Affordable lens recommendations?

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

  1. Vilatus

    Vilatus TPF Noob!

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    I like the freedom it gives me to pick exactly what I want the camera to focus on. Don't get me wrong, I use the autofocus if I just need to snap something and be done, but I'm not a huge fan. Also I have 20/20 with my glasses so the screen isn't usually an issue unless it's late and my eyes are getting tired.

    I think you replied just as I did oops- I know what I feel I'm missing. I'd like to get wildlife shots and that, so a zoom lens would be best. But I figured I'd be happy to experiment as well.

    Oh, ok. I'll look into those and see what I think. Also, probably a stupid question but forgive my inexperience, is incompatibility a common issue? I thought as long as it was f mount it would work.

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  2. Vilatus

    Vilatus TPF Noob!

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    I think I understand. Which is exactly why I prefer manual, cause it gives me full control. But maybe that's just a lifetime of use of autofocusing cameras that never could never focus on what I wanted talking, haha

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  3. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For AF, learn to select and move the AF point for the camera to use.
    Then learn how to focus and recompose using focus lock. I use the focus/recompose method all the time.

    The 55-200 is a decent day time lens.

    For wildlife, as with another thread, the problem is how much magnification do you need. Just guessing can be expensive, if you choose the wrong lens.

    Try this trick.
    1. Take your 55-200, and set it to 200mm.
    2. Then looking thru the screen or a full uncropped image of your wildlife at a typical distance.
    3. Then quarter the image.
    4. The area inside one of the quarters is equivalent to a 400mm lens.
    5. Just looking at that quarter, as if it were the entire frame, do you need more magnification to get the animal larger, or is it enough?
    6. If you need more magnification, then quarter the quarter again, to see what an 800mm lens would give you. This would probably have to be done on your computer, as the viewfinder would be too small.
    The problem is at that range of zoom, the cheaper lenses are still expensive.
    The Sigma 150-600 at about $1,000, and the Nikon 200-500 at about $1,400.
     
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  4. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Nevertheless... Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I did a quick check of my Flickr. These were taken with the Tamron 70-300 VC. Hope this helps.

    Wildlife
    [​IMG]

    [
    [​IMG]

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    Wild life
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Nevertheless... Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When you say auto focus are you referring to single point AF or Auto letting the camera choose your focus point? Single point AF for wildlife has got to be better than manual focus.
     
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  6. WB8588

    WB8588 TPF Noob!

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    Single point. I've always wonder what AF was like on high end cameras. On my d3200 its funny because it chooses exactly what i dont want to focus on lol!

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  7. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Nevertheless... Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you’re using single point, then you are choosing what it focuses on. If your final result has a different focus point than what you chose in Camera then your camera maybe back focusing our front focusing and may need to be adjusted.
     
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  8. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's what I'm doing.

    In the meantime I'm reading about lenses I might want to fill the needs I perceive I (will) have, and making a list--incl. what new and used prices are running, links to reviews, etc. That way: When and if the time comes, I'll have already laid most of the groundwork.
     
  9. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For your AF problem:
    • Use Program mode exposure. Then you can select where to focus on.
    • Auto uses "closest subject" logic, and you have no control over what the camera focuses on.
    • Group/area/zone focus is similar, the camera chooses what to focus on in that zone. I forget how Nikon works (since I don't use it). Canon uses closest subject logic.
    • I use single point, center point AF.
     
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  10. Dave Colangelo

    Dave Colangelo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ill second the 35mm F1.8. Its one of the cheapest lenses nikon makes and one of my favorites. I also have the D3300.

    One thing that often goes over looked by new comers is that Nikons (D3300) will accept any F-Mount lens ever made. So that means basically every lens they have made since the late 50's. The only catch is that you need to run in full manual mode (not a problem once you get used to it). With this in mind you can grab some of the old macro lenses cheaper than a new one and they will work just fine. A great deal of info can be found here and you can find compatibility info here. Great deals can be had on Ebay and flea markets if you are willing to hunt a bit.
     
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  11. Vilatus

    Vilatus TPF Noob!

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    Oh, I didn't realize that! I thought all those lenses were a different mount. (Can't remember what letter) I can manage full manual mode, I just have to take a bit more time. It's good practice and for such a deep discount (I've seen ridiculously cheap older lenses) that's definitely something I'm going to look into. Thank you for the links as well.

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  12. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The mount itself is the same F mount from the 1950s.
    The problem is the lens/meter coupling mechanism has changed over the years from mechanical (ears) to mechanical (AI), to electronic.
    And mechanical screw drive AF to electronic AF. The 3xxx series cameras cannot AF the mechanical AF lenses.

    BIG caution, it is not as simple as mentioned.
    There are some specialized lenses that project into the mirror box and require that the mirror be raised. These cannot be used unless your camera has a mirror lift function. Or you will crack the mirror when installing the lens.
    So study the compatibility chart.

    Manual Focus works for some thing, like macro, but does not work well for other things, like sport and following fast moving kids. dslrs do not have a screen that is easy to manual focus.
     
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