"Must have" SLR/DSLR lenses??

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Brandon Dieterich, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Hey everyone!

    What would you consider to be the "must have"
    lenses for general SLR/DSLR photography? I'd like
    to start building my (amateur) collection but
    don't really have a good starting point. I do
    already own a Nikkor 70-300mm ED and then of
    course the cheap lens that came with the body.
    I'm really not looking to spend an arm and two
    legs yet, but would like to get a macro, wide
    angle, and a decent portrait lens.

    Also, will camera shops usually rent out lenses?
    I'd love to find a way to get my hands on a lens
    and take some photos before investing. Is this a
    stupid question?? I suppose I just need to call
    the shops around here to see. I just didn't want
    to hear them laugh at me when I'd rather be
    laughed at through Cyberspace..... :)

    Your recommendations??!!
    Brandon Dieterich, Feb 13, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  2. What lens and body are those?

    Then your "must have" lenses would be a macro, a wide angle, and a decent
    portrait lens. ;-)

    Seriously, there are plenty of good choices these days and the better known
    brands are all quite good. The question of a wide angle presents problems,
    though, if you're really asking about "lenses for general SLR/DSLR
    photography." That seems to imply you mean to keep using your 35 as well as
    your dSLR, and of course the problem there is that because the CCD is so
    much smaller than a film frame, most wide angle lenses for 35mm are not very
    wide angle (or not wide angle at all) on most dSLRs, including *all* Nikons,
    which is evidently your brand of camera. And (with a few exceptions) lenses
    that *are* wide angle on dSLRs aren't suitable for your 35 at all.

    As for "a decent portrait lens," any moderate zoom should serve well there
    unless it's important to you to have really strong selective focus. In that
    case, a fixed focal length lens, say an 85mm f/1.8 or so, might be ideal at
    least for digital (though some might consider it a bit long), and some
    people like it for such use on 35mm as well (though others might consider it
    a bit short).

    As for a macro, there are various 50-60mm macro lenses for Nikon which are
    fine. And a 50mm macro on a Nikon dSLR is about equivalent to a 75mm lens on
    a 35, which actually is even *better* for most macro purposes IMO. Nikon's
    55 or 60mm Micro (which is Nikonspeak for macro) lenses are superb, and so
    is the Sigma EX 50mm macro at a much lower price point.

    John Falstaff, Feb 13, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  3. Brandon Dieterich

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    For 100 photographers you are likely to get 100 recommendations. Buy
    lenses as and when you need and can afford them.
    Neil Ellwood, Feb 13, 2006
  4. They're different for 1.5x crop factor DSLR photography than for 35mm
    film photography. And it depends a lot on what you do. Still,
    specifying "general photography" eliminates a good bit of the weird stuff.

    For 1.5x crop, I'd say a 12-24mm or wider DX (the Sigma 10-20mm gets
    very good reports) super-wide zoom, an 18-50mm f2.8 DX for a
    normal-use walkaround lens, and a 70-210 f2.8 (probably the VR model).
    But this leaves you without any fast lenses for low-light work;
    arguably that's a specialty rather than general photography. It also
    leaves you with the gap between 50mm and 70mm, which is not where *I*
    would choose to put a gap; I had strong preferences between 85mm,
    90mm, and 105mm in 35mm photography, and that range divided by 1.5x is
    right in that gap.

    This seems to be very different from what you said you were interested
    in, though. Your interests were more specific than "must-have" lenses
    for general photography, so that may explain the difference.

    For 35mm, and avoiding zooms, I'd end up with a 24mm f2, 35mm f2, 50mm
    f1.4, and the 70-210 f2.8 again (maybe with 1.4x TC also).
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 13, 2006
  5. I gave him two, so that's at least 101 :)
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 13, 2006
  6. A problem with the OP's post is that we don't know what he has, or even if
    he has any dSLR at all at the present time. He appears to have a Nikon of
    some sort, but it may be a 35. His message could be read to mean he just
    wants to move into digital.

    Even if he does already have a dSLR--you're right of course, the 18-70mm DX
    is hardly an inferior or "cheap" lens, but if he has a D50 rather than a D70
    (etc.) with the usual kit lens he very likely has the much cheaper 18-55

    John Falstaff, Feb 13, 2006
  7. Again, people replying seem to be assuming that the OP has a D70 or
    something with that kit lens. He hasn't said what lens or body he's talking
    John Falstaff, Feb 14, 2006
  8. Brandon Dieterich

    Skip M Guest

    If that were the case, then the 70-200 f2.8L IS USM would fit the
    requirements, on a 1.6x crop Canon body. It's the same focal length, and
    acts the same, roughly on a 20D as the Nikkor you mention does on a D200.
    He's asking for a crop equivalent, in the neighborhood of 45-130 on a Canon
    (28-135 IS springs to mind, but it's too slow) or Nikon, 35-100 on an Oly.
    And, by George, Oly makes one, a 35-100 f2, so it's even the equivalent as
    far as DOF goes, on the 2x crop bodies. I don't know if Leonard was talking
    about a specific mfr, but, there you go...
    Skip M, Feb 15, 2006
  9. [ . . . ]
    I just recently read that Nikon has definitely indicated they have no
    intention of going full frame, that they just don't believe it's necessary.

