Author Topic: Mid-range zoom on a budget?  (Read 280 times)

desmobob

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Mid-range zoom on a budget?
« on: December 25, 2018, 00:34:04 »
As a hobbyist, my budget-limited lens selection has always been centered on primes.  Most zooms I have tried left me wanting while I could always seem to find excellent performance from primes in my price range.

Still, I wanted a trinity of zooms for convenience.  The budget zooms I bought while I was still shooting film are much easier to shoot in their "sweet spots" now that I'm using them on a D750 vs. an F4s.  No problem stopping down to maximize their performance.

At the wide end, I started with the AF 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 D ED IF.  I'm pretty happy with this lens (and I'm under the impression it would be hard to upgrade without spending a bunch of money).

My mid-range zoom is the AF 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5.  I just can't get excited about this particular lens.

The long zoom I tried was the early AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 D ED.  I never got too excited about this one either and recently picked up an old but like-new AF 80-200mm f/2.8 one-touch, which I absolutely love, for less than 250 USD.  (I kept the 70-300 though, for when size/weight savings are important.)

If I could find a mid-range zoom to replace that AF 28-85 that performs as admirably as the AF 80-200 for around the same cost, I might do it.  If not, I would be happy just carrying my AF 50mm f/1.8 to cover the short amount of middle ground between the other two zooms.  Now that I've actually typed this out, I'm thinking it would have to be an outstanding performer and a real bargain to make it worth carrying vs. the wonderful little nifty fifty.

What do you think?  Any lenses come to mind?

Stay sharp,
Bob



tommiejeep

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Re: Mid-range zoom on a budget?
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2018, 05:33:51 »
Bob, I've never used the 28-85 f3.5-4.5.  I bought the 28-105 f3.5-4.5D(with Macro) to use on the Df (primarily for size/weight).  I also use the 24-85 G vr(quite cheap now) and 24-120 f4G vr.  None of these are top of the line and the 24-120 is not small but convenient  ;) .   I tried the 35-70 f2.8D but my copy never thrilled me.   I am now looking at a Z6 so my D lenses become less important.  I have migrated to the use of primes except for the 70-200 f2.8G and 70-200 f4G.   I would love to have the funds to buy some of the new lenses , particularly the 300 f4E, 500 f5.6E and 105 f1.4  but the Grinch stole my Christmas  ;) so I will MF the DC105 f2D and 85 f1.4D  :)
You should get a wealth of advice  :)
 Merry Christmas
Tom
Tom Hardin, Goa, India

longzoom

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Re: Mid-range zoom on a budget?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2018, 06:32:44 »
Good copy of 28-200G was the sharpest in film era. Never tried it digitally, so, can't say. Very last Nikkor 28-70 AFS 3.5-4.5  is amazing, but short. Again, good copy of 35-105 AF was acceptable, very. The 28-300 Nikkor is covering nicely 36 MP sensor, but is a little bit softer on 24 MP sensor, still expensive. Last 35-135 AF Nikkor was very sharp, with a bit lower contrast, especially on the long end. Some lottery with 24-120 3.5-5.6 VR, but, if you get a good copy, it will deliver very good image on 24-36 MP sensor. Try to find Japan-made copy. In most cases, it will pay for itself. Mine one is Thailand-made, but I was lucky with this copy. LZ

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Mid-range zoom on a budget?
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2018, 13:39:26 »
Bob, I've never used the 28-85 f3.5-4.5.  I bought the 28-105 f3.5-4.5D(with Macro) to use on the Df (primarily for size/weight).  I also use the 24-85 G vr(quite cheap now) and 24-120 f4G vr.  None of these are top of the line and the 24-120 is not small but convenient  ;) .   I tried the 35-70 f2.8D but my copy never thrilled me.   I am now looking at a Z6 so my D lenses become less important.  I have migrated to the use of primes except for the 70-200 f2.8G and 70-200 f4G.   I would love to have the funds to buy some of the new lenses , particularly the 300 f4E, 500 f5.6E and 105 f1.4  but the Grinch stole my Christmas  ;) so I will MF the DC105 f2D and 85 f1.4D  :)
You should get a wealth of advice  :)
 Merry Christmas
Tom

The Z mount 24-70 f/4 is a very good performer for the price (especially when bought as kit). If you are moving to Z cameras I recommend it highly.

tommiejeep

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Re: Mid-range zoom on a budget?
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2018, 15:25:48 »
Thanks Jack,
If I do get a Z6 it will probably be with 24-70 f4 and adapter.  I am short of a 35mm for Nikon and Sony so maybe the 35 f1.8.  Really depends on what I sell  ;D
I will start with my Leica M mount primes and see how it goes.
Cheers,
Tom
Tom Hardin, Goa, India