 using macro >setting. But I think they turned out lousy so that might be >the problem.
I doubt that's your problem, Nate. If you can frame the shot like you want it with your 18-55, I don't think a macro lens would give you better results. (Maybe more sharpness in the corners, though.)
Two problems you'll run into with macro is shallow depth of field, and the fact that because you're shooting so close to the subject any camera movement will be magnified and you won't get sharp images. The "solution" for the first problem is to go with a smaller aperture (for example, f16, or even higher), but even that may still leave you with too shallow a depth of field. The solution for the second is to shoot from a tripod using a remote shutter release to minimize camera shake.
#5. "RE: Ready to move up from the kit lenses (D5000)" In response to Reply # 3
St Petersburg, RU
Helping the economy of Japan and China is a nice gesture but not likely to help much at home. The margin in cameras to stores now is quite low so not much of the sales price stays in the community.
The macro and longer telephoto for wildlife are going to help someones economy, a lens longer than the 70-300 will likely cost 3-12 times as much as your camera. A lower cost alternative to the expensive pro Nikkor lenses might be a Sigma 50-500 "BigMa" which offers a very wide range that would be useful for wildlife and relative close ups and all in between. It is heavy at 4 lbs however. For long wilderness treks, a sling style strap like the Black Rapid RS-5 would be very highly recommended to save your neck and back. Another option would be to upgrade in lens quality to the 70-200vr 2.8 ver II and add a teleconverted when needed. A 70-200 with the new TC2 III would give a range out to 400mm with image quality better than the Bigma and your 70-300, plus would be useful for sharp images at the wider end. I use my 70-200vr primarily for candid portraits.
Any macro worthy of the name will be sharper than you need, that is the nature of that style of lens so even low cost 3rd party lenses would give excellent service. But I suspect what is needed is not a macro but a proper lighting setup for jewelry. Build a translucent Light Tent and use a few light sources around its exterior. White rip-stop nylon covering a wire frame to make a tent large enough for your products with a shooting opening can give professional looking product images for ads without the harsh shadows direct lighting gives. The lenses you have now will work fine. A whole table top product photo studio can be build for $15 in materials. Stan St Petersburg Russia