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Thread: Which (2) lenses to purchase for D90?

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    Default Which (2) lenses to purchase for D90?

    I am going to purchase a Nikon D90. I am looking at getting two lenses. I was thinking about the 18-200 vr ($650) and and the 12-24 ($900).

    If not these two, which ones should I purchase?

    Also has anyone taken the course from New York Institute of Photography? I got the catalog the other week and know I see they have a link at the top of this forum. I am going to purchase this for my Christmas present unless someone has a better idea.

    Troy

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tv321 View Post
    I am going to purchase a Nikon D90. I am looking at getting two lenses. I was thinking about the 18-200 vr ($650) and and the 12-24 ($900).

    If not these two, which ones should I purchase?
    And interesting choice. But since you don't mention what you will be doing with them, or what you expect them to do for you, it isn't really possible to say if your choices are good or not.

    How critical are you??? The 18-200mm, which given its more than 10x zoom range not surpisingly, is not exactly the sharpest lens you'll ever own. For some people that is not a problem, for others it is critical.

    The 12-24mm is a pretty good lense, if something that wide is what you really do need. If all you are doing is selecting these two based on total zoom range of 12 to 200mm, don't go there!

    I use an 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G as a "walk around" lens on a 1.5x crop Nikon body. It suits me fine, though that may not be right for you. I don't happen to need super wide angle lenses very often (when I do, I use a 20mm fixed focal length lens on a D3 full frame body), and I commonly use the upper half of that lens's range much more often than the lower half. I also have a 28-105mm f/3.5-4.6 (notice that on a full frame body that is exactly the same coverage as the 18-70mm is on the 1.5x cropped bodies) and an 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D lens. These are all very sharp lenses. The only thing they lack is VR (if you get the latest 70-200mm f/2.8 you'll have VR too) and that 12-17mm super wide angle range.

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    Default my choices

    I'll 2nd the 18-55 walk around lens to start . 17-35 or 17-55 2.8 is nice ... Something to consider is look at f stop range as well more than mm length

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roman View Post
    I'll 2nd the 18-55 walk around lens to start . 17-35 or 17-55 2.8 is nice ... Something to consider is look at f stop range as well more than mm length
    If you meant seconding the 18-70mm for a walk around, rather than the 18-55mm, okay! (I'm not much of a fan of the 18-55mm, if for no other reason than it is f/3.5-5.6, which will put it at f/5.6 in areas where the 18-70mm is still down around f/4, a full 1 fstop faster.)

    Considering the f/stop is an excellent point, and is a topic that deserves more than just a casual mention! A person unfamiliar with Nikon's system may not quite realize what the significance is.

    Zoom lenses with a fixed maximum f/stop, which is usually f/2.8 but in the case of the 12-24mm it is f/4, are all "professional" grade lenses. The zooms with a variable maximum f/stop, such as the 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G, are all "consumer" grade. Professional grade lenses will have better "build", which means they are engineered to be stronger and more rugged, to be optically superior, and to generally take more advantage of the best technologies available even if the cost is high. Consumer grade lenses are Nikon's effort to support casual users with relatively inexpensive lenses that are deemed "good enough".

    Note that virtually all of the professional quality lenses are indeed very high quality. On occasion Nikon has simply engineered a gem when trying to make only a consumer lens though! The 18-70mm is very highly regarded for example. (Decades ago they made a 75-150mm Series E zoom that is a cult lens today, which is another example.)

    Whatever, the 18-200mm and the 18-55mm are two of the least highly regarded consumer lenses. The 18-70mm and the 28-105mm are two of more highly regarded.

    Something to consider is which camera a lens will be used with. For example, the D300 can be used at a higher ISO setting that many of the other DX bodies, and hence for low light doesn't actually need a faster lens. The D700 and D3 are even more towards that direction. If low light capability is the point, a D700 or even a D3 might be a better choice than a faster lens if the bank account won't support both.

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    Thanks for your input everyone!

    I am not sure what I will be doing with this camera. I do like fishing; hunting and I do have two teenage daughters. My thoughts are purchase a camera I can afford, I was thinking about going with the D300, but I have decided on going with the D90 and spend the extra $$$ on better lenses.

    I was looking at getting 2 lenses (maybe 3 are better). I am sure there isnít one lens to cover everything. I picked the two I mentioned above to cover the most range. I was looking at spending $1600 on the both to them. Say I go for the 70-200 VR lens ($1650) and the 18-70 ($350) my cost is $2000. I am willing to spend this extra $$$ if it is worth it. Any other combinations I need to think about?

    Floyd you mention that you like and use the 18-70/3.5/4.5 ($350) Why would this be better than the 17-55/2.8 ($1190)? I like the price better, but arenít the lenses that cost more, better? I do not want to waste money, but I donít want to have to upgrade in a year or so.

    Thanks again for your help and comments.

    Troy

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    Quote Originally Posted by tv321 View Post
    I am not sure what I will be doing with this camera. I do like fishing; hunting and I do have two teenage daughters.
    Okay, then perhaps this will be a learning tool as much as anything else, and you will want to at least be able to try a little bit of everything!
    My thoughts are purchase a camera I can afford, I was thinking about going with the D300, but I have decided on going with the D90 and spend the extra $$$ on better lenses.
    That is a reasonable evaluation.

