which lens now?

jemstone

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hi all

not posted in a while but i can honestly say my photography has improved!

i started with nikon d3100 - basic i know, but i wasnt as clued up back then, i have the original lens and then purchased a 50mm lens.

i need more quality, more precisiveness and more detail.

im a working mum, struggling, so nothing ridiculous. i need something thats almost budget but best i can get for an improvement.

thanks in advance
 

PaulWog

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hi all

not posted in a while but i can honestly say my photography has improved!

i started with nikon d3100 - basic i know, but i wasnt as clued up back then, i have the original lens and then purchased a 50mm lens.

i need more quality, more precisiveness and more detail.

im a working mum, struggling, so nothing ridiculous. i need something thats almost budget but best i can get for an improvement.

thanks in advance

The d3100 is wonderful in my opinion. I picked up a d5200 over the Canon 6d and nikon d600 and d7100 because of what's in the package. I've found once you get to know the camera (basically the same as the 3100 operationally), you have everything at your fingertips even for manual fast shooting. Just need to assign the fn key to iso and be fast with white balance haha.

Anyway, is the lens you're using right now the 50 1.8g?

Heres some questions:
What's your budget give or take?
What do you mean by precision and detail? Do you want a sharper lens? Do you want to be able to crop more and retain detail? Do you need faster focusing?

The 50 1.8g already seems to fit your needs and budget. It's precise, relatively cheap, sharp, and I'm not sure about focus speed but i hear it's decent.

So I suppose do you still require a fixed and fast aperture? Do you want the versatility of a zoom lens? Lots of questions to ask.
 
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jemstone

jemstone

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thanks paul
it is the 1.8g

i do weddings portraiture etc. i find the 50mm great but no zoom and i miss damn good shots because of lack of space!
i end up using the basic lens and i lose quality.
id upload a couple so u can see difference but file size of the jpegs is 6.78 odd and i dont know how to reduce :(

ideally nothing more than £500 which i know is pushing my luck but i was wondering. I believe i can use tamron too?

i want sharpness yes.
i want zoom.

thanks
 

Big Mike

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I agree with the post above. Your 50mm is more than capable of giving you what (it sounds to me) that you want.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that throwing money (buying new stuff) at the problem, is going to make your photos better. With any photographer in the world, improving the knowledge, skill and technique is probably the best way to improve the photos.

Do you use a tripod? If not, that may be the key to what you're looking for in your photos.
 

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Check out the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8. A nice 'normal' zoom range, nice large aperture and pretty good quality for the price. A better choice might be the Nikon 17-55mm F2.8, but that may be more than you want to spend.
 

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Unless you need a wide angle lens you might want to consider a Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 VC USD. I paid $449.00 with a $ 100.00 mail in rebate that I got back in two weeks.The rebate is still available. The lens performs excellent especially at its price point. You can cover a wider range of shots from what the 50mm doesn't cover for some longer distant. Just another option for you to consider.
 
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MOREGONE

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Big Mike is right on. The 17-55 f2.8 is likely what you want since you go back to the kit lens regularly. It will have the same zoom and width while being sharper and faster.

The Tamron's go for a good price on Amazon. I believe I got mine used from Amazon for $265 USD.
 

PaulWog

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Unless you need a wide angle lens you might want to consider a Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 VC USD. I paid $449.00 with a $ 100.00 mail in rebate that I got back in two weeks.The rebate is still available. The lens performs excellent especially at its price point. You can cover a wider range of shots from what the 50mm doesn't cover for some longer distant. Just another option for you to consider.

The nikon version is a great choice as well, however I don't know if a 70–300 is a great choice for her. It provides the zoom option, but for low light conditions with movement it just won't do well. Both the Nikon and tamron versions are decent in low light due to their superb VC and vr technologies, but it just doesn't sound like VC or vr is what she needs in a lot of instances (could be wrong though).

Jemstone, if you're feeling limited on the long end, something like a 70–200mm f2.8 lend might be nice. The price for a non–nikon is still about 1200 or so I think? But that fits your description.

If you're feeling limited on the short end, the suggestion above about the 17–50 f2.8 is good. I have been told the non VC tamron is far superior to the newer VC one, and the sigma version is good as well.

If you shoot at apertures at or above 4 and don't dip below that, there's the 16-85 nikkor, 17-70 f2.8–f4, and some other even cheaper considerations such as the 18–105. However, i would presume you'd be wanting a fast lens especially for wedding photography.

You may want to go the route of a 17-50 f2.8. I hear that's a great choice for your purposes.

Since you want zoom, you shoot weddings, and you want sharpness that may exceed what you get (and if we were assuming you are shooting very well right now), then you are getting into the big money zooms (17-55 or 17–50 as well as the 70-200).

Another thought which is likely out of the picture is getting a higher megapixel camera. It shouldn't be necessary, but it sounds like you want more detail in that way?

