Need help choosing a lens for d7100, thanks:).

kalliela

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Hello, I need help choosing a lens/es. This/these would be for shooting events inside a church, so I would need as much zoom as possible. Not wanting to use flash either as I need to be discreet and not interrupting anything. It's been a while since I shot pics and I am all new to digital. I had to stand mostly in the back of the room for the first attempt at an event, most came out out of focus. I don't know this camera all that well and I am rusty. I think maybe I didn't have the focus lock on, got snap happy and didn't get the focus. Also, some shots I used a 55-200 zoom, which is pretty long to use without a flash indoors. Probably too long. The only lenses I own are the Nifty 50 and the 55-200, Nikkor. Looking for something I can get tighter group shots with(wider angle) and a zoom for when I need to keep my distance. But want decent quality. So far, I've been told to look into the 17-55 2.8 Nikkor but it's pretty darn pricy. Would that have enough zoom anyway? The 17-55? Heard if you use DX crop, the focal length is like 70. Not sure that's enough even. Do I need two lenses? Ones I have been thinking about are:

17-55 2.8, generic brand but if they are no good, why bother? Any good ones out there?
17-55 2.8 Nikkor but don't think I can swing it
16-85 VR 3.5, not sure if that would be enough zoom and would like a bigger f/stop
Some kind of long zoom lens, not sure which, Nikkor's 70-200mm is really pricy.
18-105 or 18-140 but hear these are crappy from some, great from others, which is it?
18-55 kit lens which does seem to have favorable reviews.

I'd like to keep my budget under 1k. Can you pros help me? Again, keep in mind I'd rather not use a tripod to lug around as it's an event and I don't want to use a flash..but at times I would need zoom. I'd like to keep my shutter speed up and iso as low as possible for sharpness. The lighting in the church is overhead florescent lighting, if that matters.

Thanks!!!!
 

astroNikon

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Hello, I'm not a pro here but are you wanting to Flash from the back of the room?
I don't think you'll get any results with that.

If the 55-200 worked as a good zoom for you then you'll have to look at a 200/2.8 zoom, or some variety with 200 in it, but those are pricey.

I would think the best option is for you to be able to get to the front of the church and take pictures from around the very front and sides beyond the event itself. Then you can use a top camera flash/bounce and a 17-70/2.8 or a variety of other options.
But the pros will chime in with much better information.
 

KmH

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There are some alternative lenses you may not be aware of.

First would be the Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4.0D IF AF Zoom Nikkor Lens.
This lens also has a 1:2 macro capability from 35 mm to 85 mm that is useful for making close up images of things like wedding rings, cake ornaments, etc.
Well cared for used ones can be found for about $350 or so.

The next alternative would be the Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Zoom Nikkor Lens.
Well cared for used ones can be found for about $600.

Buying used puts both lenses right about at your $1000 budget limit.

Light falls off with distance as a square function.
So when using flash, if at full power the flash delivers enough light at 10 feet from the subject you then move the flash to 20 feet from the subject only 1/4 as much light reaches the subject instead of 1/2 as much light. If the flash is moved to 40 feet away only 1/16 as much light reaches the subject.

Put another way, to get the same amount of light on a subject that moves from 10 feet from the light source to 40 feet from the light source, the light source power has to be increased 16 times.
 

Tailgunner

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There are some alternative lenses you may not be aware of.

First would be the Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4.0D IF AF Zoom Nikkor Lens.
This lens also has a 1:2 macro capability from 35 mm to 85 mm that is useful for making close up images of things like wedding rings, cake ornaments, etc.
Well cared for used ones can be found for about $350 or so.

The next alternative would be the Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Zoom Nikkor Lens.
Well cared for used ones can be found for about $600.

Buying used puts both lenses right about at your $1000 budget limit.

This^

I was going to say: Nikon 28-70mm 2.8 and 80-200mm 2.8 but this would put them over budget by about $200-300.
 

shadowlands

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As a former owner of the Nikon AF-S 17-55 f2.8G, I support that option.
If you can live with used, you'll find one around $750.00, I believe.
Try keh.com or adorama.com, for they'll come with a warranty.
 
