Looking for Nikon Glass

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Andrew West, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. Andrew West

    Andrew West Member

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    I take and I take, I know. As soon as someone has a question I can help with, I'll give a little back.

    In the mean time, I have yet another question I'd like to put forth. I sent my F5 in for repairs a few weeks ago; the auto focus was completely nonfunctional. Come to find out, the problem is (or was) the 50mm lens. Lucky thing I sent that in with the camera.

    I do portraits and candid/documentary shooting, and the one lens wasn't going to cut it for long anyway (I'm the new kid on the Nikon block). I've been happy with KEH so far, so I'm sticking with them for now.

    I'd say about $300 is my limit.

    Depending on the credit situation, it may be more like $125.

    Now, I'm opening the floodgates. What lens(es?) would you recommend?
     
  2. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Do you like to shoot wide or tight?

    A 28mm if you need to see wide.

    A 105mm if you're looking to get closer.
     
  3. midlife crisis

    midlife crisis Member

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    I would say that with the type of work you are trying to cover and the price of good Nikon lenses will dictate you purchase be a quality zoom rather than prime lenses. I faced a similar dilema myself and I recently bought a 24-85 AFS. Although not my first choice solution it was the best that I could afford. It has proven to give good results and us very quiet in operation. If you want better quality the 35-70 f2.8 would be a better choice but for $300 will probably need to be pre-loved. The 35-70 may be a bit short for what you need but once you start going beyond this sort of range the price starts getting high even for low quality lenses.

    Of course you could always sell the F5 and get an N70/80/90 and use the extra cash to buy better glass. :smile:

    Regards
    N
     
  4. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    Get that 85mm 1.8D lens. It's exceptionally sharp and constrasty with a good build quality. It will also serve as a portrait lens and is functional in low light situations. If you look hard enough you can pick up a used one for about $300 and it will be worth every penny.
     
  5. midlife crisis

    midlife crisis Member

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    85mm f1.8

    See advert in classifieds by wildbill:smile:
     
  6. Thanasis

    Thanasis Member

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    I've seen some great reviews of the 85mm f/1.4 but this will probably be outside your price range. Therefore, I second the 85mm f/1.8
     
  7. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    That's what I was subtly hinting at. :wink:
     
  8. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    24mm, 50mm and 105mm (micro) would be a great combo.
    Kind regards
    Søren
     
  9. reub2000

    reub2000 Member

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    The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens is a very good lens and I have it in the canon version. 105mm is a good focal length for portraits.
     
  10. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    My experience, ok?

    I don't particularly care for zoom lenses. They're usually too slow for the way I like to work unless you get one of the f/2.8 constant aperture models. These can get pricey fast. Don't worry too much about the brand in this category. All of them will perform at least satisfactorily, and probably a lot better than that. Build quality is another issue, and one that should not be summarily dismissed, so look around and see what folks have to say about that. One would expect Nikkors to be above average in build quality, but don't discount Tamron, Sigma, or Tokina. These companies make quality products as well.

    If prime lenses tickle your happy button, then your choice will be to stick with Nikkor lenses. I have a boatload of manual focus Nikkor primes and don't have a bad thing to say about any of them. For a walkabout kit, the 24 f/2.8, 50 f/1.8, and 85 f/2 go into the bag. The 24 f/2.8 might be a bit pricey on the used market. The 28 f/2.8 is an outstanding performer. They are all better than good, and all take relatively affordable 52mm filters and accessories.
     
  11. reub2000

    reub2000 Member

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    The Sigma 105mm feels pretty solid. However it's weight means that if it's dropped that it will gather a lot of energy before it hits the ground. It's a macro lens and it's within your budget.
     
  12. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Any Nikon prime would be a good choice, but you would be limited to a single focal length per lens. Based on the budget you mentioned, you will be stuck with one prime lens.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of Nikon zooms out there that do a great job. One lens that seems to be overlooked all the time is the Nikon AF 28-105mm 3.5-4.5D. This is one of my favorite and most used lenses. I recently went on an overseas trip and had to pack light. I really wanted to pack a couple of my F3HP's with my 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 105mm, and 180mm primes, but the weight was too much. I ended up taking my F100 with the 28-105 and I have no regrets! The images were tack sharp, colors were great.

    I also shoot weddings and (my apologies) my workhorse gear is a pair of D1X's, a Nikon AF-S DX 17-55mm 2.8G IF ED lens, and a Nikon 80-200mm 2.8 lens. My backup lens for the 17-55 is the 28-105. My only two complaints about the 28-105 is the goofy looking lens hood Nikon made for it (it resembles a collar used for dogs after an ear-clipping surgery), and the front element rotates. Other than that it is a spectacular lens, sharp at all focal lengths, and can focus down to true macro as well.
     
  13. Andrew West

    Andrew West Member

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    I appreciate all the help thus far, but I want to apologize for not completely explaining my situation.

    I ordered the camera from KEH. It didn't work like it was designed to, so I sent it back for repair. As I said before, the problem was actually the Nikon 50mm 1.8 I had ordered with it. At the time, they were sold out of that lens so I had the option of having my camera sent back without a lens, or picking out a new lens.

    That was a few weeks ago. I believe they have the 50mm 1.8 back in stock (I could be wrong), but I wasn't (and I'm still not) sure if the lens was what I needed for what I wanted to do: portraiture, closeups, headshots, ect.

    At the same time, I'm not sure if an 85 or 105mm would be versatile enough to handle the group portraits I foresee in my future.
     
  14. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Lot of good advice...

    the AF 85/1.8 (D or non-D) is a great lens.

    If you don't mind focusing manually, the 105/2.5 is a fantastic lens and it's great for portraiture. It's well under a hundred bucks in bargain condition, only a little over a hundred in excellent condition. It'd be hard to go wrong with one.

    Since you seem to need a longer lens more than a shorter one, that's where I would start. Fill out the wide end once you have the longer glass you need.
     
  15. jimjm

    jimjm Subscriber

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    If you're looking for a "walk-around" lens that can handle a variety of situations, with good images and solid build quality, the Nikon 28-85 or 28-105 AF zooms are a pretty safe bet. You should be able to find used ones in great condition that are well within your price range, and I think KEH has some in stock now also. This way, you won't be limiting yourself to one or two focal lengths as you would with fixed lenses, and your initial cash outlay won't be too great either. For group shots (especially indoors) the 28mm angle of view provides a lot of coverage without too much distortion, and the 85-105mm range is perfect for portraits and head shots. Once you see your portrait shots with that nice out-of-focus background (bokeh), you'll never even consider using a 50mm for portraits! Although both these lenses have a 3.5-4.5 maximum aperture, with 400 iso film I have no problem hand-holding in most daylight situations. For interior shots of people it's always a good idea to have a flash anyways, so fast lenses are not that critical unless you have to use available light only. Once you develop your own habits and shooting style, you'll learn which focal lengths you prefer to shoot at and can invest in faster / more expensive lenses to suit your style. I love the speed and simplicity of Nikon fixed focal-length lenses, in fact the "lowly" 50mm 1.8 has always been one of Nikon's sharpest lenses, but if I'm just going out for a few hours of street shooting, I just take the F4 and FE2 bodies with the 28-85 and 70-210 AF zooms, which will cover almost anything (for my style of shooting). Ken Rockwell has a great site where he reviews almost every recent Nikon lens and body at http://kenrockwell.com/nikon/nikkor.htm . I refer to this frequently when I'm considering a new lens. I can't speak about the quality of 3rd party lenses, but generally Nikkor lenses will be superior in all respects, as well as being easier to re-sell.

    Hope this helps! - Jim