New DSLR user and need advice on Zoom Lenses...

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by The Henchman, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. The Henchman

    The Henchman Guest

    I was given a Nikon D80 for Xmas with a 55 mm F1.8 lens and have enjoyed the
    last couple of days learning how to use the it.

    I am brand new to SLR photography but I have learned in the past how to
    control shutter speeds, aperatures, and ISO (limited on point and shoots I
    know but I had to start somewhere) but I will have to learn white balances
    and metering and learning how the 11 point focus works...

    The 55 mm will be good for indoor stuff or outdoor potrait type I think but
    my main focus of photography is landscapes. In particular I enjoy taking a
    landscape photo then carefully picking out landmarks or objects and zooming
    in taking taking pictures of those. The landscapes are almost always
    non-urban so no straight lines or right angles.

    As a new user to DSLR what comprimises can I expect from a lower priced
    sigma or tamron 18-200 or 28-150 mm type lens? I don't really need anything
    over 200 mm but I do wish to 1 lens to cover wide angle and then some
    telephoto for convience. I do wish VR (is Nikon VR the same as Canon IS)
    for the lens and a quick autofocus speed but I can settle for smaller
    f/stops like 5.6 instead of 2.8 or 3.5. What colour variences could there
    be? Sometimes the Zoom lens will have to pick out a dark or shaded object
    in the bright sun. Will the cheaper lenses add more graininess?

    A Nikon 18-200 DX VR around here is about $700 +13% sales tax while the
    Sigma is $500 and the Tamron is $400. A 28-105 is about $500 for Nikon and
    $300 for Tamron.

    Budget is a big big concern and I'm not looking for perfection but I do
    want a lens that I will really enjoy using. The camera was a gift, but an
    unexpected gift.

    Thanks for any opinions!!!
    The Henchman, Dec 31, 2008
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  2. The Henchman

    ASAAR Guest

    I don't have the 18-55mm VR, but I've read numerous reports that
    it's a very respectable kit lens, even outperforming Nikon's much
    more expensive 18-200mm VR in much of its smaller range. From its
    price you won't be surprised that its build quality isn't quite the
    same, but that won't stop it from producing very good photos. The
    55-200mm VR (which I do have) is a good companion lens, not able to
    match the build quality of the 70-300mm VR, but like the 18-55mm VR,
    it's lightweight, inexpensive and produces very good pictures.
    ASAAR, Dec 31, 2008
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  3. The Henchman

    Don Stauffer Guest

    You may find a modern tripod is cheaper than the VR feature on a lens.
    With landscapes one ordinarily does not have to get quick shots, so the
    tripod is ordinarily okay. I am amazed at how cheap a reasonably good
    tripod goes for these days :)
    Don Stauffer, Dec 31, 2008
  4. The Henchman

    The Henchman Guest

    Tripod is tough for me to carry on 20 mile hikes. I do have a wonderful
    aluminum tripod. I'm 6' myself so a good 6' tripod works wonders, until you
    are 20 miles in the bush..... :)
    The Henchman, Dec 31, 2008
  5. The Henchman

    The Henchman Guest

    Correction; Tripod is 5' 6"
    The Henchman, Dec 31, 2008
  6. The Henchman

    ASAAR Guest

    Wow, you sure trumped him with that one, but otherwise, not a very
    useful comment.

    Since you're a P&S kinda guy it sounds kinda like my Manfrotto
    709B DIGI. Tell us more about yours. Does it also fit in your back
    pocket? If so, it won't replace a much more typical tall tripod
    that would be more useful in many shooting situations.
    ASAAR, Dec 31, 2008
  7. The Henchman

    J. Clarke Guest

    I hate to suggest this to you but if you see a carbon fiber tripod
    somewhere pick it up. Amazingly light, also remarkably stiff. And
    remarkably not-cheap unfortunately.
    J. Clarke, Dec 31, 2008
  8. The Henchman

    The Henchman Guest

    The alum ones have been fine and I don't bother with the levels, but now
    that you guys mention it, maybe I need to investigate a stiffer tripod.
    I'll try to find a deal on a used on. A 4' one maybe. It's an idea worth
    exploring. The current alum one I have can easily accommidate the D80'
    weight but that's on a flat floor indoors. Might be different outdoors, and
    with a heavier zoom lens....
    The Henchman, Jan 1, 2009
  9. The Henchman

    The Henchman Guest

    The 28-200 Nikon one is out of my price range but I tried it. After sales
    tax it's almost $900 in Canada. If I really want this lens I'd have to buy
    it in the USA and void the warranty, but the person that got me the camera
    to begin with took Nikon in part because of the suberb factory warranty.
    Nikon warranties are not transferable to other nations.

    A photo store near me stocks a 18-105 mm Nikkor VR. F/3.3-5.6G AF-S ED VR
    DX. Basic research suggests that this is the same current "kitted" lens
    with D90s. The lens itself retails around $350 to 380 although there are
    plenty of $400+. The shop in question is a reputable national photo chain
    store that only stocks brand name so no tamron's, sigmas, tokinas. Other
    reasearch suggests that this DX is for smaller sensor camera's like mine.