    One way to look at cameras is to divide photographers into two groups. One group wants pictures, and consider the camera and lens as this necessary hoop that has to be jumped through to get a picture; the other group wants to play with the tools, and may even go back an look at the pictures now and then too!

    If you are a techie type (and given the rapid understanding of most of this that you've demonstrated, you probably are to at least some degree), think in terms of more able camera bodies, and look at lenses as a long term investment that you'll do one at a time as you get to that point. If you are likely to try every function/facility your camera has, just to see how it works, buy a body that has more features! But relax about lenses, and buy them one at a time.

    If you cringe at having to read the manual, and just want it to take the blasted pictures and not mess with your head in the process... don't over do the camera body, and do overstress yourself just this one time to think very carefully about lens selection to begin with, just so that you never have to do that again.
    I was looking at getting 2 lenses (maybe 3 are better). I am sure there isn’t one lens to cover everything. I picked the two I mentioned above to cover the most range.
    As I mentioned before, you don't really want to pick lenses that way, simply because the quality varies so greatly. Anyone who would spend the money on the 12-24mm f/4 to get that quality, probably would kick themselves forever if they also bought the 18-200mm. Or the other way around... :-)
    I was looking at spending $1600 on the both to them. Say I go for the 70-200 VR lens ($1650) and the 18-70 ($350) my cost is $2000. I am willing to spend this extra $$$ if it is worth it. Any other combinations I need to think about?
    That just happens to be one that would suit me fairly well. There are other combinations that might be better for you.
    Floyd you mention that you like and use the 18-70/3.5/4.5 ($350) Why would this be better than the 17-55/2.8 ($1190)? I like the price better, but aren’t the lenses that cost more, better? I do not want to waste money, but I don’t want to have to upgrade in a year or so.
    That is exactly what you'll need to decide!

    In my case, I don't use wide angle lenses very often for critical work. I'm not into landscapes. I also don't particularly like up close and in your face interaction with subjects. Those are what some people specifically do, and they would want to put more money into higher quality wide angle lenses than I do. I do have a 20mm f/2.8 and a 50mm f/1.8 though, in addition to the two consumer grade zooms. At longer focal lengths I need higher quality lenses (because I do portraits... of people, birds, other animals, inanimate objects, etc, all from as much distance as possible).

    Hence, if you want snapshots, go ahead and buy a set of lenses all at once. If you want to learn photography, buy one lense to start with, and learn it well before deciding what the next one should be. And while the zoom range is important, the quality of the optics is also important. Pick and choose among the consumer grade zooms, because only a couple of them are high enough quality for critical use. In the range that you think will be the most important, a professional grade lens is a good investment.

    Indeed, with two teenagers and with an interest in outdoor activities, my bet is that you will find no end of pleasure in using a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens! The big decision is whether you want to spend big bucks for focal lengths shorter than that, or longer, or both. I'd buy that one first. Then sort of watch and see which end of the range you bounce off of most often... (Also take note of how often you are just so happy that it is sharp enough wide open at both ends of the zoom range, because that is why that lens is better than one costing half the price.)

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    I'm one of those techie types that Floyd was describing that likes to play with the tools, and occasionally likes to take pictures with them too.

    I'm also one who likes wide angle lenses a lot, but I know that I'm in the minority on this preference. I might even buy the 12-24 before I bought the camera to use it, but like Floyd, I wouldn't recommend anyone else do that if they aren't very sure they really like using wide lenses.

    I also think you ought to buy one or two moderate zoom range lenses in the 17-200 range, but perhaps not one lens covering it all. After using it/them for a while you would be in a better position to know what you really want. It may be that after a short time you will run out and get the 12-24, but it also may be that you find yourself with no interest in going wider than 18mm, and what you really want is a 400mm lens. Why spend $900 figuring that out? You'll have plenty to learn with just the camera body and a simple lens.

    The 18-200 VR is perhaps the best lens of it's type (although Canon's new 18-200 IS looks interesting too), but anything with that range is going to have to make optical compromises, and the Nikon is no exception. There are good reasons why someone might want a one lens solution for part time use, but if I was buying an expensive camera I would want lenses that could actually deliver the quality the camera is capable of. That said, I am thinking of buying just such a lens for the few times I only want one lens to think about. I'm waiting for a few reports on the new Tamron 18-270 -- Talk about range! -- Talk about compromises! Wow! -- We'll see.

    Right now, when I want to travel light I take a 17-55 f/2.8, and a 10-17mm fisheye zoom. (Yeah, I'm a whacked out wide freak!) If I have room I take a 100mm f/2. I have longer lenses, but generally I rarely look for anything longer than 100mm. But like I said, I'm not not normal. So I keep wondering what I would do with a 200mm or 270mm lens on my camera all the time. Different strokes...

    Also, the Nikon 12-24 f/4 is a very good lens, but for about half the money you can get the Tokina 12-24 f/4 that is about 98% as good. Just another option to consider.

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    I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment, but I usually have my 20/2.8, 50/1.8, 60/2.8 macro, 80-200/2.8, and 300/f4 in my bag at any given time.

    I like your choice for the 70-200/2.8 VR - you will NOT be disappointed with that lens. You might want to start looking at the 24-70/2.8 - another VERY impressive lens in the ~$1,500 range, and it also gives outstanding results.

    Have fun - you'll soon become assimilated to the Nikonian family . . .and probably suffer from NAS (Nikon Acquisition Syndrome) like the rest of us . . .and there is no cure

    Have fun,

    SH

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