New to digital, Need some help.

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by wishbone_17, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. wishbone_17

    wishbone_17 TPF Noob!

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    So I have decided to move into the digital world. I have been shooting on film for years as serious hobby, while making a little money on the side. I have decided that with this move into digital I am going to start putting my name out there for more paying projects.

    That said I am moving from Canon to Nikon. Nothing against Canon, I just tried a friends Nikon D200 and decided that I wanted that camera. So I am have the body decided on, now I need some lens choices. I would love to get 2 or 3 lenses by years end but for now need to settle on 1 while I get some money together.

    I will say that the primary work I am looking to do is editorial and portrait work, with a splash of the documentary style photography thrown in. And when I say portrait I don't me the old school family portrait by Olan Mills, I more so mean musician promo pieces for local music magazines, or cover art for albums and such.

    With that, what lenses should I get? I am looking for something that will support me well for 6 months (or less) while I get a portfolio together. I may be shooting the occasional wedding (to help pay for the lenses) but that is the least of my concerns. I mainly want a lens that I can shoot the occasional documentary style protrait or editorial, but can turn around and do (limited) wedding or landscape work with.

    I know that is a lot to lay out and that Weddings and Landscapes are a different beast thant portrait and editorial. The weddings are not a serious side of my business and lanscapes would be more for my living room wall than anything else.

    Any help you can provide would be appreciated. I have to move quick on this because I have a wedding in August that I have to shoot. Thanks.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    I don't mean to second guess your choice to switch to Nikon...but if you have compatible Canon lenses, (EF lenses) then why not get a Canon body and be able to use them? If you have old FD lenses, the this would be a moot point.

    As for what lenses to get...what did you like to shoot with before? Primes or zooms? Long or wide?

    The Nikon 17-55 F2.8 would be a great all around lens...but it's not cheap. You can get similar zooms with a F2.8 max aperture, from Tamron & Sigma, for much less.
     
  3. wishbone_17

    wishbone_17 TPF Noob!

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    I realized after I posted that I was going to get asked "Why not stick with Canon?" That's fine, the answer is because I had only two lenses and they weren't good enough to keep me from moving to Nikon. All my money went into lenses for my medium format camera. The Canon was just a knock around camera.

    As for the lens question, I am looking for nice medium zoom right now. I wll later on look for some primes (to round out the collection), but for now I need zooms. I am not sure with the 1.5 magnification what lens would be a good one to start with. My friend ( a professional photog) has a (I think this is right) Nikor Dx 18-105mm and said he uses it a lot for print adds and magazine work because it is real versatile. This is the closest thing I could find that was similar:

    https://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Pro...=&ID=12&BC=DN&BCC=3&CC=7&CCC=2&BCL=&GBC=&GCC=

    That seems a little long to me with it being 18-105 but I may be wrong.

    I am so new with digital that I don't even have an opinion. I have been shooting medium format primes for the past few years.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    OK, you are sticking with Nikon...as a responsible Canon shooter...I had to ask ;)

    So what's your budget?

    It's easy to suggest (& harder to afford) but fast lenses are the way to go. The 18-105mm might be versatile in terms of focal length...but at F3.5-5.6, it's not all that versatile in terms of lower light shooting.

    On these cameras, I like the range starting at 17 or 18mm. The best quality (& fast) lenses will drop off at about 50mm but there are wider ranges. The 18-200 VR lens from Nikon seems to be fairly popular. The quality won't be as good as a top end zoom or a nice prime lens...but that's where you have to decide if you want high quality or convenience.
     
  5. wishbone_17

    wishbone_17 TPF Noob!

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    I see what you are saying about the versatility, but I should have prefaced that I plan to shoot mostly with strobes or when I shoot available light it wouldn't be low light situations.

    That said what suggestions do you have?

    My budget is more strapped now than later on. I am buying a camera, cards, a new bag, etc. now where as later on I will just be buying lenses.

    And I have no problem carrying around several lenses to meet every focal lenght between 18mm and say 300mm. I plan to make that jump with 3-4 lenses, as I want more quality over one lens that can go 18mm-300mm that you give up some quality for. I completely plan to spend a couple thousand on lenses when I get my collection together, but right now I need one that is higher quality but still affordable, that serves as a general purpose lens.

    The type of shooting I plan to do is more along the lines of shooting that allows me to pause the action and change lenses rather thant the high pace style of sports photography or national geographic style work.
     
  6. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    You can't go wrong with the 50 mm 1.8. Cheap and incredibly sharp. (The 1.4 is more money and better build)

    Tokina 12-24 sharp and versatile.

    Nikkor 17-55 - expensive but good.
     
  7. wishbone_17

    wishbone_17 TPF Noob!

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    what would be the next step in focal length from the 18-55? Say something like a 55-150mm? (not sure if that is correct length, just trying to show example)
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    On a more reasonable budget that doesn't involve the insanely priced 18-55. I would recommend the 18-70, and 70-300VR to cover the shooting range.

    Also a speciality lens. Either the 50mm f/1.8 or my choice a macro of sorts. Especially if you are into portrait work you may consider the 85mm MicroNikkor if you can find it.
     
  9. wishbone_17

    wishbone_17 TPF Noob!

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    So what lens should I start with if I need a good "general purpose" lens first?

    I don't mind spending money but would like to keep it under $700 if at all possible for the first lens.

    Once I start putting money back I will be much more apt to drop $1200 for the 17-55 2.8, but for now I need something a little cheaper.

    This shouldn't play too much of a factor but I am shooting a wedding in a month, and although it isn't a very high budget wedding I still want to take some good photos.

    So I need a lens that I can use to build my portfolio so I can start getting paying shoots, all the while saving for the bigger lenses.
     
  10. pauledell

    pauledell TPF Noob!

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    I would suggest the following lenses (not all dedicated digital lenses):

    (1) Nikkor 35-70 f/2.8 D My favorite zoom for digital and film

    (2) Tokina 12-24 f/2.8 Dedicated digital lens at half the price of the
    Nikkor 12-24 but sharp and well built

    (3) Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF-D Great tele but heavy
     

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