My answer gives me away as the amateur hobbyist that I am, but if I could only own one lens it would be the 18-200. You can look at my profile and see that no matter what I'm shooting, I already own another lens that would be better than the 18-200, but because of its versatility it stays on my camera a lot, and when I travel on the airlines it is often the only lens I take with me.
It's not the best lens for anything, but it's a pretty good lens for almost everything.
Same as above; I am still learning fundamentals of basic photography, will probably be a DXer all my life, and the 18-200 does a lot of great things that I still appreciate more than say a more expert photographer.
>if I could only own one lens it would be the 18-200. You can >look at my profile and see that no matter what I'm shooting, I >already own another lens that would be better than the 18-200, >but because of its versatility it stays on my camera a lot, >and when I travel on the airlines it is often the only lens I >take with me. > >It's not the best lens for anything, but it's a pretty good >lens for almost everything. > >Randy
I agree with Randy. In the past I would have said the 18-105, but the 18-200 means I always have the right lens on the camera.
Not really, but two things I don't like about it (80mm Super Rotator) - it has an odd color cast and is very subject to flare (perhaps a penalty of the tilt/shift design). I just don't use it very much. But this thread isn't supposed to be about lenses we can do without. Sorry.
If I could only keep one lens, it would be the 18-200.
My 17-35 f/2.8 is my favorite. No wait, my cheap/small/fast 50 f/1.8. No...wait, my light and versitle 24-120 f/3.5-5.6 (yes folks, I have an unusually sharp copy). Heck no, on second thought my 105 f/2.8 VR is truly my favorite. Or, is it my 150 f/2.8 Sigma.
Then there is my 85 f/1.8 which I sold (why the heck did I do that! What was I thinking!?!). But, then there is my....
Oh, forget it. I can't decide. This lens thing is such a disease.
The one I would never sell is my Vivitar 105mm f/2.5 macro. This is a bit of a "cult" lens and I can entirely understand why; the optics are just fantastic, the tank-like build quality is second to none, it has a built-in retractable metal lens hood, and it is rare among MF macro lenses in that it focuses to 1:1 without additional tubes or adapters. Mine is extra special in that I have managed to add the "chip" and contact strip from a Nikon 45mm "P" lens, so it meters correctly with my D90.
It isn't the macro lens that I use most often (that is my Tokina 100mm because it is smaller and lighter, and the AF makes it more versatile for non-macro uses), but it is the one that I most enjoy owning and using.
I could probably do without the 105 more easily as the 35-70 (though not a 1:1 reproduction ratio) has a macro feature, and the 35-70 sees the most use, giving a focal length range of 35-105 when used on both the D300 and D700. I'd hate to lose the ability the 70-200 gives also though.
____________________________________________________________________ When no one is looking, Pigs can walk on they're hind legs
I can't really answer this question as asked. I finally did thin out my lens collection but could only part with about 6. I currently have a few less than 40 Nikors plus a few of other brands. Some of them I keep around to lend or help others with their photography. The ones I would never lend or sell or be without is a much shorter list.
17-35 f/2.8 28-70 f/2.8 85 f/1.4 D 105 f/2.8 D micro 70-200 f/2.8 VR 1 200-400 f/4 VR 500 f/4
The second list of lenses I would hate to sell.
AF 10.5 f/2.8 DX fisheye AFS 12-24 f/4 DX AF 60 f/2.8 micro AFS 24-120 VR f/4 G ED AF 300 f/4 ED AF 180 f/2.8 D MF 50 f/2 Ai MF 105 f/2.5 Ai MF 55 f/2.8 micro Ai-S Sigma 30 f/1.4 DX HSM
>I only have three lenses. But I would keep the 24-70, give >the wife the 70-200VR, and let the dog have the Sigma 50 1.4. >That way I could just barrow the lenses from them when needed. > Damn - I missed a trick there - I could have given each of my cats a lens to look after.
"If you could only own one lens" If I could only own one lens it would be the 16-35 f4 which will probably be the next lens I acquire.
"the one lens you would never sell - not necessarily the best all purpose lens." This would be different, if and when I get the 16-35 I could part with it - but the 135mm f2 DC I wouldn't sell unless I needed to to eat.
Sun 26-Dec-10 11:25 PM | edited Sun 26-Dec-10 11:47 PM by jpFoto
You don't know what you're missing. Let that old D200 and some of those old AI lenses that you'll never use again go by the wayside and apply the money to a 24-70. It is the sweetest lens that I have ever owned, and I have owned some of the best of the old primes and one of the first F's and FTN's ever made. (And, I'm only 30 years old -yeah right.)
My favorite all-time lens was my 80-200 2.8. I sold it after about 10 years because I began having trouble with the weight. Now I'm using lighter lenses like the 16-85 and the 70-300. By the way, Jim, who mentioned having 40 or so lenses, is my new hero!
I agree entirely. On my D300 the 70-200 works like a dream for the sports that I like, citiscapes and landscapes work well, and I can take a step or two back for portraits with it. Low light, sharp, VR, very nice.
