Talk to me about lenes....

CRman

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Ok, After shooting a few cameras, I decided on buying the Nikon D80. I comes with a Nikkor 18-55 af lens and a Nikkor 55-200 f4-5.6 ED-IF AF-S VR lens.

What eles to add? I know these are prolly crp kit lenes so I know I will need better. I am looking at the Sigma 10-20 D EX DCHSM for my lanscape and a nikoor 50 mm 1.4 and 1.8 (either) I dont know the difference (still reading up). I'd like to find a good 18-300 or 28 300... Any sugestions?

As you can tell, I am brand new to the DSLR world. I have some books and open to suggestions on further reading. The real experience will come from just going out and shooting, and recording what each shoot was and so forth.

So, if you can offer advice to a newbie I greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

Marc
 

Sw1tchFX

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Learn what you've got until you know you need to buy more gear.
 

JerryPH

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If you haven't bought it yet... do not puchase those kit lenses. In a very short time you will hit the limitations and see that you are then kinda stuck with them.

You want lenses that will give you an aperture of F/2.8 or numerically smaller. Nikkor lenses are excellent but about 3 times higher in cost than 3rd party lenses like the Tamron, Tokina or Sigma lines. I've seemed to settle in on a few Sigma lenses that give me excellent results and I am very happy with.

Of course there is NO reason for any Nikon user not to purchase the "thrifty fifty". The Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 prime lens is under $120, damned sharp and great to play with.

Depending on your budget and what you want to play with, you should take a serious look at the Sigma 18-50 DC EX HSM F/2.8. This lens is an excellent walk-around lens and does a 3:1 macro.

Start with these two lenses, they should do 75% of your average indoor and outdoor needs, and then add a nice telephoto lens if you are planning on doing any outdoor/nature shooting. Your budget and needs will dictate what you add later on once you get a feel for what you like.
 

Steph

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Learn what you've got until you know you need to buy more gear.

I am with Sw1tchFX on this one. Why don't you buy the camera with the 18-55 kit lens (it is really cheap when you buy it as a kit whith the camera)? It may not be very good but it is not that bad either. Shoot with this for a while and see for yourself what the limitations are for your style of shooting (image quality, range of focal length, maximum aperture...). Not everybody needs a zoom that goes above 200mm or an extreme wide angle lens or a macro lens or a very fast lens for example. Moreover, people will often recommend what they use, not necessarily what you need.
 
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CRman

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Havent purcheased it yet. I will how ever by the end of next week. Let me give you an idea of what I will be shooting. LOTS of landscape. I travel 4-6 months a year and collect litterally thousands of pictures. Hence the desire for a good lens for that.
I also do a lot of indoor shots Portrati style and full body I guess is how I would describe it.
I'll also need a good "walk around" lens as I see it called. I have the option to buy just the body of course, or with the 18-55, or with the 55-200 as well. I might as well buy them since they wont hinder my budget for a few extra lenses and misc. other stuff. May help figure out whats needed and not!?!?
As for budget, I have one but I am not going to skimp on glass... I mentioned in a prior post I bench shoot. I have some scopes upwards of $900+ on stock actions (rebarrelled) and they work like a champ. I also see people cussing and kicking $1200+ rifles with $90 scopes. Yes, the gun doesnt make the shooter nor the glass, its whats inside and the eye you have.

Yes, I have LOTS to learn! I appreciate all coments from everyone. I felt If I gave you a better understanding on what I shoot (camera wise) it may help. Thanks for keeping the flaming down on the newbie! :)
 

JerryPH

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Kit lenses are money lost becuase you could have spent it on better glass. They are resonably priced for a very specific reason... way lower quality. When I was getting my 18-200 verified, they lent me the 18-55 kit lens. I prefered NOT to use the camera than to frustrate myself using it with that lens. To be blunt, I really hated that lens. It was cheap and gave cheap pictures.

If you are going to get a camera as good as a D80, get good glass. Nikkor 70-200 F/2.8 if you an afford it... a Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 if you cannot. Either one of those lenses will put to shame both of the kit lenses you speak of.

If you do your homework, you will find I am being quite polite about how bad kit lenses are.

Also, just because it says Nikkor on it, do not presume it is "the best". The latest iteration of the Sigma 18-50 is sharper and puts out slightly better quality pics than the 3 times more expensive 17-55 F/2.8 Nikkor. Doing lots of reading you will find out all kinds of info like this.

In the end, its your money and your choice. You can choose to do it as well as you can from day 1... or you can purchase the same range of lenses twice and lose money for no reason. If I had known about the 70-200 and done my homework before I purchased the 18-200... you KNOW that the 70-200 would be in my bag today. Now... I wait and kick myself for not being more thorough (though the 18-200 is WAY better than the kit lenses... I could have had better pics for a little more money. It now is going to cost me a lot more).

