$2000 to spend on a Lens, ideas?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Wolverinepwnes, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Wolverinepwnes

    Wolverinepwnes TPF Noob!

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    So I have $2000 to spend on a lens. here's what i have so far:

    Nikon D300s
    Nikkor 50mm f/1.4
    Nikkor 18-105 f/5.6-6.3 (not too fond of this, came with my D90)
    Nikon SB-900

    So I do portraits and wildlife. the only choices that i have come up with so far is the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II (when it comes out) & a 1.7x tele. , or the Sigma 150-500 OS. any suggestions?
     
  2. BAmereihn

    BAmereihn TPF Noob!

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  3. BAmereihn

    BAmereihn TPF Noob!

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    btw i ordered a D300s monday, cant wait for it
     
  4. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 70-200 is an amazing quality lens. BTW why not get the 70-200 vr1?
     
  5. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Agree with both lenses you are considering. Now is the choice between image quality, or length. The 1.7x tc will degrade the image qulaity of your image, as Im sure you know.

    Mark
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hmm a 70-200mm is a decent compramise between the two differing areas and with a teleconverter (I use a 1.4TC but from what I have seen a 1.7 would give you decent results also) would give you a half decent lens for nature based photography whilst also not being too long for portrait work.

    However understand that a 70-200mm does not a wildlife lens make - its a good compliment to a wildlife lens but its not enough on its own - simply put its too short in focal length most of the time - unless you have very good fieldcraft to get closer.
    Good compliments might be 300mm, 400mm, 500mm or longer primes - or for nikon you could look at the 200-400mm zoom. Not cheap options, but sadly quality and long glass are a very expensive combo.
     
  7. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think a few on here use a sigma that max's out at 300mm
     
  8. Wolverinepwnes

    Wolverinepwnes TPF Noob!

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    I was considering getting the 70-200 vr1 but the second one has been getting amazing reviews, and I mean, why not get the newer one if i decide to go through with it. read the review here:

    Cliff Mautner Photography


    Overread, I wish i could afford to buy the 200-400 or the 500mm or 600mm nikkor glass, but that has to wait for a few years. So i figured I'd get the 70-200, and then wait and maybe get something of longer focal length as my need increases. but I don't know. I mean the sigma 150-500 got good reviews, but its not comparable to the nikkor 70-200 in quality.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    True sigma make a 120-300mm which is a good zoom lens IF you get a good copy - get it in a shop and test it to make sure - same goes for most of the superzoom glass (canon,nikon or sigma you really do need to test before you pay).

    Wolverinepwnes - you have to decide if a longer focal range at lower image quality is what you need or if you are willing to wait to get longer whilst working with better image quality at a shorter focal length. As I said a 70-200mm is not a bad companion (I know several wildlifers who love their 70-200mm for nature work) but it does need that companion.
    If instead you feel that you need that range sooner rather than later than go for the longer focal length zooms - sure the image quality might be lesser, but you can still get some very great shots of a good copy and it will let you have those focal ranges rather than be without. Also they generally beat the 70-200mm+teleconverters in image quality.
     
  10. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup:

    I would not put portrait & wildlife in the same sentence when looking for a lens. I have a 70-200 VR with a 1.4TC, and taking wildlife shots with that was a challenge, to put it mildly....yes it can be done, but the really good shots are few and far between.

    You have listed that you have a nifty-fifty 1.4.....I'd stick with that for portraits and go with something bigger for wildlife. Just about the best bang for your buck in entry level big glass is the 500 f/4P. It's a manual focus, but it is chipped to work with your aperture & shutter priority modes....I picked one up on flea-bay for $2400 and the IQ is beautiful. I do curse the manual focus occasionally, since there have been more than a few shots I have missed, but it's a great stepping stone lens.

    [​IMG]


    A couple of shots with this lens:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I'd second a good, clean copy of the 500mm-P Nikkor as a wildlife lens.

    You know, when you are looking to buy higher-end glass, in today's sucky economy, the best deals are in smaller towns and cities, NOT in New York or Los Angeles, or on the Big Five used equipment web sites. You can pick up a 500-P for around 2k, or less in a mid-sized city or from eBay. Buy a copy of Shutterbug magazine, and comb through it for web addresses. Don't pay full asking price--make an OFFER on a big-glass lens, and don't start too high! On higher-end stuff like 300/2.8 AF-S II, I bought one for about $1,000 under the "used, New York mega-web stores' used price five years ago, paying $2750 when used Mark II samples were priced significantly higher, and a couple of Mark I models had sold for $1950 earlier that year. A used big-glass lens in Seattle or Portland or Ft. Worth is worth less than on the mega-sites. The camera biz has changed a lot since the late 90's,and the mega-stores no longer have the lowest prices.

    As a wildlife lens, the 70-200 VR is not too good of a choice; I'd say spend half that and buy a used 300mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor, and locate a deal on a TC14e or TC14e-II 1.4x Nikon converter to make a 420 f/5.6 effective. The 300/4 AF-S is lightweight,and also works great with a TC or an extension tube as a field macro/closeup lens,and is easy to pack, and of professional optical quality. The 70-200 is awfully short,and with a TC 1.4 added, it loses optical quality compared to the 300mm f/4 AF-S.
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    This isn't Nikon-Grade glass, I'll admit, but I've been pretty happy with my Sigma 100-300mm EX f/4

    This is with the 1.4X TC at 420mm:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I bought it in pristine condition on E-Bay for about $500 (and I bought the TC on e-bay for about $125)
     

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