n00b needs a lens!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by breemcmahon, May 31, 2009.

  1. breemcmahon

    breemcmahon TPF Noob!

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    Hi! This is actually officially my first post. I'm not much of correspondent but I enjoy reading and checking out everyone's pictures, in hopes of improving my own photography!
    Anyways, some background, my name is Bree and I recently became interested in photography last year, as a senior, when I was able to borrow a very nice camera [I didn't even know what brand it was at that time!] from the photography department at my highschool. Two months later I had my own Nikon, D60, taking home for myself. That summer I actually took some senior pictures for a friend who couldn't afford them, and did some casual paid wedding shots for an old teacher. nothing fancy.
    The senior pictures turned out to be a hit, so I found myself this summer with a few kids from the local highschool interested in some cheap and unique senior shots. Needless to say, I decided that it is definitely time to upgrade, and I definitely need to learn some new things.

    I am a now a poor college student and my parents are agreeing to buy me a new lens for my birthday. Right now I have the standard 18-55mm lens. I have been looking at various 55-200mm lenses but definitely need some input. Plus I'm hoping to stay with in the 100$-200$ range.
    So, what would be your suggestion for a semi-cheap awesome-working lens? Thank you so much!:D
     
  2. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    What kind of photography do you want to be doing? Are you thinking about continuing with the portraits? Or did you want to expand? Lens choice is a pretty personal thing. The main lens I use is a lens most people would say isn't very good. But for me, and the photography I do, it's nearly perfect. One of the first lens suggestions most people will have, especially on this forum is a 50mm f/1.8. It can usually be picked up for less than $100, is faster than any zoom you'll find, and has better IQ (image quality) than most lenses that are 10 times as expensive.

    Other than that, post what you want to do with your photography, and you'll probably get some better suggestions.
     
  3. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    I would have to second the 50 1.8, if you can swing it, the 50 1.4. Nikon has released a good 30 1.4 which will most importantly AF with the D60 body, unlike the 50s. The 30 will be excellent for your portrait shots.
     
  4. Jose Cuervo

    Jose Cuervo TPF Noob!

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    if the kind of photography you do doesn't make you need a lens with more zoom, i would get the 35mm f/1.8. they're hard to come by right now since it's a fairly new lens, but it's the lens i use the most nowadays. i slap on the 55-200mm once in a while when i can't get close enough to the subject, but i don't use it nearly enough as the 35mm.
     
  5. breemcmahon

    breemcmahon TPF Noob!

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    thank you very much for your suggestions.
    yes right now i am mostly focusing on portraiture. but i like to do full body shots, wanting to tell a story. i love body language.
    i'll be posting some pictures for C&C for a recent senior pictures i took for a friend who couldn't afford the absurd pricing of studios. :D
     
  6. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    aint gonna find much in the $100-$200 range unless you go used. The only lens I know of in that range is the 50mm f/1.8
     
  7. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    I agree with bdavis here. The d60 is a cropped frame sensor so that 50mm is equivalent to 75mm in full frame. This puts it very close to what most consider to be a good portrait focal length. I think you would be very happy with this lens, and the picture quality you can get with it, especially for the price.
     
  8. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    yea, it bugs me in each of these threads everyone always raves about the 50mm 1.8 or 1.4. when it is really an odd prime to have on a crop sensor. i have one but i never use it since i never really have a need for that focal length. not to mention the OP in this thread would be stuck with manual focus.
    a much better prime would be the AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX if you can find one. however, if you can find it, it should be right around $200
     
  9. breemcmahon

    breemcmahon TPF Noob!

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    thank you so much for all the replies!
    i'm still slightly confused but i think its just a matter of weighing my options.
    the biggest thing though is that i NEED a versatile lens, opposed to my kit lens which i have been using for over a YEAR now. [crazy i know, but i am unfortunately a poor private college student paying for her own way] I need something I think that will expand my realm of photography but also get the job done for the portraits i will be taken this summer.
     
  10. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why is it an odd focal lenght to have on a crop?
    I believe that the ideal focal lenght for a portrait is between 80-100mm. Somewhat wider for a full body shot.

    35mm lens = +- 50mm on a crop
    50mm lens = +- 75mm on a crop

    I would think the 35mm would be too wide to be a proper portrait length.

    I have a 28-75mm lens and I tend to shoot portraits around the 50-70 range and wider / full body the 28-35 range.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong please
     
  11. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    I think you're correct. I thought the same thing when I read itznfb's post. 50mm is a much better portrait focal length (on a cropped frame) than the 35mm. Also, I don't own a Nikon, but doesn't their 50mm 1.8 have AF? I know my Canon does.

    There's more to versatility than focal lengths. You would be amazed at what you can do with a f/1.8 aperture. To me, that is more versatile than using a 55-200mm f/4-5.6 (which is what I'm assuming you've been looking into). In the end, it's up to you, but I think you would be very happy with the 50mm 1.8.
     
  12. breemcmahon

    breemcmahon TPF Noob!

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    wow this forum is saving my life. :D

    i've done some research on fnumbers and see the benefit of using it with portrait photography. thank you everyone for teaching me something new!

    so i'm confused slightly,
    is there absolutely no zooming with the 50mm?

    [i apologize if this is a silly question, i just am trying to learn as much as i can]
     

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