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Subject: "D5100 lens needs" Previous topic | Next topic
pcsmith Registered since 08th Jun 2011Mon 13-Jun-11 02:22 PM
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"D5100 lens needs"
Mon 13-Jun-11 03:02 PM by pcsmith

US
          

I'm new to DSLR, know this has been asked, and also understand lens choice is specific to shooting needs. My subjects will mainly be my children and people in daily activities, special events, vacations, church functions, and the like. I tried the D5100 w/ 18-55 & 55-300 lens, but find myself needing to swith too often as kids are constantly on move.
After trial, I'm thinking best value is d5100 with 18-200mm for daily activity and 50mm f/1.8G AF-S that is on preorder for portraits/indoor/low light shooting. Does this like good idea? The 18-200mm lens is pricey.

Or, with today's image quality, should I not worry so much about zoom since I can crop with software? (it will be a rare occassion that I would ever print above 5x7 or 8x10).

Or, am I better to get the D90 w/ 18-105mm kit lens, which is less expensive option and buy prime lenses from there?

Or, is this all just a pipe dream and I should spend more time (and save money) learning basic photography with a Nikon S9100 or P500 before investing in DSLR?

O

Thanks for your help!!!

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
John D
13th Jun 2011
1
Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
pcsmith
13th Jun 2011
2
     Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
John D
13th Jun 2011
3
Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
blw Moderator
14th Jun 2011
4
Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
pcsmith
14th Jun 2011
5
     Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
pcsmith
14th Jun 2011
6
Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
John D
14th Jun 2011
7
Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
pcsmith
15th Jun 2011
8
     Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
John D
15th Jun 2011
9
          Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
pcsmith
17th Jun 2011
10
               Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
John D
18th Jun 2011
11
               Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
blw Moderator
18th Jun 2011
12
                    Reply message RE: D5100 lens needs
RRRoger Silver Member
20th Jun 2011
13
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joanlvh
24th Jun 2011
14

John D Registered since 12th Jan 2005Mon 13-Jun-11 07:30 PM
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#1. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 13-Jun-11 07:42 PM by John D

US
          

Just from my end of the viewfinder....

Your biggest investment - if you want to stay in the Nikon System is in the glass - NOT in the bodies. I have some pro level lenses that have migrated from Nikon film bodies -> D70 -> D200, etc. And, I use those lenses today on all of them still ('cept the D5100 if I need the AF feature)...

Anyway - my point here is rather than buying a body with the associated kit lens - is to pick a prime lens you want (and the 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 sounds like it would be an excellent pick for you), and buy a "body only" - as in the D5100 if it has the features you want... A D5100 body is about $800 and the lens of your choice is about $300...

The D90 "package" you are looking at is just about the same - BUT - the D90 is older technology than the D5100, and personally, I don't think it has the features of the D5100 (except the D90 probably has better sealing/build quality then the D5100, but I don't own a D90, so my opinion should be discounted on that point).?

And oh - about you spending more time & money just learning photography rather than investing in better equipment?? Honestly - everyone shooting photography is still learning. If folks who do photography even as a living say they've "stopped learning", then my guess is they are telling you a "tall tale"..

HTH,

John

D5100, D200, D70, F3HP, FA, FE2, FM2, FM, FE, FG, FTN
Nikon customer since 1971, which doesn't mean anything 'cept I'm probably older than you..???

  

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pcsmith Registered since 08th Jun 2011Mon 13-Jun-11 07:36 PM
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#2. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

>
>Anyway - my point here is rather than buying a body with the
>associated kit lens - is to pick a prime lens you want (and
>the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 sounds like it would be an excellent
>pick for you), and buy a "body only" - as in the
>D5100 if it has the features you want... A D5100 body is about
>$800 and the lens of your choice is about $300...


Thanks for your insight. Can you tell me where you saw the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 for about $300? The 18-105 is about that, but the 18-200 is closer to $750 everywhere I've looked.

Paul

  

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John D Registered since 12th Jan 2005Mon 13-Jun-11 07:45 PM
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#3. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 2
Mon 13-Jun-11 08:35 PM by John D

US
          

My Bad, Paul!!!

