Author Topic: Lens recommendation  (Read 1405 times)

Paul.S

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Lens recommendation
« on: March 28, 2023, 22:38:17 »
I may pick up a D3 a colleague has for sale. Currently have a D2hs and the 17-55 as well as a V1 with 10mm. I have made a few photos with the 17-55 and the D3 but it is not ideal. A good general walk around lens? I have looked at the 24-70's for sale and they are way out of my price point. Thank you. Paul

Snoogly

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2023, 23:08:23 »
I’d suggest 28-70 3.5-4.5 D or 28-105 3.5-4.5 D

https://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/287035af.htm

https://radojuva.com/en/2012/11/obzor-nikon-28-105-mm-3-5-4-5-af-d-nikkor/

They are small, cheap, and pretty good.
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Roland Vink

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2023, 23:58:01 »
You can't really go wrong with a 50/1.8 lens either - small, affordable, sharp, and relatively fast aperture is better for subject isolation and shooting in low light than zooms. Before zooms became popular, the nifty fifty was the "good general walk around lens".

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2023, 00:17:28 »
Why is a zoom lens needed for walk-around?

A small yet capable 35/1.8, 50/1.8, 85/1.8., or any combination thereof would be my second recommendation. The first is thinking about what attracts you in visual terms. The lens(es) are just the tools required to get there.

Paul.S

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2023, 00:48:29 »
50mm is a good idea. There are a lot of variants. Does it matter which? D vs G 1.8 vs 1.4. There are also a number of manual focus variants but I would guess a bit difficult to manage good focus with a DSLR? I will lean towards a good copy of a lesser expensive options. This is just a hobby I am learning so no need for the best of anything. Thank you.

Ian Watson

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2023, 02:01:52 »
The G lens would be better. The focusing ring on the D versions spins during autofocus. These lenses are small and so hard to hold without touching that ring.

The focussing screen on the D3 is hopeless for manual focus. However, the focus indicator in the bottom left corner of the viewfinder is quite reliable.

aerobat

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2023, 06:32:38 »
I can recommend the AF-S 50mm f1.8 G as being better than the 1.4 Variant and even costs less.
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John Geerts

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2023, 07:35:12 »
I can recommend the AF-S 50mm f1.8 G as being better than the 1.4 Variant and even costs less.
I can recommend the f/1.4 G version if you also like to do portraits or want  some depth of field isolation.  The lens is also very suitable on a DX camera.  The 50/1.4 G has it's own character  and prices have come down as well.

Erik Lund

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2023, 08:40:51 »
I’d suggest 28-70 3.5-4.5 D or 28-105 3.5-4.5 D

https://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/287035af.htm

https://radojuva.com/en/2012/11/obzor-nikon-28-105-mm-3-5-4-5-af-d-nikkor/

They are small, cheap, and pretty good.
I recently acquired a mint AF 28-105 3.5-4.5 D and I'm really positively surprised by it's overall great performance on the D850
I can only guess that they will work great on an D3 as well!
Make sure to test it out before buying/committing they can be heavily used,,,
Sharpness and drop off into a nice Bokeh this also gives nice color transitions. All helped by 9 aperture blades.
Little to no distortion at all focal lengths and negligible field curvature.
Snappy precise AF on the D850 even at close up setting - Macro as Nikon call it on these AF-D lenses  ;D Light weight travel lens that also means take care of it - It's not build like a tank like the f/2.8 zooms.
Very highly recommended!
Erik Lund

Ian Watson

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2023, 15:53:24 »
How about the 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 VR? It is still current and a good second-hand example should be easy to find. You do not give up much at the long end but gain a very useful amount at the wide end. The VR can be very handy too. The main criticism is the amount of distortion, particularly at 24mm. Correcting it is necessary but easily done.

If your budget allows, this and a 1.8G prime at your favourite focal length would be a great combination.

Here are a few photographs taken with the 24-85 on a D3.

Dogman

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2023, 16:17:36 »
If I'm understanding correctly, you want a full frame replacement for the 17-55/2.8 zoom.  There are numerous lenses that could work for you, including all those mentioned.  My preference would be the 24-85VR for the focal length range and the useful VR feature.  The lens does have terrible distortion but that is easily corrected in post processing or by shooting JPEG.  You may not even notice it, depending on subject matter.  I also like the 35-70/2.8D.  It has a limited zoom range but it's a better built lens and the images are superb.  It's also heavy and the combination of the D3 and the 35-70 may be too much of a good thing.

But I really prefer the 50mm suggestion.  Between the ƒ/1.8 and ƒ1.4 Nikkor AFS G lenses, I much prefer the 1.4 lens.  Either will do but the ƒ1.4 just has a better tonality to my eyes.  The ƒ/1.8 images were a bit flat in comparison.  Just my opinion, I have no objective evidence to back up my view.  If you do go the 50mm route, you might want to invest in a second lens that you could carry easily to back up the 50mm--a 35 or 28 would be ideal.

And I have to disagree with Ian concerning manual focusing with the D3.  I've been using AI and AI-S Nikkors with my D3 bodies recently and it's not that difficult, especially with the confirmation dot.  It takes some practice (lots of practice if you've only used AF for the last few years like I have) but it's not impossible.