Sorry, lots of theoretical knowledge I'm throwing around.
 
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jemstone

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thanks everyone for your advice. im in UK so will have to do some digging on prices.

What i shouldve said, is weddings are starting in hotel rooms and they are that small i cannot get full length photos of the bride in these types of rooms hence the need for a zoom.

does anyone know how to make jpegs smaller ? i shall show a couple using each lens and let you guys be the judge!
 

PaulWog

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thanks everyone for your advice. im in UK so will have to do some digging on prices.

What i shouldve said, is weddings are starting in hotel rooms and they are that small i cannot get full length photos of the bride in these types of rooms hence the need for a zoom.

does anyone know how to make jpegs smaller ? i shall show a couple using each lens and let you guys be the judge!

For a quick resize using windows I just open paint and resize the picture that way. You could resize in photoshop or lightroom as well.

So what you're saying is you are in small rooms and can't fit the bride in the shot since you can't step far enough back? In that case, the best quality f2.8 17-50 or 17–55 lens would likely be a good choice. I might be wrong but based on advice I've received here and my own research, you'd be looking at the tamron 17–50 f2.8 VC as the cheapest option but not as good as the 17-50 f2.8 from tamron without the VC which is older. The sigma 17–50 f2.8 is supposed to be the next step up (not sure if it's a step up from the older tamron). Then finally there's the 17–55 nikon f2.8 which beats everything out (Imo you'd be getting into so much money that if you couldn't find a good used one it'd be tempting to move to fx with the 24-70 f2.8).
 

DanielLewis76

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For the price it might also be worth looking at a second hand 18-200 VR lens. You can pick them on on ebay for £300 (around £570 new) and will be a good all round lens. Fairly wide but can zoom quite tight as well.
 
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jemstone

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i use mac, think ive done it correctly.
here are the basic 18-55mm lens
$example-1.jpg - see lack of quality , grainy, slightly out of focus (used auto throughout.

$example-1-3.jpg - using 50mm , sharper yet still slightly out of focus.

i know it was better lighting than in the church,
a couple more with the 50mm....
$example-1-4.jpg
$example-1-5.jpg

one thing i do know, is that even taking off centre focusing, it still focuses on a point - see mans hand on last photo.

i love my 50mm but just wont do in smaller places.

all are natural light, i didnt use flash throughout, something i still need to work on.

i shoot for very very discounted prices as they are all aware i am in training..

thanks in advance
 

PaulWog

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[Q=jemstone;3017769]oh dear, it must be bad lol[/QUOTE]

I don't feel I'm a great judge about the photos and what could make them better, however I do want to say that an 18-200 for wedding photography is likely a bad idea. It's not a fast lens. It'll likely be a nice walk around lens, but it won't take you forward with your wedding photography. Also the second to last shot seems really nice to me.

If you want a really cheap option consider the 35mm 1.8g for a wider focal length, but based on what all the pros say and based on what you want, a 17-50 f2.8 is the way to go
Note that the kit zoom lens you're showing above is completely different from a 17-50 or 17-55 f2.8 lens.

As for focusing, unless if there's something wrong with the lens or camera, it's very likely going to come down to your technique. I learned that right away... I thought something was wrong with my camera at first. After lots of practice (for me that was 2 weeks and a couple thousand shots), i got focus alongside a number of other things down.

If you aren't using photoshop lightroom, you should be. You'll be able to get a lot of sharpness out of your raw shots that might not be there. I went into photography already having been making money using photoshop, so the transition for me to lightroom was almost instant.

If you look it up, most people do recommend a 17-50 or 17-55, as well as the 70-200 (and of course prime lenses). That's expensive stuff, but you can get a sigma 17-50 for 800-ish or less usd/cdn dollars, and skimp on the 70-200.

I know it's not what you want to hear money wise, but that's exactly what you're looking for.
 

MOREGONE

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PaulWog is correct about the focusing. It is likely technique if there is not something wrong with your gear.
Above you mention using Auto throughout which may shed some light on the culprit.

There are 3 settings to Auto Focus (sure the pros can call out a lot more)

1) Auto Focus vs Manual Focus - This is pretty much a given

2) AF Mode - AF-A, AF-S, AF-C, using AF-Auto will generally be safe and net pretty good results allowing the camera to determine if it is a Stationary subject (AF-S) or if it is Continuously moving (AF-C).

3) last but not least, AF Area. I think this is one area that Auto should NOT be used. Auto gives up control of what to focus on and usually goes for the closest object or taking up a majority of the frame. I use Single point religiously. Say you want to take a picture over a brides shoulder of her looking in the mirror. Auto here will likely focus on the back of her head. Using single point, you move the focus selector to the mirror and boom, got the shot.

Hope this helps!
 

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