Lens ideas

  • I have a bit of disposable cash coming my way, and have decided to expand my lens collection a bit. Here's my wishlist:

    A wider lens than the 18-55mm Nikon kit I have for the D3100 (even a small bit wider would be good)
    A modest zoom - I doubt I even need to get to 200mm for what I generally do, but somewhere between 70 and 105 would be nice
    A good walk around lens, which can and probably should encompass one or both of the above.

    Here's what I'm thinking - let me know if you have any experience with any of these lenses, and what you thought of them:

    1. The Nikkor 16-85mm AF-S. The priciest option I'm looking at, but one which also would bit everything I'm looking for in one lens.
    2. The Nikkor 18-105 AF-S. Doesn't get any wider than what I've got, but it has a good reputation and would extend the zoom.
    3. The Tamron 18-270 for Nikon - I've heard either stellar or mixed reviews; probably much more zoom than I'm likely to use, but a tempting lens.
    4. Sigma 10-20mm for Nikon - a solid wide angle I could use to supplement the 18-105, for example

    Any thoughts? Any excellent lenses I should be including? Thanks for any tips!
  • Hi Andrew
    HI Andrew

    Lucky you, I hope you get some good toys to play with, sounds like you've been good all year and Santa is forking out big time. What a choice you have, a really difficult choice too, and one which is not really all that specific. As a Canon user, I'm not much help to you choosing Nikon or made for Nikon lenses.

    The main things I'd think about are:

    * what it is exactly that you'd like to shoot ie. architecture (wide angle?), sea/landscape (wide), animals (fast, long focal range), macro, portraits (50 or 85mm?) or street photography (a good, fast, all purpose lens) or space (300mm+).
    * whether these lenses are adaptable for smaller frame aswell as full frame sensors.
    * the quality of these lenses. I find that paying a little more for quality is a good option, because as you get more serious about your photography, you're going to want something better anyway. Why pay twice for a lens?
    * what it is in the focal range that you're missing

    Well, these are my main lenses, which might give you a better idea of what to get:

    17-40mm lens - fantastic for architecture and seascapes
    24-105mm lens (my walkaround lens)
    70-200mm lens - I rarely use this, but it's good if I want to shoot portraits and also shows/exhibitions

    I'm tossing up whether to get the 8-16mm as I've had a lot of fun with the 17-40mm and think the results would be even more dramatic.

    Well, I hope that's helped. Happy lens-hunting.

  • Thanks, Lisa. Basically, the answers to those questions are what led me to the choices I mentioned. As you know, I generally shoot a fair amount of architecture, with some street scenes and landscapes. A versatile lens is therefore right up my alley - something with a solid wide angle option. I like the 18-55mm lens I have for this reason, but often find that 18mm isn't quite wide enough. I have my trusty 50mm prime for portraits and specialty shots, so that's not a concern. I very rarely need a real telephoto - one thing I haven't missed at all from my old Lumix point and shoot. So, basically, that leaves me with a choice:

    1. Get an all-in one lens with better wide angle coverage, like the 16-85mm Nikkor I mentioned, or
    2. Get an all in one with longer range, like the 18-105mm Nikkor and supplement with a wide angle zoom like the Sigma 10-20mm or similar.

    I guess right now I'm leaning toward the 16-85 as it's the cheaper option, is supposed to be a very good lens all around with solid build quality and excellent IQ, and would require fewer lens switches, but I was hoping to find someone who's used it before to give me a first-hand account - I'd love to see a wider range of sample shots, too.
  • Hi Andrew
    Hi Andrew

    Oooh you have some decisions alright. Is there alot of difference in price between the 16-55 and the 18-105mm? I'd be more inclined to get the 18-105mm, just for the sheer versatility of it.

  • Well, the 16-85 is a pricier lens - about $600 USD. The 18-105 is cheaper, at around $400. However, with the 16-85, I'd be less inclined to get a wider angle lens, which would set me back another $400-$500. So, in the end, the 16-85 solution would cost me $600, whereas the 18-105 and a wide angle could set me back $800-$900.

    Now, what I don't know is whether the 16-85 is really quite wide enough for what I want... but I've never felt with my existing 18-55 that it needs to be too much wider, so maybe.

    So many decisions....