Updating lenses... any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Zoolfoos, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. Zoolfoos

    Zoolfoos TPF Noob!

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    I bought a nikon D50 about a year ago in a "package deal" with two lenses. One was the Nikon 55mm - 200mm f/4-5.6G ED AF-S DX Autofocus Zoom Lens, the other was the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor Lens. I am now considering upgrading the lenses to something a bit sturdier. In addition to lenses produced by nikon, I was considering some lenses by sigma and tokina.

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks!
    -Kevin
     
  2. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    Kevin, if you can afford it stick with Nikon branded lenses. Although the majority of those are probably also manufactured by the likes of Sigma, Tokina, Tamron or Cosina, the specs and 'QA' ('Quality Assurance'; i.e. basically higher norms and better quality control before leaving the facory) for A-brand lenses is generally better than those of 'third-party' lenses (that often come from the exact same assembly lines...).
     
  3. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    When you say you want something 'sturdier', are you referring to build quality? Has the build quality of your Nikon lenses actually caused any problems? If not then I can't help thinking that it's not worth changing them for zooms in a similar price range. Instead you might want to think about which focal length you use the most and consider a prime lens in that focal length... this is likely to give you sharper images with less artifacts, plus is likely to have a wider maximum aperture so it can be used in lower available light. On the other hand if it's a zoom you're after, the 18-200mm VR can replace both your current zooms and give you vibration reduction... but I'm not sure how much 'sturdier' it'll feel. The 17-55mm f2.8 and the 70-200mm f2.8 will almost certainly be better than your current lenses, but then they are much, much, much more expensive... so IMO primes are the way to go.
     
  4. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    Nikon manufactures their own lenses. They are first and foremost an optical company - things like camera bodies are mostly an afterthought.

    I agree though - if you can afford it, stick with Nikon Brand. A large sideways step would be selling the 18-55 and going with an 18-70 AF-S. Much faster focusing, faster aperture on the long end, and much better build quality. And you can find them used in mint condition constantly for $175-225, an absolute steal.
     
  5. dsp921

    dsp921 TPF Noob!

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    What's your budget, that makes a huge difference in what gets recommended.
     
  6. Zoolfoos

    Zoolfoos TPF Noob!

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    I would like something with greater telephoto capability than what I have at the moment. Before I started shooting digital I almost always used prime lenses, but I admit that I enjoy the flexibility of the zoom lenses (quite a lot actually). I was looking at the 18-200mm nikkor lens, but like I said, I need something greater than 200mm. I am trying to get some "on the side" work with a small local newspaper. Because I am a student, most likely I will be shooting a lot of sports and other school related events (if I get the job). Even if I don't get the job, a greater focal length will probably come in handy at some point.

    By "sturdier" I mean that I would like something that I'm not afraid is going to crack or dent if I drop it accidentally.

    -Kevin
     
  7. Zoolfoos

    Zoolfoos TPF Noob!

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    dsp921 - I hope not to spend more than $600.

    -Kevin
     
  8. dsp921

    dsp921 TPF Noob!

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    The Nikkor 70-300mm VR is due out in a few weeks, that might be worth a look. Should be right around or just under $600.
     
  9. Zoolfoos

    Zoolfoos TPF Noob!

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    I'll look into that one.

    Thanks again for the help everyone!

    -Kevin
     
  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Ah... I'm not sure they exist :mrgreen:

    Actually I've had fairly good experiences with droppage... I've dropped many cheap zoom lenses and done no damage at all except once cracking the lens hood. In theory more expensive lenses should be better built... but then being more expensive I'd be even more wary of dropping them :) I'm going to have to be facetious and give my usual answer to this question... don't drop it :p

    Other than that, if you intend to do sports shooting then bear in mind that the f5.6 at 300mm on the long end of the 70-300 is fairly slow... VR may reduce the effects of vibration at slower shutter speeds, but a faster shutter speed would probably be more useful... that means wider aperture at longer focal length, and that means spending quite a bit more.
     

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