got camera, need lens help please

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Ridgeback Guy, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Ridgeback Guy

    Ridgeback Guy TPF Noob!

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    Hi all, I just bought a Nikon d80 body, because I heard that most of the kit lenses that come with cameras are just so-so. What would you recommend I get as a starter lens? I have read that the 18-70mm DX is a decent lens for everyday use, is this true?

    I mostly want to shoot outdoors. I like wildlife, and want to be able to get some decent pics of insects, small birds, reptiles etc. Do I need a macro lens for that? Any recommendations would be great!

    thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Defy

    Defy TPF Noob!

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    What is your price range?
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What is your budget?
     
  4. Ridgeback Guy

    Ridgeback Guy TPF Noob!

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    Around $600.
     
  5. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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    There are a couple of decent options to consider in the $400-$500 range:
    1: Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di-II
    2: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC HSM
    The Sigma has more reports of manufacturing defects, but its 1:3 magnification may work better for your close-up shots than the Tamron's low 1:4.5 magnification. Extension tubes might help with close-up photography.
     
  6. Ridgeback Guy

    Ridgeback Guy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks JAE
     
  7. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

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    If you want to shoot birds or other animals, you will most likely want a longer zoom than a standard lens (like the ones mentioned in this post). If you're willing to switch lenses often, having both the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 with its amazing optics and decent macro capabilities, and a more modest zoom lens like the Nikkor 55-200 VR (which has pretty good IQ for the price) might (barely) fit in you budget. If you don't want to be switching lenses and are okay with not having the sharpest lens and it not being a good macro lens, then the Nikkor 18-200 VR might work for you. If you aren't going to be shooting things close up, like within a few inches (which is what macro is all about), then you probably don't need a macro lens.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009
  8. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Wildlife etc. will require a long lens. You can get the Nikon 70-300 VR for $530
    Nikon AF-S AFS 70-300 / 4.5-5.6G ED IF VR Lens NEW * - eBay (item 220391959108 end time Jul-06-09 11:15:29 PDT)
    which puts it in your budget. It's a slow lens, but it's the best lens you're going to get in the longer focal lengths without spending over a grand. Crank up the ISO on your new D90 and you'll be fine.

    Edit: if you want to get close-up images (like a beetle walking on a flower), then yes you do need a macro lens - in which case, you should store away your D90 for a little while longer and save up for the 105mm f/2.8 VR Macro lens that Nikon sells, about $850 off eBay. If you really can't save that up, then you can get a 60mm f/2.8D Macro from B&H used for $330. You'll get approximately the same photos with either lens, but with the 60mm you will need to get closer to the wildlife in question, making it a lot harder to shoot since they'll get skittish and run off with a lens poking in their face AFAIK. Then spend the rest of your money on a flash - the SB-600 is $225, which overall puts you pretty close to your budget.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009
  9. Ridgeback Guy

    Ridgeback Guy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I am willing to change lenses as often as needed to get the best pictures I can. I am guessing I will be taking more pictures of farther away things at first, so I'll just put my money into a good zoom lens, and save up for a macro once I am familiar with my camera, and photography in general.

    So it sounds like the 70-300 is my best bet so far? Would a third party lens like this work? Its a bit more expensive, but honestly I would rather save a bit longer and buy something I know will last, rather then buy a lens I may grow out of in a few months or a year.
    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/369-sigma-af-100-300mm-f4-nikon
     

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