D600 start-up lens kit.....on a budget
I'm switching from Pentax, and will use the D600 as my new platform.
Being retired I'm looking to get the best value lens to cover my requirements.
I've looked at all the Nikon lens offerings, and what a fine line up it is.
Did a quick tot up of what I'd like to start with, and the bottom line made my head spin. and my debit card cringe.
A reality check was in order, and a rethink of what I really need and will use.
So, to get me started, and at a price I can afford, I've come up with this selection.
I've not considered any 'G' lens as I assume they have no aperture ring. I've also chosen to go with primes where possible, because I believe that they are optimised for their particular focal length, as opposed to a zoom which maybe tries to do too many things, and don't get me wrong, because I'm sure there are zooms out there that can achieve excellent results. I'm looking at one.
I should mention that because of my slightly shaky hands I shoot 90% with a tripod, so VR is not a big advantage for me.
Nikon +/- 20mm f2.8, or similar,
Either AF or MF as I will mainly shoot old buildings and landscapes, and the hyper-focal distance on FX at f2.8 is 7m.
Either a Nikon AF 50mm f1.4 or f1.8
Either the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, the non macro version (I have the original for my K5 and it is a cracker) or maybe the Nikon AF ED 80-200mm f2.8 D which is about 1/2 the price of the Nikon 70-200 f2.8. Is the 70-200mm twice as good for twice the price other than the VR?
For The Birds:
Once again VR is not a big requirement here as I will use a gimbal head, and MF is not a deterrent.
I'd like a 500mm, and in my googling I've come across lens like the Nikkor ED 500mm 1:4 P for around 2K. Any suggestions of similar primes in this focal length that can be had for around the same money would be great.
OK, I've probably come up with the odd 'Dog' of a lens, and this is why I'm posting, to try to avoid the pitfalls of ignorance.
All help appreciated.
PS: I'd also appreciate any input re lens models that won't be functional on the D600. I guess I have to re-learn all my priorities.
#1. "RE: D600 start-up lens kit.....on a budget" | In response to Reply # 0arjenkins Registered since 24th Jul 2012Sun 30-Sep-12 06:33 AM | edited Sun 30-Sep-12 06:53 AM by arjenkins
I was reading the lens forum when I saw this thread here https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=146&topic_id=213925&mesg_id=213925&page=
An ebay search here in the UK has identified several examples at a sensible price.
Point I am raising is do not discount second hand lenses, older models or even third party lenses? In the third party forum there are sevearl people in a similar shoe as you are, limiting resources; so looking at more 'value for money' lenses.
Another London Nikonian
#2. "RE: D600 start-up lens kit.....on a budget" | In response to Reply # 0
> I've not considered any 'G' lens as I assume they have no aperture ring.
Correct, G lenses do not have aperture rings. However, that is not a disadvantage these days, unless you are trying to maintain compatibility with a body that was introduced - at the latest - more than 18 years ago. and all of them are strictly manual focus. No Nikon SLR introduced since the 1995 F5, and certainly no digital SLR has any need of an aperture ring. Furthermore, if you insist on non-G lenses going forward you are going to run out of options. Nikon hasn't introduced a new lens with an aperture ring in the current century, and while guessing Nikon's next moves is often a path that leads to madness, guessing that they will not ever offer a lens with an aperture ring is not a risky bet.
> I've also chosen to go with primes where possible, because I believe that they are optimised for their particular focal length, as opposed to a zoom which maybe tries to do too many things
Literally true, but particularly when you combine this restriction with the non-G one, you are limiting yourself to lenses which are of ancient design, and they are in fact materially less optimized than current zooms. There is, for example, pretty much no contest whatever between the 14/f2.8 AFD and the 14-24/f2.8 AFS. Similarly for the 20/f2.8 AFD, which is not a bad lens, but the 14-24 is by all accounts a vastly superior one. It is true that current primes do outperform current zooms, largely for the reason you cite. For example, the 24/f1.4 AFS is a current prime and both it and the 35/f1.4 AFS outperform the 24-70/f2.8 AFS zoom of reasonably similar design age. But both the 14-24/f2.8 and 24-70/f2.8 outperform the older prime designs, sometimes by a considerable margin.
> 20mm ... the hyper-focal distance on FX at f2.8 is 7m.
But neither landscapes nor architecture are typically shot at f/2.8... ? And at any rate, the hyperfocal distance will be the same on a zoom as well as a prime. It puzzles me why you would cite this.
> Nikon AF 50mm f1.4 or f1.8
As with the the zooms, the more modern designs do perform better. Here you are deliberately opting for the lesser optical designs dating back to 1986, rather than the current ones redesigned within the past two years. These are so old that in fact the 50/f1.8 AFD is one of two lenses (Nikon or otherwise) that actually have some non-zero amount of problem with reflections off digital sensors. I've encountered that problem exactly twice in 8+ years of shooting it with a DSLR, so it's not earth-shattering, but this demonstrates just how old these lenses are.
> Is the 70-200mm twice as good for twice the price other than the VR?
Well, I shoot FX mostly, and I deliberately opted for an older Nikkor 70-200/f2.8 AFS VR-I at about 50% less than the price of the current 70-200/f2.8 AFS VR-II. Had it not been a very attractive price, I'd have stuck with my 80-200/f2.8 AFS. So no, for my purposes, not even remotely. I have pretty much zero plan to get a VR-II, although of course if (many) pennies from heaven arrived, I sure wouldn't argue with it. Basically the same story as the VR-I upgrade, although in fact I do occasionally use VR.
> Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, the non macro version
You do realize that this one has no aperture ring, right? Even if your Pentax one had an aperture ring, the Nikon mount version does not have an aperture ring. The current HSM OS version is an excellent lens.
> Nikkor ED 500mm 1:4 P
An excellent value - has the focal length, is fast, great optics, the least insane price of the big guns. You might also consider the AIS versions of the 400/f3.5 and even 400/f2.8. With the TC-301 these two can be used at 800mm with quite high optical quality. The f/2.8 is a 5kg monster, but on a big tripod with a gimbal, that doesn't sound like a huge problem.
> I've probably come up with the odd 'Dog' of a lens
No dogs, but as noted you have some over-specified requirements that I at least don't see as appropriate in the current era.
> I'd also appreciate any input re lens models that won't be functional on the D600.
All of these are as fully functional on a D600 as on any other body.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#4. "RE: D600 start-up lens kit.....on a budget" | In response to Reply # 2Mon 01-Oct-12 12:47 AM
Many thanks for taking the time to post your very comprehensive reply.
Firstly thanks for clearing up my confusion about 'G' lens as I seemed to have an idea that they were some sort of a stripped down model and not Nikon's latest and greatest. That revelation will change my thinking somewhat.
>" And at any rate, the hyperfocal distance will be the same on a zoom as well as a prime. It puzzles me why you would cite this".<
I only mentioned this because with such a wide DOF manual focussing would not be a problem.
And I didn't realise that the Sigma 70-200 for Nikon had no aperture ring either.
On another section of this forum I've read good reports on the
Tokina ATX 17-35 PRO FX 17-35mm f/4, so I guess that's worth considering for my wide work.
With your most helpful input I guess I'm more or less decided on the Nikkor 50mm f1.8G or the f1.4G, the f1.8 seems to be better thought of, and the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 to start me off.
I think I'll probably go AF on the long end and try to see if I can test the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4.0 D IF-ED Lens as I am fairly tight on funds.
Thanks again for you very helpful information.