Tue 18-Nov-08 06:03 AM | edited Tue 18-Nov-08 06:09 AM by R Cho
The question is too hard for me when I don't know what you are photographing. Do you want to photograph landscapes or cheetahs or do you want to photograph tiny insects?
If you wanna do a bit of everything like most people, I may suggest a kit lens if you havn't got it already.
1) It's a mid zoom lens that should be a good balance.
2) It's not a too heavy lens, ie., not a pro zoom lens which should make you more willing to go out with it. I think the truth is as a first up general lens you don't need a specialised fast pro lens. You want to use a all round lens to establish what you really want in photography. Then you know what lens you want to get in the future.
Ie., 18-70mm, 18-135mm, 18-55mm etc. I wouldn't even suggest the 16-85 (?) or the 18-200mm.
Edit. A mid zoom lens is the best to begin with IMO. Because it is slightly wide that you can do great scenic landscapes and a little twist you can do a slight telephoto. You could do a group photo and then a close up portrait of 2 or 1 people head shot. It is a lens that you can walk out and point and shoot as you walk around .....
Quality is subjective but in my photography club most pple have cheap lenses and they have put pictures in exhibitions and sold some, they have won national competitions with them, some have even represented their country in the international photography club competitions. The only reason I can think of getting $$ lenses is not for the quality but for the extra f-stop. But back to the question, if you want a general lens for everything to begin with, get the kit lens if you haven't already done so. Keep your wallet happy and happy shooting and hope you learn heaps.
More information would be helpful, like what you intend to shoot and the size of your budget
But without knowing more, my vote would go to the AF-S VR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G Nikkor. It's a very good all-rounder that would not be out of place in your bag later if you want to acquire some faster lenses as well.
I would probably 'start off' with a 16-85. It is wide, it is reasonably long, good fl for portraits and landscape, VR makes it s good walk-around. After one year you should have a good idea what might be missing or holding you back like fast prime, fast zoom, longer...
Albert J Valentino Nikonian Moderator Emeritus Vantage Point Images Mastery of Composition is the Key to Great Photography
I agree with everyone else. You need to give us your budget. It is more likely that you will be limited by money than by a lack of space to put a second lens. Overall, all of the other posters hit the nail on the head. You want something in the midrange, e.g. a lens that starts around 18 mm. After all, that's why Nikon includes one of those variants in all of their DX kits. Now if we know how much money you have to spend, we won't be recommending lenses that range in value from $120 to $1,400.
Tell us more about what sort of photography you want to do. What types of subjects are important to you? Is versatility more important or quality? And as above, the budget is also important.
Your profile shows a 28-80, an 80-200 and a 60mm, presumably the latter is a macro. This puts a considerable frame on what you might really be asking, so I'll refrain from making any suggestion at all given the considerable unknowns surrounding your question.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Anyway, either 17-55 2.8 or 16-85 VR to start with.Of course, an external flash is a must have, IMO.
(Both are great lenses; however I upgraded from 16-85 to 17-55 and I'm happier!)Currently, I have 17-55, 85 1.8 and 70-300 VR after trying and using too many lenses.It's pricey but I have learned a lot and had a lot of fun.
I agree with these 2 lenses. I started off with a 18-200 and was never happy with my photos. As soon as I got the 70-200 everything changed and i started to get the Image Quality i was seeing from others. It depends on what you will be mostly shooting. But i think a 17-55 is a good start and if you do sports or any kinda action the 70-200 F 2.8 VR So depends, did you buy this camera for "walk around" photography or shooting mainly sporting events of your kid etc.
I started with the D80 and the 18-135...since getting the 17-55 f2.8, i haven't looked back and it's only on the odd occasion i miss the extra reach. The wider aperture gives me much more control when i want to get creative I complement this lens with a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 for close up or telephoto shots.
If the 16-85 VR existed at the time, i would have definitely considered it as an all rounder. I can't see myself going back now that I have tasted fast glass though!
I think the 17-55 would be a horrible choice for him. If he doesn't even know what lenses he wants, if you give him fast glass he will mis-focus so much it isn't even funny. That is why it is a good think that people buy relatively slow kit lenses when they start out, otherwise they would return the camera in 5 days due to their own inexperience and poor technique. They'd then go around telling everyone how the new D90 has a crappy AF system.
If I could buy one lens, that would mean that I have a budget for that lens. If I have a budget, I could spend it however I want and wouldn't worry about only getting one lens. So, here's how I'd do it:
If I had the budget for a 24-70 f/2.8 ($1500), I'd buy the 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR DX AND the 50/1.8 and two SB800s.
If I had the budget for the 17-55/2.8 DX ($1200), I'd buy the 16-85mm DX and the 50/1.8 and one SB800
If I had the budget for just the 16-85mm DX ($700), I'd buy the 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5DX and the 50/1.8 and an SB600
If I had the budget for just the 18-70 ($300), I'd get just the 18-70.
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, the question was not directed towards me but what you would want as your 1st lens. I wanted to hear what your choices would be having gone down the path of accumulating various lenses (perhaps making mistakes along the way) since converting to digital.
