Lens suggestions for D3200


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Aug 31, 2015
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Looking for lens suggestions as im finding as bit confusing figuring out crop factor etc, I have a 18-55 kit lens but im looking for something with better optics. I think the lens is fairly sharp already but i would like something better for when i go to Italy in June.

I do most of my shooting at 18-35mm on my kit lens and im having a hard time finding out which lens will give me a similar focal range and if i need to include the crop factor aswell..

I would use this as a daily lens and i would probably look to pay around £350-£400 for something that was worth while, or cheaper if possible.

Still taking time to learn about lenses properly so any input would be appreciated
Sigma 17-50mm 2.8
You don't need to figure out crop factor unless someone recommends a lens based on using it on a full frame camera. So you could have a case where somebody says their favorite lens is the 24-70mm f/2.8 and they use it on a full frame camera, for your crop body you would just divide each number by 1.5 to see what would be similar and that comes to 16 and 47 and that is why there are some lenses made for the crop bodies that are in the 17-50mm range (I think the Sigma version falls into your price range).

Another lens that would cover the 18-35mm that you like is the very nice Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 (a bit on the high side of your budget and less zoom range).

The first lens I bought to go with my kit lens was the 35mm f/1.8 lens. I can use that all day in place of a zoom lens. But it would be a complement to your kit lens for the trip.

Another other option is to complement you kit lens with a telephoto zoom or ultra-wide zoom.
Oh ok, i thought if a lens was FX then it was designed with full frame in mind, meaning having to take crop factor into account as mines is DX?

The Sigma lens looks great and fits the budget well, the F/2.8 aperture throughout the range is nice too, I was looking at the Nikkor 35mm F/1.8 too and its something i might pick up aswell. The Sigma lens is only £200 and the Nikkor is £120 so i might be able to do both if i wanted

another lens ive been looking at is the 70-300mm nikkor, its extremely cheap but the range is good for me as i also like to try photograph birds.
Keep the suggestions comming guys as im open to ideas

I have the Nikon 70-300mm VR. It works for some bird shots and is a good start into using a telephoto lens. In the 200-300mm range I like to stop it down to f/8 for shots of animals to help the sharpness on the feathers/fur. For people shots I stay at f/5.6 and it gives nice out of focus areas. With these apertures it is best used with good light.

It is an FX lens so you can use it on a full frame body.

Size is not too big, I have it with me now while travelling along with the 35mm and the 60mm micro.
What about a 35mm 1.8 prime? Very sharp and you zoom with your feet. I have a 17-55 Sigma but I think the 35mm is almost as sharp if not the same. Lot less money too. Way lighter as well.

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For your FX vs. DX question: No, you do not need to take it into consideration. A 35 DX lens and a 35 FX lens will give the exact same field of view on your camera.

A crop sensor camera can use either lens. A full frame camera can only use full frame lenses, or it will have severe vignetting. Crop sensor lenses are generally smaller and lighter (and cheaper) because they only need to cover a smaller sensor. Full frame lenses need more glass and space because they have to cover a much larger sensor.

Try not to think too much about equivalent field of view. The only time it really matters is if you're switching between a full frame and a crop sensor (like wedding photographers often do.) If you only ever use a crop sensor, then all that matters is how 35mm (or any other focal length) looks to you.

As for recommendations, I went from the kit lens to a 50mm prime, which is great for portraits, then to a 35mm 1.8, which is great for everything. I've honestly never really wanted to go back. I think my next two lenses will be a 24mm and a 85mm. It's not for everyone, but I love how sharp, bright, and compact prime lenses are.
Nikon 35 1.8 is great. First prime I bought.
I have been very close to buying a 35mm f/1.8 over the past few days although i wanted to make sure i understood everything about crop factor etc first, i didnt want to buy the lens only the find out it didnt actually work in the range i needed it too.

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions so far, really useful having some real world input and not just reading reveiws all the time

Another lens that was reccomended to me was a 28mm Nikkor f/1.8, it is up at the higher end of my budget but im wondering if its worth while?
If you've never shot with a prime before, see if you can try before you buy.

Ordered a 50mm 1.8 because of the rave reviews it got.

But, and I have nothing against its sharpness - it really is lovely and produces outstanding bokeh, I hardly ever use it, I just prefer a zoom lens. And, I've seen other people say the same. They're not everybody's cup of tea.

Give one a try in a camera shop if possible.
I recently had a similar conundrum and bought the sigma 17-50OS and the 35mm. Bought second hand, happy with both.

Another option for you as you mentioned 18-35 is sigmas 18-35mm f1.8 zoom. Many reviews say it's like having a bag of primes
Thats not a bad idea, il see if i can use a prime lens first before commiting to a purchase, i do like the idea of them though and i like the low light capabilities too. I mostly use my 18-55mm in the 18mm range though so having a fixed focal length wouldnt bother me i dont think, i have shakey hands too so i could maybe shoot at a faster shutter speed with the prime lens.

Really appreciate the input from everyone, gives me a much better idea of whats out there. I try only buy things once in life so i want to try get this right first time. Im not looking for professional equipment, but just something to compliment the 24mp sensor a bit better :icon_thumbsup:
If you mostly use your zoom at 18mm, then an 18mm prime (or something close to it) is going to be the most useful to you. 35mm will probably feel awkward.
I like the Sigma 17-70. It's a great vacation/walking around lens. It's what I replaced my 18-55 kit lens with.
Yeah, I do mostly shoot at 18mm however i dont think 35mm is too big of a jump up so i dont think it would take long getting used to. The 35mm f/1.8 is only £120 which isnt alot of money either, id be willing to take the risk if it came to it, im sure i could sell it on and get nearly all my money back if worst comes to worst.

The 28mm nikkor prime i was looking at was was nearly £400 which is a big difference in price but only 7mm difference in focal length..

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