Lens help

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by LucyZ, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. LucyZ

    LucyZ TPF Noob!

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    I am new to photography and recently bought a Nikon D200. I also bought a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D lens. I enrolled in a class and my instructor said was lens was cheap and not any good. :er:

    Can someone please recommend a general purpose lens? Unfortunately, my budget is about $200. Thanks!
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well what is General purpose to you?
    The 50mm f1.8 might not be a fantastic lens (and I think the nikon version might be worse that the canon in this class - but I am not fully certain) but its still a prime lens with decent sharpness and not to budget breaking.

    First things first though - for a new lens you have to identify your uses for that lens and your requirements as based on your shooting style and budget. If your not really sure on these points then it might not be the best time to get a new lens.
    For example - some people like street photography - but one can use a 35mm lens or a 70-200mm lens for such work - shooting style and end result help determin what lens of the two (ok its many more in reality) is the best for you
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Tell your instructor that it's the quality of the photographer, not the quality of the equipment, that matters most.

    You aren't going to find anything better for less than $200, so stick with that lens and prove your instructor wrong.
     
  4. LucyZ

    LucyZ TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your reply. Mostly I like to shoot my family. Candid shots as well as portrait. But, I also like to shoot street scenes. I live in New Orleans and the French Quarter is a great place to shoot.
     
  5. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Did you ask your instructor why he think that lens is not any good? I want to know as well (even I do not own any Nikon camera) since a lot of people who own the Nikon lens said it is pretty good. May not be the sharpest lens in Nikon lens lineup, but it is pretty decent from what I read.
     
  6. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    Explain to your instructor that the lens is what you have to work with for right now and when you can afford different lens, you'll consider getting one. If you want to butter the bread (as it were) a bit more, say something along the lines of "if your course can help me realize the limits of this lens, then the need for a new one will naturally present itself."
     
  7. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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    At its one fixed focal length, your prime lens is better than most zoom lenses.

    For under $200, the 17-50mm f/2.8 zoom lens deal that was in this thread would have been appealing for general photography with your D200, but it's sold out now. The only other new lens in your price range that I can think of (coming from a noobish Canon user) that would equal the quality of your AF 50mm f/1.8D might be the $200 AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G, and it's also a prime lens. The $190 AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR has a useful range of focal lengths, but it's image quality won't match your existing prime lens. The $375 Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 HSM DC or the $395 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di-II are well-reviewed lenses in this same range of focal lengths, but they're double your budget. Rufus' advice is probably best.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  8. Defy

    Defy TPF Noob!

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    The 50 is a great lens for what it does now what I think your teacher was getting at (i hope at least or else you need to find a new class) is it's a lot harder to compose your shot if you are manually (with your feet) zooming. Don't get the 35 (i have one and it's an awesome lens but you need at least one zoom) you will not be happy with 2 prime lens. For a cheap great zoom go with the 18-55 VR kit lens: ~ 130ish
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-18-55mm-3-5-5-6G-AF-S-Nikkor/dp/B000ZMCILW/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238024156&sr=8-10]Amazon.com: Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens: Electronics[/ame]

    Or if you want to step up get the 18-135mm for about 330ish: [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-18-135mm-3-5-5-6G-Zoom-Nikkor-Digital/dp/B000HJPK0Y/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238024396&sr=1-15"]Nikon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras[/ame]

    I will be adding the 16-85mm ~ 600ish to my set up soon!
     
  9. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Personally if it were me I would ask for my money back. Not on the lens, but on the class. If that is the knowledge level of the instructor then I would say that the instructor is, if I may quote that instructor, "not any good." :mrgreen:
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow, that is kind of surprising, but yeah, I would definitely ask why he thought it wasn't any good. That lens is very good, sharp and fast for the price.

    Well, I can see that if your photography course is landscape or wildlife based , he may have a point, the focal length is not appropriate. But if it is a general photography basics class... he needs to learn a lot more before he teaches.

    I have a D200 and this lens, and it did me very well. It was even quite sharp at F/1.8!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Of course the 1.8 is not as good and is cheaper than the 1.4 and the 1.2. Of course the lens is very plasticy and fragile. But thats why you pay under $100 for it.

    My first photo teacher constantly said that getting cheap lenses is not worth it. The image quality and build construction of the pro lenses is really worth it, more so than upgrading a camera body. He didn't like 3rd party lenses, he liked the manufacturers. He was really big on this.

    But even he, when we had a class focused on equipment and lens choices, spoke highly of the 1.8 as one of the best kept secrets in the business for anyone starting out.
     
  12. Mitch1640

    Mitch1640 TPF Noob!

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    the nikon 50 1.8 is way better made then the canon 1.8 so i dont know why people are complaining about the build quality so much. i mean it definitely isnt pro glass but its pretty damn good expecially for about 100 bucks.
     

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