Nikon MidRange Zoom. *The Hunt Continues*

Stradawhovious

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Ok, so I destroyed my Tamron 17-50 2.8. Yeah, I know, it's my fault, I will get over it.

It's time to replace it, but instead of looking to the 17-50ish replacements, I'm thinking I'd like to get into the 20ish-70ish range for a nice mid-range zoom. Not sure I need to back down to 17mm, and I already have a couple of 50mm prime, so I don't necessarily want the redundancy.

I'm not asking anyone here to make up my mind for me, as I don't want to put that pressure on you. What I am asking for are options I may be missing in my price range so I have the largest pool of items to look at.

My budget is $300ish. Ok, I could probably convince my wife to allow me to spend $400, but I'd rather not unless necessary. The camera this will be mounted to is the Nikon D7000, so an internal focus motor isn't necessary. My requirements, mid-range, fast zoom for walking around and possibly portrait work. f/2.8 or faster would be nice.

The options I have already considered are as follows...

Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di LD
Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DF EX
Tokina 28-70 f/2.8 AT-X AF


Any others you guys have experience with that will produce nice, usable images? Any information would be appreciated... and if you have recommendations outside of my line of thought, please don't hesitate to offer them!
 

jcdeboever

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I would look at the Nikon AF 28-105 f/3.5-4.5D. You can find good used copies for $150 ish. It is an incredibly sharp lens with virtually no distortion if any. Lines on buildings are straight, good color and clarity. Very sharp. It will only manual focus on bodies without the built in focus motor but that has never bothered me. I am sure someone on here with more experience can attest to the value of this lens. I am always impressed with it every time I use it, just a very nice all around / walk-around zoom.

Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D AF

Nikon 28-105mm
 
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Stradawhovious

Stradawhovious

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I will look into that one. I'm not sure why the variable max aperture bothers me on these lenses... Maybe I haven't spent enough time with them... maybe I'm a a snob without reason... I'm not sure. I've always gravitated towards the constant aperture on fast lenses, but will add this one to the lineup for research!
 

Derrel

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480Sparky sent a 28-105 Nikkor across the USA in one of his Lens Across America deals in 2014...I had it for a couple of days and shot it. It's true about the incredibly low geometric distortion on the wide-angle end...one of the best lenses ever as far as being distortion-free, said Ken Rockwell; he actually is very concerned with that, and tests every single lens for distortion and publishes manual distortion correction numbers in his reviews. The 28-105 has a pretty good close-in macro mode. For the price, it's a pretty good option I think, and gives you a longer maximum focal length than the shorter zooms, by a pretty significant amount.

The real question though: is the loss of the 17-27mm range a deal-breaker?
 
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Stradawhovious

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The real question though: is the loss of the 17-27mm range a deal-breaker?

Not sure. To be honest, I'm not entirely convinced I won't pick up another 17-50 2.8 (probably Sigma if I do...). Just weighing options at this point before pulling the trigger. I have had experience with the 17-50mm, so less research needs to be done on those for me. The midrange zoom however, I haven't had one for a while. After looking into the Nikkor 28-105, I actually HAD one of those years ago and forgot about it. I'm not sure it spent much time on my camera, but at that point I had the D3000 and was terrified of manual focus, so there's that.
 

Derrel

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The 28-105 3.5~4.5 is a tough,tough zoom lens to manually focus at the longer distances. I tried it, and found that the focusing ring movement at say 20,30,40,50 feet was exceptionally tricky for me to focus. It was difficult to get repeatable and accurate manual focusing on street scenes with the lens I had. That's part of the issue with making a really fast-focusing, screw-driven, moderate-aperture zoom lens. In the macro range, the focusing ring has a lot more degrees of turn, and at closer focusing distances it's fairly easy to manually focus. I think the Ken Rockwell review of the lens is worthwhile reading for Nikon users who are looking for a pretty good lens value, and especially for FF users. I shot it on 24MP FX, and it was a pretty good zoom for that format.
 

