Nikkor Lens Advice

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by SG8, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. SG8

    SG8 TPF Noob!

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    So I've moved on from my beginner's lens that you all helped me pick out a few years ago (Looking for Advice On a Good Beginner's Lens)

    Now I'm looking for two lenses. I'd prefer them both to be Nikkor and these are for my Nikon D90.

    The first is a prime lens that will work in low light conditions (such as indoors, like a living room). I plan to use it for taking pictures of my son without having to use the flash or worry too much about lowering my shutter speed (he's a fast little bugger!). Here's what I found so far:

    Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Nikkor

    I'd also like a telephoto zoom lens. I realized that I needed some added zoom capability when my 18-55 just couldn't cut it at my daughter's recent graduation.

    I'm thinking about getting one of the following:

    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus

    Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II AF-S DX Nikkor Lens

    Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX VR II Vibration Reduction Lens

    I really want the 18-300 so I can have a one-size-fits-all lens, but that basically blows my entire camera budget, where I can't get the prime. But maybe I can find a good deal on it somewhere.

    I really like the price of the 55-200, but of course, it has less "reach" than the 55-300. But besides the extra focal length, is there any reason why the 55-300 is a better lens than the 55-200? The cheapest I've found the 55-300 for is about $210. I'm ok with settling with the 55-200 for now, then getting a nicer telephoto zoom in a few years should I still need one. But I want to make sure that the 55-200 is at least as good as the 55-300, except for the 200 versus 300 focal length.

    I'm definitely open to used gear, as long as it functions like a new product. I've been looking at adorama, KEH, ritz and other online retailers.

    TL;DR: I want 2 lenses, a telephoto zoom and prime and have a budget of about $450. I'd like to stick with Nikkor (because that's what I'm familiar with and because of my OCD).

    Thanks ahead!


     
  2. espresso2x

    espresso2x No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You state why you want the 35mm, and I think you make a good choice. What situations do you want to use the longer focal lengths of the zoom for ?
     
  3. SG8

    SG8 TPF Noob!

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    Anytime I want to get close to something, but can't do so on foot. Graduations (and similar events) and wildlife come to mind.
     
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  4. espresso2x

    espresso2x No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd guess the 55-300 is going to give you the best images and speed at around 200mm, of these three choices. But i haven't used them. I'd assume the 55-300 could be best around 150-200mm and that would suit perhaps the events but less so wildlife.
     
  5. espresso2x

    espresso2x No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    At the 300mm end on a D90 i think it will need good light or high ISO, to stop down (f/8-f/11?) for better imaging. 18-300 sounds a bit do-it-all to me, 55-300 less compromises in the lens. Maybe some users can pitch in with experience.
     
  6. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Personally I prefer a fixed aperture zoom. More expensive however the images you can get with them show the reason.
     
  7. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The longer the zoom range the more optical compromise has to be done. So I personally am gun shy about the ultra-zooms like the 18-300. Although as technology advanced, these once SciFi lenses are now a reality.
    The other issue is weight. The longer the zoom, the heavier the lens. And if that is your only lens, you will be carrying that weight all the time. With a shorter zoom, you can leave the longer one at home, when you don't need it. Though if you are young, you probably will not notice the weight as much as I do.

    My personal kit is a 18-140 (GP lens) + 35/1.8 (indoor low light)

    The 18-140 makes a nice GP lens.
    It takes me from wide to medium tele, in one lens.
    However, it is too slow is shooting night games under lights or indoor gym games, where I have to push the ISO up to 12800 or 25600.
    Nikon Nikkor 18-140mm F/3.5-5.6 G Aspherical ED IF DX AF-S VR Autofocus Lens For APS-C Sensor DSLRS {67}

    Or the shorter 18-105
    Nikon Nikkor 18-105mm F/3.5-5.6 G Aspherical ED IF DX AF-S VR Autofocus Lens For APS-C Sensor DSLRS {67}

