Which Lenses to Get With Nikon D3100 ?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by spiritfly, May 3, 2011.

  1. spiritfly
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    spiritfly New Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm glad that I have joined your community with my D3100 and I can start rolling :)

    I'm a beginner in photography and I just bought myself a Nikon D3100 with the standard 18-55mm VR lenses. As soon as I got it, I realized that there was a model with 18-105mm also VR lenses, but the price difference is about 140$.

    Considering I'm about to learn photography more as a hobby(at least for now) and I right now I really need it more for product photography, but I also want to learn to use it for landscapes, outdoor portraits as well as macro.

    I could return the camera while it's new and get the one with the 18-105mm lens kit I know it is a better all around lens which is more of what I need as a starter, but I'm not sure if that will pay off, considering I'm only a beginner.

    I know I won't invest that much in future in buying more expensive lenses, so do you think the switch is worth it?

    Will I be better off with the 18-55mm for now while I get more into photography AND THEN get a better tele (like 55-200mm or maybe 70-300mm) or maybe get a prime lens (34mm, 50mm) for low light portraits with the money, or should I get the 18-105mm now ?
  2. AUG19
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    AUG19 New Member

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    How common are used Nikon lenses in Macedonia? I'd hang on to your 18-55 and look around for a 2nd lens. A prime.
  3. spiritfly
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    spiritfly New Member

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    Well I'm not sure really, I don't have many contacts with other photographers, but I suppose they are more common than other brands. Why do you ask?

    Thanks for you suggestion, I thought about a prime too, I know it is used for low light portraits, but I'm not sure why everybody says a 50mm is a must have, can you elaborate?
  4. AUG19
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    AUG19 New Member

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    Because you might want to buy one.
  5. flatflip
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    flatflip New Member

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    I think you should definitely keep the 18-55. I have had (2) 18-55, one was VR and one was not. I loved them both for the the great image quality and the nice balanced ergonomics with the small body of a D40 and a D5000 (basicly like your D3100). I have a 18-105 now. I am very disappointed with the image quality. Sometimes the 18-105 is relatively sharp with good color, depending on the right exposure formula but I give up. All I know is the 18-55 was easy to make good pictures 90% of the time.
  6. spiritfly
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    spiritfly New Member

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    Which one? Yes I would like to buy one, but which one? :)

    Also it depends on the shipping fee, a lot of times there are cheaper lenses (or any other equipment) out there (in the us for ex.) but the shipping fee and custom fee(if any) makes it more expensive.
  7. spiritfly
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    spiritfly New Member

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    You say the 18-55 is sharper? Isn't it supposed to the other way around, I read somewhere that 18-105 should be better at the middle ranges at least? Isn't it so?

    Thanks for your input btw, much appreciated.
  8. o hey tyler
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    o hey tyler Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever heard of the internet? It allows you to buy things on it, and have them shipped to you.
  9. flatflip
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    flatflip New Member

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    The general rule for a zoom is; less is better. The more "purpose" they try to squeeze into a lens the more quality is sacrificed. Maybe the 18-105 is sharp in the middle, I just haven't isolated the sweet spot.
  10. flatflip
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    flatflip New Member

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    I think the reason so many people recommend the 50mm is; It is very very sharp, very inexpensive, pretty decent focal length for portraits and not bad for a walk around lens. It's a good length for my 5 yr old granddaughter (full body portrait). I think longer would be better for me as I would like to do more upper body portraits but the price was right on the 50mm.

    You know the 50mm will not AF on the D3100 right? The 35mm will AF.

    Edit; I forgot the main reasons I have a 50mm f/1.8 lens; Large aperture for great low light performance and nice shallow depth of field ( in other words, making the background of a subject blurry ).
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  11. spiritfly
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    spiritfly New Member

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    Yeah, the 50mm is probably good also for those cool bokeh macro shots right? I would love one of those prime lenses, but I wish they were inexpensive as you say. I searched on ebay and the cheapes I could find was this:

    Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Lens

    which is more than 500$ :(

    I know about the autofocus compatibility, I think only AF-S lenses from the new G model series will autofocus on the D3100 right?

    Could you point some inexpensive 50mm primes? And will I be able to focus manually, can it be learned by an amateur?
  12. 2WheelPhoto
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    2WheelPhoto New Member

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    35mm f1.8 DX, cheap and sharp
  13. flatflip
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    flatflip New Member

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    Yes, you need AF-S to auto focus. Yes, you can easily learn to manually focus with a AF lens. The green in-focus light will light up in the viewfinder at "that" moment. I know the 50mm f/1.4 is kinda expensive but the AF 50mm f/1.8 D is not.

    Edit; I too recommend the AF-S 35mm f/1.8 over the 50mm for your camera because it will auto focus. I was just trying to answer your questions about the 50mm.
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  14. AUG19
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    AUG19 New Member

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    Exactly my point!

  15. o hey tyler
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    o hey tyler Well-Known Member

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    Well then I guess how available lenses are in Macedonia is kind of irrelevant. Since both you and the OP know about the long hidden secret, known as "the internet".

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