I looked up the price of the 18-105 which is what I replied to for about $300 - and promptly posted 18-200 as the lens (as I was looking those up as well..??!!)

I was editing my post when you had already replied...

Timing is everything, I guess!!

John

D5100, D200, D70, F3HP, FA, FE2, FM2, FM, FE, FG, FTN
Nikon customer since 1971, which doesn't mean anything 'cept I'm probably older than you..???

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Tue 14-Jun-11 03:38 PM
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#4. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

Often the contrarian, I think that the notion that "they move around too much so I need to switch lenses too much" is really a photographer issue, at least mostly. 55mm is not all that long, and you have almost a 6x zoom range to work with the the 55-300. I think that with a bit more anticipation (and, especially if they're your kids), a bit of gentle persuasion, you should be able to work within the 55-300 range very easily. I know folks who do this with the 70-200s, which clearly is far less range.

The 18-200 is indeed a bit pricey compared to the 18-55/55=300 combo, and the ONLY reason, in the end, is flexibility. It's a fine lens (I have it, use it and like it, despite having many "better" lenses), but I think you'd get far more out of some practice.

> 50mm f/1.8G AF-S that is on preorder for portraits/indoor/low light shooting.

A 50/f1.8G is not a bad idea at all, although depending on your eventual practices, you may get more mileage out of a 35/f1.8G. Given their relatively modest prices, it is reasonable to have both, even in addition to your current pair.

> with today's image quality, should I not worry so much about zoom since I can crop with software? (it will be a rare occassion that I would ever print above 5x7 or 8x10).

I certainly wouldn't be worrying much about image quality. A D90 produces a 12mp file, and you're going to toss almost half of it to produce an 8x10 @ 300ppi = 2400 x 3000 = 7.2mp. A 5x7 is even worse (better!?) as it's 4mp. And you can make some excellent looking prints at 240dpi (that's all I use for huge prints - 24x36). On the other hand, you might as well do the best you can and fill the frame, since you do have the hardware already.

> buy prime lenses from there?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with prime lenses - in fact, I am tending toward top-level primes over even the best zooms. But I'm being sucked into being a sometime-pro, and as noted I do make big prints. But in your situation, I'm finding it hard to justify the primes. They're not as convenient - and you're already wondering about the flexibility of even a 6x zoom like the 55-300. Imagine how it is with just one focal length! It is of course quite doable with experience, but usually the reasons for primes are either faster, so lower light or shallower DOF, image quality, build quality, or perhaps size/weight. The image quality we've addressed. Build quality is wonderful - but is it worth it to go to primes just for that feel? For some it is, but the evidence is that even the least built of the Nikkor lenses is quite enough to stand up to most amateur use, and even if you destroy one (I have!) replacement is less expensive than buying the pro build lens in the first place, and often by a very wide margin. Size/weight can be a connundrum, as a single prime - even a fast one - is probably smaller and lighter than zooms. But two or three and you have to wonder.

My advice: stick to the zooms for now, except when you need the low light/shallow DOF, such as the 50/f1.8 and 35/f1.8.

> is this all just a pipe dream and I should spend more time (and save money) learning basic photography with a Nikon S9100 or P500 before investing in DSLR?

No, I don't think so. If you want to take this up seriously, you will find that the DSLR will provide you a lot more flexibility and capability than the all-in-ones. I think it's a lot easier to learn with a DSLR set in manual or aperture or shutter preferred mode. Heck, I have a tough time achieving even routine things with a relatively advanced P&S like a P6000 - even though it has full manual control, an f/2.4 lens and a hot shoe for a standard Nikon external flash.