    It's made in Thailand and has a plastic fitting but its auto focus' really
    really quiet. There is some distortion at the corners but thru the
    viewfinder I saw no "softening" I guess I wouldn't know until I printed an
    8x10. The focus ring is small on my hand but the autofocus seems to work
    well so this might not be a problem for my clumsy fingers. The zoom ring is
    huge and easy to use.

    This is the boxed lens, not taken from a kit cause I phoned back to ask them
    so a full 5 year warranty is in effect.

    It has the wide angle I think I'd be happy with and a zoom that I can enjoy
    and the price is within my budget.

    Does anyone here have expierence with this lens? Is there a Sigma with
    IS/VR that can compete? Does the 16-85 mm produce a better zoom than the
    105? Does the 105 produce photos that need to be "processed" to fix any
    distortion at that focal length? and if so does a good 85 mm zoom eliminate
    a so-so 105?
    The Henchman, Jan 1, 2009
  10. The Henchman

    Guest Guest

    the 28-200 g is discontinued and when it was new, it was about
    $200-300. you can find it used for less. you must be thinking of a
    different lens, perhaps the 18-200 vr.
    Guest, Jan 1, 2009
  11. The Henchman

    The Henchman Guest

    It was AF-s VR DX IF-ED.
    The Henchman, Jan 1, 2009
  12. The Henchman

    ASAAR Guest

    Your replies are possibly being influenced for the worse by
    immaturity. What next, "I know your are, but what am I?"? Your
    reply was in no way useful, and if you don't know why, ask someone
    more knowledgeable for help. That may be advisable in any case.
    Have you spoken with anyone about, or been checked for Asperger
    syndrome? This isn't a slur nor is it a personal attack. The
    following clips don't necessarily describe your behavior, but
    they're worth considering, and may even be useful comments :

    This condition is by no means a bad thing. There are a number of
    individuals that are extremely intelligent, talented, social and
    productive, who appear to credit their Aspergers syndrome for their
    success. See the DPReview links below.

    It's not a slur. I have and use P&S cameras, possibly more than
    you, some super-zoom, some not, and they're all P&S cameras. Most
    have more than just simple auto modes, and your view that "P&S" is a
    slur only goes to show that you may have another issue to add to
    your baggage.

    That's more useful than your previous reply. It would have been
    even better if you also identified your tripod or similar models.
    ASAAR, Jan 1, 2009
  13. The Henchman

    Guest Guest

    definitely not the 28-200 g.
    Guest, Jan 1, 2009
  14. The Henchman

    ASAAR Guest

    And with that action you've *really* conceded the debate by
    turning tail, running and hiding. Facts don't change by averting
    your eyes. If you checked the DPR links you'd couldn't help but
    understand that there was no insult, other than your perpetual
    misconstruing of almost *everything* as insults. An example was
    mentioned in the previous message where you see "P&S" as a slur. I
    use them and recommend P&S cameras to others. I gave one as a gift
    to my niece less than a week ago. You're the *only* person I know
    that sees "P&S" as a slur. My Fuji S9600 bridge camera is a P&S,
    and is as much a P&S as your Panny. You go out of your way to find
    things that you're bothered by. That's a problem of your own making.

    P.S. I think that you left this at the door :
    ASAAR, Jan 1, 2009
  15. The Henchman

    Guest Guest

    On Tue, 30 Dec 2008 20:00:33 -0500, "The Henchman"

    I would suggest that I have found that most people tend to
    forget that the mountain or landmark they are photographing has a
    context around it. A mountain does not stand there by itself, but
    there are the smaller hills leading up to it and that building is
    impressive, but it looses a lot when you don't include the buildings
    and people around it.

    Don't always use a telephoto because a subject is far away.
    Your eyes don't go telephoto and neither should your camera in every
    case. When walking in the mountains I usually don't bother with a
    telephoto, rather I take a normal and a wide angle. Same when doing

    That does not mean you should not use telephoto, but just
    don't make the error of assuming you need them. Many years ago when
    I worked in retail photo, I saw many people pick up their photos of a
    trip and commenting that "You just can't capture what you see on film"
    I often suggested using a wide angle next time, and often they showed
    me their results next time and thanked me. Try it. You may too.
    Guest, Jan 1, 2009
  16. The Henchman

    ASAAR Guest

    Did you check the two DPR links I posted? The guy is *extremely*
    gifted, intelligent, creative, talented, in the sciences, arts,
    engineering, etc., whatever. He talks of having many of the
    classical symptoms and lacks others, some of which, such as not
    finishing or following through on all of the projects he starts, he
    finds very frustrating. He's designed and produced his own cameras
    and lenses, and is the guy that I mentioned previously that has
    produced monochrome sensors by dissolving the microlenses and Bayer
    filters from some of his Nikon sensors. He and Aspergers exemplify
    the acronym YMMV. :) My assessment of John may be off the mark,
    but to paraphrase B. D.'s ballad of another man, "something's
    happening and you don't know what it is . . . do you, Mr. John?"
    ASAAR, Jan 2, 2009
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