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I was getting ready to post a similar question -- I have a similar budget, and will be purchasing a used D600 over the weekend. It seems like this lens is hard to beat for the price, but I have the same question. Am I going to miss the 2/3 of stop? I can buy a pretty nice flash with the difference in price I guess .
 

nerwin

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The new Sigma Contemporary 17-70 2.8-f/4 DC OS HSM hands down. Its a little bit more than your budget, but you can find them used around your budget. Its worth it I think.
 
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Stradawhovious

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Well, the hunt is over. I ended up with the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 EX-D. Found it on Fleabay fer cheep (well, cheap enough anyways), and it seems to have what I want in a lens.

Wish me luck!
 
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Stradawhovious

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Well that was a flop. The lens is going back today after several tests show it's waaaaaaaaayyyy too soft.

So what now if I up my budget to $500... does that get me anything more than was already mentioned?

I also realize that it may be helpful to know what else I have in the stable.

Nikon 50mm 1.8, Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 (that suffers from soft images wide open) and nikon 180mm 2.8.

As you can see, there is quite a gap in focal range.
 
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wezza13

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First thing I would say is to get one from a reputable dealer that deals with used lenses, not ebay.

Good luck :thumbyo:
 
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Stradawhovious

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First thing I would say is to get one from a reputable dealer that deals with used lenses, not ebay.

Good luck :thumbyo:

Thanks, Captain Hindsight. ;)

Not all of us have the luxury of paying an extra $75 - $100 to buy locally, and my local shops are REALLY proud of their lenses. I realize the hilarity of this statement seeing as I'm out $20 on shipping with this failed experiment, but it is what it is.

Also, I'm thinking about just saying "forget it" and grabbing a nikon 85mm AF-S 1.8G. It's not a zoom, but it will be razor sharp... and I don't believe that a zoom that will meet my unrealistic expectations can be had for my unrealistic budget. I may just have to swap between the 50mm and 85mm and shuffle my feet for framing.
 

beachrat

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Thankfully,I've been real fortunate on ebay.

What about a used Nikon 24-85 ?
 

robbins.photo

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First thing I would say is to get one from a reputable dealer that deals with used lenses, not ebay.

Good luck :thumbyo:

Thanks, Captain Hindsight. ;)

Not all of us have the luxury of paying an extra $75 - $100 to buy locally, and my local shops are REALLY proud of their lenses. I realize the hilarity of this statement seeing as I'm out $20 on shipping with this failed experiment, but it is what it is.

Also, I'm thinking about just saying "forget it" and grabbing a nikon 85mm AF-S 1.8G. It's not a zoom, but it will be razor sharp... and I don't believe that a zoom that will meet my unrealistic expectations can be had for my unrealistic budget. I may just have to swap between the 50mm and 85mm and shuffle my feet for framing.

The 85 is an amazing lens, no doubt about it. Hard to go wrong with an investment like that. For used lenses my favorite source is KEH:

Home Page | KEH Camera

They are very stringent with their rating system, so if they rate something as EX or EX+ odds are good you'll have trouble telling it from brand new. Never had any problems dealing with them at all, it's always been a great experience.
 
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Stradawhovious

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The 85 is an amazing lens, no doubt about it. Hard to go wrong with an investment like that. For used lenses my favorite source is KEH:


That seems to be the consensus. And at that price, I can buy a BRAND NEW copy of it with far more confidence, on fleabay, from one of those top rated upper echelon sellers and know I will have a no fuss-no muss transaction.

The more research I do, the more I think primes are the way to go for me. Yeah, I do some walking around, and yeah, it would be nice to have a good vacation lens, but most of the things I do, and aspire to do, are going to be shot from a tripod and meticulously set up. I don't need a zoom for that. I need razor sharp.

Decisions and first world problems are hard.
 

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