    Not sure now where I read that, maybe dpreview.
    John Falstaff, Feb 15, 2006
  10. Read again - my understanding is that Nikon will go full-frame when the
    time is right. They were not ruling it out for ever.

    David J Taylor, Feb 16, 2006
  11. Brandon Dieterich

    Bill Funk Guest

    It's seldom that any company will rule something out forever. Even
    when they do say something that sounds like it means one thing, it
    means the opposite.
    Like when Jobs said Apple wouldn't do anything to keep Windows from
    running on an Intel Mac. Except spec a motherboard that has no BIOS,
    so Windows won't run. Is that doing something to keep Windows from
    Will Nikon ever market a full 35mm frame DSLR? Maybe, if Nikon figures
    it would be prifitable to do so.
    Bill Funk, Feb 16, 2006
  12. I would if I could find it, but I can't. It doesn't seem to be on dpreview
    after all. Sorry now I didn't make a note of the source.

    <chuckle> I don't think any manufacturer ever rules anything out *forever*.
    My recollection of the report is simply that Nikon said they had no
    intention of going to full frame.

    I don't see much reason to go to full frame except for someone who has some
    expensive wide-angle and/or fisheye glass that he doesn't want to abandon.
    Even then, the question remains, Will optics designed for 35mm really work
    just as well on a 24x36 digital sensor, with its preference for more
    perpendicular light rays? At least one fellow who tried it says in a forum
    (dang, now I can't find that either) they *don't* work as well. This could
    be bad news indeed for all those folks holding on to their 35mm SLR lenses
    waiting, waiting, waiting for their full-frame dSLR to come along.

    John Falstaff, Feb 16, 2006
  13. [ . . . ]
    The popular misusage of "prime" notwithstanding, zoom lenses are just as
    much prime lenses as fixed focal length (FFL) lenses are.
    John Falstaff, Feb 16, 2006
  14. Brandon Dieterich

    Bill Funk Guest

    What I am saying is this: Apple chose a motherboard on which Windows
    won't run. It's that simple.
    Do you remember when I said Windows won't run on an Intel Mac, and the
    Mac people said it would?
    It won't. Because of what Apple did, despite what I was told.
    Bill Funk, Feb 16, 2006
  15. Brandon Dieterich

    Bill Funk Guest

    I must be writing something other than English?
    Windows does not run on the Intel Mac.
    This is now. It does not run.
    Apple chose the motherboard. It does not run Windows.
    How can I make it any clearer?
    Bill Funk, Feb 16, 2006
  16. Brandon Dieterich

    King Sardon Guest

    Speaking of clueless, what does this have to do with SLR/DSLR lenses?

    King Sardon, Feb 17, 2006
  17. I've seen it before. It's wrong. However, it's been changed since I last saw
    it (the dispute about the term is new) and now it isn't quite as wrong as it
    was. ;-)

    A weakness of Wikipedia which others have noted is that anyone can enter or
    edit any "facts" or definitions he likes. The "Alternative meaning of the
    term" given for that word in that entry is correct, and not just for motion
    picture lenses. "Prime lens" has meant the camera lens (as opposed to some
    other lens used with it) for at least 50 years that I know of. The word is
    used in the sense of "primary," "original," "chief," "first in order,"
    etc.--all of which are standard dictionary definitions for "prime."

    There is NO dictionary definition for "prime" that means "fixed focal
    length" or fixed anything else. This misusage probably started with someone
    seeing "prime lens" used correctly in connection with a FFL lens, who then
    assumed that FFL was what "prime" meant--and used it that way, and through
    the magic of the Internet the misusage caught on and eventually spread like

    Thanks for refreshing me on the link, though. I'm glad to see that the
    original definition given in Wikipedia has been disputed and there's since
    been a discussion about it. That's new since I last saw that entry in Wiki.
    I may add to the discussion myself. I meant to dispute it before but never
    got around to it.

    Obviously if "prime" meant FFL, camera and lens makers would use it that
    way. I have never seen one that does. Certainly Minolta never has (I have
    Minolta lens literature going back about 30 years) and no Nikon lens
    literature I've ever seen does either.

    On the other hand, lens makers like Zeiss and Schneider *do* use "prime" to
    describe cine and video lenses of variable focal length. It would obviously
    be silly to say that the same term means "fixed focal length" and "variable
    focal length."
    John Falstaff, Feb 17, 2006
  18. Brandon Dieterich

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Try this:

    Intel Mac no run Win X P.


    See for self. It no run.

    It might work. It contains only one word with more than
    one syllable.

    ----- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Feb 17, 2006
  19. Brandon Dieterich

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Paul J Gans, Feb 17, 2006
  20. ROFL!
    John Falstaff, Feb 17, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.