Affordable lens recommendations?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Vilatus, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Vilatus

    Vilatus TPF Noob!

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    Hi everybody.

    I'm a beginner photographer, just doing it as a hobby. I just want a few recommendations for lenses. I mostly take pictures of my pets, of nature, and in the summer I plan to take some pictures of cars. I use a Nikon D3300. I currently own an 18-55mm lens, and a 50-200mm lens. I don't use autofocus, so manual is ok.

    I'm sort of interested in a macro lens, but I don't know where to start. I'm a student and don't have a ton of cash, so anywhere $300 and under is ok, it doesn't need to be an official Nikon lens either.

    I've attached pictures of my lenses, as well as some of the stuff I've taken so that you can see what I'm talking about.

    Thanks!! 20180118_153137.jpg 20180118_153158.jpg DSC_0163.JPG DSC_0285.JPG DSC_0356.JPG DSC_0102.JPG

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  2. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Supporting Member

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    I would say learn with what you have first. If you want a look into Macro then get some extension tubes like linked below. Inexpensive and will give you an opportunity to explore Macro style shooting.

    Extension tubes
     
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  3. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    Extension tubes are good but I find one of the Raynox auxiliary lenses (DCR 150 or DCR250) much quicker & easier to use & they still give great results (unlike the many cheaper diopters).
    The Raynox lenses just clip onto the front of your existing lenses, like all diopters they give higher magnifications when used on longer focal length lenses (The DCR150 will be just reach 1:1 on your 200mm, the DCR250 should reach a little over 1.6x). Maximum focusing distance with them fitted depends on the strength of the auxiliary (about 200mm with the DCR150 & 125mm with the DCR250)
    Extension tubes on the other hand give most magnification with shorter focal lengths, working distance is a function of focal length (only slightly modified by the focusing control) and going behind the lens they can be quite fiddly/time consuming to get the right length for the working distance/magnification you want.
     
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  4. WB8588

    WB8588 TPF Noob!

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    The 35mm dx lens for nikon is decent. I believe i paid 200 brand new. I bought ot and have never taken it off.

    One of my favorite pictures i took with it dj.jpg

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  5. Vilatus

    Vilatus TPF Noob!

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    Actually, I had seen that one and was considering it. How close up can you get with it?

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  6. WB8588

    WB8588 TPF Noob!

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    I say about 5 feet. A downside is that its hard to focus with it because our camera viewfinder is really small and the lens is pretty wide. So its a lot of information inside of a tiny view.

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  7. WB8588

    WB8588 TPF Noob!

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    But for 200 bucks i think its a good deal. And it has auto focus so just let the camera do the work

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  8. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Nevertheless... Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I always preferred the 50mm 1.8 to the 35mm especially for getting good faces in portraits. The “nifty fifty” as it’s called, is similar in price to the 35mm. Don’t be afraid to buy used/refurbished to stretch your budget. Just make sure you either test the lens in person or buy from a reputable online seller like Adorama, B&H or Cameta etc.

    The Nikon kit 18-55 is not a bad lens but that 55-200 is not the greatest. If you go for a longish zoom, I really liked the Tamron 70-300 VC when I had my Nikon. The friend I later sold it to is also thrilled with it. Great lens and in your budget.

    I do agree with zombiesniper that you should wait until you can identify what it is exactly that your current kit is lacking before you add to it. Is it that you’re struggling in low light? A 1.8 would help with that. Can’t get close enough to wildlife? Then a long zoom. Want more magnification? Extension tubes or the diopter. Not getting good focus? Practice practice practice.
     
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  9. Vilatus

    Vilatus TPF Noob!

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    Absolutely no issue with buying used. Got no problem with saving big on a lens someone treated well, haha

    I feel I'm lacking in terms of zoom mostly, which is why I bought the 55-200, but it's not enough for wildlife. I'm bumbling my way through teaching myself how to operate my camera pretty well I feel like, so no issues with focus or light or anything. The Tamron long telephoto lenses have caught my eye, but I've heard that the Tamron lenses aren't very good at capturing sharp details, is that true?

    Thank you so much for the in depth reply.

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  10. Vilatus

    Vilatus TPF Noob!

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    Also sorry I feel like my reply was badly worded. Replying before bed so I'm a bit out of it

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  11. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So WHY are you not using the AF?
    dslrs do not have the best screen for manually focusing a lens.

    IMHO, I concur with the others.
    USE your lenses till you clearly identify a need that they will not fill. Then you can make a better decision to determine if you need to buy a lens to fit that need or not.

    For close up photo, I would get a 3 lens closeup filter/lens kit. This is the cheapest easiest way to get into close up work.
    Alternatively an old 55mm f/3.5 manual focus macro lens. This is the macro lens that I use on my D7200. Just be CAREFUL which version you get, as there are compatibility issues between different Nikon lenses and bodies. There are compatibility charts out on the web.
     
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  12. WB8588

    WB8588 TPF Noob!

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    I use AF. But sometime i want a shot out of focus to a certain extent. Hope that makes sense

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