17-55 terrific at social functions, maybe if that were 'the one' then I could crop for sports.
My favourite lens, but unfortunately I would discard due to lack of short range potential; 200-400 f4. What a lens, what great days out we've had, what self indulgence!
When I open my camera bag, my D700 is lying on its side with the 24-70 f2.8 attached to it. To one end I find my aging 80-200mm D and... a Sigma 15-30 f3.5. I'd gladly replace the Sigma with the Nikon 14-24 and will some day. But honestly, the old Sigma performs well when I need it and I don't hesitate to grab it when my back is against the wall and there are still elements I want to include but can't.
But resisting the urge to cheat on the original question and specify several lenses -- it's the 24-70. Heavy, but: great IQ, great range and constant f2.8. The only lens that will ever replace it will be a VRII version if and when.
>Great question! For me it would be the 70-200 VR II in spite >of the its size and weight. I looked at your gallery and: wow. Very moody, very neat, enjoyable, clear. This thread is about lenses but I appreciated the mood in your work. / jw
Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 VRII. What a great lens... Even though I love my 14-24mm 2.8 more, I could make a living without it.
I really want to find a replacement for my 24-85mm, but it's so darn good that I can't justify it... Someday Nikon will add VR to the 24-70mm 2.8 and the price on the current ones will come down enough to justify the switch. I've almost gone for the older 28-70mm 2.8, but if's just now wide enough on DX...
I will have to go with the 70-200 VR II. I actually purchased a second copy so I could keep one on my D3s and the other (with a TC-17E II) on a D300. I let my kids use the original 70-200 VR on my other D300 when they visit. They love it too.
As an enthusiastic amateur, for many years the lens I used for 90% of my 35mm photography was a 24mm f2.8 AI'd Nikkor, in spite of owning a variety of other prime Nikkors. If I was limited to a single PRIME lens from my collection for my D700, I would keep that one. Switching to DX mode would "digital zoom" it to 36mm equivalent, though the same effect can be achieved in PP.
However the lens that I currently use for 90% of my D700 photography is the amazingly light and good 28-200mm ED G Nikkor. Based on the recommendation that it is an ideal general purpose walkabout FX lens for the D700, I am surprised that nobody else has so far confessed in this thread to liking it. Perhaps it is too "amateur" I would choose that one in preference to the excellent 35-70mm f/2.8 D, since the camera's excellent high-ISO performance compensates for the 28-200's smaller maximum aperture, and it does not go wide enough for my liking and is much heavier. I wonder whether Nikon is working on a light weight 28-200mm VRII to fill the gap in FX compatible Nikkors left by its obsolescence? Or am I missing something?
>As an enthusiastic amateur, for many years the lens I used >for 90% of my 35mm photography was a 24mm f2.8 AI'd Nikkor, in >spite of owning a variety of other prime Nikkors. If I was >limited to a single PRIME lens from my collection for my D700, >I would keep that one. Switching to DX mode would >"digital zoom" it to 36mm equivalent, though the >same effect can be achieved in PP. > >However the lens that I currently use for 90% of my D700 >photography is the amazingly light and good 28-200mm ED G >Nikkor. Based on the recommendation that it is an ideal >general purpose walkabout FX lens for the D700, I am surprised >that nobody else has so far confessed in this thread to liking >it. Perhaps it is too "amateur" I would choose >that one in preference to the excellent 35-70mm f/2.8 D, since >the camera's excellent high-ISO performance compensates for >the 28-200's smaller maximum aperture, and it does not go wide >enough for my liking and is much heavier. I wonder whether >Nikon is working on a light weight 28-200mm VRII to fill the >gap in FX compatible Nikkors left by its obsolescence? Or am I >missing something? > > I agree with your comments on the 28-200 G - I have one and am amazed at how well it performs. However, with the trend towards AF-S and VR with everything, I doubt we will see anything as small and light again.
I've only got three cheap pieces of glass, but the one I'd keep forever (and probably will) is the cheapest: 35mm f1.8G. For DX I find this focal distance most versatile, the lens is fast enough and IQ is more than adequate for all the thrashin' around I do in PP.
I know how most people always say that good glass is a much better investment that a current body. However, for my personal use, ultimate image quality is almost a non-issue, since 99% of my pics will never be printed or published, and the few that actually go beyond the screen will only be A4 sized prints to be gifted to friends and family. The IQ I'm getting is sufficient for my uses.
However, having a decent body actually makes the pictures possible, either because of high ISO available, good dedicated controls that allow me to capture the moment speedily, or enough MP to work out a usable crop. Since I am often guilty of an amateuresque tendency for over-processing, ultimate resolution and contrast from a quality lens is almost secondary (usable focal ranges are not exclusive to high-price lenses). For me, it makes more sense in spending 1500€ on a D7000 and an SB-700, than using just a D3000 with a 70-200 f2.8 or other fine piece of glassware. I'm still trying to quickly open as many doors as possible, instead of superbly opening a single door.