Now, if all you want is the quality of a point & shoot, and do not care to get a little more serious about photography, the kit lenses will serve you well.

About landscapes... I did many panorama shots this summer... awesome trick. Lens type doesn't matter as long as you don't use an ultra wide lens that gives a lot of distortion. Take 360 degree pics, or take 20 pics ranging from top left to bottom right of a scenery and stich them together. The effect is facinating!
 

monkeykoder

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I don't know if this is a good place to ask this question but what exactly is it that makes the difference between a good lens and a bad lens mechanically and what are the effects of the different mechanical flaws?
 

Sideburns

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I don't know if this is a good place to ask this question but what exactly is it that makes the difference between a good lens and a bad lens mechanically and what are the effects of the different mechanical flaws?

imperfections in the glass, coatings on the glass....precision with which the glass is aligned, material used to assemble the barrel, focusing, and motor elements...size of aperture, number of blades in the aperture, shape of blades in the aperture.

Seriously.....it's just better quality and workmanship that goes into lenses like Canon L series that makes the price tag worth it.
 

monkeykoder

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Say you're a dead broke amateur what do you skimp on to save money?
 

jstuedle

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The long zoom lenses like the 18 to 200 0r 28-300 are built cheaply. And due to the number of individual elements (pieces of glass) to get this long range, the image quality at the extremes can be compromised. These lenses, from any manufacturer tend to vignette at the limits of there zoom range. Also, mounts tend to be plastic as is the remainder of the lens assembly and alignment tends to loosen with use. In the long run you will most likely be disappointed with this type of lens.

I tend to stay with Nikkor lenses, and the better simi-pro or pro type glass and have never been disappointed. Some people tout third party lenses. I personaly stay away from them due to lower resale and in general poorer quality. Sharpness and contrast while a prime concern, are not the only measures of a quality lens. Build quality and material, maximum aperture, balance and feel, ruggedness, resale value and long life are some of the things I look for when investing in glass. Good luck and welcome to the TPF. Hope we have helped a little.
 

ernie

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If you Can afford it I would buy the 17-55 2.8:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/300490-USA/Nikon_2147_17_55mm_f_2_8G_ED_IF_AF_S.html

That is a wonderful lens for landscape photographs and for that use will be the only lens you will need for a LONG time if not for good. If you want quality glass you should stay away from a 18-200 or especially the 28-300.
I purchased exactly that lens, along with the d80 a few weeks ago. Thought I'd give my opinion. It is true that it's a very decent lens but for me the trouble is that it just wasn't the kind of lens I needed. Sure it's wide angle and very fast, but I could have setteled with a way cheaper 50 or 30 mm prime lens (that's even faster). I also love doing macro, so if I had thought my dicision a bit more through I could have bought a macro lens and a prime for less money. Now it feels like I have to "settle" with what is in fact a very good lens.
Anyway, what I'm saying is that you should think twice if you go the more expensive way.
 

Sideburns

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Say you're a dead broke amateur what do you skimp on to save money?

Skimp on the amount of things you skimp on...lol.

Seriously, good equipment is where you make your money.

However, if you're in the studio...you can tend to skimp on FAST lenses if you have bright enough strobes...but you should still have quality glass...

But then again...that doesn't save you money.

Are you trying to make money at it? Or are you just learning?

I'm assuming just learning....so it probably doesn't matter if you get the best of the best every time. Look at options from Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina... I like a lot of Sigma lenses for my Canon that I would consider buying...so perhaps you could look around...they're usually cheaper.
 

jstuedle

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However, if you're in the studio...you can tend to skimp on FAST lenses if you have bright enough strobes...but you should still have quality glass...

But then again...that doesn't save you money.

Actually, most studio pros I know tend to use f/2.8 and faster glass. This permits them to soften the background with lost DOF when appropriate and let you focus with a much brighter viewfinder. Even the AF is faster and more accurate. Just a thought.
 

JerryPH

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There are places that you can rent lenses... go rent a kit lens and play with it for a day (if you can force yourself to go that long... lol). Then just go to any photography shop, test out a good lens on your camera and compare the results.

Thats the only convincing you will ever need.

It is not just build quality, feel, materials, durability and speed that make a better lens more eable, it is the vibrancy of the colours, the claritity of the picture when you compare side by side.

It is the quality of the picture.

Also, I've mentioned several times before, just because it says Nikkor or Canon "L" on it doesn't necessarily mean its the best out there. Doing the research before purchasing is very important if you want the best bang for your hard earned dollar.

Why buy yourself a Ferrari and then put only regular gas in it?
 

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