Either a D90 or D5100 would be more than enough to keep you busy for years, and both will be a good platform for future attacks of Nikon Acquisition Syndrome (NAS) in the form of glass. Of course, it's best only to give in to NAS once you have a clear idea of what you must invest in to accomplish specific photographic goals. If you stick to that, you'll save a lot of money and also a lot of frustration.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

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

  

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pcsmith Registered since 08th Jun 2011Tue 14-Jun-11 06:44 PM
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#5. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

Brian,
Thanks for your input. You are right that 55-300mm took a little work and coaxing and I got some great shots. The problem was that we were constantly moving indoors and outdoors and I was having a harder time getting the closer indoors shots.
Let me clarify my question about image quality and zoom: Since today's image quality is so good, should I just use 18-55mm or a prime lens and utilize software to zoom/crop to get the image I would have originally zoomed in on with glass?
Personally, I think it would be best to capture moments with zoom (if needed) and develop my eye as opposed to looking at a wide picture and finding images to crop. Plus, with 3 young children, I don't know that I'd have that much time seek and modify images.

Anyhow, thanks again for the advice. I love this forum!

  

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pcsmith Registered since 08th Jun 2011Tue 14-Jun-11 08:44 PM
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#6. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 5


US
          

Would the 55-200mm, 55-300mm, or 70-300mm be best choice long term? I'm sure with practice I could manage with any of them.

  

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John D Registered since 12th Jan 2005Tue 14-Jun-11 09:13 PM
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#7. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

I was at a client shoot today, and as I hooked up one of my trusty Nikkor lenses to the D5100 for exterior shots, your post/thread came immediately to mind. I think - to distill it all down to "bare metal" is that you are looking for an "all-in-one" lens to cover 80% of what you think you are going to shoot? If my summation is correct - I will push you hard to - again - to invest in good glass that survives multiple body upgrades.

The reason I landed there today is that I purchased a Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 IF-ED for my D70 years ago. Since my D70, it's been my lens of choice for my projects in Haiti (and I can assure you - with over 1700 kids in my projects there - it's taken a lot of pictures of the world). On my D200, that lens was responsible for about 60% of the photographs in my book about Haiti. It's that SAME lens I used for some shots today - which sparked my thoughts about your thread...

Here is a review of that same lens:
http://www.bythom.com/2485lens.htm

I think Brian is right on when he stated to you "...I think that the notion that "they move around too much so I need to switch lenses too much" is really a photographer issue, at least mostly..." is right on...

My second piece of advice is to buy the D5100 - use it for a while - and then see what you think you need. If you try to guess - and we try to assist based on what "you think you might need" - chances are - we'll all be wrong.

Oh - if you want to see some pictures from that lens, I'd be pleased to post some examples.

My Best,

John

D5100, D200, D70, F3HP, FA, FE2, FM2, FM, FE, FG, FTN
Nikon customer since 1971, which doesn't mean anything 'cept I'm probably older than you..???

  

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pcsmith Registered since 08th Jun 2011Wed 15-Jun-11 12:00 AM
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#8. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 7
Wed 15-Jun-11 12:08 AM by pcsmith

US
          

John,
Thanks for more insight. I hate guessing and as I said, I figure whatever I get I'll learn to work with until I know exactly what I need. I just hate being wrong to start and especially when it comes to spending money (I tend to over-analyze things - you should have seen the time I spent picking out my wife's wedding ring, as if she cared or would ever sell it!). Anyhow, I appreciate the time everyone spends responding and trying to assist us wanna-be's - it is a pleasure to communicate with those that have been around awhile!
Since the D7000 comes with 18-105 lens and isn't much more expensive, would there be benefit to going that route or is that way too much camera for a beginner like me (just thinking that it has focus motor so my future lens choices may be better). Forgive me for 2nd, 3rd, & 4th guessing myself...I'm just going to have to pick something and run with it, eh?

  

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John D Registered since 12th Jan 2005Wed 15-Jun-11 01:00 AM
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#9. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 8


US
          

>John,
>Thanks for more insight. I hate guessing and ..... (I tend to
>over-analyze things - you should have seen the time I spent
>picking out my wife's wedding ring, as if she cared or would
>ever sell it!). ...

Hah!!!

You and I are too much alike..! Remember, I shot Nikon FILM cameras until 2005 or so, when I took that plunge to DSLRs with a D70. While I still shoot film - and have my D70 & D200 and now D5100 - I'm not an easy sell...

