I've been using the 24-85 f/2.8-4.0. It is small and light, but has a lot of light falloff around the edges when wide open or close to it, not as sharp as the big buck zoom either, but it was relatively cheap. With the exception of the sports pics, all of the pics in my photos were taken with it.
>I was wondering what everyday lens D700 users prefer, before >I make my purchase? I'm so used to having an 18-200 on my >D300 and worry that I won't have this flexibility should I get >a D700. > >I have a 24-70, 17-35 and 70-200 but those are pretty heavy >duty lenses to lug around! > >Thanks
If you like the 18-200 VR on the D300 then you'll like the Tamron 28-300 VC on the D700.
I use a 35-70mm f2.8 AFD. I recently acquired this neat lens because I didn't want the bulk of the 24-70mm. What you loose in focal range you can make up for with your feet. As an added bonus it was considerably cheaper than Nikon's newer glass. My mint used version was in fact a bargain
>I was wondering what everyday lens D700 users prefer, before >I make my purchase? I'm so used to having an 18-200 on my >D300 and worry that I won't have this flexibility should I get >a D700. > >I have a 24-70, 17-35 and 70-200 but those are pretty heavy >duty lenses to lug around!
I re-read your brief post about six times before it finally occurred to me that you're looking for one lens to replace most of the 24mm - 200mm focal range currently covered by your heavyweight set of three Nikkors. Other people at Nikonians are smarter than me and seem to have 'get' that right away.<sigh> However, lots of people have suggested the Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 which is just as heavy as the newer 24-70 and still doesn't get past 70mm. Some other people have suggested what I personally consider to be the bargain of the bunch - the Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4.0 - which is lighter in weight, very well built, but maxes out at 85mm. I think it's a terrific lens, but it's still a long way from the 200mm (300mm equivalent FOV) you and a lot of us enjoyed using the Nikkor 18-200mm VR.
The closest you'll come to the range you want in a single, moderate weight, well built Nikkor zoom is the older Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-4.5 G (sharp except at the extreme ends, well controlled distortion throughout the range but noticeable at each end, combo polycarbonate & chromed brass mount, no vibration reduction), the newer 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR (sharp between 35-90 but softer at each end, well controlled distortion, very well built, all chromed brass mount, and a good vibration reduction system), and the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 VC (sharp except at the extreme ends and at around 70mm, ugly but well built, moderately well controlled distortion at several points, all metal mount, and a very good vibration reduction system).
PMA 2009 is about a month away and I'm hoping Nikon will announce either a new version of the 24-120 VR (the lens that really hasn't lived up to expectations/needs/wants because of its comparative softness), or an FX equivalent of (and improvement on) the DX 18-200 VR. I'm hoping hard, because for my particular needs the 24-120 zoom range is perfect.
I keep going back to my 24-120 VR and periodically get great sharpness and color out of it, but it's just not quite consistent enough and it's just a bit too particular about lighting conditions. My 28-300 VC Tamron is a delightful walkaround zoom, but it's ability to nail anything close to critical sharpness, on the rare occasion such a thing is needed during walkabouts, seems to be restricted to a relatively narrow set of outdoor lighting conditions (narrower than the 24-120). General sharpness across the zoom range of the Tamron seems better than the Nikkor 24-120 which is quite an achievement IMO. In my experience shooting a wide range of urban street subjects, the older Nikkor 28-200 is generally sharper in a broader range of outdoor lighting conditions than either the Tamron 28-300 VC or the Nikkor 24-120 VR. If you can live without vibration reduction (or if you don't mind carring around and occasionally using one of the lightweight POD beanbags), the Nikkor 28-200 G is an excellent choice. Pristine copies of the lens can be found for under $200 - a great buy AFAIC.
If you're not in a hurry, or if you examine the focal lengths of a bulk of your favorite shots made with your 18-200 VR and find that most of them fell within the range covered by the excellent (and still current) Nikkor 24-85 f/2.8-4.0, you've got an alternate answer. This Nikkor is a real, moderate weight gem which beautifully handles a much wider range of lighting conditions than any of the others. Zoom a bit longer by walking closer to your subject with the wide end covered very well.
I like prime lenses: 20mm 2.8 AF, 35mm 2.0 AFD, 50mm 1.4 AF, 85mm 1.8 AFD. Always in my bag trying to avoid the dust, plus I have an old 70-210mm 4.0 AF (the sleeper) that I keep on my F-801 (F 8008) usually at home in my Pelican Cruzer Case.
Dear all fellow Nikonians who have responded to my question, I really appreciate all the advice and comments you have provided! This has truly been a learning experience. As for which lens I"ll be using, since I have the 24-70 I'll try to make more use out of it (since so many of you are fans of it) and I recently purchased the 50/1.4, which is a GREAT lens. I'll also see what new lenses come out from Nikon this year. But again, thank you all very, very much for your invaluable insights!
One that hasn't been mentioned for a good D700 walkabout lens is the 28-105 3.5/4.5D this is an unsung hero and can be had for very little coin. The 1:2 macro is also good and an added bonus. It's lightweight and so inexpensive that you don't have to worry about it.