It seems as though the 17-55 f2.8 wasn't the first choice for most of you when starting out but is the 1st lens you would get if you could do it all over again.
Wed 19-Nov-08 09:22 AM | edited Wed 19-Nov-08 09:24 AM by jku
Having acquired a number of modern Nikors, My choice would be the 14-24mm f2.8. I recently mounted this lens onto my old D70 and the IQ was simply amazing, even better than my D300. BTW, the 14-24mm wasn't the first Nikor that I bought but it would be if I can wind the clock back .
>It seems as though the 17-55 f2.8 wasn't the first choice for >most of you when starting out but is the 1st lens you would >get if you could do it all over again.
Interesting point but it is not surprising actually. Most people start off with the consumer gear because it probably came with our first DSLR. Even if it did not, we would have started off with something more affordable.
Once we have outgrown our kit/consumer lens, the natural progression would be to go for the pro lenses and the 17-55mm stands out within this category.
Likewise, if the question was asked about which body we would have bought, I will not be surprised that many would say the D300/700 or D3.
But back then, we would not really have gotten them (be it the D1/2 series or D100/200) as it would have been too advanced.
> >> >>It seems as though the 17-55 f2.8 wasn't the first choice >for >>most of you when starting out but is the 1st lens you >would >>get if you could do it all over again. > > >YES and YES ! If you start with that, you will be wiser than >me! > >If I had started all over again, the first one I would have >got were 17-55 ,then the next were 70-200 VR. > >In the end, I'm ending now with these two fast glasses!!!!
I agree to a certain extent. Even though I don't have the 17-55 (got the Tamron, haven't tested it thoroughly yet), I got the 70-200 Vr.
However, I also know that I wasn't totally sure about how much time I'd spend on photography when I bought the D80. I got it with the 18-55 Vr. It was cheap, and the IQ is not bad, but it is not fast. I also got the 70-300 VR. I will keep it, because it is light weight.
So to answer the OP's question. It depends on what level you start out on. As a total beginner, I might actually get the 70-300 Vr or the 18-200. But if I knew I were to get more serious with photography, I'd get the 70-200 VR and then the 17-55 or a 35 f2.
Wed 19-Nov-08 07:34 PM | edited Thu 20-Nov-08 02:11 AM by IntegrityPhotos
Back to your original question which was:
>>You have a brand new DX body (D80 or D90) without a kit lens.
You can only have 1 lens to start off with and will not be adding to your lens collection for 1 year.
Which lens would you buy? <<
Given your restrictions, IMO the short answer is the 18-200 VR. The long answer follows:
One year is a long time to be shooting with only l lens, but given the parameters you describe, most of the other responses severely limit your ability to be flexible and cover a wide variety of shooting experiences. Since I started my DLSR experience with the D1X and the three Nikkor "pro" f2.8 AFS zoom lenses available at that time, the 17-35, the 28-70 and the 80-200, I've been able to compare a wide variety of new lens entries to these excellent standards.
Since then I've expanded both my DSLR and my lens arsenal substantially, mostly with Nikkor FX capable lenses, but also with some Nikkor DX lenses including the 12-24 and the 18-200 VR. Regarding the latter, while my initial experience with an early sample of this lens was negative and included returning it, I tried it again more recently since the focal length range is most desirable in a light weight walk-around all purpose DX lens. Imagine my surprise when I found it compared very favorably with my 12-24, my 18-70, and particularly the new 16-85 VR, which I also tested. Here's a link to my post comparing these three:
As the concluding paragraph suggests, I ultimately chose the 18-200 VR and have found it to be quite a good all-around performer. It's true I certainly can obtain better images from a variety of "pro" lenses with much more limited focal length ranges. But if I want to travel light with only one body/lens for general hand-held shooting, unless I have a specific mindset regarding what I'll shoot, I often choose the 18-200 VR for it's simplicity and flexibility.
The primary caveat with this lens is that of sample variance. As I have found with many Nikkors over the years, all are subject to sample variation, including the high end telephotos like the 200-400 VR, where I had to go through 3 samples to finally find a good one. The 18-200 was the same, with wide sample variation, as I experienced from my first sample, and another one in-between one, before finally finding the final good one.
It behooves everyone to thoroughly vet all photographic equipment upon receipt to make sure it meets the required standards, but it's particularly important to do so with lenses, since optics are more prone to variation. This is true with not only the lens elements and their coatings, but also with the alignment involved in the production process. The recent expansion/proliferation of production facilities to meet DSLR lens demand has compounded these problems based on my experiences with new lens evaluations over the last couple of years. Good luck on your choice!
OldPhotos "If everyone possesses some measure of this intangible quality called creativity, photography is unprecedented as an outlet for its expression." - Ansel Adams
Although the 17-55mm f/2.8 is a great pro lens it's very heavy to lug around on your camera. If you,'re on a budget the 18-70f/3.5 is a great budget lens and it's very sharp. Not mentioned too much is the inexpensive 18-135mm f/3.5. It may appear cheap and plasticy but it's an extremely sharp lens, very underated and not too expensive. It has a very practical zoom range.
