Questions about Lenses

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Ramesses, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Ramesses

    Ramesses TPF Noob!

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    Hi:

    I am evaluating the alternatives of upgrading the lens that comes with my D40 (Nikon 18-55mm ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor) to either the Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX Lens or the Nikon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX lens. The 18-135 is a newer lens and will replace the 18-70, if it hasn’t done it already. The 18-135 has a better and more useful focal range. In addition, both are in the same price range, new. However, both lenses do not have the VR (Vibration Reduction) technology.

    I’m leaning towards the 18-70 because at 70 or 105 (35mm) the lens vibration is not that significant, in my opinion. Beyond 70, I believe the VR option becomes more and more important as the focal length increases. My questions and options are as follows:

    Am I right in my assessment or just plain wrong – get either one?

    Is it a good founded concern, therefore get the 18-70

    The 18-70 has the same problems as the 18-135 because of the lack of VR. Therefore, just get a lens with VR beyond 55mm or ~ 85mm (35mm).

    Forget about either lens, stick with the 18-55 and get 55-200 VR

    I would really appreciate your advice and input in this area, because I do not have the expertise to make a good decision.

    Thanks,

    Ramesses
     
  2. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I'd say wrong.

    Buy faster glass. Don't look at the range. Generally the bigger the magnification (zoom) the poorer the lens.

    I'd look at the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and the 70-200 f2.8 VR. Much better lenses IMO. Canon's range is similar. I have a 28-75 and the Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS. Great combo.

    Regards
    Jim
    Edit.....
    PS If you need wide angle, the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is also a great lens and married to a 70-200 VR would give you a great focal range of fast sharp glass.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    I'm no expert on Nikon lenses but for what it's worth...

    Yes, it is true that as the focal length gets longer, the camera shake is more of a problem, so VR is more beneficial. The rule of thumb is that you want a shutter speed that is equal to or greater than the focal length. So for 70mm, you would want at least 1/70 of a second...and for 135mm, you would want 1/135 or faster. If both lenses have a max aperture of F5.6, then the 135mm is at a disadvantage, as far as camera shake goes.

    However, having that extra reach may be more important than worrying about the shake at the long end. If the light is good, you may be able to shoot at 1/250, in which case, it won't matter for either lens.

    That being said...you can do things to combat camera shake. Good shooting technique will go a long way. Getting the camera out of your hands (tripod etc.) will of course help. Or anything that will give you stability like a monopod or even just leaning your body against something.

    Then there is the question of image quality. Many people will say that the greater the range of zoom...the worse the quality is likely to be. Of course, some lenses are just better than others.
     
  4. Ramesses

    Ramesses TPF Noob!

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    Thanks EOS and Big Mike.

    I'm just "listening" and taking in your good advice.

    Ramesses
     
  5. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The difference from 55 to 70 mm is not that great, save your money for something else. 70-300 VR is not too expensive or maybe go 18-200 VR. As mike said, there are techniques to reduce camera shake with longer lenses, so VR might not be absolutely necessary.
     
  6. Ramesses

    Ramesses TPF Noob!

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    Hi Big Mike:

    I fully agree with you. I apologize for not making myself clearer. The lens I’m evaluating is my all-purpose or run-around lens. For specific type of shooting, I’ll need what I call a “dedicated lens” (I do not know if it is the right terminology) like a 85 mm(35mm,) 135 , 24, etc. However, that is in the future and it all depends in the words I hate so much, “State of My Finances.”

    Thanks,

    Ramesses
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    VR isn't THAT important, but it’s nice. I mean, yes it helps alot and there will be times when you won't need a tripod, but if you're budget is around $300 you won't be able to afford a VR lens. The 24-120 VR is the most inexpensive VR lens I think, and it's still $500. I bought a 24-120 VR last month and it’s quickly becoming my favorite lens even though it’s not anywhere as sharp or as fast as my 35-70 f/2.8 or 80-200 f/2.8 when it’s wide open.

    Even though I have far superior lenses that cover the same range, I usually find myself using the 24-120 more often than my 35-70 f/2.8 if I don't have access to a tripod or some sort of support. If I want to shoot at f/8-f/11 all day, I can with the 24-120 because with the VR I can shoot at slower speeds and still hand hold when if I’d be using my 35-70, I’d be at f/2.8 or on a tripod to get a fast enough shutter speed to have no camera shake. Not only that, but obviously the 24-120VR at f/8 is sharper than any of my f/2.8’s when they’re wide open. It’s when I need to stop action that the 24-120 is the last lens I look for.



    But enough about that. If somone put the 18-70 and the 18-135 in front of me, i'd choose the 18-70 becuase it has a focus scale and less barrel distortion at the wide end.

    EDIT: wow 4 people posted while I tytped this up.

    I agree with what Patrice said and the difference between 55 and 70mm isnt' all that much, but the 18-200mm VR is $800! In my opinion, if you're going be spending $800 on a telephoto lens, it better be the Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8.
     
  8. -faith-

    -faith- TPF Noob!

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    i say u possibly need to think bout wot u use ur cam for it ur going to benifit for a lens with a wider range or weather u are looking to get a more area spisic lense and then if ur going to be making good use of the VR
    all the best hope it helps
     
  9. Ramesses

    Ramesses TPF Noob!

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    Hi Patrice:

    Thanks for your advice. Yours is an alternative I’m seriously considering that is keeping the 18-55 and getting the new 55-200 VR that Nikon just announced.

    I have a longer range goal. If everything goes to plan (all the best plans of men and mice…) my D40 will be my second camera or traveling camera. I will eventually get the D200 or D80, if I take to photography. Therefore, I’m getting a lens that I can use with the D200 or D80 (or similar latest model) enabling me to just purchase the body only in a year or two. However, I have to come a decision soon, because I will have to sell the 18-55 on eBay and be able to say brand new – never used.

    I called Nikon yesterday, and the warranty for the 18-55 is not transferable - too bad!

    Thanks,

    Ramesses
     
  10. Ramesses

    Ramesses TPF Noob!

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    Hi Everyone:

    Keep the advice coming. It is really good and I really appreciate them. This site is a wealth of knowledge in photography.

    Thanks,

    Ramesses
     
  11. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Well, it is THE Photo Forum! :D
     

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