Picking a lens....

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ~myStical~, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. ~myStical~

    ~myStical~ TPF Noob!

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    For Nikon D40.
    I am interested primarily in portrait type shooting and possibly some landscapes. Also a good lens for macro photos.
    What lens do you guys suggest I get ?
    My budget $100-150 , for each.
     
  2. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    $100-$150 budget for a good lens? Have you seen what good lenses cost? I'm a Canon shooter so I don't know Nikkor lenses, but "good" Canon lenses start around $325 and go up from there.
     
  3. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Well, first off the D40 lacks a focus motor in the body so this limits you on the number of affordable lenses you can purchase and still have auto focus. This is one of the biggest detractors to the lower end Nikons. Why Nikon sells an entry level camera that requires their most expensive lenses to have auto focus is beyond me.

    It sounds like you want one lens to do just about everything for you... and this isn't going to be cheap... even if you look to Sigma. I say this because you keep referring to a "lens" vs. "lenses".

    Take the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG MACRO for example. It does just about everything you're looking for but it still costs $800.

    In the price range you're looking at I don't know that you'll find anything, especially if quality is something you're looking for. You might want to save a little longer.
     
  4. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Agreed. You could try the "nifty fifty" (50mm f/1.8) for portraits, but you get what you pay for with lenses; the build quality on the nifty fifties of both Canon and Nikon is cheap. And the Nikon one has really poor bokeh.
     
  5. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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    For what you are needing, the Len I would say would be your best bet would be this one
    Sigma | 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Autofocus Lens | 5A8306

    I know from experience shooting with this lens. It would work good for what you want. There is also a switch on the side that allows it to focus closer (macro) than in normal mode. I seriously think that should be the lens you get for what you want. At 200 you can't beat it for the quality of what you get.

    Just FYI it is fully compatible with the D40. That is the camera I used it on.
     
  6. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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    Ok. I have to disagree. The 50 f/1.8 I use from Nikon was good. It was light yes. Cheaply made...no. The glass was suburb. I did a lot with it. The bokeh was just fine and looked nice and creamy. The thing is, about portraits. I wouldn't shoot a portrait with a 50 at f/1.8 and two even if I was shooting a portrait with that lens it would be more around f/5-7 or so and at that f/stop. most any lens does not have clean creamy bokeh.
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    I'm just going by the images I've seen as examples. At lower f-stops the 50 f/1.8's of both Canon and Nikon have...less than nice bokeh. The Nikon looks pretty choppy, in my opinion, compared to it's Canon counterpart (no, this isn't a case of Canon fanboyism). When I compare that to the EF 50mm f/1.4, there's a marked improvement in the quality of bokeh as you stop-up the aperture.

    To be clear, I agree with you entirely for portraits. Fast lenses like f/1.8's tend to be sharpest in the f/5-8 range anyway. The point of fast glass, for me, is that the sharpest point is at a more open f-stop than slower glass.
     
  8. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    If you like portrait and macro, get a macro lens in the 50 to 90mm range and also use it for portraits.
     
  9. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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    For Portraits I shoot 90-100. I Have yet to really find a use for a 50mm f/1.8.
    I think the 85mm f/1.8 would be great for portraits. A lens built for f/1.8 used at f/5 will still be much better than a lens built for f/5 and used at f/5. It takes better glass to be able to reach such aperture. In turn it still would be a better lens in comparison.
     
  10. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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  11. ~myStical~

    ~myStical~ TPF Noob!

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    Those are some great suggestions. Thank you very much for taking your time to answer me .. I'll be definitely looking into Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 ....
    Okay maybe my budget was too low .. I know good lens cost a lot more than $100-150. I'm willing to spend much more .. but, just not right now .. as am I still learning and experimenting. That's why the low budget.

    Thank you very much everyone.. I'm still open to more suggestions.

    I'm looking to buy two lens. One for Portraits and landscapes while the other for mainly marco photos. I know a macro lens can be used for portraits too. But if there are any other suggestions you guys can give me ..i'll really appreciate it.
     
  12. ~myStical~

    ~myStical~ TPF Noob!

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