Help me shop?


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Nov 15, 2011
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I've got about...900 bucks to spend. I want a new lens, currently I have a bag full of crap. Including a sigma 70-300mm F4 relic that groans and moans and hunts for focus, a nikkor 55-200mm F4 DX, a nikkor 18-105mm 3.5 DX, 100mm 2.8 (manual focus), and a 35mm 1.8. I prefer primes but if the clarity is there, then I'm open :D
I'm thinking about either the tamron 70-200mm 2.8, , or a nikkor 10.5 2.8. Big difference I know! I don't have a specialty, I just like to shoot, and I think having a fisheye would both be fun and maybe get me out of this lull I'm in. But I've heard good things about the 70-200 2.8, although I've heard the Tamron tends to hunt and peck for focus as well, which would annoy me. I was also thinking about the new 85mm 1.8, which would be a good filler lens if I do portraiture, but I think my zooms tend to work well enough for that sort of thing atm.

I'm also looking to get another flash and a couple receiver/transmitter sets, probably off brand and cheap since I'm not in a position where equipment failure would be the end of me.

Any feedback? What would *you* get even if it wont fit my needs? Any thoughts on the lenses?

I dont know.. im a canon shooter :p. Just bought one and cant wait to put it to work.
lol Cannnooon >.<

I kid, I kid :p
Don't spend it on camera gear, spend it on Photography classes. Some of the best money I've spent.
You'll like the Tamron 70-200 F2.8 if you go that route.
I shoot with one all the time. It's no worse hunting focus given contrast and light, than any other lens I've used.
They all have their own set of issues.
Good bang for the buck.

Off camera flash, cheap? Yongnuo.
Triggers and all.
For the money, you'll be surprised at how nice Yongnuo flashes, are.
Don't spend it on camera gear, spend it on Photography classes. Some of the best money I've spent.

I'm already in college for a photo tech degree :) So far, the worst money ever spent. But at least I'm not paying for it.

(To clarify, last year all we had were adjuncts who literally just emailed us youtube links and read photoshop for dummies WHILE trying to teach us photoshop techniques. Awful.)
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Off camera flash, cheap? Yongnuo.
Triggers and all.
For the money, you'll be surprised at how nice Yongnuo flashes, are.

Reading the feature lists on these things always looks awesome. I'm amazed they can do so much for so cheap.... But then I see the power output and it all makes sense. Even the biggest Yongnuo flash is really weak compared to most of the rest of the market. I like the LumoPro LP160 personally. Doesn't do eTTL (or whatever Nikon calls theirs), but it's got 7 stops of manual control, twisty zoom head, and lots of power. Whether or not you need the power depends on what you shoot, but with the 2x LP160s on full power through umbrellas I can still get ISO100 f/16 shots, which is really nice.

I don't know if you need more speedlights, but it's hard to imagine not needing more speedlights. :)

As far as lenses go, if you want a portrait lens then just get an 85. I'm not sure of the differences in the Nikon lineup vs. Sigma or whatever, but I really like having an 85 in the bag.

Instead of the fisheye (if you want to go that direction), I'd probably be more inclined to get something like a Tokina 11-16, or Sigma 8-16. (you're on APS-C right?) Super-wide lenses are really fun.
Lightspeed, hows the clarity?
Pretty damn good for a 600 buck F2.8 lens.

I'm stuck on Lizards right now. lol
The weather sucks, when the sun comes out, Lizards.

Oh one other thing that might discourage you in the Tamron.
It's loud.
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Why not sell the 55-200 and 70-300 for a start. You can get some cashback!

Either buy a Tammy 70-200 2.8, which is a great lens to all intents and purposes. But as you say, the AF is rather slow and also lacks any form of VR.

VR is a godsend in telephoto lenses, so this should be a consideration.

Or you could do what I have done.. get a 70-300 VR which is a great lens for the price. And get a Tamron 90 2.8 or a NEW Nikon 85 1.8G. I would avoid the AF-D version, it really isn't that special. It's sharp but the bokeh sucks, I'd rather have great bokeh than corner to corner sharpness in a portrait lens. And to be honest, if you want a portrait lens for DX. A Sigma 50 1.4 is a much better choice, 85 for me is too long for portraits on a DX camera (it is 127mm equiv, which means you have to stand back from your model).
save more pennies for better glass

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