Hey guys, So I'm working with a D5100, which means a crop factor. I bought the 50mm but it's more like an 85mm and then a 35mm, but it's more like a 50mm. So since I haven't learned my lesson yet, I'm going to ask you guys first what my options are. I want a 24mm or 28mm but I'm struggling to find one with auto-focus. Anyone know if Nikon has anything at a reasonable price for either? I'll even check out 3rd party lenses if available. My google searches are not producing much results for me. Thanks!
It depends whether you want a prime or zoom lens. The Nikon 18-55 VR AF-S "kit" lens is a marvelous optic, designed for DX cameras: those with the smaller APS-C sensors...D40, 60, 3100, 3200, 5100, 5200, D 80, D90, D7000...etc.
The 18-70 AF-S lens is also a nice one, and neither will break the bank. 'WAAAAAY under $1K. Or, there is a nice 16-85 that sounds like what you may be looking for. Good luck!
Wide angle primes are perhaps the most notably lacking area in the Nikon lineup for DX crop. There are choices in the 24-28mm range you mention though. Within your budget the 24mm 2.8D or 28mm 1.8G spring to mind, but maybe you will find they are not that wide really on your DX body compared to the 35mm you already have. Wider still there is the 20mm 2.8D which is very good (I have one and love it). Wider than that you are really left with the zooms on DX.....
>Wide angle primes are perhaps the most notably lacking area >in the Nikon lineup for DX crop.
Correction: in any crop factor DSLR from anybody. Wide angle lenses require expensive retrofocal designs to clear the mirror sweep on an SLR, which is why they've always been expensive. Look at the AI-S 13 mm f/5.6, for instance.
Alright, so, if you want wide for under $1k, here's the short list:
Nikon 18-55 DX VR: the kit lens, goes out to a 28 mm equivalent. Way better than anything at this price point has any right to be.
Nikon 16-85 DX VR: a tack sharp VR zoom, that goes to 24 mm equivalent.
Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 II: An f/2.8 zoom, but super prone to flare and loss of contrast if you have any source of light in the frame.
Nikon 10-24 DX: Nikon's wide angle consumer zoom, very sharp but a variable aperture.
Nikon 12-24 DX f/4: Pick it up used to get it cheap, it's a constant aperture angle designed to compliment the other f/4 and f/2.8 zooms, and works like an 18-35. It was the first and probably still the best attempt to fix the wide angle problem on DX.
I also recommend the Sigma 8-16mm. The least expensive with excellent performance would be the Nikon AFS 18-55mm VR as mentioned earlier. There's not many affordable wide angle primes that will auto focus with the D5100.
>>The Sigma 14mm/f2.8 has an AF motor (their HSM I believe) >and >>is cost effective. > >It should be noted that that lens hasn't been manufactured for >5-6 years, so it would have to be a used copy. >
I was thinking refurbished (they sell for about $750), but used is even cheaper.
Thanks so much for the advice guys. Sorry I forgot to mention I only want a prime. This isn't good news. I also must have AF, and I'm pretty sure some of the primes suggested are not. It's my fault for not researching what AF primes would be available to me when I bought the 5100.
I'm bummed Nikon has such a limited range for me in AF wide primes. I'd get that 28, but it's basically a 35 with crop, and not much different than my 35. What I want is a 24mm AF prime, but it seems I'm out of luck. Even an 18mm AF would work, if it existed.
Nikon's official answer is to use the 12-24 f/4 DX or 14-24 f/2.8 FX. The 14-24 in particular replaces a bunch of wide angle primes, and does so with better performance than any of the primes it preplaces.
Frankly, it sounds like your best approach is to trade in your D5100 for a D7000. The prices on those have dropped considerably, and it you wait a couple of months until the distribution channels are full of D7100's, the remaining D7000's will probably be available at fire-sale prices. Granted, it sucks that you have to change bodies, but doing so would give you access to Nikon's AF primes at 24mm and below. Once you start figuring the cost of new lenses, perhaps throwing in the cost of a new body as well doesn't look quite so bad!
Yeah, knew about that one, but for us mortals who live in the US economy, $2K lenses are not really an option. No worries, looks like I need to dump this brand new body for the 7000. Again, my fault for not researching primes first, I just expected Nikon of all companies to have some affordable options wider than 35mm in primes for the 5100. Oh well, live and learn.