What lens to get?

t_hayat

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I have a Nikon D3100, and I'm looking to buy a new lens for it. I want a lens that would be versatile enough to work for street photography, portraits, and the occasional wide angle-ish shot. I was thinking a "normal" 50mm lens would be the way to go. But I've also read up on the matter, and apparently a 35mm lens is the DX equivalent of a 50mm on an FX sensor? Any clarification on that point would be more than welcome, as well as any and all advice on 35 and 50 mm lenses.

thanks in advance.
 

jaicatalano

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A 50, although great, is limited with what you want. Go with a kit lens 18-200 which will serve many purposes. I use my 50 and 85 prime lens just for headshots.
 

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I have a D3100 w/ a 35mm f/1.8G lens. I really like it. I love that it's super light, low profile, very sharp and has great low light / shallow depth of field capabilities. Yes, it's the 50mm equivalent. If someone doesn't explain, you can google "crop sensor". The 50mm equivalent is considered the "normal" focal length. IOW, what the human eye sees. That's what I like shooting. You can also zoom with your feet and it focuses very close, like 12" or something as crazy. It's a fun lens for me albeit somewhat plain or maybe even considered boring. Boring because it doesn't have a wide view that can be awesome or telephoto that's awesome as well.
 
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t_hayat

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Thanks for the advice so far. I also have another question.

If I were to get a 35mm lens, or any other lens for that matter, would you guys recommend getting an AF-S lens in all instances? The Nikon D3100 doesn't have an internal motor, so any other lenses wouldn't have autofocus, but how much of a dealbreaker would that be?
 

SCraig

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I'm personally not an advocate of a prime lens for street photography. Nobody can predict whether the shot you want is going to be near or far and whether or not you can move to the proper spot to get it with a prime. I had primes in the past but personally prefer zoom lenses.

That said, I love my Sigma 17-70. It's versatile enough for most any kind of "Walking Around" photography.
 

xyphoto

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How much do you want to spend on this lens? It will help on narrowing down the choices. I would recommend 17-55 or 16-85 if you have less budget.
 

flatflip

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Do you have the 18-55 kit lens? Is it dumb to ask what your limitations are, with the kit lens? Just trying to be helpful.
 
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t_hayat

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Yes, I do have the 18-55 kit lens, but as is expected from a kit lens, it's not the best quality. I'm looking to get another lens that will have better quality, but will still be easy to use at my level.
 

flatflip

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Yes, I do have the 18-55 kit lens, but as is expected from a kit lens, it's not the best quality. I'm looking to get another lens that will have better quality, but will still be easy to use at my level.

I have it and like it ( for how cheap / economical it is ) but understand your comment about the quality. I had a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 that I loved for portraits and walking around on vacation. I really missed the wide end though. I would love to replace it with a 17-50 f/2.8 lens.
 

ph0enix

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Thanks for the advice so far. I also have another question.

If I were to get a 35mm lens, or any other lens for that matter, would you guys recommend getting an AF-S lens in all instances? The Nikon D3100 doesn't have an internal motor, so any other lenses wouldn't have autofocus, but how much of a dealbreaker would that be?

If I had a D3100 it would be a deal breaker for me.
What is your budget?
 

jamesbjenkins

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For the greatest versatility, hop on eBay or your favorite vendor at get yourself a 18-200mm VR. It's designed for DX cameras, and covers everything from your ultra-wide to your telephoto in one lens. You'll pay about $400 if you get a great price. At this point, that's probably the best choice.

Also, IMO, stay away from "the other guys" if at all possible. Sigma, Tamron, etc. Their lenses are generally much lower quality optics and much less dependable. Stay Nikon.
 
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t_hayat

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For those asking, my budget is moderate: I'd be able to spend up to $400-500 tops.
 

matthewo

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If i could only have one lens, it would probably be a 18-200. For the price that lens can do a lot good.

But because i can have multiple lens and dont mind carrying a back pack, i have a 24-70 and a 70-300.

I find very little that i need wider then 24, even on a dx body, but one day i'll get me a wide angle and a few primes, and maybe upgrade my telephoto
 

ph0enix

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For those asking, my budget is moderate: I'd be able to spend up to $400-500 tops.

The f/2.8 24-70 is out of the question then. Please don't take this the wrong way but I saw a few of your photos and I think you should spend some time learning the basics. Here is a good start:
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...allery/267492-info-those-new-photography.html
If you want to spend money on a new lens then, by all means, knock yourself out but don't think that you'll start taking better photos as soon as you have higher end glass. Some photography books and an external flash might be a better investment at this time.
 

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