Next Lens, can't decide!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Jaytron, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Jaytron

    Jaytron TPF Noob!

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    Hey all, I'm unsure on what lens to pick up next. I have a D40 with the 18-55 kit lens which is great, I'm debating between getting the new 35mm 1.8 prime lens that's coming out this month, or saving up for the "do it all lens" the 18-200mm zoom. I usually take pictures walking around the city, etc.

    Thanks in advance!
    -Jay
     
  2. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Go with the 35mm prime.

    I feel thet people should steer clear of "do it all" lenses. I don't care how far lens technology has come, Long coverage like that is a comprimise. If you want a zoom lens, stick to shorter coverage zooms like 70-200 or 100-200, you'll likely be happier in the long run.
     
  3. TheOtherBob

    TheOtherBob TPF Noob!

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    Depends. I think a fast prime is always a great second lens -- but you should ask yourself how you currently feel limited. Are you shooting outdoors a lot in bright sunlight at small apertures, but just can't get enough zoom to get what you want? If so, then a telephoto would do you more good than a 35mm.

    On the other hand, if you need more speed -- if you're shooting in museums and just can't get a good, sharp picture -- or if you want to play with depth of field more, then a fast prime would be better. Choosing a lens is about filling in something that you want to do, but can't do with the gear you have -- so it's all about your personal style.

    But, in any event, I'm not sure I'd go with the 18-200 unless you're really averse to changing lenses. If you want more zoom, I'd go with a 70-200 (or something in that range) and switch between that and the 18-55. Alternatively, since you walk around the city a lot, you might consider an ultra-wide -- they're a lot of fun in cities (if it fits what you like to do).
     
  4. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    What do you see yourself photographing most of the time? Landscape/cityspace, portraits, indoor, walking around random shooting, outdoor events, etc? I find the 35mm prime very limited on a crop sensor camera. I like people, portraits and full body. A 35mm would be a bad choice in my opinion because you really need to get into someone's face if you want to take a headshot. I would consider a Canon 50mm 1.8 over a 35mm 1.8

    If you like landscapes/cityspace shooting, perhaps take a look at the Sigma 10-20mm. They are quite popular. For event type shooting, the 70-200 is a popular choice but can get expensive with the Canon 2.8s

    For me, I wanted a lens that could do it all. I picked up a Sigma 18-200mm OS. I have to say, this is probably the best $ I've spent on my camera. I'm still new to the game but I shoot a lot with friends with 5d, 40d, 50d, 1d, and L lenses galore. For the little cash I spent and versitility, and sharpness of this lens, it is good buy. You will definitely notice a difference from you kit lens. With this lens + a flash, I could pretty much shoot every situation... except macro and bird photography, lol.

    **Link to my test shots with Sigma 18-200mm OS. No editing done other than resizing. http://cabusi.smugmug.com/gallery/6303769_By9Yw/1/404142890_EqAbw
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  5. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    I can see the 35 f/1.8 being useful indoors, but not sure how great it will be as a "walk-around". I guess 50mm is a great walk-around, but you already have it covered with your kit.

    I do not shoot Nikon so my suggestion is based on research I did when I was thinking about jumping to Nikon.

    I looked at three lens to cover "everything" I shoot ...
    12-24 (something like that)
    24-70
    70-200

    You 18-55 covers range of first two lens so not sure what to tell you.

    The three lens I mentioned above are all f/2.8 I believe and are all very expensive - do not know your budget.
     
  6. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    I don't think the OP's budget is in the f/2.8 zoom lens range considering he/she is using D40 and is considering saving up for a 18-200 (~$750 max if Nikon lens)
     
  7. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    Don't underestimate the joy of having one lens and not having to change. I love the fact that my 18-200 stays on my camera almost 100% of the time -- I no longer have to think about WHICH lens I want. Instead, it's right there, and I can focus on composing a good photo instead.

    Also, I'm not sure how a 70-200 is more zoom than a 18-200...
     
  8. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's not, History has shown that long coverage aria in zooms deteriates image quality. Lens technology may have improved over the years but it has improved across the board, so no matter how you look at it the 70-200 will be a better lens than the 18-200 image qualitywise. It's the nature of the beast, always has been always will be.
     
  9. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    Battou -- ah, now I understand what you were saying. I still maintain that the 18-200 is a little slice of heaven, and of course finding a good, strong composition is much more important that image quality. But the 70-200 is probably a bit nicer, qualitywise.
     
  10. TheOtherBob

    TheOtherBob TPF Noob!

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    It's not -- I was saying that if he wants more zoom than he has now (or that he'd get from a prime), the 70-200 is a good choice. In any event, the reason I didn't recommend the 18-200 is that it necessarily sacrifices image quality in exchange for versatility. To me, it's too much of a tradeoff -- but different things matter to different people.

    Though that's actually an interesting question with respect to the OP -- one of the lenses he suggests will give him great image quality, while the other will give him great versatility. It's a very personal decision between the two competing qualities.
     

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