For that, my opinion is - again - while the D7000 is a great DSLR, honestly? It's probably more than you need for what you are looking to do with it? The D7000 is more similar to my D200 then the D5100. So - again, get the D5100 - or even the D3100? Invest in the optics - and don't buy the body for the "kit lens" attached..? As well - yes, the D7000 does have a focus motor (as does my D200 and D70), but without a legacy of optics in your library at this time, not sure that's a factor in your choice? The D7000 would have made better sense for me - as I have several dozen of lenses that won't do all the AF/Metering stuff on my D5100 - but again, I didn't buy the D5100 for lens legacy support? I bought it to do well - one or two things that my Nikon film and DSLR bodies can not?

Again - my suggestion is - buy a Nikon DSLR - D90/D3100/D5100 - and shoot the heck out of it... Then - and only then - will you know what you are missing, and take the next step to either glass or a better body..?? For that, I think my recommendation still stands. Buy a D5100 and again, my suggestion above with a good (used) Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 IF-ED. I know you won't be disappointed.

HTH,

John

D5100, D200, D70, F3HP, FA, FE2, FM2, FM, FE, FG, FTN
Nikon customer since 1971, which doesn't mean anything 'cept I'm probably older than you..???

  

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pcsmith Registered since 08th Jun 2011Fri 17-Jun-11 04:28 PM
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#10. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 9


US
          

Well, just to update:
I went back and got a D5100 package with 18-55mm & 55-200mm. It wasn't my plan, but there was a package deal, and I got all for less than $900 (new, not white box or open item). I figure for under $100 per lens, I can just shoot a lot with these while giving me time to determine and save for my real lens needs. Also, if something happens to either of the lenses in my amateur-ness and/or environment (lots of kiddos running around), it won't be such a big deal.

Thanks again for your advice. It's so nice to have fellow Nikonians to bounce ideas and get opinions.

  

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John D Registered since 12th Jan 2005Sat 18-Jun-11 07:11 PM
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#11. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 10


US
          

That is a screaming deal! I paid $850 for my D5100 w/the 18-55 only.

But, I have to add in the last week, the D5100 has accompanied my D200 on six contracted shoots. My D5100 has about 1000 "money" shutter actuations it (with various lenses, I don't use the 18-55 all that much, if at all?), and I'm really impressed with what the D5100 delivers insofar as quality photo rendering under some difficult lighting situations. I think you will be equally as pleased as well with your D5100.

John

D5100, D200, D70, F3HP, FA, FE2, FM2, FM, FE, FG, FTN
Nikon customer since 1971, which doesn't mean anything 'cept I'm probably older than you..???

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 18-Jun-11 10:00 PM
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#12. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 10


Richmond, US
          

You'll do quite well with those. And after you pile up a bunch of usage, you'll have a pretty clear idea of what you need next, or at least what problem you need to solve. (You may not know "I need a 45/f2.8 PCE" but you would know "Geez I can't ever get a fast enough shutter speed when I'm shooting X in Y conditions...")

And those little 18-55 and 55-200 may surprise you. They're excellent lenses, especially optically.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

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

  

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RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter MemberMon 20-Jun-11 02:07 PM
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#13. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 12


Monterey Bay, US
          

As you already have the range covered, I would not get an 18-200.
I sold mine after getting an AF-S Nikkor 28-300.
I like the range and image quality so much better that this lens is dedicated to one of my D7000 bodies.

The lens I use most with the D5100 is the 35 f/1.8.
I also carry the 10-24 Nikkor for trips and landscapes.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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joanlvh Registered since 26th Oct 2008Fri 24-Jun-11 02:03 AM
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#14. "RE: D5100 lens needs"
In response to Reply # 13


US
          

i have the 90 and now the 5100, I think the 5100 is a better choice because it is two yrs newer, thus technological improvments. I love its size and I too reccommend the 35mm lens, I would not get the kit lens. I think the combination (5100 and 35mm) would be a great learning "Kit"

  

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