(I'm sure if my funds weren't so limited and my experience so scarce, I might opinate otherwise...)
http://egozarolho.blogspot.com 1. Good content, good aesthetics and good tecnique. On that order. 2. Light is more important than glass and pixels. 3. In the digital photography process, software is as important as gear.
hi, Ok, so you mean I'm Tom Hanks? And I find a box with a D3 maybe, and then there's just one more box that seems to be a lens... Of those few precious, rare crystals from Nikon with high-cabbage tags, one now I do actually have since last week, and so it should be that for me, were I to be "alone on a desert island," or finding one on a desert island using a treasure map; my Gilligan lens; my 105mm dc. sweet dreams "...content, mood, light; there has to be a moment there." Sam Abell.
Realistically I'd keep my 18-70 because I'm still more than enough of a snapshooter that I'd want the versatility of focal lengths.
If I wanted to challenge (restrict?) myself to using the SLR for maximum quality photography, perhaps my 50/1.8 should be the keeper. (i) It's the best quality glass I have (there are no kings in my collection). (ii) It offers the best range of DOF. (iii) It's full frame, should I ever win the lottery. (iv) It's so cheap that selling it won't help me much towards anything else.
Mon 31-Jan-11 02:51 PM | edited Mon 31-Jan-11 08:11 PM by Noel Holland
Which lens would I own if I could only have one versus which one of my current lenses I would never sell? Two very different questions really.
Ultimately I only sell my lenses if they are being replaced by a direct equivalent with better performance. For instance I sold my 70-200mm f/2.8 version 1 but in the same breath picked up the version 2. I wouldn't sell my 85mm f/1.4D unless I was trading it for a G. I didn't sell my 50mm D when I upgraded for the G version but only because the G version can't be reversed for macro work.
So really the question should be: which lens would you be most distraught over losing if it couldn't be replaced? Well my brain says the 70-200mm which I find myself using an awful lot, but my heart says probably the 85mm f/1.4 or my 24mm PCE.
Now as to the question of which lens I would have if I could only ever have one?
The 50mm f/1.4D, I spend my first 5 years or so learning with a Pentax ME super fitted only with a 50mm. It produces images which are more intimate than the normal 85mm length and it can be used for full length portraits in small studios. Wide open it has razor thin DoF and good bokeh. Fitted in reverse it can be pushed into macro work (at a stretch). It's small, light, non-theatening to subjects and fits easily into a jacket pocket without causing a large bulge or sag. In this day of super zooms I always own a 50mm prime of some sort. Even my Lieca M9, is stored in it's bag with a 50mm fitted though most Lieca users would normally plump for a 35mm lens as standard.
The irony of this long discussion, which has bubbled along since mid December of last year, before reemerging recently, is this: as someone recently pointed out in another thread, for more than a century, photographers HAD to exist with just one lens. It was the fixed lens that came on their camera -- one without a meter, sans built-in flash and for decades, minus a rangefinder. I am reminded of my Dad's Retina with the glorious 50mm f2.0 Schneider-Kruzenach lens that was an INCH in diameter! He had a rangefinder, but the rest of us either focused on ground glass or guessed the distance, "zoomed" with our feet, based exposures on a data sheet or experience and STILL our forebears produced some of history's most memorable images. They included the Hindenberg burning, the moment of death of the soldier in the Spanish Civil War, and a multitude of images of that ilk. So when we say they just cannot live without several lenses, we are perhaps focusing more on equipment than photographs. That all said, you can seem my equipment list. I am not a photographic luddite and I am probably afflicted with incurable NAS that is only controlled by my checkbook balance. Isn't it sobering to realize that today maybe we have TOO MUCH equipment? I know. Shut up and go shoot pictures! We are getting freezing rain in SW Illinois today with a foot or more of snow on the horizon, so I will. And I will try to show reverence and respect for the unparalleled opportunities and equipment that I am blessed with today!
>Isn't it sobering to >realize that today maybe we have TOO MUCH equipment?
Very true. I have about twice as many lenses than I can comfortably make use of on a regular basis, but I couldn't possibly part with any of them & it doesn't stop me lusting after more...after all, the one that ends up with the most toys wins, right?
Images like Picasso? I believe that was the 43-86 zoom that Nikon made decades ago. It used to approach sharpness and then pass on through heading out of focus. It never quite got there from either direction. I could hear it barking in my camera bag. I think I left it behind several times, but it found its way home each time until finally I lost track of it permanently! It was the only lens I ever had from Nikon that I despised. Honestly, I gave it away to a person I didn't much like.
I picked up a used 24-50mm AF Nikkor f/3.3-4.5 lens in Jackson Hole quite a few years back. I needed a wide angle lens for my N8008 to shoot a herd of buffalo near the Grand Teton Park and I picked up this lens for almost nothing. The N8008 is long gone. I shoot all digital but I still love this lens.
A close second would be the 70-200mm. This lens is almost always one one of my camera bodies all of the time. I shoot a lot of high school sports and find it to be versatile both indoors and out.