I have a question that probably belongs somewhere else in these discussion boards, but I'm going to ask it here, since it seems relevant to this discussion. I got a N65 with at 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6D lens about a month ago, and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. Compared to my old point and shoot, this thing is a dream. I am thinking of picking up another lens or two in the future, but before I go out and spend hundreds on lenses I may or may not need, I wanted to know one thing. Would it be better for me to grab a telephoto zoom lens (like the 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED), or a single focal length lens (like a 105mm Micro Nikkor)? I know this is really user-dependent, being that some people really love their primes, and some really like their zooms, but what are the virtues/vices of the primes and zooms? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
#1. "RE: Single Focal Length vs. Zoom" | In response to Reply # 0jrp Charter MemberMon 11-Feb-02 12:36 PM
Primes' virtues: sharper, usually wider apertures at convenient prices
Primes' vices: you have to zoom with your feet, to change focal length you have to change lenses.
Zooms' virtues: convenient, ideal for the unexpected fast shots.
Zooms' vices: usually not so fast (in terms of aperture) except for the higher end.
Each lens is made to solve one specific problem, there is no do-it-all lens yet.
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#2. "RE: Single Focal Length vs. Zoom" | In response to Reply # 0Blackjack Basic MemberMon 11-Feb-02 01:12 PM
One thing to think about is that once you get above 105mm primes start becoming very expensive, very fast. To get a 300mm f4 you have to be prepared to drop $800. Although to be fair you will get Nikon's silent wave motor. And once you step up to the 300mm f2.8 forget it; you're in lala land. That's why most people choose to cover the telephoto range with a zoom. The 70-300 is a pretty popular option. If you really want a prime, you can get a used 300mm f4.5 Ais ED-IF for a couple hundred dollars, but it wouldn't meter with your N65. When you get to wideangle lenses you find that the zooms cost alot more than the primes; albeit for a good reason, as the 17-35mm F2.8 AFS ED-IF might be the best lens Nikon has ever produced. But it's performace can almost be matched by primes like Nikon's famous 20mm f2.8 that's a little less than a third of the price. Nikon's 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm lenses are all good as well.
If you want to cover the telephoto range with an inexpensive lens, I would suggest a 70-300 G. The ED version only has one piece of ED glass toward the back of lens, so it probably doesn't make that much of a difference. If you really want an optically superior lens, go for a used Nikon 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 AF, they are currently selling used on ebay for about the same as the G.
#3. "RE: Single Focal Length vs. Zoom" | In response to Reply # 2jnscbl Basic MemberMon 11-Feb-02 01:41 PM
Something else to consider. In adequate light, the 70-300mm type zooms usually autofocus fairly quickly, at least below 200mm. (At 300mm, the maximum aperture is smaller, plus contrast is reduced.) On the other hand, the 105mm Micro is designed as a precision instrument, not an action lens, and autofocuses VERY slowly, even in good light. Get the G.
"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
#4. "RE: Single Focal Length vs. Zoom" | In response to Reply # 3
Thanks for the info so far. Since I've only really started shooting with this camera, I haven't really fallen into my niche when it comes to things that I'm going to take tons of pictures of. I will keep this information handy, and when I actually do have the money to pick up a new lens, I'll have something to go on before I spend a few hundred dollars. Thanks again!