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kalliela

kalliela

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That 28-70 2.8 you mentioned, are you saying used? I can get it for that cheap?

I am not wanting to use flash at all actually:). I have heard of that 24-85, thanks for mentioning it again:). I don't know if I have heard of the 80-200 though, that's definitely an option but do you think it would be ok without flash at times? And no tripod? I know it probably depends on the light available? I have heard good things about that 35mm 1.8 which is not bad priced at all. What about a 35 1.8 and that 80-200 lens? Would that be a good combo? Or would you still recommend I get that 24-85? Also, I kinda was wanting something wider so I could take landscape shots as well. So maybe less than 35, idk. What are your opinions on those 18-105, "-140 kit lenses? Not worth it? I am worried to buy used lenses, it's like buying a used car, you never know what's up..ya know?

Thanks!!
 
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shadowlands

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I only buy used. I save a ton that way. It allows me to own lenses/bodies that I normally wouldn't be able to afford.
Adorama and keh both have warranties and large "return" windows. So no worries.
 
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kalliela

kalliela

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Huh, I have heard of Adorama before, never bought anything though. What about Ebay? Probably not a good choice, huh? Idk?
 
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kalliela

kalliela

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Oh and are those ones, the 80-200, the 24-85 and the 28-70, pretty fast lenses? thanks, oh sorry, double post.
 

shadowlands

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adorama and keh will be more safe than ebay generally, because they're camera stores with returns and warranties.
 
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kalliela

kalliela

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Some of those lenses look rather primitive, the 80-200 and the 24-85. Not sure I want dinosaur lenses.
 

Tailgunner

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Some of those lenses look rather primitive, the 80-200 and the 24-85. Not sure I want dinosaur lenses.

They only look like Dinosaurs because you're used to dealing with Kit lenses. Anything with a 2.8 Aperture is going to be rather large in comparison and you need a 2.8 or faster glass for shooting indoors with low light.

The best option is probably a 24-70 VR 2.8 and a 70-200 VR 2.8 but you're looking at about $2500-3000...used for both ($4000-4500 for VRII). These lenses replaced the 28-70mm 2.8 and 80-200mm 2.8 which are out of production and runs around $1400-1600 used for both. All of the above are professional lenses designed for shooting in low light conditions and used by Wedding Photographers. It's up to you and what you can afford. I personally use a 28-70mm 2.8 for shooting almost exclusively at night and love it. This lens is rock solid and takes great photos.
 

KmH

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You only want to spend $1000. That means getting used copies of the previous generation of lenses

The look isn't what counts, how the lens performs is what counts.

The optics in the Nikon 80-200 are just about as good as the optics in the $2400 70-200 lens.

By the way, for a pro quality zoom lens $2400 isn't all that much.
Sport shooters spend a lot more on their long reach telephoto lenses - like $5000 to $11,000.

Many pro wedding photographers use 2 of these - Nikon D4 16.2 MP CMOS FX Digital SLR with Full 1080p HD Video (Body Only)

One that has this $1900 lens on it - Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens

And the second one having this $2400 lens on it - Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens For Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
 
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kalliela

kalliela

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Thanks a lot guys, will think this all over:D.
 

PaulWog

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If you're not using a tripod often, having something with optical stabilization (VR, OS, etc...) would be handy.

Personally I'd be taking a look at three lenses:
Nikon 17-55mm (no VR of course)
Nikon 16-85mm VR
Sigma 17-50 OS f2.8

I originally picked up a Nikon 16-85mm VR for $700. I enjoy the lens. It's sharp at all apertures, edge-to-edge, border-to-border, on my copy. It's a great lens that to be quite honest (for the most part) doesn't have any downsides other than its aperture limitation.

The Nikon 17-55 f2.8 basically doesn't have much downsides other than not having VR. It's expensive, large, and somewhat heavy, which are also downsides.

The Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 has some chromatic aberration at f2.8 around the borders, and at f4 is almost edge-to-edge sharp. At f8 it is considered by most reviews to be sharp edge-to-edge. I'm considering picking up this lens (despite having the 16-85mm) since usually when I shoot at f2.8, my borders are out of focus anyway, and it's extremely sharp nevertheless.
 

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