Looking for a good lens for my Nikon d5100
I am new to this forum and also new to my d5100 (so beginner). I have used my DSLR fo last 2 months and its really fun.
Currently i have the lens that comes along with the kit : AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G. I am interested in taking pics of wildlife, potrait, landscap and F1 race. I have been using the default lens till now for all these, i am just OK with the results. Below are my experience with my current kit:
1. I can not zoom much to the subject.
2. Not able to capture more information about the subject.
Potrait: Am ok with the results.
Landscap: Even results are ok but dont get much color definition of the landscape.
F1 Race: Ahhh it was pain for me to get a single good snap.
Would like to know if the current lens is ok for above things and i only need to practice more OR should think about a differnt lens. If its gonna be differnt lens then please suggest what lens i should go for these kind of photography. I understand there are many varieties of lens for each of these photography, but please suggest me single lens doing most of the things for me.
Please suggest, thank you all in adavance.
#1. "RE: Looking for a good lens for my Nikon d5100" | In response to Reply # 0WD4MLA Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Tue 09-Oct-12 11:06 AM
Welcome to the Nikonians!!
While the AF-S DX 18-55mm is a kit lens, it is very capable of producing very sharp results. I shoot mostly landscape and I use the 16-85VR, but I used my kit lens, 18-135mm, for a couple of years before upgrading. Now when I say upgrading, I did not really expect much IQ improvement as far as sharpness, I was looking for the extra 2mm on the wide end and the VR. My kit lens served my landscaping needs very well. I am not a fan of the ultra wide landscape lens as most internet sites will tell you that you need. So you should be able to produce very nice landscapes with your kit lens. If you are not getting the color that you want, most will benefit from a bit of post work. You might also try setting your camera to a Vivid setting.
I do a little wildlife photography using a 70-300VR and here is an example shoot at 260mm and cropped a bit. http://www.flickr.com/photos/by_jerry_jaynes/2779712510/sizes/l/
You could also look at the 50-300VR which is less expensive than the 70-300VR. If your interest is birds, you would most likely need something longer, so if that is your interest, let us know so someone else can jump in.
I cannot help with portraits or racing, sorry! Good luck in your new hobby.
Great Smoky Mountains
of North Carolina
#2. "RE: Looking for a good lens for my Nikon d5100" | In response to Reply # 0MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Wed 10-Oct-12 04:38 AM
Welcome to Nikonians!
Do you have a budget in mind?
For wildlife you need the reach of a telephoto lens like the Nikkor 55-300mm VR. If you want to shoot small birds, something longer (500-600mm) would be more appropriate though the least expensive options are 3 or 4 times the price of the 55-300mm.
For Landscape images your 18-55mm is very capable of producing outstanding images. While the 18-55mm is a kit lens it is optically excellent. Use your lens hood and a tripod.
For F1 unless you have a media credential and even with one a telephoto lens or lenses are the required tools. Since the GP of Singapore is a night race under the lights a fast lens would likely be the best choice even though the ambient light level seems to be quite good.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#3. "RE: Looking for a good lens for my Nikon d5100" | In response to Reply # 0blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 11-Oct-12 07:30 PM
Wildlife: most folks are working with pretty long focal length lenses, at least 200mm and often much longer than that (600 or 800mm) depending on precisely what kind of wildlife. Obviously elephants are a bit easier in this regard than swallows or dragonflies.
Landscape: colors are not mostly a function of the lens. Usually when colors are way off, it's got mostly to do with exposure. The differences between lenses in colors are mostly pretty subtle, and in my experience they're relatively minor.
F1: I shoot a lot of motorsports, and I pretty much always am using long or very long lenses, except when I'm in the paddock. Usually at a race I have a 70-200 on one camera and a 400mm with the other; the 400 often gets used with a 2x TC. That's pretty much whether I have a credential or not. I assume in your case that you're speaking of the night race in Singapore... I've never shot a F1 night race, but I have done NASCAR at night. This typically requires not only long lenses but also fast (wide aperture), and in combination with very high ISO. I generally don't use the TC for the night races, so I'm usually using a 70-200/f2.8 and 400/f2.8 (big, heavy, very expensive). From what I've seen of the Singapore race, I'd probably be doing about the same thing, plus maybe a 1.4x TC, although the F1 lights might possibly be a little brighter than NASCAR's. Bottom line: the Singapore race is probably a pretty expensive proposition if you're looking for the kind of photos you're used to seeing in the magazines. Motorsport in the day time is far more forgiving. Many times one can do quite well with the 55-200VR or 55-300VR ($250 or $400). But at night, not so much.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#4. "RE: Looking for a good lens for my Nikon d5100" | In response to Reply # 0cwils02 Nikonian since 18th Apr 2012Fri 12-Oct-12 12:50 AM
Welcome to the world of different opinions of Nikon users. You have already received some good information on here. You have a Nikon D5100. In the world of Nikon cameras, you have a fairly inexpensive one that does have some really good features. It also has some limitations. One of those is the inability to autofocus with some lenses. If autofocus is important, make sure you don't get one of those lenses.
There is no one good lens that will do all that you aspire to. If I would give you a recommendation for one lens that would do well in most situations without breaking the bank, I would recommend the Nikon 18-200mm VRII. In fact, recently it has been offered in a kit with the D5100. Then you might consider selling your kit lens to offset the cost.
Another alternative might be keeping the kit lens, and buying a new or used Nikon 70-300mm VR which would help a little with wildlife. To be honest, shooting wildlife can be a very expensive hobby. Shooting birds in the wild can be even more expensive to get fast, long lenses. If you really want to go there, I'm thinking that you will probably need a better camera body. Just my opinion.
I used a D5100 last summer in a road & ferry trip from Chattanooga to Alaska & return. I primarily used the 18-200mm VRII. I had to go back to a place where I was shooting bears & bald eagles the next day with my 70-300mm VR. It was not a good environment to be changing lenses. Most people near me (locals) had their car keys in their hands in case one of the bears headed for us.
Hope that the recommendations on here are helpful for you and that you enjoy your Nikon.
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