Need lens suggestion...

N'Kolor

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Currently I have a 70-200 f2.8 VR and a 50 f1.8. I am looking to add a lens to my arsenal! I am trying to decide what to do. I currently have found that I will make more money with portrait photography as I have no idea of where to start for wildlife. I aspire to be a wildlife photographer some day but I need to do something that is going to make me money now so I can get the necessary equipment to reach wildlife.

I have about $1200 to spend at this moment but can definitely save up to $2000 if need be. For portraits I was thinking the 24-70 f2.8 at $1700 or a 24-85 f3.5-4.5 Nikkor lens at $300.

Now with these two options in mind and anything else you may be thinking, there is one more thing I want to consider. As another way to bring in money, I plan to speak with local wedding photographers and see they need an assistant and that is where I thought the 24-70 f2.8 would shine.

Of course someday I would like to get a 200-400 f2.8 but that ain't happening anytime soon. Please provide any suggestions. I need a battery grip but I figure that is the least of my worries right now.

Thanks!
Mike
 

Sw1tchFX

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I'd say 17-55. Its a more useful range on DX, has the f/2.8, and the wider angle is dynamite for the environmental portrait.

Now if you were shooting film or a D3, than yeah, 24-70 no question, but on DX, 24-70, 28-70, and 35-70 are awkward ranges for a zoom.

I used to have the 35-70 f/2.8, dynamite lens on film, a little awkward on digital. I never used it, It was usually my 18-35 or 80-200, the 35-70 was just hardly ever needed. I got rid of the 18-35 and 35-70 and bought myself a 17-55 which is pure gold. the 55-80 gap isn't missed, and the 17-55 at 17mm is just spectacular.

Also consider the 18-70, it's clarity is pretty damn good if you get a good sample, I used one that was on par with my 17-55! However the distortion isn't easy to fix, whereas the 17-55 is, and it's f/4.5 at the long end, a stop and a half slower. Now the 18-70 is a little under $300, so if you use that, than you'll have $900 left for whatever else you might need, such as lighting equipment.

I've been starting to do portraits more often and I'm considering selling my 17-55 for an 18-70, sigma 10-20, and another speedlight. That would make me FAR more flexible for the client and give me more creative freedom and even though the 17-55 is one of the sharpest Nikkor zooms i've ever used, I'd rather be able to do a 2 light portrait at 10mm than have a one light at f/2.8.

For a wedding though, I'd opt for the 17-55 everytime, the clarity at f/2.8 is just unbelievable, and you'd be able to shoot at 1/125th of a second, not 1/45th. That's a big difference hand held.
 
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N'Kolor

N'Kolor

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17-55 looks to be a good option and almost $200 cheaper than the one I was looking at. I had considered getting the 24-70 because I had hoped to have the following lenses someday.

12-24 f2.8
24-70 f2.8
70-200 f2.8
200-400 f4

It seems that this covers everything and there is no overlapping. But these lenses are expensive. So I guess I could go with...

17-55 f2.8
70-200 f2.8
200-400 f4

This would save me about $1600 total in lenses over the next two years. But I just feel like I am missing something...the wide angle. I do appreciate the suggestion and I am definitely considering it!
 
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N'Kolor

N'Kolor

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Correction...its a $500 difference!!!!
 

Sw1tchFX

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17-55 looks to be a good option and almost $200 cheaper than the one I was looking at. I had considered getting the 24-70 because I had hoped to have the following lenses someday.

12-24 f2.8
24-70 f2.8
70-200 f2.8
200-400 f4

It seems that this covers everything and there is no overlapping. But these lenses are expensive. So I guess I could go with...

17-55 f2.8
70-200 f2.8
200-400 f4

This would save me about $1600 total in lenses over the next two years. But I just feel like I am missing something...the wide angle. I do appreciate the suggestion and I am definitely considering it!

17mm is nowhere near as wide as 12mm. I might be able to save you some more money and sell you my 17-55, with sample images. If you're interested, PM me.
 

chrisb2794

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That new Sigma 18-50 2.8 HSM is supposed to be a pretty sweet lens (sweet on the wallet too). I have the old model and love it. It's my everyday lens.
 

JerryPH

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That new Sigma 18-50 2.8 HSM is supposed to be a pretty sweet lens (sweet on the wallet too). I have the old model and love it. It's my everyday lens.

Yup, 1/3rd the price and sharper than even the 17-55 Nikon lens plus it comes with a 3:1 macro. ;) I love mine.
 
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N'Kolor

N'Kolor

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That lens received a below average review on AF speed and the AF's ability.
 

chrisb2794

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From what source? I would say that mine is average and it's the old version. Just curious, because I have not heard anything bad yet.
 

jstuedle

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I personally would go with the 24-70. Super sharp and will be there when you step up to full frame. I think in a few years, D80 style cameras and up will be FF. For portraits, the 24-70 f/2.8 is a super piece of glass.
 

nicfargo

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I'm not sure how the 24-70 2.8 compares to Canon's 24-70 2.8L (pro grade) lens, but if it shows the same performance it is a great lens like jstuedle said.
 
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N'Kolor

N'Kolor

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Yeah, I am looking at the 24-70 and still might get it, we'll see. I mean for another grand, I can get 12-24 and I would have a nice range. 12-200 without missing anything.
 

dipstick

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Whatever you decide, get the lens that will be your moneymaker now with your current camera, and don't worry too much about what lenses you might get a few years from now, or if you will be shooting full frame in a year or two. You should get a lens that will be paid for by your jobs.

If portraits is what brings in the money, than get the lens that's best suited for that purpose. Both the 17-55 and 24-70 would be good options depending on what kind of portraits you do.
 

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