    With the 18-140, you need to ask yourself how much do you NEED/WANT the range above 140mm.
    If you do, then later, you can add the 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 AF-S VR, to take you from 140 to 300.
    Nikon Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR Autofocus Lens {67}
    I think the 70-300 is a better lens than the 55-300.
    CAUTION, there are several different models of the 70-300, some of which (AF-P) will NOT work on your D90. And you WANT the VR models, not the ones without VR.​

    As for a long lens for graduations, "it depends."
    Critical question, is it indoor out outdoors? And if outdoors, is it during the day, or evening?
    How close can you get to the podium?
    If you have plenty of light, the above 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 AF-S VR should be fine for graduation and wildlife.

    In low indoor/evening light, you may have to go up to the pro f/2.8 lenses, simply for the lens speed.
    The D90 has a in-body screwdriver AF, so you can get the 80-200 f/2.8 D lens. However, the lens does NOT have VR, but it is affordable used.
    vs. the 70-200 f/2.8 VR lenses which are over $1,000 used.
    WARNING, the 80-200 f/2.8 class lens are fairly heavy. You may need to use a monopod to support the lens for any significant length of time.​
    Depending on the routing of the graduates, you may need the shorter lens for the processional and recessional.
     
  8. SG8

    SG8 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the great insight, ac12. I'll definitely take another look at the 70-300 Nikkor lenses. Just to confirm, I want a lens that is AF-S, not AF-P, correct?

    I plan on using the telephoto zoom lens when I have plenty of light. I understand that if I want some "fast glass" with plenty of zoom, I'll have to spend a pretty penny. Maybe I will one day, but for now, I accept that my budget will only allow me to reach 200 or 300 focal lengths if I have a small aperture.
     
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  9. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, as far as I know, the D90 will NOT work with the AF-P lenses.

    Yes, FAST long lenses are generally the expensive pro lenses.
    But if you can use the older AF and AF-D lenses (screwdriver AF) you can save a chunk of $$$ over the new AF-S lenses. But they also don't have VR, which to me is a big negative when working in low light.

    In general, 300mm is probably the longest lens most people will need, and can practically afford.
    The issue is going beyond 300mm can be EXPENSIVE, unless you go with the older manual focus lenses.
    And the problem with the older manual lenses is that many people today do not know how to focus a manual lens. And a manual focus lens is hard to use with moving subjects, where you have to track focus as the subject moves. DSLR viewfinder screens are not optimized for manual focusing, like the old film cameras are.
    I use a manual focus 500mm lens, but it is only practical for stationary or SLOW moving subjects. It is too difficult to focus track a fast moving subject.
    You also NEED to be careful and check the compatibility charts, because not all Nikon lenses will work on all cameras. The mount itself is the same, but it is the other lens to camera connections that is the issue.
     
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  10. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    get the Tamron 18-400
    affordable and huge range
    stop worrying about sharpness and enjoy
     
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  11. SG8

    SG8 TPF Noob!

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    Based on what has been said here, right now I'm leaning toward the 55-200. I like the price (it's cheaper than the 35mm prime) and size and it seems like not having it go to 300 won't be all bad given the better picture quality.
     
  12. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just realize that by choosing the 55-200 you will still need the 18-55 for the shorter end, and have to change lenses.
    Not that it is bad, but it is something to keep in mind vs. even a short super tele, like the 18-105.

    Think about a long term lens plan, so you minimize purchasing lenses that won't fit your plan.
    Example1, if you plan to get a 18-140 later, the 55-200 would be pretty much duplicated out of relevance, whereas the longer 70-300 would reach much further than the 18-140 so still be useful.
    I found drawing out the lenses and their focal length coverage on paper easier than thinking it in the head.​
    However, duplication isn't all bad
    Example2, even with a 18-140, the 18-55 could be a lightweight compact lens for use at family parties and events where you don't need the extra reach beyond 55mm.​
     

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