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Is mid-range zoom a must-have?

MarcG19

Arlington, US
289 posts

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"RE: Is mid-range zoom a must-have?"

MarcG19 Registered since 16th Apr 2009
Mon 24-Dec-12 10:33 PM | edited Mon 24-Dec-12 10:38 PM by MarcG19

Done the full gamut on this question (with the exception of f/2.8 mid range zooms).

Started out with a kit lens. (18-70 on D70) Took that several places in Europe as well as places locally in the US, usually with a wide zoom and a 70-300VR. All in a big lowepro fanny pack.

Moved to 18-200. Took roughly around 10K pictures with this and brought it all around Europe, Australia, and Asia. Also brought a wide zoom with me. All this went into a lower fanny pack or a belt+lens carrier that, with 2-3 large lenses and accessory bags, made me look like I was in the army.

Got tired of the 18-200 and people talked me into the idea that the 18-55 and 55-200 kit lenses were as good, perhaps better. (they certainly were cheaper together - $200 refurbed). I went that way and didn't look back. At this time I stopped carrying a wide zoom for "walk around" unless I was scouting for landscape photography (which I still consider my favorite form of photography). I was sick of the fanny pack/looking like I'm in the army, and I put the unmounted lens into a pants cargo pocket, and so I could go with just the camera holster.

Finally, I dumped Nikon DX for micro 4/3, at least for walk around. I also did a lot of rationalization. For the past several months, I've only carried around a 28mm equivalent lens (tiny, cheap), a 50mm equivalent f/0.95 manual focus lens (stellar performer, focus peaking and live view magnification meant I didn't miss AF) as well as a 120mm equivalent f/2.8 macro. I found these three were plenty for all of the "travel"/"street"/walk-around photography I did in my past several months in Asia. And they all are very-to-phenomenally sharp compared to the lenses I had before, and much much lighter. The unmounted lenses either can fit into trouser pockets or a dorky little compact camera pouch I got in Asia (which I have no shame in wearing).

YMMV. If I decide to go FX, I probably would replicate the more recent setup (28mm AF-S, 50mm f/1.8 AF-D just because I have it, 135mm MF).

Cheers,

Marc

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"90% of my best life's work could have been made with a manual body, a 24mm lens, and a telephoto zoom in the 80-200 range"
- Galen Rowell
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This is a hot, active topic! Is mid-range zoom a must-have? [View all] , JCY88 , Mon 10-Dec-12 08:37 PM
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