Need Primes for Photo Pop?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Neuner, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. Neuner

    Neuner TPF Noob!

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    For my D80 I started out with a Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6D AF and was happy with the results until I picked up a 1.8 50mm. With the 50 my images 'pop' and have that sharpness and contrast that the 24-120 is lacking.

    I'd like to get another lens in the ~24-120 range that performs better. Do I need to stick with primes to get the sharpness & contrast that I see with the 50?
     
  2. ShaCow

    ShaCow TPF Noob!

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    I love my 1.8 50mm prime.. primes are generally better then zooms.. but.. if you get a decent quality lens then you will have no need to stick to a prime.
     
  3. Neuner

    Neuner TPF Noob!

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    What's a decent quality zoom around this range?
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    For the most part, an easy way to tell the quality of a zoom lens is to look at the price.

    The Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, for example, is probably a fantastic zoom lens...the cost: $ 1,699.95
     
  5. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No probably about this one... a friend of mine has one, I have shot with it a bit... I will see if I can dig around and find the pictures.

    It is very, very sharp.

    My only complaint about it is that it doesn't go as wide as I would like, it is a full frame sensor lens design... which means I would have to carry something like a 10-20 as well for a small sensor camera like my d80.

    Still, the 24-70 is a beast of a lens, and I would really like to have one.
     
  6. Neuner

    Neuner TPF Noob!

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    Pretty cool, but too expensive for me. Love the 2.8 factor though...

    I'd like to only get full-frame lenses b/c I am thinking that all dSLRs will go this way in the near future. I don't want to have to upgrade the lens along with the camera.

    I have a feeling I may be SOL for getting a higher quality zoom lens.
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    While full frame cameras are becoming more common...I don't think they that crop sensor cameras will be disappearing any time soon. There are too many lenses designed specifically for them...and realistically, the crop sensor cameras are so good now, that 95% of people won't need anything better (although what they need and what they want are not the same thing).

    There are cheaper options. Have a look at the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro DF . It is certainly not as fantastic as the Nikkor lens...but it's probably 90% as good for less than 1/3 of the price.

    I've got a Tamron 17-50 F2.8...which isn't quite as good as the Canon 17-55 F2.8 IS or the Nikon 17-55 F2.8...but it was about 1/3 of the price.
     
  8. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  9. Neuner

    Neuner TPF Noob!

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    These are great suggestions. I like the 24-70mm.

    Even though I shoot a wide range I was thinking about the focal range & when I would use it most. I'm tossing around getting a wide-angle prime and then a zoom to cover the higher end. I used the full extent of the lens quite often at 120mm but since that it is on one end of the range there's more distortion.

    Looking back, when I use the wide angle I'm taking my time to capture more scenic shots and don't mind swapping for a prime. When I'm zooming in and trying to compose the pic correctly it's on the fly like a sporting event, capturing animals at play, etc and would need to be quick. I think this is usually in the 50/70+ range.

    It looks like I might be better off getting the 24-70 and then a 70+. I'd then have the 50 for portraits which has been excellent. Any suggestions for the upper range?
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    70-200 F2.8 VR is about as good as it gets...but again, it's pricey. I would assume that Nikon has a non-VR version (I don't know...I'm a Canon guy).

    Nikon has a 70-300 VR, which isn't a nice F2.8 lens...but it's more affordable, I'm sure.

    Sigma sells a 70-200 F2.8 that is supposed to be pretty good...but it's rather large and heavy.
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    www.photozone.de has a list and sharpness tests of many Nikkor and Canon lenses except for the most recent top of the range ones.

    Actually the primes are rather crap. The 50mm f/1.8 is a horrible lens below f/4.5 and it's contrast and sharpness is unusable (reads art-worthy) at f/1.8. That said some other lenses are fantastic. The Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 is amazingly sharp and shows little contrast problems for a lens in it's price class. So there's lemons and gems in every area.
     
  12. itoncool

    itoncool TPF Noob!

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    Unlike Canon which have 4 versions of 70-200, Nikon only have 1 version of 70-200, but Nikon has 80-200 f/2.8 for non-VR version, less cost and still darn sharp. I have 70-200VR, I spent a lot for this beast but like Big Mike said, it is "about as good as it gets".

    To me, Primes and Zooms are two different worlds, you just can't get enough with any of those two.

    In 24-120 range, the upcoming Nikkor 24-70 (or the predecessor 28-70) is perfectly one option with in your range, the others that come close are 70-200VR, 80-200, 17-35 and 17-55DX (if you don't mind with DX lenses). Those lenses aren't cheap and heavy.

    for primes I can recommend you with 35 f/2, any 50 (f/1.4 or f/1.8) or any 85 (f/1.4 or f/1.8). The 105 f/2D also great but some people tend to just go with the 105 f/2.8 Macro instead.
     

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