Most people here seem to be pushing you towards the 'Pro' 17-55DX. While this is a great sharp lens it is big and heavy and has a limited 'standard zoom' range. If your just starting out, have no idea what you want and have no way of aquiring anything new for a year, perhaps this isn't your best option?
What sort of images take your fancy? Why are you buying the camera?Do you want to photograph Birds or planes from a distance? Insects or flowers? Take portraits? Family/holiday snaps? Wide landscapes? Anything and everything? Or just get better quality than your point and shoot? Will you be hauling it across a mountain on your back, leaving it in your travelling winnebago, or sitting on your kitchen bench to capture the kids?
Answer these questions and you'll have a better idea of what one lens is good for you, or at least be able to ask the right question.
If your new to slr's, get a lens that at least covers the range of your compact or you'll feel you don't have enough reach(a 3x zoom compact would be covered by an 18-70DX ar any other standard zoom; a 10x zoom would need at least the 18-200VR and maybe 2 lenses for the full range). If your basically new to photography and want an allround one lens don't ever swap solution I'd reccommend the 18-200VR. If you know what your doing, use the 'standard zoom' range and want the best image quality - by all means get the 17-55DX, you'll love it.
(Personally I'm trying to 'upgrade' to a 16-85VR / 70-300VR / 60mm Micro combo. Fast glass is great but too heavy for me to haul across mountains for 10 days).
I'm nearly done. Only one more shot. Just give me five minutes...
Tue 25-Nov-08 09:47 AM | edited Tue 25-Nov-08 09:51 AM by tamrokin
The cost of such 'pro' lenses is a barrier to many and an un-necessary expense in all likelihood.
However, I began the journey with a kit lens and migrated upwards - now wishing that some of my earlier images had the benefit of such marvels of optical technology as the 14-24mm etc.
Probably better advice to a beginner is to have one 'pro' lens in their kit (can be older & cheaper) as it will open that avenue to them on their journey. A 60/85/105mm f2.8 or thereabouts with macro would be a good starting point.
Black camera, Black lenses, Black bag ...... & NAS Black hole .....
Many of the starter kit lenses are very capable. They may best in a limited f/stop range and zoom range, but in their "sweet spot" they are quite good. Whe you buy one of the lenses people are referring to as "pro" lenses, the sweet spot extends across the whole aperture range and zoom range. I had a battery of "pro" lenses when I switched from film to my D200. Because it was a format change to DX and because much of my photography had to that point involved wide to normal range lenses, I opted to buy the 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 AFS DX kit lens with the D200. The lens was far better than I expected and it was my main lens for about 18 months. My photography did not suffer because I was using a kit lens. I was a bit choosier about what and when I shot, but I had lots of things to learn about a DSLR and when I was sure about what I wanted, I then opted for a more expensive "pro" lens.
Roger It is still ISO, aperture and shutter speed, right? "Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment."
> >Pick any one of the following: > >14-24mm >24-70mm >70-200mm > >your journey towards the other two will have begun ......... > > > >Rob > > >Black camera, Black lenses, Black bag ...... & NAS Black >hole .....
My first higher end Nikon lens was the 12-24mm lens I purchased a few years ago. I wanted a wide angle lens and I got with this lens but I wish I got the 14-24mm 2.8 which of course is a bit faster. No problem though as this lens is working out for me. My journey then led me to the 70-200mm 2.8 as a lot of members were talking about this lens and I needed to get a lot more reach. This lens was acquired a couple years ago. I don't use the larger lens as much as the wide angle but I'm glad to have it when I do some street photography and need the longer reach. Recently, I got the 24-70mm 2.8 to replace my 18-70mm kit lens which was a remnant of my D70s package. A 50mm 1.4 lens and a 1.4 TC found its way in the mix.
A macro lens and the 85mm 1.4 is still on the "to buy" list. NAS is neverending.
I just got a D80 and an 18-200mm VR for my first DSLR and I love it! I think it's a great combo to start with for a one lens solution. Recently I just picked up the 50mm 1.8 and I really like that one as well, but I would be very happy with the 18-200 VR as my only lens for a while.
The 18-200mm is a very good lens and quite a marvel of technology that such broad capacity can be built into a single lens.
At 5-6 times the price you can cover the same focal length range in f2.8 Nikon offerings (14-24mm, 24-70mm & 70-200mm). That is an expensive leap forward - but for those who have gone there I suggest that they are unlikely to return as the 'WOW' factor (a term growing on this forum) is quite defining between what I term 'walk around' & 'pro' glass.
Once upon a time the 18-200mm was always on my camera - now it is an f2.8 and the 18-200mm is quite neglected.
Black camera, Black lenses, Black bag ...... & NAS Black hole .....
When I restarted photography, switching to Nikon, I got a D70s and 12-24. I'd be tempted by the 16-85 or 17-55 today, but I think I'd still go the same way. I find a simple 50mm does most everything I want in the mid range.