El-Cheapo Lens - Test Results

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Destin, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,614
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    Western New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I posted a thread a while back looking for an old, cheap, general purpose zoom to use while backpacking to save weight over my 24-70. I ended up picking up a Nikon 28-80 af-d for about $25 shipped to my door.

    It arrived two days ago and my first impressions were that it felt extremely cheap and fragile. I didn't have high hopes for it's performance, to say the least. Photo of the lens below; sorry about the poor quality but I don't have the lens with my at the moment to get a better shot.

    [​IMG]Lens Photo by Destin Danser, on Flickr

    I wanted to test it out, so I went hiking to check out some waterfalls. I left every other lens home and took nothing but a tripod, this lens, and my D810.

    Surprisingly enough, I'm extremely satisfied with the results of this lens. Is it as sharp or easy to use as my modern professional lenses? Absolutely not. Will it give me acceptable images to share with family and social media from my backpacking trips? Definitely. And it's saving me about 2 pounds out of my back, which is a huge amount in the backpacking world.

    To me, this is a reassurance that it's the photographer and not the equipment being used.

    Here are three waterfall shots I took with the lens yesterday:

    1.)
    [​IMG]Excelsior Glen by Destin Danser, on Flickr

    2.)
    [​IMG]Eagle Cliff Falls by Destin Danser, on Flickr

    3.)
    [​IMG]Taughannock Falls by Destin Danser, on Flickr


     
    • Like Like x 8
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    42,505
    Likes Received:
    13,100
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Pretty darn respectable. I'm guessing they might not hold up to pixel-peeping, but for screen display? More than satisfactory.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    41,762
    Likes Received:
    15,893
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yup....I've been using one since around 2006...surprisingly decent, especially where I shoot it, which is at f/7.1 or f/8, most often with flash...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,014
    Likes Received:
    331
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Destin,

    If you do a lot of hiking, have you thought about going down to a lighter FX body (D7xx or D6xx) or a smaller sensor size camera? A lighter FX body + 28-80 would be even lighter than your D810 + 28-80.

    I was thinking similar, to get the bulk and weight down, of dropping down from my D7200 to a D5600 or D3400 + the small 18-55 lens. But then, I decided to go down even further to a micro 4/3 camera, where I could use lens with a wider zoom range and still keep the weight and size down. So I got an Olympus OM-D E-M1 mk1 + getting a Panasonic 12-60 (16-80 DX equiv, 24-120 FX equiv). This kit is just bit lighter than the D3400 + 18-55, and the zoom has a wider range. Granted 16MP on the Olympus vs. 24MP on the D3400.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. texxter

    texxter No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    169
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Great images with solid technique and composition. Lens is doing its job well and you'll be happier with the lighter weight! I travel ultralight with a Fuji x100t, fixed focal lens and no tripod. Can I take every picture I could with a complete kit? Absolutely not! But I take more pics within the camera capabilities because the camera is always there.

    Good job, thanks for sharing your experience
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,614
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    Western New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If I buy another body to hike with it’ll be a mirrorless setup from Fuji. But that just isn’t in the budget right now.

    Also, the motivating factor behind many of my hiking trips is the awesome locations I can get for landscape photography that many others won’t bother going to.. and I want my professional landscape body there with me to take those images. The 28-80 will be used for action shots my myself and my friends on the trail as well as general shots of camp, signs, etc. I’d use my iPhone for this, but I tend to prefer the longer focal length for many of these images. I’ll also be carrying a 20mm 1.8 lens for wide angle landscapes and astrophotography, and I’m still looking for a high quality telephoto lens that’s light enough to carry while providing solid image quality.. I’m definitely not carrying my 70-200 on these trips.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2018
    Messages:
    3,788
    Likes Received:
    2,004
    Location:
    Lichfield UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Your images look OK to me.................
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    7,912
    Likes Received:
    3,403
    Location:
    Alabama
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Who'd of thunk it! LOL
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    6,412
    Likes Received:
    2,429
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I think the best decision I made was to buy an Oly EM1. With the Oly 12-40 f/2.8, it's weather resistant, so I have no qualms about taking it out in the rain or near water/snow/sand/etc (to a certain degree, of course). Their travel-friendly 14-150 f/variable zoom is even weather resistant with the body, which is awesome. That 12-40 f/2.8 is super sharp, though. Well worth it.
     
  10. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,614
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    Western New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    How does it do in low light? For astrophotography I need/want really good low light performance.
     
  11. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    6,412
    Likes Received:
    2,429
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    First, I quite like the images you took with the "cheap" lens! Very nice!

    Second, I didn't really mean to derail this thread. But since you've asked: low light is pretty darn good, especially hand-held. The IBIS is great.

    Some people have been able to get several seconds of handheld shots, but I can't do that. Handheld at 1/15 of a second and still sharp:
    [​IMG]Capital Tour-25 by Wade, on Flickr

    I've never taken any astrophotography, but from what I've seen, it has great performance for both landscape and deep space. A couple examples of both below, neither of my work.

    Astrophotography:
    Camping under the stars

    Deep space:
    Orionnebel (M42)
     
  12. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,014
    Likes Received:
    331
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    A simple prime tele would be my choice for keeping the weight down.
    Like the old Nikon 135mm f/3.5 or 200mm f/4, or the 75-150 E.
    Too bad there isn't a pool of GOOD 3rd party lens companies that there used to be.

    (edit, all 3 suggested lenses are manual lenses)
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page