The D3 is my second most favorite Nikon, the number one being the D700.  And the D700 is the D3's baby brother.


"If it's more than a hundred feet from the car, it's not photogenic."--Edward Weston

My Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/197057338@N03/

Paul.S

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2023, 16:43:41 »
Ian, those are great captures. Lots of good suggestions to ponder. In the half dozen or so years playing with a camera, my knowledge is limited to essentially my kids high school sports and activities. Those years are long past now so I am just grabbing shots mostly on dog walks near a pond.

The D3 is on loan for a few weeks to see if I like it and subsequently wish to buy it. I have not made a decision. No plans to dump the D2hs or the 17-55. I really have no idea if the differences would mean much to me. I have no particular objective other than to shoot whatever is interesting to me when I actually have a camera in hand which is not often short of the daily walk with the dog. I will print but generally small stuff. So will FX help? No idea. Perhaps as John indicated for portraiture or better shallow dept of field. Anyway, I will play with it and the DX 17-55 for now and post a few more here along the way.

Thank you for all the helpful information on various lens choices. My ideal prime choices would be a 50, 85 and 180. The zooms are typically much less expensive.

Ian Watson

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2023, 20:44:11 »
Ian, those are great captures.

Thank you.

Quote
I really have no idea if the differences would mean much to me. I have no particular objective other than to shoot whatever is interesting to me when I actually have a camera in hand which is not often short of the daily walk with the dog. I will print but generally small stuff. So will FX help? No idea.

Sometimes we do not appreciate what a big advance in capability can do for us until we have it. Then we find ourselves using it when we might have not tried to take a photograph. In 2013 I went from an F100 and developing my own black-and-white film to a D3. The ability to shoot at ISO 3200 with impunity blew my mind and I started tackling subjects indoors that were off limits before. Later, the VR on the 24-85mm zoom was another such moment.

To be fair to the D3 you really need to try it with an FX lens. Then you can see what it can do in lower light and how all those extra pixels can help your prints.

Paul.S

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2023, 23:21:01 »
Thank you.

Sometimes we do not appreciate what a big advance in capability can do for us until we have it. Then we find ourselves using it when we might have not tried to take a photograph. In 2013 I went from an F100 and developing my own black-and-white film to a D3. The ability to shoot at ISO 3200 with impunity blew my mind and I started tackling subjects indoors that were off limits before. Later, the VR on the 24-85mm zoom was another such moment.

To be fair to the D3 you really need to try it with an FX lens. Then you can see what it can do in lower light and how all those extra pixels can help your prints.

Thank you Ian. I am sure you are right and I should probably retire the D2hs and take the next step up. Perhaps that camera and the 17-55 would help fund the D3. I am no photographer to start with but the D2hs was great when my kids were in high school sports. I got some very good prints (some large ones too) and was using for the most part an 18-200 DX lens. That lens was dropped too many times and is now gone.

I have an older MacBook that I think is about 10-12 years old. I really do not get much satisfaction sitting in front of a computer messing with images. I typically just shoot jpeg optimum quality and if I adjust anything at all, it is the tone curve in iPhoto. I can definitely see a detail difference in the pond shots taken with the D3 as opposed to the D2hs even with the DX lens. I have never shot "landscape" and the dog walks provide an opportunity for an ever changing pond capture.

A couple of examples from todays dog walk and the D3 17-55 DX.

Bernard Delley

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Re: Lens recommendation
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2023, 17:25:57 »
instead of getting the hefty D3 (12 Mpix) FX camera, you might consider the D7200 DX crop camera (24 Mpix) used.  You could keep the 17-55 f/2.8 with that choice.  You might get an AF-S 16-80 f/2.8-4 G lens (used) for walk around . I like its image quality and zoom  range (24-120 equiv) in a handy lens of ~480 grams.
I was happy with the combo during a 16 day trip in Grand Canyon with one spare battery and no battery charging possibility. 
https://www.viewbug.com/photo/99913490
https://www.viewbug.com/photo/100123602
https://www.viewbug.com/photo/99528439

I got a used AF-S 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5 G lens for my D850. The lens was well centered and most likely well within specs in Nikon speak.  As  compared to the 16-80 DX lens, I found too much sharpness falloff outside a ~12mm circle. For noticeably less (landscape) image quality than with the well canned D7200 + 16-80 combo, I do not want to schlepp the heavier FX combo around, and moreover get less zoom range. So I sold the 24-85  soon with a loss.

So far, I have not found a suitable walk around normal lens of some kind for the D850 (45 Mpix) . The Otus 55 is heavy, and as a manual lens, I rate it a  special purpose lens. The Sigma 40mm f/1.4 is an even heavier lens. It excels at everything, except for just take along portability.  It looks like the Z 24-120mm f/4 + Z7II (45 Mpix) may cut it for me image quality wise. And weight is not much more than the 16-80 + D7200.
https://www.viewbug.com/photo/100478542
https://www.viewbug.com/photo/100519156

On an upcoming trip to Sicily, it will be the D7200 + ... , minimizing financial risks ...